What Is It? Non-Tool Version

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DerbyDad03

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Aug 19, 2021, 10:52:39 PMAug 19
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This object was screwed to the ceiling of a closet in a 1935 built
house. Is it nothing more than an old-fashioned coat or hat hook
that would normally be screwed to a wall, perhaps used for some
other purpose by the previous owners? (light hanger?)

The whole thing...

https://i.imgur.com/2wrGVF4.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/U8tQw39.jpg

The 2 parts, plus the threaded connector that goes in the larger
hole to hold the "hook" piece on. The smaller hole is not used for
anything...

https://i.imgur.com/IdSoXQc.jpg

The back of the "base" with the threaded connector holding the
"hook" piece on...

https://i.imgur.com/Rz0b1iK.jpg

Just a coat hook or something more interesting?





Markem618

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Aug 19, 2021, 11:16:26 PMAug 19
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Wild guess, a candle sconce?

Bill

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Aug 19, 2021, 11:22:29 PMAug 19
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That is/was my guess too! :)

J. Clarke

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Aug 19, 2021, 11:39:47 PMAug 19
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If it doesn't have anything that looks like a candle holder, it could
be a smoke bell for an oil or gas lamp. They typically would be above
the lamp for the purpose of preventing the rising hot combustion
products from scorching the ceiling.

hub...@ccanoemail.ca

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Aug 20, 2021, 9:56:13 AMAug 20
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On Thu, 19 Aug 2021 19:52:36 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
<teama...@eznet.net> wrote:

We can't see what the inside of the "bell" looks like ?
Just a wild-ass-guess - an electric wire feeds through the extra
hole - supplying a lightbulb fixture that is perhaps
clipped-into the "bell" ? or for wall-mount - hanging down
from the loop ?
John T.

hub...@ccanoemail.ca

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Aug 20, 2021, 10:35:58 AMAug 20
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On Thu, 19 Aug 2021 19:52:36 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
<teama...@eznet.net> wrote:

This idea : ?

https://imgur.com/a/YFigS4A

John T.

Markem618

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Aug 20, 2021, 10:36:29 AMAug 20
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I based my guess upon what the pictures show.

Joe Gwinn

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Aug 20, 2021, 11:05:46 AMAug 20
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On Thu, 19 Aug 2021 19:52:36 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
<teama...@eznet.net> wrote:

To me, it looks like the sconce to hold a wall-mounted hanging light
up. The loop would be down, and there would be a chain connecting the
sconce to a hanging base for a light bulb. Chain and base are
missing. There seems to be a path for the wires through the pictured
fixture. The wires would emerge from the base of the loop, and
proceed down the chain, woven into the chain.

Joe Gwinn

hub...@ccanoemail.ca

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Aug 20, 2021, 12:16:11 PMAug 20
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On Thu, 19 Aug 2021 19:52:36 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
<teama...@eznet.net> wrote:

Here's a wall fixture that has the light socket & switch
hanging down :

https://tinyurl.com/ja7yusu6

John T.

Clare Snyder

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Aug 20, 2021, 5:43:48 PMAug 20
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My thought exactly

Michael Trew

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Aug 20, 2021, 5:54:51 PMAug 20
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Yes, I thought a light fixture right away. Does the closet have another
light in it? No kind of wires mounted under or near the thing?

DerbyDad03

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Aug 20, 2021, 7:40:25 PMAug 20
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That's it. I had my daughter take a look at the "hook" portion and she
said that there definitely room for a wire to come through the hole
in the "base" and come up through the hole where the little loop is
at the end of the hook.

When I was at the house yesterday, she told me that she'd like a light
in that closet. That object was screwed to the ceiling right in the middle
of the closet. I took it down to see if there were wires behind it, but there
wasn't. Even though I now know that it could have been used as a lamp
holder, it certainly wasn't used for that in that closet, unless they were
hanging something like a battery powered lantern from it. A kind of "old
meets new" thing. ;-)

https://i.imgur.com/xeLoBVK.jpg

Anyway, I now have to figure out how to get power into that closet so
I can put in a proper fixture. Old houses can be so much fun!

Thanks to all for the answers.

hub...@ccanoemail.ca

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Aug 20, 2021, 8:15:06 PMAug 20
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On Fri, 20 Aug 2021 16:40:23 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Depending on the age - original or olden-days reno - ?
- for a closet - it was probably a pull-chain fixture ..
It looks like a wall-sconce fixture - pehaps re-used
for the closet ?
John T.

DerbyDad03

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Aug 20, 2021, 9:44:22 PMAug 20
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At the present time, there is no power in the closet. This
device was screwed to wooden ceiling with no hole under
(above?) it. I doubt it was ever as an electric fixture in the
closet, unless the "power" was covered up by the bead
board. But why hang it from the ceiling? I can only see
it being used as a hook for something, like, as I said earlier,
perhaps a battery powered lantern.

Knowing what I know from already doing a bunch of repairs
on this house, the previous owner didn't know how to spell
DIY and wasn't paying anyone to fix simple things, so hanging
a battery powered lantern from the hook would fit right in.

