Enclosing a structure – whether it’s a house, barn, shed, or outbuilding – requires some sort of siding. Freshly cut wood shrinks as it dries and tries to warp. However, there is a way of installing siding with boards fresh from the saw mill that will provide good protection from the materials.
Board and batten siding – often referred to as board and batt or has been used for centuries. The boards run with narrow strips to seal the cracks that form as the wood dries and shrinks. The early builders may not have understood exactly why wood was moving, but they knew how to compensate for that. Instead of trying to keep it in place, they just gave it room to move. The wider boards are laid out first. They shrink up to 10 % in width and thickness, opening cracks between them no matter how tight they are when they are first installed – about 1/2 inch wide panels. The bats come next, overlapping the boards enough to seal the cracks between them.
Much Depends On The Stuff Behind The Siding
You can nail into a good solid oak stringer that will hold the nail securely, provided you haven’t bent the nail. For softwood or hardwood backs less than 1 inch thick, deck screws are a better choice. They’ll hold on to soft woods more softly and you won’t have to deal with the jump every time you hit a nail. On the other hand, you may need to pre-drill the gaps, plus screws are more expensive. Use 4 foot joiner height to keep the boards. Here’s another hint: when you pre-drill the boards, use one as a pattern and drill the rest of the gaps on a flat surface.
When setting up the boards, pay careful attention to the growth rings. The boards usually try to make a cup as they dry. If you twist the board so that the head of the nail is against the side of the board that is closer to the center of the tree, the edges will stay close to the stringers. The growth rings try to straighten themselves while the board dries. This helps visualize which way the board is going to go. The other thing to remember is to only use one nail with the width of the board. Two or more nails will cause the board to split as it dries and shrinks.
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