A weekend wall shelf (or two)

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Shelf for Ben's room - dry fit check

Ok, so it is taking me longer than a weekend to build the two.  But I haven’t been only working on them (I am of course still doing storm windows and spending time moving my 200 bdft of cherry into the workshop loft (and rearranging the loft).

I am building two identical shelves.  One for Ben, and one for Will.  Both are made from Birch.  I have the pieces milled and cut to size for both shelve and backs.  This past weekend I routed the dadoes for the shelves on Ben’s shelves and tonight I finished cutting the back to shape and doing the edge profile on the back.  The back is pretty thick, almost a full 2″ thick.  The shelves are milled just a bit thicker than 3/4″.  I’m copying the design from the Wood Whisperer weekend shelves.

Tomorrow I’ll finish sanding the parts, and glue up the shelves.  The bottom two shelves are glued (and reinforced from the back with screws).  The top shelf is just set into the dado (The screws to hang the shelf go though the dado behind the top shelf.   Then a coat of shellac (or maybe two to give the wood a little more color) and finally I’ll attempt to spray a water based pre cat varnish (I picked up Agualente in satin by ML Campbell and will use an Earlex HVLP system – my first attempt to spray a finish on one of my woodworking projects).

Overall the project is turning out pretty nice.  Hopefully I won’t completely screw it up with the spray finish…  The dadoes fit pretty well.  I didn’t have the proper router bit (a top bearing pattern bit) so had to sneak up on the size.  The bottom dado was a little loose, but that was fixed by gluing a hand plane shaving into the dado.  I ordered the proper router bit for the second shelf.

A little break from the house projects

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Susanna in New York

On Sunday, Susanna and I took a day trip to the city.  It was a perfect break.  The weather was warm.  Too warm for October – almost 80.  I dropped the boys off in the morning, and we headed to New Haven to catch a late morning train to New York.

We got there just in time for a late lunch and a nice afternoon walking around – ending the afternoon at Bryant Park.  Of course, it is much better to to read about the trip in Susanna’s blog – “Nutrition for my urban soul” (it might be easier to read using Google translate… at least it is for me).

Today I decided to take an easy day.  I was planning on picking up some rough cut cherry in western MA, but decided to hang out at home instead (I’ll get it next weekend).  It was another perfect day for house projects (Ok, I only took a little break from the projects this weekend).   I did some more painting of storm windows, and started working on the next woodworking project.  I’m making a pair of shelves for the boys rooms ( the weekend wall shelf found wood whisperer website – but out of birch).

Epoxy repairs to the bottom of the storm sash for the bathroom window.

Tonight, Susanna and I headed to Providence to take a swing dancing class.  We got there and stood outside with the other students waiting for the instructor to show up for about 30 minutes… then gave up.  We decided to have some cheesecake on the statehouse steps in Providence – a nice way to end the evening.

Windows, windows, trim, pizza (and a sleepover for Will)

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The new trim colors

It seems like all I write about is fixing the windows in this house.  Maybe one of these days I’ll have something more exciting to write.  I’m pretty sure Susanna is getting tired of having to check out each window after I paint the trim and put in a storm window.  And to top it off, she gets to read more about it in this blog…

I think we finally committed to a trim color scheme.  It is Rookwood Dark Green (Sherwin-Williams) trim with Rookwood Dark Brown accent colors.   We are still discussing what color to paint the house (I’m thinking that the house may get painted next summer – so I’ll live with unmatched trim for a while – I think the white is a bit to bright compared to the dark trim).  I also found out that Will has a difficult time telling the difference between the green and brown trim colors.

Painting the storm window

I dug out all the existing storm windows from the basement (and barn) yesterday.  I started repairing the one that is in poor shape and painting the rest.

I installed the new storm window hanging hardware from Kilian Hardware.  It is much nicer (and a lot more expensive at $20/set).  I had been trying to find a better way to latch the storm windows in – and these seem perfect.

I’m guessing this will be the last long warm weekend of the year to work on the house – which is good – I’m almost out of green trim paint and am holding out until the spring to get another gallon.

A not so clear picture of the new latch - it fits over the exterior stop and pulls the window tight

In addition to a busy day working on the house, we had a crazy kids day here. A little before lunch, the boy next door, Justin, came over to play.  Then after lunch, Ben invited his best friend, Anthony, over.  A little later, Will’s best friend, Shane, came over.  Everyone stayed through dinner (homemade pizza) and a movie (“Matilda”).  Justin and Anthony went home, and Shane stayed over for a sleepover (Will’s first and Shane’s first at another house).

So, here we are at 9pm, with Will and Ben asleep, and Shane down here talking to Susanna.  It is never easy to sleep in a new place.

Two windows with painted trim and storm windows installed. Window sashes will be brown when I get to repairing them.
Front porch with trim painted.
The boys watching "Matilda" (picture thanks to Susanna)

More window work….

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I’ve started the outside window work that I want to complete this fall… storm windows.  The goal is to replace as many of the crappy storm windows as possible.  I set up the scaffolding below one of the windows in Ben’s room and took off the storm window.  I am taking the time to paint the trim when the storm window is out.

Broken exterior stop

When I removed the storm window, I found the exterior stop cracked.  I pulled out the bottom half of the stop, and milled a replacement (which I installed this week).  Note to self: it would be much easier to install the stop with a nail gun next time.  It was a real pain to hold the stop next to the window and nail it in on the same time…. a nail gun would have solved that problem.  It doesn’t help that the scaffolding is a little short for working on that window as well (yes, I’ll get pins to stack the scaffolding before the next window).

Susanna and I decided to paint the trim green around the windows.  It looks much better – I’ll take pictures the next day it isn’t raining.  We are thinking about painting the storm windows brown.

This past weekend I dug out one of the old original (wooden) storm windows to replace one of the broken aluminum storm windows in the living room.  I removed the glass and primed and painted half of the storm window.  Next to paint the rest and hang the window.  I ordered more glazing compound and a new style of window hanger (they look much better than the ones I had been using).  I also ordered some weatherstripping to put between the storm window and the stop.

This weekend I’ll get the brown paint for the storm windows, and hopefully get some of the storm windows installed and more of the trim around the windows painted.  Thursday I’ll swing by the glass store to get replacement panes for the original storm windows and see my options for removable panes for the storm windows on the second floor… Let’s see how much I get done before the weather gets cold.