Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Back from our R&R weekend...

Of course, rehab stuff creeps into R&R places that you would least expect it to. After all the radiator work last week, Thursday, I went to go get a mani/pedi. My hands were looking pretty horrible from all the sandblasting, sanding, and just general work over the last few weeks, so I had to explain this to the manicurist. At the conclusion of the manicure, when my hands are under the dryer, the manicurist (a man) starts grilling me about our work. Then, he tries to get me to diagnose his radiator problem. I kept on saying "you should call someone." Kind of hard to explain, particularly when English was not the native language of the manicurist.

So, once I was able to leave the manicurist, Glenn and I headed to Miami for a wedding. It was great to get away and not have some house item pulling at us. Of "houseblog" related interest, we toured a neat property built in the 1880's, the barnacle, in Coconut Grove. We were amazed by all the Craftsman details and really enjoyed it. If you are ever in the Miami area and looking for something to do, I'd highly recommend it. We had a private tour and it only cost $1/pp!

We just came home last night. The next few days will probably be most concerned with all that "return from a trip" stuff. There's also Halloween which is sort of a nightmare around here. Kids start coming around 4 and we get hundreds. Parents try to get candy, and then as the evening wears on, kids start coming by not in costume. Only half the kids say trick or treat. Last year, there'd be instances where the kid would stand on the walk and the parent would come up to get the candy.

I had to walk far on Halloween, and we didn't have sidewalks. Houses are so close together here-I don't understand why a child can't just come up and say "trick or treat" then thank you. I think Glenn might pull up at the corner and save me at some point.

The first year we were here, I was tiling a bathroom on Halloween and ran out of candy. It was really upsetting to have costumed kids on the front steps and nothing to give them.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Heat and molding solution

As of 10ish last night, the heat is on! So far, so good...so let's all keep our fingers crossed.

In other news this week, our molding problem has also been solved! I called around, and found a place that would allow us to bring in our wood, took off 1/8th of an inch, and then even routed the edges! So, now we have most of our door molding sitting in the front hall waiting for primer and paint. We're pretty excited about this. We did have to pay for this, but the cost ended up being about .55/lf less than our other alternative and we didn't need to buy a bench planer!

To sum up--problem (1) non standard molding size- solved (2) radiator angled piping-solved...now if I could just find an iron worker, all at This Old Chicago 2 Flat would be good.

But, the molding will have to wait. Due to the completion of the neverending (or so it seemed) radiator project, we will have some R&R this weekend.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Momentary Heat

*sigh* How many times have you completely filled 9 radiators and drained them in a 28 hour period of time? I don't think our living room radiator appreciated being referred to as Devil's Spawn.

Just a little update on the neverending radiator saga and the brick wall we hit on Monday night. Glenn got home early from work yesterday, and we got back to working on our beautiful, freshly painted, ornate radiators. To counteract the angled valve, we took off the dial, added another pipe, and I applied pressure with my legs to maneuver the valve perpendicularly, while Glenn worked on maneuvering the radiator into place, and connecting it. We got it all hooked up, and started refilling the radiators. All was looking REALLY good. Then, after they were filled up we went around to look for any signs of water. We found a miniscule drip (ie. a drip of water every 40 seconds or so) and had to drain the whole system to work on the radiators again. By this point, Glenn was clear out of Teflon tape, so a trip to Menards was in order.

Got home around 9 p.m. and went through the process yet one more time. We got better this time around, as Glenn created a bunch of "water buckets"
that could collect water once all the radiators were filled. (with 2 of us, it is still hard to monitor 9 radiators as they fill up, and we didn't have enough buckets on hand). The shooting water incident from Monday also was a result of my excitingly fully bleeding all the radiators instead of just doing it a little. Tonight, Glenn monitored my bleeding which definitely helped. After filling up, we diligently examined every valve and pipe to insure nothing was leaking and turned on the heat! (yeah!) After an hour, Glenn rechecked the radiators, and now, the dressing room radiator decided to enter the fray. Now it was leaking!! (one drip every 15 seconds or so).

So, at 11:45 we drained the system for the 3rd time in 28 hours.

Tonight, plan C-new valves for everyone!

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

We hit a brick wall

In the figurative sense. Our living room radiator has switched over from problem child to devil's spawn. Last night we came very close to having the heat turned on, but we're having a pretty significant problem with the piping to the living room radiator.

