Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Barn Boards Begin (photos)

The house starts to take on it's final look as the board and batten is applied. The boards are 1-inch thick, old cedar salvaged from barns taken down two years ago on the property. The battens are new, and we likely won't be able to cover the whole house in old cedar.

Jason decends the stairs after putting up another board.

PIt's all coming together. The house presents many unusual details to the viewer.

Fire in the Hole (photos)

Another milestone today, fire. This is my brand new Czech wood buring cookstove. Right now it sits in the open, but I intend, over time, to surround it with a bar on the back, and some sort of counter on the sides. I hooked it up, put a few cedar chips in and presto, heat. It was only a test, but I was truly excited beyond words to know that with near certainty I will spend next winter warm, dry and clean for the first time in two years.

There is no microwave oven, no hot plate, no gas or electric stove, just wood burning.

My first flame.

Fire as viewed through the "hob". Yes, there is a hob knob of sorts.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Porch Railing Almost Complete (photos)

I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I decided to "peg" every balluster to the railing, but when I tried to conceive of how the railing should look, it was the only solution that I could see. As it turns out, once the jigs were up and running I went from making 2 sections in two days to 5 in one day to 6 on the last day. Pounding the hundreds of pegs in proved to be almost a sublime pleasure. A small boy will spend hours pounding play nails into a workset or shapes through openings in a toy, thus it should not surprising that an adult boy would be able to do the same.

Railing almost complete.

Pegging detail.

Ballusters all in a row. Only the top plate is missing.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

My First Shower (photos)

Last night, for the first time in two years in my own domicile, I took a hot, pressurized shower in a clean well lighted bathroom. It was made the more thrilling being illicit (not supposed to be "living" there until occupancy) and that the bathroom is lacking a door at this moment. Nonetheless, everything worked flawlessly. The water, coming as it does from the sky and not the ground, was soft and clear. Little droplets glistened as they beaded up nicely on the gleaming chrome and the fresh tile.

Me taking my first real shower at home in two years. You were expecting more?

Railing (photos)

Much to my own surprise, this part is turning out to be one of the most rewarding elements of the project. I hadn't designed a railing system for the porch, but I knew I didn't like what I'd seen in magazines and books. The requirements are also pretty strict. The railing must be at least 36" high with no more than a 4" gap between ballusters (vertical rails). Inspired by the pegged joinery inside the house, I determined to dowel peg the railing. I ordered the lumber, but I was a bit unsure about how much time it would take. I set up a couple of jigs to keep things reasonably square, and as the pictures I hope show, I'm very pleased with the result. I did the shortest rail section first as a test.

This crude jig makes a hole in the top of the balluster

This form, ensures the railing comes out square.

The finished (sample) railing. The 3/8" maple pegs will sit proud of the rails.
The pegs are unglued and only 8 screws are used to secure it to the posts.

There will be a top plate screwed in above. Something to set a cool drink on.

Four feet of railing done. Only 136 to go.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Bathroom Done (photos)

The bathroom is complete. It is hard to photograph being about the minimum possible size for a bathroom with a tub at 5' x 7'. Here is the ingredients list:

  • Matte white subway tile from Pratt and Larson, Portland, Oregon.
  • Tub is a vintage, 1930s cast iron built-in. $75 used from the ReBuilding Center, Portland, Oregon
  • Wall lamps circa 1930 from Hippo's, Portland, Oregon. $100 the pair.
  • Mirror frame is an old window found in the woods on the property. $9 for the mirror glass.
  • Sink was found on the property. Delta faucet about $90 at Home Depot or Lowe's.
  • Tile floor is my own pattern. Not as hard as it looks. The tiles come in 1' x 2' sheets in black or white, and the small area (about 20 square feet) made it more affordable. Again from Pratt and Larson. A shop well worth visiting.
  • Toilet is a Kohler, Serif model. About $140 at Home Depot.

Vintage $75 tub gets a new home..

In the mirror you can see reflected theedge of the 22" Sun Tunnel
and the light in the shower/tub area.
The light works, but I was still experimenting with bulb power and type.

Floor pattern of my own making. Turns out the tub edge is curved making cutting of
all those individual tiles the most difficult part.
Otherwise the floor was easier than any of the subway tiles.

Sink and Ceiling (photos)

Some photos of progress on the interior up to the time of this post.

Looking at the north half of the house (minus the den to the right). From left to right:
front hall, bathroom, kitchen sink area, kitchen. All tiled.

The front hall and door before the ceiling went in.

5" cedar tongue-and-groove (T&G), finished
with linseed oil, drying on the porch.

Looking at the hallway from the front hall with the ceiling installed.
The black "box" on the far wall is the exhaust duct for the
wood buring cookstove that will be moved into place soon.

The kitchen sink is cast iron and was found in the old garage. It
has a few dings, but is very servicable. Open shelving will be
installed over it as drying racks and storage for just washed items.
The sink is located close to the water heater (20 gallon marine
type in the ceiling/attic area) and in a nook so dirty dishes can
remain somewhat hidden from view.

Porch Progress (photos)

Here are a series of pictures taken in May till this posting capturing the tremendous progress on the deck. The deck is made from "rough," locally milled cedar (rough means that a 2x4 is actually 2" x 4" not 1-1/2 x 3-1/2).

Jordan drives in one of the over 500, 4" stainless steel deck screws.

The roof gleams.

The porch roofline becomes visible.

The rafters are the same 7 in 12 pitch as the roof.

The house from the west.

The Zoeller's make a great team.

Plumb, square and level. Raw cedar and blue sky.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Front Hall Done (photos)

The front hall is the first room to be completed. The room is designed to be an airlock between the front door and the rest of the house where wet, muddy clothing can be removed. The tile is one of the few overseas imported elements in the house. They are made in Italy. It is a pattern of 5 colors (of which I used 4), 6x6" with distressed edges and uneven texture like slate. The four colors are: Asia Jaipur Blu (grayish), Asia Rajastan Verde (more brownish), Asia Bangalore Nero (ranges from caramel swirl to all black) and Asia Madras Rosso (which is red).

Sunlight from the front door windows flares on the front hall floor.