Rock And Roll

The is the core forum of BFC. It's all about informal and random talk on any topic.
Forum rules
Post a new topic to begin a chat.
Any topic is acceptable, and topic drift is permissible.
Topics will be automatically pruned after ten days of inactivity.
User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1921
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by Kellemora » 21 Aug 2018, 11:11

I had to do some work in a house and was surprised to find heavy wood structural stringers used in place of the I-Beam.
The floor joists were made the same way. Like a sheet of particleboard or strand board with a 2x3 top and bottom.
Only the I-Beam was larger, more like 3/4 inch plywood with a 2x4 top and bottom.
Building material quality keeps getting cheaper and cheaper.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 4319
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by yogi » 21 Aug 2018, 12:59

Image

This is what the floor joists in my current house look like. I-beams are made the same way, but I happen to have steel in this house. It's one of the few things they did not cut costs on. Must be a building code in these parts.

User avatar
pilvikki
Posts: 4430
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 15:35

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by pilvikki » 21 Aug 2018, 17:18

my "favourite "I beam" was 2 2X 4's nailed together. it was in the 80's, a new build i decided to go look at for some reason.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 4319
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by yogi » 21 Aug 2018, 18:22

All the thresholds in this house have that double 2-by structure. The garage door is 4 wide in fact.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1921
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by Kellemora » 22 Aug 2018, 11:19

I honestly loved the building codes we had in St. Louis County, a pain sometimes, but better quality construction was the result.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 4319
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by yogi » 22 Aug 2018, 15:03

I don't know. Maybe it's just me and my dislike for spec homes in general. At the time we built our home in a Chicago suburb, the codes seemed excessive. Frankly, it now seems that we stepped down a notch or two buying this new home in St Charles county. The materials used here are noticeably of lower quality. I will say the workmanship is equal to or better than what I've seen up north, but most of the electricity and plumbing would not make it past the inspectors in Cook County.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1921
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by Kellemora » 23 Aug 2018, 11:51

Every house I renovated, I replaced all the plumbing, supply with copper, waste with PVC, all the wiring and most of the boxes, including all the entry from weatherhead to new panel box with copper.
I never hid imperfections with popcorn. If there was damage or loose areas in real plaster, I redid it the right way, sand coat and then plaster top coat. However, most walls I did use 1/2" drywall, mainly because I tore out most of the plaster and paperboard walls, if they existed to replace the wiring or plumbing.

In repair jobs in many newer homes, where they used PVC for water, or that PEX crapola, the later being the most accounts of service calls. If I could, I would replace with copper or the highest quality supply grade PVC. Unfortunately, most of the time they just wanted the cheapest repair possible. Which meant replace the cracked PEX header with a higher quality header.

Dealing with aluminum wiring was a nightmare. Required special connectors to replace the faulty ones originally allowed by code, before they realized the serious fire hazards of using aluminum wiring.

Some of the newest codes made no sense whatsoever. Especially when it came to stick-built trusses being outlawed. More often than not, a stick-built truss is far stronger than those flimsy factory assembled units. Especially when working in areas where the factory assembled simply won't function properly.

Even here in south podunk, where the hailstorm shattered six rafters in my house. They would not let me replace the broken side of the stick-built rafters with new lumber. The only thing they would let me do, since it was impossible to use a factory made rafter, was to sister a new rafter board to the side of the broken rafter board. Absolutely no logic behind doing something like that. But that is what they demanded to meet code.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 4319
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by yogi » 23 Aug 2018, 18:24

My 30 year old house was built with trusses. It saved a lot of time for the carpenters and seemed to be pretty strong over a 30' span. However, it was standard procedure to place the trusses on 24" centers instead of the 16" centers required of stick built. I don't get it to this day. Why is that better?

