This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
Starting at the bottom of a wood structure, at the point where the masonry foundation wall stops and the timber framework begins, the first part of the outside finish which meets the eye is the water table, so called because its purpose is to protect the foundation wall from the injury which would result if water were allowed to run down the side of the building directly onto the masonry. The water table, therefore, must be so constructed as to direct the water away from the top of the foundation wall. This may be accomplished in several ways, some of which will he described and illustrated.
Fig. 268 shows the simplest form which can be used for a building which is to be covered with clapboards (this covering will be discussed later). A is the foundation wall, which may be stone, brick, or concrete. B is the sill, which may be in one or two pieces and which has already been described at length. C is the boarding or sheathing, which in this case is flush with the outside of the foundation wall, the sill being set back about 1 inch from this face. The board D is nailed so as to cover the joint between the top of the foundation wall and the sheathing, and on the top of it is fastened the water table E, which is inclined downward and outward so as to shed the water. The piece F is inserted to set out the first and lowest piece of siding G.
Fig. 268. Simple Form of Water Table.
Fig. 269. Type of Water Table with Rabbeted Table Board.
Fig. 269 shows another way of constructing a water table for a building with clapboards. In this case the sill B is set back about 4 inches from the face of the wall A, and a block is nailed to the bottom of the boarding, as at C, so as to set the piece D out clear of the face of the wall. This piece is rabbeted at the top as shown, so as to take in the bottom of the last clapboard.
Another method is shown in Fig. 270. In this case the board D is again made use of to cover the joint between the sheathing and the foundation wall, and it is nailed directly to the boarding as before, but the piece E is much larger and is blocked out by means of the addition of the piece G, so as to throw the water well away from the masonry. In many respects this detail is the best of the three, as the joint is well covered and at the same time there is provided a very good wash for the rain water. There are many other ways of building this part of the finish, but only one more will be shown for use when the walls are to be covered with shingles. Fig. 271 shows how this should be done. Two or even three blocks, as at F, are nailed to the boarding and the shingles G are bent over them so as to shed the water free of the masonry without further help. They may be finished at the bottom with a molded piece D to hide the joint.
The water table is sometimes omitted entirely and the clap-boarding is started directly from the foundation wall, but this is not considered good practice and will surely be found to be unsatisfactory.
Fig. 270. Water Table of Simple Construction.
Fig. 271. Water Table Used with Shingled Walls.