Tag Archives: wood

*Cue the Pointer Sisters*

 

I’m so excited!

We had multiple contractors come over and give us estimates on our exterior barn project… (Staining, trimming, soffiting) and after I picked my jaw up off the ground and cursed the fact we didn’t have any children to sell… we chose a locally owned and operated company.

We’re on their schedule, but I don’t know when they’ll start.

 

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I’m sorry, that was a cruel tease…. and a shameless attempt to lure aged disco fans to my blog.  Please feel free to play Neutron Dance and curse me at your leisure.

Not trusting anyone else to pick out the trim boards, the husband dragged me to a lumber yard…

 

 

Where he closely examined and rejected dozens of 16 footers in the premium grade.

* Note to lumberyard workers – if you see my husband coming? Run. *

He refused so many, I swear the kid who was helping us starting sprouting grey hair.

After the first hour he delicately suggested we upgrade to the finish grade.

Which we did.

 

 

But…. silly boy, did he really think that would make a difference?

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn we were there the entire afternoon. And just when we were ready to leave?

The husband met a fellow Marine.

Another hour later… we left.

It’s amazing how exhausting it is standing around doing nothing. So much so, after we unloaded the truck…

 

 

Does that look like $450 worth of wood to you?

 

 

We fired up the grill….

 

 

And poured the adult beverages.

Dinner that night?

 

 

Lamb chops.

Life is good!

Can someone please explain the logic?

 

Because I’m a mere woman and not able to comprehend the genius that is the male mind.

 

 

I understand the need to temporarily seal up the big barn doors for winter. If the husband is going to spend all that money for a heat pump, we don’t want all the lovely warm air escaping. So a few insulated foam boards, some tape and call it good… right?

(Please remember the key word is temporary. This will be important later on.)

In my previous post I shared pictures of the frame, the double layer of foam boards, the plywood, and the finishing border.

 

 

And yes, those are two antique safes that weigh the combined equivalent of a small elephant herd.

 

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Do they open?

Well, they would if my husband had the combinations… which he doesn’t.

Good times.

But back to the doors. The temporary doors that he keeps assuring me will be easily removed.

When I went out there the other day?

This:

 

 

Yes.

 

 

There is now a shelf with an old stereo mounted on the temporary doors.

 

 

And quite high up on the temporary doors I might add.

 

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High enough so yours truly can’t reach the power button… which may or may not have been intentional.

So please help me out with the male logic of this.

In the event we need to open the barn doors… because you know, they’re doors and that’s kind of their thing…. we will need to:

 

1. unscrew the shelf brackets

2. remove the shelf

3. unhook the speaker wires

4. take down the stereo

5. remove the border frame

6. remove the plywood

7. remove the double layers of foam boards

8. remove the inner frame

 

Does this sound temporary to you?

Because my female brain is having  a hard time reconciling this kind of temporary.

 

And then there was wood.

But you probably guessed that from the first picture.

 

More specifically it was 16 foot long boards that weighed a ton and had to be dragged out of the big barn and across the lawn with yours truly trying my best not to drop them on her toes.

 

 

Of course it would have been too easy if they’d fit in the 16 foot long spaces. Where’s the fun in that? No… each one had to be measured and cut around the wonky interior frame.

 

 

After tar paper was laid out.

Why tar paper? Because the husband wanted a moisture barrier… but more importantly, because he already had two ancient rolls buried in the garage.

 

 

What was holding down the tar paper as we attempted to fit the boards you ask?

Absolutely nothing.

Good times.

 

 

Was it hot?

A mere 92 degrees in the shade.

 

 

Vintage tools and make shift tables?

Check.

 

 

Did he have enough boards?

Not really.

 

 

Were they all the same width?

Of course not.

 

 

Did he care?

I seriously doubt it.

 

Slow and steady wins the race.

 

But it doesn’t get your deck railing project finished any sooner.

We were back at it and it was still hot.

 

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Unfortunately the heat wave coincided with an extended dry spell and our lawn was starting to crunch.

 

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But old railings were torn down.

 

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And rusty nails exposed.

 

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I stained the new wood we had to waste almost 2 hours going to get that morning because someone… I won’t mention who… cut the other pieces incorrectly.

 

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And then that someone  (oops, my bad)  discovered a sander in the barn and wanted to play.

 

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He was fine on the flat surfaces, but scared me to death when he started trying to sand in between. That thing would hit a beam, jump out of his hand and spin wildly across the deck. It happened a dozen times but I could never quite catch it on film.

 

 

In between his legs.

Close to the power cord.

I knew something was gonna give, and it did.

 

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That thing jumped up and sliced his jeans right open. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt, but at that point I said no more sanding!

 

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Which he completely ignored and kept sanding.

 

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After sanding, and almost slicing his leg off?

He hammered nails.

 

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And swept the same portion of deck I had just swept.

Apparently I didn’t do it right.

We did manage to get a few pieces of wood installed before dinner.

With some gentle persuasion.

 

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So this was basically it.

 

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For a whole days work.

Good thing no one is paying us by the hour……

 

 

 

 

And the deck project begins.

 

But not before another trip to the store to buy wood.

 

 

(Yes, I know the husband is wearing his mask incorrectly but his glasses kept fogging up)

Two perfect pieces for the top of the railing had to be found. And even though we were searching through the more expensive smoothed cedar boards?

