Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Home repair and what not to do....

Some time I ago a re-wired a circuit in the house when the light in the kitchen stopped working. It took me about six weeks to repair it working on (most) weekends. I couldn't figure out what was wrong and decided the whole thing was a mess and pulled the whole circuit out and replaced it. I did finally figure out what had happened, but that is a story for another time. In the end, I was pretty happy with my work even though it seemed to take forever and cost a fortune.

To replace the circuit, I decided to go all the way to the breaker box and put in some nice, new romex wiring. To do that, I had to cut into the wall to get at the wire. When I got the lights on, the hole in the wall became a less than urgent priority and it remained until I had a rainy day to work on it. This is how it went.

So that's what it looked like to begin with. First off, I trimmed out the hole to make it square, measured it and cut a new piece of sheetrock (or "rock", as they guys at the store call it) to go in the hall. BUT, the first piece was 3 inches short for some reason. Then I realized I used the wrong scale on the corner-ruler-thing I was using.

Which was good to know, until I realized the difference wasn't quite enough to account for my mistake. At any rate, I cut a new piece and the new one was much closer. This is why I bought a 4' X 8' sheet for a 1' X 2' hole!

You may notice that there are three sets of screws when there is only one cross-beam to attach it to. That's because I decided I needed more support, so I put two backing strips in to help support everything. That way, when I need to get into this spot again, I will hit those oddly-placed screws and ruin my saw.

It took me a while to get this to fit because I was "creeping up on it"; that's what my Uncle Steve, the nationally-known-wood-shop-teacher-school-vice-superintendent says you should do. Go big, then cut back. And he should know, 'cause he looks just like me.

I have to say, we look less like each other now that he's lost weight and I found it. I'm dieting now, so I can look just like him!

Then I screwed it in with my machine screws, which only look they would work well. Actually, they go right through the "rock", so you have to go really slow and careful. But they did go in OK and I got it all taped up and ready for plaster (referred to as "mud" down at the hardware store. Mud and rock, yep, fun at any age!).

For the other hole, I decided to just make a cardboard template of the shape and then cut it out of the "rock". This is really the way to go! Much faster. After some fine-tuning, I go it in and screwed it in place. Amazingly, I remembered there were serious wires in the stud I was screwing (haha! wait...) and I missed them! Yay for me!

OK, now its time for the mud. This part is easy, I've been playing with mud since I was a kid. Slap it on, smooth it out. Let it dry. Easy.

So that's it. I'm not painting/sanding yet because I will probably do the whole space in a new color the next time it rains and I remember and have all the tools (a new paint sprayer, maybe?) and paint and everything. I want to replace the breaker box, too, I think (or at least re-wire it!), but I'm not really allowed (per code), so that will probably wait. There's plenty of other wiring projects for me, tho. Stay tuned....

1 comment:

Joshua said...

Ah how those pictures bring me back. The pale green. The "cat hole" where we rescued one of the cats that fell through and got stuck. The memories of wiring with a mind of its own. Glad its your problem now :)

And by the way ... you look a lot like your uncle. It is a little scary frankly.