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GENERAL DISCUSSIONS => Home Improvement & Other Projects => Topic started by: Alex on January 11, 2021, 05:51 PM

Title: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 11, 2021, 05:51 PM
I've been quite busy the past year, litterally working almost every single day on a large variety of projects. I had a lot of things to do for lots of people, but besides that I had to completely renovate my own home also. Unfortunately, due to all the work, I could not make very much progress in my own home, but yeah, the bills gotta be paid first. 

Nevertheless, now that a year has passed, looking back you can see that quite a lot has been done already, and I thought I'd share it here for those interested. Basically every Festool I have has been used by now in this project, but the main roles are for the T15, RO150, DTS 400, CS70 and the CTL Midi.

Most of the work I have to do is plastering all the walls, some just a bit, but lots of them from the bottom up. And I didn't really know how. But now that I've been practicing for a year I'm getting it under control, almost able to do a wall in one go, but in the beginning, the first few months, I really struggled very hard to understand the whole process. The walls I had to plaster, well, they learned a lot of bad words from me.  [embarassed]

And lots of other things have to be done too, I have to paint everything, but that's routine for me so not a big deal. I have to do lots of carpentry also, installing trim everywhere, make closets, fix doors and windows, basically every piece of wood in the house needs work. This was my parents house, now it is my home, and my father very enthousiastically renovated it two times, back in 1974 and 1984, but I am sorry to say, he was not very competent at it and I have to redo everything he did to get it to an acceptable standard.
   
I started with the hallway. It was actually the worst place of the house, because all the walls were almost in the same shape they were when they were originally build over 80 years ago. My father had never really done anything to make them better, he just just placed wainscotting over the old bad pieces, and covered everything else with wall paper. I had to remove it all, I want everything just straight, plastered walls painted with white latex.

Started by removing all the wainscotting. I lived here for 45 years now, I never knew this green goo was behind it.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]

At the front door I found there used to be tiles there. Tiles were gone but the thinset was still there. And proud of the surface of course, great, now I have to remove it all.

[attachimg=5]

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: mrFinpgh on January 11, 2021, 06:07 PM
Looking forward to this thread.  I'm sure you have progressed by leaps and bounds, and will take my vicarious satisfaction where I can get it. :-)

What is the plaster of choice over there?   
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 11, 2021, 06:17 PM
I was going to make a comment based on the first door, but then all the other photos show a dutch door.  So they aren't a myth.  But I'm guessing you don't call them dutch doors there.   You made me happy that your house has one.

House reno can be a killer, but it can/should be seen as skills development.  You sound like you have been learning plaster, though learning the skill many decades after when most do.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 11, 2021, 06:37 PM
Lot of damage to the walls, plaster's dropping off everywhere, and big nail holes because of all the wainscotting.

[attachimg=1]

After a lot of work, all the wainscotting and wallpaper is gone. So roomy suddenly!  I like! [smile]

[attachimg=2]

Then I had to chissel all the thinset away. I didn't have my hammer drill yet, so I had to do it all by hand. What a work, and apparently at the wrong time as my old neighbour politely but sturdily came to ask me to stop because I was interrupting him & his wife's special Bold & The Beautiful hour. So I went on the next day.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]

And then fill it up again with a first layer of plaster. I also hid the wire for the doorbel under it in a piece of electrical conduit.

[attachimg=5]

After removing all the wallpaper I found this mess everywhere: my father cut slots for the electrical wiring, and filled them up with cement. Well, cement is nice for sticking bricks together, but you don't put it as the finish for your walls. And all very uneven and often proud of the surface again. And ofcourse cement is very hard, you don't just put the Rotex or the RAS on it to even it out, no, this needs hammering, again. Near electricity. Great. Again.  [mad]
 
[attachimg=6]

You see this often with older houses, due to the movent of doors, the bricks layer above them cracked. This is difficult to repair without taking all the bricks out. I tried as best as I could to inject the spaces with a caulk that was made to replace mortar.

You can also see the white spots around the cracks, this is the original wallpaint that was used 80 years ago, and it is terrible stuff that I needed to remove all. It is a kind of white paint that dries but always stays soluable in water ("Witsel" in Dutch). You can't paint or plaster over it without removing it all. So I had to meticulously wash all the walls in the entire hallway with a sponge to get rid of it.
 
[attachimg=7]

That poor wire of the doorbel had been hanging there since 1974, I thought I'd cut a nice little slot for it to cosy away. The layer of plaster was pretty thin there, no space to put a plastic tube in for protection.

