Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pitching A Tent

As I stared out into the pink sea that threatened to consume me if I misstepped, I wondered about the circumstances that had brought me to this place. Then I remember, oh yeah, it was Ginger's parents. One of the presents they gave Catherine is a tent. You hang this particular tent from the ceiling. The problem was finding where to hang it in Catherine's room. Ginger and her Dad tried hanging it yesterday. First they tried finding a stud (I'll skip the obvious jokes). However, the stud finder kept giving false positives (and that would be why I skipped the obvious jokes). So after a bunch of mini holes in the ceiling they gave up.

So today I ventured up into the attic to see what the deal was. My thought was I could locate the studs and figure out what was going on from above. And that brings me back to my dilemma, if you look at the scene above, that's what I was facing. Now Catherine's room in relation to that photo is all the way in the back on the right. There's no walkway and the insulation is so deep you can't see the studs. So I made my way to the back through the crossbeam supports in the center. After navigating all the way to the back and taking a yard stick with me, I did some measurements. And the studs are two feet apart, which is bad, because Ginger wanted it to be hanging about 26 inches from the wall (which was about 18 inches away from the next stud). I also found why there were false positives, there's an board on top of the studs going diagonal. And there are tons of wires in the area they were measuring, so they could have been throwing off their readings also. So my new plan was to get a thick board, lay it across a couple of the studs, and then attach a hook into it over top of the area that Ginger wanted to hang the tent. My plan was to use a long hook and go through the ceiling and then up to the board and attach it there.

This required a fairly large hook which I didn't have, so it was off to Home Depot to acquire that. But then at the last minute we decided to use hanging wire instead (rated at around 100 lbs) and double loop it. So while I was up in the ceiling working, I had a sheet of wood that I put down across a couple of studs so I could work from there. I had to flip it one more time towards the edge from where I took the picture. There was still no easy way to get to it though, so every trip I ended up crawling through those support beams in the middle. Then navigating across the hidden studs to get to the platform. The project went on hold for about two hours as I realized the power drill had no power and needed to be recharged. And that's a shame too, because the fact it was light outside was somewhat illuminating the attic a bit, but later when the drill was up and running it was already dark out.

You may ask, why did the fact it was dark out make things worse? On my last trip up when I was going to feed the wires through I broke the light in the attic (bumped into it and heard something crack, replacing the light didn't work, so I must have broke the base). So now I had navigate to the back corner while holding a flashlight in one hand and the board with the hook in it in the other hand, which meant no free hands for hanging onto stuff. I eventually made it, put the board in place and got everything rigged up. At the moment nothing is securing the board across the studs, so at some point I need to go back up and nail that board down. For now since the wire itself is keeping it above the hole, I'm not too worried about it since the board is four feet long and extends one foot over the stud on either side. I ended up not really using a bunch of the stuff I bought at Home Depot (so now I have to decide whether it's worth standing line to get back a total of around $10 or whether it just becomes more stuff in my "may have a need for in the future" pile of crap).

In the end though the project was completed (and I do mean the end since the project took almost all day). Catherine seems very happy with it, which makes it all worth it.

And it just wouldn't be a blog post unless I included a photo that has nothing to do with actual post.


Barry said...

Going in the attic is the one job I have successfully avoided now for 8+ years. I have no intention of going up there; I know I'll wind up falling through the ceiling.

Scott said...

Ok, James, ONLY because you mentioned it, I thought your title was amusing.

dashrb said...

Must be a double (multi) meaning.... In Quake, Jamesf is always pitching a tent. What a camper!

JamesF said...

I do love my double-entendres. Although I hadn't even considered the Quake / Camping idea.