Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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Elheru Aran
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-02-17 06:23pm

I can get 1x4x8 pine boards for $5 a pop. 8 feet is a perfect length since that's the width of my workroom. Be about $100 for my 8x10 space, 20 boards (albeit I may have to buy a couple more if they come up short from the shiplap overlap). Comparable hardwood flooring, the stuff that's available off the shelf at the big-box, runs $4/square feet... so that's $320 for the same space. Granted I have to plane the shiplap but what the hell, for that kind of savings I don't mind the work. A moving fillister is the shit anyway, you ever use one of those?

What the hell, I might go ahead and post a few pictures of my joinery planes tomorrow (gotta get ready for work)... dado plane, moving fillister, plough plane, grooving plane, rabbet planes. Booyah :D
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-17 07:07pm

It's gonna end up a little narrower after you do the shiplapping and 1" thickness, yeah, cupping ain't gonna be a problem, bro. If you want some additional fun, besides nailing it down go ahead and run a bead of Elmer's on the joins as you lay it for a bit of extra strength (also seals the joins tight to keep any moisture from spills and sch from penetrating the joins and damaging the wood under the surface varnish).
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby LaCroix » 2015-02-18 07:42am

When I once installed a wood floor to a outdoor workshop, I had the same concerns about cupping (no heating, wet seasons...) - I went the safe route and did it like ye olde shipbuilders - I paid a 20% premium for getting rift- or at least quarter-sawn planks. Warping is a non issue on these, no matter what size.

Yes, I know, you don't get no pretty texture in the common sense from such a floor, but I find the sleek elegance of a straight grain floor equally pleasing to the eye. No visible grain screams QUALITY at me.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-18 09:21am

LaCroix wrote:When I once installed a wood floor to a outdoor workshop, I had the same concerns about cupping (no heating, wet seasons...) - I went the safe route and did it like ye olde shipbuilders - I paid a 20% premium for getting rift- or at least quarter-sawn planks. Warping is a non issue on these, no matter what size.


That actually sounds pretty neat. Don't see many people that know the difference between rift saw and quarter saw, though rift sawing tends to lend itself to more decorative woods while retaining a good amount of stability for retaining its shape. Quarter sawing is what you want if you want the most stable boards you can get, but you don't get a lot of pretty grain patterns.

LaCroix wrote:Yes, I know, you don't get no pretty texture in the common sense from such a floor, but I find the sleek elegance of a straight grain floor equally pleasing to the eye. No visible grain screams QUALITY at me.


Yeah, depending on the wood used, a nice uniform slickness is actually very visually pleasing. For other woods, and interior decorating (not much of a concern for your workshop, admittedly), having a lot of grain textures and such is desirable for breaking up or creating patterns in the overall floor.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-02-18 10:40am

I could be wrong but my understanding is that warping is of minimal concern *as long as* the wood is fixed securely and acclimated to its location.

I'm reconsidering the varnish now that I remember how freaking slippery sawdust is on the manufactured flooring we have in the hall and living room. Plain unfinished pine might be less slippery.

Anyway. Here's my plough plane:
Image

Image

It makes *beautiful* curly shavings. Once you get into the groove (see what I did there?) you can just whale away with it, shavings all over the desk. It's awesome.

Image

The second plane by it is a grooving plane. It doesn't have nearly as much cutting span as the plough, as it's mainly for grooves in drawer bottoms, case backs and such. It also only goes down about half an inch; the plough can go almost a full inch and a quarter deep and about six inches' span. The plough is pretty old, I don't know how old exactly though. The grooving plane is fairly modern, likely 40s-50s vintage. Both are British. I've got a few British moulding planes. They're sweet.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-18 11:06am

Elheru Aran wrote:I could be wrong but my understanding is that warping is of minimal concern *as long as* the wood is fixed securely and acclimated to its location.


THose are the primary concerns, but the type of wood, method the board was milled from the log, and width x thickness all play a role as well. As far as acclimating the wood goes, if you're really worried about it just let the wood sit in the space you want to lay it under the same temp/humidity range you intend the space to have once the floor's down. Even properly secured, boards can still warp with time (hence why it's better to get seasoned aged woods then green wood).


