The Scrap House

The chronicals of pre-cut plywood, calls from the dump, and wet dogs. | May 8, 2009

Slightly more dramatic news today.  Luckily, we had no fars from the wars, and no tar fars to boot.  If you’ve never been to Tennesee, that means we didn’t have any wire or tire fires. So there. Hyatt wired like an animal today. He got everything run, so now all we have to do on the electrical front is find one more junction box, and get the switches and outlets in.



A lot of the plywood I had came from the same source; an “affordable housing” development near my house which sells a third of a tri-plex for $280,000. Well, they had these triangles of plywood that remained from some corner, but luckily, 2 triangles still form a square. So I grabbed ’em. Well, our gables are, in all their glory, 45 degree angles. And the triangles were 4 feet. So… Nice! I didn’t even have to cut the dang plywood. I like this. There’s a small gap in the middle, but I can make that out of the scrap left over after I cut out the window openings. Now that’s planning, or luck, or lucky planning. So I was able to get a good chunk of the front plywooded.


You might also notice the lovely flying rafters. We added those today. Adds more of a life-saving station style aesthetic to it, which works for around here. I was cutting the 16 foot 2×6’s into 2×4’s for rafters on the table saw, when Charlie, in all his infinite wisdom, pointed out that it would be a hell of a lot easier to cut them to length and THEN rip them. That child is clever right there I tell yah. So we got that done. While we had a lot of plywood, we didn’t have nearly enough to do the rest of the house. We went to the dump, and they didn’t have any. They had some 2×6’s I grabbed which used to be deck railings. That is where the wet dog comes in. Our dump, despite being a dump, normally smells really pleasant. Like lumber, normally. Well, they had recently cleaned out all the dumpsters, so all that was in the bottom of one of them was a huge upholstered chair, and the 2×6’s I wanted. And it had rained. I climbed down into the dumpster, and that chair was honestly the worst thing I’ve ever smelled. It was like a noxious gas. The smell was heavy. It wouldn’t leave my lungs. It was wet. And mean. But I digress. Either way, we left the dump plywood-less. The lady at the dump, who I’ve become great friends with, asked what in particular we were looking for for our house. We told her mainly plywood. We left to go to the local lumber supply people to ask if they had any scrap. They didn’t. But there was a third possibility that we hadn’t counted upon. And the hairy eyeball. I got a call from the dump about 20 minutes after we left, and they had just gotten some plywood in. What service! Well, apparently the plywood(or chipboard to be more precise) was used in a shipping crate for some windows some guy bought recently. But despite being just a throw-away crate, he took it apart meticulously, without damaging any of the wood. I like this man! So we got about seven or eight 8×4 sheets of  plywood. Other than some staples in it, it’s perfect. We also got some nice cork-board type stuff that I’ll probably turn into the kitchen ceiling. A good day it was.



And now for something we hope you’ll really enjoy. More random photos. Good night, and good luck. -Ted





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  1. Was it a wet bichon at the bottom of the dump?

    Comment by austinminiman — May 8, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

    • It’s weird when my dad comments under my account, because it makes it looks like I am commenting to myself, which I supposedly am doing now as well. Such a conundrum.

      Comment by austinminiman — May 9, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

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About author

This blog is dedicated to an experiment a group of three other fellow students and I are doing at our school in Buxton, NC. My Drafting III class and I set out to see if we could build a house for free. It's small, but functional. All the materials come out of dumpsters. And most of all, it's working.







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