Wednesday, November 28, 2007


We went home for Thanksgiving with four full sheets of beadboard on our kitchen ceiling. This left some partial pieces to be installed along two sides of the room, plus the entire "nook" area (the flat ceiling outside the bathroom). The last night before our vacation, I'd had a brief moment of insanity in which I proposed staying up all night and finishing the entire ceiling. My thinking was, this is just like when you're in college and you have some paper to write before you can leave for spring break, and you get it done at 6:30am and hand it in just as the sun is coming up and then go home exhausted and there's something weirdly fun about it. Well, this little dream ended 20 minutes later with a measuring mistake and a ruined sheet of beadboard. So much for that.

So, Monday night, we jumped back in. Got the two long pieces in along the highest part of the ceiling, then two short ones along the bathroom side. This only left a small empty square up in one corner. We've developed a habit of just circular-sawing this stuff right on the kitchen floor, so every night when we're finished working there's a big pile of sawdust to be swept up.

Tuesday we started looking at the nook ceiling. We'd already shimmed and put nailers in, but now when we looked at it we realized that the pieces we'd planned to use were not quite long enough. This caused some consternation. Ended up deciding to measure the bedroom and tool room to figure out how many sheets we'll use in there, then see if we could piece together scraps to fill that nook.

The tricky thing is that the sheets of beadboard come with "lap joints" on the long sides, making for nearly invisible seams. Once you cut into a sheet, you no longer have lap joints; you just have square cuts. When we decided we didn't care, and also that we officially didn't mind redoing our nailers, the puzzle of putting scraps together got much simpler. Or at least possible.

John's getting awfully good at freehand circular sawing; we measure super carefully, tape along the cut to avoid splintering, and set the beadboard up on 2x4 blocking so he can cut and I can aim the droplight at the blade with a finger in one ear and the other one pressed to my shoulder. (Why don't I just wear earplugs, you might ask? Good question.) We got three scraps into the nook, leaving only the hardest part where the diagonal bathroom wall is going to make us do a tough cut at an angle across some unlucky piece of beadboard. Ha, I first typed "beardboard." Picture that.

We'll do that tonight. We're also looking ahead to painting this stuff, insulating the bedroom and putting up the ceiling there, installing our stove vent through the side of the house, getting the drywallers in to finish the kitchen walls…lots of stuff coming up. Say it with me: "WE'RE GETTING THERE."

- Erika

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