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wheelsmithy SuperDork
1/19/19 5:34 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

I am indeed fortunate to have cool codes guys. 

Some days it is just like running in quicksand.

My special Lady Friend worked on the kitchen. Picking caulk out from around windows is tedious. She got to a coat of primer.

I assembled the closet doors in the study

Put some baseboard trim in the living/dining room,

and did some light demo downstairs.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
1/21/19 4:17 p.m.

Well, E36M3 just got real.

The "Island" was offensive to both of us from the get-go, and in order to submit decent drawings to codes, we needed an idea of where stuff should go. We are OK with the galley style kitchen, but it needs some tweaks. Removing the island snowballed a bit, and the crap pergo or whatever it was floor had to come up, revealing several layers of God-awful linoleum, and YAY!, tar paper. There is hardwood under there somewhere. We'll see where this leads. We at least have a rough idea of kitchen layout, and which walls go away, etc.

In other news, I got the arch replacement up, and the light worked out.

The light is a bit janky, though a major improvement. I cut it a bit short, but it's neat enough, and you have to crane your head under there to see my shame. Good enough for me. Now it just needs power.

I'll mess with power when wiring fun time gets here. It will be a lot easier when I can just kick breakers, rather than pulling fuses, or shutting down the whole shebang.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
1/21/19 4:25 p.m.

Here's a before shot of that stupid island.

and one of the stupid arch just because.


TurnerX19 Reader
1/21/19 5:29 p.m.

Island looks more like a pulpit.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
1/22/19 7:41 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

Yep, I suspect the pulpit turned many potential buyers' stomachs. That picture was from the listing, and did the house no favors. Luckily, we have vision.

This evening was largely spent drawing so as to appease the surprisingly cool codes folk. Afterward, I needed something with little brains involved.

Light demo!

We're good tearing out drywall, but no studs until I get approval. I need to see where the wiring goes, and the trim/drywall is in the way. I am no longer in "save the trim, it might come in handy" mode, and in "get this E36M3 out of here" mode. Feels good.


wheelsmithy SuperDork
1/24/19 5:52 p.m.

Tonight's madness. All studs will be removed, but the knee wall left standing will remain. 


wheelsmithy SuperDork
1/26/19 4:28 p.m.

We've been at it.

The other walls around the fireplace came down to studs thanks to my Special Lady Friend.

And I've been after the kitchen floor. 

One of the great things about old houses is they tell you what they need. I knew there was some hardwood below the pergo, linoleum, and tarpaper...

, but when I ran in to concrete, the decision was made. There would not be a hardwood kitchen (which I admit is janky, but if it was Okay, I was willing to go with). So, Tile it is. I laid down the hardie board, because we're living here, and tracking tar around sucks. I had to remove, then replace those cabinets on the left to get it how I wanted it. The hardie board will remain for some time, but when I get ready to tile, so is the kitchen.


wheelsmithy SuperDork
1/30/19 6:13 p.m.

I've been busy demoing what I can, and dealing with codes. They are more than reasonable, and, frankly a joy to deal with. Main permit was $25 and I've still got to apply for plumbing, and electric, but expect more of the same.

Tonight was work turning the basement back into, you know, a basement, which resulted in more of this...

I can't keep track of how many truck loads have happened so far, but it beats the holy heck-fire out of a roll off.

There's a guy at the dump, who has a perpetually rotten attitude. A while back, he kicked my truck because I was going "way too fast". I was doing maybe 10 mph. I learned on that day about the poorly posted 5 mph sign. He extensively hassled someone in my presence, and I reacted by helping the poor guy back his Forrester and trailer, as well as helping him unload (so I could get my M36M3 handled).  Another day, same said individual decided it was time to change dumpsters, right as I was unloading. He spoke harsh words in my general direction.Presumably this was because he didn't like the looks of me. All the while, I am saying "Yes Sir'", and trying my best to comply. I'm simply thrilled I can take 1 truck load a day here, and not have to rent a $400 dumpster.His rotten attitude will not deter my desire to save money in the slightest.  It's a mile and a half from my house, and work.

The day before yesterday, he came up aggressively (third time, with me always being polite and submissive), and got right in my face, and spoke loudly, " You didn't come see me!" Seems he wants me to check in at the "hub", despite my never being given that direction, and going through, un-hassled on several occasions.

I took two steps forward, and asked if he'd kindly give me instructions on how I was to conduct myself at the dump, as I seemed to always find a way for him to get upset. I said I missed the 5 mph sign, but was respecting it now that I knew, was willing to follow any rule proposed, but suggested he lay them all down for me, so I could comply. I admit, I was aggressive, because I was on my third run-in with the fellow, and had witnessed several other such incidences. 

We ended shaking hands, and talking of the importance of a positive attitude at work. I'll check in in the future, and hopefully make a friend of my first adversary in this fair city. Much like in grammar school, once I got in his E36M3, he calmed right down.

In other news, the tool I bought myself for absolutely no good reason, and with zero justification got loosely set up.

