Thursday, May 17, 2007

Baby Steps Are Still Steps

Progress (of sorts) was in good evidence last weekend in the hallowed precincts of New Bog.

I finished putting up the 3/8ths inch sheetrock furring that underlies the real walls and brings them level with the exsisting wall1 and began setting the greenboard walls in place.

Well, one wall anyway.

The wall I chose to do first was the one that would cover the cunning pipework I spent all that time around Christmas installing. This meant that the wallboard would need to be shortened to 87.5 inches from the 8 feet it was made to be, then a five foot by two inch strip removed to accomodate the little strip of old wall I planned to tape to. Why not the full length? Because the bath is installed against the original original wall, and no thicker wallboard was left when I pulled out the flood-ruined section. The board would also have to be contoured around the 19 inch by 12 inch plywood backer that I fixed the pipework to, and a further 10 inch slot cut out to accomodate the wastepipe of dirty water removal. Oh, and the little rectangle just to the right of that for the electric socket junction box to poke through. I measured all these slots and holes out and made a plan on a piece of paper, then got Mrs Stevie to help me wrassle one of the greenboards onto the front lawn for the actual cutting with a Stanley utility knife. I got everything cut out nicely, but during the cutting of the hole for the electrical socket junction box I managed to snap off one of the tab-shapes I had cut.

"How very unfortunate!" I cried2.

Fortunately the green paper side didn't tear though, and I was able to use some masking tape and some really powerful swear words to reinforce the rear (broken) surface and make it didn't happen.

But what, I hear you cry, about the hole for the medicine cabinet?

Good question! I decided I would cut that after the wall was in place. That way the edges would be flush with the framing.

And in theory that should have been it. The strip of old wall was cut to be plumb and the floor was level wasn't it? Wasn't it?

As it turned out, no it wasn't. It was a teeny bit unsquare to the wall, enough to screw up the final measurements by about a quarter to 3/8ths of an inch. Bugger! What I should have done was measure from a chalk line snapped halfway across the wall surface and tapered the wall in accordance with that.

I dithered for fifteen minutes and decided it wasn't worth the trouble, and Mrs Stevie helped me haul the board up the stairs and into New Bog for the final fitting. Unfortunately, the wall would not lift into place, but jammed against the ceiling on one side. I dithered a bit more and reluctantly concluded that I would have to cut the board in half horizontally, and so I broke out Mr Spiral Saw and did that. The two pieces then slid into place without any trouble at all. The cut allowed the upper sheet to slide over by about 3/8ths of an inch which was enough for the upper corner to fit properly. The kerf cut by the saw shortened the board by just the right amount to remove the height inaccuracy too, it seems. A few screws, a little sawing and cutting with the Stanley knife to cut out the hole for the medicine cabinet and it was all over bar the post-job clutching of aching body parts while swearing.

The real surprise was that the electric socket junction box hole lined up exactly with the box itself. In all the years I've tried to get this right I've succeeded around never.

If this keeps up I shall be inelligible to join The Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain.

  1. Which has tile on it that I don't want to tear out. Keep up!
  2. Or words to that effect

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