Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Part 3 (End Spool)

So here we were, having run three 7-wire structured cables from the basement windows to the main cabinets. Things were working out. "This is going so well, I should run cable to the bedroom windows", I thought. "But is it enough cable?", I thought again.
"sure it is! Just look at that cable, there's like a billion feet!"

So we went for it.

Using precise measurements from our special measurement team we figured we could do at least two windows and maybe all three.

Because the wall with the windows was a load-bearing wall, we'd have to be extra sensitive to what might make the city inspector cranky. The bigger the windows, the bigger the load that has to be displaced around them. The top headers divert the compression forces down the sides of their supports instead of onto the window. This is good for the window, bad for guys drilling holes.

There was probably a good chance that the city inspector wouldn't have had a problem with us drilling through the top and we did have the cool auger bit, but either I was going to get my Project Manager in a little trouble (and get yelled at) or I was going to get him in big trouble when the framing failed inspection, get yelled at, pay a penalty, and then sent to Taiwan to be caned. I couldn't take that chance and so we drilled holes at an angle in the corners to run the cable from the side wall to the window wall. I know that sounds like a lot of fun. It's not.

After getting the cable to the window wall we routed it to the top of the side windows without much trouble, but the middle window had no place to route through. It was solid wood framed all around. It was either come up from the bottom through the cripples or drill through each of the supports on top and then down through the header.
This was going to make the middle window shade install challenging because the cable was going to end up at the bottom left corner and I’ll have to pull the cable up from the bottom and find a way to hide it along the side.

Window frame considerations aside, this pull back to the cabinet was a lot easier as it was just straight along the side of the house. We thought we might go along the same run as the other wiring but it seemed like too much trouble for these runs. In hindsight this might have saved enough cable to complete all three window pulls but this was somewhat impromptu anyway and we were “planning” on the fly.

So, back to the comment on high quality, sharp tools. I was drilling the hole for the right most shade and the drill got stuck. It wouldn't have if it were more powerful or if I had a better bit. As I reversed the motor to pull free it, it drove the drill (and my hand holding it) backwards. This is where an exposed nail jammed straight into my knuckle and I became more attached to my house than I thought I ever would be. After a moment of trying to wiggle free I realized the only option was to change the motor direction on the drill and drill forward so I could pull my hand free of the nail. Once I was free, my knuckle immediately swelled up and bled like a stuck knuckle. So I figured I’d smear blood along the studs remincent of an ancient marking ritual.

We had been working all day, I’d have to come back anyway to finish the third window, and I was bleeding. Sounded like time to go and we started the to pick up our supplies.

The best idea of the day was Barb’s when she realized that it was going to be a pain to be opening or closing shades on main window over the stairs to the basement. She suggested we run cable there so someday we could install an automated shade there.
Did I marry the right girl or what?

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