October 10, 2010

And Another Thing .....

And Another Thing ..... This should be the sub-title of all reno projects.

As you loyal readers might remember, our living room and entrance is panelled with ribbon mahogany. Each panel is approximately 16" wide with a 1/4" gap between each panel. The joints between the panels are covered with some rather unique molding strips - also mahogany.

We speculate that in the entrance, the original owners had installed a boot shelf or bench along the stub wall between the entrance and the living room. In the intervening years, this shelf/bench had been removed and the newly exposed wall space obviously required molding between the panels. The owners had tacked up some ugly molding strips that didn't match the upper pieces and then proceeded to ignore it for decades. In the spring, when Kathryn was prepping the entrance for painting and finishing, she would not tolerate such shoddy efforts. The ugly molding strips had to go. "No problem", I said. "We'll just get some new strips and replace the molding from top to bottom on the stub wall". Kathryn said "OK" and put the entrance prep on hold until I could replace the molding.

On my next trip to the local home reno box store, I rummaged through the mahogany molding strips looking for something similar that would do the job. Nadda. Off to the specialty molding shops where I was certain I'd find a rack of said molding. Nadda. "Never seen it before" ... was the common comment from staff. Searches on-line yielded similar results. Nadda. Nowhere.

OK ... Plan B - rip all the panel molding off throughout the house and replace it with something readily available.... Ummmm, way too much effort with increasing risk of making a bigger mess not to mention the cost and the problems of finishing to match the existing paneling.

At this stage, Summer was upon us and the entrance prep work remained on pause. Renos are patient like that. They'll just sit there waiting.

Yesterday, as Kathryn was doing the prep work for the family Thanksgiving dinner, I decided that perhaps I should appear to be busy or I might be called upon to wash pots or peel some poor vegetables. Obviously it was time to go to Plan C - make some molding strips to match the original (Read this to mean hiding in the workshop making noise and sawdust so as not to be called upon to fumble in the kitchen under the watchful eye of the culinary genius).

As it turned out, it was not too difficult.

Take the salvaged mahogany door casing from the old broom closet.

Route channels to expose the runner that sits in the gap between the panels. I'm making two molding strips from a single casing.

Turn it over and route two shallow grooves on the face of the molding.

Now carefully clamp it to an EZ track.

And trim the first strip to width.
Don't try this with a tablesaw or you will end up with a projectile.

Repeat even more carefully for the 2nd very narrow strip.

A little touch up with a block plane, a rat-tail file for the groove and a final buffing with a sanding block and "Bob's your Uncle", you have 24' of custom molding ready to assume its rightful place on the stub wall. Only I (and now you) will ever know that it wasn't put there in 1960.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers, friends and family. We have a lot to be thankful for and I still have all my fingers.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Well worth washing my own pots.