Last Post on the Kitchen Trim (probably)

June 28, 2018


Ninety-nine percent sure this will be my last post on the kitchen floor trim.  I'm still working on the details, so I thought I'd throw in a little progress post here.  One of the things I put off for a couple days was the door that goes to the basement.  The LifeProof vinyl planks I put in are almost 7 mm thick so the bottom of the door had to be trimmed.  In this picture you can see that the bottom hung just below the level of the planks.  At this point I still had one small piece of flooring to install, and it was time to do it.


AAAh! I just noticed - ignore the dog hairs on the floor - Linus is everywhere!  Moving on - I put painter's tape on the door for two reasons: to protect the door from even more scratches when I ran the saw across it, and to give some contrast to the pencil line.


And let me take a minute to point out that tool...it's called a Simple Scribe, and it's aptly named!  I've used it a couple times and it's well worth the $10 or so that I paid for it.  I've never been good at using a compass, and this little tool just took all the guesswork out of scribing an accurate line for trimming!  Anyway, here's a wider shot of the door:


The funny thing was, I really over-thought and over-stress about trimming this door.  I mean, it's a solid wood door and I was only taking a quarter inch off the bottom, but I put myself through two YouTube videos to make sure I was doing it right.  Crazy - sometimes I lose a bit of confidence.


In half an hour's time the door was trimmed, the bottom re-stained and the door re-hung.


I was even able to re-use the stair-edge protector that's probably been there at lease 30 years!


Finally, a little picture of me ripping a small piece of trim.


I only include that here to remind me of the funky and sometimes wonky trim needed for this project.  Hopefully when all is said and done, the trim will jest melt into the scenery!

Kitchen Floor - Working on the Details

June 22, 2018

When last we met the new kitchen floor was in, but the detail work still had to be done.  


First I did the transitions between rooms.  This picture shows the transition to the front hallway which, as you can see, needs to be refinished - that'll come eventually.  I'd show the transition to the dining room, but there's a little surprise there so I'm going to wait until the final reveal.


Now it's time to work on the molding around the baseboards.  First let me say - I have this awesome sliding compound miter saw that I picked up when I was working on the dining room built-in. 


But for some reason, for this project I'm using a cheap old-school miter saw box I picked up at the Home Depot sometime in the late '90s.


I think I'm using this because the kitchen floor contacts five different doorways, and using this old miter box gives me a little more control when cutting very small pieces.  But, some of the quarter round is long and straight - pretty simple...


But, the end of the cabinets on the sink side of the kitchen have a curved base.  I fretted over what to do and how to trim around a large curve until, just out of desperation I Googled "flexible trim" and came across a product I didn't know even existed!  ResinArt's 3/4" quarter round:


That's right!  So flexible it can be coiled up!  I had no idea what I was getting when I ordered it on Amazon, but when it arrived I was more than impressed.  It's definitely flexible, but it's not at all flimsy, cuts and sits jest like wood, and even has a very natural-looking wood grain.  Most of all - it solved my problem:


I haven't filled the nail holes yet, but once that's done it'll all be painted.  The manufacturer says any paint will work with this molding, so we'll see.  I wish I knew about this stuff years ago!  Okay, see you all soon!

Back to the Kitchen

June 10, 2018

No, this isn't a Legacy Project, it's a whole new project that rounds out a recent project.  Back in June of '17, the kitchen makeover was all but done.  As a matter of fact, in the last kitchen post I even mentioned that there was one more thing to do, and I was going to get to it soon.  Well, a year later - here we are!  A year ago, the kitchen here at 173 looked like this:


And this...


And...


 The ceiling, wainscoting, lighting, walls, some cabinets, countertops and paint were all new, and was a far cry from this grainy old photo from sometime in the late '90s:


But, in case you hadn't noticed, there aren't any shots that clearly show the floor.  For many decades I'm sure, and at least since before 1997, the kitchen floor was sheet linoleum, and was in pretty decent shape - especially for its age.  But in recent years, the floor (like me) has been showing its age.  The seems had come loose,


and there was a spot I had glued down a couple times...


If you're read this blog much at all, you know I like old-school stuff (to a reasonable point), and I always liked this floor, but alas - the time has come to put in a new floor.  As always, I spent several weeks researching products, and studying how to install a new floor.  During my research, I learned that laminate wood flooring can work in the kitchen, but isn't the ideal choice.  And speaking of choices - have you looked to see the endless options? It gets dizzying!  Anyway, after much research and just plain ol' mulling over, it came down to Lowes' Smartcore Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP), and Home Depot's LVP.   Both were highly rated, and I was having a hard time deciding, so it came down to who had the right color, and who had that color available locally.  And without further ado, the winner is - Home Depot's Lifeproof Luxury Vinyl Planks.  It got great reviews all over the internet, and they had the right color; and that color is...


Sorry for the scribbled notes, but that's my way of keeping track of things.  I'm not normally an oak person, but the color seemed medium and neutral enough not to clash with the rest of the woodwork here at 173.  Maybe the most important thing in that picture is circled in red.  I had to search all over the area for Essential Oak 'til I found some less than five minutes from work.  The day after I found it online I ran over and picked some up on my lunch break, worried that someone would come in and snatch all 49 boxes before I could get there!

