I Could Have Been Showering Upstairs Sooner If Not For….

During my plumbing rough-in inspections the City inspector told my father we had installed the fittings for some of the shower fixtures wrong.  He said when I got ready to install after the tiling they’d stick out way too far.  My father studied the installation instructions for my Signature Hardware Exira Shower System in great detail.  After accounting for the tile, cement board, and thinset he felt this elbow would fall about 1/2″ short from the desired location.  We bought extension to make it longer and had that in place.  We took the inspector’s advice, removed the extensions and reinstalled the drop ear elbow fitting by itself per his suggestion.

Move forward a year, tile is in and none of the body spray fixtures can attach because all the fittings were recessed too far back.  My father was right, the inspector wrong.  Now what to do.  Believe it or not I’m not mad at the inspector and he’s not the reason I’m not showering upstairs.  He was very helpful throughout the rough-in process and if not for his suggestion to create a crawl space behind my master shower, so I could access the plumbing if needed, I’d be tearing out drywall and/or tile right now.

The true blame lies with Signature Hardware.  When the connections didn’t meet I called them immediately to see what suggestions they had.  They had none, stating that is why they give specific instructions on where to mount fittings.  I was told my only recourse was to reset the plumbing once I shared I had access to it from behind.  She pointed out that if the body sprays weren’t in the proper location that the diverter probably wasn’t either.  The inspector didn’t have any issue with it’s location, just the body sprays, so as soon as I hung up the phone I raced upstairs to install the diverter.  The face plate fit perfect.  I thought I had dodged a bullet until I placed the last handle.  It stuck out by about a 1/2″.

Once again I had been given another defective part.  Clearly the stem for the top knob and bottom were two different lengths.  I sent these pictures to Signature Hardware and they accepted blame, AGAIN, and provided me with a free replacement cartridge and instructions on how to replace the part.  For those that have not followed this journey this was not the first defective part from them.  This was actually the second diverter.  The first was mis-threaded and leaked during the rough-in testing.  They replaced it.  I got bad aerators in both master bath sink faucets (get to the video at the bottom of Blue Is My Favorite Color post), a defective toilet with missing parts, defective porcelain sink, and mis-threaded tub drain for the 1st floor bath and master sink.  They are super friendly in replacing the defective parts, but enough is enough.  Their stuff cost too much to have such a poor quality control check.

20190929_194105It was a relatively easy fix, although I had to buy a deep socket to remove the defective piece which clearly was too long.  With that repair done I turned my attention to the body sprays.  I crawled into the crawl space and was able to feel with my hand that there was a gap between the cement board and wood that the fitting was screwed to.  I thought, easy, peasy…..free the wood, push the fitting forward, anchor the wood again, done.

With the pex attached the fitting still wouldn’t meet the fixture.  Per my father’s calculation over a year ago it was about 1/2″ short of the their required set back.  I called Ferguson Plumbing (owner of Signature Hardware), went to Keidel Plumbing, and my father scoured the Internet trying to find a pex 1/2″ elbow with a longer head.  It doesn’t exist.  So I put fault back on Signature Hardware.  Why design a fixture with such a short thread length.  They could easily have made the length a 1/2″ longer.  If the industry fitting only extends 5/8″ and cement board is 1/2″ and tile is 3/8″ minimum plus your thinset, clearly there is not enough margin to successfully attach directly to the fixture.

I racked my brain trying to come up with options.  I purchased straight 1/2″ pex fitting, which allowed for the fixture to be attached, but because it couldn’t be anchored I couldn’t acheive a tight fit and the knob moved around.  In the end I resorted to purchasing the same20190925_114454 fittings we installed a year ago (not the piece in center).  It added almost 3″ in length to capture the 1/2″ needed, but also created two new possible leak points due to the added connections.  Unfortunately I didn’t reach this conclusion before the shower glass door was installed.  I didn’t have access to the inside of the shower for two days.