Elheru Aran wrote:I'm reconsidering the varnish now that I remember how freaking slippery sawdust is on the manufactured flooring we have in the hall and living room. Plain unfinished pine might be less slippery.


It might be less slippery, but after a while it'll get slick from absorbing any spills or moisture. If you're really worried about it being slippery, after you varnish it, rough sand it and revarnish it to get the surface a little texture. Or just use some anti-skid tape.

Also, digging the handtools. Something about doing as much of the job as you can with handtools that lends a lot of personal satisfaction to a job.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-02-18 12:09pm

The handtool thing is more an economic decision than anything, really (although the sentiment side of it is definitely there, trust me). Turns out it's a lot cheaper to buy a buttload of planes and such than router tables, table saws, band saws, etc, when you can do the same job, just slower, with hand tools, and often it actually turns out to be a tad quicker because there's less fiddling. You just slap the wood on the bench and do your thing. You don't have to set up your bit, correct the height, adjust your fence, whatever.

Mind you, power tools have their place-- I would die for a decent bandsaw because trying to resaw a 12" board into thinner planks for drawer sides is no fun by hand, I use a drill press because I sheared off the head of my brace, and I probably wouldn't say no to a (decent) table saw either.

Another plus to hand tools? Less carcinogenic wood dust flying around. You get more shavings and such. Certainly there's sawdust when you use a hand saw, but it's not being blown around at 300000 RPM or whatever and it's not as fine.

Power tools do tend to channel the dust and shavings a bit, while they get scattered about a bit with hand tools... but it's a hell of a lot easier to convince my wife to buy a $40 plane than it is a $400 power jointer. More fun, too, and less chances of losing your digits.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-18 01:37pm

Elheru Aran wrote:The handtool thing is more an economic decision than anything, really (although the sentiment side of it is definitely there, trust me). Turns out it's a lot cheaper to buy a buttload of planes and such than router tables, table saws, band saws, etc, when you can do the same job, just slower, with hand tools, and often it actually turns out to be a tad quicker because there's less fiddling. You just slap the wood on the bench and do your thing. You don't have to set up your bit, correct the height, adjust your fence, whatever.

Mind you, power tools have their place-- I would die for a decent bandsaw because trying to resaw a 12" board into thinner planks for drawer sides is no fun by hand, I use a drill press because I sheared off the head of my brace, and I probably wouldn't say no to a (decent) table saw either.


For smaller home improvement jobs, handtools usually work just fine, and as you pointed out, they're cheaper to boot. For larger jobs or actual professional scale construction, you absolutely need power tools as they make large jobs a lot easier to tackle. Also, once you get your tool adjusted to the task, every piece comes out uniform with little or no finishing work required between the tool and installing the part/s you fashioned. It's really a cost/benefit thing depending on the specific task.


Elheru Aran wrote:Another plus to hand tools? Less carcinogenic wood dust flying around. You get more shavings and such. Certainly there's sawdust when you use a hand saw, but it's not being blown around at 300000 RPM or whatever and it's not as fine.

Power tools do tend to channel the dust and shavings a bit, while they get scattered about a bit with hand tools... but it's a hell of a lot easier to convince my wife to buy a $40 plane than it is a $400 power jointer. More fun, too, and less chances of losing your digits.


Buy a pack of cheap fiber respiration masks and that's not a problem. In fact, you should be using stuff like that anyway along with safety glasses etc. Always err on the side of safety in any task, lot less trips to the emergency room that way.

As far as justifying expensive tools... Do what my Pop did and improve your home and grounds. Just try not to be to obvious about doing tasks that require a specific new tool that you conveniently enough don't happen to have one of. Be careful, down that path lies eventually having to learn how to pour your own concrete (which means you'll need to buy a concrete mixer at the very least), so you can make the foundation for a tool shed large enough to store all your toystools. That's how I ended up helping build a 1700+sq ft garage/workshop with my dad over the summer when I was 14. Yeah, we pretty much built a second structure about 2/3rds the size of our house just to store our tools and work on projects ranging from carpentry to light metal fabrication and car restoration. Good times.