[attachimg=8]

The original plinths on the hall were pretty big, I am bringing everything down to 9 cm height. I didn't want to remove this so I cut it with the MultiMaster.

[attachimg=9]

Radiator temporarily had to go. Was planning to put it back, but I found a nicer new one for almost nothing.

[attachimg=10]

This had some very ugly wooden slats here, took them out and put a shiney new board in.

[attachimg=11]

Then it was time to plaster. On the bottom there was a layer of green textured paint that I wanted to get rid of. But I know of textured paint and asbestos, so I asked an expert I know about it, and he said there was no asbestos in it. In fact, I did not have to worry at all in this house from 1938 because they didn't use it here until after the war for the rebuild. Well, that's a relief. So I sanded it all flat with my Rotex and put a first, thin layer of plaster over it.

I made a rookie mistake here that I hope won't come to haunt me later. I didn't use a primer, because the plaster package said you could use it almost everywhere without priming first due to special additives. Almost. [tongue]

[attachimg=12]

[attachimg=13]

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 11, 2021, 06:53 PM
What is the plaster of choice over there?

All gipsum based. We have two major brands, Knauf and Gyproc, and they have many different types for different applications. I like the type Knauf MP75 best.

[attachimg=1]

I was going to make a comment based on the first door, but then all the other photos show a dutch door.  So they aren't a myth.  But I'm guessing you don't call them dutch doors there.   You made me happy that your house has one.

Hm, a Dutch Door, I had to look that up. A door that can open the top half. Yep, that's my door. We do call them dutch doors, because we call all our doors dutch doors, just like we call all our houses dutch houses and all our streets dutch streets. And have you seen our dutch carpets? [smile]

House reno can be a killer, but it can/should be seen as skills development.  You sound like you have been learning plaster, though learning the skill many decades after when most do.

I've learned quite a few skills over the course of my life already, and I never stop adding them. But I must say, of all the DIY skills I have learned, plastering is most certainly the most difficult one.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 11, 2021, 07:01 PM
Well, buggers. Disaster struck.

This part certainly needed primer. I noticed a big bubble forming a few days later and with a few jabs of a putty knife it just all came down.

[attachimg=1]

But so far the other parts of the hallway remain solid. This part was the only part that was dark green, while all the other parts where light green. Apparently someone put a different coating on this wall alone. Well, let's start over. WITH primer this time. And that's what I learned, ALWAYS PRIME!
 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: six-point socket II on January 11, 2021, 08:23 PM
Great to see you starting a home improvement thread, Alex!

Your latest disaster reminded me of the time when such a bubble formed on our ceiling, but literally decades after it had cured ... That was a big mess.

Looking forward to see more of you work! Have fun!

Kind regards,
Oliver

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on January 11, 2021, 09:15 PM
I feel for ya Alex. I can relate to a lot of that work having done the same on my first home back in 82, well started in 82, didn't finish until 89. Then sold it in 1990. It felt like every hour I wasn't at work I was working on that monster 4600 Sq. foot house of 27 rooms and 64 windows.

That 10 foot tall Christmas tree was our first there having just moved in the month before.

The leaded glass window is about 38"W x 66"H. If I stood on the rim of the tub my head
was even with the top of the window and I'm 5'-11".

Luckily I did not have to do any plastering, only some minor repairs.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 11, 2021, 11:24 PM
I was going to make a comment based on the first door, but then all the other photos show a dutch door.  So they aren't a myth.  But I'm guessing you don't call them dutch doors there.   You made me happy that your house has one.

Hm, a Dutch Door, I had to look that up. A door that can open the top half. Yep, that's my door. We do call them dutch doors, because we call all our doors dutch doors, just like we call all our houses dutch houses and all our streets dutch streets. And have you seen our dutch carpets? [smile]

House reno can be a killer, but it can/should be seen as skills development.  You sound like you have been learning plaster, though learning the skill many decades after when most do.

I've learned quite a few skills over the course of my life already, and I never stop adding them. But I must say, of all the DIY skills I have learned, plastering is most certainly the most difficult one.

Well, if you had to look it up, it just matches up to my comment.  While they aren't a common door here, they are called "Dutch Doors" for some reason, and I have always guessed if I went to Holland/Netherlands there would be no such doors.  Your house having one gives me hope that not all random named things are without basis.  So do you have a name for that style door verses a "one piece door".

Yeah, never stop adding skills.  Plaster is not high on my list for sure, of course it's largely dead in this country as discussed in a different thread. Buying a house and rebuilding it causes one to learn lots of stuff, the older they are, the more random things you have to learn that often you could do without learning.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 12, 2021, 03:58 AM
@six-point socket II Thanks Oliver, got plenty of pictures right now, so I'm not done posting yet.