Friday, Oct 11 was the first day I regained access.  I was determined to have all the fixtures connected , butI still had one big obstacle and that was this was a two person job.  I needed someone on the outside to tell me when the fitting was at the right location.  Thankfully my neighbor Paul took a break from his own house project to come over and help.  I got the body sprays set, so he can return home and then spent the rest of the evening reconnecting the pex pipes.  About 10 pm I reached the moment of truth, ready to turn on the water.

The two bottom body sprays leak, not from the fittings, but directly from the connection to the fixture.  I cry uncle and will call a plumber at this point.  But before doing so I will contact Signature Hardware because even if they didn’t leak, I don’t like the force of the stream they project, it’s weak, nothing like the force of water the body sprays I had at my old house.  The wall shower head is weak too, very disappointing.  Remembering the bad aerators from the sink faucets I decided to to remove the aerator from the shower head and the difference is night and day.  So if the aerator wasn’t bad and a weak stream is their expectation, I will operate mine without the aerator or replace the unit altogether.

I did officially take my first shower Saturday night.  Despite all the issues with the fixtures the space is the sanctuary I thought it would be.  The texture of the tile under my feet is exactly how I hoped it would feel, almost massage-like, and not remotely slippery.  The position of the rain shower head is spot on as I can sit on the bench and have the water hit the back of my neck and cascade down my shoulders feeling the stresses of the day wash down the drain.  Not planned, but I love the halo affect created by the shower light reflecting off the fixture too.  The wall shower, with the stronger force, is at the perfect height.   The original 6″ shower nipple that came with the unit I replaced with a shorter, 3″, nipple to gain more height.   The hand sprayer will be perfect for washing the dogs and I’ll be able to sit comfortably while doing so.

I truly regret not putting in a steam shower unit (cost overruns, so I gave that up), but once the last two pieces of glass are installed by Ryan’s All Glass the shower will be completely enclosed to keep the steam from the water inside.  It got pretty steamy without, so I can’t wait to share the post of their completed work and my shower experience with it fully enclosed. 

Ryan’s has been awesome to work with thus far even giving me stainless still screws and a drill bit I used for mounting the hand held spray rod and eventual heated towel warmer.  When their work is complete I will be able to install the tub and I’m hopeful I will have no issues with the final uninstalled Signature Hardware fixture.  With the tub installed my master suite and an entire floor of my house will be complete.  Let the final inspections commence.

 

 

Like It Came With The House

My house is transformed.  To know where it started and to see it today is unbelievable.  That is why it may sound strange when I state hanging a salvage door to close off the 7527basement, laying tile on the landing, and refreshing the steps has made the biggest change to date.  It is going to be an extreme pleasure to use the back door as my entrance once the garage is built.

I found the door at Building Value, my favorite stop for reclaimed material.  It was just the door, no knob or jamb.  I paid Scotti from the Wood Shop to build the jamb out of extra jambs I had.  He had to reverse the swing and rip the width of the jamb to just 3″.  He finished it much faster than I needed, so the back entrance became a priority because I didn’t want to add to my pile of projects already in the basement.

Before I could hang the door I needed to put the tile down on the landing.  Timing was perfect as I had just finished the master shower and knocking this out now meant I could retire my wet saw for a long time.  I like laying tile, but my two bathrooms wore me out.  I had a few pieces left from the tub area in the master bath and I thought it would be great in that area, but I didn’t have enough to cover the entire surface.  I most certainly was not going to order more, so I got the idea to border the sides and use the tile in the center.  I found the perfect match at the Tile Shop, Workshop Desert Wood Look Porcelain 4 x 47.  I only needed four pieces.

Before I could lay the tile I had to level out the surface.  No pics to show, but I used Mapei Novoplan Easy Plus self-leveling underlayment from Floor and Decor.  Mixed and poured in the low areas on top of the cement board I had installed.  Amazing how well it worked.  I also decided that a pretty landing would pale next to the worn out steps, so I decided to cover themwith RetroTreads I found at Lowe’s. I did the prep work for those as I knew it would generate a lot of saw dust.  I had to cut the overhang off each step.  I knew the tile would create a need for a reducer going do into the basement.  I bought one before I knew the width I needed to cover and it was way too narrow, so I bought a Stairparts 11.5×48 Stair Tread, which I was able to rip down to the right width.  It was the perfect height, butting up perfectly to the tile.

