House Stuff

December 13, 2014

So rather than continuing on with the railings and stairs, I decided to do something else. Well, one of the stairs is going to require that I open up the ceiling below and do some minor strutural repairs, and there are other, more pressing things to do.

Instead, the upstairs bathroom has paint on the walls. In a couple days, the medicine cabinet and towel bars will get installed. I should have a plumber coming in some time this coming week to talk to me about installing the tub. I'm still going to have to tile around the tub after I talk to him, but at least I'll know what I'm looking at.

October 2, 2014

The stairs, railing, balusters, other wood at or above the surface of the steps themselves... all stripped clean. A day for it all to dry thoroughly and I can move on to sanding and finishing.

September 29, 2014

Got about 1/3 of the balusters stripped, and 1/2 of the underside of the railing. Balusters are a pain, since they're round and half unreachable from any particular angle, so the "1/3" is really 2/3 of the balusters, but one side of each of them.

September 28, 2014

The main stairs are fully stripped, along with the baseboard and some of the wood around them. Starting work on the balusters tomorrow, hopefully have all of it done by midweek. Then have to rip out a bit of ceiling underneath to fix a broken step that we hadn't realized was broken - it was held together by the carpet adhesive.

September 18, 2014

Back to things, working on stripping some of the wood around the main stairs. Whoever decided to paint quarter-sawn oak with latex brown...

August 17, 2014

Moving on, trying to keep _something_ going as I try to fall into a complete lack of motivation. So today was starting to poke at the door that's horribly in the way in the dining room. The door is nearly perfectly square sitting on the saw horses (diagonals differ by about 1/16") so I broke out the router, set up a jig, and routed a 3/4" slot the entire width the door, up from the bottom. A new spline will get glued in there of 1x2 oak, packed in with lots of good wood glue and the really rough bits will get some epoxy wood filler. The top will get a similar spline when the bottom is done.

That lead to trying to fix the panel in the middle that was pretty clearly kicked out at some point and replaced with a couple pieces of OSB sloppily screwed into place. Found that every piece of moulding that used to hold the panel into place was broken except one, so that's not very salvagable. Pried out all the bits, cut a clean sample out of an otherwise broken piece, scanned the cross section and just ordered custom shaper knives so I can make my own. SO glad I bought that shaper.

August 8, 2014

The floor is done. Drying time was easily double what it should have been, so three coats on Thursday and one on Friday.

August 6, 2014

Tuesday did see the end of the stripping, but not the fire repairs. The repairs took a couple hours this morning, followed by renting the floor sander and going nuts. Less than 3 hours later, I'd gone through 36 grit, 60 grit, 80 grit, and 120 grit on the entire mezzanine, and it's amazing how much lighter the whole second floor suddenly was with the grey/brown surface of the boards blasted away. I was hoping to get a coat or two of finish down tonight, but the sanding sealer has been taking forever to dry so all of the finish will happen tomorrow. Nominal 1 hour recoat time, so it's very doable... assuming the weather doesn't keep things from drying.

August 4, 2014

So didn't quite hit the targets. As of the end of Monday, the baseboards are done to the landing 3 steps down the stairs. The railing is done to the post at the top of the stairs, so it needs to continue down to the landine. The floor is done to half way between 1 and 2. This isn't more than a couple hours to do tomorrow.

Plan for Tuesday is to finish the stripping, then deal with fixing a spot near 4 where there clearly was a fire at some point in the past. 3 boards by about 18" will need to be cut out and replaced. Fortunately, this is the same wood that I just removed from the old pantry floor, so I have salvage.

August 2, 2014

So as it turns out I didn't do any baseboards. From 7 to 5 is completely done, floors, railings, baseboards. Some of that was done previously, the railing and floor were today. The entire little side hallway from 4 to 3 is done. The little side hallway to 2 is done.

The plan for tomorrow is railings from 5 to at least 2, preferrably to the top of the stairs, and baseboards from 2 to the top of the stairs. If any floors get done, bonus. That leaves Monday to do the entire rest of the floor, which isn't difficult. Current plan is to sand the floors Wednesday evening, so I can play with floor finish all day Thursday. At this point, the odds of the stairs getting done as planned are extremely small.

August 1, 2014

So once the scaffolding was set up in the main stairs, priorities changed a bit. No working on floors, just working on railings and balusters that the scaffolding was required for. I want to use the stairs, dammit.

However, that means that the railings and balusters, at least the stairs-side of them, are all stripped and the scaffolding is now taken back down. At some point I'll have to put it back up lower then it was and strip the woodwork below floor level, but that is outside the scope of the current project.

Tomorrow, I'm going to mix it up a bit to vary the stress on my back: floors, railings and balusters (side away from the stairs), and baseboards.

July 30, 2014

Stripping floors and baseboards is tough work. 5 hours today, I've got the baseboards stripped from 7 all the way past 3, plus the alcove floor in front of 2, 3, and 5. I also got the scaffolding set up in the main stairs today (thanks Catt and Ken!) so I can strip the railings and spindles on both sides, but now that means I can't use the stairs. My elbows are done with the baseboards and floors things anyway, so I'll do some work I can mostly stand for.

Catt and Ken also assisted in taking down the left door on the inside of the entryway. It's out of square by quite a bit, and now I'm in a position to fix it.

July 29, 2014

Yesterday was useful in a way I never wish to deal with again. We've been smelling gas at a fairly low level for a bit, figured it was a minor leak in a fitting around the stove and since it was clearly pretty minor, didn't worry too much about it. Yesterday I finally called National Grid to get someone to come out with a sniffer to find it.

When he arrived and I opened the door, he immediately had a look on his face. A look that says: "I smell gas for real." Even with that, it took him 2 hours to find the blasted thing, but what it was explains all. A 1" black pipe gas line was running directly under the kichen sink plumbing, and had been dripped on for god knows how many years. It was actually rusted through. The leak had clearly been slowly building for _months_ so our noses were used to it, but it was pervasive throughout the entire house. At this point I can stick my thumb through the semi-structural rust that is all that was left of the pipe.

Plumber was able to make it out this morning, and $150 later everything is back up and running.

After the plumber left, I started work again on stripping floors and baseboards upstairs. Today's goal has been to get all the baseboards from 7 around past 5 clean, and get the floor in the little alcove in front of 5 done. I'm also slowly getting the scaffolding maneuvered around so I can build it on the main stairs so I can strip the railings completely. Once the baseboards and railings are done, the floor actually moves along very quickly. But 6 hours of work = about 15' of baseboard, 15 sq. ft. of floor, a bunch of cleanup prepping the stairs and scaffolding, and slowly finding and removing a bunch of carpet staples I hadn't realized were there.

July 27, 2014

So there will be lots done in the next 2 weeks. I've been working a short-term contract day job recently, so I'm actually taking 2 weeks off while John and Amanda are off at Pennsic to make progress. Very specific progress that needs them to not be home - refinishing the floor of the mezzanine and the main stairs.

April 7, 2014

The stripping is progressing apace. I now have all of the mouldings in the north-west corner of the dining room scraped and have started doing a pass of chemical stripper to really get them clean. It's amazing how it comes out, more or less a golden oak color.

March 14, 2014

So I've been making little bits of progress slowly stripping the brown paint off the mouldings in the dining room. Nothing really to write home (or a post here) about, but little bits of progress.

Far more importantly, I received a letter from the bank yesterday, along with a notice from the County Clerk's office. I own the house. I will be burning some now unnecessary paper the next time I'm out camping.

2013 Archived Commentary
2012 Archived Commentary
2011 Archived Commentary
2010 Archived Commentary
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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