A Carpenter’s Journal

September 26, 2009

Mud and Rock

Filed under: Job Progress — Tags: , , — admin @ 7:24 pm

I think we are on the downhill side of this job, it has taken longer and cost more than I anticipated.  I had been overly optimistic in my assesment of the cost in order to insure that we would not lose the job.  The stonework around the fireplace is the last unknown quantity for me.   I have some experience with masonry but I thought, to insure a high quality job, it would be a good idea to have someone who really knows their stuff  come in to assist. 

All of the sheet rock is in place and most of it has a first coat of durabond 90.  Monday we will do a second coat with ez sand 90 and go to Plymouth Quarries to pick up the stone.

September 23, 2009

Sheetrock Lift

Filed under: Job Progress — Tags: — admin @ 5:20 pm

We used a sheetrock lift to place the 14 foot pieces of rock on the sloped ceiling. I had never used one before but I found it to be very easy to use and we did not get the sweaty palm prints and broken edges so common when lifting sheets by hand.

September 16, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — admin @ 4:55 pm

Simplicity is the first element of beauty: economy of force in war, economy of words in writing, economy of parts in machines, economy of ideas in theory. I firmly believe that experience in a craft teaches above all else, that the shortest and simplest route to a desired end is the best. As I became more adept at carpentry over the years, it became clear to me, and remains a rule when I am building something, that if the solution to a mechanical problem starts to become too complex and too difficult, you can be sure that you are on the wrong path. There is always a solution that is beautiful in its simplicity; the inexperienced workman is easily led down the wrong path, piling piece upon piece unable to discern the danger inherent in complexity, and not having in his possession the faith to wait for the certain appearance, with time and thought, of an elegantly simple answer both in its performance and in its result.

In the same vein, when faced with an intractable problem, the skilled man or woman knows instinctively not to fight with it or struggle in frustration, like the martial arts master he looks carefully to discern the weak point, the plane of cleavage where an easy blow will accomplish the desired task. This is a combination of patience and of confidence in his mastery of the material world.

September 15, 2009


Filed under: Architecture,Trimwork — Tags: — admin @ 5:54 am

This is a picture of two skylights I put in a laundry room to brighten it up.MRoad

September 5, 2009

Another Bath Remodel

Filed under: Bathrooms,Job Progress — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:58 pm

We had to make a diversion from the 3-season porch we are working on to complete a bathroom we had started before but had to wait for the fixtures to come in to finish it.  We tiled the tub area and the floor. There is a separate shower which has Swanstone walls, this is a hard plastic which looks a little like stone when in place.  It is similar to Corian.  These quarter inch thick panels were very expensive and did not give the owners exactly the look they wanted, but it will be easy to clean.

The tub surround is tiled with white subway tiles with a decorative band of tiles with seagulls on a sea blue background.  I would recommend these tiles both for ease of installation and for a minimum of grout lines to keep clean.  They also are very nice looking.

Subway Tile Tub Surround

Subway Tile Tub Surround











The floor is done in small black and white tiles that come on a 9 inch square mat.  These have a rather dramatic look but I would not recommend them for any area that gets a lot of traffic.  The mat on the back makes adhesion problematic as just the right amount of thinset has to be used and they need to press into it exactly the amount necessary to keep the thinset from coming up between the tiles and yet achieve appropriate coverage on the back of the tiles to insure they will stick permanently.  These tiles are rather soft, I found the sanded grout easily scratched them if I pressed down too hard with the grout float.

Floor Pattern

September 1, 2009


Filed under: Job Progress — Tags: , — admin @ 5:34 am
Vetter Aluminum Clad, Stone Grey

Vetter Aluminum Clad, Stone Grey

We installed two Vetter double hung windows to replace two that had seen better days.  We ordered them with the extra low U value to try to meet the standard for the thirty percent Federal tax credit.  Vetter, which is actually Weathershield, is not going to be available after the first of next year.   I like them because they have color matching aluminum clad exteriors.

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