House Stuff

December 28, 2010

Staining called on account of snow. LOTS OF SNOW. So I now hurt too much to work on the house, so I'm rearranging the photos. I'm finally moving to a photo album system that lets me do things like add captions and such, but doesn't allow the verbose commentary. Hopefully I'll finish captions soon and roll it out.

December 24, 2010

Got a complete first coat of stain on everything. Wheee... fumes.

December 22, 2010

Didn't accomplish what I'd planned to, but did accomplish useful things. The baseboard caps are all in place except for the one behind the radiator, which will be put in place when it's stained. Also, the room is nearly completely empty, since none of the tools are needed any longer. Stain, stain, varnish, a bit of plaster patching, paint the room, and move in. With a healthy dose of "clean it really, really well" in there somewhere.

December 19, 2010

Weekend edition Lots getting accomplished, and the end is very much in sight. Friday the second set of shaper knives showed up, so Saturday was a push to get all of that made. Make all the big mess in one shot, and the last of the mouldings is ready to put on the walls. Also, more cleanup in 3.

Today was sanding, sanding, a bit more sanding, and starting the stain. Both doors and the south window have their first coat of stain (Sedona Red) done, and will need a coat of darker (Red Mahogany) to get anywhere near matching the old wood that's around them. The crowns, bases, and bits of transom that were reused old wood got a coat of Sedona Red and match the baseboards that have been in there for ages.

Downsides of staining in December: ventilation? What's that? Also, I can't stain the windows themselves, because I would need to open them to get the entirety of the wood.

The plan at this point is to get most of the baseboard cap moulding installed tomorrow evening, except for the pieces that go behind the radiator. Those will need to be stained before they get installed, and hopefully the east window plus all the baseboard caps (installed or not) will be stained, first coat, tomorrow.

December 14, 2010

Didn't get nearly as much done today as I would have liked, but I did get a bunch of cleaning done in 3. All of the various construction supplies need to evacuate, I need to finish up a bunch of cleaning, so I can go through and sand all the mouldings, then stain and finish them all. Then a final cleaning and we move in.

December 13, 2010

Not nearly as much progress today, but still some. I went over the entire room today and made sure all the nails holding mouldings were set, and went over them all with a bit of putty. Also got the strike plate for the closet door installed, since the putty there was dry from yesterday.

Figured out how to scan a cross section of moulding, measure a couple dimensions with calipers, and email enough information to the shaper knive folks to not have to send a sample USPS. I should have more toys in a week or so.

December 12, 2010

Weekend edition:
Yesterday was very productive - I made about 50' of door stop moulding, installed about 17' of it in the door to 3, put the transom moulding above the side window, and shoveled up a bit of sawdust. Turns out that the planer created about 3x as much sawdust as the shaper. At least nearly all of it comes out as decently large shavings, and not really dust.

Today was similarly productive. Picked up more moulding stock, made new mouldings for the sides of the two doors. Ripped the closet door out of the wall, realized that the jamb was actually in fine condition but was way out of plumb and true. Reinstalled jamb, getting it actually in the wall correctly, reinstalled door in jamb. Had to move the latch plate down about 1/4", so chiseled out what was needed and filled the old screw holes with putty. (That'll be a quick finish up tomorrow.) Reinstalled the mouldings around the closet door inside the closet, then installed all the mouldings in the room around both doors.

Tomorrow I need to sand lots of stuff and prep it all for staining. The only mouldings that aren't installed are the caps on the baseboards, and the sample of that is getting mailed to NV tomorrow to get new shaper knives made. Those won't likely be done this year, unfortunately. But that's all that is left.

December 4, 2010

The door is hung in the new jamb, and I cleaned out the latch with original bolt, stole a spring from the linen closet door, and got the whole thing working. The key I found behind the lintel moulding over the door works perfectly, after I soaked it in paint stripper for 3 days to get the old (lead) paint off.

Unfortunately, I still haven't gotten any door stop moulding made. The workshop has just gotten a fairly heavy-duty cleaning and reorg, and now the shaper is in the middle of the nice long open stretch, so tomorrow I can have to. In the meantime, the door works but is delicate.

December 2, 2010

So I have the new door jamb installed in 3, but don't have the door hanging in it yet. The jack studs are amazingly plumb still, after all this time. Once I have the door back in, I need to rip out the door to the closet and do the same thing.

