Referring to reference books

Don spent a while Tuesday slowly and tediously pulling oak floor from the upstairs back rooms. They are the only ones upstairs without some sort of tile floor, and are riddled with gaps where various walls were, so he planned to pull the floors and re-lay the floor once the foundation work is done and the floors releveled. Tuesday went very slowly and tediously. (Oh. Did I say that already? Well, it did.) It didn’t sound like it went nearly as fast as when he and his dad and brother pulled four hundred square feet of quartersawn, narrow strip flooring in Kenilworth while I flung it out the window and loaded the truck, five years ago during a Chicago heat wave. Even allowing for more people, it sounded too slow and tedious.


(This is a picture of the same flooring, except it’s downstairs. I managed to skip taking pictures of the upstairs flooring.)

So, I did what people in my family usually do in challenging times. I looked up how to do it.* We have Unbuilding** by Bob Falk and Robert Guy and, because I bought it after moving to Arkansas, it isn’t in storage. I handed it to Don and suggested he look it over for clues or tools. Sure enough, as the book suggests, it is much faster and less tedious if you pull it from the tongue side. The nails come out easier, the tongues don’t split, and it is generally less frustrating. Hurrah for reference books!

* I am almost sure I’ve read a letter my mom wrote to her parents describing my next brother’s reaction to seeing a large spider weaving a web at my paternal grandparents’ house: Urgent dash inside demanding a book to look up the spider. He was about five.

**Does it strike anyone else as odd that Amazon is offering to bundle Unbuilding with Prefabulous: The House of Your Dreams Delivered Fresh from the Factory by Sheri Koones? Maybe the target audience is people who don’t know if they’re coming or going. Of course, the Koones book, like Unbuilding, is a Taunton Press book so I assume it’s well done.

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