Saturday February 21, 2004

Harry and Harriet do Baseboard Molding

Harry did most of the work this time.

We've almost got the kitchen and dining room project finished. There's one strip of molding under the sink (toe space) and the part behind the fridge to do yet. Actually, the part behind the fridge was done first, but we decided to change the style of molding (and go with a style that is 3/16 thicker) so "we" (i.e. Rich, channeling Harry Homeowner :-) will pull the fridge forward and replace the three strips behind it... sometime... r.s.n.... possibly tomorrow but no promises.

The molding is interesting stuff. The original baseboard molding is 1/4" by 2" strips of wood, varnished in a nasty shade of barf brown like the kitchen cabinets. It's not in great shape (it's 40 years old). So last week, I said "Let's go to Lowes and see if there's something ready-made that can be installed without painting or staining." — after all, we bought instant "wood" laminate flooring. We have vinyl siding. We bought vinyl shutters.

So we went to Lowes and What ho! they had just what we were looking for, in a variety of shades and styles. We picked a style that was very similar to our original molding (to match the rest of the house). But after we installed the floor (and discovered that parts of the room really aren't as square as we had hoped, and that some of our "1/4 gaps for expansion" were a little more than 1/4") we decided to trade our original choice of style in on something a tad "thicker" (I think it's also prettier, personally).

The stuff is made of some kind of hard plastic foam. It comes in 7-foot lengths and weighs practically nothing. It's imitation wood grain. Its only problem is that the big powered chop saw melts through it. Over time, today, the saw was slowly coated with a thin layer of plastic residue, which made subsequent cuts harder to make, and melted the foam, which got on the saw, which made subsequent cuts harder to make, and melted the foam, which got on the saw, ...

Eventually Rich, highly annoyed, started using a hand saw and a miter box (having first had to fix the miter box. sigh.) But, while the cuts were clean, it was harder to get things precisely right with the miter box and hand saw, and his hand was getting sore, and after he re-cut one piece for the 5th time and it STILL wasn't right...!

We had a timeout.

Then Rich thought maybe he could clean the chop saw blade; it took about half an hour of serious scrubbing but he got all of the melted plastic off the blade and the rest of the cuts were smooth and true with no beads of melted plastic foam. (The air was less gelid with tension as well.)

We finished about 7pm, having started around noon or so. We've put back the cabinets and the cat tree (but not the dining table yet). Everything looks quite spiffy. I want a rubber-backed rug for the kitchen; the new floor is a bit slippery. All in all it looks good; very pretty under the light. The cats (especially Raven) seem to approve. They like having their feeding area and cat tree back where they belong as well!

So, three strips of molding to re-do behind the fridge; one piece to cut and attach under the sink, and we are done done done.

It's not perfect but it is Very Nice and I am pleased. We're not either of us going into carpentry and reflooring as a new career anytime soon, however!

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Harry and Harriet do Baseboard Molding ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Sat, 21 Feb, 23:59 Pacific | «e»