Thursday, March 31, 2005

Recliner chair repair.

I have a recliner that has been wobbly for awhile. Not long ago I opened the flap on the back (held down by Velcro) to get any stray jelly beans, popcorn, and change. A sheared off bolt head fell out. As I looked around for where that came from I found that it was part of the support for the reclining mechanism. Fixing that should mean fixing the wobble.

So, first I had to remove the rest of the sheared bolt. Not easy. It appeared to be installed through 3/4" plywood which had a T-nut hammered through. Not so. That T-nut was a special connector that was part T-nut, part bushing, and part rivet. I banged away at it for a LONG time and finally got it out. Trouble is, I couldn't find a replacement. But what I DID find was a thing called an "insert nut". This is a device that is designed to be screwed into wood. It has an aggressive male thread for holding into the wood. Then, it acts as a bushing/internal threaded nut.

To install this thing, the manufacturer provides an Allen wrench shaped hole in one end. You drill a pilot hole and just screw it in. I decided to try on scrap plywood. As it turns out, the Allen wrench needed was METRIC!!! I only had "standard." The first one I tried got stripped. I went to the store and got a metric set of wrenches. Took 2 tries to determine the correct pilot hole size that required a little force to turn the nut in, but not enough to cause it to strip.

So finally, I installed the insert nut in the chair and then installed the bolt. Tried it out. Funny, the chair now wobbles toward the right instead of toward the left like before. Why?? Opened it up again and found ANOTHER sheared off bolt on the other side!!! I now intend to replace that one AND THE REMAINING TWO before they shear as well. I do not want to hammer away at that special T-nut again, so I am going to try to use a Dremel, grind a slot into the end of the sheared bolt, and remove it with a slotted screwdriver. With luck, that will work. If it fails, the "insert nut" came as a package of 4 anyway and it will just require more time.

Moving right along

Over the past couple of days I finished the installation of the chair rail and painted all the baseboard pieces for the closet. I removed a broken piece of baseboard in the main room. Now I just need to install the baseboards. Then it's touch up work...nail hole filling, touch up paint, and caulking. Got to do something about the broken closet door too and get a nice wood window shade.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Chair rail molding almost done

First I built the "deadmen" as mentioned in the previous post. These aided tremendously in holding the moldings in place while I marked them for length or nailed them in place. The molding looks great. It is my first chair rail molding and I had to do 4 cope cuts for the corner. Each one got a little better. The molding installation is about 4/5ths complete. There is one last length to do which is approximately 5 feet long. Because of a cutting error I ran a little short on material, so I need to do both a cope cut and a mitered splice.

Next I need to fill nail holes, apply some cosmetic touch-ups, and caulk. Then it's on to fixing some damaged baseboard pieces and installing baseboards in the closet, which I never did after installing the wood floor several years ago.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Office progress

My son and I painted the lower part of the office. It took two coats for the dark paint to completely cover the yellow walls. The room looks so nice now, but there are several things that still need to be done.

My son removed the masking tape and helped me to sand and paint the roughly primed chair rail moldings. Later I put a second coat of paint on them and they are now ready to install. That was a few days ago and we both wanted to just relax and take it easy.

To install the moldings I intend to build two self standing "dead men". These will be 2x4s, notched to fit around the baseboards, screwed to a plywood base, and cut to length such that the top will be at the height where the bottom of the chair rail will go. Since I don't have a laser level, nor do I want to put marks on the walls, these will act as third and fourth hands to hold pieces of molding in place at the correct height as I nail them off. Cutting molding is usually not a problem for me, just time consuming. I am considering bringing my miter saw right into the room to eliminate trips to and from the garage as I cut and install the molding. I suppose for neatness I can hook up a shop vac to it.

The chair rail molding should be all done tomorrow, and then I need to do some baseboard touchups and fix a broken closet door.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Prepping for paint

The walls are masked for painting the lower part of the office. The painting will commence on Saturday morning with my son. I also took a few minutes to experiment with a sanding sponge on the pre-primed chair rail moldings, which were rather rough to the touch. With just a little effort they will be smooth and ready for final paint. It will likely be another week to sand, paint, and install the moldings.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Two things complete!

1. Last night I finished installing my attic insulation.
2. Also, I ripped and planed the wood strips for my neighbor's cabinet.

