Monday, November 24, 2008

Friday, Saturday, here we go

I'm gonna keep this short.

Friday: stone-polishing day. John at the file, grinding corners off our three slabs. Me following with corner-cat sander, vibrating my wrists, 80 grit then 120 grit then steel wool then a towel, making it nice and dark. John had sweat on his brow and the basement was a cloud of stone dust. Good times. I polished the first two but by the time John was done grinding the corners off the third piece, it was nearly 10pm. That was a tough job he was doing. So I'd finish up…

Saturday. I woke up already stressed out. We were having dinner with friends, which is a good thing, but limited our work time. The goal: Build the wooden threshold. We had a 2x10 which we meant to carve and cut into a multi-faceted piece to ease the transition between two floors, plus cover chipped linoleum.

We wanted to use the table saw to do this, but it oddly quit after firing up once. Eh, why? Our backup plan to make the rabbet cut: circular saw, many cuts side-by-side, then chisel out the remaining thin fins (are those like spinning pins?) of wood. John made the cuts (we started in the basement, but the light situation down there is ridiculous so we brought it outside and blew sawdust all over the yard) and then I completely screwed up the chiseling. 2x10 ruined. No good.

We gnashed our teeth and came up with another design by playing with scraps of wood we had from other projects. A 2x4, a door stop, a trim piece. John made the big-box run while I polished the third piece of stone. Stress: It was almost 2:30 by the time he returned. He'd forgotten his wallet and had to talk his way into paying with a credit card. We measured, cut and designed on the fly at lightning speed. Many trips up and down the basement steps, many miter and circular-saw cuts and time running out. But we got everything cut and dry-fit before we had to quit.

An against-the-odds day. I wasn't feeling good at the end of it, but Sunday—which John will tell you about next—redeemed it all.

- Erika

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