Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Porch Staining Project

This Memorial Day weekend we tackled our porch staining project. The previous weekend we completed all the prep work of cleaning and applying wood brightener. Once the lumber dried out over the week it was ready to receive the stain and paint.

The fascia boards on the stairs and the rest of the porch will be painted white to match the railing and house.

We chose a stain product called "Ready Seal" in the darkest color available, "Dark Walnut". It claims to be "goof proof" and to not result in lap marks as you work the product into the wood. It lived up to the outstanding reviews and applied quite well. We opted to use a brush for the entire project to ensure we got stain into any visible gaps between the boards. If we reapply in a few years we could use a roller (slowly) or pad applicator.

Jessica's master cutting in work kept the stain job nice and neat.

Over the next few days the sheen on the stain soaked in for a more uniform finish.

We will be touching up some fascia board areas near the ground over the next couple of weeks but the majority of the work is complete.

We also found some time to rehang the lights onto the windmill tower. There were many weeks of prep work on this project including running electrical service out to the tower as well as creating and water proofing conduit the lights hang on.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Taking Projects Around the House to New Heights

April 1st, 2017 I went south to Kentucky for a two day arborist climbing course with EarthJoy Tree Adventures. They facilitate quick introductory climbing sessions for fun as well as the training program I enrolled in. When I arrived at their property I was greeted by an old farm house, a lot of the architectural features inside this house reminded me of similar construction in our home.

On your way back along the trail to the primary training areas you pass by a custom tree house featured on the Animal Planet show "Treehouse Masters".

You can see more of the tree house here:

Unfortunately, the focus required for the course didn't warrant the distraction of a camera during the training so I don't have pictures from the climbs. I did get a break after the courses to check out the Germantown and Maysville, KY area. Here is a shot of the small bridge over the Ohio river connecting Kentucky and Ohio.

A couple of weeks later the weather was nice enough to get some practice trimming trees around our property. This walnut was a good sturdy tree to try out some hand pruning. I'll also be rigging branches down, removing some larger limbs ominously hanging over our small garage.

For work positioning I'm using the Hitch Hiker 2 friction device in a dynamic double rope technique (DdRT). My configuration for ascent is known as the "rope walker" system.

The kids are enjoying spending more time outdoors in the nicer weather. They got creative with the neighbors and built this fort using a pile of left over lumber from our construction projects, complete with a chimney and downspout.

There must be some great spring season roadkill in the vicinity, a fleet of turkey vultures have been using our barn as their airport.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Back to the Doors

Since the bathroom remodel is complete we've been working on some smaller projects around the house. Mainly, this has involved refinishing the doors we found in the barn and hung as part of the house addition.

There was a lot of scraping and sanding that took place to get the door back down to the smooth original surface. Simply painting over what was there would have resulted in a rather poor finish.

The old latch cartridge in the door will need some refinishing, lube, and a fresh black coat of paint.

We wire brushed and scrapped the old paint off the door hardware, tapped off the non painted areas, then use etching primer and flat black spray paint to finish them.