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Old 09-23-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


I'm replacing the PTL decking and doing some modifications to our back deck. In order to easily do the modifications, I removed all the old planking first. The deck is 25 years old and over the years dirt has settled in.

I've done a lot of joist, beam and plank walking in my career. The only time I slipped was on a beam that had a thin sheet of ice on it. I've never taken a bad fall. Over the years, I kind of adopted a confidence in my cat-like skills so after I removed the planks I fearlessly walked the joists to get where I need to be to do the work.

Then last week I was dropping myself down between some joists (a 3' drop) so I could do some work and my hand slipped and drove my wrist into a V-cut in the joist I just made and I found a nice gouge in my wrist topped off by a chunk of PTL sticking out of my wrist.

Then it rained overnight. I knew the joists would be slippery so I was cautious, making sure my foot was firmly planted before taking the next step. I went to step down to a 4x12 support (I have 4x12s supporting the 2x8 joists) and suddenly the lights went out. And my face was hurting badly. Somehow I slipped off the 4x12 and dropped like a rock. My cheekbone kissed the joist hard. I also felt pain on my hip and forearm and my wrist was slightly sprained.

Okay - NOW I really learned my lesson. And I had the rest of the afternoon to think about it as I lay on the couch with an icepack on my face and wrist.

Next day I go out to continue the work. One section of the deck was planked so I was feeling good about that. I looked down to step on to a joist, took a step and down again I went!

WTH is happening to me? Then my SO found out and said, "You're not a kid anymore! You can't do what you used to do. So you need to be more careful!" It was more of a lecture.

Do the fading joist walking skills mean I'm getting old? NAH! I just forgot to look both ways before crossing.

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Old 09-23-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


You've heard the saying: "a hair off the dog that bit you"?

Don't convince yourself that you're getting older and can't do it. Of course the day will come when you physically can't, but not yet. At least you recognise that the day will come, so in the meantime go a little more carefully and you will be fine - for a few years at least.

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Old 09-23-2013, 05:57 PM   #3
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


I keep a few old planks stacked up by my shed for various uses.
One of those uses is to lay down across exposed joists as a walk ways.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:44 PM   #4
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


Years ago I was a framer- I had no fear. I would run down a wall plate 10' in the air to catch a load of swinging trusses, sheet 10/12 roofs with no fall protection- just stickers nailed on the decking. Sure I took a couple short falls. I'd dust myself off, have a little chuckle at my expense- then head right back up.
Plumbed a lot of high work too- lots of time spent in baskets and manlifts.

But the years are getting to me- I feel very comfortable in a crawl space now days....
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:39 PM   #5
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


Joist are no problem but I have lost my edge on walking unbraced and exterior walls though and I'm not sure why because a wobbly 3 1/2" used to be as wide as a sidewalk.

I started framing at 19 (50 now) and did so for 15 years. Heights still don't bother me (per se) as long as I know where my feet are.

Back in my early days one of the old timers said to me "the ground is wherever your feet are at the time". Priceless words imo.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:31 PM   #6
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


Yeah, used to do a lot of framing.
Ran all over 2 X 4 top plates - 2 and 3 stories up -
(2 X 6's were a "sidewalk"!)
Crawled on 12/12, shingled roofs -
Walked 10/12's all the time.
Various other, feats of "daring-do" and "bravado" -
Not no mo'!
Can you say lost a step?!?

(Fortunately or "unfortunately" - haven't lost my beer-drinking skills!!!)

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Old 09-23-2013, 10:11 PM   #7
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


I have begun to suspect that the boots they sell now have a lot to do with slipping. I can remember walking a 10/12 pitch without slipping. Boots used to stick like an octopus to a fiberglass boat. I can still walk a 10 pitch but slide down almost as fast as I can walk up. I have not found a "good" pair of work boots for 10 years or so.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:24 PM   #8
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckweather View Post
I have begun to suspect that the boots they sell now have a lot to do with slipping. I can remember walking a 10/12 pitch without slipping. Boots used to stick like an octopus to a fiberglass boat. I can still walk a 10 pitch but slide down almost as fast as I can walk up. I have not found a "good" pair of work boots for 10 years or so.
I agree!
Some of the best one's I had were "Die-Hards" -
can't afford them now!!!
(Did tear them up in 6 months, though!)

Also, I try to stay off of roofs as much as possible!
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:21 AM   #9
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckweather View Post
I have begun to suspect that the boots they sell now have a lot to do with slipping. I can remember walking a 10/12 pitch without slipping. Boots used to stick like an octopus to a fiberglass boat. I can still walk a 10 pitch but slide down almost as fast as I can walk up. I have not found a "good" pair of work boots for 10 years or so.
You know, I never thought of that. I was blaming it on aging. Back in the 70's when I started in the trades, I used to buy DieHards. Then Sears started making them overseas and the quality of the boot dropped significantly. Someone at work suggested Red Wing. The first pair I wore every day for over 5 years. The soles were still okay but the comfort was fading. The next pair I bought in 1997 and still have them today. Maybe I should have been wearing those!

But I'd be kidding myself if I ignored age as a factor. Harry Truman was president when I was born. That's often hard for me to believe.

I took a break yesterday. No joist walking. Let's see how those old Red Wings perform next time out.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:43 AM   #10
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


"Red-Wings" - "Die-Hards" - both good products!
Can't afford either of them now!
Oh well!
Age sets in!
(Maybe discretion, before valor!)
I don't "bounce" as well as I used to!
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:09 PM   #11
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


The boots may be OK but the material the soles are made from all seem to be a much harder material. Some new high tech, low reality material.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:56 AM   #12
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Joist Walking Skills Fading


IT WAS THE SHOES!

Yesterday I'm back to finishing the deck. It's warm, sunny and dry. I was walking on a newly planked area and made a big step over a pile of material when my foot slid forward on the deck like I had just stepped on grease. These shoes are old and pretty beat up. And now I know the soles are worthless! And I know I'm really not getting old. PHEW!

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