The general plan was to arrive, conduct minimal unpacking and settling in, and commence the major projects. Because most of the major projects will require a full suite of carpentry, masonry, electrical and plumbing tools, as well as space in which to work, Nina and I determined that construction of the shop would be job one. I am decisively engaged in this now.
I have until the end of August to complete the shop. This involves:
- replacing the floor with fresh, polished concrete
- removing the non-functional post-and-wire electrical service and re-wiring the shop for both 110 and 220
- installing lights
- removing the windows, repairing the frames, re-glazing the windows, and reinstalling the windows so that they open and close
- established fixed locations for certain large tools (drill press, band saw, two lathes, etc)
- establishing a fixed, external and sheltered location for the 80-gallon compressor (it's very loud)
- designing and installing lumber racks, racks for seasoning turning wood and for work-in progress, and shelving and other storage as needed
- designing and installing tool and expendables storage
- insulating the interior (maybe)
- installing a wood stove
- remodel the downstairs bathroom
- remodel the upstairs bathroom
- remodel the downstairs kitchen
- remodel the upstairs kitchen and Nina's 3-room office suite, of which the kitchen is a part. The upstairs kitchen will have it's internal 'kitchen' footprint reduced; the remaining space will be given over to a bistro-type seating area, and an indoor gardening and herbalists workspace
- concerting the living room into a study, which will involve installing French doors - one of the few items I intend to pay to have done
- removing old, non-functional wiring left in place when the house was re-wired some years ago, and re-wiring the house as necessary
- renovating each room in the house, one at a time, to include removing, refurbishing, stripping, re-painting and re-glazing all windows and installing exterior storms
For the last two days, I have been tearing the floor from the shop. This activity coincided with a record-breaking heat wave - it was 105 degrees here today. Unbelievable. Even without the heat, 12 solid hours of breaking concrete into manageable chunks using nothing but a sledge hammer, and engineer's hammer (basically a four-pound hand-held sledge with an extended handle) and a pick is arguably the most brutal task I have ever undertaken.
By the way, for those reading this - feel free to post comments or ask questions following each blog post, as opposed to e-mailing me directly. That way, other readers can share the comments and questions and answers.
Mailbox will be in tomorrow, and most of the new blinds for the house arrived today. Since I won't be able to work in the shop until Saturday, and Mom is arriving Saturday, I won't actually begin work on the shop until Monday, perhaps later, as I've agreed to work two days a week for Dave E - the second job offer I've had since arriving. Work will be general demolition prior to masonry work. I don't know what two days I will be needed next week.
I'll write a progress post late next week.
Keep in touch, and learn to drink tea,