I also have my suspicions about trusses' ability to hold a roof in place properly. That house we build used 5/8" (might have veen 3/4") plywood for the sheeting. It was the real thing. After about twenty years, however, the lamination of the plywood started peeling. It was a problem on about half the panels. I had to replace the shingles anyway, so I had them replace the plywood too. When I sold the house there were still one or two sheets that I had to nail down before I showed the house. I never saw peeling plywood on stick built roofs.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1921
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by Kellemora » 24 Aug 2018, 11:23

My dad's first house, the one I was raised in, had 2x6 rafters on 16" centers with 1x8 planks for the sheathing. Over this was the thick mica coated tar paper, and over that was the thin normal tar paper, then the shingles.
His new house was hip roof construction, 2x8 ridge, 2x4s between the 2x6 peaks down to the corners of the house, all stick-built in 1966. It used 1/2" plywood for sheathing. Over that was some gray felt looking material, then the tar paper over that. He wanted it strong enough to hold a slate roof, but never ended up replacing the shingles with slate down the road as he planned. The smartest thing he did was use commercial size gutters instead of the normal size used on homes. They tend not to get clogged up from tree leaves so easily.
I had commercial size put on my house here, where I had to replace damaged gutters. Glad I did!

This poor old house I live in was built in 1946/47 with whatever materials they could scrounge up after the war.
Although the exterior is concrete block, everything made from wood has sagged. The roof was 2x4s on 24" centers, and the slat sheathing used was not 3/4" but closer to 1/2" barn siding, and used when it was installed.
The ceilings sag down in the middle of the rooms, and the floors, well, a golf green is more level, hi hi.
But it's paid for, and I've remodeled most of the rooms, unfortunately one at a time, which made the cost much higher. But you gotta do what you gotta do, when you can do it.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 4319
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by yogi » 24 Aug 2018, 12:31

Building codes vary all over the place. I think the Chicago area was heavily unionize and the codes favored the tradesmen. Then too, because the houses were literally only a few feet apart in some places they had to be sure the entire block would not burn down if one house caught fire. I often wonder what it would cost to build a home as they were built in the 40's/50's. Some of the wood trim material is no longer available; ash, for example. I think my 2600 sq ft house here would cost into the millions if they used quality material, which explains why they don't do it anymore.

I had a bad experience with oversized gutters. They replaced the gutters all right, but never changed the diameter of the downspouts. They clogged up twice as fast after that. The sales person assured me it would be fine. The installer said he only did what he was told to do and I'd have to replace the downspouts if I wanted something close to self-cleaning gutters. I didn't argue. I sold the house instead.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1921
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by Kellemora » 25 Aug 2018, 10:25

On one corner of dad's house, he had two gutters that always clogged up with leaves.
He tried everything from gutter guards, both plastic and metal, including the solid metal with the curved end to draw water into the gutter but let leaves blow off.
Then he came up with a crazy idea to keep those two downspouts from clogging.
He bought two 25 foot sections of swimming pool grade, UV protected, rope, and tied two knots in the rope, one where he tied the ends together, and another dead center. The ends were not tied together until he placed the rope down through the gutter and placed a piece of PVC pipe with a slot cut in it over the edge of the gutter by the downspout hole.
Although half of the rope was visible, hanging down from the gutter, it was behind two evergreen trees so went unnoticed.
Whenever he saw water overflowing the gutters at that corner, he would go pull the knot through the gutter and it would start flowing again. Usually with a lot of water and leaves pouring out the bottom as the filled gutter emptied itself.
He was pleased with his way of doing it!

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 4319
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by yogi » 25 Aug 2018, 13:35

I can see from where you obtained your creative inventive talents. My old house was a ranch style with straight gutters along the long edge of the roof. Unfortunately I had a literal forest in my back yard and those gutters collected debris as if it were going out of style. The best protection in my case was the plastic screen guards. The gutters still clogged but not nearly as much as they did without them. It was a never ending battle that I could only resolve by taking the garden hose to the top of the downspout and flushing it out that way. I loved to do it in the rain because as you point out it also cleans out the gutters in the process. If I waited until the rain stopped and the water drained, then I'd also have to flush the gutters and not just the downspouts. My wife was terrified every time I did that fearing I'd be struck by lightning. I tempted Fate a few times, but I'm still here to talk about it. :lol:

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1921
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by Kellemora » 26 Aug 2018, 11:46

I sorta did the same thing only using a leaf blower instead of a garden hose.
When enough sand built up in the gutters, only then would I use the garden hose to wash them out.
I made long J pipe with a female hose bib at the bottom and male hose bib at the top, so I could screw on a sprayer nozzle. This way I could work from the ground. Can't see if you are getting it all or not, but you can usually tell by the amount of splashback landing on your head, hi hi.

