Following a couple recent hard freezes, I figured most of the wasps and spiders would be dead (I was right about the wasps), so it was time to face the wee beasties in the top of my garage and clean out the many bits of wood, old galvanized pipe, rusted metal mesh and sundry other bits. I had some vestigial hope that the handrail was lurking somewhere under the crap.
It was not.
But I found some other nifty stuff. (And some less-than-nifty stuff.)
The newspaper above (which pretty much crumbled under a light touch) was wrapped around some mysterious lengths of wood with slots and measurements on them, likely to protect hands from the many thin nails poking through.
Most of the marked sticks are joined at one end with a hinge, and two have shorter pieces hinged to them about 12″ up from the bottom…or down from the top. Below is a picture of them, as well as a close-up. Anyone know what these are?
Also kind of cool is what I’m guessing is a 1940s-era X-frame; I’ll bet there were two at some point. What I like is the bridle joint and clinched nails. I have no use for this thing…but I’ll keep it.
I also uncovered lots of what appears to be original trim work from the house, including fluted door and window casing, and door and window caps almost entirely intact and in good shape. Unfortunately, much of it is painted, but I’ll be able to strip it, refinish, then replace the not-original trim from where it’s missing.
But perhaps most delightful to discover is what appears to be the entire casing for the pocket doors that once led from the front hall into the adjacent living room. While I can’t put doors back (there are now HVAC ducts in those walls), I might be able to re-frame the opening, and I won’t even have to refinish the trim – though I’ll clean off the dirt.
After climbing around in the space for about two hours and sorting the “keep” pile from the (much larger) “toss” pile, I got down to the bottom layer.
“Oh – cool door!” I thought. “I wonder if that might be from the original kitch….AAAIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!!!”
I’m told those are carpenter ants. I can tell you that whatever they are, they make a loud and harrowing clicky-clacky sound when disturbed, and that it’s a very bad idea to be atop a ladder when one finds them.
After recovering from my shock and revulsion, I flipped over every remaining piece of wood in the space (using a 10′ or better pole), then set off a couple foggers.
I have hopes that, because there are no walls in the space to block its spread, the killing fog will do the trick. And when, like my handrail hopes, those are dashed, I’ll call the exterminator.