What tools to cut square post hole in composite decking board?

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If you’re a handy guy or gal, chances are you already own many of the tools needed for deck construction. Most hand tools are inexpensive and worth buying, even if you will use them only for your deck. Power tools can be pricy, so you may choose to rent rather than purchase some of them. Deck tools can be divided into fivecategories: tools for layout and measuring; for general carpentry and digging; for cutting; for fastening; and for smoothing and shaping. To use these tools effectively, see the section on Basic Skills. There you will also find some tips on choosing the best tools.


Tools for Layout and Measuring

To build a quality deck, you will check constantly to be sure its parts are level, plumb, and square. A 25-foot tape measure handles most tasks, but a longer tape can come in handy for a very large deck. Chalk lines, also called chalk boxes, quickly create perfectly straight lines. Blue chalk easily washes off; red chalk is pretty permanent. A framing...

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Steps:

1. Measure the deck for the first decking plank.
2. Cut the plank to length with a circular saw or power miter saw.
3. If necessary, use a jigsaw to cut a hole in the plank for the downspout.
4. Set the plank onto the deck, and use a putty knife to slip it under any existing metal flashing.
5. Measure to ensure the first deck board is parallel with the outer edge of the deck.
6. Fasten the deck board with composite decking screws along the edge closest to house; drive one screw into each joist.
7. Install a hidden fastener into the edge of the deck plank, placing one at each joist.
8. Use plastic tapping block and hammer to drive the sharpened spikes of the fasteners into the edge of the plank.
9. Use drill/driver to drive one screw through each hidden fastener and into the joists.
10. Cut the second decking plank to length and set it against the hidden fasteners in the first plank.
11. Use the 2x4 tapping block and...

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I'm thinking of replacing my wood deck with composite lumber because I'd like it to be maintenance-free. I've never worked with this material before. What can I expect?

People choose woodplastic composite (WPC) or even plastic lumber (PL) over wood because they want the finished project to resist rot, wood-eating insects, harsh sunlight, and mold and mildew, and they never want to paint it. So, do these materials deliver? In many respects, yes. But are they maintenance-free? No material is. Though many of these products carry 25- to 50-year warranties that protect against things like rotting, splitting, peeling, and insect infestation, we've seen these decks fade, buckle, and harbor mildew in certain conditionsespecially the stuff that contains wood fibers. But, generally speaking, WPC and PL decks don't require the annual makeover that wood decks do, and most last for decades with little more work than soap and water rinses....

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Whether you've just moved into a new house, or your deck is weathered, updating a deck doesn't always mean that you have to replace the whole thing. Updating a deck can give a home the same appeal and look as a new deck with just a few simple updates. Freshen the look of your deck by updating the railings, lattice and adding decorative components such as post caps. By adding these simple, quick replacements your deck will be looking new in no time.

When considering updating a deck think about what type of material you will use. Composite decking is a great alternative to standard wood decking. It is durable, easy to maintain and it will keep a deck looking great for years to come.

To begin, take down the old railings and lattice using a screwdriver. Next install the deck posts. Cut holes to fit the posts using a square into the deck boards. Cut holes for the posts using a jig saw. Using joist mount brackets to hold the posts in place, install flush with the decking....

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When I first left Mexico and came to America 20 years ago, I never imagined trying to create a good life for my family would be almost impossible—and punishable by law.

That’s my reality in New York City.

My name is Guadalupe and I am a wife, mother, and mobile food vendor. I’ve worked jobs ranging from housekeeper to attendant at a dry cleaners. But commuting for hours every day at jobs I didn’t love prevented me from seeing the very people I was doing it for: my family.

So I decided to become my own boss. I began selling tamales door-to-door six days a week, sometimes going to bed around 2AM and waking up at 4AM to continue preparing for the upcoming day. It was hard, but becoming a small business owner let me pick my hours; so the minute that bell rang and my kids were out of school, I could be around them.

Now, I can vend just on the weekends because I have loyal customers who keep coming back for my authentic soft tamales. And they can expect real...

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The history of hypnosis is full of contradictions. On the one hand, a history of hypnosis is a bit like a history of breathing. Like breathing, hypnosis is an inherent and universal trait, shared and experienced by all human beings since the dawn of time. On the other hand, it’s only in the last few decades that we’ve come to realise that! Hypnosis itself hasn’t changed for millennia, but our understanding of it and our ability to control it has changed quite profoundly. The history of hypnosis, then, is really the history of this change in perception.

In the 21st century, there are still those who see hypnosis as some form of occult power. Those who believe that hypnosis can be used to perform miracles or control minds are, of course, simply sharing the consensus view that prevailed for centuries. Recorded history is full of tantalising glimpses of rituals and practices that look very much like hypnosis from a modern perspective, from the “healing passes” of the Hindu Vedas...

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