Perhaps not my most spectacular post

Greetings! Fear not my fellow renovators and spectators, my infrequent posts are not a sign that I am growing weary of this nearly 10 year renovation marathon. No, indeed I’m more energized than ever to complete this adventure in my lifetime. The problem is, I have nothing wow-worthy to show you. Take this post for instance. I suggest you get comfortable, grab a beverage of your choice and be prepared for a incredibly entertaining post about…

~ Baseboards ~

Yep, the baseboard. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was that my next project on the list was putting in new baseboards after the floors were installed. I’m using 1X flat stock of poplar, 10 feet long. This is a simple squared off design, so no coping the corners, no this should be a simple install 1-2-3 done! But are we forgetting something? Anything? Well, yes – this is no mere baseboard – this is part of our ongoing art project. Add a little OCD in there and this easy project become a little more complicated.

First we size up some boards and give them a coat of primer and a couple of finish coats. It’s a lot easier to finish them on the sawhorses than on my creaky old knees.

Second, we bevel the bottom at an angle so that the base comes to a point at the front. This will make removing any wood easier.

After we cut them to size, it’s time to scribe the base. Having done this many times. I just use a pencil and position my hand to make the marks.

If you’re a little unsteady in the hand department, you can also use a scribe tool like this.

Scribing the base will show the high spots in the floor in relation to the base, so to remove the extra material, we get out a sander and sand to the line.

Now that we have the pieces scribed to the floor, we make a mark for the scarf joints on the walls that are longer than 10 feet – which is most of them.

Once we get them cut to the right length, we glue and nail the scarf joints together. The joint is cut to land on a wall stud for extra strength.

I use trim head screws to attach the baseboard to the wall through the wall studs for a tight fit. I use Ready Patch to fill the holes. I really like this stuff, but buy the smallest can you can, because it will rust in the can. That’s three ‘cans’ in the same sentence – impressive.

Everything goes slower now that the floors are partially finished. I use a drywall knife on the floor to make sure my disc sander doesn’t have an accidental meeting with the floor.

Once the scarf joint is sanded it is primed and given a couple coats of paint.

So after several hours crawling around on the floor like a worm, we get to see the fruits of our labor. We still have filling and sanding to do. Now no one will see this unless they drink too much or I fall asleep while renovating this place – but then my OCD can take a break.

While I was wrestling with the baseboard, these two guys showed up.

And delivered my new gas range to my imaginary kitchen – boy, I can almost smell the bacon now.

And once the baseboards were in I started to fiddle with the TV lift and connections. I’ve bolted on a 32″ TV to work out the bugs before I put the 55″ one in that belongs there.

So there you have it – another fascinating glimpse into the  MisAdventures world of Remodeling.

I hope everyone is having a safe and happy weekend!

 

Advertisements

A quick update

Greetings fellow renovators and spectators! Sorry for the delay in posting. I haven’t given up the ghost, or finished the MisAdventures project – just yet. As I have a real job (besides doodling around here). I’ve had projects for the last few months that have taken up some of my sawdust making time. So I’ll just post a couple photos of an art display project that I haven’t had time to finish.

My original idea of renovating this house was to have a place to display my collection of art and antiques. So this project is to get this up on the wall. This is a large wood and gesso Tang Style horse that was made in the 1940’s for export. It is my Chinese Zodiac sign and was the second antique I ever purchased when I was 17 years old – that was 46 years ago.

So the plan is to get this old horse to stay way up there where my cardboard cutout now resides. When I have time, with a little experimentation and some construction, we’ll have him hanging around. It will be nice to have this old horse displayed for the first time in nearly half a century.

I’ll be back here full time soon to finish up the inside of this now nearly 9 year project.

What’s that? 46 years to display an antique, 9 years to renovate a home – perhaps I’m a little slow – but then again, that’s all relative. Stick around.

 

 

July Updates – a variety of the mundane

Greetings fellow renovators. It’s been a while since I’ve posted any in depth, detailed shenanigans here at the MisAdventures project. And this one will be full of photos and not a lot of dramatic before and afters – more of the tedious type – but we’re getting there.

I did start a FaceBook page, just to organize the 1000’s of photos of the renovation in chronological order. If you want to follow along on my nearly daily posts you can click on it in the sidebar on the home page or you can click here.

But back to the tedious – as in this photo for instance. I doubt that it’s going to be pinned to many Pinterest boards. This is the casing for the big opening from the kitchen into the living room. I like to make the ‘U’ shaped piece by gluing it together and using pocket hole screws before I put it on the wall. And in this case it’s a ‘U’ that is 8′ tall and 6′ wide. I clamped a crosspiece across the bottom so I could move it by myself without breaking the glue joints.

Once fastened in place, it gets another piece of back banding trim and then painted –  it looks better. But maybe it’s because the photo is a little out of focus.

