Sunday, December 20, 2009

Maxwell's Silver Hammer and Aluminum Tape

Most of Saturday was spent on the heat ducts. This project is going soooooo slow.

R is now working in such a confined area that he needed to remove his Carhartt coat to make enough room for him to move around. He bundles himself up since this crawl space is unheated and basically just a tad warmer than being out of doors. Plus, the added padding helps protect him as he crawls around under the house. On a normal day he wears his jeans and sweatshirt covered with his Carhartt overalls, Carhartt vest, plus his Carhartt coat. On Saturday that final layer was just too had to come off to make room.

His Carhartt outer wear is black but when he crawls out from under the house they are transformed into an orange clay color. The clothes are so heavy that I can only wash one item at a time or it causes my washing machine to bang and thump.

I used my small flat headed hammer to try and straighten out the crumpled floor duct while R crawled around under the house. R refers to this hammer as 'Maxwell's silver hammer'......Mom you won't get that reference. Can you believe the sub par job someone did when they initially cut the opening for the floor register? This floor is random widths, wide, knot less pine with wood plugs covering the nails/screws. Such a shame. We will fill the over cuts in the corners and keep our fingers crossed that the new register will cover up the rest of the ugliness.

Before Maxwell's silver hammer did it job.
And after, but before I nailed the duct in place. This duct had 1 nail already but I still need to take my small die grinder and cut out the bottom right corner so the register will fit. I know the duct still looks like a 'before' photo but believe me it is better than how it was before I spent 30 minutes tapping it into some sort of was abstract rectangle.I used needle nose pliers to hold the nails so I could hammer them in. The photo is blurry because I was holding the pliers with one hand and the camera with the other.I used silver aluminum furnace tape on any seams after I nailed the duct in place. I really like how this tape sticks to the duct and conforms to any irregularities. We are trying our best to seal every seam as we install the new duct. I sealed any seams that I could reach on the inside and R is taping all seams on the outside. Eventually we will tape all seams in the trunk line and any other runs that we have access to.The floor duct does not have any lip/overhang onto the floor to keep the cold air from leaking around the register. After I order the new wood registers and before we install them, we will have to make some sort of gasket for the space between the register and the floor to seal cold air from leaking pass the duct and into the family room.

I can no longer hand items to R through the duct. So we pieced together this long piece of wood and I just tape whatever he wants to the stick and send it in. R cannot carry anything that adds any thickness to his person and he needs his hands to pull himself along. Here is the stick with an extension cord taped to the end.
This is R using that extension cord to power his drill. He drills a pilot hole so that the self tapping screw goes in easier. I know what you are thinking....if it's self tapping why does he need to drill a pilot hole? Well, I'll tell you why.....because of the cramped space he can't hold the duct with one hand and start the screw with the other. The pilot holes allows him to just use his nut driver to gently tighten the screw.
We took a break from duct work today. I needed to do some baking and R said his back needed a break.