Michael Trew

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Aug 21, 2021, 9:58:12 AMAug 21
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On 8/20/2021 7:40 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
> On Friday, August 20, 2021 at 12:16:11 PM UTC-4, hub...@ccanoemail.ca wrote:
>> On Thu, 19 Aug 2021 19:52:36 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
>> <teama...@eznet.net> wrote:
>>> This object was screwed to the ceiling of a closet in a 1935 built
>>> house. Is it nothing more than an old-fashioned coat or hat hook
>>> that would normally be screwed to a wall, perhaps used for some
>>> other purpose by the previous owners? (light hanger?)
>>>
>>> The whole thing...
>>>
>>> https://i.imgur.com/2wrGVF4.jpg
>>>
>>> https://i.imgur.com/U8tQw39.jpg
>>>
>>> The 2 parts, plus the threaded connector that goes in the larger
>>> hole to hold the "hook" piece on. The smaller hole is not used for
>>> anything...
>>>
>>> https://i.imgur.com/IdSoXQc.jpg
>>>
>>> The back of the "base" with the threaded connector holding the
>>> "hook" piece on...
>>>
>>> https://i.imgur.com/Rz0b1iK.jpg
>>>
>>> Just a coat hook or something more interesting?
>>>
>>>
>> Here's a wall fixture that has the light socket& switch
>> hanging down :
>>
>> https://tinyurl.com/ja7yusu6
>>
>> John T.
>
> That's it. I had my daughter take a look at the "hook" portion and she
> said that there definitely room for a wire to come through the hole
> in the "base" and come up through the hole where the little loop is
> at the end of the hook.
>
> When I was at the house yesterday, she told me that she'd like a light
> in that closet. That object was screwed to the ceiling right in the middle
> of the closet. I took it down to see if there were wires behind it, but there
> wasn't. Even though I now know that it could have been used as a lamp
> holder, it certainly wasn't used for that in that closet, unless they were
> hanging something like a battery powered lantern from it. A kind of "old
> meets new" thing. ;-)
>
> https://i.imgur.com/xeLoBVK.jpg
>
> Anyway, I now have to figure out how to get power into that closet so
> I can put in a proper fixture. Old houses can be so much fun!
>
> Thanks to all for the answers.

You should wire the old fixture in, it's pretty darn cool!!

DerbyDad03

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Aug 21, 2021, 10:19:41 AMAug 21
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Except for the fact the actual lamp portion is not around.

If it was, I would have known what the object was and wouldn't
have started this thread. ;-)

k...@notreal.com

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Aug 21, 2021, 12:06:38 PMAug 21
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On Sat, 21 Aug 2021 07:19:39 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Perhaps you can put modern guts inside the old fixture.

hub...@ccanoemail.ca

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Aug 21, 2021, 12:37:05 PMAug 21
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>>> >
>>> > Anyway, I now have to figure out how to get power into that closet so
>>> > I can put in a proper fixture. Old houses can be so much fun!
>>> >

If running the wiring becomes just too much fun -
there's always battery-powered LED - as a last resort.
They aren't my fav due to reliability issues - but might be
OK for a closet <?>
John T.

Dave in SoTex

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Aug 21, 2021, 2:52:05 PMAug 21
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Is there attic above it? Is the structure old enough to ever have
had knob and tube wiring? Any evidence of such?

Dave in SoTex

Michael Trew

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Aug 21, 2021, 7:14:57 PMAug 21
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Ah, yes. It would would be cool to wire and hang some kind of modern
fixture from it, however. :) At the least, don't throw it out! I'll
pay you shipping to mail it to me ;)

DerbyDad03

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Aug 21, 2021, 7:58:42 PMAug 21
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That's what she has now. She's tried a number of styles
from the round pucks to the "lighted switches". They are
all useless for this closet. Besides, most of those devices
especially the cheap ones, really eat batteries.

https://i.imgur.com/0SDz8PI.jpg

Even though it's off the dining room, at the back of the house,
it's the only closet on the first floor. The inside of the closet is
the same color as all the woodwork. The dark walls and ceiling
just suck up the light, plus the closet is about 8 feet deep. She
really needs an overhead light.

I'll figure out the wiring, but it'll be a PITA.

DerbyDad03

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Aug 21, 2021, 8:01:32 PMAug 21
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What "old fixture"? It's really just a hook at this point. The
"hanging fixture" portion of the device is missing.

Sure, maybe I could use the oval base and make a light out
of it, but that seems like more work than worth it.

DerbyDad03

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Aug 21, 2021, 8:19:24 PMAug 21
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No attic above it, no basement below it. It's over a outside
crawl space, sort of hanging off the back of the house. It
runs alongside what we believe used to be an enclosed
porch. That was converted into a pantry and half bath
long before my daughter bought the house.

I posted about that half bath last November. It's also above
the crawl space and the area where the pipes to the sink
run is essentially outside. The previous owner said that he
turned off the water to the sink in the winter to prevent
freezing.

