Abstract: We studied the effects of solo carpentry on our population (n=1, on a good day) as the subject attempted to frame an interior wall and install a window by herself. It appeared that inventive solutions, YouTube consultation, prior construction experience, and use of various linguistic forms (profanity, whimpering, et. al.) were all used by the subject to achieve desired post-build results. In one instance, subject was able to abandon a sub-task when success was clearly not achievable, though generally tolerance for frustration was fairly high, considering. Subject was able to finish the task in just under 6 hours, time which encompasses all building sub-tasks, and 44 miles of driving distributed over two hardware-store forays.
I could say things went “wrong”, but really, in the end, I was able to get a decent looking, fairly square window frame. By “wrong” I mean “in an untoward and painful fashion, requiring several do-overs and the offending of my ‘git-r-done’ mentality. I reigned it in and took the right steps and the right amount of time to do the work correctly.
Our little girl is growing up!
I woke up early and got to work early. Around 8am, I was out in the can getting tools ready and surveying the situation. I spent ten minutes searching for the caulking gun. It didn’t have enough goop in it, so I had to go to Mountain Lumber (16 miles r/t) for Lexel. This stuff is the tits when it comes to caulk/adhesive. Once you use it, you’d better assume your item is not moving without the use of demolition tactics. You think I’m kidding. I’m not.
I cleaned off the window frame and slathered it with a nice bead of Lexel. The window went in like buttah. I pressed it firmly into the frame and then went to get the drill. And watched the window fall four feet to the garden below. Without breaking.
I swore up and down at my stupidity in thinking the window would stay put, and at the window for not staying put. “I’m alone, window! Who the fuck do you think is gonna hold onto you while I get the tools?!” Enter Mr. Helpful Tuba-For, which acted as a brace while I wrangled all players into place. Shimmed and trimmed and all that. I was ready to screw in the alleged sheet metal screws.
I broke four titanium bits, then found that the “sheet metal” screws weren’t tough enough to go through the COR-TEN steel until I drilled holes two sizes up (#6 screws, #10 hole).
Another trip, this time to Home Depot. Twenty-eight miles round trip plus going through a two-mile-long paving zone, doing 12 mph behind a pilot car. I was able to return the broken bits and to buy cobalt bits (and sponge brushes for eventual tent re-sealing, but that’s for later). When I got home I promptly broke the first of the three bits I had purchased, and since I had a decent number of screws holding in the top of the window, I threw up my hands and decided to frame instead.
Hit my thumb while framing. The Ridgid drill driver came down hard on my right thumb (see pic). It was truly and horrifically painful. I couldn’t cry but I wished I could. It took about an hour for the swelling to go down. Later on I might have to do the old lighter-and-paper clip thing.
It still hurts.
After other farcical mishaps with the studs, cripples, and headers, I had a framed window.
Now it just needs foam sealant in the cracks. I’m excited to see what it will look like when I add trim and a 1” x 8” x 6’ window sill. It’s where I’ll put my knick knacks and my electronics and such, up in the bed loft. Maybe. I might just put tchotchkes. Or the tea service. Or THE ELECTRICAL SERVICE.