Deconstruction, House and Acreage Restoration

I Hate Lathe


Friday night’s alright for fighting.

Fighting with lathe.

I had my marching orders. The fella had large group contest out of town, so I was on my own. Strangely enough, Friday night was the only time (in the brief two weeks we’ve been working on the house) where no single person showed up to visit. So I was on my own.

I arrived at the house around 5:30pm and worked til 10:30pm. It got dark quite quickly. The living room and the dining room were down to just lathe, the plaster was out. So my task was to take out the lathe and insulation.

Lathe, for those of you who haven’t demolished an old house before, are these little sticks that connect across to the studs. There is a little gap between the sticks and the plaster oozes into these grooves during the scratch coat (the first coat that goes on). Then additional coats are added. Nowadays, most people use drywall.

Which also existed in the house. This is why I hate lathe. Tearing down these walls is a 700 point process. First Tyler tears out the drywall and we haul it to the dumpster. Then we have to crack the plaster with the sledgehammer and tear it off the wall with the crowbar. Then the plaster pieces are hauled to the dumpster. Then the lathe sticks have to be torn off the wall-requiring nail removal) and hauled to the dumpster. Then the cellulose insulation is pulled out (if it hasn’t already fallen out during this process) and has to be bagged up and then hauled to the dumpster.

Some lathe comes out easily, like brittle bits of snapping sticks. Some have nails that are so rusted into the studs that I nearly fall over trying to loosen them off the wall. And then there’s the secret treasure buried in the lathe and cellulose (for another post).

The last two of these steps is dirty. Friday night when I left the house I stopped at Hy-Vee and bought a $3 bottle of wine as a reward for my work. Thank God I looked in the car mirror before walking inside. My eyebrows and eyelashes were pure silver from the cellulose and I had a 5 o’clock shadow from the dirt inside the house.

But here’s how I did, the first night on my own. Only 1/2 house of lathe left to go! (Apparently, I was so exhausted in the video, I’m having a hard time catching my breath….yes that is how I felt).

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