Projects

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Re: Projects

Postby DavidS » Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:16 pm

Originally posted by OperaTenor:
Hi Shap,

It was common on das Boot to have more than one way to electrically isolate the big electrical componennts, to the best of my recollection. I suppose I could have said "ran", but "plumbed" has more character. :D

PS. I still HATE working woith electrons!
In my telecoms outside plant distant past, telephone cables were lead-sheathed, and splices between adjacent sections were sealed in a manner identical to plumbing (that was indeed the name of the operation). The difference being that the purpose was to keep liquids out.

<small>[ 11-29-2005, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: DavidS ]</small>
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Re: Projects

Postby piqaboo » Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:27 pm

That dry-wall patch reminds me: I know of a door that needs patching. We were in a hurry and just slathered a metric boatload of spackle into it over a couple days. The paintsticks would have been both faster and tidier. Will have to chip out spackle one of these days and do a 'pretty' job. No time soon, however!
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Re: Projects

Postby barfle » Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:43 am

Back to the laundry room:

We left the room with the cabinet reinstalled, but no soffitt around it. Here's what it looked like originally:

:o

I built the framing out of 2X2s, fitting them to the face of the cabinet so the drywall would only need a skim coat of spackle. Then, when I discovered that much of my drywall was thinner than the piece I used as a reference, I also found that an eighth of an inch of drywall compound is a really bad way to make a wall line up with what you want it to. Like I said, I should have simply done it over, but I didn't have the wood handy, and I wanted to see progress. I probably wasted a month of weekends fixing that mess, trying to build up the surfaces so they were smooth. I'm fairly certain I've sanded off five pounds of spackle dust, and there's at least two pounds of it in the rest of the basement today.

Along about this time, I took a cabinet making class from a local Woodcraft store. We made a night stand that has plywood sides and top, a raised panel door, a dovetailed drawer, and several trim pieces. Lots of fun, but it ate up five weekends, too. All along, my goal was to build a cabinet to house the sink and another one to cover the sump. You can barely see the sump in the far left corner of this view:

:eek:

<small>[ 11-30-2005, 12:29 PM: Message edited by: barfle ]</small>
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Re: Projects

Postby piqaboo » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:11 pm

Good on ya for keeping at it! It'll be grand when its all done.
Its a darn fine lesson in why the less patient among us (me) hire architects and contractors who've already learned from these kinds of mistakes.

What's a soffit? Yours doesnt fit the dictionary.com definition (The underside of a structural component, such as a beam, arch, staircase, or cornice), leaving me still in the dark. Thanks.
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Re: Projects

Postby barfle » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:24 pm

Originally posted by piqaboo:
Good on ya for keeping at it! It'll be grand when its all done.
I figure it'll be the nicest laundry room in Virginia, at least of those who don't have a maid doing the laundry. In spite of its present unfinished state (and the fact that we're not going to do any more work on it until after Christmas), it's starting to look fairly nice already. As I noted, the fat lady ain't singing about it just yet.

Originally posted by piqaboo:
What's a soffit? Yours doesnt fit the dictionary.com definition (The underside of a structural component, such as a beam, arch, staircase, or cornice), leaving me still in the dark. Thanks.
Well, actually, it does hang underneath the ceiling.

Check this picture of the basement family room, taken from approximately the doorway to the laundry room:

Image

That thing hanging down from the ceiling with all the stenciling on it (not the smoke alarm!) is a soffit. It's just a box made of construction lumber and covered with drywall board. It's there to cover up the furnace duct work as well as a steel I-beam that runs crosswise to the joists above.

In the laundry room, there is a similar structure over the cabinet. Originally, it had no function beyond making the cabinet look more built-in than simply hanging on the wall would look. Now it serves to route the dryer duct from the opposite end of the wall to the previously existing duct.

It's worth noting that this picture was taken before we actually moved in. This space is now full of clutter, stacked to the ceiling in many places
Last edited by barfle on Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Projects

Postby treebeau » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:45 pm

barfle,

I enjoyed your car repair blogs. The best was the garage door opener. Several years ago I had an idea that car manufacturers should give you a button on the dashboard and a programmable feature to operate your garage door...but only when you have the car switched on with the key in it. Then I mused that someone should be able to adapt an existing garage door opener to work off the car battery instead of the factory supplied battery.

That day has come!! Great job! Impressed the heck out of me. I think you have an after market opportunity here.

Regards,
Tim B.
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Re: Projects

Postby treebeau » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:57 pm

In my workshop I make Christmas gifts for my 2 special friends. This year it is custom picture frames. The wood comes from trees that I have cut down and there are a lot of steps to mill it down to what one would buy in a lumber store.