Beware the Darkside of Home Improvement, for once you learn why more tools is more better, forever will it rule your destiny (and your wallet).
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby His Divine Shadow » 2015-02-18 02:11pm

Dunno if you're talking floorboards and the like with the warping and such, but I remember reading somewhere about an old fashioned method of putting down floorboards where they where basically loose and wedged into place. Then as the wood shrinks over time you can tuck up all the boards again and fit a custom board to fill the new gap left behind in one wall. Around 20 minutes into this you can see it, its a nice video if you want to watch people built a traditional log house in the finnish way, it's all in finnish though, but just watching what they do gives a good idea of whats going on:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3J5wkJFJzE

And speaking of workshops and powertools, I can fit my 1000lbs bandsaw and cast iron table saw and other goodies in my 29m^2 workshop, I think I got plenty of room in it and I'm not done optimizing the space usage yet. Being able to resaw up to 13" is good, if I modified the blade guard mount I'd get 16" resaw capacity, though I doubt I will need it. Most of my tools are old heavy and cheap, but they kick the pants of their modern equivalents. It was always part of the plan to get those 3 tools because I want to mill my own wood from raw logs and buy sawn instead of planed wood where I have to.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-02-18 02:14pm

Yeah, no power tools except the drill press inside my work space because I'm converting the office room of my house to a workshop. No loud tools with a baby in the house, and I think the drill press is pushing it. So that's another plus of hand tools.

I can't imagine that method of floorboards would work with modern wood, but I can see it working with older methods where your wood might be only a few weeks out of the forest and barely dry. Wood from the store these days isn't going to shift more than a few mm in either direction, although that's enough to open up small gaps.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-18 02:26pm

His Divine Shadow wrote:Dunno if you're talking floorboards and the like with the warping and such, but I remember reading somewhere about an old fashioned method of putting down floorboards where they where basically loose and wedged into place. Then as the wood shrinks over time you can tuck up all the boards again and fit a custom board to fill the new gap left behind in one wall. Around 20 minutes into this you can see it, its a nice video if you want to watch people built a traditional log house in the finnish way, it's all in finnish though, but just watching what they do gives a good idea of whats going on:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3J5wkJFJzE


Neat stuff. But the method of construction isn't the main method of preventing warpage. Turns out it's the choice of lumber (says so at 20:52 they're using boards cut from a straight dry pine tree(I guess they mean aged/seasoned here, probably YT's CC translator acting odd again). Makes sense, aged dry wood isn't prone to warpage like wet green wood. What I found nifty was the subfloor construction there. Packed dirt spaces for insulation with a hollow in the center for cool storage. That's pretty interesting stuff, probably work as well or better than an actual poured slab would, and a damn sight better than an open crawlspace.


Elheru Aran wrote:I can't imagine that method of floorboards would work with modern wood, but I can see it working with older methods where your wood might be only a few weeks out of the forest and barely dry. Wood from the store these days isn't going to shift more than a few mm in either direction, although that's enough to open up small gaps.


Should work pretty easily, really. Pine 2x6 or 2x8 planks would work just fine for what they're doing. THen again, I get the impression those gents would consider that cheating as the planks wouldn't be fashioned by hand with a hatchet (seriously, that's pretty damn awesome stuff. Can you imagine how labor intensive that project probably was?).
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby LaCroix » 2015-02-19 05:12am

Elheru Aran wrote:I could be wrong but my understanding is that warping is of minimal concern *as long as* the wood is fixed securely and acclimated to its location.

I'm reconsidering the varnish now that I remember how freaking slippery sawdust is on the manufactured flooring we have in the hall and living room. Plain unfinished pine might be less slippery.


