Saturday, February 28, 2009

Birch Floor

Two weeks to install roughly two thousand square feet of birch flooring. That's a long time with four guys on the project, but this was no ordinary floor. The boards came in four widths: 4.25, 7.25, 9.25, and 11.25 inches. While leaving room for expansion at the walls, the floor needed to be fitted artfully where it met the fir posts. To have a finish fit on two ends of the same board is no easy task. I spent almost one hour fitting a board that notched around a post and had a hole for an electrical box. To have this board fit in three places took careful measuring, cautious cutting and lots of time. On the whole, though, it was an interesting, engaging process, and the floor is beautiful. It should be at more than $9 a square foot. With a tung oil finish it will be one the highlights of the house.
Two and a half months until we're back on our own project.

Friday, February 13, 2009

More Free Heat

A few days ago I shot an email to Marvin Windows asking a basic question about using drywall returns as opposed to trimming the interior of the windows with wood. In the same email I gave a short explanation of the project and why I had chosen Marvin. The response I got in return had a little bit of good news. I had chosen Marvin because I could get a special type of glazing called LowE 178 that allows a significant amount of solar gain compared to typical LowE windows. LowE178 has been replaced with LowE 179 whose performance is a little better, and that means more free heat for us!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ready, Aim, Fire

I just bought my first nail gun, a Senco FramePro 502 Full Round Head Nailer. I'll be able to use it for just about everything except finish work. And, even better, it cost $129 through some freak of internet commerce on Amazon. I checked three other tool sites, and the same gun was selling for about $260. I'll do a little more research before I buy an all around finish gun. Different guns shoot different guage finish nails, and I'm not sure which guage is the most versitile. My co-workers should be able to answer that question. The day we got back to the island I bumped into Bob (the boss) at the post office as he was picking up a largish size box from Amazon. It contained a new Bostitch pneumatic flooring nailer to be used on the couple thousand square feet of high-end birch flooring we're installing in the new place. He has two manual nailers he's used for many years, and he finally sprung for a powered one. We'll be fighting over the new one; but, given my place in the pecking order, I doubt I'll use it much.