Friday, January 30, 2009
It's on ebay now - in case someone wants to make it their own! Sadly, it's too far away for us to pick up - but an inspiration for amazingly efficient furniture design.
That Murphy sure was clever. Do you think he's the same guy who keeps messing me up with his law?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
* TWB: your blog keeps trying to run scripts & crashes my browser, so sorry I'm not linking to you here, but maybe you want to check that out!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
But today is the day for rules to be broken. An unbelievable day for our generation.
We must "pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and take up again the work of remaking America."
We at Bangor Bungalow are also humbled, grateful, mindful, and HOPEFUL. And if we can remake an old house with four hands, a few old tools, and spare change, then we can remake a country with sheer force of will. Congratulations and best wishes, President Obama!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Eddy poses by a snowbank at the corner by the park, for scale. Even where not piled up, it's over his head now.
Next year's X-mas card? Two houses over, the lights were still up in the bush out front and looking oh-so picture-perfect.
Our big tree out back - poking out of the deck. This guy is a giant.
The cozy bungalow. The snow in the extreme foreground is the snowbank between the sidewalk and road.
Friday, January 16, 2009
OK, back up a sec. When we did the guest room, Ken stripped all the paint off all the old brass hardware. It took him the better part of a day because there was an awful lot to strip owing to the liberal use of the paintbrush in that there room. When he stripped the paint-caked bin pulls from the built in drawers, they didn't come out so great - turns out they were thinly brass plated. I know, Jason, that probably means they were originally meant to be painted, but I can't paint everything! It hurts to do it after all this paint removing.
Serendipitously, I got an email that day about a sale at Rejuvenation - and was ecstatic to see SOLID BRASS bin pulls at 50% off (read: we can afford that!). Even more ecstatic to find that they had a dozen - enough for the guest room and our bedroom's drawers. And supremely ecstatic that they came with matching, oval head, slotted screws - proper! Note that the old pulls were attached with a dizzying array of varied size and type screws (official term: 'Whatcha got' hardware).
We also paid full price for a pair of doorknob escutcheons for the closet. I looked for a couple of months on ebay, but all the antique ones I liked ended up quite expensive or just not right - we needed a plain, solid brass style without a keyhole. The knobs are lovely old glass - the only glass in the house - but they suit the tiny door. They just had tinny pressed brass escutcheons behind them that were ruining the whole door. So we ponied up the $26 for a pair of these to share shipping with the pulls.
Having opened the package and done much rejoicing, we had to go out for a while - Ken to fix a snowboard with a friend, and me to a historical lecture about Bangor at the library with my very good friend C. We met in the library only to find the lecture had been cancelled. Almost in unison: "Should we just go get a drink, then?" Ah, good friends always know what you're thinking. So we went to the martini bar and I got a signature red martini - blueberry vodka, blood orange juice, and something else. Yum. Good conversation. Then headed back home. To the hardware.
Now, we're not experts on this whole house restoration thing, but at this point, damned if I'm not at least Advanced Intermediate on the hardware installation, due largely to the long and checkered history of screw-ups and having learned from them. So there are four things you need to put in hardware flawlessly, even buzzed on a martini:
- Green plastic template thingy. So cheap, so worth it. You all have one, I'm sure. If not, run right out and buy one immediately. I insist.
- Drill. The proper size bit, too. I'm tellin' ya, pilot drill your holes. Ken has finally come around to the Gospel of the Pilot Drilling, and it saves so much aggravation.
- Screw guide-sleeve-collar thingy. The best $3 you'll ever spend. Excluding cappuccinos, of course. Before we bought this, putting in hardware was a horrendous pain - because all the old hardware has slotted screws, the bit slides out, mars the piece, strips the screw head, and basically mangles the whole project. Now we simply don't touch a slotted screw without it.
- Screwdriver to finish by hand. To make sure all the slots are facing the same way.
