Friday, 22 October 2010

Mysteries of a house and tie wars

Underneath the Sow's Ear we have the most curious protrusions on the floorboard joists. And we are not sure what they are. There are at least 50 of them which are made from metal.

We asked what they were during the building and pest inspection last year, just before we bought this old place. The building inspector had no idea. That made me uneasy, however he assured us they were doing no harm.

metal plates underneath the house

Mr Rooney, our most learned builder, has also surveyed the protrusions. He told us that he has worked on hundreds of Queenslander homes and never has he seen such a thing.

more metal 

I could not help but take that as a compliment.

Jason is banned from removing them at this stage. He removed about ten or so, but I asked him to stop. Wouldn't we feel silly to have removed them all, only to realise that they were necessary?

Do you know what they are? Surely someone out there can shed some light on our mysterious bits of metal.

And to go completely off topic, Jason was going to Ipswich this morning and then has a special lunch to attend at Moo Moos in the City - it is not a very good vegetarian restaurant, judging by its name.

He wanted me to take a photograph of his tie. He's clearly fallen under the spell of Faux.

I reminded him that this blog was a renovation blog and that my avid readers were not interested in his work attire. It is what he doesn't wear during renovating that interests them more (isn't that right, Mrs Moerk and Madame Pooch?)

But he insisted. I complied. After I reviewed the photograph, I told him his tie looked a bit boring.

White cotton poplin shirt teamed with funereal looking tie

007 rolled his eyes and said, "Classic [long pause] is never boring."

Please note this will be the first and last image of Jason's work clothes. Other blogs do this sort of thing a million times better than us.


  1. I happen to think that tie is lovely. I think lairy or bright or big patterned ties are actually pretty appalling. Just because it is small and narrow doesn't make it any less ugly. My husband is partial to pale pink ties and they look good. For what its worth Hermes make the best ties on the planet but they cost a king's ransom so you gotta make them last. xo

  2. Oh that Jason is a card :)
    Maybe those metal plates are to stop some creature (possums??) from hanging on and running along the joists?? Not sure why that would be neccessary. Or, maybe upside down possums on skateboards??? I must be losing ym mind...

  3. I was going to say it was an ant-cap type of thing but maybe not if it cut around the timber rather than through the timber which is usual for the ones on stumps. Hmmmm, will ask the Silver Fox...

  4. Would those metal plates be to stop rodents running under the house?

    Just, like Sarah B said ... Possums or rats. Because they look like they're all in alignment which would mean it would be useless for a rodent to jump to an adjacent joist.

    Those nasty vermin can achieve remarkable circus-like feats. With their feets.

    Snappy Jason!

  5. My Dad works for a building inspection company - they do lots of different building related things and amongst them all they know LOTS of useful things...and answer all my reno questions! I sent this post onto him, and his reponse is below

    I have hawked it around the office to all and sundry and we don’t know what they are either but our best guess is that they are rodent shields.

    ie. to stop rats or possums crawling along the floor joists.

    ………………….and I didn’t think her husband’s tie was that boring!!

    Nothing that anyone else hadn't already said!

  6. Maybe the tin/metal has something to do with stopping termites? I would leave them rather than remove. It is not like you look at them on a daily basis. On the tie front..... I think Jason needs to be a bit more daring. But I did have a good laugh! Enjoy your weekend. ;-)

  7. Hi Anita, I have just spent a bit of time catching up on your blog and as usual you have been very busy! I have no idea what the metal bits are for but Rosie's dad's comments sound reasonable and make sense! Thank you for you lovely comments and the big hug, it made me feel much better reading it and knowing that I have met some wonderful friends. Have a great weekend. xx

  8. I would've said white ant caps if they were horizontal and not vertical. Sorry love, I can't help you. Never saw anything like that on my Queenslander at Nundah. Tie......mmmmm, classic, boring, funereal, think you have it covered! Yep, ditch the clothes. Have a great weekend.

