Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vintage Mantel Clock For Sale in My Etsy Shop

Today I listed a 1930's vintage mantel clock for sale in my Etsy shop.FYI the clock is as found. I will leave any restoration or clock repair to the new owners.I love the sound of a ticking clock and this lovely mantel clock is just begging to tick away on a 1920-1930's era mantel.Email me if you would like additional photos. I had a really hard time getting photos that showed the two wood grains.

Deck Update

The deck rebuild has stopped for the winter. When spring rolls around in about 7 months we will then finish installing the top board. We would have liked to install the remaining boards but the lumber selection was getting rather slim. Our last trip to the big box store resulted in only 1 2X8 that was worthy of installing.
The top boards were glued and biscuit joined together to help minimize the cupping, warping and shrinking that tends to be a problem at joints.

We used the last few weeks to pick up leaves and put away items for the long winter. I have also been fighting a cold and cough that kept me inside for almost a week. I am hoping that our upcoming vacay to a warmer climate will help clear up this cough.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rain, Head Cold, Dead Battery

Really...what more could go wrong.

So much to do. So little time.

But before everything stopped dead in the water, we did finish installing the risers and railings by the staircase to the barn loft.
We also biscuit joined, glued, and assembled the railing cap for the railing by the kitchen door. Unfortunately the rain made installation impossible today.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bits and Pieces of Deck

This photo is for my cousin, Judy.
We ran out of steam and lumber at this point.
I found a piece of 2 X 8 that was in good condition so I worked on this little piece of cap. It still needs cutting to the correct length.
The deck is almost done for the winter. We are really pleased with how sturdy it feels. But we will not be happy until we have the cap on all the railings. It appears too modern for house without the cap.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vintage Lighting and Hardware For Sale

I listed for sale some of the items that I am not using in our house restoration. You can view them by clicking on my Etsy shop that is located on the right side of the screen. Make sure you contact me through Etsy before you purchase and I will deduct 10% off the listing price because you are a reader of this blog.

I also have several other items that I did not list on Etsy.

One pink and one mint green bathroom sink. Wall mount. American Standard.

One very large rad cover. I don't have the measurements right now but it is double wide and has a lid that can be lifted to expose a tray that you fill with water to add humidity to the air.

One solid fir entry door. Mortised for a large lock set with a cylinder lock. The door has 4 recessed panels and 4 small windows at the top. The large brass thumb latch entry handles would work perfect with this door. This door came off a 1920-1930 house. Door is currently painted but appears to be in very good condition and would look fabulous stripped and stained.
Door is 1 3/4 inches thick and 36 inches wide X 79.5 tall.

If any of these items interest you, just ask and I will send photos and dimensions.

When I ship, I always try and recycle packing materials to keep cost down and to keep stuff out of the land fills.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Making Progress

The lumber pile is gone. Yippee!We installed two risers and one post today. Doesn't seem like a lot but the treads were slow go on the removal and the risers needed to be cut to fit.
The forecast for tomorrow is sun and 60 degrees!!!! Lets hope it really does warm up because I drained all the garden hoses the other day but they still need to be rolled up. The sun really helps when it comes to rolling up the hoses for the winter.

Plus, I want to gather some of the thousands of black walnuts we have laying around. Last year I purchased 4 ozs of crushed black walnuts for a recipe and I had to pay 6 bucks. I understand the shells are very hard but we have several vises (not bad habits that vices not vises) and it's not like I will be crushing hundreds of black walnuts or will I? I have no idea how many black walnuts it takes to make an ounce. Every time a walnut falls from the tree...R says..."there goes another 10 cents!!!"

Tomorrow night I will be listing vintage hardware and lighting on my Etsy shop (located on the right side of my blog). I will post when they become available. If you are interested in something let me know before you buy and I will adjust the price down by 10%. OR maybe you have something you want to trade. Let me know what you have and maybe we can work something out.

I do have a thick solid fir entry door taken from a late 20's early 30's Cape Cod style house that I would like to trade or sell. The door is a traditional 6 panel style with 4 small windows at the top. Door is in very good condition and is mortised for a large lock set and cylinder lock. I also have a great solid brass thumb latch entry set (ext and interior) that would look great on this door. I will post a photo of the door tomorrow. I believe the door is 36 inches wide but I will measure tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Winding down the summer projects

Once the rain stops we will try and finish up the last few deck details that need to be attended to before the long cold winter sets in here in Michigan.

