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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Friday, September 30, 2005

Ready for Another Bash!
















For those of you who remember my "Matching Pair" of fingernails from April. Well, here they are a mere five months later. Aren't they in fine pristine condition? You know what that means? It's time to start some more hammering!

Maybe if I make enough noise my pigeons will go away. (Maybe if I put a ceiling on my balcony the pigeons will go away sooner....)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Epitome of Bad Taste!







We took Elizabeth to Columbus Zoo today. When we left we stopped at a store called "Garden Ridge" and looked at all the "Made in China" future land fill products they had to offer. Among them was this for $150.00. It sings six tunes.

For $150.00 I would expect it to wash windows, wax floors and scrub the bathtub! I hope that anyone reading this doesn't have the misfortune of "inheriting" one of these for Christmas!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My Door is telling stories

Our house originally had 2-panel doors throughout. However, there are only 5 of them left. One separates our bedroom from the bathroom. The doorway was made sometime after the house was built because the molding is different and projects into both rooms. Original molding is flush with the plaster walls and closed doors were flush with one side of the molding.
The door tells it's own story. Now 34 inches wide, it was originally 36 inches wide and occupied the doorway between our dining room and what we call the cottage living room but was the original kitchen to the house. I know this because one side of the door was painted green and the other side was given a coat of shellac. Each vertical edge had 1" trimmed off exposing the tenon joints and exposing raw wood that was painted over (making stripping harder). This picture verifies the story. The mortise lock was moved to adjust for the cut sides.




This was not a simple task because this is the lock and each section has it's own mortise! Ever seen one like this?

Monday, September 26, 2005

An affair with Joint Compound!

I hate textured walls and rough textured ceilings. Texture is usually added to obscure or cover cracks in plaster. I prefer smooth walls and smooth or lightly textured ceilings. Unfortunately the "Old Crackhouse" lives up to it's name. It really is old and cracked!

This week I have been smoothing the walls in what will be our bedroom. They were smooth to begin with but had some really nasty settling cracks and a bunch of divits where nails had been driven into the plaster which is applied directly over the brick walls.

This is the ninth room which I have had to smooth the walls and ceiling. I am getting REALLY good at it. I don't even need to finish by sanding the walls any more! I have gone through so many 5 gallon buckets of joint compound over the last couple of years I have lost count. The bedroom has only needed two buckets and a small part of a third. Most of our rooms require 4 or 5 buckets.
Today I applied "Top Coat" to the ceiling of the bedroom and bathroom with a medium nap paint roller. This produces a fine texture to the ceiling and saved me hours of time trying to make the ceiling smooth while at the same time covering the smoothed over joints and cracks.

While I was at it, I even smoothed out the walls in the closet! Don't ask me why.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

OOOH OOOH Gotta get me one of these!

I'm back to stripping paint in the bedroom so that I can finish smoothing out the walls in case anyone thought I wasn't doing any work around here! In the meantime, I came across this in case anyone was remodelling their bathroom and wanted one. If I hadn't put all that tile in and all those shower heads I could quite easily consider this as a period alternative. What do you think?
Water tower sold separately.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Builder in the Family?


Elizabeth has a new boyfriend! They met at Wal-Mart. I understand he is quite well known and owns his own construction company. He took her out for a ride this evening. She is quite infatuated with him at the moment. He owns earth moving equipment too. I could approve of this relationship. One problem though, batteries not included....

Friday, September 16, 2005

Curiosity sucks up my time!

Now that I am able to navigate the US Patent Office website fairly well I managed to get sucked into a vortex that consumes time the way Elizabeth consumes ice cream! To view the pictures you need a .TIFF viewer. You can download one from the USPO website.

That woodstove that we bought at the auction has some writing on it. The back says "Harris and Zoiner design pat'd 1866" and the front door to the ash guard says "Patented July 18, 1867".
So, being curious, I tried to locate patents issued on July 18th, 1867. First I need a date range so I typed in #100,000. This appeared; a sun bonnet for a horse. There is a description of the item as well but you can search that for yourself!




How interesting is that?

Eventually I found the correct date around # 65,900. Now the fun begins. The patents issued that day range from 65,790 to 65,986. That is almost 200 patents that I would have to search through one at a time! After looking at 120 of them I found it! It is absolutely amazing what people submitted patents for. Some of this stuff would make great wall art. Anyway, here is what I found after 2 hours. Patent # 65906 for a fender.