    Jennifer XX

  9. At first I would have said, termites or ants block but I am also wondering if you get any water run off along those timber joists from the wall at the other end? Have a great weekend, Lisa

  10. Silver Fox agreed with the rodent shields... Don't forget that rats can be very cunning (my lord) so it is probably necessary...

  11. Rodent shields? I think I'm going to have nightmares tonight. Thanks everyone particularly Rosie and her Dad and Just Martha and her Silver Fox. You are all great though! And Jane, Jason is your friend for life after your comments re his tie. xx

  12. Those galvanised metal plates are not rodent shields. If you go back through the records of your house, you'll probably find a connection to the military at some point. They experimented with hidden metal plates placed in neat rows to reflect airborne radar devices, making it easier for a missile to home in on a stationary target. Your house was/is used as target practice, Bris, so - so long as they don't arm the weapons, you can sleep well at night.

    The tie... Hmm... maybe a bigger knot, better tied? Maybe it's the collar letting it down? Not bad though.

  13. Hmmm I am beginning to worry for you brismod and the long suffering Mrs Rooney (ha ha), undoubtedly one of the loveliest and most gorgeous people on the planet ( as her sisters and I like to say she eats and we get fat..ha ha) All these lovely ladies comments on Jason and Mr Rooney can only lead to no good, I fear large egos and swollen of ties!! Brismod- what were you thinking? Ha ha

  14. Tom, you get the prize for most creative answer. Reflect airborne radar devices, indeed!

    And I thought his collar was not quite right too. He should bring back the retro pointy collars that they had in the 70s. Don't you think?

    Katherine, yes, what was I thinking!!

  15. OK, I’ve seen them and they are well weird. My first thoughts were rats or white ants BUT.....

    They are no obstacle to a termite; he is just going to chew his merry way through the inside of the wood.

    You’ve got to remember too, that these are floor joists. Rats and mice (and water for that matter) are all subject to gravity. They can run along on top of things but they can’t run along side of things or upside down.

    These things are not just evenly spaced, they are perfectly formed. They’ve all been hand cut with tin snips and are uniform in dimension. Where they have to allow for a round water or gas pipe, to pass through, the level of precision is amazing. To get such close tolerances, just with tin snips defies belief.

    It is a mystery.

    It reminds me of the ‘Cerne Abbas Giant’, somebody has gone to a lot of meticulous trouble for no apparent purpose.

    Mr Rooney

    PS. Hi Kath, Mrs Rooney says to say hello, she’s thinking of signing up with MC to get her scuba licence!

  16. i was thinking more an anti-alien device. the shields reflect the lights of their craft back to the mother ship and it renders their landing gear ineffective.
    about that tie... its not totally bad but i think 007 would risk a bit racier pattern. personally, im not interested. i like the no-tie version :)

  17. Jason gets a Special mention on my latest post!!!!!! This tie thing amuses me NO END! Hope it's not rats. I loathe their beady rodent eyes and greasy filthy fur. x

  18. I also think you should keep the tie photos coming. They are 11/10 amusing.x

  19. Do you think, FF? Hmmm...I'll have to see if Jason is up for it. He may not have the sartorial stamina.

    And I hope the metal is not for rats - the anti-alien/radar suggestions are more appealing.

  20. My Dad said that to deflect radar you need a 3 cornered metal reflector. He thought it reminded him of a rodent device used on the rope mouring a ship BUT it is a funny place to put them. AND he said that if they were testing radar deflection then they would usually do it on a range where they could measure and control the experiment... So, back to the drawing board I'm afraid...

  21. I missed this comment. Really? So not for rats or radar deflectors. Then what on earth are they?? Maybe Mr Rooney was on to something about a lot of trouble for no apparent reason. Hmmm...

  22. man this has been a good read- including the comments!! had a huge lkaugh @ tom and the other tie banter too. yeah, i thought they were to stop rats scurrying about, but perhaps it is a magnetic force feld kind of installation. whatever it is, someone took a good while getting them in for a valid reason you'd assume??


  23. Are there any corresponding walls above the metal markers? Do the metal markers form a straight line? Since they're metal, maybe somebody made a 'secret' area for themselves, where they used magnets and fabric to hide behind?


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