Friday, March 27, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Thirty Five

it's Friday March 27, 2020, and it's painting day! I spent the first few minutes sanding off the excess wood filler at the hardwood flooring I bolted down yesterday, then I covered up this area with brown paper - I'll varnish this area next week, hopefully.


Onto the office/dining room. Started by painting the ceiling, two coats of Benjamin Moore White Dove flat:


Then it was onto the French doors for the first of two coats of Benjamin Moore White Dove semi-gloss....


....all the new baseboards....


...and the window stools got the same treatment.


While the semi-gloss was drying, I went down to the workshop and gave the display case a good going over with 220 grit sand paper. Then I applied a coat of primer/stain blocker to the cabinet and both doors. I have something special planned for the final paintwork.



The shoe rack cabinet doors were painted with primer earlier in the week and were ready at this point for top coating with more Benjamin Moore White Dove semi-gloss.


After this, it was back upstairs to put a second coat on the French doors and baseboards, which came out very similar to the photographs above. I was well and truly cream crackered by this point - this was my tenth straight day of DIY with only a few breaks for monopoly, cluedo etc. Still, I managed to summon up the energy to cart the rest of the tools and other crap from the living room back to the workshop with help from Amy Sheep.

When this was done we declared the living room side of the project complete, and we tore the shrink wrap off the couches and put them back into operation. Tomorrow I will paint the walls in the office and dining room and move the desks back.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Thirty Four

We've been here before. Back on January 10, I had my replacement boards all cut and fitted, but the leveling compound wasn't very level...


I dealt with this as best I could - a combination of the diamond-encrusted screaming wheel of death and a silicon carbide belt on the sander was all it took, and this was all accomplished while this area was wrapped in plastic.


The original plan was to install the new boards with a combination of nails into plywood subfloor, and construction adhesive at the leveling compound...or both for that matter.


The floor went in easily and I weighed it down over night.


This is where it gets interesting, because the next day I discovered that the construction adhesive was a total failure...and this is also where I went back to working on the living room side of the fireplace, covered the mess shown below with a rug, and forgot about it. Well, two-thirds of that is true.....research ont tut' interwebs tells me that I had not waited long enough for the leaving compound to cure...and that the adhesive cannot bond under these conditions.


Today is eight weeks later, so if the leveling compound isn't cured by now, it never will be. I checked the fit of the hardwood flooring after painstakingly grinding all the old adhesive off the back of the boards with the ever-present belt sander.


The boards were then re-installed with more adhesive and nails. I had to bash in the nails in between Amy Sheep's telimedicine appointments.


Then I weighed everything down and went for lunch at the Black Bear Diner a few feet away at the kitchen table.


Today's lunch - a ham, lettuce and mayo sandwich and an orange if you're interested - didn't take all that long. I didn't want to disturb the flooring, so I concentrated on finalizing repairs to the drywall that was damaged when I installed my security lights.


I also installed new baseboard in the office - we weren't ready to commit to a style of baseboard when we decorated this room.


I think I bought 400 feet of baseboard for the living areas, office and kitchen...whatever it was, it I ended up ten feet short, so the section below the office window was made from some scraps of hardwood flooring which I ran through the table saw.


By now the adhesive had had a couple of hours to cure, so I removed the weights, and discovered....another failure. The sections of the boards which were nailed were secure, but the other pieces were flapping around like a syrup in the breeze.


At this stage I could have tried a third time with an alternative construction adhesive , but really I needed an immediate solution. This section of the floor will actually never be seen, because we will be constructing builtin-in cabinets in this area eventually. So....I took the cowards way out and screwed the hardwood to the concrete pad with masonry fasteners.


The new boards were proud of the original floor by 3/32" in places, so I started with the hand plane - this was hard work, but it would have taken much longer and been more dusty with the belt sander.


I cleaned up the shavings and hung a drop cloth between the dining and living rooms...


Then I taped the hose from the shop vac on to my belt sander and gave the new boards a good going over with a 36 grit belt; working this way produced very little dust into the air. In the future I will be trying to find the right fittings so that I can connect the shop vac to all of my power tools.


Red oak wood filler was applied to the nail holes and those unsightly concrete fasteners.


