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Showing posts from November, 2018

Made at 173: Fixing Mistakes

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Those of you old enough to remember (like me) can think back to the days when Bob Ross created miraculous paintings right before your eyes every week on PBS in the 1980s and '90s.  Every once in awhile, Bob wold make a miscue with his brush (although I could never see it), and his famous saying, in dulcet tones, was "We don't make mistakes, we have happy little accidents."  The spirit of this quote is that in making a mistake happy little accident, we learn and often create something even better!  Well, yesterday I messed up (in a number of ways) in making the end panels for the radiator cover...


In the spirit of such a quote, @rickmclellan replied to the 173 Tweet (yes, 173 has a Twitter feed!) with encouraging words, reminding me that learning from our mistakes happy little accidents is a process.  And how true it is!  Today I re-started the end panels from scratch.  What looked like this yesterday...

...today looks this way...

This design turned out much better f…

Made at 173: Radiator Cover Build-Failure

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Yesterday I made such good progress on the radiator cover that I had fantasies in my mind of finishing the project today!  I mean, I actually thought the end-panels would be built, the whole thing assembled and the first coat of primer on - that kind of finished.  When will I ever learn?  Here's where yesterday ended:


I woke up today rarin' to go, went to Lowes and picked up a 3/4"x12"x4' engineered board (no idea what its actual name is) and a 1x3 to build the end-panels.  First I built the frames...

...using some scrap 2x4 pieces because of course - one 1x3 wasn't enough.  After building the first frame I tested it for fit and quickly realized 1x3 was waaay too big for the little space around the end of the radiator.  So, I ripped the 1x3 and 2x4 pieces down to a more manageable size, re-built the frames and cut the end caps...

What a joy to have a modern compound miter saw!  Made for quick, easy and accurate cuts, even on a 12" wide board!  A far cry …

Made at 173: Radiator Cover - Part 2

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Here's where we left off:

The frame was done and it was time to cut the slats.  I fretted forever trying to figure out the necessary width of the slats and the spacing between them.  I've always been a little shaky with geometry, so I looked up different calculators and formulas.  In the end, I chose 1x3s for the slats, and by using some leftover parting bead from the aborted window project, it turned out 1/2" spacing was perfect!

If you notice above, the fifth slat in is longer than the others, that's because of a few features that went into my final design of the cover...

Obviously I'm not much of an artist, but this gives an ideas of what the plan was.  I figured in a space at the top to allow war air out (heat rises after all) and a cold air return at the bottom.  Also, I want to be able to use this as a bit of a window seat, and that's where the long slats come in - just a little extra support!  Moving on, you know how everyone has their peccadilloes?  W…

Made at 173: Starting on the Dining Room Radiator Cover

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Winter came early this year!

Of course for me it's okay because I love winter!  The problem is, when last we met I had taken out windows in the bedroom, and planned to get them painted and rehab'ed before winter came.  As it turns out, I did get some work done...

But then the winter turned and I had to put the windows back in before the snow flew.  In this case I ripped a new parting bead so I could re-install them...

I also managed to restring the window weights... 

But alas, the windows will have to wait 'til spring.  But all is not lost!  I decided now was as good a time as any to build a cover for the radiator in the dining room.  This particular radiator has looked bad for some time, as you can see in this picture from a few years ago...

But after all the work that's gone into the dining room, it's really time to do something with the radiator.  Finally, today I got started on building a cover.  Like just about everything I do around here, I've contemplat…

Window Work - What was I Thinking?

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I've done windows here at 173 quite a few times now.  I put new windows in the back porch, new windows in the basement, re-glazed and painted the window on the north side of the house...

But, for a couple reasons, I've always avoided working on the interior of the windows.  The first reason is that the woodwork is so beautiful I've been afraid I'd mess it up.  The second is that they look intimidatingly complex.  So much so that I've had to watch videos and study diagrams...


But, the other day I took the air conditioner out of the window, and thought - gee, I should re-glaze this window - it won't take long!  THAT should have been my first sign - I'm ALWAYS wrong when I say something won't take long.  Besides that, here's the radar picture for the day I pulled the windows out (173 is in New York):

And here it is the day after:

Life's about timing right?  Anyway, the die was cast, the Rubicon crossed, now I was committed to the task!  Here we go…