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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 10/5/2018

A friend of mine at work noted that she wanted to see what Tanglewood looked like.  After doing a bit of digging I realized I didn't have any good pictures, so I walked around the house this morning and snapped some for her.

And here you go.


Steven in Colorado

Photos

The front of the house from (more or less) the driveway.
The front of the house towards the turret side of Tanglewood. My computer room is up there at the top of the tower.
The back of Tanglewood looking towards the turret directly behind a tree (sorry).



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 9/10/2018

Okay, so after deciding last week that I was going to go with more rock rather than trying to cut wood curved to fit the arch of the door, I spent some quality time selecting rock and building a stockpile of stones to use.

After I got the rock selected out I worked on installing the wood for the straight portions of the pillars on either side of the door.  As much as I liked the idea of a "real pillar" I couldn't find any that weren't FAR too wide...I needed a very *narrow* pillar to fill in the gap between the edge of the door and the wall.  Every square pillar I could find was at least 4" wide, and the half circle columns were frankly worse size wise.  (I'm not sure why this is since you'd think there would be a need for them, but I guess not.)

So I got myself some nice pine and started going with a layered square look. The pillars had to have  slight stepdown as the edge went "up" the door (the arch apparently was deliberately designed to widen slightly towards the top) and so I measured carefully so as to make the transitions look a bit natural.  

By the end of the day I got the pillars in place and had started putting in the rock...well, *a* rock anyway.  More to come.  Once the rock is all done, I'll grout everything into place.

Step by step, I'll get this thing done!


Steven in Colorado

Photos

Pillar on the right hand side. It's not stained yet so it's a bit tricky to distinguish it from the door itself.
Pillar on the left hand side....
I got one rock on before it was time to shut things down for the day. But it's one!



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 9/1/2018

Okay, I had a plan and it just flat wasn't going to work....so I decided to Change the Plan.

My idea originally was that the upper part of the door would have all that rock, and that the sides would be encased pillars or pilasters or something like that.  The bottom parts are straight enough, but the top sections left and right needed to have a slight curve along the edge of the door.  After some searching I found wood suitable enough size wise, but of course I had to do some cutting to get them shaped properly.

Unfortunately I simply don't have the tools to do this properly.  I tried, I really did....I used a jigsaw that I simply could not keep under control, I tried a table saw while carefully working the wood as I turned it, I tried using a simple a handsaw.  None of it worked, and after basically wasting an entire day I basically only ended up with a bunch more scrap for the fireplace.   It was clear that I wasn't going to be able to make the arch at the top of the pillars properly arched, and I frankly was running out of patience.

So after some due consideration I decided to continue the rockwork down from where I had stopped earlier to the straight sections on either side.  As it happens that is exactly five feet (60"), so I needed to extend the rockwork about a foot on either side.

Attaching the rock per se isn't going to be hard because I have a lot of the thinset mortar.  The more difficult thing is to find rock that would fit the space to either side of the doorframe--I used virtually all larger rock and the vast bulk of the remaining decorative rock was all cut by the builders.  That meant they were basically flat on one side and certainly didn't look at all "natural".  Bugger.

Fortunately one aspect of living on a gravel road is that it is basically made of rock.  Lots and lots of rock.  Big rocks.  Small rocks.  Pretty rocks.  Rocks you can use on a door....

So I'll be spending the next couple of days gathering rocks for the door.  Thought I was done with this bit, but there you go.....monkeys gotta adapt!


Steven in Colorado



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/14/2018

Well bugger all.

First the Good News.  I took a good look at the grout work and it's all solid; I like it.  There are a couple of spots I'd redo if I was motivated but they're all WAY UP THERE over the arch of the door; nobody will even be able to see them from the porch.  So they're good.

I need to start taking measurements for the bottom half of the door and consider how I'm going to finish that bit off.  I'm pondering some type of pillar, or shallow extrusion or pilaster.  Given the slight slant of the door arch itself I might buy a larger single board and cut it down to size.  Not really sure; I'll have to ponder it.

Either way that leads to the Bad News.  A very close friend of mine has passed away unexpectedly, so I'll have to run back to Missouri to give him a proper sendoff.  Unfortunately that probably means this will delay furtherance of the door work for a week, though at least I have to spend some time gathering options anyway.

Life  happens!


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/13/2018

I realized I probably didn't provide a good pic of the rockwork along the top of the door, so here ya go.

That "divot" along the upper right is where some stucco came down; I'll have to color match it before I can work on replacing it.

Next up, the grout work!  Since I didn't do the rock as a "dry stack", as with much of the house (I didn't think I had enough rock, frankly) I'll need to grout it up similarly to the tiles around the fireplace.  I'm thinking a gray or perhaps a black color; going to have to experiment a bit.


Steven in Colorado

Photos

Nice mix of sizes left from the original construction.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/11/2018 11:39:37 PM

A major milestone completed today (finally!) as I put the last stone in place around the door.

I almost got there last outing, but between working on rock inside the house and the rework/reset of a stone I didn't put in properly I lost my daylight.  Checking on the existing work from last week I realized that one more rock was to even the right side up so I did that, which didn't take long but which needed some good bracing.

While that was all setting up I mocked up some different layouts using broken/old stone and various shades of grout.  El Dorado Stone had recommended  a color they called Smoke, but upon application it seemed way too brown for my tastes.  I had already had my thoughts that it might not be what I wanted so I swung by Ye Olde Home Depot and got two others, Natural Gray and Charcoal.

Both the Natural Gray and the Charcoal were good, definitely.  I had to make up two test batches for the Charcoal; I felt the first time around the "gaps" between the stones were too large and so I wasn't necessarily getting a good view as a result so I set up a second trial.

The Natural Gray seemed much more normal for me.  I decided that I really would have liked to see what a Dark Gray might look like, but a.) that would have meant running back into town and b.) they didn't have any in stock anyway (I was just there and so I knew).

So in the end I went with the Natural Gray for the grout.  I plan to put it on tomorrow.  I think I'll mix it a little bit "wetter" than the instructions say so I can flow it a bit better, and I made sure to pick up a couple of tubes of matching sanded grout so I could touch up the edges a bit as needed.  Should be glorious...fingers and other appendages crossed.

I already know I'm going to want to do the rock around the bottom of the door as well, probably.  The bulk of the stone is "dry-stacked" and hence doesn't really need any grout, but around the bottom I was thinking it did in fact want it for the sake of completeness.  I'll give it some thought first though.

More tomorrow!


Steven in Colorado

Photos

The right hand side....
...and the whole side!



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/30/2018

So at long last the End Is Near with regards to the stone around the door.  By the end of the day I needed just ONE MORE STONE on the right side to have that part done!  I definitely made good progress once I was able to start last week.

I finished up all of the rock beneath the door threshold, finally restoring it to its proper look.  The other work along the right hand side moved along nicely if slowly, since it was becoming harder and harder to select the right stone to fit into the gap between the door and the hard door frame. 

In between I pulled and reset a couple of the stones around the fireplace that I had noticed were loose.  As I was working on that pair of stones I found another stupid one--somehow they decided to wedge one in a gap sideways.  I was somewhat dumbfounded...why the heck would you do that?  I levered it out and found a correctly sized stone instead.

(My opinion of the rockwork folks continues to decline.)

But anyway I got it all done except for that one last rock.  I'll do that next weekend; in the meantime I'll start researching what colors of grout I will want for the finish.  The vast bulk of the house is all dry-stack and I'm fine with that, but I installed the rock using wire mesh so I need to grout it in.  (In retrospect that was probably a mistake, but advice seemed to come to me just after I started down a particular path...ah well.)

So almost there!  Time to research grout options methinks.....


Steven in Colorado

Photos

The right hand side of the door showing the rock work. I'll need to address fixing that little bit where I knocked off the stucco.
Beneath part of the threshold.....I picked the biggest stones I had left to make all of this a bit more "solid".
The left-hand side of the door's lower side. Tricky to find all the right sized stones, but I made it work.
You can see the bottom end of the bracing for that next-to-the-last stone up above.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/22/2018

Well dang....took a bit long to get back to this then I'd thought it would.  I ended up using the entire weekend getting an old truck down to be towed away; NOT an experience I want to care to do again!

But anyway...to The Door!

I was finally able to finish up the left hand side of the door, so next up was the right.  Things at least went a bit more quickly now that I've done the other side first and so I was able to get the first few rocks up quickly.  At that point while waiting for everything "up high" to set I realized that I hadn't yet worked on two other parts of the door.....the left and right sides and the rock below the door's threshold.

I recall when I was taking the old door out that most of these rocks basically fell off as a side effect of all the hammering and cutting and whatnot.  I honestly didn't think too much of it at the time as I was focused on opening up the wall so I could get the antler chandelier in (other than being really annoyed by the whole thing), but upon examination as I was scoping out the problem I really that they had barely been properly adhered in the first place!  The mortar was very thin, the chicken wire was simply buried under far too much concrete--they would have fallen off if I'd slammed the door very hard, I think.

Disgraceful and sloppy work indeed.

