Journey in the Woods

Monday, May 30, 2011

Random nature boy stuff

so, I've been making more local tea in the morning. Penny Royal, Yerba Buena, Yerba Santa, Wild Rose... lots of stuff. and my teapot broke, so I'm using a mason jar:

and I fixed a basket handle with some young hazel branches. Getting Natural!

KaYun Tackles Project

KaYun is here again, and I managed to talk her into fixing the hot tub patio. Digging down in front of the fire area,

and then replacing the pavers. This way, it's easier to work on the fire!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Plumbing fix (#1)

Redid that joint at the shower mixer with sharkbite connectors (which are awesome, by the way) but had to chip into the stud to get the elbow to fit while screwing it in. The red PEX line then met the PVC before it goes out the wall. I haven't actually run water through this yet, but one of the great things about the Sharkbites is they spin on the PEX, so if the joint needs tightening, you can crank away without worrying about the other end of the pipe (not) spinning.

Meanwhile, Melissa is working on how she wants to lay the tile in the bathroom. We have a bunch of nice tile (from our friend Karl) but not quite enough to tile the whole thing in one way.

This river rock stuff is cool though.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Plumbing Fail

well, all things considered, it hasn't been that bad. Turns out where my cold in PVC meets the shower mixer, there's a leak.


and, since the PVC is all glued in, I'll have to cut it out and replace the whole cold side. Of course, due to the fact that I couldn't check for a leak until it was all together, this was the only way to find out. and, it's not too bad a leak, but anything is unacceptable.
hardware store run tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First Run at Shelf

The bookshelf over the windows got formed up today. The brackets were hard to put in, but they're solid now. Now I'm going to create covers for the horizontal bracket parts, and a fence to hold the books in.. and then fasten everything together... and then add lighting!

More Plaster, fixes, finishes

Getting to the end of the plastering, I did above the front door, so as to have a tighter seal between wall and door:

Re-did the re-do job on the middle step. This time I added a huge amount... perhaps it won't flake off and will take the abuse of the step flexing:

and the toilet bench got sealed in as well:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Manifold Central

Well, all the water lines are in, and the drain lines are ready to be hooked up (but I want to wait, as they will run through the west patio, where I do a lot of work) and I need to figure out how I'm going to cover this up and protect it. Here you can see the white cold water line, the gray and green and yellow gas line(s) and the black and red hot water lines.

The tool box is holding down a PEX line that wants to bend up, and is in there for scale. It's also sitting about where I want to have the clothes washing machine when all this is done (thus the water riser there with the shut off). Now, one issue is how to deal with the slope from the wall to the 2x4 on the ground. Remember also that the patio (to the right in the above photo) will probably come up 8" to 10" with flagstones, etc. I should probably build a deck that will allow access to those pipes on the ground...

Maybe a railroad tie along the front that the deck can sit on and the flagstones can come up against.

Sunshine

As it warms up around here, the grasses are getting longer and the field mice are out in force. Jack thinks he can get them if he sits still and watches:

and the sun is starting to come in nice and bright on the limewashed areas. This is the high spots of the bathroom wall, which still needs another coat or two:

Substructure of Counter

Here's a bit of the work done to support the granite piece at the end of the counter: Next to the plywood box that will hold a drawer, I've put in a batch of 1.5" redwood pieces as supports. Here's the west one being screwed on (I thought it was such a nice carpentry moment, I took a picture)

and here, with the cross pieces notched in, is the whole thing that will then get a layer of plywood, and then the granite:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tiles and More

Melissa's work is coming together

The shower with the start of the fixtures going in, and the floor tiles getting laid out:

The French doors area gets grout:


The liquor cabinet tiles get grout and cleaned up:

and look good all together, huh?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Things are growing

We've got tall grasses and budding flowers all over the place. This is me checking out our artichoke plant, with one real artichoke on it!

and the irises that were given to us a couple years ago are really coming on this year.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tile work continues

Now that the mirrors are in,

Melissa has decided to shape the upper edge of the tiles that will be below the mirror, so there won't be much of an edge for gunk to build up on.

