Many a good dollar has been thrown away in the days gone by in the wonderful construction of the gutter. Good pine boards nailed in all sorts of complicated ways and then covered with zinc, tin or galvanized iron, are only put up to rot. The gutter now is a simple affair and promises to last as long as the ridge. It is simply a plank of the clearest and soundest cypress and one and three-quarters inches thick when dressed, and either eight inches or twelve inches wide. If eight inches then the gutter pieces which the bars butt against and are nailed, are screwed on the side of the gutter plate, thus:
Or if a foot wide then the pieces are nailed on top of the gutter, as below:
I prefer the latter plan, and after six years' trial of it have no fault or failure in the least. You should have at least a clear eight inches in width of gutter, and the side pieces, whether nailed on the side or on top, should not be less than two and one-half inches above gutter before the bevel begins. The plan for joining the gutter plates, explained and illustrated in the work "How to Grow Flowers," by the late Myron A. Hunt, is excellent, and again I say, after some years of adoption, I can see no better way.
A coarse saw groove is made in the center of the thickness of the plate three inches deep and one-eighth or a trifle less wide. Both planks where they will butt will be sawed, then get a piece of sheet iron six inches broad and the length of the breadth of the gutter plate and the thickness of the saw cuts, and after smearing it with white lead drive it home in the saw groove of one plate that is already in place, and when the next plate is laid that is also driven home. If the planks have been sawed perfectly square, this is an absolutely tight joint. We never look for these joints to be over a post, as the joint is as strong as any part of the gutter.
There are many who still adhere to wooden gutters. They may be as lasting and have as many advantages, but from experience in recent years I prefer the cast iron or metal gutter. There are several different kinds on the market. The metal gutters have one substantial advantage over wood. In case of a snowstorm with a steam pipe within a foot of the gutter the snow will disappear almost as fast as it falls, and this is not the ease with wooden gutters. We thought when putting in iron gutters in length of five feet seven inches and 150 feet total length that there would be expansion and contraction. There is not a parting of joints even visible. It expands and contracts as one solid piece.