master bedroom

We have a winner

Posted by Steve on Sun, 08/17/2008 - 11:45pm

Yesterday was a rough one for me. For those who keep up to date here (there are a few of you and I really appreciate it), you know why.

But today was a new day and, in a weird way, I figured I owed it to my buddy Chopper to get this place one step closer to completion. After all, this was his home too. So I returned (again) to the stained glass. While I have five stained glass projects ahead of me, at least the design of ONE of them is finally locked in. What did that take me? Sixteen months? I can't wait to post about the completion of this project, presuming blogs are still around in 2015.

A lot of the credit for settling on the design goes to the folks on Old House Web forums and to a couple of people on the forum at I was reaching the point of cognitive overload, scratching my head about whether stained glass even worked for that cabinet. I was getting ready to slap a couple of sheets of plywood in those doors until one of the OHW users, probably tired of reading my bellyaching about it, took one of the designs and 'shopped it into a photo of that cabinet.

"George is gettin' frustrated...!"

Posted by Steve on Sun, 08/10/2008 - 7:02pm

The saga continues on the stained glass design for the master bedroom bureau. I created two more designs (below) that look nice but seem inappropriate for this piece.

I'm beginning to think that stained glass in general is too heavy for this cabinet. I considered using cane instead except my cat would make short work of that. Trixie hops up on the window sill, opens the sock drawer and sleeps in there. Giving her a climbing wall would be a mistake.

Then I remembered something I've seen in old movies: wire glass. You see it a lot in Hollywood set depictions of judge's offices. It's like chicken wire safety glass except the wire is more decorative and usually made of brass. I've never actually seen this stuff in real life so I don't know if it's an actual product or something you sandwich between two panes of glass. All I know is that I spent a fruitless afternoon Googling for it. If you ever need to know about glass coat hangers or glass-impregnated wire, ask me.

Does anyone know what this stuff is called and, better, where I can find it?

Returning to the stained glass saga...

Posted by Steve on Sat, 08/09/2008 - 1:33pm

Let's see. I finished painting the back wall, the tomatoes are flourishing, I lost 20 pounds... I've managed to exhaust all my excuses for not starting another project. Rather, I'm returning to a project I said I was going to have done by now.

This marathon stained glass project breaks down to six sub-projects, or milestones in TechnoSpeak:
  1. Two door panels for the master BR bureau.
  2. Two window panels for the master BR hallway window.
  3. Two upper door panels for the LR home entertainment unit.
  4. Skylight over the staircase.

New Stained Glass Projects

Posted by Steve on Tue, 12/11/2007 - 10:09pm

I have several stained glass tasks in the queue here. Some, like the upper cabinet doors in the living room media cabinet, have been on hold since 2003. Others, like the funky stairway skylight, I've wanted to replace since the day I first saw the place.

While stained glass construction is fairly mechanical and basically just woodworking joinery using glass and lead came, the design, templating and piecing out can be very time consuming. Most of the glass I've done here is fairly simple and angular to match the existing stained glass. But I wanted something a bit more ornamental for these new projects.

The delay is mostly because I suck at drawing. I can muddle my way through Photoshop if I have to and I've even built a few nice web page banners using "creative appropriation" of assets conceived by others. Change a few lines, overlay a mask or two, morph a few elements and, poof, it's mine. Derivative art.

More and more sawdust

Posted by Steve on Sat, 06/09/2007 - 9:28pm

With a challenging software project winding up, the top floor reno winding down and my tools reunited with their friends in the basement, it was time to turn my attention to the crime scene that used to be my shop. This cleaning has to last several months because it will probably be that long before I'll be using the tools again.

I don't mind working in a messy environment but I can't start a new project unless everything is neat and tidy, with every tool in its proper place, the table saw waxed, stationary tools aligned, blades sharpened, etc. This is my operating room, after all, and you don't open up a new patient with the last one's blood still on the walls.

Today was the marathon cleanup of the past nine months of mayhem. It actually began last night because I needed to catch this morning's garbage pickup. Did I mention how much the Sanitation guys love me? They even autographed one of my garbage cans a few years ago, scrawling "Balls!" on it with black magic marker.

Time to buy a bed

Posted by Steve on Sun, 06/03/2007 - 10:15pm

I can't freakin' believe it. All my tools are back in the shop where they belong, the paint's up, the room is clean, the nine-month saga of the master bedroom renovation.... so OVER!

Okay, there are still a few things left to do: the cabinet drawers and doors, the hallway stained glass windows, the doorknobs. I'll get around to it.

I actually do have house stuff to blog about

Posted by Steve on Fri, 05/18/2007 - 11:53pm

After all, it's been almost two weeks since my last blog post. However, I like to accompany my renovation articles with photos and the bedroom is currently an eyesore while I reorganize closets and get rid of clothes I've had since my disco show band days. No way am I posting photos of it now.

At last, that curved baseboard!

Posted by Steve on Thu, 05/03/2007 - 12:02pm

I've been pushing off this little project for a couple of months. The bedroom renovation began with construction of the closet and the curved plaster corner I absolutely had to have (if for no other reason than I'd never done one before). I knew that was going to create problems with the trim later but, hey, later is later. Six months later, later became today.

Engineered Flooring HOWTO v2.0

Posted by Steve on Sun, 04/15/2007 - 1:04am

I don't like drywall. I like plaster. I don't like composite mouldings. I like hardwood. I don't even like prefab mouldings. I like to cut my own. So why would I like something as new-fangled and artificial as engineered flooring?

Actually, I don't. Even though I went through bloody hell to lay those herringbone floors in the living room, solid hardwood is still my first choice. But there were reasons why engineered flooring was the better option for the second floor in my house. One is that I didn't want to add an extra 1.25" to the height of the top stair. That's what would have been required if I'd gone with 3/4" hardwood. I can't count the number of times I've tripped because of uneven stair heights, on one occasion fracturing a shoulder. Also, an engineered floor has a finish at least twice as hard as that of any job-site applied finish. With two big dogs tearing up my hardwood floors downstairs that's not a small selling point for me. However, there's a big "but" with this stuff which I'll get into later.


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