Some of you have already seen the cart full of sycamore shavings (my pic in the Frappr map site). The frames are really a frame within a frame...sycamore inside of cherry. I have already disposed of the sycamore shavings and another cart full of cherry shavings.

All of the milling for the frame shapes was completed last night and thankfully I still have all ten fingers. I have built a sled for the table saw that is for mitering the corners and have mitered one corner of all 80 pieces (yes, 80. 10 frames...each is like 2, 4 pieces per frame). I need to install a T-track and stop block on the miter sled so that I can duplicate the length of frame pieces accurately. Will buy that T-track tomorrow and be ready to finish the miters on the weekend.

That will leave gluing, clamping, sanding, staining, and final assembly. Lots of work left but I think I got a good start. Hopefully I won't finish on Dec 24 (like with last year's gifts). Next year I start in July.

Pics soon.

Regards,
Tim B.
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Re: Projects

Postby barfle » Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:27 pm

Originally posted by treebeau:
Several years ago I had an idea that car manufacturers should give you a button on the dashboard and a programmable feature to operate your garage door...but only when you have the car switched on with the key in it. Then I mused that someone should be able to adapt an existing garage door opener to work off the car battery instead of the factory supplied battery.
Fortunately, the bug has several blank holes in the dashboard. Most modern cars don't have that, which is one reason why I haven't done the same for the Jimmy.

Originally posted by treebeau:
That day has come!! Great job! Impressed the heck out of me. I think you have an after market opportunity here.
Thanks. My wife likes it, too (It's really her car).

In the meantime, I've replaced the transmitter, since we moved and the old one was not compatible with the opener in the new house. Same idea - I just took the old transmitter out and put the new one in its place, making sure I hooked up the power from the regulator so it bypassed the original button on the transmitter.
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Re: Projects

Postby barfle » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:45 am

Back to the laundry room:

As I noted, this project includes several experiments - aspects of remodeling that we might want to try elsewhere, but since this is the laundry room, it is a fairly small space, and it won't matter too terribly much if we make a total mess of it.

This experiment was a ceramic tile floor. I had already taken the linoleum off and spent a month scraping the adhesive off the concrete floor. Kate has a much better eye for what looks nice than I do, so she picked out some 12X12 ceramic tiles and grout. She also felt she wanted ceramic baseboards, but there were no tiles she liked that could be used that way. So we decided we could rent a saw and make pieces that were about 3" wide from the 12" tiles. Of course, that would leave a raw edge in the most visible spot on the baseboard, so she also found a rather unusual quarried rock trip. I'll try to describe it, and post pictures when I'm able. The material is a brown porous rock, and in cross section it looks like the letter "D." It was intended to be used as a trim between other tiles. It's about 3/8" wide and about 1/2" to the crest of the rounded edge.

So, we spent four figures on tiles for the laundry room, and I set out to find a tool rental place. Now, I spent most of my life in one suburban town in southern California, and I got fairly used to what was available there, including a handfull of tool rental places. These guys realize that do-it-yourselfers operate on the weekends, and go into the office on Monday, so they are open on the weekends. Not so in these heah pahts of the saouth. The first rental place I found closed at noon on Saturday. It's worth noting that I get every other Friday off, because I put in nine-hour days, so I was able to get the saw and use it overnight, but naturally, we started putting down the full-size tiles first, then cut to fit when that became necessary. A big rush job on Saturday morning trying to get the saw back to the rental place that was fifteen miles away.

We had determined that the tiles would overlap the sump by a few inches, which was fine with us because the hole in the floor is really a bit larger than the bucket anyway, and it would give us a little more room for the washer and dryer.

After I returned the saw, we were ready to grout. We had used plastic spacers between the tiles to keep everything regular, and they worked well for that purpose. My big mistake was believing the instructions on the grout bag about cleaning up. They said to let it dry, then wipe up the residue with a towel.

I spent another two weeks laying on the floor, picking the excess grout out of the texture of the tiles with a sharp awl. :roll:

The night of the installation of the tile was the only other night we didn't have use of the washer and dryer, because we didn't want to move them onto the tiles while the mortar was not set.

So after all that, we still needed to put in the "baseboard" tiles. We went to another rental place that was open until 5PM on Saturday, giving us a little more time to get everything to fit. We had saved our trimmings from the floor tiles so we had part of the material already, but we did need to cut up several more tiles in order to make the baseboards. We attached them to the wall with the same thin-set mortar we used on the floor, and spaced them off the floor with the same spacers. We were able to line up all the baseboard tiles with the tiles on the floor, since they started off the same size.

The top trim was not as long as the tiles were, so they do not line up. It doesn't seem to be much of an esthetic issue, although Kate was upset when she realized that her idea of having everything line up wasn't going to happen. We fastened the trim pieces to the top edge of the baseboard tiles with the same thin-set mortar, but did not attempt to space them up at all for a grout line. They are spaced apart from each other, but not from the tiles.

