Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cupboard Doors

I am no finish carpenter, and I don't have a great eye for detail or "the final product." But I get by.

I made the cupboard frame, so I had to make the doors, too. I took some 1"x2"x8' pine and cut a                              groove along one egde, cut the pieces to the dimensions of the door, then mitered them. For the center of the door, we used composite board. We painted them to look like the ceiling.

I nailed the boards to the back face of the door, put corner brackets, hinges, and handles on. 

Here's the first one in place. I use clamps to hold the door in place and also to put a spacer in at the bottom to  show me where the bottom should rest.

The final look. 

Jenn's coming up with the cupboard idea did us a major favor. We have a small bedroom, if you haven't noticed. We had our "stuff" jammed all over the place and it was very cramped in here before we renovated. Now we can store extra clothes, camera stuff, whatever in the area above our heads, which otherwise would be entirely wasted.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hanging a Door On a New Jamb And Hanging a Headboard

I hate dealing with doors. I hate dealing with hinges. I hate dealing with chisels. Here we go. 

First, taking a tip from my brother, I use the old door jamb as a gauge and I clamp it side-by-side with the new one. 

I mark where the hinges will be on the jamb.

I can't cut a straight line too well, either, so why not use a metal guide to help while I score the wood and start chiseling?

 Let's start taking some wood out. Carefully. Here I remember Mr. Hackett's words: "You can take wood away, but you can't put it back." He was my shop teacher from 6th to 9th grade. He said lots of things like that, and "there are two ends to every board." I usually took them to be metaphorical.

Now I check the hinges with the door, which is still being finished, and make sure it all looks good. I have bored the holes already and set the screws after clamping and measuring the distance between the door and the jamb along the hinges.

We got our mattress in the room and then set out to put up the homemade headboard. We bought a "French Cleat", with a capacity of 200lbs, to hang it. I figure that's safe/

Putting the wall part on was easy because it comes already furnished with special screws that don't require an anchor to be set first.


Jennifer about to sleep in our room, on our new bed, for the first time since May.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Finishing Touches

Trim around the lights above the bed is in.

Shelf next to bed is in.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Getting Closer To Being Done With Our Bedroom

Some baseboard moulding, heat duct and grate, and some door frame moulding (around the closet) installed. 

Extra flooring tiles added underneath the shelf. This is where reading lights will go. We purchased some under-counter lights from Ikea for the job.

I made a PVC conduit to get the cord for the lights to the right place (where the power is).

This is all I will see when I look up from my pillow. The conduit runs the cord for the lights into the closet where a power strip is waiting.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Side-By-Side Comparison Of Paint Strippers

I liked Peel Away so much that I got more. But while browsing the racks for that, I came across two other items that grabbed my interested: Klean-Strip and CitrisStrip in aerosol. I decided to try both on the same subject.

15-minute Klean-Strip, just after applying . You can see it where the foam is. 

CitrisStrip, immediately after being applied. 

Klean-Strip works fast, as usual, and cuts all the way to the wood. 

The glop that comes off of the subject when you scrape the  Klean-Strip off. 

Close-up of the CitriStrip after a few minutes.

CitriStrip after about 30 minutes, the recommended wait time. 

CitrisStrip does not go as deeply as Klean-Strip. You can leave it on longer, but I was not sure that would work so I applied the product again after scraping. 

CitriStrip after a second application. 

All told, Klean-Strip works fastest. I liked the aerosol application because it was not as messy, and oddly enough did not seem as caustic or volatile and smelly as it's counterpart in the gallon can.

CitriStrip takes a little longer and removes a little less but is not caustic or smelly at all.

Both are easy to apply. For $8/can each, I think it is a toss up. I'd like to give the CitriStrip a second chance by letting it sit longer, but I ran out of it. I ran out of both products, actually. I was able to do one whole side of the door but not the panels. Use it sparingly if you buy in this medium.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

PeelAway Results

This is the door after removing the paper, the stripper, and washing it off a little. 
 This is the other side of the door, shown to show you how much paint we removed.
 Here is what it looked like as I removed the paper.

It worked very well. I will have little sanding to do, especially in the grooves around the panels. It's a bit expensive, but overall I rate it better than KleanStrip. Less poisonous, less volatile. seems to work a lot better overall, removing more. But it takes more time, too.

New Paint Removal Product

Underneath the paper is a door slathered in a white paste called PeelAway. You're supposed to apply the paste, cover it with this paper, and wait 12-24 hours.

We have used Klean Strip in the past. It is volatile, caustic, and messy.

This product isn't as smelly, did not burn my skin immediately like Klean Strip. Let's see how it works.

Monday From Hell

Apparently it was National Fuck With Paul day and I did not know it. I had to take Tuesday off and fix a few things.

First, I hit the gas shut-off valve with the mower, which bent the shaft. Time for a new engine if I could only figure out what would be the best replacement. Luckily, the a guy named Craig at Small Engine Suppliers was very helpful. He identified two possible replacements based on the model number I gave him. Both were lower prices than I could find anywhere else. The folks at Northern were nice but gave me a bad recommendation.

Before going to bed Monday night, I noticed the downstairs toilet started leaking. The wax seal was poorly done to begin with, and the whole connection between the toilet and the closet flange was hokey.

Then I noticed that the faucet on the sink was in bad condition all of a sudden. It wouldn't shut off. Time for a new one. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011


 Jennifer lays the felt down.

 Goodbye, old southern yellow pine floor.

 With three courses down, here is what the cork floor looks like so far. We matched the tiles up because our room just happened to be a multiple of the length of a tile.

We just ordered a new bed, and we're dying to move back in soon. Stay tuned.