173 Our Old House

Chroicling the ever-so-slow remodeling of our 1927 traditional-style house.

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Welcome to the Accent Table Megapost combining both posts about the design and build of the little accent table made specifically for the end of the upstairs hallway in 2019.  So, the class I'm in is winding up and I have a couple days off work so I wanted to get in the workshop and do something.  One thing I've been wanting to do is make an accent table for the end of the upstairs hallway.  Here's where we left of in October:It's really difficult to get a good picture up there, but you get the idea.  The problem with that spot is that there are two doorways at the end of the hallway so whatever piece was to go there certainly could't be particularly big, otherwise you'r have to squeeze by whenever you went into a room.  I don't like that idea, so I had to come up with a solution.  I decid...
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Posted 1 week 1 day ago.

Welcome to the Radiator Cover Megapost combining the 5 or 6 posts about the cover made for the dining room radiator in '18 - '19.Winter came early this year!Of course for me it's okay because I love winter!  The problem is, when last we met I had taken out windows in the bedroom, and planned to get them painted and rehab'ed before winter came.  As it turns out, I did get some work done...But then the winter turned and I had to put the windows back in before the snow flew.  In this case I ripped a new parting bead so I could re-install them...I also managed to restring the window weights... But alas, the windows will have to wait 'til spring.  But all is not lost!  I decided now was as good a time as any to build a cover for the radiator in the dining room...
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Posted 5 weeks 15 hours ago.

As you probably know, I like finding things to do with scrap wood after a project.  In this case, I've made a few simple toolboxes, and if you read through, you'll practically get a tutorial!  The first was after the back porch remodel in 2011, and was just a decorative piece for the back porch...It's painted Valspar's Golderod in semi-gloss, and just so you know - that's going to come up again in a little while.  I also lightly distressed it, and used Valspar's antiquing glaze to give it a bit of an aged look.  The second one I made maybe around 2013, was a toolbox for the workshop.Most of the time I haul tools around in a 5 gallon bucket with one of those organizers, but sometimes it's nice to just throw a few tools in a box and head out...Like the first toolbox, this one is of simple de...
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Posted 7 weeks 6 days ago.

This is the first of the Megaposts here on House 173!  What is a Megapost you ask?  Well, when I'm doing a large, and sometimes not so large, project I end up posting the progress as I go.  As it turns out, even with labeling, getting the whole story can be difficult.  So I decided that on the larger projects, I would create a post that culls together each of those posts to create a kind of metanarrative. and this is the first - the great dining room built-in of '17 - '18!11/5/17:  I have the next project in sight! Work is crazy right now, the holidays loom, and I have to start back to school soon, but I thought - why not get involved in a rather extensive project right now. I guess if we wait for the ideal time, nothing would get done...
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Posted 8 weeks 1 day ago.

Trying not to drone on about my back, but it's still out so there's still no big projects here at 173.  The good thing is - 173 has always been a work in progress, so there's really no finish line to be in a hurry to get to!  In the meantime, I've been puttering in the workshop making little hand tools that someday will make work just a little easier at times!  In the last post I showed the wide center line scribe, which you can see in this picture...For this next tool, I used that scribe to mark the center line of a piece of stock, then used the compass to mark out an arc:Then, using the center mark made by the compass, using the combination square, I marked out two 45 degree lines...All of which began to look like some kind of new-age peace sign...Next, I wanted to drill a nice straight...
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Posted 9 weeks 3 days ago.

Seems like all I've been able to do is tinker in the workshop and make these little hand tools.  I guess it seems that way because it is all I'm able to do.  In recent weeks I've made a holder for card scrapers, a large marking gauge as well as a small marking gauge, and recently posted about the center line scribe I made back in August...The reason for so many tiny projects is that I have injured my back significantly enough that I need PT and medications, so big projects, which are aplenty, must wait a while.  So while these projects seem of little value, they are, in actuality, very useful - at least in giving me a distraction from thinking about work!  And besides that - they're fun!  I think it was just yesterday (the medications make me feel like I'm in some sort of time distortion a...
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Posted 10 weeks 8 hours ago.

Yesterday I wrote about the marking gauge made here at 173.  It was a fun little project, again made of scraps:The first thing I did was laminate the two pieces of scraps leftover from the sled rebuild...Which ended up being the fence for the gauge:But that fence didn't use the entirety of those laminated boards, and I must confess that I did obsess just a little about what to do with the little 4"x4" scrap that was left over.  I don't usually worry about such a small piece, but it was such nice wood I just had to do something!  So I got to thinking, why not make an even simpler, but smaller marking gauge?As you can see, this only required that little scrap, a 5" piece of scrap dowel, a finish nail, and a brass screw.  One of the fun things at 173 is that there was a small host of things t...
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Posted 11 weeks 4 hours ago.

Mikhail Baryshnikov, that great ballet dancer from the 1970s, once said, "Your body actually reminds you about your age and your injuries - the body has a stronger memory than your mind."  Have truer words been spoken?  I've been a little laid up with a back injury for a few weeks now so I still don't have any projects of significance happening here at 173, but for the last couple posts I've been making little shop tools.  The last post was about the center line scribe I made a couple months ago, and the post before that was my newly minted card scraper.  And of course, I like to do these projects with scrap wood just for the challenge (I defend myself - it's NOT out of cheapness!) of it.  This time I used a couple scraps from the snow sled rebuild:So I started with some dead heads from th...
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Posted 11 weeks 1 day ago.

In my last post I showed the steps for making my card scraper holder, and in that post I mentioned I used the center line scribed made right here at 173.I even mentioned the possibility of a post about making the scribe and wuddaya know - here it is! I guess the first thing I should mention is that a center line scribe is used for determining exact centers on the edges of boards when making biscuit slot cuts, drilling dowel joints, for assembly work and more. I should also mention that such a scribe can be purchased just about anywhere, and most are listed at less than $20...
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Posted 12 weeks 8 hours ago.

Betty Davis once said, "Getting old isn't for sissies."  Boy isn't that the truth!  That's relevant because in the past couple years I have more aches and pains than ever, all seemingly with no immediate cause, probably just my youth catching up with me.  Right now I'm a bit laid up with a back injury so there aren't any significant projects going on here at 173, but of course I'm always in need for some workshop therapy.  The other day I was watching a video on how to make a card scraper holder:   This guy makes some good videos and this one inspired me to make one myself.  Fair warning - this is a heavily photo-centric post.  I started by cutting a card from a small sheet of tool-grade steel...Of course, the trick is to cut the card as straight as possible to reduce the amount of filing...
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Posted 12 weeks 1 day ago.