mercredi 11 novembre 2009

Nearing the last problem for the petit balcon

Where his rail will go

We haven't even gotten to the real problem, even after all the ones, big and little, of materials and tools, requiring time and perseverance, that my husband, the doctor turned carpenter, has had to solve to get this far. It is in the photo above. This is where the old balcony was. Long ago, the contractor was hired to rebuild this entire structure over the entry that isn't really the entry. Or, not the one anyone actually ever uses, unless no one is home when they come in. It gets bolted again behind one's entry to keep the big cat, Shadow, from opening it and letting drafts in. I could tell you about the winter nights she let herself out, when we had forgotten, and ran the furnace at full tilt all night long; the thermostat is right next to this door. But that's another story.

When the workers decided to do less for more, my husband picked up the job of making the new balcony railing. He had been itching to build something around here for awhile, and he saw his chance. I was worn down. We needed a balcony railing. I was sick of the professionals. Perhaps it was better that he give it a try, after all, if it didn't come out so great, he had an excellent excuse, and I thought I could summon up the generosity of spirit to find just about anything he did wonderful.

The only problem is that once he began, working from my drawings, I realized that there was going to be -- a problem. When I drew up the new balcony railing based on the old one, I assumed it would be built at the same time as a new structure for the little roof below it. As such, it would be anchored in the supporting structure. This, I realized once he had started cutting the tenons and routering out the mortises --don't ask -- was not what was going to happen, since the old structure ended up being left in place. The old rail had sat on top of the beams, and this was the only thing left to do now, short of tearing the whole thing below apart.

This is not ideal. This is fragile. I brought it up a few times, but he didn't seem interested in exploring the problem. He had others, more immediate, and more pressing.

I'm not so sure, though.

Maybe I can find a galvanized Simpson post base we can attach to the beams and sink the pin into the bottom of the posts. Let us hope, because what's there is not acceptable. Notice the nails sticking up from the corners. That's what held the posts in place.

Alright, there is also the fact that the handrails and horizontals are embedded in the stucco, but.

Those are some of the paving brick samples anchoring the straps to apply pressure while the wood glue sets.

Speaking of paving, still no word from the workers, who have not yet returned to finish.

"On sera là, Madame, je vous le promets, dès que les briques sont livrées." We shall see.

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