Friday, February 29, 2008

Sand blasting is a blast

Today I disassembled the small art deco era hanging light fixture that I purchased on eBay. Here is what it looked like before I attacked it with a screwdriver and pair of Channel Lock pliers.

It appears that someone removed the original paint and then decided to make it 'better' by painting it black, purple, and teal green. Some portions of the fixture are solid brass, the majority of the body of the fixture is cast iron, and the chain links are steel.

The ceiling canopy was left unpainted but the lacquer was peeling and there was paint splatter around the edge. It appears that this light hung in a room that was painted a shade of calamine lotion pink. At one time the interior of 'The Gear' was painted that same color. Pink must have been very popular in the 40's and 50's because I have read other house blogs that mention that same color.

The canopy was also out of round and had several dents. I used a wooden dowel that was rounded off on the end to push out the dents. The edge of the dowel was used to straighten out the rim of the canopy. The canopy was placed on it's side on the table and I rolled the dowel along the interior edge until the canopy was round again.

I am pointing to the dent in the photo above. The dent actually shows up better in the first photo. Below is a what it looked like after I fixed the dent and sandblasted it.
I snapped photos as I disassembled the fixture just in case I didn't have time to reassemble it this evening. Notice that I put the screws back into the holes. There are two reasons for this. Number keeps me from losing the screws. Number keeps sand out of the holes and allows me to sandblast the screw head at the same time. I lied.....that's three reasons.

Sandblasting is a time saver. I could have used stripper and a brush to remove the paint or maybe boiled it overnight. But in the end, the total time from start to finish was 1 hour and 45 minutes to disassemble, remove dents, sand blast, and then reassemble.

Here is a photo of the fixture reassembled. I will wait to paint this fixture at the same time I paint the wrought iron lantern for the foyer. I am waiting on the canopy I bought for the lantern which will also need sand blasting and painting. I will then rewire both light fixtures.

Here's a few sand blasting tips.

If you keep getting shocked because of static electricity make sure your ground wire is firmly attached. Standing on a rubber mat may also help with this problem.

Always wear glasses even though the sand is inside a cabinet. Be aware that sand is on the parts and will get on your hands when handling the parts. Keep your hands away from your eyes.

You may want to wear cloth gloves to handle bare metal pieces. This will keep moisture from getting on parts that will be painted. Also freshly sandblasted cast iron will start to rust if left exposed to moist air. During summer months it may be necessary to immediately prime or clear coat raw cast iron to prevent surface rust.

Always allow the cabinet air to settle before opening the door. This will keep sand from becoming airborne and inhaled.

Use compressed air to clean sand off parts. Some cabinets have a nozzle inside the cabinet for cleaning sand off of parts after sand blasting. You can also use a new clean dry paint brush to brush off sand. Never aim compressed air at exposed unprotected skin. Never use compressed air to clean sand, sawdust, etc. off your clothes. I know we all do it, but it's a big NO NO. Doing so is a sure fire way to get a particle embedded in your eye. OUCH!!!!

Metal isn't the only material that can be sand blasted. You can etch glass with a sand blaster. Use vinyl contact paper to protect the areas that you wish to remain clear. You can achieve various degrees of etching by sand blasting some areas twice and some areas only once. The only limitation is your imagination.

Sand blasting is a blast. Try it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm lost...can this GPS help me?

DHL delivered the GPS (TomTom One) today. It looks cool and came with a suction cup mounting device for the windshield, a USB cable, and a car charger. It is missing one thing though.....a 12 year old kid to explain the gadgetry to me. I'm completely lost. Do they have a GPS for confused people? You know for people who are electronically challenged?

The 1930's era Better Homes and Gardens magazines that I purchased off eBay arrived today. My how things have changed. One of the issues has a photo of a front door and it's a Dutch door. I have several in my home. Two interior and one exterior door on the back of the house. When I stripped the front door and the door jamb, I noticed that there were witness marks indicating two additional decorative straps in the center portion of the door. This would indicate that the front door at one time was also a Dutch door. I have no idea where that door is now. Our front door is 40 inches wide and the 3 Dutch doors remaining are 36 and 32 inches wide.

