Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tools to Make Sparks

Wow, look at all those sparkles!  Brandon was putting on a pretty good show this weekend when he was grinding nails off of old boards in the ceiling.  I was only slightly terrified that he was going to catch something on fire, or send a red hot nail fragment zinging into one of us.  I did double check that the fire extinguishers were handy, just in case.  

After some strenuous math, which we did wrong several times, we finally figured out what we are doing with the kitchen/dining room ceiling.  I think.  We are removing the flat ceiling boards and are going to make the ceiling slanted.  I hesitate to call it a cathedral ceiling, since this old house has no resemblance to a cathedral, but you get the idea.  Removing the flat ceiling boards is not hard at all.  Brandon can rip something apart faster than I can mentally prepare for it, but what is hard, is trying to figure out how to make the new slanted ceiling, which will be nailed onto the roof rafters, level with each other so the ceiling isn't wavy.  This is especially hard when you consider that the end rafter in the kitchen is three and a half inches lower than the rafters on the other side.  We can't just make a level string from the lowest point and line up all the boards like we did with the bedroom, because the low point is so much lower that the ceiling would come down over the window in the dining room.  Which might look sort of strange, and also might encourage head bumping on the ceiling.  With the warped floors may make it sort of like a Fun House at an amusement park, which might be kind of entertaining, for a little while anyway.   

The other challenging thing about this task, besides the mental exercise of dealing with so many angles, is that the boards we are using are twelve foot long two by sixes.  I'm not sure how much these things weigh, but by the time we measure them, cut them, hold them in place, realize we need to re-measure and re-cut them, then nail them up, then realize we changed our mind and need to rethink our whole design, it's a workout!  

That's not even including all the work it takes to deconstruct the old ceiling and grind off all the nails that are in the way.  Not that I did any of that, but I watched Brandon do it and I was exhausted for him.  Notice Brandon's tool belt?  As this project has evolved so has the number of his accouterments.  He has a hammer loop, a measuring tape holder, a multi-pocketed leather bag, and even a holster for his drill.  He has so much stuff on his tool belt now that he has started wearing tool belt suspenders to keep it from pulling his britches off.  I picked up his tool belt the other day to move it, and nearly displaced my elbow.  What I can't understand is why I still spend all my time fetching things when he seems to have one of everything hanging from his body?    

Watching Brandon use his grinder on the nails made me realize how many tools it takes to do a job like this.  Fortunately, Brandon has always had a love of tools, so we haven't had to invest in many and can spend our limited resources on the consumables, like lumber, nails, and screws.  I remember when he was given the grinder as a Christmas gift years ago, and I also remember wondering what he would ever need it for.  Now I know he needed it to make pretty sparkles!  

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