The first thing I had to do when I got home that night was pull up all the old linoleum.  It took me an hour to pull up about a three foot piece, and I thought - no way am I going to spend a week pulling this up.  The linoleum was very solidly attached, and the LifeProof product said the LVP could be applied directly over it.  So I used some Henry's patch stuff and filled in what I had just torn up...


Then I had to undercut the door jams:


And I gotta tell ya - the oscillating saw was the perfect tool for so many things in this project!  Oh, and as it turns out, the manufacturer said that kitchen cabinets should be installed before putting the flooring in, which worked out well considering the cabinets have been in for about a year!  But there's one little thing about the cabinets...the end cabinet is original to 173 and was integrated into the new cabinets.  This is great except the base of the cabinet has a curved corner.  It looks nice, but I was a little concerned about how to cut the LVP to fit properly around the curve.  Then I realized I have the perfect tool for just such a circumstance!


So with that figured out, the LVP starting going down:


It's interesting how the color changes with the light:


Looking toward the breakfast nook:


And the best shot so far for a couple reasons, the color is closer to real life, and  - there's Linus!


There's a couple details to wrap up, and one little surprise, both of which I'll show in the next post!

Re-re-visiting the Fences

June 3, 2018

I kinda like doing these "Legacy" posts, they give me a chance to look at the changes at 173 over the years and reminisce about times gone by.  This one is a little different though.  You see, the back yard fence project was already written about, way back in 2011.  That's another fun thing about these posts, they become a look back at this blog - I don't often look very far back in the posts.  So, why am I posting about the fence again at this time?  Did another fence project get done?  No - although the fence is on the list for some repairs and replacements.  No...I'm posting this one because I came across a bunch of old progress pictures that I had forgotten existed, and they were fun to run into so here they are!

This is one of those opportunities I love, a chance to pay homage to the only other family to own 173 - the Moshers.  This picture is of my friend's father, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Mosher, who lived here since 1927.  I'm guessing that this picture was taken sometime in the '50s, maybe the '60s.


In the background are two things I want to point out:  obviously, the old wire fence, and the pole.  The pole seems like a huge flagpole, but in fact it was a pole for a clothesline.  You can see both in this next picture:


The pole was still here when we took possession of 173 in 1997:


And there's the old Jetta, our very first band-new car!  In that picture you can also get a sense of the condition of the old wire fence.  Nonetheless, sometime early on I decided to replace the pole.  At the time, I thought it was pretty nice, but looking back I'm not so sure!


You can even see the clotheslines in that shot!  In the far back corner, we had put in a couple blackberry and raspberry bushes - I miss those things!  But, in the fall of '97 I had the romantic notion of planting a tree that we could watch grow over the years.  As it turns out, I put in a tree that would grow to be humongous and cover the entire yard if it was left to grow to full height.  A few years after this picture I cut it down - I don't miss that one.


There's a shot towards the garden, which of course looks altogether different now!


Here's a couple shots in the middle of replacing the fence by the garden:


As you can see below, the back fence was already done by this point.  I think I did one side of the yard at a time, probably because that was all we could afford to do back then.  Interestingly, and I don't remember this, but the car port had already been remodeled by the time I got to this!


And here you can see how I sloped the fence as a was to meet up fences of two different heights.  Of course if I knew I was going to build a shed in that corner, I wouldn't have bothered! And I have to say this - HA! - look at the old chicken wire fence around the garden!


 Here's a shot from outside the back yard.  The lilacs were rather newly planted, and we still had blueberry bushes on the other side of the fence.  When I replaced the fence, I put the new fence about four feet closer to the sidewalk, which is actually city property, but almost 20 years later it's still there.  Before I move on though, I want to point out that big rock.  We were driving back from a friend's house in Connecticut when I spied a large brook sprinkled with all these beautiful rocks.  I hauled it out of the brook, up the bank and put it in the trunk of the car.  When we got home I carried it toward the back yard, but it was so heavy I sat it down where you see it in the picture.  It was then that it was decided that the flower bed would spill through the fence to the outside, and the rock would be the anchor of the bed.  Anything was better than having to carry it again!


But as I said, I moved the fence out and the rock is still there!


And here's a little wider shot of the back yard from the side.  As a matter of fact, I think in the very foreground you can see the lilac bush as just a twig, still with the nursery tag on it!


That shot also shows the back porch way before I changed the windows and the lower part of the porch:


Of course that picture is outdated now too...because there's a new stoop on the back:


Okay, let's get back to the fences.  Here's a couple more shots:


And there's the front fence that goes from the corner of the house to the sidewalk.  Originally spirea was there...


It's tough to see there, but it's visible in the lower left of the picture.  I hated taking it out, but we had a different vision for that line...essentially, a place for more flowers:


 And finally, a couple more recent pictures:



Just a little different from the old wire fence I think!!

And just a thought from Robert Frost:
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know 
What I was walling in or walling out, 
And to whom I was like to give offense. 
Something there is that doesn't love a wall, 
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him, 
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather 
He said it for himself. I see him there 
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top 
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed. 
He moves in darkness as it seems to me, 
Not of woods only and the shade of trees. 
He will not go behind his father's saying, 
And he likes having thought of it so well 
He says again, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'

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