Diy door jamb replacement,woodworking plans pdf free 2014,woodworking router light status - New On 2016

02.02.2014
I bought the stuff I need to build this door jamb can anyone tell me how to put it together?
It is too easy to get everything out of line if you attempt to put the pieces up one-by-one. Pre-hung doors and windows of just about any size are available for both interior and exterior purposes.
Remove the trim molding from both sides of the jamb but don't remove any nails, screws or other device holding the door stationary within the jamb. Remove the interior and exterior trim molding but leave the stabilizer keeping the window sash in place until installation is complete.
Also check that the door or window is square in the jamb with a consistent space (reveal) around all the moving parts. Drive 3 inch finishing nails through the jamb, the shims and into the wall studs to secure the unit in place. At "B" the spreader bars at the bottom of the frame have been lost and the brickwork has pushed the bottom in. In "D" a thin cheap frame has bowed in, most likely the brickie has squeezed a few bricks in tight instead of cutting them.
There is one that I missed in the sketch, that is for wider frames, say for double doors, you must provide support over the top, or in the case of reinforced blockwork, prop the frame to stop the head sagging while the blocks are being laid. In the sketch at the right, sighting from in to out through the opening, the left frame is perfect, but the other one is twisted. Most brickies do a good job, read the plans OK and fix the door frames and windows as they go. The way that is normal is to make up your frame in one piece, with the sills and heads nailed or screwed up into the jambs. If the job is to be paint finished, paint inside of the joints as well before you put them together.
The doors are usually fixed last, into the already fixed frames, mainly because the frames and outside cladding are fixed by a separate team. I have fixed quite a few aluminium doors, which were obviously pre fitted by the manufacture, and they are always easy to fix, because you can see the various aspects of out level, twist, bow in the jambs etc.
I like to use three hinges on outside doors, so I would probably recess my hinges in the hanging jambs first before assembly, but then fix the frames and doors separately, purely because I am comfortable doing it that way. I always use screws for my frame fixings, that way I can back them out easily and adjust things if it is not right first time.
Short answer, on a new job, or definitely on a commercial job, make the sill level with the final floor finish.
The French doors I have put in over the last few years have all been pre made aluminium, already hung in their frames. The water penetration side of it has meant that the rebates in the frame's sill have gone deeper than they used to be.
If I had to replace my old timber French doors in my old house that had a timber floor, I would do the same, that is let the new frame sit on top of the floor joists and just get used to the slightly higher sill. Just behind me as I type this in my shed are a pair of solid core timber doors, 900 x 2040 x 42 thick.
I have made and fixed similar sized doors out of two layers of 16mm MDF with a 1.2mm lead sheet in the middle for radiology rooms. What do reckon for the joints for the internal frame?  Do they need to mortise and tenon or because the racking forces will be taken up by the ply sheeting, would a doweled or screwed lap joint be OK? The joints in internal frame for the door as you say are not all that critical, they are only there to hold it in position until the glue etc.
If you went to the trouble of making lap joints, I'd be tempted to put a couple of braces inside the frame and just sheet the inside with ply and fix you boards directly to the frame on the outside. You mentioned mortise and tenon, if you wanted to make the job a definite project, you could make yourself a pair of frame and filled doors. I would fix the jambs with a pair of screws in four spots, just over your top hinge, just under the bottom and two more sets equally spaced in between. Pocket doors are a great idea for people who have limited space, or for those who like the architectural effect of having a sliding door.
Pocket doors are a fairly unique addition to houses at the moment so would give your house something that sets it apart from other homes.
Another great factor to consider is the expense of a pocket door which is less than that of swing doors, sometimes by as much as 20 per cent!
Unless you have a lot of DIY and carpentry skills it would be a better idea to buy the doors ready made rather than building your own. Once you are sure you have the right place for one you will need to create a frame in the wall for the door opening. If, and I repeat IF the wall is plumb and not out of whack, you may be able to fix the door. If you want to keep an old door but the old jambs are damaged or you want to install an old door in new construction, purchase a door frame, sometimes called a jamb kit, at a lumberyard or home center. Hook the tape measure into the side jamb rabbets or dadoes and measure down a distance equal to the length of the door.
Hold the hinge jamb along the edge of the door and lay out the hinge locations on the jamb. Once you have defined the outline of the mortise, pare away the wood until the mortise is cut to its full depth.
