Plaster and Lathe removal


Old 11-28-08, 04:47 PM
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Plaster and Lathe removal

I'm looking for tips for totally gutting the interior of our house. It has a mis mosh of plaster & drywall, knob and tube wiring & romex, cellulose & vermiculite. Our project will entail the whole two bedroom house, with the first stage consisting of the second floor. It was built in 1897, as housing for railroad workers in northern MN.

Since we have to carry the refuse out by hand, a coworker suggested lining the floor next to a wall with cardboard boxes from the grocery store...the ones with handles , which you can buy for a buck apiece...they're the ones used in lieu of bags. I bought 10 of them, and as advertised, they work pretty good. I also read online to slap the walls between the studs with a flat sand shovel to loosen the mortar between the lathe. That seems to really do the trick...a whole section of plaster will just fall off the wall with a huge "whump"! Ya gotta love that!

But, we came on a strange situation on the exterior walls. We've stripped off the layer of plaster, exposing the lathe. I was peering between the lathe, and pulled some off, and an inch or so into the cavity, was another layer of plaster! So I scraped that off, exposed ANOTHER layer of lath that had been attached to nailers attached to the studs. I started ripping all that out to expose the whole cavity in prep for wiring and R-13. I'm thinking this was their way of insulating back then...a double layer of dead air space. Also, a lot more work for us! Great!

So, it's a double deal there. We're both beat, and exhausted from two days of back breaking labor. Spring chickens we're not, but it's going to be nice knowing everything is going to be done the right way...permits, electrical, insulation, and smooth walls.

Oh, I'm throwing up pieces of good lathe to build the walls out so the jams from the windows and doors line up for trim after installation of sheetrock.

Sorry this is so long, but it's most certainly the hugest undertaking I've ever done.

any ideas about how to make this process easier?


Last edited by Flyboy65; 11-28-08 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 11-28-08, 06:32 PM
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Hire some help. This time of year it should be pretty easy to get some youth who want Christmas money. Let them doo the grunt work.
Old 11-28-08, 10:05 PM
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A reciprocating saw with the correct blade make this job a lot easier. Still no fun,but easier. Run the blade next to the studs and cut the nails that are into the studs. Good luck.
Old 11-28-08, 11:24 PM
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Figure a way to mount a section of that cardboard tube (18-24") used for concrete forms (Sonotube) or some plastic culvert pipe to the outside in a window bay with a dumpster or pickup truck at the bottom and chuck it into the pipe. Saves a lot of hauling.
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