I had already removed all light and fan fixtures from the kitchen ceiling on Saturday. So come Sunday, all we had to do was empty the kitchen and move in the demolition gear. I went around with the Sawzall and would cut each 2x4 close to the outer wall. Erika or Rachael would catch it, then Erika would knock the other side free of its nails using the mallet while Rachael piled the wood up outside. Once all the 2x4s were out, I spent a great deal of time cutting the overhanging joist ends that protruded from the tool room and dining room. These need to be flush with where the wall will extend up over the cabinets. Once those were cut, I made sure they were nailed to the top plate and beam. We shimmed studs and joists where it was needed, and pounded new blocking in between them.
Now we can start to see what this new ceiling idea will do to that room. It's going to look great, we're really excited about it. The kitchen is already feeling much more open.
Also of note: Erika and Rachael moved all of our pex scraps to their new home in the crawl space. Rachael now holds the distinction of being the first guest at our home to ever enter that part of the house. With the heat system performing wonderfully, it feels great to be moving these heat project related construction surplus items out of the house. On Saturday, I cleaned up the basement table, which had become flooded with tools and scraps and trash resulting from months spent on the heating. Slowly, we're putting it behind us.
We hit our stride with the furnace over the weekend - we're getting complete burns (all white ash), our combustion stages are hot enough to burn the smoke (clear emissions from the chimney), and we've got a nice bed of coals established (all we need to do is rake them a bit and pile some more wood on and we're done loadin'). It was in the thirties when we woke up this morning but the house was very cozy. I was surpised to see the ambient temperature was only 58 degrees. I need to get used to the new insignificance of ambient temperature in the house.