Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bringing something back from the dead, almost...

Gardening season is upon us.  Whatever else I grow in my garden, I always grow a healthy crop of weeds too.  I am such a multi-tasker.  After growing them successfully I then chop them down.  Mostly I have used a hoe, but I have hankered for a push cultivator.

I purchased an old spring tooth harrow from a guy who is moving to florida after his impending retirement this summer.  He had/has a lot of stuff to get rid of.  I noticed he had an OLD push cultivator and he made me a deal on that too.  He was happy, I was happy.

It needed a little work. OK, it needed a resurrection event.  Here's a picture of the old wooden parts that I removed:

They had scabbed on several chunks of plywood and other stuff to reinforce the tired old wood.  It was time for a whole new set of furniture:

A couple of scrap 2 x 4's, a little quality time on the wood lathe, the table saw and the belt sander and we have a tool that's good for another 50-100 years.  Here's the whole tool:

Of course I had to run out and try it right away.  It is whiz-bang fast and should cut my weeding time by 2/3.

Of course, when we get redeemed and brought back from the dead by the Master Craftsman, it will not be for 50 or 100 years, it will be for all eternity.  And my knees won't hurt any more either.  You will even see what I look like with hair.

Doing my own little imitation of resurrection.

Finest regards,


Sunday, March 18, 2012

With Practice I Get Slower?

I worked on the tile for about five hours today and feel like I have very little to show for it.

To give you a comparison, this is where I left off last time:
Now I have the bottom part done to the right edge of the stove:
Here's a better view behind the stove:
The tile stops at the level of the counter.

Not only did it take a long time, but most of it will not even be seen because it is behind the stove! Gah.

My most convoluted cut yet. It took me two tries. (My math/
geometry was good, but I over cut the one corner because I
couldn't see through my water-sprayed glasses.)
I didn't think there was that much cutting, but I guess there was enough to slow me down. Plus having to work behind the stove did cost me some time too. Oh yeah, and unscrewing all the electrical outlets and light switches. Ah ha...things are starting to make sense now.

Part way through the afternoon I thought I could get the tile done in two more sessions. Now I am not so sure.

But it's still progress, I'm not actually going backwards. Something to cling to.

Need warpaint? Try spray-on tile dust!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Welcome Home, Now Get to Work!

Yup, Isaac had been home all of 12 hours and I put him to work.

I got it in my head to rip the carpet out of the living room. It really was driving me nuts. Dirty, stained, stinky, gross. In that way only somebody else's old carpet can be. I guess after six years I should think of it as my dirty old carpet, but I never did.

I decided the time was right because: 1. the Spirit was moving me. 2. I had Isaac to help (and he was willing). 3. It was relatively empty of stuff and what was there could be moved around. 4. I wanted to rearrange the furniture anyway.

And with company coming tomorrow, isn't that the perfect time to rearrange a room, ripping up carpet etc? Well, maybe not. But it worked.

We started around 10:30 and I told Issac I thought it would take 2-3 hours, adding that I hoped that didn't mean it would actually take 6. (Doubling the estimated time is Troy and my usual standard.) Well, including the furniture moving, we got it done in about 5.

I didn't take many pictures as I was busy at the time. It was more work than I expected, but then I realized that when we did the dining room, there were four of us doing it (thank you again, David and Wendy) and I think less of the carpet underpad was glued down. It was a mess in the living room. The area rug covers a lot of it now, but it's still pretty crappy looking (see picture above). But the carpet was crappy looking too, so it's not like I've lost any ground on that one.

Plus, now it's done. It had to be done at some point right? I haven't been good at doing it but I think stuff like ripping out carpets should be done as you can, so that when you're ready to do a project like walls or whatever, you don't have to stop and say oh wait, we need to get the carpet out first. And then you don't get the first job done because you've wasted the time doing the carpet. Plus we didn't have much other garbage going out this week, so the carpet can be our allotment. When you don't rent a dumpster, garbage load can become a big problem. Getting this out now means it can't be a problem later. Ok, ending home reno lecture now...

So what does the new living room look like?
I think it's a lot more open. The TV is lower and doesn't get glare off the lights, which is nice.

The lamps have better "homes" and I think there may be more seating area, should we ever have a group over.
I can definitely feel that there's less padding under me as I sit in front of the stove, but if I keep it burning warm, I can lean on the end of the couch. A definitely perk.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

There and Back Again

On Sunday, Troy decided to work on the island. First thing was to move all the cupboards out of the way. We set them up in the corner (the table had already been relocated to the dining room) and I expected they would be there a while. So I made sure they were neat and tidy and still functional:
It was amazing once again how the big room feels without stuff in it!
Troy worked on exactly where the cabinet base needed to be. We had made marks before moving the cabinets, but of course he wanted to make sure it was square with the room, etc. Then he put in the plywood base and cut a hole in the floor for the plumbing.

Then we moved all the cabinets back where they had been. This is a good thing, but somehow it was a letdown. Done, already?

Anyway, once the cabinets were in place, we worked a while to get them placed exactly and shimmed so that Troy could screw them together permanently.

Then we went even further and added some of the decorative details I arranged. First was the decorative panel on the south end to cover the side of the open shelf unit:
I had started to get used to the look of the cabinet side and had started to wonder if I should have gotten the extra "fake" door. But then we put it on, and voila! it looks fantastique!

The we carried on to the north end where the sink will be:
Yup, all fake panels just for looks. But aren't they spiffy!
Really, I can't believe we are at finishing touches like this in any part of the kitchen. Time to catch up to reality!

On Wednesday, Troy finished the plywood base for the countertop. I wanted it to be 3x5' exactly because my tiles are 12" and are going in without any grout. Troy didn't like how the overhang worked out so he wanted to make it a little longer. I finally agreed to some partial tiles.

When I got home from work and it was done, however, Troy said that for this or that reason 3x5' was right and that's what he did. (It's almost like the island had been planned around a 3x5 countertop or something.)
Troy also got the hole cut for the sink. Obviously this is just
a dry fit as it will have to go in over the tile.
We are still getting use to the shape. It looks a little funny hanging off the one end and the corners seem like they will get in the way. But we've gone two days without banging any hips against them and I think it's just a matter of getting used to it. I also think the overhang will look better when it has the proper "support" and facade built under it.

I tried to order the tiles I want from Lowe's the other day but I was bowled over by the price. I told her to hold off on the order and I talked it over with Troy. We decided I just wasn't used to spending money because it's been a while since we've had to make any big purchases. He woke up the next morning and told me that overnight he had decided that I just had to get the tile. That's good, because that's the way I was going to.

I'll look online for the same product and see if I get a better price, but otherwise I will bite that bullet.

All for now. Hopefully I'll be up for another big push on the tiling this weekend... (I've promised myself I may make the curtains when the tiling is done. I have the cutest fabric and can't wait!!)


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