Right after my daughter moved in I installed a recirculating
pump under the vanity bottom to bring hot water into the
pipes to keep them from freezing. No need to shut the
water off for 5 months.

https://i.imgur.com/8EZ1FCA.jpg

ads

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Aug 21, 2021, 9:02:58 PMAug 21
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On Sat, 21 Aug 2021 16:58:40 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
<teama...@eznet.net> wrote:

>
>That's what she has now. She's tried a number of styles
>from the round pucks to the "lighted switches". They are
>all useless for this closet. Besides, most of those devices
>especially the cheap ones, really eat batteries.
>
>https://i.imgur.com/0SDz8PI.jpg
>
>Even though it's off the dining room, at the back of the house,
>it's the only closet on the first floor. The inside of the closet is
>the same color as all the woodwork. The dark walls and ceiling
>just suck up the light, plus the closet is about 8 feet deep. She
>really needs an overhead light.
>
>I'll figure out the wiring, but it'll be a PITA.


8 feet sounds like a good place for LED strips. Under $20 for 5
meters (16+ feet) of white LEDs and a 12 volt wall wart which can be
plugged in wherever there's an outlet and then it's low voltage wiring
to the LED strip through whatever type switch you choose - even a
door-operated switch.
The yard equipment - riding mower, walk-behind mower, backpack blower,
leaf chipper, etc are in an 8 x 16 shed out back which has solar power
for the 16 feet of LED strip lighting out there. That much light in
an 8 foot closet would be a good choice.

Markem618

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Aug 21, 2021, 9:37:38 PMAug 21
to
A surface mount channel could be a solution.

Be nice if there was a device that took the 60hz EMF and charged
wireless lights. Big Tesla coil being impracticle.

Michael Trew

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Aug 21, 2021, 10:23:54 PMAug 21
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What a beautiful old house! I love the simple stained woodwork. So
many houses around here have layers and layers of eggshell paint dating
back to the mid century or earlier in Victorian homes. I'd say her's is
an early turn of the century Craftsman, maybe the late teens, from the
bit that I've seen?

DerbyDad03

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Aug 21, 2021, 11:20:59 PMAug 21
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LED strips? You mean like this? ;-)

https://i.imgur.com/Z4MWE5E.jpg

(The switch is mounted in a handy box now)

I still need to get power to the closet for the wall wart. A receptacle
at standard height would be certainly be easier to wire than trying
to pull wires inside the wall to a switch and then up to the ceiling.
Patching drywall is easy, patching brown bead board, not so much.

I could do it all with surface mount races, but so far I haven't
found any brown ones.

DerbyDad03

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Aug 22, 2021, 12:09:58 AMAug 22
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Pretty sure I've said 1935 more than once in this thread. ;-)

If you liked the woodwork in the dining room, you'll love the stairway.
The second photo zooms in on the recessed panels. That's what you
see when you walk in the front door.

Pardon the mess, this was taken on the day we moved her in.

https://i.imgur.com/5hJ3rvV.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/XPy5yjf.jpg

Michael Trew

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Aug 22, 2021, 12:47:07 PMAug 22
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Sorry, I missed that. Very nice!

I'm very slowly flipping a circa 1930 house, and the stairway and
banister look similar to that. It even once had a light on top of the
Newell post. The switch and wiring holes are still there, but the
fixture is long gone. It would be far too much work to strip all of the
painted trim in the house (all of the trim), but someone stripped the
staircase and banister before I bought it. Bare wood, with tiny bits of
paint evidence in some corners. I thank them, whoever they are, as it
will look very nice after I stain it!

J. Clarke

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Aug 22, 2021, 3:19:18 PMAug 22
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My house is newer--I'm slowly working on improving the trim to
something approximating that.

DerbyDad03

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Aug 22, 2021, 3:25:56 PMAug 22
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Sounds like fun...sort of. ;-)

What I find interesting is walking into a house that someone - often
times a family - lived in for a decade or even decades and saying "Why
did they put up with this for so long? Simple things, like what I found
in both my house and my daughter's (the one in this thread).

Example 1 -

Somewhere near the top of the basement stairs will be a light switch
that turns on a single light in the basement. Once downstairs, you have
to pull 3, 4 or more strings to turn on the rest of the lights. You're all
done in the basement? Pull all those strings again on the way out.

One of the first things I did in both my house and my daughter's was
connect all the fixtures so that the one switch turns them all on at
once. I actually replaced the old pull chain fixtures, but the "connection"
part was the key. Could have been done with the old fixtures *decades*
ago. All it takes is some Romex and a screwdriver.

Example 2 -

The house I live in has a sloped lot. The back of the first floor is almost
a full story above the back yard. When SWMBO and I were looking at the
house (35 years ago), one of the first things I noticed was that to get
to the back yard you either had to go out the front door and then down
around the house or go down the basement steps - to the front of the house -
and then make a U turn and go through the basement to the back door.
Thing is, there was 2 side-by-side double hung windows in the family room
that overlooked the back yard. The hole for a sliding door was already
there, all that was needed was a deck and a set of stairs. While SWMBO
and I were standing at the window I whispered to her "This place needs
a deck."

A family of 6 lived in the house for the previous 30 years, probably making
that U-turn trip to the yard and back tens of thousands of times. I built the
deck and put the door in within the first 2 months. 35 years of easy access
to the yard.

I could list so many "convenience upgrades" that I did in the first couple of
years. Not huge renovations, just things that made everyday life easier. We're
doing the same kind of things at my daughter's house now. Still makes me
wonder why they weren't done sooner.

