Pennsylvania Limestone Farmhouse Renovations to an 1863 farmhouse built of limestone

February 25, 2012

Nice Accomplishments This Week

Filed under: Interior,kitchen,trim — Duane Diefenbach @ 9:15 pm

I put a good bit of effort into the kitchen and dining area this week. I installed the base for the backsplash for the countertops. This was a plywood backing with a cherry trim on top so that a 3″ wide slate piece could be installed. Once this base was in place I could trim the windows in the kitchen. This trim is only 3″ wide whereas the rest of the house is 4″ trim, but there just wasn’t enough space for 4″. I don’t think it matters given that these are the only windows in the room so it’s not noticeable that the dimensions are different.  All this will look much nicer when I build the cherry panels above the range hood.

I finished the trim around the doorway to the mudroom and the sliding door to the back porch is finished.

But I think the most rewarding accomplishment has been fitting the slate to the backsplash.

The final punchlist is getting shorter, but so are the number of days until 31 August!

A reader had asked how we joined the sheetrock to the masonry in the kitchen. Actually, we didn’t. My intention was to fit trim to the abutt the masonry, but I think just leaving the sheetrock as close as possible to the masonry, but leaving a space looks nice and clean. Here are some closer photos of where the two surfaces meet, but note that we have some work to do cleaning up paint marks on the masonry. I also include a close-up of where the broom closet meets the masonry (see this post).

February 19, 2012

Hundreds of feet…

Filed under: Interior,trim — Duane Diefenbach @ 9:34 pm

…of trim.

It’s amazing what one room can require in trim. And when you take a rough-cut board and plane to thickness, trim to width and rough length, sand, prime, and paint it just takes sooo long.  Then you have to measure, cut to length, nail (thank goodness for air nailers), fill nail holes, and paint. It really takes a long time.

So I pretty much have the “dining area” off the kitchen completed. Except I still need to mill, paint, and install the trim detail that goes on top of the baseboard as well as one header above the doorway to the mudroom.

Also, I have installed the trim in the powder room that adjoins the mudroom, and milled and painted all the trim needed for the mudroom. Once I install the mudroom tile floor I can then complete the trim. I have made a punch list of items to finish before I declare the house “done” (which will never really happen) and it’s only 3 pages long.

Also, this weekend we cut wood. I think we now have enough for next winter (since we didn’t burn that much this year). The kids really enjoyed helping (Not!).

But it was a good workout…

September 19, 2010

Making Boards

Filed under: Interior,tile,trim — Duane Diefenbach @ 9:43 pm

This weekend I tiled and grouted the laundry room. Despite input from friends and family on this blog who provided little evidence of much dislike of a light/dark tile pattern my parents got quite ill from the concept. So we bought 1 more carton of brown tile (Arizona Tucson) and completed the installation. The room really was too small to do any type of pattern. It will be mostly covered up with washer/dryer, sink and cabinets (and dirty clothes) anyway.

Last February I started making the vanity for the master bathroom. It will host a vessel sink that Lisa and I (mostly I) carried back from Spain several years ago.  Anyway, I have finished the top and base (still need to make the drawers) and started putting the finish on this weekend. Maybe by next weekend I can install the vanity (minus the drawers). I will post more pictures with the vessel sink and faucet after the finish is done. But the finish will take me at least all week because I have to apply several coats to the top and let them dry in between applications.

(One) of the other pressing items for the downstairs is more trim (baseboard and window). Before we even embarked on this project I acquired about 1500 bd ft of white pine (at about $0.30/ bd ft I might add) with the intention of using it for the trim in our house. At that time we thought we might be able to afford plaster walls. Not!  Due to my naiveté I had the pine sawed 5/4 so that it could be milled thick enough for applying plaster. Now that we can only afford sheetrock I should have had it sawn 4/4. As a result, I have to cut the boards to width, joint one end to make it straight, then plane one side so that I can resaw the board to about 7/8″ thickness (on a bandsaw). Then I can plane the board to 3/4″ thickness. The alternative is to simply plane each board to 3/4″ thickness and make many, many, many trips to empty the dust collection system.

