Author Topic: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread  (Read 15171 times)

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Offline Frank-Jan

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #90 on: January 31, 2021, 05:44 PM »
Nice work! As for the lockdown, at some DIY stores you can order online and pick up (hornbach for example), or if you have a friend that is a building professional they can still get materials at building supply stores.

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Offline DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #91 on: January 31, 2021, 11:54 PM »
I was going thru withdrawal waiting for a new episode of "this old Netherlands house".  You been busy for sure.

So, get a bit spatially lost here. Is this a bathroom with a door in the middle of the room?  Is the door frame steel? And or what frame material do they use for houses of this kind of instruction? Block buildings here tend to have steel door frames built into them as building is built. I don't see you removing trim, so curious.

What is the hole in the wall by the shower/door.   A dead sea scroll jammed in there?

Can't tell the size of the room, but yeah, that looks like an absolutely massive radiator in there.

So you can't get out to a hardware store at all? States varied here on such things over the past year. For the most part, hardware stores were kept open, they figured out the best way to keep people home, was to allow them to get suppliers for projects. Can you order something and someone one a cargo bike pedals it out to you? Be a great time to order some really heavy/awkward stuff  [smile]

Keep it coming. Hoping at some point this gets shoring up levies and dredging canals, I assume your father wall papered those too.

Offline Bert Vanderveen

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #92 on: February 01, 2021, 02:27 AM »
So, get a bit spatially lost here. Is this a bathroom with a door in the middle of the room?  Is the door frame steel? And or what frame material do they use for houses of this kind of instruction? Block buildings here tend to have steel door frames built into them as building is built. I don't see you removing trim, so curious.


In the Netherlands brick walls — interior and exterior — were usually built around the door– and windowframes (which means that these double function as setup for the bricklayer). Frames are still mostly wood. Because they are kind of integrated into the brick walls, frames can be of thinner and thus cheaper material.
More recently the practice is shifting to build with openings and place windows and doors later on. I see aluminium frames being used more often.
It is strange to see how building practices differ from country to country, here in Europe. I live close by the German border and a few km’s in, the style and material of homes really change to something more German, even though quite a few Dutch live in Germany on account of the cheaper land and lower cost of living.
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #93 on: February 01, 2021, 04:40 AM »
So, get a bit spatially lost here. Is this a bathroom with a door in the middle of the room?  Is the door frame steel? And or what frame material do they use for houses of this kind of instruction?

This bathroom has a door that exits to a small balcony behind it. The door frame is wood, everything in this house is made out of brick walls, wood floors and wood window and door frames. No steel used.

Here is a picture of the back from the garden. The brown door on the second floor is were the bathroom is. There used to be a fence on there around the balcony but since it was rotten my father removed it in 1984. Or better said, I removed it on his orders.





What is the hole in the wall by the shower/door.   A dead sea scroll jammed in there?

That a ventilation hole, way too big for modern standards, and blocked off by an old towel that's been in there for 4 decades. I'll try and see if I can find an holy scriptures on it. When my father was young he wanted to become a priest, so who knows what's hidden around here.  [wink]

Can't tell the size of the room, but yeah, that looks like an absolutely massive radiator in there.

2 x 2 meter = 4 square meters. The same size radiator is used in other rooms up to 12 square meters in size.

So you can't get out to a hardware store at all? States varied here on such things over the past year. For the most part, hardware stores were kept open, they figured out the best way to keep people home, was to allow them to get suppliers for projects. Can you order something and someone one a cargo bike pedals it out to you? Be a great time to order some really heavy/awkward stuff  [smile]

Hardware stores are open for order & pickup, but they all have minimum order amounts. So if I only want to buy a small thing I can't. On top of that, their stock is severely diminished also. And thanks to the lockdown I am facing financial disaster because I haven't made a buck in two months now because the government closed all my ways of making money, so I have to be very frugal right now. I am not exactly living my live by the book, so the government has no scenario for people like me on the shelf.

