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DIY or GALMI?


cooperlola

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Elsewhere on the forum there is a long thread asking advice on how to move a millstone weighing over a ton in a house with decidedly dodgy floors and roof beams.  Some experienced posters have suggested that expert advice is needed on site, some suggest getting an expert to actually move the thing, whilst others are suggesting ways for the o/p to move it himself.  Being admittedly a bit girlie myself, I wouldn't even begin to consider touching anything like that and I'd be horrified to see my o/h even attempt it in case he brought my home down round his ears, damaging himself and the house into the bargain.

What makes some guys want to take risks in the name of the pride of having done something themselves, while others won't touch the smallest job and always

Get A Little Man In?

 

 

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Aw don't emancipate us too much we thrive on challenges, it is the animal in us (well some of us, civil servants just hold clip boards whilst the rest of us work and bankers will be out lunch whilst the rest of us work and football players will be out drinking just before they drive home killing some innocent pedestrian)

 

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I thought it was just my OH not a general problem. When we were renovating in the UK I should have had the car relicensed as an ambulance. We've visted the local A & E in France three times so far.

Hoddy

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I cant answer for the GALMI's but all the risks that I consciously take whilst working are well considered and for one reason only.

Lack of money

If I were to have the money in most cases it would still be cheaper to buy the right equipment, study its use and do it myself.

Some of us also take totally unnecessary risks in our leisure time for the great feeling that it brings.

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Lots of guys have this macho "I hung out of the loft on a bit of string" mentality, thats fine if they want to risk their own skin. At the end of the day Coops, if people have doubts of their own ability, or if they feel that the project is outside of their skill range, get in someone who knows what they are doing and can show proof of their skills. What you don't want on a "dangerous" job is a bodger, be it yourself or even a professional bodger. Lots of us have years of Professional and DIY skills behind us, but French building systems are sometimes different to say the least and if you not sure get help, and I mean professional help; that has references and can show you similiar projects that they have completed to the owners satisfaction. Anybody will give a good tradesman a reference, nobody except maybe his mother, will recommend a cowboy. So don't ask a builders mother for a reference.[;-)] After all the cost of a couple of guys with the right equipment is very cheap compared to spending the rest of your life with a bit of you missing. [B]
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Its not as simple as 'the macho thing', some (of us) are Engineers by profession or by 'bent' (or is it bent Engineers !!!!). We enjoy the challenge of doing a job ourselves and the satisfaction of having done that job.

On a personal level, as an experienced construction engineer with electrical and mechanical qualifications, civil engineering experience (to a lesser degree) and totally irrelevant aircraft engineering knowledge I consider that I am capable of assessing whether I can do the job myself or whether it needs specialist equipment / experience / knowledge.

I certainly would not 'hang out of the loft on a piece of string' but I would certainly plan the correct method of doing anything that involved 'hanging out of the loft', then I would decide if I was prepared to do it. I have a great attachment to my bits and pieces and wish them to remain attached.
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Quote: decidedly dodgy floors and roof beams.

That for me is a supposition. I have not seen the timbers and the OP has given no information as to their respective lengths, dimensions and type of wood. Any properly planned dropping of the stones would require consideration of the working place and conditions. In the event of the work area being unsafe then temporary works would have to be undertaken before dropping the stones.At the end of the day the OP will have to decide if all the hassle in getting whole complete stones out of the mill is warranted; in the case that he decides that it is not worth while then the stones can be quickly and easily reduced to a size for easy manhandling and removed from the mill.

I specifically ignore your pride jibe remark.

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It was not a jibe.  I think (from reading other posts on the other thread) that some of the guys really get a buzz from knowing they've overcome the odds and done a thing themselves even when it was dangerous.  Chancer will fogive me when I remind you of his story of how he moved a heavy lintel to an upper floor in his house.  I'd be terrified for him if my o/h tried a stunt like that!  That is all I meant.  I probably misunderstood - as you see I just don't get a certain sort of chap - but I don't think any less of them (apart from the fact that I think they're nuts of course!) as  a result.  And I certainly wouldn't wish to be married to one. 

