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Scraping

I'll just put everything into one long, rambling post because I should also keep moving with work projects for the week.

So. After staying up late on Friday night, I dragged myself out of bed at 7 am Saturday morning to assemble some breakfast. Then I hitched a ride with another boater, A, down to the boathouse for our second work party day. The reason for the ride was to transport an extension ladder. I'd noticed the previous week that we were short on ladders. A and I are some of the youngest boaters at the facility. Funny how that goes. On climbing into his van, I noticed that A also has one of those awesome caribiner mugs, thereby indicating that he's a cool dude.

When I got to the boathouse, people were gearing up to start painting. There was rain in the forecast, so I had to figure the goal was to get as much done as possible before the rain. Work FAST. From what I gather, the architect-paddler who has been spearheading the boathouse renovations (JD) has a friend, C, who is a professional painter. It was C's pressure washing rig that we had used the previous week. This week, C was present with his painting rig as well. Shortly after I showed up, JD introduced me to C because I could work on priming all of the bare wood spots.

In the space of five minutes, C taught me all of the critical elements needed to do some good priming work. He handed me his really nice Purdy brush, showed me how to pick up paint and slap off the excess, and how to work it into the right spots, quick. He also showed me how to hold the paint can one-handed. He then also handed me a scraper so I could scrape any last-minute spots that were loose, reminded me that "This isn't the Taj Mahal," and set me to work. Ten minutes later, he came back to see how I was doing, and made it clear pretty quick that I should pick up the pace, so I did. Again, we needed to get the job done FAST.

I got through the first two walls pretty quickly, with the aid of a 12-year-old kid, who helped with the scraping to the best of his ability. Then we headed towards the east wall and realized we were up against a huge race that we weren't about to win. The prior week, we hadn't done any scraping on the east wall, and it was almost as badly weathered as the west wall, with paint flaking off all over the place. In addition, most of the bad weathering was up towards the top of the wall. I frantically recruited as many other ladders and people to scrape as I could. The trouble is that there's often a big range of skill levels and temperaments involved in work parties, so the extra help was of mixed benefit. So I spent a lot of time scrambling up and down ladders, alternating between frantically scraping and priming, and just barely got the east wall done before the painting rig reached it.

As we wrapped up the north wall (nothing too serious), the rain started to pick up. By the time I met up with the other scraping and priming team on the west wall, it was too rainy to keep painting. However, we managed to get everything well prepped, so it won't take a huge team of people to finish the rest of the painting.

After a quick lunch, I helped tamp down the fresh surface material put down around the boat-washing space with one of those heavy tampers. Then I helped to clean and organize the miscellaneous driftwood junk that accumulates in the corners, and then we called it a day. A was tired and ready to go after helping to nail in a bunch of sheets of plywood along the inside back wall of the boathouse. The plywood will help stabilize the building against shear forces. As with the painting, the head volunteer carpenter had determined that there were very few people present who were capable of wielding a hammer, so the job was done by just himself (despite terrible tendonitis) and A.

So then: home, shower, cricket work, quick grocery stop, and home again. Then I did laundry, assembled and filled a bookshelf, and put a bunch of boxes in the attic. It was a relief to go over to M&M's house for dinner, where I could just sit in a chair and not move.

I finally got to sleep in on Sunday morning. I NEEDED that sleep. After breakfast, I had my mostly-weekly Scrabble game with my friend S, and managed to win for the third time in a row! This is an unprecedented winning streak. Then scrottie and I had a quick lunch and loaded up the bike trailers to haul stuff over to his storage unit. Once that was squared away, we swung by the grocery store, then went back home to drop off groceries and pick up recyclables. Of course it was only after we got to the recycling center that we discovered they don't take tires or packing peanuts. But oh well. So then, home again, then over to the cheese shop for some feta, then work, then finally home again.

And at that point, we started to cook things. First muesli and bread dough, then a pina-colada bread pudding to use up miscellaneous old bread, then spanakopita to use beet greens plus some old filo dough from the freezer. It was 9 pm when we finished eating dinner and finally had a chance to call our mothers.

We were supposed to go to the boathouse this morning to do strength training, but didn't make it.

Comments

( 2 remarks — Remark )
sandokai
May. 9th, 2016 07:43 pm (UTC)
Was there any chance of lead-based paint? Because my house could use some paint work but that potential stresses me out.
rebeccmeister
May. 9th, 2016 08:04 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, definitely a chance of lead-based paint.

I've been considering the issue of lead-based paint for a while now, ever since acquiring wooden doors in Texas that probably contained lead-based paint, and which I wanted to strip all the way down to the bare wood but without poisoning myself.

Basically, if that's what you're up against, it's worth spending some time thinking about what's involved in both the various routes of exposure and safe removal. The main routes of exposure would be accidentally eating some paint chips, or inhaling some of it. If the paint is sanded, there are going to be microscopic airborne particles that can easily be inhaled. If it's heated with a heat gun and scraped/flaked, there's probably some fraction of the lead that also winds up being airborne, in addition to flake production. I had to figure that less lead would wind up airborne overall if I went the heating/scraping route. But even so, I wore a separate set of clothing and a face mask plus safety goggles, and I showered immediately after I finished working.

The really good face masks are fairly expensive but worth the money and have a set of replaceable filters that will keep everything out.

If I were working on an indoors space with lead paint, I would try to set things up to collect all of the paint chips onto a piece of plastic sheeting, which can then be taken to a hazardous waste collection site for disposal. Since I wasn't in charge of the boathouse painting, we weren't as organized as I would have liked for the sake of collecting up paint flakes. We collected up a lot of the larger pieces, but many of the smaller pieces wound up on the ground and will now contaminate the soil and potentially the nearby waterway. Ugh.

A lot of people just opt to paint over surfaces that may contain lead-based paint in order to seal it in, but you really have to consider the specifics of the situation. For the building we're working on, we've done the best we can to collect up as much of the paint flakes as we can, and stuff was flaking off in such large pieces we probably weren't at risk for much exposure via chipping it off. The guy with the belt sander is a different story, but then again it was a one-time project, so if he doesn't make a habit of sanding off lead-based paint he will probably be able to clear the lead from his system gradually over time without major consequences.
( 2 remarks — Remark )

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