Work on the house has reached a temporary standstill. I have the parts I need to weld together, but my neighbors’ welders are only available on their schedule & a limited time basis. The solution is obviously to buy my own welder. A Lincoln-Electric stick welder is easily bought ($300) + helmet ($100) + misc accessories ($150).
Problem is that I don’t have the 220v outlet or the RV pedestal that I have been trying to get my electrician to install for months. All on his schedule & I seem to be at the bottom of the list.
The plumbing is coming up short as well. Backhoe dug the main ditch, but I still need a certified plumber to connect the sewer line & connect the water taps. The ditch will likely end up going all around the house & connect on both ends to the two existing taps. Plumbers are asking $5,000 for the whole project: 1/2 up front & 1/2 on completion. When I ask about portions & segments of the project, they still want large minimums. Their simple question is: “When do u get your mortgage money?”
If that’s not the worst part, day job is yanking me around & jobs are slower & farther between: smaller paychecks. We aren’t starving, but it’s not enough to seriously move forward. New job? Has potential problems w other personal issues. Grass may look greener but isn’t.
Bought a used pickup truck ($500). Transmission went out on it 3 days later! It’s sitting at work & has potential for use as a locker for work stuff. Instead of big V8 van, I can get a motorcycle to run back & forth to work (60 miles one-way) & save a bunch of money on gas.
Van has issues but hopefully the bike will get me through & let the van rest until I can find a replacement for it, either another big van or a small bus.
The cheapest decent bike I can find is $1500, but a newer bike that I found locally is $3600. Credit union in Kermit is willing to work w me on loan for $3600 bike & help rebuild my non-existent credit. A reasonable $800 down & <$250/mo for 12 months. Awesome. W a current fuel bill of $125/wk in my van that's chump change. New job might affect the loan approval also. 1 year on the job counts for something.
Two weeks ago, I purchased the 2″ square tubing that I needed to make the window & door frames. I bought the chop saw a few weeks ago & finally opened the box to cut the numerous 45* angles & shorten the 20′ lengths of tubing to fit in the van for the ride home.
Last week, I talked again w my neighbor on the next street about using his 110 welder, but he was skeptical that it’s low power would successfully weld the tubing. Instead, we asked his neighbor next door who graciously loaned us his full-size full-powered unit complete w rods & truck.
Time was getting late by the time it was ready to use, but we got one door frame successfully assembled. The next day, we spent nearly 5 hours assembling the window frame.
Billy (my neighbor) was doing most of the welding, but he’s an older guy & was getting quite tired after only half the frame was together. I offered to finish the work & did the other 2 corners myself. My angle cuts weren’t perfect so we had to do some fill in (old nails) & other work arounds. All-in-all it didn’t turn out too badly. I laid a decent line, possibly better than Billy.
However, what did turn out badly were my original torch cuts. The frames aren’t the right size for the openings. The door frame will need to be cut shorter, so that’s no big deal. The door we planned to install is quite a bit smaller than the frame, so we might end up adding onto the current door to make it large enough to fit or making our own custom doors. Could be fun. The window frame is larger than the opening, but the window frame does fit the window w ~1″ of ‘slop’. Close enough to install it.
2 more windows and another door to go!