The mailman also delivered a package today that contained a cast iron hanging light that I will hang over my sink. I will take a photo before I disassemble and sandblast it tomorrow. Currently it is painted (not original) garishly. I will return it to satin black to match the other lights I have purchased. It was rather difficult t0 find a hanging light that was small in diameter. This one has cool square links. I purchased a French wrought iron chandelier with crystals for over the kitchen table.

I've been thinking about that double drawer dishwasher. From a mechanical standpoint...that is twice the parts to breaks, twice the electronics to screw up, two times everything. Maybe the regular style dishwasher would not only be be more economical (cheaper) but also more durable because of fewer parts. Now from a 'green' standpoint, a traditional dishwasher uses more water. But then it uses the same or close to the same amount of electricity. So maybe I will just get the regular style and try to only wash full loads. By purchasing the traditional style dishwasher I will save $$$$ and that's green....right????? The money I save on the dishwasher purchase I can use towards the purchase of a new trash compactor.

I see that the Internet sports sections are all abuzz because of the towel Tony Stewart is auctioning off for charity. Gees where have they been??? We knew about that a couple of days ago, right?

More snow is in the forecast. Should start just about the time I leave work tonight and fall until I get to work tomorrow. I thought winter was on the downward spiral last Sunday when I went outside with just a sweatshirt on. I guess not.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shhhhh...don't tell Tony

The vast amount of miles I drive has produced at least three good things.

OK let me clear this up before I get a rash of emails from my friends (who refuse to leave comments but email me instead!!!). I know they are gift cards to Lowe's and Tony drives for Home Depot but come on.....they were FREE!!!!!! I tell you!!!! When it comes to FREE stuff what can I say.......I'm easy.

Well anyways...I decided to cash in my points at Speedway Gas Station. So now I am on a quest to see how inexpensively (cheaply) I can purchase a 2 drawer stainless dishwasher. I know I can obtain a 20% coupon from Lowe's. The dishwasher I want is the Fisher & Paykel 24-Inch Double Dish Drawer for $1400.00. So that brings the price to $1120 minus the $75 in gift cards bring my current cost to $1045.00. So far I've saved $355.00


I could purchase the Bosch24-Inch Integra™ 300 Series Dishwasher for $798.00. I already have purchased a Bosch cook top. Let me see what my cost would be........calculating........$563.40 is the cost with a savings of $234.60. That's a big difference.....I'll have to think this over.

I won't need to purchase this appliance until the summer so maybe by then I will have used enough gasoline to deplete another oil field and obtain another $25 gift card.

So let's just keep this little nasty Lowe's secret between the two of us. No need for Tony to know that I'm cheating on him. I'll wear a #20 shirt when I go to Lowe's to purchase my dishwasher. I do have some God I don't want them to think I'm a Jimmy Johnson fan!!!!!!

Speaking of Tony......two in a row in the Nationwide Series and a 7th place finish in the Cup race. Tony is currently leading the Nationwide Series and is 3rd in points in the Cup Series.

Go Smoke!!!! Hey I'm a fan but even I wouldn't want this item.

Window update......Roger invested a hour filling and sanding. Myself......well I had good intentions Sunday night of finishing the last glass install but Pride and Prejudice was on. Come was Mr. Darcy and that twerp Mr. Collins. I didn't like Mr. Collins when I read the book many eons ago and I still don't like him. AND thank gosh they don't have that entailing anymore. Well anyways.....I was sidetracked by Mr. Darcy and really only worked on them for an hour. If they ever make Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert into a movie, I'll never get anything done. You do know Flaubert had a foot fetish, didn't you?

Time invested 2 hours. Total time invested 36 hours and 40 minutes.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

You say tomato, Dan Quayle says tomatoe!!!

I have been reading blogs from bloggers who are out in their yards and gardens preparing for this years crops of flowers or veggies. Well to you bloggers I say....#@&%! and the lawn tractor you rode in on.

