Monday, May 28, 2007

Mutilation and Abuse!

I've been living the past three-and-a-half years or more with semi-stripped woodwork. I've got to get the job finished and done.

As I mentioned before, most of the paint on the downstairs woodwork has come off easily. It just took some patient scraping with a dull razor blade scraper.

But where the 1990s paint is stuck on, I'm trying to get it off without destroying the decent color and finish next to it. My plan is to take Howard's Restore-a-Finish in the appropriate color and even out the bad spots. But first I have to get those spots down to the bare wood.

My excuse for putting off tackling that is that every method I've tried so far has mucked the good portions of the finish.

Well, I spent yesterday afternoon helping some friends paint the interior of an 1870s farmhouse they're rehabbing. I got home on a roll and thought, what the hey-- Why don't I tackle one of the dining room windows and see what I can do with the good old heat gun?

But first I had to finish removing the useless vinyl stop moulding that came with the metal insulated windows my POs-1 put in. I say useless because it leaves big gaping cracks between it and the original wood stops. Useless because at some windows I can actually see daylight through those cracks. And useless because with it there I can't get the paint off the wood stops.

I already got rid of the jamb pieces on this particular window awhile back. They were nailed on, and the vinyl ripped when I pried them loose. So much for them. I'll replace them with new wood stops that'll look and work better.

So last night I went after the vinyl head moulding piece. Rats! Same issue with the nails. Rammed in, refusing to be removed. And no matter what tool I tried, I couldn't get the piece down without mutilating the wood moulding above it. This is how it looks after my depredations:
Maybe I could get a hacksaw into the crack and cut the nails? Then countersink the shanks after?

Or maybe I should just be bolder and yank the bloody piece of vinyl to bits? If I'm strong enough, that is.

Or should I take the casing down altogether and work with it flat-- if this time I could figure out how to do it without splitting the wood?

Such a little thing, and it has me stuck.

So stuck and so frustrated, it had me seriously consid- ering getting bids to replace these half-baked metal windows for double-glazed wood. Let the installers cope with getting the old windows and their trim out of my way!

Fortunately, today was a holiday and I couldn't call any wood window reps. Maybe by tomorrow I'll have gotten over such a mad, expensive, and untimely whim.

But I still need to figure out what to do about these nailed-on vinyl strips. Tried to go on this evening to post a discussion inquiry, but I couldn't get the site to load.

Well, as the red-headed orphan chick sang, "Tomorrow!"

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