So far I've gotten really good at getting the shaper to turn expensive moulding-quality lumber into sticks. I also need to clear out a more than 20' clear stretch so I can run the long pieces through, but those will wait until I'm not destroying the lumber quite so effectively.

November 28, 2010

TANYS Festival + sick took me down for a while, but I got moving a bit again today. Moulding on the mezzanine side of the bathroom door frame went back up, and the entire door to 3 got ripped out all the way to the jack studs. I found an old key hiding behind the crown moulding above that door, which I figure will throw the bolt on the old door locks, once I get it (and the locks) cleaned up.

Also got the shaper out, the spindle swapped, and the custom knives up and running. It's going to take some practice to really get control with it, but it's really amazing to see.

November 15, 2010

Received the shaper knives today. If I weren't busy with TANYS Festival stuff, I'd be downstairs already playing.

November 12, 2010

Front window in 3 has all of its mouldings. I've received the shaper head that I'll need to hold the custom shaper knives that I should be receiving this coming week. I've also discovered that the moulding that goes on top of the baseboards is in varying shape, ranging from OK to terrible... I think that will likely be the second set of knives I order.

November 7, 2010

Front window mouldings have been much slower going than I'd expected. The plaster was uneven enough that I've spent several days chipping away where it was keeping the new mouldings from sitting properly. At this point, below the window and on both sides have mouldings in place, and the top piece still needs to be measured, cut, assembled, and put into place... assuming that I don't have to chip lots of plaster out of the way for that. I also need to pick up a can of spray foam tomorrow, as I found a pretty decent sized leak in the top right corner above the windows frame.

October 24, 2010

Did a bunch of measuring for lumber for the window mouldings, realized I'm going to need to replace both door's jambs, so I measured for those as well. (The closet door jamb is snapped where they mis-installed it originally and the house shifted, and the room door jamb is just shredded.) Part of what needs to be replaced on the room door's jamb is the "door stop moulding", which is the piece that the door hits to keep it from overshooting the latch and ripping the hinges out.

Went to Home Depot to pick up the lumber and see about the door stop moulding. Lumber is easy. Moulding... not so much. The stuff sold today is _much_ simpler, and wouldn't match anything else in the house. So I checked out router bits and shaper cutters to see if I could find anything close there and I'd make my own. Same selection as you can buy in wood, not surprisingly. Looking further, I found a place in Nevada that makes custom shaper knives, and they only cost $12 more than knives already in their stock. I'm already exchanging email with them about how to see what they have in stock (their "door stop profiles" page doesn't exist yet) and how to spec custom knives if we need to. I'm going to be able to make _anything_ thanks to this place.

October 23, 2010

Actually, I'm almost on the schedule I put forth in my last post. The front and side windows are all set for mouldings. I also discovered that there's a chance the original mouldings from the side window will still fit, so that pushed me to do a bunch of cleanup in 3 so I could go over the mouldings that have been sitting there waiting for wood putty. First pass of putty is drying, which conveniently gets me closer to finishing around the doors as well as the windows. Tomorrow I'll see about mouldings around the front window, since that is _not_ going to done using the original wood and will thus be faster to complete.

October 18, 2010

A crazy interlude of life, and back to things. John has been plugging away at cutting tiny little tiles in half, so there is currently a nearly complete floor sitting (just sitting) in the shower.

I moved the last of the stuff off the stairs, and pulled the last of the staples. There are 2 rows of actual carpet tacks on the top two stairs, but I really need to rip open below them, stabilize the steps, and THEN start beating on them to get the damn things pulled. Whenever I feel like doing that, I could finish this up and get to refinishing the stairs.

I've got the jambs and sill of the front window in 3 put together as of this evening, and should be installing it tomorrow. There are a LOT of shims between here and there. Then I go and do the side window (2 evenings, maybe 3), and finish the mouldings in there (a bunch of work) and THEN we can move in to that room.

September 19, 2010

This weekend was half productive, and that productive was used pulling the rest of the staples out of the stairs while John was crawling around under the stairs reinforcing the bottom 5 steps with steel.

Jason Scheiner had, way back in the beginning, spent many hours pulling staples out of these stairs. I appreciated it. I appreciate it much more now, since my neck is still cramped up over a day later and I pulled half as many staples as he did. There are a _few_ left, I need to move some stuff off the landing and pull the ones I couldn't get to, and a few more carpet tacks. Then I can strip the stairs and refinish them. At some point over the winter, I think.