With a close enough level surface I started with the border tile.  I wanted it to meet on the corners with 45 degree angles and 3 of the 4 angles would be impacted by the door or steps.  This tile project would have been 100% perfection if I had not forgotten to account for the new riser I was putting on the steps.  The most complex corner ended up being off by 1/2″, so I ended with a much thicker grout line in that corner.

I used my triangle square to make show the box was aligned correctly and then I did a dry run with the center tile.  If all went well I would have two pieces to spare.  Key was finding the center as it would allow me to get two spaces from one tile once I got to the perimeter pieces.  I didn’t miss a cut until the last piece of tile, so I ended the project with one piece to spare.

Next day was grouting, followed by cutting the treads to the right width.  With the dry fit of the steps down, I stained them with the Early American stain I had to match the kitchen door and added two coats of Bona Floor sealing.

I’ve never hung a door by myself.  The entrance to the basement wasn’t close to being square.  I knew the door was not as wide as the original, but it was the right height and style.  I’ve been looking for that door (and office) for two years.  I needed to close up the opening, so I got a 2×4 and ran it down the hinge side of door.  I knew it was import to make that side level.  To do so I had to shim out the top while the bottom was flush to the wall.

I also needed to cut off some of the top of the entrance.  I used my 4′ level to strike a line.  To make it level I cut almost 2″ from the left side and only an 1″ from right.  No pics (down fall of working alone) I did a plunge cut with my circular saw and my job max tool to get the corners the circular saw could not reach.  I went old school and used 10d, 3″ finishing nails to set the door.  I drilled a hole for the door knob to catch, but need to find a strike plate to finish it off.  I amazed myself by how well that went in.  The door was in really good shape.  Dusty, like my other trim and doors, so I went back to my Howard’s Restor-A-Finish stand by.  One day when I’m bored because EVERYTHING else is finished I may paint the other side to match the walls.  For now the pale yellow will be just fine.

With the door hung, tonight I turned my sights on the steps, which was a piece of cake to install.  I kept the top step riser original as the nose of the top step feeds into the kitchen flooring.  I put new risers on the bottom two steps (bottom step I actually installed before the tile) and used denatured alcohol to clean up the stair strings.  I was out of the correct tint of Restor-A-Finish for the strings, so I rubbed them with the Early American stain.  I put down Liquid Nail first and then used the 10d nails for added measure.  Just beautiful.

 

 

 

 

Tile Work Complete in Master Bath

Not perfect, but good enough.  Other than a need to complete the inspections, my motivation on this project is low as the Fifth Third Equity Line rejection due to “Value or type of collateral not sufficient” is still resonating with me.  I worked 6 straight evenings (6p – 2 or 3a) to get that tile work done and for what if my efforts bring no value.  My entire savings is wrapped up in a house that a major Cincinnati bank sees no value in.

I thought the angled wall and ceiling was going to be a nightmare, but I went to Floor and Decor and they recommended their Mapei Ultraflex LFT.  That thin set was awesome.  It performed exactly as stated in the video.  When Tom was helping me I didn’t have great spacers for him to work with, so I also bought their Professional “T” Spacers, which are meant to be left in, you grout right over them.  Great find, will definitely use again if the tile shape allows for it.

I still need to install shower fixtures and tub, but I’ve got a two week respite as it will take that long to have the shower glass made and installed; week of October 14.  Unfortunately my vision of a solid piece of glass from ledge to ceiling will not happen because a piece of glass that size will not go up the steps nor fit through a window.  The top of the glass will be equal to the top of the door, but there will be a gap.  That will be the first item, I envisioned that won’t come to pass.  To give Ryan’s Glass as much working room as possible I’m not going to connect the tub until after the glass is installed, so more delay in getting the final plumbing and occupancy inspections.

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That Section Looks Good

It’s going to look awesome when complete.  The wall tiles are 4×16 and I purchased them from the Tile Shop, Imperial Bone Gloss Ceramic.  The skirting around the tub also came from Tile Shop.  The grout is Superior Pro-Grout Excel in Dessert Sand.

