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!

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