Making these dreams come true is simpler than you thought -- print these instructions to begin! I’ve talked before about the room at the front of our house, which was likely originally a parlor. I’m not sure exactly what was here originally, but I have a couple reasonable guesses.
When I got the mantel home, I opened up the part of the wall where the old mantel would have theoretically been, wondering if I’d find a firebox or just the chimney. I dragged the mantel into place-ish (Linus assisted), just to get a sense of how it would look and feel. I wanted to experiment with getting more of an authentic plaster look, though, so I opted to skim-coat the entire wall with joint compound.
Ok, moving on…one of the big challenges was figuring out the material for the hearth.
It just so happens that John, the same friend who gave me the mantel, worked for a couple of years as a stone mason when he first moved up here.
With the mantel in my possession and the hearth in the floor (and not going anywhere, ever), I still had to figure out how to sort out the space inside the mantel.
Since drywall is so flat and smooth, I used more joint compound to create the faux plaster effect.
Because the summer cover had been sitting outside for so long at the salvage place and was covered in rust, I used this wire brush attachment on my drill to clean up the surface and prepare it for paint. I love the bluestone, but I do keep wondering what would happen if I tried to darken it up a little bit. I’m resisting showing wider shots of the room because it’s actually almost done! Obviously there are degrees of blogger-ness, and I’ll leave it to you to create your own scale. I bought these funny little ottomans at Target, oh, maybe over a year ago, so I lose some Blogger Points because I can’t tell you how to buy them. Anyway, I didn’t know quite what I was going to do with them at the time, but I knew the bases would be useful for something. Ideally I like to use more natural-looking, oil-type finishes for stuff like this (like Tung Oil Finish or Danish Oil), but in this case the wood was still kind of rough and I decided good old water-based polyurethane was the way to go. EDIT: It has been requested (mainly by my mother and brother) that the dogs be included in this post, so here we go. Now, we never leave the dogs in the backyard unattended, but there’s always the risk that Mekko will get excited by something and jump over.
So, when Mekko jumped the fence last week to go see her friend(ish…they have a rocky relationship) Bailey from across the street (an adorable 150-pound white Boxer…I don’t blame her), I felt very overcome with the need to do something and do it now in terms of getting our fence situation sorted a little bit. I was less than thrilled with the panels I purchased, but at the time they seemed like the cheapest and most attractive option.
Deciding on the exact location of the fence turned out to be easy due to this weird section of missing bluestone next to the foundation a few feet behind the front of the house.
While I had the jackhammer at my disposal, I also decided to get rid of this weird concrete path in front of the house, next to the entryway steps.
Here are the remnants of the path and the rocky dirt, which I finagled Max into loading into a wheelbarrow and dumping onto the asphalt. The one thing I did do to complicate things for myself was that I decided to space the rest of the posts evenly, rather than 8 feet apart and end up with a shorter panel on the end.
I searched a couple salvage places for something old (no dice), but then on another trip to Lowe’s I found this stuff! In the front, I’m super pleased with eliminating the area of chain-link while we were doing this anyway. I secured the last faux-wrought-iron fence panel to the wood fence with some super cheap plastic PVC connectors I found in the electrical aisle.
I really like how it looks from the street, which was obviously a big challenge when thinking about this project. I’m also really glad I broke up that concrete path and got back those couple of feet of gardening space in the front next to the entry.
ANYWAY, I’m so excited to have this new foundation to work with as we start to plan some more landscaping! Back when we painted the room we also patched up and painted the casing, but now that we’re really renovating the room I started to have more ambitious ideas.
Luckily, Lowe’s also sells these long pine stair treads for about $10, which are the perfect thickness for old school window sills, AND have the necessary bullnose edge to match the original one upstairs. I’ve used a router maybe once or twice in my life, but its really a very easy tool to get the hang of. I’ll spare you all of the nitty gritty, but basically I wanted to install the sill first. If you’re very observant, you might note that the apron on this window is quite a bit longer than the one on the original window upstairs. So woodworking is fun and exciting and the window victory made me feel like I wanted to work more wood. Part of the fun of this room is that at some point, the previous owner drywalled right over the original plaster and didn’t remove the door casing—meaning that the edge of this casing was basically flush with the drywall. I like this door because aside from being free, it has a big glass panel cut-out (no glass, though…so we’ll have to get something cut), which will still allow plenty of light to get through from the laundry room window into the kitchen but will still help the rooms feel like two separate places. To do this, I had to pry off the molding on the inside of the laundry room (salvaged) and on the outside in the kitchen (plain new 1×6, not cute, not old).