This winter has really say the least...stressful. We have had an abundance of snow and when it is not snowing, it's grey and windy. So when I read a blog from a blogger in a warmer climate (which is anywhere but here) and they have proclaimed that winter is over and summer should be starting in two weeks....well it's depressing.

First of all lets clear one thing up. Winter is not the 1 week of the year when you had to turn on your electric heat. Winter is when you turn your furnace on in October and it doesn't quit spinning until May at which time you turn on the air conditioner to remove the excess humidity from the air. That is winter.

Winter is not counted in weeks. Winter is counted in months or 1/2 years if you live in the extreme north.

Winter is not designated so just because you had to wear a coat. Winter is when you wear a t-shirt, sweatshirt, hoodie, topped with a triple down coat and you still complain that you are cold.

Winter is when you get hoodie hair instead of hat hair.

Winter is when every pocket in every coat, sweater, and pair of jeans you own are filled with wadded up Kleenex. Yes, in the north we don't say tissue. OR...TP..sometimes it's easier to carry a roll than a box. No really. I'm woman enough to admit it.

Winter is when you reach into your pocket for change (coins) and when you open your hand you find, a wadded up Kleenex or TP, a Hall's cough drop, pocket lint (from when you washed your jeans with a wadded up Kleenex in the pocket), and 4 pennies (economy is bad).

Winter is the time from when your nose start dripping in October (allergies from moldy leaves) until it finally stops dripping in April. Summer starts when your nose starts dripping in June because of allergies and stops when your nose stops dripping in September when the flowers die back. Only to start dripping a week later when winter starts again.

If you have proclaimed your 'winter is over', all I have to say about that is.....we here in the north probably would have wore shorts and flip flops through your entire winter. Winter indeed!!! Pshaw!

Those of us in the north wear our winters like a badge of courage.

"I remember when the snow was so high you couldn't read the stop signs."

"I remember when it was 20 below and you had to get up out of bed and start your car in the middle of the night, to make sure it would start in the morning."

"I remember when it was so cold Fido wouldn't go outside to pee and just held it until spring."

"I remember when my mother would bundle (yes bundle) us up and send us outside to play. But we couldn't move so we just stood there."

"I remember when we had to rake the roof because the snow was so deep."

"I remember when it was so cold my eyeballs froze." No...really sometimes you can hardly blink it is so cold.

I know what you are saying..."What the heck does this have to do with a tomato and Dan Quayle?"......I'm getting there...don't rush me, I'm on a rant.

So that brings me back to tomato, tomatos, tomatoes, whatever. One of the places or events I would like to attend one day is the Tomato Fest in Carmel, CA. You know the place where Dirty Harry was mayor at one time. I'd like to taste some of the more obscure heirloom types tomatos.

So anyways I was at the Tomato Fest website and found this poster.

I thought it was a hoot. I may have to order it for my kitchen. "Let me see, I know I have 4 pennies here.......somewhere.

Gene wrote...I remember when it was so cold, they canceled school (our school district was always the last to close for snow so we didn't have too many 'snow days', but I do remember the 'cold day' or two.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Foyer light after sandblasting

I spent about an 45 minutes sandblasting the soon to be foyer light.

Here's the before photo. Notice all the rust and peeling black paint.Here is a after sandblasting photo of the light fixture. Notice that all the paint is gone. There is still a small amount of rust left. So far I haven't noticed any broken welds or cracks.

I think one more sandblasting session and the light fixture should be ready for priming. I will hold off on the final coat of black satin paint until I locate a ceiling canopy for this fixture.

Hope everyone enjoyed the lunar ecilpse tonight. If you missed it, here are a few very poor quality photos I took during the eclipse. The sky was clear but it was about 11 degrees......brrrrrrrr.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Foyer light

One of the first pieces of 'real' artwork I purchased was a watercolor. My friend purchased this watercolor at an auction (early 1990's) in it's original frame. Both her and her husband hated the watercolor but loved the frame. The frame was OK but I fell in love with the watercolor. We split the cost and for $35.00 I had a wonderful piece of artwork. That painting is the inspiration for my foyer. I'm sorry the photo does not show the full painting. There was a glare on the glass and this was the only angle that didn't produce a glare. But back to the inspiration. Notice the hanging light??? It appears to be iron, probably wrought not cast. The glass appears to be colored probably slag. On eBay I came across a metal lantern similiar to the above light for less than $20.00. I could see by the photos that it had some rust but that's OK I like to use the sandblaster.The light came with clear bumpy glass. That glass will be replaced with the same slag glass (swirled pale lavender,cream, medium purple) that matches the other hanging light fixtures in my home. I am in the process of sandblasting the light and it's taking longer than expected. I'll post a photo when it has been derustified.