In the last couple of days we have installed the last of the balusters. I am glad that that particular job is over. Each baluster needed cutting, sanding (from extreme sanding to light sanding), and drilling (both a pilot hole and countersunk hole for wood button).On the TBCBW list (to be completed before winter) are install riser boards on the two old staircases, install 4 remaining posts near the old staircases, and install two small pieces of the 2 X 10 that we used to wrap the old rim joist. When this is completed we can install two small sections of railing that connect the two staircases. I estimate that each section will only require 2 balusters each. I saved the least desirable balusters for this small project because they will be hidden out of sight.Looks like the next available outside work day will be on Friday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Nearly blew me off the deck today.We installed the posts across the back of the deck and added the top 2 X 4 which the balusters will be screwed to.

Brrrrr...winter is around the corner and I have so much yard work yet to do this year.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

In between the rain drops...

.....we installed several more posts on the deck.We had two saws and 1 compressor running at the same time. I'm surprised that the electric meter didn't spin off the side of the house. R was using the circular saw, I was using the chop saw, and the compressor was running because we were using a pneumatic disk sander/grinder.

Tomorrow's weather forecast is for cold, windy, but sunny. We'll take it! Anything but rain.

Deck progress is heading toward the barn and the stair cases. The plan is for the stairs and the little deck by the loft door to be left until spring time. We have 6 more posts to install and a bazillion balusters.
Our deck lumber pile is getting smaller and smaller......yea!!!!I will be very happy when the pile is GONE!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

We found ourselves in the Home Depot parking lot.

That is how you know that you are going to Home Depot too often.

R and I needed to go to Tractor Supply Company for carriage bolts. We got in the SUV and drove to Home Depot, got out, started walking to the door, when I turned to R and said, "I forgot....what do we have to get here?" R stopped and said "I don't know."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Down to Balusters and Posts

The last two days have been perfect working weather. Not too hot and not too cold. Sunny and not windy. Lets hope it continues for another couple of days.

We are FINALLY down to balusters and posts. We will wait to put on the 2X8 railing cap unless Home Depot and Lowe's receive new loads of pressure treated lumber. The lumber picking has been dismal especially in the baluster category where all that is left is curved and split balusters. I think they might have better looking lumber in the spring.

Tomorrow should be a lot of fun.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Last 2 X 12......hoorah!!!!!

We are so happy to be done with the 2 X 12's. They are so difficult to handle and even more of a hassle when trying to find a good one at Home Depot or where ever we are trying to score some good looking lumber.The deck is moving along nicely but slowly. We have been enjoying this pleasant weather which makes deck building soooo much easier. Last week was cold and rainy and windy...lets not forget the wind.

I have a terrible feeling that winter will come early this year. So to try and counteract that from occurring, I will prepare for winter early. Starting tomorrow I will start to put away summer items in the yard and cut back my perennials.

A lot of my annuals are almost dead due to the unbearable hot stretch of weather we had in July and August. I kept them watered but the heat was too much for them. My flowerbeds and pots will look better empty.

I' try and take some better photos tomorrow. It seems like every time I think to take photos, it's already too late in the evening.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back at it....

Back to deck building. Today we were able to install 2 sections of the 2 X 12 that we are using to wrap the old rim joist. We were also able to cut two posts and all they need is a good sanding and they will be ready to install.I will be so happy when I can either put away or throw away all the piles of scrap lumber that we have laying around. I'd throw some of the pieces away right now but the minute you toss a piece in the fire or trash, we'll need it 10 minutes later.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Handrails Just In Time

Handrails were installed on the steps with about 5 minutes to spare before it started raining.The next couple of days will see very little deck progress because R is in Tennessee with G at Bristol Motor Speedway. G has an opportunity to drive a sprint car at the famous NASCAR track. They left this evening and will drive non stop to Bristol and then come back on Sunday.

I have plenty to keep me busy if it ever decides to quit raining. There are plenty of weeds to be pulled and/or sprayed with Round Up.