The floor tile is the mosaic tile that matches the hexagon tile I put in the tub area.  I fell in love with the Isla King Wood tile when I stumbled across it on Pinterest.  It’s an Italian tile and it was a splurge that I justified because I put in the labor.  I was fortunate to find the tub floor tile online at Mission Stone and Tile.  With shipping it was several hundred dollars cheaper than JP Flooring, a local vendor.  I had selected a 2×2 hexagon tile from the Tile Shop that would compliment the tub area, but Mike Tanner’s installer suggested that I go with a square shape tile, less waste and time to install.  The Tile Shop had a 2×2 square mosaic, but it was only a couple of dollars less than the King Wood mosaic, which is what I really wanted.  I only needed 23 sf.  Even though I had to pay for installation, it was less than $100 in material cost increase, so I went for it.  Unfortunately Mission Stone and Tile did not carry the mosaic, so I ordered it from JP Flooring.

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F%*k Fifth Third Bank

When I purchased this house it was 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom with no electric, plumbing, HVAC, kitchen, and boarded up windows and doors.  Completely inhabitable.  They told me then it had no value.  Two years later I have 3 bedrooms, 1 completed bathroom, 1 partially finished bathroom (only tile in the shower stops it from being complete), 200 amp electric service, a plumbing system that amazes everyone that sees the manifold system in the basement, HVAC, a kitchen, and all new windows and doors.  I now live in it and they still see no value.

Unbelievable and yet very believable.  It may take me some time to recover from this one.  This journey has been a roller coaster ride, but this is a new low of lows.  Phase 2, the garage and exterior painting is contingent upon getting access to the equity I thought I had created.  I’ve got a plumbing inspector breathing down my back, so I’ve been loosing sleep trying to get the master bath shower complete not realizing that an unfinished shower would be viewed so negatively by Fifth Third.

My main man Tom Milfeld agreed to work with me on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I was so tied up with client work that I couldn’t lend a hand other than moving the wet saw up from the basement and setting it up in master bath to save him (and me) from two flights of stairs.  He got the cove base tile in around the tub area.  I should not have wasted his talent on that simple task, but he was also able to get all the intricate cuts around all but two of the shower heads (7 total – no value in that).  

This evening I finished that wall.  Not to shabby.  Progress is slower than I expected given the larger sized tile (4×16).  Goal is to have it finished by end of weekend; at least the tile, but hopefully the grout too.  I actually may grout this section tomorrow to break up the grouting into smaller bites.  Love laying tile, grouting, not so much.

Ready for Tile

I did a lot of labor over the Labor Day weekend.  With floor and bench in place I needed to finish prepping the walls and install the trim around the windows, so that the tile work could commence.  I started by putting corner angle at the entrance of the shower.  That should have been done by the drywall crew.  John, floor installer, pointed out to me what was needed.  Fortunately I had strips leftover in the basement.

Not sure if it was needed, but I decided to apply a strip of the Kerdi material on top of it.  I also applied a large swatch of it above and on the side of the window that will be inside 20190828_092503the shower (see feature image).  To waterproof the cement board on the 1st floor, I used RedGard and I had about 1/3 of the container left, so after applying mesh tape and thin set  to the seams, I applied two coats of the product.  With the shower walls protected I turned my sites on the window trim.

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Master Bath (Future walk-in shower/free standing tub)

The goal was to replicate the original trim, but with the left window being located inside the shower I knew I couldn’t use the original trim.  I turned to a product called Azek.  It’s 20190831_223713plastic and was available in 1×4 and 1×6, but they also made the decorative edge moulding that was a close match to the original.  The left side of the large window is a piece of quartz, so I only had to trim out the other areas.

The shower window was a piece of cake; two pieces of 1×4 capped with the trim and cut at a 45 degree angle at the corner.  The window seal is also a piece of quartz.

