Enon Hall

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November 4, 2007

I finally got my poplar on Friday for the trim on the front of the bookcases. We had a busy weekend, but I was able to get a start on the apron that goes across the top. Which means I got to try my hand at the new beading tool.

The beading tool is really a scraper with blades for different profiles. The tool comes with two fences that guide you along the edge of the board. One is for curves and one is for straight runs. The curves take a little practice, especially when your curves takes you across the grain like mine do. Scraping a straight bead with the grain is fast and easy...and a lot of fun. You simply make pass after pass, lowering the blade as you go, and scraping away more and more of the wood to reveal the profile.

So far, my beads look pretty good. They're not perfect, but I also didn't want them to be. I like looking at work like this and being able to see that somebody took the time to do it by hand. That, to me, is cooler to see than seeing it be absolutely perfect. Perfection is boring. -- Bill

November 11, 2007

I was determined to get the bookcases finished this weekend. And almost made it. All that's left is some sanding of wood filler on nail holes, priming, and painting. And I need some more crown moulding. But other than that...

I tell you, the beading tool was pretty cool, but I'm happy to be done with it for a while. In total I had to hand cut 100 feet of bead. Or as I came to think of it...a bead running all the way down the corner of a ten story building. It was fun at first, then it got old. But now it's done!

A little over a month ago I was pondering how in the world to match this detail on the bookcases in the Durch Colonial.

And here's how mine turned out.

Hopefully, Gay will have time to get everything painted tomorrow. We're hoping to have a little family celebration tomorrow night as we bring our books down from the attic and unpack them!

Gay started working on curtains for the family room. I really like the fabric. -- Bill

November 13, 2007

Last night was our shelving party. Pizza. Boxes and boxes of books. And three people with three different opinions about how books should be organized.

These books have been boxed up since January 2005. 2 years, 11 months. Here's William helping to pack them up at our old house.

And here's William, almost three years older, finally getting to unpack them last night.

I've mentioned that we have lots of books. I mean LOTS of books. Many we've bought, but most of them I have inherited over the years from both sides of my family. Enough books to fill these bookcases. AND we still have books in the Dutch Colonial. AND William has three full bookcases in his bedroom. We like books.

What a major transformation. The room feels totally different from how it felt just a month ago.

I had considered adding lighting into the top of the center case in order to get rid of the shadow that the apron makes on the pastel drawing. I even installed an outlet in the top of the case. But now, I've come to like the artwork just sitting on the shelf, rather than being hung. Doing this also lowers it enough so that the shadow isn't on his face, but rather creates a nice, soft halo around the top edge of his head. But we can live with it for a while and see. The outlet is always there if we need a "plan B."

I still need to get a piece of crown moulding to finish off the top. (We wound up with two pieces of crown with mismatched profiles.) And I need some shoe moulding for along the floor. Otherwise... DONE!! -- Bill

November 14, 2007

As usual, we're dealing with mice again this year. There are still a lot of entry points in the old part of the house, which means that they can just waltz on into the new part of the house too. My biggest fear is having them get under built-in cabinets where they can nest for years and create a real stink. (Been there, seen that.) So during the construction process I was always careful to plug any holes and seal everything seven ways from Sunday. I am told that mice won't chew through steel wool (who can blame them!) so I used that to fill any extra holes that the electrician or plumber drilled in the framing. All that extra effort gave me a little level of comfort. Until Lucy alerted me to a soft spot in my defenses. And I bet it exists in every house out there. So if you deal with mice, here's a good tip!

Whenever two cabinet units are installed side-by-side there is actually a gap between them. This gap disappears when you install the kickplate facing that bridges all of the cabinets. But the gap is not entirely gone! Use your hand, or you wife's vanity mirror like I did, and you'll find the remaining gap.

In this photo the mirror is lying on the floor in the kickspace looking up under the cabinets. There it is. A gap plenty big for a mouse to climb right into to get into that space behind the kickplate and between the cabinets. From there he can probably get behind your cabinets if there's even a tiny gap and possibly get under your cabinets, depending on how your cabinet bases are constructed. Plug that gap! I stuffed each gap with steel wool and then taped them off with metallic duct tape. And I plan to monitor these spots from time to time to check for any breaches.

So thanks to Lucy for that tip. She had one of gaps staked out in the kitchen yesterday, which lead to my discovery.

She's still no good at actually catching mice, but she can sure sniff 'em out.

Gay got her curtains made for the family room and they really warm things up. Of course, now they point out that we really need a new rug. The current rug has a lot of pink in it that looks bad with the curtains. We'd like to get a nice braided rug. Some day... -- Bill

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© 1999- William H. Chapman