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The Hands Acquire Stains; the Stains Become a Warning [Aug. 6th, 2006|05:26 pm]
[Current Mood |handymanliness]

Some news from the home front.

We finally had some time this weekend to do work around the house. I built a riser shelf for our ever-increasing DVD collection. This means we can have two rows along the top of the entertainment center and the back row will be perched up and visible.

It's a pretty simple project but it went together without any major problems or injuries. This is dangerous. This encourages the small portion of the brain known as the Handyman Lobe. It's a section of the brain -- often more pronounced in guys but I've known many girls with enlarged Handyman Lobes -- that secretly believes that you could assemble a house from raw lumber.

Then the shelf was stained, along with our front door. You see, we've (that would be my wife, Trey our mortgage-in-law, and I) decided to finally get the house properly painted. Given the age of our house, this means lead removal, wood treatment, and a number of other complicated (i.e. expensive) procedures. So we (that would be my wife and I) decided to stain our front door. Trey's door, downstairs, is already a dark wood color. Ours has been a blond natural wood since we moved in.

So I've got spots of stain up my hands and wrists, mingling with my natural freckles. On the plus side, the door looks a lot nicer stained. Once the house is painted, I think it'll look really sharp.

[User Picture]From: furahi
2006-08-07 07:41 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, working around the house is nice :D

My sister just had two big wooden beams installed on her office's ceiling. Her (part of the) house is very old; older than 100 years. All the ceilings are built with wooden beams supporting more beams that support the floor upstairs and decorative hardwood underneath.

I digress though; I helped unload those from the truck where they came.... that was enough for me to realize I could never build a house, they were so heavy. I watched as they rised one of them to install it (she has a very high roof)...
I would've died crushed under the beam =P

So.... well, no house building for me; that shrunk my handyman lobes down a couple of sizes.

But I do love to do miscelaneous work on the house; I love having my workshop / tools shed here in the house and taking anything there to fix or make new or whatever

I'll miss that when I move.... of course I can buy new tools and make myself (ok, ok, maybe buy or have made) a new tool shed; but I have tools there that used to belong to my grandfather when he was young there... He died at age 93 in early 1981; so those are old... and some very nifty and not made anymore; I can't get those back, nor can I take them because even though they're technically mine, they're memories of my mom, plus I could fill the mover's truck with that alone =P
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2006-08-07 08:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's nice to accomplish work on the house. And have it go well, even. :)

I don't have a workshop for my small collection of tools, so I just pulled everything out into the driveway. A bit less convenient, but it works.

Tools, if properly made and cared for, last quite a while. I have a couple old favorites myself, but nothing like the provenance on yours!
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[User Picture]From: brandywine93
2006-08-07 07:39 pm (UTC)
ahh the handyman lobe - you must be careful as watching an excessive amount of Trading Spaces, While you were Out or Clean Sweep can result in an over active handyman lobe - and the people at OSH or Home Depot knowing you by name in more than one location. Not that it's ever happened to me though... oh nonono!

speaking of staining: how long did it take you to do? I've got a bookcase I need to finish but have shyed away as I'm not sure how long it would take.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2006-08-07 08:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm a Trading Spaces and WYWO junkie...

Staining goes pretty quickly. I find it to be easier than painting, since brush strokes don't really show. The hardest part is likely to be prepping the wood. If you've got natural wood, you're fine; if it's been sealed, you'll need to sand it down so the stain can get into the wood.

So, for just the staining, figure about 2/3 the time you'd expect to spend painting.
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[User Picture]From: cateriona
2006-08-08 07:20 am (UTC)
I don't think that the "handyman lobe" is a gender characteristic. It just gets expressed differently between the genders and is somewhat determined by nurture training as a child.

On the house painting, depending on the condition of the existing old paint you may not have to remove it. Indoor moldings maybe, but inner walls and outdoors if the paint is not flaking need only the proper undercoat paint to seal it and then a new over coat of color and you are ready to go. Though I would recommend for indoors using a more expensive base coat that is designed to be painted over oil based paint and have latex as a top coat and stay with the oil base paint on the outside (it's more durable in the long run). Also, before you hired or put anything on the house check with your local historical society. They should know if there are any restrictions in your neighborhood and who the good contractors are if you need to hire professionals for the job at any point. You don't need to spend money only to have to respend it twice over to have the job done right and we are not going into the possible lawyer fees. (Thus speaks the ex-park ranger with a master's in Land Use Planning who fill in course space with historic preservation and environmental law and likes to watch home improvement shows for their inaccuracies).
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