Friday, March 27, 2009

Man Projects

My wife's job was to grow me a baby. She did a pretty good job with that.... Shannon is sleeping on my chest as I write this. My job, was to finish the hardwood floors in 4 rooms and 1 set of stairs before Shannon showed up. Yeah well... I'm a software engineer... we don't do deadlines so well. (which explains why Windows 95 sucked eggs until the year 2000.... it just wasn't finished!)

I'm not going into all the finagleing I did trying to avoid an obvious splice from one room to the next upstairs, but yeah..... its gonna look pretty sweet. Of course.... to add new stuff, you need to remove the old stuff. Great, but the old stuff is a real mess. I got all the carpet out and the banisters removed and had finally layed out exactly how the transition from the back bedroom to the hallway/stairs was going to look on Friday. As anyone who still speaks to us (long story) still knows, KB went into labor Sunday night. (I had PLANNED on knocking all this out over the weekend but sheep decided I would be doing other things....) So Tuesday (monday was spent in the hospital) my Dad came over and we tore the heck out those stairs. In my opinion, this was a fantastic way of baby proofing the upstairs.


today (Friday), I drove in the last nails and it now looks like this:


So the lady with C-section stitches is a LOT happier that the stairs don't move anymore when you walk up them. The dogs are happier... they tend to completely lose their shit when a stair moves while the are walking on them..... trust me, the last thing you need in this world is a 130lbs Great Pyr going nuts. I am very stoked. I got really lucky on a couple things:
  • I had a router bit that exactly matched the curve pattern on the front of the stair treads.
  • The stain we bought for the pine trim that I'm putting in upstairs EXACTLY matches the color of the bamboo when applied to the bamboo..... I mean, you can't tell where I hit the stair treads with the router (hitting the stair tread obviously removes the finish and stain).
  • The stair nose on the top step, if moved 1/8" forward, allows you to put in full width planks all the way to the back wall of the hallway AND the back bedroom. (WIN! I figure anyone getting on their back on my stairs with a flashlight to see if the stair nose the the riser are flush together is a weird freak and needs to be kicked out quickly)

Why am I routing the stair tread you ask? Well.... as you can see above, we have an "open" stairwell. Unless I wanted to go buy a compound miter saw, learn how to use it, and manufacture an incredible difficult cut, I would need to route the open side so that it looked the the front side of the stair tread. Finish work is hard enough thank you very much. 45 degree miters are all I ever want to have to do. Anyway........ it all worked out, and it looks great. There is yet a lot of work to do with spackle to cover up the crappy wall board damage that the carpet used to cover. Even after I spent a day with plaster trying to fix this, there are gaps after installing the stairs.
The stair stringer (the wood the stairs sit on that you see in the 1st two pictures) is square and straight, nothing else in the house is. *sigh*

This weekend I'll pick up the banisters and newel posts. I plan on stareing (no pun intended) on them for about a week to make sure I haven't forgotten something before I install them. The problem with finish work is mistakes have nothing to hide them, things look so good right now I really do not want to screw it all up.

Hopefully Shannon likes tools as much as her Dad.

PS: Special thanks to my Dad who comes over all the time and helps with my tearing up of the house.