@Bob D. Wow, nice house. That's a lot bigger than mine.


So do you have a name for that style door verses a "one piece door".

Had to look that up to, I never had a second thought about this type of door before. It is called a "boerendeur", which translates to "farmer's door". Apparently it is a style of door that became popular with farmers when they made their stables and wanted to have a way to open it for fresh air without letting their livestock get out. My door doesn't farm anymore though, both parts were bolted together long ago. It is a very solid teak door, but due to movement of the wood there was always a problem keeping the door insulated in the winter.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on January 12, 2021, 08:48 AM
Thanks, I no longer live there. Bought it only as a fixer-upper and to make enough to get into the house I really wanted. Took 8 years but once sold I had enough to buy a lot and new 1600 sq ft home with no mortgage. I learned a lot along the way though. I hope you enjoy your project as much as I did that one.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Sparktrician on January 12, 2021, 09:29 AM
Alex, your comments about your father's workmanship reminded me of my own father's attempts at home repair.  When I was growing up, I thought he could fix almost anything, including doing electrical wiring for lights, replacing switches, etc.  Then after I completed military electrician school, I returned home and was horrified at what he's been doing and set about redoing things to get them safe.  He asked why and I told him there were reasons for there to be a safety code.  Another early warning was him cutting off the tip of a finger using a radial arm saw.  He actually managed to live quite a few years beyond that time, but I think he must have had a large contingent of angels protecting him and my mother.   [big grin]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 12, 2021, 10:58 AM

So do you have a name for that style door verses a "one piece door".

Had to look that up to, I never had a second thought about this type of door before. It is called a "boerendeur", which translates to "farmer's door". Apparently it is a style of door that became popular with farmers when they made their stables and wanted to have a way to open it for fresh air without letting their livestock get out. My door doesn't farm anymore though, both parts were bolted together long ago. It is a very solid teak door, but due to movement of the wood there was always a problem keeping the door insulated in the winter.

Sounds like a future skill for you to master "doorwright",  restore the door to it's former agricultural glory.  Is a shame to hear it can't farm anymore.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on January 12, 2021, 11:39 AM

All gypsum based. We have two major brands, Knauf and Gyproc, and they have many different types for different applications. I like the type Knauf MP75 best.

Hm, a Dutch Door, I had to look that up. A door that can open the top half. Yep, that's my door. We do call them dutch doors, because we call all our doors dutch doors, just like we call all our houses dutch houses and all our streets dutch streets. And have you seen our dutch carpets? [smile]


Just curious if the 75 refers to the cure time?

This is how I became familiar with the term Dutch doors...from Mr. Ed the talking horse series, 1958-1966.  [big grin]

[attachimg=1]



Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 12, 2021, 12:16 PM


This is how I became familiar with the term Dutch doors...from Mr. Ed the talking horse series, 1958-1966.  [big grin]

(Attachment Link)

That is a joint development of Dutch and French door technology.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 12, 2021, 12:49 PM
I hope you enjoy your project as much as I did that one.

Unfortunately I am pretty sure I don't. Too much pressure right now, everybody wants a piece of Alex and I get nothing in return. I am in an exceptionally complicated situation in my life right now. Ready to cross over into something new, but due to circumstances my old life won't let me go.

@Sparktrician

That's about the only thing I have little to complain about, at least he did that right and all safe and according to code. Only thing that baffles me is he installed a two way switch in the hall to turn the lights on and off on the frist floor and the second floor. But he only installed it on the first floor, and not on the second. So when I'm downstairs I can switch the light downstairs and upstairs, but when I'm upstairs, I can't switch the light downstairs. To correct it, I have to shove an extra wire in the conduit up two walls, and break open two floors to get to the junction boxes.

 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 12, 2021, 12:56 PM
Sounds like a future skill for you to master "doorwright",  restore the door to it's former agricultural glory.  Is a shame to hear it can't farm anymore.

Not sure I'm a master in it, but I can shape a piece of wood anyway I want, so that should not be a problem. But I don't want to. I think it is best currently, I don't need the top to open.

Just curious if the 75 refers to the cure time?

I don't think so. Not sure what it does stand for.

The way you work with it, you mix it, and then you have 30 minutes to apply it to the wall. Then you must let it sit for 2 hours to get stiffer, and then you have 30 minutes to plaster it all flat. Totaal work time 3 hours. And after that it has to dry, rule of thumb is 1 day per mm thickness, so if you applied 10 mm, you have to wait 10 days before it is fully cured and you can do the next thing, like painting.
 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on January 12, 2021, 01:00 PM
To correct it, I have to shove an extra wire in the conduit up two walls, and break open two floors to get to the junction boxes.