Keep it coming. Hoping at some point this gets shoring up levies and dredging canals, I assume your father wall papered those too.

Oh my God, I seriously hope not. But then again, I would not be suprised if it did.  [scared] [big grin]
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 04:43 AM by Alex »

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1438
Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #94 on: February 01, 2021, 10:56 AM »
We stopped building purely brick buildings (structural brick) here probably 80 years ago, those probably were wood frames, I think more often it a wood header put into the brick.  A brick building now is either wood or concrete/concrete block, with brick veneer.  Concrete block walls, get a light steel doorframe, assembled as the walls built.  Just like running the electrical boxes/conduit in the walls as the masons lay them up.  Poured concrete will get wood bucks put in the forms, but they are pressure treated, not something you do for the finish work.  Wood in direct contact with concrete/masonry has long been a no-no. You have to either use pressure treated or a gasket separator and so forth between wood and masonry.  Bit curious what you guys do since you would have wood contacting masonry everywhere.

I've watched shows where they are building homes in Europe, the window frames getting put in early in construction (mainly large floor to ceiling windows) and then having things like concrete floor poured up against the frame is curious to me, what happens in these buildings if a window breaks or needs to be replaced, some of what I have seen it looks like they would have to jackhammer the building to replace it. This is probably done one some commercial stuff here too.

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #95 on: February 01, 2021, 11:07 AM »

What is the hole in the wall by the shower/door.   A dead sea scroll jammed in there?

That a ventilation hole, way too big for modern standards, and blocked off by an old towel that's been in there for 4 decades. I'll try and see if I can find an holy scriptures on it. When my father was young he wanted to become a priest, so who knows what's hidden around here.  [wink]


So, this is curious.  Are you saying you guys had vents in bathrooms and now are getting rid of them.  The issue here was bathrooms didn't have vents, it was just "open the window" to let moisture out.  Which doesn't work well for various obvious reasons.  So now vent fans are mandated, general issues is most folks don't have enough ventilation in the bathrooms, so interesting to someone say too much ventilation.  I don't see any vents coming out your roof or sidewall for the bathroom.

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #96 on: February 08, 2021, 03:24 PM »
So, this is curious.  Are you saying you guys had vents in bathrooms and now are getting rid of them.  The issue here was bathrooms didn't have vents, it was just "open the window" to let moisture out.  Which doesn't work well for various obvious reasons.  So now vent fans are mandated, general issues is most folks don't have enough ventilation in the bathrooms, so interesting to someone say too much ventilation.  I don't see any vents coming out your roof or sidewall for the bathroom.

This is how they look, from the inside and the outside. They're massive, and if you left that open you'd freeze in the bathroom in the winter. You need to have ventilation in the bathroom, just not that big. Energy efficiency is a big thing here in homes.






Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #97 on: February 08, 2021, 03:45 PM »
I had hoped to be able to let the ceiling in place and just touch it up a bit. Idle hope as it turned out. A big piece just crumbled off by itself. When I started pulling on it, more came off, easily.





The floor tiles are 50 x 50 cm, so you get an idea of how easily the ceiling came off.



And then just an entire corner came loose. Whoa! [scared]



With the spachtelputz removed the old ceiling made out of 3 boards of drywall was reveiled. The spachtelputz hadn't stuck at all on the painted drywall. It only stuck on the ceiling because the seams between the boards were filled with a filler. The entire layer of spachtelputz only stuck to those 2 little seams. So, always prime!



An I did, ceiling all primed and decked out with the usual profiles. The boards weren't even either, so I could not just do a skim coat as I had preferred, but it needed a 6 mm layer of plaster to even it all out. Another milestone for me, plastering a ceiling. I was very exited, but also expected this to be difficult, and very messy.



Turned out it went fairly smooth. The plaster went on well, and not that much dropped down. All in all it took me 5 hours to do the ceiling including preparations and clean up after. Just need a tiny bit of touch up in some places. I planned to do more that day, but after working above my head for 5 hours my arms were just spaghetti. The good type you know, that my friend Mario used to serve in his Italian restaurant Donna Louise. But I just could not do anything else anymore.



