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Showing posts from 2017

New Front Stoop Railings - Part 1

If nothing else, 173 is an evolutionary beast.  Occasionally there are big alterations, but most of the time it's a matter of small, slow, subtle changes.  The front stoop is just such a case.  This picture shows how the front of 173 looked in the '70s :
I think 173 must have looked so airy and crisp back in the day!  A far cry from the direction she was headed beginning in 1997.  Back then, the front stoop was the same as in the picture above, and wasn't really a stoop at all; instead -  just a few steep, narrow steps as you can see in this old grainy photo:
Then in '99 or so, I took down the old steps, and built a stoop which ended up looking like this: Not too bad for a beginner.  The stoop was a couple years old by the time that picture was taken, but you get a sense of what is had become.  Then this happened: I went and painted the railings white.  Not a big deal you say?  Well, that was the beginning of the significant exterior alterations that led to this: It lo…

The Table Saw of Death

Back in '97, we had just bought 173 and we weren't exactly brimming over with cash, so a friend of mine gave me an old table saw.  When I say old - I mean old!  It was belt-driven, with the saw and the separate motor mounted on an old board.  When I brought it home, I built a stand for it out of leftover pieces of 2x4, a chunk of plywood and some caster wheels I had salvaged from some long-forgotten project.  Here she is:
As is always the case, I don't have any other pictures...but I think you get the idea.  The saw was built by Atlas Tools in 1954.  With a little digging I found the 1954 catalog:
As you can see by the page for my saw, the specs and narrative advertise a pretty solid machine, and you know what?  It was!  Let's think it through, built in '54, given to me in '97, and still running strong = 63 years! The rest of the story with my Atlas was that it had no safety features - at all.  None. Nil.  Nada. Zilch!  There was no cover over the blade, no wri…

Happy Independence Day from 173!

Thank God for the brave men and women who took a huge chance on this noble experiment! "Off with your hat, as the flag goes by!  And let the heart have its say; You're man enough for a tear in your eye That you will not wipe away." ~Henry Cuyler Bunner This flag, which we honor and under which we serve, is the emblem of our unity, our power, our thought and purpose as a nation. It has no other character than that which we give it from generation to generation. The choices are ours. It floats in majestic silence above the hosts that execute those choices, whether in peace or in war. And yet, though silent, it speaks to us — speaks to us of the past, or the men and women who went before us, and of the records they wrote upon it. - Woodrow Wilson, 1917
A moth-eaten rag on a worm-eaten pole It does not look likely to stir a man's soul, 'Tis the deeds that were done 'neath the moth-eaten rag, When the pole was a staff, and the rag was a flag.  ~Sir Edward B. Ham…

The Kitchen - Part 5: Paint

I soooo want to post the final pictures of the kitchen, but there's one more little job in there that needs to be done and I simply haven't gotten to it...soon...I promise.  In the meantime, I thought I'd do one of those posts that's primarily for me.  From time-to-time I post about a product of some kind or other, just so I have a record of it in case 173 needs it in the future.  In this case - it's paint.  But before I get there, let me show you something...

All of those seams where trim met trim, trim met ceiling, trim met wall, nail holes, wood flaws, etc., needed caulking,  Yeah...that was a little tedious!  On the upside, I've become pretty efficient at caulking, and find it somehow...therapeutic!  Please don't ask me to explain - I can't!

Okay - on to the paint!  Selecting the colors for the kitchen was surprisingly easy, there was an original plan, and then may two or three revisions until the scheme was decided upon.  Of course I looked a lots …

Made at 173: The (New) Medicine Cabinet

In our last post I talked about an old Made at 173  project - the old medicine cabinet.
As you can see, the cabinet was overflowing with those remedies to ameliorate the pains and dyspeptic disorders of the aging denizens of 173,  Clearly it was time for a larger cabinet, and what better time than after a relatively major project that left scraps lying about the ol' workshop.  If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know I like finding uses for project scraps, most of which can be seen on the Made at 173  page at the top of the blog.  
And so it began,  The plan was simple - make a bigger medicine cabinet, and use only materials leftover from the kitchen project, or stuff on hand at 173.   The divider and shelves were an interesting mix...sawn-to-size, repurposed shelved from the kitchen nook, a piece of scrap wood, and a piece of scrap PVC board from some long-forgotten project.  The door were also made from some piece acquired long ago: The hinges were leftove…

Made at 173: The (Old) Medicine Cabinet

Taking a break from the kitchen posts until some of the punch list items are done, so I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to document an old, minor project.  Not long after moving into 173, it became apparent there was a need for a medicine cabinet.  Fortunately, there's this funky little spot between the entryway and the kitchen, where the basement door is, that is too small to do anything with:


That little wall was the perfect spot for a medicine cabinet, and after some project or other (I don't recall at this point) I had some scrap wood available.  If you've been reading this blog at all, you know I usually try to find a project to use up the scraps, and that's exactly what I did for this cabinet.

Yup! Pretty rustic, but almost 20 years ago I think that's what we were going for (that's my excuse anyway - just let me have it!).  To show the scraps used, and just how rustic this thing was:

The panel in the door is leftover from the original front…

The Kitchen - Part 4: Cabinets

The cabinets were a bitter-sweet project.  The sweet part was adding a couple new base cabinets, new countertops, new color and new handles.  The bitter part was kinda two-fold.  First - I wanted to tear them all out and start afresh, but at the same time this was a refresh more than a complete remodel.  Besides that - I hate to get rid of these huge, solid, built-in-place cabinets:


Alas, they had to stay, which was okay in the end because of my constant struggle to want to keep things here at 173 as close to "original" as I can (within reason).  One of the big problems in the kitchen is lack of counter space.  On the side with the sink, this was compounded by a third of the countertop essentially disabled by the design of the cabinets, and the low placement:


You can really see that in the area of that pineapple.  See how the sides of the cabinet sloped down?  Not only that, there was also a little half-shelf at the bottom of it - leaving about 3" below it to the counte…