Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Flux Capacitor

We chose a spot for the woodstove this week. There was much discussion about location - next to the stairs, against the wall, in the corner, in the hallway, in the dining room, outside, etc... in the end, we are all happy with the spot we chose. This picture shows the beginning of the hearth - two 1/2" sheets of plywood screwed together and to the floor.More hearth work. Andy and Chris measured and cut the slate, and Andy is seen here applying the grout. It's messy work, but it really cleans up well.

Mindy has taped off some areas on the side of the stairs. We will apply dark tung oil to the stair treads themselves, but the stringer (which will stay exposed, by the way) will be a few coats of polyacrilic like the posts and ceilings. The railing to the loft is attached in this picture. I don't have any pictures of the assembly pieces, but I'll have some next week. In the bottom right of the picture is a 48" post built out of three 2x6's, just like the posts everywhere else. It also has a tenon that extends into a mortise we cut into the floor. The tenon is secured from underneath the floor, the side of the post is attached with long bolts that come through the stringer, and the railing is attached with 4" screws through a spacer block that Andy curved with the table saw. The 4" screws are not as long as we would like, so we'll replace those with 6" screws this week. Maybe. Anyway, it's on the list of things to do.

The hearth will end up with a wood trim piece around the sides. Karen wanted slate there, and we all agree it would look good, but we aren't very confident of slate taking abuse well, and on the sides of a hearth, it surely will see some abuse.Andy jointing the ballisters for the handrail to the loft or the basement. They're all the same stock, just like the railings we have in place in the loft now.
The excavators dug the lines for the propane this week.
And then the propane company installed the tank and filled it up. This is a 1,000 gallon tank, meant to ensure that the propane truck doesn't have to worry about accessing our house in the winter. Our driveway can be treacherous.
Andy and Chris' dad came out this week and put in a lot of hours of help. Six straight days, in fact. The house just seems to swallow up work. Grandpa and Eli are taking a little snack break while they watch the workers install the propane tank.
Sanding the living room floor. From what I remember in high school Earth Science, the seasons are caused by changes in the angle of insolation. As the earth tilts away from the sun, the sun rises lower and lower in the sky each day until the winter solstice. That means cooler weather, but it also means more light penetration in the house. We are thrilled with the amount of light that comes in our South wall. Thrilled, I tell ya. The white sheets on the right are 3/4" melamine, which we will use to build the forms for the concrete countertops for the kitchen. We plan to build and pour in the living room, and then carry them into the kitchen for installation. They will need about a week to cure.
Dad and Chris assembled the rest of the kitchen cabinets this week. Lots of measuring, cutting, and using all the fun tools. They made two trips into town for more hardwood plywood - some birch, and some cherry.
The kitchen island is mostly in place here, and Dad has the railing clamped to it for some plane work. Andy routed the edge of the railing with a 3/4" roundover bit, but there was a 1/16" lip on top that needed some extra hand work. Dad planed it, sanded it, and called it good.
The island, placed mostly in position and nearly ready to be screwed together and have the top fastened in place.
What do you think the shelf life of an Eli is?

Seriously. Have we mentioned how much we love the light that comes into the house? The island is secured in place in this picture. Cabinets are screwed to each other with #8 1 1/4" screws, and screwed to the floor with 2" pocket screws. If the island moves, the whole house must be moving with it. But really, who has time to move the island when you can just watch the sunlight dance across the floor all day?The electricians have begun to install lights in the ceilings. We had to build special brackets for some of them. This light is in the living room. It's on a chain, so no bracket required. The pitch of the roof is too much for some of the other lights, however. Lights that were designed for more normal installations in a flat ceiling.
Our plumber, John. Great guy to work with. He's friendly with the kids and the dogs, and he sings while he works. He's working on the vents for the island in this picture from Saturday afternoon. The open nature of the house is tricky, and instead of boxing in an ABS pipe or trying to use paint to disguise it we chose copper. Oops... I mean coppah.

This is our flux capacitor. Andy says it's steampunk. After a brief moment on teh google, Chris agrees. We think it's a pretty cool feature. This will be the view as you stand at the sink in the island.To prepare for the back stoop, Dad moved the pallets and scraped the dirt away to replace it with gravel.The Boy Scouts were out on Saturday morning and used the circular saw and some hammers to build this platform. It's 24" high and 48" square. The top surface is interior flooring with the tongue ripped off. No, we don't expect it to last very long out in the elements like this, but it's a good temporary solution until we build the real deck or stonework to take its place.The parting shot from the cherry tree. Back stoop, back steps, and the refrigerator and woodstove have been moved inside the house. Looking a bit cleaner out there! We have four pallets in place to hold some fire wood. It won't be long until we'll need it.


Jocelyn said...

WOW! things are really coming along. It's been so great to see all the hard work you guys are doing! Can't wait to see the finished product! I'm thinking a house warming party maybe in order!

The Wests. said...

Thank you, Jocelyn.

Yes, we'll have a house warming party. It will take us awhile to finish everything after we move in, but sometime this fall or winter we'll have a get together. Via wants to cook a pig and have a luau, so maybe that's what we'll do.