Friday, October 30, 2009

Great Room Project Update, Thursday 10/29


All that is left is trim. And all the trim is finished, dried, and ready to cut and install. So the goal today was to finish things up!

The base cap went back up, no sweat. The section I had to buy and stain blended in just fine. The base shoe pieces were easy to miter, piece together, and nail to the baseboard. After that, more stained wood filler went into the nail holes in the trim.

Did I say just how GREAT a tool a pneumatic finish nailer is? I can’t imagine doing a project like this without it, especially working by yourself. It allows you to hold things with one hand, and nail with the other. Zap! Zap! Zap! Just that fast. And you don’t even have to countersink the nail heads, since you can set it to fire hard enough to bury the heads slightly. Gotta like that!

Nail with one hand, do something else with the other.

Note the cool hand knit vest.

On to the last bit – installing the threshold trim pieces where the bricks and hardwood meet. Once installed, the elevation of the hardwood is maybe 3/8” higher than the bricks. So there has to be some sort of transition piece. I used these “baby thresholds”, and mitered them in around the corners. This was a bit easier than the “in place and level” mitering I did around the fireplace. But it was going to be very visibly exposed, so I took my time and did it right! I think it turned out okay. I had to futz a bit at the corner where three different trim bits intersected, none at the same level. There is probably an elegant way to do this, but if I ever did figure it out, my Caveman Carpenter status would be revoked for sure.

So… The wood is down and the project is done, at least from a construction standpoint. I just have to move furniture and things back in without doing any damage. (Just…)

We decided to celebrate with a glass of Goat wine. Not sure if it is made BY goats, or FOR goats, or for consumption WITH, say, goat stew. But either way, if goats are somehow involved, how bad can it be?


I really only found one thing that I would do differently next time (so far...). I mean other than NOT lose that piece of trim. I would make an elevation transition, like the brick-to-hardwood, with a tapered transition piece instead of a threshold. More like what I did around the fireplace. It would be a smoother look. Here is the difference:

I came up with the transition scheme after reading about it online and asking the Lumber Liquidator folks. I was worried about leaving an expansion gap around ALL the edges. But it turns out that that's not strictly necessary, at least in this part of the country where season-to-season temperature and humidity swings are not that extreme. Live and learn.

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