So here is what is left of my 1500 bd ft of pine and today’s milling to create about 120+ linear ft of baseboard (6″) and 120’+ of window trim (4″).

All this effort does justify all my woodworking tools – but it would be a lot easier if I could just plane boards from 4/4 to 3/4″ thickness and then cut them to length and width!!!

In the meantime, our master bedroom has really become a laundry drying room. Since the remodel we lost our clothesline to the geothermal well field. That cost us a lot of money this summer in electricity drying clothes. In the meantime, our future master bedroom has become a clothes drying room (plus a storage room for various building materials).

September 5, 2010

Recent Breaks

Filed under: Interior,trim — Duane Diefenbach @ 8:31 pm

This week ended with a break in the seeming unrelenting hot weather and we are now experiencing highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s. The other break was my right forearm.

It’s now in a cast for about 6 weeks. Wednesday night I was climbing into the barn attic to adjust the yard light timer when the ladder slipped out from under me and I fell and broke my radius. I didn’t go to the emergency room until Thursday morning because the pain wasn’t that bad but it’s broken (no surgery necessary).

That slowed down tiling the master bathroom and powder room, but the tiles are installed.

This was accomplished with a good bit of help from Lisa, Molly, and Ethan.  Molly had to carry out a 50 lb bag of thinset from the hardware store while I carried out a small bag of other items!

August 13, 2010

What has happened in the last month?

Filed under: Interior,trim,Uncategorized — Duane Diefenbach @ 8:47 pm

Well, a lot has happened but not enough has happened on the house to motivate me to take pictures. However, I have put hours and hours into the upstairs.

I can’t believe it has been a month and 2 days since I last posted anything. Just so you know, this is what I have been doing in the past month (besides going to work!).

I drove to North Carolina to see Ethan race in the Junior Olympics. He placed second in the slalom and second in the downriver race. So he won silver medals in both events and earned a spot on the USA Cadet Team. Here’s a photo of him in the slalom race (as always, click on a photo for a full-screen view).

The next week we went to Vermont to visit family and celebrate my birthday. My parents gave me and Molly (for her upcoming birthday) an overnight stay at Seyon Lodge (along with the rest of the family freeloaders) where you can only flyfish for brook trout. We didn’t catch anything but enjoyed the solitude, great accommodations, and wonderful local and fresh food. Note the pink fishing vest and guide.

While visiting in Vermont we also took a trip to Franconia Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire to hike the Flume.

and almost get stuck in the rocks!

Ethan Ethan watching Dad 

Lisa  and Grammy and Pop-Pop 

And our new golden retriever, Hazen, continues to harass Windsor. I never thought an English setter could be so patient with a puppy.

So that pretty much eliminated July for doing any work on the house. Since our return I have been spending a lot of time working on the 2nd floor. For what seems like very little progress it takes many hours because all the trim needs to be planed to thickness, cut to dimension, primed, and painted. I also have to strip paint off the old doors, sand, and prime and paint them. Plus build each door frame and hang the door.

But Molly’s room is done… except I have to make the shelves and clothes rack in the closet, plus the closet doors. Also, I need to make a bookcase and window seat. Ethan’s room is done except the closet… The walk-in closet is done except for all the shelving and clothes racks… The linen closet is done except for the shelves and door… The bathroom is done except for the door frame, trim, trim painting, toilet installation, sink installation, and shelving. So you should realize the second floor isn’t really done…

I think it’s easier to just show you photos of what has been accomplished. Below are the doors to Molly’s (left) and Ethan’s (right) room. And a close-up of the rimlock hardware I restored for each door (please note that I did not pick out the chartreuse color for the trim – that’s Molly’s choice!).

Here is a photo of the door to the walk-in closet and the Blake patent cast iron latch I restored. All of the doors (including hardware) cost me $10 each and came from a house built in Beech Creek, PA about the same time as ours .

Here’s a door I had to make for the access to the ductwork chase.

Here’s a photo of Ethan’s room. We asked him what color trim and he said some kind of red… this is what we picked out for him. Should work well at Christmas time!

