Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Threshold

Back when this doorway led into the master bath, there was no threshold here. Or rather, there was just an inelegant transition from the back hall to the tile floor of the master bath.

When the old master bath got reworked into the dressing room, I just laid enough plywood to level up the floors between the two spaces. I finally took the opportunity to start looking for thresholds.

It’s no surprise that there’s nothing pre-made that would work, regardless of where I searched.  I should know by now and should just save myself the time.

So I went to Hiawatha Lumber and they helped me find a nice piece of 1x6 oak that has an appropriate grain pattern.

I cut it to length, cut the notches for the door jam, and hand beveled the edges so that it more-or-less matches other thresholds in the house. Then a few coats of oil-based poly, followed by installation. Now the dressing room is almost ready for carpet.

Another thing checked off my list of projects…

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Kitchen - Week 16

A little more cabinetry got installed this week. And there's still more to go...

In addition, most of the countertops were installed.
At least where they could be; a couple of chunks will have to wait for their base cabinets...

And the painters have been here to start on the millwork, both in the kitchen and the back hall.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sash Ribbons Revisited

Over time there have been questions about the sash ribbons in the house. Some people have suggested that the ribbons were replacements for broken cord or chain, but I was convinced that the ribbons were original.

I’ve searched high and low for replacements for my broken ones, but always came up empty.  The closest things were the “tapes” that are included in “Pullman” balances, but as far as I can tell the tapes are not sold separately. That’s probably because Pullman balances are spring loaded and you’ll kill yourself trying to service them.

As part of the kitchen remodel we need to replace a couple of broken ribbons, so I thought I’d try one last search.

Lo and behold, I found this quote from the 1906 edition of Building Construction and Superintendence, by F. E. Kidder:

238. Sash Cords, Chains, and Ribbons
Until within a few years past, linen or cotton cord was alone used for connecting the weights with the sashes of double hung windows, and cord is still more extensively used than either ribbons or chains.


Sash Ribbons. - These are now also extensively used in hanging the sashes of the better class of buildings. The ribbons are made of steel and aluminum bronze or of some mixture of aluminum, and in 3/8, ½, 5/8, ¾ and 7/8-inch widths. They are claimed to be practically indestructible, and work easily and without noise. The 3/8-inch ribbon may be used for sash weighing up to 100 pounds (50 pound weights). For a window 6 feet 10 inches high and 3 feet wide, glazed with plate glass, the ribbons with attachments will cost about 75 cents.
Sash ribbons are now manufactured by a number of firms who also make the necessary attachments for weight and sash.
For the best working of windows hung with ribbons, the following size pulleys should be used: [table of pulley sizes]

I still don’t have a source for replacement ribbons, but at least I can be confident that the ribbons are original.

It's amazing that most of them have lasted for 120 years.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Kitchen - Week 15

There have been a few hiccups over the past couple of weeks.

Some (but not all) of the remaining cabinets were delivered. The guys then started installing a few of the upper cabinets. The install is a bit tedious; they have to cut holes to account for electrical because the top portion of each cabinet is lit.

In this photo you can also see the whips for the under cabinet lights.

This room has nearly 10-foot ceilings; there will eventually be crown molding that closes the gap on top of the cabinets.

The jam extensions for the windows were started as well. They are needed because of the extra wall thickness to account for the framing for mechanicals and insulation.

You can also see some samples where we're playing with possible colors for the walls.  We're pulling (minor) colors from the stone counter and tile backsplash as possibilities. We're struggling a bit with the various reds, so may switch gears entirely.

Another hiccup was that the counter guys showed up for the final measure a couple weeks ago... but didn't bring their laser measuring tool. So while the counter should have been installed by now, they are not coming until this week...

Of course, some of the upper cabinets can't be installed until the counter has. I guess it's even money as to whether those cabinets are even on the premises or not (see sentence 2 of this post)...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

While We're Waiting...

I suppose this could be called "Week 14", because this is it...

While we're waiting, I've been working on other stuff.

We had an interesting chandelier in the kitchen when we moved in and later found its mate in a pile of crap in the attic. We planned to use both plus a coordinating sconce in the kitchen. However, they weren't the right color...

After finally choosing the cabinet hardware, we decided to repaint the light fixtures so they will coordinate with the hardware.

We picked an antique pewter, hand-hammered finish.

You can see one of the in-progress chandeliers in the first photo. Currently it's hanging from a hook in the garage while I do my magic.

Once we're happy with the finish, I'll re-install the socket covers, etc

 The closeup of the canopy gives a better idea of what the finish will look like when it's done.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Kitchen - Week 13

Not much happened last week.

The appliances were delivered, but not installed. Mostly because we're still waiting for the rest of the cabinets to be delivered.

The fridge is near to its final position and the dishwasher is tucked back in the corner so that it's out of the way in the interim. Both will have cabinet panels installed eventually.

The range will slide back against the wall when it is finally installed. It's a "dual-fuel" model with gas cooktop and electric ovens.

The dishwasher will be installed in the gap in the island cabinets with the sink immediately next to it (camera's right).

The chunk of stone on the leftmost island cabinet is a sample of the counter material. Once all the base cabinets are installed the stone guy can come back and laser measure for the counters.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Kitchen - Week 12

 All of the cabinets that were delivered a few weeks ago got installed this week.

That ends up being most of the base cabinets.

The base cabinets that haven't been delivered yet are the pantry (left of the little base in the second photo) and the china base (corner farthest from the camera in the fourth photo).

 The upper cabinets haven't arrived yet either.


The appliance delivery is scheduled.

Counter material is being held and the measure is scheduled.

The sink has arrived.
We're still working on the knobs/pulls, though.

I think we'll be running around this weekend to finalize that decision...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Kitchen - Week 11

Early in the week the guys installed the rest of the floor.

Then sanded.

And stained.

And two coats of finish.

Real soon now, the space will start to look very different...

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Other Kitchen

Because I'm not doing much of the work on our kitchen remodel, I have copious amounts of free time...

A week or so ago I responded to the call that my mother-in-law's disposal wasn't working.  I determined that it truly was broken beyond repair and needed to be replaced. We ordered the replacement online and waited for it to arrive. It finally came a few days ago. I replaced it tonight.

Since my workshop is a mess because it's right under the new kitchen, I have to adapt...

Don't you love my fancy lulu lemon toolbox?  ;-)

Kitchen - Week 10

Two-thirds of the floor got installed this week.

We're using 2.25-inch solid white oak that matches the "public" areas of the rest of the house.  It's a mixture of rift-sawn and quarter-sawn boards, which also match the original flooring elsewhere in the house. Rift- and quarter-sawn are much more stable, especially when used over in-floor heat.

And Friday some of the cabinets were delivered so there are giant boxes everywhere.