Friday, May 26, 2006

A Bee Hive of Activity

I give you what may be the coolest Art Deco toilet I’ve ever seen. It’s the 1931 Standard Modernus.

It was in one of the rental bathrooms in the addition. The POs replaced it with a newer toilet when the tank broke, but luckily they were lazy and just tossed the bowl in the trash pile out back. The date on it is 1931, which is odd because all indications are that the addition was built in the mid 20s. Maybe there was an early toilet failure and this was an early replacement .

Here are the 2 tanks I have. The porcelain tank is 1922. The oak high-tank is of an unknown date. I originally bought the high-tank to go with the Modernus, but now that I’ve pulled it out of the attic I don’t think they really go together. I’m probably going to go with the low-mount porcelain tank.

So, why am I dealing with bathroom stuff right now when I’m in the middle of a porch reconstruction? Well, a couple of reasons. I pulled the toilet out of the attic with some other bathroom treasure over the last weekend because I want to do a mock-up of the downstairs bathroom. I was rearranging the piles of junk in the house and decided to try and get things where they may eventually end up. One thing lead to another and 2 hours later I had my bathroom sans plumbing.

The main reason for this is because next month I’ll be hosting another Splinter Group meeting. It’s just easier to have rooms look like what they might be someday. That way I don’t have to answer the same questions over and over again. Here are a few other bathroom shots. This room was originally the scullery, but will become the downstairs bathroom.

All of this stuff is from the 20s and 30s so I will be doing a 20s or 30s bathroom. Three walls and the ceiling are covered in bead board now and the “wet wall” were the sink, tub, and toilet are is a mix of plaster, bead board, and a big gaping hole. The plan at this point is to do the wet wall in subway tile, the floor in 1-inch square tile with a Greek Key boarder. The wall opposite the wet wall is an exterior wall dominated by two large windows. I haven’t decided whether to leave the windows are not. They face the back yard.

I’m doing a 1920s bathroom instead of a Victorian bathroom because the room was obviously not a bathroom originally so this will be The Later Addition Bathroom. Oh, who am I kidding. I’m doing a 1920s bathroom because I have all of this stuff and I don’t want to go out and spend a lot of money on Victorian era stuff. But if anybody asks, it’s the first thing I said.

I also hung the cabinet and positioned the sink, with some faucets added, in the butler’s pantry. That is the wall I built a few months back. The cabinet is from the rental kitchen in one of the upstairs apartments. It was in pretty rough shape when I took it down a few years back. I had to replace the whole back to it and do some major work on the front. Someone had used a claw hammer to remove what might have been towel rack or something. It was also just dripping in layers and layers of really bad paint jobs. This was the very first thing stripped paint off of with a heat gun

The big job today was building the newel posts for the front porch. It didn’t go well at all. I’m really getting down to the dregs of the wood piles. There is still a lot of wood left, but a lot of it is stuff that is not really suitable for this type of finish work. This is wood that I passed over for all the other jobs I did. It’s not the easiest to work with and it slows the whole process down. The only good thing about it is that I went through about 25 or 30 feet of 1X8 clear heart redwood and that would be close to $100 worth of wood down at the lumber yard. So I’ll make due.

It’s also getting to be the end of a very long week and I made some really stupid mistakes. First, below is a picture of the posts. I had planned on making 4 but I ended up making only the 2 for the porch landing. I’ll make the two for the bottom of the stairs later.

The posts have a top and a bottom regardless of whether the top is on there or not. Twice – not once, but twice – I nailed the top cap on to the bottom of the post. I did this to the same post twice in a row. The second time I broke the cap and most of the cove molding taking it off. I then made the cove molding too wide and the new cap looked stupid on it so I had to make the cap again.

If that weren’t bad enough the crappity, crap, crap, crap piece of crap Central Pneumatic Brad Nailer I bought a few months back was not working right at all. It would only shoot out a brad ever 4 or 5 pulls of the trigger. Most of the time just air would come and but it still made the little hole. So not only did I not get a nail, but I ended up with a bunch of holes to putty for no reason. It quickly found itself under the business end of a my sledge hammer. Man, that felt good.

Anybody want to buy a brad nailer? I’ll sell it to you cheap.

Eventially, though, the newel posts did get put together. Once they are puttied, caulked, and primed I think they’ll look ok. It’s a little frustrating, though, because I really think if I had nice straight wood and good tools I could make some really awesome newel posts. I know, it’s a cop-out to blame the tools, but really, I could do better work.
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Tomorrow I’m going to mount the posts and start to put on hand rail. It’s all very exciting. I want to go out later tonight and sand and prime the posts because I’m a little embarrassed by the amount of putty and caulk on them. I would be mortified if anyone stopped to talk and saw them looking like they do now.

1 comment:

Patricia W said...

I so envy your stockpile of cool things.

The brad nailer, may it RIP, was too funny. I'm still chuckling from that entry.