Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sanding Vintage Storm Doors

The heat and drought continues here in Michigan.  What little rains that comes into Michigan...misses us every time.  We spend a great deal of our day watering plants and trees just to keep them from dying.

When we are not watering....we are sanding.  Over the past 5 years I have accumulated a collection of vintage wood storm doors.  Since it is still too hot to shingle, we have decided to sand the doors.  Why now?  Well, because we can move the doors to the shade to sand them.

I previously stripped the paint off of these doors with a heat gun but never got around to sanding them.  Along with sanding them we have also been fixing chips, screw holes, and rot using universal filler.  These doors will receive a coat of primer then a coat of semi gloss white.

The door that needed the most work is a storm door that was given to me that not only has the screen insert but also the glass insert. This storm door is different from the rest but that is OK because it is going on the barn loft door.  I previously completely disassembled this door and then reassembled and glued the joints.

The other wood storm doors only need the screw holes filled and one door has the hinges on the wrong side so I need to fill that and the handle holes.

I have also sanded the wood around the living room windows.  Tomorrow I will fill the million screw holes from various storm window hardware.  We also swapped the center window storm window with the center storm window on the other side of the living room.  The windows are the same size but they just didn't fit perfectly.  Now the gap around the edge is the same all the way around.  We also worked on the hangers so that the storm windows fit tight and do not rattle.  Soon we will be ready for the primer coat.
I will glaze the storm windows when I remove the storm windows to paint the trim.  The storm windows need a little more sanding on he edges.  These storm windows are in pretty good condition.  The other living room storm windows have some rot and have a LOT of paint left to remove.

The next storm windows on the list are the dining room windows.  They are loose and rattle, have missing hangers, and need repositioned in the opening so that the gap is consistent around the entire storm window.

Fun fun fun!  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More deck work

Last week we worked on the back steps to the deck.  We decided last year to save this project for the hot part of the summer because it is in the shade.  Well guess what????  It wasn't really in the shade.  It could be that in the fall it is in the shade but it isn't in the shade in the summer.

We installed risers and replaced any treads that were in bad shape.  We also replaced the posts on the bottom steps and replaced the short, rusted lag screws on the other posts with the proper length carriage bolts.  Between the risers and the carriage bolts, the staircase seems much sturdier.
We need to install the balusters and the top handrail. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sanding the front door and knocking down a wall

I must sound like a broken record but it is just too hot to make any real progress on any one project.

This past week we were able to score 2 loads of river rock for free, thanks to a Craigslist ad.  When R went back for a third load the huge pile was gone.  He said there were scrape marks on the asphalt parking lot so we speculate that a landscaper probably scooped up the remaining 5 yards.  It was good while it lasted and saved us about 40 bucks but we will need more in the future.

During one near 100 degree day we decided to go underground.  We hung out in the basement and knocked down a partition wall that made the coal room.  The wall was not load bearing and did not go all the way to the first floor joists.

The wall came down fairly easy with a sledge hammer. There were several blocks stuffed with newspapers from the summer of 1942.  Interesting war articles.  I haven't had a chance to read all of articles but I plan on saving the papers. Apparently the wall was an afterthought and not original to when they built the house.

We now need to wheelbarrow the remains out of the basement.  Thankfully it is a walkout basement.

The front door has been sanded and is ready to be fixed and filled so I can prime it before painting.  The wrought iron straps and door knocker have already been spray painted satin black.  
The door color is a medium gray which should contrast nicely with the black wrought iron pieces and white trim.

You can see that we have started to assemble the scaffolding but R needs to make to more foot pads.  One of the jack screws is rusted and he has been working on freeing it up.  But seriously we have not been in a big hurry due to the heat.

Today we made a Home Depot run to pick up lumber to finish the risers on the last stairway on the deck.  The cashier said, "are you STILL building that deck?"  This was the project to saved for the hot weather and it's time to play the shade card.

When we got home we unloaded the lumber, watered the plants, and picked up the last of the plum tree that was damaged in the thunderstorm.  By this time it was 4:30 in the afternoon and we were beat.  As a matter of fact we both had stomach aches and felt nauseated, so we called it quits.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bat Houses

I purchased 2 bat houses for The Gear.  Bats are skeeter eating fools so I figured I would give them a nice little abode to hang out in to reward them for munching on those blood sucking skeeters.

eBay has numerous sellers that sell bat houses so I won't give out this seller's name.  The houses come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit most any application.  We thought these best fit our needs.

Before installing the boxes we need to make several repairs to seams that are coming apart.  We also want to prime and paint them white and maybe add a little bat silhouette at the top. 

As most of you's just been too hot to do much of anything but we did manage to get another 1/2 yard of the small rocks to finish around the roses that edge the driveway.  It was a cloudy day and although it was hot the lack of sunshine made it bearable.

It started to sprinkle halfway through the pile, so we just kept shoveling. The rain was actually warm and reminded us of when we were caught in the rain in Jamaica.  But then it started to thunder and the thought of holding a metal tool and leaning against a metal vehicle very quickly became less attractive. 

We stood in the barn while it poured.  This gave us an rare opportunity to see how and where the runoff water goes to during a big downpour.

Once the rain subsided a bit, we were back to shoveling and finished up before the next downpour.

Unfortunately between that rainstorm and last night's storm, we now have several hours worth of tree limbs and twigs to pick up.  One of our plum trees split right down the center.  We are hoping to save half of it but it will be misshaped.  Such a shame because it was perfectly shaped.