c1711 House Renovation


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Just now, bgreenb said:

Second to last pic?  That's the threshold.  It's black, so it looks like a gap in the photo.

Ah, right on.  I figured you wouldn't allow such an egregious infraction.

That really is a beautiful kitchen man.  If it was in my house I would have gone with a more contemporary floor and countertop (not befitting of that style house, obviously)...but otherwise I would be super duper happy if that kitchen was mine, MDF panels and all.  Looks awesome.  So clean and sharp.

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I doubt anyone noticed because I'm not that special, but I disappeared from the forum for the second half of last year and first few months of this year.  Part of it was that the firewall in my office

The house has 2.5 bathrooms.  A powder room downstairs, and then two full bathrooms upstairs.  For the powder room, I went with a pedestal sink, since space was at a premium and there isn't really a t

Sorry everyone I had to disappear for a few days to deal with some punch list stuff  Signed the P&S the other day so I spent the weekend tying up a bunch of little loose ends around the house.  It

That's a great looking kitchen. 

For a first time doing a run of cabinets that was quite an undertaking. Adding to that beaded inset doors....really great work. 

What color of milk paint did you end up using? I have been reading more and more about people finishing cabinets as you did. Would you do the same finish schedule again or maybe try a pigmented topcoat? 

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58 minutes ago, Alan G said:

 

What color of milk paint did you end up using? I have been reading more and more about people finishing cabinets as you did. Would you do the same finish schedule again or maybe try a pigmented topcoat? 

Thanks for the compliments!

I used snow white.  I would have no reservations using the same finish schedule again.  It was super easy, looks great, and seems like it should be plenty durable, though time will tell I suppose.  It does take a little longer because obviously you're using two products and the milk paint and GFHP take a little longer to dry than (I assume) lacquer would.  I don't know much about the lacquer/conversion varnish products but I'd definitely consider it to get a true commercial finish, but I do like the fact that the GF products were readily available, easy to apply, and safe/water based.  

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10 hours ago, bgreenb said:

Drawer boxes I built from the same maple stock as the kitchen drawer boxes, also dovetailed with the leigh jig.

I am about do some drawer boxes for two dressers I am making. I got a Leigh jig used from a friend and was going to try to do the single pass half blinds.

What did you do for your boxes?

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26 minutes ago, Alan G said:

I am about do some drawer boxes for two dressers I am making. I got a Leigh jig used from a friend and was going to try to do the single pass half blinds.

What did you do for your boxes?

Because mine were applied fronts in this case, I used through dovetails for the boxes because through dovetails are a lot easier to set up on the leigh jig.  But I've done plenty of half blind DTs on the leigh.  I've never used the "single pass" feature though - if I remember correctly it's fairly limiting in terms of how the spacing works, and I think it requires a special bit.  

Half blind DTs are a little more finicky to set up on the leigh jig because the depth of the bit is what determines the tightness of the joint, so if you're using a plunge router sometimes it's tough to really hit it dead on.  It's a lot easier if your router has a micro adjust mechanism.  ANd once you route the HBDTs, if they don't fit, you have to start fresh, whereas with TDTs you can make some adjustment after routing the pin board.  

Don't get me wrong - the leigh jig is great and in my opinion the clear winner.  Just saying TDTs are a lot easier.  

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16 minutes ago, bgreenb said:

Don't get me wrong - the leigh jig is great and in my opinion the clear winner.  Just saying TDTs are a lot easier.  

I will have applied fronts also. Was just trying to save a step. Might be over complicating it though. 

I'll start with the through dovetails on this project then play a bit with the single pass another time. Thanks for the advice!

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24 minutes ago, bgreenb said:

Spray finished using Ben Moore latex paint (same as the trim) through my MM4.

Did you spray that on the mudroom cabinet and bench also? 

Was that Regal semi gloss? 

PS - beyond impressed with the amount of work you have gotten done and how great it all looks! 

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17 minutes ago, Alan G said:

I will have applied fronts also. Was just trying to save a step. Might be over complicating it though. 

I'll start with the through dovetails on this project then play a bit with the single pass another time. Thanks for the advice!

Yeah if you're doing applied fronts then I would strongly recommend doing TDTs.  It's very straightforward and I can usually nail it after one test joint.  Any questions feel free to let me know - I've used the leigh jig a ton and know all the ins and outs.  If you don't mind shelling out a bit of money, I'd recommend getting a couple of routers that are dedicated to the leigh jig so you don't have to switch bits and the routers stay set up.  A couple of PC690s will do - don't need anything special.

17 minutes ago, Alan G said:

Did you spray that on the mudroom cabinet and bench also? 

Was that Regal semi gloss? 

PS - beyond impressed with the amount of work you have gotten done and how great it all looks! 

The mudroom cabinets were hand painted by professionals, along with the rest of the trim in the house :)  Only reason I sprayed the the linen closet door is that I didn't get around to building it until after the painters were already finished, and I wasn't gonna pay them to come back.  Plus any excuse to use the MM4 is a good one.

Thanks for the compliments!

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This is like watching "This Old House" but I actually get to see more than one episode for the project and I may get to even see the end if I remember to follow this thread lol. I love your work, this is a great thread and I am in love with that kitchen.

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With three fireplaces in the house, I obviously had to build three fireplace surrounds.  Unfortunately I have no process pics at all here, but I will display each surround here and talk a bit about the design and construction of each.  The fireplaces were in the kitchen, dining room, and living room.  Let's start in the dining room.