To give you a better idea, this is the piping underneath the floorboards. As you can see, the piping angles up so much so that the valve is not perpendicular to the floor. Somehow, when the radiator was installed, they were able to get this to work and it's something that we never noticed before we took the radiator out. I wonder if by leveling the floor, we made the problem worse.

We did notice the problem but tried to hook it up. (this was extremely challenging because with connecting 2 sides of pipes we had to pull the pipes sitting in the floor apart to sneak the radiator in. Anyone who's worked with radiators know the difficulty in this. I was on the ground pushing the pipe with my feet, while Glenn maneuvered the radiator.) It took a bit to fit it into the slot, but we did.

Anyway, so yesterday, we thought everything was hooked up (and we were prety excited about this) we started to fill the radiators up. I put towels under all the connections for safety purposes so that if there was any sort of leak we would catch it early on. Then, we both ran from radiator to radiator to bleed them and check to see if they were filled. (this takes some time)

We've drained radiators several times before as well as filled them up. For the first time yesterday though, we did not hook on a "just in case" empty cup near the bleed nozzle. (usually we caught the radiators before they started spewing water). Well, of course this wasn't the case yesterday. All of a sudden EVERY radiator started spewing water and we were running around trying to get them turned off ASAP and cleaning up the water. (during the process, I got absolutely soaked as I caught the water with my pants!) Then, we noticed the living room radiator was actually leaking and had to do the mad dash to find things to collect the water as well as to clean up the huge water puddle on our brand new hard wood floor. Glenn tried to tighten the connection, but the issue was that the angle of the valve was preventing a good seal. We never noticed this while it was filling up.

Of course, to add to the problem, there's some water damage to the rental apartment and more specifically, our current bedroom, so we also needed to do ceiling water drainage. (and move a lot of stuff out of the bedroom before we did this. I got a whole bunch of exercise running upstairs then downstairs, converting our wet/dry vac into wet mode, grabbing towels, tarps blankets, etc.) Thankfully, water really didn't come out of the ceiling, so only a little must have gotten through. We'll have to monitor the situation to see about what long term impact this has in the plaster.

Now, after that whole debacle, we need to come up with plan B. I'm going to go get a cap so that if worse comes to worse, we can get the heat (absent the living room radiator turned on). Also, some additional piping. We've done some troubleshooting and have some ideas that we need to fine tune to get the valve perpendicular to the floor. (if I stand on the left side, it could work, but we need to see if we can convert the valve top into a pipe-it's hard to stand on a 1/4 inch lip!)

Anyway, this is just one of those things and one of those reasons that anyone dealing with an older home need to have patience and problem solving skills. When you hit a brick wall, you don't give up, you just figure a way around it, which is the stage we are in.

I must say too, that we've gotten used to this and despite the obvious crisis (water shooting everywhere, a completely filled radiator leaking onto the floor, the ceiling leaking, etc.) we wethered it well. Neither of us spent time screaming or let it get us into a bad mood-which it could have. It's sort of funny if you think about it. If there could have been a videotape...

So, the radiator saga continues....

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Bring on the heat!

And no, our heat is not on yet. For the first time over the weekend, I used our new heat gun to do some paint stripping. What a difference! I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone having to do some stripping. It works so much quicker and is cleaner than the the options (stripping and sanding).

We had a couple areas with original molding and at least 1/8th an inch of paint built up on it. In our bedroom, we just sanded, and did what prep we could, but now, a couple years later the paint is cracking and not looking that great. So, with the rest of the original stuff we thought we should strip everything off. Handling stripper in an area with new paint, new floors, etc. would have been quite dangerous. It was great to have an alternative. I just pointed the gun, and quickly stripped off all layers of paint in a matter of minutes. I also needed to use a respirator because the fumes are pretty strong. (would not recommend doing it around kids). After using the heat gun, I sanded very briefly to get off the excess varnish that was left on the wood.

And if you are thinking (as we thought for an instant) "oh, it looks so nice now that it is down to the wood-you should just stain it!" The wood is in bad shape. Someone took great care in stapling all over the place. (it would really just be easier to do a skim coat of wood filler). And heck, we have all that other painted molding now installed.

Now, for those radiators--we are close to heat, really we are. Reinstalling the radiators are just a bit more complicated because of the raised flooring, two pipes to connect, and a cut out radiator that needed to be repiped.