So now I am in search of a cast ceiling cap/canopy to use with this light fixture. If anyone know of a cast brass, aluminum, or iron ceiling cap/canopy let me know. I seem to only come across pressed metal cap/canopys and I believe that would not look quite right.

Before anymore asks.....the frame was a copper gilt Arts and Craft frame, more than likely from the 30's. I wish I had the frame, but not for this painting. It was just a cool frame.

My taste in art is pretty board. But the vast majority of my pieces are from the 30's and 40's and are in the impressionism and expressionism styles. I have one large pastel that will hang over the fireplace in the living room. It is not signed nor dated. But due to the large size I have to believe the frame is original. My plan is to have the frame restored. Hopefully at that time they (who ever I have restore it) can determine age, maker, or both. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's a cool maker like Newcomb-Macklin. The frame looks to be in better condition in the photo than in real life. The corners are coming apart and need some gesso/plaster work.

Please do not pay any attention to the cobwebs/dust. We are currently using the living room for storage.

This is my mother's favorite. Just kidding. She says...."it's gross!" Who knew she was an art critic.

Well racing season is upon us. Congrats to Tony Stewart on his 3rd place finish in the Daytona 500 and his win in the Nationwide series. On a side note. I didn't like the long hair at first but it's growing on me. Get it??? Growing? Oh nevermind. Gooooooooo Smoke!!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008


It's official, I'm sick of winter. I've had enough of shoveling, driving in horrendous conditions, and the constant bone chilling wind.

It's not fit for man nor beast...I mean peacock.

This is how Weenie and Mr. Peacock spend their afternoons. Weenie chilling in her bed, complete with leopard print blanket and Mr. Peacock....just chilling. Sometimes they will be nose to nose...I mean nose to beak. If you ask either one of my cats, "Where's Mr. Peacock?" They will look out onto the deck and then look at you with that look that says, "he's out there in the cold....stupid bird."

Beenie on the other hand can't be bothered with such things as a big stupid bluish purple bird. She's too busy napping on her blanket. She's prefers the 1930's chair complete with faux sage mohair.

Beenie says, "I'm not moving until someone finds my other colored contact lens. Until then I will keep my eyes closed." Beenie was a feral cat that my husband brought home. The vet advised him to have her put down because "she won't ever be any good." She's a sweet kitty.

All I know is Beenie, Weenie, Mr. Peacock, and I are all ready for spring.

* I should clarify why Mr. Peacock is out in the cold. Peacocks will not go into a building. They prefer to shelter themselves from the wind but in a place where they can get away from a predator. Our biggest concern is foxes. Mr. Peacock roosts high up in the trees during the summer. In the fall, winter, and spring he usually sits under the overhang by the kitchen window or under the deck by the windows of the lower level. We leave the light on (like Motel 6) to hopefully keep the predators away. His estimated age is at least 10 yrs probably closer to 14 according to people who know pea fowl. They estimate age by the length of their tail feathers. He appeared about 5 years ago and he's been happily making his rounds everyday since then.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A heartfelt but sleepy birthday

Well here it is...another Valentine's Day.....and another birthday.

I was so tired today, that when I woke up (working 12 hrs+long drive=lack of ZZZ's) I could barely focus on my present from R. He knows what I like and this year was no exception. I am now the proud owner of another piece of Roseville. This is a new color for me. It's slightly grey but yet slightly lavender. It will look great when the kitchen is finished and I have shelves to display all my Roseville, Hull, and Weller pottery.

