traditional new home project

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Re: traditional new home project

Postby Helenni » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:11 am

Look through again. Love them.

architectural renderings
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Re: Finishing a Newly Installed Wide Oak Floor

Postby unclebirgco » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:53 am

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newly installed oak floor ready for finishing


Sanding and finishing a newly installed wood floor use to be an onerous task, suited only for the professional with special skills to handle the unwieldy and specialized sanding equipment. In the past few years, the four disc random orbital floor sander has changed this by entering a growing field of new equipment made for the DIY homeowner or handyperson.

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The random orbital sander uses four rotating discs to gently sand the floor without gouging or creating an uneven surface.

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We usually start with a 40 or 60 grit paper for the first pass over the surface. With each successive sanding, a finer grit of paper is attached, 120 grit and final sanding is completed with a 180 or 220 paper. The perimeter of the floor is completed with a small 5 or 6 inch hand held random orbital sander.

The design of this machine allows the sanding discs to glide over the floor effortlessly and requires no special skills or great physical strength.
The sanding pads stick to the velcro surface of the orbital discs which makes it fast and easy to change the paper as needed. It's important to check the condition of the pads occasionally to make sure they are not damaged or worn. The orbital sanding machine also has a bag attachment which needs to be emptied often to keep the work surface reasonably clean.


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Once the sanding is complete, the floor is sealed with one coat of a shellac based sealer which dries in about 30 minutes and doesn't raise the wood grain. Applying the finish is fairly quick with a lambs wool applicator. Sanding the floor lightly with 220 grit paper in between coats leaves a smooth finish.

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Once the sealer coat is lightly sanded, we apply 3 to 4 coats of a satin water based polyurethane which dries quickly (less than an hour) and has a very low odor and VOC's (volatile organic compounds). The manufacturer recommends applying no more than two coats in any 24 hour period.

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With the floor dry and ready for foot traffic,
the two piece 8 inch base molding needs to be installed along with some column moldings and ceiling fans.
When complete, this multi-purpose attic space will be ready for some exercise equipment and a site built table for hobby or work projects.

Next we're going to the back yard to study the birds and the bees....
(no not that kind... :oops:...... the kind that fly!) :)
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Re: traditional new home project

Postby unclebirgco » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:03 am

Spring is the time of year to start thinking about the great outdoors, and more specifically, our yard. It's useful to take a moment to consider one's yard as an extension of the home's interior environment. We wouldn't think of applying toxic chemicals to the inside of our living space, yet sometimes we don't hesitate to blast the outside with stuff that even a rocket scientist knows can't be good for kids, pets and everyone else, not to mention the balance of living things that help form the micro biosphere of our yard. In spite of what advertisers and chemical manufacturers would have us believe, herbicides and pesticides applied to the ground can end up in lakes, rivers and oceans. Nitrogen and phosphates are major culprits in promoting algae blooms in water ways.

A funny thing happens when you stop applying chemicals and herbicides that kill so called unwanted weeds. Image

All kinds of native ground covers, clovers and wild flowers will start to decorate your lawn with the added bonus of lower maintenance and water requirements. Another benefit to promoting native plants is that White Tail deer generally have less interest in local plant menus.
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Flowering native ground cover

Another good idea to lower lawn maintenance is to cut your grass a few inches higher than normal. Taller mowed grass requires less watering or no watering and makes it tougher for weeds to propagate. Mulching grass clippings and leaves into the lawn is an excellent way to generate natural fertilizer and eliminates the need to move yard waste into land fills. Most towns and municipalities that pay to dump yard waste should be very interested in this process because it can save hundreds of thousands of tax dollars a year.
An even better idea is to reduce the size of lawn areas and promote ground covers and native plantings instead.

The first thing most people worry about when contemplating eliminating chemicals to control bugs, is how will my yard survive when it's over run with insects. The solution to this very good question lies with Mother Nature herself, who has provided an amazing insect killing bird known as the Purple Martin.

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Purple Martin Condo

Attracting and propagating this most excellent insect predator can result in a yard mostly free from flying insects including mosquitoes, gnats, flies, moths and stink bugs. For more detailed information on the subject, you can check out the Purple Martin Conservation Assoc. at http://purplemartin.org/.
Beneficial insects such as the ladybug and praying mantis can help keep garden pests to a minimum by natural predation.