The thing with pine wood is that as a soft wood, it will soak up ambient moisture or liquid spills much quicker than a hardwood planking. So it'll need a good coating of varnish, touched up every year or so in places you walk upon and wear it off.

Also, keep it tidy - dropping a nut or nail or something and stepping on it will leave an imprint. As will a dropped hammer. Or pebbles lodged in the profile of your shoe.

edit: But keep in mind that you can undent it with a wet cloth and a hot air pistol or torch and metal spatula. --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDpBLKT1Q5A
Keeps it alive longer if you don't have to sand it down every other year.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-02-19 05:54pm

Yeah, we are working on moving to a different house in a year or two so the flooring thing is temporary; I'm not too terribly concerned with longevity, and it's a lot easier to pry up and replace a few shiplap planks if I have to versus tongue-and-groove. It's mostly a way to work indoors without having to deal with raking chips and sawdust out of the carpet, which I'm trying to get rid of, but I don't want to have to deal with the lousy chipboard subfloor.

What bugs me a little more in the long run is that so many old-school building methods might not meet code these days. Heavy joists with earth fill in between for a subfloor sounds great, and would probably work pretty well, but I doubt it would be allowed in most parts of the US... which is a damn shame; hell of a lot cheaper than your usual foundation.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby His Divine Shadow » 2015-02-20 02:08am

It's not that durable a construction method, the beams are vulnerable to moisture and rot because of the earth. I believe they used to take up the floor and check it every 20 years and also use bark from birch trees as moisture barriers. The construction method also prevents you from using any type of flooring that does not breathe and let moisture rise up through the roof.


It's not as energy efficient as modern plates either and that's what rules finnish construction nowadays. My houses foundation is an exterior concrete foundation that is insulated on the inside with polyurethane, then it's filled with gravel that is vibrated down, and the pipes and other stuff are laid down where they will end up, then several thick layers of insulation are added on top and now we have a space that is insulated on the sides and bottom. The next step is adding the steel rebar reinforcement and laying down the hydronic floor heating pipes, then the plate is poured. It floats in the middle of a sea of insulation.

And around the exterior part of the foundation they lay down more polyurethane insulation 3 feet or 1 meter out on the ground before it's filled back up to ground level, to create an area around the house that does not get cold enough to freeze and preventing frost heave.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-03-22 01:37pm

Image

Just got a jointer plane in the mail yesterday. Thing is ~30" long-- longer than my kitchen table is wide! This sucker will go through anything you put in its way and then some...
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Edi » 2015-03-23 01:42pm

Oh, that's a beauty! My grandfather was a carpenter and he had planes like that in several sizes, from the small ones to ones even larger than that. He turned out some really beautiful stuff and built the house his family settled in after evacuating from ceded Karelia himself as well as all the outbuildings of the farm. Also the sauna at my parents' summer place and quite a bit of the woodwork in the main house there.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-03-24 10:14am

It is, isn't it? I will probably nick off that silly knob that someone added on the front there though. Using the jack plane I've found out that I do perfectly fine without a knob. So off it goes once I get around to restoring it.

Got a lovely smoother that someone tried to convert to a rabbet plane yesterday. It should be an easy fix, all they did was put in a small rabbet on one side until it revealed the blade. I can just slip in a patch on the side and re-work the mouth, and it should be fine. Scioto Works, barely touched. Oh yes.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Lisa » 2015-07-12 11:20pm

I have a window that appears ready to fall out, it's sagged 2 inches about. previous owners replaced 1/2 the windows in the house, don't know why they didn't do this one. what's involved in replacing the whole frame? I suspect with the age of the house (ballpark 150-200 years) I'm probably best off getting a professional to replace the window but is it possible to do myself?

some pics

[img+]https://farm1.staticflickr.com/331/19462777968_91a1cc9873_o.jpg[/img]

[img+]https://farm1.staticflickr.com/434/19643721602_302265e13d_o.jpg[/img]

[img+]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3735/19655316761_9386271d36_o.jpg[/img]
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby LaCroix » 2015-07-13 07:38am

Well, it is possible to do it yourself, but if you have to ask how to do it, it's probably the best you call a professional carpenter. Wooden window frames are tricky as you need to fit them right in regards to the weather - the wood will swell and shrink - that's why the window fell apart after all the time. If you don't do it right, you might end up with a window that you can't open or close when it's wet outside, or that gets drafty when it's dry. Also, hinges and lock need to be placed in regards to that, and the weight of the glass. I had some doors installed in autumn that needed to be fine-tuned with a rasp and file for they got stuck in summer due to shrinkage.

