This section is from the book "A Treatise On Architecture And Building Construction Vol2: Masonry. Carpentry. Joinery", by The Colliery Engineer Co. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Architecture And Building Construction.
187. Siding is the term which is applied to the material with which the exterior-walls of a frame building are usually covered. There are two kinds, the beveled siding, and the novelty, or patent, siding. The former consists of sawed and planed boards in commercial lengths of about 16 feet and a width of from 4 to 6 inches. Its thickness is 5/8 inch at one edge, beveling back to 3/8 inch at the other edge, as shown at Fig. 73.
Novelty siding has a uniform thickness of about 7/8 inch, except where it is rabbeted at the bottom to receive the chamfered edge of the next board below it, and where it is chamfered at the top to fit the rabbet of the board next above it, as shown at b, Fig. 74. Novelty siding is manufactured in single widths of from 5 inches to 9 inches, though in very cheap grades of work it is used in double widths, with a groove worked lengthwise through the middle to imitate the joint, as shown at c, Fig. 74.
The depth of the rabbet and the width of the chamfer limit the amount of lap that can be made with novelty siding; whereas, with beveled siding, one course may overlap the other any distance within the limits of the width of the material. It is far preferable, therefore, to use the beveled stock on all first-class work, though it costs a trifle more and requires more labor to put it in place. It is more durable on exposure to the weather, less liable to crack and check, while its thinness renders it easily dried out, and the stock is much more liable to be well seasoned than that used for the novelty siding.
188. Before the siding is put on the building, the water-table e, Fig. 73 and Fig. 74, is placed all around the structure about 1 inch below the sill. The water-table has a pitched cap, shown at c and d, which serves the purpose of receiving the water which runs down the side of the house and shedding it off to the ground before it works its way into the foundation, to rot the sill and render the house damp and unhealthy.
The cap of the water-table is beveled in order to give its top surface an inclination of from 15° to 30° from the horizontal, and it has a tongue worked on its top to form a seat for the lower piece of siding and make with it a water-tight joint, as shown at f, Fig. 74.
189. Over the sheathing of the building1, from the water-table to the plate, is laid one or more thicknesses of heavy felt, or resinous building paper, to prevent drafts from working through the cracks and joints; and over this paper, and above the water-table, the siding is laid in horizontal courses, each course being nailed through its lower edge, as shown at f, in Fig. 73. Cut nails 2 1/2 inches long and having flat heads, should be used, the siding being nailed only at the studs and the nails set in, so that they may be puttied over. Beveled siding should be carefully gauged as to lap, so that the edges may be made to run in line with the horizontal lines of the window and door trim.
Circular Siding. When a circular tower, or semicircular bay window, exists in a building, it is necessary to prepare the siding with its lower edge convex and its upper edge concave, in order that these edges may lie in horizontal lines when the siding is bent around the curved front of the tower. Fig. 75 shows the elevation (a) and the plan (d) of a portion of a circular tower, the siding of which must be worked with curved edges, as shown at (c). To find the radius and extent of this curvature the axial line de is drawn through the center of the tower and prolonged towards e indefinitely. The line os is then drawn as a continuation of the direction, of the inside slanting surface of one piece of the siding; o s is prolonged until it intersects the axial line de at x, and with x this point of intersection as a center, and radii equal to x o and x m, respectively, the arcs of and m n are described. Then the Figure m np o will be of the form and curvature necessary to secure the level lines on the top and bottom of the siding after it is bent around the tower in the position shown at o h.
This form mnpo should be first cut out of heavy paper, and then, using the paper as a pattern, the curve can be traced on each strip of siding and worked out with a draw-knife and plane. The exterior distance from center to center of the studs shown in the plan (b) should be marked off on the pattern piece with lines converging towards the point x, as shown at ij, k I, and all the butt joints between the ends of two pieces of curved siding should be cut on one of these lines, in order to insure a properly fitting joint and to have the ends meet in the center of a stud. When the siding is put on the building, its lower edge is laid and nailed to a line previously marked for it over each stud.
Where the siding is specially worked with a vertical back, so as to hug" the sheathing, it can be applied in straight pieces; in this case, the surface of the tower is cylindrical, while in the other it is conical.