Okay...deep breath.  Since I discovered I could multitask with rock in several areas around the door I began to do just that, working in a "round robin" kind of way to get the rock back on.  For the most part this meant I could work faster but there were unexpected complications--the old chicken wire stuck out over the threshold of the new door (since it was larger now) and some of the old mortar had to chiseled off to provide a more level surface to re-attach the new stone.  

Still it's been an interesting day.  I spent much of the time taking a long break to measure and set out potential stones and prepping the surface, followed by a whirlwind of setting rock in one section around the door or another.

Not done yet, but getting there!  Next week I think.  Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha……..


Steven in Colorado

Photos

Lots of bracing and clamping, but I made progress.
This is the left hand side of the door; a lot of that was mostly because I had to trim down the chicken wire.
This is the section underneath the door. Basically ALL of that rock fell off due to their sub-standard work....sigh. That's okay, I can fix it.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/8/2018

So it was a ridiculously busy week but I finally was able to address the door after last week's work.  Again the progress was a bit slow, but steady at least.

Once again I was annoyed that gravity is such a remarkably fickle opponent, and I ended up doing a bunch of rework when I put on a stone only to have it fall off a few minutes later.  I gradually realized through some experimentation that the best way to make this stuff stay there, given the chicken wire mesh I'd put down, was to "butter" the stone very heavily and then set the stone very firmly onto the wall.  After about five minutes of holding the rock would usually suffice for it to set properly.  I only had to reset two of the stones that fell off, in both cases because I hadn't used enough mortar.

I did some other experimenting and also figured out that it was much simpler to set the "middle" stones once I had some "lower" stones to use as bracing and such.  I also wrestled up a bunch of pieces of lumber that (over time) I was able to configure to help brace and "push" the stone into place while things were setting.

Since the doors open inwards I went ahead and let some of the edges of the stone overlap the edge of the door.  Once that's grouted in properly I think that will look nice and make it a bit more "hole in the wall" (at least that's my hope, anyway).

Again I didn't go very fast, but I got more done at least!  More in a week!


Steven in Colorado

Photos

Progress showing a lot of bracing and support towards the end of the stacking so far.
A closer shot showing the edge along one part of the door where the rock overlaps the door frame. Beyond you can see fireplace and the top of the Yes I'll Get It Done I Swear antler chandelier.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/2/2018

Well this is all very slow and frustrating at times that's for sure, but at least I've started!

I finally starting working on putting the rock around the door after having to build myself a place to work from last week first.  I pretty quickly ran into a couple of problems, one of which was easy to change my plans about and one of which was a bit more annoying.

I had originally intended to put the rock around the door in a "sunburst" pattern, basically pointing them "towards" the door.  Unfortunately the setback with the stucco around the top of the door made that impossible, and it was either change my plans or add yet more construction work to the agenda.  I decided it was better to just proceed with a normal "stacked" look instead.

That led to the second issue, and that was a bit more problematic.  It turns out that this stone won't STAY ON THE FRACKING WALL very easily....there's a little thing called 'gravity' that makes it want to fall off.  After a few failed attempts in which I was thinking I wasn't using enough mortar I finally figured out what the problem was.  Sadly, since I couldn't just "mortar and set" the things one after the other I'd have to proceed much more slowly--set, hold for what seemed forever, and then see if they fell off.

It was rather annoyingly slow work.

By the end of the day I got about a quarter of the left side of the arch done.  There are some braces and clamps holding some of them in place as the mortar sets.  Next weekend (I've used up this weekend taking more time getting ready than I'd thought) I'll get more of it done.

But at least I've started, so mote it be!


Steven in Colorado

Photos

Not really all that much rock yet; I'm still figuring out what will work here and what won't.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/1/2018

Well dang....didn't quite expect this per se, but in retrospect I realize I should have.

I'd done yeoman's work collecting and setting out all of the potential rock for finishing the door and was anxious to start the work mortaring it all up.  Unfortunately I quickly ran into a minor problem--but fortunately I also had a solution nearby!

So there I was, standing on the porch and pondering how I'd be installing that rock.  The best ladder I had for that is a 12 foot job that works quite well, but I realized I was looking at a heck of a lot of up and down climbing.  LOTS of climbing.  Over and over and over.  As I pondered this, my knees provided a warning throb just to remind me I was there....

But then I realized I had a solution!  I'd bought 18 feet of scaffolding towards the end of 2016 when I thought I'd be working on the chandelier that winter!  The scaffolding came in three 6 foot sections (intended ultimately to be stacked when working high up with the chandelier), but a single section should be just about exactly the right height. I'd been side-lined by some health problems during the subsequent winter of 2016/2017, and by the time I got back on my feet last year I was only focusing on things that I'd let slide for far too long.  As a result that scaffolding had just been sitting there in the corner of the garage, where (I discovered shortly) spiders had woven huge webs in and around the boxes.

So I spent some quality time building one set of the scaffolding, and (of course) it took most of the day to do that.  These parts are heavy and they weren't quite as easy to sort out as I'd assumed given that I'd bought three identical boxes.  As I unpacked them I discovered that these pieces of equipment were much heavier and well constructed than I'd assumed....this made me happy, as they should serve me well down the road when I'm working on the chandelier.

So basically it took me all day to put this thing together, between finding the right pieces, moving the rock I'd sorted out yesterday, and disposing of all of the packing (there was a  lot of carboard and paper padding).  But I got it, and now I've got myself a solid platform to do all of the work I need to do next.

Slowly but surely, it's getting there!

Steven in Colorado

Photos

The scaffold! Quite nice I think.
Very solidly built and good pins throughout...I'm pretty pleased with this whole thing.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/30/2018

So now that I got the proper concrete backer board up and the wire mesh on, it was time to ferret out the rock I'd need to use for the area around the door.  Turned out that took a bit more work than I'd have expected (which of course didn't surprise me--everything up here takes longer).

I'd sorted out some of the "whole" rock (as opposed to the pieces they cut during construction) with the intent to use them first--even exclusively if possible.  I quickly realized I had FAR more whole rock than I'd thought, which really is a good problem to have I reckon.  I started sorting it out on the stoop of the porch but quickly realized I had far too much rock to fit on the stoop, so I ended up moving all of it up to the porch.  Between the rock that I'd salvaged from under the porch (anything the builders cut they ended up throwing under the porch, for some reason) and the rock that I still had inside the house from the fireplace work I did a while back I found out I had a lot of rock!   Good problem to have, definitely.

So between sorting out all of the rock and cleaning up some of the old concrete chunks mixed with them it basically took me all day, which was a bit annoying but I'd rather do it once and right than ad hoc.

Tomorrow I start putting up the rock!  I hope.....


Steven in Colorado





Photos

One side of the porch and the rock I'd salvaged from around the place.
Yet more rock!
A little better angle on this shot.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/21/2018

Sigh.

Gotta love it!


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/21/2018

Unfortunately, it gets darker again from here.....ah well.


That's the way of it.



Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/17/2018

A major milestone reached today as I finally (finally!) got the exterior concrete board up and backer wire installed around the door!


Since I basically wasted an entire day erroneously putting on drywall last week I tried to be a bit more careful this time around.  After walking through the steps in my head both my recollection and my planning told me that the first step was to tear down the drywall, so I did exactly that.  A bit distressingly (I thought) it was much easier to tear it down than it was to measure, cut, and nail it all in a couple of weeks ago, but generally that's the way it is with basic destruction I reckon....

Once I got the drywall debris all cleared away I set about measuring and cutting the concrete board.  Now, folks who have done this a lot already know that cutting concrete board is a messy process indeed....it takes a bit more effort than it does with drywall, is rather heavier, and is particularly prone to crumbling apart if you have a particularly narrow section you're trying to carve out.  I took a few moments to read up on some tips online, and ended up wrapping sections I was going to cut in extra mesh tape.  The idea was to keep edge pieces from crumbling apart and (for the most part) I was quite successful with that.  Of course I also took things very slowly, measured three or four times before making the cuts, and then followed up with additional "reinforcement" using the mesh tape when a cut was all done.

It all seemed to work out pretty well, though it took me some time.  By the time the boards were cut I was pretty hungry, so I took a hour's lunch break and did a couple of small chores.

Then it was back to The Door.  With the board cut next up was to install it, and that involved (of necessity) a lot of climbing the ladder up and down. And up and down.  And shuffle, and then up and down again.

But (eventually...did I mention there was a lot of climbing?) I got them up.  And was pretty happy with them too...I managed to measure and cut both sides of the door's arch completely in two solid pieces, so that I could minimize any gaps I'd have to seal up down the road.

The next step was to put up the wire mesh on the board, so as to give the mortar something to grip to when I started installing the stone.  That was pretty easy really, though I spent some quality time stabbing myself with the wire while I was trying to cut it out.  My original idea was that I'd be able to cut one solid section of wire for each side of the arch, just as with the concrete board, but I had so much trouble managing the rolled wire (and fending off its occasionally attempts to stab me) that I eventually just cut it down into sections and put those up one at a time.  It was more work, but that didn't matter much for the wire base.  And the overlapped sections are technically stronger when it comes to hanging on the mortar and eventual rock I guess.