Or just install 2 new "electronic" switches that no longer use traveler wires. The switch downstairs would make the actual electrical connection while the switch upstairs would simply switch the downstairs switch on & off.

For 2-way, 3-way, 4-way...switching I haven't run a traveler wire in the last 5-7 years...all RF technology.

I've been using these exclusively for the last many years. There are also other brands out there available.

https://www.insteon.com/wall-switches
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: FestitaMakool on January 12, 2021, 01:26 PM
Alex, I’m gonna watch this space.. [big grin]
I’m too in the same dinghy so to speak. I’m considering a thread for my longish project too.
Now, plaster learning!  [wink]

And yes, farm door or stable door, quite common on cabins and small farms here too. Not so much in houses. There’s loads of sheep around mountain terrain, so it was just as well keeping these from a sneak peak inside too [blink] - still enjoying a half door open.
I think they’re cool, you should unbolt yours, have a lock inside to unlock when you’re opening for the sellers that puts a foot in the door!  [big grin]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on January 12, 2021, 03:39 PM
"That is a joint development of Dutch and French door technology."

aka Double Dutch :-)
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 12, 2021, 04:11 PM
Here's my Double Dutch Door again. [smile] Fast forward a couple of months. So little time to work on my home, on average maybe 10 hours per week. Entrance all done and walls and wood painted. To the right of the door there's a little closet for the gas and electricity meters, and it's front was completely demolished due to all the nails of the wainscotting. So I put a new layer of 4 mm multiplex over it.

[attachimg=1] [attachimg=2]

Good progress in the rest of the hallway also, though not entirely done yet. But a huge difference with how it was.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]

And my new radiator. Some of the fins on the back were bent that's why it was discounted from 150 to 10 euros.  Couple of hits with a hammer and it was good to go.

[attachimg=5]

The wall where the plaster dropped off is also fixed again, and now thanks to the primer adhesion is rock solid. I need to sand it lightly and apply a last ultra-thin layer with a ready made paste to get it completely smooth.

[attachimg=6]

And the stairs done too, but also needs a bit of sanding and the last thin layer.

[attachimg=7]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 12, 2021, 05:23 PM
I moved on to the living room. This was a lot of work. Wallpaper everywhere, and sometimes 4 layers thick. There was one layer in it with a paper that was waterproof, so I could not remove it by just making it wet and dissolve the glue, but I had to practically chissel it all away with a putty knife. The long wall alone took me 2 days just to get the paper off. But I was left with a good surface of drywall.

When originally installed, all the drywall was nailed though, and nails work themselves loose over time. There was a lot of movement in the boards so I got a pack of those black drywall screws and screwed it all tightly down. I also painted all the old nails with an oil based primer to prevent them from rusting from water in the plaster.

By the way, here is a picture of the room looked. This picture is 10 years old , but it still looked more or less the same. Some things were long gone though, like the book case and the CTL 22.

That wallpaper on the wall was originally as white as the paint of the window frame. That's what you get with two heavy smokers as parents.

[attachimg=1]

Removed everything. I'm left with a wobbly but workable surface. Screwed everything tight.

[attachimg=2]

Then it was time to apply the primer, this is the yellow stuff which means it is for poreus surfaces to regulate their suction. If you don't do this, the drywall will suck up lots of water when you apply the plaster, and your plaster will "burn" as they call it, it won't harden properly because it doesn't have enough water anymore. You can just roll it on, make sure to saturate the surface.

[attachimg=3]

It dries quickly and you're left with a nice yellow wall. Time to place the 10 mm plaster profiles which ensure your layer gets the proper thickness. And place tape over the seams between the drywall boards.

[attachimg=4]

I found a problem here though, the boards were so wobbly, that at one place they stuck out 10 mm beyond the profiles. Time for a little surgery. I made an incision with the multimaster so I could take off the drywall in the spot that was too high. Then I used the EHL65 planer to cut away 15 mm from the wooden supports underneath, and placed the boards back. Now everything fits.

[attachimg=5]

[attachimg=6]

[attachimg=7]

So, now after 3 days of preparation it was finally time to start plastering. It was also the first time I got to use the new-to-me Protool MXP 1602 mixer I bought for this job. Suffice it to say, it performed flawlessly, with its 1500 watt motor it has all the power to make  mixing a full bag of plaster a breeze. So much better than a mixing rod in a drill. I am really glad I got this tool.

