Thursday, June 28, 2012

Balusters (Spindles for the people outside the trade)

    So the challenge from the foreperson (AnnaMarie---this will be her own house)  was to make the stairs match the mantel.  See previous post for the wood source.  It isn't teak.  It's either some sort of oak or mahogany----I've compared it to both and it doesn't quite match either---but it does match the mantel, since it came from the same place.
    NOBODY will mill wood they didn't sell you.  They are scared of nails I think.  So I had a truckload of hardwood 8x12's that needed to become 2x2's with no way to cut them.  So, as always, call Byron.
    Byron.  I hope everyone that reads this knows one.  The bail out guy.  The drop everything to make it happen guy.  He'd the white blood cell of humanity, taking care of the stuff no one else can.  With no notice, he told me to just lug the stuff up to OC and we'd make it work.
    He's got a friend that owns a tall ship---his warehouse has cool tools, exotic wood, old cars.  We went there and set up to cut.

       Here we are cutting the beams into slabs.  First we used a chainsaw to 'shorten' the stock---still much longer than the finished balusters will be.   It was slow going until we broke the saw blade and replaced it--then it was like butter.
                   Then we moved a table saw outside and cut the slabs into the 2x2's I needed to make the balusters.  Footnote:  truck in the background passed the 200,000 mile mark on the way home, carrying lots of wood and a sofa I bought on the way home for the new place (AM found it on Craigslist)
                            The finished balusters, Byron, and a boat that's up for grabs if anyone wants it---(Scot---the guy that owns this shop is the guy that owns the Astor)   In the spectrum between what I could afford and what Byron's time is worth, when I paid him I'm afraid I edged towards the former.  He is guaranteed free stays whenever though.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Finishing the Finishing

   There really is very little drywall-- Just the kitchen wall here, a little over the fireplace where the TV will be mounted (and hidden behind shutters) and the bathroom walls. There's a rough texture on the drywall to stick with the cottage-y feel. 
   AnnaMarie LOVES the mantel.  It is cut from a single piece of what I thought was doug fir until I cut into it, then I thought it was red oak.  She loves the contrast of the weathered outside and the tight grain inside, and wants all the stair balusters and railing around the reading nook out of the same stuff.  I started looking around for weathered oak, but none that I found really looked like it.
   That's because it isn't oak.
I started poking around this old bone yard where the original piece for the mantel came from (Actually it was in a dumpster nearby.  Lifting it out was fun)  I spoke to the owner.  He told me his brother helped build a tall masted ship decades ago and he grabbed the cutoffs from the beams, put them in the boneyard,  and just let them weather.  He just kept them around thinking somebody might need them.  I'm somebody.  It took a whole lot of moving old aircraft parts to get to the ones that are worthwhile.  They are HEAVY. 

  Here they are in the old truck.  I called around, but nobody will mill stuff they didn't sell you.  I called Byron, who is dropping everything tomorrow so he can help---I'm lugging them up to OC where he's got big tools and we'll see if we can cut them up.
   I'm pretty sure they're teak.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Gettin' Plastered

  All the interior siding is in.  Before painting it (some shade of white, semi-gloss) all the trim has to be done.  Before the trim gets done, the interior chimney finish has to be completed.
   Here's the challenges with THIS stage...It's 18' up. It's stone and colored plaster over an expanded steel mesh.
I cut up a bunch more stones and laid them out so they could be chosen quickly.  These all came from the building site.  The white ones are quartz with topaz streaks.  Very hard.

     Here's the chimney chase.  The flue for the wall furnace is hidden inside.  It's as small as it could be so as not to block the view of the lake from the reading nook.  That ladder is awesome.  It's clamped both ends so it won't wobble. 
   The strongest framing is nearest the wall so I wanted the expanded steel to wrap all the way around and screwed in place.  I put washers on the screws first so they wouldn't work their way through

    The start of the stone veneer.  It would have been cool to do the same veneer all the way up but I thought it would be too heavy.

  here's the look I'm after.  I want the plaster to match the outside foundation, with the stone outcroppings matching the fireplace surround.