Here’s basically what the door frame looks like, but I still have to attach that middle piece of fancy trim molding to make it complete. If you saw the big post about my office a couple of weeks ago (indeed, I am still talking about that…), you may remember that I promised a little tutorial for how I built the super simple floating desktop and shelves!
Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them. These comes with the jamb and the trim molding already assembled so all that is required is to open the wall, adjust the framing to the proper size and slide the new unit into place. Slide the unit into place and set it flush with the surrounding wall plaster on the hinged-side of the door. Set the jamb flush with the exterior wall and add a jamb extension on the inside if necessary. Hold a level against the side and adjust the jamb until the centered bubble indicates the unit is plumb. I always use the term "door jambs" but by far the most people I meet seem to call them door frames. When you go to the supplier to pick up the door jambs you need at least this minimum of information. Also paint under the sill if you can, it is never going to get any more paint in it's lifetime.
4 x 2 seems a bit overkill, but I don't know how heavy you external boards are going to be. A pocket door is a little different in that when opened the sliding door actually disappears into the compartment made for it in the wall adjacent to it.
Whether you are making a door to lead into a hallway or another room they are attractive and can be personalized in your own style using different accents, adding glass frosted or stained, using various hardware options. It gives you control over how the space in your house is used and how other areas are accessed.
You can get installation kits or pre-fabs and they are easy to install so it is something you can do yourself if you want to.
Also you may need to ask someone to come and check that you can install them where you want to. You will need to make this double the door’s width so that you have a place for the door to slide into when it opens. If you have purchased a manufactured pocket door these will be included with the door along with all the fasteners and brackets you need too.
One set is the jamb stiffener which is put on to the header, down the sides then fixed to the floor. If neither the door nor the jamb has mortises, center the middle hinge and place the other hinges about 6 inches from the top and bottom of the door. I sort of think of myself as a modernist renovating an old house, and this kind of thing feels distinctly not-modernist.
Even though this thing is quite a bit newer than my house, I feel like it plays really nicely with our moldings. I removed the old patch job with no real plan about what was to go in its place, but sometimes you just need to dive in and figure it out later. The plaster had separated a lot from the lath, it had some very significant cracks, and had undergone some failed repair attempts over the years with lots and lots of joint compound but nothing (like mesh tape, plaster buttons, or screening) to stabilize the plaster from further shifting.
I could have also just left all of the lath in place, but I’d already taken it down and this allowed me to still salvage the bulk of it for some other use down the road.
Since the underlying framing wasn’t very smooth, the drywall wasn’t either—but I had a plan!


You typically do three coats of joint compound with new drywall and then finish off with a fine sanding before paint. I took myself to a local stone place (that mainly does countertops and stuff) and found this really gorgeous slab. I told him what I was doing and what I wanted, and he helped me find slabs that were good options. I was very liberal with it—sort of slathering it on with a 6″ putty knife, intentionally creating and leaving ridges and imperfections along the way. I had about half a can of high-gloss black oil paint from the failed kitchen floor experiment of yore, and so I broke it out here. I’m sort of afraid to touch it because I don’t want to ruin it, but I wonder if mineral oil would have the same kind of effect on this that it does on soapstone? Promote that object because damn, you’re one clever blogger and you thrive on the attention. Like, to me, if a project involves washi tape it’s Very Blogger and might score a high 6 or 7.
My other big idea was to get two pieces of marble remnants cut for the tops and use them as bedside tables. I’m fanatical about saving any old lumber that comes out of my house, which is becoming a huge problem over at the cottage, where there is lots and lots of old framing lumber . It’s really smooth to the touch because of the polyurethane, but it still looks rough and worn and old, like I like it.
We had new electrical service run to the house, including a new service drop and converting to a single meter rather than two, since now the house is a single family. Clearing a crazy jungle that had cropped up on the side of the garage, a bunch of grapevine that had run rampant from a neighbor’s property, and miles of Virginia Creeper that had overtaken the saddest and weediest flower bed ever at the back of the property.
Getting a new roof, which was a hellish and drawn-out ordeal involving 4 different roofing contractors spread out over about 8 months and something I’d pretty much rather die than repeat.
