Sunday, 30 November 2014

A beautiful Winter weekend...and lots done too !!

Last weekend in November was stunningly sunny, warm(ish), with little wind. Perfect for the job of the weekend...fitting our new backdoor.
Buily by our wonderfull carpenter Neil. The door looks stunning.
We arrived early on Saturday morning, to pull out the old door and frame. Chisel out the old lime around the door opening, and lay in the new door step, made from a rescued piece of slate. (also needed to bury the electric cables or the Shed and the well)


During.... the old cobbles under the cement slab outside the back day we will expose and renovate these !!!
Neil arrived mid-morning and started fitting the new door.....

Meanwhile I finished off a job ive been at for a few weeks. We are having a family Chirstmas dinner this year (the first !!!) I've been making a dining table from the old floorborards that have been employed as my wheelbarrow ramps up&down our outside steps..for the last few years. Suitably worn and aged, they look great when sanded down as a table top (9ft x 3ft). So I finished the top this weekend and (with help) moved it into the house, (weighed a tonne!!). Jan will find a suitable paint/varnish/wax finish for it. For now it is sat on two tresstles, until I can make the base.
I must say that I really like it...going to be a great addition to the house, and a place for entertaining, eating, laughing,  playing games...even dancing if I know my sisters !!!

Hope you like our 1950's kitchen cabinet...another find !!...and sooo practical

More progress, Jan completed the first(rough) course of lime between the oak timbers in the lower hall, which will look great after another (smooth) coat and limewash.

Also took a delivery of fire-wood for the winter, and stacked it in the Inglenoook....ready for Christmas :)
How an Inglenook should look at the beginning of Winter................

Finally, with light fading, and time to head home on a Sunday...I started dubbing in the wall around the new back door....always have to use up that last half bucket of Lime !!!!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Closing up the cellar (for now)

The first job to be Workshop-assisted is the start of the lower hallway work, and preparation for the new backdoor, and of course work on the Library.
The lower hallway had the old entrance to the Cellar. In the future the entrance would be via a hatch in the Library floor, and eventually a step down from the planned extension(which would require knocking through the end wall...a huge job)

Anyway the first job was to close up the cellar doorway from the lower hallway. So I took some of the better oak joists i've been saving, trimmed, shaved and cut them into size to make a frame to block up the doorway. Then battoned and bisquit-boarded the spaces between...ready for Jan to lime between the oak.

Also put some temporary flooring across the floor-gap in the first !! (let not mention the time i fell through that hole!!!)

Meanwhile Jan has been preparing the chimney wall in the Library, dubbing in gaps, and preparing for the first few coats of limewash.

A tree down in the storm

A very windy few days in October, managed to blow down a tree in the yard area. So an opportunity to use my chainsaw, and cut up wood for later in the Winter.
First issue...I seem to have a fundamental problem with starting (petrol) Chainsaws.
My old one is so frustrating, especially as it has no access to the air filter and spark plug, so abandoned that (for spares)
Despite Jan's attrmept to push me towards an Electric chainsaw. When I use our electric hedge trimmer, I usually cutting the cord once in every electric Chainsaw would be a nightmare for me.
So I gave up and bought a new Chainsaw, one which had a good review...I quote " starts every time, never morte than 2 pulls".
Guess what !!!!
It started ok first time, got the tree down, then stalled, and I couldnt get it started again...Lots of swearing at this stage!!!!.
At least this model had easy access to the spark plug...took off the HT lead, checked the plug for flooding, all fine...when I tried to put the HT lead back on the metal connection inside had sheared off ...a very flimsy(crappy) design.
So, what do I do...send it back witht the warranty, only to get the same design back (and never remove the HT lead/plug), or fix it with a new HT lead (from the Mini)...VERY Frustrating !!!!

Anyway, I manged to get it working with a temporary fix, took down the tree, and another large branch overhanging the Stream, chopped it all up, and stacked to dry in the Inglenook...

Workshop up and running !

The last few months have been focused on getting the workshop up and running before the winter.
A long job as it required :

  • Level out a sloping area (dig out and build walls) - 2 weekends work!
  • In-fill the base with rubble, an opportunity to break up more of the foundations of the old extension and bury it !, hard labour and three weekends work.
  • Get a mini-mix to lay the concrete slab (I wasnt doing that whole area with a mixer)
  • Get the Workshop built by the supplier Williams Sheds (3 weeks) delivered and installed (a weekend)
  • Then empty the house of all the tools, wood, workbenches, ladders, lime, sawdust !!!!
  • Paint it, Install electrics, lighting, guttering, security etc.
  • Build workbenches on three walls, including a recessed area for the Chopsaw.(picture #3)
  • Finally build Stone steps up to the side door.
I enjoyed tidying up my tools and now we are ready to go !!!!