Big Wall Down

For the past two days I have been removing the 40-foot wall in container 2 that abuts container 1. The wall is now flat on the floor, ready to be “lifted” onto the roof directly above. This post is the story of how I removed the wall.

My tool of choice for cutting around the perimeter of the wall was “The Beast,” the big DeWalt angle grinder with a thin, metal-cutting disk. Yes, I believe that a plasma torch would have been easier, but I chose the angle grinder for two reasons: Reason A: Containers 1 and 2 are right next to each other. I only wanted to cut the wall from container 2 and the plasma torch would have also cut through to the wall in container 1. Reason B: I don’t have a plasma torch!

I wanted the wall to fall flat on the floor after I cut around the perimeter. The height of the wall is just under 9-feet, but distance between the walls and the doors at the end of the container is only 7′-8″. Obviously, I needed to remove about a foot from the top or the bottom of the wall. I chose to cut the bottom because there was a lot of forklift damage at the bottom of the wall.

In the next photo, you can see the wall that I wanted to remove, plus a board and a Sharpie that I used to mark where I would cut the wall short:


I made the vertical cuts at either end of the wall first, then I cut along the bottom of the wall. In the next photo you can see how nicely the angle grinder slides along the floor on the guard. This was the easy cut:


You can see the process in the following video. Watch the long muscle in my right leg work as I fight the forces of the angle grinder:

Next I made the top cut, but I left about five one-inch spots uncut to keep the wall from falling down before I wanted it too. This was the most difficult cut; I had to hold The Beast up in the air for about an hour-and-a-half. I put an old shirt over my head because the sparks sting like little needles:


Cynthia caught this epic photo as I was adjusting the position of the guard:


While petting Jabo, I felt a lump on his shoulder. I asked Armando if he knew what it was. Yes, a large fly bit him and the lump is a larvae worm that is growing under the skin. The remedy was for me to hold Jabo, really tightly, while Armando squeezed really hard and expressed the worm. We finished it off with some peroxide to clean the wound. I won’t say what the worm would have done if I hadn’t noticed it. The whole deal was pretty gross:


In the next photo you can see how wobbly the wall panel is when it is not part of the unitized structure:


After cutting the ceiling line, it was time to cut off the bottom piece of scrap:


I flopped the scrap on the floor and rolled it into a circle. I figured that because of all the forklift damage that this truly was scrap. I had Armando lift it and tell me if it weighed more or less than a 94-pound sack of cement. “Poco mas,” was his answer. So, if a one-foot strip weighs about a hundred pounds, then the remaining almost 8-feet of wall should weigh about 800-pounds. It’s going to be some fun moving this onto the roof!

Anyway, just after I rolled the bundle outside, along came one of the pickup trucks that bring fresh fish up the mountain in the morning, then canvas neighborhoods for scrap metal on the way back down the mountain. Armando and I flagged them down and got rid of the roll of scrap along with a few pounds of scrap iron plus a trash bag of crushed aluminum soda cans. I gave Armando the $5 proceeds toward a new pair of boots. So far not much real trash on this entire project! Here’s the strip of scrap:


Yes, I am tired. But I look damn good in a dress, don’t you think?

Next, I cleaned out the space, propped a couple planks against the wall, and severed the remaining ceiling tabs, and the wall dropped the foot to the floor. Then I removed the planks and dashed out of the container as the wall crashed to the floor:


So that’s this part of the move-a-wall project. I’m going to take tomorrow off!

In other news, we have a new batch of bananas:


And as much as we hate fly season, they do serve to pollinate the bananas:


In the next photo you can see the other batch of bananas in the background; just about ready for harvest!


That’s all for now. Next, up on the roof.