She says it takes the tile saw, then 3 kinds of sandpaper, then a sponge, to do each one. She has to shape 22 of them. Here's a before and after:

Counter surface work

I took that old table and cleaned it up, sanded it down,

and cut it to fit between the sink and the stove. It still needs more sanding and oiling, but I think it's going to work out pretty well.


Here you can also see where Melissa has cut the granite (that we scrounged) into the 'island' end, next to the stove, and she's made pieces that continue towards the french doors.
Those above the white plaster will get plastered in, and the whole counter will get a wooden 'bumper' that will hide the exposed edge.

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Counter structures

Here's some photos of the sub structure of the kitchen counters. Here's where the fridge will go (note the 2x4 ribs under the plywood for strength):

and here's the space between the stove and sink, looking out the south windows:

Note for future reference: there's electrical wires on the horizontal at the back of this area, under the outlet... I need to make sure to not screw into those by accident.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Progress, Process, Possibilities

I figured out some additional ways to mount the 'faucet trunk' to the side of the house. I had these plastic strips from the back of a mirrored door, so I screwed them into the cob with 3" screws, and then to the top of the trunk before putting the lid on. Now, when we plaster all that in, it should be pretty solid:

It's officially solar cooker season! Granola gets underway:



While Melissa preps the shower wall to attach the mirror:

I'm exploring the possibility of cutting up this old oak table I got for free a year or two ago (a give away on craigslist that was just on my way somewhere). The stains you can see, by the way, are rat droppings. ugh.

I'm thinking of cutting the table up and making it into the counter top between the stove and the sink. this is the section - about 48" across the top side, and about 28" deep. The orange level is there defining the right (western) side, where tile would meet it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trying something

taking an old-growth off cut and getting it down to size,

I thought I'd try and make a little stand that hid the PVC coming up the wall on the future patio area. of course, it's also right where the sink drain needs to come out, etc. Check the brass faucet coming out the top. We'll put a piece of slate on this thing like a roof/shelf, and then plaster over the higher PVC.

Various Trenches and Pipes


There's been a lot of trenching and plumbing type stuff lately. Here's the propane gas line going in to the various appliances:

Then I cut and fit all the PVC for the water inlet lines, taking some extra time to think through various future plans, including this little line going off the NW corner of the house - I hope one day to put a wood fire boiler for domestic hot water (and radiant tube floor heat) over there, and will need a cold inlet line.

Here's a bit of the confusing challenge that is the manifold for the floor heating system next to the propane line next to the domestic water line(s).

and this is the serpent waiting to be hooked up to the whole thing so as to be able to circulate water through the floor

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Getting ready for various appliances

While we're still waiting for the propane guy to show up so I know where the shut-off valves will be, I've set up a batch of the cabinetry in preparation. A lot of things are determined by the height of other things... and the stove being a main one. We decided to put some tiles under the stove, instead of earthen floor, in part just to get it done, and so that if it ever needs to be dragged out of there, it won't gouge it up. (though I realized my hand truck moves the stove perfectly, so no need to drag it)

Here's the tiles in and done where the stove will sit. Now I know how tall to make the surrounding counter tops:

The other propane device is the fridge. Worse, it's the same one we use now, so I can't even build it in yet (I'm not sure *how* that transition will go) but again, waiting to figure out the valves, I can build parts of the enclosure, but not all. Interesting thing (that I'll brag about), all this is notched and wedged in, so it can be easily disassembled when the gas guy gets here.

And, did I post a picture of the sink in yet? Note the drain pipe is already connected!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Searching with a shovel

Did I mention I had to dig a big trench to get ready for the propane guys (who have yet to show up?) of course, I didn't have the metal detector to find the pipe, so I ended up digging about 10 extra feet, as I thought the pipe was much further north than it was.

here you can see the pipe; all the extra trench to the shovel was just exercise. whee.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Bathroom Plastered

The lime plaster is completely covering the bathroom walls now. Looking in the door at the mirror:

The cubbyhole shelves by the toilet area:

and the skylights and upper windows: