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JMG    653

Basement has been dry enough to work in this last week after at least four floods this spring, and much cooler than doing anything outside, so I got back to working on the repairs and whatnot down there. Taking the furnace apart today so that I could move it out of the current work area, I found that the original installer had left the installation packet inside of the furnace leaning up against the gas heat plenum. This is just another one of those frustrating issues that makes me wonder how lucky one can be that the house did not burn down due to professional ignorance or laziness.  The plastic pack had melted onto the frame of the unit and the papers were a bit brown in color at the point of contact, and I am going to get a headache from shaking my head again... To top it off, the first paragraph of the instructions is a note to the installer on what to do with the instruction packet when they complete the furnace installation, in large letters.

 

The rest of the assembly is going to need some work as well due to incredibly poor workmanship and lack of sealant materials at joints in the system. Not that I am surprised after the previous work on ducting that I removed, but frustrating all the same.

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JMG    653

Today's project: Begin joist repairs from water damage due to previous occupants not wanting to replace the wax ring on the toilet. Guess they preferred the smell over spending a couple of dollars on a replacement ring.

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Spent a large portion of the day getting to this point, moving jacks around and trying different points and configurations to get enough pressure to remove and replace a section of the old top plate and get this one joist into a vertical position. Knocked something off the kitchen counter at one point when a pressure point let loose. Gotta love old houses.

 

This is all just preliminary work before tearing out the bath for complete plumbing update at a later date.

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JMG    653

Ever have a tool that you've wondered why you still have it after hauling it around for more than ten years without using it?

 

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I really don't remember what project I bought this porta power kit for, but it just paid for itself, again. Took an incredible amount of force to get this joist to vertical and jacking the floor was not an option in this area.

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JMG    653

It's a bit frustrating when the old injuries kick in and interrupt the work process. Have to take another break for a few days to let things settle down.

 

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West side of the basement ended up taking about five hours per joist to get them locked in. The foam in the wall is left over material from filling in other areas/gaps and is just core filler to be covered over with concrete patch material, when I end up finding enough left over foam to finish the core.

 

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The joists on the east side of the basement have been much easier to install and have only taken two hours or so apiece due to the type of damage on the outer frame that allowed me to jack each joist individually. Water damage again that was just covered up instead of being repaired. You have to wonder how long the leaks were left for this much damage to appear. Next on the list is to replace this window while reinforcing the framing before I can install the last three joists in this part of the project. Window would not close completely last winter so... lotsa foam.

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JMG    653

Got a little side tracked the last few days digging after hardware and jumping into some plumbing prep.

 

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Amazing what you collect over the years in the name of saving money, and as seemingly usual, most of what I dug out was either too short or too long for what I needed. What ended up being the right length for the first bit were some old J bolts left over from my shop expansion more than fifteen years ago. Less than twenty five percent of the bolts I dug out will be usable on the current process. Meh...

 

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Just covering the what-ifs here and stabilizing the sub structure, while using up excess hardware. One of the old joists was distorted bad enough that I had to cut through it to relieve the pressure and  bring it back into alignment with the new one.

 

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Those new Diablo carbide tip recip blades are awesome. I am going to go ahead and add in another joist on this side and then bolt them together. Might be a bit overkill, but better safe than sorry and the extra doug fir joist only adds about fifteen dollars to the cost of the project.

 

 

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JMG    653

On the plumbing side, I spent the morning finishing up cutting a second hole through the wall using the Makita X2 rotary paired with a Bosch 4 3/8 inch Speed Core bit.

 

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The bit is a bit over spec for the hammers rating, but it worked surprisingly well, and while I would not want to use this combination on a day to day basis, it's fine for the occasional one off. Saves me from having to invest in an SDS max platform, as I do not do enough of this type of work to justify the expense.

 

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A couple of notes: This unit is a power hog when stressing it out like this and the 4ah batteries that came with it are a bit short on energy in this situation. Also, the low battery indicators are not visible when drilling in a corner like this as they are placed on the left side of the hammer's case. It would have been much better if they had placed them in the bottom center of the D handle so that they would be visible when working from either side. The unit did get a bit warm as well, and gripping the lower front in the area of the brushes without gloves was a bit uncomfortable at times. Overall though, I am really happy with the performance to date and have no regrets in having added it to my collection.

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JMG    653

In the fair warnings department... Generally most of us have probably heard that when cutting fresh jalepenos that you never rub your eyes. Bad things happen if you do. On a secondary side of chopping the peppers, if you need to use the bathroom after handling them you should absolutely scrub your hands before doing so. Man, talk about a hot crotch rocket...

 

Gives new meaning to the Elvis Presley song "Burnin Love".

 

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JMG    653

Rim plate reinforcement assembly for the new window.

