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Showing posts from 2017

The Dining Room Built-In: Away with the Old

It's weird..the things I find myself getting nostalgic about these days.  For years I looked at the Sauder bookcases in the dining room as just what they were - inexpensive beginner furniture.  But now - I find myself reflecting on all those shelves have seen.  After all, they predated the purchase of 173.  When we got them, they were actually a little more than we could afford.  Having just left the military, entering college, and living in Horseheads (yes, you read that right), NY we were living check-to-check.  But we have always been bibliophiles, and wanted some shelves the lend them a little dignity.  I don't even remember where they were purchased, but they looked better than anything we had.  And you know what?  They really didn't look bad...
They just always looked temporary.  Those bookcases have been around for some 25 years, and in the dining room at 173 for all 20 we've been here!  But no longer.  They are no more.  All that remains are the remnants...
I …

Legacy Project: Bathroom 2002

Just last month I replaced the drainpipes in the bathroom, and that got me thinking about the remodel we did back in '03.  The sink was replaced as early as  September of 97 (173 was purchased in August of  '97).   That's a page from my old homeowner's journal, the forerunner of this blog.  Anyway, the reason that was one of the very first projects was because the original bathroom sink, while a classic, was a cast iron behemoth, with chipped enamel and rust.  I couldn't find a picture of the 173 original, but here's a pretty fair representation from the web: I would have loved to had that sink re-enameled, but back then I didn't know that could even been done - and of course there was the matter of the affordability!  It was, however,  replaced with another pedestal sink, just to afford a sense of authenticity. That shot was taken after replacing those drainpipes, so the grout was still wet from the leak.  Anyway, that brings us to the great bathroom redu…

The Dining Room Built-In: Trying to Make Decisions

The last post I announced my intention for the next project here at 173, which turns out to be a builtin fireplace/bookcase.  I have an idea of what I want...
Similar, but not quite...there won't be cabinets in the bottom, just book shelves.  The picture above is merely an inspiration shot that I culled from Retro-Tech Construction's website.  As I go through this planning process, I am already faced with perhaps the biggest decision of the whole project - what will the finish be?
One of the big selling-points here at 173 is that the woodwork has never been painted, and it's gorgeous!
So my initial idea is to finish the builtin so it matches the rest of the wood in the house.  I want it to look original to 173.  But there's a couple hurdles to that idea.  First off, I am FAR from a master carpenter, no matter the amount of planning, I always screw up at least a small piece of a project!  But in this case, the biggest problem is matching the stain.  Of course, to some …

The Next Project - Building the Idea

I have the next project in sight! Work is crazy right now, the holidays are coming, and I have to start back to school soon, but I thought - why not get involved in a rather extensive project right now. I guess if we wait for the ideal time, nothing would get done. Right now I'm in the planning stage, and if you know me at all - the planning stage can be pretty tedious.
I started with picking up a couple tools I knew I'd need for this particular job.  First, I got a random orbital sander.
I suppose if you're trying to guess the project - that didn't help much.  Funny thing is, I have all kinds of sanders (nothing like my dad though - I swear he has two of every tool known to man!), but I never had a random orbital sander.  From what I understand, these sanders don't leave some of the gouge patterns that palm sanders tend to leave.  Anyway, here's another hint: Okay, it's not the toolbox.  Although, that's an old beat up box I've had for many yea…

Legacy Project: Carport 2002

I've been completely transparent about this blog since the beginning - it's primarily a way to chronicle the developments of ol' 173, just to know when what was done.  A side effect is that I get to share those developments to those who may be interested.  This isn't a fancy blog, and it sure isn't as polished as so many of the blogs I follow, but it's a fun little hobby in itself.  Legacy Project posts are a new addition.  They will be based on journal entries about projects that occurred in the years before I knew about blogging.  I don't recall where I got this journal... ...but it was a fun way of tracking our progress.  I guess it kind of shows my interest in chronicling the changes in 173 since the beginning! The first Legacy Project will be based on entries about the carport back in 2002.  Of course there have been a couple posts about the carport over the years:  July 3, 2011 and July 3, 2016.  Holy cats!  I never notices they were both done on the…

Fixing the Bathroom Sink Drain Pipes

I guess it's pretty obvious, not every post here at 173 can be exciting and glamorous (although I'm not sure anything here is actually glamorous!).  Some things are just mundane, gotta do - things.  This post is just such a story, after all, there's absolutely nothing exciting about bathroom pipes.
So, the other day, the bathroom sink drain sprung a leak.  Things are pretty busy at work right now, so the repair had to wait 'til today.  I know, doesn't sound like a big deal - bathroom sink out of commission, but it really messed up my morning routine.  For someone like me, who is definitively not a morning person, the morning routine is rote and it doesn't take much to mess that all up!
See the darkened floor tiles behind the sink?  Wet.  Of course we all know water is the #1 enemy of a house, so this was obviously an important job.  Besides that, experience showed me the damage water can do.  Back in December of 2011, the setting ring on the toilet finally sur…