Building maintenance

Another dusty weekend

Weekend two of the repairs started, where we left off, at the western end of the building. The roadside repairs are complete but the rear side still has a large hole in the floor. The reason for this hole still being there is that the floor under the table has distorted where the weight of the table sits on it. With the new floor hopefully being down for many years to come, this was a valuable opportunity to get new joists pushed through under the table to take up the load. As many of the joists we’d removed were riddled with woodworm, it would have been bold to assume the joists, with several tonnes of table on them, were good!

Despite considerable effort by Adam and myself to push new joists under the legs, the distortion in the floor, caused by the table weight had us beat. In the end, we left it until Saturday when Nick Shapland came to our aid, armed with a hefty Land Rover jack! The jack enabled us to take just enough weight off a table leg that we could hammer a new joist through.

With the joists in place, the floor could be screwed down and work moved on to the east end of the building. First up, the area inside the fire escape door. This was in a terrible state, but, with the table being set further towards the front of the building, there was no weight bearing issues to contend with here. Adam laid the new joists and cut the floorboards to fit. We left the boards loose for now as they provided a means to push joists right across the room, under the floor, to the front of the building.

With the fire escape area complete, that was three corners down and one to go. Little did we know that we’d saved the biggest job until last! With the outer row of floorboards removed, it was obvious that the joists had been badly attacked by woodworm. In fact, none of the joists were even touching the wall plate! This led to considerable head scratching (and a cup of tea) while we tried to figure out what was supporting the table. The conclusion was that the joists passing under the table were cantilevered on the single supporting dwarf wall that runs the length of the room. This was easily demonstrated by standing on the floating end of the joists and seeing the entire snooker table move. At this point, nobody was keen to get too close! The jack came to the rescue again, enabling us to support the weight of the floor and table while new joists were slid into place. We got enough timber under it to give us confidence that it would still be there in the morning and called it a day.

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