Rather than downspouts on a couple of my gutters, I had decorative chains leading down into a chimney flue set in the ground, with a hole in the side and a short hose so the water would fill a bird water trough next to it.
Although I don't have any chain type downspouts here now, I still have the little water trough for the birds. It fills when it rains of course, but I have to refill it every 3 or 4 days from a jug I carry up to my office with me. Can't have it hold too much else it will attract skeeters, hi hi.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 4319
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by yogi » 26 Aug 2018, 18:35

I don't recall ever seeing chains dangling from a gutter, but it sounds like it might work for water. Up in Chicago we had ice to worry about as well as water. A chain covered with ice does not seem like a pretty sight.

The splash blocks at the end of the downspouts here are totally useless. They are crooked and would require some pea gravel and landscaping to straighten out. However, after a rain they tend to fill with water and the birds love it. One is right outside my window so that I can see them drink for several days after a storm.
Last edited by yogi on 27 Aug 2018, 14:08, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1921
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by Kellemora » 27 Aug 2018, 10:46

This video is a little long, 5 minutes, but shows the more expensive types of rain chains.
I only paid about 25 bucks to make some really cute ones.
I've also used a simple cheap plastic chain on back downspouts, about 5 bucks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FRnZSwnuEo

One I made by twining three old brass ceiling lamp chains in a spiral.
Another I used plastic chain with Legg's Panty Hose caps spaced about a foot apart.
But the one I liked best was made using old brass candle chasers and a single small folded loop chain.
The chain was made about the same way you would make a leather belt from small scrap pieces of leather.

I couldn't find some of the designs I was hunting for in the videos. Most were placed by those selling them.
They do not catch debris like they look like they would. This was one thing that surprised be when I had the one made of the Legg's Lids.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 4319
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by yogi » 27 Aug 2018, 14:28

I like what I saw in the video. It has eye appeal, but I'm not certain about how practical it is. The 'cheapest' aluminum chain they show costs around $100. I can get a lot of regular aluminum downspout for that price considering I'd need at least 4 chains to cover each corner of the house. The cost could be justified, I suppose, by using cheaper and/or recycled material. Plastic is cheap, but certainly doesn't look as good as copper. :mrgreen: The only real concern I can visualize is the collection of water at the bottom of the chain. Unless I have rain barrels the water will sit on the ground and seep down the foundation walls to the drain tiles that feed my sump pump. That's what the pump is for, but I don't think I want all that water so close to my house. If I was OK with that concept, I'd not need gutters at all. This house would not be a problem for chains because only three sides are under ground. The back side is a walk out basement. Plus, we are on a slope so that water tends to drain off fairly quick. Up north my house would be floating every time it rains. And, even if I could get past all that, I'd have to kiss ass at the home owners association to get their divine approval for something that does not look like the other 300 houses surround me. I doubt that they'd give me an exception.

I think I'll pass on the rain chain idea.

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1921
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by Kellemora » 28 Aug 2018, 11:58

I only have one rain chain here. The roof over my garage mandoor extends outward like an awning. No real way to put a downspout here without it being an ugly eyesore.
The chain dangles into a trough at the bottom and the trough feeds a watering pan for the birds.
It's not fancy like the one pictured in the video, and only cost me a few bucks to make.
It started as nothing more than a simple swag light chain. Then as I came across more pieces of chain, I simply added them to the existing chain making a turn or two around the chain forming like a spiral.
Rainwater doesn't splash off the chain, just follows it down to the trough like a little waterfall.