So this stage was (finally) done!  It took me a good hour to clean up the mess I'd made doing these last couple of steps but it was a good feeling, and cleared the decks for the next step.

Which is, of course installing the rock.  I'm only going to do the upper (arched) section right now as I need to do a bit more work along either side of the bottom to flesh it out as I'd envisioned, but I'm getting there!


Steven in Colorado

Photos

Upper right, nicely installed.
Upper left also nicely installed. You can see the lines of concrete screws sunk into the door supports along each side.
Overall pic (just because I have a camera and because).
Upper right with wire mesh installed.
Lower right with wire mesh installed.
Left side with the wire mesh. Ready to mortar!



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/9/2018

Heh...sometimes I don't know what I was thinking.


With the boiler all fixed up and working properly again I was finally able to start taking a look at working on the door again.  I evaluated where I was, figured that the time was to get that exterior sheathing up, and proceeded for the next couple of hours to do just that.  Along the way I carefully read about and then used my handy new battery-powered nailgun and carefully sealed up all of the gaps and such around the door.

Then I went to read up on the next step, and that's more or less where I realized I'd done a Really Stupid Thing.

I'd built the exterior around the doorframe with regular drywall, rather than that big sheet of concrete backer board.  Drywall looks really good but (since you never really can seal out the air completely, especially around a door) it eventually absorbs the moisture in the air.  And then it weakens.  And then one day that rock around the door will fall off, probably at the most annoying moment possible.

Sigh.

Okay, lesson learned.  Next week I tear down the drywall and put up the concrete backer board (Durock is the brand, it's a pretty good one) instead.

At least I got some good time in with that nailer...works like a champ!  :)


Steven in Colorado

Photos

At least I bought a nice big board of this; should make it simpler for my cuts and such.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/5/2018

Huzzah!  It's fixed!

When last we met I expressed my great annoyance that my system was leaking again rather steadily after just a couple of days....so much so that I had to shut the whole thing off.

Today I got Radiant Adam up here again to fixalate this thing once and for all.  I had pondered on the whole thing for the last couple of days and wondered what might have caused the leak...why it was okay for a day or so and then got steadily worse.  Before he got there, I had recalled that he had not replaced a washer in the glycol unit....a union where the pipe comes down from the rest of the house back into the boiler.  I knew from prior experience with plumbing of various kinds that one should always replace these things if there's an opportunity to do so....they get "set" with pipes in a definite configuration and putting them back together again wouldn't always ensure the same "set" as one might have hoped.

Long story short, that's exactly what it was!  It was a bit worse than I'd thought though because I hadn't accounted for the heat of the boiler....over the last 8-ish years the washer in question had gotten very "brittle".  NOT so brittle that it wouldn't bend, really, but vastly less supple than it was supposed to be.  Radiant Adam popped it all out, made his own washer/gasket with his own sheet of material (this allows shops to make custom washers on the spot), got everything all hooked up and then repressurized the system one more time (air had gotten in while doing all this).  

And now, it's done.

Looking at it I do see there is a very tiny leak around the pressure release valve at the top of the boiler.  I'm not really sure why that would be other than something thinking the pressure it too high, but nothing on the gauge seems to bear that out.  If I had to make a guess myself there might be an air bubble in it, maybe?  I'm going to give it some time to let it work its way out.

Going forward I'm definitely going to get one of these glycol makeup systems.  Radiant Adam was amazed that the original installers had not put one in originally and he definitely felt I should have one.  Given the size of the system he said that loss due to leakage was just about going to be inevitable (although oddly enough I've not seen any leaks at all other than around the boiler itself).  I've added to my "get soon" list, so it'll definitely happen.

Still this is all good.  Now that I've got this silliness finished with I can get back to finishing up the door.  I need to get the concrete siding up next and figure out what I'm going to do with the casing around the door; I've got some ideas, just have to make some measurements.

Forward!


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/3/2018 10:52:33 PM

Well, FRACK.  And bugger all.

So a couple of days ago I was posting about how awesome it was to finally have hot water again, courtesy of a properly pressurized and properly laid out intake/exhaust boiler system.  When Radiant Adam left (around 4:30 PM Friday afternoon) we thought things were looking good.

Yesterday I noted there were a couple of drips of glycol on the floor under the boiler.  I didn't think much about it as I had expected some of that when the system was fired up, so I just wiped it up and wiped everything off and didn't think too much about it.

Then this morning when I got up I was hearing a definite "drip" sound.  Wandering over to utility room I found a nice drip that couldn't really have been going very long (else it would have been a huge puddle)....this definitely wasn't okay!  I cleaned up the drips and fixed breakfast, and by the time I was done it was very definitely worse than before (I think the boiler came on, raising the internal pressure and apparently increasing the leakage).

This. Is. Not. Good.

Sigh.  So I shut down the boiler and closed the valves, then put one of the glycol buckets to catch what was still dribbling out.  I then send a note to Radiant Adam requesting he return yet again, this time with all of the hardware necessary to (potentially) replace that entire union.  (Feeling around I'm only finding leakage along the top of the union, and since it's fairly tight I'm starting to wonder if it doesn't have a crack in it.)

I'm very annoyed....my whole plan to continue with the door work has definitely been put on hold for a couple of days at least.....

Grrrr.................


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/1/2018

Okay, success today...finally.

Last week I shared the ongoing saga with Radiant Adam and our replacement of the boiler at Tanglewood.  It had literally vibrated so hard due to the venturi going bad that it had broken three of the five bots in the boiler, meaning the lid was basically just being held on by a couple of screws.  Unfortunately it turned out that the supply warehouse had sent up the wrong boiler and so our day was cut short.

Today however we got everything done -- the new boiler was installed, the intake/exhaust vents on the back of the house were extended (they were too close to each other, which is why the system was breathing hot air in the first place), and the system repressurized back up to about 18 psi.  This all basically took all day and there was a lot of trouble getting everything hooked back up....we had to disconnect the gycol feed at one point to get the boiler into the "box", and mid-way thru the day Radiant Adam realized that they didn't send a new set of sensors--so we had to take a 2 hour hit to the schedule for him to run into town and get them.  All quite annoying.

Still it all looks pretty good.  The system is wonderfully quiet (as it should be!) and the system has begun to slowly bring up the house heat and make glorious hot water!  It should take a couple of days for things to heat up properly but overall I'm quite happy...yay!

A pricey trip but that's what emergency funds are for.  At least this is done and I can start looking at the next stage of the door.


Steven in Colorado



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 5/25/2018

Well now....things continue to be quite annoying I dare say.

The short version is:  I don't have hot water (or radiant heat) yet.

We got Radiant Adam back up today with new boiler in hand and began to take the old boiler out.  That was tricky because the unit is intended to come "as is" in a big box--the folks who built it only barely allowed a way to replace something as integral as the boiler itself (which rather looks like a big coffee maker).  

So after all that prep work we got the box with the boiler down, opened it up...and realized it was the wrong boiler.  Totally not the right one at all....this boiler was for a Prestige 110, I have a Prestige 175.  Totally wasn't going to work.

Well dang.

So....Radiant Adam's trip ended sooner than we expected.  Fortunately things are warm enough that not having the house heated isn't too bad (though it definitely sucks not having a hot shower).  And all of that meant I didn't get too much done with the door, but I did do some cleanup and pondered what I would do with the top of the trim arch.


Steven in Colorado





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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 5/18/2018

Well now, this was unexpected.

A couple of weeks ago I realized that the boiler was making VERY loud sounds when it fired up.  It was clearly struggling and the noise intake was making far more noise than it should have--these things are nearly noiseless normally.  Looking at things I realized that the glycol pressure was low....which was very much unexpectedly as it's a closed loop system.

I had known there was a slight leak from one fitting that I discovered several months back, but I had retightened everything and thought that other than having lost a little bit of pressure things were okay again.  The fact that it was lower than I had expected bothered me, and again made me think of installing a glycol makeup system as Radiant Paul had suggested a couple of years ago.

So anyway, after a bit of detective work I discovered that the  folks who had been working for ABC Plumbing are now working for a company called Jolly Plumbing--ABC had sold off their boiler support last year.  A couple of phone calls later and I got Radiant Adam--I had made sure I wanted somebody who would teach me, and he did.

We got the system pressurized up nicely, no real problems, and Radiant Adam was generally pleased with the way the system was laid out with lots of shutoff valves we could use.  Things were looking to be very good....

....and then I moved something on top of the boiler and something went "clank".  It was a screw head; one of the bolts at the top of the boiler had completely broken off.

With a bit more investigation we discovered things were considerably worse than expected.  The venturi (a rubber membrane inside the intake valve) had almost disintegrated; our primary suspect was that the exhaust and intake lines were too close too each other, allowing the boiler to bring in "hot air" and ending up disintegrating the rubber.  The holes in the rubber made the startup very rough, which was why it was so noisy, and apparently it vibrated so hard on startup that it sheared three of the bolts (we eventually discovered).

So now I have no hot water as of this writing.  Parts are on the way; turns out the boiler is itself still under warranty (which rather surprised me) so they're going to do a full replacement on it.  We'll find out more this next Friday!

