The Shed Rehab: Finally Making Progress

July 26, 2019

Summer's always interesting for getting projects done.  For one thing, depending on what you're doing, you have to be strategic about timing.  This is one of those projects!  When last we met, almost three weeks ago, the shed had been all primed and ready for painting.  

But then came the weather.  Between work, rain, heat and high humidity, there just hasn't been a good time to start painting.  Until today that is.  I had a day off work, woke a little early (not nearly as early as mom and dad though, those two wake the roosters!) and tried to beat the humidity.  And it worked - at least for one wall...

For now I'm only painting two walls, as the back and right side walls are hidden by fences, but the left side wall is going to be painted, but the humidity skyrocketed as I was finishing the front wall today, so that'll have to wait.  In the meantime, I got started on fixing up the window.  After replacing the basement windows way back in 1998, I saved the old wood windows because, well... you never know when you might need an old wooden window!

I used one of the windows to make a book case for the front porch...

And when I built the shed, I used another one (I think I still have at least one other in the workshop for some future use).  The shed's been up for some time, and the old basement window was really starting to show its age... 

So it was time to get 'er fixed up!  I started by used my trusty old heat gun to remove the window glaze.

Then I went to work on it with the orbital sander.

Which made quick and easy work of stripping the wood.

When I was removing the glass I broke the corner of one of the panes.  As luck would have it, I had a "spare" I had saved from one of the other old windows, one that I think was in too rough a shape to keep.  It was just a smidge too big, so I used the rotary tool to really clean out the old glaze.

That worked great, which is good because the oversize was so tiny there would be no way to cut that little bit off the pane.  Anyway, then it was time to prime the window frame...

And that's where it stands.  Not an exciting post, but I enjoy looking back at the little things we do here at 173 to keep original parts and pieces when possible!  Let's hope for less humidity soon!

A Storage Block for the Scroll Saw Blades

July 21, 2019


Fair warning!  This is not an exciting post.  It's not an elaborate, intricate, complicated or grand project - not at all.  As a matter-of-fact, this is one of the simplest "projects" heretofore posted at 173!  It's even easier that some of the little shop gadgets posted back in January!

Come to think of it, this little ditty utilized a couple other scrap wood projects, and this one is made from the little length of 2x4 below:

The story is - last year my dad gave me his AMT Model 4601 scroll saw...

And with it came a whole bunch of saw blades!  The problem was, I could never remember where I put them.  So, today being so incredibly hot and humid outside (and I don't like either), I thought I would take a few minutes to make some kind of storage for them.  After cutting a small piece to 2x4 to length, I bored a few holes to about 3/8 of an inch from the bottom.  Oh, and in this picture you can see a couple of those scrap wood gadgets I made before...

From there, I just stained it with Minwax Gunstock stain...

Applied a few coats of amber shellac...

And voila!  Storage for the blades!

Simple, yet effective!  Like I said - not exciting, not at all!  But it's fun finding little things to do with scrap wood!

Das Beisler Haus: Air Conditioning Install

This week the entire Northeast is in a significant heatwave.

But last month Europe was under the grips of a Saharan wave that broke all kinds of records...

The thing is, in the years I lived in Germany, I don't think I even saw a single air conditioning unit.  I think there's a couple reasons for this - Germany didn't get so hot for long periods of time, the majority of houses were built of stone or block which helped keep them cool, and most of the windows I saw were casement, making it difficult to install a window unit I suppose.  Nonetheless, if Germany ever needed air conditioning, it was this past June.  It might be a little late for this past heatwave, but with a brand new baby, Nephew is preparing to keep his family cool in the next run of extreme heat by installing a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner.  I've heard of these, but I've never seen one in the wild, but Nephew, a man after my own heart, is installing his himself!  Here's a little how-to from This Old House combined with Nephew's pictures of his install...


1. Turn off the electricity to the circuit. - I'm going to make a safe assumption that Nephew did this a number of times!

2. Hold mounting bracket to the wall, level it, then mark the screw hole locations and where to bore a hole for the refrigeration lines, condensate discharge line and electrical cable.

3. From inside, bore hole into the block wall with rotary hammer and 3-inch-diameter masonry coring bit. Once the bit's pilot penetrates the wall, finish boring the hole from the outside.

NOTE:  Nephew didn't install the same unit the This Old House folks did, so I have to ad lib a bit!

4. Pass the refrigeration lines and condensate discharge line through the hole in the wall.

5. Mount the exterior bracket for installing the compressor outside:

6. Attach a vertical chase directly below the hole in the exterior wall; the chase will house the refrigeration lines, condensate discharge line and electrical cable.

7. Extend the condensate discharge line down to within a few inches of the ground by attaching a length of PVC pipe. Secure the discharge line to the pipe with duct tape. Fasten the lower portion of the pipe to the chase by screwing on a metal C-clamp.

NOTE:  From here are several intermediate steps that I don't know if they are the same for all of these systems.

From here we have a shot of the interior.  When I last exchanged messages with Nephew, he was just waiting for the final inspection before running the AC.  He wasn't exactly sure when that would be, but I'm looking forward to hearing how well this AC cools his house, and I hope it's running before their next heatwave!

The Shed Rehab: All Primed Up!

July 7, 2019

In the last post I pointed out all the reasons it was time to rehab the shed, including the old basement windows I had put mirrors in and put on the wall of the shed years ago.  But, the old window frame had long since rotted away.  It was time.

This week, after having replaced all the trim, I caulked (almost) every seam in the shed...

Which left the shed looking a bit better already.

But I also added frieze boards, as you can see on the side of the shed.  There's a reason for that, and it'll all come to light in due time!

The problem was, the wall on that side of the shed had bowed maybe 2 or 3 inches over the years, so I had to do some serious shimming!

In lotsa places!

And in the end, I was able to close the gap considerably - thank goodness for caulk!

But, as you can see, it certainly adds a little interest to the shed.  But there's more of a purpose, that'll be clear another day!

Then it was time to start priming.  Ever since the shed was built it had been stained at least a couple times, and with plans to paint it, the shed definitely needed to be primed...

A little different angle...

ANd here's where we are now.  Looking up close, I think a second coat of primer is needed to reduce the amount of bleed-through from the stain.

Immer Arbeit!

Latest Instagrams

© House 173. Design by FCD.