Constructing a Soffit

18 07 2011

I’m back!  After a long gap in posts, I finally am taking the time to write about my adventures.  The absence has certainly not been a result of a lack of action on my part.  On the contrary.  I have actually been quite busy with my house projects over the past few months and I have used my time for work while neglecting my publishing.  But no more!  I have a lot to write about and I will start with a wonderful adventure I recently completed: constructing a soffit.

For those of you who know me well, you know that I have a strong interest in the Civil War.  So I can equate pretty much anything to something related to that period in US History.  Prepare yourself for a history lesson!  The town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, sat on the Mississippi river and was a key point in controlling trade and traffic on the Mississippi.  The Federal Army made capturing Vicksburg a major objective in the war, knowing that taking Vicksburg would essentially cut the Confederacy in two and cut off any and all trade to the South from the great River.  Gen. Grant was tasked with the mission of taking this town.  Ultimately, Grant tried 8 different plans for getting his army in striking distance of Vicksburg, the first 7 attempts failing miserably.  But alas, his 8th attempt got him to the gates of Vicksburg, and a long siege took place that ultimately ended with the Confederate army in the town surrendering on July 4, 1863.

So goes my soffit.

As you may recall, we framed the basement walls in February.  The basement has some duct work that hangs below the ceiling joists, and in order to drywall, needs to be framed in as well.  I made several attempts at this and it took about 3 months from initial thought to final completion.

My first attempt consisted of building small ladder frames out of 2x3s, and then mounting these to the ceiling on either side of the ducts.  I got two frames built, and when I put them up, they were no where close to being straight.  The boards themselves (2×3 studs) were warped, and clearly not intended for a structure such as this.  Back to the drawing board.

From the advice of my electrician, I went to Menards and got 12′, pre-fabricated I-joists.  These seemed much easier.  They are already constructed, and all I have to do is put them up.  Well, I measured a straight chalk line using the duct work as my mark (this turned out to be a mistake).  I fastened some of the joists up to the ceiling on either side of the duct work and started connecting the underside with 28″ 2×3 sections.  Much to my frustration, from the middle of the first section to the end, the gap between the two joists was a full inch off.  As it were, using the duct work as my guide was a bad idea, because it wasn’t straight.  I remeasured using the outside wall as my guide this time and made a much straighter line.  I moved the joists and started again.  Once I got everything up, I was able to slowly add the bottom cross pieces and finish the job.

Wow, I built this all by myself!

With this completed, I move closer and closer to being able to drywall and being able to start using the basement for entertainment.

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One response

10 08 2014
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What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious experience regarding unpredicted emotions.

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