Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Getting Electrified

We started the process for installing the electric and I have only one thing to say: Ouch.

We're drilling 1.5" holes in the 2x10" dining room ceiling joists (height +10') to run the electric from the panel throughout the house. The current panel is in the basement, but we're moving it upstairs into the dining room for easier access-- (not to mention the fact that the current panel is right where the water comes in from the street. Zzzzzt zzzzt.)

I started by using our hammer drill with a 90 degree attachment - to squeeze into the tight spaces between the joists. I was using a forstner bit to start and a paddle (flat) wood bit to finish off. The forstner bit started off great, but got dull very fast, and the paddle bit had such a long shaft that it was difficult to get in between some of the joists (we reinforced them with 2x4x16's a while back and this cut down on maneuverability quite a bit.)

Drilling the holes in 90 degree heat, well, it sucks. First of all, wear goggles. Not just eyeglasses like I tried. No sireee. Even with better safety glasses on, I was still pulling shards of lumber from my eyes.

And wear a face mask, not necessarily a respirator, but I was breathing in a lot of sawdust without one, and got a cheapie paper mask ASAP, which worked.

And for the love of lumber, wear a long sleeved shirt that buttons at the neck. I was pulling little curly cue slivers out of my cleavage for an hour.

Now here's what NOT to do: Using the forstner bit and with one hand firmly on the handle of the 90 degree attachment and the other on the base hammer drill trigger, once you;re about halfway through the 2" joist at full speed, angle the drill just slightly out of the 90 degree angle you're cutting at. This will successfully get the bit stuck in the hole and the drill will do one of three things, all of which happened to one or the other of us over the two days it took to drill the holes:

1. It will break loose your grip in your trigger hand and although the drill will stop spinning, it will do so momentarily after knocking into your face.
2. It will wrench your wrist so badly it will swell for days
3. It will unbalance you and knock you off your ladder.

Anyway, I have a bruised ego and a bump on the head and DH has two wounded wrists. Definitely not as easy as it sounds, folks.

We got the wire delivered, at least the first batch anyway. You really understand the cost of copper when you start pulling wires, folks. The lights and switch boxes cost about $200, these spools cost about $600.

We're planning on mostly recesses 6" lights for the dining room, kitchen and .. well, most everywhere that we're not putting in specialty lighting (like the drops for the kitchen and the chandelier over the dining room table).

Putting up the can lights now, we needed to keep in mind that the drywall is going to be set into 1x4" furring strips, so we had to adjust the cans lower than it looked like they're supposed to be. It should all fall into place soon enough.

We've also drilled smaller 1" holes along the kitchen wall for electric, and have started pulling the wires, but have discovered that our plumbers have installed a pipe right where we want an electric outlet to be situated, between the refrigerator and the stove.

Looks like we're in for another work around. ...

Anyway, we're working into the kitchen today and should have some more pictures if I can keep the sawdust out of my eyes.


Amanda Moran said...

You guys have had a helluva productive week. I am amazed at what you guys accomplished between the brick and the electric.

I remember how fun it is to be without power on a hot day and covered with various particulate that sticks to you like you have been rolled in shake 'n' bake.

I remember being thankful to get back to my job on Mondays...not the other way around.

You guys rock.

Anonymous said...

Nice comment on the shake and bake.

Gotta say, the "shaked 'n' baked" breasts were definitely not edible.


Thanks again for the atta.

Because we work for ourselves, we can shoehorn a lot of rehab work into our day. We don't loose the time that others do on forced commutes, getting dressed up, parking, bosses, etc. We can multi-task a lot and that lets us squeeze out a lot more than most folks could under normal circumstances.