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Notch Like A Boss: Secrets for Cutting Decking Around Deck Posts

Dope details don't just happen; they are planned and executed
April 04, 2024

On this wraparound deck renovation, the cedar and cable railing is a midcentury modern focal point, above the tropical decking.

Because the deck straddles three sides of the house, the decking layout begins at the far outside edge, the longest and the most visible, straight line.

They set the deck board in place to scribe the post locations.

How he notches the decking:

  • Ben sets his combination square to the depth of the notch he is looking for, and marks the edges of the post.
  • The notch will have to be about a quarter inch bigger than these marks outline. And he wants to round the corners. So Ben uses a ½ inch brad-point bit to measure and mark the corners simultaneously.
  • This aligns the outside edges of the drill bit with the outside edges of the notch.
  • Then he connects the dots and cuts the notch.
  • To shed water, he rounds over the cut edges with a ¼ inch roundover bit on his laminate trimmer.
  • And cleans it up with sandpaper.

They stain the cut edges, and not surprisingly, it fits. So Ben puts the decking on the line and screws it temporarily into place. This allows them to establish the line for all other decking.

Because the stainless steel fasteners on this deck are exposed, it is really important that they line up. There’s a jig for that, and we show it to you in another video.

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