Sunday, January 27, 2013

Engine heads rebuilt

Saturday we drove over to Freedom, New Hampshire to collect the rebuilt heads for the truck.
Its a superb job Marty's friend Mike Kondrat did on them. Found one burned exhaust valve which needed replacing. He reground and reseated all valves, decked the heads level, and ground all valve stems to length and adjusted for proper gaping so the heads are ready to go on just like that. Hopefully I don't have to remove the the cams to get the upper head-bolts in when I reassemble the engine.
In the afternoon went over to the maintenance hangar at KPWM and washed the Bonanza with Clint.
Met Tom White, Gulfstream G3 corporate pilot and the owner of the RV8 parked behind the Bonanza. Perhaps some time I can score a ride in that rocketship.
and poked around a nice new Cirrus Sr22 down for maintenance in the hangar.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Finished the railings and....

Thursday among other tasks I finished installing the balusters and made up the opposite side hand rail.
the view from the top
and today I stained and applied the first sealer coat to the treads
not my choice but that's what the client wanted
everything but the treads gets white paint including the handrails.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Handrail work

Tuesday after plugging all the screw holes in the treads I got to the top of the stairs only to find the last rise to the upstairs floor was 1/4 inch more than acceptable so I wasted half a day on a re-do of the last 3 top treads in an attempt to spread the difference between several steps. Today,  I finally got to the fiddly bits of the knee wall cap, skirt trim and the handrail.
handrail is fixed in place and the balusters are only bottom cut
the view form the top
Granite counter tops and appliances went in on Monday
nice undermount sink

Monday, January 21, 2013

Progressing on the stairs

 with the tile guy out of the way.....
I made some headway today
tomorrow to finish the last tread and riser and start on the handrail and balusters.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nocturnal Visitor....

Helping himself to the birdseed in the patio. Can't be a lot for this little fella to eat out there this time of year. Makes one wonder how they survive these freezing temperatures. Always thought possums were southern climes creatures but apparently they have extended their range in to Maine in the last few years.

A litle bit of shopping

Some new supplies for the reloading bench. A new digital powder scale, a steal at 20$. A few boxes of primers small pistol and large rifle. The last tub of Trail Boss from the powder keg at the local Cabelas. Also from Ebay a couple of bullet molds, a 158 gr tumble lube in .357  and 170 gr flat point in 30-30
Also scored recently from Ebay some handy dandy used Lee Loaders in 12 and 20 gauge as well as a .380 acp and a new .38/.357 to keep the older 30-30 company. The .380 is a hard find as Lee no longer makes them and they rarely come available these days. I have a Lee Classic press but I do enjoy using these little Lee Loaders.
should be enough to keep the zombies at bay for a bit.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Newel post and stairs

Another prep detail that I needed to get done before the tile guy came in was the beginning of the stairs and the newel post. Typically the treads would carry on to the open edge but the outer edge on this one was done in a quick and dirty fashion with a sloping knee wall. The old newel post was really floppy as it was screwed only to the very short end of the knee wall which was only attached with a couple of Ramset nails to the concrete slab. I puled the drywall and re-braced the knee wall with some diagonals attached with 3 inch screws and few more Ramset nails in to the slab. Then after re-drywalling and a fair bit of fiddly trim work to get the first riser tied in tight across the front of the stair stringers and provide a solid side brace for the knee wall, I drilled the concrete slab and put in a half inch thick threaded bolt bedded in epoxy to tie down the base of the newel post.
Spent the greater part of the day on my knees....and I felt it by the end of the day.
here you can see the tie-down bolt that holds the bottom of the newel post secure to the concrete slab. The post does not move one millimeter.
and for Kev here is a shot of my home-made stair tread gauge.

Kitchen remodel part 2

Got the rest of the cabinets in early this week.
Rushing things as the tile guy was chomping at the bit to get in.
Not my choice of style but the customer gets what the customer wants.
As Kev aptly pointed out they always forget to sent a part, or in this case the "designer" at the big box store forgot to call for a panel for the far right of the fridge enclosure. What we should have had is an other panel just like the one on the left side of the fridge enclosure and then the tall pantry cabinet. Would also have made the install a lot easier. As it is we are rushing things and cant wait 3 more weeks for the panel to arrive, so the back of the pantry cabinet has to make due. This then leaves a small 3 inch piece of the unfinished back edge of the pantry cabinet exposed above the fridge. We will have to sort out how to hide than one later on.
Granite counters to be installed on Monday. Toe kick dressing and crown moldings go in later on.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Kitchen remodel job part one.