But there is still a never ending list of projects. In the next few days I will concentrate on the office/music room. Masking for painting will be a breeze. Painting...simple. It's the sanding and painting of the chair rail moldings that will take time. They were pre-primed, however, the factory didn't take time to sand them nicely. So, elbow grease it will be.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

How did I do?

Well, I had a 3 hour Tae Kwon Do class on Saturday, which was in preparation for my test (April 23) to become second degree black belt. The class was not too bad, but very tiring.

Before the class I was able to install the replacement fence pieces at the friend's house. All that's left is to rebuild and hang his gate. I took some measurements and have started laying out the pieces. Three replacement rails need to be cut and fitted into mortices, then it's just "nail it all together" and go hang it on it's hinges.

I did some chillin' with friends the rest of the weekend.

After writing and mailing off mid-month bills this morning I have a little extra that I can use to buy some chair rail molding for the office/music room, and the last 4 rolls of attic blanket insulation. This weekend I will have my son, so we will finish painting the office. After it's painted I need to install the chair rail, so I need to start working on painting the chair rail.

Also, I promised my neighbor that I would mill up some strips of wood for him. He needs about 12 feet of 3/4 by 3/4 strips. They can be done in two 6 foot lengths. I can get that done easily tonight. Poplar will be fine because these will be attached to the top of a cabinet (under the countertop) to raise the top up by 3/4 inch, then painted to match the cabinet. The cabinet he bought has drawers where the upper edge is just a tiny bit below the top of the cabinet. That would be fine with a flat countertop, but the countertop he got has a "rolled" front edge that drops down and "hooks over" the top front edge of the cabinet. That would negate using the drawers. So these strips will add the needed clearance.

My friend who owns the butterfly table will be coming by tonight, so maybe we can both work on that project.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The coming weekend.

I would like to:
1. Install replacement fence pieces at a friend's house (1 post and 3 rails).
2. Assemble the gate for my friend (need to carefully measure first).
3. Work on the butterfly table.
4. More priming on the big cabinet.
5. Who knows what else.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Just a general update

No news of any importance.

1. Got the taxes done and sent off. Hooray!
2. Took my small trailer to the welder.
3. Did a little shop cleanup.

Monday, March 07, 2005

I hate painting, but it's ok this time.

Yesterday, during my visitation with my son, we took up paint brushes and rollers and painted the upper part of the room that I will be using for an office/music room. The room was a sort of butter yellow. My decorator (mom) chose a couple of color schemes and I made the final choice among 3. The upper part of the room will be "Soft Kiss" which is a Glidden color. A very soft pink. The lower part will be called "Tinderbox" which is a dark rust. I will install white chair rail between them after painting.

I laid out a tarp, and after a few dribbles my son got the hang of using the roller. I had to go over some of his work because I could see yellow through the new paint, but overall he did a good job. I have found that painting over yellow is not easy, but this morning I inspected and did not see any bleed through, so I removed the masking tape.

I will save the bottom part of the room for his next visit, but will install the masking tape for it a day or two earlier. I was so glad that my 10 year old son had the patience to work with me on this.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ahh, much better.

Last night I did most of the steps in fixing up that molding. All that is left is a little touch up with caulk and wood filler and then painting. This is a fix up that I can live with. Took a little more time, but it was done right.

Next I need to revisit the painting of my office/bedroom and working on my friend's butterfly table, which is in pieces around my shop.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Messed up, but fixable.

Last night I installed the stop molding around the kitchen window. But I goofed up with measurements and cut the vertical pieces too short. So, now I have to fix that. I don't feel like buying new material, so what I'll do is:
1. Remove the vertical pieces.
2. Take out the nails.
3. Cut a couple of pieces about 6 inches long.
4. Cope one end and miter the other end of each.
5. Install those at the top, snug with the horizontal piece.
6. Trim the pieces that were too long to the correct length, mitering one end.
7. Install those.
8. Paint.

Should be just about invisible, since the mitered joint will be up above eye level AND typically obscured by a window treatment, like a valance. This is a perfectly correct method, not like the stupid "butt joint and caulk" that my former housemate did in 5 minutes. Takes longer to do it right.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

How did I do?

Well, I did numbers 2 and 3. Was not feeling too well, so everything else was put off. Oh, I bought the molding for the kitchen window (#6).