Saturday, April 27, 2013

Outside Work

When I made my post a week ago I said the work on the living room quarter round was the first I'd done on the house for awhile.

Well, I forgot.  I've also been taking advantage of the days when fine weather and my time off overlap to get something done in the yard.

Allowing for pulling the henbit out of the (unplanted) vegetable plots, mostly it's been grinding up last fall's maple leaves with the Toro leaf-vac.  I can only do at a time as much as is permitted by 1) the time and daylight available; 2) my stamina; and 3) the dryness of the leaves.  Dry or dryish leaves equals great progress.  Damp or sopping leaves means constant clogs in the grinder wheel and repeated disassembly to clean it out. 

Several bags filled two Sunday afternoons ago as I cleared out the borders on the east side of the backyard.  Those leaves were pretty much all dry.  Got a few more bags filled this past Sunday as I tackled the border on the east side.  This part of the yard gets less sun, the pile was deeper, and I could only do the top layer.  Worked on it again this past Monday for forty minutes or so between paying jobs.

Still a good (or bad, depending on your perspective) amount to do.  But I have other work I have to complete first, and technically I'm only on the Internet to look up a fact for the sermon I'm writing for tomorrow.  Maybe if it will refrain from raining I can get more of this cleanup done tomorrow.

The ground up leaves will all go for mulch for the vegetable beds.  Assuming I get them planted, that is.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

What Can I Say?

So here it is Saturday, I don't have to work anywhere, tax day and its chaos is past (don't ask me how that came out if you don't like naughty words), and I was going to get something done on the house for the first time in maybe three weeks.

The plan was to nail in the quarter round to the base on the fireplace wall and around each adjacent corner, tint some natural-shade Minwax wood filler with dye to match the shellac finish, and fill the countersink holes.  Maybe then I could even think about putting my bookcases back where they belong.

So I start with the 16-gauge Porter Cable nailer because behind the base on that wall I have the solid masonry exterior structure
, and I figure I need more power.  First piece of trim goes in all right, but on the second one-- Oh-oh.  Split one of my carefully-coped pieces of quarter round.  It's in the corner where it's dark; I'll fill it and let it alone.

But maybe the bigger nailer with the 2" nails is overkill.  I switch to the 18-guage Chicago Pneumatic brad nailer.  Firing 1½" brads from it, mostly because I couldn't find the 1¼" length at the Big DIY Store Where I Now Work.  Should have been fine anyway, but they weren't.

At least, they aren't with this nailer.  They're all sticking up 1/32" to 1/16", and I can't get them to countersink, no matter which nail set I use or how hard I hit it.

I conclude that even though the woodwork doesn't really back up to the masonry, but to the plaster over it, the Harbor Freight brad nailer (which I picked up cheap and used at the local recycled tool place) doesn't have the force to drive a skinny 1½" brad that far.  At least, not when the top layer is rounded.  I've found the manual online and it doesn't seem to have a countersink adjustment.

So I may have to try to find some 1¼" brads after all, pull off the quarter round (except for the split piece), remove the longer brads, and try again.  That, or resign myself to my house's future owners fulminating against me when they see those shiny nail heads poking out of the nice shellacked wood trim.

Hmm.  I wonder if I still get the employee discount if I order a non-stock item?

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Notice, with a Touch of Irony

These past few days I've been making increment progress towards completing the work in my 1st floor hall.  Small but necessary stuff:  Filling screw holes and touching up the faux finish on the upper wall because I've accepted that no, I can't have my wall-hung coat rack hanging over the new chair rail.  Measuring for, cutting, sanding, and coping quarter round.  Ordering flexible resin quarter round for the foot of the curved bottom step.  Cutting (and sometimes recutting) the chair rail pieces I previously coped, now that the jamb trim is up and I know how long the rail pieces need to be.  That sort of stuff.

Nothing exciting, nothing demanding daily posts, just stuff that's got to get done.

But from now on, I don't know how much is going to get done.  Because I've taken an additional job, working half time, every weekday evening, at the Big Blue & Gray Box Store.  I've been in for paid orientation and training already, but tonight I begin my regular shift.  In about 25 minutes, to be exact.

Ironic, isn't it?  There I'll be surrounded by all sorts of products I can use working on the house, but I'll have no time to do it!