closet

A hundred pounds of plaster later...

Posted by Steve on Fri, 10/06/2006 - 12:33pm


It worked! It took four days, three fifty pound bags of plaster, a makeshift profiling knife and a couple of finish coats but the radiused closet corner is done.

There was only one mishap. Jack the Dog, my Newfoundland, was standing at the base of the ladder looking up at me when about 8 ounces of wet plaster fell off my palette and landed squarely on his head and muzzle. Against his black fur it looked like he'd been smacked in the face with a custard pie. So there was a quick diversion to the back yard for a bath before the plaster dried. He took both ordeals in good spirit but when I got back my batch of plaster was hard as a rock. So I had to run out for another bag.

If you're new to our three-part closet drama, Episode One was the framing. It was followed by the exciting tragedy in Part Two: the skinning, or the Drywall Strikes Back.

Anyway, I cut my homemade knife to the profile I needed from a scrap of masonite. I gave it a couple of coats of urethane to seal the open edge and to keep the wet plaster from sticking to it. I drew a vertical pencil line on the wall as a guide for the outside edge of the knife. Then I painted two coats of Quikrete bonding adhesive on the wall.

Plaster should be applied over a tacky bonding agent so before the second coat dried I mixed up a bag and a half of plaster and water spiked with a half cup of white vinegar to retard the plaster from setting too quickly. I made the mix a little wetter than normal so the knife wouldn't gouge the plaster.

You don't know until you try

Posted by Steve on Sun, 10/01/2006 - 10:09am


The guys at Kamco were right. Quarter-inch drywall can curve to a minimum five-foot radius, dry. Wetting/scoring it can reduce that to as little as three feet "if you're really good!" The problem is, the radius of this corner is about ten inches. That's even too shallow for High Flex, which I could only get by special order and only in palette quantities anyway.

The story of this closet starts here. I could have saved myself a lot of problems if I'd just built a square corner on that closet. But I really wanted a radius here to match two other curved walls in the room as well as one in the hallway leading into the bedroom. I haven't even started thinking about how I'm gonna do the 9" red oak baseboard moulding around that curve. I imagine there will be a few blog entries about that ordeal too.

Into the closet

Posted by Steve on Tue, 09/19/2006 - 8:50am


I've been fighting a sore throat and sniffles all day, but I'm tired of my belly aching. That's why I'm so behind bloody schedule here.

Yesterday, I got the rough framing done for the new closet in the master bedroom. Well, almost done. I thought I had the 4" lags and shields I needed for the upper cabinet's deck support. Because these houses don't have attics, I need to build one for dead storage. There will be two levels in this closet, with cabinet doors on top.



I want a profiled corner on the closet, not a square edge. This will make a softer return back to some oak built-ins I have planned for the space on the left (four 42" drawers and a linen cabinet above).

The curved corner top and bottom plates were made from 3/4" scrap plywood. I made a circle from a tracing of my drill press table, then scribed the inner diameter with a compass.

Phase 7: Plan B

Posted by Steve on Wed, 09/13/2006 - 12:30pm


The animals aren't particularly happy about my relocation to the smaller guest bedroom. The cats seem determined to remain in the master bedroom demolition site regardless. But at least the fold-out sofa's pretty comfortable.

I began ripping out the funky old woodwork today which is when Plan B started to take shape in my head. No matter how much time I put into planning, drawings and so forth it's not until I actually start the project that the ideas start coming.

So here's Plan B: the first project will be a new walk-in closet in the master bedroom's alcove, which used to be another (tiny) bedroom. It will be a six foot expansion of an existing closet in that room. The reason I want to do this now is to get rid of the pile of 2x3s, plywood and drywall that's making my shop unnavigable at the moment. I'm gonna need lots of shop floor space to build the cabinets.

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