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View Full Version : A tip of the hat to the trades



Bruce Taylor
08-04-2008, 07:09 PM
Where have I been, lately? So glad you asked.

I've been lying on my back in a spider-infested crawlspace, with solder dripping on my face. I've been hefting Durock panels up and down the stairs. I've been shoveling concrete and threading a mile and a half of romex through a labyrinth of ducts and pipes, while breathing powdered mouse dung and huffing ABS solvent straight from the can. I've been slicing my knuckles on wire mesh and stabbing my hands with shards of high speed steel, then salving the wounds with plenty of acid flux and portland cement dust.

I've been listening to some of the stupidest radio programs ever recorded.

And what I want to say, to those forumites who do this every day -- the plumbers, masons, electricians, framers, tilers, mudders, and all the rest -- is this:

CHEERS!

http://www.tasteoftx.com/spirits/stein.jpg

What you guys do is hard (and hard on the body).

Peter Malcolm Jardine
08-04-2008, 07:14 PM
Spent the day drywalling and framing interior walls. I'm getting too old for this shiit..:D but seriously, the body still feels good sore at the end of the day

Paul Girouard
08-04-2008, 07:15 PM
No $hit! You left out the hardest workers of the bunch , us Chippies , that do mostly remodels.

Heck we joke that there can't be cell phone service, there HAS to be rats , or at least mice,:D and some, at least, 20 YO insulation with rat piss in it , or the boss passes up bidding on the job:D

Bruce Taylor
08-04-2008, 07:20 PM
No $hit! You left out the hardest workers of the bunch , us Chippies , that do mostly remodels.

I was thinking of you, Paul. :D

botebum
08-04-2008, 07:35 PM
I went fishing:rolleyes:

Doug

paladin
08-04-2008, 07:39 PM
I went to see a doctor that must have had a rough week and his wife cut him off.....

skuthorp
08-04-2008, 07:43 PM
Bruce, a timely thread, that's why I reckon I'll hire Doorstop to finish my place this time, enough is enough. Besides I ned to get my lungs full of epoxy fumes and wood dust by building a boat!

PatCox
08-04-2008, 07:56 PM
Remodels are the very worst. In my youth I was a framer, but my crew would take most any job and I'd find myself drywalling, digging, roofing, installing flooring. I do still remember that feeling of "good sore" at the end of the day. There is such a thing as "good sore." There's no such thing as "good tense" or "good worried" or "good frustrated."

I spent this last weekend and the one before replacing the generator in my old rickety boat. I had an old Onan, which I never knew was studebaker until I read the old manual, and put in an old Fischer Panda that I bought used, the difference being that the Fischer Panda runs. Lots of time kneeling in the bilge trying to move a greasy old 300 pound wieght around, and then put in a new greasy 300 pound weight, all while trying to avoid my half inch of sludge on top of the water in my bilge.

Bruce Taylor
08-04-2008, 08:29 PM
There is such a thing as "good sore." There's no such thing as "good tense" or "good worried" or "good frustrated."

Most true, Pat.

Fortunately, "sore" seems partly prophylactic against those other conditions (in me, anyway).

Phew.

Tomorrow, I'm a tiler.

ishmael
08-04-2008, 09:08 PM
It's hard work. I've done most of the trades, from sheetrock to tile. Never was much of a plumber or a sheetrocker for that matter. Tiling a big floor is satisfying. Chris, a very smart guy, was a generalist. He could do anything. I learned a lot from him. I would not want to be a sheetrocker by trade is one thing I learned.

Putting the sheets up isn't so bad, but the filling and sanding sucks.

Bruce Taylor
08-04-2008, 09:23 PM
Sheetrock's OK, provided you have one of these:

http://www.toolsfortrades.com/images/18365.GIF

But this cement board -- Durock, Hardiback, whatever -- is a real pain in the lower back. Once I've got one of those things off the roof of the car and into the house I'm ready to knock off for the day.

Plumbing's actually fun...tinkertoys for grownups. :D

I've been building a shower enclosure (poured pan, membrane, etc.) No mistakes allowed.

clancy
08-04-2008, 09:58 PM
Oh, the good old days. 100 degrees outside, 90% humidity and mopping hot tar on a roof. I did that for one summer.

skuthorp
08-04-2008, 10:02 PM
Yep Clancy, laying corrugated iron roofs, like working on a griddle, sunburn under the chin, ears and eye sockets, your feet on fire in your sneakers and your sunglasses steaming up.