 

 

They were rife with holes, chops, cracks and warty blemishes.

After 45 minutes…

 

 

We moved on to the 2×4’s.

 

 

Is it any wonder our small weekend projects turn into 3 month long slog fests?

 

 

So this is our deck, and those are the railings that will be replaced.

Hopefully by the end of summer.

Of 2020.

 

 

First step…. remove the old railings.

The first few were easy as they had been screwed.

 

 

Then it got harder with massive doubled rusty nails that didn’t want to let go.

 

 

Did I mention we picked the middle of a heat wave with record breaking temperatures to start this project.

How hot was it….?

 

 

Okay, not quite. Though it felt that way.

That thermometer was sitting on the table in direct sunlight.

It was actually this hot, in the shade.

 

 

And for Maine?

That is insanely frickin’ hot.

 

 

But progress was made.

 

 

And halted when rotting beam sections had to be cut out.

 

 

With 1950’s era tools.

 

 

Yes, I’m afraid so.

And you know what happens when you use power tools from the middle of the last century?

 

 

Nothing good.

It’s just wood.

 

No, not that kind of wood.

The kind that my husband wanted to replace this:

 

 

Our deck railings, which are rotting in a few places.

I’ve tried to talk him into ripping the whole deck out and putting in Trek composite…. yours truly is tired of staining every 2-3 years…. but no. He got half of the deck wood at a yard sale, for free.

It must be preserved.

Did it match the existing wider deck planks?

 

 

No. But you’re not supposed to notice that.

So…. we shopped for wood and different railings.

 

 

If you’ve never shopped for wood with my husband you don’t know what you’re missing.

 

 

He used to run a quality assurance shop for helicopters in the Marine Corps and he takes quality seriously.

Does it surprise you to learn that we spent more than an hour searching for 2 pieces….. and he didn’t find any he liked?

 

 

It shouldn’t.

But I did come home with new bronze deck balusters.

 

 

To be continued….

Because they’re odd.

 

I love odd, in case you haven’t been paying attention.

And on my normal route to the grocery store?

I pass this:

 

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A bit personal as questions go, but delightfully odd.

And as my grocery store has been running low on sugar lately…

This:

 

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Golden?

I’m fervently hoping they’re not talking about showers…. but anything that’s less processed usually gets my vote.

And adding to the growing list of  FFS, the panic buyers are still at it  substitute products I have to buy now?

This:

 

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I must confess, I’m a trifle afraid of the Cousin Willie brand.

The more I stare, the more that ear of corn on the top right starts to look menacing… but I’ll be brave and soldier on.

At least it’s not as terrifying as this red pepper.

 

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I agree.

Chocolate is always the safer bet.

 

 

More baby annoyances.

 

This week the baby barn saga is a two-fer…. lucky you!  I spent far too much time on the husband’s rusty crap  stuff yesterday, so today?

Deconstruction.

 

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Old shingles had to come off first and that was a nightmare. They’re over 40 years old and brittle as hell. Pieces and parts at best, and it seemed like every nail he tried to pull was bent.

 

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                                             *inserts required ‘porn for women’ shot here*

Sweep, baby… sweep!

 

 

Walls were coming off left and right….

 

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And we seemed to be making progress.

 

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How’s that for an action shot?

Mid air plywood!

 

 

More sweeping…

 

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A little rotted wood.

 

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(It was only holding up the roof, and my husband… no worries.)

 

 

And a room with a view later…

 

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The rain that wasn’t supposed to start until after midnight was threatening and we had to scramble to waterproof.

 

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This meant a patchwork of zip siding with a corner that wasn’t exactly … how shall we say?

 

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Squared.

Followed by my favorite part.

 

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Rolling out and tacking down tar paper in 30 mph wind.

 

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Please note I’m risking life and limb giving you roof top photos.

You can call me crazy, but you can’t say I don’t go the extra mile for my readers.

 

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So this is where we left it… weird, but water tight.

One dry days work, and a full half a day covering it up for the next rain storm. Had we started this stupid project in September…. when we were begging for moisture, instead of October… where it rains very other day, I dare say we’d be further along by now.

Things I like today.

 

1.  Kicking back on the barn porch on a summer evening after a long day of mowing and trimming the lawn?

Wonderful.

 

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Margarita in a can?

Not so much.

 

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But it’s alcohol.. with a view.

So I like.

 

2.  With a shout out to Mona at  Wayward Sparkles  who introduced me to this marvelous piece of mechanical engineering)

I read her blog and thought, damn…. I have to have one.

And then I thought, gifts!

So I had to have 2 more.

 

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Are you all here?

Good.

Viola!

 

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A bell you can ring to summon the elixir of the Gods.

In pink no less!

I believe this little darling will be getting quite a work out at Casa River.

If only I could order the hot cabana boy to go with it…

I like.

 

And finally, ladies…

Do you have old, dry wood?

No, I’m not talking about your husbands.

 

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We have stained wood moulding,  doors, window frames and sills, and built in stained bookcases etc. basically every piece of trim is unpainted wood. They’re original to the house and tend to dry out/fade from sunlight and winter heating.

So I found this on Amazon –

 

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Half a bottle did 12 doors and frames, 5 windows and frames and 2 large tables.

It’s good stuff. Witness the before and after…

 

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Brings back the shine and feeds your thirsty wood with very little effort.

I like.

 

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Thank you..

Thank you very much.