On Sunday, my son and daughter in law gifted me early. Seems they read my blog and remembered that I said I really wanted another palm sander. Well lo and behold, I am not the proud owner of dual palm sanders. Stand back the saw dust will be flying.
How lucky can a girl get? Tools and American art pottery all in one day. Well she can get luckier. At work today, a co worker's wife baked me a cheese cake filled with cherries and topped with chocolate and more cherries. Ummmmm good. Thank you Pam and Bill.
I feel a nap coming on.....LOL. What a day. Inbetween all the good stuff, I had to renew my driver's license and plates. When I arrived at the Sec of State's office there was only 1 car in the parking lot. Yippee. Not so fast. When I reached in my glove box to retrieve my proof of insurance, the only ones I could find were expired. So I then drove halfway across the county to the insurance agent and had them print a new current proof of insurance. I then drove back to the Sec of State's office and wouldn't you know it....they were busy. So I took a number and sat down. They called my number and when I was ready to take the eye exam I realized I didn't have my glasses with me. I had purposely made a list of all the items I would need today to facilitate all my errands. On the list was "don't forget eyeglasses". I left the note on the kitchen counter. Obiviously I should have put "don't forget list" on the list. Luckily she let me retrieve the eyeglasses from the car and finish the exam without going to the end of the line.

Too many things to do and not enough time. I guess I can sleep when I dead.

Thank you to all my family and friends for the cards and gifts. Now I need to take a quick power nap.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Old books for ideas and inspiration

The last couple of years I have been buying old books for the sole purpose of looking at the photos for decorating ideas.

My home was built in 1937 and though it is a Cape Cod style home there really isn't a distinct Cape Cod style of interior decorating. Nor are there a lot of examples to look at. The 1930's included the Great Depression. A time in which decorating your home was not the most important item on your agenda. You rarely run across a home built in the 1930's. Gear Acres was built in the time frame after the depression and pre World War II, which was another time in which Americans were vastly preoccupied with things other than decorating.

At the book stores I see numerous books on Victorian, Mission, bungalow, Arts and Crafts, and now even mid century styles. Authors have completely bypassed the 1930's. So I have resorted to old books published in the 1930's and 1940's for design guidance.

Gardening books from that era offer many photos of home exteriors and landscaping. Several of the interior design books from the 30's and 40's explain why we are now stripping paint off of our wood trim and reinstalling removed design elements. It's both horrifying and amusing to read their thoughts about why removing that built in buffet and extensive oppressive wood trim is the right design choice.

This week the postman delivered these books.
Starting on the left....How to build a house for under $3,500. I purchased that book to glean structural information. Hoping to gain a little insight into how and why they built the way they did. The book in the middle...Injurious Insects....has great photos of insects common in the garden plus a 'way cool' cover. In an attempt to stay away from chemicals in the garden, I'll read and see what they used in 1914 to curb their bug infestations. And last but not least a cookbook.....Ruth Wakefields' Toll House Tried and True Recipes. I purchased this book with nothing more than the intent of gaining a good recipe to get my "snack on". I was shocked when I opened the book to find a photo of Toll House. Seems that Toll House is a Cape Cod.......the decorating Gods work in mysterious ways. *For you Pepsi caps and cartons for codes to get free stuff from Pepsi.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday's Tool

The more I use hand tools the more I agree with the saying "old tools are the best tools."

Case in point. R will not use a cordless drill. He says that "just about the time I get halfway through a job, the battery goes dead. Then I have to get off the ladder, look for a spare battery, and then pry the dead battery out of the drill motor, install the charged battery, and then climb back up the ladder...OR..I can get a long heavy duty extension cord and my old heavy duty drill motor and climb up the ladder and stay there until I am done and I haven't shot a 1/2 hour right in the ass."*** I swear he uses a 1950's style drill motor and it never fails him. Nothing fancy......just a lot of torque and as long as it is plugged works.

Over the years I have picked up a few older hand tools at garage sales and on eBay. I made another eBay purchase the other day for $3.99.

