Guest Workers

Got Grit?
Got Grit?

Here you see the gritty grin of a person sanding beautiful wood. Cherry, at this moment. Every piece of wood you are about to see came from a tree. I say this because it has never been so real to me before. Such a simple idea, yet so much work! Trees are not smooth, nor are they beveled or cut to size. That all had to be done piece by piece. Not complainin’. Just es’planin’!

At the end of March, we had some guest-workers. Meet Vickie and Kevin.  C’mon, let’s get busy!

There’s Kevin, helping plane some wood.

Planin', not complainin'!
Planin’, not complainin’!

The Altar piece has been the center of attention for some weeks, but other jobs are calling. Here’s Vickie getting gritty with the antique light fixtures. Go Vickie!

Scrubbing
Scrubbing
Lights Before...
Lights Before…
And after. Viva La Difference!
And after. Viva La Difference!

And we sent Kevin to the corner…to sand the floors.

You've been very very bad!
You’ve been very very bad!

But the floors look very, very good!

Scrubbing
Scrubbing

Meanwhile more vertical action on the Altar Piece.

Evening Light
Evening Light

We had a nice visit with Kevin and Vickie, but the weekend came to a close and the Altar Piece was still not done.

Thanks, guest workers! See you in a few weeks!
Thanks, guest workers! See you in a few weeks!

 

– The White Church Gallery

 

Water Hole

One of last big changes for the Church is to have running water inside. Yes. This beautiful old church has never had indoor plumbing, in all the 135 years of services, weddings,  Christmases, funerals, and even during the recent Reign of Raccoons.

We need a potty!
We need a potty!

So in December of 2014, we started excavating the stage in the front of the church. We needed room for a water tank, and that was a logical place to put it. Of course, we didn’t realize that there was a floor under the stage, so taking out the floor was a two step process!

Two levels of stage. Who knew?
Two levels of stage. Who knew?

We have to get down to the bottom of this! The tank is here!

300 gallons of agua, coming soon!
300 gallons of agua, coming soon!

It’s going to lay flat in the space cut out of the stage.
Cutting out the flooring out was a messy job, as usual.

Is it snowing in here?
Is it snowing in here?

No, it’s just the usual airborne dust. It was definitely time for masks. While Mike worked on the stage, I fiddled with another project: the doors.

We found these old wooden doors in the antique shop in Bay City, Michigan where our set of display cases is currently being housed. They are gorgeous, no? That is if you can see under the paint and the fact that they will have to be totally resized to fit the Church.

Imagine it the size of the blue tape. With no paint!
Imagine it the size of the blue tape. With no paint!

Mike sanded the flat side and the paint came off well.

Belt sanders are powerful.
Belt sanders are powerful.

Sometimes a little too powerful, as we found out.

Divots happen…
Divots happen…

The other side had the interesting bits. The fiddly bits. That’s the side that I attended to.

It's in rough shape.
It’s in rough shape.

The paint was actually pretty thin- just a layer of primer and the black, making us wonder if they had been redone before.

Comes right off.
Comes right off.

Progress:

More elbow grease, please?
More elbow grease, please?

The fiddly bits had to be done by hand.

Better, but not best.
Better, but not best.

It turns out that there is a tool that is made for this kind of work. Fiddly work. It’s a sander that looks like an iron! It’s the Ryobi Corner Cat!

I assume "ponceuse" means sander!
I assume “ponceuse” means sander!

It’s very green.

It's very interesting…sniff sniff…
It’s very interesting…sniff sniff…

And, most importantly, it’s awesome for the job.

Works like a charm.
Works like a charm.

It came as a surprise from Mike, and it is now my favorite piece of equipment, after the Robosaw, of course.

Robosaw has been repositioned for maximum convenience.
Robosaw has been repositioned for maximum convenience.

More on the amazing Robosaw in the next issue! For now, we’ll let the dust settle.

But it's almost February!!
But it’s almost February!!

Stay tuned for wood, amazing wood!

 

– The White Church Gallery

 

Floored Part II

Last week in our exciting episode of “Let’s Renovate an Old Church in Our Spare Time” we left halfway done with the floors. So what was it like to go back at it the following weekend?

It was awesome. It was like getting back on the horse, after you had fallen and broken all the tender bits on your body!

The Stage is set for more work...
The Stage is set for more work…

And work it was.

Plug and play!
Plug and play!

When we finished last weekend, it felt like we might be halfway done. Or even more!

Nope.

Lots more to love.
Lots more to love.

But it won’t get done by wishing, so let’s get started!

First we used the large sander. Last week we had the drum sander, but we wanted to try the circular one. It had about the same effect. It took off the top layers a little quicker than the drum sander, but it was a lot trickier to handle. If you tried to steer it,  it had a tendency to spin off into its own circular spasm of cyclonic motion, taking the handler with it. But if you got all zen with it and let it do its thing, it would drift along in a cloud of dust and swirl its way down the planks.

Swirly
Swirly
Gettin Zen widdit.
Gettin Zen widdit.

But to really finish the job, the Bronco had to be engaged.

Engaging the Bronco
Engaging the Bronco

You can see the difference.

Bronco Mike and his Bulging Biceps!
Bronco Mike and his Bulging Biceps!
Viva La Difference!
Viva La Difference!

And so it went. Circular swirls and Bronco bucking.

Next thing you know,

Are we done yet?
Are we done yet?

Yeah, we got done. But did I get a shot of it?

Not really, so this will have to do.

Dunzo.
Dunzo.

 

– The White Church Gallery