What an annoying development.....


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 5/12/2018

It's a bit since I updated much regarding the door, which is definitely all on me.  I plead too many side chores and boiler issues.

The inside of the door--the drywall around it--is in and ready to be taped up.  I was planning to work on the outside of the door next, then tape up both sides.

I finally realized that part of the reason I was moving so slowly was that I didn't like the way I would have to put up the trim around the door.  The ETO people gave me two different types of trim, a fancy wide trim and an less fancy but narrower trim.  From the way the door is installed the thinner trim is the way to go, but even then there were problems.  The door turns out to be slightly "fluted", so the top of the arch is slightly narrower than the top.  This is turn means that a relatively "deep" wall (all ICF remember) makes me unable to have the trim nailed up to the surrounding wall at the top....either I have to build up the wall to match the top of the arch or I have to put in most of the trim one way and the arch another.   After much thought, I decided on the latter.

I haven't deeply examined the exterior yet, but I assume there will be similar issues when I get to it.

Now I have to redo the exterior drywall.  I might decide to replace it with concrete board or, since the door is well set back into a porch might forgo that.  The biggest issue will be making sure there's a strong foundation around the door (lathing and wood bracing) to hold the stone that will eventually be there.  I'm pretty sure what I have now might hold up to the stucco but would not work very well with a tougher lattice work first.

So things are moving slowly, but they are moving!


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 4/21/2018

Well, the good news is that I think I finally figured it out.  Knowledge is power.

The bad news of course is that it'll be some work.  Sigh.

I've been wrestling with this leak for literally years, though to be honest I've not dedicated much time to it since there were other priorities.  After another leak sprung forth on Friday (due to a bout of snow/rain) I thought it might finally be time to figure out what the heck was going on.

And yes, I did eventually figure it out.  It took a lot of investigation and testing (via copious amounts of water being dumped in various areas) but here's what I think is going on.

Basically, there were two problems....the first was up on the tower roof.  That area is flat and (until a couple of years ago) would leak after a big snowstorm due to ice buildup overflowing down on pair of 2x8s in the tower wall.  I found old indications of leaking in the pain along that one set of verticals and old mold/stain marks on the subflooring along that wall (I tore up part of the existing laminated wood flooring; I have plans to put in a porcelain floor anyway).  That's been fixed for the most part thru the work I did a couple of years back when I worked around and patched it.  That roof might still be leaking if there's a lot of snow up there--it was unclear since I was also brushing water off of the walkaround outside the patio door--but I think that's what was happening.

Secondly is the more serious issue, and the one which will require the most work to fix. Basically the roofers up there were totally incompetent and, as near as I can tell, they never installed flashing around the base of the patio door.  Now ordinarily that wouldn't have been that much of an issue, except that they didn't slope the roof there properly around the walkway.  That had basically been happening since we completed the house, and over time that leaking has rotted part of the subfloor where the vertical 2x8s and the patio door meet.  I was able to put my hand straight thru the rotted wood when I pulled up the flooring, and it was quite damp under there.  There are indications that leaks had happened either along the patio door or (more likely) simply soaked the wood towards that direction, with the upshot that there are moly and discolored spots all along the stretch of the door.  

Outside the patio door itself actually seems pretty good, if somewhat ugly.  I'd put down some of the rubber membrane goop a few weeks ago and I noticed this time around that much of it had "bubbled"--that's a sign of gas (probably from the decaying wood) being released from the wet subfloor.  It all still seemed intact however, and that's the important thing.

So my course of action look to be as follows:
  1. First up I've got a couple of small fans drying things out all around that stretch of flooring and inside the rafters below.  I'll leave the fans running indefinitely, basically until I get ready to do the rest of the work (below).  I've gradually been carrying planks of the laminate down for disposal in the fireplace (it's wet as wood goes but it does actually burn pretty quickly).  Here in a week or so I'll treat everything with vinegar to kill the mold.

  2. The turret top needs to be repainted next.  There aren't any obvious  holes anywhere that I could see where water might enter, but there are a couple of "soft" areas on top of the roof that were the site of the prior leaks which need patching.   Of course the idiots who did the work in the first place didn't slope the roof properly so the drain only runs when the water is higher than it should be; I need to clean all of that up, get the slope in properly, and prep the roof for repainting.  I plan on doing some layers of paint and roofing membrane to bring the whole thing up about a half inch, possible with a layer of rubber membrane, as part of all this.  I'll also need to build some kind of shelter for working up there to keep rain out of the area while it's being worked on, but fortunately I think some well placed 2x4s and a nice big weighted tarp will do this.

  3. After the turret top is sealed and sloped properly the real fun begins.  After some thought I think I'm going to have to completely remove the patio door up there; the subfloor it's sitting on has already partially rotted and since the idiots who didn't do their work properly didn't install any flashing it won't get any better.  My thinking is that once the bad wood is cleared out I will install a new run of 2x4s, properly flashed, which will give the patio door a small "step over" to get in/out.  I'm okay with that because honestly it isn't a door that would be used much anyway, frankly.

    That door also has a big window above it (no idea why they installed that other than to give me lots of light), but unfortunately if I move the door up 4" that window has to come out.  I can frame it out and then stucco across that bit I guess; the window itself will get donated to a recycle shop.

    I don't really want to replace the door itself, just rebuild its base and then reinstall it.  I don't really want to buy a new patio door anyway (they're ridiculously expensive).  Besides, if I did decide to replace it I'd also have to figure out some way to haul it down and away to the recycle.  Really a better plan all around to work with what I have.  This is going to be tricky of course since all of this work is happening near the edge of the roof, but my plan is to lever the door into the computer room and use tarps to protect the giant hole in the house like I did the last time I did that.

So that is, as they say, is that.  At least I've figured it out...there's a lot of work ahead to undo the mess the idiots who installed it did but I can do it!


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 4/7/2018

Getting up this morning I was in the mood to get some of the "smaller" chores that had been piling up around the house.  There are always things like that, not quite large enough to dedicate a full day to them but which still needed doing.  That's what I decided to tackle today.

My original plan had been to take the opportunity to move the remaining ICF from the shed up into the garage, but the higher winds whipping thru the canyon made that a poor choice.  So I decided to pull up the raspberry canes that had infested the area down along the driveway instead.

Right off the bat I was in for a pleasant surprise....the recent rain had left the ground very soft, and so rather than wrestling with the canes I was able to more easily pull them out root and all.  That in turn was very good news since that mean there would be a minimum of regrowth from roots I left in the ground; if I was able to pull them up completely they'd have to recolonize rather than just regrow.

Working my way down the road I found all kinds of bits of old concrete and some old pieces of Styrofoam from the build, both of which required collecting up more 5 gallon buckets to gather properly gather each for disposal.  I eventually decided on dedicating 5 buckets to gathering up the raspberry canes and reserve two others for collecting old concrete for recycling.  My plan is to take everything down next week at some point; by then I'll have gathered enough Styrofoam and concrete to justify a trip into town.

As I worked my way down the driveway I ran across a large cardboard box...well, what was left of a cardboard box.  Turned out this was what the rock facing on Tanglewood itself came in, and somehow they'd left a box of it stashed semi-under the porch during the finish up.  So I fished it out, tossed the remaining cardboard scraps and 2x4s into the trash, and took time to sort out the useful rock.  I got a fair amount of whole pieces and about double that in cut pieces; the whole ones I plan to use around the door in the finishing step of its installation later this summer.  That interlude took a couple of hours interspersed with pulling raspberry canes.

By the time the day was done I was too, that's for sure.  Lots of back and forth trudging up and down the driveway today.  Still, it was a good day--I got the raspberries cleared out from part of the front of the house, collected some more bad concrete and waste Styrofoam for disposal, and unexpectedly just about tripled my available facing rock for ultimate use on the door!

A goodly day overall, I'm calling it!


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 4/6/2018

Well now, been a couple of weekends working steadily around the garage has finally allowed me declare "completion"....for certain measurements of completion, anyway.  The garage cleanup is (for now) done.

Mind there's a lot of stuff still not quite as "cleared out" as I'd have liked from the last report.  The tools are all nicely cleaned up and put away other than a tiny handful of a couple of things needed for the next major project (drywall inside the door).  I've purchased the handles necessary to repair a couple of other tools (smaller sledgehammers) and moved the power tools over to one row where I can work with them down the road.  There's been a lot of sweeping of course.

The 4" socked drainpipe is all stacked in much more orderly piles in one of the garage bays, the winter tires have been stacked away onto shelving off to the side, and some old cardboard and wood which has been collected from around the garage and already been burned.

Looking forward to tomorrow I'm going to start moving the leftover ICF that I'd stashed up by the shed when I rebuilt it (I was able to move about half of it; more in a few days after we get a bout of rain) and then I want to tackle an old box of the rock siding they apparently just left when the crews were done.  Along the way I'll pull up as many raspberry canes as I can (they literally spring up like weeds up here on the disturbed soil) and either burn or dump them depending my preference at the time.

