Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jump Juke Jive'n

After two years of being in parts and pieces, I was finally able to get one of my favorite toys back together. It's a 1939 RockOla Light-Up Luxury Deluxe jukebox - and it still plays original 78's. This was one of my early EBAY finds about 10 years ago and I drove from PA all the way to Minnesota to get it. What an adventure that was! It's former life was in a night club somewhere in the middle of MN. So here it is all back together and proudly lit in it's new home in the foyer.

1939 RockOla

Someday..... when the house is done.....heh heh....... I will get to these two. The first is a sister to the restored RockOla - but it's a 1940 model needing full restoration. I'm still looking for a few parts for it. The other is about 80% done needing mostly some mechanical work and some cleaning from being moved and stored for the past few years. It's a 1936 Wurlitzer - made just before the "plastic" era started, this guy is all wood with just some colored lighting instead.

1940 RockOla

1936 Wurlitzer

A little Glenn Miller or Sinatra anyone?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Baseboards On A Budget

A good bit of thought went into finding a way to replicate the baseboards that originally were in the Hall house. Fortunately I found enough evidence to have a sample of what was - but duplicating it would not be that simple.... or cheap. They consist of a 1x6 oak board that is raised about an inch off the floor on block shims. The toe piece covers this gap and you end up with a full 7 inches of base before the cap is installed. The original toe piece was not your typical 1/4 round, but a stop moulding used in the door jambs. This piece is approx. 1/2 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches high. Finally the cap is a fairly complicated piece that overlaps the top of the base, protruding past the board a good 1/2 inch. The back has some relief cuts as well to help form to an uneven wall when being installed. This would be by far the hardest part to duplicate and most costly.

original cap and toe pieces

So I started out previously milling 1x6 oak boards and installed them a few months back. Next I work on the a solution for the toe piece. The closest stock lumber was a 1x2 oak that I would have had to rip in half, then rip shorter, then finally run on the router with an ogee bit to get the top profile - lots of work - and not very cheap either. I could also have made the piece from my lot of oak planks - adding even more work, but the cost would have been nothing but lots of time. Then it dawned on me that I had all the oak flooring I took up from the first floor that I had no idea what to do with. And these were already 1/2 inch x 2" - but after you take off the tongue and groove you're there. Plus I had these in up to 12 ft. lengths, so I could do some long runs in one piece.

So I went ahead running enough floor boards through the planer and then ripped the tongue (left the groove since it will sit against the floor), and then routered the ogee profile. In an afternoon I was able to make enough to do the three rooms downstairs and the staircase - and the cost was absolutely nothing. Plus I have plenty of flooring to make toe pieces for the entire house.

new 1x6 and toe piece

For the cap I convinced myself that I since I had no original capping in the house to match to (unlike the casing) it would be perfectly OK to use something close to the original if it was easier and cheaper - especially since nobody would ever no the difference but me. So I browsed the trim aisle and found the usual base capping, but nothing else. So I bought a piece and figured I'd see if it would look good enough to use. Unfortunately when placed on top of the true 1x6, the scaling was all wrong - since these are made really to be on top of a 3/4 board. So back to the drawing board.

what's wrong with this picture?

I though I might be back to milling the original, then my buddy John said try shimming out with another piece of moulding - after all lots of mouldings are made from several pieces in ornate woodwork. To make things look right, I needed to come out about 1/2 inch and maybe another 1/2 taller. Hmmm - my flooring stock is 1/2 inch thick..... so I grabbed a scrap of toe piece I made and placed it behind the cap I bought and things started to look much better.

on the right track...

At first I thought this is it.... but after looking at the cap for awhile the 90 degree angle at the joint between the two pieces just didn't look right. The profile should flow smoother than that. Then playing with the two pieces some, I shifted the front piece up until it was even with the beginning of the curve of the ogee on the toe piece. Now everything look right. I just needed to rip the toe piece down so it was shorter and the pieces lined up like this. Problem solved!

the solution

So back to the shop to make another run of toe pieces, this time shorter, to complete the cap. The front piece cost about 90 cents/ foot at HD. With the cost of the 1x6 at about $1.00/foot since I made them myself from rough oak boards - at the grand total of under $2.00/foot I have solid oak 8 inch high baseboards, that are a close enough match to original that I'm satisfied I did the house good.

not bad, eh?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Shiny Happy Floors

Well the guys at Shamrock Floor put on the 3 coats of poly (2 gloss - 1 top coat satin), and they had a week to dry. We are very pleased with how they came out and the downstairs looks like a different house. We can start putting furniture on, but have to wait a month for rugs. In the meantime I went ahead and finished the baseboard work while the furniture was out. I came up with a solution to replicate the original base trim that came close to original but cost me only $1.00/ foot using a stock piece from HD and milling some pieces from the oak flooring I took up. I'll show you how this was done in the next post. But here you can see some shots of the finished floors with the base assembled and stained. I like the contrast of the darker oak and the lighter pine. We can finally use some of the downstairs now and it's time to get the jukebox parts from the basement and put that beast back together for the foyer.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Floor Sanders Finally Cometh

Finally - the floors are getting done. I thought this day would never come.... and of course when it did, it would be the coldest days we've had this season. Hell - throw up all the windows, the oil only cost me $3.50/gallon. But at this point I didn't care, I just want them done.

I was a little hesitant to finally pass on my first project to an outsider, but after watching the two of them drag that beast of a sander in the house... and then seeing about 5 minutes of them man-handling it - I was sold - they can have that job. After an hour or so into it they remarked that this was one of the worst floors they encountered in awhile! When the floor guys who do this everyday can say that, I 'm definitely glad I didn't tackle it myself. So they had to start with 20 grit paper to strip all the grime and faux paint finish that was on. Followed by 36. Then they had to counter sink all the nails that were put into the floor - no, of course whoever put them there didn't use finish nails. So this just added to the problems with the floors. In the end it took them a day and a half to sand the three rooms, which was longer than they anticipated. But in the end they did a hell of a job and brought them back as good as I could have hoped. Now just three coats of poly.

These picks are after the rough sanding was finished and spot filler done. The next morning was the finish sanding.