Remember the workbench that I was talking about in my last post? Well, the featured image displays it in all of its shiny, epoxied glory. Not one, but TWO coats of epoxy, each coat taking a 1/2 gallon of part A and part B (for a total of a gallon) plus about 4 ounces of pigment per coat. The epoxy ran about $65 a gallon, and the pigment was probably $15. But in exchange I got a freaking beautiful workbench that should hopefully be both tough and durable. And if all else fails I can always sling some more epoxy over the top to fix any defects.

If you’ve never done an epoxy project I highly recommend you do so – it’s pretty damn amazing and interesting as all hell. I’ve watched videos of people turning old laminate countertops into very close approximations of marble. I’m more of a quartz kind of guy, so epoxy is pretty close to perfect for me, and I’d save something like $6000 if I were to do it.

My deck also got installed. I wasn’t very impressed with the work after I took a close look at things. The contractor just smooshed the ledger board up against the house and then drove lag screws through the wood and siding and into the rim joist. He “forgot” to add the flashing and probably figured to get away with it until I sicced the building inspector on him. Then he half-assed the installation and didn’t tuck the flashing back behind the siding. I’m pretty salty about it – if I wanted a fucked up installation I could have saved myself $2600 and done it myself. Physically, though, I just didn’t feel up to the challenge of installing a deck. In hindsight, I’m reconsidering that decision.

In a proper installation the siding is removed where the ledger board is going to be attached to the house. A vapor barrier, if it isn’t already present, is placed between the ledger board and the rim joist, and holes for the carriage bolts are drilled. Before inserting the carriage bolts a generous helping of silicone is squeezed into the holes to help secure them against water and insects. Flashing goes on top of the ledger board, and vinyl trim pieces known as J-channel are nailed into place around the ledger board, after which the vinyl siding is finally put back into place.

It’s entirely possible that leaving the vinyl siding in place could work, but it’s not really recommended. Guess I’ll be finding out in the next couple years.

No deck is complete without furniture, so that was one of the first things I bought after it was installed. Still have to assemble the table and awning, but that should be pretty simple. The grill was relocated from the garage to the deck, and I’m looking forward to being able to kick back and relax while I burn some meat over a propane-fueled flame.

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