September 13, 2010

Well, the mortar under the floor membrane and around the sill are just refusing to set. So I moved elsewhere rather than wait, and the drain system for the room, except for the tub, is entirely done. The tub has to wait for me to figure out what the heck is going on there, but there's a stub pipe going in the right direction for me to connect to when the time comes.

I then cleaned up a few things, and took down the scaffolding that has been living in the 1/2 bath for the last couple months. Unfortunately, I then discovered that I've managed to completely plug the sink with crud and will have to replace the trap tomorrow.

September 9, 2010

The floor is covered, and the drain is mortared in place. Tomorrow a couple trim bits get done and then it has to sit until the weekend for the mortar to be completely set.

September 7, 2010

The walls are completely covered in membrane, and the floor will be tomorrow. Then tile.

August 23, 2010

Fell a bit behind my schedule from Saturday, largely by going through and cutting nearly all the pieces of membrane for the entire rest of the shower in one session, rather than cutting a couple, putting them up, lather, rinse, repeat. One wall is covered, and almost everything but the pieces for the floor are cut.

In related news, John's got the Greek Key pattern for around the inside of the shower made, and has been working on cutting 1" hexagonal tiles in half to smooth out the transition from the Greek Key to the central area of hexes.

August 21, 2010

OK, since the 11th I have been playing a lot with mortar. The prefab shower base and sill are installed. I've installed the shelf and little seat that I've been saying would be in the shower. I've been going through with the Kerdi band strips to seal up all the joints. All of these are mortared in. Tomorrow I do the walls with the membrane, then possibly the shelf and the wall above the shelf. (Going in this order lets me do lap joints from the top down, like shingles on a roof.)

Once the walls are done, a seriously heavy layer of mortar on the floor, then the drain goes in, then the floor gets its membrane. Then tiles.

Speaking of tiles, at one point today we had the edge greek key pattern dry-fitted along one wall in the shower. Looked awesome. That, more than the membrane installs, makes it feel like I'm getting close.

August 11, 2010

While cutting 1.375" wide strips of concrete board is a pain in the butt, at least it was the last piece of concrete board for the upstairs bathroom. There was a matching piece of sheetrock on the other side of the shower door, and then I cleared ALL of the scrap pieces of concrete board AND sheetrock out of the bathroom to get moved to storage. That step is DONE.

August 10, 2010

Tonight I discovered that the tools used for cutting concrete backer board cut sheetrock like butter. Still need a knife to cut the paper backing, as the carbide tip isn't really designed for that, but two passes through the gypsum, snap, cut the paper on the other side, done. One minute per cut. So now the only thing left of the walls is a bit of "trim" rock/sheetrock in the doorway to the shower.

August 9, 2010

OK, I'm being bad about updating. I'm trying to do an hour or two every day after work, and more than that on weekends. I'm not quite keeping that pace, but this way I'm much less likely to burn out.

I started working on the drain plumbing but didn't get far. Had to get parts. Instead, I got the back on the wall that has been left open to do the shower plumbing. Also installed the shelf in the shower that I've been talking about - 6' off the floor, all the way across two 4' sides of the shower. Lots of room for "product".

August 1, 2010

There is water in the upstairs bathroom. Intentionally.

July 27, 2010

Most of the water supply plumbing is done. I've still got to do final connection to the sink and tub on the hot side, but it's only the last 5 joints left. Then I start drain side. Fun.

July 25, 2010

The platform for the tub is designed and framed. I even went so far as to taper all the joists to correct for (most) of the slope of that part of the floor. I'll deal with decking and such after the plumbing is done.

The plumbing. Other than one major mis-step yesterday that cost me a couple hours, I've been plugging right along. The water feed lines now extend from the feed up from the basement, the toilet is connected, both sides of the shower are connected, and both sides are one sweat joint away from extending in to above the full bathroom. (The feed up from the basement is next to the square toilet in the half bath.) I'm holding off on that one joint because it will make a couple joints down the road easier if I wait on this one. But I'll hopefully be getting the tub and sink plumbing in on Wednesday, but I think we have a social engagement that will delay me.

