Monday, April 28, 2014

Introducing Jack's Little Brother: The DeWalt 780. Plus: Hardwood!

Well, the sliding compound miter saw of my dreams (literally) has finally arrived.  I think I'm going to call him Walter White (don't worry, this has nothing to do with the meth underworld).  And after sweet talking the guy at Home Depot into a free $200 stand, we couldn't be more pleased with our newest family member.

And what, you may ask, does this positively beautiful machine allow us to do, aside from my abundant furniture aspirations??  Why, install hardwood floors, of course!
In a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Chris and I were able to snag some hand-scraped, Cognac Acacia hardwood flooring.  I won't lie, there may have been some cheek-to-wood nuzzling upon opening the first box.  I've been just so obsessed with how gah-geous wood grain is, this was particularly gratifying.

SO, since my papa and brother were nice enough to come up and help us all day Saturday (and my mum and sis-in-law were nice enough to Jack wrangle), we were able to finish the kitchen (living room achievement yet to be unlocked).

At a few points we had all three saws going: miter saw, table saw, and scroll saw.  And I don't mind telling you that I was the designated Saw Safety Nazi.  Maybe it's because having a baby makes you reevaluate mortality as well as how great it is to have hands, but good heavens, men sometimes need a refresher.  S'alls'I'm'Sayin. 

So here are some before shots of our kitchen and living room.  Oooh that linoleum was niiiiice and all, I know.  I was actually really sad to pull the carpet up, though (so much so that I made a man do it).  I just can't stomach ruining things that are in decent shape.

And the beauty of this hardwood is that it's the kind that's super easy (relatively) to install, i.e., we could just lay it on top of the linoleum and didn't need glue or nails to keep it in place.  So step one was to lay the underlayment.  And boyo, the guy who sells that stuff must wake up laughing.  I would say it's essentially the foamy cellophane that stuff comes wrapped in, you know, the stuff you throw away, except this stuff cost us $150 bones. And to this, I say:
Anywho, here's the first strip of cellophane fancy underlayment:
And then you lay and lay and lay.  And measure, and cut, and lay, and measure, and cut, and lay, until you're certain you won't sleep that night with all the measuring, cutting, and laying swimming around in your head.
And then you get creative about the space under the dishwasher, oven, and fridge, because come on, no one will ever look under there, so why waste delicious hardwood.  And man, I wish I could show you a good picture of this one particular joint at a cabinet--it was my finest scroll sawing moment to date--but it's too small to maybe you should come see it in person... It's pretty important to me... And Christian had some pretty tender moments with the table saw, too.

And be sure to get baby approval.  This floor is 100% Jack Approved.  Ps, there were other people helping, too, of course.  Christian's camera just always seems to gravitate towards me.  Me and fine meats...

And then BAM.  One Saturday down and kitchen done. But living room is a mess... which I can't stand...  So part two will have to happen quickly.
Sigh, I just love it so much.  Maybe my calling in life is laying hardwood floors.  And buying big, succulent power tools...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Poly Clay Box - No Amputation

So this was from my box experimenting days...  And it turns out it's a good idea to have ruuully nice blades when cutting thicker wood (i.e., 2 inches).  You know how I hate getting startled?  Well, even worse than a balloon popping near your face is your saw blade breaking mid cut.  Cuz your fingers are RIGHT. THERE.  And it takes you a second to make sure they're all still attached.  Good heavens, it's a horrific ordeal for jumpy people like me.'-the-line blades are on the immediate wish list and box making shall continue!  I'm thinking fish boxes next.  Because, you know, what's wrong with a fish box?  Absolutely nothing.
 This particular box was covered with some experimental polymer clay techniques.  Ahhh, polymer clay.  So much less likely to cause accidental amputation...