With the garage done (well, as done as it's going to be) I can now look forward to the next series of projects.  I think I'll be dividing my time between the drywall inside and looking again at dealing with the leak.  I've was able to make a dent in it with my work around the computer room door but there's still water coming in, and I'm thinking now part of the leak is from the rooftop on top of the tower.  They used the same (bad) technique to build "crickets" that would supposedly divert water towards drains.  Probably would have worked a LOT better if they actually removed the water first...the slightest leak would undermine the cricket overlay, and that's exactly what has happened.  I'm thinking formed concrete is likely the way to go.  We'll see.

One project down, more projects to go!  Keeps ya busy I reckon.


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 3/12/2018

Well now, I was able to spend the afternoon doing some garage cleanup and actually made some good progress.

I finally have all of the tubs of nails and screws and miscellaneous all sorted.  The resultant and badly oil-stained boxes that were holding all of this debris have been moved into the living room for (eventual) burning, and I did yet another round of sweeping to get everything that all of this stuff had been sitting on.

I also got a few more tools put up onto the pegboards and then started sorting containers to hold the big nails/screws that I had left over from building the original shed.  I'll have to do more of that later this summer (tearing down the last of the old shed is on the Summer To Do list) and I'll no doubt have to figure out a better places to store all of these things right now (an old Dickey's BBQ cup).  But that's down the road.

I think maybe I'm going to need two more good days to get that garage finished up.  I've basically now got the room to start moving the BIGGER stuff around (such as the pedestals with fixed power tools).  Once that's all down I've got to move the remainder of the scaffolding from the garage into the house in preparation of working on the antler chandelier (gotta work up there and that means scaffolding).  I can then move back all of the coiled pipe that will be used later this summer and I frankly think I'll have freed enough room to actually pipe the Gator inside!

But that's down the road.  For now, I'm just glad that the end of this particular phase of the festivities looks to be in sight!


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 2/25/2018

Well now....I did get the trash taken out but I didn't get too far into continuing my Great Garage Cleanout when I got sidetracked.

I had puttered for about an hour and ate some lunch, then decided to get readings on the propane tanks before continuing the work.  So I activated the garage door, walked over to wait for it to clear.....and saw a three foot tall, 60 pound poodle just standing there staring at me.

Well now, that's unexpected.

She was totally calm, completely following any voice commands.  I brought her into the house and got her some water, sent out some emails to various folks about her sudden arrival at my house, and then did some checking up and down the road to see if anybody nearby had lost their dog.  There was nobody in either direction, and checking the snow I could see that there weren't any tire tracks anywhere....wherever she came from it wasn't from the road.  I could only assume she came overland.

A bit of internet searching and I figured it out.  Her name is Loretta; she's the "dirty white" dog on the left in the pic below.  Her partner in crime is Lee, about the same size but a gray/brown color, who also had run off that same day--they had ran off from a trip to a quarry about 5 miles or so as the crow flies from my place.  I was able to get Loretta down to her owner late that evening (night really), but as of this writing Lee has sadly not yet been seen.

So, this all took me away from my Cleanout duties but it was for a good cause really.  The clean up will have to continue next week!


Steven in Colorado

Photos

Loretta is on the left; Lee is on the right.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 2/18/2018

With a second day of decent weather this weekend I was able to finally tackle the pipe.

For the most part this was pretty easy.....roll it out outside, clear out the space it was in, figure out where it's going to go.  I discovered some horrid messes however in a couple of the pipes...turned out those rolls of pipe were just perfect for some mice to decide to build little nests in the first two or three feet of the pipe.  They had drug everything into there.....bits of paper towels, leaves if they'd been able to, lots and lots of peanut shells (I assume they wanted those to lick off the salt).  I had to figure out a way to get all of that mess flushed out (a nice bit of flexible PVC pipe worked perfectly).  I then pondered for a moment about how to prevent mice from doing this in the future, and finally decided to rubber band some flexible mesh (left over from a failed screen for keeping bugs out) over each end.

One long and dusty afternoon later, there are now 17 rolls of pipe nicely capped, cleaned out and stacked along one garage bay.  There was a lot of sweeping, much extraneous dried mud cleaned up and dumped out into the gravel of the driveway, and enough bags of trash to now make another run to Ye Olde Trash Transfer Station next week. I think there's actually space cleaned up now that I could actually get those other five of rolls....hmmmm...........

But that's overall that's a good thing, really. I'm not by any means done yet, but things are done enough now that I can see and start moving and putting away the giant piles of tools taking up most of that bay of the garage.

And that is progress......


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 2/17/2018

After a bit of a sideling from last week (a bit of bad weather combined with too many other chores) I was finally able to pick up where I left things last time around.

With much of the "messier" stuff, Styrofoam and the like, all cleaned up and properly disposed of it was time to tackle the biggest thing in the garage--dealing with all of the socked and coiled PVC drainpipe that's been camping out for a year and a half.

Back in the summer of 2015 I started buying rolls of socked (encased in cloth to keep dirt from trickling down into a pipe to block it up) PVC pipe at the local Home Depot.  The rolls are 100 feet when unrolled, and are sold in coils that are roughly 5 feet across and 3 feet tall.  The local store usually only has ONE of these puppies at the store at any one time (I assume there are a couple more in the back room somewhere), and some back-of-the-envelope calculations showed that I needed ~2200 feet of pipe on both sides of the road from one end of the property line to the other.  Simple math showed me that with100 feet per roll, I'd need about 22 rolls.  So I started buying it when I was in town and near the store, stacking up in the garage gradually over the summer.

Unfortunately winter 2015/2016 came before I got to the project and by then the garage was already in a bit of a mess, so I tabled buying more pipe at that time.  Then in the spring of 2017 I had three things that took my time and attention--my unexpected illness, the replacement of all of the charge controllers, and then the race towards finishing up the door.  Got the charge controllers done okay, but I didn't quite make it to the end before finishing up the door.....so then things got cold.

So here we are with the Garage Cleanout.  I got the basics of the garage cleaned up enough to move around in, and so the next step was getting all that pipe under control.

Much of the cleanup was moving boards and other types of PVC pipe (plumbing fixtures, that kind of thing) into their proper places.  The boards are mostly pieces of 2x4s, 2x6s, and 2x8s that are in good condition and shouldn't just be burned, so I had to find a place to stack them.  All of that took a part of the day, but at least by the end of the day I could see how I could start moving, stacking, and re-ordering all that pipe.

That's tomorrow....but progress IS being made!


Steven in Colorado




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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 2/3/2018 11:50:04 PM

So now that I've got those curtains up I figured things were about as done as they could be until I get the chandelier up there, so I decided to turn my attention to a more down-to-Earth annoyance.  As it happened, issues with the last thing I did (the curtains) kinda led towards the next item on the list.

I had started to put away tools and such that I had accumulated during  work on the door and the curtains.  Ladders, hammers, screw drivers, about 10 different kinds of stain--I'd dragged a lot out there over the course of the last few months.  And as I  started to clean things up and put them away, I quickly ran into a dilemma--I couldn't put things up.  The garage was SO FANTASTICALLY MESSY that I couldn't physically store away things that I was trying to put away because there was an unorganized mess there.  I did what I could, but I realized that the next step was clearly to get the garage cleaned up a bit.

So that's what I resolved to do.  There's a great mess in there as it is so I know it's going to take some time, but I got a decent enough start at least.

Today's chores were focused on cleaning up the much of the recycles that had built up in various corners of the garage, and trying to clean up some of the muck I'd been dragging in for the last few months.  Along the way I fixed a couple of minor things around the house, so  that was a win.

The recycles were relatively easy to take care of.  There were several trash cans that I'd been putting them into for a while and (as it happened) several mice had found their doom falling into the can and then unable to get out.  I got everything bagged up put into the pile of trash for eventual delivery to the transfer station.

Along the way I sorted out a lot of cardboard and a bit of Styrofoam; the Styrofoam is planned to be delivered tomorrow as part of my chores.  The cardboard got cut up and added to the burn pile for eventual usage.

After that I dig a lot of sweeping--basically mud that had been tracked in by the Trailblazer and then dried into dust.  I by no means whatsoever got everything -- there's a lot of bits of accumulation over the last few months -- but it's a start.

More to come though; it's going to take a few good weekends to tidy this mess up.  But it needs doing or I'll never get tools organized enough for any future fun....

Steven in Colorado



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 1/28/2018 10:12:19 PM

Well it took a little bit longer than I'd planned to get to the other windows--just too many chores to do last weekend--but I was finally able to finish up the curtains today.

Given all of the measuring and testing and re-measuring and re-testing a couple of weeks ago I had been able to refine what needed to be measured and marked much more quickly.  This time is really only took two days, and one of those was cleaning up much of the mess that had been building up from a very long construction.  

I got the laser line in place pretty quickly first thing in the morning, then took a break for lunch before starting the drilling and the curtain layout.  It all went pretty quickly and I think in retrospect I've definitely got this all down pretty clean now--when the time comes to work on other stretches of windows (like the long upstairs hallway) I'll know what to do I think.

