What is a Plinth?

Merriam-Webster provides these definitions:

1a: the lowest member of a base SUBBASE b: a block upon which the moldings of an architrave or trim are stopped at the bottom 2: a usually square block serving as a basebroadlyany of various bases or lower parts 3: a course of stones forming a continuous foundation or base course

Why am I posing that question? Thanks to CenterBank and their Vice President, Manager, Doug Barnaclo, I’m going to be able to move forward with painting my house!!!! With earnest I’ve been obtaining bids from painters and one asked me what I planned to do with my second floor trio of windows, one located on each side of the house. They are the only windows on the house that have “plinths” and they are in really bad shape or missing entirely.

Stock Street side of my house. 2nd from left plinth is half missing; 3rd is just a chunk of 2×4
Neighbor side of house. 1st from left is a chuck of wood, 2nd I took down and will show later, 3rd half missing

I’m going to work on the neighbor side first as I can reach these from inside my master bedroom. The Stock Street side is the master bath and the two smaller windows don’t open. I have a crappy extension ladder, so I may invest in a new one or at least purchase a ladder stabilizer. I didn’t intend to remove the original completely, but it didn’t put up a fight as clearly the piece was already broken and poorly attached with just caulk. I learned what these were called during a chat with Architectural Depot representative Sam Pease. I found this company on the internet over a year ago when I was looking for something to create a round effect at the top of my dormer windows (I talked about that problem in my post 2nd Floor Windows Finally Complete, Sort Of). I sent him a similar picture and he sent me a link to the products they carry. The closes I could find in the width I needed was the Ekena Millwork PB06X09X01DI 6 1/4-Inch W x 9 3/4-Inch H x 1-Inch P Diane Plinth Block, which I found cheaper on Amazon.

The problem with this plinth, is it’s thinner than the original wood piece. It’s longer too, but I can cut away the access length when I cut the needed angle. This plinth is also a little more decorative than the original. I’ve already worked through my mind how to solve the thickness issue, so stay tuned for a future post on that.

What I’m still wrestling with is how much of the ornateness to keep. Clearly I will cut away the majority of the bottom of the Diane plinth, but I could also cut off layers from the top. I’m leaning towards option 2, which means I’ll have a opening at the top of this plinth. I’m thinking that shouldn’t be an issue as the opening shouldn’t be exposed as this piece is resting under the pilaster and I could use caulk to fill the space. I’d love your thoughts as I plan to finish the headboard project before jumping into this. Also I’ve only ordered two of these plinths, since I’m pulling another of my famed MacGyver tricks to deal with the thickness issue. I’ll order the other 6 if it works. If anyone knows of a thicker product, other than a custom milled piece, let me know.

Calling An Audible

Properly cut rafters I believe was the most important aspect of building my shed.  I messed up on my one attempt and gave up on trying again.  My former neighbor got the job done, but he wasn’t neat about the cuts.  I would have been.  He used a jig saw, all hand cuts.   I would have used my miter saw to at least ensure the lengths were consistent . They weren’t the same lengths, depths of cuts on the angles weren’t consistent.  It was noticeable to the naked eye, but not significant or so I thought.  He joked that its just a shed.  Well………I believe those imperfections were the main cause for my panels not meeting on the corners.  The gaps weren’t consistent either.  The plans did not call for any trim on the back of the shed.  I would have to add to hide the gap.

First step was putting the fascia boards on the front and sides.  When I did the front it revealed how crooked the roof sheeting was.  This would not have happened if the Voerhang plates had been installed correctly. The left side extended past the fascia, so since that was a small panel I decided to remove it and push it back.  Doing so narrowed the gap in the back that bothered me when I hung it with my neighbor.  The plan called for two 52 1/4″, 1x4s.  Since I needed to purchase more pieces for the back, I got 10′ lengths, so that could be one solid piece.  I couldn’t see why there was a reason for two pieces outside of the plan listed all 8′ length boards.  Putting the drip edge on top of the fascia makes total sense to me now.

The side fascia had more thought involved.  Adding the back trim meant I was extending the back of the shed, which I would need to account for.  It meant altering the length called for in the plan by the width of the trim board, 3/4″. I cut it an inch longer as the gap at the top was wider than bottom.  The plans called for a 67 degree angle, which is beyond the range of my miter saw.  After the rafter issue I bought a digital angle finder from Home Depot.  Worked like a charm, especially when I applied my straight-edge technique before cutting.

