Tuesday, 22 January 2013

First steps with woodwork

Action on the rotten beam has been parked a bit. It ain't gonna fall over just yet! Our carpenter, Lutz, reckoned just replace the rotten sections, and leave the base-plate in place, as under the posts is still reasonably sound. In any case, I want to wait till the main electrical cable is moved to a new location, as it currently goes right through a part that needs replacing.

Since then, we decided to get the living room floor up, for installing cables, pipes etc, but also to make sure there are no more rotten surprises! First the back part, the beams under which looked relatively new. Well, newer than the ones towards the front of the house. Some small signs of damp damage, but not much.

This was the fist time we'd even seen the floor boards at the front part of the living room, as they were hidden under particle boards since we bought the place. It was almost a crime lifting them, as they're beautiful wood, with a reddish tinge, and clearly had been well looked after. But, warped, partially rotted in places, and sections had been cut out and replaced in the past, including the entire right side in the photo below. There was also a fair slope from back to front, so it'd be nice to have a level floor.

Under this was the usual sandy rubble, under which are slightly vaulted bricks between the beams.

Oh, and a few mouse skeletons, including one rather macabre scene in a nest with 5 skeletons.

Other things that need to be done before starting the wiring include building a couple partition walls and dry lining in the kitchen. I got a new toy in the form of a crosscut saw to speed this up, which I'm glad I did. I'd begun in the bedroom, where the original door was to be blocked. Having lifted the floor boards in the old hall on the other side of the door, I didn't like the look of the bottom of the posts holding it all up, so I added 16x12cm posts on each side inside the frame for some redundant support. I'm clearly not as fit as I thought when it comes to using a handsaw though!

Typically, one of these additional, recycled posts was warped, so the other new toy came into play to straighten the face. This planer is going to get a lot of use.

Anyway, with these in place, the proper studwork could begin. Lutz had ordered quite a bit of 6x12cm timber in 13m lengths, so plenty to cut.

By Saturday afternoon, I'd got the footer, header and side studs in place for the frame which will become the wall for the first floor guest bathroom, then it was time to head to a party. Some things are more important!

Of course, it's been pretty cold and snowy here the past few weeks, so I've been grateful for the lend of an old stove, which is the only source of heat in the house. At least it keeps the temp up to about 5C, which isn't bad, and it's a good way to get rid of off-cuts!

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