Expanding the Workshop

This is my workshop.  Notice in the foreground is my table saw on the left and sawhorse and stand on the right.  Notice how the wall protrudes into the workshop?

Here’s another picture from the other side.  See all that space behind the pole?  Between the pole and the beam, that’s all wasted space over here, and it would all be very useful on the other side.  So I decided I would just move the wall so it lined up with the other section.  Piece of cake right?  A partition wall is just a couple of 2 x 4’s with some Sheetrock.  It’s not even load bearing.  Well… turns out its a bit trickier than I thought, hit the jump to see how it turns out.

I decide that all I need to do is pull the nails out that are holding it to the rafters, and then I should be able to slide it the 4 feet back so it lines up with the other wall.  I conviently forget that the pole and beam will be in the way, this proves to make life difficult.

I pull the nails that are holding it to the rafters pretty easily, and then the single nail that goes into the floor.  I start banging away with a big hammer on the bottom of the wall, trying to tilt it over a bit.  I do realize that by tilting the wall at an angle I’m making it taller, and therefore it won’t really fit between the rafters and the floor.  But whatever, wood is squishy… right?  Well after wailing on the bottom for awhile it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.   So I get out my trusty hydraulic jack, and take a 2×4 put it on the rafter, and jack it up just a tiny bit.  This does the trick, and after a bunch more blows with the hammer, the wall is now tilted over, and I start trying to move it backwards.  I move it back a bit, until I finally realize that hey, there is a giant beam and post in the way.

Of course at this point I’m holding up a wall that weighs significantly more than I was expecting, without enough room to lay it down, and I can’t even tilt it back up because there are now some water pipes in the way too.  Fortunately there are a few scrap pieces of wood within reach, and I’m able to rig up a particularly precarious system to hold the wall up while I figure out what to do.

See that 2×4 that goes down to the floor?  Thats all that is supporting the wall.  Whats supporting the 2×4?  Well those scraps of wood that line up nicely and then go into my stand were all that was handy, but they seem to work.  After looking at it a bit, and actually measuring some (something I should have done in the first place)  I figure out that if I tilt the wall down (which is going to be a challenge in and of itself, since it hits the furnace duct in the top of that picture) I can swing it around  in between the end of the other wall and the post.  Ohh but I have to do it by myself, since no-one else is home.

No problem, well at least not until I get it to this point.  Then at this point it get stuck.  I can lift it up some without difficulty, but then I can’t move it to the right.  If I try to pull it from the right, I can’t lift it up.  Ohh and the drywall is starting to crack from all the banging about.  Well no problem, I’ve got some rope, so I tie the rope to the ceiling, lift up the top of the wall a bit and clamp it to the rope.  Now the top is hanging from the rope, and not hitting the far wall, so I can go to the right, and manhandle it around.  Finally after some more work with the sledgehammer, and lots more fighting with the wall.  I get it into position and nailed into place.

Moral of the story?  Plan ahead, another set of hands always helps, and walls are heavy.

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2 Responses to Expanding the Workshop

  1. Mom says:

    I’m happy to see the pictures of your progress. I’d been missing the updates.

  2. John S says:

    Hey Jim, good to see the updates again, I always enjoy reading them. By the way I work with Jess, maybe she has spoke about me, I am the one who tore down and rebuilt my house. Anyway, I had a similar issue about the weight of a wall, I was knocking down a 6ft section of a log wall in my home to open the space between my kitchen and living room. After cutting the section free I figured how heavy could it be, its only 6 ft as I tried to pull it down…only to find out the wall weighed close to 400lbs! I was barely able to lay it on the floor without hurting anything. Anyway its fun to hear the stories and see the progress, keep up the nice work and best of luck.

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