Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Well Hung

So, at the end of the second day we had almost a whole room, but with a big gap where the door should be.

On Monday we headed out early back to Whitten Timber and bought a ready cut door frame,

which was actually a bit narrower than the door we had, so the first job was to break out the Festool plunge saw

cut the edges of the door down

and made sure that i fit in the frame.

I then began building up the stud wall to fill the remaining gap

but soon reallised that, due to the aforementioned lack of any right angles in the room, the door frame wasn't straight in relation to the floor that the door would swing open over and so i needed to cut some little chocks to adjust the angle of the frame, and then screw through them into the wall.

Once i had one bit of the frame straight i could then measure and fit the cross pieces (or noggings) of the remaining stud wall,

fix the other pieces of the door frame (and test out the doorway),

and finally cut the final sheet of ply to the right L shape and fix it on.

Then i just had the mammoth and time consuming job of chopping out sections of wood from the door to attach the hinges

and door handles and latch

and the architrave to cut to size with the mitre saw (it's just pinned in place for the moment)

and the door was FINALLY finished, hurrah! A proper room with a functioning door!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The House That Rex Built

Recently, being really busy with work, we've only been able to work on stuff (like the bedroom and corridor) at the weekends, so progress has been slow. In order to get the bedroom finished to a standard where my parents could stay in it for Christmas a final big push was needed. So the following is the result of working solidly on Saturday, Sunday and Monday...

We started by getting a big-ass delivery of wood from the always amazing guys at Whitten Timber, (which took 2 hours of going back and forth on the mooring to get all the 8x4ft sheets back to the boat)

and sorting out all the bits of wood (and cats) that we already had lying around

Then our friend Rex came over on Saturday and helped us get started on the room itself

with her help we started cutting the boards to size

and screwing them onto the battens to form the wall.

It was at this point that we reallised that there is not a single 90 degree corner in the room and that none of the walls are square with each other either horizontally or vertically, and decided that a plumb line or spirit level, on a moving boat, would be a waste of time. So we ignored the concept of 90 degree corners and just cut each piece to the size and shape that was needed, usually a complex, slopey one. Having thus freed our minds from the tyranny of the set square, we started to build up the walls, and added a plug socket as we went.

Rex did a fantastic job helping us out and it was great to have an extra pair of hands to help move the big sheets into place. What a star! Here she's demonstrating how the skirting board will look when it's fitted later.

We also took the wiring for the light, which had been there before but which we had disconnected when we took the walls off, and reconnected it all with new wiring, a new light switch ( from Woolworths) and a new light fitting,

And There Was Light, which was great as it meant that we could now work into the night.

And so the cladding of the walls continued, working our way round the walls, discovering new and complex shapes that needed to be worked out then cut out

but making staedy progress and enjoying the room finally taking shape as a room, rather than just a load of rockwool, celotex and battens.

Finally, on Sunday, it was finished. All that remained to be done was to fit the doorframe so that the last bit of wall could be built around it, then fit the door itself. Little did i know that this would take the WHOLE of monday, but that's for the next post, stay tuned...

Monday, 22 December 2008

You should SEEEEE!

Lorna here, to say that Steve's been doing an excellent job building the third bedroom. We just need to build a doorframe and hang the door and it will be a completely sealed and habitable room again. Of course, there is the skirting board to fit, and the painting to do, but just having wonderfully neat walls is amazing. After putting so much effort into the studwork and insulation I was always a little worried that when it came to skinning it all, we'd do no better a job than the previous builders. A huge sigh of relief came when the wall started fitting together perfectly and an even bigger pat on the back to Steve who measured all the angles and cut all of the wood to shape. In the whole room, there is just 1 sheet of ply that remained full and uncut! I, meanwhile, had the very exciting task of drilling countersink holes and screwing the boards into place with my Lorna-sized De Walt drill. However, mostly I've been finding carpentry far too annoying to be much use, and have hid in the bathroom with my angle grinder and arc welder.

Monday, 15 December 2008

All i want for Christmas is...

...a wood thicknesser. We have access to a whole load of old timber that's ripe for reclaiming and planing down into lovely shelves etc. Our neighbours have this one and say it's great, any suggestions for other good models? Seb?

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Celotex lovin'

So, the last we saw of the corridor a day or two ago it was looking like this:

-nicely painted but REALLY COLD as there was only a bare wall of metal between us and the icy winter nights. We couldn't afford to hang about before getting on with the next stage - insulating.

When we took the wall off we found just a thin layer of Rockwool, which didn't go all the way to the top or bottom of the ribs between which it was placed.

So i got to work cutting up sheets of 60mm celotex and packing it between the ribs

before filling the gaps round the edges with expanding foam, to create an impermeable moisture barrier and fill up any gaps in the insulation

I then took the original rockwool pieces that had been the only insulation in there and put them back over the top of the new sealed celotex layer, ready to be covered by the new corridor wall.

As usual, Vortex was the designated Inspector of Works, and declared everything up to standard.

We have exciting plans for lining the corridor with shelves for books, CDs, DVDs etc. at the sam time as we do the walls of the third bedroom, so stay tuned...


Given that Woolworths is closing down, we thought we'd go along to our local branch and see if we could pick up any credit crunch/massive global recession goodies at bargain prices. And lo and behold, for about £30 we got all these nice smart light switches which we'll be putting in the bedrooms as we renovate them, and loads of low energy light bulbs. Hurrah!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Rib ticklin'

So, why is Lorna disguised a miner?

We decided that, as we're in insulating mode rather than final wall-putting-on mode, and as we have a whole load of sheets of wood that we need to use to clear the space that they are taking up (and which we're planning to turn into shelves in the corridor) that now would be a good time to strip the walls off in the corridor, and do to it what we've done to the bedroom.

So off came the walls

revealing a pretty good, solid frame underneath, which is cool as it means we can use that as the basis for our new wall and shelves. Again, the insulation in there was pretty rubbish, so when we fully celotex it it should make a big difference.

All the old paint, because the insulation had been rubbish and so there had probably been a lot of condensation issues, was in a pretty bad state, so we wire brushed as much loose stuff off as we could,

getting filthy in the process. The head torches were great for seeing into all the dark little corners between the ribs, hence the miner look.

Then it was time for a new coat of paint, mixed with thermilate insulation powder, which should hopefully help against any possible condensation problems


and after.

We hoovered up all the flakes of paint and rust, and called it a day.