Choos­ing a mul­ti­tool; deck nails

Q and A with Steve Maxwell

The Southern Gazette - - Sports - Steve Maxwell House Works House Works by Canada’s Handi­est Man’ Steve Maxwell fea­tures DIY tips, how-to videos and tool prod­uct re­views.

it comes out. If you were to paint now it would look OK for a while, but al­most cer­tainly flake off later as the mois­ture mi­grated out­wards.

The best ap­proach is to wait until late sum­mer next year, then go over the wood quickly with a six-inch ran­dom or­bit san­der spin­ning an 80-grit disk. You won’t re­move all the saw marks, of course, but the ex­treme rough­ness and prick­li­ness of the rough-sawn sur­face will come off eas­ily and quickly, leav­ing you with a nice sur­face for paint­ing. I’d use the best primer you can find, fol­lowed by two coats of the best ex­te­rior la­tex you can find. Don’t skimp on cheap stuff be­cause it won’t last as long. Even with great paint, even­tu­ally the posts and beams will start to peel and need to be stripped back be­fore re­paint­ing. Depend­ing on the de­sign and look of the car­port, you might con­sider an oil fin­ish in­stead of paint. It would cre­ate a wood grain ap­pear­ance, but oil never peels. You just add more coats.

Rust­ing deck nails

A: I’m afraid there’s no easy fix. Daub­ing on some zinc-rich primer to the bare heads of the nails be­fore re-stain­ing will help, but I sus­pect the rust will re­turn in time. Pulling the nails and re­plac­ing them with hot­dipped gal­va­nized or stain­less steel screws is the only thing that will work for sure. Re­mov­ing the old nails with a me­chan­i­cal nailer puller will dent the wood slightly around each head, but with the right tools, I’ve seen it done rea­son­ably well. Some kinds of rust­proof deck screws have larger heads than oth­ers, and you’d want to choose the largest head size you can find. The big­ger the head, the more of the old nail hole and dent­ing it’ll cover. A good nail puller costs about $50, so it’s a rea­son­able price for free­dom from rust for­ever.


Mul­ti­tools like these are made my many com­pa­nies and are help­ful for cut­ting and sanding in close quar­ters dur­ing ren­o­va­tions.

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