Captain Blight
08-04-2008, 10:56 PM
Yep Clancy, laying corrugated iron roofs, like working on a griddle, sunburn under the chin, ears and eye sockets, your feet on fire in your sneakers and your sunglasses steaming up.
That sounds like you'd drink 3-5 gallons a day and you'd still feel like a potato chip at sundown. Sounds like laying aluminum pan roofs in Florida in August. Bugger that for a game of soldiers, we used to work from 4 in the morning till about 9:30; go to the beach but the water would be like 93* and totally not refreshing. Get back to work about 7 and work under lights until 10:30. The sun comes up like a Gee-damned magnesium flare and just pounds on you all day long.

crawdaddyjim50
08-04-2008, 10:56 PM
Thanks Bruce. I needed that today.

Jim (Ditch digging gas piper)

TimH
08-04-2008, 11:12 PM
Sheetrock's OK, provided you have one of these:

http://www.toolsfortrades.com/images/18365.GIF

But this cement board -- Durock, Hardiback, whatever -- is a real pain in the lower back. Once I've got one of those things off the roof of the car and into the house I'm ready to knock off for the day.

Plumbing's actually fun...tinkertoys for grownups. :D

I've been building a shower enclosure (poured pan, membrane, etc.) No mistakes allowed.


I tried drywall sanding with one of those and found it difficult to keep the hose from bumping and causing me to gouge the drywall or mud. I finally traded it for a big fan to blow the dust outside. Much better control.


I just finished a mudpan shower (my first). Turned out reasonably well. :D


drywalling isnt that bad except for ceilings...

J P
08-04-2008, 11:31 PM
I'm thankful I work a balance of office time and hands-on time, but there are many office/business days I'd gladly trade the for the "good sore".

Slainte!

skuthorp
08-04-2008, 11:46 PM
Of course it's not all hard work, the tradies down ther beach tow their boats to the job and adjust their working days to the tides and when I was working building ski lodges we'd start at dawn and knock off at 3 or so in time to go fly fishing after a quiet beer or three.

Tom M.
08-04-2008, 11:53 PM
But this cement board -- Durock, Hardiback, whatever -- is a real pain in the lower back. Once I've got one of those things off the roof of the car and into the house I'm ready to knock off for the day.

Oh those little 3x5 things? I agree, its not fun to work with. Imagine lifting a 4x9 sheet of it 3 stories up on a ladder. We're doing "board and batten" siding with this 4x9 Hardi. At least its not raining. And at least there isn't a rat turd in sight. Thanks for the beer!

Bruce Taylor
08-05-2008, 01:22 AM
Oh those little 3x5 things?

For some reason I bought 4 X 8 sheets and laid them on end.

You walk these things up a ladder?! :eek: :eek: :eek:

paladin
08-05-2008, 01:48 AM
and dunno forget your tennis shoes melting to the sheet iron roof as you lay it down, and dragging buckets of melted tar across the roof to seal the seams and nail holes....

Harry Miller
08-05-2008, 07:02 AM
Bein' old has its advantages. Thanks for reminding me of one. I'll take the beer even though I haven't earned one.:)

Hughman
08-05-2008, 08:27 AM
Yikes!

You reminded me of a hot summer job preparing a new school foundation for concrete floors, wheelbarrow a load of 2" stone in over bendy planks, dump, and rake, and do it over. And over. And over.

I would take those big salt pills and gallons of water, had no appetite for food, and lived in a state of heat fatigue all week.

So, I'll have a beer, too, in retrospect! Thanks!


I haven't seen those salt pills for sale anymore, do folks still use them?

Phillip Allen
08-05-2008, 08:59 AM
brick

Bruce Taylor
08-05-2008, 09:57 AM
brick

Since beer isn't really your thing:

http://houston.metblogs.com/archives/images/2007/05/lemonade.jpg

TimH
08-05-2008, 10:16 AM
I haven't seen those salt pills for sale anymore, do folks still use them?

Dont know about that, but after working and sweating outside all day Sunday my thighs cramped up so bad in th evening I had to drink a jar of pickle juice.

Phillip Allen
08-05-2008, 10:22 AM
Since beer isn't really your thing:

http://houston.metblogs.com/archives/images/2007/05/lemonade.jpg

looks so good I think I'll have some right now...thanks...cheers!

merlinron
08-05-2008, 07:15 PM
did something different today....
worked out of a boat forming up a handicapped access fishing wharf on the wisconsin river. it's not everyday you get to go to work and do some yachting!!

