Thursday, September 29, 2005

New and improved mud men

The mud men have been painted, distressed, repaired & added hoods, added a coat of polyurathane. Ready for another year of fright for the neighbors.

Like my drawers?

I spent a couple of nights this week building and installing drawers in the cabinets I have built so far. I used drawer guides I bought from home depot. They where the single rod down the middle kind with a roller on the middle of the back of the drawer and 2 rollers on each side.

They are about 16 inches deep and just under 13 inches wide. They are 4 inches high. The rollers are rated at 50lbs so I am pretty sure I can stuff just about anything I have in them.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Halloween Prep in full swing

Well the tombstones were dragged out and lightened up this year so they are easier to see at night. Sort of looks like the lawn is littered with tombstones?

The "mud men" were lined up for their annual painting and repair work. Its starting to feel a lot like .... halloweeen!

We are trying something new with the mausoleum columns this year. Here is a sneek peak of the work in progress. Thanks to Chris for his artistic creativity.

Built 3 new cabinets

This cabinet building thing is going a lot slower than I thought. I built 1 on Saturday and the 2 small ones on Sunday. I got a late start on Saturday but it still takes quite a while when I am doing it myself. I still need to make drawers and doors for these plus 2 more smaller cabinets. I decided not to make a corner cabinet and I kind of like the separate units instead of them all tied together?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Great Mud Men Migration.

It has officially started. The halloween decor is making its way from storage into our driveway and every other possible place we can stick something to be fixed or touched up. Thanks to Mr R. for his handywork. Oh and look like our Artistic Director is in this one?

We decided to try lightening up the stones this year. Jen had fun with the waterstained effect.

My first cabinet

After putting up drywall on the celing in the shop area all day Saturday. I started Sunday by going to Home Depot and buying the wood to make my first of 7 cabinets. It took me the rest of the day to complet my first one! They will be 4 foot wide (nice easy way to cut up a 4x8 sheet). Two of them will be tall like this one 42inches. The rest will be a bit lower at 36 inches. I still need to make the doors and drawer guides but it looks like they will work nicely.

I'm sure I can fill them all up in no time and Chris will be asking me again why I have stuff all over the counter tops.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

No more post in the middle of the shop

When we first remodeled the shop we used 4 10 foot 4x12 beams held up with posts down the center of the shop. The Shop is 40 feet deep. The first 20 feet we use as a 2 car garage the back 20 feet is the woodshop. I had always had a post in the middle of the shop floor supporting the 2 10 foot beams. When we repoured the shop floor I decided to remove the post but in order to do so we needed not only a longer beam but a more sturdy one too. I purchased a 5x12 gluelam beam. This weighed several hundred pounds. We had to build a temporary wall to jack the floor up and then take the two old beams down and then lift the new beam up into place.

Thanks to Quin and Jason that Friday for all their hard work and team effort. Also thanks to my Dad for lending me his wall jacks and suggesting them. With some final pounds of a sledge hammer we were able to get this bad boy into place. It sure looks different in the woodshop to see a bare floor.

If you have a Sewer line you need a bathroom

I started work on framing and plumbing the bathroom. Purchased the sink and toilet at, you guesed it, Home Depot. Got a "all-in-one" toilet. It comes with everything you need to install it.

Also got a 2-1/2 gallon water heater that I am going to install under the sink. This project got put on hold until we finish the aformentioned drywall and cabinet making project downstairs. Maybe I can get back to this in the evenings?

Jeff & Chris' school of drywalling

Our friend Nick came over one Saturday and helped us hang and mud these 2 walls. We had to put up the insulation first which was very itchy and not a lot of fun with resperators on a hot day. Nick wanted some experience with dry wall so we tried to give him as much as we could . It worked out pretty well. We had to shim a few of the walls because the old 2x4 studs were off by 1/2 inch. I also had a lot of fun with the rotozip to cut out the outlet holes. I think a knife/saw would be more efficient or at least cleaner. Thanks to Nick for all his hard work. It turned out pretty good.

We finished this side wall on another day. We still need to get the mud on it. We need to do the ceiling next and then we are ready for the cabinets to get built and installed.


We have sewer in the Shop! Oh, and the shop floor is level!

After the driveway tearout and repour we finally have a sewer line in the shop for the much needed upstairs bathroom and a utility sink.

Chris pushed me to also have the sewer guys tear out this back part of the shop floor that had a 6 inch rise and many cracks from roots of a tree behind the shop that doesn't exist anymore. I had to pay a couple of guys to come out on Saturday on their own time to do the work. The driveway guy then poured the new floor when he did the rest of the driveway. I put a conduit in the floor so I could run power right to my table saw from the floor. I LOVE my level shop floor. I have to admit if it wasn't for Chris' persistance I probably wouldn't have gone to all the trouble.

We needed Asphalt

After the driveway was poured there was a gap between were the driveway ended and the road. We were told to get someone to asphalt it for us. We thought we could get the sewer contractor who did the original tearout and road patch for the sewer. Turns out that the gap was bigger than what they could do. The concrate contractor suggested someone who does asphalt. They have a minimum charge because of the equipment involved. This patch cost us a bit more than we had expected but it does look nice.

Got driveway?

When we decided to have a sewer line brought into the shop we decided to also have the driveway redone. So we had them dig up the entire driveway when they installed the sewerline.

Looks nice huh?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Roof, Chiminy, and Paint, Oh my!

I barely recongnize this house! After months of finding contractors to give us bids, deciding which one was best, and making sure they show up, we finally got our long overdue house improvements done.

The chiminy had to be rebuilt from the roof up. We tore all the house eating ivy off first (not fun!). Our roofer (note: one guy) then took a month to roof it. Very nice job, but since he lives down the street he couldn't really do a bad one. Then the painters were next. Boy that was fun. Show up one day then don't see them for a week. It was the rest of the summer before we finally got it done. Or at least we hope so.

Oh yeah, since our gutters were mostly rusted out. We tore them off (thanks Jason). I called the guys to install new gutters and they were done in a day. Nice red matching metal gutters.


What to do with leftovers

We had a bunch of old planks laying around in the way. Chris had complained once or twice that the steps from in and out of the shop were "weird". So I turned them into a nice little platform with our old boards. She measured and helped lay it out. I maned the saw and framing hammer. In just a few minutes her "issue" with the steps was resolved.

On to the next problem...

Stairway to heaven...

The side of the shop was eroding and there wasn't an easy way to get around the side to pull the ever growing weeds. I had talked to the guy who poured our driveway and asked about pouring concrete steps and he said we should just use cinder blocks and build a retaining wall.

So off to Home Depot we went. And on several hot summer days we built our wall. Chris was the expert leveler and I was the master digger. Together we build a pretty nice wall that you can climb to get around back. Not bad if was so ourselves.

Now we just need to get around the side and pull those darn weeds before they overtake the shop.