Tuesday, August 31, 2010


We've been working on a vegetable garden in our back yard. We're going to plant late season crops like broccoli, Collard and Mustard Greens, lettuce, and a few other things. We bought most of them as plants, the rest I started from seed a few weeks back.

I tilled up a small area in the back yard next to the barn that's about 35'x20'.

Then I put up a chicken wire fence.

This is our two Danes checking out my work.

Once I rake it out and hoe the rows I will plant everything.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Work continues on the columns

I am slowly getting the columns done. So far I have 4 of the 8 1/2 columns that I took down re-installed.

I'm making one change to the columns as I put them back up. The cap where the top and bottom parts of the colum meet is a weak spot. The cap is nailed to the bottom part of the column then the top part is toe-nailed to the cap.

I know it sat that way for over 100 years without a problem but I feel better adding a little structural staility to this area.

What I'm doing is taking a small 4x4 piece and screwing it to the base with 3" deck screws. I then screw a 3/4" piece of flooring to the 4x4. This makes 4 1/4", the size of the opening in the top part of the column.

I then take the top part of the column and slide it over the 4x4 and secure it into place with more 3" deck screws. This also has the added benefit of repairing the caps, most of which are split in half as you can see from the picture above.

I got a little bit ahead of myself and started installing them before primering. Hopefully I can finish all the columns by this weekend. That may be a bit of a challenge though, the double column by the steps has rot at the base, and the capital is rotted on the single column across from it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Porch Columns

I decided to get back to work on the front porch columns. They have been sitting outside in the elements since I took them down way back in March.

I didn't get many pictures of my progress. Here is a picture of one of the columns during scraping.

This is the top half of the column. I am completely removing all the paint from the columns so it's a very slow and tedious process. I completely stripped, primered and installed one column and stripped half of another column before it got dark.

Here is a pic of the column installed, it's not a great shot since it was dark before I remembered to take the picture:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Side Hall Wainscoting

Last night I finished the side hall wainscoting. In an earlier post I had shown how someone used black tar to stick paneling to the wall. This tar was all over the wainscoting. Here is a picture from last week, you can see the tar covering the wainscoting:

You can also see the missing boards to the right. These were removed to run the plumbing, electrical, cable, and the vacuum line.

The 3" drain pipe sticks out slightly from the wall so I couldn't just slap a board over it.

I had to remove some material from the back of the piece of beadboard for it to sit flush. I did this with a table saw.

Here are the boards test fitted into place:

The last board will need to be ripped to fit. I am not going to install the 3 boards that cover the vacuum line yet because I still need to tie it in under the house so I want to leave it open for easy access.

With all that done I got to work removing the tar. I started by using a heat gun but the tar just got very gooey and was making a worse mess. The best method I found for removing it was to use a very sharp scraper. I had to re-sharpen the scraper every 5 minutes or so but it worked pretty good.

Notice the outline on the wall? Looks like there was a large radiator here before it was converted to a bathroom.

Once all the tar was removed I sanded the boards smooth and then primered and painted them.

Next I need to get the chair rail and picture rail made. I also need to buy the oak T&G flooring, I am going to pull up the existing flooring all the way up to the edge of the main hall and then lay the new flooring down.. Before I do that though I need to fix the sub-floor just to the left of the bathroom door. The toilet sat here so it's in pretty bad shape.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hall Corner

I've finished the outside corner where the two halls join.

I sanded and put the final coat of mud up on Tuesday.

Then last night I did the final sanding and  painted it.

Next up I need to finish the side hall. As you can see from the pictures above I have a lot of work to do on the beadboard. The side hall was turned into a bathroom in 1922, at some point after that the beadboard was covered up with paneling that was glued to it with some kind of black tar. It's this tar that I need to remove before I can paint it.

I also need to have some picture rail and chair rail replicated for this area as the original is long gone, it was most likely removed when the paneling was put up. The gap between the sheetrock and the beadboard is for the chair rail. I also need to find some crown for the ceiling.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Main Hall

I worked on the hallways over the weekend. I finished the main hall and almost finished the side hall.

After the final coat and sanding of mud I primered everything.

The corner between the two hallways is coming along. 

It needs a sanding, one more coat of mud then a final sanding.

I went ahead and painted the main hall to get it done and out of the way.

I'm hoping to finish up the side hall in the next day or two.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Side Hall

This weekend I worked on the side hall. Here is a pic of how the hall looked last year:

I knew I wasn't going to finish it on my own so I hired on someone to help me. We took down all the plaster and lathe, then put up a few 2x4 studs in the corners, then put up sheetrock, then tape and mud.

Here it is after this weekend:

The small gap between the sheetrock and the wainscotting is for the chair rail that I need to have cut. I'll sand today and put up one more coat of mud. Then I can do the final sanding, primer, then paint.