Adding the trim on the vertical sides would mean there would be a 3/4″ gap between the trim pieces at the top.  I wasn’t sure how that would impact installing the drip edge or shingles at the top, so I decided to add a horizontal trim piece as well.  I could have easily installed the 1×4 board cut to the right length, but I knew the slope of the roof was 23 degrees.  I decided to rip the side of the board at 23 degrees also (ok, I was showing off at this point, for who I don’t know).  Once I got the piece installed, it revealed how crooked my back panel install was.  This is where working solo was not wise.  No worries, I used my reciprocating saw to remove the excess with my 23 degree angle as my guide.

I had already cut the rear side trim per the plans, so that created another gap at the top that probably wouldn’t be an issue, but I decided to create to cap pieces to conceal a crevice I thought would make a great place for bees or hornets to nest in.  At this point I considered myself an angle master.  The top angle was 23 degrees, while the bottom was 67.

With the sun setting fast I wanted to get the rear drip edge on, so I could jump on the shingles on the next dry day, but the gap between the back siding and roof sheathing was wider than the drip edge.  More audibles would be in store and the shed project would carry over into another week.

She’s So Cute

Painting the shed in my house colors was brilliant as it confirms that my house is going to be gorgeous when I get it painted.

This will be a short post as I didn’t do a lot, but what was done was substantial.  I put the 1×3 trim around the door opening.  I painted it before hanging with Lowe’s Valspar Duramax tinted in Sherwin Williams’ Incredible White.  Lowe’s didn’t carry the Weathershild I bought for the shed in quarts.  I ordered the T-hinges from Amazon and stupidly only ordered two sets.  I needed three, so the shed won’t be officially complete until Monday when the third set arrives.

Hanging the doors was amazingly easy.  I pulled out my house jack again which worked like a charm.  I had both doors hung in less than an hour.  Rains are returning on Sunday, so tomorrow I’m going to focus on the roof, with hopes of having the shingles on by end of the day.  Even if I don’t get everything finished, with the doors it’s a functional storage unit and ready to store my yard tools.

Sugar Tin Pies

Why am I featuring a picture of a pie in the middle of my shed build project?  This was my reward for the end of this phase of work.  Sugar Tin Pies (@sugartinpies) is a new cottage industry that just started up in Cincinnati by Cassandra Jones, a person I met at one of my client’s conferences.  This is her 6″ pie, the perfect size for me.  I’ll get three servings out of it.

I was looking forward to the weekend, so I could put a full day into the project.  Rain was 20200424_163317coming in the afternoon on Saturday and expected to rain all day Sunday.  Bone head move on my part, I decided to start the day installing the drip edge followed by the roofing paper.  Well the drip edge actually also goes on top of the fascia.  I’m not sure why or how I managed to skip several pages in the plans, but I wasted valuable time and will have to remove it when I do get to the fascia.  Fortunately only a waste of about $10 in material.

Per the plans, I ordered 6 sheets of T1-11 siding.  I cut the two front pieces from the same sheet.  The two sides were a sheet each.  The back would take two full sheets, so I realized I didn’t have enough for the two doors.  In hindsight I should have cut a door and one front piece from the same sheet, it would have been nice if the plans told you to do that. This was a bit more expensive mistake as it meant buying another sheet at $35.  I got it from Home Depot, so they could cut it for me otherwise I couldn’t get it home.  I had them cut it to the exact length of 70 1/2″, but only cut enough width that allowed it in my car.  I did the fine tune cutting at home.  In route to home I picked up my pie, but Cassandra also made me some spaghetti sauce.  I could smell the rain coming, so if I had any hope of getting the sides up I needed to work fast.