Well, I couldn't stop there so the next day I searched "Harris Zoiner Patent" in yahoo and found 32 design patents and 7 idea patents issued between 1851 and 1870. Harris and Zoiner manufactured stoves in Cincinnati, Ohio. So, another 2 hours later I have this; Design patent 2339.



Great eh? Except today I found one of our mortise locks with several patent dates stamped on it between 1862 and 1863 and now I am itching to find out what was new in a mortise lock at the time of the Civil War. I can see another 4 hours being sucked away, can you hear the slurping noise?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Size does matter!

I rigged up the plumbing to my sink and guess what? It actually doesn't leak. However, like everything else around here it isn't as simple as one would hope. The metal lever that connects the drain stopper to the plug pull isn't long enough, so the drain can't be plugged. If only I had another six inches!
Oh well, nothing that a piece of metal rod and two hose clips won't fix or maybe some duct tape!

Which reminds me of this little seedy tidbit of information;
Celery is great for sex. It's not an aphrodisiac. It makes a damn good splint!

The final patent!

I got a call this week from the copyright guru at Wright State University. He was able to find the patent number for Charles Edgars' last patent issued in 1876. So, here it is. This could be a good science project for Elizabeth when she is older..... maybe we could figure out a use for it!


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Here's a better close-up

Today I put some Johnson's Furniture wax on the countertop and now it looks like this close up. The penny is thrown in for scale.



The sink and faucets are installed. That white line around the sink is clear caulk that needs to dry.



The top drawer is modified to fit around the plumbing.



Thursday will include a trip to Lowes for the flex tube water hook-ups and a p-trap and some extras for the drain. I can guarantee one thing when it's done! It's gonna leak......

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Moment You have ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!

(Drum roll please....)
TA DAH! The hearth in place but requiring grout in the joints.





(Drum roll again....)
TA TA TA DAH! The counter top in place but requiring the sink and faucet to be installed.



For those of you who are REALLY interested, the close ups.





Now, we are so happy with the way this came out and I am going to be making a backsplash for it in a week or so.

If I were to do it over again, I would have thrown more glass in because much of it didn't appear in the final result and is probably sitting just below the surface. I would also use flat pieces of glass instead of curved pieces that are produced when you smash a vase or a tumbler. Now, in case you are wondering, you can buy recycled colored glass in bulk for countertops. The price was about $65.00 for a 50 lb. bag with a minimum order of $150.00. I didn't need that much glass so I chose the "cheapass" route! The other tip I have is this; have a spare set of diamond polishing pads on hand if you plan to do a lot of work. My first set of pads wore out and so I had to pull out my spare set. If you don't have a spare set it is not likely you will have them in time to do your work before it becomes too hard to grind. So plan ahead. A set of pads will cost about $100.00 on Ebay. So the actual cost of this concrete work was about $115.00 since I had the melamine for the mold left over from the kitchen counter pour and the tools, etc.

You know, making and polishing rock 20+ years after graduating from college I can finally say that I AM doing something with my Geology Degree!

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Weekend Report

Sometimes I just never get to work on this place much!
Sunday we ventured to Wood's Auction to bid on some furniture items for the house. The crowd was kind of thin this time, so prices were more than reasonable. We ended up buying 5 items. The first thing was a "Radio Flyer" red wagon for Elizabeth at $6.00. We then got this laundry stove for $12.50, but we have no idea exactly what we are going to do with it. I could actually install it as a supplemental heat source for the upstairs of the cottage since the chimney is wide enough to put two liners in.


For the money we could stick it in the back yard and put flower pots on it!

Then I got us two Victorian Coal bins at $25.00 each. We can use these for kindling and newspaper to start a fire with when the time comes that we occupy this place and for $125.00 we got a parlor stove dated 1867. Here is the picture of the last three items.



Sorry, no picture of the red wagon. Elizabeth had taken it for a test drive.....

Sunday, September 04, 2005

THE RESULTS ARE IN!

My concrete pieces are DONE! The hearth and countertop are sealed, waxed and polished. In fact the hearth is in place. I need to put some thinset mortar down to level two pieces properly but it looks good. I'm a happy camper!

The counter looks good too. I have to finish the woodwork extensions on the base and put up two wall support pieces to help support the weight of the counter (160 lbs.) in the corner of the room. I should have it all installed sometime this week, sink and everything!

The bad news is I didn't take the camera with me today so you will all just have to wait a few more days for a sneak preview.

That's MR. Bastard to you...........