It was perfectly balanced, you can just put it down on the mixing rod and it will stay standing up.

I had this 45 L bucket, and that is enough to hold one bag of 25 Kg plaster. For one bag you have to add 16 liters of water. First the water in the bucket, then you pour in the plaster, and you let it sit for 5 minutes so it can "drink" as they call it. This improves the mixing result. And then you mix with the machine for 5 minutes until it is one lump-free mass. The mixer has 2 speeds, you start slowly in gear 1 for the heavy work, and when you don't see any dust anymore you can go to gear 2 which makes it all a lot easier.

[attachimg=8]

The necessary tools laid out. A very handy step to reach the top of the wall.

[attachimg=9]

A close up of the tools. I have to describe them, I got no clue how you call them in English.

1 - trowel to put plaster from the bucket on your board.
2 - board that holds the plaster.
3 - thingy that scrapes the plaster from your board on the wall.
4 - long straight edge to smooth your plaster on the wall.
5 - the knifes you use to plaster everything smooth in the end.

[attachimg=10]

[attachimg=11]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: mkasdin on January 12, 2021, 05:28 PM
You might want to cover the floors with Ramboard or the equivalent and hang plastic on the doorways for dust containment with a zipper for a passageway. Looking good.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 12, 2021, 05:34 PM
You might want to cover the floors with Ramboard or the equivalent and hang plastic on the doorways for dust containment with a zipper for a passageway. Looking good.

Thanks, but as you can see in the pictures, I did. But the carpet has to go anyway. I got a whole lot of PVC laminate flooring waiting to be installed instead.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 12, 2021, 05:41 PM
Alex,  this is all a historical journey correct? this and what you will show has been done, you are just showing us all after the fact (a review of the year, but presented as you experienced it)
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 12, 2021, 05:53 PM
Alex,  this is all a historical journey correct? this and what you will show has been done, you are just showing us all after the fact (a review of the year, but presented as you experienced it)

Everything I did in the hallway was done over the past year. But I started in the living room last month. We have a lockdown here in Holland for a month now, so I am locked in here with all my tools and got to do something. And in oktober and november I did my attic. 

But isn't everything we tell a historical journey in a sense? Can't tell you what I've done if I haven't done it yet.  [tongue]  [big grin]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 12, 2021, 07:11 PM
Infinite Alex's in Infinite Universes on his Journey.  Some of which he master plaster at 19 years old, others he never heard of Festool, and one he was born in New Jersey to a used car salesman.

So, how big is your house?  Based on the comments, I'm gathering this is a row house, neighbor on one side at least (though shall not disrupt them watching their stories), maybe a shared wall on both.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Jeff Zanin on January 13, 2021, 03:50 PM
Great thread Alex - you have made good progress and are making good use of your tools, also learning new skills, sometimes the hard way.  It sounds like the Multimaster is a workhorse for many of the tasks.

"ALWAYS PRIME" - I learned that on a previous project, not with plaster but seems to be even more important than with paint.

I am in a somewhat similar situation, living in the house I grew up in and trying to fix it up.  My projects are not as ambitious as yours, but you are giving me ideas...

Also, as far as I know my father never traveled to Europe, but he seems to have attended the same school or non-school as yours - every time I open up an area, or remove some camouflage that was applied years ago, there is more clean-up / rebuild / repair to be done. 

My place was built in the late 1950s, the walls are a combination of what I think was called "blueboard", then lath (wire mesh), then a coat of plaster or similar.  Instead of removing all of it back to the studs I am cutting out various panels here and there for electrical and other work.  I am using the TSC-55 with cement blade and finishing up with the M18 multitool, the blades for this last about one meter in these walls.  Obviously I am not going to rebuild with the same material but instead use normal drywall.  However the thickness of the existing finished walls does not match any available drywall, so I am furring out the studs to match the finished wall thickness.

Keep up the good work.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: cpw on January 13, 2021, 10:13 PM
Quote
1 - trowel to put plaster from the bucket on your board
2 - board that holds the plaster.
3 - thingy that scrapes the plaster from your board on the wall.
4 - long straight edge to smooth your plaster on the wall.
5 - the knifes you use to plaster everything smooth in the end.
I think these would be the right names:
1: Bucket scoop
2: Hawk
3: Trowel
4: Screed
5: Drywall knife
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 14, 2021, 03:05 AM
Infinite Alex's in Infinite Universes on his Journey.  Some of which he master plaster at 19 years old, others he never heard of Festool, and one he was born in New Jersey to a used car salesman.

So, how big is your house?  Based on the comments, I'm gathering this is a row house, neighbor on one side at least (though shall not disrupt them watching their stories), maybe a shared wall on both.

