Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Custom Built Art Frames

well if you haven't deleted me from you list yet, then you will get to see my latest project.

I have a new respect for the cost of framed art work.
several months this has been in the making. First with finding the outstanding “handtools” poster (
and then touring Antique Archeology in Nashville (you know, the Mike guy who is on “American Pickers”) and finding a print of the ‘48 Harley KnuckleHead engine Mike picked.
First I’m a pretty lucky guy to have a wife that thinks a harley engine and a hand tools poster hanging in her house is a good idea!
The hand tools frame is Walnut with a Maple inlay and Maple corner splines. I finished it with several coats of BLO and then paste waxed over that. A great friend Steve Brown hooked me up on the glass, and Hobby Lobby did the matting.
The knucklehead frame is Oak. Actually, they are Oak stair treads ripped down to size! Even though no one can see them, I double pinned the corners with Oak dowels. Finished with two coats General Finishes Expresso and wipe on Poly.
First time out, I like ‘em. Now I just have to hang ‘em.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Screen Door Installed

I know, this is a little like double dipping for compliments.  But I have to!
The boss took the screen door home this weekend and installed it; took some pictures and sent them to me this morning.
I'm tell'n ya, I may have modify the design for windows (instead of screens) and build a custom storm door for MY house.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Closet and Screen Door - I's been a while.

Holy crap it's been a long time! 
I have been knocking out some projects lately and thought I would share.

First, my closet.....

First photo is the finished shot

What we have here is Maple plywood finished with Amber Shellac and trimmed with "select" pine covered with an expresso stain.  I planned to use maple for the face frame but the expresso is dark and didn't want to "waste" good maple by covering it up.  The rods are 1.375" Poplar stained with the same Expresso finish.

Next, the boss's screen door.
This was the jacked up screen door the owner of my company brought to me to fix or replace.  I replaced.

Here, we have a cedar door with removable screens.
I lapped the joints (except the center style, I used wood dowels for that) and pinned them with 1/2" Oak dowels.  Then I finished the whole thing with a couple coats of teak oil.
The owner comes back from vaca Monday.  I know he is happy with it, let's see what his wife thinks.

I am getting started on some custom picture/art frames so stay tuned my friends.

that is all, carry on.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Let's talk basic maintenance

I was lazy and did not grout the kitchen backsplash.  That will be done next weekend....I promise.

In the meantime, I thought this would be a great time to talk maintenance.  I find most move in to a new (or "used") house, hang the tv, place the couch, maybe paint a wall, and relax.  There are many small things you can do to ensure your house will last.  I will tell you what I do and you can comment on what you do or how you do it different.

Of course this list will cover what I do and what I plan to do.  I will note when it's something I plan to do.

  1. Water Heater - Most will tell you to drain fully once a year.  That's a bit of a chore as I did this in my last house.  When I moved in, I checked the water heater manual and it recommends draining one gallon a month.  This removes sediment extending the life of your water heater.  Draining a gallon is easy, just keep a hose and bucket handy.  
  2.  Furnace - change your filter.  Seriously, change it.  I buy the more expensive and change every 2-3 months.  I am amazed when I talk to people that have no idea this should be done.  Do you want your furnace to last longer then a few years?  change it!
  3. Caulk - This one could get a list of it's own.  It really isn't hard.  I have already re-caulked the edge of the counter (in kitchen), around the tub faucets, and around the tub surround.  It cracks, splits, etc...  It's not hard (but can be time consuming) to cut/pull out the old stuff and throw some new down.  If you don't know WHAT to buy, ask your local Home Depot.  Don't know HOW to do it, google it or youtube it.  I use painters tape and get a perfect edge.  But I can be anal like that.
  4. Tub drain - If your house is like mine, your tub has a little flippy disk that can be pushed "level" to stop the water.  I found it works great to catch my wife's hair.  I check that thing every couple days and pull out the hair that would otherwise head into the pipes and possibly create stoppages.  My daughter is not so diligent which is why a week back, I went at the drain with one of these  easily the best, and cheapest drain snake every home owner should have.  I managed to dig out her "hair turd".  Now I go in there every few days and check my damned self.  kids......hmmmpf
  5. Driveway - have you sealed it yet?  It really isn't hard.  It took a few hours to power wash (rent one if you need to), then I borrowed the neighbors pump sprayer (Because a friend of mine ruined mine!  friends......hmmmpf)  Time consuming, but easy.  Now I have a gratifying sheen on my drive way and I am ready for winter!.....kinda, I hate shoveling.  
  6. Deck stain - Do you have a wooded deck?  do you have plans to have it look nice longer then a couple years?  I suggest you get out there and get it stained/sealed.  It's a crappy chore, but the few hours you log maintaining your deck will be worth it.  I let me last deck go and it looked like a hairy dog's ass.  I did a bunch of research and found ReadySeal is the shit!  seriously, it's worth the shipping.  I have used other sealers and I get permanent drips.  ReadySeal is "goof proof".  
  7. Lawn - I find this can be very confusing.  What, when, how.......ugh.  I found this article to be the most help, the most detailed on when and what.  I have yet to find the SoilActivator.  But I am a chicken poop convert.  That stuff is great.  My back yard was seeded and has lots of weeds to deal with.  I am still using Scott's Yellow bag in the back.  The front gets Chicken poop.
  8. Lawn cont. - Do you aerate?  you could!  Myself and two neighbors split the cost of a rental aerater and have done it last fall and this last spring.  We have plans to do it again.  Ryan's landscapping sucked and the soil needs all the help it can get.  So for $20, I aerate.  Followed this year with re-seeding.

