Tools at 173: Just some "Artsy" Pics

December 16, 2018

Occasionally, I like to play around with some photo-editing apps and see the various artistic effects that can be created.  Back in '16 I did an Impressionist Retrospective on the flowers and yards here at 173, then a couple months ago I did an old-school look at 173.  It's in that vein that I worked on some pictures with an old-school look, this time focused on tools and stuff from the workshop.  I know that doesn't sound particularly exciting, but I found a simple beauty in these pictures...maybe you will too!

I'm the dude looking stressed:

My very basic router table...

Working on the face-frame of the radiator cover:

And the end-panels:

Ha!  A couple of my not-so-frequently used corded drills:

And finally, the old Table Saw of Death!

Like I said - just a simple beauty!

Radiator Cover Bonus Progress Pics

December 5, 2018

I was looking through the progress pictures from the radiator cover and thought maybe it'd be fun to show some of the less-than-glamorous shots taken along the way.  We'll start with the new Kreg jig that really motivated me to get this project under way!  Here it is with the vacuum attached...

I know that's not very exciting but I love the Kreg jigs, so much so that I painted my old, beat up metal toolbox just to gussy it up for my Kreg tools...

Of course the new jig doesn't fit, but it's perfect for the rest of the jigs and supplies...

Anyway, after the stiles were cut, I used the 1/4" roundover router bit to cut a profile into the outer edges of the end stiles.  This will give them a bit of architectural interest, which will really show when the glazing is done.

And here's the radiator cover face frame in its very early stages.  

This was the first project where I really started to appreciate all the features of my new sliding miter saw!  If you look closely at the top of this board, you'll notice the flange that pivots from the saw's support arms making repeated cuts sooo much easier!  

I also learned how to effectively use the built-in clamps, as well as how nice having a sliding miter saw is - as opposed to my old chop saw.

I spent a couple hours just trying to figure out the requisite number of slats, and the proper spacing:

Who would have thought putting in slats would be so complicated!  Of course, I probably overthought it.

Then there was the old 173 board I had saved a fews years back.  This was the only board I had with the perfect thickness for the plinth to carry the fleur-de-lis...

So I free-handed a couple plinths, but couldn't quite get the angles the same on both sides.

And I got close once...

Then it dawned on me!  I used a stop block on the miter saw!

And ended up with a pretty nice plinth!

So, that was just a few bonus shots just to tide me over 'til after the holidays when I can finish the project once and for all!  In the meantime, another picture of where we are at this point...

Getting there!

Radiator Cover Progress!

December 2, 2018

In our last post I wrote about the happy little accidents always attendant when I try to do a project a la carte instead of measuring and planning and sketching.  For instance, the first version of the end panels for the radiator cover...

But, I've since recovered and made consistent progress over the course of this past week.  The dining room redecoration, really started back in 2015 when I woke up one morning and decided that was the day 173 would finally have a dining room table...

...and immediately undertook to refinish it...

Throughout this protracted process, I endeavored to incorporate into each piece, a feature from another piece in the room.  One of those features is the rope applique that started with the table, carried over to the fireplace and now to the radiator cover.

Another feature is the fleur-de-lis, which started with the fireplace...

Which is the symbol of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, with which my unit was attached during Operation Desert Storm.  Besides that, I've just always like the symbol.  So, now I'm carrying it over to the radiator cover in a couple ways.  Primarily, I wanted to carry over the plinth idea 

Because the scale of the radiator cover is smaller than the fireplace, I needed to use wood thinner than 3/4".  It kinda worked out well because I also like to try to incorporate original pieces of 173 into projects whenever I can.  Back in '14 I did a lot of work on the basement, including the workshop...

...and I was able to salvage a couple boards, one of which was 1/2" thick - perfect for what I needed now!  

...which also was used to put a fleur-de-lis medallion on each end panel...

Here's another view:

Each night this week, after staying late at work, I made it a point to get at least some small task done, until by Saturday morning, the project looked like this:

Little did I know that this weekend would net the most advances in prepping!  Everything got caulked...

...and primed...

...and the first coat of paint applied!

As recommended, I put some foil-covered rigid insulation behind the radiator to reflect the heat into the room rather than warming the outside wall!

And now, the cover is assembled and in place:

You may have noticed that the pictures show screw holes and an unfinished top, there's a reason for that.

The Christmas tree goes in the dining room, and it's time to get 173 ready!  So, after Christmas the radiator cover will be finished - last bit of caulking, screw holes filled, second coat of paint, antiquing glaze applied, and polycryllic applied.  Geeze - not nearly as close to done as I thought!

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