I have been putting off work on the bathroom because until the toilet was in place I wouldn’t know if the door could open inwards!  Because of the downstairs layout, the toilet had to go closer to the door rather than away from the door next to the far wall (the preferred location). As it turns out, with a 29-7/8″ door there is enough room for the door to open inwards and the seat might even be able to be in the down position!  All this meant that I had to re-frame the door smaller and fill in the space with sheetrock. After a day-and-a-half of work I am about ready to install the rest of the trim and finish the door!

Here are photos of the bathroom doorway with it re-framed, drywall (2 coats and primed), and the door framing installed. Photo left is looking into the bathroom and photo right is looking from the bathroom into the hallway.

This weekend I hope to get the toilet and vanity installed, install the bath/shower fixtures, and start building shelving that goes at one end of the tub unit (more on that to come). We’re looking to have a functional bathroom and liveable bedrooms next week!

July 11, 2010

More and More Upstairs Trim

Filed under: Interior,trim — Duane Diefenbach @ 5:51 pm

On the left is the upstairs bathroom with the grout setting. On the right is after the grout has been wiped off the tile and being allowed to cure.

On the left is a view from the old part of the house. Molly’s room is on the left and Ethan’s is on the right.

The photo on the right is of a linen closet and the view into the upstairs bath.

The photo on the left is Ethan’s room (view of closet on left and entry door on right).

The photo on right is Molly’s room (closet and door with view into Ethan’s “old” room).

The photo is a view from Ethan’s current room into the new upstairs (looking into Molly’s room).

July 5, 2010

Door and Trim Prelims

Filed under: Interior,trim — Duane Diefenbach @ 5:58 pm

Since I am waiting on floor finish to arrive before I can complete the upstairs yellow pine floors I decided to start working on trim. This begins with planing, cutting, sanding, and priming some white pine I have kiln dried (and any yellow poplar I have available). To hang doors I first have to install the door frame. Then I have to install the interior trim because we are using rimlocks for the door hardware. I bought some old doors ($10 each!)  from a couple  renovating a house in Beech Creek, PA (they were gutting the interior of a house that was built sometime around 1850-1860 — by my guess). Along with those doors came a series of rimlocks and cast iron hinges (cast hinges do not have removable pins). I have restored the locks and hinges. But using a rimlock means that on the interior side of the door frame the door is flush with the trim, which means the hinges are set into the trim (not the door frame like a standard pre-hung door).

The hard part of hanging a door in this manner is that, unlike a pre-hung door, you have to frame the door plumb and square and THEN you have to set your hinges exactly. Otherwise, the door binds or either self-closes or self-opens (depending on which way it’s out of plumb).  Fortunately, the old cast iron hinges tend to have a good bit of friction (so if just slightly out of plumb the door isn’t going to move by itself) and I think I have gained enough experience with hanging doors.

So door hanging #1 (of 7) has turned out ok.

The trim was another experiment in installation, dimensions, etc.  The old stone house has 5-1/4″ trim and 7-1/4″ baseboard. In the addition we are going with 4″ trim and 6″ baseboard. The old stone house simply has square pine stock used as trim (no moldings or other details). In the addition we are going to add a piece of trim with a cove routed out of it on top of the baseboard because we need someway to hide imperfections in the drywall (drywall is never a perfectly flat plane so any variation (gaps)between the baseboard and the wall are best hidden with a small piece of trim on top of the baseboard. Old homes with plaster walls didn’t have to worry about this because they installed the trim before they plastered the walls (no gaps to worry about!).

Also, mating the vertical and horizontal trim can be a challenge. So I am using what is called a sin strip wherever any horizontal trim sits on vertical trim. Here’s a close-up above the door I just hung (and take note of the beautiful 45° miter in the door stop!).

Ignore the strange colors because I had to change the brightness and contrast so you could see the difference between an antique white wall and the white primed trim. Anyway, the sin strip hides all sins of the carpenter. This little trick is thanks to my parent’s neighbor, Henry.

To make a sin strip I am using a jig made from an old hacksaw blade to cut a bead in a piece of wood

It would be a lot faster if I bought a router bit, but I don’t think you can buy a bit with this small of a roundover diameter. Once I cut the bead then I cut the strip off the board on the table saw.

I have lots of planing, cutting, sanding, priming, and beading to do!

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