Radiator 1- the dressing room radiator, created its own havoc this weekend because it did not want to fit in with the new window sill that Glenn installed. So, Glenn needed to cut out some of the window molding, prime and paint it before he could install. (which he did! yeah!)

Radiator 2- Dining room. Well, the floor raising required Glenn to replace these pipes again. He originally cut this radiator out I think in 2003, and it had already been repiped, but he needed to repipe it again, which he did, and we got it intalled. Yeah!

Now, the weekend problem child: Radiator 3, the living room radiator. We were missing a part that is not carried at home depot (a 1 1/4 in. return el). I hopefully get to go pick that up today from the plumbing supply store. (woke up to hearing that there was a 3 alarm fire a few blocks away from the store with "noxious fumes")

There's a good chance that we'll have heat turned on tonight, but I'm sure we'll be much warmer by the weekend at the latest.

Oh, and I'm sure that next summer there will be other radiator projects-we'll just do our best to do them in June.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Sexism in home improvement

Yesterday, I went to Home Depot to pick up the wood for our trim. (select pine 1x4x6). As I was loading the wood in the car I was approached by a man in a tool belt who says "so, looks like you are doing some trim work. Are you doing it all by yourself?" I reply "no my husband will be doing it." To that, the guy walks away. I figured that he was looking to pick up some business but since I have a husband, I would not need help.

This isn't the first time I've been hit with the "oh you are a woman and can't be doing home improvement" situation. Shortly after we bought the place, we hired a few people to straighten our stairs that were pulling away from the wall. During the time, we were also working on framing. Glenn would handle the nailing, and might make a list of wood sizes to cut, and I would handle the cutting. Worked out well. Well, one of the stair workers was in disbelief that I would be using a power tool and had to watch me use the miter saw. After I made my cut, the guy applauded! A power tool! Unbelievable. That requires no brute strength, no technical skills, etc. What would they have done if they were here when I took down a wall, or the myriad of other activities that women traditionally don't do.

There are countless other examples which can be infuriating at times. (and don't get me started on the lack of work boots for women!)


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Touchups gone wrong

In preparation for the radiator installation this weekend (yeah!) I decided to touch up some areas of the wall that got nicked and patched up in connection with the big flooring project. Turns out that the color they gave me at Home Depot, did not match the color on the wall. So, now, we get to decide whether we should just paint the whole room over again the "wrong color" or go see if we can get the "right color" made up and retouch up my touch ups. The irony in this is I remember when we chose this color we really agonized over the right shade, choosing to match the color in a rug and some art we were planning on hanging in there. (both of which are now well hidden). To make matters worse, we had painted our living room this same color, so now we have the prospect of painting both rooms again. (I think this is because I was saying earlier today that I was running out of areas to paint!). Oh well.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Some projects are just so much more fullfilling...

There's so much work on the house that only gets noticed if you don't do it. ie. taping walls, prepping walls for paint, sanding, putting final paint coats or extra poly on are just some of those that come to mind as the "extremely necessary, but unfilling".

I've got to say, probably my absolutely favorite project in the house is putting color on the walls. It's relatively quick and then boom! instant change! I just painted our apartment door red. It matches the hallway color, the other side would be white. My short list of items to do is touching up the paint in preparation for radiator entry-but that's not as much fun. Necessary. Yes, it will look better when it's done, but it's not a project that excites me- so that's why I painted the door red. I even did it while it was still hanging! (usually we put doors on sawhorses, but I was determined.

Other more fullfilling projects include planting things in the yard (wow! what a difference) and putting up molding. (of course, Glenn is doing that so I get to watch the work, but boy, what a difference it makes just sticking a piece of molding up. the filling, caulking, sanding and final paint coat does make things look better-but it's not the big boom of sticking the molding up.

It's great to be in the stage we are now where the "boom" factors are greater then the never ending chores. (though we still have some of those up our sleeves).

As we get closer to the time to open our boxes of belongings (many of which have been in place since 2003) it gets more exciting. A flurry of activity when you can see the finish line. (though if I look at my to do list or show it to anyone, without showing the before photos reaching that finish line might not seem as close as it does to us)

Oh, and our favorite question "So when do you think you'll be done?" The answer, as any rehabber or homeowner will attest "what's done?"