I felt that the dining room should be the most "formal" of the three rooms, so I decided to go with a classic colonial look.  In fact, I decided to mimic my front door surround design to kind of tie together the interior and exterior.  If you've never built a fireplace surround/mantel before, Norm had a good primer on NYW, and you can find it on youtube.  My construction differed from his in a few respects, and I'd quibble with a couple of his techniques, but they are minor quibbles and I still genuflect to Norm.  

As I said, I was going for a close match to the front door surround, but with everything scaled down.  Fluted pilasters, plinth blocks with standard base cap, etc.  The fillet is a piece of 5/4 poplar with a 1/4 roundover on all edges.  The frieze is a piece of 5/4 poplar with 3/4 applied to each end to bring out the depth.  Then standard 3 5/8 crown and a 5/4 poplar cap.  I routed a classic cove and bead on the underside of the cap, and applied stair cove to the transition between the pilaster and fillet.  Finally, I used 1/2" poplar to scribe directly to the brick and create a small reveal on the inside.  This mantle and the next one were both painted in place by the professional painters with Ben Moore regal select semi gloss white.

I built it mostly in place, but with all the parts pre-cut/processed at my shop.  The "backing" of the pilasters are just 1x5 stock that is screwed to the back of the pilasters, and then two 1x4 rails are pocket screwed into the two 1x5's, so you have a nice stable frame that gets screwed to the wall all in one piece.  Before you apply it, you level it by cutting short the side where the floor is higher.  You hide the screws behind the mouldings which are applied later.  Then the fillet (milled in the shop) gets placed atop the pilasters and finish nailed downward.  Frieze placed atop the fillet, nail upward through the fillet into the bottom of the frieze, then screw the frieze into the wall where it will be covered by the crown.  A 2x4 screwed into the studs is placed behind the frieze as a cleat into which you can fasten the top.  Then the all the mouldings are applied in the usual fashion.

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In the living room, I went with a frame and panel design.  This one was an easy install because I could essentially build the whole thing in 4 pieces in my shop, then just fasten on site and apply crown.  I made the frame and panel with cope and stick set...poplar and MDF.  Applied the poplar plinth wrap and base cap in my shop.  So I had two matching "columns" ready to go.  Then the big frieze piece I also made with cope and stick, glued and screwed backers on the ends to give it more depth (and a filler strip along the bottom).  One big mistake I made was that I *thought* I had figured out the necessary width of the top rail on the frieze piece such that it would be identical width as the bottom rail once the crown was applied, but I must have done some math wrong or something because it's narrower.  Oh well.  After the install I realized I could've just brought the cap piece up more by raising the cleat (installed the same way as the first mantel), and then the crown would cover the gap, but I wasn't gonna redo it.  Live and learn.  

Install was straightforward, just had to cut wedges to make the transition to the brick correctly.  Of course I was dry fitting the big frieze piece and making sure it was level, I went to grab my level across the room thinking the thing was stable enough sitting there.  Nope.  It fell.  And of course it landed on a corner.  And then there was the "F$@%" heard round the neighborhood.  Pretty decent dent in the corner.  So I fared it in as best I could with a rasp and sandpaper and then did the same on the other side to match so it wouldn't be so obvious.  Turned out fine, but very very annoying.  

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The third fireplace is the one you've already seen in the kitchen.  It's huge and magnificent, and I thought that an ornate surround would only detract from the beautiful work of the original (and restoration) mason.  I wanted something fairly simple and dark, to tie in the beams and kind of add to the gravitas of the look.  And since staining wood is against my religion, I went with walnut.  I got a kick out of imagining future visitors to the house asking the homeowners "wow what color stain is on that pine????"  

Here's the stock I started out with:

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It was kind of a challenge because this fireplace is HUGE.  The cap piece is over 8' long, and as I'm sure you know it's hard to get good quality walnut in lengths like that, and I needed fairly straight stock because all the parts here were too wide for my jointer, so I'd be skip planing them all.  The milling worked out well though and they ended up mostly flat, or at least close enough to be coaxed into flat with a few screws (hidden by mouldings).

And here she is after a coat of ARS:

 

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As I said, fairly simple design.  Flat columns, a fillet, a frieze, a large cove moulding, and a 5/4 cap with a cove and bead routed on the bottom.  The one "first" on this one for me was that I made the walnut cove moulding on the table saw.  It was pretty straightforward and easy, though a tiny bit disconcerting going sideways over the blade.  The ridges left by the blade were kind of a pain to remove, but I used a gooseneck scraper to clean it up and then hand sanded it.  Whole process from milling to finished cove moulding probably took about 45 minutes.  

Install was straightforward, though there were a couple of screws that I couldn't hide with mouldings so I used a face grain plug cutter for those.  I sanded the parts to 150 before installation and then sanded them in place with 180 and wiped on two coats of ARS, and a third coat on the cap piece.

Sad to say, but that's pretty much it for construction.  I'll tie up a few odds and ends in the next post and include some better pics of the finished product.

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All three look great.  The kitchen fireplace IS magnificent and I now have fireplace envy even though I never use mine (stinky and PITA).  But wow that would be cool to have in your house.  Should be a huge selling point.  I really like the living room one, too.

 

3 hours ago, bgreenb said:

genuflect

Good word. ;)

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