DerbyDad03

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Aug 22, 2021, 3:43:17 PMAug 22
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At some point, someone opened up of the first floor of my daughter's house
by opening the walls between the dining room and the living room and kitchen.
This is the view from the kitchen:

https://i.imgur.com/vbzcnXI.jpg

We're OK with the white trim in the kitchen and over the peninsula, but are
planning to redo the trim between the living room and dining room. I assume
that whoever opened up the space was either too lazy or too cheap to try
and match the rest of the original trim. It's oak. I'm sure we can match the
stain even if we have to mix our own.

ads

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Aug 22, 2021, 6:54:49 PMAug 22
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On Sat, 21 Aug 2021 20:20:57 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Exactly. 16 feet gives you two 8 foot lengths either aimed down or
mounted at 45 degrees and providing down and across lighting to better
see texture.

Warm white LEDs may be more pleasing to the eye if somewhat less
bright than the cool white. After multiple eye surgeries (cataracts,
partial cornea transplants, now 20/25 and 20/30 and readers for
anything closer than the end of my arm), I tend to look for the least
annoying lighting for any purpose.

I found some brown Wiremold at Lowes or HD a few years ago - haven't
looked recently. More likely an online item than something at the
store.

ads

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Aug 22, 2021, 7:09:11 PMAug 22
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Beautiful when you can keep it original!

Our house is 19070's and originally had stained stairs but the second
owner had an "interior decorator" in the family - one I'd rate below
the level of some of the stupid things done on the TV "makeovers" and
EVERYTHING on the stairs (and much of the rest of the woodwork) was
painted white - even the beige switch and outlet covers (and some of
the outkets) in most of the house.
They painted the paneling in the family room but there's a fireplace
in there which has seen some BIG fires from the smoke evidence on the
brickwork and they did NOT clean the walls before they painted - you
could rub the paint off with your finger :-( That's been remedied -
lots of sanding and vacuuming - and the room no longer has the fake
beams but does have the type of crown molding it should have had
originally - my first attempt at crown molding and I have a real
appreciation for those who can do it quickly ;-)

DerbyDad03

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Aug 22, 2021, 7:28:50 PMAug 22
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Yes, I find the plastic Wiremold in brown, like this stuff, but I don't think
it can be used with 120 VAC. If I do decide to go with a wall wart and
LED's then it'll be fine.

https://www.amazon.com/Channel-Grain-Cable-Organizer-SimpleCord/dp/B07GJKY6FJ

As far as lighting, I know just what you mean. As I age, harsh light is really
beginning to bother me. I'm sure that there is cataract surgery in my future.

I'm a big fan of dimmers. I have them just about every room.

When we go camping, I run a couple of strings of LED's in the "trusses"
of my pop-up canopy. I have a dimmer for them too. :-)

k...@notreal.com

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Aug 22, 2021, 9:21:00 PMAug 22
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On Sun, 22 Aug 2021 16:28:48 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
That'll work for an extension cord but not permanent wiring.
"Permanent" is a funny word, though.
>
>As far as lighting, I know just what you mean. As I age, harsh light is really
>beginning to bother me. I'm sure that there is cataract surgery in my future.
>
OTOH, I'm a big fan of bright-white light. The fluorescents in my
shop are 6500K. I can see far better with lots of high-temperature
lighting. I'm expanding into a couple of other rooms and can't find
reasonably priced daylight LED fixtures. All I could find are 4500K.
I'm going to need a lot of them.

I have cataract surgery in my future, too. So my optometrist tells
me. If we live long enough, we probably all will. I'm not worried
about cataracts at all. OTOH, the glaucoma thing worries me a bit.

>I'm a big fan of dimmers. I have them just about every room.

We have dimmers on our big fans, too. We have some dimmers but rarely
use them. Rather, most rooms have multiple lamps. We do have dimmers
in the kitchen, where they're next to useless.
>
>When we go camping, I run a couple of strings of LED's in the "trusses"
>of my pop-up canopy. I have a dimmer for them too. :-)

That makes sense but I wouldn't have enough light to read by in the
first place. ;-)

k...@notreal.com

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Aug 22, 2021, 9:35:12 PMAug 22
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I have both, now. A switch at the bottom of the stairs (3-way on the
stairs) that turn on a fixture en every "room". I'm adding enough
lighting to make the space useful for something other than collecting
junk. Each room is separately switched (a couple of banks for each
room).
>
>One of the first things I did in both my house and my daughter's was
>connect all the fixtures so that the one switch turns them all on at
>once. I actually replaced the old pull chain fixtures, but the "connection"
>part was the key. Could have been done with the old fixtures *decades*
>ago. All it takes is some Romex and a screwdriver.
>
>Example 2 -
>
>The house I live in has a sloped lot. The back of the first floor is almost
>a full story above the back yard. When SWMBO and I were looking at the
>house (35 years ago), one of the first things I noticed was that to get
>to the back yard you either had to go out the front door and then down
>around the house or go down the basement steps - to the front of the house -
>and then make a U turn and go through the basement to the back door.
>Thing is, there was 2 side-by-side double hung windows in the family room
>that overlooked the back yard. The hole for a sliding door was already
>there, all that was needed was a deck and a set of stairs. While SWMBO
>and I were standing at the window I whispered to her "This place needs
>a deck."