I did say this thread was a new shop/house/life, right?

wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/3/19 6:06 p.m.

Thanks to my Special Lady Friend, the popcorn is gone from the living room.

Meanwhile, I've been continuing my quest to turn the basement back into a basement. No pictures, there's only so much drywall removal photogenicality to be posted.

In other news, today was 60 degrees, so I got back after the main sewer trunk line. The goal was the same as the last two times-show me the pipe.


I managed to break through the cast iron line, but raw sewage in the hole outside the house beats raw sewage in the house any day. That rock capstone I couldn't budge turned out to be concrete poured over the junction of cast iron to PVC. I beat it with my trusty 6' bar.

I can see light from under the house. Getting there.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/9/19 7:19 p.m.

It may not look like much, but here's where we are.

I am pretty far from a great plumber, but like Curly said " We always do it right...the second time."

What we've got is new nipples, valves, faucet, lines, drains, and the old sink removed, re-caulked, and replaced. I deleted the garbage disposal, because what kind of heathen puts food down the drain?

The old drain ran inside the wall, and was galvanized. It was rusted through, and 1/3 filled with gunk. 

I chose to run new 2" inside the cabinets, complete with the codes mandated stutor valve (I had no idea what one was mere months ago)

and clean-outs.

The 2X4s are for a false wall to be put in after codes is all clear.

Speaking of codes, I was mildly surprised to find that I had to have the whole plumbing upgrade complete, cap it off where it meets the main, and fill it with water to the top of the "stink stack". It's not that big a deal, but totally reversed the way I thought I'd accomplish this stuff. If that's the biggest curve ball I get during this resto, I'll be astonished.

My Special Lady Friend tore down drywall in the hallway, because my recently mandated kitchen rigamaro had drawers and doors scattered across the dining room, preventing her from de-popcorning it.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/10/19 5:39 p.m.

Sometimes you eat the Bear, and sometimes the bear eats you...

Last evening, we got a little over-enthusiastic with our drinking/viewing ROADHOUSE. I may never have seen it uncut before. Good times, but there was a price to be paid. Namely, a very slow start today, but eventually, I got the washer/dryer area figured out. That box was scavenged from another resto. Assembled wrong, so the cold valve didn't work. I took it apart and fixed it. 

The false wall was a necessity to hide the workings. This area was originally the coal chute, down to the basement, and is wonky underneath. Most of the floor is concrete, and there is foundation in the way below. Still, with extensive prodding, I found a way through. I have a cinder block sized hole to work through below, but think all this will eventually work out. My Special Lady Friend continued with drywall removal.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/14/19 6:55 p.m.

So yeah, did I mention that I'm not the world's best plumber?

What you see is the beginning of the trunk line. I had to remove the old cast iron, and run new PVC. 

That kink dead center of the picture is the problem. I had this afternoon to remove, and replace this section. Things did not go as planned. 

First, I had to hammer drill quite a bit of rock to get the 4" to sit where the 3" had been. Pickaxe, shovel, and brush were also involved. The junction between street sewer and house sewer was at about 15 degrees, so neither a straight union, nor a 22.5 worked. I ended up going with a rubber union, which was what I removed, only this time to like sized pipes. I didn't want to use it, but there was earth and foundation in the way.

In my rush to have one working bathroom (the basement. Both upstairs bathrooms have been de-commissioned), I put those two pieces of PVC together sloppily. That won't do. There are no leaks, but obviously, this is not good work.

I'll have to redo it, but I at least have a model, and was able to shower after this most recent 13 hour day. I don't mind saying this week has kicked my posterior.

I did get some PEX run, and have provisions for the washer relocation in place. Lovely stuff, PEX. 

Mezzanine Dork
2/15/19 10:54 a.m.

Meh. I've laid pipe worse than that. If it is properly supported, the county/city signs off, and it doesn't leak, then I wouldn't worry about it. Really just looks like you need to shorten the lateral that ties in closer to the foundation allowing the horizontal 4" leg to straighten.

Those rubber fernco adapters/unions are usually the only way to make the final connection to the city line. I was always leery of them in my excavation days, but I've unearthed some OLD ones and they still sealed just fine. I worked for a small excavation company in an urban setting and we did a fair bit of sanitary sewer connections.

crewperson Reader
2/15/19 11:30 a.m.

I always tell my guys that we are building houses and not pianos. Looks good to me.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/15/19 3:16 p.m.
Mezzanine said:

Meh. I've laid pipe worse than that. 


Heh, heh.

Seriously, guys, I really appreciate the feedback, particularly on the rubber sleeve. Just seems wrong to me.

I'll chew on it overnight, but had resolved myself to rebuilding this section, and picked up parts this afternoon. Maybe I'm overly scared of Codes?

Taking tonight off. Beat down. 

frenchyd UltraDork
2/16/19 3:06 a.m.

In reply to wheelsmithy : I went from solid PVC pipe to  a rubber coupling on my second go around.  The alternative would have been to completely re-do the whole second floor plumbing including replacing some finish work.  

