I'm a central PA Basement Slug - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-08-2010, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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I'm a central PA Basement Slug

Hi Folks,

I've been a amateur sledgehammer carpenter for a long time, building ugly but functional things from garbage, mostly. I got the bug for trying "pretty" about the same time my only child arrived a couple years ago, and now that she's a little more self sustaining there's finally some time to spend in the shop again.

"Shop" right now means a basement of a home in central PA. The home needs a lot of work, and first on the list is repairing the framing problems of the first floor, so the "shop" is a jungle of jack posts, things that don't yet have homes, and the tools and bench for my current project, which is to make a dust barrier system similar to the zipwall. (I have more time than money at the moment.) The fun part of this job is to design and build the drilling jigs and glue up jig.

More about that, with pics, if it works.

SteveEl
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-08-2010, 10:42 PM
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Welcome Steve!

I recently drove through Amish country (Intercourse, LOL!!) on my way back from a East Coast Trip. Lot of nice land out there!
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-09-2010, 01:12 AM
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Where ya at, Steve? I'm about in between Altoona and State College. Go Nittany Lions!
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-09-2010, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Did you lay over there S? If you pass through Colorado, be sure to visit Climax.

What sort of work do you do in your shop, Rob?

SteveEl
Central PA Basement Slug

PS..... Time out for a Public Service Announcement:

Right or wrong, my former health department told me that an amount of lead equal to 1/20,000th of a package of table sugar, once in the blood stream of your average 2-year old, is the threshold for lead poisoning, and the main way they get is not by eating chips but by picking up invisible dust on their hands and then sucking their fingers. That was enough to make me hyper vigilant. Current project is a shopbuilt zipwall system. I'm quite pleased so far. I'll post about it when complete.

Last edited by SteveEl; 11-21-2010 at 04:23 PM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-09-2010, 12:12 PM
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Welcome to the neighborhood. Clems BBQ is the best. Slinky Action Zone is a fun place for kids of all sizes. And the Krispy Kreme store stands empty, but just down the road from it is Friendlys, and while it's not doughnuts, it *is* a good place to get some ice cream with the family. That's about all I know about Altoona.

Right now what we're working on in our shop *is* the shop. We're probably halfway through converting a big chunk of our basement into a woodworking paradise. Or at least, OUR woodworking paradise.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-09-2010, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a great project Rob. Have you been blogging about it at all? What did you start with in terms of floor, walls, and humidity?

The stamp in the old basement toilet says "1924". We're on one of the hills, and in the spring there's a fresh water spring and 5-foot long river running to the floor drain.... and all my power tools are down there! Local wisdom is that our homes were all built ontop of a hilltop spring, and that may be true. However, I notice on the outside, they all have inside corners that face uphill, and so their foundations treat runoff like a outfielder's baseball mitt. Worse, many houses including ours have downspouts that drain into a crummy clay lined seep pit in that inside corner. They probably don't have footing drains or they're clogged. And then the hill does funny things to the frost line in relation to below grade drainage.

So this first year the job is to regrade, replumb some downspouts, and build some french drains on the uphill side, while one and sometimes two dehumidifiers hum away in the pit, errrr, basement. Inside, its fixing the framing as I think I mentioned.

After you get your space finished, what do you plan to build in it?

SteveEl
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-09-2010, 02:39 PM
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We're in a new construction home from 2008, so it's poured walls and so far as I can tell, a dry basement. We have one instance of a small puddle of water on the floor that we couldn't identify the location from, but since then we've kept a humidifier running and had no issues. It definitely does get humid down there.

I haven't posted a blog about the workshop just because it's a study in cheap-and-ugly. We're using OSB for the walls and ceiling since it's the cheapest thing we could get that still had some screw holding capability. And it ain't quite as heavy as sheetrock, so my wife and I can still handle it ourselves. I've kept pictures, I'll have to post what we've done so far.

As far as projects...my wife is into intarsia on the scroll saw pretty heavily, so my main job usually is to provide her with small pieces of wood at specific dimensions. That keeps us both interested. I hope to make a small chest out of our pile of walnut at some point....and we have some oak coming in October that we both hope to make a built-in computer desk out of. Otherwise, it's just our hobby place that we hope to make use of for our remaining years.

I think my folks could spend hours talking with you about fixing old houses. They lived in an 1800's something house in Oregon and fixed it up and Mom will go on and on about having sheets for walls in the bathroom and holes in the floor you had to walk around. And I think she also vowed to never live in a fixer upper again, and they've so far kept that vow, which is good because since they moved here, there is a lifetime supply of houses that could be fixed up to something more modern...
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-09-2010, 06:19 PM
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Feel your pain Steve. In 1996 the wife and I had an addition done to our home. Added 33% to the total sq footage. Had to put both kids (10 & 8 at the time) into one bedroom and us in the other. Sawdust, bare floors, holes in walls and noise was the norm. The worst was the drywall dust. It got everywhere and on everything. Ever try to get drywall dust out of a navy blue uniform? The whole thing was a living hell for 6 months. Swore then and there that if we ever ran out of room and needed to expand again, then take it as a sign to buy a bigger house. Of course the kids are grown now (older, not necessarily grown up based on how they still act sometimes) so I doubt we'll need to expand. More likely the opposite. Anyhow, I know what you're going through buddy and the only advice I can give is maintain your sense of humor!
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-09-2010, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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*my* sense of humor is working fine.... but my wife's...........
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