We had a few interesting issues with outside corners. As you know, the room is not simply a box, it has a niche where the equipment resides, so there is an outside corner to address. The trim made quite a lip on that corner, but I was able to file it down so it's almost round with a tile file. There's another place I haven't yet described where there's what is essentially a small closet covering the water pipe coming into the house. That's where the main shutoff valve that broke earlier is. It sticks into the room about eight inches, and was the reason for quite a bit of the cutting and fitting we had to do with the saw. Anyway, that edge I made look something like a picture frame, with a trip piece on top like every where else, then another piece on the edge going to the floor. That actually turned out pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

This time, when we grouted, we cleaned it up before it dried.

Since it is a room where it's entirely possible greasy clothes and rags could sit on the floor waiting to be washed, I also sealed the grout. That's just a bottle of liquid with a brush applicator you spread on the grout, let dry, and repeat twice. It's supposed to keep any staining liquids from penetrating the grout. So far, so good.

I will say that the floor looks good, but we will never again try to fab up a tile baseboard. That was just too much work, and grouting that trim was painful, to say the least. The grout gap is almost as large as the grout thickness, and since it overhangs the tiles below, getting the mixture to not fall out was occasionally quite a challenge. A very dry mix is required, and be careful about getting it wet when you're wiping up the excess.
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Re: Projects

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:22 am

Wow, the instructions actually said to wait until it dries to clean it up? That's criminal! I think it's hard enough to clean up while it's still wet, let alone trying to chisel it up after it dries.

Speaking of sealing grout, has anyone ever done it long after the fact? Our kitchen and bathrooms are ceramic tiled, and it's apparent they didn't either seal the grout, or use self-sealing grout when they installed it. As a result, the grout in the kitchen, which is white, no less, is starting to look a little gamey. We're thinking of getting down and scrubbing/bleaching it, and then applying sealer.
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Re: Projects

Postby piqaboo » Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:42 pm

originally posted by barfle:
The trim made quite a lip on that corner, but I was able to file it down so it's almost round with a tile file. There's another place I haven't yet described where there's what is essentially a small closet covering the water pipe coming into the house. That's where the main shutoff valve that broke earlier is. It sticks into the room about eight inches, and was the reason for quite a bit of the cutting and fitting we had to do with the saw. Anyway, that edge I made look something like a picture frame, with a trip piece on top like every where else, then another piece on the edge going to the floor.
Pix, please? Im having visual imagination deficit issues.

Would you tackle a tile baseboard again if either
a) you had specific tiles for the job (ex 3x3s that you liked) or
b) could afford to make just two 3" strips out of each 12" tile, and discard the raw-edged middle bit?

If our neighbor has another open-house, I'll get pix of the shower tiles, and see if OT will post them for me. They did something pretty unusual in the main bath.
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Re: Projects

Postby treebeau » Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:33 pm

barfle,

That was a long post and I didn't quite visualize everything either. Just a couple of points of note, and you may even know this stuff already so forgive me if it seems trivializing:
1. There are tiles made especially for doing as baseboards. They have a rounded top (bullnose) and a coved base. They go on after the floor tile is done. Of course you probably know that and just couldn't find one that had the right look.
2. People refer to a power tile saw as a "wet saw" or a "tub saw". There are inexpensive versions that can be purchased for probably less than the rental cost of a heavy duty one. Of course, AFTER your tile job you still have the saw laying around collecting dust, unused. (Ebay?)
3. SOME places where you buy tile (I think even Home Depot does this now) will stipulate that THEY will cut any tiles for you. You lay the "field", mark the edge tiles, and bring those back for cutting.
4. Tiling over a concrete floor typically requires some form of barrier, because concrete "weeps", which could interact with your tile cement. Did you use such a thing, and if so, what (because I want to tile my laundry room too)?

Regards,
Tim "want to see those pics too" B.
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Re: Projects

Postby Tarzan » Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:58 pm

Tarzan want to know if home branch can be tiled. Looking for something more durable than bark.
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Re: Projects

Postby barfle » Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:51 pm

Originally posted by OperaTenor:
Speaking of sealing grout, has anyone ever done it long after the fact? Our kitchen and bathrooms are ceramic tiled, and it's apparent they didn't either seal the grout, or use self-sealing grout when they installed it. As a result, the grout in the kitchen, which is white, no less, is starting to look a little gamey. We're thinking of getting down and scrubbing/bleaching it, and then applying sealer.
I'm guessing that if you can get it bleached, the sealer will soak in and prevent anything else from soaking in. However, you just might be faced with the prospect of removing the grout and replacing it, or at least removing the top surface and replacing that. I know our Home Depot has a tool for that, and it looks as labor intensive as raising a daughter. :eek:
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Re: Projects

Postby barfle » Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:58 pm

Originally posted by piqaboo:
Pix, please? Im having visual imagination deficit issues.
The ability to post new pictures is yet another project I have yet to complete. Where does the high-voiced man of the house post his from, and what does it take to get them there?

