Arts and Crafts: ceiling rafters done

I finished moving the rafters up. So I thought I would let you all gawk at the pictures, even those spammers who still think it’s the 90’s and trying to drive blog traffic to their essential oils, health supplements, and magic prayers businesses.

First, I got all the rafters above the old support beam. Making it pointless. Then removed it in sections.

A big project. I’m glad it’s done. Stuff some insulation in and close it up with vapor barrier plastic sheet. Then layout the kitchen.

Edit: I’m not really done. I still have to reinstall the knee wall in that side of the attic.

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Arts and crafts: Ceiling project.

This is taking a while, but I am making progress.

Here you can see the removal of the knee wall on the left and 1 rafter raised about 7″ in the background. I did that several times and propped them up at the correct height and using a 2×4 underneath to mark the right uniform distance to the floor. Then, I was able to set the laminate beams in top of them and fix them in place.

With the beam finally set, mounted, braced and level, I could start attaching each joist to it with steel hangers, filling every nail hole for 14 nails each. All nailed in by hand since my nail gun can’t to that.

With that done, I could reattach the bracing to the ridge beam along the roofline. Then reattach the knee wall, with shorter vertical pieces.

Not done yet, this is only the joists to the left of that beam. Now I have to do all the ones on the right. It will be less work though because the central beam is already mounted and there’s no need to move any supporting structures. The joists have already been severed under the beam and only need to be cut on the outside edge.

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Arts and crafts: wood warp.

When laying out wooden planks for a deck, pay close attention to the end grain and lay the boards so they will naturally bow upwards in the middle (cup downwards). This will prevent the planks from holding water after rains.

I very carefully did that. But this stupid wood warped back onto itself and formed cups anyway.


Oh well. I wanted to expand this section anyway.

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Lament of the unprepared.

Oh God, let battle not find me unprepared. Let my enemies not fall upon me in my sleep.

This is a vast recurring nightmare I have. Stumbling into battle without due preparation. It is the adult incarnation of the dream all children have of not studying for the big test, then arriving at school just in their underwear. In my case, it’s going to war with a weapon I have not test fired. No matching ammo. All my kit scattered on the barracks floor instead of packed and ready to go. Can’t find my uniforms.

The dreams of youth don’t really go away. They are always there to visit us and remind us to not get caught with our pants down.

We may never need this reminder. God grant us that this is so.

If you are one of those morons who have waited until this very moment to arm yourself, you probably waited too long. Your dreams are the least of your worries.

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Help me, Obiwan!

I’m watching the 1970’s movie Cromwell. Lots of huge stars in the cast. Alec Guiness played King Charles. His face is undistinguished, but his voice is unmistakable. My Goodness, he was already old back then, but then, that was only 8 years before his role in Star Wars. Everyone was young back then. But watching this movie, I can’t help but see him as Obiwan Kenobi, failed Jedi Knight.

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Arts and crafts: Safety Note.

So, I was thinking that having a 12 foot long 2×6 smacking me in the back of the head might slow down my progress. I thought of using my scrap 2x4s to make a safety scaffold, but that looked like too much extra work. Then I remembered I have one made of steel.

Perfect. Handles the weight easily. Mounted on wheels. Knows it goes to the landfill if anything bad happens to me.

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Arts and crafts: Raising the roof!

More like raising the ceiling.

First… lots of prep work. Removing lots of blocking and bracing and putting In different blocking and bracing.


Took out the knee wall on the left and added a vertical support to the ridge beam. I added some more to the right that you cant see in this picture.

I expected I could simple pry them up with a pry bar, but that was not the case. The rafters are nailed firmly together at the midpoint and the ends as well as cross toe-nailed down. This is a really solid connection. Plan B: pry the boards at the midpoint, then use a sawsall to cut the nails.

Huge monster toe nails

Then I cut 3.5″ off the end over the sill plate and slid the whole thing up.

And put in a temporary 2×4 to support the center line until I put in the upper support beams.

And there we have it. One ceiling joist raised 7″ to a total height of 8 feet. A totally normal ceiling height. Only 25 more to go.

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Current events: Some people doing stuff

I just got back from a walk down to the White House. Yes. THAT White House. I had heard reports of rioters and looters storming the gates and thought, “well, that’s something to see”.

What I saw: Maybe 25-30 people gathered at a gate near one of the entrances. Quietly not storming anything. Plenty of police presence. Overall, a pretty quiet night for DC. I didn’t go all around the perimeter. Maybe someone was doing something to some people at a different entrance.

20 secret service police cars parked a block from Trump Hotel, engines running. 50 DC police on the front steps. No protestors.

You know what else I saw? Not a single police officer of any denomination was wearing a mask of any kind. Lots of them were standing around in small groups chatting, not social distancing.

It seems that when things get serious, foolish things are quickly discarded.

I wasn’t wearing a mask either. I only do that when forced, then I intentionally do it wrong. I have been waiting all day for someone to get mad at me about it so I could accuse them of slavishly following Donald Trump’s orders. Then watch their jugular burst.

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US Postal Service takes giant leap backwards

I ordered new air conditioner filters for my home. Ordering stuff on line is so fast and easy and the products come right to my doorstep.

Not if the USPS has anything to say about it.

I have a community mailbox about 3 miles from my front door. If the mail doesnt fit in it, they take it back to the post office for me to collect. The post office is a 45 minute drive from my front door step. Thus totally eliminating all the convenience of shopping on line.

Add to that the inconvenience of the USPS having bankers hours and there is only a short window on saturday mornings when I can collect my parcels.

Thanks for nothing USPS. I’m sure I can trust them to deliver my ballot, round trip.

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Police Brutality: Some people did something

I am catching glimpses in the news that there was some sort of police brutality leading to the death of a man. The man had black skin so this is important.

I admit up front that I am not really paying attention to this whole thing but here are a few all purpose remarks that seems to fit.

  1. If you can yell, “I can’t breath”, you are breathing just fine.
  2. Criminals have learned to yell “I can’t breathe” whenever police man-handle them. Police know this because they now hear it all the time. Police have learned to ignore it because criminals have taught them that they are all liars.
  3. Getting arrested, even if it includes a knee on a neck, does not cause death. But clearly something did. The last time this happened, it was a pre-existing condition. I recommend waiting for the autopsy. I suspect the real cause of death was COVID-19.

Posted in "Journalism", Crime, Current Events | 3 Comments