The Campsie Project

An account of the renovation of The Neglected House on the Wonderful Street in Wonderful Downtown Lexington, Kentucky.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Hammers and Nails and Saws, oh my…

Now we're startin' to see some action.

Lucy and I have been hard at work. I say this because we maybe—a teensy little bit—have questioned our time commitment recently. I keep thinking of a boomerang you throw it and it flies away, and then arcs back. Well, I keep waiting for it to circle back. Of course, I hope it doesn't chop my hand off when it comes zooming it. I don't know how that figures into the metaphor, but I'm really totally against having my hand chopped off.

But the gist is this. We've spent a great deal of time and effort tearing things apart, right? And at some point, I reckon, we start putting things back together (yes, this has been the theme of several posts). And that will be nice. Not because I'm tired of tearing things apart. That is actually quite a bit of fun. But more because I'll rest easier once I can confirm that putting things back together is—you know—doable.

So here's the latest: I've been doing two serious carpenter projects: Opening a new doorway and installing braces into a section of floor. I'm kind of amazed that I've been able to do either. But it's true! I framed the new doorway. Not the bedroom closet doorway. We won't talk about that one. That one is the one we'll call "The Closet Door Project that Shall Not Be Spoken Of."

But look over here! (distracting gestures and colors ensue) It's the new bathroom doorway! Okay, it's the frame of the new bathroom doorway. Jeez, ya just gotta be so literal all the time... But really! The new bathroom doorway! Framed by me! I studied three books, all of which seemed to address aspects of the framing process... but never the whole thing. So I tried to start with some commonly-held principles—for instance: "framing is accomplished using studs" and the like—that all the books shared, and then I ferreted out specific info as necessary. Mostly this amounted to literally hours vacant staring and trying to remember middle school algebra. 1/16th? 3/8ths? Holy cow. I didn't realize carpenters were actually rocket scientists. I literally spent half of a day trying to be sure that I was about to nail a stud into the right place in the floor. ONE STUD. (sidenote: next time you see constuction workers standing around, apparently aimlessly, remember this valuable insight: they are actually quite busy trying to remember middle school algebra.)

I must confess now, this was all a lot of fun. What with the countin' and the addin' and the transmogrification. First I tried to make mental notes. Riiiight… Next it was sketching on the drywall, and then finally it was time for graph paper. My favorite. I haven't gotten to really use graph paper with a purpose since 7th Grade Drafting. And I still worry that I may have missed my calling.

So I measured and hammered and cut wood and stared a lot. Also, I used screws for this job, since I was trying to prepare for the inevitable taking it apart because it's wrong.

And guess what? We still don't know yet. That great secret and surprise won't be known until the door jambs are installed, and even then I guess until the door itself is hung, smashed or banged into place. Whatever it takes!


Construction as of late facilitated by the sounds of:
David Bowie, The New Pornographers, DJ Paul V, Bill Tapia, The Decembrists, and the Dawn & Drew Show.


At 6:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your middle school seems as if it's had quite a bit of remodeling since yer days in it's esteemed corridors.

i spend my sundays relaxing with marijuana, booze, and netflix. someone else finished my old home before i bought it.


At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my pal james showed me some photos from my birthday party. there are several of Lucy... SMILING!

Happy even!

Amazing, I tells ya.



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