Going up to the 2nd floor master bedroom, I have this slanted door that allows access to the HVAC unit in the finished space behind. Fine, except the door is crappy, and that will never do. I’ll think of something that doesn’t look so much like a – well – like a door would be better. What, I have no idea yet.

But. we’ll  tear it out and figure it out later. But I will patch the floor before we put another 1/2″ plywood floor on top. This was cut out to add a recessed light in the ceiling below.

Of course, that requires moving these two antique French balcony panels for the countless time. I bought them several years ago at a Philadelphia auction house after a several year search for just the right size. They are cast and wrought iron and heavy! But then I like heavy things.

I bought these by telephone and had them shipped. I think I got the pair for 150.00 – and it cost 165.00 to ship. We’ll find out in a week or so if they will work as intended.

The floor is patched and It’s time to add some plywood. The areas under the eaves was an unconditioned space, but now all areas are insulated and conditioned.

The 1/2″ layer of plywood goes over the entire floor to strengthen the areas that were cut out to add ductwork and electrical.  Each panel is glued in place with PL glue and screwed every 6″. 4″ on the perimeter.

The plywood goes throughout the bedroom and the pointy closet, so it will be a seamless transition when the new flooring is installed.

I just figured out that I have more wood on the outside of the walls than I do on the inside. Funny how that works.

Now we get to the part of finishing off the floor/stair juncture. If you recall, I made a new staircase to create a modern, safe stair instead of the steep narrow one that was original to the house. This is the moment of truth to see if my calculations were correct in setting the height of the staircase.

And we are a winner! The plywood piece is cut and fastened in place. Life is good.

The last piece of 1/2″ plywood is down. I’ll have to start figuring out what I want to do with those antique balcony panels and build the newel posts. The flooring guy will be here in a week or so to install the white oak floor. And I mean white, as in a white finish on a white oak floor. We’ll see how that turns out.

At this time we also get to the art project I have posted about before. The worrisome sign that I had made in Seattle. The sign-maker was a nice guy and actually made the wood carving twice. He had a problem with the computer aided carving machine. It seems it wanted to make these little grooves down the length of the sign.  Which is fine if you want grooves – I did not.

So I told him to send it anyway to see if I could carve and sand out the lines. I could and did, but it took about 60 hours and my fingers still hurt.

The sign goes above the opening from the kitchen into the new sunroom. Here I’m just trying to figure out how to trim this into place. ‘Omnia Vincit Amor”  ‘Love conquers all” it’s Latin from the poet Virgil. The next line in his prose is “Let us too yield to love” I kinda like that old Virgil guy. The ‘1935’ is the year the original house was built.

To finish, I wanted it to have the same whitewashed look as the ceiling in the sunroom.So I thinned down some white latex paint and brushed on a coat.

Of course waterbased paints raise the grain of the wood, so it’s back to more sanding – like 10 hours worth.

Once that’s finished a bronze metallic paint is applied to each letter and number using my finger. Using your finger allows the paint to be irregular and will help when the antiquing process begins.

Another overglaze wash is added and a couple of light sandings happen.Dark restoration wax is then applied and buffed off a couple of times. Another layer of white glaze is added to the letters and buffed off. Are you tired yet? Trim is still being mocked up to see what will work. Also note, the leaves in the sign were designed to match the chandeliers. I know, I know –  I’m nuts.

The trim details are worked out and the pilaster design was added. But after I had the trim on the column up, painted and finished, I just wasn’t feeling it. The vertical lines join the bottom of the frame of the sign and looks too abrupt to me. I always figure these things out too late.

So with my trusty oscillating saw, I carefully cut the offending trim pieces out and added another horizontal piece at the top of the pilaster. Now I feel better – and I hope you do too, as you’ve come to the end of this post.

Here’s hoping for a great August!

 

 

 

 

End of June Update – Share the Love

Hi gang – sorry no posting in a while. I’m working on the MisAdventures every day, but things are just not that interesting to look at, like new plywood overlay over the upstairs floors and wood casings for doors.

I’m almost finished with this one design element, so I’d thought I’d share for the end of June.

This 8′ pine panel is carved with a CNC machine. The big problem was that I wanted a vine leaf design in the background that matched the leaves in the chandeliers. After 20 different sign makers said ‘can’t do it’. I found a craftsman out by D’Arcy’s neck of the woods in Seattle Washington. He could code the vector files and do the carving. It took him two tries and I spent another 60 hours sharpening up the carving, antiquing and finishing. I still have the trim to fabricate before we move upstairs. I guess I’m just a little obsessive about these things. So Art project it is.

The text is Latin from the Roman poet Virgil, from his work Eclogue X. Omnia Vincint AmorLove Conquers All. The ‘1935’ is the year the house was built.

So now, more than ever, we need a little more Love in the world. Here’s my small contribution.

Mid February Recap

Hey gang – thought I would drop in and pop a few pictures up on the progress at the old Misadventures project.

1-top-finishI thought I would start by finishing the post on the finishing of the problematic Cherry top I’ve been wrestling with for days. I got great results – it just took four tries.