July 23, 2010

More progress on things. I've got the water supply plumbing starting to snake around under the floor. The toilet feed is done. The shower feeds are close, but currently too hot for me to make more progress on tonight. The drain pipe has been trimmed back a bit, since the tub wouldn't have been able to drain to where it was.

However, I discovered a problem with plumbing in the tub. Specifically, the drain was going to try and go through either a double beam OR a brick shelf on the inside of the exterior wall. So now I'm working on designing a small "platform" for the tub to sit on, that will hold the weight AND will provide a space to run pipes underneath. I also now know way more about how the drains on antique tubs work than I ever thought I would, and found that my tub actually conforms to modern standards. But now I need to buy more fixture bits to hook it all up. Ugh.

July 12, 2010

So I'm taking two days off this week to work on the bathroom and whatever else might get worked on. The weekend was not nearly as productive as I'd hoped it would be, consisting mostly of a few trips to HD for plumbing bits (supply-side), plumbing bits (soil-side), mortar tools, lumber (3's window mouldings really need to get finished one of these days), and anti-bug stuff. A small bit of drain plumbing was accomplished, some brackets holding some supply plumbing got done, and the realization that I really need the concrete board on the floor before I go running pipes through the floor (sink, toilet, and tub supplies) was come to.

Today has been installing concrete board. It gets mortared down as well as screwed down. It is very, very hot work.

June 7, 2010

Actually had a weekend that was vaguely useful. The shower supply plumbing is in the wall, and I got a bunch more mud done. The plan for this week before we leave on vacation (England!) is to get the supply plumbing for the whole room at least roughed in to cutoff valves for every fixture, so I can pressure test the shower and seal up the wall.

April 4, 2010

Getting stuff done on the first truly gorgeous day of the year means changing what you're planning to do. New gate on the end of the alley, this time made of cedar so I don't have to make a third one, and a rip down, clean up, and rebuild of the center window on the living room. The top window of the two was slowly sinking, and I was afraid it was going to just let go one day and we'd have bits of broken glass everywhere.

February 28, 2010

Picked up the mixing valve Friday, spent some time staring at how it all goes together. This thing is a major win over what was in there, as it is nearly 100% servicable from the inside the shower without doing any damage to the tile. The old one involved ripping huge holes in the wall to replace even the gasket. This is why the downstairs shower drips, and has been dripping since before I bought the house.

Got the rest of the rock up in the shower, once I knew how things would go together. Starting to look at plumbing the shower in so I can put the back on that wall, finish mudding the room, and get ready to tile.

February 16, 2010

ARGH. So the shower stall is framed. Next step is to rough in the plumbing, so I can rock the stall, mud _that_, and move forward from there. Problem is, I pulled out the shower kit (shower head, handles, etc.) to discover an extraneous 'T' on the part number... meaning trim only. No mixing valve. Just ordered the valve, 2-3 weeks for delivery. I can get bits done, but I'm very quickly going to be completely stuck waiting on this.

February 15, 2010

The past several days have been "mud", "more mud", "a bit more mud"... ugh.

Today, however, has real news. John did the cleanup on the mud in the corner where the shower is going, specifically so it would be largely done in that corner. So today I framed the shower stall.

February 11, 2010

First pass of the mud is done, second pass of the places that really need a lot is done.

February 10, 2010

I haven't said this in a while... I @#$%ing HATE sheetrock.

On that note, I got the first pass of joint compound ("mud") about 90% done before my fingers plead for mercy. I'm using the self-adhesive fiberglass mesh joint tape, and it is brutal. But the first pass will be done tomorrow, and the second pass will begin. My goal is to never sand, just doing the job with care and very wide knives.

February 9, 2010

The bathroom is sheetrocked. Tomorrow, we mud.

January 11, 2010

Motivation has been lacking, but I've started moving again after the holidays. The door is rehung, which has caused me to now understand why the old jamb seemed to have been cut by someone with a serious list to one side... the door is seriously warped. Hinge side corners and the bottom of the latch side define a useful plane. The latch side top corner is 3/4" out of the plane, toward the jamb. I'm going to use shower steam to straighten it out... every time we shower with the door latched shut.
2009 Archived Commentary
2008 Archived Commentary
2007 Archived Commentary
2006 Archived Commentary
2005 Archived Commentary
2004 Archived Commentary
2003 Archived Commentary
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