Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Window Stripping

I finished the initial stripping of the front bank of windows in the living room. Of course it needs touch up work and sanding but the majority of the paint is gone.Some of the paint flaked off the muntin bars but I still need to tackle that. I'm mulling the idea of using Peel Away.

See those two areas of white paint at the very top of the window trim? One spot on the left and one spot on the right. That is an area where for some reason they cut out the trim. I'm assuming it was for curtain or drapery hardware.

Today R used a rubber coated dead blow hammer on the two saggy upper sashes. He was able to get both windows to move a little but he said there was still paint that needed to be removed before the sash will go back up where it belongs. So if it doesn't rain tomorrow it looks like I will drag out the extension cord and heat gun to see if I can remove the paint that is in the way. Hopefully my saggy sash problem will be cured tomorrow.

I have removed the paint from the sash locks (except for one window) and the paint from the sash lifts. I'll reinstall them tomorrow so they don't get lost.

We might get a frost tonight and if we do it will be curtains for the remaining tomatoes. But to tell you the truth...I'm kind of burnt out on tomatoes. R and I have been eating them with nearly everything since the first one ripened in July.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Case of Saggy Sash

I now have 2 of the 3 windows stripped. Window number 2 and 3 have upper sashes that have fallen about 1/2 inch, a definite case of saggy sash if I ever saw one. This makes it's impossible to lock the sashes. I will strip window number 3 and the window stool tomorrow. Hopefully Wednesday will be rain free and I can go outside and use a rubber mallet to persuade the upper sash back into it's rightful place.

B & G Deck Update

We are heading down the home stretch when it comes to finishing B and G's deck. We had a full crew today. B, G, B's mom, R, and myself. There was sawing, sanding, drilling, and painting for 8 hours with just a small break for pizza and to admire our work.Here are R and G installing spindles to the left side of the deck while B and her mom notch out one of the few remaining posts.
B and her mom sitting on the steps. Additional seating was one of the reasons for installing extra wide steps on the deck. Looks like the steps are doing what they were designed to do.B spent most of the day filling screw holes, patching bad spots, and touching up paint. Here she is touching up one of the posts. Notice the railing cap we installed just before we called it quits for the night. We still need to trim the end off but it was getting late and we needed to install the remaining cap boards. We used a biscuit joiner on the 45 degree cuts on each corner. We added several long screws to secure the two pieces together after installing the biscuits . We clamped them to made sure they do not move until the glue dries. Once it stops raining, G will finish screwing down the cap and cut off the ends allowing for a 2 inch overhang.
All that is left to do is install the remaining three step posts, build the railings for the steps, and install the spindles on the steps. When that is complete, B and I will install the remaining 3 exterior lights. That should be an all day job at the rate it took us to install three lights the last time.

I promise to take better photos next time. These photos all seem tilted for some reason. I swear I was just drinking diet Coke, too.

Added at 1PM...I was driving into Fenton this morning and realized I could stop and snap a few better photos of the deck.
The forecast for the next three days is rain and high winds. Welcome to fall....fall that 3 week time period before the six months of winter. Grrrrrr

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Back to Stripping Windows

It rained.....no wait...it drizzled all day so that means inside today.

I am still working on stripping the windows on the outside but with todays weather I figured I would just start stripping those same windows inside the house.

Who ever painted the interior the last time it was painted, painted every surface flat white. They not only painted everything flat white but they did so by spray painting. Needless to say all the trim has to be stripped if we are to achieve a nice semi gloss finish.

While taking a closer look at the window I noticed that calamine pink color. Look closely in the area by the sash rope. I started stripping the paint on the sill using my lighter duty heat gun. Immediately the paint started coming off in large sheets leaving little residue behind. Then I remembered I didn't take a before photo.....so I stopped and snapped a quick photo.
I removed the sash stops once I had removed all the paint from the trim on each side of the window. I now could easily move the sash up and down. This also allowed me to get to some of the harder to reach areas on the outside. Then it was on to scraping the paint off the sashes.I realized the wood was different than the wood in the dining room when I stopped to snap another photo. Notice how the wood is dark........now moving to the dining roomThe window on the right has some of the paint removed from the left side. Notice how it is lighter?

Hmmmm.....the dining room wood appears to be birch or popular. The living room wood is maybe redwood, fir, or ???? The grain is very tight and hardly noticeable. I lightly and quickly sanded just to see the results and wow I think it will paint up beautifully.

