Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The King of Crown

I Love the look of crown molding, but cutting the stuff takes some practice. The first time I tried, I asked a friend who was an experienced trim guy to give me the run down on how to install the elusive ceiling topper. He explained to me his coping technique, as in using a coping saw to back cut the profile. I never did get it. I eventually sat down with a protractor and two eight feet sections of crown, and I cut a multitude of different angle pairs until I went through all sixteen feet of trim. I finally figured it out. I then made myself an inside and outside saw guide to help me remember how to set the saw up, but I rarely need it any more. I should note
that although I have crowned my entire house, I still don't consider myself a solid trim guy. After all, there is a huge difference between paint and stain grade trim....and if a good trim guy can make bad carpenter took adequate, a good painter can make a bad trim guy look great. I'll post a drawing of my saw template, but perhaps a look at these techniques might be more beneficial...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Our tub is here!

Back over a year ago I purchased this 1898 Ahrens and Ott cast iron tub from my brother, who had it in storage in his back yard. I paid four hundred dollars for it in fairly good condition. It sat in his shed until a few weeks ago, not because we're rude, but because the thing weighs a few hundred pounds (about 400+ lbs I think) and we just didn't have any way to move it. We called around to several different refinishing vendors when my wife found this local guy named Tony. He came by and gave us an estimate on reworking the tub. He showed us a photo album of his work, and seemed like a nice enough guy. He arranged to come by and pick up the tub. After he got a good look at it, he thought that he would have it done before Christmas. I was a bit apprehensive, but I really wanted to get it out of my brothers shed. My sister in law had made a comment about their kids' bikes rusting out in the rain. I can take a hint, and after all, the tub had clearly worn out its welcome in there shed and they may even have a valid claim to a few dollars in storage fees. Tony met us there a week later and the four of us lugged the beast into his pick up. A few weeks later we went by Tony's to see the results. Wow! The guy did a fantastic job, and I would recommend his work to anyone. I'll post his contact info just as soon as I can find his card...
A few interesting facts about the tub...
After we got the tub back from Tony, my brother dug up this information on it's manufacturer, which incidentally, was in Louisville KY, where my fathers side of the family are from... "The American Standard Company is the result of successive mergers by a number of companies. The oldest was Ahrens and Ott Mfg. Co of Louisville KY, which began producing cast-iron soil pipes in 1857. The Standard Mfg. Co of Allegheny, PA., founded in 1870, was originally a maker of enameled cast-iron stove ware, but was making bath fixtures by 1888. In 1887, a Standard employee named Edward L. Dawes left to start up his own company with William A. Myler called Dawes & Myler Mfg Co. in New Brighton PA. By 1893 Dawes & Myler were producing enameled cast-iron bathtubs exclusively. In 1899, Ahrens & Ott, Standard Mfg Co., and Dawes & Myler merged with six smaller companies to form the Standard Sanitary Mfg. Co which became a major producer of enameled cast-iron bathroom fixtures. China or ceramic fixtures were not a part of Standard's production until 1929 when the firm acquired the Thomas Maddock's Sons Mfg. Co. of Trenton NJ. That firm had it's origins in 1873 when a pottery painter from Staffordshire England named Thomas Maddock became a partner in a Trenton NJ pottery that was the first in America to produce heavy sanitary ware such as toilets, bathtubs and sink bowls. Also in 1929, the Standard Sanitary Mfg Co. formed a partnership with the American Radiator Co. of New York City under the name American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation. Later, the name was shortened to American-Standard. Today, people will find old rolled rim bathtubs that are marked on the bottom with the name Standard Sanitary Mfg Co and A & O Works or D & M Works or SW. The SW stands for Standard Works (factory) and AO Works (Ahrens & Ott factory) and DM for Dawes & Myler factory. The different works or factories still carried their old names, and even produced their own catalogs, but all the fixtures were produced under the Standard Sanitary Mfg. Co label."
Clawfoot tub

Kitchen Remodel, Phase II continued

The remaining images show the whole space really start to come together. This was truly a culmination of a lot of planning and preparation. I had to relocate all of the plumbing fixtures and pipes to accommodate the new island. I also had to rewire in order to relocate the range. All of this was done well in advance, and since the back elevation of the house is on a foundation nearly four feet high, it was easy to work under the house, quite relaxing actually. It gets to be 100+ degrees with nearly 100% humidity in the coastal South Carolina summers, so working in the cool air under the house was a blessing in disguise.