Appetite (& Checkbook) for Destruction

Hard to believe I don't want to save it, eh?

Hard to believe I didn’t want to save it, eh?

Tim gave me his invoice for the miles of re-wiring and many days of labor, and I’ve several quotes for removing the bats and keeping them out (guaranteed for three years by the fellow I’m hiring). So my electric is now mostly modern, and soon – when the colony awakens from its winter nap – I’ll be bat free.

I won’t, however, be able to afford any costly (or even cheap) renovations for at least a little while…so I decided to make an even bigger mess. I have a sledgehammer and a recip saw, and destruction is free (well, almost – I’ll have to spring for a new box of contractor bags).

I’ve been itching to remove the bar that’s taking up space in what will be my bench room and hand-tool area. Stunning though the bar is, I think I can find better use for that space. So Tim removed the mass of wiring and plugs from the upright that attached the bar to the joists overhead (wholly unnecessary – this thing weighs more than a full-sized oak workbench; it wasn’t going anywhere without a healthy dose of persuasion). I grabbed the recip saw and sliced the 2×4 in half.

Been waiting to do that for eight months.

I’ve been waiting to do that for eight months.

The rest was sledgehammer and crowbar. And now my arms hurt. I’m pretty sure this thing might have doubled as a fallout shelter; it certainly withstood a beating. Until it didn’t. (I might leave the odd little dry sink in the corner, though I’d build a proper base for it; maybe this will become my sharpening area.)

3bar

Built to dance atop? If so, I don’t want to know.

After hauling all the pieces out to my ever-growing trash heap, I turned my sights on the weird arch that leads from the laundry room into the soon-to-be-bench room. Under the bottom of each side is what I think is the original newel post for the house. Cut in half. Screwed and glued to the sides of the opening. Bastards.

I’ll try to get that out without causing further damage, in hopes of repairing and reusing it in the stair rebuild.

Why? It boggles the mind.

Why? It boggles the mind.

The arch was far more trouble to tear out than the bar – because on the backside is a run of ductwork that needs to remain intact. Plus, whomever installed it used 20 14d nails wherever one or two 4d nails would do. And there were lots of little pieces nailed in all kinds on interesting directions.

I got it, but not without a couple cups worth of dead bugs and bug parts falling on my head (sorry Lie-Nielsen…I don’t think I can wear that hat again). Yes, these were termite parts, and no, there are no active termites. I didn’t check for bats before buying, but I did check and treat for termites.

That was a pain in the posterior.

A pain in the posterior.

I ran out of energy for the newel posts; that’s a project for this weekend, along with cutting a riser (I already bought that wood) and finally moving forward on the stairs…now that the one damn wire that sidetracked me is gone.

Also, I could finish cleaning up the mess in the basement and get things situated so I can use my bench. But I’ll need to save up for that box of contractor bags first.

Getting there!

Getting there!

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About fitz

Editor & content director for Popular Woodworking, ABD PhD focused on early modern drama, freelance content and copy editor/writer, ailurophile
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11 Responses to Appetite (& Checkbook) for Destruction

  1. tombuhl says:

    Perhaps I had your energy and ambition levels when I was much younger. But, I sort of doubt it. Being a first-class armchair supervisor is my contribution. You are most welcome.

  2. I’m trying to figure out the scenario where cutting the newel post in two and putting in a dingy basement seemed like a good idea. I’m struggling.

    My only hope is the screws have loosened up for the years a few strategic whacks will free if from its masonry clutches.

  3. bsrlee says:

    Look on the bright side, at least they didn’t use the newel post for a 4th of July bonfire. Yeah – bug parts, hair – not a good combination, maybe get some of the food service hair covers (the ones that look like your grandmother’s shower cap) when delving into unexplored (or at least uncleaned) depths – will also come in handy for cleaning out the bat cave, along with a really good set of filters in the dust mask and throw-away overalls (the white ‘Tyvek’ NBC thingies).

  4. Steve says:

    Don’t let him kill the bats! They eat a LOT of bugs!

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