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!

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

New Year – time to get busy

OK, my last post was my thumb with a smiley face on it – right. Not particularly relevant to this renovation blog – except to celebrate that I have been able to keep all my fingers and both thumbs while using power saws and nail guns. So let’s hope my good fortune continues into 2017.

1-sunroom-cabinetI have yet to get the plumber over to get my fireplace installed – no roaring fire yet. So let’s hop over to the next room and get that TV lift cabinet sorted out. That’s the lift mechanism in that dusty box on the floor – it’s been there for three years – that’s why it’s dusty.

2-cabinet-baseLet’s go over why this thing looks like this. This is used to house a retractable 55″ TV and there is also a cold air return built into this cabinet. The two rectangle boxes actually go through the floor and are connected to the return air plenum for the HVAC. The air returns from the top of the cabinet behind a false wall and the back plywood panel. It’s pretty convoluted, but the calculations for air flow are pretty good. Now the return air vent is on top of the cabinet and out of sight and the room can breathe – so it’s a win-win.

3-face-frameWe’ll start by making the face frame and doors out of poplar since this will be painted. The frame is cut and joined with kreg screws. The doors will be routed and have a panel. Here is the first door test fit. These are inset doors, so the fit is more critical than an overlay door.

4-door-partsI used a shaker router bit set to make the stiles and rails for the doors. A plywood panel will fill the rest.

5-face-frame-test-fitA test fit to check the fit of the doors. The door is not glued yet to just be sure.

6-face-detailThe face frame has a single opening with two side panels to cover the duct-work boxes. I’ve routed the back and added a ply panel on each side of the opening.

7-detail-close-upI cut down some poplar to make the cross detail. This is a simple applique glued and nailed to the panel.

8-frame-with-doorsAnother test fit of the doors and face frame.

9-doors-openHaving the door opening with no stile allows full access to the TV lift. I ran the speaker wires and communication cables to the cabinet, but decided to put the AV Receiver in the finished crawl space below this cabinet. So only a couple wires will enter this cabinet.

10-door-overlap-detailI made the doors slightly wider so that I could have them overlap. This is the same detail that is on the original fireplace cabinet doors.

11-working-roomI really like working in this space on a sunny winter day. One day I’ll have furniture in this place instead of tools.

12-paint-startIt’s a good time to get a couple of coats of paint on while this cabinet face is still unattached.

13-interior-paintI also painted the inside of the cabinet to make cleaning easier. The wires on the left go through a chase to the top of the bookcase. They might come in handy in the future for something – at least it will be there if I need it. The blue switch box and metal receptacle box on the right are for powering the lift and for a switch for the library lights over the windows in the bookcase..

14-hinge-detailHere’s the back of the face frame. You can see the kreg screws and the recessed panel. The inset hinges require this mounting plate attached to the face frame of the cabinet.

15-hinges-installedIf you had a frame-less style cabinet the plate would be mounted directly to the side of the cabinet box.

16-hinge-cup-hole-drilledThe doors are drilled for the euro style hinge. These are self-closing hinges from Blum. These are clip top, which allows you to remove and install the doors easily. They also have a three way adjustment that is important – especially on inset doors.

17-side-detailI’ll add some details to the cabinet sides to integrate it into the bookcases.

18-lift-installedI was thinking the TV lift was going to be complicated, but it’s pretty straightforward. I mounted the lift onto a 1/2″ ply backing board with carriage bolts. I then screwed the board to the back panel. This will make installing and removing the lift a lot easier, as the lift mounting bolt location is too low to get to easily.

19-lift-with-doors-closedSo here’s where I am as of yesterday. I’m thinking of a thick walnut or contrasting wood top – the center of which hinges open for the TV. There will be a piece of art hanging behind the lift, so when not in use I can look at something prettier than a black rectangle. That’s the plan – we’ll see if I measured this funky cabinet right, or did I miss something? Time will tell.

More to come – stick around.

