1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Measure Once, Cut 2 Million Times

We thought patching the master bathroom floor would be a simple affair. We had extra floor boards in the attic, and we even found some tongue and groove pine at Lowe's in case we needed more. Just cut 'em to fit, slap 'em in the hole. La dee da, the floor would be finished and ready for the prime-and-paint I was itching to give them.

We even bought the floor paint in a shade of medium brown called "Cloak and Dagger" (the walls will be "Treasure Map" ... a nod to all the adventures we've had in this room?).

But then we made the sad discovery that the floor boards in our bathroom are 3.5 inches wide, the boards in the attic are 3.25 inches wide, and the boards at Lowe's are 3.13 inches wide. There was much gnashing of teeth and deepening of forehead wrinkles.

The next step was to stand around in the bathroom and argue about possible solutions for about one million years. Finally, I picked up a piece of 1x4 that was lying about and tested it against the floor boards. Hmmm, it looked like the same width as the 3.5-inch boards.

So since the patches were small, we said screw tongue and groove and went for it with the 1x4s, of which we had many from tearing out the wall and linen closet in the bathroom. The two main patches required three 19.5-inch boards and five 23.5-inch boards. We used our new miter saw for the first time to cut them, and I love that thing!

But then, of course, we realized that "looks like the same width" is not the same as "is the same width." The 1x4s were 3/16 of an inch too wide.

So we took them over to our neighbors D&K's backyard woodworking shop and shaved the boards down on their tablesaw. What would we do without D&K? We would probably become starving, unwashed miscreants (they fed us dinner and offered us their shower when our water was off, too).

Once the boards were shaved down, they fit perfectly and everything was roses and sunshine. Well, almost. Darwin cut boards to patch a couple of other little spots with the old boards he took out when he patched the floors, but then he found out the other side of the bathroom has 3.25-inch boards instead of 3.5. Geez louise, this measuring thing is really not our strong suit.

But in the end, it was okay. He used one of the 3.25-inch boards from the attic to patch the hole, and then we Bondo'ed some holes and gouges. And we attacked two broken and termitey pieces of beadboard on the wall, which was sort of fun.

All this was in preparation for Darwin's dad, who brought his floor sander (he lays floor for a living) on Thursday. He and Darwin sanded the floor, which is now smooth and lovely instead of chippy and warped in places. The patches will be nearly invisible when it's all painted.

The sanding also revealed lots of nail holes we hadn't noticed before, so after Darwin's dad left, we borrowed some wood filler from D&K (again, what would we do without them?) because we couldn't find ours and the local hardware store closes early on Thursday.

After patching all the holes, we took off the rest of the night for some much-needed relaxation and TV-watching. We watched Shaun of the Dead, which was just as good as I've heard it was.

So today I'm back at work for the first day in a week, and Darwin is home sanding and then probably goofing off the rest of the day. He deserves it because I've been very demanding this week!

Tonight or tomorrow, we're going to finally do that priming and painting I've been daydreaming about. Or maybe just the priming. A wise person would finish the ceiling drywall and the wall patches before painting the floor. But yeah ... I never said I was wise.

I just want to get this floor finished, so Darwin can do the plumbing (which he feels more confident about after shadowing the plumbers on Monday). We also have a friend who can help us with the electrical. I'll feel so much closer to finished when the plumbing and electrical are done. After that, everything is cosmetic!



Anonymous said...

oh yeah. ya'll..hard work but, i bet worth it in the long run. way to go doing it yourselves..even though u may be thinking would have been better to pay someone. naw....looks okay.
how is everything

7:07 PM  
Greg said...

You pretty much described my life in a nutshell with the whole going crazy over 3/16 of an inch thing. And Shaun of the Dead was a pretty good movie....almost as good as Dawn of the Dead.

8:03 PM  
Kristin said...

I love Dawn of the Dead, too, though it gives me nightmares!

10:08 AM  

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