I’m guessing the neighborhood had higher expectations when the house sold and a couple of homosexuals moved in. Panic is pretty much my main motivational tactic (aside from guilt, as we have established, but the two go hand in hand), and the idea of my dog’s safety being at risk pretty much brings my panic-meter off the charts.
I definitely don’t want my house to look like some kind of fortress, and the old wrought-iron fence had to stay, which basically left building a new fence behind the original fence as the best option.
The employees are all starting to laugh at me every time they see me there since I am there constantly. The missing bluestone had been filled in with a thin-ish layer of concrete, which was getting in the way of digging my first post hole. There is no photographic evidence of this, unfortunately, since I was mostly flying solo here, but I discovered that using an electronic jackhammer is not only really very easy, but also really very fun. I don’t know why this path was ever put in, since it has no access from the outside or from the porch, really, but I figured the space could be much better served by plants than by concrete.
Once I got the jackhammer situation sorted out and my first whole dug, it was time to place the first post!! Soil in Kingston tends to be really rich and kind of sandy, which makes it really very easy to dig. Then I decided to attach the panels with stainless steel 5″ L-brackets (spray-painted black) rather than screw the panels into the front of the posts.
Before doing this, I decided to dig about an 8″ deep trench under where the panels would sit and fill them with drainage gravel. Chain-link is just such a bummer, particularly when it’s so close to the street, and I wanted to find something better that would tie in with the original wrought-iron fence in front of both our properties. Poor thing thought she was coming up for a nice few days in the Hudson Valley and got sucked into my insanity.
Here’s the view from the back, which I know is nothing amazing but I think a hedge or something will do wonders. The fencing on the left is the new faux-wrought iron, which I think looks pretty damn good for what it is.
Setting it so far back keeps it really unobtrusive, and I’m SO excited about our new dog-free front yard!
I backfilled the hole and obviously need to plant some things and mulch, but I think it already looks better.
Basically the deal is that the whole thing—window and surrounding casing—were installed very crooked and it drove me crazy.
The casing was obviously nothing special, so what about prying it off and trying to replicate the type of millwork that is original to this part of the house?
If I used the modern equivalents of the old lumber dimensions, things would looks sort of wimpy and wrong. You are lots and lots of fun and can do so many exciting things, like help me convincingly replicate old molding. This involved cutting down the stair tread, routing out part of the bottom, cutting away the sides, and using my router to chamfer the outer edges.
I originally made an apron that small but it looked silly, so I pried it off and just eyeballed the proportions. It wasn’t a great look, but it would be an especially BAD look once I started tiling the walls.
The plan is to hang this door to swing in both directions (using this business from House of Antique Hardware). Rather than try to enlarge the door, I decided that the doorway between the two rooms was sort of big anyway and it made more sense to enclose it a little bit, thereby increasing the space for the machines.
This was fun and exciting because the kitchen is basically renovated and nice and here I am destroying it again. I think it was SO SO WORTH IT to take the extra time to really sort out the millwork situation in here before just slapping up the tile. I’m really proud of how these elements of the room turned out—they were very easy to construct, pretty inexpensive, and look and function exactly how I wanted them to.
Using one of these will make adding a new opening simpler and a pre-hung unit will have jamb measurements printed on the packaging to make building the frame easier.
Nail short pieces of 1x3 to the exterior siding and bump the jamb against it to keep the unit flush with the exterior siding while completing the installation. It is probably more correct to refer to them as frames because the word jamb does indeed refer to only the upright pieces of a door or window frame. Try to get a fixing from underneath, or if they are standard 820 doors, the fixing to the jambs should be enough with maybe a blob of liquid nails under the sill in the middle. My main question is when fitting, I am assuming that door frame is level with floor so nothing to trip on?
I could have chipped the concrete, but as there already is a 120 step between the inside floor and verandah floor levels, I didn't see it as a problem. A pocket door opens and closes on a track either overhead or in the floor and then tuck away in the wall taking up no room space at all.
You can for example install a double set in the wall between the living room and dining room and leave them open for an open plan party, or close them for more formal dinner parties.
They are durable too, most come in materials that are designed to last as long as the house itself. For example pocket doors are not the best choice for load baring walls, and you need to have walls of a certain thickness for the door to slide into. The middle of the frame is where the other set of stiffeners go called the side split stiffeners.
