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.
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!
And we sent Kevin to the corner…to sand the floors.
But the floors look very, very good!
Meanwhile more vertical action on the Altar Piece.
We had a nice visit with Kevin and Vickie, but the weekend came to a close and the Altar Piece was still not done.
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.
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!
We have to get down to the bottom of this! The tank is here!
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.
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.
Mike sanded the flat side and the paint came off well.
Sometimes a little too powerful, as we found out.
The other side had the interesting bits. The fiddly bits. That’s the side that I attended to.
The paint was actually pretty thin- just a layer of primer and the black, making us wonder if they had been redone before.
The fiddly bits had to be done by hand.
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!
It’s very green.
And, most importantly, it’s awesome for the job.
It came as a surprise from Mike, and it is now my favorite piece of equipment, after the Robosaw, of course.
More on the amazing Robosaw in the next issue! For now, we’ll let the dust settle.
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!
And work it was.
When we finished last weekend, it felt like we might be halfway done. Or even more!
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.
But to really finish the job, the Bronco had to be engaged.
You can see the difference.
And so it went. Circular swirls and Bronco bucking.