That's essentially what we have, though the stairs are in the middle
of the house, off the kitchen. There is a deck but no ground access.
I'm not sure how to put it in without expanding the deck a lot. I
don't want to mess up access to the basement, either.

>A family of 6 lived in the house for the previous 30 years, probably making
>that U-turn trip to the yard and back tens of thousands of times. I built the
>deck and put the door in within the first 2 months. 35 years of easy access
>to the yard.
>
>I could list so many "convenience upgrades" that I did in the first couple of
>years. Not huge renovations, just things that made everyday life easier. We're
>doing the same kind of things at my daughter's house now. Still makes me
>wonder why they weren't done sooner.

Decks aren't exactly trivial upgrades. Have you checked on the price
of lumber recently? ;-)

J. Clarke

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Aug 22, 2021, 10:04:23 PMAug 22
to
Searching the wiremold site on "brown" doesn't get a lot of hits.
"White" and "ivory" do so the search is working.

I think you're going to have to just get white and a rattle can of
brown.

J. Clarke

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Aug 22, 2021, 10:09:18 PMAug 22
to
Gawd, I _hate_ when they do that. Any way you cut it, painted wall
plates look tacky.

DerbyDad03

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Aug 22, 2021, 11:41:34 PMAug 22
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That's what I was thinking too.

DerbyDad03

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Aug 22, 2021, 11:41:49 PMAug 22
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DerbyDad03

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Aug 22, 2021, 11:59:45 PMAug 22
to
On Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 9:35:12 PM UTC-4, k...@notreal.com wrote:
This was back in the mid 80's so lumber costs weren't an issue. I sort of knew the
previous owner...he was a high level manager at the company I worked for. He could
easily have afforded a deck. He had 4 kids, I eventually had 4 kids. My kids spent a
lot of time on the deck and in the backyard. Our house somehow ended up as the
hub of the neighborhood. There was always kids over. It took a long time for the
kickball field that was worn in the lawn to finally fade away. ;-)

That deck and door were my first foray into serious "woodworking" and home repair/
improvement. I couldn't afford to have someone build it for me, so I had to learn how
to DIY. I got lucky...my real estate agent's husband used to design and build decks so
he drew up the plans and gave me a lot of advice. Bought my first miter saw and a lot
of (cheap) power tools in order to get it done. I learned a lot of stuff that came in handy
as I made other improvements to the house over the years. One big thing I learned was
"Don't buy cheap tools."

Michael Trew

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Aug 24, 2021, 12:18:18 PMAug 24
to
It always makes me sad when people do that. Buy a new house if you want
an open floor plan, don't tear up a historic house. They aren't making
any more 100 year old homes.

Michael Trew

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Aug 24, 2021, 12:25:11 PMAug 24
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On 8/22/2021 3:25 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
> Sounds like fun...sort of.;-)

It would be a lot more fun if we didn't pay a contractor $16,000 or so 2
years ago. He's still stringing us along, doing next to no work. I
suppose it's up to me now, and try to take him to court later.

> What I find interesting is walking into a house that someone - often
> times a family - lived in for a decade or even decades and saying "Why
> did they put up with this for so long? Simple things, like what I found
> in both my house and my daughter's (the one in this thread).
>
> Somewhere near the top of the basement stairs will be a light switch
> that turns on a single light in the basement. Once downstairs, you have
> to pull 3, 4 or more strings to turn on the rest of the lights. You're all
> done in the basement? Pull all those strings again on the way out.

Someone already fixed my basement lights on a single 15 amp circuit with
a switch. I wish it were a 3-way switch, the other switch at the
basement storm cellar door, but you can't have everything. I might do
that one some day.

The second floor and finished attic of my house is still powered by the
120 year old K&T ceramic fuse box with 2 circuits. I imagine it was the
original box for the house, from what I can gather. One hot is for the
whole 2nd floor and attic, the other only covers the first floor ceiling
lights, but likely once handled the floor outlets also (masonry house).
Someone put a 100 amp breaker box in, maybe the same time they wired
the basement for one light switch for all fixtures. The second floor
fuse box is now powered by 2 hots out of the breaker box and a shared
neutral. It makes me antsy, I won't plug anything more than a fan,
light, phone charger, or occasional vacuum in upstairs. 2nd floor
wiring upgrade would probably be my biggest "convenience" fix that I
hopefully don't live with for the next 30 years.

> A family of 6 lived in the house for the previous 30 years, probably making
> that U-turn trip to the yard and back tens of thousands of times. I built the
> deck and put the door in within the first 2 months. 35 years of easy access
> to the yard.
>
> I could list so many "convenience upgrades" that I did in the first couple of
> years. Not huge renovations, just things that made everyday life easier. We're
> doing the same kind of things at my daughter's house now. Still makes me
> wonder why they weren't done sooner.