Mid June Roundup Still Stuff to Do

Happy Summer to all you fellow renovators! I only have one pretty picture to show you on this installment of MisAdventures.Lots going on, just not much that is picture-worthy. Sometimes I forget to snap a photograph, but most of the work has been tedious stuff like drywall finishing, painting and trim work. We’re closing in on finishing the basement project. More yet to do,  but almost livable. I’ll do a proper before and after post when it’s all done. But here’s were we are as of this morning.

1 basement ceilingI’ve got the basement ceiling in and all the drywall done in this room. It’s all painted with BM Moonlight White. I’ve got the 9 wall and ceiling speakers in and all of the led recessed lighting. The system is set up for a 70″ TV. As everywhere else in this house, I’ve got more than enough light. There are 32 hardwired light fixtures on this level.

2 basement electrical panelI still have to wire the final kitchen circuits and close this area up. I’ll figure some way to hide these boxes behind artwork or a chalkboard or something.

3 egress windowThe egress window is trimmed out and cased with PVC trim. I’ll add a one piece sill on the bottom and finish trim this window.

4 small basement windowThere are two small hopper style windows that are also trimmed in PVC. I like this material around windows. If it gets wet, no big deal as it’s 100% waterproof. No swelling or paint problems. I still paint the window’s trim with BM Impervo acrylic enamel in a white match which is the same color as the sunroom trim. The little door hides the whole house water shut off.

5 basement towards stairsLooking back towards the stair, there’s a little utility closet to the right of a small TV mount.

6 AV cabinetThe AV cabinet and all the wires. Just testing the lines with some old equipment before I start putting in the cable terminals and final set up.

7 door to utility roomHere is the extra deep door to the work room / utility room. This wall is a support wall dividing the woman cave from the work room. The concrete block wall was 8″ wide, plus two 4″ wide walls with spacing makes this about 18″ deep. I needed this door to swing in to the work room and have the widest possible opening.

10 doors to spa and pantryDoors are in for the bathroom on the left and the pantry on the right. I used single pane doors with  obscure glass on the doors to match the rest of the house and give it a vintage spa feel.

8 pantry cabinetInside the pantry area I built this removable storage cabinet. It has to be removable to get access to the bathroom inline fan. The little switch above the door is used to override the fan circuit that automatically comes on with the light in the bathroom.

9 well under stairsThis is the access to the well pump and sump pump under the stairs. I’ll be adding another tank to the pump system to add more capacity for watering the garden. The pipe stub outs are waiting for me to plumb in a utility sink and vanity.

11 spa door and shelving unitsInside the spa area I’ve built two cabinets – the one on the left will get a mirrored door and the one on the right gets open shelves for towels and baskets. All of the trim in this room is PVC.

12 spa vanity areaThe vanity wall has a medicine cabinet on the wall right of the sink. It’s placed here because the sink wall is a below grade exterior wall and it wouldn’t fit. We’ll see how this works out.It doesn’t really show, but the bathroom is painted with BM Italian Ice Green in their Matte bathroom paint.

13 spa steam showerThe steam shower is ready for tile. The tile guy will be here in a few weeks to finish this room and the pantry.

14 whirlpool tub surroundI’ve built the whirlpool tub surround panels. Again, made from PVC to make them waterproof. All the panels are removable to access the pump and plumbing. I’ll finish trim these when the tile is installed.

15 sunroom chandeliersAnd finally one pretty picture. I needed the space in the garage that these chandeliers were occupying, as they were in 4’X5′ boxes. I decided to go ahead and install them over the weekend, along with the wall sconces over the windows – since I’ve had them here waiting for this day since 2013.  This is a pair of Curry & Company Raintree Oval Chandeliers. I think they’ll make a good contrast to the medium valued wood floors when they go in. I love layering light, so I planned seven different light sources in this room. Recessed over head, Chandeliers, Two circuit track lighting, wall sconces, Bookcase accent, table lamps and window light. It is a white valued room, so the light sources will add texture and interest to the space. Or – that’s how I figured it.

We’ll see…. stick around.