Thursday, August 12, 2010

Scrape or Die

Hello Everyone -

If you recall from the last post I was finishing up the fascia section between columns 2 & 3. I also predicted it would take another week to finish the rest of the fascia.

Friday went as planed and I was able to get the section finished right up to where the curve starts.

Then the schedule went to hell in a hand basket. Saturday and Sunday were so hot we bagged it and did some other things around the house that needed done. Not really a big deal since I try to keep a slower pace on the week-ends. Then Sunday night I remembered that I needed to go into the big city the next day; so Monday was a wash as well.

Then Tuesday started off with high heat warnings.

Today was our third consecutive day this week with high heat warnings with a heat index of 110+.

I was bound and determined NOT to keep all of this preventing me from finishing the fascia.

During the past three days I have been working on the curve and the southern facing fascia. These are the areas that have absolutely no shade - period.

All I could think of was the desert columns from the movie 'March or Die' (hence the title).

This is one of my all time favorite movies and as a Kid I would often pretend I was in the French Foreign Legion. There was even a time, right after I got the boot from the Army, I seriously consider joining the FFL as a training officer. SWMBO threatened to do bodily harm if I did.

Anyway, in the movie one must literally 'March or Die'; the column would not wait for you. If you fell out, chances are you would die.

The scene I thought about most showed one of the Legionnaires falling out. The following is not that scene but it does get the point across

Basically, the past few days have been my personal battle of wills against the house and the elements.

And yes, I did have a wet sun shield attached to my hat.

On with the pictures....

Tuesday was spent on the main part of the curve and here it is finished.

As alluded to in the last post we found a possible problem.

And here it is.

Notice the nasty crack? That's just the tip of the ice-berg.

What doesn't show up well in any of the pictures I've taken is that the extreme right side edge of the curve is now a very shallow 'S'. In other words this part of the lower fascia is getting crushed.

Turns out that what can be seen is only about 1/4 of an inch thick!! It is not as thick as the straight runs.

The weight, and sagging, has caused several cracks along the fascia as well.

Our first instinct was to replace it. On further thought however, we will wait to do this until we replace the porch columns. We need to raise this section in order to do what we want to do and chances are the repair would be damaged when we do this. Besides, it's been there for 100+ years, what's another year or two?

Here's another one of the bigger cracks.

For those of you interested you can see six nail heads (one is in the crack). There are nail sets like this spaced out about every foot. Before using the Paint Shaver I had to set every single one of these, as well as all the other nails!

Let's back track a bit and look at the spot where the rot was removed.

Here it is.

What we need to look closely at is the three elements that make up the crown moulding of the upper fascia.

First you have the lower base - the fascia; then you have the crown topped off with the upper base.

Normally these three parts converge to form the triangle. For some reason this moulding doesn't.

Lets have a closer look.

The section outlined in Blue is the primary base, the fascia. The green is the crown and the Red is the top base.

Note the gap in the spot where the Blue and Red should meet. This would be okay if both pieces were attached to something solid and stable but these aren't. The Blue is attached to the core or the fascia so its okay. What concerns me is that the Red part appears to be attached to nothing put the original shake shingles! This is neither solid nor stable!!

For the life of me I have yet to figure out how they attached the top base - there are no nails going through it up into the shingles. So this leads me to believe that there HAS to be stabilization blocks along the primary base. So far I haven't found any yet. This should be interesting.

This is as far as I got Wednesday.

I know it doesn't look like a lot but it took over six ours to do this.

The long, flat, section doesn't take any time at all using the Paint Shaver, once the nails are set (this can take a while).

What eats up the time and energy is the moulding! You can see the thin strip I left to be finished today.

In this close up you can see the moulding but the contours are not all that obvious.

The white part is 'cove' and I had to switch from using a regular scraper to a special contoured one.

On top of this you can only heat, and scrape, a strip about 1" x 2" at a time.

Here's where I spent my day today - all 7 hours - in direct sun light with a heat index of 110+.

Like the title says: "Scrape or Die".

And now it's finished - for the most part.

The underside of the fascia needs to be done as well as the west side. The west side will get done when we start on the main west wall; hopefully this will be next week.

All I know is I'm hot and tired and have drank enough water to float an aircraft carrier. At least I won this battle of wills though.

Till next time...


1 comment:

Kate H. said...

Immer zu! immer zu! ohne Rast und Ruh'!

When I saw the title of this post, I thought it was because the insurance people were on you to get the place repainted by the end of the month or something.

Now, with me, it's "sand or die." Damn! heart pine stair treads take a lot of 40-grit paper!