Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Thanksgiving Challenge

Well peeps, we're picking up the pace 'round the house again. We've still got this pesky list of things that we never really finished, and some of these items would go a long way towards making the place feel a little more, well, done.

I think we're looking at two phases here: the Thanksgiving Challenge, and some sort of Winter Slog.

On the T'day list:

- thresholds (fix gaps in the floor where walls used to be)
- kickplates (under the kitchen cabinets)
- plywood floor/kitchen floor transition

The thresholds are underway. We're using what is leftover of the soapstone slab from which we cut our bathroom sinktop from. As of yesterday, we've cut, sanded, buffed, and carved all the stone required for the space between the living and dining rooms. We figured out the trick (or a trick) to getting a nice dark finish on the stone. We start with 80 grit, move to 120, and keep using it until it's basically not even sandpaper anymore, then we switch to steel wool. Ooh, looks wet even when it's dry!

And here you can see the difference between the finished and unfinished stone:

Since the stone sits about a half inch (or less) above the floor and has 90 edges, I decided to try my hand at a bit of carving, with the goal of getting a nice, rounded edge. I pulled it off using a file, paint scraper, and sandpaper. Lookin' good.

Monday night, while I finished rounding the edges of the inlays that will wrap around the chimney, Erika put a vapor barrier (6 mil plastic) down where the threshold will go and together we screwed the plywood down on top of that. All that's left to do now is lay the stone in a bed of mortar, a small grout job, and figure out how to trim around the posts!

Sunday, we cut the wood for the kickplates. Erika was very diligent about finding and cleaning up some old door trim for this, saving us from buying more lumber. In relatively short order, we measured it up, cut it up, and popped it in for a preview - looks great! It's amazing what not being able to see under the cabinets will do for adding to that "feeling of completion" that we're aiming for. Erika got a coat of primer on there before sundown. Monday night, she hit it with a top coat of paint and we nailed it in place. Touched up the nail holes and we're good to go!



- John

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