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April 30, 2007

Framework

Gable Window

The gable end windows will be custom-built from start to finish. In this case, custom-built is a euphamism for "figure it out as you go." We'd like to include stained glass and the windows will be hinged to open outward, but the details have not been sorted out. It's a work in progress.

I want to get the siding on before moving Gypsy to Vermont. That requires the window trim to be in place first. The typical order, however, is to install the window and then the trim. With these windows, I'm doing things in reverse - building the windows from the outside in, so to speak.

Gable Window

 

 

April 20, 2007

Bedroom Windows

Gable Window

Mark April 20th as the first "shorts day" of 2007. The nearly week-long Nor'easter that brought record rains, flooding, and high winds to the area has finally passed. With sunshine and temperatures in the high 60's I framed the gable end (bedroom) windows.

Gable Window

When we first conceived Gypsy Rose we thought we'd like Gothic windows in the gable ends. Over time we decided on a different style based on a variety of needs, including the ability to open them up and to be able to use the windows as "emergency exits."

When it came down to framing them in, we hadn't worked out the specifics of sizing yet, so I used the white Tyvek surface to sketch them in. After stepping back with Marion to take a look we turned to each other and said, "I like it." Out came the saw and the openings were cut from the plywood sheathing.

Gable Window

Above is the view of the unfinished sleeping loft looking through the window openings. Given that we had not decided on a window style by the time I'd sheathed the walls, I left the middle of the gable ends free of studs. After cutting the window openings, I built frames to fit and secured them in place (not yet installed in this picture).

Gable Window

Marion is usually at the base of the ladder handing up tools and nails but she was anxious to see the view through the bedroom. Below, I test the windows as an emergency escape. I fit!

Gable Window

April 14, 2007

Red Sox 8 - Los Angeles 0

Siding Shed

I am a citizen of the Red Sox Nation. I was born into it. It's part of my heritage.

When I was growing up, I learned about disappointment while watching Red Sox games with my dad. Every year, the questioned loomed. "How will they manage to blow it this year?"

The team I remember was the 1967 "Impossible Dream Team." I can still name every starting player in that lineup. Yaz was my childhood sports hero and even today I respond with a surge of emotion when I hear his name.

There were many years in my adulthood during which I paid little attention to baseball. By the time David and Jackson were a few years old, though, it was clear that baseball would become a regular part of my life again. David's first word was "ball." His first lessons in math were in sorting out the numbers on the sports pages in the newspaper. From April through October, the Red Sox Radio Network has been part of our daily lives. From opening day until the team "blows it" at the end of the season, we've ended the day waiting for the words, "Way back, way back, this ball is gone!"

Siding Shed 

Along the way, I introduced Marion to Red Sox Fever. So often in past years, we'd be on the phone with each other, chatting about the day while each of us had a radio going in the background, tuned in to the game.

Now, we listen to the games together. Today, game-time was at 3:15 and we tuned the radio in the truck to Red Sox radio to listen to Kurt Schilling's outing against the LA Angels. Cutting wood. Swinging a hammer. Waiting for the big hit. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Siding shed

By the time I was finishing up the siding on the shed, the Red Sox had taken a commanding lead. After driving the last nail, we retired to Gypsy's front porch with a beer and listened as David Ortiz hit a "monster shot," a three run homerun to put the Sox up 8 to nothing. Life is good.

Siding Shed

Both baseball and Marion have been very, very good to me.

Siding Shed

April 13, 2007

Color and Texture

Today I was at the siding again - this time on the front porch. 

Siding front

There is a very satisfying mix of color and texture that is emerging in the finish work on Gypsy's exterior. I'm very pleased with the blend of natural and painted cedar.

Siding front

April 11, 2007

Out On The Porch

Door Trim

A porch is a special place. Sadly, many of the porches built today are sterile, characterless decks, quickly assembled with pressure treated yellow pine that ultimately warps, cracks, and cannot be safely walked on with bare feet without risk of splinters. Or, there are the contemporary porches built with modern "engineered" products - planks made of recycled plastic or other composite cellulose fibers and polymers that just don't have the warmth of real wood.

For Gypsy Rose, we wanted a porch made of wood, built the "way they used to." I chose cedar for the posts and trim and Meranti for the floor. Today, I completed the trim around the windows and front door and then started on the porch floor. 

Porch

 I wanted to create a clean, finished edge to the front of the porch, rather than leave the end grain of the tonge and groove Meranti exposed. To create the desired effect, I had to miter the boards around the posts and secure them to the frame with self-drilling screws tapped into the steel. I used a round-over bit on the router to give the perimiter a nice soft edge. It took much longer to lay the three outer edges of the porch than the 30 planks in between, but it was well worth the effort.

Porch