Monday, March 31, 2008

Time To Make A Window Seat

Today was the first step in making the oak window seat for the dining room. I already have a template made from MDF in three sections that I will use to transfer to the oak panels. The first step involves making these panels. I need about 24 inches to fit the templates, so this will be made using three 8 inch 1x boards. Using biscuits, the three boards are glued and clamped as seen here, which will then be sanded smooth when dry. Two more to go and then its router time....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Been Awhile

It's that time of year again - when I go from rebuilding my house to what feels like living at work giving the power plant a tune up. This outage is an 8 week'er, so won't be doing a whole lot till May. But at least the old piggy bank will be ready for another season of projects.

Here's the latest....

Was able to salvage the foyer closet door. I used a few heavy coats of stripper and used a small brass bristle brush to work the white out along the 5 panel borders. Then followed with steel wool and a final sanding. The details are worn out a bit, but most of this was done by whoever sanded the door before they painted it. So the stairs are pretty well complete except for the steps themselves - to be done when I can open the house up. I bought new brass hinges for the door and the seat, plus a new lock and an oak door stop. Was pretty impressed with the quality, since most repro usually ends up being junk.

I've been working on the dining room windows now. I stripped and sanded the ledge, plus added some detail trim that was missing. The windows themselves I've been trimming out. The original window guides were a little to narrow, so I've been making 1/2 inch wide oak pieces with an ogee routered along the edge. Then a final small piece of trim I've used elsewhere to hide any final gap. I had to make some filler pieces along the top since the windows were a little shorter than I had planned on. Hopefully this will all get stained soon.

I made a new updated seat template from 1/2" MDF that comes out a few inches further. This final revision looks pretty good and these templates will be what I use to router out the final oak sections from wide oak boards than I need to make still. I'll probably start gluing and clamping these boards together soon - a good project for when I have little time.

We bought some stained glass panels finally for these windows. We were going to go old, but didn't think having window frames around the panels would look good here, so we went with new ones at a pretty good price. They have a nice arts & crafts look to them that works with the house.

And here finally is the latest addition to the house. It's an old upright player piano made by Conway (about 1920ish). I picked this up on Ebay last year along with the seat for it and a cabinet filled with scrolls. The guy even dropped off and rolled it right into the garage. Finally it was time to get some movers over and get it into the dining room. I was going to try and get it in myself building a ramp out back.... then came to my senses! The player mechanism doesn't work and should make for a fun restoration project some day (like retirement). The cabinet really needs a refinish too, but looks OK with a little Old English till I can get to it in a few years. I did start stripping the cabinet for the rolls which was in pretty poor shape. It will sit on the adjacent wall.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Stair Progress

Things are wrapping up on the first stage of the staircase restoration. The spindles are all back in place, all the caps are installed, trim work finished, and the stain and first coat of poly have been applied. Two more coats, and then I can start the second half of the restoration - stripping the treads/risers. I may wait a bit until I can open the windows some, since the stripper is pretty potent. For the the railing parts and sides, the majority I was able to strip in the kitchen where I have the exhaust fan already hooked up.

The closet also is wrapping up. The woodwork in finished and staining/first coat of poly are on as well. The closet door is still in the stripping process which has been a real bear to get the paint off the one side. The old shellac was sanded on the one side before painting, so the paint has really bonded to the wood. The cables have been routed to the basement and connector plates installed. One for power, one for the DVD player to feed flat screen in living room with 2 RCA cables for sound and S cable for video, and finally a pair of speaker connections for the stereo. I have an extra pair still in the box if I decide to add another set of speakers downstairs and will just have to get another connector plate.