Now I know some of you will say....."It's blasphemous to paint wood trim." I believe this trim was always painted since it does not have a coat of shellac or varnish present. So by painting the trim I will be restoring the trim to it's original condition. That condition of course will not be calamine pink but semi gloss white.

Tomorrow we will be back at B & G's for more post and top cap work. Let's keep our fingers crossed that when we leave their house tomorrow the only remaining work will be the spindles.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday is Freebie/Rebate Day

Today was literally a freebie/rebate bonanza at our house. I not only received coupons for free products but I also received $$$$$$$.Every month I participate in the Rite Aid rebate program. I then use that money to buy H & B items for the next month repeating the cycle. Last month's program had more than the usual number of items that I buy so my rebate check was for $50.98. Not too shabby.

Also from Rite Aid I received a $10.00 gift certificate because I purchased Zyrtec allergy tablets. So now I have $60.98 to spend at Rite Aid. I also have $6.00 coming soon from another rebate.

In addition to the cash I also received coupons for free products. From My Coke Rewards I received 8 coupons for a free 12 pack of any Coke product and because any drink needs a nosh to go along with it, I received from M & M a coupon for a free Mars brand product. Just what I need...a candy bar to go with my Diet Coke.

This evening my sister and I attended a cooking demonstration hosted by Taste of Home magazine. I plan to try several of the recipes as soon as the weather turns cooler and I have some extra time. When I do, I will post them on my cooking blog.If you have the chance to catch one of their shows/demonstrations please sign up. The tickets were 10 bucks and you received a goody bag filled with magazines, recipes, coupons, and trinkets. They also gave away at least 35 additional prizes from a coffee maker, slow cooker, cook books, food, floral arrangements, and saute pans. Did we win anything? Pfft.....of course not.I did though run into a former co worker that I had not seen in 10 years. We still exchange Christmas cards but that has been our only contact. It was nice seeing her again. I rarely run into anyone since I rarely venture to my old hometown or anywhere where former co workers live. As I told my sister tonight I am sure most people think I just fell off the radar. Unless you hang out in the lumber section at Home Depot, frequent garden shops and nurseries, stroll through antique or consignment shops looking for unique bric-a-brac, or roam the racing/car forums....I doubt you will run into me.

Monday, September 21, 2009

B & G's Deck Update + Racing Announcement

Today was the day everyone was looking forward to........we started the railing installation.

Here is a photo of B and G making sure everything is on the level.
We used two 8 inch long carriage bolts to attach each post. The photo below is of R using a ratchet and socket to tighten the nut on the back side of the rim joist. We used 8 inch long bolts because we needed to go through two thirds of a 4 X 4 and one 2 X 8 and one 2 X 10. Next spring G will re tighten the nuts after the deck goes through a winter and the lumber shrinks even more.
There's those shorts again!!!!!

Just as dusk fell and after the posts were installed on the perimeter of the deck we started to install some the 2 X 4's that join the posts together to form the railing. A 2 X 10 will cap off the railing. The spindles will be square 2 X 2's.

In the photo below the railing looks rather tall but believe me when I say it is not...I am just short.

Notice how the patio door blinds are open at the bottom.....that's Twiggy making sure everything is done to spec, I think she's undercover for the building inspector.
Next on the agenda for the deck is to make 4 additional posts for the step railings, finish all the 2 X 4 installation, install 2 X 10 cap, cut spindles to length, install spindles, and touch up paint.

In racing news.....R finished his first season racing a sprint car in the MTS Series. He accumulated enough points to finish the season in 10th place and also at age 57 won Rookie of the Year honors. I guess this retiree isn't sitting home in a recliner watching TV. The trick is to stay active. Here is a photo of the happy guy today as he was taking the car apart to power wash it.
Speaking of retirees.....my newly retired sister has taken to writing letters to the editor of The Flint Journal newspaper. Seems one of Flint's favorite columnists, Andrew Heller, made a statement concerning the advertised mpg of his new GM vehicle and she had to set him straight.

Added 9-24-09 Seems Andy felt the need to pull that particular column. Maybe the formidable Marcia smacked him upside the head and said "Dumb Andy dumb."

