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Woodpecker plywood damage repair thoughts and the correct tool

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Forum topic by woodetal posted 02-12-2019 06:02 PM 763 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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woodetal

12 posts in 41 days


02-12-2019 06:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cut out saw exterior plywood repair

Are woodpeckers woodworkers or vandals with a beak?

I need some input and perhaps some experienced feedback on designing plywood repair for my exterior home that has been damaged by flickers and other woodpeckers that are too common in my area. Complicating the repair is the elevation of the repair. The home is a split level with high elevations. Some of the offending holes are readily accessible, @10 feet. Others not so accommodating, @20 feet. Attached is a photo of the home showing damage to rafter tails and fascia from snow load damage. There are now 4 visible repairs to the exterior from the foul fowl in the shown area. A cordless cut out tool that I can use on a ladder with a uniform result is what I am after.
There are 12-14 holes that I have repaired over the past years. The repairs are not attractive. I used cedar fencing material to cover the exterior hole awaiting ambition, time and a plan. So, the question is whether any of you have repaired exterior siding using a template and some cutout tool? Given the number of repairs needed, I think a uniform template with a cordless cutout tool for exterior plywood makes sense. I am thinking a template repair piece cut on my table saw or router with a collet for the inserts. I have repaired sheet rock where there is no access to support material for the repair. I have used a ledger board at the back of the repair, repaired and then taped/textured over the screws. Here I am thinking screws to attach the trim and screws and/or sealant for the repair piece.

There are lots of cutout tools for sheetrock. RotoZip and others. With the number of repairs a uniform look is important. Makita has a vibrating cutout tool similar to flush trim tools. I guess a jig saw would work. Although tear out and following a template may be an issue.

Then there is the issue of the replacement material matching stain to the 25 year old siding. I am trying to avoid a patchwork plywood appearance. Any ideas on stain, repair, design or anything else welcome.


8 replies so far

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therealSteveN

2061 posts in 843 days


#1 posted 02-12-2019 06:56 PM

My condolences to you and your dilemma. We used to have a cedar sided home and an abundance of Flickers, so I know your pain.

Things I have found doing the same fix.

1) If you are lucky the “patch” will look good from 2 feet, Most of them thankfully look Ok at 10’, better at 20’. Make sure to cut patches from wood to mimic the grain of the piece of siding, you are fixing.

2) A pattern of your “standard fix” should be just big enough to fill the largest hole without making the smaller ones look huge, either that or a few patterns for S M L sizes.

3) A cordless rotary tool like this one can get the work done, without having to lug an extension cord around. Note these come with almost all brands and volts of cordless tools. Many will support a router bit with better wood cutting capabilities. These didn’t exist when I last did this, so I just wrapped the cord around me, and brought it along that way, make sure to have ample cord.

Make your pattern to run off the bump ring surrounding the bit. If you are comfortable you can hand hold the pattern while to you cut an access spot. If not go up and screw the pattern on, go down and swap screw gun for cut out tool, and make your hole. Generally a rectangle is easier to size than a round hole for me. YMMV.

On stain it looks in the close up like your siding has a solid color finish/stain, but in the far shots looks like it’s a clear stain. Clear is really hard to match repairs on, at least it is my experience, but I am not a painter, perhaps a good painter could give tips. But some stain of the like color is going to look better than nothing on bare wood. Especially from 10’

Some may say to just cut out the bad pieces of lap siding. A pretty good video here touches on that process.

Your biggest problem is how to keep from having the problem again? You can try one of those Owl decoys, but they don’t work. A Flicker used to roost on ours, and singggggg. Making habitat to draw in predatory birds that don’t have drilling beaks may be a good plan, just takes a few years to get it going.

I’ll add this last, but it’s a thought. You wrote about where these damaged areas are, and I got a feeling your didn’t care for the 10’, but were a bit scared of the 20’. There are 2 things for that.

Hire it done.