On Sunday, my cousin's husband pointed out some poison ivy to R that is growing in with my hostas. I am not yet sure what I will do but I am leaning towards Round Up because the plants are still very small.

I might even try to maneuver some of the vintage wrought furniture out of the basement. If it's sunny and not windy, I will try and paint a few pieces in between my weeding and poison ivy killing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kitchen Spindles In

Today we finished installing the spindles on the kitchen deck steps. We then moved to the back steps and stopped when we realized we needed additional washers.Tomorrow might be a down day for deck work. B & G's pressure tank has developed a leak and we have to meet the plumber at their house. They are realizing that having a house is a pain in the a$$.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lags Screws vs Carriage Bolts

These lag screws are what were used to attach the posts for the hand rail before I removed it's wobbly self.
These carriage bolts are what we are using on the new railing to attached the posts.
As you can see from the photos, the lag screws were terribly undersized.
In the carriage bolts vs lag screw debate, I side with carriage bolts every time. Not only is the diameter wider but with the addition of a washer and nut you can tighten without destroying the wood fibers. You can also tighten the nut on the bolt as the wood dries out and shrinks with age. The large washer keeps the nut from digging into the wood and allows you to tighten the nut tighter on the bolt.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spindles In and Spindles Out

Today while R was installing spindles, I was busy doing my best Mike Holmes imitation by kicking out old spindles.

We really did not want to dismantle anymore of the old railing but this was needed because we need to install a new railing post that is shared with the step up portion of the deck that goes to the barn loft.It was pathetic how loose the railing was installed. We estimate that this was the newest portion of the deck, too. All the material was undersized, installed with nails, and instead of using carriage bolts they used lag screws that were only 2 inches long.

Rain is in the forecast for the beginning of the week so tomorrow we have to get it in high gear and finish the hand rails on the kitchen steps and finish the back steps hand rails. The hand rails on the back steps are about 25% done already. They are also short steps so they are easier to work on.
I was really hoping to talk R into bringing out the wrought iron furniture but I think we will be pressed for time.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Deck Building Update

Deck building and mowing the lawn have taken all of our time as of late. The cool weather is allowing the grass to grow at the speed of light....OK....maybe not that fast but it is growing FAST!!!

The deck is starting to actually show progress. Unlike all the deck work that we did in areas that were not visible but were important for a well made and long lasting deck.We have been adding balusters or as we call them, spindles. The last 3 bundles of 12 spindles have required additional sanding because of mill marks and rough edges. This actually takes longer than you would think plus it's a killer on the neck muscles.Tomorrow we will start building the handrails for the stairs. Then we can add the top rail (2X8) which will make the railing look almost finished.
I am really looking forward to changing out this kitchen door. Several years ago we purchased an oak door with a large beveled window. We also have a vintage wrought iron lock set that matches the original lock sets in the front and back doors. PLUS......I have a vintage wood storm door that needs installed.

Today as we were installing two screws per baluster that I realized I am going to need lots of wooden buttons to cover the screws. Two per baluster X the number of balusters + all the other places that we used screws and countersunk them for buttons= a whole lotta buttons. I need to find a vendor that sells in bulk.

I'm getting antsy to bring my vintage wrought iron furniture out of storage. Both R and I are surprised how big the deck feels now that the railings are installed. Strange how once you have a visual perimeter it lets you see and feel the actual size. I think it is because without railings we never used the area near the edges and only walked in the middle of the deck.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What Would Mike Holmes Do?

I think we watch too much HGTV. I know I watch more than R. Basically I will watch everything on HGTV except those whiny first time buyers shows. Those people get on my last nerve. I mean really....first house and they are whining that the master bath isn't big enough or the back yard isn't already landscaped to perfection and their budget is 600K!!!! Give me a break.

What shows I really like are the realistic shows like Holmes on Homes. Of course, we are not Mike Holmes caliber but we use his advice of building over minimum code. We always try to go beefy whenever we can. Better to have too many deck posts than not enough or better to have too many big joists that are too close together than not enough and have them space too far apart.

So it wasn't surprising that today while we sat on the deck preparing to install the spindles that we pondered "what would Mike Holmes do?"

