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Cutting carlings and setting beams (click to open/close)
The carlings were cut slightly over size to allow for a tight fit. There will be a slight difference in the lodging knees and the length of the carlings. The distance between each deck beam is a compromise between the lengths of the lodging knee and the carling. If the knee is too long it will spread the distance between the beams and the carling will be too short to fit in the notches. Or, the other way around if the carling is a bit too long it will cause the beams to be too far apart an the knee will not fit tight. When you are setting the beams check to be sure the knees and carlings will both fit tight or at least one or the other can be trimmed to fit. Here we can see that when the knee between beams 5 and 6 were fit, it resulted in the beams being a little closer. The carling can now be cut to fit. Don’t take all the extra off one end or the notches for the ledges will not line up between the carling and the knee. Remove a little material off each end until the carling drops into the notches.
Notching and cutting the carlings (click to open/close)
Once the carling is cut to the correct length the notch is marked. All the notches in the beams and carlings are cut exactly the same size. Using any beam, flip it over and set the carling in the notch. Using a scalpel or exacto knife score the under side of the carling.
Scoring the carlings (click to open/close)
With a fine tooth razor saw cut along the score line to a depth of about one half the thickness of the carling
Efficiently notching carlings (click to open/close)

When making notches in carlings and ledges sometimes more than one can be clamped in a small vice and cut at once. This works when a pair of carlings, which fit between beams, need to be exactly the same.
Creating the depth of the notch (click to open/close)
The depth of the notch is a matter of trimming and fitting until the carling sits flush to the top of the deck beam. A razor blade is used and a cut is made horizontal from the end.The cut piece is cut out from the notch. With practice you will be able to judge the exact depth of the notch. Slices are cut from the notch until the carling falls into the deck beam notch. The slices are very thin when compared to the raised rim of a nickel. Trimming the length and trimming the notch the carling finally sits into its deck beam notches.
Completing notching of the carlings (click to open/close)
All the carlings are trimmed, notched and fit in their proper place. If any carlings are out of square use the shortest carling to correct the problem. In the case of the section we are working on it would be the short carling between beams 6 and 7. Shift the beams right or left and average out the carlings over the area from beam 5 to 8.
Fitting the ledges (click to open/close)
Once all the beams, knees and carlings are in place its time to fit the ledges. Ledges are smaller beams that fit between the heavy deck beams to add support to the deck structure. Ledges follow the same procedure as fitting a carling. First they are cut to the correct length, then a notch is cut in the end allowing the ledge to fall into the notch of the knee and carling.

Go to part 17- DECK CONSTRUCTION 3

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