Thursday, August 30, 2012

Caulk Talk

I like to make my cuts tight.  Like, molecular level.

However, sometimes you reach a cross roads.  
A place where tightness can not be achieved.  
We call this place a crappy old house.  
And in this place, I have learned to use a new substance:  

It is called caulk.

Take this corner for instance:

Looks decent, right?

How about I adjust the camera angle for you?

oh boy

Yup, that's what I thought.  The cuts are great, and the wood is straight. But the existing wall? Well...Let's just say its amazing this thing is standing up.

*Sigh* Let's grab the caulk gun.

Obligatory "before" shot

This particular gap is about 3/8" (which is ridiculous).  On its own, caulk will not be able to close such a gap.   If this was a window or door casing and was in very visible area, I would rip a custom piece to help back the trim.   But this is such a short run, that I'm going to use some caulking backer

Grab some caulking backer

Stuff into place


Obligatory "after" shot

I had a couple of these around the top of the baseboard.  I'll be honest: a small piece of my soul dies every time I use caulk.  However, the woodwork is paint grade, and these minor blemishes will vanish into the landscape once the paint goes on.

Full disclosure: I spent days caulking this room in preparation for paint.   I figured I should at lease make once post so everyone could share my joy!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Oh yes, I did.

I was biking home from Valley Forge with a co-worker on Friday night and I got myself into a situation.

No, it wasn't the darkness and torrential rain that was the issue.  We made a pit stop about half way to relieve ourselves, and I pulled out my phone to check how we were doing on time.  *DROP*. I have one of those phones that you can dunk in water and drop off a six story building, so the phone itself was fine.  However, I opened it up to see that my 7 button was missing!


Now, I had already glued this thing back in a few months ago with some Elmer's glue.  While Elmer's may be sufficient enough to hold a kindergartner's popsicle stick house together, its not quite rugged enough for my phone.  Now that the button is gone, I can't seem to get my fat fingers into the hole very easily to type out all these texts to my friends! (ha!)

Should I join the real world and get a smart phone?  I'll admit: the next day Verizon pestered me with an email "Free iPhone" (Its like they knew I was sulking about my 7-less phone!)  It's a tough situation.  In all honesty, the smart phone has no place on the site.  Its like ordering a "wrap" for lunch.

Let's do what any do-it-yourselfer lunatic would do:  head into the woodshop.

(aka, my bedroom).

Pare a shim down with a utility knife to the basic shape of the "7".  Be sure to use an official wood shop table.  Sheetrock  bucket will do.

Now we're talking

Tolerances are decent

A little tit-e-bond, a little clamp-age...

An hour or so later... Voila!

I did this Sunday.  Five days later: this new improved "7" works like a dream.  In fact, I'm thinking I should just jimmy the rest of these buttons out and just go ALL WOOD!

For those of you that know me outside of my internet persona, this isn't my first rodeo.  Adding wood to something that simply should not have wood is one of my specialties.

Who cares? Wood is good.  Try writing an 'app' for this beauty!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Coping (psychology)

In psychology, coping is defined as "constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing"  []

Coping the top cap of the baseboard

On the site, coping is defined as "constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts of your hand saw to manage specific external and/or internal demands of your crappy old house that are appraised as taxing"  [Admin]

Coped quarter-round. Air tight.

Has the Occupy Site tested my ability to cope?


Working on my base

It's not easy to get that healthy summer glow.  In order to get a proper diagnosis of skin cancer tan, you need  to put some time in workin' on your base.

It the spirit of the summertime, I have been working on my base as well.  My baseboard.  A 4-piece base, no less.  <sarcasm>Nothing but the best for my fancy house.</sarcasm>

You may recall an earlier post where Mat and I milled a special 4th piece of baseboard.  Well, two months later, its time to start cutting!

How often do my neighbors see this?

Special piece installed at the bottom

Even that return piece looks decent.  Not the most fun to cut.

Yes I use a Japanese hammer.

Seeing the floors mate up with the baseboard feels good. Its merging the old with the new, with the new giving a respectful nod to the old.

Its all about details.

For your cope and miter cut inspection.

I really like this picture, it shows the full profile of the base as it rounds and outside corner.
Who knew I would be such a sucker for this type of thing?

Corner where I had to do some serious wall restoration.
Take a look at the before picture (below) of that exact same corner:

Perhaps that give the previous photo some context?

I had to decide early on (at least 9 month ago) about how the trim around the radiator cabinet would finish out.   Because the floor is not level, but the new wall and cabinet are, the cabinet sits a little high off the floor. At the very least, the quarter round would be essential to cover this gap.

As I realized that I was going to have finished floor gaps and introduced the 4th piece of base, I just wrapped it around along with it.  The big decision was whether or not to just wrap the shoe, or wrap both.  I did both because I'm a sucker for layers of detail.  You be the judge.  Feel free to comment/criticize. Be honest, I've got nerves of steel.

The solution

Two returns going into the door casing.  Love those details.

Lastly, I'm slowly building up some wall on the east wall.  It is absolutely hammered.  I dug up a picture from the Occupy Archives to give an idea what the wall looks like before:


After two coats of sheetrock compound:


I'll probably be doing 4 coats here.  Like a good tan, you really have to work up a nice base.  I'll work this one up with joint compound.

Stay tuned.

Knock knock

Loyal reader,

I have not abandoned you. I got back on the job site last weekend, and put in two (2) solid 30+ hour weekends.

Who needs the beach, friends, or any summer fun? I have a 98 degree room without electricity.

Wait, let me correct that statement...

New light in the hallway, if you ask me nicely, I *may* disclose to you where I purchase such elegant light fixtures.

Yes, my friend. I have successful linked up the new circuits to the upstairs. That means, we have electricity in about 3/4 of the house again!  Welcome to the aughts, right?  The 19-aughts.

Anyway, I am excited.