Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Woodwork Refinishing - Casings, Plinths, and Rosettes

Yesterday I did some work on the woodwork.  Many years ago we had our original pine woodwork reproduced by a lumber company.  We had ordered a lot, intending to replace all of the battered pine woodwork with new oak reproductions. We had gone through a lot of it. When this dining room partial-remodel-mushroom came about, I thought it would be nice to replace the doorway casings, plinth blocks, and rosettes in the dining room with the oak stuff.  We are not going to replace the pine casings around the windows in the dining room, because those windows are going to be replaced some day (drafty, awful).  Paul and I did a woodwork inventory and managed to scrounge up enough to take care of the two doorways. One half-dead plinth will need resuscitation (this time by Paul, not a nurse, but a darned fine woodworker).  Some of the long pieces were formerly window aprons (that go under the windows, with one side flat up against the sill), which he routed the flat edge to match the opposing round one.

I had previously stained them and put one coat of polyurethane on.  Yesterday I did coat two in the early afternoon, and Paul came home and finished them up in the evening.  Also, this past weekend we went out and bought the new door jambs, which have to go on before the casings.  So I will be working feverishly in the next few days to get them stained and polyed so Paul can put them up on the weekend.

Long casings in the yard.

Plinths and rosettes in the basement.  
Note the "patient" plinth mid-left.  He needs to be glued back together.  

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Playing on Megan's Harp (Surgical Procedure for My Harp)

A description of a harp repair in nursing terminology (similar to this post from 2009):
My harp needed to go to the hospital (Lyon & Healy harp repair department) for some major surgery. There is a broken bone (small attachment in the mechanism that came loose, causing this awful buzz while I was playing) requiring orthopedic surgery (repair in the framework of the pedal mechanism). The break is small, but requires a long, involved surgery to repair.  The problem is that the harp needs to be prepped (entirely unstrung), the mechanism removed and opened up, in order to fix this small problem.  I have been putting this off for over 18 months ($$).  My poor baby has to stay downtown for over two weeks.  A few days for the repair (surgery) but then another week and a half or so for the technicians to tune and re-tune the new strings (recovery room and rehab).

In the meantime, a fellow harpist, Megan, who is very busy with her life and not able to play much at all right now, agreed to let me rent her harp for the duration.  Her harp is a Lyon & Healy Petite pedal harp.  Although smaller than my harp. the string spacing is the same.  So I will be able to practice on my pieces while my baby is away.  I had to make one adjustment: Paul cut a piece of plywood for me to set the harp on and bring it up higher.  The pedals on this harp are lower to the floor than on mine, and I want to have it as close to mine as possible, so that the adjustment back to my harp is less difficult.

A harp mechanism removed (photo courtesy of Lyon & Healy)

Inside the mechanism (photo courtesy of Campbell's Harp Service)

Megan's Harp 
Note plywood square underneath, and ignore the wood stacked against the wall (wood for kitchen and dining room baseboards, too long to store anywhere else!)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Muffins For Ty

Yesterday, Tyler requested I make him some chocolate chip-vanilla muffins.  I've never made them before, but found a nice recipe.  He loved them (as did other family members - the muffins were gone by last night!).

I love baking in my new kitchen!

I made a dozen, but this was all that remained by the time I got to this photo!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

When I Got Home From Work

After a very busy evening at the hospital, arriving home after midnight, I discovered that Paul, who had started the wallboard for the north wall of the dining room before I left for work, had completed it.  All it needs is goop and paint.  And the reapplication of the beloved wallpaper border.

With the obligatory cat, of course!  (click on the photo to see creepy cat eyes)

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Hole in the Wall (Mushrooming Project)

There is a saying in any remodeling project, that of "mushrooming".  What this means is that while doing one project, one may uncover (or cause) another project to spring up.  In our case, the work in the kitchen (gutting, hammering, etc.) caused the weakened plaster on the north wall of our dining room (adjacent to the kitchen wall), which was already suffering from a large crack, to begin to fall off.  Thus the "hole in the wall".

Of course, with me being musical, this brought up a piece, one that I have played on harp, but also love in Regency/Vitorian era movies, such as Wives and Daughters.  The music is by Henry Purcell, and it has many names: The Hole in the Wall, Hornpipe from The Moor's Revenge, or Hornpipe from Abdelzar's Suite.  So I have been playing that piece on my harp and hearing it in my head all week. (You can hear the piece here.)

Before we could begin, there was a *small* task, i.e. preserving the wallpaper border that I love. Since we are only re-doing the north wall (the east wall had already been replaced with wallboard prior to the border being applied; we are not touching the south and west walls until a later date - huge mushroom, involving new windows, structural stuff, insulation, etc.), I did not want the border to just end.  So, faithful Paul undertook the painstaking task of removing it.  This is not an easy task.  But he did it, and it is rolled up, waiting to be reapplied once the new wallboard is up.  (More to follow in upcoming post once complete.)

The border - isn't it beautiful?

The Hole in the Wall

Paul starting the tedious process of border removal

He did it in stages - it took three days 
Gutted corner with cats

The full view


Donnie, on the dropcloth-covered table, looking beauteous

Countertop View