Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What did you do this weekend?

This past weekend actually began a few weeks ago at my parents place. See, we have been working on our master bedroom for about 3+ years now and are almost at the finish line. We have the bathroom almost done and are just awaiting the return of our plumber. We're even sleeping up there even though the floor and finish carpentry are not finished. One of the major items is just that - finish carpentry - which includes trimming out the 4 windows in the room. That is what prompted the trip out east to visit my dad and use his power tools.

I had this image of window stools of reclaimed straight grain fir. Since we are in an 1890's house, I wanted to keep some items old and period. Well, that didn't work out. I bought some great boards @ the rebuilding center, but when I arrived at my fathers, we figured out I had the wrong sizes. It would have turned out to be a single very very expensive stool. Luckily, my father, a former woodshop teacher, had some great fir from previous projects in the back that we could work with. After some cutting and sizing, we were ready to begin shaping. My idea was to have the window stool jut out beyond the trim a bit and then have a roundover edge to an ogee at the bottom. That is traditional for windows of the period of our house. We tried to work with the wood with my father's router bits, but they just weren't cutting out enough. We then moved on to the 1960's Craftsman Radial-arm saw. Yup, a tool older than me. My father had a way to turn the saw into a shaping tool and create the same affect as a router. The blades and even the instructions were in great condition for being from 1960ish and sitting in the carport for so long.
Initially, the saw didn't work. It was damaging the wood. It was at this point that I actually had to leave. I had planned on spending some cash on a more elaborate router bit to take care of the job, but before I had even shopped, my father called to tell me the blade was in the wrong position. Typical for this family. At least we figured it out and the result is A W E S O M E! A couple days after my father told me about the blade, he delivered 4 pieces of window stool with perfect roundover ends, ogee edges and dadoed insets. All I needed to do was a little sanding, cutting and installing. That brings us to this past weekend.

I began at 1 windows on the south side. The window stool my father and I fashioned was cut to inset into the window and hang over and out. I had to cut out the edges in order to have an overhang to the left and right of the trim. That takes some math and some precision cutting, especially when cutting the corners. This is where I put on the leather gloves, pray and make sure the car keys are readily available (miter saws involved.) Luckily, no injuries this whole weekend. And you know, it worked out perfectly. Actually, it worked out perfectly for about 90% of the cuts. I only had to tweak a little.


I then proceeded on to the trim which was MDF - meant to be painted. This is for the inside of the window cavity and the facing trim on the side and top. I even added a little feature of a bead molding at the top of the window to mimic what is downstairs. I'm soo ingenious.


In the end, I spent about $70 on material, not including the wood my dad donated after my botched rebuilding center purchase. It took me most of Saturday and a couple hours on Sunday to trim out 4 windows. Nothing is technically finished, that would required filling the nail holes, calking where the gaps are, oiling or staining the fir and painting everything else. We'll get to that.

I present to you the finished product.



oh and to end this post, since it is on Halloween, I present to you