Sunday, February 23, 2014

Repair old storm door and installing reclaimed flooring

We have been very productive lately working on the old lady.   Two projects going on right now.

Installing reclaimed flooring
If you have been following this blog since the beginning, you might remember that I purchased a pickup truck full of reclaimed flooring almost 2 years ago.  In that time, we have been tripping over it and have moved around the piles several times to get it out of our way.
Well a couple weeks ago we finally started installing the flooring.  The process is much more tedious than installing new flooring for two reasons:

1. Each board must undergo an inspection process where it is de-nailed, scraped clean of all the gunk, and looked over closely for cracks, splits, stains, or gouges.  Celia prefers to do this instead of operating the pneumatic stapler.

2. The flooring is narrow strip oak.  It matches exactly to what was originally installed in the house. Unfortunately it is only 1.5 inches wide so it takes an eternity to install.  I work for hours installing row after row which results in just a few inches gain.

Repairing a broken storm door
While the house was on the market, a wind storm caught one of the front storm doors and snapped the stile.  This repair has been pretty low on our list but on Friday I got the urge to take down the door and start on it.
Once I got the door down to the basement, I discovered that this door has been repaired several previous times.  
Old repair.  The entire upper corner was replaced.

Old repair. Broken stile.

Since this door has suffered the same break multiple times, I suspect that the structure of this door is simply inadequate.  It is a giant door.  The stiles are only 1.25" x 4.25" pine.  I suspect a hardwood might have been a better choice for strength.  
Here is a picture of the door sitting in the shop.  As you can see, it barely fits on two folding tables.
See the stile is missing.  I have to fabricate this piece. 

Cosmetic damage.

Tenon in pretty good shape.  Feels strong.

These doors are not original to the house.  They exhibit no eastlake design characteristics.  I think they were added as part of a big remodel that happened sometime around 1935.  We know the original porch was replaced at that time and it appears that these doors would fit that timeframe.

Storm door hinges going in for a bath
Above is a picture of the hinges going into the crock pot.  I love this method of removing paint from hardware.  If you are not familiar, here is a video I did a while back:  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New project: Laundry Room

Living in the house for the last couple months has been pretty enjoyable. That's not to say that it has been entirely perfect. One difficulty is living without a laundry room. This has inspired Celia and I to start a new project (as if we don't have enough projects started!) The goal is to make this short and sweet.  In the end, we spread it over about 2 months.
  • Tearing down the paneling and the false ceiling.
  • Adding a few electrical outlets $$$
  • Filling insulation gaps. $$
  • Hanging drywall $$
  • Lots of tape and mud
  • Primer $$
  • Finish coat of paint $$
  • Strip/Reglaze/Paint windows $$
  • New light fixture(s) $$$
  • New washer and dryer $$$$

Still to do:
  • Re-install window trim
  • Baseboard
  • Build folding counter between washer/dryer
  • Buy/Build/Install utility cabinets.
Here is a sneak peak at the new light fixture.  It is handmade fixture from Etsy constructed from mason canning jars. We like how the mason jars give it a farmhouse, almost industrial feel and the cloth covered wiring is period appropriate.  The fixture hangs down about 36" from the 11' ceiling.