I have several pieces of good 3/4″ plywood, none very big, to use as decking for the new front porch. I have a non-negotiable width of 12′, and a depth to be determined – depending on what I can do laying out the pieces.
It’s not as weird as it sounds.
Big Brother brought up four pieces, which once held up his waterbed. We took them out of his SUV and stacked them in the woodshed last month, and I never really paid attention to their dimensions. At the time it didn’t matter: Those four would determine the porch size, full stop. But then the plan changed, and the porch needed to be 12′ wide. Would those four pieces serve as a basis for that?
They certainly will and then some. I had assumed without really thinking that they were four pieces of one 4X8 sheet, and that was far from the case. In a line they stretch well past 12′, which is good because half of one piece is separated and most of that should be discarded if possible.
I also have three scraps left over from Ian’s porch roof project…
…of varying width but each a full 8′ long. Even Innumerate Joel knows that 3X8=24, which is 2X12. So twice the narrowest scrap (16″) is 32″, plus the width of BB’s pieces which is just shy of 30″, gives me a very respectable 5′ 2″ deep porch. Unfortunately that would involve some weird bracing, because the seams don’t work out.
I’ll have five piers to work with, which means five braces between the piers and the cabin, which is perfect for the four 3′ pieces plus two 6′ pieces. So – let’s not go as wide as we possibly can: Let’s not use the narrowest piece of Ian scrap as the template for the long pieces. Let’s use the second narrowest piece. That’s 21″.
That makes the bracing situation simple and doable, with a porch depth of 4′ 3″ which is perfectly nice for a sittin’ and thinkin’ chair and a side table. Could be deeper, but what the hell? The deeper I make the porch, the bigger I have to make the inevitable porch roof in the fullness of time. And a sittin’ porch won’t really be a lot of use anyway until I do the roof – which will not be this year. All I really want is an area that will let me get to and from the front door without constant fear of falling and breaking bones.
So! That’s the plan.