Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Project Progress

March has been a very busy month.  We have been blessed in the Pacific Northwest with monsoon-like rains that have forced us indoors.  That means more projects getting finished indoors!  Here are a few of the most recent.

Framing Windows

Existing garage structure
We've invested a lot of time fixing the house since we bought it 5 years ago, but the same is not true with our garage.  This space has been critical for us to work on all the many projects over the years, but it isn't an attractive structure.  Our garage is capable of parking 4 cars and was originally connected to the street by a driveway that ran the full 200 foot length of our property.  We had other plans for this space, and have since pulled up most of the concrete and installed a greenbelt for gardening, an orchard, and an outdoor dining room (1500 sq. feet total).  Our long term plan is to covert the space into a workshop - the front half being an art/creative space and the back half a wood shop.  To see this vision through, our plan is to remove the double-wide garage door and install doors and windows in its place.

In-swing casement windows
Custom milled sill stock
We located a set of 8 in-swing casement window sashes that we really liked.  We purchased them several years ago with the intention of using them on the front of the workshop since they match the style of our home.  Unfortunately, they weren't framed, so that left us searching for instructions on how to build frames.  We came across wood shop plans for casement windows in Robert W. Lang's Shop Drawings for Craftsman Interiors.  We recently completed milling the window sills out of 2x6 dimensional cedar.  The bottom rail insert was custom sized for these particular windows.  This was a pretty fun project and required a custom jig to be built for the bandsaw to cut the sills with the appropriate slope to shed water.  In the coming weeks we'll begin cutting the side rails down to size to complete this window framing project.  Once finished, we will have two sets of 4 foot wide double casement windows, and a single 1 1/2 foot wide single casement window.  These will be combined with a double in-swing set of french doors to replace the existing garage door.  That will be a big step in converting the garage into a workshop.

Framing in the Dining Room Buffet Cabinet

We bought an original arts and crafts era built-in buffet cabinet that was salvaged from a home being demolished to make way for a parking lot.  While it is a sad story, it did give us the opportunity to salvage the cabinetry and build it into our own home.  The cabinet did not have finished sides since it was originally built into a wall.  We recently enclosed the top of the cabinet when we sheet rocked the ceiling, and gave the cabinet new sides made from clear vertical grain fir plywood.  In the coming months, we plan to finish the sides using a frame and panel look, and stain it to match the rest of the woodwork.  The cabinet is beginning to look like it was always a part of our home.

Dining Room Light Fixture

Refurbished dining room light fixture
We recently completed rewiring this light fixture that we found on Craigslist and have installed over our dining room table.  We were able to salvage the original Edison GE "Fat Boy" sockets, which date back to approximately 1905.  New wiring and new insulators, and the light is as good as new.  We ordered interesting replica Edison light bulbs which have yet to arrive.  We are still working to complete the fixture shades, which still have all the original slag glass.  It's nice to finally have a ceiling light fixture over our dining area.

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