Sunday, January 18, 2009


I admit it: Amongst hacking early winter bronchitis, squeezing the last possible juice out of my student AutoCAD program, and Christmas activities (I finally got the last of my "Christmas" letters out last Thursday), I've done Nothing. What. So. Ever. on woodwork stripping since November 23rd.

And there's a little something, a tedious, boring, but essential little repair, that I have to do before the Woodwork Stripping Express again gets underway.

On November 9th last, I was in my 2nd floor hall prying door trim off the walls when I heard a crash from my study above. I ran up the steps and this is what I saw:

Oh, bugger. Silly shelf piece had fallen off the wall again. Upper mollie of the righthand bracket had pulled right out.

Blessedly, the way it fell, nothing was broken. But for the past two months and more I've been studiously ignoring the mess in my study and doing ten other things other than remounting my shelf piece.

No more. My holiday tasks are over (barring taking the decorations down, but that's another issue) and there's a chance-- a happy, tentative chance-- that I'll need my drafting board to do some actual, paying design work. I've got to get that piece rehung and the mess cleaned up.

I've made progress. I've filled the crater (with that new DAP DryDex spackle that goes on pink and dries white), sanded the patch, located and drilled the new screw hole, primed the patches, and applied one coat of new paint. I'll wait till tomorrow to do the second coat, because I'm not totally sure the touch up paint I bought Friday exactly matches. Close, but I might have to mess with it a bit.

This wall backs onto an accessible storage space under the roof. Looking at it from that side, I've determined what's wrong: the mollie at that point goes into the plaster between two laths. With the weight of the shelf piece, the papers and things that I keep in it, and the cats that sleep in the inbox above the righthand bracket, no wonder this is the second time it's failed.

So here's the plan: This time, I'm using a toggle bolt. But I'm not drilling a big hole in the plaster to put the toggle through. No. The bolt will go through from the study side, then the toggle will screw on from the attic storage side. With a strip of wood between the lath and the toggle to span the lath at right angles for bracing.

I may draft a neighborhood kid to help with one side or other of the assembly; I may see if I can take care of it myself. Either way, I should get this repair done and the shelf piece rehung sometime tomorrow.

And then I can go back to woodwork stripping.

Oh, joy.


Larry said...

Oh man...bugger is right!!

Kate H. said...

Thanks for the sympathetic words. I didn't get the job done today, after all. Still experimenting with my stock of paint trying to get a satisfactory match. Though when I look at the photos close up, I see that the touch up I did after the unit fell off the wall the first time doesn't exactly match, either. And I've ignored that quite happily for three or four years.

Elaine said...

Wow. Talk about adding insult to injury. That's really not cool.

Really glad that at least nothing was broken.

Sandy said...

So glad nothing was broken (including a "shelf cat")!