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Old 04-14-2013, 05:35 AM   #16
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Quick & Easy Curb Appeal


Something about that far left "faux post" that I think is so cool.

It really messes with my eyes kinda like an M.C. Escher print, if that makes sense.

Not a boring thread, keep up the good work!
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:08 AM   #17
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Nice work! The detail is inspiring.

And hey, if we don't make mistakes, how do we know we're doing something right?
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:16 PM   #18
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DAY 9

Coulda used some guidance on how to fasten those on-edge 2x4s, but I guess you were takin' the weekend off. I went to the hardware store (not the lumber yard - they are closed on Sundays ) in town and found some 5" screws, but they were torx head and I don't have a torx bit for my impact driver. Even if I did, that would have only given me a 1" penetration, and even with pre-drilling, the chance of a split on the narrow side of a 2x4 made me nervous.

You can see what I did in the pictures below. I found a really long drill bit I bought some time back and this allowed me to set my drill at a pretty sharp angle to drill into the doug fir. I also had a long square bit for my driver, so driving 3" galvanized screws on an angle is what I did. I backed up the screws I already drove from the edges yesterday too, so I think I got a good solid grab on all the 2x4s in the gate frames.

I had to pound out some concrete bulge between the gate post and the faux column so the baseboard would sit flat on the concrete like all the others. That took over an hour for that little bit of cold chisel work. There's a similar concrete bulge along the wall in the shop area, but I'm not going to remove that. It's smooth enough the base sits on it and doesn't look too bad - it is, after all, just a shop area.

Had to spend a lot of time clearing materials, yard tools and other debris from the area just to the left of the gates. That is the walkway now until the gates can be cut apart and finished. At the same time, I disassembled the old gate and wall and saved all the old fence boards. I think I have enough of those and some others lying around to use on the new gates.

Looks to me like it's now time to do some finish sanding, all the caulking and get some primer on the bare wood. It's exciting to me to see that it has come this far in 9 days. These next few steps will be very time consuming, with little visible progress, so pardon me if there ain't many pictures to see the next few days.

Jim
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Quick & Easy Curb Appeal-wills-shop08.jpg   Quick & Easy Curb Appeal-wills-shop09.jpg   Quick & Easy Curb Appeal-wills-shop13.jpg   Quick & Easy Curb Appeal-wills-shop14.jpg   Quick & Easy Curb Appeal-spring13-outside-project57.jpg  

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Old 04-15-2013, 06:03 AM   #19
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Looking good!

I love the detail work---it adds so much to a home----
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:20 PM   #20
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I spent a couple hours of this tenth day sanding, blowing dust and caulking, but mother nature was not on my side. No pictures of the white caulking, but I got one of the white stuff that made my day short.

And then I was saddened by the devastation in Boston. My heart goes out to all the victims and the traumatized survivors.

Jim
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:59 PM   #21
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DAY 10 & 11

This damn weather is putting a crimp in my style. Again, I didn't get much done. But I did make a little progress - by golly, there's an awful lot of sealing and caulking to do on a project like this. Gotta be vigilant when you have a lot of edges and ledges for rain and snow to sneak in and ruin your work.

When I boxed in the 4x4 posts to make these 6x6 columns, I didn't make mitered joins, I just used butt joins. I'm not that good yet. The problem with my method is the face boards aren't perfectly square to the side boards. Remember, I'm nailing to 4x4 treated posts, which are kinda rough anyway. Then the sun comes along and puts a slight cup on my wide cedar boards, causing a gap where the sides and face boards meet.

These imperfections can be minimized with a little shaping and filling. A few years ago, I remodeled the main room of my apartment, including making some butcher block counter tops out of Poplar. To make the sink opening and all the smooth edges, I used some router bits. I used these same bits on the columns.

I wish I had thought of this before I put the collar and base trims on them, so the cut stopping points would have been hidden behind the trims. The flush trim stop was finished with a belt sander and then I used a 40 grit sandpaper and block to finish the roundover stop.

Then there was more dust blasting, sanding, filling and caulking until it got too cold and started to sleet. Nasty weather! Another early day, but it was actually good timing. A friend came to visit with his sweet little puppy dog. It was a nice visit and my buddy volunteered to load up my street wheels & tires so they'd be in my van when it was time to do the switcheroo. He also marveled at the transformation taking place on the landlord's porch - we all love compliments for the work we do.

Jim
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Quick & Easy Curb Appeal-kitchen57.jpg   Quick & Easy Curb Appeal-spring13-outside-project59.jpg   Quick & Easy Curb Appeal-spring13-outside-project60.jpg   Quick & Easy Curb Appeal-spring13-outside-project61.jpg   Quick & Easy Curb Appeal-spring13-outside-project62.jpg  

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Last edited by Jim McClain; 04-16-2013 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:17 PM   #22
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It's looking great Jim and the counter tops look beautiful.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:20 PM   #23
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It's looking great Jim and the counter tops look beautiful.
Completely agreed. I've been watching this thread.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:34 AM   #24
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I'd love to hear how you did the counter tops.