The front pieces are only 18″ wide, so very easy to handle and nail up.  The plans called for 2″ 6d nails, so I had to bag my little friend and pull out my hammer.  Nails every 8″ on each stud.  The side pieces took a bit more work.  I really could have used another person, but I pulled out my house jack and that worked amazingly well.  So well that I jacked the roof rafter up.  I expected it to stop/give resistance once the top met the Voerhang plate, but it didn’t.  The ease in which that rafter came up was concerning.  One bad storm with gusty winds and I could see my shed roofless, so I decided to reinforce the connections with 4″ Timberlock screws that I had.  Now the two extra rafters Bill had me add had a purpose.  For the back side I was able to easily add the screws into them as the were offset from the wall stud.  The front was a bit more complicated because of the additional support beams and angles to reach the right part of the rafter.  In the case where I could drill straight up, but had three boards to go through, I drilled a 1/2″ hole through the bottom board.  That would allow the screw to go into the rafter by at least an inch.  For the rafter where an angle was involved.  I drilled at an angle and then inserted the screw.  I could see the rafters drawing up tight.  This was a very smart add on.

I got the left side and front up with sunny skies.  The right side up in steady rain.  The back would have to wait for another day.  The beauty of this rain is it forced me to stop working at decent time to eat and I had not worked to the point of exhaustion that day.

The main reason I lost so much weight on my house restoration project is I was too tired to cook, or stopped to late to order delivery, or it was too late to eat if I did (I don’t like to go to bed on a full stomach). Thanks to Cassandra I had dinner waiting.  My cousin Alex had stopped by to bring me 20200425_190815face trimmers for my dogs and she was kind enough to stay long enough to cook some pasta noodles for me.  I just had to heat up some garlic rolls.  I’m not sure how I got to age 55 without ever having a significant other in my life, but I sure hope Mr. Right can cook and would enjoy preparing a meal for me to eat at the end of a hard days work.  The sauce was fabulous, hearty with a slight kick.  I ate it while watching The Way Back on Amazon Prime (not as good as I hoped it would be).

It was only about 8:30p, so I decided to wait on that first slice of pie and go in the basement to work on the doors.  I used my straight edge method again and got the width made.  If you haven’t figured out yet the shed colors will match the house colors, right down to yellow doors.  I had about a half quart of the yellow left and same of wood primer.  I knew it wouldn’t be enough for both doors, but buying quarts would be cheaper than gallons.  On my full stomach of pasta I lost all track of time.  I got both doors built, but ran short on primer.  It was after midnight at this point, too late to enjoy pie.

Sunday I ran to Sherwin Williams to get another quart of Harvest Yellow and Ace Hardware in Clifton for a quart of primer (no way was I paying SW prices for a shed door-I had used up some Kilz 2 primer I had in basement, so bought more of that, $10).  I applied the primer and let it dry while I worked on a client’s project.  Cassandra called to let me know she had made me another treat, a garlic cheddar, tomato, and spinach quiche.  I’ll have a great breakfast or lunch tomorrow.  She brought it around 6pm, so that prompted me to return to the basement and apply the yellow paint.  Doors complete.

I finished early enough to enjoy a bacon cheeseburger for dinner and my first slice of peach pie.  It was worth the wait.  The crust was made from scratch and it was flavorful, 20200426_235525flaky, and tender to the chew.  Honestly this is one of the best peach pies I’ve ever had.  Not overly sweetened, which made the scoop of vanilla ice cream I had not feel like a put a teaspoon of sugar in my mouth.  The peaches were firm, not mushy like so many that I’ve had.  She definitely did not use can peaches.  Her blend of spices were point on.  I most certainly tasted cinnamon, perhaps a hint of ginger and lemon peel too.  I’ll definitely get another as a reward for the finished project, this time cherry.

A Musical Interlude

Twelve years ago I met and became friends with a beautiful soul, Norma Petersen.  She passed away a few years ago in her 90s, but I remain friends with her even more beautiful family.  Her son Steve Petersen is my real estate agent; he helped me sell my childhood house and worked with me for almost a year before I found my current home.  His daughter Anna is the talented welder that helped me save my vintage cement basement sink.

Norma with Adam and SusanCovid-19 is slowing down my projects and thus posts, so I thought I’d share something that I hope you’ll find even more uplifting.  Steve’s wife Susan is a cellist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and their son Adam is a gifted musician and graduate of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.  I’ve had the pleasure of hearing this duo live when they played at Norma’s 85th birthday party.  In our forced state of Stay at Home, they’ve gotten together to share their talents, I’m sure, to spread joy to all that are missing live classical performances.  This is their rendition of Chopin Cello Sonata, Op 65, Adagio.  ENJOY!

