Sunday, November 29, 2015

Confession is good for the soul!

I ain't warming up before April. I bow to the inevitable, and put the storm windows up today. Also decided since I am going to be cold I may as well warm up my gizzards:

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Back from the dead!

A little progress here, mostly just trying to keep my head above water, I'll start posting some of the little things just so it looks like something is actually getting done around here. Meanwhile, happy gobbler day!

Saturday, April 19, 2014


 The WINTER THAT WILL NOT DIE is passing at last! Time to do more work on the house!

There were colonnades between the two front rooms sometime in the past, but they have been gone as long as anyone alive could recall, because the floor settled and the doors wouldn't stay closed.I had a set lined up about the time I bought the place but some SOB did me out of them, so the search has been on ever since. Through an interesting set of circumstances I wound up with colonnades for the front rooms. Although dirty, the price was right and the finish is reasonably decent, and is a close enough match to what's in the front rooms they will look pretty sharp.

 The columns are AWOL; they have been for a while, too-the stain on top is as dark as the sides, with only the barest footprint to be seen in bright light.

There are some broken pieces in the doors, which are “leaded” with zinc instead of lead came. Zinc has the advantage of being lighter and stiffer than lead, so the doors won't need re-enforcing straps across them like lead might at that size.The glass is pretty wavy and has lots of character, and has a sort of interesting variation on the usual diamond and vertical bar theme. When the time comes I will probably have the Glass Shop in Emmetsburg repair them-Lee is a very good stained glass artist.

There was a broken hinge on one of the doors, which will be addressed in today's post. The hinges are half-surface mounted little butt hinges with a two tone copper Geneva finish. The bottom one on one side was missing half that went on the jamb. If they were hinges I could lay hold of easily, or full morticed so replacements wouldn't be so glaring I would have replaced them all, but plan B was to find a hinge to take apart and supply the missing half.
Thanks to N D Millwork in Paullina, the missing hinge and lots of the pieces of trim-work cease to be problematic.

The hinge in question has only three knuckles, which is easier far to match than a five knuckle one, and the half missing has the long centre knuckle, so I took the donor hinge and filed enough material from the pin to allow it to be driven out. The centre knuckle of the donor hinge is slightly shorter than that of the original, so I will file down a bronze clock bushing to take up the slack. I am going to hold off fixing the glass doors until they are fixed in where I want them. Hopefully the next project is getting the damned kitchen level so I can start in there!

There it is, in all of its half-fixed glory!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Plaster dust in the morning

Taking plaster from the kitchen walls. No pictures because the grit will wreck my camera. I wish I could post the smell so everyone could share that with me! Instead, have a picture of the door I got for my dining room.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Up and away!

Got the jack under the devil under my kitchen. The timber sank a little more than a quarter inch into the devil before it began to raise the who bastardly affair. Some people would say it means I had a quarter inch of bad on the devil, but I am a pragmatist and say that means there are seven and three quarters of decent material.

Some past jakassery includes a chunk out of the devil for an air register, and a few floor joists that are not too good that were cut for cold air returns and gas pipe. I gt the wood, but I need to come up with a couple of lolly columns to put in place of the tree trunk that is there now, and raise the whole works another half inch.

Tomorrow I am going to knock more plaster from the walls right over the jack so the whole works is easier to deal with.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kitchen or else!

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for the kitchen projects was a chimney that was right in the way. It came out about five feet in the air, and had flues into three different rooms, with plastered surfaces in two of them; the kitchen and the back bedroom. It was dragging the whole works down, and making plaster buckle and that. This is hardly anything new; the wall paper behind the top trim of the built-in cupboard is anti-godlin to the world and God alone knows how long it's been back there. Some long time ago the top was removed, so at least it didn't go through the roof, but there was still plenty for us to fuss with.

Enter my two good helpers, Michael and Madi; neither one is afraid of hard work, so Saturday they came over, we moved enough junk out of the way to get to the offending parts, stopped for dinner, when we all ate my Italian roast beast and fried green beans with home made salsa and blue corn chips, then we took the gas line off of the cookstove and covered the poor old beast in heavy blankets and put it out of the road and dug in and began to remove the swine of a chimney. I had already pulled off a good part of the molding nearby to strip paint from, and most of the plaster around the chimney in the kitchen side was so loose it fell off when the wallpaper quit holding it together,

Two chisels and two three pound hammers were pretty much all it took to do the deed, with plenty of time between breaking bricks out to scoop the fifty years worth of ashes and mank out so it wouldn't permeate the place anymore than it already had. The biggest pain in the bum was getting the first break made, after which the rest came out like legos. The bricks went out the door in five gallon pails, and might get used to drain a concrete slab getting poured there next spring. Madi somehow managed to get a tin pipe that was buried behind my dining room wallpaper out without so much at wrinkling the paper!

For no more chimney than there was, it sure seems like there was enough dust and that-my shop vac died, and the other one got lent out and returned with three coffee filters and a rubber band for a filter, so we had to hillbilly it a little. I ran the exhaust hose from the one that wouldn't work to the intake of the one with no filter, so it would use the filter and collection tank of the burnt out one. Sort of awkward, but worked out well in the end.

When the deed was done we all looked like coal miners, and I stood in the shower until the water boiler was exhausted, as I am told the other two did as well.

Next it's time to jack floors!

Monday, April 15, 2013

And the Fat Man lived through most of the winter.....

.....if winter ever ends I could say there was another one behind me. No outside progress. None; I hate the cold and dank weather so I hibernate. Managed to scrounge a lot of lumber from the old man's and a pretty nice tool bench for down cellar. Now I can get all the tools in one place to keep them from underfoot here. The kitchen is getting leveled next. It will happen. Will. I am done fooling with it.

Pictures as soon as I can.