Black Rynius and the Curse of the Handyman
With the day looking cloudy and in between ideas, I decided to do a little demo work in my kitchen. FYI, the house was built in 1919 and I bought it from the 3rd owner in 2008 after the housing market crashed, but before fiscal implosion. This previous owner bought the place in 1942, was definitely a handyman and seemed to do much of the modernizations from the ’50s thru ’70s.
Now that fashion has faded, I’m rebuilding in my own hacker ways. When the house was built, the arts and crafts movement was easing into art deco and Detroit’s golden age. My thoughts are to combine the renewed interest in DIY with the old style to redo the kitchen. The first step is to dismantle the space-wasting, boxed in area between the ceiling and the top of the cabinets, which was what I began today.
Setting in with a hammer and pry bar, the trap was sprung. Nails nailed on nails, over a couple more nails. One nail won’t do, three must be pounded into the wall where a sane person would use one. After that, a couple screw, pre- philips age, are sunk for good measure. All for a decorative touch; the cabinets are hung on the wall.
Brute force and rage got through the forest of nails with few cuts and scrapes until the dirty construction secrets appeared. The handyman never cleaned up from building and closed the trash inside, along with more unused nails. Nasty insulation covered in grime covered big chucks of heavy plaster. A shop-vac cleared it away and I forge on through more and more nails.
While I still have more work to do and probably won’t start rebuilding anytime soon, the lessons are clear. Don’t use more fastening devices than required(NAILS, screws, glue, etc.), and clean up you damn mess! Two very good rules to follow if you don’t want your hacking predecessors to judge your work poorly.
P.S. Popsicle sticks were used as shims in a few places.