If you would like to hear more music from this fabulous mother son duo they released a CD in 2014 called Swan Song; music inspired by the great cellist Pablo Casals and his famous recordings of some of the most treasured pieces in the cello repertoire.

If You Selected Lullaby…..

20190805_174221I’ve been cited by the City of Cincinnati for the outside condition of my house.  Apparently they have been sending me letters for almost a year (they’ve been going to my old house), so their final notification to get my attention was sticking a Not Approved for Occupancy sticker on my front door.  They want any wood or metal surface painted, they don’t care about the asbestos siding as it won’t rust or rot.  Also my front porch is not to code, the side drop is more than 30″ (I guess the 1924 City administration thought differently on heights), so I have to either put a railing on that side of porch or raise the height of the soil.

This is what is prompting the painting of the foundation.  A railing may or may not be part of my future pergola for the porch, but that’s not happening any time soon and I’m not putting up a cheap make-shift railing, so I’m raising the soil level.  I want to paint the foundation before doing so.  The foundation includes the basement windows, so it also allows me to start tackling some of the wood surfaces as the frames around the glass blocks is wood.

I’ve gotten four quotes to paint my house ranging from $5000 to $16,000.  Based on in depth conversations with two of the vendors, the two quotes in the middle $7,000 and $13,000, I know did not include removing all the old paint from the windows; something I feel needs to be done as there is already too much paint on them.  Any definition in the moulding is already barely noticeable.  Both of the companies said they could remove the old paint, but they’d charge by the hour to do so.  One estimated that it would take 6 hours per window, but he said removing paint would also mean he’d have to sand the wood.  I have 34 windows in my house.  I decided to remove the paint from the basement windows to test the theory.  Schuloff Tool Rental let me buy the heat gun I had rented previously for $30.  It took me approximately 30 minutes to remove all paint from one window.   There are ten basement windows.

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Doing so revealed some detail in the wood that was completely lost in the many layers of paint I removed.  It confirmed for me that the windows need to be more than scraped.  I can see why you should sand following, get them completely smooth, but I’m not looking for that level of perfection.  I see more sweat equity in my future.

Thanks to those that provided input on the foundation color for my house.  Before 20200403_163023putting out the ask I was leaning towards Lullaby.  While it was a very close vote Lullaby edged out by two, so I picked up my primer/sealer from Sherwin Williams, Loxon, and had them tint it Lullaby.

Pre-Front Door

When I first bought the house I bought a quart of Sea Serpent to paint the boards that boarded up the broken side-lights from the original door.  I had some left, so I decided to paint a strip of the siding near the foundation, so I could see how the two colors look together.  Lullaby is too light and too blue.  I took pictures right after I painted and throughout the day today.  It looked its best right after painting.

The Loxon does not go very far.  One gallon only covered about 1/3 of house.  I bought two, if I need a third I’m tempted to have it tinted Uncertain Gray.  I wish Sherwin Williams sold sample pints.  I have so many sample quarts in the basement I didn’t want to buy more.  I’m pretty certain Uncertain Gray is the best choice for the final coat.

Color Options

Covid-19 Is Rocking Everyone’s World

No, I have not been infected nor am I paranoid to the extent that I’m wearing mask in public.  However it did make me to remember to use my mask when I’m sanding, something I generally forget to do.  I haven’t made a post in awhile, so this will be an update on the two projects I’ve been working on, my dining room table and headboard.

Filling the holes/cracks in my walnut boards of my dining room table is my new skill set.  The first step was taping the underside anywhere epoxy to could seep through. 

20200301_141537I used TotalBoat 5:1 Epoxy Resin, Slow Hardener.  This was a very easy product to use.  I bought the quart size that came with metered pumps.  One pump of resin dispensed the five parts to the one pump of hardener, 1 part.  Mix for at least two minutes and then you have about 20 minutes to work with it.  I was amazed how much epoxy went into small cracks or holes.  I made three trips to the Manufactory before all the holes were filled.  I definitely will have some clean up to do as I applied too much in some areas.  I’ll do better on my next project.  