Many people aren't handy, and likely didn't have the money.

k...@notreal.com

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Aug 24, 2021, 12:26:38 PMAug 24
to
On Sun, 22 Aug 2021 20:59:43 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Ours (not the one we're in now) was the center of the neighborhood,
too. I'm sure the pool had something to do with it. OTOH, it was a
year-round thing. I liked it that way (keep tabs on the kid and more
importantly, his friends).

>That deck and door were my first foray into serious "woodworking" and home repair/
>improvement. I couldn't afford to have someone build it for me, so I had to learn how
>to DIY. I got lucky...my real estate agent's husband used to design and build decks so
>he drew up the plans and gave me a lot of advice. Bought my first miter saw and a lot
>of (cheap) power tools in order to get it done. I learned a lot of stuff that came in handy
>as I made other improvements to the house over the years. One big thing I learned was
>"Don't buy cheap tools."

I built a deck at house #2 but it was only 18" off the ground. ;-)

I learned the cheep tools lesson a couple of times. It's not a lesson
I'm likely to learn again. You only cry once.

Michael Trew

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Aug 24, 2021, 12:27:52 PMAug 24
to
On 8/22/2021 11:59 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
> One big thing I learned was
> "Don't buy cheap tools."

That's good advice. If I can't afford a tool that I need, I buy a
gently used high-quality tool. Possibly back to an antique one if it's
a hand tool. Same price, and will hold up a lot better than Chinese
Harbor Freight quality. I'm in for a table saw some day. I don't use
it often, but mine is made of cast iron with a separate belt-driven
motor. Yes, it works, but it makes me antsy to use, and it's nearly
impossible to move.

DerbyDad03

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Aug 24, 2021, 1:15:38 PMAug 24
to
On Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 12:25:11 PM UTC-4, Michael Trew wrote:
> On 8/22/2021 3:25 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
> > Sounds like fun...sort of.;-)
> It would be a lot more fun if we didn't pay a contractor $16,000 or so 2
> years ago. He's still stringing us along, doing next to no work. I
> suppose it's up to me now, and try to take him to court later.
> > What I find interesting is walking into a house that someone - often
> > times a family - lived in for a decade or even decades and saying "Why
> > did they put up with this for so long? Simple things, like what I found
> > in both my house and my daughter's (the one in this thread).
> >
> > Somewhere near the top of the basement stairs will be a light switch
> > that turns on a single light in the basement. Once downstairs, you have
> > to pull 3, 4 or more strings to turn on the rest of the lights. You're all
> > done in the basement? Pull all those strings again on the way out.
> Someone already fixed my basement lights on a single 15 amp circuit with
> a switch. I wish it were a 3-way switch, the other switch at the
> basement storm cellar door, but you can't have everything. I might do
> that one some day.

Easy enough to solve. I did this at my daughter's house. She has a ceiling
fixture in the second floor hallway that was controlled by a single switch
in that same upstairs hallway. No way to turn it on or off at the bottom of
the stairs. All it took was a screwdriver and some cash.

This unit replaces the switch in the hallway:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017LRCHU0

This remote gets mounted on the wall at the base of the stairs:

https://www.amazon.com/Lutron-Switching-Wallplate-Bracket-PJ2-2B-GWH-L01/dp/B084T893ZK

Instant 3 way circuit. Also works with Alexa, Google, etc. She just uses them as a switch.


>
> The second floor and finished attic of my house is still powered by the
> 120 year old K&T ceramic fuse box with 2 circuits. I imagine it was the
> original box for the house, from what I can gather. One hot is for the
> whole 2nd floor and attic, the other only covers the first floor ceiling
> lights, but likely once handled the floor outlets also (masonry house).
> Someone put a 100 amp breaker box in, maybe the same time they wired
> the basement for one light switch for all fixtures. The second floor
> fuse box is now powered by 2 hots out of the breaker box and a shared
> neutral. It makes me antsy, I won't plug anything more than a fan,
> light, phone charger, or occasional vacuum in upstairs. 2nd floor
> wiring upgrade would probably be my biggest "convenience" fix that I
> hopefully don't live with for the next 30 years.
> > A family of 6 lived in the house for the previous 30 years, probably making
> > that U-turn trip to the yard and back tens of thousands of times. I built the
> > deck and put the door in within the first 2 months. 35 years of easy access
> > to the yard.
> >
> > I could list so many "convenience upgrades" that I did in the first couple of
> > years. Not huge renovations, just things that made everyday life easier. We're
> > doing the same kind of things at my daughter's house now. Still makes me
> > wonder why they weren't done sooner.
> Many people aren't handy, and likely didn't have the money.

He appeared to have the money. Upper management at what was a Fortune 500
company at the time. Obviously I don't know his actual financial situation.

DerbyDad03

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Aug 24, 2021, 1:39:46 PMAug 24
to
I paid $100 for a Craftsman TS like that over 30 years ago. Did some
upgrades over the years (much better fence, replaced the extension
platform with a router table, etc.). Added a Delta mobile base first
thing. Only repair was a new arbor. Best $100 (plus upgrades) I've
ever spent.

https://i.imgur.com/bxpP3h6.jpg

The antsy part can be dealt with by buying a SawStop. ;-)

But seriously, tune it up, learn to use it safely, treat it with the respect
it deserves and the ansty-ness will mostly go away. A little ansty (spelled
r-e-s-p-e-c-t) is OK. Over-confidence can lead to carelessness.