I am sure I am missing something, but this covers what I do or have done. 
Consider this, how much time have to dedicated to your favorite tv show versus time you spent on your house last month?  You got one house, take care of it.

carry on.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Back Splash of color

WARNING, I'm not done.  But I can't wait to post and I can always throw up another post with the finished results.

We finally got the Kitchen Back Splash tile up.

So you should know, a kitchen back splash, under cabinet lights, and nice sink/faucet were a requirement for me when buying a house.  See, I completely tore out and rebuilt my last kitchen.  When looking, I told my wife that I want a kitchen as nice or nicer then what I left.  I decided, to save money, I could do all three items myself.  Well, you move in, spend money, and things get pushed back....a year and half in this case. 
In our defense, a year back we found a mosaic tile we liked and proceeded to buy a sheet or two every pay day.  We missed some here and there, but we kept going until we had about 30 sheets saved up.  Then along the way, we got the pencil tile, grout, caulk, and seal.  So we managed to spread the cost over a year.  Not bad.

But HOW to do it?  For Ravenna owners, you totally understand the difficulty to figure out how to navigate the area around sink where the upper cabinet ends and the bar counter begins.  I found this image on pinterest a while back and it gave me some inspiration.
note: I did smaller tiles diagonally in the last kitchen....what a pain!
I liked how it wrapped around and down to the bar counter.  My wife wasn't sold on this one.  So I modified it a bit, added some pencil tile and think it worked great.

Our "Before" picture

my "at work" picture.

I had just finished putting up the pencil tile and took a pic

My solution for the area of concern.  Found a black pencil tile that we liked.  A few measured cuts on a tile saw and boom!  I used the pencil tile at the end of the counter as well.
So I still have to grout, caulk, and seal.  I will post some better, finished shots when done. 
All total, we spent about $325. 
Tile sheets were $5 each.  I believe we used 30 (12"x12"). 
4 sticks of pencil tile at $10 each.  I used 3. 
About $60 for seal, caulk, and grout. 
$35 for tile saw rental. 
$25 for the pre-mixed tile set
Bought a plastic v-notched trowel for $10-ish (can't remember as I bought months ago). 
I already had tape, painter's plastic. 

Next....under cabinet lights and sink/faucet. 
stay tuned kids

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ryan's Room

nope, this one is not about the builder Ryan; rather, my son.
You build and have all these grand ideas on what you want to do.  Some you act on pretty quick while others slip away in time.  My better half and I have wanted to give Ryan a cool room.  Something a 12year old will enjoy and also something that a future 16-17 year old would be good with as well.  Think to the future here people!  It took us a 1.5years, but we did it.

Please excuse the blurry photos, what do you want from a crappy phone camera!?
I don't have before pictures.  But it's not hard to imagine.  a bed and dresser in a flat paint "whole wheat" color.  bleh.

The blue chair and desk legs are from Ikea.  The desk top I cut and edged myself.  The magnetic board, magnets, and "towel bar thingy" are from ikea.  The curtain rod is galvanized pipe.

The hex shelves I built with 3/4 ply.  They were glued and then I added 1" brackets for both assembly reasons, but also because I thought it looked cooler.

The skateboards are held up with skateboard brackets we found at Ikea.

I cut Ryan's nickname out of sentra and attached with 3M poster strips.  The bedspread, again, purchased from Ikea.
The room was painted with Behr "lunar surface" gray (in satin). 
My wife wanted an orange stripe around the room.  While I have mastered the ability to paint stripe with no bleed, I was not looking forward to measuring, marking, taping, painting the stripe.  I came up with another idea.  What if we ripped (11.5") strips of 1/8" hard board, paint those orange and nail to wall with finish nails.  Way easier and keeps with the theme of his room.

Needless to say, Ryan loves his new room.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Driveway's SEAL of approval

I, at times, can procrastinate.

There, I said it.  whew, I feel better.

We moved in to the new house January 2012.  So it's been about 19 months!  wow.  My PM heavily encouraged us to seal the drive way as soon as possible.  Turns out "asap" was 19months.  Don't judge!

I bought the stuff I needed to seal the driveway late last year and then read the instructions that said the temps should not drop below 60degrees for 24 hours.  Did I say I bought it late?  yup, it was getting down to the 40's at night.  So I sat on the can.

Literally, we have sat on that huge 5 gallon bucket now for several months.  Sat on it, put drinks on it, books, phones, etc.....

Until this weekend!  This weekend I took back the driveway.  The snow, ice, and salt will not win this year.

I used this SealBest Concrete Sealer.  I bought it at Menard's, which by the way I believe is an awesome store!  I wish it was closer.

For those that want to seal your driveway (which should be everyone reading this), know that it was pretty easy.

First, I pressure washed.  It was rather therapeutic watching 19months of dirt get stripped away.
Second, I grabbed a 3" paint brush and brushed around the porch columns.
Third, I borrowed my neighbors pump sprayer.  This is a must!  Made the job go very fast 
With the nitty gritty paint brush work knocked out, I began to spray.  That 5 gallon bucket gave me enough to do two coats on my porch, walkway, driveway and sidewalk.

Now my concrete is pimp'n with a little sheen to it.