Living Room Completed

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Last Friday I finished all of the bed moulding trim work in the living room. All that’s left is to fill nails holes–about a billion of them.

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Living Room Update Cont’d

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Over the last three days, it’s been my mission in life to complete building the beams and installing them in the living room. The final verdict? — Done. The journey? Abysmal! If I had had a crew of four or five able-bodied hands, it would have turned out much better than it ultimately did. That being said, it’s passable by most standards and so I’ll let it go.

The general construction was a three-sided, tongue-and-groove box stabilized a bit by adding glue blocks. The large boxes that covered the I-beams had a pine 1x cut to a 45 degree angle attached to the top. (photo #2) Screws were then used through the pine into the ceiling. This was effectively the only way to attach it since it couldn’t be attached to the beam itself. The perpendicular boxes were nailed to a 2x that was bolted to the ceiling. (photo #3) The trim is bed moulding which will be supported by the pine piece.

The triangle-shaped section over the fireplace had a really tricky angle, but with a jig and a couple test cuts, I was able to get it pretty darn close. (photo #7)

The refurbished, vintage light (with modern glass) really adds to the room. My sincere thanks goes out to Seth for graciously supplying it.

Hopefully, trimming can be done on Saturday…

Self-Imposed Exile at an End aka Living Room Update

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Life… Time… Money… Motivation… All valid excuses that have no bearing on the present.

The last child is about to stretch her wings into adulthood by graduating from high school. With the reception looming in the near future, it seemed prudent that the dusty, crusty I-beams in the living room needed to be covered at long last. A couple weekends ago, I finally got started by putting a “frieze” of quartered oak boards around the perimeter of the room.

This past Friday, I got the caps and moulding added to the two windows. They’ve looked bare and forlorn for so long now. The space above the windows was very tight–right at six inches. The caps were installed using finish screws. As I was backing out one of them over the large, cottage window, the drill got away from me and punched a hole in the ceiling. No huge deal, but just another setback in the timeline.

And finally, the interior beams are now ready to be cut to length and assembled. They will be tongue-and-groove joint boxes and attached to the ceiling in two different ways. More to come on that…

Storm Window Replacements

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Over a decade ago, I made storms for two oval windows out of 5/4 treated pine. Over the years, I’ve had to repair them a couple of times because the frames would split. I noticed this year was no different even going so far as to break the glass. It was then it occurred to me that they needed rebuilding from the ground up.

I opted this time to try cedar in the hope that it is more dimensionally stable. Also, when I built the originals, all the glue joints with no biscuits/splines/etc ran vertically–easier to glue up. This time, I’m trying four pieces using double-biscuit joints. Crossing my fingers that this will work better.

Each frame was custom fit into the opening. The old ones “fit like a saddle on a sow”, as my family always says about things like that. I was able to get them built and installed in two days. They are not perfect by any stretch of imagination, but…

Now to wait for the judges’ scores insofar as endurance is concerned.

Last Glass Project For a While

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About a month ago, I installed the upper sash in the living room window. It only took a few days to start and finish it–another one of those “why didn’t I just do this in the first place?” moments. I have no official plans to start another one anytime soon.

It’s Installed

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Still a few more tasks to complete, but otherwise it’s done!

Window Rebuilt

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Well, it’s done. And I literally and figuratively wipe my hands of it! From the outset, this seemed like it would be a walk-in-the-park, but it turned out to be a slog-in-the-bog. Some of the glass was too thick for the lead, while others were a mere 1/8″ thick. I think the dark textured glass around the amber oval interior was not properly annealed. It cracks just looking at it–almost literally. Some of it actually cracked after having lain on the workbench for a couple weeks. In retrospect, I should have replaced it all, but I didn’t trying to be a purist. Now some of it has cracked after being leaded. It’s an old window so I’ll just chalk it up to patina. The worst of it is that each time I walk past it, I will see those cracks and grind my teeth…

Because this was a rebuild, I actually started in the middle (sort of) and worked my way out. I left the outer border for last because I knew it would need to be cut down since the original was crammed into the sash and I was going to add a zinc frame. It made finishing a bit more challenging than normal, but it worked out in the end.

Don’t look too closely, or one might notice the areas where I double-leaded it. Grrrrrr……

Dusting Off the Old

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The stained glass window in the parlor, although not original to the house, was here when we moved in. It’s not been the in the happiest of moods but I’ve grown more concerned about its deteriorated condition–mostly that the bevels might be damaged in some way and they would be expensive to replace. Several of the pieces were cracked and I didn’t want any more to suffer the same fate. Last weekend the weather was really nice so I took out the window and tore it apart.

Tiffany it is not, but it’s still old. The lead was what I would call “rotten”. I could grab it with a pliers and it would just pull away from the heart of the came and expose the glass and cement. In fact, I was able to remove all of the glass with the exception of the bevels without cutting through any of the lead.

The window itself was originally larger than the frame, so they cut nearly all of the lead from around the perimeter to fit. I think the movement of the frame over the years was simply to much for the window to stand, coupled with how deteriorated the lead and cement had become.

I have completed cleaning up all of the pieces, repairing ten, and replacing nine others. The glass was cut and grozed in its entirety leaving jagged edges. I’ll hit a handful of the worst with the grinder, but I think I’ll try and leave it be in deference to the person that originally built it.

Leading it all together again should start soon.

Garage Painting

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FINALLY!! I’ve been putting this off for a whole host of reasons. A couple weekends ago I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and move forward with this aspect of the painting project. This old summer kitchen turned Model-T garage and now spider/bee/cat haven is not in the greatest shape and it looked terrible to boot. When they poured the driveway, they poured the concrete right up to the siding. That coupled with the fact that the 4×6 plate was sitting on two layers of bricks caused most of the front structure to be less than perfect after all these years.

The PO had patched to the best of their abilities, but even the patch was failing. Although my solution was not a “fix” to the problem (real footings with a new plate), I at least bought myself some time in order to determine how to fix long-term. I jacked up both sides of the door opening and replaced all the damaged structure that was easily accessible. Finally, I sided it with salvaged cedar.

After two weekends of priming and painting, it’s done. In the last photo, one can kind of see how the siding continues on into the lean-to. The next stage of the project is to clean that up and paint it. It looks horrible now that the rest is done. This is definitely the crappiest part of the whole house but I don’t have the cash to upgrade it or the driveway. (sigh)

The Last of the Old-Timers

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The last of the large, original maple trees bit the dust a few weeks ago. It made me sick to pay someone to remove all of my wonderful shade, but at some point unbeknownst to me, I turned the corner into old-man-hood–constantly fretting about the thing falling on the house. There was one limb that had broken off years ago and the remnant was rotten. When we’d get a soaking rain, large pieces of it would come down. It was really time for it all to go.

The tree folks worked on it for about 12 hours over two days. Kaching! They dropped the trunk in the yard and shook the whole house. I wondered at the time if the USGS registered it somewhere…

They tried cutting the trunk into three pieces but eventually gave up on the last cut because they couldn’t get through it. They kind of “walked” it out with the crane. They’d move it a few feet, set it down, shorten the arm of the crane, move it a few feet, set it down, etc. The whole removal process provided entertainment for the neighborhood. Perhaps I should have sold tickets to cover the costs?

My squirrels are still looking for a new condo with reasonable rent, if anyone has one available…