Sunday, December 30, 2007

Swing In - Swing Out

In prep for the floors getting refinished, to let us in and keep the cats out, I decided to install the swinging door between the kitchen and dining room. There was no door there, but the signs there once was could be noticed in the jamb. Two setups used to be found - one with double action spring hinges, and another that swung on pins located in the top jamb and floor with a spring built into the floor pin/bracket assembly. It looked like mine was the double action spring due to no wood was removed to mount any pin assemblies and that the ghost of a single stop moulding was seen on one side that would shim out the spring hinges. Plus a good deal of holes in two locations where hinges would have been.

So back to good ol' EBAY I found an original pair of double action hinges and at a good price - keep in mind these are the rarer of the two setups. They are quite impressive at about 2 pounds a piece! The hinges are marked Brommers and latest patent date is 1896.

So first I sanded down the jamb in prep for a shim strip which I made from the oak flooring I removed to expose the original floor. Next with some help from Rach I mounted the hinges to the strip. This is quite an act since these guys want to spring shut and you need to keep it open to expose the mounting holes.

double-action hinge in closed position

With hinge side complete, now there was the story of coming up with a door. Originally the whole house was 5 panel oak - but now only 3 oak doors remain, and only one that would fit this spot. The rest of my salvaged doors are all pine, and downstairs will be all stained oak - so the only solution was taking the oak door I found between the two front bedrooms that was walled over. This I will replace with a pine door which will keep the upstairs consistent.

double-action hinge in open position, door pivots off opposite pin for other direction

So after some minor trimming to get the size just right, Rach again helped hold things while I pried the other side of the hinge open and mounted the door to the hinges. A little more tuning and the door works great. Now it was time to strip all the white paint off and expose the oak graining as it was meant to be.

Now just needs some finish sanding, stain and poly, and eventually do the kitchen side which will remain white to match the kitchen scheme.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Check Off Another Project

After probably 100+ hours of stripping, scraping, sanding, and refabbing - the divider between the foyer and parlor is 99% done. This truly is one of the centerpieces of the foyer and happy to report that it cleaned up really well. There is some gorgeous graining in the oak and once again I can't believe why someone would paint over this. There were 4 pieces of trim missing, one on each side of the vertical 2 foot jambs that you pass through that cover the seam where this meets wall. I ended up using the stop moulding from the window seat that I had to replace with thicker. After some study this looked to be the best candidate for that spot and consistent with how the moulding was constructed through the house (what's left anyway!). I did have to plane it a tad thinner so it would meet flush with the crown running under the shelf ledge. Only item left is some trim at the base and top of the columns that need to be finished and installed.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Long Time No Blog

Things are still slow here at the old Hall house. Waiting for the floor guy who starts on the 2nd has left me in a work limbo. In the meantime I have started with finishing off some wood work. At this point I finished the window seat and bay windows in the foyer. I had to mill some thicker trim along the seat, since the new walls are slightly back further than original leaving a larger gap between the seat and walls. This also had to be done for the picture shelf above the landing window on the stairs. This section is also finished. I've been using Minwax "Aged Oak" in a gel stain and 2 coats of satin poly.

Next I started working on the columned room divider between the foyer and parlor. This should take a good week to complete. I could spend months with a dental pick trying to get all the paint out of the pores in the oak. At a certain point you just have to step back and say 'can't see anything from a few feet back - close enough!'

I don't recall if I mentioned finding Norris's Wilmington, DE warehouse - literally right across the street from one of the generation units I work on - but on closer inspection you can actually see his "L. Norris Hall" lettering faded under the lettering of the present occupants. I'll take some pics when I get down there again.

I managed to get lights up for the season outside which required installing three outlets around the porch. I installed this circuit through a timer installed next to the service panel that will fire up the outlets (and lights of course) automatically. During the rest of the year I can take out the timer tabs and just leave the switch on so the outlets are powered 24/7. I like this single heavy duty timer setup much better than plugging in a bunch of plug in timers in the outlets, and all the light come on at the same time. The other timer does the porch light.

.... and as for the new wood stove - the furry inspector finds it working to his satisfaction (and is healing up just fine)

Friday, December 7, 2007

I Can See For Miles....

And I'll never go up there again for that view!! That was by far the scariest job I ever had to do working up on top of the hip roof - and this coming from someone who skydived out of a plane....
Even with my fall gear from work on and a rope tied from chimney to scaffold, I just could not get any real sense that I was secured and really I wasn't. It's the journey that really was bad -up the scaffold, then up the ladder, and finally worked my way up the dormer valley and finally sitting on top of the dormer. The view was pretty good, but honestly I didn't look much!

So up top all I needed to do was secure the flashing down and tuck under the shingles. Then add the weather guard and finally seal the nail head and guard with high temp sealant. The next day was a good test for leaks and passed with flying colors. After two years of thinkin and sweatin about his project I can finally call it done. So finally when the weather clears I can break down the scaffold setup. I can say now that this job has re-thunk my plans for the dormers.... maybe vinyl ain't so bad all the way up there. Going up there to paint every few years doesn't seem so easy now!

In other news, I have a new floor dude and he is scheduled to start January 2nd. So will have to wait a few more weeks and decorating inside is definitely out this x-mas. We'll make up for it next year. With the first floor already cleared out for the sanding, I'll just work on detail stripping that needs to be done on some original woodwork and maybe get some of that stained/finished. Hopefully around middle of January when I can get everything out of the kitchen, then I can start the final push on getting that and the powder room "finished".

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Fire In The Hole

Finally I was able to punch through the roof and add the final section of chimney. After a few test fits to get the necessary clearances, I actually was able to stand through the hole (wish I had a pic of that!), then pull the flashing piece up by rope. Pushing the pipe and rain cap through to the outside, I slid the flashing on and then reconnected the pipe inside. I had to attach the cap now since I would have a tough time reaching it after the pipe is installed. The object here has been to get as much of the installation work done as possible from the the attic space, and do as little as possible up on the roof - cause only will get the guts to go up there once! At this point the only job left to do is secure the flashing and add the flashing weather guard.

At this point I technically was able to fire up the stove - and it was chilly - so what the heck. I was happy to see that I almost instantly had a good draft, a benefit of running the pipe though the house. Once fired up, I checked for smoke and heat spots. Happy to say no leaks. I was surprised that once at operating temp, that the pipe is very hot to touch, but yet at 2 inches away not much heat at all is felt. So I guess this is how they get away with only 2 inches of clearance in boxing in the pipe. You still get heat transfer to the air though, and it did warm up the rooms upstairs that it passes through - so when I do cover up the pipe, I'll add vents up top to get some of this heat. Today I'll get some nerve up and get things finished on the roof and take some outside pics.

The floor guy is MIA, so I'm looking for another refinisher. Any local recommendations from anyone????