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

The radiator saga continued

Today....drumroll please...we finished sandblasting the last radiator!! This last radiator went through 7 bags of sand and we didn't get all of it off-but 350 lbs of sand I think are quite enough-the temperatures aren't going to be warming up much until March or April. (though we could dream). The paint on the last radiator was quite determined to stay on-pressure washing wasn't as effective, neither was stripping (though both helped). I jumped to the sandblasting much earlier in the game. The last radiator was also the biggest-8 columns versus the 5 or 6 column others.

We also primed, and painted the radiator-stainless steel our ultimate color choice.

Finally, we used the hoist again and brought the last radiator up to the second floor. I'm happy to report that we didn't take out the electrical service, nor the side of the house while transporting the radiator. Much more calming for it to be on the second floor now though.

Now, we just have to figure out the hooking up part. The issue is that since we added new subfloor, cork (for sound absorbtion), and new hardwood, the floor levels are different than when we took them out. Next weekend, we will play the "how much could we pull the pipes up" game, and ultimately, we might need to switch out some of the pipe for new ones. But, that's next week. The fact that we have all new flooring makes reinstalling the radiators more challenging because we now really care what happens to the floors.

Glenn had to work a bunch today on his "real job," so radiator hooking up did not happen. We have disconnected and reconnected the vast majority of our radiators, so we will have that working with us next week.

Oh, here's the stainless color:

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Sandblasting Tips Part III

Definitely a learning curve on this. Our latest learning is that you need to check your sandblaster gun periodically for wear. We bought one on Saturday night, I used it for maybe 7-8 hours and apparently, broke it. If I had checked it at some point along the way, I could have exchanged a part, and the sandblaster would have had a bit longer lifespan. Oh well. Maybe this is just something that everyone does-but I had no idea and did not think that a mere 7-8 hours of use would mean the end.

This morning, we needed to run out to the store to get a new one. On the positive side, the sandblaster from Menard's had a 2 year warranty, so we were able to exchange it.

Tomorrow, we whould be done with sandblasting-which is quite exciting around here. (1) no more sand everywhere! (2) priming/painting the last radiator-meaning heat is in our really near future.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Our Summer Vacation- Part 1 -Major Flooring project

In light of the first freeze (brrr) as well as the first SNOW, I thought it might be good to reflect on some of our summer. (Currently, I have my flowers wrapped in blankets, in hopes that there are still a few good weeks left in them!)

We didn’t start up the blog until the tail end of Summer 2006, which was a very busy home renovating time, filled with many blog-worthy stories. For some, summers are meant to include time at the beach, weekends away, etc. but it is also prime time for a number of projects. (No worries, I’m sure weekends away at the beach are in the future) Every summer, we have a laundry list of items to accomplish that are best done when the temperatures outside are cooperating.

Prior to the summer, our plan after we got our tenants out (April 30th) was to commence a big flooring project in our unit. We planned to pull up all the flooring (including subfloor) in the front 2/3rds of our unit, add insulation (sooo needed with tenants!), level the floor (pretty topsy turvy up there before!), and add new flooring (carpet in the bedroom, new hardwood in the living room dining room). There were side projects associated with the flooring project including adding a couple circuits and outlets and miscellaneous work that Glenn and I would do. I had the project carefully orchestrated, coordinating with different contractors so that we’d be moved back upstairs and could have a July 1 move-in date for a new tenant.

Issue 1- Tenants floors
Well, as previously described, our dear tenants decided to self sand portions of the brand new hardwood, and really scratched up other areas of the floor. And, they were only in there for a whopping 10 months! So, we needed to sand/buff/refinish all those floors before we temporarily moved in there while work was done in our unit. No biggee-still on schedule for July 1. (I’m not new to this home renovation business-so I tacked on extra time for problems like this). It wouldn’t be THAT much work, as I’d just have the person hired to do our floor, do the rental’s floor first, then come up a couple weeks later to do the work in our unit.

Issue 2- The City Garage Department
So, I interviewed contractors and located someone to handle all the flooring issues. Signed the contract, faxed it in, then the mail came in the first week in May. The city was ordering us to repair or tear down our garage “right away.”

A reminder this was our garage when we bought the place:

I’ll explain the garage debacle in “Part 2” but, to sum it up, it was very grueling, stressful, emotionally draining, and we had 2 major projects that needed to happen “right away.”

