Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Inch by Inch, Step by Step

Well, I haven't got much done since the last post. We had a pretty busy weekend, and since then it's been brain-damagingly hot. But I have gotten some work done.

I got the first pass of widespread patching done: the big divots, the more obvious smaller holes, and the ends of the sill. I'm going to get the top and bottom profiles on the ends of the sill struck accurately so that I can clamp the guides as I did last time and then establish the front plane and the top and bottom edges in one or two passes. You can already see at the top how the apron pieces are looking a lot more solid, but there's still a lot of work to do there. Remember, I still have to attach the patch piece and do extra work to hide the grain up there. First, however, I want to sand and prime beneath it. 

Because of the extensive epoxying I had to do, I have already reached the point where I'm going to have to put down a coat of primer just to get everything the same color so I can see where I need to do further patching. With my weak eyes and all those colors and textures going on, I need as much help as possible to see all the divots.

And by the way, I've vetoed the idea of brushing the wood with diluted epoxy to firm it up. The main reason for this is a basic work precept I've learned from experience: when you come up with a scathingly brilliant idea that you've never heard having been done before, be absolutely convinced that you're really on to something new before you try it. That's because the chances are very great that it's a bad idea. Don't ask me how I know.

Because I hate having only one picture in a post, I thought I'd give you a little background on the difficulties of working on a house that is essentially situated in the middle of a forest, and the specific difficulties of working on this particular casing.

This particular casing is especially difficult to work on because there is a massive pine tree standing less than five feet away, and an air-conditioning compressor sitting right next to it. Because of this, there are parts of the casing I simply can't get to easily, so I have no choice but to lean way off one ladder or the other at times. 

In general, working on this house is difficult because there is a constant barrage of debris falling on every square inch of the property. A case in point: I moved the extension ladder over against the house to get at the top left part of the casing, and as I began to climb it I saw this:

Gobs of the stickiest-imaginable pine sap were splattered all over the ladder. So before I even started to work, I had to go up the ladder with a bottle of paint thinner and a rag, cleaning off all this sap before I started to work. Otherwise, the sap would have gotten all over my clothes, my hands, and ultimately my work. I tell you, there are times on especially hot, messy days that by the time I have prepared everything for working, I'm already tired.

Thank goodness I don't do this for a living!

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  1. That's the stickiest stuff! Does it sap your strength .

  2. Kahn, be afraid, very afraid. Stealth kitty on the alert!


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