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The classic Craftsman style comes to life with a tapered porch column set atop a stone base with a copper transition. The columns were constructed in the shop, but only three sides were assembled. The three side unit was installed around the the structural post and the fourth side was added.  

 

The pictures below are just a sample of what is in the photo gallery, visit the gallery to check out all the pictures of this project:

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Stone Base
Stone bases for the columns where constructed by adhering a concrete stone to cement board that surrounds the structural support post.
Porch Column
Tapered Columns
The tapered columns are constructed using an outdoor, weather and rot resistant material called Extira.
Extira is NOT MDF (read more about Extira). The tapered columns are four sided and feature a unique inset look on each side.
Porch Column
3 Sides Glued
The columns where assembled with three sides glued together. The three-sided unit was slipped around the structural post, secured, and then the fourth side was permantly attached.
Porch Column
Looking Inside
Here's a picture of what the assembled column looks like from the bottom up. Plenty of Titebond II glue to hold it together.
Porch Column
Ready for Installation
After priming and painting the columns, they are ready for installation. The primer and paint for applied using a $100 Wagner powershot, and I was very suprised at the quality application that this gun provided. The results are smooth and even.
Porch Column
Copper Clad Transition
More Extira was used to create a transition element between the stone base and the tapered columns. The Extira was clad in copper.
Porch Column
Column Installation
The three-sided columns are fitted around the structural post and secured. The fourth side of the column was attached using biscuits, glue and clamps. The butt joints were sanded flush and painted to match the other corners of the columns.
Porch Column

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The look of exposed rafter tails on a roof is a beautiful accent, but to build them right is a challenge. This article shows how I got the look and made the rafter tails and eves maintenance free using PVC trim.

 

The pictures below are just a sample of what is in the photo gallery, visit the gallery to check out all the pictures of this project:

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The Rafter Tails
The exposed rafter tails were made as a unit in the shop. The rafter tails unit is screwed to a horizontal board that attachs to the rough framing (the ends of the actual structural rafters).
Rafter Tails
Installing the Unit
The ends of the structural rafters were cut flush with the front wall of the dormer and the unit with the exposed tails on it was screwed to the structural rafters.
Rafter Tails
Beaded Boards
Beaded boards are added to the top of the faux rafter tails so that they are flush with the structural rafters. Plywood sheathing will cover the structural and faux rafters on the same plane.
Rafter Tails
Supporting the Rake Board
The rake board is supported by hardwood boards that get attached to the first inside rafter and then interlock with the outermost rafter by a notch. The rake board has a dado in it's top edge to receive beaded boards that will be flush with the structural rafters.
Rafter Tails
Coming together
From the ground, you can appreciate the beaded boards that line the underside of the dormer's roof system.
Rafter Tails
Maintenance Free Exterior
The PVC trim that the exposed rafter tails and beaded board are made from will never rot and never need painting..
Rafter Tails
The Finished Dormer
The exposed rafter tails on this dormer create a custom look and bring the house closer to looking like it was built 100 years ago.
Rafter Tails
American Craftsman
The dormer ties in nicely with some other Craftsman touches on the house.
Rafter Tails

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Undermount puck lights add a dynamic element to this fireplace mantle. The mantle looks like a solid beam, but it is really a hollow floating shelf. 

 

The pictures below are just a sample of what is in the photo gallery, visit the gallery to check out all the pictures of this project:

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The Hollow Beam
I wanted the look of a substantial mantle over the fireplace, but I also wanted downlights to illuminate the stone surround. The hollow mantle served both purposes.
Mantle Beam
The puck lights
The lights are recessed into the bottom of the beam so that they are flush.
Puck Lights
Wall Mounted Cleats
The hollow mantle beam hangs from the wall by attaching to cleats. A switched outlet receptable will activate the lights.
Wall Mounted Cleats
The End of the Beam
The end of the beam is filled with wood pieces so that the exposed end looks solid. This exposed end is shaped to fit around a three-sided vertical post.
Beam End
Attaching Post to Beam
In addition to the cleats, the beam is attached to the post by two dowels that are glued in place through both pieces.
Beam End
Flush cut the dowels
The dowels are cut flush with the surface of the beam and sanded smooth. The illusion of true post and beam construction is taking shape.
Beam End
The Finsihed Beam
The finished beam looks massive and rings true to post and beam construction. The undermount lights cast nice shadows on the stone facade.
Beam End
The Hearth Ties In
The hearth was made to look like it was sitting on a second beam. The unity of the mantle and the hearth tie everything together.
Beam End

Archways

by John W. Nixon on July 22 2006 03:00

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The arches are pretty simple. The main concept is that the piece that forms the underside of the arch starts the process. From 1/4 inch luan plywood, I cut a piece long enough so that it could be sprung into place between the two posts. I actually added a little temporary ledger board on each post so the sprung board was supported. I added drywall nailers along the ceiling and on the posts above the arch.


I then installed nailing blocks along the arch board about every 8 inches to a foot. Next install the drywall on one side of the arch and screw it into all the nailers, repeat on the opposite side. Next drywall the bottom of the arch by gluing on a spring piece of drywall to the bottom of the arch. Keep screws in the bottom of the arch to a minimum, and let the drywall form a fair curve and get help in place with the glue (construction adhesive). They make a special corner bead for arches - get some of that and plaster the bottom of the arch and the sides.

Lighted Crown Moulding

by John W. Nixon on May 20 2006 03:00

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