Thursday, July 26, 2007

what's missing? hmm

Ok, so guess what finally found its way out the foyer and will return someday soon in grandeur?

My antique filing cabinet is finally going to be resurrected. Oh and while we're at it, we're having a sofa table custom built too.

Can you tell I'm excited? :D

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

new coffee table

I really should be working on my windows, but I managed to get a few days off spending the weekend in beautiful Ruidoso, NM. It's only a 2 hour drive north of El Paso and well worth the trip. I was too lazy to snap some pics, but I found a pic online for your viewing pleasure. While there, I managed to check out a flea market and really wasn't expecting to find much of anything. As luck would have it, find something I did.

Now I know everyone's thinking it's an antique and how dare he think about stripping off the original finish, but it's really not. Honestly I'm not quite sure how old it is, but it is solid wood (pine, oak?) and was a dirt cheap $25. When I got home I proceeded to sand it down and stain it a deep brown, walnut wainscot I believe.

Unfortunately, I was a little too hasty to think I could bang this out in an evening and didn't take my time with it. I noticed the stain wasn't taking as well as it should and saw several dark blotches where the sanding wasn't uniform. Trying to compensate, I kind of made the stain have a "distressed" appearance to even out the blotchiness. I had my doubts on how it would turn out, but decided to give it to the morning. My wife agreed that the blotchiness didn't look very good and I should fix it. So, yeah I'm sanding it down again. This time I'm sanding the hell out of it just to make sure. No more mistakes, thank you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

scraping paint is fun

Well, I've started scraping paint and I'm really trying to convince myself that it's fun. Well it is at first anyway. Let's just say I'm glad the majority of my home is brick.

I put in a good 2 hours tonight although it doesn't really look it in the pic. When you're up against the window it feels like tons of paint is just falling all around you. The end result for today isn't too visually overwhelming. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have enough of it off that I can start sanding. Think positive. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

rain, rain, go away

Well, lo & behold the El Paso monsoon season rears its ugly head. Looks like I won't be hitting it hard today.. :(

Thursday, July 12, 2007

file cabinet woes

Good news, I got my Abatron stuff in the mail so I'm all set to get to work. I'm planning on hitting it hard this weekend. In the meantime, I have some pics of an antique file cabinet I picked up several months ago. My wife and I were browsing at a local place called Placita Santa Fe in the upper valley which, as the name implies, is a mini santa fe style market. Lots of neat things to check out and on this particular day, something caught my eye. That would be this file cabinet. Now my wife had been complaining for months that we needed a file cabinet and had been browsing the pottery barns, crate & barrels of the world but we just couldn't find anything we could agree on. One thing we definitely wanted that often turned out to be the deal breaker was it had to be solid wood. I suggested a few arts & crafts websites that definitely looked high quality, but were on the pricey end. So we kept looking.

Back to the antique shop where we found it.. As soon as I saw it I was in love. Yes it's missing the side panels and yes it had a minor amount of termite damage, but I figured what the heck. For $120 it was mine. Considering that some of the new-old arts & crafts cabinets I'd been looking at were in the $800+ range I was happy. It actually came out of an old schoolhouse in Brooklyn and I figure is circa 1920s - 1930s. And I know of just the person who can take this rough piece and turn it into a gem. There's a carpenter in town my bro-in-law introduced me to and I'm confident he'll be able to make my vision for this thing a reality. It seems so simple. Match the side panels to the rear and replace any pieces of wood too damaged by termites. I'll keep you posted. In fact he's done work for me before, but I'll save that blog post for a rainy day. But first I've got to get it out of my foyer. It's been sitting there since I bought it, fulfilling my wife's prediction. ;)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

window repair 2

Ok, so after a few hours work with the help of my bro-in-law we got the iron bars down and are ready to get to some refinishing. While we were at it we pulled down the kitchen window bars too.

So now the fun part happens. Stripping, sanding, repairing, priming, painting. Whew! I had actually bought some wood preservative (Wolman's woodlife classic) to help repair the wood after reading a This Old House article online. But after reading a few other blogs (stuccohouse, american foursquare renewal) I got the idea that some of the products from Abatron are ideal for this type of work. In particular, the LiquidWood and WoodEpox. Unfortunately I already ordered me a gallon of the other stuff. Oh well, the new stuff is in shipment as I write this, so it shouldn't be too much longer until I can get started again. I'm sure I'll find something to use the woodlife classic on..

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

window repair

It took a while to getting all the necessary approvals from the city to begin on my exterior wood refinishing project, but all systems go! My wife and I finally decided on the roycroft brass/rookwood red combo. Of all the wood on the exterior, the rear windows of the dining room and upstairs office are in the worst condition. Time for a little damage control. But first things first. The hideous iron bars that are all over the windows on this house have to come down.

I'm usually timid around power tools, but I bit the bullet and bought a mini-grinder and got to work. The first day I tried this, I grinded through a section of the bar completely. After two hours I only got to removing one of the six points the bar's attached to. I was a little frustrated and was thinking of just giving in and calling the experts, but my bro-in-law suggested going after the bolts themselves. They were locked in place by a bit of tack-welding, but were pretty much drilled directly into the wood. According to him it shouldn't be too hard to unscrew the bolts after grinding off the weld. Lo and behold it worked.. After I unscrewed all the bolts I had to cut through a layer of silicone holding the thing to the wood. An annoying speed bump, but not too big a deal. One down, two to go before I can get started on repairing and refinishing. :)

As you can see, these windows need A LOT of love.