Whoa, you're getting very philosophical here, not sure a home renovation warrants that.  [smile]

As for size, my house's base is 5,65 m x 9 m, with two full floors and an attic with a pointy roof. Total living space 150 square meters. And an 18 meter long garden.

 
Obviously I am not going to rebuild with the same material but instead use normal drywall.  However the thickness of the existing finished walls does not match any available drywall, so I am furring out the studs to match the finished wall thickness.

If you just want to close a patch here and there it is not so difficult. You can apply the plaster as top layer and just sand it flat. Maybe a few thin layers on top of each other. That's how I started out with this stuff.

I think these would be the right names:
1: Bucket scoop
2: Hawk
3: Trowel
4: Screed
5: Drywall knife

Thanks. I'll try to remember.  [smile]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 14, 2021, 04:08 AM
Well, the long wall of the room has its first layer of plaster. I was trying to do too much at once, so when I got back to where I started in order to smooth things out it was already too hard. I decided to leave it like that and do the smoothing with a second layer. At least now everything is dead straight due to the stuc profiles. Normally you take them out once you filled the spaces between them and fill the seams up in one go, but my big amateur bottom decided to do that the next day.

Need to store the bike in the room for now as the shed where it normally recides is filled to the brim with building materials like wood and plaster.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

The seams where a bit too rough of course now so I sanded them quickly with the Rotex. Used 80 grit granat. Cyclone attached to the Midi to save my bags. The cyclone really catches most of the plaster.

[attachimg=3]

I also prepared the next wall for plastering. Had to take off the radiator again.

[attachimg=4]

Notice how the windows are completely fogged up with water. I used 90 liters of water to mix the 6 bags of plaster I used on the long wall. While some of that becomes part of the plaster as it is used in the chemical reaction to cure, lots of it comes out again. There were constantly puddles of water forming at the bottom of the windows which I had to mop up.

[attachimg=5]

All the seams filled up. Now I had to wait 2 weeks for the plaster to dry. 10 mm thickness @ 1 mm per day @ 20 degrees celcius room temperature. But it wasn't 20 degrees, more like 12 because I disconnected the radiators so it took longer.

[attachimg=6]

[attachimg=7]

The back wall also got its first layer. What a difference, shaping up nicely.

[attachimg=8]

Two weeks later, time to put on the final layer. This time I use Knauf Fix & Finish, a plaster that can be applied in a very thin layer, 1-3 mm.

[attachimg=10]

[attachimg=9]

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 14, 2021, 04:56 AM
I first did one half, and then the second half. Now everything is smooth - almost. While it is very good already, it is not 100%, I do the final patching up with a ready made plaster called Knauf Fill & Finish. Notice how the edge of the plaster is feathered out once you go over it with the plaster knife.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

In another post someone asked about storing the CS70 vertically. No problem.

[attachimg=4]

The thin top layer had dried quickly, just 2 days. A final sanding session with the Rotex and Indasa Rhinogrip 280 grit paper to knock off everything that still sticks out.

[attachimg=7]

Moving the Midi and the cyclone attached is a bit troublesome though. And the Rotex, and the ladder. I made the box of the cyclone in the size of a systainer to put it on top of the Midi, but that tipped over by just looking at it. Better to keep it safe and sound on the ground.

[attachimg=5]

Time for the Fill & Finish.

[attachimg=6]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: six-point socket II on January 14, 2021, 05:06 AM
I feel the work, Alex! But that's an amazing transformation & progress.

Have to add that I love the street side window, I guess those are original from when the house was build? The grit pattern and yellow/orange corners are fantastic!

Kind regards,
Oliver
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: FestitaMakool on January 14, 2021, 05:12 AM
Alex, couldn’t you put some largish size casters on your cyclone? Or make a larger platform from a sheet that fits both the CT and the cyclone, in order to wheel them both easily?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 14, 2021, 05:32 AM
Have to add that I love the street side window, I guess those are original from when the house was build? The grit pattern and yellow/orange corners are fantastic!

Yes, they are nice, aren't they. Original glass-in-led as we call them. But very weak and drafty due to all the seams. I got acrylic windows in front of them.

Alex, couldn’t you put some largish size casters on your cyclone? Or make a larger platform from a sheet that fits both the CT and the cyclone, in order to wheel them both easily?

