The Campsie Project

An account of the renovation of The Neglected House on the Wonderful Street in Wonderful Downtown Lexington, Kentucky.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Episode XIV: A New Closet

Okay, I've got the star wars bug a little bit, forgive the cheesy title. I came home today (to the Bassett house, that is) just extra special dirty. Lucy and I decided to add a closet in the bathroom, and I got to "frame it up." This is something that I really enjoy doing, this rough carpentry stuff. I still have no idea about hanging drywall. That's going to be Mike's bag, I guess. For now. Mike's the contractor, right? It's been a while, huh? Well, this just in: Theoretically, we hired a contractor, which has been kind of an ego-blow for me. It's not that I can't do it, I keep telling myself, it's that, I can't do it nearly fast enough. So Mike's gonna help us get down the road, is the idea.

star drive screw headMoving on from my previous favorite tool, the flat bar, it's the drill making a surprise comeback on the vintage tool trail, and really making it happen for me lately. That and Patron Builder Todd's indespensible miter saw. Between the two of those and a box of star screws I seem to be able to really go lego upstairs. Love those star drive screws! - I guess they're expensive, but I'm not building a whole house, so that's okay. And they allow me the so-far unnecessary luxury of taking things apart if I—ahem—screw something up.

So it's been awhile, right? Soooo much going on. Got side tracked by brother chris' wedding, and replaced blogging with beer, briefly. Stories of that looney affair are (or will soon be) at Mingle Freely, my other blog, people!

Back to the construction—

We're covered up. We've got a lot going on, and yet, haven't been "on site" in awhile, until this weekend. We've got Pedro, our favorite brickman and his assorted crew hard at work on the terribly neglected tuck-point work on the house. It's becoming apparent to me that water-damage has been huge at Campsie Place. Pedro is a gifted mason with funny stories, a wonderful demeanor and Lucy has promised more on him soon. PS: You can email her to demand that she contribute more to this blog.

Meantime, we have tackled a couple of worthy projects:

  1. stripping the stairs - the stairs were really a mess. one of the first things we did after we bought the house was to strip off this jake-leg monkey business where somebody had tried to "enlongate" the stairs by basically building stairs on top of the stairs and then covering the whole thing with carpet. Uh…yeah. We followed up on this mission a couple of weeks ago by ripping the paneling down in the stairway, which created the ever-popular domino effect (becoming an old friend) where, in order to fully remove the paneling and take the stairway down to the studs, we had to actually remove the treads, some of which were split anyway, clear out all the debris and re-install them. Of course the ones there are really just pine 2 x 10's (talkin' like a carpenter, finally, huh?), and later we'll rip them off again and replace them with oak.
  2. framing a bathroom closet - I spent less time than I would have imagined framing in a closet for the bathroom. As I said before, drywall? I have no particular idea. But if you want me (and lucy wanted me) to bang together some 2 x 4's so we can have an inset closet in a wall that's already been ripped down to the studs? I'm your man. And I'm almost certainly over-brimming with premature pride. I just hope contractor Mike doesn't have to rip down the whole thing. We'll see…
That's a quick update. Sorry it's been so long. More reports to come on Pedro and saving our bricks, and contractor Mike coming to the neighborhood to do some serious ass-busting on our behalf.


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