But I am intrigued as to what makes certain men like this and others not.

As for my quote which you also take issue with, when I suggested to Jehe that he leave the stones in place and use them for something, he said: "Also, the beams underneath have been seriously bodged over the years to keep everything standing and many are severely rotted and need replacing - Its rendered both rooms (above and below) dangerous and I'm not keen on doing any work with the weight of the stones still on it! "  Sorry if you think I summed him up incorrectly but that sentence gave me the impression that the site was in dangerous condition. 

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Aren't rather too many unknowns for anyone, however well intentioned or qualified to really give advice?

Not least the skill or otherwise of the OP. There seem to be quite a few ponderables

No chance of pics to help I guess ?

I'm with Coops, blow the little man, look for a big one (or several !)[:)]

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[quote user="Russethouse"]
Aren't rather too many unknowns for anyone, however well intentioned or qualified to really give advice?
Not least the skill or otherwise of the OP. There seem to be quite a few ponderables

No chance of pics to help I guess ?

I'm with Coops, blow the little man, look for a big one (or several !)[:)]
[/quote]

Well there is me, plus an aussie rigger out of Mt Isa, plus a tool pusher out of Sakhalin; we'd all fit in a white van.[:)]

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In my case as a Project Manager in a different life I would use the required specialists to bring the project to fruition. In the renovation of my property I much prefer to play the Maître d'ouvrage et maître d'oeuvre, and have to a large extent, unfortunately this is not always possible, planning projects and getting all & sundry on site to complete projects as required does occaisionally go awry. I have also seen a variety of 'artisans' work to some questionable standards. Consequently I have often thought, GGA (GoodGodAlmighty) I could do that and better. Sometimes having paid for something to be done and upon inspection had it condemned and demolished, then rebuilt by someone else at great expense and not a little delay.
The most recent example of a new opening in 1st Floor, I had asked for a macon to arrange for the stone to be ordered, manitou to insert at required level and opening to be made. In the event he didn't order the stone and failed to turn up. Consequently I had the option of having the project fall behind or doing it myself, no-one else was available. I ordered the stone and collected it within 24 hours. I had the chain pulley already installed for previous work and got the stone lintels into work area within a morning, without risk to life and limb. At this point not only is there a realisation that these things are not rocket science but with a degree of controlled fear there follows a realisation that the rest is just big Lego and can be done; satisfaction, AKA experience takes over. Result.

Artisan 0 : DIY1

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Other thing is, even the most competent amongst us gets clumsy with age.  Have you noticed?  Tripping on rugs, steps, etc, dropping things, hitting one's head on the same bit of overhanging obstacle and so on.

Even I do those things sometimes but my poor OH is now of an age when he is a potential danger to himself and to others.

Only the other day, he was standing on tiptoes, at full stretch, to stick back a bit of hanging wire and what happened?  He overbalanced, I was daft enough to try and break his fall, and the result was that he still fell but not before pinning my outstretched hand against the door frame.

So we were left with a sore hip and sore hands for him and the most amazing bruise and badly grazed back of hand for me.

He could easily have broken something like he did his knee cap last year just turning round at the front door and I could have busted my hand.  He wasn't even doing anything "dangerous" but, whether we like it or not, think about it or not, there is no doubt in my mind that the balance, spatial judgement, certainly sight and hearing deteriorate at such a slow rate that we attempt things that perhaps are best left to the "little man" of Coops' title.

Therein, as they say, hangs a tale.

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And so have I, nearly a 4th time a few weeks ago but it has always been the unknown or not considered risk that has caught me out, with hindsight I suppose all of them could have been avoided, these events now painfull knowledge will be considered and hopefully prevented  next time round.

