Friday, February 25, 2005

Plans for the weekend

I hope to:
1. Paint my office/music room. This room has been emptied, cleaned, and masked to receive the paint.
2. Go to a youth "battle of the bands" with some friends to watch their kids perform.
3. Help a friend move a piano that she just purchased.
4. Work on my "butterfly table" project.
5. Do some more trailer wiring checkout.
6. Buy and install molding for the kitchen window.
7. Buy and install a couple more rolls of attic blanket insulation.
8. Plane wood for the chess boards.
9. Do some more priming on the big cabinet.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Home improvements

I had a fellow staying at my place for 2 months. Now that he is gone I have started to fix up the room that he used. All holes in the walls have been patched and the room has been cleaned and vacuumed. Need to wipe down the walls with a moist cloth to get rid of any surface dust. Then I am ready to paint. I will paint in two tones, and install a chair rail molding inbetween. I don't like painting, but it will be easier since the room is empty. Need to replace a cracked piece of baseboard, and install baseboard shoe molding after painting is done. This will be a music room/office.

In the kitchen, I removed the shoddy patch job that my roommate did around the window. There was some molding removed a long time ago for a different job. This is called window stop molding. My roommate was given the task of replacing the molding. Instead of removing the rest and starting with fresh molding, he patched in what was missing. The molding he used did not match exactly, nor did he paint. He only put in a little caulk where the two moldings made a seam. It looked just as bad as missing molding. So I took the TEN minutes extra to remove it all. I will buy replacement stop molding and install it all the way around. That'll fix it right.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Butterfly table update

I got the base and top of the table from my friend. The base parts are held together by dowels. The glue has pretty much stopped functioning and the base is rickety. More than one dowel was broken and the base was simply falling apart.

So, last night I started rapping on parts with a deadblow hammer in order to disassemble it. I will then strip the wood and reassemble with fresh glue and dowels. That should hold for many years to come.

I also "roughed-out" the butterflyu wing supports on the bandsaw. Will need to drum sand 1 wing to final profile, then use a pattern bit and router on the other for qan exact copy. After that, it will need stain, finish, and assembly. Nice little project.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Trailer wiring

I finally decided to see if I could get my 16 foot trailer hooked up to my van, in regards to the wiring. I found a nice adapter that has both a 6 pole round and a 4 pole flat connector on it and screwed this to the trailer hitch. I plugged it in to the 4 pole flat that comes from the van and tucked the excess wire back inside the van. Still need to tie that up nicely with plastic tie-wraps.

Next, I had to struggle to remove a 6-7 pole adapter off the trailer end. Once off I cleaned up the 6 pole round trailer connector and plugged it into the van. With testing, the RIGHT functions work, but the left did not. Checked the bulb on the left side. Works fine. Looked underneath and saw a wire that was not connected. It was a little short so I soldered a little splice into that wire and put heat shrink tubing in place. With testing it still did not work.

So I set the tail light fix idea aside for a little bit and focused on the "marker lights". There are 8 little bulbs under red or amber plastic caps. All but 1 of these had broken filaments. I found replacements easily at the auto parts store. When plugged in ALL of them work. So, back to the tail light.

There is a junction box that the trailer manufacturer installed on the tongue. I opened that up and found a little mess. Wires that did not have wire nuts on them and stuff just shoved in. So I tried to sort it all out. When done for the day I had the "running light" working on the left side, but not the brake light, nor the turn signal. I was frustrated, so I gave up for the day.

Using a multitester I was able to see a strong signal for the functions on the RIGHT tail light and a strong "running light" signal on the LEFT. When the probes are touched with the Left turn signal activated, I saw a strobing of the needle, but VERY weak. So I may have a bad wire or ground. If it was a ground problem, though, wouldn't it be present for the right side as well.

It rained most of the weekend, so I didn't get to complete this project. But I ALMOST have that trailer working. Will be nice to have it done. The final phase will be to run a brake wire and install a brake assist in the van. The trailer already has brakes, which are never used due to no brake wire.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Chess board update.

I didn't know anyone really read these things but me and my family members.

