Bay window trim (almost) done.

Posted by Steve on Thu, 02/15/2007 - 6:32pm

Sheesh. Another "almost" cop out.

The issue here isn't woodworking but thermodynamics. The steam radiator that Richie from Sessa Plumbing installed is something called an "element". An element works on the convection principle: as hot air rises off the element, it expands and exits through a grill at the top. This creates a low pressure area underneath which pulls in cold air from the floor through a grill at the bottom. An element radiator usually comes in a butt-ugly metal cabinet. It's what that missing panel under the middle window needs to replicate.

I'm gonna give you a private snapshot into how my disturbed mind works, or at least as private as a few hundred hits/day can be. Then maybe you'll understand why this bedroom renovation is taking me forever.

Because I don't have that cabinet enclosure, I don't have a clue if this vent "engineering" involves some rocket science.

For instance, how large should these vents be? Is a smaller vent more efficient than a larger one because it means greater air velocity, throwing heat further out into the room? Or is a larger vent better because there would be less resistance? Should the intake vent be larger than the exhaust vent because lighter, warm air is going to exit faster that heavier, cold air will enter? Or should the exhaust vent be larger because the warmed air will expand and have more volume? Should I reduce the internal volume of this cabinet with styro-board so the intake air can only pass over the element? And does any of this really matter?

Yeah, I obsess over stupid things (if it's zero degrees today and the weatherman says that tomorrow is going to be twice as cold, what does that mean?) But this radiator is the only source of heat in the master bedroom so I want to get it right. These possibly academic questions have gotten me stalled trying to finish off this window. Maybe I'll obsess on the wainscott shelf for a while.

Anyway, the outside panels are already done and installed. They'll get a bolection moulding treatment later when I learn what router bit set I need to cut these things. I'm just surprised that none of the router bit manufacturers sell such a kit, as they do for raised panels and other trim elements. I mean, Rockler has a four-bit set for making frikkin miniature train tracks! But not for bolection moulding, which is a mainstay in old house trimwork??

Anyway, I hope I get some answers at the Somerset Woodworking Show this weekend. Otherwise I'm gonna have to wing it somehow because I'm stuck on having those bolection mouldings frame the panels. As is, I think the wainscot, window and door panels look too stark and unfinished.


Posted by Kathy (not verified) on

Your woodwork is so beautiful and it is obvious that you are a perfectionist (this is a compliment). You should certainly add the bolection moulding, I don't think you'll be happy without it. Have you spoken to any HVAC people about your heater quandary? Can you make the center panel removable? I'm thinking of a summer panel & a winter panel. I sent my sister & brother-in-law a list of your suggested accessories (with model #'s & prices) for the DW718. I'm hoping they take the hint & buy them. I've moved on to power nailers. Any suggestions for a nailer to install trim?

Posted by Steve on

I need to be able to get in there for periodic replacement of the air valve. That's actually another issue: how to make the panel removable. I've done this sort of thing before with heavy velcro but I don't think it will work here because of the tendency of wood to shrink in the presence of heat. I may have to do it with some kind of hanger on the inside.

For a nailer, do you mean an air nailer? If so, does he already have a compressor?

As for the HVAC suggestion, I don't really trust an installer to know such things and the only other reference source I have is the hvac newsgroup on Usenet. But that place is like a never-ending flame fest.

Posted by Steve on

The problem with a french cleat in this application is that I'd wind up with a gap between the top of the panel and the bottom of the window seat because the panel has to drop down a bit to catch the cleat. Ideally, I'd like something with a positive horizonal catch, like a broom hanger. Since the panel will sit on the new floor, its weight will be supported by it so what I mostly need is something to keep it from falling foward. I'm gonna see what the NJ Woodworking Show has tomorrow.

Posted by Kathy (not verified) on

Some years ago I replaced all the trim downstairs using a toy miter saw, a 1 lb. hammer & a nail set. It took approx a month to do. Shortly after it was finished the water main blew, we had a flood and the floors and molding all had to be replaced. The guy who replaced the molding got it done in one day with a grown up miter saw and some kind of nail gun. My nephew is replacing and adding a lot of trim - if he doesn't have a compressor I'll loan him mine, I only use it once a year to blow out the refrigerator.

Posted by Steve on

I use mine with a wand to sweep my walks, clean the garage, blow leaves out of the garden and dry off the motorcycles after a hose down. A couple of times a year I use it to blow down the shop. A tank compressor is better than a pancake compressor for this sort of thing though.

For compressor-driven finish nailers, Senco and Porter-Cable are the leading names. I like Hitachi for framing nailers. These are other tools I'd recommend buying reconditioned. In fact, I picked up my Hitachi on eBay for pennies on the dollar and it works great. It built the two backyard fences.

The most important thing is buying a nail gun that has locally available nail loads, which is something my older Hitachi doesn't have. Senco and PC are both carried by the Borg stores so the nails are readily available.

Since I do a lot of cabinet and finish work my 18ga brad nailer is the gun I use most often (Porter Cable).