And just for your FYI, the advertised mpg is the average after the engine is broken in. You may or not get that mileage right away. Remember with a new engine everything is tight because of the close tolerances that are used today. Tight equals friction, friction equals heat, heat equals less efficiency. When purchasing a brand new vehicle it is best to get an oil and oil filter change after 3k miles and after that change to every 5k for fossil oil and 7-10k for synthetic oil. Also unless the vehicle came equipped with synthetic oil, use fossil oil for the first 10k miles before switching to synthetic oil. DO NOT SWITCH TO SYNTHETIC on an engine with a lot of miles on it, you will be wasting your money and you could develop oil leaks.

All vehicles in this household have always used synthetic oil once they were broke in. Our vehicles have 260k, 430k, 330k, 8k miles on them. Who says GM vehicles don't last? The vehicle with 8k came with Mobil One and says to use Mobil One only because it was designed (due to the coating on the piston of this high compression engine) and tested to use only Mobil One. My husband uses Mobil One in all his vehicles and I use Valvoline full synthetic in mine. I think synthetic is the only way to go. It is more expensive (roughly twice the cost) but you can get twice the miles and it saves non renewable oil for more important uses. So I guess you could say synthetic oil is green.

In NASCAR news...The Chase has started. Tony didn't have a great day but it could have been worse. He had to pit to replace an axle cap. That is kind of an odd problem and usually a sign that you have damaged the axle spline from spinning the tires before they hit the ground when you are coming down off the jack. Tony still finished on the lead lap.

At the beginning of the season I joined the fantasy racing league on the Pepsi site. I am currently ranked 999th out of 55,980. I did pretty good this week and should move up a little when they tally the points from today's race.

So let me get this out of the way......Gooooooo Smoke!!!!! Good luck in The Chase.

Friday, September 18, 2009

B & G's Deck Update

B & G have been very busy at work and we have been tending to end of summer chores and patio furniture excursions so the deck building has been very slow until today.

Today B and I went to Home Depot and bought the last board needed to complete all the risers. On the way home I had B stop at my favorite consignment shop so I could buy a painted small rectangular kitchen table I saw yesterday for 15 bucks.

The table was looking prudy ugly. It was painted white and had pink laminate glued to the table top. Yesterday I was able to peel the laminate up and take a gander under it. I found oak....yes OAK.

So now the table is mine. I will strip it and then decide what I want to do with it.

Back to the deck.

Once we were done shopping we cut the riser and installed it. Then it was on to the posts.

To make the notch where the post sits on the rim joist we had to use kerf cuts and then chiseled out the remaining wood. The kerf cuts worked best when they were about a 1/4 inch between cuts. We then used a hammer to knock out the cut portions. I used a chisel to remove the remaining bits of wood. The entire procedure took approximately 15 minutes were post. B then sanded the post making sure to remove the sharp edges on all sides of each post.

Here is B making kerf cuts while her mother in law takes photos and a break.
This is the post after all the cuts were made.Here's the post after the majority of wood is removed using a hammer.This is what the post looks like after the chiseling is done but before it is sanded.Finished post before paint.We then measured the post to the correct height and cut. Then we had to cut a notch to accommodate a 2 x 4 at the top. We used the same procedure that we used to make the notch for the rim joist.

The remaining cut was the bevel at the bottom of the post. It is a 45 degree angle with the bottom 1/4 inch cut off.

Tomorrow the posts and the remaining unpainted risers will be painted. Once the risers are all painted I can reinstall the stained treads.

Saturday is R's last race day this year and they need to be at the track at 1 PM so it's iffy if all the painting will get done before they blast off for the racetrack.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More Woodard Patio Furniture

I purchased another Woodard patio table on eBay last week. The table was in St. Clair Shores Michigan which is roughly a one hour drive almost entirely on expressways. I told R, "it will be a quick hour there and hour back." Then the two hour tour turned into a four hour nightmare. The only thing missing were the Captain and Gilligan.

The table and 4 chairs were a great buy. This table has a white milk glass top which should look nice once the wrought iron is painted satin black. It is the same pattern I have in a large sofa, coffee table table, end table, 2 cushion arm chairs, a three piece sofa that will also configure into a love seat and armless chair, 2 round tables with 4 chairs each, and also a matching lamp. The only piece I really need now is the chaise lounge.Our little trip started out just fine. I programmed the GPS and we were on our way. No problems turn left, turn right, etc etc until we came to a stop sign. We stopped, GPS prompted us to continue straight the only problem was the boulevard that was directly ahead. We turned right and when we had the chance crossed over to the other side of the boulevard. The GPS was totally lost. I directed R as best as I could from the mental picture I had of the Google map in my head. Eventually the GPS located us and started giving directions again. The GPS then deposited us at the wrong address but still close enough. Phew made it. Return trip should be a breeze. Joke was on us.