I was gifted this small bag of Ardex 826 A. This is expensive stuff, Ardex is sort of the Festool of building materials. Where a normal plaster costs only €10 for a bag of 25 Kg, this stuff costs €60 for the same amount. In return, it always hardens quickly and becomes very strong. Always a joy to work with Ardex. Very good brand, if you're willing to spend the dough.

I used it to smooth out the walls, a very thin layer all around, < 1 mm.



Looks good now, ready to be painted.



Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #98 on: February 08, 2021, 05:01 PM »
Time to place the new radiator. I first painted this wall with Sigmatex wall paint. In the bathroom you always need to make sure you have a wall paint that's moisture regulating (ie water vapour can pass through because of little pores). This is essential to prevent fungus.

Sigmatex is simply the best there is, world champion No1. I bought a 10 L can worth €175 for €3 in a thrift store, only 5% used up. [cool] I know it is the real deal because I recognise the smell, viscosity and texture.



The old pipe on the left was too small for the new radiator so I had to make that one new. Pipes, tubes, you make a difference, I don't, we call them pipes here in Holland, so I call them pipes.



Opening the heating system is always a tedious job. All the water above has to drain out first. Messy, and time consuming.



And on the other side of the wall, had to disconnect both pipes and cut through them to make them a little bit shorter. The Protool grinder works great for that. I really like this grinder, it is nicer than the old Elu I had for the last 23 years. It makes less noise, while it is stronger, and when the motor runs you just feel it pulsating with power. And it's a tiny bit smaller.



Time to install the supports for the radiator. As you can see, I did it wrong again the first time. Well, thanks Hornbach for that.

They give you this miniscule pamflet of instructions that doesn't say anything but the order the parts go in. So I'm eyeballing these 4 wall plugs, and thinking, are they 10 or 12 mm? I can't see any mark, and nothing on the pamflet either. So I'd figure I start with a 10 mm hole. I try to put the plug in and I have to hammer so hard to get it in that the plug deformes. OK, let's try 12 mm. Now it goes in just fine. But when I put in the bolt to bolt it down, it just keeps turning and turning forever because the plug turns in its hole. Great. So it must have been 10 after all.

Well, better try a new hole, this one's toast. 10 mm again, and this time I take it very slowly and use some pliers to keep the plug secured and in shape while I hammer it in, slowly. Luckily it did work now. Thanks Hornbach, those few drops of ink to mark it 10 mm were to expensive? We'd like to get there without trial and error, if you please. Now I have to patch the bad holes up also. Luckily you won't see a thing when I'm finished.
 


The Ti15 makes it a breeze to get the bolts in. I don't like its noise, but I do like its precision with bolts.



Make sure the supports are level. I use yellow tape to mark out the spots. I don't like using pencils for that. Because you have to remove all the marks later on.



And the radiator installed. So much nicer than that old, rusty thing that used to hang there. And now I can dry 4 towels at once.



The new pipe fitted. But it's too straight, I don't like straight. I like curves.
   


I put it in the pipe bender I borrowed from my neighbour. One side is steady, the other has a roller. You need to use quite a bit of force, but it works.



Looks just fine.



And everything connected. Started this last night but couldn't finish it. So my heater was out for 24 hours, and it's getting colder here. Glad I can turn it on again.



The bathroom is shaping up nicely, almost done. Only some paint work on the walls and doors, and install the lights.

   
« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 05:05 PM by Alex »

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1438
Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #99 on: February 08, 2021, 05:01 PM »
So, this is curious.  Are you saying you guys had vents in bathrooms and now are getting rid of them.  The issue here was bathrooms didn't have vents, it was just "open the window" to let moisture out.  Which doesn't work well for various obvious reasons.  So now vent fans are mandated, general issues is most folks don't have enough ventilation in the bathrooms, so interesting to someone say too much ventilation.  I don't see any vents coming out your roof or sidewall for the bathroom.