After that there was just enough time to apply wood filler and caulk to the new baseboards I installed earlier, and then it was my turn to drop unconscious from exhaustion.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Thirty Three

It's Wednesday and the floors are dry! I'm ready to be done with the living room and move on to the next part of the project....except one thing: Amy Sheep is doing the telimedicine thing in the office, and I can't make noise or potter about in the office or dining room without risking exposure to to the prying eye of her webcam.

So I just had to get on with finishing the cabinet doors quietly as quietly as possible.



After I was happy with the hinge adjustments, I took the doors back off, removed all the hardware and took them back to the workshop for wood filler and final sanding. Then it t'was time for us dinners.


Amy Sheep was still doing her being-professional-thing in the office après le déjeuner, so I went back down to the workshop to look for something to do. About 3 or 4 weeks ago, a friend gave me a display case - it was lying around in a house she was clearing out and would have been trashed if I did't take it. At the time I needed another project like a hole in the head, but the cabinet had potential....so I took it back to my garage where it hasn't moved since that day.....until now that is.

I could not wait to remove the hideous trim pieces, so I don't have a proper "before" photo. This picture was taken after the base had already been ripped off:


That's better - the base and top trim pieces where they belong - in the trash pile.


The trim had to go because (1) it's f&*%ing hideous (see above) and (2) I want to put the display case in the corner of my garage; the foundation sticks out in this area, so I have to accommodate that in the design of my replacement base.


To call it a "design" is probably a bit generous. It's a box made from a scrap of 2" x 6" lumber and a piece of birch plywood which was left over from the cabinet doors


Installed it doesn't look anything special, but it meets the design criteria of hoisting the cabinet above the foundation while allowing it to mount to the wall.


Slapped on a bit of plastic wood.


I made a replacement top panel from another piece of scrap birch plywood. It wasn't quite large enough, so I glued on some edge pieces I cut from a piece of old bed frame. You have to recycle what you can in these extraordinary times...


I also took out the mirror and all the glass panels and removed all the hardware. When the wood filler is dry, I will sand the cabinet down and paint it....watch this space!


I went back upstairs to put t'ettle on, and found that the day's telimedicine had concluded. After a cup of rosie and one of Ruby Sheep's fluffy cookies, it was finally time to tear down the barrier between the office and the living room....this was a profound moment in the project.


After that it took the best part of two hours to move our office into the living room. The telimedicine terminal and associated AV technology was fully integrated into its new home, all ready for another busy day.


Tomorrow I will return to working on the hardwood floor at the dining room side of the fireplace. I last worked on this area on Day #10. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Fireplace Remodel Day Thirty Two

It's Tuesday March 24, 2020, so it's been two days in real time since my last post. I've been chipping away at the living in that time, but mostly I've been waiting for the hardwood floors to be ready for foot traffic.

In the meantime I turned my attention to the panel for the top of the shoe rack - the original to piece was a hideous slab of polished some-kind-of stone, with a best before date somewhere in the mid 80's. Our preference was for some real walnut that would tie-in with the desktops we built for our office. This is the concept:


This is later after I squared-up the three edges which mate with the wall and cut some trim pieces. Now I can make a line where the other three edges need to be cut to be flush with the cabinet.


I used my super long spirit level as a guide for the router's flush trim bit.


After test fitting and tweaking, I cut the rest of the edge pieces...


I'll be attaching the edge trim with #20 biscuits...


....but I cut the slots before I realized I am out of biscuits, so this part of the project is on hold until amazon delivers in a few days time.


By now the walnut shelves I made on day #18 have been varnished and were fully cured, so I installed them in the shoe rack. The bottom shelf is glued in; the others are removable but not adjustable.


I moved on to making the cabinet doors which will go next to the shoe rack. Nobody is more surprised than me that I am working on this part of the project before the Summer. I making the two doors out of ¾ inch birch plywood. I spent plenty of time making the first door absolutely square, and then I used it as a template to make the second door.


Nothing in this game for a pair!

The doors are recessed inside the cabinet face frames. This makes the doors look thinner while maintaining the integrity of ¾ inch panels, and also matches the doors at the broom closet at the other end of the hallway.  The rabbits were all cut on the router table.


Test fitting of the first door was looking good when I got called away to play Cludeo.™ 


To be continued.....