Saturday, September 26, 2015

On the Straight and Narrow

DS Construction finished the gang-way sidewalk yesterday.  Its quite a change of the old one which was titled toward the neighbors property, and had large gaps between the sidewalk and building. 

Finished sidewalk as of this morning, curing!

First drop of concrete from Prairie Material.

Concrete form, right on property line.  Neighbor fence will be adjacent to concrete on neighbor property.

Retaining wall form for 3 steps down, under the bay window.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sidewalk Shuffle

I knew the right time to replace the gangway sidewalk would be during the construction of a new house next door.  After some sleuthing, I found out that DS Construction is contracted demolition and concrete contractor.  I talked with their boss a few months ago, and he agreed to replace our sidewalk as part of the work he was already doing here.  When the crew finally showed up, they seemed unaware and ambivalent about the idea.  They said "if Stan said yes, then its yes".  No contract.  I called the general contractor, and they said its common for subs to just have verbal agreements because they work with them so often.  Anyway, it was easy to convince them that now was absolutely the best time to pull out the old, collapsed sidewalk.  I used a steel iron to knock out around the drain at the bottom of the stairs myself, because they took out the entire sidewalk (all 125 feet) in a couple hours using the digger.  Its turning out to be a win-win between the two properties.  They don't have to worry about ruining the sidewalk on the property line when digging for the foundation, etc.

before sidewalk removal, you can see drain below bay window

after sidewalk removal

the beast that removed the house, dirt, fencing, sidewalk, etc. LIKE BUTTER


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Heavy Machinery


The completely dilapidated neighboring house will be demo'ed on Monday.  The garage came down today.  I made verbal deal with the demolition and concrete contractor to also remove and replace our gangway sidewalk.  Updates soon..

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Today it pays to read this blog

I happen to have an extra sconce fixture.  Long story short, it SHOULD work.  I used an ohmmeter to check out all 3 sockets.  If you want it, just shoot me an email.

Gatco Latitude 2 - polished chrome

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mounting drawer fronts

I finally had a few days to finish up the bathroom vanity during the holiday break.  The slab drawer fronts had been waiting in my closet for a couple years! :(  I was somewhat nervous about putting these on because if you screw them up, you can't just go back to hardware store to buy another set.  After reviewing a few youtube videos on the subject of attaching drawer fronts, I decided to use the 'double sided tape' method.  You use double sided 3M tape to mount the drawer front to the drawer, double check that its in place (proper distance from other fronts and doors, level, etc.), and then use 1 1/4" screws to secure it to the drawer.  This is the basic idea.  Some details are discussed below.

Before mounting the fronts, I predrilled the holes for the drawer pulls using a drill press.  The drill press makes perfect holes in the right location and straight in.

I used 3mm Tavy tile spacers to mount the drawer fronts.  I had to hold the tile spacers in place while placing the front against the drawer, sort of a pain, but it worked.  It would have been easier to mount these with just wood glue, but I didn't want any glue drip here (like i saw in this video), and I couldn't figure out a way to clamp it after the front was in place.  This is an 'after picture', after screwing the fronts to the drawer from the back using self-tapping screws and mounting the hardware.  I did have to drill the hole in the drawer for the hardware from the front AFTER mounting the front.  The sequence was a bit complicated.

Mounting the false fronts under the sink needed a different strategy.  There was no drawer to mount the front to, so i had to figure something out.  I couldn't mount it to the cabinet panel, there was only a few millimeters of overlap there.  I created some mounting blocks using some spare oak.  I used the Kreg jig to create the pocket holes for the mounting screws.  The mounting screws are also from Kreg, as its part of their system.  The blocks were affixed to the side panel using wood glue and screws.  I used an adjustable square to offset the block from the cabinet by 1mm to match the doors and drawers.  The next day, i was able to mount the false front to the cabinet.

my favorite glue, not Elmer's!

Finished product below.  If anyone has an idea to keep the 'single mount' handles on the doors tight and aligned, let me know.  If you're not gentle with them, the screw comes loose and it twists out of alignment.  I've already tried some

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Solid quartz

We ordered silestone quartz countertops through home depot before thanksgiving.  They subcontracted the job to Stone Systems in Mundelin, IL. 

There were many people involved with the complete job:  Home depot kitchen and bath sales, HD special services desk, SS templater, SS fabrication, SS scheduler, SS installers, and finally SS sales.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Attaching Face frame with Kreg Jig

I ordered our hallway hutch face frames from Tape-Ease in Wisconsin and the cabinet boxes from another source.  I could have just glued and clamped the face frames on, but I didn't think that wouldn't be sturdy enough.  I didn't want to put any nail holes in the front of the frame either.  At least a year ago, I came across an inexpensive solution for drilling pocket holes call the 'Kreg Jig'. It allows you to drill pocket holes in the adjacent piece.

cabinet box

portable Kreg jig with clamp

drilling the pocket hole using Kreg drill bit

using right angle adapter to drill hole in shallow cabinet
fastening the face frame to cabinet using Kreg screw

cabinet in place with face frame