Every once in awhile the need arises to remove a used hose spring clamp. Normally you can get away with just using your slotted or slip jaw pliers but there are also those times when you need a pair of pliers specifically for spring clamps. But I also know that as soon as I shell out 25 plus dollars for a pair....I'll never need them again. Just like when I bought a set of snow skies and it didn't snow for 3 years.
Notice the Corbin logo. It's the same Corbin company that makes locks and the same ones that are used at Gear Acres. I'm going to estimate the age of this tool at around 1960. If it saves me from breaking a fingernail, it will pay for itself after I use it one time. Because we know that at our house, that when Dynochick breaks a nail.......NO ONE IS HAPPY UNTIL IT IS FIXED!!!!!

Here's how it works. The larger hose clamp in the photo is your traditional hose clamp (worm gear style) that is tightened and loosen using a screwdriver or a nutdriver. The smaller clamps are spring tension clamps. They are intended for one time use. When they are new they arrive in the open position. You slip the clamp onto the hose and after positioning it you pull off the little tab and the clamp closes.

The trick is removing the clamp without damaging it, so that you may reuse it. Sometimes if space is not a problem, you can use a regular set of pliers or pliers that have a small piece of metal welded to each jaw. But if space and accessibility is an issue then you need a specially tool like this one.

To remove the clamp, place the single tab into the slot on one of the jaws. The other jaw is placed on the outside of the pair of tabs. Squeeze the pliers shut. While holding the pliers closed slide the clamp off the hose. Reverse to reinstall the used clamp.

Spring tension clamps need to be just slightly larger than the hose when in the open position. If the clamp is too large it will leak. So always buy one that is just large enough to slide onto the hose.

Now that I have purchased this speciality tool....I will probably never ever come across the need to use it. But what the plier drawer had space for 1 more pair of pliers. Extra credit for those that saw the wrenches in my plier drawer AND the magnifying glass AND yes, I know it's messy.
The progress on the windows sashes will be delayed a week since I am working 12 hours 7 days this week. My drives to and from work, thanks to snow, have been averaging 1 hour and 35 minutes. 12 hrs work+3 hours 10 minutes driving=not a lot of time to work on the windows.

I HATE WINTER!!!!!!!!!!!

*** He uses that saying frequently.

Friday, February 8, 2008

I'll never get lost again!

I promised yesterday to tell you about my latest freebie via a rewards program.

Here it is....TomTom One V3 GPS courtesy of My Coke Rewards program.
Hopefully this GPS will keep us from getting lost in the future. I doubt it but I can hope. I used 7316 points and My Coke Rewards doesn't charge for shipping this item was absolutely FREE!!!I never considered buying a GPS because I really didn't think I could get my money's worth out of it. But since it's FREE, I don't think it will be too hard to get my money's worth out of it. I looked on eBay and they seem to be selling for 150-200 dollars.

Yesterday I forgot to mention several other places that I receive freebies from. Just recently I received a coupon for a free fondue dessert for two at The Melting Pot. This is a $12.99 item and is so delicious and sweet that you will be in a diabetic coma by the time you leave the restaurant. This is the second time in 10 months that I have received this coupon. Join the Fondue Club and be on your way to chocolate heaven.

Last week I also received a $20.00 off coupon for dinner at The Holly Hotel in celebration of my birthday this month. R and I belong to their diners club. Throughout the year we receive approxiately $250 in coupons plus 10 free passes to their comedy club. If you ever have the chance to dine at The Holly Hotel you will not be sorry. The comedy club is located in the basement. The basement is constructed of large field stones and has a great ambiance. Many years ago a friend of mine saw a very funny comedian there. I remember her telling me about how he talked about remodeling and tools...what was his name....oh I remember now....Tim Allen.

Also Coldstone Creamery has a birthday club. What better way to help drown your sorrow because another year has past you by then eating FREE ice cream. My favorite is sweet cream with caramel and coconut.

I'll post more freebies as I run across them. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday's Tip

Over the years I have signed up for numerous rewards programs, incentive programs, and cash savings programs....if they had a program...I signed up for it. The only problem was that when it came time to produce the card at the check out to receive my rewards, incentives, and cash....I couldn't find the card. Either the card was in my SUV or somewhere in my I always just passed on racking up rewards, incentives, and cash.

