The Rail 16 Explanation Aug 13, 2006 20:36:21 GMT -5
Post by Michael on Aug 13, 2006 20:36:21 GMT -5
Placed in our Archives by Admin For Kevkon
[Originally created on 8-7-06]
Hauptmann is working away on his ladder and in the course of nailing damages rail 16 beyond repair ( what exactly would constitute beyond repair anyway?). Now it is a Sunday and the yards are closed, but he needs to have this ladder nailed up and done. So he looks around his garage for a replacement. None to be found. He thinks a bit and remembers that t&g floor up in the attic. Grabbing a saw, hammer, and perhaps a pry bar he climbs up to his apartment . There he proceeds to empty out the linen closet so as to gain access to the attic scuttle door. Climbing up and into the attic he surveys the floor and decides to cut a section on the starter course. After carefully prying up the board and removing the cut nails, he gathers up his tools along with his prize board and proceeds down the hatch. This may take several trips as he has to contend with the board and the tools while climbing the shelves and closing the scuttle hatch. Now back down to the garage where some hand ripping and planing are in store.
Does this sound reasonable to anyone out there?
Hauptmann is busy working on the ladder in the attic. Here he has set up a cozy little work area out of everyone's sight. Not bad, although all those trips up and down that damn scuttle hatch are getting tiresome. First the wood, then the tools, then the workbench and clamps to mortise on. And every trip timed to avoid prying eyes. Nailing away happily he inadvertently destroys rail 16, beyond repair, again I am afraid. Tired from all of that climbing he surveys the scene about him and presto! There is an attic board that would be just fine. He quickly gets to work removing it, brings it to his improvised bench when he suddenly realizes that his rip saw is in the garage. Dumbkopf ! Down he goes and back he comes with his trusty saw at his side. Now to rip this sucker. Oh oh no saw horses to rip it on.
Well, better to just take the board down to the garage, put it on some horses, rip it, and bring it back up to the attic. After finishing the ladder he takes a break and suddenly a thought creeps into his now weary head. I vonder if dat ladder will fit down dat damn closet.
Does this sound reasonable?
BRH has designed his ladder and compiled a metal "laundry" list. He does not want to leave an association between himself and the finish product so purchasing all the material at one place is out. He carefully picks up boards from a variety of sources without having to actually purchase any. In his landlord's basement he finds a number of pieces of "scrap" and leftover lumber. One piece, a section of 1x6 tg flooring, though not his first choice due to it's width is taken and , perhaps, some pieces of Ponderosa Pine. Now what he doesn't know is that this particular board is actually a part of his own attic floor. Removed awhile back, probably as a result of the needs of the electrician so as to be able to drill down thru the top wall plate and feed wire. Well ignorance is bliss and BRH goes to work on his ladder. In the course of laying and cutting out the mortises he uses one rail board as a story pole or template. Somewhere in this process or in the nail-up he makes an error and has a compromised rail. No problem, remembering that 1x6 he retrieves it, rips it down and he has his rail.
Does that sound reasonable?
I thought I might add this regarding option 3 since it is bound to come up. Regarding the reason for the removal of such a large piece. I make the proposition that it was due to the need of the electricians to gain access to the wall lying directly below that board. It has been my experience that electricians and other mechanical subs often remove material than is warranted by the actual need. It is one of those situations where it simply makes their job easier. Also remember that in those days BX metallic cable was commonly used. That is not as easy to feed and bend, so ample working space is desirable.
Another observation, when I examined s-226 and rail 16 it was evident that no shadowing was present on the rail while faint lines could be seen on s-226. That is odd as typically a floor board nailed in place for a period of time will clearly show the outline of the joists it was nailed to and rail 16 should have had them. That is especially true for an attic with no insulation as the airborne dust and soot particles usually are present and darken the exposed underside of the board except where the joists shield it. Of course rail 16 was handled and exposed, but still I would expect to see some remnants of the joist locations on it.
Can we prove any of these options occurred? Probably not. But all things being considered equally it seems more probable to me that Hauptmann used the attic flooring for rail 16 simply because it was readily available and he was unaware of it's origin. I have a similar attic in my house and honestly I go up there only about once a year. When I do I usually am surprised at what is up there. It is simply an out of sight , out of mind situation. It would be the last place I would think of going for a board if I was in the middle of a project and desperately needed another stick. Couple that with the odd combination of wood found in the ladder and it tells me Hauptmann was scavenging for all of the wood, as he could have simply purchased all of these common pieces from a yard.