There is definitely something to be said for being cautious about things where you dont have experience but where does a man get his experience and wisdom from if not his mistakes and the advice of others?

I hang from my grenier several times a day on a 2mm cable (not quite a piece of string) not for the buzz but at the moment there is no other/safer way of accessing where I am working, I actually am scared of heights and come from a long line of cowards so would not choose to do what I do if there were any other way.

The problem is that which scares scares you, and believe me these things terrified me at first eventually becomes banal if you confront that fear day in day out and thats when you become complacent and accidents can happen.

There has been a gap in the floor where I am working for a stairwell since some time last year, its not closed off because I lift heavy materials up there nearly every day, at first it really scared me and it still does when I return after a few weeks and I soon get used to it, complacency you see. A few weeks ago I was walking the plank(s) over it whilst talking on the phone, (the narrow landing beside it being blocked with sheet material) when my toe kicked away the plank that I was about to step on, I fell like a sack of spuds moving the others sideways with my hip and ended up spreadeagled over the void looking down 7 metres.

It certainly focussed my attention and nearly all the planks are now screwed down and have to be unscrewed to lift anything bulky, the staircase will be going in soon once I have made it and the last of the heavy/bulky stuff lifted up so the less than ideal solution will have to remain, the next time that I do a job like this I will make a couple of hinged trap doors.

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But we all know you are bonkers, Chancer, hence your nickname!

Question:  If something scared you in the first place, why did you do it again?  Now I get the adrenelin scary stuff (ie driving really fast round a circuit - being driven, not so much though - or riding a nutty horse in my youth) but scary for the sake of saving money? - no.  I'd rather just not do it.  That's the bit I don't get.  I like doing things myself, and understand the pride in acheivement thing (honest), but not at a risk to my health.

Sweet 17, for all I know Jehe is in fact in his twenties and built like a brick outhouse but I still think what he's enquiring about doing sounds risky to me.  But as you see, I am a wimp.

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Some of you ladies / women (and possibly some men) just dont get it.

Fear has to be conquered.

Its a man thing (I think ). Conquering your fears makes you more confident, mentally stronger, more capable of facing the unknown and overcoming the odds. Its probably in the genes, maybe all us risk takers are basically throw backs to cave men.

I don't particularly care for heights, so I took up sky diving and climbing tall structures. I am not that good a swimmer so I took up scuba diving, it does work (after a fashion). the motto ''Knowledge dispels fear'' ( No 1 P.T.S) is true.

That does not imply taking uncalculated, stupid risks but ......life without some risk has got to be pretty boring. Some will disagree no doubt.
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Don't get it is right.  Fine if something appeals to you. I get the adrenelin rush thing.  I get the not being able to afford it thing.  I get the pride thing.  However..... (you knew there was "a big but coming" as they say[;-)])... Mentally stronger for what?  If you don't like heights, why not stay low down and pay somebody else to take the risk?  If you can't swim why not stay away from water?  If you want to do something then fine, but taking unnecessary risk (not saying that's what's going on in the millstone scenario - it may be Jehe's only option I see that) seems a bit pointless. 

It doesn't make life boring, it just means you don't take the risks you don't need or want to.  You pay somebody else to take them for you.[:D]

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I wanted to answer your question :

Question:  If something scared you in the first place, why did you do it again?  Now I get the adrenelin scary stuff (ie driving really fast round a circuit - being driven, not so much though - or riding a nutty horse in my youth) but scary for the sake of saving money? - no.  I'd rather just not do it.  That's the bit I don't get.  I like doing things myself, and understand the pride in acheivement thing (honest), but not at a risk to my health.