Paul Girouard
08-05-2008, 07:50 PM
Dont know about that, but after working and sweating outside all day Sunday my thighs cramped up so bad in th evening I had to drink a jar of pickle juice.



Does that work? I eat banana's after a hard day , today was one. Replacing a gable end vent on a sidewall with a off set roof below it . So up the ladder and over the guard rail , then climb onto the staging , and up another ladder to the vent.

Of course packing all the gear , tools , staging makins, etc, etc.

Hot day, for here, mid 80's I'd guess, right in the sun, on top of a bluff looking over at Port Townsend and out the Straits of Juan De Fuca. Pretty place , hard on houses. There was little breeze that helped some.

These houses have all sorts of issues, any thing metal corrodes, any thing plastic cracks, the vent blocks let sand pile up the the attic , and the crawl spaces. Maintenance nightmare , all for a pretty view. I'm sure the taxes are high as well.:eek:

TimH
08-05-2008, 08:46 PM
I didnt drink the whole jar, just a few big swigs. Seemed to work.

Bruce Taylor
08-05-2008, 08:55 PM
Thigh cramps. :rolleyes: Some nights I have to get up and hobble around like ol' Captain Ahab. Can't even sit down.

It's worst on canoe trips.

skuthorp
08-05-2008, 09:00 PM
Dunno about a trade, but I got a call from the agent to say that the clean up of my new block had stalled and now it seems I'll be a metal re-cycler, junk dealer, earthmover, etc. I got a big winch under the house, looks like I might need it!

Paul Girouard
08-05-2008, 09:49 PM
Thigh cramps. :rolleyes: Some nights I have to get up and hobble around like ol' Captain Ahab. Can't even sit down.

It's worst on canoe trips.



Worst cramp I ever had was a double (both legs) groin cramp, HHHHHHHHHHHoLLLLLLLLY Molly that was painful:eek:

My wife thought I was having a heart attack, I couldn't even talk, nor could I move I just sort of rolled out of bed and stood (sort of ) leaning on the bed. Good thing that bed I made is so high, it was handy for that.

Back in my drinking days the cramps where worst, on a wine night, really bad. I guess the alcohol dries you up.

I wonder why pickle juice works, in banana's ,I think' it's the potassium, so are pickle and/ or there juice high in potassium?

Must be fun in a tent on a canoe trip:D Your to young to get ole man cramps Bruce, whats your Doctor say about it?

PeterSibley
08-05-2008, 09:49 PM
That sounds like you'd drink 3-5 gallons a day and you'd still feel like a potato chip at sundown. Sounds like laying aluminum pan roofs in Florida in August. Bugger that for a game of soldiers, we used to work from 4 in the morning till about 9:30; go to the beach but the water would be like 93* and totally not refreshing. Get back to work about 7 and work under lights until 10:30. The sun comes up like a Gee-damned magnesium flare and just pounds on you all day long.

Yep ,why do some twits ,I mean customers always want their roofs resheeted in January ....that's mid ,mid Summer down here .:eek::confused: 40C off the roof , in the shade ! Hey ,these days I just give 'em a phone number ...not mine ;)

Bruce Taylor
08-05-2008, 09:56 PM
Your to young to get ole man cramps Bruce, whats your Doctor say about it?

Closing in on fifty, Paul. I've earned the right to be a little decrepit. :D

TimH
08-05-2008, 10:07 PM
I just bought a bottle of tonic water with quinine..

TimH
08-05-2008, 10:15 PM
"Pickle juice As with mustard coaches have given pickle juice to their athletes with leg cramps. Cramps are sometimes caused by a deficiency in acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that stimulates your muscles to work. Pickle juice has acetic acid, which helps the body make more acetylcholine. Take a few ounces of pickle juice."

from http://www.health911.com/remedies/rem_cramp.htm

Paul Girouard
08-05-2008, 11:47 PM
Closing in on fifty, Paul. I've earned the right to be a little decrepit. :D


Your under 50 yer jest a kid:D HTFU then eh!:D

Phillip Allen
08-06-2008, 06:27 AM
Cramps...Twice I have had my legs draw up and become useless while swimming. The events (separate) were after an hour of so of furious diving and looking for fish (snorkel and mask and fins). I was with others but didn't bother yelling for help...I just took a big breath and pushed myself to the bottom of the river and crawled up the slope of the bottom and out of the water enough to rest a little. Kain't swim worth spit with your knees against your chest

Tylerdurden
08-06-2008, 06:33 AM
Toughest time I had was repairing Restaurants Equipment in Miami.
Blood sweat and cockroaches.

Never gained a pound though.