The only other thing I accomplished on the table was rejoining a set of the boards I split when I first started this project.  The center of the table will be the board I bought from Urban Edge Wood Works, but I wanted a wide board to rest on each side of it.  Only one of my boards was left uncut, so I needed to rejoin at least one. I chose the one on the left.

No pics of the glue up process, but it didn’t come out very well.  The board is barely over an inch thick and I’ll have to plane it more as the seam didn’t line up through the entire length.  I’m hoping I won’t lose the board altogether as my target width of 38″ is dependent upon using it. The joined board has the tape measure next to it in the picture on the left. Shown there is approximately 50″ in width of boards.  I don’t want sap (white of boards) in the center of the table, so once that is cut away I have about 42″ in width.  The picture on the right were the worst of all my boards and still in their original state.  Hopefully they will make the skirt for the table.

The Governor of Ohio has locked down the state, so today was the last day until further notice to work at the Manufactory.  Just as well as it relates to the table as according to Kendall I’ve taken it as far as I can with him and the Manufactory’s equipment.  I’ve brought my boards home where they will stay in my living room until Covid-19 has passed, I find a shop to complete it myself or pay someone to do it.

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Most of the headboard project has been in my basement waiting for me to do the staining, so with the dining room table on hiatus the headboard has my full focus.  My workbench was my first 100% solo build and it will be the perfect surface to assemble the top of the headboard.  The Manufactory let me borrow their biscuit joiner, the only piece of equipment I didn’t have at home, but needed to complete the project.

With my slots made I turned to sanding the inside of all the pieces, so I could finally tackle the stain, hence the mask.  I applied the same custom stain I used on the side shelves.  The color looks perfect against my beadboard section.

I’ve decided to apply polycrylic to the bottom of the top shelf since it will be a surface that items will set on it, three coats.

The rest of the oak pieces will have Danish oil.  I’ll let it rest overnight and the tomorrow I’ll tackle building the box, which brings me closer to the finish line of this project.

The Manufactory – Where My Ideas Will Take Shape

I need projects.  My house is too quiet, too still, too empty without projects to keep my mind from going negative, so I’ve joined The Manufactory, a 17,000 sq. ft. membership makerspace located on Mosteller Road in the northern burbs of Cincinnati.  This place is the Camp Washington WoodShop on steroids that I stumbled across on the Internet when I was searching for a larger planer to use for my headboard project.  I’ve joined for a month, so I’m on the clock to complete my headboard, make my dining room table, office desk, and master suite beverage station.

Kendall Glover

I spent a few hours there on MLK Day with the goal of just planing all my oak boards for the headboard shelve and trim.  My plan was to use the Manufactory’s larger capacity planer, but build it at the WoodShop.  I got the planing done and was comtemplating over using their joiner or waiting to do that at the WoodShop when another member, Kendall Glover asked if I needed any help.  He may regret ever asking.  Kendall has been a woodworker for 20 years and his woodworking business name is Conjure Craft Woodworkers, but woodworking is not his day job.  This picture is a beautiful dresser he made.  Looks like he could go full-time to me.

After about an hour of conversation my whole plan of building at the Woodshop had been nixed.  What I love about the “creative community” is they are willing to share their knowledge when they come across people that are sincerely interested in learning.  He convinced me to leave my oak slabs for the headboard there vs. lugging them back home.  We discussed at length my dining room table, so before they closed I decided to retrieve my walnut slabs from my storage locker.  He agreed to help me prep my walnut for the dining room table, so he suggested that I allow the wood to acclimate to their space.  So, now on top of my membership I am renting two cubbies to store my wood.  Sista Girl w/ Skills is getting ready to elevate to a whole new level.

The beauty of the Manufactory is they are open 7-days a week.  I would be very hard pressed to get my projects done in a timely manner at the WoodShop when their open shop hours are limited to Wed 3-9p and Sat 12-5p.  I often have work conflicts on Wednesday.  The other thing I love is the community atmosphere.  I met Kendall on Thursday night and he introduced me to other avid woodworkers.  All welcomed me and offered assistance if needed.

I brought with me more wood; the wood I needed for the headboard shelf boxes and before he left, Kendall helped me lay out a revised plan (he gave me some great feedback that I will incorporate) for building them out.  We also discussed the game plan for the dining table, which we’ll start working on Sunday afternoon.  I didn’t have much time to work, Serena was playing at 9p, but I got the top, bottom, and side pieces for the two side shelf units cut.  I did bring them home as I want to stain the insides and drill the holes for the adjustable shelves.