We were talking about whether to use 1 5/8 inch or 2 1/2 inch deck screws. Neither one of us said anything after R mentioned not knowing which one to use. I sat there thinking back to last night's Mike Holmes show about handymen and when he kicked one of the participant's table and it fell apart. I had visions of Mike Holmes kicking the spindles and watching them fall to the ground.

Just then R said, "I better go with the 2 1/2 inch screws because I wouldn't want Mike Holmes kicking the spindles out."

Yup.....we watch too much HGTV.

Today we rounded the corner of the deck and installed more spindles.We will install the top cap once the entire run of railing is complete. Tomorrow we install the handrails on the steps. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can get both handrails completed so we can get back to doing our least favorite part which is installing another piece of 2X12 and jacking up the saggy old.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Worked Hard...Little To Show For It

I truly do not like days like we had today. Hanging that 2X12 was very difficult because the back of the deck is high up and the ground is sloped making ladder placement kind of treacherous.

Once the 2X12 was barely installed we realized the board was crowned and the old deck was saggy. What to do....what to do. We raised the old deck using bottle jacks. This not only helped to make the deck level but it helped with the crowned joist which is now not as noticeable.

Rather than cut two 45 degree angles for the corner, we chose to overlap the ends and use biscuits to help keep the corner tight. Not only did we use biscuits but we used a lot of glue and 3 long screws which will be hidden by wood buttons. I love me some wood buttons!!

In the past we have mitered corners like these only to have it separate by the next year. I think these boards aren't going anywhere. We were able to install one post before G called and R left to help in the race shop. Tomorrow should be easier since we already have the post ready to install. The spindles are cut and sanded leaving only the holes to be drilled and counter sunk for more WOOD BUTTONS!!!!

The photos shows that the old rim joist goes up and down so that means when we hang the next 2X12 we will need to do the same thing again. I think we will need to call G to help his old man because I am just too short!!! AND walking up and down that hill makes my foot hurt. The lump is getting bigger and bigger. I go back to the doctor in October and I think when I start wearing real shoes, it is going to bother that lump.

It seems when you go out of your way not to drop things on your foot...you do. I don't know how many close calls I have had since I dropped that clamp on my foot. Of course I am still wearing flip flops. Sorry absolutely no more photos of my foot. It looks really ugly now.

Cool Score at the Consignment Shop

Check this out.Purchased for 8 bucks at my favorite consignment shop in Fenton, Michigan.
It still works perfectly. You grab this little knob to pull the mixer part up and out of the mixture.
Screams 1930's. My plan is to repaint the black part and just to clean the chrome. The chrome appears to be in fairly good condition.
I see a lot of malts (R's fav) and smoothies (my fav) in our future.

Back to deck building tomorrow. It has finally stopped raining and we are somewhat caught up on our mowing. During the many days of rain we were able to make our deck posts. So once we put up another 10 foot section of 2X12 rim joist we can install several posts and make some railings which is fun because it really gives you instant gratification. One minute there isn't railing and the next....voila...railing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Name this caterpillar.....

Name this caterpillar. I have been unable to find an exact match.Has a little black head.
Can crawl fairly fast.

Monday, September 5, 2011

It is Labor Day so we will labor away!

Deck progress was slow the last couple of days. Three days ago the temperature was 96 degrees. This is Michigan so it is not unusual that the current temperature at 12:30PM is 55 degrees.

The temperature today is far more conducive to deck building but it's also depressing to think that summer for the most part is behind us and winter is before us.

Winter is not my favorite season. One reason being it last far too long. It's more like two seasons, brutally cold winter and slushy wet winter.

But on to deck building.

Let me catch you up to date.

We added a 2X8 to the top of the railing. We wanted this larger size board because we felt it was more in scale with the size of the house and with the size of the rim joist that we used for the deck. An added plus is that it is perfect for setting a potted plant or a cold drink.
We used two 45 degree cuts to form the 90 degree corner. We added a small L bracket underneath and used biscuits and wood glue to make sure that the corner does not separate as it ages.
Today we will start adding 2X12's across the back portion of the deck. We purchased the lumber two days ago when it was so terribly hot. We have already cut the spindles to the correct length, cut the point off of the end, and sanded the cuts so the edges are rounded.Here's a little teaser to get you to come back. I scored a great deal at one of my favorite consignment shops and updated a curbside treasure for the deck. More on both of those in my next post.