Showing posts with label hole. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hole. Show all posts

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm fixing a hole

There was a big hole in the backyard that was covered with some cement slabs.  I decided to excavate the hole in preparation for plants.

So I started digging and pulling out chunks of concrete. And more chunks. And then I started thinking about a conversation I had with friends this weekend about wheelbarrows and how they sometimes called them wheelbarrels even though wheelburrow might make more sense (except that it doesn't, BILL) and somehow burial cairns came up.  You know, shallow graves covered in stones so animals wouldn't dig up the body. 

The whole point of this rambling side story is that I started to worry that I was dissembling a cairn. Did I mention that I had just returned from talking to the neighbor about the fence and he told me they found a HEADSTONE in their backyard? The previous owner had lost her husband and they had to bring out someone to make sure she hadn't buried him back there (she hadn't). 

He calmly told me, "That might have been a dealbreaker." MIGHT have been?

So yeah, nerve-wracking.  And the hole kept getting bigger.

But there was no body that I could see. Thank you, backyard gods.

Now I just have to fill this humongous hole somehow. Anybody have a body they need to dispose of?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Don't look under the trivet.

In my kitchen, adjacent to the old fan in the ceiling that needs to be removed, was a wooden trivet.

I've been ignoring it for almost six months. There's no reason to screw a trivet into your kitchen ceiling, therefore there *must* be something really terrible behind it.  The week before I was to host Thanksgiving I decided to deal with this.  I know.  I know!  I'm dumb; there's no reason to start projects like these when you're attempting to orchestrate a meal for ten people.

Hey there, big hole.  Holes are actually no big deal, but this hole had screws that extended from the attic, through the lathe and plaster, and past where the kitchen ceiling should end.  Hence the former owner screwing a trivet there instead.

Ha ha, just kidding, that makes no sense, no matter how you dice it.

In order to patch the ceiling I would need to get the screws reversed enough to not poke through.  I didn't want to climb into my attic and dig around it the insulation for the rogue screws for a lot of good reasons, but mostly because of SPIDERS, OH MY GOD, SPIDERS.  I decided to try and reverse the screws from below.  I tried a number of things that didn't work and then one thing that worked really well.  This was my recipe for success:

Take your drill.  I love my drill.  There would much wailing if anything happened to it.

Remove the drill bit.

Spin it until the grabbers are extended really far.

Tighten the grabbers around the end of the screw.  Then depress the trigger and reverse the screws back into the ceiling.  I'm sure an expert would tell you that this is back for your drill or bad for the screws or bad for the environment, but I don't care (and you shouldn't) because it worked.  Once that's taken care of you can patch the ceiling like normal.

 Apply your patch.

Apply spackle, using a large trowel.  Let it dry and apply more if you need to. 

Sand it.  Boy does this part ever suck.  Wear a mask and protective eyewear and know that it won't make a lick of difference because you will be *coated* in dust.  Think about how you should be making cranberries and sewing napkins for Thanksgiving dinner.  But also think, "Hey, now I have a trivet."

Slap a coat of paint on the ceiling and think, "I'll texture that spot on the ceiling later."  Ignore for 3-5 years.  Enjoy your free trivet!