A smart man once told me "If you are about to do something that
makes you uncomfortable, stop and rethink it. Your instincts are
probably correct." He was talking about power tools but it applies
just as much to life in general. ;-)

DerbyDad03

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Aug 24, 2021, 2:28:52 PMAug 24
to
To some extent I agree, but I also see the point of adapting a house so
that it fits your lifestyle - as long as you do it with respect. I'm glad that they
opened this house up, I just wish they had done the trim with the respect
that I mentioned. We'll take care of that.

Would you live with a 1935 kitchen just because you live in a 1935 house?
I put wide drawers in the base cabinets. That's not how they built the
house. Does that make you sad?

When I imagine hanging out in my daughter's house without the open
floor plan, I can only imagine how inconvenient it would be. Living room
cut off from the rest of the first floor, tiny kitchen with no place to hang
out and talk, etc.

You see those 2 people sitting on the stools? They are talking to 3 people
in the kitchen, 2 which are sitting opposite them chopping vegetables while
the third prepares the turkey. 'm in the living room and can be as much a
part of the festivities as everyone else.

https://i.imgur.com/0SDz8PI.jpg

Imagine a wall in place of the peninsula and another wall between the living
room and the dining room. Totally different - and way less enjoyable - house,
just for the sake of preserving its original layout. Tell me how (where) the same
6 people are having their holiday conversation while dinner is being prepared.

https://i.imgur.com/vbzcnXI.jpg

Why do you think new houses are being built the way they are? It's because it
makes more sense. My daughter looked at another house of the same vintage
that had retained its original layout. The rooms felt so small and completely cut
off from each other. That was one of the main reasons she didn't buy it. No way
for guests to mingle comfortably.

Not opening up an older home just because it was not built that way is the
definition of cutting of your nose to spite you face. IMO, of course. ;-)





hub...@ccanoemail.ca

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Aug 24, 2021, 3:03:07 PMAug 24
to
+ 1
My son & his wife bought a 80-90 year old brick 2 1/2 storey.
It now has a large modern bright kitchen with island that is open
to the front parlour. Much more live-able !
They kept all the original woodwork in the entrance & parlour
& staircase - for the old fogeys to admire - I think it's fir
but I'm not certain about that.
John T.

J. Clarke

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Aug 24, 2021, 3:45:53 PMAug 24
to
And it's not like closing it up again is _difficult_.
> John T.

Michael Trew

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Aug 25, 2021, 12:31:14 AMAug 25
to
On 8/24/2021 2:28 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
> On Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 12:18:18 PM UTC-4, Michael Trew wrote:
>> It always makes me sad when people do that. Buy a new house if you want
>> an open floor plan, don't tear up a historic house. They aren't making
>> any more 100 year old homes.
>
> To some extent I agree, but I also see the point of adapting a house so
> that it fits your lifestyle - as long as you do it with respect. I'm glad that they
> opened this house up, I just wish they had done the trim with the respect
> that I mentioned. We'll take care of that.

That was huge gripe with my house. The floor plan hasn't changed, but
half of the first floor windows were replaced. The replacement windows
are solid 2-pane sheets of glass, that look faceless, and cannot open.
Efficient, sure, but they look awful and don't let in fresh air.

To add insult to injury, they ripped out the oak trim around the window
frames, and put up rough cut pine that doesn't even come close to
matching the rest of the oak trim in the house. All of these years
later, you can still see the knots, and a few spots still have
bleed-through after a coat of oil primer covered with latex. I suppose
it's not a big deal in a woodworking group, but it looks like a project
to me. I've done minor wood working, but I don't think I even have a
router now. I put up heavy curtains to hide the shame.

> Would you live with a 1935 kitchen just because you live in a 1935 house?
> I put wide drawers in the base cabinets. That's not how they built the
> house. Does that make you sad?

I can understand some level of modernization such as the kitchen, to
work for people today. Me personally, since you're asking me, yes I
would keep and enjoy the 1935 kitchen layout. I have my limits, if my
house still had it's original 120 year old wood cook stove, that would
be a bit much for me. I could easily handle a 1935 kitchen and
appliances, however.

> When I imagine hanging out in my daughter's house without the open
> floor plan, I can only imagine how inconvenient it would be. Living room
> cut off from the rest of the first floor, tiny kitchen with no place to hang
> out and talk, etc.
>
> You see those 2 people sitting on the stools? They are talking to 3 people
> in the kitchen, 2 which are sitting opposite them chopping vegetables while
> the third prepares the turkey. 'm in the living room and can be as much a
> part of the festivities as everyone else.
>
> https://i.imgur.com/0SDz8PI.jpg
>
> Imagine a wall in place of the peninsula and another wall between the living
> room and the dining room. Totally different - and way less enjoyable - house,
> just for the sake of preserving its original layout. Tell me how (where) the same
> 6 people are having their holiday conversation while dinner is being prepared.
>
> https://i.imgur.com/vbzcnXI.jpg
>
> Why do you think new houses are being built the way they are? It's because it
> makes more sense. My daughter looked at another house of the same vintage
> that had retained its original layout. The rooms felt so small and completely cut
> off from each other. That was one of the main reasons she didn't buy it. No way
> for guests to mingle comfortably.
>
> Not opening up an older home just because it was not built that way is the
> definition of cutting of your nose to spite you face. IMO, of course. ;-)

Well, to each their own. I much prefer the original floor plan, and I
personally like having the kitchen cut off. I don't like to be bothered
while I cook, and especially in the hot months, I much prefer shutting
the kitchen off and keeping the heat/sights/sounds in the kitchen, out
of my living area. That's a feature, IMO. :) Older kitchens did have
less cabinet space, true, but they usually featured a built in as well
as a large pantry. Even a small pantry can account for several cabinets.

