Project: Vent / Recessed Light Combo, pt 2

Posted by Nate in Home Improvements.
Thursday, November 10th, 2005 at 9:41 am

Ok, so I’m jumping the gun a little bit with this "look, it’s finished!" shot, because it’s not finished – I just couldn’t resist. This morning was a rough one: woke up rubbing my eye at about 5:15, and realized something (insulation or plaster dust?) had worked its way pretty well in there. Ow. My eye was comfortable if it was open or if I looked down when it was closed, but it’s damn near impossible to keep your eye in one place when you’re falling back asleep. It kept drifting around and then waking me back up. Damn.

Tried to get it out with drops, no luck. Unfortunately Bruno heard the movement and decided it was probably time to get up, so despite my best efforts to lay quietly in bed so he would go back to sleep, he continued to bump around loudly in his crate and whimper occasionally. Got up, walked, trained, and fed him, and by that time Karen was up and I could jump back in the attic to get some more work done.

Basically the hole just needed some widening to let the housing for the light rest in it – our ceiling is plaster, and the wood lath proved to be a royal PITA to cut with a keyhole saw. (I may end up trying a fine bit and steady hand on the jigsaw for holes 2 and 3.) I also had to scrape down the plaster "keys" a bit to get a better fit on the housing, which in reading more about plaster I’m not sure was a good idea… But it seems really sturdy, in fact some of the lath around the hole was already free of the plaster and nothing moved at all, so I think I’m good. (Confused? I was too. Read up on historic plaster and repair.)

Once the fixture fit, I got to test my wiring job from last night. Popped in a bulb, held my breath, and flipped the switch – Fiat Lux! Now I "just" need to attach a duct for the vent, cut a hole in the roof, and attach the vent cap. And backfill insulation. And get some weatherstripping in there so air can only leak out the vent, which has a backflow prevention flap. And wedge the housing against the floorboards to prevent future rattle from the fan. … And then the skylight and the second light. But, progress!

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