Sunday, April 27, 2008

Here A Shingle, There A Shingle....

I finished up the window seat in the dining room and with the weather breaking, decided to skip the kitchen/bath and move straight to the siding project. I figured now was the best time and hopefully I can get a good jump on the project before the summer heat hits - then I can move back inside to the kitchen for the worst of the hot weather.

So here they are - 12 square of grade A white cedar shingles straight from Minnesota. I lucked out and got a "spring special" price. Now for the fun part...... these all need to be sorted through and pre-primered and painted before I can install them. Doing this first should double the life of the paint since the shingles will be pretty well sealed. Easier said than done though when you're talking thousands of individual shingles to be done.

Shingle painting party anyone??

Last year I brushed painted and hung on a clothes line the shingles I needed for the first story, but that was only a square and still took a good amount of time. I did some poking around on the Internet and found a good solution. Using a 4x8 sheet of 1/2" plywood, I cut slots with a circ saw spaced 1 inch apart. Instead of brushing I will be dipping the shingle and then brushing off the excess paint. Next you insert the thin end of the shingle into the slots which holds it while it's drying. Any paint runs will end up towards the thin end of the shingle which gets covered by the overlapping shingle - so it's pretty full proof. And not to mention I can get a lot of shingles drying in a small area. By the time you fill the board, the first shingle should be ready for the next coat. Here's a pic of trying it out and seems to work really well.

Testing the drying board

Another issue is that the shingles are random width cut. Normally this would not be an issue, but I will be replicating the original staggered pattern on the house. These were all approximately 6 inches wide to give a uniform look. So before I do any painting I need to go through each bundle and sort out the thin ones (used where cut widths are needed), the normal 5-6" shingles, and the wide ones which I have to cut down on the table saw.

Cutting and sorting

Here are a few pics of the house which I've began to remove the aluminum siding to reveal the original shingle siding which will be removed and replicated with the new shingles. Recycling the aluminum will certainly help to offset the cost of the new shingles with the scrap prices being pretty good now. Once I get enough painted, I'll start with the back first since the siding is already partially removed - plus it's a good side of the house to learn on!

Revealing the original staggered shingle siding - it's seen better days

Friday, April 11, 2008

Home-Stretch On The Window Seat

All three pieces were final fitted and installed for good. I had to use a belt sander to true up the butt joints which got them close enough - but not perfect. Looking at the original sill though, those joints are just as noticeable so I won't sweat it. To reinforce these joints I added biscuits which should keep them stable and one piece getting higher than another. I applied a coat of stain and now just need to make the trim that will run along where the seat meets the wall. Then it will be final poly and finish up staining the windows. That's as far as I can take things till I get the knives made to make casing molding..... actually I sent a sample in to have them made today.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Almost A Seat

Well I've managed to make 2 of the 3 sections for dining room window seat. Of course my plan to make them had to be slightly modified. I originally planned on using the templates I made as a guide and using a router with a straight cutting bit and a roller bearing to cut out the oak pieces - but this did not seem to work so well. The bit seemed to chew and splinter the wood and cut behind the template in a place or two. Maybe this procedure would have worked better with a softer wood or if I had rough cut the piece out and us the router as a cleanup. Anyway I went with the old trusty sabre saw and slowly cut by hand. Then did some cleanup with the sander. So far not too bad - I only will need to square the joints better once all three pieces are made and fitted into place. I used a circ saw on the sides that butt for a straighter line, but the angle must have been not quite 90 degrees.

Once cut out and sanded, the joined boards did come out almost seamless. I was able to match grains up pretty well, and this time unlike the foyer staircase bench seat - I alternated the cups of the grain and this gave me a very flat board which should not cup at all.