I’ve been staring at it every night for the past 10 years trying to rethink another way to do it.   Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.  

The reason for the delay is my really long ( 19’ feet+ )pieces of Black walnut are still at the bottom of the pile and I’m determined to have a Black walnut ceiling of uncut boards. Yet build it in a way that should plumbing work ever need be done I can pull a few boards down and simply put them back up when finished with the repairs. 


wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/16/19 3:26 p.m.

Much better.

and I guess I'll learn to live with the connection to the city line...

I'm required to put concrete below this junction, but allowed to put it over as well. I think I'll go all around, as well as a couple of supporting sections inside the foundation...once codes is good. This rubber boot will definitely simplify capping the system and filling it to the top, as well as re-connecting the whole mess once the "holds water" test is done. Learning is fun.

I got the washer in its new home, so at least, it can be used, but it is much tighter than my tape said it would be. 

Guess I'll put the barn doors in-line with the outer wall, rather than the inner, as previously imagined.


wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/17/19 2:35 p.m.

It's been a slow Sunday.

I chose to do quality of life upgrades today. 9 cinder blocks, and some old plywood has the bed up off the darned floor. Much better. I also re-purposed the "arch" from the kitchen into a shelf in the quasi-functional laundry room.

Feelin' pretty lame, so I pulled a sink and two terlits.



AngryCorvair MegaDork
2/17/19 3:41 p.m.

I hope there’s a third terlit somewhere.l, as I’d be afraid I’d hurt myself removing the last terlit, and would have no place to E36 M3.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/17/19 4:22 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

Yes, 3rd terlit, small sink, and stall shower all functioning perfectly downstairs on the recently replaced macerator pump. Also, kitchen sink and washer in full effect. Now I can turn those two back-to-back upstairs bathrooms into one large one with footed tub, shower, sink, and terlit. The extra space will become a linen closet. I have to have everything roughed in, and leak-free to get past codes.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/18/19 6:12 p.m.

Pulled vanity and another sink

and removed all the old plumbing to the two upstairs bathrooms.

A co-worker suggested beating the cast iron to bits, rather than cutting. Good tip. I used my splitting axe, as I have no large sledge hammer. Worked a treat.

E36M3 work. Literally.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/20/19 6:10 p.m.

$18 bucks for 400 lbs of cast iron plumbing scrap. Better than expected.

I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a bit pleased with myself for getting this out in one piece without help.

I used all the classic machines. Wheels, levers, Incline planes, etc. 

I had to roll it down the 60' front walkway, and down the street to the back 40. Gotta love furniture dollies.

Here's what the "Pink bathroom" looked like after.

And because no testicles, no spectacle, I busted down the wall between the two bathrooms.


wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/23/19 2:30 p.m.

Tennessee has been experiencing record levels of rainfall. Road closings, sinkholes, flooding, and school closings as a result. 

This morning, as I took my morning whazz, I noticed a bit of water on the downstairs bathroom floor...

yep, a river in the dirt basement. level with the concrete, which is, under normal circumstances, 4" or so above the dirt floor.

I bailed for a bit, scratched the beard, and looked around for causes. I'd call the open hole out front one, the rain gutter inside the outside retaining wall another, and the general downhill attitude of the front yard into the foundation another. I was pleased to ascertain that none of my recent plumbing seemed to be the cause. 

This is where I was after maybe 10 -5 gallon buckets of bailing while the rain continued to respect gravity.

So, I headed to the Depot....Sold out of pumps. I got the fleeting idea to siphon, but figured as long as I was out, I'd try TSC.

Bingo. $9.99 got me a drill operated pump.

The sock on the end of that spare washer hose turned out to be too much for my 20 year old Makita.

Half an hour later, waters had risen. 

Right now, things are progressing...slowly. It took some experimentation. For instance, once I figured out which was the inlet, it was much happier with the pump down low, and the drill at a medium speed.

My Special Lady Friend suggested that since we had a river running under the house, we name it.

My suggestion was Phoenix, Hers Cuomo. As it's RiverS Cuomo, in my optimism, I'm voting Phoenix. We'll see.

So, put a sump pump on the to-do list.

ShawnG PowerDork
2/23/19 7:30 p.m.

Love the bathroom "after" picture.

Apparently, 16" centers is for suckers.

wheelsmithy SuperDork
2/23/19 7:53 p.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

Yeah, interior walls are 2X3s -on 24" centers seems to be the norm. Plus, the whole ceiling was drywalled before walls went up, but hey, that's what makes all this wall tearing down possible.

And heck, as long as we're at it, howzabout a non-water related update.

My Special Lady Friend got the popcorn down in the dining room. No picture.

I cut down the weird walls at the fireplace/top of stairs.

And we both worked on getting the insulation and false (lower) ceiling down in the hallway. I was mildly disappointed the drywall everywhere bit didn't extend here. What there was was junk, so it came down.

In other news, I got the river down to a couple of puddles. It filled back up in half an hour.

I went out to the meter to confirm the supply wasn't leaking. The spinny thing was not spinning. Which is nice.


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