Seems too much trouble. I'll manage. I also need to haul it quickly upstairs.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: six-point socket II on January 14, 2021, 06:42 AM
Putting acrylic in front of them is certainly a great idea, so glad you're enjoying them yourself and saving them! To many of these gems are gone/ being removed nowadays.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on January 14, 2021, 10:20 AM
It's coming along nicely Alex...a huge difference.  [cool]

I'd certainly say that living in the house at 12ºC would provide a very strong impetus to complete the plastering job ASAP.  [smile]

The use of stuc-stop profiles is very clever to get a uniform wall thickness.  [big grin]  That was a new one for me.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 14, 2021, 10:57 AM
Thanks Cheese, and no worries about the temperature, the second floor is nice and cosy.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 14, 2021, 10:59 AM
Putting acrylic in front of them is certainly a great idea, so glad you're enjoying them yourself and saving them! To many of these gems are gone/ being removed nowadays.

The problem is that single glass is not very energy efficient. You really notice the difference in your heating bill when you go to modern HR++ double glazing.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: FestitaMakool on January 14, 2021, 04:00 PM
Putting acrylic in front of them is certainly a great idea, so glad you're enjoying them yourself and saving them! To many of these gems are gone/ being removed nowadays.

The problem is that single glass is not very energy efficient. You really notice the difference in your heating bill when you go to modern HR++ double glazing.

Couldn’t you install either single or double glazing inside. That way you would have 1+1 or 1+2 insulated? To keep the old glass and frame (which usually are of much better quality than new windows). That’s a usual solution here, and often performers better regarding insulation than a whole new window. I doing this very soon to keep my oldest smallest windows - cheaper than having new replicas made. Many exclusive (older) windows was produced with oak or teak frames. With minimal maintenance they can easily hold well over 100 yrs or more.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 14, 2021, 04:51 PM
Couldn’t you install either single or double glazing inside. That way you would have 1+1 or 1+2 insulated? To keep the old glass and frame (which usually are of much better quality than new windows).

I'm not going to do anything with these windows, only paint them, and that's it.

But quality they aren't. Nothing is quality in this house, not even the work by the original builders. Originally meant as a cheap labourer's house, it was built in 1938 for around 7000 euro's. Everything is crooked, walls, doors, floors, everything. They just didn't care as long as it was finished quickly and cheaply. Only luck is the exterior wood, a neighbour of mine called it American Pine, and it is indestructible due to a very high fat content. Water has little effect on it, so it just won't rot.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Yardbird on January 14, 2021, 05:00 PM
Here in the states, a lot of that pre-WWII lumber was from good slow-growth forests.  It is easy to recognize the tight grain in that old fir or pine.  Also, that old lumber had a lot more resin in it.  I am assuming the drying kilns take it out now, but that is a pure guess.  But yes, that old lumber is definitely better, and definitely heavier. 

I also like those leaded-glass windows.  That adds character. 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 14, 2021, 05:21 PM
Well, the long wall of the room has its first layer of plaster. I was trying to do too much at once, so when I got back to where I started in order to smooth things out it was already too hard. I decided to leave it like that and do the smoothing with a second layer. At least now everything is dead straight due to the stuc profiles. Normally you take them out once you filled the spaces between them and fill the seams up in one go, but my big amateur bottom decided to do that the next day.

Need to store the bike in the room for now as the shed where it normally recides is filled to the brim with building materials like wood and plaster.


"stuc profiles",  so I thought those were just rails for the shelving, and where embedded in the wall.  Are those actually something part of the plaster process over there?  Like screed rails for leveling sand when doing a brick patio?

Of course you have a bicycle.  First the dutch door, now the bike.  Just keep checking boxes  [smile]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on January 14, 2021, 05:43 PM

1. Like screed rails for leveling sand when doing a brick patio?

2. Of course you have a bicycle.  First the dutch door, now the bike.  Just keep checking boxes  [smile]

1. Exactly...just oriented vertically rather than horizontally.

2. Now that's hilarious... [big grin]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 14, 2021, 06:09 PM
"stuc profiles",  so I thought those were just rails for the shelving, and where embedded in the wall.  Are those actually something part of the plaster process over there?  Like screed rails for leveling sand when doing a brick patio?

Exactly like those.  They are metal profiles which you stick to the wall temporarily. You can use a few screws or glue them with a bit of plaster. Then fill the space in between with plaster, and then level it out with your screed by scraping it in a zig-zag fashion over the profiles. After you've made it level with the screed you have to take the profiles out and fill their space with more plaster. You can get them in different heights, like 3, 6, 10, 15 & 20 mm. This way you get a straight wall that has exactly the thickness you want.

