Back Porch Siding - Part 2


South Sill Build 

In our last post we finished removing the shingles from the back porch.  And while doing that I remembered just how bad the window sills were on the back porch. There was no easy solution to this, at least not for me, but with some thought and maybe a little bit of ingenuity, I was able to come up with the solution.  Let's get into it.

The Embarrassment

I've already mentioned how bad the window sills were on the back porch. I think when I shingled the back porch back in 2011, I didn't spend a lot of time thinking through the sills because it was all gonna be temporary.  And of course, 13 years later, it's all being done so technically - it was temporary.  

I watch the stars from my window sill, the whole world is moving and l'm standing still. - Unknown

But, as you can see by this next picture, the window sill was really cobbed up. It was so bad that if you were any closer than the sidewalk, it was blatantly clear just how bad it really was. I was always embarrassed about it, but obviously not embarrassed enough to do anything about it any sooner than 2024 but, we are!

The Problem

After the shingles were removed, I noticed the sheathing was proud of the windows by anywhere from 1/2" to almost 3/4".  I considered several approaches, which is why you can see a couple chalk lines I snapped.  It took not an inconsiderable amount of measuring and head scratching. 

And, the only solution I could come up with, aside from taking all the windows out and building all new window sills, which I wasn't about to do, was to make a highly customized face-mounted sill. So I did. 

What is there more unruly than the sea, with its winds, its tornadoes, and its tempests? And yet in what department of her works has Nature been more seconded by the ingenuity of man than in this, by his inventions of sails and of oars? - Pliny the Elder

The Angle

The first step was to figure out the angle that would give the window sill that little bit of a slant that they have so rain runs away from the house.  My mind immediately went back to when I had the kitchen windows replaced by a neighbor who was a professional at this, and we put in this sill...

Emulating my neighbor, the first step was to cut the angle on what would be the backside of the sill...eight degrees.

Of course eight degrees was a piece of cake.  The fun part of this was the opportunity to use my digital angle finder for the first time.  Mind you...I've had it for a couple years but - finally!

And, for the first step,  everything got off to a very nice start!

The Drip Groove 

A drip groove, also known as a rain groove or rain channel, provides a place for rainwater to break its path and fall to the ground instead of creeping back into the house. It never occurred to me before the kitchen windows but here we are!

The Rabbet 

Then came the little bit more challenging rabbet. There's an approximate 1/2" to 3/4" space between the facia and the bottom of the windows on the south wall.  To get the sill board to sit against the window and come down over the facia, I had to cut a rabbet into the board to bridge that span.  

So, I hogged out the wood using the router at different depths, just chiseling away a bit at a time so I didn't burn up my router bit.

But in hindsight, it probably would have been much easier to just run the board through the table saw a couple times! 

It all came out okay but it made for a big mess down in the workshop.  I think it took a good half hour to clean that up. I don't know why and I don't know if it's true with all routers but at least with mine - boy, it creates a heck of a mess!  

A few posts involving windows!
Window Work - What was I Thinking? April 2019
Replacing the Basement Windows April 2023
Dirty Little Secrets at 173 June 2019
The North Side - A Summer-Long Project Sept 2015
And a random post: Tool Handle Bird Feeder

Happy Little Accident

I love that old Bob Ross phrase. Instead of making mistakes, he'd always say they were happy little accidents.  It's such a very positive outlook but, to be quite frank, what I'm about to tell you about was simply ... a mistake.  While figuring out the layout of this window sill, I counted in the fact that I wanted it to overlap the casing.  I had ever so carefully measured it out at least 2, 3,  maybe even 4 times to be sure I had it right.  Then I took it to the workshop and deftly made the cuts and ... I have no idea what happened because when I took the sill back outside it was a good inch and a quarter short!  

After the initial shock (and maybe a little cussing) I realized I had a happy little ... no - I realized I made a big %÷$@#&g mistake.  With defiance in my heart,  and refusing to start from scratch, I went back down to the workshop  grabbed that little last little piece I had cut off and glued it back in the place with some Titebond III exterior glue and an architectural screw.  Then I trimmed off that little back tab that was left over. I think once it's all sanded and the joint is filled it should be as strong as original, and not even noticeable once it's all painted up.

It seems this one little sill took a whole lot of work and man-hours to accomplish.  But really in the end I think there was a half-hour to 45 minutes invested in it. It just felt like an all day project.  But that's the story of the incredibly customized window sill for the south wall windows, which I mentioned before, is actually the smaller of the two walls in this subject.  So the long window sill on the east wall lies ahead.  Really looking forward to that one!

Hey,  thanks for stopping by - see ya' soon!

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