Monday, September 30, 2013

Basement Demo

Hello once again readers! I admit I haven't been very good about posting recently. Part of that is that I haven't been working on a whole lot, and the other part is laziness of blogging about what I have been working on. Just to catch up a bit, I have been continuing to work on the dollhouse. I had no idea it would take so long to fix that thing up. I work on it almost every evening and I just got all the exterior work done. But, that is a post for another day. Other activities of note were painting wine glasses with some friends. I think they turned out pretty good. I was going for seasons.

J and I also spent a Sunday in September going on a hike nearby. There's a nice (mostly shaded) trail near our house.

We've also entertained at our place twice in September, which limits the amount of projects I do because I was trying to keep the house looking clean and nice. It almost never looks put together while I am working on something.

This past Sunday, I was supposed to go apple picking with some of my girlfriends. Unfortunately, there was some horrible accident, and I got stuck in traffic and couldn't make it. Whatever happened must have been horrible. Anyway, after getting stuck in traffic for 1.5 hours, I decided to bail (since I would have been horrendously late). I was pretty frustrated. After already being frustrated that morning when J and I went to watch the church service on streaming and the connection got all messed up (ironically, it was a sermon on anger). So, long story short, I decided to start demoing the downstairs bar area that has been on my to-do list for a long time. I was also prompted to start this project when I found out that one of my friends in the area had a wet saw I could borrow to do the tile work. :)

Here is a before shot. The plan is to take out the carpet in the bar area and slightly around the bar area and put in tile. Then, we will get a new beverage fridge, new cabinets, countertop, sink, light fixture, etc. Basically, this entire bar area had been put together very poorly and cheaply. I'm not anticipating spending a lot of money, but enough to get this looking decent. And all the gold stuff has got to go.

You can see the lovely job the previous owners did with the drain pipe for the sink.

Random drywall holes for no reason. Thankfully, the water lines did have shutoffs. That was a huge relief. The shutoffs are the quarter turn kind, which are actually really nice to have.

With everything out on the bottom. I did most of the unscrewing and detaching, but then J came down to help with getting the countertop, sink, and base cabinet out and disassembled.


I'll donate most of this to the Habitat for Humanity reStore.

Oh yea, this was good. They actually screwed the mirror onto the wall from the other side of the drywall. Why you would ever hang a mirror this way is beyond me.

J and I ventured to Home Depot and brought home some samples of tiles we liked for the new flooring. We both really like the center one. I plan on going over to the Tile Shop at some point and seeing if there are others we might like.

I was sort of trying to match the tile by the door to the outside, but the closest match wasn't all that close. I think we determined that matching the other tile may not be all that important.

Finished the demo work. I haven't taken the light out yet because I think it will be helpful to have there during the tiling stage. However, it will most certainly be replaced. Next on the agenda is fixing up the drywall, cutting out the carpet and attaching new tack strips for the carpet. I'll probably work on the drywall repair first. Even though a lot of it will be covered up, I think it's better to have a good surface to start with. We don't need to repeat the last owner's mistakes. All in all, I am getting pretty excited about the project. I have started some modeling of what I want to do, so I'll have more soon.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

X-leg Ottoman

It's been a looong time. Sorry readers. It's actually not because I haven't been doing anything (especially as I have a new project to share with you). It's mostly because I have needed some time for me. As I indicated in a recent post, I have been working through some personal issues with anxiety. And part of that was starting to be nicer to myself. So, I let myself take a bit of a break from the normal routine of a post every week, and just relaxed a bit. As I have started to sleep better (yay! knock on wood), I started getting more motivation to pursue a house project. I decided I really wanted to build something. I enjoyed the hutch project considerably, and an ottoman for our upstairs sitting room has been on my pinterest/to-do list for over a year.

My plan worked from this one by Centsational Girl. I made a few modifications, which I will explain along the way, but I mostly stuck to her instructions. I think the only thing I would do differently were I do embark on this project again would be to use 2 x 2s instead of joined 1 x 2s. I think I probably spent around $40 total on this project, but I already had a lot of materials (like stain and the fabric).

I was pretty stoked to set up the miter saw again.

