Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Back in Preuilly

I am now back in Preuilly for a week or two, continuing with the works on the house, seeing Marie-Hélène at the insurance office, chasing up devis and squeezing in a cup of coffee or two with people who read the blog and are in the area.

My first task (or, more accurately, the one that has been playing on my mind most) is the bathroom floor. After putting up the bearer last time we were here, I decided I wasn't totally confident in it. Although it didn't move, it felt like it could have done, and that isn't totally reassuring. I don't want to be spending the rest of my life waiting for the bathroom floor to collapse (although the eight year old me sees that as a perfect excuse not to shower). After doing some reseach on the internet I decided that bolting through the brick wall with suitable steel braces on the outside was a better idea.

I went to Bricomarche in Yzeures, and in addition to buying the bits for the bearer, I bought two more 4 metre lengths of baistang for the joists, together with saddles, angle pieces and plates for screwing it all together. The bolt, however, presented me with a dilemme: I needed a bolt (or threaded rod) at least 200mm long which meant my choices were limited, and I had to buy 225x16mm bolts. (As I type this, I have started to worry that 225mm is too long and am wondering how many washer and spacers is too many...)

I bought the wood home on the trailer uncut
As usual, I forgot to photograph it until it
was almost too late. Yes - it WAS tied down.
My problem was that I now had to drill 16mm holes through wood, brick and steel - not an easy job when all your drills have 10mm chucks. The solution (for the steel, anyway) was to drill a number of smaller holes then file them into one hole large enough to take the bolt. This took about 2 hours, but I am quite pleased with the results. The bolts pass through the holes without catching, and dont wriggle around, either.

The finished articles - Two 16mm holes
Now I have to drill the holes through the wood (easy enough, I have a 16mm bit) and brick (less easy, but I can mill away the brick until the hole is big enough), chip the render off the outside wall and then find a volunteer to stand up a ladder while I tighten the bolts from the inside.

This will have to wait until tomorrow, as this afternoon (Tuesday) I am taking my first trailer load of stuff to the dechetterie.



Barbara said...

Hi Simon,

Bon courage !
I don't know "diddly" about my nuts,bolts & others, but you sound like a resourceful man.But, can't do it alone; good for the help from your friends/neighbors.

NickL said...

Remind me...which room is under the bathroom? I thought I might try and remember in case we visit.....

Seriously though it sounds like a case of mind and perseverance over the general inadequacies of readilly available DIY supplies. Why don't they supply 16mm drills with a cut doun shank for a 10mm chuck? I know I've used them in the past. If only I could remember where I've put them/who I lent them to.....

Anway its good to hear you are re-enforcing the bathroom floor - its important not to underestimate the weight of your bath! I hope you're using stainless straps, etc.

Keep up the good work.

wcs said...

Can you saw the bolt to the proper length without destroying it?

Simon said...

Nick. life is a lottery....

Walt. I was worrying unnecessarily - but only just

Barbara. I did it on my own. Apparently I am clever!!

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