My shop is a war zone!

Posted by Steve on Sat, 11/04/2006 - 7:57pm

I've completed boxing in the bay windows. I had to deal with these windows downstairs during the living room renovation so I knew this wasn't going to be a cake walk. The original builders pretty much winged the framing so the angles aren't consistent. The trim was essentially supported by a trash can full of shims... some of them three inches thick.

So here's where I'm at now. As here, I usually use hardwood plywood for box framing like this unless it's going to support the weight of a door. Cost isn't the only consideration, although using red oak plywood here cost about a third what I would have paid for 1-by solid lumber. Another reason is because flat-cut red oak plywood has a color and graining consistency that's hard to find in wide, solid oak planks. Finally, plywood is more stable than hardwood.

The sills are pre-fab red oak stair treads with a poplar core. They're a lot cheaper than 5/4 stock and they already come with a bullnose. With windows above to let in rain and a steam radiator underneath, I wanted a composite sill for stability.

Tomorrow I'll tackle the top of these windows and drywall over those large gaps. Looks don't matter because it will be hidden by a crown moulding detail. I don't want to do the casement trim or the window bottoms until the new floors are down.

Now that I'm into the woodworking, my once organized pile of lumber and plywood is no longer. My shop is a dangerous obstacle course. Freeing up floor space here is driving what I'm doing in the bedroom renovation because I can't get to the cabinetry until I have a place to construct the cabinets.

Even Jack can't negotiate the shop now. Poor guy. He's got a vet appointment tomorrow for a skin infection which I hope isn't related to the dust and debris here. He's a youngster and hasn't lived here during one of my marathon renovation projects. Fortunately, it's the last one.

Oh yeah! My Insteon bedroom lighting controller suddenly started working again today! On... off... on... off. I tested it for a full minute just to make sure. It hasn't worked for the past three days then it just fixed itself? So I shut off the lights to take the pooches for a walk, came back, hit the switches.... dead. WTF??


I think that you were the one that made the comment that X10 technology had a kind of "hobbiest" quality (i.e. it works if you fiddle with it). Are you ready to concede now that Insteon is the logical heir to X10's flaky hobbiest flavor? If true, that's helpful information, but also a real disappointment.

I now consider myself a genuine X10 ninja because I've managed to coax a remote location response (via IP) from a TempLinc module with a 50% success rate. We X10 users take our modest successes wherever we can find them.

Posted by Steve on

It's possible that this is just a bad controller. I just need to find the time to swap it with another one to see if that's the issue. But what's curious is that this same wall switch also didn't work reliably with an X10 switch either. It sits at the end of one of the longest circuits in the house... probably 100 feet of BX between it and the panel. And it shares that circuit with a SlingLink powerline LAN, which broadcasts my living room Tivo to my office computer and THAT could be the problem. The reason I mention this is because while Insteon is wireless I believe it uses the household wiring as its antenna. I just need to take a few hours to methodically sleuth this problem.

In the meantime, I'm stuck with my laptop light switch.

Posted by gerard (not verified) on

thanks for the pics of your bay window and info about the sills. My sills are rotting in a couple of windows (which keeps me up at night, as the windows are watertight, I have a new (3 year old) roof, and I don't know where the water is coming from). The sills have to be replaced, and I like your idea of the composite because of the water coming in from above and the heat from below.

Here is my question: if you had your choice, would you use corian, as it would transmit heat and not be bothered by water? Formica? Marble is beyond my price range. Metal I think would be good, but just any old tin? I will ultimately need about 15 sills for bays and 3 others. Of course cost IS a factor. Any input?

This is the first time I have posted here, so I don't know if it is appropriate to ask questions. Rowhouse is lime and brownstone, ca 1899, renovated in 1950.

If this is not the correct place to ask questions, please direct me. Your work looks great! Thanks!

Posted by Steve on

It can be really hard to find, especially if the water is making its way down the inside of the wall. Check all the caulking around the windows to make sure that's not happening. Use a garden hose on the roof to see if water has found an unexpected path. Thing is, if you add a waterproof sill that water's gonna find some other place to go.

My suspicion however is that something is wrong with that roof replacement... something wasn't caulked or flashed that should have been. I had leaks in my extension here when the builder attached the roof's ledger board to the brick, which had old and flaky Thoroseal on it. Water got behind the cracking Thoroseal and leaked past the ledger board and the caulking and was dumping a couple of quarts/hour on my kitchen floor.