If all goes well I should be gifting myself for Valentine’s Day (give to yourself if you have no other sources) a dining table and headboard.

It’s a Wrap

All repairs to the walls/moulding damaged while trying to install the office door were corrected and the final moulding around the inside of the room was installed.  This marks the completion of the final room in my house.

In addition to completing the office, I was able to take extra door trim to dress the basement exterior (not doing anything to the basement side of basement door) and kitchen exterior doors.  All of the closets have been dressed, except for the kitchen pantry and guest bedroom closet  (intentionally left off) with floor and inside door moulding.  This means the inside restoration is a wrap.

I held a Birthday Open House to celebrate the occasion on Saturday and was amazed by the number of people; colleagues, clients, friends, family, that came to see the work that had been accomplished.  Approximately 40 people braved the torrid rainfall and gusty winds.  It was a proud moment.  I absolutely loved showing her off and I was overwhelmed by the 100% positive feedback I received.  It was humbling, but my inner soul was enjoying the praise.  The flow of people was constant throughout the 3-hour event and I was so busy giving tours that the only picture I have as evidence of the wonderful afternoon is the haul of gifts received.  Also overwhelming; I haven’t had that many gifts to open at one time since undergrad graduation.

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I was asked what is my favorite room in the house.  It is the hallway leading to and including the guest bedroom, all done in tribute to my mother that I so wish were alive to share this moment with me.  She’s been gone almost 20 years and the void her death left is still strong.  I adorned the hallway with pictures of her from childhood through early adult and the guestroom walls are filled with more items in tribute to her.  I am my mother’s only child and because I made the conscious decision to not have children I wanted her pictures and awards to have life.  Once I’m gone I don’t know if anyone else will care.

The furniture was hers, she loved the Victorian style.  I remember her joy when it was delivered.  The quilt on the bed is one she purchased during a trip we made to Gatlinburg, but barely used.  It was on her bed when she came home from the hospital for the last time, but she had me take it off when her meds made her vomit.  She feared ruining it.  I’ve stored it for the last 20 years.  It falls a little short on this modern thick mattress, but I don’t care.  I’ve saved it for this very moment.

The celebration did not end with the Open House.  I had about an hour to clean up for a 6 pm quaint dinner party with five friends that were joining me for the Najee concert at the Ludlow Garage.  Najee was my go to study music in undergraduate school, so when I got the email that he was going to be right up the road I thought that would be a great birthday activity.  His Najee’s Theme LP was one of the first vinyl records I played once I got my sound system set in my master suite, so I took the cover with me to the concert in hopes of getting it signed.  Thanks to Robbie Todd, the promoter that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since the World Choir Games, it was signed, “To Venus.  Thank You Love Najee”.

Reaching this moment is bittersweet.  I’ve been an emotional wreck all week (damn menopause).  My heart is heavy, the tears have flowed.  This project has consumed my life for two years.  Almost every vision I had for the house from my very first walk through with Joe Gorman, Executive Director of Camp Washington Community Board, have come true.  The two areas that are a disappointment, the kitchen floor and spa-like function of the master shower, are correctable.  I should be elated, but this milestone sadly coincided with being confronted with the reality that a person I held in significance and had envisioned enjoying this house with will never be a part of it.  I’ve restored a beautiful house, but now struggle with figuring out how my house will become a home.  She deserves to be filled with sounds of laughter and joy, not hollow solo footsteps and TV noise.  I hope I’ll be able to replicate January 11 many times moving forward.  It was a special day I’ll cherish for a long time.

I was also asked what is next.  I know I can and will fix the kitchen floor.  I’ll add a steam unit to the master shower.  I will finish my master bed headboard, make my dining room table and office desk.  Hopefully by spring a loan from a bank would have come through and I can enjoy watching a contractor paint the exterior and then start Phase Two of the vision, the detached garage.  With a slight tweak of the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage, skill, patience, finances, to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

I was still cleaning up things minutes before the first guest arrived, so I did not have a chance to hang before pictures in each room allowing people to see the transformation.  Enjoy this before and after slideshow.