So there's not really too much to tell other than the dry basics of climbing and drilling and setting and measuring everything.  According to my internal cameras I set off the motion detectors up there 105 times during the course of the day--but I guess it's a goodly workout!

The Great Room Curtains are finally done.  I think what's up next is to spend some time cleaning up the tools and cleaning up the garage.....it badly needs it, and I need to get all of the tools I've traipsed in over the last few months anyway. The place is a frick'in mess.....


Steven in Colorado

Photos

The windows...they have no idea what's going to happen to them.....
One curtain rod up and straight....
...and they're done! Very nice; the curtains aren't quite centered yet though.
Boom chaka-laka!



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 1/14/2018

With everything checked and leveled after yesterday's festivities getting to the curtains was straightforward enough.  I took things very slowly--I really didn't want to have to do this two or more times for every silly curtain--so I took the adage about measuring twice and cutting (this case drilling) once.  Come to think of it I probably measured more like four or five times as things went along....

But it looks like it was worth it, because by the end of the day I had three gorgeous curtains all nicely hung and centered.  Measuring their bottom extents they are precisely at the right height...there's so little variation that honestly I could make them just be tugging on them a bit to stretch them (which I guess they'll do anyway over time).

Quite excellent.  Next week, the other side!


Steven in Colorado

Photos

The first curtain up...looks goodly.
The second curtain up....looks good.
Spot check on the first two windows. Note the measuring tape that's hung down from WAY UP THERE so I could check where the curtains were sitting.
Curtain number three, looking good!
A somewhat messy shot of all three curtains; mind the furniture.
This is a typical measure of where the curtains fall from the rods up above. Remarkably identical, actually.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 1/13/2018

Well now that I've got that huge bookcase upstairs (yet to be stained but at least it's on the right floor now), I figured it was more than past time to get the curtains in the Great Room hung.

I'd been planning to do this almost literally a year ago, but my gradual illness delayed pretty much everything.  After getting several things done around the house and getting the door mostly done (still got some wall work to do come warmer weather), I turned to my attention to one of the long-delayed project hereabouts--to get the curtains in the Great Room hung.  I'd bought the curtains over the course of last winter but had delayed putting them up as I my strength ebbed, and once I got on my feet again I was focused on working on the door while I could.  But with cold weather now keeping me inside, it was time to get the curtains done.

Putting them up was a bit tricky.  These are tall windows, basically 9.5 feet or so, and the longest curtains I could get were 10 feet long.  That meant once they're place above the archway of the window a bit that they'd just hang down a bit below the bottom of the upper window, about 6" or so.  There's a lower, shorter window under each of the larger windows (which I don't recall actually talking to Builder Dale about come to think of it, but leave that be), so even if/when the curtains cover the upper window there will still be light coming in those smaller ones. 

It's also remarkably difficult to get them up there and measure things accurately at that height.  I had a nice tall 20' ladder to get me up/down, but that's a lot of climbing.  Adding to that was a bit of dilemma on how to get a nice straight line across all of those windows, but fortunately there I'd bought a neat little tool I'd not really used much before--a laser level.  I'm actually not sure why I bought this puppy years ago, though I'm pretty sure I never really used it  much if at all--but I sure as heck was happy I had it when push came to shove.

So with laser level and long ladder in hand I got to work.  First I had to check everything around the window for level...the indent around the windows, the vertical levels on the windows, everything.  I wanted to make sure that we didn't have wiggles and waggles and inconsistent heights that would in turn drive me insane trying to get the curtains hung.

As it turned out things were fantastically level throughout....I was actually rather surprised.  The most variance I could find was about a half centimeter along the bottoms of the larger arch windows and I felt that wasn't much at all over that distance.  Similarly, when measuring for where the curtain rods would sit and using the laser level I took copious notes and made many measurements, eventually finding locations for each hanger which I believe at the end of the day will put the curtains at the right height.

So I was pretty pleased overall...the first step (checking everything) went well.  Tomorrow I'll get the first row of curtains up.

Progress, slow but steady!


Steven in Colorado

Photos

This one's level...
...and THIS one....
...and THIS one. Excellent.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 1/8/2018 2:06:12 AM

This was rather a lot of work, but I finally got the ridiculously heavy magazine bookcase upstairs in the library.

This is a rather large piece of furniture, around 4' high and nearly 5' long.  It has two magazine racks at the top which were where current issues are to be displayed; the shelf angles up so you can access older issues under that one.  You could stack just about a year's worth of magazines under each section of the shelf, and given it's spacing I figure you could easily have five or six magazines displayed side by side very easily.

Underneath are two larger (and fairly deep) fixed shelves for  heavier volumes, magazines, etc.

Colleen wasn't quite sure where it came from exactly when her grandmother passed away; all we really know is that she spotted it at a thrift store and bought it.  I have seen similar at both book stores and libraries in the past.  I shudder to think how they got it into the old house and downstairs, though I assume it was primarily thru the back down and down a nasty set of concrete steps.

But either way, when it became an obvious addition to Tanglewood once she inherited it, and she moved it up here a few months ago.  Unfortunately by the time she was done moving other things she was losing her light, so they just parked it by the apartment garage.  The intention was to come move it at some point....

....but you know how good intentions can sometimes play out.

So fast forward to this weekend, and I decide it's finally time to get this puppy upstairs where it belonged.  The job naturally fell into two pieces:  1.) get it inside the house proper and out of the garage, and then 2.)  get it upstairs.

It took both weekend days (not working on it full time mind you) but I got it done.  It's remarkably heavy, solid wood, but at least I was able to remove the shelving to help with the weight.  It's in excellent shape except on one side where it lost its trim, but I can remedy that pretty easily.   In the near term it's basically going to sit there until I have time to re-stain it though; I'm not a fan of that color myself.

But it's here!  Bwahahahahahahhahaha.........


Steven in Colorado

Photos

The bookcase from one side....
...and from the other.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 12/25/2017

Well okay, that's going a bit far there.  Still I'll call it a step in the right direction.

It was relatively warm up here at Tanglewood on Christmas day, so after a nice leisurely morning doing all of the standard Christmasy stuff I decided I'd make use of the nicer weather to do some outside cleanup work.  One thing on that list was taking care of the old ICFs leftover from Tanglewood's construction.

Honestly the crews had done a pretty good job of not generating much waste, though I had taken some of the more brittle and busted ones up years ago when I was cleaning up in the fall of 2011.  I'd stashed some pieces I thought might be useful later up by the leach field though, covering them up with a couple of tarps and carefully weighing them down so they wouldn't move  around.

However, after 6 years they had become uncovered and hence were subject to sunlight and UV degradation.  ICFs work great unless they are exposed to sunlight and UV radiation over a long period of time, in which case they get 'crumbly' and no longer all that trustworthy.  I had looked at that pile a couple of times over the course of the summer and finally decided to get them to the recycler.....they'd been there more than long enough and there weren't any obvious projects coming that would need them, so it was time to get rid of them.

So it's all packed into the back of the SUV (her name is Leisha by the way) and will get taken down to the recycler tomorrow.

So mote it be!


Steven in Colorado

Photos

This is about one third of the ICFs I was getting rid of. I hadn't thought to take any pics until I had most of it stashed in the truck.
A squirrel had used this cluster of ICFs for a midden apparently.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 12/24/2017

With most of the door work basically stopped for the winter season, at least on the outside, I turned my attention to my MANY interior chores.  First up was the curtain work on the master bathroom tub.

The window outside the tub is a larger one (bigger than I'd intended, actually), just over 5' across and as such needed a larger curtain.  I'd been slowly installing blackout curtains to help me in catching some sleep when I'm working a night schedule and had finished the ones around the windows at "this end" of the house over the course of the summer.  This rather large window was the last one.  

It all went fairly quickly I thought overall.  I triple measurements and made level checks as I was going along so as to avoid any noxious extra holes or anything.  A couple of hours and it was done.

This will help a lot next time I need to catch some sleep during the day.

Next I think are the curtains at the big "church style" windows in the Great Room.  That's gonna be a bit more work; I'll be up and down that ladder about a hundred times I think.....



Steven in Colorado

Photos

With the ceiling light off.
With the ceiling light on.
Curtains closed! Nice and dark.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 12/21/2017

Summer comes (slowly but surely)......gotta love it!


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 10/22/2017

Well now, after got a day's worth of miscellaneous chores (mostly in town) I was able to get back to work on the door.  I'm a bit concerned that I'm going to run out of time (AGAIN!) this year given the issues that slowed me up back in the spring, but I'm gonna do my best.

What's up  next is getting the insulation all packed in and done.  This actually had two bits; first I needed to spray some of the insulating foam around all of interior "edges" of the tape to provide a secondary seal against any of the tape.  Mostly I was concerned with any of the tape coming loose over the course of the cold of the winter, but I also wanted to help make sure the tape was secure by "glueing it down" with the foam.  

The foam I used was a non-expanding foam, called Daptex.  I've used this before when building the shed and was very familiar with it....it almost more "dribbles" out than spraying and that works well for tighter spaces. I used it heavily in the very narrow (bottom) parts of the gap between the door frame the and major frame, and then used the rest of it to draw a good bead all along the where the tape ran along the frame and then the various bits of the drywall that were "held" by the tape. Above the door I had a slightly different problem since that was comparatively "deep" up there, but I layered it on carefully and slowing and used my fingers a couple of times to smooth it all out a bit.