Not anymore.

First I gathered all the rewards, incentives, and cash cards I could find. I now know why I could never find them. They were tucked behind credit cards, lost in the bottom of my purse, and thrown into the junk drawer so they wouldn't get lost.

I then punched a hole in the corner of the card using a hole punch. I used a 3 hole punch, but used only one of the punches. Before placing your card in the punch, make sure you have oriented it correctly so that you do not punch through the bar code or scanning strip.

Once I completed punching holes in all the cards I placed them on a key ring. I chose the FREE key ring I received from my sorority, Delta Zeta, for making a contribution.

Then I placed the key ring with attached cards in the pocket of my purse. Now when the cashier asks me if I have a rewards, incentive, or cash card, I can say "Yes I do and here it is".

You might be asking, "Who offers these rewards, incentives, and cash cards?" I have cards from.....Ace Hardware,Borders Books, DSW, Bordine Nursery, Kroger, Blockbuster, CVS, NGC Cinema, and Speedway gas station. I purchased an item at Best Buy during the holidays and they asked if I wanted to join their program to earn points for rewards. I said "no" because I thought I was making a one time purchase. I then promptly over the course of the next three weeks spent $500.00.

"So what do you earn with these cards?" Well over the course of the last year or two, I have received 2 $40 gift cards to Applebees and 4 $25 gift cards to Circuit City from Speedway gas station, numerous $5-10 dollars coupons from Ace Hardware, half off coupons from DSW, $10 off coupon and free plants from Bordines, cash back rewards from CVS, and free movies at NCG and Blockbusters. I have also received $200 in gift cards to Home Depot from my American Express card. Tomorrow I plan on cashing in my points at Speedway gas station to receive 4 $25 gift cards from Lowe's.

A co worker talked me into saving My Coke Rewards. So far I have received a free flash drive in the shape of a Coke bottle, a cool ink pen, a silver 25 year anniversery Diet Coke bottle, and a Toshiba DVD player.

Tomorrow I will tell you about my latest free gift from My Coke Rewards.

Time invested today.....1 hour. Total time invested 34 hours 30 minutes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Handy tools

I thought since I have already "fessed up" to my bad tool choices for window restoration that it is now only fitting that I show you what tools I liked and used.

Everyone has preferences when it comes to their tools of choice. Here are the items I think are essential for window sash repair.

Starting in the back.

Epoxy filler. Hopefully your windows are in good shape and you are decay free. But then you wouldn't be in need of restoring your sash if it were in good condition...would you? Let's just say...."I hope your decay is minimal." Out of the six sashes I am currently restoring, 3 were decay/rot free, 2 had minimal damage, 1 was in bad shape. I am still working on that one, filling the bottom rail edge. When I reinstall these sashes I will look and see if I can discern what is the cause. The sill is rather flat and water might be trapped between the sash and sill. All my double hung windows have sills with a 7 to 8 degree slope. How do I know that??? I used a digital protractor to read the degree of slope (incline/decline). When I called to order wood storm windows I needed to know that. But I believe the biggest contributor to the decay problem is the fact that neither the top or bottom of the sash have ever been painted. Exposed end grain is a recipe for decay. I can't correct the sill slope but I can seal the top and bottom of the sashes.

Dremel with a barrel/drum sandpaper bit. I used the Dremel to remove stubborn glazing compound. Just remember to keep the bit moving and use the low speed. I also used the Dremel to smooth any wood that looked a bit jagged after glazing removal.

Palm sander. Actually I wish I had purchased 2 of these when I bought the first one for $10.00. If I had two, I wouldn't need to change paper to change grit. I like the palm sander but it is a knuckle scraper and fingernail breaker when it comes to changing the paper.

C clamps and bar clamps. These make or break a glue job, especially if you are using a glue that expands as it cures. Just remember to use paint sticks to protect your wood from the clamp load.