Using a squeeze grip clamp, place it across both pieces of molding, even if the one side isn't nailed in yet. If you have to cut a door a significant amount in width, trim from both edges to keep the stiles symmetrical. Mark the depth of the mortise on the edge of the jamb with your knife, using a combination square as a guide.
A lot of people in my life have assumed that since I’ve taken on a whole other renovation, my own house must be close to completion. You can kind of tell from the crappy picture above (taken at our first walk-through) that there’s a large patch in the floor in front of this wall, and that the baseboard ends abruptly. The floor patch indicates that there was some kind of stone hearth set into the floor here, and likely a wood-burning stove sitting on top of that. Even if it didn’t actually serve a functional purpose, a proper-looking fireplace would go a long way toward anchoring the room and providing some nice ambiance. Since there wasn’t any depth to work with inside the wall, whatever would go on the inside of the mantel had to be essentially flush with the wall.
As you can tell from the floor patch, it’s about a foot or so wider than what was here originally, which is something I sort of fretted over before deciding to just go with. Even though I want to save as much of the original plaster walls in the house as possible, the best course of action here was to just start over, so that’s what I did! I actually wanted it to be a little irregular to mimic the look of the other plaster walls.
Sometimes, like in our apartment fireplace, you’ll see a tiled hearth—but tile is tough to pull off without the whole thing looking brand new. It was honed, it was about the right size, and it was even a little damaged along the edges and had a couple scratches, which I sort of liked. I could probably find something that was locally quarried, super pretty, and much cheaper than marble or soapstone. Almost 15 years ago at this point, he decided to take a break from optometry, pretty much just for the sake of learning something awesome that he felt passionate about, and I guess that thing was building stone walls and stuff.
It isn’t so hard to find the arched (or sometimes rectangular) surrounding part, but the summer cover that goes inside it (exactly what it sounds like—a decorative cover to conceal the firebox in the months when the fireplace wouldn’t be in use) is a bit more rare—and finding the two together is even more challenging! You can sort of tell from the picture how the texture looks, but it wasn’t super evident until I got to the painting step.
Then I went back in with a regular wire brush to get in the nooks and crannies of the pattern. I drove two large screws into the studs behind—you can sort of see the screws in the picture above. Obviously then you have to photograph it while the light is still good and throw together a post so devoting too much time to the project itself is just unwise.
I could have sworn I bought four, so if the other two ever resurface I’d still be down to make that happen.
Even just lath and framing lumber feels totally wrong to just throw away, especially because I know it technically can be reused in interesting ways (that I am unlikely to actually do, let’s be real). The wood on the right hasn’t been sanded and the other two boards on the top have—huge difference, right? The satin finish gives a nice amount of sheen without looking shiny or plastic-y, and it does a really effective job of not only sealing the wood, but also smoothing out imperfections and sort of filling in the grain on softer woods like this.
Big improvement, but I had very little to do with it beyond coordinating the electrical work and buying and installing the lights.
Homosexuals are notoriously good at having good taste and making things prettier, and I feel like we’ve been letting everyone down since our beautiful tiny laundry room hardly qualifies as an appreciable improvement to the curb appeal of our house.
The garage is actually a really pretty cute little structure and I shudder to think what any kind of renovation would have done to it.
There are so many different styles and decisions to be made, and after mulling it over for so long, I was more overwhelmed than anything else. I already knew the general location, so I just measured and took myself to the local lumber yard a few blocks away, made a quick decision between standard stockade fencing and dog-ear style fencing, bought my stuff, stole my friend’s truck, and hauled it all home.
I’m a tiny person without a lot of weight or muscle, so if I can do it, you can probably do it.
Little did I realize that the concrete was VERY deep in spots and underneath it was a ton of rock, which all had to be excavated and hauled out before it could be back-filled with dirt. We used about 15 bags, which added about $60 to the overall cost of the project, but the gravel should help keep weeds from growing at the fence line, and provide drainage underneath the fence so that the bottoms of the pickets don’t rot out. While the panels were going up, I put Nora and Max on staining duty, which they were obviously loving.
I include this process image mostly to show the difference between the cedar and the black.
