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I Have been building a deck on the back of my house for the past month or so and have finally got to the portion of laying the deck boards. The problem is I do not want just a plain old boring deck design so I started looking at different deck patterns like herring bone or squares but finally opted for doing a inlay design. Now after looking for a acceptable pattern for some time I have settled on doing a compass rose style inlay.

Step 1: Design the Inlay.

Although I had come up with some other designs the basic star was what won out, but as you will see it was just a guide for me to expand on at a later time depending on how I felt as the work progressed.

Step 2: Starting the Cuts or a Basic Shape

Since the 5/4 deck boards are 1" thick by 5.5" wide I just had to figure out how big this was going to be to look right. So I started out by cutting a board at a 45 deg angle then drawing a line lengthwise till I felt the triangle looked right. Not to long and not to stubby. Then you just do the same thing for the other points so they all fit together nice and snug in the middle.

Step 3: Blocking for Support

So for me the first step was to pick a place on the deck for the star. I wanted to use one of the joists as the main support for the length of the star Which also happens to be aligned with North to South. Because of all the off angle cuts on the star every piece needs to have a support underneath. This as it turns out was a major time consumer. I first started by placing the star as a hole on the joists and started cutting and placing supports under the main parts of the star.

The "X" that is the center of the star would be the starting point for the blocking, Then just keep adding supports till all sides of all of the parts of the star has a block under it so you have something to screw the deck boards into.

Step 4: Finishing the Design

Like I mentioned in the last step the negative space design was next. If you recall in my original design the wood was just straight boards that ran even with the outside boards but as I had more time to look at the overall I wanted something more involved and went with a 3 triangle design that ended up evolving into what you see now.

The process was similar but for these I wanted to be able to secure them to each other and to the supports to help firm up the small pieces. I cut out all the parts keeping them in numbered groups 1-4. I rounded over each piece to match the factory edge. Then I biscuit jointed all the pieces together. (non of which has any pictures, I forgot. I was on a roll.) SO, after installing all the little triangles I had a completed star. Then all that was left to do was install the deck boards. So as you can see with a lot of patience and time and planning you to can save a TON of money and give yourself a one of a kind deck on a budget price.

I have seen similar work done and just the star alone costs 800.00.

Hope you all enjoyed...

<p>awesome do you have any pictures of it completely stained?</p>
<p>Excellent job! You might consider pulling the really dark boards and replacing those. It detracts from the wonderful job you did on the star...</p>
the dark boards are the color the deck is going to be. We just stained a few before installing to see if we liked the color and the star will eventually get a two tone stain job in natural wood colors.
<p>Aha! I was about to say the same exact thing as above.</p><p>Beautiful work, inventive and characterful. Thank you!</p><p>Love to see the finished and stained product.</p>
Looks like I forgot to add a picture of the decking all installed.
Would have been nice to have it pointing north. think you gave me a good idea though, thanks.
it does point north
<p>Looks great! You definitely turned your deck into something cool.</p>
<p>Very cool! I wouldn't have thought of that in decking. Looks great</p>
wow, nice.

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