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.

Today I realized this is not a renovation – it’s an art project.

My wife has always called this the “hobby house”, but I realized this week it’s really an art project. Take for example this picture. These are deck screws that are used to fasten a 1/2″ plywood overlay on the original floors.
   I Took a look at all of the first floor, which is done the same way and they’re all lined up too. When will I learn the color outside of the lines?

Mudroom Details – it’s the little things

Greetings and salutations my fellow renovators. Sorry for the late posting, it’s just that the things I’m working on are not so photogenic. I did get around to finishing up most of the mudroom.

These are the three steps that go from the mudroom into the kitchen. You can see the old brick foundation and original floor framing members. I have a toe kick installed for a HVAC vent.

Adding the risers and cut out the vent opening. This is a 2 1/2″ X 14″ toe kick vent.

The door to the right goes to the woman cave. The textured glass lets more light in the stairwell. It matches all the other glass doors.Up the steps to the kitchen you see that pesky shoe storage bench and coat hooks.

I am obsessed with little details. I like everything to be precise and finished. Here I milled small trim pieces to finish off the tile edges. The thin strip under the window ledge is made from of PVC, to make sure there’s no water damage from a wet counter top.

Instead of getting an expensive plugmold power strip. I cut a piece of wood at an angle and used this power strip. At 17.00 it’s a lot cheaper.

The Leland Single Handle faucet works well.  The small soap pump and the electronic garbage disposal switch has an auto turn off after 20 seconds.

I used very simple polished chrome knobs on all of the cabinets. These were 2.80 at Menards.

So there you have it – a nearly finished mud room. Sure I started building it in 2010, but hey, a guy has to take his time.

I promise better posts in the future. We’re just getting started.

 

OK, Now I’m in the Mudroom

How about this? Two posts in one day? Well,this one will get me updated to real time – as in this morning. I was happily painting cabinet doors at 3:30am today, and got most of the Mudroom projects completed – so why not get this post out of the way.

One item added was a rail and coat hooks above the shoe storage bench.

We left the mudroom like this for the past few years. Looks like we need to make some cabinet doors.

First things first. We have to clean this place up! It’s a little tricky, so I decided to make another half-a**ed scaffold. No issue with falling off and being wheelchair bound this time. It was the only way to get to the tops of the cabinets and window without risking breaking the granite counters.

I used a small scale white subway tile for the back splash.

The left side has an electrical feed for a receptacle. This whole circuit is on a gfci line as required by code.

I used a light silver grout to match the lighter tones of the granite.

I cut an angled block to mount the 4 socket receptacle – the angle makes it easy to plug in appliances or whatever. I didn’t like those exposed screws used to mount the power strip.

So I made a couple of covers that fit over the mounting tabs to make it look more built in.

Now we get out the stile and rail router bits to make the cabinet doors.

The first fitting of the doors. I made them inset, like the rest of the cabinets I’ve made. All of the trim around the tile and windows was fabricated and finished. The cabinet doors are 40″ tall, so they looked a little bland.

So I took some inspiration from the original cabinet doors that flank the living room fireplace. I wanted to avoid glass doors in the mudroom, as I didn’t want to see boxes of laundry detergent every time I walked in the room.

So I made a mock up of the same design to see if it would work as an overlay. OK

While I was at it I made a pair of plain shaker doors for the sink base cabinet.

So I painted the doors and got them back on their hinges by 8:00am this morning.

I need some doorknobs. Hang in there – more to come. But not today.