Clean Up: old basement progress

I was able to get a few more hours working on the old basement today.

Honestly, I should probably be using those hours doing housework, but that’s depressing. šŸ˜€ Cleaning the basement may be really gross at times, but once it’s done, it’ll stay done for a very long time.

It’s a psychological thing. šŸ˜€

Today, I finally got to the water damaged shelf.

The containers at the bottom, with odds and ends in them, simply got moved to the other basement, to join the other stuff there we’ll need to sort through and figure out what to do with. That big plant pot will hopefully be big enough to transplant our umbrella tree into. I just have to find a drip tray for it, though the umbrella tree will likely spend the summer outside again, so I’ve got time for that.

Through the shelf, peaking from behind the chimney that used to be hooked up to the old wood burning furnace, is a really big baking pan. Too big to fit in the oven, so I don’t know why it’s here. I later cleaned it up and set it aside. I’ll be using it as a tray for when we start seeds indoors.

Dismantling the shelf was certainly interesting. Just look at the size of those nails! (In case you can’t make them out, they’re about 4 inches long, and those were what held the shelves to the sides.) For part of it, I ended up using a big flat head screwdriver to pry pieces apart. I had thought that some of the boards might be salvageable, but… nope. This will all go to the burn pile.

That shopping cart came in handy. šŸ˜€

Yay! It’s done!

That extension cord plugged into the outlet goes up through the floor, and into the master bedroom, along with a TV cable. There’s no longer a TV there, but the extension cord still comes in handy!

When we’re finally able to renovate, this chimney is what I want to have removed and replaced with a dumbwaiter. šŸ™‚ That will make it so much easier to move things from floor to floor!

With the space opened up, I though I might set up a table here. Some time ago, I’d noticed a sturdy looking wooden table top leaning against the wall just on the other side of the opening to the new part basement. No sign of any legs, though. While I was clearing things in the new basement, I found – along with the hand pump and other things I uncovered – a set of legs that looked like they might belong to this table top.

So I brought them over.

They were, of course, extremely dusty, so I gave all the pieces a good cleaning. This table is clearly home made. I’m thinking it may have been made by my late brother. He did have a wood lathe and could have turned those legs himself.

Unfortunately…

The holes the legs were meant to fit into had crud in them. Only one of them was clear. These two were the worst. I was able to scrape most of the glue and residue out with a utility knife, but that was it for now.

So the legs were definitely made for this table, and the ends would normally have fit into the openings. With all the crud in there, they wouldn’t go all the way in.

I decided to set it up, anyway, in a different area.

I lured my daughter away from some commission work to give me a hand in setting it up on bricks, to protect from any future flooding. (The water on the floor was from the still wet table top and legs.)

I just had to set up my mother’s “thou shalt not steal” sign. Too funny!

Once it was set up, I hammered the table top down, using a piece of scrap wood to protect the surface, to try and get those legs into the openings as much as possible. They barely moved! Which meant that this is a very, very wobbly table.

Just to be on the safe side, because I KNOW I’ll forget and lean on it or something, I made up a warning sign. šŸ˜€

After this, I was able to start working on the other side of the basement.

There isn’t a lot that has been added to the space, but it’s big stuff, so it’s filling up fast!

The remains of a wooden chair got pulled apart (the legs were already falling off!) and added to the shopping cart with the rotten shelf pieces. The garden hose we’d used to help clear the access pipe to the septic tank got rolled up into a 5 gallon bucket I’d found, so it’s all nice and neat and tucked away. In one of the pictures, you can see some hoses behind what looks like black pool noodles. Those are old aquarium hoses. I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to use them again, since I’ve not been able to find a source to replace a broken hose connector for the filter of our big aquarium. Still, just in case, I cleaned them up, then found another bucket I could roll them up into. I even found a lid to keep the dust off them.

Here is how it looks now. When shifting the broken hot water tank, to move out the box the new one came in, I discovered there was still water in it that had started to drain. So that got moved over the drain trough next to the old hot water tank we replaced shortly after moving here. The next time I work down here, it will be to dismantle at least that one tank, as it’s way too heavy to haul up the stairs as it is. The newer broken tank is pretty light, so it might be easier to take it outside as is. I still want to dismantle it. I would really love to see if I can tell why it broke after only about 2 years.

There is still stuff that needs to be sorted through, but that is for another time. Of course, there are always odd finds. There were so many buckets of various sizes, but only one had a lid on it. Given what I’ve been finding elsewhere, I feared it might have something else for the special disposal pile.

Nope. Just this.

No clue what these are for, but I assume they were cut to size and kept protected in the bucket for a reason, so I’m leaving them until I can ask my brother if he knows what they’re for. There were a few other little things that joined the collection of rotted wood in the shopping cart, and one thing that was definitely a keeper. The temporary grave marker used for my late brother until the memorial stone was installed a year later. It’s just a simple board cut into a cross at the top, with my brother’s name and dates engraved on a little brass plate. It’s got some moisture damage on it, but that’s likely from the year it spent outside than any damage here in the basement. My oldest brother made it, and I definitely don’t want to loose track of it.

I’m rather pleased with the progress made today.

Hhhmmm. I suddenly can’t remember if I turned one of the lights off. One last trip to the basement, and I’m done for the next while! šŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

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