I Used A Reciprocating Saw!

The saga with my flooring has dragged on and has prevented me from writing a concise post summing it all up, because it’s still.not.done.  But, before I can get to the floor and its drama, I do need to fill you in on the prep work for the floor.

One of the reasons I wanted to purchase a fixer, and also why I wanted to blog about it, was to learn how to do things myself without a “handyman” in the picture. A certain stereotype still exists that certain skillsets are men, and pardon my French, but that’s bullshit.  This is the modern era, and I’m challenging myself to learn to do things that used to intimidate me.  Using power tools was one of them.  It’s not anymore.

My first foray into power tool skills?  A reciprocating saw.  It was a $14 rental from Home Depot for 4 hours, plus $20 for the saw blades, which you have to buy yourself, but the amount of time it saved us was well worth the rental.

I used it to take out these shelves in the living room:


They sat on top of the hardwood in the living area, and once we started pulling back the carpet, it was clear the shelves had to go.

living room

I had a friend who had experience with using a reciprocating saw help me.  It’s important to note, beloved readers, that do-it-yourself doesn’t have to mean doing it entirely alone.  When using power tools, it can be a smart idea to have someone with experience along just to show you how to do it safely.  It can also give you the confidence that you’re doing it right, and also said friend can help you take photos for your blog. 🙂

We started by taking down the central overhead supports.


But then it was my turn to take over the saw and dismantle the shelves themselves.  One note about this type of reciprocating saw (it’s a Makita Sawszall) — it doesn’t kick back into your hand as you would expect, it pulls forward into the wood it’s cutting.  So you don’t have to use a ton of strength to keep it from coming towards you, but you do have to exert some downward pressure as you cut to keep it in line.


Once the fronts of the horizontal shelves were cut, I stepped around to the back to complete the cut through the backing plywood. Check out my hard at work face!


Finally, we cut each side away from the wall. This left only the board attached to the wall, which we were able to carefully pry away from the drywall without any major drywall damage.


The base of support was built out of simple 2x4s, which we simply pried off with a crowbar.  We did find one surprise: a vintage Hot Wheels car had been lost (hidden?) inside the support on one side. I’m going to try to contact the previous homeowner and see if he wants it back. A memento of his childhood, maybe?


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