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high desert. small house.

Day 331: Polyurethane, Part III & Tile Prep

Thursday, 6/9
We roasted several batches of coffee and then called up the Smart center to look into ending our lease early.  We scored big time – not only did they say yes, but they confirmed that we wouldn’t have to continue paying our “Battery Assurance”.  So…..

  • We had to pay the last 3 months of the lease + the turn-in fee ($395.00):  – $582.11
  • We did not have to pay any penalties or fees:  $0
  • We will save 3.25 months of battery assurance payments:  +$255.24
  • We will be refunded the Smart car insurance for the remainder of the year:  $181.17
  • We will not have to pay the tow fee to take the car in at the end of the lease:  $425.00
  • Total saved:  +279.30

So even though we purchased the bike for $1599, you could call it $1320 after our car savings.

Over at the house, Brian completed applying the polyurethane to the second to last row around noon and the final row around 1pm.  He brought food to me and then went shopping for more caulk, some rope for the scaffold and othersuch truck.

Before I got off work, he had moved everything away from the endcaps, vacuumed and caulked the floor-wall joints.

Endcap-floor joints caulked and drying.

Endcap-floor joints caulked and drying.

Over the course of the afternoon, a huge storm system had been advancing from the northeast, working generally southwest with a possibility of crossing Silver City with at least some of its chaos.  The bad areas were getting 55 mph winds and nickle sized hail.  We got some sprinkles and wind gusts but nothing too serious, until…

At 4:50ish, it became apparent something was going to happen for real.  I prepped and loaded the bike and started anxiously looking at the clock.  When 5pm hit, I dashed out of work and pedaled as fast as possible.  I made it about halfway home and then the deluge struck.  I arrived home soaked and adrenaline filled.  After dog duty and taking Trooper home, Brian and I started on what would become the longest evening in recent memory.

We had three major goals for the evening that HAD to be done – Do something with the cabinets, elevate the scaffold and remove its legs and caulk all the floor joints.  No postponing or procrastinating allowed.

This is the 'before' shot of the house, capturing the chaos and disorganizing. The featured image (taken the next morning after Brian finished everything up) is the 'after'.

This is the ‘before’ shot of the house, capturing the chaos and disorganization. The featured image at the top of the post (taken the next morning after Brian finished moving everything out) is the ‘after’.

We initially threw around the idea of taking the kitchen cabinets to our apartment and storing them on the porch.  However, the difficulty and frustration associated with carefully loading them into the Fit was more than we wanted to deal with.  Instead, we decided to move forward with the idea of hoisting them up onto the bathroom.

Our move-heavy-object straps were not long enough to go around the cabinet and tie on the top for a convenient attachment point for the pulley rope.  We fashioned a solution by putting 2x4s through the loops and then creating a ‘handle’ by placing another 2×4 perpendicular to and under the others.  We tied a bowline knot to our handle and got into position.

After our first attempt of Brian pulling the rope and me guiding the cabinet, we had to make an adjustment.  Because we were only using one pulley, Brian had to move the entire object with the weight of his body.  Once he had it elevated off the floor a couple of feet, he had no way to safely reposition his hands for another pull.

Solution – He started by grabbing much higher on the rope so that when he was completely laying on the floor, the cabinet was elevated about 3 feet.  I then got underneath it, he lowered it onto my back and then quickly moved his hands higher up the rope (all while keeping it slightly tensioned so we didn’t loose our 2×4 positioning).  With the next pull, it came off my back to a high enough point that I was then able to move the metal scaffold under it.  Brian lowered it as I guided it onto the scaffold.

Brian used the ladder to get onto the bathroom and I got up on the metal scaffold with the cabinet.  Together, we lifted it up and onto the bathroom and then Brian scooted it into position.

Okay, that was the cabinet with the drawers.  It was heavy and awkward and thus the most difficult.  The other two would be error free.  Right…..

The second cabinet came loose somehow at the point when it was above my body.  The 2x4s started coming down like missiles and the cabinet tried its best to go into free-fall.  Brian was stuck on the ground, holding the rope as tight as possible.  We saved it but it was not easy.

The third cabinet was the wide sink cabinet, but despite its extra inches, it went okay.

2016-06-09 17.59.46

2×4 in the strap handles and an additional 2×4 perpendicular. Bowline knot

2016-06-09 18.12.38

It turned out our white rope wasn’t long enough so Brian tied Trooper’s long lead to it as an extension.

Brian at the end of his pull and the cabinet safely placed on the metal scaffold.

Brian at the end of his pull and the cabinet safely placed on the metal scaffold.

With all three cabinets on top of the bathroom, we then moved the bathroom vanity, the toilet pieces, and several other odds and ends up to be stored there.  Then we moved the scaffold so that it was centered under the strut and could be prepped for attachment.  (I think it was 7:30pm at this point).

All the junk up on top of the bathroom.

All the junk up on top of the bathroom.

As we approached center, we realized the scaffold would end up hanging above a portion of the bathroom.  *groan*  We had to take down several objects, including the unwieldy bathroom vanity and cabinet base and stage them on the ground until the scaffold was in place.  Fast forward –

We successfully secured the scaffold to its five attachment points, removed its legs and stored them on top of the cross beams (except for the huge end pieces; we left those on the ground).  Then we left for food.  It was 9:10pm and very little was open.  We did not want to go to the apartment because it’s super hot and we didn’t want to take the time to make dinner.  The heat has been a deterrent to sleeping recently but with it being long past our bedtime and us being quite tired, it would have been soporific.

The scaffold is secured to the strut - there is a rope on either end doing most of the work, two in the center keeping it from _____ and one underneath to prevent the scaffold from sliding toward the endcap (when we removed the second set of legs and the whole behemoth wanted to settle.)

The scaffold is secured to the strut – there is a rope on either end doing most of the work, two in the center keeping it from rotating too much side-to-side and one rope underneath to prevent the scaffold from sliding toward the endcap (when we removed the second set of legs and the whole behemoth wanted to settle.)

Look ma, no legs!

Look ma, no legs!

We picked up some McD’s, ate quickly and started back at it again around 9:30pm.  Of our three major goals, we had only one left.  However, prior to starting the joint caulking process, we needed to move the mighty scaffold leg monstrosities under the house and had to squeeze some more stuff up on the bathroom.  It was 10:15pm when we started caulking the joints.

I went first, vacuuming the seams and using a thin metal object to dislodge rocks, sawdust, etc.  Brian came behind me with the caulk and putty knife.  I finished all the seams with a giant lead on him so I switched to smooshing with the putty knife so he could focus on caulking.  Lots of crawling around.  We finished the job and went home at 12:10pm.

Did I mention that a (completely un-forcasted, ie. 20% chance of rain) major thunder storm rolled in sometime that evening?  We buttoned up the house so we could continue working ( I think we were at the scaffold stage at that point), using just our two light bulbs for light.  It was as intense as The Great Storm last September.  Thank goodness we didn’t have our tent house assembled outside yet.

As we prepped for sleep, we reviewed the plan for the next day – I was to open the shack and Brian would meet Jeff at the house.  We still had several small objects to remove but we figured 2 hours ought to be enough time.  Friday night will be a great night’s sleep I’m sure.

PS.  All of the crouching, kneeling, creeping, bending, scooting and squatting took its toll quickly.  We are 100% satisfied with the decision to have someone else lay the Ditra and tile.

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