I think the fence will look a million times better once we get a bunch of plants growing in front of it and some real landscaping going. This involved cutting a 4-inch circular hole through the house, which was moderately stressful because I had to go through drywall, plaster, lath, brick, clapboard, styrofoam insulation stuff, and vinyl siding to reach the outdoors. The rest of the room is surprisingly level, but this window sort of made everything look fun-house-y and sad and strange. And if I installed all of that level, maybe it would give the illusion of the window also being level. From what I can tell, our house has three original different molding profiles, which are basically related to the fanciness of the room. I’m so happy with how it came out, and while the window itself is still crooked, the level casing really does completely distract from it in real life. I chamfered the outer edges with my router, like the original apron, and it looks…really good. Nothing too drastic, but now the door should fit AND the slightly smaller proportions of the doorway fit the kitchen better. The gap between the tile and the baseboard will get caulked and everything will get patched and painted. Check the other side of the wall and if necessary the jamb isn't flush there also, install a jamb extension to build it out.
Avoid causing the jamb board to bow by forcing the shims too far into the gap, they should be snug but not jammed in the space. Remove any stabilizer holding the moving parts in place and make sure the unit functions properly. So wherever you see the term jamb take it as read that I am talking about the full frame on this page and other pages. I was thinking of 30mm.(getting expensive) Or could this be reduced to say 24mm or 25mm and just plan on using extra long screws to fix the hinges through the door frame into the studs around the door.?
This article offers you some insight on why pocket doors are something to consider and advice on installing them.
Doors opening and closing on people will not be a problem and pocket doors can be hidden if you want them out of the way. The last thing you want is to start opening up walls only to find you cannot install one there and you now have a lot of repairs to pay for.


Most frames are 85 inches in height based on the standard sized door, but if you have had something custom made that is of a different size then your frame will have to reflect your measurements. Make sure you put in a door bumper at the back of the pocket so that if it gets pushed open too quickly there won’t be any damage. If the builder was this sloppy putting the door up, he probably didn't shim it much if at all. Our house was built around 1865, and since radiators didn’t come into use until the end of the century (and could have been installed here as late as the 1920s, perhaps), wood stoves would have been the original heat source. The fireplace in our apartment is purely ornamental, but just the fact that it’s there gives the room so much. It would reference Kingston history and even sort of tie into the exterior of the house, which is lined with bluestone sidewalks and pathways. The slab was thicker than I anticipated (Sean said that a thinner slab was likely to crack either during transport or once it was in place) and cost $400, which I figured was reasonable. Sean loaded it into the back of John’s pick-up with a forklift, but it was up to me to figure out how to get it into my house and in place on the other end. I really needed something that would cover the entire surface and give the illusion of depth behind it without actually requiring it.
The inner part of the cover is deeper than the outer part, if that makes sense, so the outside needed a lip to sit flush with, while the inside needed a little space behind the face of the drywall. Anyway, once everything had about 36 hours to dry, I gave it the lightest sanding and moved on. I’d say all the prep took maybe an hour, and then I just wiped it down with a damp microfiber cloth and let it dry.
The heads are sunk into the existing holes in the pattern, and after the paint, you have to really search for them. The gloss black accentuates the texture of the faux-plaster business and the intricacy of the summer cover, but I think keeps everything looking understated and classic and pretty.
Everyone will pin it and forget it anyway so it doesn’t even really matter if it falls apart right after the pictures are taken.
I really disliked the color of the bases and the top (it’s just a cheap piece of foam with a cheap nylon upholstery overtop), but the shape of the bases is so nice!
Then I wiped off the bases with TSP substitute (they’d been sitting in my basement for a while and were sort of grimy), waited for them to be totally dry, and hit them with a couple coats of matte black spray paint.
I just used 60 or 80 grit on an orbital sander and went over all sides until the studs no longer seemed super rough. The water-based stuff dries super fast, too, so usually I brush it on, wait half an hour, lightly sand, and brush on another coat, and repeat.
After that, it was just a matter of screwing the bases into the new wood top through the original holes. I hate it with every fiber of my being, and I’d give my left kidney to have it disappear and be replaced with something. That said, now we are stuck with a wildly unattractive crumbling foundation of broken dreams that all needs to be excavated and hauled away. Each panel had a few super crappy looking boards, the pickets themselves were narrow and unsubstantial, and they were about $65 a piece. This location turns out to be perfect since it’s about 4 feet back from the front corner of the house, and gives is over 18 feet of front yard space between the wrought iron fence and the new fence.
The post-hole digger I think is better if you have really hard soil, but I found it completely worthless for us. This leaves the front of the post exposed, which I think looks a little nicer and more custom from both the outside and the inside.