Flooring Project

Despite all that hullabaloo with the tenants and the city grabbing our attention about another project, we were set to get started the Tuesday after Memorial Day. We brought in 3 guys from Labor Ready to handle the demo (pulling up all the old flooring and subfloor). 100 years of dirt seeping through the floor boards really made a mess! The “grime factor” was made worse by the 90 degree + heat (and of course, humidity). (ahh…those were the days…:sigh:) I was involved in overseeing them and doing my own little projects so I too became awfully dirty on day 1. At 4:45 the prospect of a shower was quite inviting-and I was anticipating when the workers would finish up.

Then, I heard the sound of breaking wood. I look over, and one of the guys is standing outside our bathroom, looking down into the bathroom below. He had stepped through the ceiling! Pushing drywall, plenty of dirt, and splinters of wood into that previously inviting shower…(our only clean, shower worthy bathroom)

A view from upstairs, looking into the bathroom:

So, now we have the rental ceiling to fix. (which we still need to do)…And in the near term, despite my exhaustion, I would need to clean the bathroom before bathing.

In any case, the project continued on and we eventually got our new floors. Here’s a smattering of pictures from the work.

Leveling the floors, and insulation:

With leveling the floor, the transitions to the other areas are the house were a bit challenging, but i think the flooring people did a good job.

We also found some surprises in the floor, particularly underneath the flooring near where the radiator sits. The list included, a variety of spoons, an army man, and the top to a bottle.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Furious flurry of activity before winter

We've been working on a hodge podge of projects quickly in preparation for winter. Sadly, I don't think we'll be able to finish all that we'd like to do before then. (particularly considering the forecast in Chicago for Thursday is for SNOW flurries!) This weekend was quite busy as a result.

Our first priority is finishing up the paint removal of the radiators as well as priming, painting, and reinstalling them. We've made great progress but are feeling pressed for time particularly when we can't decide on a color to paint them. The first one, we painted "aluminum" but it is Tin Man aluminum. (very shiny-stands out-more obvious in person). We bought a whole bunch of other colors Saturday and tested them out Sunday, but still are not both happy. Monday, Glenn went on the hunt for a stainless color in hopes that it will be less obtrusive then the "aluminum" Of course, all this paint color deciding is made more complicated by the fact that there's a Chicago ordinance that noone could sell spray paint within the city borders. Therefore, we must trek out to the suburbs any time we change our mind. Right now, the front runner color options are "aluminum", "stainless", sort of a charcoal gray (to mimic the cast iron color), or white. We had thought about painting them the color of the walls, but then wondered if we sold the place or rented out our unit whether that would be a turn off. (having to paint a green radiator would be a pain)

But, on a more exciting note, in connection with the radiator project, we got our hoist up and running. (the photos show the hoist in action). The dangling radiator is the next one for me to pressure wash, sandblast, prime and paint.

Although installing radiators is an obvious thing to do before the entrance of winter, we also rushed Sunday to paint our concrete fence. Outside of the cosmetic benefits, the paint will protect the fence from splitting or breaking apart. It really is a unique addition to our house, and we are trying to preserve it. It's actually the second time we've had to paint it since we bought the place. (always frustrating when in the midst of a renovation you have to go back and do something over again!). The family who owned the house before us were in concrete, so the fence definitely connects us to our house's history. (oh, and the family that owned the house before us owned it for 80 years so the fence is fairly old) The other concrete fences that used to be on the street are long since gone.

Now, our short list of projects before winter (and you'll see why I just need to give up)
Sand, prime and paint the back deck
Finish garage (add trim, paint trim, install windows, add new door to alley, prep garage side closest to alley for painting, prime, paint, Do a second coat of paint on the garage)
Repair concrete cracks throughout
Add mulch to garden
Caulk exterior holes (ie. around hose bibs)
Paint the fence piping

All of the above will really depend on weather. If it is cold and/or rainy, we can't do any of the painting. (or really the caulking) Once the radiators go in I'll feel much better-they're the most important!

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Sandblasting radiators cont.