 

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This will allow me to attach trim strips where needed and give better support than just a flat two by six in the limited space available.

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HiltiWpg    511

The Drill with handle that bit easily. Core bit in cinderblock is child's play. It's the poured reinforced that pushes the tool.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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JMG    653

Not all the old concrete block was equal in density. These were hard enough that if any real feed pressure was applied the anti-kick would engage.

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JMG    653

This section has been a long time coming...

 

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The last two joists over the window were a right pain to get locked in. The two damaged ones were badly deformed from the combination of water damage, age, and original poor grade of lumber used.

 

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Spent a bit of time with the bar clamps and jacks getting things lined up and tied in. Time to change hats...

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JMG    653

These old steel frame basement windows were just not made to be removed.

 

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They were originally installed as the basement block was finished out and before the rim plate was added. Dropped into vertical grooves in the side blocks and set into a sloped bed of mud, bottom and sides. SDS hammer is a wonderful tool to have for clearing the excess mortar prior to cutting away the frame. I can remember having to do things like this with a cold chisel and a single jack.

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JMG    653

Back to the beginning. Started this small repair today.

 

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Set up, prep, and clean up seem to take longer than the the actual work does.

 

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Gonna go take a break while the initial patch work sets up...

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JMG    653

This mornings project: Bumped the flu vent the other day and the existing mortar patch holding the pipe in place fell out.

 

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Just another pita to deal with.

 

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Trying to keep it close to the vertical surface while still being able to get a screw into the pipe. Break time again.

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JMG    653

With all the rain that is supposed to be headed this way next week, and all of the flooding problems I have had this year, I decided to jump off on this dreaded project.

 

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You never know what you are going to find under an old slab, and I have been procrastinating the start of getting this part of the plumbing work completed. The Makita saw has plenty of power to horse through the cuts, but the dust collection port is only marginally effective. It did a good job of drawing anything off that made it to the back side of the saw, but a majority of the dust just shot out the front. Might have been better if the dust port had been mounted on the front edge of the blade guard instead of the tail, at least for this type of dust.

 

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Floor in this section was less than 3 1/2" thick, so a couple of strikes with a six pounder was all that was needed to get started.

 

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Took most of the morning to get to this point. Could not stick a shovel into the dirt without getting jammed up by a chunk of concrete left behind by the original plumbing crew. Filled up a five gallon bucket with pieces of concrete. Turns out the soil pipe is of the larger variety at this point and I have the wrong size check valve on hand, so off to Menards I go... All in all, no major surprises or problems at this point, so I feel fortunate.

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JMG    653

Spent a majority of the day trying to get this one finished up. Assembled the parts last night and let them set up. Then cut into the pipe this morning. Iron pipe was in much better condition than expected. Ended up buying a ten foot section of six inch pipe for less than a one foot section for the riser. Ten foot of pipe at Lowes was almost the same price as a two foot section at Menards. (Couldn't find the riser kit they supposedly had in stock)

 

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Hard part is over at least, but I am beat. Forgot to pick up a decent pair of knee pads before hitting the point of no return. Cement is going to have to wait until I recover from tamping all that dirt back into place with the short sledge.

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JMG    653

A short note on the backflow device that was mounted at the floor drain. It was useful for stopping sewage from running back up the floor drain itself, but when the water level exceeded a normal flow and drain rate, it acted like a plug and ended up keeping the flood water trapped in the basement for upwards of thirty six hours. It also only stopped the back flow only at that trap in the floor leaving possible issues in other areas, along with stopping sludge in the trap itself and causing another form of plug. The backwater valve in the main pipe was the best solution overall, as the float ball at the drain ended up being just another problem child.

 

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So happy that is over with. Concrete work is definitely not my favorite pastime.

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JMG    653

Tying up loose ends today. Need to fit a top plate over these blocks as this is where the return air feeds over the wall between the joists. Will be able to get a much better seal than what was here before...

 

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The old gravity return air used to feed from two different spots in the house, but one of the locations was not optimal for the forced air system currently in play and was blocked off long ago. Need to install pre-filters in between two joist sections under the floor grate here to limit any necessary future duct cleaning. Just trying to make the best of a less than optimal situation.

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JMG    653

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Old growth pine used in the original construction of the house versus the new growth timber we have access to today.

 

The house was constructed in 1943, and I have my doubts that the lumber was kiln dried due to the deformities I have run into as I demo/repair existing areas of the home. I have salvaged any usable material I could find, with limited success, and spent a bit of time pulling nails and whatnot. It has highlighted the difference materials available from then and now. Makes me wonder about the general differences in strength and amount of movement between then and now.

 

Not a fan of the white wood the industry sells us these days and prefer to purchase yellow pine or spruce for stud materials, and doug fir for structural support, at least for my own projects.

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