But you really answer it in your next posting

[quote user="cooperlola"]

Don't get it is right.  Fine if something appeals to you. I get the adrenelin rush thing.  I get the not being able to afford it thing.  I get the pride thing.  However..... (you knew there was "a big but coming" as they say[;-)])... Mentally stronger for what?  If you don't like heights, why not stay low down and pay somebody else to take the risk?  If you can't swim why not stay away from water?  If you want to do something then fine, but taking unnecessary risk (not saying that's what's going on in the millstone scenario - it may be Jehe's only option I see that) seems a bit pointless. 

It doesn't make life boring, it just means you don't take the risks you don't need or want to.  You pay somebody else to take them for you.[:D]

 

[/quote]

Not having the money (which you "get)" is mutually exclusive with paying someone else to take the risk, it is not a case of saving money, for me its survival.

Perhaps Rod Hull (he of Emu fame) met his maker either through pride or to save money I reckon that he just couldnt find anyone at short notice.

I dont quite understand the get a little man in or whatever it was, in my case most of the things that I cannot do on my own would require a big man [:)], also, and its not a pride thing, I could not ask someone to take a risk for money that I myself was not prepared to do, later in life when I am physically incapable I will have to pay people to do things that I no longer capable of but not to take risks that I would not myself.

I try really hard to avoid all risks while I am working (I am after all a coward and have a low pain tolerance) the accidents that I have had could all have been avoided had I known or considered the risk, hindsight is a marvellous thing, mostly they come about from having to find ways of doing things, holding or moving things that would not cause any problem but for the fact that I work alone, back to money again.

As a child I was overmothered much to the chagrin of my father until my mum died, I was pretty hopeless in my 20's, sure I used to give it all the brave talk but inside I was petrified, it wasnt until I was 30 that I learnt how to recognise, confront and overcome fear thanks to the Leadership Trust.

I truly believe that all of us are capable of amazing things, necessity and even desperation can bring out the most amazing strengths in people, to avoid doing things due to fear is a terrible shame, they need not be macho physical things it can also be the simple act of communication.

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'Get an expert in' is such easy advice to give and allows a lot of people on these forums to have a voice, but the fact remains that questions are raised in the first place because the member cannot afford to hire an expert or they just fancy doing the job themselves. It reminds me of the time I went into a rural post office in Sussex, miles from any town, and asked the lady where she thought I might be able to buy a car battery. 'Try Halfords' was her useless reply. Why are some people completely incapable of just saying 'I'm sorry, I cannot help you'?
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powerdesal wrote:  I don't particularly care for heights, so I took up sky diving and climbing tall structures. I am not that good a swimmer so I took up scuba diving, it does work (after a fashion). the motto ''Knowledge dispels fear'' ( No 1 P.T.S) is true.

That does not imply taking uncalculated, stupid risks but ......life without some risk has got to be pretty boring. Some will disagree no doubt.

 

So absolutely true, but no one is saying never take a risk, what we are saying is never take unnecessary risks. In fact you say this yourself(above). In the original posting the chap jehe, asked a question about a task he faced in his house and as the answers evolved it became quite obvious, well it did to me, that the guy was not confident of doing the job himself. So I and others who had given him advice how to attempt the job said, if you are in doubt don't do it. Its not worth hurting yourself. Lack of confidence is so often the path to failure, and in these circumstances when a lot of unknowns are involved people have accidents. I don't have any problems with people doing exactly what they want to do in any way they want, ( as long as they don't endanger me and mine) but all I say is don't attempt something that is dangerous when there is a safe way to do it. I guess powedesal in your book that probably makes me boring, so be it, I'm boring [:D]

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Sometimes the thing that scares you is not physically dangerous at all.  For example, I know a lot of confident risk takers in the physical sphere who would rather die than have to, say, give a speech in public.

We are not talking about being a "coward" or whatever the emotive word is.  To my mind, it's tantamount to irresponsibility to attempt something as dangerous as moving heavy weights in unfamiliar circumstances that is being discussed here.

You're of course not only endangering your own life and limb but you are risking the happiness and peace of mind of people close to you.

When in doubt, do nowt sounds about right to me. 

 

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