Fixing Hacked-up Rafters

If you've been following along with our kitchen remodel (which has somehow, inexplicably passed the 1 year mark - uuughhh), you'll recall the ferociously ugly, framed drywall soffit above the cabinets. I tore out the last of it a couple months ago.  

Flashback...

In the far corner, it wasn't just tacked on soffit; there was no ceiling drywall above it. When I demolished it, there was a gaping maw open to the attic above. I was treated to horrible, itchy insulation and a long-expired avian raining down on me and the countertops. Yeah, that happened

Back to modern times

I'd completely removed the drywall on the wall to fix plumbing, electrical, and framing. All these little repairs were the most time consuming parts of the remodel. 

As was apparently customary by the original electrical contractor during the build of this neighborhood in the 1970's, they literally cut corners. the cabling passed through the soffit space. Now it is outside the walls. I'll have to fix that later. 

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Well, Here's a @#&%! problem...

As I monkeyed around with those electrical lines, I noticed an issue in the ceiling framing. See it?

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Some pea-wit predecessor of mine had lopped a giant chunk of rafter out of the way. I think the oven and cooktop may have been here at one point, because I had seen evidence of a round vent hole in the underside of the roof during one of my earlier attic adventures. 

Why they hacked such a huge section of framing out, without boxing around the vent, I just don't get. They were clearly doing some big work, surely a couple short pieces of wood and some nails, wouldn't have completely derailed their progress.

I'd even crawled around the attic in this area before. Thank goodness I didn't take the horrible express route down to the floor, littering the kitchen with drywall, insulation, and the shattered carcass of an AZ DIY guy.

Tear out the nub

I didn't even have to use tools. 

Fix it right

I dipped into the fresh, new stack of 2x4's I'd actually bought for the wall framing and slid a new one up against the piece of rafter that was still somewhat locked into place. I suppose that piece was attached to the far wall and pretty much laying on the ceiling drywall at this point. 

 Why yes. My lovely wife has kept a Christmas poinsettia alive this long. Good eye.

Why yes. My lovely wife has kept a Christmas poinsettia alive this long. Good eye.

I went out to the garage and lugged out my electric air compressor, hose, oil, and pneumatic nail gun... Nope!... new cordless nailer.

Honestly, I love my pneumatic framing nailer. But, I love the idea of cordless tools more; they make life easier. My friends at DeWalt sent me this beauty to play with after I attended their Tough In the South press event. I have plenty of framing to do after this little repair, so look forward to a proper review after I have more time to run it through its paces.   

(UPDATE: REVIEW: THE DEWALT 20V CORDLESS FRAMING NAILER IN ACTION )

Overlapping the new board and the hacked off stub by several feet, I clamped them together tight. I fired a good amount of nails through from both sides.

 The Arizona Gunslinger

The Arizona Gunslinger

Since I wouldn't have the space to fit any sort of metal hardware clip to the end sitting on top of the wall, I fired some nails at an angle through into the top plate and added a bunch of cross framing, just for extra connection and support points. 

 Good, clean fun, but NOT a good, clean shirt.

Good, clean fun, but NOT a good, clean shirt.

This sucker was not going anywhere. I blocked it in from both sides. 

That's it. I feel more comfortable crawling around the attic now, without fearing a headlong tumble to. It's also going to be a lot more stable in this area as I tear into the wall to open up a larger pass-through between the family room and the kitchen. 

 Freshly framed.

Freshly framed.

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Check back soon. I'm ripping into that wall next and installing a beefy header to open up that pass-through "window" to the family room. Big time stuff; It's a little scary. (Here)

We'll see more about how the big DeWalt cordless framing nail gun behaves. (Review)