Suggestions on how to cut deck boards

yostmatt

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2014
178
Hollidaysburg, PA
I am trying to figure out the best way to cut my deck boards so they line up with the edge of the pool wall. In Hindsight I should of marked each one on the bottom, cut then flipped. Since I am past that point I am looking for some suggestions. I was thinking about having my wife stand in the middle with a rod with string attached and then mark side to side, then draw a line on the deck boards. But there is a little bit of human error involved there.

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Time for some breakfast. Thanks in advance.
 

pooldv

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Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
Yes, I think that is best. Maybe have her hold a deckboard cut to the radius of the pool against the framing for her to hold to help keep the string in the right spot. Since you only get one chance! Good luck!
 

txnole

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
#1 would be unscrew the boards and make the cuts. That's your highest likelihood for success. ;)

#2 if this is a true circular pool, then you could use a string from the exact center of the pool. This would be the same as using a compass (the two point kind, not the directional kind). Put a pencil and a string level on the end of the string and mark the curve. This method has some potential for error, depending on where center truly is and any slope.

#3 would be to attach craft paper or similar to the underside of the boards and transfer the pattern of the pool. This has some potential for error. Attach a pencil to the interior of a 1" PVC pipe. Run the pipe along the interior of the pool surround to transfer the pattern with the pencil. Remove the paper and invert to make your cuts. Again, this method has some potential for error.

Also, if you want to "bend" your boards around the perimeter of the pool rather than using smaller straight boards as you did on the upper deck, set your saw depth to 50-60% of the wood height and make a large number of cuts along the backside! every 1"-2". This will allow the board to bend but still have enough rigidity to serve as your fascia and you'll have one long board with the right bends rather than 5-6 short boards. For more info, google KERF CUTS.
 

yostmatt

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2014
178
Hollidaysburg, PA
Thanks for the suggestions.

I could probably tie a could strings together, then in the middle should cold stand with a piece of rebar where the strings intersect...

While I was at breakfast, I was thinking about this again. I wonder if I could make something up like a big C. The top of the C would hold a pencil, the bottom of the C I could run along the inside of the pool. humm.
 

Augie56

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2014
55
Medina, Ohio
If you can see down between the boards, then you should be able to use a pencil and strike an arc across each board to make cut-off lines that will leave you a few inches of board overhang. Then make the first cut(s) with a jig saw (or a sawzall if you're good with one) to remove the long ends.

Then, make a jig to slide along the inside edge of the top of the pool wall under the rough cut edge of the deck boards. Make this jig the length of the amount of deck board overhang you want, then attach a pencil to it and slide it around the pool wall so you will get an exact copy of the arc transcribed onto the top of the boards.

Then make you final cuts nice and slow, file your edge a little, and you're done.
 

Billrector

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2013
118
Fort Worth, TX
If you are trying to get the boards flush with the trim piece, you can cut the boards slightly long (i.e. 1/16") and then use a router with a pattern bit to follow the trim piece. Using this method, you will have perfectly flush boards.
 

gardnerp81

Active member
Jun 19, 2014
30
Router with flush trim bit is absolutely the best way to go....

20x40 IG Vinyl 35k gal, Hayward 24" Sand filter, Built fall of 2013, Single Speed Jandy 1.5hp Pump, Southwest Part of MI
 

yostmatt

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2014
178
Hollidaysburg, PA
If you are trying to get the boards flush with the trim piece, you can cut the boards slightly long (i.e. 1/16") and then use a router with a pattern bit to follow the trim piece. Using this method, you will have perfectly flush boards.
So what you are saying is stand in the pool and run the router upside down along the pool coping?
 

yostmatt

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2014
178
Hollidaysburg, PA
If you can see down between the boards, then you should be able to use a pencil and strike an arc across each board to make cut-off lines that will leave you a few inches of board overhang. Then make the first cut(s) with a jig saw (or a sawzall if you're good with one) to remove the long ends.

Then, make a jig to slide along the inside edge of the top of the pool wall under the rough cut edge of the deck boards. Make this jig the length of the amount of deck board overhang you want, then attach a pencil to it and slide it around the pool wall so you will get an exact copy of the arc transcribed onto the top of the boards.

Then make you final cuts nice and slow, file your edge a little, and you're done.
I I think I like this method.

I grabbed a sheet of cardboard before I left work and went to an open end of the pool and taped it to the pool edge and traced a line on the cardboard. I cut it along the line, and took it to the deck. I traced the line three times, I am able to see down between a few of the deck boards. So I lined it up and drew my line. I didn't cut anything tonight. Wanted to think about it some more to see if there was a way to make it a little more precise. Plus the old adage of measure twice, cut once.

- - - Updated - - -

After I get it cut, I was thinking about using the router to put a little round edge on the top of the deck board.
 

Billrector

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2013
118
Fort Worth, TX
So what you are saying is stand in the pool and run the router upside down along the pool coping?
No, you would run the router from the top after you rough cut the boards a little long. The pattern bit will follow any "pattern" including your pool trim. If you already have a router, this will give you perfect results, assuming you want the boards flush with the trim. This method will not work if you want the boards to overhang the trim.
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
741
Montville NJ
No, you would run the router from the top after you rough cut the boards a little long. The pattern bit will follow any "pattern" including your pool trim. If you already have a router, this will give you perfect results, assuming you want the boards flush with the trim. This method will not work if you want the boards to overhang the trim.
If he wants the boards to overhang the trim, he could always screw a strip of luan (or those plastic lattice strips work well, and are a lot cheaper) onto the facia, let the bearing on the bit run on that, and then remove the luan afterwards.

I agree, the best way to make this look good is to cut the boards a bit long with a jigsaw, then do the final pass with a pattern bit in a router (the clean all of the sawdust out of your pool)

-dave
 

Augie56

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2014
55
Medina, Ohio
Yes, not matter how you do it, be ready for sawdust everywhere!

You're idea of using the traced-curve cardboard piece(s) to transcribe the pool wall arc onto the boards you will be cutting seems about the easiest. Any small differences in the curve's radius (because every pool is not EXACTLY round) won't be noticeable because you're boards are overhanging the wall a little bit, too.

Routing the curved edges after making your cuts will leave it looking nice, too.

Get 'er done!
 

CeeElGee

Well-known member
Apr 8, 2013
306
Battle Creek, MI
By all means, DO NOT stand in the pool to operate the router! :eek: I might have missed it, but do you want the arc flush with the inside radius of the pool or the outside radius?