Garage Progress Update

Making good headway on the garage. Almost all of the interior dividing wall is gone and the space has opened up nicely. I may save just a little bit of framing/stud intact for now as some shelving I previously reinforced might be attached to the studs by the original builder. The heavy beam across the top of the former wall seems sturdy enough to remain and I have hung a nice bright flourescent light on it. Still a little bit of door frame to go out. It’s termite-eaten and looks like crap. I also removed some random wood bits that were attached to the bottom of the roof itself. I was afraid the bits might be load-bearing, but later decided it was too frail a confabulation to shoulder anything, and may have been built only to keep the dividing wall from swaying.

Now the whole space is more accessible, I will have an easier time with the continuing restoration. More planks of paper wall material and sheets of moldy gypsum board need ripped out, along with all the accompanying rusty nails and detritus. Thereafter, a nice bucket of mud will point any bricks done in by the ravages of time and a nasty creeping vine I ripped down. One side of the garage, hidden by a hedge, seems also to have become a big dump of bricks, dirt and lawn junk.  I do want to get that out of there ASAP to remove any moisture or pressure on the wall. The roof needs a bit of paint all the way around, along with some drip rails to help the water go into a nice catch barrel.

In my backyard, the previous owners jerry-built a tree house. Carpenter ants loved the untreated wood bits, and made their way into some treated lumber bits as well. The well-intentioned orignal builder was no carpenter, and screwed the structure together with drywall screws, which promptly rusted, splitting the boards at the ends.

Most of the wood is going straight to the dustbin, but there ought to be just enough good wood left to finish up my muchly needed work table project. The table may be a bit overbuilt and heavy as heck when I am done, as I don’t honestly know how to build one, but I desperately require a place to install a heavy vice I picked up somewhere along life’s journey. The table must be fully capable of supporting the better part of a motorcycle’s engine block too.

My motorcycle now fits fine in the garage.  It’s great to have her in a space where she is protected from the elements and my kids as well. Although they are only two-year olds, for some reason they love to climb atop it, grab the handlebars and make motorcycle noises. Yesterday I charged up the battery, and simply honked the horn when they got to close, sending them running for cover.

The bike is running very well indeed. A dose of STP seems to have rid it of a bit of a rough idle. When running though, one bolt near the clutch housing is dripping a little bit of good-looking oil ever so slowly. I’m thinking the case might be a touch overfilled, or that bolt may just need torque’d back up to spec. Along with that, one of the exhaust cans seems a bit loose and rattles.

My old lawn mower is now running well after a bit of wrenching.  It was a gift from a buddy to replace mine that was sadly stolen. It’s a well-broken-in “ProPower Ulti-something” (K-Mart store-brand) with a Briggs-Stratton 4HP engine and front-wheel drive. I hit the blade on a stump and bent all out of whack.  Mt attempt to bend it back to spec failed miserably, so I hit the K-Mart for a replacement. I would have walked right past the blades without my son noticing them on an end cap.  Love the “Big K” and love that Boy!

Without the blade in the mower was running real smokey and stinky. After removing the belt housing, I sprayed out the drive-shaft with some oil to clean out the light patina of rust and help it turn better. The new blade thankfully had a universal mounting kit and attached neatly right on. Not sure what the torque setting is on the bolt, so I settled on “tight as hell”.  Firing it up it still was smoking bad. Checking the gas, I think it was grinding through whatever was left in the bottom of the tank. A short walk to the gas station got me a gallon of high-test to fill ‘er up, and I gave her a nice shot of STP too.  Fired up nice on the first pull, humming strong and no more smoke. The throttle cable on the thing needs replaced and it is stuck on wide open. I’ll get around to replacing it, but for now it still does the job well and very quickly.

Much, much to do, but still having a great deal of fun. May Zeus bless the inventor of the reciprocating saw.

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2 Responses to “Garage Progress Update”

  1. yarnho Says:

    I’m glad you are having fun inside your man cave. You turned out to be quite handy indeed. I like hearing your old timey music piping out into the night air. I will miss my tree house. No more late night wine, cigars and moonlight rituals but it is for the best. Safety first. After all… that’s your name!

  2. Ben Says:

    I’ll say….this guy is getting handier and handier….soon he’ll be Mr. Fixit, Ph.D., able to hack/repair anything….keep your eyes peeled for materials on trash day! I’ve found so much good stuff being tossed….also, don’t forget dumpster diving!

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