They look great, how are they holding up?
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:59 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhouseguy View Post
I'd love to hear how you did the counter tops.

They look great, how are they holding up?
This.

When I read "poplar" my first question was as to durability, as it's a pretty-soft wood in the grand scheme of things. However, it's also an affordable wood, and the way that is finished would look great for matching counter & tabletops for my wetbar project.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:53 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by oldhouseguy View Post
I'd love to hear how you did the counter tops.

They look great, how are they holding up?
I don't use them to cut on, so they're doing really well. I love them and the landlady is jealous of them. I've had an article about them for my blog in the works for way too long. I'll finish it up and post a link to it.

DAY 12

I had a couple appointments today, so I wasn't able to put in a lot of time on this project. It was sunny, but pretty cold, so it didn't make me feel too bad.

I completed all the sanding, sealing and caulking. I may have some touchup to do that will reveal itself as I do the primer. That's usually the case and I'm prepared for it.

Maybe I'm not a pro and I might be wrong about this, but I think you have to seal and caulk anything that will be exposed to bad weather. If you don't, it may end up rotting or growing mold. Usually, wood and water don't mix. I try to use a good quality caulk - something paintable and with a 25+ year warranty (not that anyone will actually hold them to it at year 24). I had a couple different caulks for this project, one was a clear paintable silicone. I used that to seal all the tops of my trims and most of the trim around the door and window that is in the workshop area and still exposed to the elements. The paintable silicone shrank though and I had to recoat most of it.

The other caulk I had was an acrylic product with silicone added. That was not only easier to apply, but it didn't shrink either. I went over most of the nails, knots and bigger cracks I used the silicone on with this because I just don't want those things showing through my paint job.

Yes, I said knots. Knots shrink as they dry over time. They could even fall out. So my hope is the caulk will keep them in place.

I went through the equivalent of maybe 4 tubes of caulking. My index finger - the one I use to smooth the caulking out - is as raw as hamburger. It even hurts to type. The siding on the building is all rough sawn paneling. I feel like I'm 2 years old again and sucking my finger. My project looks like it has the pox though.

Because the double gates are drying fast (I think), I may just skip a day of work tomorrow to give them one more day of drying time before I start primering everything. Maybe I'll go to Reno and get a new lockset for the front door and do a little Segwaying through the park for fun.

Jim
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:08 PM   #27
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Great thread Jim, keep it up

I'm in my first home (older) and getting all sorts of ideas from your work to dress it up.

I even showed this to my mother who has COPD (35% function) to try and motivate her.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:11 PM   #28
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...I may just skip a day of work tomorrow to give them one more day of drying time before I start primering everything. Maybe I'll go to Reno and get a new lockset for the front door and do a little Segwaying through the park for fun.
Ummm, I got this other disease too. It's called "lackapatience syndrome." I WAS gonna go to Reno today. I was looking forward to it and even found that big stack of dollar bills I been hoardin' just for an occasion like this. A kind of celebration of sorts. Treat myself to some special time - something that could take my breath away (not that I need that, of course). But NOOOOOOOO!

I was just gonna take a quick look at the caulking I did yesterday before getting cleaned up for the drive to Reno. I spotted a couple bad spots, so I found the caulking gun and took care of them. Then a couple more. Then I thought, gee, maybe I can just do part of the primering. Just for a little while.

Almost 4 hours later, we have a...

DAY 13

All the primering is done. Well, the parts that I could reach anyway. When I cut the gates apart, I'll have to touch up a few spots that are covered and do the bottom too. I pried the base off the walls so I wouldn't have to crawl on my hands and knees 3 times to cut those into the concrete. I used the last of a half-gallon of left-over primer do some of the cedar I have left, part of which will be for the base in the shop area.

No Reno trip today. I am beat and my o2 concentrator batteries are dead and need to charge for several hours. Can't go tomorrow either - they found a problem with the CV axle on my car that needs to be fixed tomorrow (it would have been okay for the Reno trip today). And knowin' me, I'll be putting some color on the place tomorrow anyway, 'cause I suffer from lackapatience.

Jim
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:07 PM   #29
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Looks great in primer.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:47 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhouseguy View Post
I'd love to hear how you did the counter tops.

They look great, how are they holding up?
I may make changes to the article in the next couple days, but it's published now: DIY Butcher Block Countertops in Poplar, by Jim McClain

Thanks,

Jim
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