Thursday, July 29, 2010

Something Wicked...

Heya Everyone -

Like just about every other place around the country, if not the world, we are having some super freaky weather this year.

Today was no exception....

We had been having sprinkles off and on all day as well as a slight overcast. Actually it wasn't that bad of a day to be working on the house - just muggy out.

All of a sudden, at mid-afternoon, the wind died out and it was dead calm. Eerily calm...

Do you remember the movie 'Something Wicked This Way Comes'? It reminded me of it.

It was also getting darker.

I had reason to go into the back yard and that's when I saw the storm front.

Following are a few pictures. The first one was taken in the backyard facing north west. The rest are in the front yard.

Unfortunately the pictures do not show the rotation in the clouds or the greenish tinge. In fact there were two rotations going on; one in the northeast corner and one in the south west corner.

Fortunately nothing came of the rotations and all that ended up happening was rain.

It was all over in less than 30 minutes.

Till next time...

Larry ~

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Of Rot & Scaffolding

Hey Everyone!

Check it out - two posts in two days!!

Today I got a chance to do something a little more interesting than scraping paint.

Do you all remember that spot of rot on the porch fascia, right above where the flag goes? If not go here to see it - look right above the flag finial.

When we first bought the house therewere two huge Ceder trees growing at the front steps. If you don't remember go here for the post.

Anyway, what you cant see in the pictures is the spot between the tree on the left and the porch fascia. There was an invasive vine growing up that side of the tree and it decided to go for the house as well.

So the 'rot' is the damage done by this vine.

Today I worked on this spot.

At this point the rot has been cleaned away.

I took this picture so you could see how much the fascia has pushed out. The two fascia boards should be flush against the bead-board.

Do you see that alligator paint?! This is what ALL the paint on every single piece of bead-board looks like.

Just another view, but you can also see the original shake-shingles.

This is part of the rotted fascia board that didn't disintegrate.

Do you see the 1 x 2 above the molding? Notice that it's missing on the right. This part of the trim disintegrated the moment I touched it.

Using the Fein Multimaster the rotted part of the fascia was removed.

Depending on what we do with the fascia boards will determine if the board gets cut back even further.

I drew a circle around the main fascia board, on the radius section, as well as an arrow so you can see the area that has pushed away better.

As you can see, the main board has pushed out more than an inch. I have an idea how to fix this but one of the problems is the amount of nails originally used. In a space that's about 1.5 x 2.5 inches there are about a dozen large nails. These might have weakened the board.

I should find out tomorrow.

I'm also trying out some simple scaffolding platforms to help make scraping the bead-board easier.

I think I will replace the board you see with a cut-to-fit piece of 1/2 plywood.

And of course, what would a project like this be without a huge piece of scaffolding.

The father-n-law came over to help me put this in place. Have this will help the fascia repair go easier. This morning I had to use an 8' step ladder.

I also started to test the Paint Shaver on the bead-board on the inside facing fascia.

I did this while waiting for the Father-n-law to arrive. In reality we probably wont get this part done until next year. However, this will be a good project for Fall and Spring; especially when you consider a heat gun will have to be used to get the paint out of the beading.

I'm going to leave you with the following two pics. While playing around I discovered something great.

Remember, we used the Paint Shaver on the clapboard.

We knew going in that it would leave the clapboard 'fuzzy'. You can kind of see it in the picture.

So I decided to try that 36-grit sandblaster pad, the one from the previous post, on the clapboard to see what it would do.

Isn't it sweet looking?!?!

Smooth as a baby's butt!!

Seriously, it's as smooth as the new stuff we got from the lumber yard and I barely touched it with the sander.

To be honest though, since I was just playing around, it does need to be sanded a bit better on the edges.

Well, that's about it for the day.

Till next time...

Larry ~

Monday, July 26, 2010

Still Here - Still Scraping

Hey Everyone -

Yup - we're still here, scraping away and melting.

The weather has been rather freakish and hot. Our highs have been in the triple digits and the heat index has been between 105 & 110.

That being said the heat has been making progress go as slow as a snail but we are moving along. If it weren't for the fine detail pieces we would be going a lot faster.

As you can see the paint is off the windows.

This has been an incredibly slow process. On average it take 4 hours to do one window if not longer.

We are also working on the porch posts and the porch's fascia parts.

I almost feel like we are wasting time, money, and effort on the porch posts. The ones that are on there now are going bye-bye hopefully this next spring. However, in order to hedge out bets in case we don't get to it we are going to make them look nicer. In order to do this a little more effort is needed - they're not in great condition.

We have also been noticing more areas where the fascia is kind of bowing. Replacing, and repositioning, the posts should help.

What we are dreading the most is all the bead-board on the fascia and ceiling!!! This is going to be a challenge.

This is a new toy we are trying out as an adaption to the PaintEater.

It's part of the 3M SandBlaster Angle Grinder Quick Loading system.

As the description states it's intended for an angle grinder. Turns out it won't fit my angle grinder without and additional 5/8-11-Inch Grinder Arbor Adapter, which I don't have.

So, it was either find someone who could drag my butt to the big city to find one or figure something else out.

Turns out the 3M SandBlaster Quick Loading system fits the PaintEater perfectly!

In the above picture you can see the 36-Grit Multi-Layer Disc #9678. This little doohickey works great! Not as good as the Paint Shaver but it gets the job done.

Before I forget, in order to use this sanding disk you also have to have the Quick Loading Adapter #9675. This is the part that attaches to the power tool and supports the sanding disks.

At this point you might be asking "why aren't you using the Paint Shaver?" Simple reason, the tool is too dangerous to use upside-down. I'm not able to safely use the Paint Eater in certain areas of the fascia.