If you feel you do have the woodworking skills and necessary tools, a whole window is a pretty straigthforward task of first making 2 fitted wooden frames. One is put into the wall , for which in your case, I'd assume it was just nailed or screwed onto the wall struts. The other frame (the window body) fits inside the actual indow frame, with recesses on the in/outside for the window panes. You just caulk the glass in, and then put a thin piece of wood (a square or panel), called the stop, on top of it so the glass is held tight to the main body of the window. Caulk the seam to make it windproof/watertight. Repeat for the other side if a double glass window is wanted.

Very rought example:
Image
The diagonal placing of the nail is important, as it creates the pressure against the window to hold it tightly in place.

Taking the old window apart (to reuse the glass, maybe?) will help you to understand the construction of your particular window. It is very much possible that the main body might be well enough intact to reuse, and only the outer parts of the window are failing.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-07-13 11:55am

I would strongly suggest looking up a few volumes on Google Books on 'Practical Joinery'. There's one by J.W. Riley, 'A Manual of Carpentry and Joinery', 1905. It has a pretty decent section on how old-fashioned wood windows are put together. That should be helpful. The directions are somewhat for professionals rather than amateurs, but it should still work just fine.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Lisa » 2015-07-13 06:21pm

I think I'll get a new style window frame (not wood) made for it from a window place and have a contractor friend help me install it (err have me hand him tools). I think for the likely age of the window a newer window with better R value might be worth while rather than trying to frame 2 windows on my own.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-07-14 05:05pm

Lisa wrote:I think I'll get a new style window frame (not wood) made for it from a window place and have a contractor friend help me install it (err have me hand him tools). I think for the likely age of the window a newer window with better R value might be worth while rather than trying to frame 2 windows on my own.


Probably the (no offense) best move if you aren't familiar with woodworking on at least a hobbyist level. Windows are somewhat high-level and specialist beyond the basic 'hole in the wall covered with glass' type.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Lisa » 2015-07-14 08:27pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
Lisa wrote:I think I'll get a new style window frame (not wood) made for it from a window place and have a contractor friend help me install it (err have me hand him tools). I think for the likely age of the window a newer window with better R value might be worth while rather than trying to frame 2 windows on my own.


Probably the (no offense) best move if you aren't familiar with woodworking on at least a hobbyist level. Windows are somewhat high-level and specialist beyond the basic 'hole in the wall covered with glass' type.



I've got basic skills, I have built boxes to house snakes out of melamine and plywood (basically display cabinets). Tools wise I've got skill saw, table saw, jigsaw, sawzall. But no router.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby JI_Joe84 » 2016-03-20 02:50pm

I just thought I might add, most places I have seen have carpet in the living room and bedrooms with maybe the hall. Kitchen and bathroom are some thing waterproof like tile or linoleum for the budgetedly friendly option. Also for around the doors.
Wood is I guess an upgrade but I don't see why. It's hard, it noisier and its hard. Carpet is soft and feels good with just socks plus u will slip and fall in socks on wood. Why I'll take a good carpet over wood thanks.

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Elheru Aran
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Elheru Aran » 2016-03-20 03:10pm

A little late for that comment but thanks I guess ;) (see the last post there? Is from *before* you joined the board? What does that tell you...)

Anyway, personally I prefer a smooth polished surface that you can just sweep/wipe clean as needed. Wood or even polished concrete. As for 'hard'.. meh. Toughen up. Shouldn't be wearing socks on wood anyway, unless your feet are cold. Bare feet have better traction.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.


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