Armed with the arsenal of hardware installation tools, by myself, I installed 6 pulls and 2 escutcheons in under a half hour. With martini-head. And they're all straight - which is less than I can say for the original installation (using the template revealed that not only did they use Whatcha got hardware, they put the old pulls on at all sorts of kooky angles).
This means that the guest room is officially done except stripping sashes - which is a project for outdoors, when it warms up. It was -30 degrees - yes, that's a minus sign - when we got up today, so a bit cool to be stripping paint outside. :)
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
First, I re-tied the springs - which was quicker and easier than I thought, thanks to some online instructions showing how to do a clove hitch (rusty knot-tying skills, don't tell my former camp counselors). I forgot to take a picture before I covered it with a layer of canvas, so here's the underside:
And the canvas:
Next, I had to deal with seat padding. I waited till today to go to the craft store for some cotton batting. We had a heck of a snowstorm yesterday so I was patient till the roads were cleared off. The instructions I had were saying to use cotton batting, though there were a number of opposing views online, so I went with a hybrid approach. I had a bunch of loose polyester fill already, so I plopped that down then covered it with sheets of batting and stapled the top one down to keep everything in place. I thought that might help keep it from getting really lumpy:
Then began the ancient Chinese tack torture. I thought this was going to be really quick (like all the other, staple-on seat covers), but noooo. Even with this extremely helpful tack spacing doo-whacky from Van Dykes, it seriously took about 3 hours to tack down the whole seat cover. And I had to take a lot of breaks. But it's done now:
And I finished it with a piece of thin black fabric underneath, like some folks suggested:
I also finished the small bench in the living room (it just needed tung oil, since I sanded it and filled and reglued its problem areas yesterday):
And finished stripping and glued up the end table, which is mahogany, and will just need to oil that baby tomorrow.
Did I already say, phew?
Monday, January 5, 2009
I also did a mini rocker (kid size) that I snagged at a yard sale for a few bucks up north, and thought it would be cute for a friend's little guy who was visiting. Now I think we'll put it up on ebay since it doesn't get any use here.
Next up is this big rocker that Ken saw at a yard sale, and he skillfully negotiated them down to $16. It's in great shape, and is a new challenge since I've never re-tied springs or reupholstered a sprung seat before. So...next post will either chronicle a success or a horrible spring incident (ever see the Simpsons where Homer got all the springs to be the mascot for the Springfield Olympics then they didn't use them? And they got stuck in all sorts of horrible places like people's eyes? Shudder.) By the way, it's ridiculous how much extraneous info is catalogued on Wikipedia, no? EVERYTHING is there, down to individual Simpsonses. Hmm. Not sure what I think about that.
Then I have a little bench we're stowing pellets under, and an end table I bought, oh, 3 years ago and still haven't refinished. We'll get there.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Ken heat gunned almost all the paint off, then I cleaned them up and refinished. We installed the main entry door last night. It still needs some tweaking - it ever shut all the way - but it's in. Then we realized that the knob was missing both set screws. Argh, annoying. We took a chilly walk to the hardware store (and coffee store next door) this morning, and even they didn't have the proper set screw. And they usually have all sorts of old fashioned stuff - some of it has been obviously sitting on the shelf since the 1920s! They also have some very cool 1970s vintage stuff - orange sinks, glitzy gold faucets, etc. It's an old, local store.
Luckily, we remembered Crown City Hardware - they make a reproduction of the doorknobs that came with our house* - and they have the exact right set screw (the #10). So we ordered a bunch, assuming we'll find some more missing ones in the future. Thank goodness someone still makes nice things that fit old parts! Damned throw-away society.
The closet door is sitting with its last coat of finish drying this moment - and we'll put it in hopefully tomorrow. Not that the closet interior isn't pretty to look at now...
* We are so, so thankful that nobody got rid of the original doorknobs - there's no way we could possibly afford to replace even a couple of them! They are totally awesome and solid - not like new plasticky ones. Yay for the POs on that.