After lunch (so I could let it all have time to dry) I began putting in the insulation.  I just used basic R-30 unbacked insulation, and basically just tore off chunks and stuffed it in the gaps working around the door.  This went pretty quickly for the most part, though it was slow going in the narrower bits at the bottom foot of each side (there's not a lot of clearance in there).  But I got it all done before the sun was hitting the western horizon, and so I called it a win.

I got the exterior protection back in (more weather was coming) and called it a day.  The important thing now is that the door is insulated and there's a hard exterior surface around it now.  Next up I can work from the inside if necessary, getting the interior drywall up and sealed and such. 

All and all, a good day.


Steven in Colorado

Photos

The left hand side (looking from the inside of course).
The right hand side, again looking from the inside. Apologies for the light levels there; not quite sure what happened.
A shot of the full door, if somewhat canted (I guess I was holding the camera funky).



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 10/20/2017

So once I got the door blocked in a bit to accommodate the bad weather last week I found I at  had a decent weather weekend.  I took advantage of the bout of warmer weather to get the exterior sealed up properly against cold infiltration; once that's done I can insulate and do a lot of the rest of the work from the inside.

The plan was to do this in two stages.  First, I had to get the wall cut and blocked in.  That was a bit tricky given the arched parts, but I broke it into stages and got most of the overhead sections done in two big(ger) chunks.  The straight bits along either side of the frame were easier for a good two thirds of the run since those basically narrow but uniform sections.

There was a bit of a dilemma I ran into cutting these bits--did I want the drywall to basically be flush with the outside of the frame, or flush from the wall?  The frame itself is 6" deep but the doors themselves are mounted on the inner edge, and with the wall set back a bit from the frame I had a choice about which way I wanted to go.  I decided after a bit of consideration that the drywall would be flush to the frame -- this way when I set the stone around the arch it'll be "raised up" a bit from the rest of the wall.  I've always liked that look, it rather gives it some definition.

So after working out what I was going to do I set to it.  I took my time and went through most of my weatherproofing tape, but I'd selected this type for a reason--it's rather heavy duty and not easy to tear as well as sealing very well.  The drywall cutting was a bit more of a nuisance; I originally intended to cut concrete board and put that up but I realized that a.) I didn't have enough of it on hard and b.) I didn't have any tools to make good "clean" cuts anyway.  Normally I'd resist putting ordinary drywall on a surface that might get water, but after some consideration I realized that the mortar covering the drywall would seal it up nicely anyway.

It took all day but danged if it doesn't look pretty danged good all things considered.  I did some test "presses" against it from the inside and everything was nice and firm, so I think I shouldn't have any problems when I stuff the insulation into those cavities next (probably tomorrow or Sunday).

Glad to get this done.  Good weather is starting to get short now.....


Steven in Colorado

Photos

Starting the left hand side. That tape is a heavy duty weatherproofing tape intended for "outdoor exposure", so I'm hoping it'll do what I need it to do.
More up the left hand side. Above this I had to get a bit more creative to fit to the curve.
Very nice and tight; no light around it at all. Helps a lot to do this in good and calm weather.
You can see some of the drywall now where it extends out from the edge to the curved frame.
Got the upper left part of the arch done....took a bit though. I used that weatherproofing tape quite liberally.
Working my way up the right hand side. After having done the left I knew better what I was doing and work more quickly.
Worked my way up the gap and starting to get the drywall in place.
Good shot of the last bit on the right hand upper part of the arch. That section was really a bit of a pain in the butt.
A decent shot of the arch....in this shot I hadn't taken the protective tape off of the weatherproof tape yet.
The view from the inside, sealed up. Sweet.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 10/14/2017

Well now, after a pretty uneventful weekend last week getting the stain on the door, it looks like the weather is going to take a turn for the worse.  I got home from some running around, intending to start on the drywall work, when I heard we had a cold snap and rain coming in.  I didn't want to expose the door to that just yet as I haven't been able to seal it yet (all I've done is the stain).

SO....I quickly got some weatherproof sheeting up around the door and blocked everything in.  I was pretty generous with it and I'm pretty sure it should be sheltered from any rain at this point.

Hopefully I can work on getting in some of the drywall next week....


Steven in Colorado

Photos

The door all covered up!



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 10/7/2017

Well, I'd waited for this for a long time.  The door is up, it's sealed and locked down, it's working correctly as it should...so it was time to apply the stain.

I'd been doing to testing with various stains for the last couple of weeks using a scrap of mahogany that they inexplicably shipped with the door (it's not for the door in any way, so I'm forced to assume that it was intended for such testing).  I was pretty sure I wanted a walnut stain of some  kind, but the couple I had didn't quite work for me.  Searching the local Lowes (the number of Home Depot possibilities was pretty slim for some reason) I ran across one called "Special Walnut".  Now, I don't particularly know what's special about it other than it was just another shade of walnut, but I really liked it after I put it on and let it dry overnight.  I therefore choose to consider it "special" because it was the one I liked....

So, I made sure I had plenty of this ready to go and began early in the morning.  I used 2" brushes and swapped for a new one often  when I got one particularly buggered up.  It basically took all day,  starting with the left hand door and then finishing up the right hand door pretty much as the sun was setting. It was expected to be a quite night--no wind--so I didn't bother with putting anything to protect or block anything (the door is under a porch already).

I think it came out perfectly, even better than I'd hoped!  The stain imparts a new dark look which has just a hint of red and perhaps golden colors--I really like it. It will work particularly well once I get the exterior rock up around the door....that should go with the door coloring.

Very happy to have gotten this done....it's a big step towards finally getting this all done and sealed up.

Next up is getting the openings around the frame and stuff sealed up.  That way I can stuff insulation in there and start getting drywall and exterior wall up.



Steven in Colorado

Photos

Full shot of the interior.
Better shot with as much of the door in one shot as I could.
Outside right.
Outside left.
Left hand frame (outside).
Right hand frame (outside).
Top of the arch from the outside. The fireplace is directly inside at the other end of the room. That ceiling fan is where my antler chandelier will be going in the early part of 2018.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 9/9/2017

So now that I've double checked that everything is all level all the way around I could seal things up around the threshold.

First up I had to put back on door sweep on the right hand door though.  It was pretty easy, though in retrospect I really should have put it on before locking down the door last week.  I'd left it off to ensure that things were properly level before putting the door back up (I was worried the rubber under the door in the sweep might have deformed and thrown off the measurements).  Fortunately there's a pretty large tile area in front of the door so there wasn't anything blocking getting the threshold back on.  

Next I selected a nice silicone sealant that worked well enough, but when I checked the tube I saw there wasn't near enough for the entire door.  I knew I'd bought more, but I had to spend the next hour and a half (not kidding) looking for it.  I finally found them behind some boxes I'd moved about a month ago; they'd fallen off  and apparently got covered up.  It was driving me nuts because I knew  I had some!

So after a couple of solid hours of cleaning and stacking stuff while looking for these tubes of sealant (hey, at least things got a little cleaned up as a result!) I got back to sealing.  I took my time, making sure nothing blew into the sealant there wouldn't be any leaves or bugs or anything like that to be preserved for eternity.

So it's all sealed and done now, and I plan to leave it sitting right there and leaving it totally alone for the next week.  The sealant says it sets in about an hour but there's not really any direct sunlight on that door so I figured I'd take it safe.  Besides I can't really work on it during the work week anyway.....

Glad I got that part done at least!


Steven in Colorado


Photos

That threshold looks nice and purty.
Door still shows a good seal all around; you can see two of the set screws at the top left and right around the frame.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 9/8/2017

Seeing as how many danged issues I'd run into with this door I figured I could spend a day checking everything One More Time.....

I checked everything that should be either vertical or horizontal depending on which was appropriate.  The edges.  The decorating trim around the door.  Each edge separately.  Each edge together (when the door is closed).  Two were showing slightly more towards the edge than I'd like but they were both within bounds, and I didn't see there was anything odd all with a careful inspection...so I let it go.

Looks good!  Gotta love it.


Steven in Colorado

Photos

Where the doors close...nice and level (lower level indicator at the bottom).
Checking the BOTTOM of the door just to be safe.....
Gorgeous level on this door.....
...slightly towards one end on the other door though. Can't see anything wrong and it's within tolerance, so I'm letting it go.
Great on the vertical on this door.....
...and great on this door as well.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/27/2017

So now that I've got the door in and working I figured it was time to see what else (if anything) needed doing.  I only had a couple of hours (other chores) but I could spot a couple of smaller things.

The speakeasy on the inside of the door is about perfectly level; it was just the metal grating that was crooked.  The door looks like it seals nicely when both are closed, but I see that there's a bit of daylight coming through that space between the two that will need addressing.  I think I can put some backer rod behind the gasket on the left-hand (locking) door and that should fix it fine enough.