The plastic one I started with in the very beginning didn't fair well with the 3pm hot burning sun. Then in the winter, ice built up on it and pulled it down.
I had several solar yard lights that died. I used the plastic cylinder from them, along with the decorative shade, to make another cheap chain, this time chain itself was an aluminum decorative chain. It lasted for several years that way, then I took all the plastic off the chain and just let the chain hang by itself.

I saw a cute decorative plain chain at the hardware store, and though if I used 5 or 6 chains side by side, it would look and work well. They didn't have enough of this style chain and never got any more in.
It was the same style chain I used to use on all of my dogs as a collar. The metal is just soft enough that if they got hung up, it would bend the links apart easier than those break-away collars. Now I can't find that type of chain anywhere.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 4319
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by yogi » 28 Aug 2018, 15:43

You are the most innovative person I know. I don't have the patience to be as creative as you are, but I do appreciate new ideas. I wonder if you ever considered combining two of the interests you mention here. I know you drink a lot of soda from aluminum cans and that you decorate your house with chains. Have you thought about using the pull tabs from the soda cans to make a chain to replace your downspouts? :lol:

User avatar
Kellemora
Posts: 1921
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 11:54

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by Kellemora » 29 Aug 2018, 11:50

Honestly, back when they had the original pull tabs, we used to make long chains of them, but I never used them for a downspout.
I'm one of those folks who break the tab completely off the can, and drop it in the empty previously drank can. Along with the foil wrappers off things like Rolo or Hershey's Kisses. Everything aluminum is saved for the recycling company.
They pay a lot more for aluminum cans down here than they did back home in St. Loo. I think the reason being is because it's only around 7 miles to Alcoa from here. While in St. Loo it was a long ways up to Reynolds. Miles is money lost in that business.
We also get a small bonus because we have clean cans. Meaning they did not contain bug attracting sugar or roadside dirt and grime. The recycler we use also gets top dollar because he sells clean pre-washed, shredded, and blocked aluminum to the smelter. I watched his operation a couple of times, and it is quite unlike the other two recycling places down here near us.
The other two places just run empty cans through huge metal rollers and they go up a conveyor and drop into like a coal delivery trailer.
The guy we uses, the cans are run through a shredder, the output goes into a tank of water where rotating fingers pick up the metal and move it to the other end of the water vat. Then a chain conveyor lifts the shredded metal up to a conveyor which sends it into a compactor. When a certain weight is reached, hydraulics drive pistons to compress the shredded aluminum into a large block, a little larger than two bales of hay side by side. The bale is pushed out onto another conveyor that moves in such a way to stack all these bales in a trailer made more like an ocean cargo. In other words, heavy metal constructed trailer. When filled, they are moved and lined up in the shipping yard, until Alcoa calls for a shipment from them.
There is a recycling company down in Georgia I think is where it's at, who goes beyond that and has their own smelter to form aluminum ingots. I never saw their operation in person, but have seen some home video's. The amount of ash they have to dispose of from each operation is enormous. Not talking about from the fire that heats the smelter, which is probably gas. But from the residue left in cans, the printing on the cans, and the plastic liners from inside the cans. I would venture to guess for every pallet of ingots made from the smelter, there is 1/8th pallet of ash for disposal. It's possible they sell this ash too, can't tell much from just seeing a video.

User avatar
yogi
Posts: 4319
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 15:49

Re: Rock And Roll

Post by yogi » 29 Aug 2018, 13:27

I think that if I were in the aluminum recycling business I would do it like the place you cite in Georgia. I'd be selling ingots of metal instead of compact shards. The initial cost of equipment to process it would be greater but the final product would draw a higher price and presumably more profit. I can imagine a lot of ash, but 12% seems like too much. It's hard for me to see a given can being only 88% metal.

The payback for recycling aluminum has got to be one of the best around. I could be wrong but it seems like the cost of making ingots from recycled cans would be cheaper than mining and transporting raw metal. I've also read where they are having trouble using up all the recycled plastic. I guess some of it it political but China has decided they don't need our recycled plastic anymore. If it can't be recycled I think we are in for big problems down the line.

Post Reply