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# deck squaring

#1
07-21-03, 07:07 AM
Rick sexton
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deck squaring

It has been a long time since I squared up anything, and have forgotten the formula for squaring up my front porch. Any help would be appreciated, the porch size is 12x16.

#2
07-21-03, 11:43 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Measure diagonally from corner to corner. Then measure diagaonally the opposite corners. Rack the frame as needed to get both measurements the same. When the two measurements are the same, the deck frame is square. (A 12X16 deck will have a diagonal measurement of 20')

#3
07-21-03, 11:55 AM
Rick sexton
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thanks

Your help was greatly appreciated.

#4
07-21-03, 09:15 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: PA
Posts: 70
Just for reference, the formula you were looking for is the pythagorean theorem, which states that:

SQUARE ROOT (A*A + B*B) = C

where C is the hypoteneuse (longest side) of a right triangle.

In this case, lefty derived the diagonal by doing the calculation:

SQUARE ROOT(12*12 + 16*16) = 20

since 12*12 + 16*16 = 400, and the square root of 400 is 20.

#5
07-21-03, 09:44 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sw VA
Posts: 3,100
The pythagorean theorem:

In simpler terms just use the 3-4-5(or 6-8-10) method.
Three foot down one line, four foot down the other, and the diagonal should be five foot. Adjust your line(wall) to obtain square.

fred

#6
07-21-03, 10:00 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 4,679
fewalt,

That was just a lucky guess, Fred!! (LOL)

Simple method compared to creiter, huh Fred?!

This is the best rule of thumb for making square corners but as lefty said, diagonals should be the same before getting serious on building anything - easy all the way around!

I used the 3-4-5 method alot on foundations. Doing diagonals on wall framing is easy and this works great just before securing your wall sheathing and tilting up the walls. Nothing worse than seeing a crooked wall.

Just some late night thoughts!

#7
07-22-03, 05:11 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sw VA
Posts: 3,100
Doug,

It wasn't a lucky guess at all.
Norm Abrams has been using it on NYWS and This Old House for many, many years. It's the simplest, most exact method to use.
It's still the "P" theorem. And you don't have to take the square root of anything.

fred

#8
07-22-03, 05:37 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 4,679
fewalt,

I was just teasing! Late night last night!

Good points made regarding it! Thanks!

#9
07-22-03, 02:29 PM
brickeyee
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Just be carefull measuring diagonals. they are only equal if the lengths of the opposite sides are the same.

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