This is how they look, from the inside and the outside. They're massive, and if you left that open you'd freeze in the bathroom in the winter. You need to have ventilation in the bathroom, just not that big. Energy efficiency is a big thing here in homes.



I can see it now with the pic, hard to pic out on the original outside photo.  It looks like it was just a hole.  We have powered vents with a damper.  So when not running, no air flow.  Usually a 4 or 6" pipe.  That looks like there was nothing there but a hole.

Efficiency has been very big here for a very long time.  Remember, it gets extremely cold, and extremely hot here.  It's hard to find a place in the US with as mild a climate as the Netherlands, but Seattle Washington is as close as I can find (comparing average temps thru every month). It looks like in the past few years Netherlands has upped their energy codes to catch up to the US.

So are you putting something else in place of this for ventilation, some powered/damped unit someplace?

Offline rvieceli

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #100 on: February 08, 2021, 05:06 PM »
Looks really good Alex. Great job.

Are you about done with the plaster? Usually by the time I get to a spot where I'm comfortable with the process and the results, I'm usually done and don't have to use those newly acquired skills for long enough to have to relearn them again.  [tongue]

Ron

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #101 on: February 08, 2021, 05:09 PM »
So are you putting something else in place of this for ventilation, some powered/damped unit someplace?

I'm putting in a new dead sea scroll.  [big grin]

And then the original roster back. I worked for me how it was, no need to change it.

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #102 on: February 08, 2021, 05:15 PM »
Nice Radiator.

So are the gaps intended to put towels there? or is that to make it easier for children to climb?

Saw you guys are having your coldest weather in a long time there. Probably good to have heating system working. Is your system all one big loop, or can you turn each room off separate at some central manifold?

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #103 on: February 08, 2021, 05:28 PM »
Looks really good Alex. Great job.

Are you about done with the plaster? Usually by the time I get to a spot where I'm comfortable with the process and the results, I'm usually done and don't have to use those newly acquired skills for long enough to have to relearn them again.  [tongue]

Ron

Thanks Ron. I am momentarily done with the plaster for now, but I still have to do 3 bedrooms later on. But first I will completely finish all the rooms I have plastered now, do all the painting and installations.

Oddest thing, the very last time I mixed up a bag of plaster for the ceiling of the bathroom, I was bit careless because I was exited and full of energy.

I had made this little shelf to put my mixer on:





Thought it would be great to rest it on there when not in use. And it is great, I only should have made it a little bit different. I made a little notch in it on the side where the trigger of the mixer is. Big mistake.

Because the very last time I was mixing, I put the mixer away for a second to add some more plaster, and it lands with the trigger full on the shelf and start spinning. And it catches the mixer's cord, and completely tears it in two. [crying]



So while the plaster was already hardening I had to do a quick field repair so I could continue.



So yeah, I'll have to adapt that so it won't happen again.  [embarassed]   

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #104 on: February 08, 2021, 05:40 PM »
Nice Radiator.

So are the gaps intended to put towels there? or is that to make it easier for children to climb?

Saw you guys are having your coldest weather in a long time there. Probably good to have heating system working. Is your system all one big loop, or can you turn each room off separate at some central manifold?

Yes, those are for towels, though these are not unheard of being ripped off the wall by children climbing in them.  [smile]

It is pretty cold here indeed now. While cold winters with lots of snow and freeze were normal in my youth, the last 15 years temperature stayed mostly above 0 C. And now suddenly in 2 days there's half a meter snow and night temps reaching -15 C. Odd.

You can turn off each radiator separately, they all have their own valve.

By closing them partially, you can control how much heat goes to each room. "Pinching it", we call it.
 
« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 05:42 PM by Alex »

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 293
Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #105 on: February 08, 2021, 05:52 PM »
Well... I guess the mixer shut off quickly (though not quickly enough it seems). [wink]

Those radiator/towel racks are a fortune here, I suppose they are commonplace for you. Getting one is on my list for my next bathroom upgrade.

