Saturday, June 19, 2010

An incentive to work faster

After tomorrow the front stairs will be out of commission for the foreseeable future. Today I built the framing of the scaffolding and tomorrow I will finish it up. This means I will no longer be able to traverse the stars until the scaffolding comes down.

I'm standing in the upstairs hall here. The scaffolding is 28-inches high at this end and about 11-feet high to the left where the stairs turn and go down in to the foyer. The deck will be 7-feet below the ceiling

This tuned out to be a more complete covering of the space than I had originally planned. Originally I was going to have an L shaped scaffold along the right side and under the window. It was going to be narrow enough that I could still get up and down the stairs. The idea was that I would first move it up against the right wall and plaster that, then the back wall, and then left wall. I would also be able to move it away from the walls so I could plaster a wall floor to ceiling at one time. For me, keeping the “wet edge” is important for a smooth skim-coat.

As I started building though, I realized it was better to just build scaffolding for the entire space. The issue that changed my mind was the section to the left. In that area the scaffolding is nearly 11-feet off the stairs. By having only the narrow part of the L over there I would not have been able to skim-coat the entire wall from right to left or top to bottom. I would have had to do something funky with a ladder. Doing something funky with a ladder will end you up either on America's Funniest Home Videos or in the hospital.

Then there was also the issue of the ceiling. I still need to strip some wallpaper up there before I start to skim-coat, so I really need to be able to work on the entire space at one time. Of course, it is also much safer. If I trip or loose my footing there is no where to fall except on to the deck of the scaffolding.

The bad part of this arrangement is that I will need to stop skim-coating all of the walls half way down. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is. When skim-coating I have always done an entire wall at one time. By stopping half way down I run the risk of having a noticeable transition where I stop while on the scaffolding, remove the scaffolding and then restart plastering. It should be interesting.

So tomorrow I will add some more cross-bracing and add a deck of quarter-inch plywood and old 1X6 redwood flooring. Then I will skim-coat everything above the scaffolding, paint the ceiling, and hang the light-fixture. Then I will dismantle the scaffolding and finish skim-coating the walls in the stairwell. Then move on to the foyer.


St. Blogwen said...

To let you do a whole wall top to bottom at once, could you build a trap door in the platform so you could get under . . .

No. Wait a minute. You did say 28" clearance at the 2nd floor hall. Um, never mind.

Kate H.

Greg said...

I can get to most of the bottom part of the wall from below. It is that part right where the deck of scaffolding meets the wall that would be a challenge. Unfortunately, slim-coating is not like painting. Otherwise, I could do it.

St. Blogwen said...

True. The motion with the trowel needs rather more body English on it than that gap allows.

Kate H.