Additionally, because the fence is black, the gravel should help keep the color looking good when it rains and soil crap would splash up onto the fence if the rocks weren’t there. I thought removing the old chain-link would be a huge pain in the ass, but it was super easy. See how the cedar is super visible and kind of obtrusive, whereas the black just kind of disappears? Let’s just all ignore the vinyl siding and the missing end of the downspout and the foundation work we might have ahead of us. For now, I’m just glad to have this section taken care of—not only do I think it adds some curb appeal, but it definitely gives me some peace of mind where the dogs are concerned.
This is another one of those things that feels like a really big improvement to our house, and that makes me happy.
But I did it and then I used some spray-foam insulation around it before closing it back up on the inside with a piece of drywall. This is the least fancy molding, used in the kitchen, the upstairs office, and adjacent original servant’s quarters which became the upstairs kitchen.
Use carpenter's glue between the jamb and extension to help blend the two pieces of wood without a visible seam. I figure that to hang the door I would need about a 4x2's thickness being 38mm minus a mm or so needed to straighten things out. The cost for such repairs would also likely be more than if you had just hired someone to have a look and ask questions of in the first place.
Instructions for all of this come with the door so you can keep referring back to them as you need to. If you have to cut into the hollow area, save the solid edges and glue them back into the door to reinforce it.
Routed mortises have rounded corners; square them with a chisel if your hinges have square corners. I could try to list all the things I still need to do, but it would take you like three days to read and give me a panic attack, so just take my word for it.
I don’t want to wait that long to have some kind of space to sit and hang out and entertain, though, so I want this to be the living room for now! Isn’t there something much more honest and authentic about just embracing all the original detail that does remain in this house, and allowing the new work and materials to just be what they are? My wonderful and insanely talented friend, John, ripped this mantel out of his house during his own renovation, but had stashed it in his basement instead of tossing it. Soapstone was even more expensive, and granite was a little cheaper but still too much money, and I didn’t want granite at all anyway.
I don’t know if I could have found the stone cheaper elsewhere, but at that point I was excited to have found something I liked and from somebody who understood what I was after. Oil paint is so nice to work with once in a while for small stuff like this—there’s really nothing like it. I don’t feel like it dominates, but it does provide a focal point and just a certain ambiance that was missing before. It was a little tricky to get into all the nooks and crannies what with all the angles on the bases, but I managed.
It’s hard to know when to stop with wood like this, and a lot of it comes down to personal taste. It was simple to make (the whole thing took a few hours, but most of that was just waiting for stuff to dry), and it’s high enough to act as additional seating if we have lots of people over and need to expand the table. But the purple lines demarcate an old (original, probably) wrought-iron fence, which I love, and the black lines are all cheap and very crappy chain link that’s all falling apart and looking a hot mess.
And even though the cedar panels are pretty brand new, they’ll fade over time and I hated the idea of a light wood fence next to the house, calling attention to itself. I used bolt cutters to detach the chain link from the posts, and the posts—which I thought would be set in the ground with concrete) just pulled right out of the ground with a little of my manly brute strength. In the meantime, I have pretty much no experience with landscaping and could use some plant suggestions and ideas for how to use the space…hint, hint. Someday I’d like to get rid of them altogether (or at least the one on the right) and replace them with a bunch of other stuff I like more. They still have plennntttyyyy of space in the backyard to run around and play and poop, and this just goes such a long way toward keeping them safe.
PLUS I got to buy some new tools and try some new stuff and it was fun, which is mainly the subject of this post. Since we wanted our dryer to vent out the side instead of the back (so that the machines could sit as close to the wall as possible), Frank also helped us locate the exact part number we needed to order from Lowe’s separately (which, incredibly, was delivered the day after I ordered it over the phone). This house has NEVER had a dryer, and the old plumbing for the washer was tooootttalllly not to code and really old and just no good at all. It’s still pretty bulky and awesome, but the windows just have simple sills (instead of paneling detail to the floor) and the baseboards are this super simple shape. It’ll still house the books (or most of them, anyway), but also a couch and a couple chairs and stuff like that. There’s a beautiful marble one in the big living room, but whatever used to live on this wall has been gone for a long time.
