Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pretty door stuff

I somehow totally missed posting pictures of the gorgeous hinges doing their gorgeous thing!

<-- And look, they hold the door up too! The doorjambs are also very pretty, made from douglas fir, so when we finally get around to staining and sealing them they'll match the doors perfectly.

And in the meantime, we've got some knobs!

It's funny.. I was just getting used to having the deadbolts in place, so now after I unlock the door I keep pushing on it, expecting it to open, and thinking it must still be locked somehow. And then I finally remember to turn the knob and everything works just like it should. I must be tired, because I keep doing that..

<-- This is the unfinished, interior fire door. The reproduction privacy sets have a fake keyhole cut in them which I love! That little detail is why I bought the knobs from Nostalgic Warehouse instead of one of the dozen or so places online that carry similar hardware.

I was planning on drilling it out so you could actually see though the door, but I think I'm going to paint that spot black instead.. at least to start off with.. I can always drill a hole later if it looks weird.

Sorry for the lack of posting recently.. it's been a bunch of behind the scenes stuff and some non-house related work which I'll post some pix of soon

Thursday, July 24, 2008

we're lousy with doors!

Just look at all the doors we have now!!
<--This one you can see from the street! You can also see the old, rotty door leaning against the house.. guess we'll have to something with that.. Anyone need a fine, antique door? it's cheap! ;) Still not much in the way of doorknobs.. but there's a functional lock, which opens with a key, on each and every external door we have! (not counting the piece of plywood covering the hole where there used to be a door.. any minute now there's going to be a wall there instead, so I'm counting that as wall, not door)

<-- This is the firedoor between the garage and the living space. We didn't have the space in our "clean room" to stain and seal it with the others, and since it was prehung because it needed special self-closing hinges we figured it'd be just as easy to finish it once it was up.

We have to finish all the jambs anyway, so there's about a million more coats of varnish in my future.

<-- And this is the firedoor between the living space and the garage.

It's the same door.. It's just so exciting I thought I'd show it from both sides :D

Monday, July 14, 2008

it takes one to.. get another one

Now that we've got one door, it seems like the others might be willing to go up too..

This is the door jamb for the back door. You can just kinda see the really fracking gorgeous hinges there..

One of the conditions Zach had for helping us with these doors was that we get them as slabs (not pre-hung) because that was where all the fun and challenge is!

Here is that piece and the rest of the jamb in place at the back doorway.

Notice the utter lack of plywood back there?? Any minute now there's also going to be a lock with a key instead of a sliding latch that we can only get to from the inside. Don't get me wrong, the plywood with latch was a vast improvement over the gaping hole, and is much better than a screwed-on inoperable piece of plywood.

The 2nd half of "fun and challenging," getting the door to swing freely and close all the way.

And the really fun part! A closed door!! With a lock on it, even. A lock that we have keys for!

The doorknob will come soon, and then it will be just like a real door!

There's way more light in that area now too. There aren't any windows back there, which is why we got the door with lights on top, and it makes a really big difference.

We still have to stain and seal the jamb, and there's the slight lack of siding there which will have to be addressed before we can trim the door out.. but I'm enjoying the fact that (have I mentioned this yet?) there's totally a door back there :D

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shut the door!

Exciting news at Chez Neumansky!! We have a bedroom door!!

Try to remain calm.. I know it's hard.
Let me walk you through this miraculous development:

We have a sort of alcove-y confluence of doorways between the hallway, kitchen, bedroom, and 'dining room.'

  • The door to the dining room was walled off at some time in the distant past
  • The door to the kitchen hasn't had a door on it since the moulding currently there was put in place.
  • The bedroom, which HAD a door not too long ago, judging by the hinges, lost it to the abyss without a trace..
  • Leaving a door we'd never closed between the hallway, and.. more of the hallway.

In retrospect, it's an obvious move.. but I had such hope that the actual door that started there would turn up!

The hinges had to be moved a little, and a side and bottom edge needed to be ground down so it would close. Our friend Zack has the magic touch with doors, and now it's like it's always been there!

It makes the hallway seem way bigger (and turned up a corner that hasn't seen much cleaning since the original bleach-scrubbing)! Our poor, deprived cats can't fight through the curtain anymore, and their race circuit through the house has a brand new major obstacle.. but now we have a room we can lock them into, as we'll definitely need to do more often as we get back to work.

We still have to get used to it, but I think we'll manage!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fire, Fire, Fiiiiiirre!!!

Yea, Yea, Yea,.....

So we like fire, a lot.... We've been puzzling over our fire pit for a while because it just wasn't 'good enough'. The flames kinda shot up high and wild from it and it burned the propane way rich leading to a smelly, sooty fire that didn't produce enough heat for all the propane it went thru. What to do what to do....until we hit on an idea...

I found this wonderful turkey fryer on close-out at Sears for only $30! That's what the used ones were going for on Craig's List. And we got the huge pot to boil corn in for when we have our bbq's!

Outta that big box of stuff this is the only thing we wanted. The cast iron high-powered burner!!

Here's a closer look at that lovely 20,000 BTU burner. You see, correctly carburating the propane is kinda tricky but this handy dandy all in one unit does it all for us. Why re-invent the wheel we say.

Just like a Bunsen burner in high school chem lab this burner has an adjustable orifice so we can fine tune the flame to a nice blue.

Here's a shot showing how it adjusts the mixture. This feature should be really handy when we switch to nat-gas which has a different air-fuel ratio.

Our fire pit version 1.0
How ho-hum...

Here's what the guts of it look like. That coiled snake thing sitting in the bowl is our first attempt at making a burner. Its just 1/4" copper tubing with holes drilled into it.
The grate goes down over the tubing and then we pile the rocks on top of the grate.

Here's a closer view of the 'burner' We drilled holes in the bottom of the pan to help air enter in an attempt to get the fire to not burn so rich.

You see all the leaves and dust from the rocks falls down and plugs up the works leading to an overly rich flame.

We have to try to make the new burner fit the pan and work with the old burner.

The idea is, that the new burner will burn blue and heat the rocks up nice and hot while the old burner is going to be adapted to give flames and light but not do the bulk of the heating.

We wanted the burner to sit down below the grate and be spaced up off the rocks. We cut a hole for it and using plumbers tape and self tapping sheet metal screws made a 'mount' for it.

Here's the burner shown mounted. Right in the center of the pan and nice and low.

We skipped a couple of steps and forgot to show the connections under the pan..We added a valve just for the home made burner so we can fine tune the height of the flames in comparison to the heat produced by the new burner. We also cut some expanded metal as a secondary grate to keep the lava rocks up off the bottom of the pan. We mounted the old burner so the jets face downward also to keep them from getting filled with crud and to hopefully tame the flame height a bit.

And Wow fire pit version 2.0 is off and running. This picture doesn't do the flame color justice but its nice and blue-white at the rocks and going to light yellow out at the tips. The flame is burning much cleaner also with not really any sooty smelly black smoke being produced.

This shot shows the blue white flame at the base a bit better. The new burner really heats up the rocks around it and the entire pit radiates a lot more heat than it used to. That and the fire height is shorter so less chance of wind whipped fire singing someones toes.

Here's a shot of the pit in the dark just after I turned off the flame. This shows that the rocks are not being heated completely evenly...The camera makes it look like its white hot but its not really but those lava rocks were a glowing something fierce.

All in all a pretty darn good result for version 2.0. Its high-time for BBQ season and I'm not sure I'm going to have the time to re-jigger the home-made burner to even out the coal heating pattern....now wheres the marshmallows and chocolate and graham crackers???