And, of course, they are not trip pieces, they are trim pieces! :o

Originally posted by Mrs. Tenor:
Would you tackle a tile baseboard again if either
a) you had specific tiles for the job (ex 3x3s that you liked) or
b) could afford to make just two 3" strips out of each 12" tile, and discard the raw-edged middle bit?
Only a. The tiles we used really were never intended to have an exposed edge.

Originally posted by Altoid's mom:
If our neighbor has another open-house, I'll get pix of the shower tiles, and see if OT will post them for me. They did something pretty unusual in the main bath.
I'm sure that will be much more interesting than my pompous verbosity.
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Re: Projects

Postby barfle » Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:24 pm

Originally posted by treebeau:
barfle,

That was a long post and I didn't quite visualize everything either. Just a couple of points of note, and you may even know this stuff already so forgive me if it seems trivializing:
No problem. I'm not posting here to show how my work is always top notch. Advice is always accepted, although it may not always be followed. :D
Originally posted by treebeau:
1. There are tiles made especially for doing as baseboards. They have a rounded top (bullnose) and a coved base. They go on after the floor tile is done. Of course you probably know that and just couldn't find one that had the right look.
Exactly.

Originally posted by treebeau:
2. People refer to a power tile saw as a "wet saw" or a "tub saw". There are inexpensive versions that can be purchased for probably less than the rental cost of a heavy duty one. Of course, AFTER your tile job you still have the saw laying around collecting dust, unused. (Ebay?)
I probably spent less than $100 renting the saws, and I priced a ceramic blade for my Skilsaw which was way beyond reasonable, but it might be more convenient to have something handy for the next project. While we will not do baseboards like we did in the laundry room, we do have plans for tiling the basement bathroom with what we have left over from the laundry room. Kate wants to try doing that diagonally. She actually likes miter sawing ceramic tile. Go figure.
Originally posted by treebeau:
3. SOME places where you buy tile (I think even Home Depot does this now) will stipulate that THEY will cut any tiles for you. You lay the "field", mark the edge tiles, and bring those back for cutting.
Ehhhh. That's OK if you're willing to make a large setup, figure out everything, and make one trip, but there were a few spots where we had to do a bit of shaving and trimming to fit. That and the fact that the only Home Depot that is convenient to us has help that is less competent than I am doesn't lead me to consider that option too promising.
Originally posted by treebeau:
4. Tiling over a concrete floor typically requires some form of barrier, because concrete "weeps", which could interact with your tile cement. Did you use such a thing, and if so, what (because I want to tile my laundry room too)?
I didn't do that in this project. Perhaps that will come back to bite me in the backside, but the tiles have been down through both a rainy and a dry season, so I'm not particularly worried about it. Maybe if I had detected moisture in other places in the basement where the concrete floor is bare, I would have.
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Re: Projects

Postby barfle » Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:25 pm

Originally posted by Tarzan:
Tarzan want to know if home branch can be tiled. Looking for something more durable than bark.
Bark grows back on its own. Tile requires cleaning. You got it good.
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Re: Projects

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Dec 01, 2005 3:37 pm

Current project at work: rodent extermination. Some of the guys have taken this on as a personal mission.

Current body count: two adult rats, three juveniles.

I think we need to hire a cat. ;)
>^..^<
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Re: Projects

Postby piqaboo » Thu Dec 01, 2005 6:02 pm

originally posted by Treebeau:
(because I want to tile my laundry room too)
heck, me? I just want to have a laundry room! Sheesh - 2 years ago I was ecstatic just to have a washer and dryer on the premises. Now listen to me spout the piffle of a spoiled brat! :D

originally posted by barfle:
Kate wants to try doing that diagonally. She actually [b]likes miter sawing ceramic tile. Go figure.[/b]
A veritable goddess!

ps - i like the various titles. Most amusing :cool:

<small>[ 12-01-2005, 06:05 PM: Message edited by: piqaboo ]</small>
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Re: Projects

Postby piqaboo » Thu Dec 01, 2005 6:09 pm

Originally posted by Selma in Sandy Eggo:
Current project at work: rodent extermination. Some of the guys have taken this on as a personal mission.

Current body count: two adult rats, three juveniles.

I think we need to hire a cat. ;)
Or a rattle snake. :p
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