What Doesn’t Kill Ya Makes Ya Stronger

I was not in the right mental frame of mind to hang the last door of my house.  I had asked and paid Scotti to do to this door, what he had done for the basement door, but with the holidays and his having family in town he returned to me a door slab and jamb; basically what I gave him in the beginning minus the lock was installed.  That got the project started on the wrong foot because I knew I would not be able to hang by myself without the hinges set to the right place.  Annoyed, but not deterred, I purchased a Milescraft HingeMate kit from Woodcraft and took the door to the WoodShop around 2:30 pm Saturday (one of only two open shop days) because I’ve allowed Scotti to use my router and table.  I also hoped he’d help make sure I had the markings in the right place.

I’ve said it before and will repeat again, I’m not proficient, which means I’m not efficient.  It took me 3 hours to route in the 3 hinges.  I got the first one done and decided to put it back in the jamb with the hinge pin in to make sure the other marks were right.  Well I cut it about 1/8″ to high on jamb, which made for a tight/close fit at the top of the door.  Good thing I did the fit as that made my marks for the remaining hinges off and they appeared to be way off anyway.  It was 4:45 pm at that point and the shop closes at 5 pm.  Scotti helped me make the correct marks and I scrambled to try and finish by 5, hoping now that I had the process it would be fast.

Well with the second hinge, I put my jig on the wrong side of door, which meant the cut was reversed.  I was in tears by this point, so Scotti chiseled out the piece of wood that should have been on the opposite side.  Really not a big deal, but a mistake I was mad I made.  The salvage door turned out to be slightly, 1/4″, smaller in width than the original door as recessing the hinges created too large of a gap at the opening.  This is something Scottie could have corrected when he had the door for three weeks, but fortunately he made the correction now, so I could work on the third hinge.  I left around 5:30.  No pictures from any of that work as I was just frustrated at myself.  The kit worked beautifully, so glad I purchased.  Here’s a company video so you can see what I did.

Once home I ate first (hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast) and then got started hanging.  This was the fourth door in jamb I installed by myself, so I really was expecting this to go quick. Oh so wrong.  My house slopes, so the opening was not level and it created a gap at the top, right side of door that I just could not figure out.  My mind kept saying cut the jamb on the high side, but my inner voice said don’t do it.  I turned the top of the jamb into a pin cushion with so many nail holes from multiple attempts.  I took a chunk out of the top of the door; I crushed my mother’s lamp, damaged the moulding on the closet door, and gauged the wall when I lost grip and it fell inward; and I cracked the drywall which will need to be repaired and painted before I hang the inside moulding.  At 4:12 am I went to bed with more tears, dejected and defeated.

Sunday morning I was awakened at 8a (so four hours of sleep) by a text alert on my phone that turned out to be a you can earn $130 by completing this survey from Amazon scam (I really hate that our text are now being invaded in the same way our emails are with these scams).  Tired, but in clearer mind, I decided to skip church, turn on my Pandora Yolanda Adams station, eat some bacon and toast, and climb back on the bull that had thrown me a few hours earlier.

What I needed most was another set of hands, so I went in my basement and got three pieces of lathe from a pile I kept and screwed them to the jamb.  That gave me something more substantial to hold and kept the door in proper alignment.  It also allowed me to step back, without fear of the door falling inward, and clearly see where my gaps were and their size.

The slope of house created large gaps on the upper right, bottom left and small to no gaps on bottom right, upper left.  The large gaps were too big for normal door shims, so I headed to my basement for the scrap wood pile and proceeded to build out the opening in the areas needed until I could get to a point that normal shims would work.  In just 2 hours and 45 minutes the door was hung.  I had to plane a little off the side of door near top as it rubbed slightly, but the door was in.  I’m not sure if the original door’s knob was in the same place as this one, but I was amazed how the knobs of the closet and door stacked, so they would never hit together; a great turn of events from a door that truly kicked my ass.  I thought hanging this door would be my final post announcing It’s a Wrap, but I have to repair the damage I caused first, before I can hang the inside moulding.

Everything must be done by Friday as I’ve scheduled a Birthday Open House on Saturday, so no rest for the weary.  I tried to send all my local followers an invite, so if I missed you, but you’d like to see her in person, send me a message.