I kept thinking the water (which was super gross) would impact the cleaning. But Liz tells me it’s really more about the rebar rods (gradually collecting rust over time).
When she’s not in the basement working on trim, or cleaning the heating registers out on the grill or with wire brushes… she’s been taking apart an small, old chandelier and bringing it back to life.
It’s more expensively, obviously. But it’s been an interesting journey, over a ridiculous number of phone calls, to find places that actually have this kind of wood available. I’ve had a headset on for the better part of 4 days, making a lot of calls. Learning a lot, but with a lot left to learn.
With a lot of WD-40 and some elbow grease, we were able to loosen the two screws holding the damper in place. Thankfully (amazingly), didn’t end up stripping the screws.
Took a few photos, mostly as reference, for when we need to re-assemble these pieces together again.
Liz has expressed some frustration, not with the work but with the outcome: there’s no “finishing” of anything, at least not yet. There’s so much to do, so many pieces involved, that it’s just a gradual slog – chipping away, bit by bit, piece by piece.
Liz and I are both on vacation, and we’ve been doing this one day on one day off kind of thing. One day focusing on the house, another day relaxing and doing our own stuff.
We had a lot of drywall and plywood, which had been stored in the kitchen while we got our first floor installed. Moved all this out so I could actually get to the wall itself.
Several hours in the bath is just the start of the work. After each grate is taken out of the bath it’s scrubbed clean in the sink, brushed again in the basement with a steel brush (in all the nooks and crannies), then given some oil, then the whole grate is heated on the grill, then brought back inside brushedit’s heated (out on the grill), then brought inside to have a layer of wax applied, and then baked again.
he whole process for prepping and cleaning each grate is actually incredibly time-intensive.
As part of our errands a few days ago, Liz stocked up on several items from Home Depot to try her hand at removing rust via electrolysis. We’ve got several items to clean, and one of the bigger ones are the cast iron vent covers from the first floor.
Apparently, the color was due to the shellac used, and has required several rounds of cleaning to get to this point. I think Liz mentioned that she stripped this three times, and there was still shellac seeping up through the pours (and eventually she just had to stop).
We were fortunate to have Bob over today, who stayed late into the evening to finish the humidifier install to our downstairs furnace. With the cold weather kicking in and the air getting dryer, there was a concern that the new first floor flooring would suffer for it.
Liz was excited to receive this in the mail, today. For all her searching (she’s been on the lookuut for years for hardware that matches our house)… she’d never encountered window pulls (aka sash lifts) before.
I was upstairs working on work work today (catching up a bit from the week), but she spent her time in the basement doing a ton of stuff: clearing away debris, reorganizing, and also building these bad boys. Which involved some angled cuts and a bit of table saw work.
Continued work tonight in the dining room. With the ceiling and walls patched with mud, sanded, and wiped clean (all by hand)… the actual priming of the walls was going a lot easier.
It may be hard to prove, but the room actually looks smoother and cleaner, after we worked on it. Things are definitely in a better state for primer, after us taking the time to wipe down the ceiling and walls.