This year started with the idea to clear out some Mind Freight(TM) from the warehouse of my brain. Biggest among these mental heavy lifts was finishing up the deck. The physical manifestation of this is the steel stored on my basement floor for the last few years waiting for me to get motivated enough to finish the stairs for the deck.

Before the pandemic ground things to a halt this winter I managed to finish some tricky posts going up the wood stairway. Each one was unique so there was no good way to make a jig. I had to figure out a way to keep the visual language consistent even on these unique posts. One has the only outside angle on the deck and the other has an inch and a half offset. Another consideration is that they reinforce the important connection between the stringers and the deck. Lots of measuring, strings, and running up & down from the roof to the back yard.

Next were the mesh panels. Two rectangle panels were made to finish off the top deck: one big and one little. I’ve made 15 already so the final two came out quick. The hard ones were next though. 6 odd shaped ones coming down from the stairs and transitioning into the spiral landing. Again, lots of running up & down. Saved some time making cardboard templates, but even then things needed to be tacked and checked.

In here I was also working on the fill mesh for the spiral. With 16 to make, I was not going to be able to fit each one exactly so I decided to build a wooden jig to weld them up in. A day of cutting pieces to shape – some with the dry cut saw, some with the plasma cutter if it seemed to dangerous of an angle for the saw and LOTS AND LOTS of angle grinding. Another day of welding… lots and lots of ends of mesh… and of course angle grinding to clean up the faces. A day of drilling holes. And two days of painting.

It took some flexing and some creativity to hold things into place, mark them and drill holes, but I worked my way up and luckily everything ended up decently aligned.

Still need to figure out a cap and the graspable handrail, but at least the terror of falling over the edge is gone. It’s starting to feel like a deck!