Monday, October 15, 2012

Cutting it (insulation that is)

The two bundles of insulation I got at McCoy's turned out to be too short to go from the bottom plate to the top one between the studs. I didn't want to wait until the supply run next month to return it and get the right length so that meant cutting a bunch of short pieces to fill in.
I wasn't real sure how I was going to pull that off until I remembered my early HVAC career as an installer before switching to service. I learned from an old hand how to cut the insulation we used to wrap the duct work and that was to use a sharp butcher knife to cut it. It worked the same with the R19 pink insulation.
I used the level as a straight edge, stepped on it to mash down the insulation and made several passes through the insulation up next to the level. The first swipe cut the insulation and several more cut the paper backing. Don't know how other people cut insulation, but if you use a different method then you might try this one. Works great. I have to hand it to the insulation makers! They have come a long way since back then. Back then the stuff would eat you alive just being around it, but this stuff wasn't bad at all.

I also drilled a couple of small holes in the corrugated metal on the roof today. I put them on the back side where the drain off is and then wired the extension ladder to the metal to make sure it didn't blow down stranding me on top. I patched the two areas that were leaking and hopefully the building is totally dried in now. Will need another rain to find out for sure though.

The above picture was taken some time back just before a storm. Not sure if its a funnel cloud or not, but sure looks like one. It went back up in the cloud before going any further down.

BTW I borrowed Dave Secor's old camera to take the pictures of the insulation and the others were on the memory card before my camera potted out.


  1. Looks like a funnel cloud to me.

    You know the thing about blogging is after awhile it can get to be a bit tedious and so I just don't write when I don't feel like it. I quit drinking awhile back and all of a sudden had nothing to say. Ha! Go figure.

  2. Rubye Jack, I probably won't be adding anymore threads soon. I don't see anything coming up worth writing about. The Dude of the Dead festival is this coming weekend and I've been invited to go with friends, but I passed on that. If I went there might be something to post about, but I won't be going.

  3. That insulation is 3" shy because if you used pre-cut studs they would be 92-5/8" long, and with the standard single bottom plate and double top plate you would end up with an 8' high wall - perfect for sheetrock/paneling, etc (or a 9' wall would use 104-5/8" studs). Only way to get around this is buy insulation in rolls and not pre-cut batts. But nothing wrong with cutting and stuffing in the 3" pcs...just a little more labor.

    Don't forget to run a layer of painter's 2mil drop cloth poly stapled to the studs after you insulate. Helps with air infiltration.


  4. Bf, the studs are exactly 8' and you are right. The gaps are right at 3 inches. I'll probably just buy the bags next time to because cutting it isn't hard. I'm still planning to use the plastic liner, but have discovered a couple of flaws in my build so am going to have to take care of those problems before I finish insulating the tops and before I could drywall it.

  5. Glad your insulation project is going well and you are doing it before the first cold front.

    You have come a long way since your winters in "the dungeon" and that is something to be grateful for.

  6. MsB, I doubt that I can get far enough along to move in there or even stay in there before the first cold front. May not be able to pull that off until after the first of the year.

  7. Hi, I've been enjoying your blog for a few months now. Your ups and downs remind me so much of the things my husband and I went through on our journey to the off grid life. I smile when I read of you're successes, and I commiserate at your struggles. My husband was a disabled Vietnam vet. He died very unexpectedly three months ago. Now I'm living off grid alone and trying to make it. Don't feel you don't have anything worthwhile to say. Just the ordinary day to day things are enjoyable to read. Take care, be proud of your accomplishments, and know I'll be following along. Sylvia

  8. Sorry to hear of your loss Sylvia. I suspect off grid life would be some easier with a spouse. Hope you can make it on your own ok. Thanks for following.


    You know Blogger does a good job of preventing spam from being posted to the blogs that don't have word verification. I think that's a good thing, but they fail where it comes to those who have subscribed to get email comments. I hate to say it, but instead of setting up word verification again I'll just unsubscribe after a time and suggest that everyone else do the same. That will give the spammers NO JOY since no one would ever receive the email.

    This will make it bad if a legitimate person replies to a past thread since I won't know it, but I'd rather that than give the spammers what they want.

    From now on when I get a spam email I'll click on the link to that thread and unsubscribe (Unless its a fairly new thread.)

  10. Hey David... did you use 2x6 construction? I'm getting one of those Derksen buildings and I am special ordering it with 2x6 construction. Trying to figure out the best possible insulation I can get in there now. Whats the purpose of doing the plastic? I've got to figure this stuff out....

    Chris Miller - One Family's Journey To Finding True Happiness

  11. Chris, yes I framed with 2x6s for the added insulation value. I think Nick framed with 2x8s on his cabin. From what Bigfoot says putting up the plastic helps seal for air leaks or something like that. Too bad mylar is too expensive. I'd figure that would help a good bit.

  12. It’s good to hear that even if you had trouble with the measurement, you were able to resolve the problem. Having a person who knows DIY fixes is really helpful. You can learn a thing or two about quick patch up – just like you! Anyway, did you installment works, right? Well, looking on how informative you are, I bet it works like a charm.

  13. Chantay, it worked fine and I've been staying warm in the winter for the first time since I've been living up here.


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