Friday, October 06, 2006

I Tire Of This, Sport

I'm gonna qualify for Medicaid by the time I finish writing about this, so let's put a fork in it today, what do you say? Let's fix the floor:

The bedroom is that rarest of things. It has natural light available from three directions. So we can afford to make the floor dark, to give it a quiet look and a visual weight. That, and there's no way I'm ever going to drag the 200 pound rental drum sander up the stair to properly sand it before I finish it, and dark covers a multitude of sins. So we play it as it lays, as they say in golf, referring to hitting your ball from the spot you kicked it to when no one was looking.

Lacquer thinner and coarse steel wool will remove the mill stamps identifying the grade and species of wood and the occasional whoopsie my wife made with her warpaint. That's it for preparation, but what the hell; the purpose of a pine plank floor is to look old and a little rough, so it'll be kosher right from the get-go. Now for the miracle fluid.

Shellac. Magic stuff. It's the residue left on a tree from the lac bug, gathered and dissolved in denatured alcohol. It sticks to anything. Anything sticks to it. Dries almost immediately. It dries in low temperatures. No matter how much you thin it, it still makes a coherent film. I root around in my stash of old fashioned but still state of the art liquid aniline dyes, and find Dark Walnut. Yeah baby. 100 drops per quart of shellac, two quarts of shellac will do it, and a big slug of alcohol. The alcohol goes in the shellac, not the shellacker. Never drink while you work. Never. Guys named "Lefty" or "Stumpy Joe" drink while they work.

By the time you reach the end of the plank, the end you started at is dry, so you've got to be brave. Stop to wipe your brow, and it'll splotch. Give it a few minutes, and go back over it with clear low lustre water based polyurethane, and let that dry for an hour or so. And it's done.

Alright, we finished about a third of the floor, and half the walls and trim on Saturday night. Sunday, we move the furniture onto the floor that's finished and I begin... to think about the Patriots game. Must go faster!

It's wide open spaces now, so it's easier to work. There's a lot of woodwork, but we're not moving the furniture twice, so I do it all as we go, more or less. We're ready to do the remainder of the floor by late afternoon. I shellac the floor, and hey, it's 6-0 Bengals!

I admit it. I stopped and watched the last two quarters of the Pats game. Take that Cincy!

Back upstairs, and recoat the floor with the polyurethane, and sleep in the den a second night. Monday morning, we put the furniture back, with about half of it removed. Addition by subtraction. Here's before and after in the front of the house:

Everybody has a built in paneled headboard with integral windows, don't they?

And my wife's favorite place now, least favorite place before:

I told you the red chair would work. I even threw in a sale-able piece of furniture, a Shamrock Table, because my wife is swell, and deserves it. That, and I had one.

Well, there you have it. I've got to wait for a hard frost to kill the mosquitoes, and then I can take the screens out and paint the window sashes. The closets need painting, and I'll do it at the same time.

When's the Patriots' bye week?


reader_iam said...

I think I recognize that carpet.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Very nicely done.

And, hey -- the books above the desk sobered up over the weekend, too!

Good work.

vw: mylycko. Is that Alex advertising for the Korova?

Walrus said...

ANYTHING to get out of the den, right?

Seriously, it looks great. You could start your own reality show.

Of course, I'm still waiting for independent corroboration from the afore-mentioned wife. I mean, these pictures are coming up a full four days late, so we only have your word for it...

SippicanCottage said...

I see reader iam buys cheap carpets on the internet too.

Pastor jeff- heh.

Walrus- I went to parochial school. I am physically incapable of telling a lie.

I am Irish, though; and if I went to Blarney, the stone would kiss me.

The Queen of the Sea shall remain mute on this, as she is on all subjects. But she keeps her eye on you all.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Is there a trick in opening the door on the left in the top photo? Does it open in? Is the door cut?

SippicanCottage said...

Hi Ruth Anne- You're all very observant.

The house is a cape, with shed dormers front and back. There is a little attic alcove behind that door that runs along the front of the house. The door swings back in toward you as you stand in the room. A knob in the top left corner has been removed to paint. You can see the door hinges on the right.

The door is made to fit the opening. I made it from scraps of beadboard and plywood and pine. It's nothing special. On the opposite wall, there's another door like it, but the eave is taller. (It's to the left of the red chair) That's a hamper, and tilts in. It's marvelous. You can just leave it open and fling your clothes in it from across the room. Every house should have one in every bedroom.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Is that a CO detector by the new red chair? Do you also have one on the ground or subterranean floors?

How are you coming on my pink toy chest?

SippicanCottage said...

Ruth Anne- Yes, that's a CO2 detector. It's a recently enacted law in Massachusetts- you need one on each floor.

They used to give a lot of false positives, but this one hasn't troubled us.

It emits a sound that is indescribable. I'd rather die of asphyxiation than press the test button again.

Ah, the toy chest. I've been absolutely swamped with regular old orders. That's good, as my children are now eating twice daily. But it put new designs on the back burner for a short time, I'm afraid. The toy chest is a series of glued up components waiting to be assembled. I'll keep you posted. It'll be soon.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

CO2? Holy crap! They'll regulate anything in Massachusetts!

Carbon monoxide. That'll kill ya'.

SippicanCottage said...

A telling error. Perhaps I'm getting too much CO2.