I got a nice comment from a fellow who has been following my posts about building a chess board, and asking how that is progressing. Well, unfortunately my shop time is limited, and shop storage and neatness is pretty important to me right now. So I haven't done anything on the chess board lately. But knowing me and how I wander from task to task, you can probably expect me to put my current project on hold and get back to the chess board soon.

Thanks for the comment. Please keep reading and commenting (all)!

The big cabinet update

Last night I was able to get a coat of primer onto the fronts of the drawer faces and doors. Because this is particleboard I used a cheap brush and really pushed paint into all the pores trying to seal it up. The paint is Kilz II.

I want to see if I can get the parts smooth by painting and sanding successively. We'll see.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Weekend update: The big cabinet

My son visited me and together we worked on removing the rest of the laminate. All of it is gone from the doors, drawers fronts, top, and cabinet sides. I then sanded off glue residue from the doors and drawers. I had to use a heat gun for the residue on the cabinet sides. My son practically begged me to work on the cabinet. He enjoyed it and I was so glad to have the together time. He did a great job.

I removed all stray staples and now need to reattach a support strip that had to be removed to get laminate off. Also glue on a chunk of particle board that is almost coming off.

After that, everything needs a coat of white pigmented shellac (Zinsser). Then it is time for the finish coat(s).

Friday, February 04, 2005

The big cabinet update

Not much time last night, but I did remove the laminate from the inside top of the cabinet. I first had to remove some screws that held on the decorative top. Also removed screws that hold the laminated front of one drawer.

This weekend I hope to remove as much laminate as possible from a door, 3 drawers and the top. That will be it for laminate removal. Then it will be time for surface prep and painting.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The big cabinet update

I was able to finish removing the laminate from the outside and inside cabinet sides. Still have the inside top to remove. Then the drawers, 1 door, and the top. Might be able to do the inside top and 1 drawer tonight.

I have a friend that likes to do faux finishes. She and I were talking and looking through some decorating books. A technique called "trompe l'oeil" intrigued us both. I got the idea of painting the cabinet white, then masking the front with pegboard and spraying dark paint through the holes, making the cabinet doors look like white pegboard. Then she can attempt to paint some realistic tools hanging on the fake pegboard. If it works, then this will be a really cook looking shop storage cabinet. If not, then we can strip it and do something else.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The big cabinet update

Before I started this project I had described it to some professional woodworkers. One of them said it wasn't worth the time. But what is time?

Last night it was cold but I wanted to strip the laminate off of SOMETHING. I took the two doors of the cabinet out to the shed and started working on one of them with a heat gun and putty knife. This works, and works well, but it is rather slow going. About an hour and a half later I had all the laminate off of ONE door. There are 3 drawers (not as big as the doors, mind you), 1 door, and the top of the cabinet still to go. And that is just to strip it down. Then it needs to be primed and painted. It took an hour in front of the fireplace to get my feet warm.

I now have a better idea of what that woodworker was talking about. But really, this is a hobby. What WOULD I have been doing...watching TV? On a Tuesday night? Ugh, no way. Besides, I am not particularly good at BUILDING things yet. This cabinet is all built and works fine. The doors and drawers work and fit perfectly. What would you rather do...wash and wax a car to make it look nice, or build a new one from scratch?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Can't believe it...even another project

My ex wife left behind an ugly wardrobe cabinet. It is particleboard and covered with white laminate. Two doors and 3 drawers. Many people have seen it and called it a refrigerator. It is strongly built but a lot of the laminate is coming off. She had reglued laminate in the past, but now there is just too much separation to do the job right.

This cabinet will be wonderful for shop storage. SO, I have started to remove the remaining laminate. I took off the doors (nice Euro hinges) and found that the builder stapled a shelf in place AFTER the interior laminate was installed, but before the exterior laminate. This would have made 100% removal impossible. But, today I took a jigsaw to that shelf, cut it almost in half, and knocked it a couple of times with a hammer. Then just pulled it out. Next I need to remove the staples which will not be difficult at all. Some of the laminate still holds well, but I experimented with a heat gun and putty knife and found that they work well.

After all the laminate is removed I will coat with some primer and a friend of mine will paint the cabinet. Nothing real fancy, but it will be a nice thing to experiment with faux finishes. It's just going to be a shop cabinet, so who cares HOW nice it is. But I'd like it to be decent looking.