Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 49: Groovin' With the Drywall Crew

The guys hanging the drywall (aka sheet rock, gypsum board, gyp board, wall board, etc.) are like a breath of fresh air around here. Yesterday there were 4 in their crew, and today there were 5.

They show up early, work hard, and get an amazing amount of work done in a day's time.  They split up into teams of 2 or 3, with one (or two) measuring and fitting the cut pieces into place (often up on a ladder or scaffold), while the other one is down on the floor, cutting the pieces to fit.

They are constantly (very loudly) calling dimensions out to one other, often with the recipient way across the room or across the house.  To ensure accuracy, the cutting guy calls the dimension back to the measurer (also very loudly.)  So there is this constant shouting of numbers going on (but you really have to think of it as calling or hollering, and it almost has a musical quality to it.  It really isn't shouting.)

Add to that the (attempted) gospel stylings of one of them, intermittently breaking out in between the dimension calling.  Today it was predominantly "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" intermixed with "I'll Fly Away".

If that weren't enough, a whole mock-suicide drama played out (very humorously) while these two were up on their benches on top of the very high scaffold:

They are clearly expert workers who love what they do.  Three of them are brothers, and one of the other two is marrying their sister.  As we talked about what a good job they were doing, Bob the Builder remarked to Farmer Jo and I, "They've been hanging my drywall for 20 years."

Did you see the guys in the pictures?  Did they look like they've been hanging drywall for Bob since the moment they came out of the womb? I mean, sure, they were ultra-experienced and really, really good at it, but I sensed a slight exaggeration.

"Bob, those guys are 20 years old!"

"Oh, I mean their daddy's been hanging my drywall for 20 years.  Now they do it." One of them later told me that he started working with his dad when he was 12.  That scenario made more sense to me.

By the time they left, here's how things looked:

After they left, as I was wandering through and inspecting, I had another Quality Control moment.  Can you see what's wrong with this picture?

There is a massive ripple in that wall.  Not good.  I don't fault the drywall peopleguys for that one.  The stud behind the drywall is out of place, and it's throwing the drywall off.  There are one or two studs in there that need to be replaced, in order for the sheet rock to lay flat.  I will bring it to Bob the Builder's attention in the morning and I'm confident that he'll make it right.

That would be enough for a fully satisfying day, but it's not the end. After they all cleared out at around 3:30, I went into my welding shop and put together the pieces for my steel railing mock-up.  You didn't think I was going to leave that mezzanine wide open, did you?  I've been working on my railing design, and it's almost ready to be presented to my clients, in situ.

Here it is, clamped to my work table:

I am working with a big steel supplier from Chattanooga for the tapered uprights, and am close to finalizing the order.  I will show this to Mr. & Ms. Client tomorrow, in place on the mezzanine beam, after the drywall crew finishes up there.

Getting things going in the welding studio has really jumpstarted my momentum, and those bothersome old doldrums are officially banished.  I expect I will be a welding maniac for the next several days, and promise to keep you fully updated!

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