Frank Lloyd Wright Quote

"Form follows function-that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union"

Frank Lloyd Wright

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bye Bye Bunnies!

It's not that I have anything against those fuzzy, long-eared, carrot-munching rodents. It's their dusty little cousins that I can't stand. Whenever I sweep my floors, I end up having to pick the dust bunnies out of the broom bristles. Well, not any more.

Broom Groomer Dustpan
I just got my new Broom Groomer dustpan from Quirky, a social product development company.  It's got a row of teeth that comb out the dust bunnies so you don't have to pick them out by hand.  It also has a couple other really nice features.  The handle is designed so you step on it to hold the dustpan in place so you don't have to bend over.  It's also got a rubber lip on the leading edge that eliminates that little line of dust that lesser dustpans leave behind.

A community of over 340 people came together  (including myself) to design the Broom Groomer, just as they do every week for other products at  You should check it out; it's pretty cool stuff.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dining Room Wainscott Progress Report

Wainscott and Plate Rail Installed

I got motivated to do some work in the dining room. I literally got more done in the past two days than I have in the past two years! Seeing Bungalowcious' finished interior really got me wanting to finish this thing already.

I spent about 9 hours on Saturday getting all of the new moulding cut and installed. Now it's just a matter of filling nail holes, priming, and painting. I'm hoping to be 100% done with the dining room by the end of the year.
Bungalow Dining Room Under Construction
Here's a shot of the other corner. Notice that two sets of the window sashes still need to be sanded and painted. I'm not looking forward to doing that in this cold weather.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back Door Strike Plate

Missing Strike Plate
 The back door of the bungalow originally had a strike plate for a mortised lockset, but it was long ago filled in and made to work for a modern door latch.  The repair filler had cracked and allowed the strike plate to loosen, and it eventually fell off completely.
Some of the tools needed
Since I happen to have plenty of the Abatron WoodEpox left over from my window sill restoration, I used it to fill in the old hole and provide a fresh start.

WoodEpox is a two-part epoxy dough that you can use to restore rotten or missing wood.  It has the consistency of Play-Doh, but when it cures it is very hard and lightweight.  The gloves pictured are worn while kneading the two parts together.  The screwdriver is for digging out the old filler, and the putty knife is for smoothing the new filler before it hardens.  I forgot to include a 1" chisel for cutting the mortise for the strikeplate and a drill for predrilling holes for the two mounting screws, as well as a 1" spade bit for cutting a hole for the latch.

Hole Filled with WoodEpox
Here you can see that I've filled in the old hole with the Abatron. Take your time to get it as smooth as possible, since this stuff is very hard when cured and you can't just sand away large bumps or irregularities.

I let the WoodEpox cure overnight and then used a 1" chisel to cut a mortise for the new strikeplate. After 24 hours the epoxy is semi-cured to a point where it is hard, but not as hard as it's going to get. This makes it relatively easy to work with a chisel. Be sure the mortise fits the strikeplate precisely. A good tight mortise will add a significant amount of holding power to what the two screws will provide.

Here's the finished product after I drilled pilot holes for the screws and used a 1" spade bit for the latch hole.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Back From the Abyss

I'm Baaaaaack!  Miss me?

You may have noticed that the blog got a redesign.  Well, that's not all I've been up to!  I'll have some fresh pictures and updates in the Dining Room, as well as some old posts from this summer that I never got around to writing.  So stay tuned; I'll have some new posts coming very soon.