The next thing you might want to think about to promote a healthier yard is setting up a honeybee hive. (unless of course if you're allergic to bees) :cry:

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Local honeybee hives help with nearby farm pollination

Earlier last year we took a look at natural mixed clover lawns with their beautiful white flowers and lower maintenance.

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Natural Dutch White Clover lawn require less maintenance and water.

Clover lawns with native plants and honeybees make a great combination and with the honeybee under pressure from disease and predators, they can use all the help we can give them.

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For more info on raising and caring for bees, go to the American Beekeeping Federation at:
http://www.abfnet.org/

We have the know how to make our yards and communities healthier places to live. If you're not already doing some of these ideas, give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised. :)
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Re: traditional new home project

Postby phansford » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:29 am

Fantastic stuff.

What do you do to keep squirrels out of your vegetable garden.
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Re: traditional new home project

Postby unclebirgco » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:57 pm

Phansford wrote:
What do you do to keep squirrels out of your vegetable garden?



Ok, ok, wait a minute........... I know this one...........

hmmm.... let me think.......something about keeping your nuts in the barn or.....???

..... take 'em to the beach instead...........?????




Alright, I give up.......... :)
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Re: traditional new home project

Postby phansford » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:37 pm

:lol: Since I've joked around here enough.... I guess I had that coming. :lol:

But seriously, is there a method you use to keep the squirrels out of the garden. We've given up - last year they practically destroyed our garden. I didn't know if there was some method you use to protect your garden. Our neighbors are trying some sort of electrical fence that runs on a couple of D batteries. Of course, I would assume you have trouble with deer.
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Re: traditional new home project

Postby unclebirgco » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:26 am

Sorry Phansford, I was sure there was a punch line in there somewhere. :D

Now to focus on the problem. My friend John is an organic gardener and he has had some success at keeping the critters at bay without Draconian measures. I will discuss with him and post his response a bit later. Thanks for the feedback, as you know, your input is always welcome.
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Re: traditional new home project

Postby unclebirgco » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:31 pm

Question:
What do you do to keep squirrels out of your vegetable garden?

I spoke to my friend who is an organic gardener who took me to see a young fella (also an organic gardener/farmer) who agrees with your neighbor's solution, installing electric netting, similar to a fence, powered by a battery or a combination battery and solar panel energizer. It produces a nasty little shock, enough to smart but not do any real harm.

Check out the website....

http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php mode=detail&fence_id=110

This set up is not inexpensive, but I figure it's better than having your garden stripped of all the beautiful veggies you've worked so hard to grow.

Another alternative, if your garden is small, is to entirely enclose it with metal wire fencing or heavy duty black plastic netting, including the top of course, to keep the critters at bay. This will require a sturdy framed structure, either wood or metal, to support the wire fence and also digging down a foot or more below ground to install the fencing so ground hogs and other burrowing animals can't break in.
Unfortunately this little problem has no simple solution but like a lot of projects, a successfully protected garden will be worth it in the long run, even if it takes some extra doin' to get there.
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Re: traditional new home project

Postby phansford » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:25 am

We had the fence, but never covered the top.... which I wanted to experiment with this year. But Mrs. H decided she was done feeding the neighbor fauna and had our youngest take out the box garden. Of course this now means more work for me because they just dumped the extra topsoil in a pile where its not needs. :evil:

I'll let you know if I hear any screams from the gang of squirrels when they try to raid the neighbor's electrified fortress. :lol:
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Re: More home projects

Postby unclebirgco » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:25 pm

It's summertime again and we've been busy with a number of outdoor and indoor projects. In order to catch up a bit, I'm posting a brief preview of some of the work we've been doing over the past few months with more details and commentary to follow in the very near future.



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Gas pipe kitchen lighting


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Cherry wood Smoker



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Reflections on daylightings



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Constructing a garage bay divider



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Sawmill Cherry Table




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Rustic Black Locust fence made from local reclaimed wood.


Hope everyone has a great Fourth of July. :)
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Re: traditional new home project

Postby Kevin » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:58 am

That stuff looks great! You've been busy, as usual. Can't wait for more details!

:-)
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