Friday, August 28, 2009

window restoration pt5

I've been looking for these little bad boys for a few weeks. The good thing about a monster store like home depot is they have a lot of stuff. The bad thing about home depot is they have a lot of stuff. For the life of me I couldn't find anything like this in either of the big boys. I did find something similar at the ace hardware just north of town, but they weren't the right ones. These are the ones I'm looking for -- I finally found them here. Unfortunately they don't come in single packs and so had to settle for a 10 pack. I should be set for life I think..

As you'll imagine the next step in my window restoration is getting the glazing on the windows. It was really only necessary in spots. The longest of which was on the lower sash of the large middle window. There weren't any glaziers points holding the glass in so I really needed something in there to help stabilize it. I put one in every 6 - 8 inches or so. Once I took care of that it was time to get some window glazing on. Luckily you still can find this stuff at the big boxes. I'm using DAP, but not really aware of anything else out there. Get a handful and roll it up like you're kneading dough. I don't like to get too much at a time as it's a little harder to handle. Get it into thin cigar size strips and finesse it onto the glass and wood as best you can.

Then come back and cut the glaze down to size. You should come in about 45 degree angle and should aim for as tight a corner as you can. You shouldn't see the glaze dead on from the inside so that should give you an idea of how much to cut down. With a wide open path of no glaze it's pretty easy to do this technique, however if you're patching in new glaze to blend in with old you may find that a little hard. What I like to do is cut the part that's protruding out towards you first then do small cuts one by one with the edge of the blade dead on towards the glass. That probably makes no sense, but if you run into the same problem I did you'll know what I mean. Once you cut the excess I like to smooth out the surface of the glaze with my finger so there are minimal bumps.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First National Bank

Every once in a while it's fun to see the way things used to be back in the day and compare them to what's there now. Today's pick is the First National Bank. I don't know the exact year it was built, but going by other landmarks I'd guess sometime between 1905 and 1915. As is typical for early 20th century architecture downtown it has a heavy classical emphasis (Beaux arts? Maybe renaissance revival? Not sure the difference). It was full of intricate medallions and beefy corbels holdng up a distinguished cornice.

This is what it looks like today. It's been remuddled to hell and back. While this renovation aberration occurred most likely in the 60s or 70s, there is one last bit of character left that whispers to the grand detail that once personified this building. Appropriately enough it is the rear of the building, viewed from the alley.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

guest room restoration

When we first bought this place, the majority of the house was livable and mostly renovated. Eventually we'd like to completely redo the kitchen and bath, but otherwise it wasn't too bad. Aside from the windows, it's been mostly cosmetic. The guest room on the other hand had the distinction of worst room in the house, except for maybe the basement. Not exactly a good thing for the "guest room". There are multiple things wrong with this room. Of all the floors in the house, this one has ugly knotty pine patches. The walls have a thick ugly texture on them and most of the original wood trim is gone. Luckily the wood sashes are still there as is all the trim in the closet. It shouldn't be too hard to fix this room.

We're starting with the wood trim, specifically the window casing. For a while I've had my suspicion this room was never painted. Across the hall in the master bedroom, I've always found it odd that the rest of the upstairs was painted yet it was still a nicely stained finish. It's been touched up, but it is original. The layout of the rooms is the same too. It has the same bench seat in the closet with some hefty built ins. Pretty nice actually. You may remember the nursery incident where I sucked it up and just painted what had originally been painted. At least here I have a reason to strip the wood.. I needed to know once and for all -- gotta get started stripping the wood around these sashes before I get the new casing put up. It's some stained grade pine I bought locally which I'm always happy to do.

Here's a closeup of the cheesy molding someone put up. This is going to get replaced soon. I'm shooting for october as we'll be expecting guests again round that time.

Check out the goods. This is going to look so awesome. What's interesting is everything was originally stained except for the closet. Note the two tone finish on the inside of the closet door. This is both good and bad. The good being it's far less work. The bad is that it would have looked pretty cool if it were all stained, including the closet. The master closet is stained although I don't know if it was originally that way. I will be putting it back the way it originally was. There are too many other things that I'm focusing attention on (like finishing my windows for the season) to stress about whether a closet should be stained or not.

Monday, August 3, 2009

window restoration pt4

Slowly it's starting to come together -- you want to let the wood hardener cure for a week or two before moving on to the next step. All those rot holes, gouges, and cracks can finally be filled in with some epoxy. I again call on the lords of restoration from Abatron, my tool of choice is WoodEpox. Again you mix an equal amount of the A and B parts and you're ready for action. You have about 30 - 60 minutes to get it on before it hardens, so work quick. The consistency is kind of like playdough but I find this stuff a little harder to work with than the LiquidWood. Maybe it's because I can't quite manage it with a scraper or I feel like I'm all thumbs when working with my hands (with gloves on). Once it's on, you'll want to let it cure for a week or two before sanding.