Friday, May 9, 2008

Reporting Live from NYC:

Good Morning loyal readers!

I've been in New York for two days now, absolutely loving it, but still need to post a few things from the house. As it got close to moving time I finished a couple projects, but didn't have time to post about them. Lets try to catch up, shall we?

First of all, I thought the broken window in the living room might be cause for concern for potential home buyers. In took four hours to finish what I thought would be a one hour job. Typical.

First, wearing gloves, I started chipping away the old glazing compound and removing the broken pieces of glass. Once all of the glass had been removed I chiseled out any remaining glazing compound from the window sash. I did my best to brush off any dirt or dust from the wood as that would make it hard for the new glazing compound to stick to.
Next step: cut the glass to fit the window. First problem I encountered? I got the wrong size piece of glass. Trip to the 'Depot. While I was in the area I also grabbed dinner from a sub place I knew I was going to miss. You're starting to see why this took 4 hours, right? Once I had the correct piece of glass at home, I used some of the old broken pieces of glass to practice cutting on.

The makers of the glass cutting tool recommend scoring a dozen passes on a scrap piece of glass to make sure that it is in good working order before you screw up your new piece. I measured out how much of the glass needed to be cut off, then used a T-square to make sure the cut was perpendicular to the edge. One quick score line across the glass and we were ready to break it. I flipped the glass over and used the little ball-end of the cutter to tap the glass along the score line. The glass cracked along that line and the new glass was ready to install.

The little groove that holds the glass in the window needs a little glazing compound so the glass has a bed of it to sit in. Once I suffered through trying to do that on a vertical surface (I didn't take the sash out of the window frame) I put the glass in and secured it with the glazing points. If you don't know, those are little metal pieces that are pushed over the glass into the frame and hold the glass in place, much like the prongs on a diamond ring. Finally, I replaced the glazing compound around the edges of the glass and used a putty knife to shape it into a 45 degree angle.In future projects like this I'll be using the glazing compound that comes in a caulking tube. For this project I used the tub of glazing compound and it was a nightmare. You pull out this wad of hard compound and work it in your hands until it is soft enough to roll into a rope to put on the window. Wait, if you work with it too long it becomes like silly putty and stretches and falls down. Also, it will stick to your hands and your putty knife better than to wood or glass. Just a little fun fact.

While I was having all of this fun with glazing compound I finished the storm windows for the two little windows flanking the fireplace. They will need to be primed, painted, and rehung still, but the hard part was getting them fixed up in the first place. For some reason, even thought I had taken the glass out of the windows, it wouldn't fit back in. You'd think that if you could pull the glass out of the frame it would fit right back in, wouldn't you? Yeah, I thought that too. I had to scrape down the wood on all four sides to make the glass fit back in... where it was for the last 80 years. I don't get it.

I think the house was just mad that I was leaving it without finishing first.

One last thing: Spring Cleanup saved my behind. Fargo, as most towns do, has a spring cleanup when you can haul almost anything to the boulevard and they'll take it away for you. I already mentioned that I had a washer and dryer get taken from the boulevard with a refrigerator. By the time that the garbage people came to collect, the garbage pile had been pretty well picked through by people. They took those appliances as well as an old computer, an orange traffic cone, fireplace tools, a pair of shoes, clothes, magazines, a cowboy hat, a broken bicycle that came with the house, and some old wooden shelves. Amazing.
One Nate's trash is another random stranger's treasure. In all, I threw out seven jumbo trash bags and eight boxes of stuff. It came out to about half of my things, leaving only about ten boxes to be stored at my parents' place. It felt really good getting rid of everything I don't need. A good word to use would be cleansing. I just got rid of things that I didn't need that I was holding on to for no good reason. I'm a recovering pack-rat, but I'm getting over it fast. This is how much stuff I have in New York. I'd say that's about as far from pack-rat as you can get!

I'm missing the house already (living in a questionable old building in the Bronx) but I love being in New York. I'll miss blogging about the house too. I'll just get my kicks reading & commenting on the rest of you guys' blogs.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

NYC in 4!!! Gettin' Close!

Guess what I did for my birthday yesterday? I repaired cracks in plaster.

No, it wasn't that bad. First I went to my friend from high school's wedding reception. It was nice to see a lot of my friends before the big move East. Got to say some goodbyes. When I got home I did stay up late to finish putting mud up so I could sand it today.

Dad and Mom came up today and helped with the work again. Dad cut & hung the trim in the North West bedroom, and Mom helped me sand down the walls so we can texture and paint. Here's the stairwell all sanded and textured. Just some primer and paint left! The wall above the fireplace and at the landing of the stairs are still drying, so I'll sand them in a little bit. There's a little sanding left in the hallway upstairs and on the living room ceiling. Then I'm done sanding walls. Hopefully for a very, very long time. Ugh. Hate it. Great tip though for you: If you are sanding joint compound from a textured surface, use one of those spongy sanding blocks. (see photo below) Just apply a little pressure and they sand over the texture. It worked so well that I was kicking myself for using a pole sander for so long in the dining room and bedroom.

This next week is Fargo's spring clean-up when you can dump your junk on the boulevard and the city picks it up. Convenient timing, no? You're allowed two appliances, so Dad and I brought up the disgusting washer and dryer. Not an hour later and some guys came up in a pick-up and asked if they could take them for scrap. Uh, YEAH! I mentioned that we had a working fridge they could have, so they took that too. That's not going to be the end of it; I'm going to give those poor sanitation workers a run for their money. Anything that doesn't fit into my suitcases and doesn't need to be saved & stored at the parents' house is going to find its way to the boulevard. I'm anticipating quite a heap. The city says that construction materials aren't allowed, but I'm going to put everything in black trash bags and hope for the best. Worst case scenario? I throw the stuff they won't pick up into the dumpster behind the apartment across the street! Is that illegal? ...probably. I'll just flee the state!

Speaking of fitting things into luggage, look at what I got myself for my birthday! I'm pretty excited because it's about twice as big as my old suitcase. This, of course, means I can bring twice as much stuff to New York! I'm also bringing this huge duffel bag I have and my computer bag (carry on).

My amazing parents got me the BEST birthday gift: a new digital camera! I borrowed Mom's back when I started this blog oh-so-many months ago and she just got it back today. She borrowed my brother's this whole time, so he gets his back now. The camera is a Nikon Coolpix with 10.0 megapixels, 5X zoom, and a whole list of other stuff that I'm to lazy to list. It's exactly what I need to have to take some great shapshots in New York. Maybe Europe too? Lets hope so.

Lastly, my hair stylist is buying my piano from me and she said she'll be picking it up tomorrow sometime. I'm going to be gone for part of the day for my cousin's confirmation, so Dad and I hauled it out onto the porch so she can pick it up. You really don't see a lot of pianos on porches, but it's kind of fun out there. I serenaded the neighborhood (to the best of my abilities) just because I think it's so ridiculous to see a piano on a porch.