Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Maybe, Maybe Knot

I've been turning over in my mind the past month or so what I'm going to do with the jambs and heads of the cased openings between my front room and the living room and stairhall. When at some stage the PO-2 (third back before me) converted the front porch to an enclosed room, she made these openings where the front door and the front windows had been. And to cover the face of the 2x jamb and head members, she applied 1/4" veneer plywood to finish the new openings off.

So what shall I do?

Strip and remount the plywood? Don't think so. I did one piece of it, and it had too much paint stuck in the ply edge. And I really dislike the fat reveal that it produces when added to the exposed part of the jamb.

The 2x members have a few knots in them, and at the old front door you can see where the strike and hinges used to be. Should I cover that up with a bit of trim that'd sit a ways into the opening? No, because there's some weird irregularities going on with the woodwork between the living room and front room, and I'd have to do some fancy notching to get an applied piece of trim to work. Besides, to look right it'd had to be custom made, and I don't want to get into that.

Or do I just clean up the 2x heads and jambs, notch in appropriate shims where the hardware used to be, and trust in the dark garnet shellac I'm planning on using to cover up the patches and knots?

I'm pretty well decided on that.

So today, I noticed in my basement the 1x jamb and head casings I took off the opening between the kitchen and the dining room, oh, at least four years ago. They covered the actual jambs and head of that doorway, having been added by my POs-1 when they redid the kitchen and added sheetrock to both sides of that wall.

These pieces of wood are a primary source of my lack of progress, for when I took my old heat gun to them, I found it took off the topmost layer of paint, then stopped. How futile and useless.

So much for that heatgun.

Besides, I could see from the back that they had a good many knots. Back then, I didn't want to mess with that. So I leaned them against the basement wall and intended to see if I could find some clear material to replace them with.

Anyhow, today. I was down there today, and I thought, Well, those jambs off the front room have knots and I'm accepting them. Why don't I strip these kitchen-dining room facings after all and save buying new wood?

So I did. One piece. With the belt and palm sanders, since the old heatgun had baked the lower layers of paint on so thoroughly not even the Western Wood Doctor refinisher could get it off.

It looks lovely-- if you like knots, knots, and more knots.

And now I'm thinking, Maybe not. If I'm going to obscure my lungs with sanding dust, I'd like to be rewarded with clear wood.

This time, I think I'm going to be less thrifty with the gasoline and the cash buying new wood, and more sparing of the electricity and the effort.

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