Basically, if you read the above link, I needed to make 4 of these "x"s with the 1 x 2s. I'm going to skip the dimensions for brevity sake since the instructions are on the other link.

It ended up being a lot of cuts.

I made the cuts for the "x"s and the bar across the ottoman (14 inch straight cuts) all out of 1 x 2s. Instead of using 1 2 x 2 for the bar going across, I used 2 1 x 2s. This is because I forgot when I was buying the wood and I knew it would work.

I started making the "x"s. Centsational Girl suggested gluing the pieces together. This didn't seem all that stable to me, so I decided to use my Kreg Jig and attach the pieces with both wood glue and a screw. I used the jig to drill one screw hole into the two pieces that connected to the long diagonal piece.

You can see the kreg jig holes and screws on this piece.

Jig setup. The side pieces were cut at a 9 degree angle, so I had to make sure the kreg hole lined up correctly. 

Once I had the 4 "x"s, I needed to attach 2 "x"s together. I again used wood glue and screws. The sides where I had used the kreg jig, I glued together, and then joined the two using 1.25" screws on the "x" legs. This made a really solid connection.

This was a big moment for me. I am always pretty careful with measuring, but this made me feel a whole lot better.

 I also used wood glue + screws for the 2 14 inch pieces to make them into a 2 x 2.

Next it was sanding time. This is why I would use 2 x 2s for everything were I to do this project again. Because there is human error involved, the 2 "x"s attached together didn't line up perfectly evenly. I'm actually not entirely sure why the original plans assembled the ottoman this way. I ended up using my electric sander to get the edges lined up. This part of the project took the longest by far.

I attached the center piece to the 2 "x"s using wood glue and the kreg jig on the underside of the bench. Centsational Girl put the center piece in at an angle, but I thought it looked better this way. The biggest "yes" moment of this project was checking the level. It was perfectly straight!

I still needed to cut the top piece. I bought 3/4 inch plywood from Home Depot. And this is where things got fun. J had bought me this jigsaw for my birthday, and I had yet to use it. I was excited to finally try it out. After reading through the instruction manual (safety first), I put it together, adjusted it to the straight cut, plywood setting and made my cut. The cut was 17" x 17". When cutting anything, always make sure your boards are secure. I use C-clamps. Anyway, this jigsaw was really easy to use. It had a straight cut guide, so I used the 17 x 17 pencil line I had drawn on the wood and followed the guide. The cut was nearly perfect.

Top piece resting on the legs.

Then, it was upholstery time. I used batting to attach a 2" piece of foam to the board. I used my staple gun to attach the batting, which held in the foam.

Making sure this was the fabric I wanted to use. Looking good..

Then I used the staple gun to attach the fabric to the foam + board. Despite measuring carefully, I feel like the pattern is slightly off-center, but I can always re-upholster later.

Then, it got interesting. I used stain on the legs. This was my first time using stain alone instead of stain + poly combined. You basically brush on the stain and then wipe away with a rag. This is also where things got slightly weird. Some areas of the wood soaked in the stain more than others. I think this has a lot to do with how much a certain area was sanded. The more heavily sanded areas soaked up more of the stain. While I had thought I had sanded everything evenly, I found that wasn't quite true. I think in the future, I have to be pretty careful about that. Also, pine usually should get pre-treated with a wood conditioner. I didn't have one, so I didn't use one. I think it might have been better if I did. Oh well, live and learn. I did the staining yesterday (while J and I watched lots of Breaking Bad. It felt kind of appropriate to wear a face mask while watching).

Today (again while watching Breaking Bad), I decided the stain was thicker in some places than I cared for, so I ended up using fine grit sand paper to lighten it up and even things out. It ended up making the legs have more of a rustic look. After sanding and buffing, I did 2 coats of clear coat (water-based poly).

While that dried, J and I went on a 3 mile walk. Then, I came back and attached the top and bottom. I used screws so that I could re-upholster the top in the future if I decided to. I never put in the top pieces that Centsational Girl used. I didn't really like the look.

Then, it was finally done! This project took me a week, working evenings and during the weekend. And finally, I can put my feet up when I am reading at night (this is my reading chair).

It also goes with the window treatment in the room.

I really love the final result.


And I can finally cross this item off my pinterest list!