Working Man’s Blues

Hello everyone. As some of my keen eyed readers have already mentioned, this post is late. A full day late.

Sorry about that.

I was working this week, and all day on Friday in particular, which meant I had no time to write. Thus the post is a day later than usual.

Before I get to what I was doing at work, here are a couple of updates on the latest door undergoing renovation. I’ve previously mentioned that the people before us did very weird things to the doors. Here’s a prime example from my office:

The first photo shows where the door latch comes out of the door. The white filler you see there is my own concoction, put into the cracks like putty and left to harden. You cannot tell from that photo, but the door is actually damaged, and the area below the latch (on the left side of the picture) is actually raised up a couple of millimetres. They just left it like that. Since that photo was taken I have sanded everything flat again, filled the cracks again, and sanded one more time.

The second photo really shows the kind of idiocy we’re dealing with. Note that the door is nominally recessed for a square cornered hinge, not a round cornered hinge. But there is another door right next to this one that is recessed for a round cornered hinge, so making the two hinges different would show. But beyond that, the hinge recess is cut all the way across the door. They didn’t leave the wood lip to hide the edge of the hinge. I really cannot explain what they were doing here or why. What I see is a complete lack of attention to detail that slowly drives me mad. But I am fixing these things as I go, and there is less to drive me mad every week as a result.

I’m repairing that hinge recess with this collection of stuff:

That’s drywall mud and wood glue. Mix them together and you get a paste that stiffens up well when it dries, but can be sanded down and painted, so…

It’s taken two applications, but I am closing in on having this door ready to prime and paint. In truth I resorted to paintable caulk for some very fine cracks between the hinge and my mixture, since what I made is brittle enough not to hold that well when too thin. Still, it’s working.

Another thing I did last week was this pull out the dishwasher all the way. That took some serious wrestling because the nitwit that installed it did so in a weird way, and getting the mounting clips out of the way so I could slide the dishwasher out was almost impossible. But I managed, and I discovered this:

Exciting, eh? Well, it turns out that dishwashers (at least those made by Bosch) sold up here can either be plugged into an outlet (as seen above) or they can be hard wired in. You have to know what you need and buy the proper electrical connection kit. And the only way to figure that out was to pull the dishwasher out, so… there you go. Ours plugs in.

That will make replacing it easier at some point. And in the meantime I have put the junk one (made by Samsung… never buy any appliance made by Samsung) back into place and properly secured it so it can be more easily removed next time.

The rest of the week was spent at my weird part time job. I did manage to get to the library and see an old friend while on campus, though:

Just as I left it. Can’t complain.

But what was I actually working on? Well, the shop coordinator and I are building a replacement for the stand that the public art class builds their big, combined project on. A couple of weeks back I designed it and planned out all the steel we needed to order, and now we are in the middle of construction. Here’s how far we got:

That starts with a stack of raw steel (some pieces 22 feet long and weighing a lot), cutting it all to length, welding together the end ‘A’ pieces, then (yesterday) getting those attached together with the long pieces and the castors added.

The resulting frame probably weighs 400 or 500 pounds. We had to roll it over several times to get access to various seams to weld them together. Then, when it was fully assembled and set back down in the proper orientation, I had to pry it up far enough to let me attach the castors. That finished up at 5 pm on Friday, but it can now be wheeled out of the way, which was key.

The curious might want to know that most of the steel you see in those photos is 3/16" thick, 4" x 4" square stock. The angled braces are only 1/8" thick. We want a lot of weight at the bottom so it will not want to tip over while in use, so we used pretty thick steel.

There is quite a bit of work left to do, of course. This is only the base frame. It will carry the actual frame the students build their project on, and let them rotate it down to work on, flat and level. There are some other tricks coming as well. You’ll see those eventually, I hope.

The problem is we are running out of time to do this. I don’t know when it will get finished up. I do know I will be back in the shop on Monday to keep working on it, but there is a lot of cleanup and preparation to do to get ready for classes on the 7th, and my time is limited as well. Still, we’ll get it done, and it will be much better than the flimsy wooden thing it is replacing.

That’s where my week went. Very busy, full of hard work, welding, and heavy lifting. But there is visible progress as a result. Now I spend the weekend catching up on all the house stuff that I ignored over the past few days.

Before I go, here’s a photo from the back yard:

Lovely! And note the leaves are wet! That’s rain. We’ve been cooler and had a few showers here and there. Normal Vancouver weather. It’s nice!

Everyone take care!

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.