The other two windows were the challenge.  The smaller windows in the bathroom are frameless, unlike in the bedroom.  That made them larger and the method of install was different.  There was a 5 1/2″ gap between the large and small windows.  The 1×6 was perfect for covering it, but the top of the large window in the original trim was 1×4.  That meant I could not do a simple 45 degree cut.  I wasn’t sure how to do it, so I headed to the WavePool Wood Shop with a piece of 1×4 and 1×6 to get help from Scotti.

Two cuts took three hours.  1×4 is really only 3.5″ wide and to get the correct angle I needed 3.75″.  I didn’t have another 1×6 nor time to run to Lowes to buy another piece before the shop closed, so I returned home and grabbed the piece I had already marked up for the window seal.  It was a 1×6 I had ripped down to 4″, the same width as the piece of quartz.  The angle for the 1×6 I was able to cut on the miter saw, but the other I got to cut on the band saw, the first time I used it.  With the cuts complete I returned home for the install.

The window seal had to be set first.  I will NEVER pay a person to create window seals for me again.  This is the only one I did and it was the most complicated due to two different depths of the two windows.  It’s darn near perfect.  Smooth sailing from this point forward.  Two coats of paint and I now consider myself a finish carpenter.

More Work Not Done By Me

The master shower floor, along with the quartz for the curb and bench are installed and the tiling can now commence.  To refresh my long term followers and bring the newbies up to speed, the general contractor of the drywall crew put in the first floor.  As I watched him do the work I knew it wasn’t correct, so 3 days later I rented a jackhammer and removed the 12 bags of cement I watched him pour.  That was in July 2018 and the shower has remained that way until July 2019 when Mike Tanner Construction started their work.

I was introduced to Mike by a friend, Vicki Barker, who had hired him to do several projects at her house; two bathrooms, her kitchen, and outdoor living space.  He actually gave me a bid to do my entire project, but I could not afford him.  If I could I’d be living in a finished house right now.  He does fabulous work.  Here are pics from Vicki’s projects.

I sought several quotes for the shower.  Companies didn’t call back, they said they were too busy, or they were expensive.  I got the entire house dry walled (labor and material) cheaper than the quotes I was getting to do the shower floor and tile, so I turned back to Mike. If I was going to spend the money it was going to be with a company who’s work I could verify.  His price was as high as I feared it would be, so I broke the project down into what I knew I couldn’t do and what I could.

Some contractors are an all or nothing.  Mike, fortunately did not take that attitude.  We settled that he would put in the floor, the most crucial part of the project, and lay the quartz for the curb and bench.  Leaks could wreak havoc in my house given the shower is above the living room.  I would lay the tile.  He gave me his quote in March and put me on his calendar to start July 22.  He’s that busy, good companies are.

I had angst from the moment the old crew started mixing cement without sealing any of the seams or corners of the cement board they installed.  When Mike’s guy, John, started work I was at peace.  I took a few pics while he worked, but on most days I left the house and he either sent me pics (so I’d have for blog) or I took pics when I returned and he was gone.  Mike uses the Schluter-KERDI systems, so the linear drain I purchased over a year ago was abandoned as I followed his recommendation to use their drain.  This material is super lightweight as compared cement board, so it definitely eased my concern about the weight on the joist over the living.  It didn’t make financial sense to rip out all the cement board that was still in place, so fortunately his material butt up seamlessly.  I definitely will learn more about the product and use it myself in the future.

I got a call from the plumbing inspector asking about the status of the shower on the day they finished the work, so perfect timing.  I’ll put my woodworking projects to the side and have the goal of having everything but the glass in place by the end of next week.  I actually told the inspector it would be done by Labor Day, but didn’t realize that this weekend was Labor Day weekend, so hopefully he’ll grace me another week.  Enjoy the pics and if money isn’t your obstacle, call Mike Tanner Construction.

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Cheap in Price, Not in Service

This wasn’t priority work, but it’s something I’ve wanted done since I cut down all the trees in the backyard; clean up the cluster in the front.  Gene, with Cheap Tree Service, did some work at my old house removing limbs that broke during an ice storm.  I gave him a call about removing one limb and cleaning up sucker branches from the cluster of trees at the corner of my house.

