Strapping Bites! Jigs Are Your Friend.

I started writing this entry on April 23.  It took about a month to get the entire strapping project complete.  It’s taken me until now to recover from the experience well enough to complete the entry, but I wanted my followers/fans to see EVERYTHING it took turn my house into my home.  This project falls in the time is money category where to save the valuable time I lost I may have been better off paying a professional to complete it fast.

20180430_190319I knew my ceiling joist were uneven on the first floor.  You could see different thickness of the wood joist.  These were rough cut, some even had bark on them.  With plaster and lathe you can just pile on plaster to create an even surface, but with drywall you have one consistent thickness.  Hanging drywall was going to be a chore, so my father added strapping to my program of work.

20180429_100157The project started with my father taking a laser leveler I purchased to find the highest (or lowest, I forget) corner which determined which end we would start from.  He and I started the project in the kitchen.  We got 3/4 completed in a work day.  You’re working above your head the entire time, so the arm fatigue is severe.  I knew after that first day I was going to hate this project.

Key to strapping is creating proper 20180510_194051spacing (16″ on center), so my father created a jig (tool used to replicate the same measurement multiple times) that was placed on a strap to create the proper space for the next.  He created just one.  I made a second one to match, so that both workers would have one.    Note, my reference “both workers”.  Quickly I brought my cousin Cameron to help with this project.  With each row added we had to level it and shim where needed.  ‘At some points in in the ceiling the difference from one end to the other was 3″ in height.

The problem with the jig my father created is it did not work when setting up the second row.  If the second is off, then all the spacing is off moving forward.  It was not until we were down to the guest bedroom and bath that it clicked to me how that jig was supposed to work, so I flipped it over and created the 2nd row only jig.  With those two jigs a job that was torture for almost a month and needed at least two people, became simple and a job that could be done with one.  I actually completed the 1st floor bath by myself.  Thankfully we only needed to strap for 1st floor.

In addition to the strapping jigs I created a jig for my wall switches, outlets, and my father even created a staple switch used during pulling electrical wire.  Measure once and get busy when you utilize jigs.