2-notch-backOf course – I had another hiccup along the way. I forgot to allow for the thickness of the hinged top – which required notching the top 3/8″ But it worked out.

product-image-oil-based-top-coat-arm-r-seal-2014-general-finishesI mentioned I started using a mixture of 1/3 Boiled linseed oil, 1/3 varnish, and 1/3 mineral spirits. It doesn’t produce a durable finish, but does add depth to the wood. For the top coats I used this stuff. Arm-R-Seal Topcoat. Now there are multiple ways of how to apply this. Some brush it on and leave it alone – others wipe it on and leave it for 12 or 24 hours. But I found this guy on YouTube here that used a technique similar to French Polishing – and that’s the way I applied it.

3-polishing-productsThe finish goes on and dries in about four hours. I used several coats to build up the finish for the next sanding steps. After 4 coats I used a light scuffing of 400 grit sandpaper then added a couple more coats. We’ll be using 800, then 1500 and finally 2000 grit sanding. You can get these items at any auto supply store.

4-800-gritAn 800 grit sanding pad makes the surface pretty smooth.

5-2000-gritThe 1500 and 2000 sanding sponges will take out the fine scratches. I used Semi-gloss because I wanted a luster smooth finish.

6-finished-topAnd the result is a very smooth surface that looks like it was sprayed on. I’m happy.

7-final-trimI added the final trim pieces and this room is almost done. Just some touch ups and we move on to a new project.

Next we’ll build a bathroom vanity from scrap wood.

January Round Up – the good, bad and ugly.

Greetings fellow renovators. I thought I’d drop by and post a quick update on what’s going on at the MisAdventures renovation. There was some good, some bad, some ugly and some plain stupid.

1-feet-upWe’ll start with the ugly – as in my shoes my wife tries to throw away, but I keep fishing them out of the trash. Hey, they’re my lucky shoes, OK? You can see a peek in the Kitchen over my chop saw – but that’s for another post. But I did get the paint on the ceiling and all 22 lights installed in there.

2-top-view-tv-cabBut we’ll focus on that cabinet in the sun room with the retractable screen. Here’s looking down on the plywood top we want to cover with a nice piece of local hardwood. So I made a cardboard template and took it to a local craftsman that has a sawmill.

3-cherry-top-startAnd he popped out a nice Indiana Cherry top, complete with a hinged door for the TV lift. The front is 6/4 1 1/2″) stock, the back part and the hinged lid is 3/4 stock. Great.

4-top-installedNow the stupid part. I needed to get this wood sealed right away  – to keep the twisting to a minimum. No problem – I just grabbed a can of Waterbased clear coat and gave it a good seal coat on all four sides. Done – not so fast, stupid. (That’s me, not you)

5-first-finishYou see, a waterbased finish on cherry is like motor oil on a hot fudge sundae. It might look good from a distance, but you’ll notice something’s not quite right when you get a little closer. The waterbased finish left the cherry looking bleached out and flat.

6-paint-stripperSo we prance right out and get some of this stuff. It works great, and much less toxic than traditional paint strippers.

8-sanding-the-topA couple hours off my life, and we’re back to bare wood. No fun.

9-more-sandingBut no, it doesn’t end there. I laid on a coat of wiping oil made from boiled linseed oil, varnish and mineral spirits – and it looked great! Well, except for all of the scratches my scraper left behind. So this is the second full strip and sanding job. I then made another mess using some fast dry varnish – so another sanding job was needed. I finally ordered some wiping varnish from Rockler called Arm-r-Seal that lots of guys seem to use on YouTube – we’ll see how it comes out when I try my 4th attempt. I’m too old for this stuff.

10-tile-instalSomething did go right in the month of January. I finally got the tiles that I had made installed in the pilasters of the bookcase.

11-tile-detailThe stoneware tiles have a Lupine flower design and were made by Terra Firma tiles. This plant was native to Indiana, but you don’t see them very often here. I plan to have these in the garden outside the sunroom eventually.

12-rh-light-boxNow here’s something that went bad – and then good for a change. I had ordered a pair of Restoration Hardware Library Sconces to go over the windows in the bookcase. I ordered these in 2014 – but they were never checked. So the first of January  I decided to get them out to install. The box said it had a Polished Nickel Double sconce inside.

But I got one of these instead – A table lamp? Well, the package was a different shape than the other one. OK, let’s open the other one.

15-broken-library-lampAnd of course it’s the right one – but broken. Well, that’s just dandy. I have a Restoration Hardware shipment that was sent in 2014 that has one broken light and one table lamp. It is now 2017 – you do the math. But I have a Trade account with them so I sent an email and explained what I did (and didn’t do) and what do you think happened?

16-rh-library-double-sconce-installedThey picked up the original packages and sent replacements within 3 days! No charge! So these are now installed on the bookcases.  Now you know why I have so many RH lights in this house.