Weapons of mass de-construction

Tomorrow, Sunday, seems like it’s going to be about all the yard work we’ve neglected for the past 3 weekends. This time, we can’t use the land management excuse, the foot high grass is a result of old fashion laziness. For sure, we are cutting the whole 1/2 acre lawn, trimming the azaleas, and cutting up all the branches strewn about from the summer storms.

We accounted last post about the VERY under-engineered header built in the kitchen back wall to support the addition opening. With all the plaster removed, it’s worse than we knew.

White outline is the 1921 window opening

The laws of physics must have changed a bunch between 1921 and the 1970’s because the addition builders decided they could support the wall with a single vertical 2×8 and a double 2×4 header.  They cut 4 of the original studs from an exterior, load bearing wall that the original builders estimated would take 6 old fashioned, full size 2×4’s to support. Difficult to see in the photo, but the 2×8 is bowed about 1/2” from the weight.

We’re still mulling our structural options for this little problem.

A good part of the morning was spent removing plaster from the chimney.

He-Who-Shall-Remain-Nameless with WMD-C

The air hammer made quick work of breaking up the 300 to 400 lbs of plaster.

Excavating the chimney added more evidence to our deduction that their has been at least 1 other kitchen remodel besides the one in the 1970’s. On parts of the chimney, the different plaster layers were plainly differentiated.

Au naturel with scars

The plugged up vent holes tell us that the boiler for the steam heating unit was probably in the kitchen. Possibly, the cook stove and boiler were part of one apparatus, originally fueled by coal.