Moving on...

Thought you'd get a kick out of seeing just how much paint came off the inside parts of the windows.

Actually, this isn't all of it but only about 75%.

Ending on a good note; the father-in-law and I went and bought the replacement cedar clapboard for the house.

Turns out there is only one lumberyard in the big city that even carries this stuff in stock!

So far we've only purchased 100' - that should be enough to get the upper sections above the porch done.

One last thing and I'll let you all go. Our Seamless Gutter contractor came out to look at the house today. I honestly thought he was going to balk and run. He kept asking about the height of the house and flat out said he would not be able to build guttering for the curved section of the roof. It wouldn't surprise me if he turns down the job.

Right now we are looking into either copper guttering or aluminum. The copper would look awesome, but the aluminum would be easier.

We'll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, till next time...

Larry ~

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Percy Strikes Again!!!

What a week...where to begin?

How about a little poem - think along the lines of 'The Night Before Christmas'.

T’was the 1st of July all through the house,
Percy was stirring and wouldn’t get out.
So up on the porch Percy did come,
To screw up my scraping and have some hideous fun.
Just like a big dummy I avoided the signs,
And continued scraping bidding my time.
Then all of a sudden there arose such a clatter,
As I slipped on the porch roof and slammed down on the ladder.
I had no idea that my fingers were hurt,
Until I went to move the shop-vac and the blood started to spurt.
I had crunched my fingers in the folding legs,
The weight of my body about severing the tips.
So into the window I flew like a flash,
Heading for the bathroom to rinse and assess.
The gashes were deep and the blood flowing free
All I could think was ‘why did this happen to me.’
With a few calls for some help and a response from the sister-n-law,
The fingers have been bandaged and the pains under way.
So Percy has struck he has come once again
You may think this is your house but we will remain.

Following is a picture to go with the poem.

Whad ya think? Should I get three more and make a proper claw?

I could have shown you a 'before' picture but decided against it.

Here is the back story.

This whole week, except for Monday, has not been good in regard to working on the house.

Tuesday I tripped over my own two feet climbing out the window; then I got tangled in the electrical cords; and if that wasn't enough I miss-stepped getting on one of the platforms and fell. Luckily I was able to come to a stop before falling off the roof. I decided to call it a day and go help my father.

Wednesday I was out of town and by the time I got home it was too hot.

Today, well, today started out great. Everything was going as planned and scraping was moving along nicely. Then, when I went to move one of the platforms, it happened. I was adjusting the electrical cords and my feet slipped on the shingles. I came crashing down on top of this ladder like platform we use. Without realizing it the fingers on my left hand were in the way and I pinched my pinky finger and ring finger.

You know how you mash a finger and create a blood blister? At first that is how it felt and that's all I though had happened (it happened so fast). Then, about 15 to 20 seconds later I went to move the shop-vac and large drops of blood started dripping on the platform. I looked at my hand. The pinky finger wasn't too bad, but the top third of the ring finger looked like ground beef.

So, I wrapped my finger in my shirt, went to the bathroom and flushed it with cold water and then immersed it in hydrogen-peroxide. I looked at the finger and saw that it was bad, but wasn't sure if it was ER bad or not. What I did know is that I wouldn't be able to bandage it well with one hand.

To make a long story a bit shorter...

I got in touch with my sister-n-law, the Paramedic & RN, and she came over to take a look. She was even wondering if I might need to go to the ER - she thought the top part of the bone might be crushed. I told her I could feel it and it felt intact. Instead, she did what would have been done at the ER anyway.

Now I have what you see in the picture. It is going to be a pain to scrape during the next few day.

What surprises me most is that it doesn't hurt - it stings a little and aches some but that's it. The worst part are the finger splints - they're in the way! Hopefully the pinky one will come off tomorrow. It's on just to give the cut a better chance to heal. The big one might have to wait till the beginning of next week.

The other surprising thing was my body's physical reaction. Once I was down stairs, and making my phone calls, I was real queasy and felt like I was going to pass out. I was also sweating a lot more than normal - I mean it was as if I just walked out of the shower! I'm not sure why I reacted this way. I have had several injuries in the past - major surgeries, crushed feet, broken bones, nails through the foot, slammed fingers in car doors, etc., but the only other time I felt like this was when I was about 9 years old and had my wrist broken.

The only thing I can figure is the heat and the fact I hadn't eaten yet (this happened around 9:30 AM).

Oh well...I'll live.

I'm beginning to wonder if Percy is after me again - like he was with the attic.

I was hoping to have a much better post showing how much had been done, but this post will have to suffice. Fortunately some scraping did get accomplished!

Let's have a look at that.

As you can see I've been playing with scraping the paint on the fish-scales.

The paint is coming off rather easily so far but we will need to use a stiff brush to get some of the older paint.

You can also see the paint still remaining on that big board at the top. I was using the paint shaver on this section when I had my booboo.

We have removed all the storm windows on the porch side of the house so the trim can be finished.

The plan was to finish this part today as well as that big board up top.

On a brighter note we were able to assemble some of the scaffolding this week-end!!

I was hoping to start hitting these boards with the paint shaver Friday - guess that won't be happening.

You know, I could tell kids, on the 4th, that this is what happens to your fingers if you play with fireworks and show them my hand!! I know, that's mean, but it would be fun.

Let me leave you with the following picture.

I found this cool little gadget at Harbor Freight. It's called 'Caulk Savers'. Go to the web site and have a look. The only problem I have with it is that I didn't come up with the idea! If it works it will be a god send considering how much caulk we will be using.

Well, I guess that's enough for today.

Till next time...