The rain finally stopped, new air compressor bought, and we are back to sandblasting/paint removal for our radiators. This time around, we had the recommended air compressor power (the new one has 1.8rhp, 150psi, 4.9 scfm@90psi or 6.3 scfm @40psi)). My preliminary notations were with the less powerful air compressor. Now, with this one, I worked more efficiently, and seemingly got less messy. (though this could just be because the more I sandblast, there's a cumulative effect of just general mess and sand disbursement-I didn't go at it all day this time around)

To give you a better idea of the sandblasting success, I took a photo before I started:

Then, this is 30 minutes and half a 50 lb. bag of sand later:

When sandblasting, my goal was to remove all the paint down to the final "bronze" color. Then, time, sand, and patience remaining, I'd remove all the paint in the most prominent and detail laden areas of the radiator. In order to rest the compressor so it did not overheat, I'd do 30 minutes, than take a 30 minute rest.

Some observations while I worked:
1. It is really important before sandblasting (with the tools we used) to remove the vast majority of the paint. The sandblaster did not work well on really thick areas of paint. I had a few areas where there were segments of paint that may have been mixed with stripper. It was really thick and the sand blaster seemingly did nothing. (or took a REALLY long time to remove it). Sand blasting is best for really detailed work. It might be better with a more powerful system.
2. Remember to remove water from the hose and air compressor periodically. (it builds up). As the sandblasting time wore on, the efficiency decreased, possibly due to water build up.
3. Be well protected, and assume that despite the precautions you will have sand everywhere. Be cautious when you take breaks (ie. don't wash hands and immediately rub your eyes, clean off the sand on your face). Optimally, you will limit your "break areas" to limit tracking sand all throughout the house.
4. It's a long process, so be smart in what you focus on. I don't see a point of spending an hour getting all flecks of paint off the radiator abutting the wall. Perfection is nice, but not really necessary. Focusing on the areas that are readily seen you get a lot more bang for the time spent.
6. If you plan on doing radiator work, do it in May. Every year it seems like we do something related to the radiators and we mean to do it all summer long but we become distracted by other projects. (summer is such a great project time!) We end up racing to get it done when it is 55 degrees out-which is less fun, and more stressful when rain keeps happening. Your social life also takes a nose dive as you explain to friends and family members (who end up thinking that you just don't want to see them and give you plenty of guilt trips-hypothetically, of course), that you can't do X because you must work to get the heat turned on.

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The perks of being an alderman...

Last night we went to our CAPS meeting (community policing-most usually entertaining). We found out that some criminal decided to steal the Alderman's car. (he lives in the next block over). The criminal apparently used a new method of stealing, by using a flatbed tow truck to take the car back to the chop shop. Some alert police office saw the tow truck driving down the street and decided to run the plates, noticed that it was the Alderman's car, and decided to follow the tow truck right back to the chop shop in another police district.

Turns out, the alderman also had his wife's anniversary gift in the trunk (a diamond ring) so he was particularly happy about the alert police officer.

Of course, if my car was stolen, I think it may have turned out differently, but alls well that ends well.

Oh, and we live in the city so these things happen. With the air compressor theft, now this, I've made it sound like we are in some crime ridden neighborhood. (just Chicago). Actually, we have the highest concentration of police in our district and the lowest crime rates in the city as a result). Our "hot topics" yesterday surrounded the triple parking outside the school when school lets out, speed bumps in the alley, and a park overrun by dogs. Sometimes, we do get more colorful issues brought up, and the police are very attentive to all those issues.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why wouldn't I want a bench planer?

We are still in the hunt for a way to trim off 1/8 inch from 1 X 4 pine for our door trim. (there needs to be 1/8th trimmed off for the necessary reveal to match the other door/window trim in the house).

We first went to a lumber place in the Western Burbs that wanted 2.33 lf/ for poplar, planed, and routed as we wanted. We are just going to paint the trim, and the rest of the house has pine, so we thought it would be somewhat silly to pay a premium for poplar.

For the door molding in the bedroom, Glenn was able to get it done someway (he'd need to explain the particulars) but his verdict was that that wasn't the best way.

So, today, I decide to call around to some other wood places to see if we could bring in pine ($.80 lf at Home Depot) and pay them to plane it.

I call the first woodworker, and I explain that I don't want to buy a bench planer (around $300). His response? Well, why not? Bench planers are great!

Me: I'm just a homeowner, we need to do our trim, and that's it.

I'm sure bench planers are great if you did a bunch of woodworking. Maybe down the line, Glenn would do wood working if there weren't so many other "projects" out there.

In any case, I may have not articulated the problem very well (Glenn is the woodworker in the family) so perhaps a visit with a sample would be in order.

Really, how many tools does a simple homeowner need?

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