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At my old house, electric was run underground, at this one a line from the pole you see with the stop sign runs to my house and these limbs engulf the line.  I was told Duke Energy doesn’t trim back trees that rest on utility lines when the tree is on private property.  Every bad storm I fear the branches breaking and taking down the line, so I’ve wanted those limbs trimmed back since the electric was turned on.

Fortunately for me yesterday another appointment on his schedule cancelled late and he was nearby, so he gave me a call to see if he could do my work.  I said yes and he and his crew were there in 10 minutes and had the branches and suckers cleaned out and up in 30 minutes.  Very professional crew and he cleared out more than I requested and didn’t charge me more for doing what was really needed given it didn’t take him a lot more time.  Love that mentality.  Cheap Tree Service is a minority owned business if you seek to support businesses in that category.  Licensed and Insured!

Huge difference.

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Foundation Restored

The featured picture was taken on my first visit to the house after being given the option to buy it and it is the reason I almost walked away.  The gutters for the house were completely gone above this section of the foundation, so it took a beating for years.  Inside I had literally, weeping walls, and puddles whenever it rained.  I had countless companies come out to provide remedies, all had price tags $10,000 and higher.  I made the decision to move forward with the purchase and had decided to take one engineers suggestion to remove and replace the most decayed sections of the foundation, about 18′.  That would cost about $20,000.

Fortunately I flew my father in town to look at the house and he urged me not to do it.  He took a hammer to various sections.  Loose pieces fell to the ground, but in short order he reached sound areas.  One engineer recommended some specific products to use.  My father read up on them and said it was work he/we could do ourselves and it could wait; focus on the house.  I’ve done just that since October of 2017 and then Tom Milfeld was put in my path.  Everybody needs a Tom in their life.  His skills are boundless.  Turns out not only is he a great carpenter and tile man, he really loves working with cement.  He learned the skill from his grandfather.  He told me he could repair the entire outside and about two weeks ago, on one of the hottest days this year he got started.  If you need a handyman and live in Cincinnati email him at melvin7448@hotmail.com.

The BEST part of this project is I did not lift a finger.  I told him I’d help dig around the house and he said that is what I was paying him for, not to worry.  Boyfriend you don’t have to tell me twice.  I can’t believe the transformation, which I turned into a Quik video (I haven’t made one of those in awhile).  

 

 

From Toilet Surround to Headboard

I had to break this down into two post because I’m just jazzed to show off the progress.  This is the back to my future master bedroom headboard created from beadboard that surrounded a hole that was a toilet in my basement.  It was covered in yellow paint, black and white graffiti, cobwebs, and spider sacks when I tore it down.  These are the best before pictures I could find as the vision of turning it into a headboard came much later.

Once I had decided to make the headboard, I scoured the Internet for design ideas and I came across the blog of Jen Woodhouse – The House of Wood DIY Life of a Military Wife. She has a ton of cool plans/projects, but the one that caught my eye was her Evelyn Chevron King Bed.  I got the plans over a year ago, so this wood has been patiently waiting to be reinvented.  The plans include side rails and foot board, but I’m not making those due to my adjustable bed frame.  Open shop hours are Wednesday and Saturday and I literally thought I have this portion down in one week, two days.  NOT.

The first step was getting the sheet of birch plywood to the shop.  Thankfully Tom (my finish carpenter/foundation repairer) was willing to pick a sheet up from Home Depot and bring it to me at the shop.  Per the plans I ripped it down to 77″ in width.  Next was preparing the beadboard.  I knew I wanted to remove the paint and graffiti and I thought it would mean stripping.  Fortunately months before I started I brought a piece into the shop and Scotti let me run it through the planer.  With one pass it removed most of the paint and graffiti.  What was left I felt would add character, so the plan was hatched and I spent the bulk of the first day planning down the boards.

Once I got what I thought would be enough I found and marked the center lines (both vertical and horizontal) on my plywood and I started cutting 45 degree cuts.  Jen’s plans had measurements for each length board, but she warned to measure first.  I made it one step easier.  I cut the 45 to be placed on the lines and left the boards long off the edge and planned to just trim all sides down once all boards were glued and nailed in place.

