Winter break is here. Finals and placement tests are done, tuition secured, major declared, and I am registered for full time classes. In short, dear readers, I are a college student. In the Spring I’ll join the fray with the mostly young, zit popping student population and attempt to pick my way through the mind boggling modern collegiate system that should eventually (hopefully, anyway) lead to a Bachelor’s degree that I can hang on the wall. At least it’ll be something to look at while I’m trying to think of things to write.
Anyway, I’m looking down the barrel at quite a bit of free time, and I plan on filling it up with some blogging, some fiction writing, and with finishing the office project I began this fall.
What office project?
I hoped you’d ask. Last Summer, my wife and I purchased our very first home. It’s a fine home, but it was pretty vanilla. Cold and stark. We needed to warm it up and make it our own. Fortunately with Kelley’s terrific eye for design, and our combined handy-ness and willingness to attempt some pretty daunting projects, the house began to take on a shape that we were proud of. With one exception.
Our front room is a huge, high-ceilinged behemoth that currently holds my Grandma’s old organ and not much of anything else. The size and shape of the room just made it a total loss and a colossal waste of space, and so we decided to sub-divide it into a dining room and an office. That I would build.
Yeah. You read that right.
I’m not an un-handy fellow when it comes to wood working projects, minor carpentry and the like, but I’d never done a room remodel/addition by myself. This was going to take a lot of patience that I wasn’t sure I had. But things have come along quite nicely, and I am pretty happy with the progress (slow though it’s been) I’ve made.
So, without further adieu, here’s a sort of visual status update on what I’ve been doing between going to school part time, being a dad and husband, following movie news, and chumming around here with you people.
This door surround kind of became the focal point for the office, and set the tone for the rest of the room. We knew we wanted to incorporate stained/art glass into the office, but this was an awesome find. We fell in love with it instantly. This upside down “U” shaped unit was once a complete door frame in a wall. But the *ahem* fine gentlemen that removed it from whatever wall it had once occupied cut it out with a saws-all and managed to do so very unevenly. A few trim pieces were damaged at the bottom of the unit, and that presented the most challenging problem. This damaged trim, along with a few minor cracks in the glass, had to be repaired by yours truly, and I can honestly say that it was the most tedious work I’ve ever done. Besides removing ages old trim and rusty nails bit by bit, piece by piece, I had to do it all without slipping and cracking a piece of the glass, or damaging any of the leaded edges of the glass. Whew!
In the end, though, it was well worth the work-- as a learning experience, and an exercise in cultivating patience and an attention to detail. You can see the damaged piece in the lower right hand corner of the above picture, if you put your face up to screen and squint your eyes together really tight.
Yeah, kinda like that.
Here are some others for further examination.
Once I’d gotten past that hurdle, I had to build legs for the unit. You see, Kelley and I can’t do anything the easy way, and we decided to use the opening in this unit as our entryway to the office. Building the legs was a bit easier than I thought it would be, but I ended up having to rip the built in door stop off of the unit with my Skil Saw so my 2’6” door unit would fit in the opening. I also had to think of a different way to trim out the bottom pieces. Still working on that bit, though.
With the planing, and the ripping, and the sanding done, I had to stand it up in the wall and see if everything fit. Fortunately, there were no major hiccups. You can see it below with the construction door installed in the opening. We’re still not sure what the final door will look like.
At this point, everything was just mocked up, so I could ensure that everything was plumb and square. It also gave me some breathing room, and some thinking time. The more you can ponder something like this and walk around it, the more things you can foresee going wrong. This came in handy because I finally figured out that the legs on my stain glass unit were the incorrect length, which in turn put my header height too low. This was easily corrected, and now I am ready to put in my 2x8 header. Then I’ll be off to the drywall/plaster stage.
Yay for me.
Based on the mock up and how everything looks when lit, I am pretty optimistic about how it’s going to turn out.Thanks for reading and following along with my weekly, sometimes daily shenanigans. I hope you all are doing well.