I've been looking for an early mid-century kitchen sink. You've
probably seen the huge white enamel top ones; I prefer the 60 - 66 inch
wide ones with double sink basins with a built in drain board on either
side... (link below) they were popular in their day with metal cabinets
under them. My requirement for moving is having a garage again. If I
found a 1935 house with a period kitchen, unaltered over the years, with
a 2 car garage, you can bet I'd move in a heart beat. Yes, I'd live in
it almost like a little museum. ;)

https://retrorenovation.com/2015/02/19/vintage-reproduction-kitchen-drainboard-sink/

Side note, do also keep in mind that I'm a huge history buff, and an
architectural snob. It pains me to see people rip out history, slap up
vinyl siding, replace 100 year old double hung wooden windows with
vinyl, etc. Yes, some of that can be recreated, but when that historic
old growth lumber is gone, it's gone.

Michael Trew

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Aug 25, 2021, 12:46:36 AMAug 25
to
I'm feeling lazy, and mine is filthy with boxes piled on it, so here is
my almost exact saw. I wish it had the handy stand under it. The guy
was not exaggerating when he mentioned the weight. I almost put my back
out carrying the thing.

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/threads/curbside-find-walker-turner-8-table-saw.55070/

Safety stuff? What safety stuff?? Lol not in the 1930's. It was
abandoned in a house that I bought several years ago. The house is now
gone, but I kept a few goodies.

Michael Trew

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Aug 25, 2021, 12:50:19 AMAug 25
to
On 8/24/2021 1:15 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
> He appeared to have the money. Upper management at what was a Fortune 500
> company at the time. Obviously I don't know his actual financial situation.

My grandparents bought a house in town near my parents just before I was
born in the 90's.

The man that lived there for years and years prior was a home
contractor. They couldn't understand why he left the 1930's converted
coal furnace (apparently it made scary sounds), windows with BB holes
through them, nearly rotting carpet, and more through out the house when
his profession was to repair homes.

pyotr filipivich

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Aug 26, 2021, 11:22:13 AMAug 26
to
Michael Trew <michae...@att.net> on Wed, 25 Aug 2021 00:31:11 -0400
typed in rec.woodworking the following:
>
>> Would you live with a 1935 kitchen just because you live in a 1935 house?
>> I put wide drawers in the base cabinets. That's not how they built the
>> house. Does that make you sad?
>
>I can understand some level of modernization such as the kitchen, to
>work for people today. Me personally, since you're asking me, yes I
>would keep and enjoy the 1935 kitchen layout. I have my limits, if my
>house still had it's original 120 year old wood cook stove, that would
>be a bit much for me. I could easily handle a 1935 kitchen and
>appliances, however.

There's update, and then there is the "try to make the modern
kitchen look like the rest of this Victorian / Colonial house." Can't
always be done, there is a certain incongruence about an electric oven
filling the former brick oven opening.

(What I do not like are the "Victorian Houses" where the only
"Victorian" part is the outside, the interior is indistinguishable
from one built in 2020.)
--
pyotr filipivich
This Week's Panel: Us & Them - Eliminating Them.
Next Month's Panel: Having eliminated the old Them(tm)
Selecting who insufficiently Woke(tm) as to serve as the new Them(tm)

pyotr filipivich

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Aug 26, 2021, 11:22:13 AMAug 26
to
Michael Trew <michae...@att.net> on Wed, 25 Aug 2021 00:50:16 -0400
typed in rec.woodworking the following:
"The cobbler's kids go shoeless."

The carpenter's house always needs repairs.

Michael Trew

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Aug 29, 2021, 12:44:43 AMAug 29
to
On 8/26/2021 11:22 AM, pyotr filipivich wrote:
> Michael Trew<michae...@att.net> on Wed, 25 Aug 2021 00:50:16 -0400
> typed in rec.woodworking the following:
>> On 8/24/2021 1:15 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:
>>> He appeared to have the money. Upper management at what was a Fortune 500
>>> company at the time. Obviously I don't know his actual financial situation.
>>
>> My grandparents bought a house in town near my parents just before I was
>> born in the 90's.
>>
>> The man that lived there for years and years prior was a home
>> contractor. They couldn't understand why he left the 1930's converted
>> coal furnace (apparently it made scary sounds), windows with BB holes
>> through them, nearly rotting carpet, and more through out the house when
>> his profession was to repair homes.
>
> "The cobbler's kids go shoeless."
>
> The carpenter's house always needs repairs.

Haha, I guess so
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