I started cutting pieces on July 13.  I got the last piece glued and nailed in place on August 3.  I didn’t work every Wednesday and Saturday and some days I only got a couple of hours in, but this worked my patience.  I didn’t butt the pieces tightly during the cutting phase.  I nailed and glued all of the pieces in one quadrant first.  When I started in the next about 3 boards in the lines didn’t align and by the end it was off by 1/2″.  I had to take them apart (I had glued a few) and scrape the groove or tongue of each piece.  Just the thickness of the residue paint was causing the issue.

Next came the trim up.  The first cut I asked Scotti to do as I had supreme fear of messing up weeks of work.  I successfully cut the remaining three sides (both long) and in that raw finished state I knew I had created something special.

From this point forward I am not working from the plans.  The wall that the head of my bed is located on is not wide enough to allow room for nightstands on either side.  I currently use a TV table to hold remotes, pocket contents, etc.  I had the idea of building a shelve above the headboard, which will give it depth away from the wall and creating dead space.  Scotti added to the idea and suggested I put shelves along the sides too.  So with that plan hatched I decided it would be really cool to have part of the backboard be the back of the top shelf.  Most of the board will be hidden behind pillows anyway.  Back to the cutting board.

Thank God Scotti was there to catch what would have been a disastrous cut.  We had the board straddled across the two work tables, which meant I would be pushing as far as I could, but then need to go around to the other side of the table to pull through the remainder of cut.  In that transition I pulled slightly away from my straight edge and Scotti saw it almost immediately.  Fortunately not much damage and if I hadn’t shared it in this post, most people would not be able to see it once it’s all complete.  Learn from the mistakes of others.

With that cut, it was time to take the board home to apply the finish.  There is a gentleman, Gene, that has adopted the Wood Shop donating all sorts of great tools.  He’s a master woodsman and super knowledgeable.  I was toying with either Polyacrylic, Polyurethane without or without stain.  Scotti mentioned that Gene recommended and prefers Danish Oil.  I spent an evening on the Internet doing research and decided to take that route.  I purchased Watco Danish Oil in natural.  Super easy product to apply.  I used a cheap sponge paint brush.  They tell you to keep applying if you see certain areas drying up (soaking in) the oil.  On the first coat that definitely was the case.

After the second coat.

Final coat.

With that the back of the head board is complete.  This project took a major twist last week.  Scotti encourages people to buy wood for their projects from Paxton Lumber.  Originally I had planned to get slabs of Ash from the Randy Wipert, Woodwrights Sawmill and Hardwood who had got the walnut logs from me last year.  He couldn’t produce them when I was ready so, over the phone I described the project to a clerk from Paxton.  I am very comfortable buying site unseen, but never again will I do that with a wood project.

When I arrived to pick up the wood I knew IMMEDIATELY it was not what I had envisioned in my minds eye.  I had approved white oak slabs, cut to 15/16″, in widths up to 12″.  Long story short, I bought the wood and resolved myself to make it work.  I actually spent an entire day in the shop working on the top shelf box.  The planer in the Wood Shop struggled on these long pieces of oak, but I got them planed, joined, and ripped to prepare for biscuit/gluing them together to create the true width I wanted.

I took a piece of scrap oak home and applied Medium Walnut, Natural, and Dark Walnut Danish Oil.  I didn’t love any of them, but was going to go with natural and then came the phone call that changed everything.  Lacey, the woman that gave me the pine floors for my kitchen, called and offered me some of the floor joist she was removing from her house.  True 2×12, 100 year old pine.  I jumped on it and picked up five pieces and went straight to the Wood Shop (it was a Saturday).  I spent the bulk of the time denailing one 20190814_214547joist, but once denailed I started running it through the planner.  10 passes and we didn’t put a dent in the wood.  I cleared enough to know that this was the wood my minds eye envisioned.  This one spot rubbed with the natural Danish Oil confirmed it.  It will take months to finish the board if I move forward with the pine.

So what to do.  Use the oak I purchased or create a fully salvaged headboard and use the pine.  You’ll have to keep checking my blog to see how this project is going to end.  Anyone want to lay bets?