Dutch­man Re­pairs

Old House Journal - - Restore -

> Rafter tails that present with ex­ten­sive rot of­ten can be patched with two-part wood epoxy, but some­times the dam­age is too ex­ten­sive. A time-hon­ored tech­nique to safely re­store them— without tak­ing the roof off—is called a Dutch­man re­pair. If the rafter ends are struc­tural, tem­po­rar­ily brace the roofline with 4x10 or 4x12 lum­ber. Re­move any paint around the dam­aged area. Then chisel or saw away the de­cayed wood. Use the same type of wood for the re­pair, and make sure it’s sea­soned to avoid shrink­age.

Cut out a piece of wood—the Dutch­man— that’s slightly larger than the area of dam­age. Lay the Dutch­man over the dam­aged area and scribe an out­line into the orig­i­nal wood sur­face be­low. Next, fol­low the scribed line with a chisel or small hand­saw to form an open­ing in the ex­ist­ing wood for the new lum­ber. Ap­ply a fungi­cide to the old wood and al­low it to dry. Then glue the Dutch­man in place with a wa­ter­proof ad­he­sive, such as an epoxy for­mu­lated for wood. Trim or sand the sur­face of the patch un­til it’s flush to the sur­round­ing sur­faces. Prime and paint all ex­posed wood.

Dam­aged rafter ends are spliced with new wood, then planed or sanded smooth be­fore fin­ish­ing.

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