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #106 on: February 08, 2021, 05:58 PM »
Well... I guess the mixer shut off quickly (though not quickly enough it seems). [wink]

Those radiator/towel racks are a fortune here, I suppose they are commonplace for you. Getting one is on my list for my next bathroom upgrade.

It was a matter of a split second with the cord. The mixer's paddle is 140 mm wide, so if that spins at 500 RPM you make a lot of distance in a short time.

The radiators are not that expensive unless you get a "design" radiator which can cost €700. But normal ones this size go for 100 - 150 euros. I bought mine used for 10.

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #107 on: February 08, 2021, 06:01 PM »
The last wall in the living was also done now. All painted so I could place the radiator here back also. Made sure the supports were level.



And connected. Notice how ugly and yellowed it is, and quite a bit of rust. No money to replace it, I will sand all the rust away and spray paint it. It will look as new again.

Funny thing, one day before the real cold hits, heating in my home is fully functional again. As if the big guy waited for me to finish up first.



 

Offline danny l

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #108 on: February 08, 2021, 06:08 PM »
May I ask what your daytime profession is, Reading this topic , I noticed a few mistakes on drywall and electric. Drywall is not the same as plasterboard. The first one is not suitable for plastering. The second one does, due to the fibres and special paper. The wires for the wall light are grey, black and blue. They should be black for power, blue for neutral and green/yellow for ground.
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Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #109 on: February 08, 2021, 06:24 PM »
May I ask what your daytime profession is, Reading this topic , I noticed a few mistakes on drywall and electric. Drywall is not the same as plasterboard. The first one is not suitable for plastering. The second one does, due to the fibres and special paper. The wires for the wall light are grey, black and blue. They should be black for power, blue for neutral and green/yellow for ground.

Currently, I do this more or less full time. I am also a rock star.

There are no mistakes here Danny.

I know of the difference between drywall and plasterboard. In the end, plasterboard is just a special type of drywall. So, for the sake of keeping things easy on this forum, I use the word drywall. And drywall is very well suited for plastering, you just need to use a PRIMER to prepare the surface. With plasterboard, this primer is already applied in the factory.

All the surfaces I describe in this thread that I have plastered were drywall, and I applied the primer. Only the little part in the bathroom to hide the pipes was plasterboard.

As for the wires, those are also correct. I don't need a yellow/green ground wire in there, there is no socket, only a lamp. That one requires the blue and the black wire. I put in a second, grey lead wire, because I am toying with the idea of putting a led strip behind the mirror that is on the other side of that wall, in the hallway. I don't know for sure if I want to do that, but if I want to, the wire is already there.

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #110 on: February 08, 2021, 06:32 PM »
Like the mixer wore a necktie to work, not safe.

Your setup makes me wonder if people ever use stand mixers (like in your kitchen) for mixing up stuff.

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 1438
Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #111 on: February 08, 2021, 06:39 PM »


As for the wires, those are also correct. I don't need a yellow/green ground wire in there, there is no socket, only a lamp. That one requires the blue and the black wire. I put in a second, grey lead wire, because I am toying with the idea of putting a led strip behind the mirror that is on the other side of that wall, in the hallway. I don't know for sure if I want to do that, but if I want to, the wire is already there.

You don't have ground/earth wire thru everything? Fixture bases included?

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #112 on: February 08, 2021, 06:45 PM »
You don't have ground/earth wire thru everything? Fixture bases included?

You can put a ground wire on a lamp if you want to, but it is not mandatory. The ground wire can have its use if the lamp has a metal base, but a lamp's base can be made out of any material including non-conductive materials like plastic or wood.

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #113 on: February 08, 2021, 06:53 PM »

Those radiator/towel racks are a fortune here, I suppose they are commonplace for you. Getting one is on my list for my next bathroom upgrade.

The radiators are not that expensive unless you get a "design" radiator which can cost €700. But normal ones this size go for 100 - 150 euros. I bought mine used for 10.