(From the one picture it looks like the bottoms are crooked, but that's an illusion; I don't have the sweep on the right-hand door on there just yet.)

The sides on both openings to the left and right of the door look good and sized well.  The door is well centered and looks solid.  I note that the right door seems to have a tighter fit than the left door does; I suspect once I've got the additional anchoring screws in I'll cinch that out a bit.

In fact that's the next thing I need to do--put in the anchoring screws all around. ight now there are only the three screws on the lower left/right and the center of the arch and while that's enough for the instructions I don't consider that nearly enough for safety's sake.  I might have some trouble though in those larger open spaces at the upper edges of the door though.....that's a pretty large gap and I'll probably have to find some longer screws.  But that's easy enough.

So far so good then....next weekend I'll work on setting it properly and seal it all up around the threshold (silicone).


Steven in Colorado

Photos

The speakeasy looks good.
No gap between the doors.
The bottom of the doors also looks good.
Nice gap on the right side....
....as well as on the left.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/27/2017

Well, it took all fracking weekend because I made 842 (approximately) measurements and checks as I went, but I finally got it in (and) working properly.

As I noted a couple of weeks back I was pretty sure that I'd messed up the frame on the door and, sure enough when I took it all down, there was the culprit...two wooden shims I had (mistakenly) used to level out the door.  It took me most of last weekend to clean up all of the adhesive I'd used the first time around, then remove the shims and scour out the bottom of the threshold on the frame so there wasn't any left.  

So this weekend when I started putting things back in--hopefully for the last time--I was extremely careful to check absolutely everything.  I checked level everywhere.  I checked and rechecked measurements.  I check the distance to the frame to the wall's edge on both sides of the frame on the inside, then did it again on the outside. I even took an hour to tack up a pair of diagonal plumb lines so I could confirm the diagonal measures--it was perfect.   

As I was doing all this I did notice a bit of staining on parts of the door, presumably due to water blowing in over the course of the winter (remember it wasn't properly sealed up or anything, just tarps).  Looking at it it all seemed relatively superficial, and was pretty sure a light sanding would fix it.  

So when it was all said and done, I carefully levered the doors up (they are extremely heavy) and attached the hinges.  That took rather more time than I had planned, as I was worried that doing this so many times before might have stripped the holes.  I made sure to coated the screws with adhesive just to be safe, and everything fit nice and tight.  

Finally when it was all up and attached, it was time to close those doors.  If I'd done my job right, I'd be able to close the doors nice and easy and tight and.....

...and they did!  

I knew those stupid shims had thrown it all off.....sigh....

So anyway, now the door is in.  It's really properly attached or sealed or anything yet, and I need to buff out the water stains a bit before I apply the color stain.  That's all down the road though.  The important thing is that the door is in, and it works, and it closes properly, and all those goodly things!

Of course I immediately noted a problem.  The speakeasy was crooked, and crooked slightly differently on the front (where the metal is) and on the back (which has the little door you open).  After verifying it wasn't anything wrong with the door (which I checked every which way), I made an executive decision and took that sucker off.  I'll put it up later when I have more time.

So mote it be.  Dang that was too much work!


Steven in Colorado




Photos

The door plumb lines from the side, more or less. It was a bit tricky to get that shot but it was enough to show they were properly touching.
The plumb lines from the side...nice and tight.
Look at that awesome bit of levelness....
Properly level on both sides of the frame.
That speakeasy isn't right though...everything else is level.
Closeup shot of the level on the speakeasy itself.
And just to double check, here's the speakeasy sitting on the floor. The speakeasy is clearly level, as is the floor its sitting on.
Just look at those awesome doors.



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/13/2017

Well now, I think the door thing is my fault.  Dag-nabbit.

Way back when I was first the installing the door (seems like forever ago) and I put the frame in, I made a mistake.  It wasn't much of a mistake and I thought I was doing the right thing at the time, but in retrospect I figured out that what I'd done had to be the cause of the door refusing to close properly.

When I put up the frame I measured it seven ways from Sunday.  I checked level, and checked clearance, I checked position.  What I found was a slight slope upwards to the left side of the opening (looking from the inside of the house)-- it wasn't much but I figured it would throw off the door.  So I looked around at various construction webites and realized that a simple shim would give the frame that slight adjustment that it would need. I figured I'd need two and as it happened I didn't have any just lying around....I eventually found a couple in the garage.  They got put under the frame, the frame went up, and I honestly never thought about it again.

Until that is I tried repeatedly and couldn't get the dang thing to close properly.  I thunk and thunk, and I pondered and I pondered...and finally I remembered that little wood shim under the frame.  Surely that wasn't messing it all up, was it?

Yes, yes it was.  Sigh.

After berating myself for all of those months of work I took it out and then dry fit the frame to see if things would properly now.  I haven't actually put the doors back on yet...that will probably be next weekend....but magically there's no slope at all now.  Go figure.

So...that happened.  Dang it.

A picture of the unnecessary shim work below......


Steven in Colorado




Photos

I swear by Odin there was a slope when I installed it...but it ain't there now....



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/1/2017

Still don't have much yet....everything is just "we're looking at it".  No details, no questions back to anybody in the canyon--nada.  It's remarkable how annoying it is when folks don't answer your questions.

Grrr...........


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/22/2017

Well now, the last couple of weeks look like they've just been conspiring to slow me down!

First we had rain....unending, annoying rain.  Kept me from taking down the tarps and stuff that were protecting the door.  I didn't want to take down those wraps and then have the door get rained on; it's still unfinished (that needs to happen) and I didn't want any water to get on it if I could.

But that's okay, but I had a week of nighttime work to do.  That's okay and I don't mind it--fair's fair and everybody rotates around to do this--but the upshot was that when I'm getting home at 0300 in the AM I'm not terribly inclined to do much around the house by the time I have to head into work again at 3:00 PM.  So that pretty much slowed things down.  I did try to put away some tools at least.

But really the BIG thing was that I lost my internet connectivity!

I didn't think much of it at first....it goes down sometimes, so I spent the day without internet and went to work (this was that same week I was doing the night shift) as normal.  I was puzzled it wasn't back up when I got home but it wasn't 100% unusual.

The next day was spent checking the hardware and the connectivity and (eventually) running the Gator up to the microwave relay we'd installed a few years a back to make sure everything was good up there.  Couldn't find any issues; it just wasn't connecting.

Phone calls and emails were next, of course, and those were all took time.  I couldn't email or call without the internet, so I had to drive down into town where I could get a signal or shoot an email.  Of course nobody knew anything when I called, they just took a message, and naturally email responses just got the standard "we are aware of the issue and we are investigating"--saying nothing, essentially.

Yesterday I at least found out what had happened.  Since I'm on a microwave link and while most microwave links are in a mesh configuration--Point A can send to Point C if Point B is down--I happened to be on a "leg" of sorts.  There was one connection coming off the main line, and then from there it was beamed up to my microwave tower, and then from there it got bounced down three households here in the canyon (of which I'm one).  

Turned out the guy with the first relay of the leg got mad at one of the technicians and, basically, tore the equipment and (as I heard it) "dumped it on the road".  There wasn't any formal deal or paperwork or signed agreement as it was all just a handshake deal.  And that worked great for 6 years....and then it didn't.

So there are techs trying to figure out another route up to the tower and folks trying to get the guy with the first leg of the link to let it be installed again.  No idea if that will happen of course.

And that's what ate up most of the last couple of weeks...grrrrr..............


Steven in Colorado



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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 7/7/2017

So now that I've fixed up the worst (not all, just the worse) of the bad spots along the upper end of the road I can now focus on getting that frackin' door done.  There's some history about that.

The saga of the Big Door stretches back to September, 2015 when it finally arrived at Tanglewood after many series of delays by the company that made it.  By the time I got it up to Tanglewood winter was closing in, so I decided to just stash it inside and leave it all until spring.

Once Spring came around (2016) of course that's when my existing batteries basically were dying and dying fast.  I decided that I needed to table the work with the door until I got some new batteries up to Tanglewood and installed, and by the time that was all said and done I'd lost half the summer.  Okay, but I figured I still had time to get'er done!

So I made good use of the time, but everything of course took longer than expected.  I got the old door out but cleaning up the mess took a couple of weekends, and then I had to delay an extra weekend so I could gather assistance in moving the chandelier into the house.  Then I got the new door installed....

...and installed it again when it wouldn't close properly....

...and installed it again when it wasn't level....

...and installed it again when it wouldn't close properly and it wasn't level (that was fun)...

...and then I was just flat out of time.....

DANG IT!

So between walling up the door as best I could for the winter, and then the medical issues that cropped up during the winter of 2016 and early spring of this yea, and then the gravel fun, I couldn't get back to the door until this now.  All of which is completely ridiculous.

BUT....I've a clear shot at it now.  I have a theory about why it's not closing properly but I need to measure and check things every which way first.  That's next weekend.

I will get this stupid thing done....it's taken far too long as it is!


Steven in Colorado


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Posted to Tanglewood by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 6/21/2017

Ah well.....sure do love the daylight, but Winter is coming slowly but surely.  It is the way of things.


Steven in Colorado


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