The latest project is a Kitchen remodel in a condominium /town-house for the same customer that I did the recent front door repair. In an effort to down size and save on cost she has bought a new condo but it was in need of some serious upgrades.
The customer purchased the kitchen and took out a line of credit at the big box store to pay for purchase and the instal by a vendor provided contractor. This put her darn near to the cost of her original much nicer home . In jumps her retired engineer dad to save the day and try to save on install costs that were likely 3 or 4 times the purchase cost of the cabinets. Father was doing some of the work but chose to get some help to do the actual kitchen instal. He gutted the old kitchen and was delayed trying to arrange for an electrician that never showed. In the end he did the wiring himself. When I arrived on scene it looked like this. The open areas in the ceiling had a soffit that he had removed in preparation for the new taller cabinets.
Monday he finished up the wiring while I demoed the glued in plywood treads and handrail on the stairs in preparation for new oak treads. Reusing the old risers as temporary treads for the time being til we get to the actual stair work.
Tuesday I did like a Frenchman, patched the kitchen drywall and mudded with fast set Durabond. By the end of  the day it looked like this. For those that are not aware around these parts most drywallers are of French/ Quebecois descent.
The hard part was going to be matching the textured ceiling finish to the patched in soffits so we thought we would do a defined margin. Thus the blue masking tape. But this resulted in way to thick and unacceptable offset.
Wednesday morning we scraped the idea of a margin on the ceiling and decided to wing it on imitating the texture. Everything got a second coat of joint compound and I skimmed the ceiling margin smooth and by the end of the day it looked like this.
Thursday morning we found a tool/brush and successfully mixed paint and plaster in the right proportions to imitate the textured ceiling finish perfectly.
Then I started with the lower units instal. Typically I like to hang the uppers first but due to the wet ceilings that was impossible and there was a push to get the lowers in, so the granite guys could make patterns for the counter tops asap. By the end of the day on Thursday we looked like this. The far right unit only in place but not yet affixed to the wall. Note also the lower cut out behind the left hand Lazy Susan corner unit with the conduit for water supply and drain lines for the dishwasher that goes to the left of the corner unit. On the cabinets to the right side of the sink I also installed conduit so that later we can put in a feed for the ice maker on the fridge unit.
The kitchen sink unit was a tricky one to fit with multiple holes for pipes and electrical.
Friday I had to get the right hand drawer unit installed and start the uppers in order to get everything lined up with the end panel that encases the fridge so that we could define the edge of the counter top. Next to the large fridge end panel is a unit that goes over the fridge and then a tall end pantry cabinet, both yet to be installed. Also on the list of issues successfully solved was the 240 volt outlet location for the stove as the existing location interfered with the unit itself.
An other tricky one was the free standing end cover to the left of the dishwasher with nothing to hold it in place but a ledger fastened to the concrete floor with the Ramset bang stick and a small ledger screwed to the wall where I could find studs. The clamp and 2x4 setting the spread to 24 inches for instal purposes only.
all in all a successful week, a lot accomplished in a short time with no major screw-ups . . .

Sunday, January 6, 2013

No Knead Bread

Found a recipe for this easy to make bread a while back and I finally got around to trying it out. Bread making the easy way. You make it up the night before you bake it.

The recipe calls for:

3 cups of regular flour
1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast
1 & 1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 & 3/4 cups of water.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the water mix up cover with a kitchen towel  and let sit at room temp for 18 to 20 hours. It will rise and triple in size. Dump it out on a floured counter and then flatten a bit and fold on itself a couple or three times. Pull the underside tight so you have a smooth top on it and set on a piece of parchment paper on a bread peel o a rimless cookie sheet. Put a couple of slashes across the top with a  very sharp knife and paint up with a bit of olive oil. Invert the bowl over it and let it rise for an hour and a half at room temp. In the mean time warm up your pizza stone in the oven to 450 deg F. If you don't have a pizza stone. You can buy a large granite flooring tile for a couple of bucks at your local home improvement center and use that. Alternatively a large cast iron pan or dutch oven will also work. what wee need here is a big mass that can be heated and cook the bread from underneath.
This is what the bread looks like right before it goes in the oven after it has risen for about an hour and a half under the inverted bowl.
Pop it on your hot stone in the oven and 450 deg F and don't forget to put a pan of hot water on the lower rack as the steam will make for the nice crunchy crust on the bread.
30 to 35 minutes later. . . . . .
now the most difficult part. . . . . let it rest for 30 minutes at least before you cut in to it. . . . . . if you put your ear to it you can hear it sing.
then the best part.
I like mine with a bit of butter and a sprinkle of salt.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I can see!!!! said the blind man.

I seldom get more than a year out of my glasses before the polycarbonate lenses start to degrade long before I am due for a new prescription. Not sure just why. I suspect perhaps it is the hot blast from the oven when I open it, or the wood stove or perhaps some form of UV degradation from welding and/or sunlight. Beyond the usual scratches they seem to get a sort of oxidation that eventually makes everything look hazy. Up close you can see the rough surface of the lens. In bright conditions I can barely see through them.
A couple of years ago I had a flash of brilliance . . . car headlights are made out of polycarbonate . . . . . soooooo why not?
About 15 minutes of rubbing with a piece of clean cotton T shirt and some of the headlight restorer and the results are astounding. I did remove the lenses from the frames to get access to all surfaces. The emollients remove all the oxidation from the surface of the lenses and restore them to close to new condition. A vast improvement.