Sunday, February 12, 2012

Alright, Photo Time! (Part 2)

This is the Office floor register I mentioned earlier. The way it was set-up, the house used to have several ducts that were basically just the spaces in between the log beams filled-in with boards on each side, or along the bottom (as in this case), and tinned on the bottom. They reused part of this when they did this newer duct, but they had left all the useless large bits of wood along the beams. I wanted all the extra head room, so I took that all down. This was a bit tricky since there were a few wires that passed through these boards.

One of the boards can be seen on the right, and the other one on the left is a vertical one, which I had to partially chop. I wanted to remove it entirely, but for some odd reason it goes into the foundation (into the cement) and is nailed into the wooden log in many places, so I left it. There's a similar one on the opposite side (both facing the front of the house. I would have thought that they might have been for a porch, but it would mean that the porch would have been a LOT wider, and I'm pretty sure the existing one is original, so these are a mystery.

This is an updated photo as of tonight. You can sort of see that I decided to also remove the old drywall and scraps of wood on the left side of the electric panel. I also cleaned out all the wood/dirt.

Fixing the duct/floor upstairs in the L Room was a fairly routine job by now. Cut out old damaged planks, mark for the location of the new register "boot", add supporting blocking below floor, and patch. Also note that I fixed the loose cable wire and put a cable plate/outlet for it.

You can see down into the Office!

Ta-Dah! You can see light shining up through the vent since I had not installed the round stack yet.

Stack redone:

This area is still a mess of wires until I start to do the actual column and reroute some of the wiring, like that spare cable.

As I was working in this particular corner, I was able to reveal some of the GORGEOUS original hardwood. It's actually not maple, as I had thought, but Birch, which has a beautiful orange-yellow glow to it. These two pieces were cleaned-up and have pretty much no original finish left on them.

This is how far I got with the duct in the basement. I ran out of reusable pieces, since some were either too butchered, or too short to use. I will try to get more tomorrow. The pipe comes down at a slight angle because I want to continue the duct tight under/across the trunk beams. I also added that diagonal cross-piece to help support the sub-floor properly since the floor isn't really supported where it's cut through the diagonal boards.

This photo shows the underside of the Office floor register. You can also see the beam that I partially cut to be able to pass the duct later. If you look at this photo and the next one, you can see that the two ducts used to criss-cross over each other. The shorter one used to feed the Office, and the longer one, the L Room, but I plan to switch the two, and run them side by side, which will look/work much better.

This is the end that was jammed up into the floor of the L Room. It's so mangled and mutilated (this photo really doesn't do it justice) that about a foot or more of the piece is now completely unusable.

Now, fun stuff! I finally got hinges. I already went on about them 2-3 posts ago, but here they are. They are Stanley hinges (Stanley would very likely have been the same company that made the original hinges for the doors in the house, which is pretty neat, since they're still around). They are brass-plated steel, with solid brass tips/pin. I love how they look, since they are nearly exactly the same as old hinges, but I don't like how they connect/assemble together. I actually had a very hard time disassembling the first hinge until I figured out how they work. USUALLY, the bottom ball is fixed in place permanently, and the top ball is attached to the pin, which lifts out. Hinges have been made this way for AGES. But these work very differently, and If I had really forced them, I would have broken one. To get the pin out, the bottom ball has to be removed first. The second photo explains why.

Basically both ball tips screw on. Not the best system, since most people wouldn't automatically think to remove the bottom ball. But at 7$/hinge, they are decently priced, and they're the only usable hinge I've found in this style w/o having to order them online (and most of those are even more expensive anyways).

I stripped the lacquer on this first batch. I'll be picking up another batch soon (possibly tomorrow), and once they're all ready I'll antique them all at the same time.

They look about the same, but the lacquer is now off. I used hot water (just barely simmering) with a bit of TSP. Worked great! Soaked them over the stove on low for a few hours.

Lastly, this is a photo of Mark. This is the sample of orange-gold-brown that I had on hand. I want the dining room to be a sort of yellow-gold, but I don't want it too bright, or too dark, or too brown/bronze, so finding the right shade will be very tricky. This one is NOT a good candidate, but I wanted to post it anyways. If anyone else DOES like the colour, I have the recipe/code from the sample for it.

I will try to get another photo in natural light later.

That's it for now. That only took like an hour or two.

EDIT: There! Finally all fixed! Enjoy~!


  1. This is all amzing, JC. The more I look at your site, the more I think you could write a book on the project.

  2. So much work, and effort, and energy, and knowledge. I'm impressed with your stamina.