We loaded the truck and away we went. Hey look US 96 no problemo now. This is when I started hearing the robot in Lost in Space say "Danger, danger, R and J...Danger!" The entrance ramp was closed but there were detour signs. So we followed the detour signs and more detour signs and more detour signs....oh look the police have the road blocked off. Now what? We drove north and then noticed on the GPS yellow highway lines dead ahead. US 696 never looked so good.

We drove until Sashabaw Road that's the exit for the DTE Music Theater (formerly Pine Knob). I was famished and R needed to make a pit stop. We ate at Culver's because they have frozen custard. By the time we got home it was four hours later. I felt sick because I inhaled my food. R had a headache because he said it was stressful driving a dually in heavy traffic especially when I kept saying "TURN LEFT NOW!!"

So the rest of the day was a waste. We unloaded the furniture and both took a nap.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Garden Gloves, Growth, & Gnats

Today was all about the letter G.

Have you ever noticed that you can't find your garden gloves when you need them? And if you do you can never find a left and a right let alone a matching pair.I was planting the carpet roses and gloves are a must when planting roses.Gnats......they were everywhere today. Speaking of gnats...is that about the weirdest word or what? Why don't they just spell it nats?

Growth. I have growth showing in the area I just seeded 4 days ago. I will be mowing in no time at all.We installed another riser at G's. Then we glued several boards together to get a board wide enough for two more risers.
Tomorrow we will cut the glued boards to the appropriate size and install the remaining risers on the small step. That will leave one riser remaining to be installed and then it is on to the railings.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Risers, Roses, & Rain

Today was a day of R's.

Here is R installing B & G's risers. Notice how we used those same cap plugs to hide the screw heads. G says it's overkill......I say it's a nice detail.Hey...R has on long pants!!!! It must be fall.

Three risers installed before the rain started.After the rain stopped and back at 'The Gear' we removed the little strip of grass in front of the house. In it's place we will plant Pink Supreme Carpet roses. I'll plant the roses tomorrow and then over the next several weeks install rocks around the roses to finish off the bed. Hopefully this will make it a little area easier to maintain plus it will add a shot of hot pink to the front of the house.
Tomorrow we will install more risers, plant roses, and hope it doesn't rain.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sunday's Recap on B&G's Deck

Today's work consisted of finishing the two stairs. All boards have been cut and installed temporarily.

Today G was the clamp while R did the cutting. Hey look.....R has on different shorts.
The risers have been removed so B could stain them with the opaque cream stain. The treads will be removed once the risers have been reinstalled. B will then stain the treads the same color as the deck floor.Looks like G has the grill fired up. I guess food is always a good way to keep cheap labor. I wonder what B & G will be serving up?Looks like steaks!!! Dinner was great. Along with the steaks we had baked potatoes, homemade biscuits, and broccoli. Tomorrows agenda will be to reinstall risers and remove treads. Hopefully we can start making the posts. Once posts are completed the railings are not far behind.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

B & G Deck Update

Progress has been slow and steady on B & G's deck. I was going through older photos and noticed that the date on the photo of R installing the first board was August 4th. So despite the heat and mosquitoes I think we are making pretty good progress.

B & G stained the deck boards last week and it looks great. Several days ago we installed the wider rim joist to hide the original narrow rim joist. We countersunk a 1/2" diameter hole a 1/2" deep before installing long deck screws to hold the rim joist in place. After we installed the long deck screws we inserted a 1/2" cap plug into the hole but not before squeezing a little wood glue into the hole. I think this looks more finished than just installing screws and having the screw head exposed.
B pre stained all the wood prior to installation. Today she was washing our dirty finger prints off of the wood in preparation for some touch up work.

The photo below is of R doing his imitation of a clamp by standing on the end of a board while G cuts a new stringer.
Tomorrow we will start fabricating the posts. After much deliberation we all agreed upon a railing height. Not too tall and not too low but just right.

I just noticed that R has on those shorts again!!!