Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sunday reviving

Up and at 'em. Grey day. What makes us think it's a good idea to stay up late on Saturday nights?

First thing we did at the house was to glue down our subfloor. Glooping glue on joists, lowering plywood down, squitching into place. Then screwing it in. The old joists might as well be made of concrete. That old wood often wins in the battle with a screw or nail. There was much cursing and pre-drilling of holes.

Once we had our subfloor down, we were all hot to get the next layer of plywood (called the "underlayment," if you're curious) down, but realized that first we had to deal with that little triangular piece of the bathroom that will jut out at the doorway (so that the wall doesn't bisect the window). More floor framing, then, including diagonals. Dad came up with a design for the floor frame that not only will hold up the wall there but that used doubled 2x4s, since that's what we had at the time, instead of single 2x8s. That's exactly why it's great to have experience: You don't worry, you just solve the problem. (And, as we agreed, if it's under the tub it doesn't really matter. Whatever it is.)

We took off the triangle from the old plank subfloor. This left planks kind of cantilevered off the next joist, which it took me about 10 minutes to forget about and step on and fall into the crawlspace. Whoops! This revealed the severe rot where the old chimney opening in the roof has been leaking--luckily not onto a joist, just a sort of crawlspace trim piece. Unhurt; embarrassed.

Dad and I broke for a run--my first at the new house--up the road to where it's gated, follows powerlines, then turns into a trail in the woods. Saw a pileated woodpecker! Excellent blooming spring day. Excellent places to run. Found a wheelbarrow and brought it home.

Floor framing done (some uncomfortable crawlspace hammering by John), cutting of triangular-shaped subfloor pieces from plywood, gluing and screwing those down.

Dad uses the circular saw freehanded, onehanded, and goggle-less. He puts the piece he's cutting up on 2x4s on the floor, kneels on it, and cuts--not a method recommended for beginners. He also has all these little ways of measuring and marking--by eye, with quick pencil lines--that somehow show years of experience. Very cool. It's like the extra steps have gradually been stripped away from the process, and only what's efficient and necessary is left. We tried to absorb this by osmosis.

After a quick lesson on wall framing, which we'll dive into this week, and some cautionary tales about the dangers of the table saw, we accomplished one last thing: cutting and placing the underlayment piece that goes under the tub, then moving the tub in to mark where the drain will be.

Thank you, Dad!

- Erika

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