Razor blades and razor blade holders. I have several razor blade holders that I alternate between. Some holders are more comfortable than others to work with. Unfortunately for me, the one that works the best is the one that is hard for me to hold. I also buy my razor blades in bulk. The box of blades in the photo cost $6.99. I bought that box years ago. I don't know right off hand what the cost is for blades in 5 or 10 piece increments. But I have to believe that after buying several packs you have invested what a large box will cost. I use razor blades for scraping the paint off the glass before I reinstall the panes. Razor blades are also one of the many tools I use for glazing removal....sometimes glazing removal requires throwing the entire toolbox at it. I also use a razor blade to lift the glazing point up off the glass so my needle nose pliers can grab it.

Putty knives. Plastic or metal....I use both. The metal ones come in flexible or stiff. I use both. Invest in a quality stiff metal putty knife, you can use it later as a scoring tool when marking for mortising hinges etc. I use Hyde brand at home and on my job. They are sturdy enough to withstand light blows from a hammer. I also grind a sharp edge on a stiff putty knife using a grinding wheel. This comes in handy for removing the tongue from tongue and groove flooring. This will save your expensive chisels.

Glazing tool. This tool can be used for glazing, installing glazing points, and opening your can of glazing compound.

Cheap paint brushes. You'll need one to coat the wood with your sealer of choice. I use boiled linseed oil, but paint primer is another option you can use. Also I like to use a disposable paint brush when I am painting with an oil base primer. Rather than spend time cleaning the brush with mineral spirits, I just toss it. Cost less than a $1.00 and I didn't have to make a mess trying to clean it. I also use the disposable paint brush to sweep out any remaining debris before I reinsert my panes. You could also use a shop vac for this, but my cats don't like the noise and if you have know they rule. I also don't like the possiblitiy of putting additional lead filled dust into the air. This is especially bad if you use your shop vac elsewhere at a later date without cleaning the lead based paint dust from your shop vac. "Like I have time to CLEAN my shop vac."

Glue. I used Gorilla Glue for gluing loose joints. All six of the sashes needed gluing of some type. Most needed the top and bottom rails glued. I used the bar clamp when I glued the rails. Also some of the muntin bars were cracked and needed gluing. For the muntin bars I used the C clamps and just enough pressure to close the crack. I let any glue that has oozed out dry and later removed it using the Dremel.

Small needle nose pliers. I have a pair that I bought out of the discount bin at the local hardware store. They are the perfect size for removing old glazing points. My regular needle nose pliers were too thick to get between the glass and the glazing point.

Time invested in the last several days....1 hour 30 minutes. Total time invested.....33 hours 30 minutes.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Chalk one up for eBay

The front and side doors at "The Gear" have wrought iron thumb latch handles. Every once in awhile I run across one on eBay. This week I was in the right place at the right time and scored a nice set on eBay for $18.50 + $10.00 S+H.

The cyclinder lock will be replaced with a Corbin cylinder lock. I am trying to key all my doors the same. If everything works out correctly I will only need two keys to work all the doors in this house. I am currently looking for the old Corbin key blanks because they have decorative scroll work embossed on them.

The lock set needs to be repainted. I would really like to have it powder coated to make it maintenance free. I was curious how it would look without the chipped thick paint. So I sandblasted it.

Here is what it looks like now without all the coats of paint. The thick paint was obscuring the hammered detail. Now I just need to find a powder coating place that will do small parts. I know you can buy powder coat paint for home use. You use a small air brush paint sprayer and then bake in a toaster oven or an old oven (don't cook food in an oven after using it to powder coat). I mentioned to R that when we install the new Thermador double oven we will have a perfectly good oven to put out in the barn for powder coating. I can think of all kinds of things to powder coat. Vintage wall mount mail box, flower basket hooks, house numbers etc etc. I forgot to mention that it would also work with race car parts but I am sure he already thought of that.

Today I finished sanding the excess glue off the last repaired muntins. Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day. I have a social event at 1PM that should keep me busy until 3PM. Then there is the Super Bowl. So hopefully between the party and the bowl I can reinstall the last of the glass.

Time invested today....40 minutes. Total time invested 32 hours.

* Verizon sent us a letter stating they would give us a $50 check if we hook our land line back up. I think we'll pass.