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Building Fire-Resistive Eaves

The article "Controversial Developments Withstand Wildfires" (In the News, 12/07) reports on the survival of homes built with "boxed eaves with screened vents (to prevent windblown embers)." Where can I get more information about this detail and others mentioned in the article?

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Sam Waldman

Mendocino, Calif.

There is an excellent collection of construction details — as well as other information on fire-resistive construction — at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dplu/bldgforms/index.html#wldfre. Scroll down to "October Wildfire Rebuilding — General Information" and click on "Fire Resistive Eave Construction." — The Editors


Drywall Butt Joints and Code

Greg DiBernardo is certainly not the only contractor to ignore section R702.3.5 of the IRC ("Taming Butt Joints," 12/07), but if everybody feels free to ignore it, why hasn't that section of the code been removed?

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Charles Campbell

Campbell Housewrights

Athens, Ga.

In this case, there is more than a little room for flexibility on the part of a building inspector in interpreting the code. IRC R702.3.5 states that "all edges and ends of gypsum board shall occur on the framing members, except those edges and ends that are perpendicular to the framing members." IBC 2508.3 has the same language, but adds a reference to ASTM C840 in Table 2508.1, which lists applicable standards for the installation of gypsum board. ASTM C840 (Section 8.2), in turn, states that ends and edges "shall occur over framing members or other solid backing" — which could certainly include an OSB backer, as shown in the article, as long as the building inspector agrees. — The Editors


Making Arched Panel Molding

Keep up the good work, especially the articles that allow the readership to expand their skill sets. Gary Striegler's article "Building an Arched Passageway" (12/07) lacked only one thing: pictures of the arched panel molding being made. Other than that, way to go!

Bruce Abernathy

Niceville, Fla.

Thanks for the compliment; here are some additional photos that should clarify the author's process. — The Editors

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The blanks for the panel molding are laminated from the same forms as the matching arch, ripped to width on the table saw (A), and cleaned up with planing (B) and sanding. After adding a support block beneath the router base for stability (C), the author takes several passes to get a smooth finish (D), then rips the molding to final width (E). Working from the top of the arch, he carefully marks and cuts each miter (F), then glues and pins the molding in place. He works down the arch, adding cross rails as he goes (G).