09 June 2017

I Can't See Clearly Now.

I hung a textured glass door on the main bathroom last night.  Easy peasey.  Sadly, there's a streak of undercoating paint that was underneath the protective plastic film.

06 June 2017

Getting a Handle on the Cabinets

Our kitchen cabinets are the 90's style with molding grips.  Some people like them, we do not.  They give no visual cue to indicate where the hinge side is and I have nearly pulled my fingernails off on a couple of occasions while tring to open a door.  So, I went on ebay and ordered some inexpensive knobs and drawer pulls.

Garden Box Redux

Some years ago I blogged about building garden boxes from reclaimed pallet wood.  Those garden boxes lasted a couple of years while we lived there and then we moved into an apartment building.

I took last week off as a mini-vacation and did a bunch of stuff around the house, including a new set of garden boxes.  I no longer have easy access to pallets, so we went out to a local sawmill. Ruby Lumber, and got a stack of rough cut spruce boards.

I built the two boxes above in a few hours, they're lined with black vapour barrier sheeting, ballasted with cinder blocks, and have a 2x3 lap-jointed top rail to give them a bit more durability.  The copper mesh around the bottom is copper scouring pad cut into strips and stapled on the deter tha slugs from eating our tasty lettuce.

In the process of moving things around the yard I moved a pile of brush from my pruning madness a couple of weeks ago and found a junco nest.

The nest was in the middle of the yard so I cut around it with a turf cutter and moved it under a tree and replaced the brush.  Hopefully the birds will find it, but I'm not optimistic.

08 May 2017

Wooden't you like some new stairs?

When we moved in there were some pretty dated things that don't really affect the function of the house but they peg the house solidly as "I was built in the 80's".  Pink carpet on the basement stairs is one of those things. 

The bottom of the stairs has a small landing and turn which serves no function except to face you into the middle of the partially-finished "rec room", so I am of a mind to remove the landing and make the stairs just come straight down.  There was a false wall on hinges on the landing, I've already taken that out and will strip the framing for it later.  Now that the french doors have been installed in the south-facing rooms in the basement, there's a fair bit more daylight in there and when you look down the stairs you can see the light through the door.

Replacing the stairs looked to be a labour-intensive and expensive job.  When I first looked at the cost of oak treads (to match the upstairs flooring) they were $40 per tread.  A couple of weeks ago I found some on sale for $17 per tread.

At some point this year I will begin the process of stripping the carpet off the stairs.  I'll probably finish the steps with tung oil instead of varnish, it seems like it would be easier to refinish and touch up.
Seyoung's study room has peel'n'stick tiles on the floor, making it look a little like a medical exam room.  It's a little better now that the room has been painted.  I'm planning to put down some tongue and groove pine for flooring in there.

The other, greenish-looking wood is for a bed frame for the guest room.  The hardware is sitting on the end.  I've got the legs marked for mortises, it should only take a few hours of work to cut them and then glue up the footboard and headboard.


Spring is here, such as it is in our cold-wet patch in the North Atlantic.  Yard work took priority over interior work this weekend past.

Jamb Session

I hung a couple of french doors purchased used from the Re-Store.   The only real work with the doors was cutting the hinge gains to move the hinges on the door; I'll fill in the messy gaps later with epoxy wood-filler.

Once the doors were hung I tried to close them and *bonk*;  the jambs were badly set with the previous doors trimmed to fit.  Removed the door casing, stops and shims and knocked them out a bit with a big hammer and a block of wood.  After that I had to fill in the old latch holes with blocks of wood and glue, then cut new latch holes to match the pre-cut lockset holes in my used doors.

Now the basement looks less dungeon-ey.  One more door down there to close off a storage/work room.

The french door for the kitchen/back porch needed a bit more work.  The door was two inches too short for the frame, so I glued some pine to the bottom reinforced it with some dowelling and planed it flush with the surface of the door.  Aside from some barely-visible plane cuts due to overly aggressive planing, the door looks as good as any other.

We have a new textured glass door for the main bathroom, but that will have to wait until I cut the holes for the lockset.  I bet getting the protective plastic off the glass is going to be the hardest part of hanging that door.

07 April 2017

More House Stuff

Here are a few photos of what's been going on in the house this past week or two.


Replaced the hollow-core door on Seyoung's office and hung a french door.  We picked up the door at the Re-store for about $30 and it took about an hour to hang it.  We only had to recut the lower hinge gain on the door to rehang it.  It has a few dings and bits that need filling, I picked up some epoxy wood filler and gloss latex paint to match the paint already on it.

I'm thinking of replacing the main bathroom door with a (privacy) glass-paned door to let in more light in the upstairs hallway, too.

new doorold doorre-cut hinge gain

The lever handle on the door is also from the Re-store.  I bought enough of them to fit all of the doors on the main floor.  That was a small project from a couple of weeks ago.  I had to recut a few door-jamb mortises for the bolts, and fill in the old screw holes with glue and pegs so I could reposition the latch plates, all done in a few hours.

I've replaced a couple of the basement room door handles with levers, as well.  Only one door down there left to do.  I'm planning to replace two of the doors to rooms that have large windows with used french doors when I can, so the basement will be a bit less dark in the daytime.

None of the doors in the house have doorstops, so I've been installing various sorts of bumpers and things to save the walls and mouldings.

No toes were injured during any of the various door-related activities.


Replaced the steel basin in the main bathroom with a porcelain sink and a nicer faucet (Re-store rescues again).

The plumbing for the drain is ABS, so I had to cut the drain pipe and move it back a bit.  Not a lot of trouble, except for the tailpiece fitting.  I bought a slip-joint adapter at Home Cheapo that was not the right size, despite it saying 1 1/2" to 1 1/4" on the fitting.  A trip to Kent netted the right sized adapter.

The faucets were made by Global Union and branded as Water Ridge.  It turns out that they have some kind of lifetime waranty.  The hot water cartridge was bad and the faucet dripped pretty badly, but after a couple of e-mails to Global Union support I had a new cartridge.  Gratis!  The installation was a bit tricky, as there is no assembly/disassembly guide for the faucets.  An hour or so of messing around and finally removing the faucet to put it in a vise and I got it fixed.

Light Fixtures

The house had not had a light fixture updates in many years.  I replaced a number of those ugly glass sheet "semi-flush" ceiling lamps and bare bulb socket with flush-mount dome fixtures.  I didn't take any pictures of those, but here's one swiped from the internet.

An alcove in the front porch got a Re-store special.

The garage originally had a bare bulb socket with a switch in the front and one in the back porch.  I had the electrician who came to do some work around the house replace the socket with an electrical socket and plugged in two LED shop lamps I got from Costco.  4000 lumens per fixture makes the garage feel like you're standing on the sun.

Safety Gear

My toe-crushing incident has left me hobbling around and the doctor said I'll probably be like that for a month or two.  Not really too much trouble, but it's painful and uncomfortable.  So we were out last weekend and Seyoung bought me some safety boots so I can save my toes any further grief.

That's it for this week.  Here's a shot of Poopy scowling down the stairs as I trudge up and down with tools and things.

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