Tuesday, December 18, 2007

plywood goodwood

this is the "plan." dining room is on the right. the little square between the dining and living rooms is the chimney.

got two more pieces up on the ceiling last night. it is taking a while. everyone has heard measure twice but we've been measure fifteen times. we're keeping an eighth inch gap along all edges and we use a couple pieces of wooden paint mixing sticks, which happen to be the right width, as spacers.

and there's lining up the holes that we're boring for the screws with the holes on the neighboring panel. sometimes, you don't want the hole to line up, instead you want it to be exactly midway between two. after trying a couple of times to transpose this stuff from a panel that is already on the ceiling to one that is laying on the floor, Erika had a pretty brilliant idea: run a length of masking tape along the installed panel and make our marks on the tape. then we just removed the tape and lined it up on the new panel on the floor and transposed our marks. using a drywall square, we lined up with each mark so that we could mark the corresponding points in the center and on the other end of the panel. about thirty marks, total.

next, boring the half-inch holes with the forstner bit. very carefully stick the point of the bit onto a tiny mark, plumb the drill, a bit of pressure to cut through the top ply without splintering, then steady, easy, boring to a quarter-inch depth. some sections of the board are harder than others. sometimes the bit just bores through quickly. really need to remain focused for the entirety of each hole.

position the ladders and lift it up over our heads, line it up, put the spacers in. start predrilling for the screws with one hand while holding it perfectly steady with the other. start screws by hand, carefully drive them in while watching the height of the board's edge, repeat thirty times, and a panel is up.

at the moment, we like the look of the bored holes with the dark screw head centered and recessed inside them. time will tell whether we decide to cut plugs for them or not. everything changes with each panel that goes up. I was saying that it's hard to imagine what this is actually going to look like when it's all up. for each panel in our pattern, we've got to choose a sheet of wood to use. no sheet is the same, so we've got to think about the tone of the panel and how it's going to balance with it's counterpart(s) in this somewhat symmetrical design that we're going with. in this way, it reminds me of when we laid out the soapstone for the bathroom floor. the spacer and gap lines remind us of tiling the bathroom walls.

it was a late night. have I mentioned that it's slow going?

- John

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