Rent one of these, in my area around 250/day, if you can park it to where you can swing the bucket, you’ll be safe, and able to do 20’ like it was nothing.

-- Think safe, be safe

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

1627 posts in 432 days


#2 posted 02-12-2019 07:02 PM

Ten Bucks

.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View woodetal's profile

woodetal

12 posts in 41 days


#3 posted 02-12-2019 08:21 PM

SteveN and John: thanks for the assist! I have gone the owl and Irritape path. The classic was a hole right next to the owl. It seems they get the become aware of the owl as inanimate pretty quick. I used the owls to cover the holes they made. The moving Irritape material appears to bother them. I was fixing a hole last year, completed the cover and was putting away the ladder when I heard more pounding. It took some time but I realized I had covered the hole with a flicker inside… I removed the cover and away the Flicker went.

  • Tool selection: Was the sheet rock cut out tool up to the task? Bits breaking is one thing and expected to a point. Did the cutout tool accomplish the task without lots of care? Template: * I will use the template for the base to follow. Did you attach the template with screws, cut and remove? How did you support the replacement piece from the surrounding plywood? Thanks!!!
View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2061 posts in 843 days


#4 posted 02-13-2019 04:17 AM


  • Tool selection: Was the sheet rock cut out tool up to the task? Bits breaking is one thing and expected to a point. Did the cutout tool accomplish the task without lots of care? Template: * I will use the template for the base to follow. Did you attach the template with screws, cut and remove? How did you support the replacement piece from the surrounding plywood? Thanks!!!

- woodetal

As said the last time I did this was before the advent of the cordless cutout tools. I had an old model of PC corded drywall tool. It had a chuck for 1/8 bits, and I could cut plywood and it’s glue, so going through cedar siding was like cheese, Thing is, allow the cutter to cut. I’ve snapped off a lot of 1/4” bits trying to force the cut. Most of the ones I did were from a Cherry picker, so I had full use of both hands once I got the bucket to where it needed to be. I would just hold the guide template, and route out the center. You could use a trim router for more beef,and an upgrade to 1/4” bits though if you felt you needed more.

-- Think safe, be safe

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ChefHDAN

1290 posts in 3118 days


#5 posted 02-13-2019 02:13 PM

Have you thought of an oscillating tool? I’ve found them very useful for precise cutting with a very thin kerf for softer woods. I would think it would be much simpler than trying to use a roto-zip to make the cut.
This one is $70 at lowes, though I’m not a fan of C-man or this type of battery tools, but the price for the specific job makes sense.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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Steve

964 posts in 851 days


#6 posted 02-13-2019 02:25 PM

you might try setting up a feeder specifically for the birds?

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woodetal

12 posts in 41 days


#7 posted 02-13-2019 03:38 PM

Thanks for the input. I need a uniform template to cut the replacement piece and work on the ladder to place the template to cutout the damage. I like the idea to have small, medium and large templates to address the sizes of the various holes. Most are in the small-medium range. There are maybe two that will need special attention. Matching grain and stain will be a challenge. A bird feeder would just encourage the vandals. Flickers are tenacious and a well known irritant in the area. Driving the area and there are plastic owls and irritape all over. And, you can hear and see flickers going after homes.

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therealSteveN

2061 posts in 843 days


#8 posted 02-16-2019 09:45 AM

Get a real live no kidding Hawk moved into the area, and Flickers, and those poor Robins become scarce. Dumb birds that won’t get out of their own way. Mr Hawk just says gulp.

A little grassy area that would attract mice, and put out plenty of regular feeders for the birds, pretty soon you will see a Hawk daily. It might not be the first bird gone, but the Flicker will be gone, and you don’t need to feel bad about you killing it, it was Ma Nature at work, maybe with a little habitat help/planning.

I’ve yet to have any of the several Red Tails around me cause the slightest bit of damage to my property, and I would much rather watch them, than a Flicker.

-- Think safe, be safe

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