Tried to find something similar to what you have, looks to be about 600 wide, 1800 tall.  Some things similar might be around 500 USD here, but the stuff getting closer to what you showed can get closer to 1800 USD.   Like many things, these are uncommon here, so price goes thru the roof.

Electric towel warmers of a similar concept are a much more common thing to see.  Not many folks going to create a hot water heating system just for a bathroom.  Electric radiant floor heating has become very common here (better than ugly electric wall heater, and way better than a forced air duct) in a bathroom.

Offline DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #114 on: February 08, 2021, 07:04 PM »
You don't have ground/earth wire thru everything? Fixture bases included?

You can put a ground wire on a lamp if you want to, but it is not mandatory. The ground wire can have its use if the lamp has a metal base, but a lamp's base can be made out of any material including non-conductive materials like plastic or wood.

Even ignoring the base, it's just hard to see there not being a mandate for a ground wire thru everything. Here all circuits must have ground wire. Thus all multi-wire cable you buy has a ground wire in it. Any place it meets metal along the way, it gets bonded, such as anytime a metal junction box (pattress box) is used.

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #115 on: February 08, 2021, 07:25 PM »
One of the odd things in my life is, that sometimes when I need something, I just get "provided" out of the blue, at precisely the right time.

So this happened once again. This time with the plinths. I had calculated what I needed a few months ago and asked my lumber yard for a quote. 150 euros for the entire first floor, which needed 42 meters. I didn't like that quote for just a bit of MDF/HDF.

And whadda ya think? I just finished all the walls and was in need of them now. So I find them on the street. I am not above a bit of scavenging when it saves me a few bucks.  [smile]

Apparently somebody just installed a new laminate floor and threw all the old stuff out. Including all their plinths. Which were all oversized for my use, but that's no problem if you have a CS70.

   

So out goes the CS70, extra table installed, but still not long enough for these plinths.



That standard angle fence does look awfully small now. It didn't really work, time to get out the longer CS70 LA for this.



Oh, I made a mess out of it again. I do get tired sometimes of hauling the Midi+cyclone around all the time.



But all oversized pieces are down now to the 9 x 140 mm I want. Unfortunately one long one had a crack and broke in two. Another one was a bit wet so I had to let that one dry first.



All done now, sanded to 400 and very smooth, and a small 2 mm roundover to break the edge.



OK, I found some more in the same spot. Kewl.



So out with the 70 again. These were not as long as the others though.



And all done again, sanded and rounded over. Ready for priming. Saved me 150 bucks, and cost me 3 hours works for sawing and sanding. And now I surely have enough for the entire floor.




Offline DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #116 on: February 08, 2021, 07:48 PM »
cops knock on your door after people report you "finding things".  [tongue]

Online Bob D.

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #117 on: February 08, 2021, 09:14 PM »
Alex you have been one busy man. Nice job on the plaster ceiling and all the other work too.

Did you install a thermostatic radiator valve on that new radiator?
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Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #118 on: February 09, 2021, 02:38 AM »
Did you install a thermostatic radiator valve on that new radiator?

No, just a normal one, open - close. I don't need anything else.

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #119 on: February 09, 2021, 02:52 AM »
Even ignoring the base, it's just hard to see there not being a mandate for a ground wire thru everything. Here all circuits must have ground wire. Thus all multi-wire cable you buy has a ground wire in it. Any place it meets metal along the way, it gets bonded, such as anytime a metal junction box (pattress box) is used.

There are different regulations for old installations and new ones. Of course new installations are a lot more strict, but for older ones there is a lot of leeway because they know you can't update an old house without ripping all the conduit out of walls and ceilings. And the installation here in this house is old. What is the point of putting in a ground wire to this lamp if there's no ground wire to connect it to in the nearest junction box?

a metal junction box

Now that's something I don't understand, metal junction boxes, those are not allowed here in homes. Why make it conductive metal if it just as easily can be made out of insulating plastic?