They had to cut the slab down slightly to fit my dimensions, and then burned the edges just a bit. So one day, I finagled all of the people working over at Bluestone Cottage to take a break and walk over to my house to help with this thing. It’s definitely very Victorian (my house is more Greek Revival—in other words, pre-Victorian), but I love it all the same. Then I took a drywall knife and cut an inch or two inside my sharpie line and removed the inner piece. After this first coat, I caulked at the transition between the cover and the faux-plastered surround and then painted a second coat.
And I feel like it just fits—like you’d never walk into the house and think it was added recently or even really pay a lot of attention to it at all. Projects can be more or less Blogger, depending on their materials, steps, and length of time to complete. Trying to get the wood too smooth would sacrifice too much of the dark spots and overall patina, so I tried to keep the sanding fairly minimal—just enough so the wood didn’t seem like a splintery hazard.
This section of fencing is about 30 feet long, and I think I used somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 bags of Quickrete for the posts. If we run into problems down the line, I think I could replace the brackets with vertical pieces of pressure-treated lumber (exactly like the gate, pretty much), and screw those into the posts.
I also like that it ties in the with the black window sashes and other black accents I have planned for the exterior.
If it doesn't move, I would remove the molding already up and cut the nails with a sawzall and rehang the door. I’ve been working hard to get it done-ish before the cottage drags me back into its clutches. Since the size I needed was somewhat irregular (about 75 inches with a flexible depth, ideally between about 16-24 inches) I thought maybe I could find something cheap-ish in the remnant section of a stone yard. It came home with me for $150, which is more than I wanted to spend, but after some poking around online seems to be a steal of a deal. Usually I’m pretty decisive with this stuff, but this whole project seemed so full of unknowns and opportunities to royally fuck everything up and end up with something that looked super dumb and super faux and lame and I was very afraid of that happening. Then I (finally!) moved the mantel into place and secured it to the wall by screwing a few 4″ screws through the front and into studs. Anyway, these studs are probably about 150 years old, super splintery and grimy and gross, but I threw them in the basement anyway because that’s what I do.
Remember that any type of finish will also darken the wood and bring out the natural tones, to the post-sanded, pre-finished wood is much lighter than it will look when all is said and done. I threw an IKEA sheepskin on top because, well, it’s very Blogger to do that sort of thing. And despite that the top of it is surrounded by a threatening row of spikes (so witchy!), I have a Pit Bull with a very impressive vertical leap who can clear it with a smile on her face. I used Cabot Solid Color Acrylic Siding Stain (tinted black, obviously), which goes on much like a paint and looks like paint, but should still allow the wood to breathe while also protecting it a bit from the elements. To fit our dimensions, I just had to cut one of the panels down with my Sawzall, which took roughly 30 seconds, and attach it to the last post.
But at the end of the day, I guess I want the house to seem more impeccably preserved than it actually is, for better or worse.
I don’t have any pictures because I was helping and also shielding my eyes and generally terrified that the whole thing would go crashing through the floor and down into the basement and the whole house would collapse. Then I simply patched the holes (I like Ready Patch for small things like this—it sands down smoother than wood putty) and caulked the places where the mantel meets the wall. The benefit of using a stain rather than a paint is that it shouldn’t chip and peel over time and need to be redone like paint does. Overall, it’s not the fanciest thing in the world, but it does look good and feels pretty rigid, and it ties in nicely with the original fencing. Since we weren’t ready to put the machines in place yet, we opted to leave the shipping bolts in, and the delivery dude showed me where they were and how to remove them and all that. But between about 6 guys, we were able to get it inside and into place and it wasn’t even as horrible as anticipated.
Then I went through this long phase where I thought about doing brick veneer tiles and painting them, but I eventually got over it and nixed that idea. Then I just had to patch in a few floor boards and the original molding that I pried off and saved way back when I started this whole rigamarole. I guess the previous owner of our house had several cars and decided to pave half the yard with asphalt, but we have one car and it is tiny and I don’t need or want it at all.
So I had the lumber yard swing by and pick up the shitty panels, loaded my new cedar panels into my friend’s truck, and hauled that all home and unloaded it, again, splinter-free.
He also advised us to run the dryer empty for an hour to burn off any lingering shipping oils.
I became mildly obsessed with old fireplaces everywhere I went—studying them to figure out what would look authentic and be feasible, and what I landed on was a plastered treatment.
You see this a lot in old houses—maybe a brick surround that’s been plastered over and painted.
FYI—Lowe’s has not asked me to talk at all about any part of the buying experience or anything like that—I was just legitimately very impressed.



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