[attachimg=1]

Of course you have a bicycle.  First the dutch door, now the bike.  Just keep checking boxes  [smile]

If it were summer you might also find some tulips in my house. But you'll never be able to check the wooden shoes box with me.  [big grin]

By the way, I find it amazing that owning a bike isn't standard everywhere like it is here. For us it is like owning shoes.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: FestitaMakool on January 14, 2021, 06:23 PM
You’re skilled plasterer and brick layer [cool]
I recognise your technique used by some of the best brick layers I worked with when we sold fireplaces, built on site. Very interesting and fun to watch and learn from them. Your place is going to have the finish it deserves.

But, cheaply build house or not, chances are they build even cheaper now [blink] They might be straighter, thicker insulation and so on, but I doubt the materials and skills. Not knowing Dutch building techniques, but I guess it’s not too far from here, a bit more north.
Good you have quality cladding, me too.. funny, as Ron B also says; slow grown pine with a lot more resin. The core of the pine was used for window frames, as a testament that these windows, some 50-70 year old still hold up well, even in our climate.

Bicycle.. is that an odd piece? Between the bicycles I might even have a pair of wooden shoes as well laying around  [big grin]

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 14, 2021, 08:17 PM
"stuc profiles",  so I thought those were just rails for the shelving, and where embedded in the wall.  Are those actually something part of the plaster process over there?  Like screed rails for leveling sand when doing a brick patio?

Exactly like those.  They are metal profiles which you stick to the wall temporarily. You can use a few screws or glue them with a bit of plaster. Then fill the space in between with plaster, and then level it out with your screed by scraping it in a zig-zag fashion over the profiles. After you've made it level with the screed you have to take the profiles out and fill their space with more plaster. You can get them in different heights, like 3, 6, 10, 15 & 20 mm. This way you get a straight wall that has exactly the thickness you want.


Of course you have a bicycle.  First the dutch door, now the bike.  Just keep checking boxes  [smile]

If it were summer you might also find some tulips in my house. But you'll never be able to check the wooden shoes box with me.  [big grin]

By the way, I find it amazing that owning a bike isn't standard everywhere like it is here. For us it is like owning shoes.

Interesting, not sure if such things are used in the US when the plaster or not.  I have only ever seen them going over the entire wall, no screeds.  Of course you are also putting on the plaster massively thick compared to here.

On the bicycle, part of the answer is you live in a part of the world where basically everything comes together for them to be viable.  It's flat, distances are short (not a big country), and the possible the most important part, climate.  You are not too hot or too cold.  In the US, there are only a few limited areas where year round bicycle usage is an option to consider.  Not just hobby rides, but to regularly travel by it.   Portland Oregon being one of those few places, and there, they have all sorts of bike. Most places in the US either have months of winter where it's just not an option. Or it's hot as heck and is just another way to end up dead.   You will always find some crazies in these extremes, but it's not stuff anyone would commute on.  We also don't have the dedicated paths.  Most places you are on the roads with cars.   Biking on a pot hole filled road, with tractor trailers going by you, and 3 ton SUVs piloted by the back side of a cell phone, while you are pushing thru 5 inches of salt/slush is not something people are going to do.

If you have the right climate, level terrain, dedicated paths, and viable trips, everything changes.  Most of our urban areas have been altered by zoning, so housing, shopping, and work are in completely separate areas.  So folks have to travel long distances for the simplest of things. 

I think lots of folks like the idea, it's just not really possible.  But lots of folks do have bikes, but they toss them on a rack on their car, drive to someplace, and then go for a bike ride there, then come home. Everyone bought a bike in covid.  I even saw someone go by with a cargo bike, the kind that takes systainers on the front.

If someone had a dedicated path for the 10-15 miles to work, and it never got below ~40F or above ~80F a lot of folks probably would commute on them.  Still, you will find folks in Minnesota in winter biking to work, those folks are out there.

Plus, you can get some form of car cheap, gas is cheap, space is plentiful for the car.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 24, 2021, 04:53 PM
Works keep going on, put a lot of hours in the house now I can't work elsewhere due to the corona lockdown here.

I finished the long wall in the living room, and I am very happy to say it has become dead straight. This sure feels like an achievement for me. Maybe I am not as fast as a real plasterer yet, but at least I can get the same result now.

First applied a layer of Fill & Finish paste, this is basically the same stuff that's used in America for skim coats over drywall. This is to remove the last small bad spots. It has a very fine consistency, so it can be applied very thin (smear it out to 0 mm) and dries quickly. When it is dry you have to sand it lightly to get it totally smooth.

[attachimg=1]

Applied the stuff royally behind the heating pipes. Very difficult to get it all straight behind the pipes in one go.

[attachimg=2]

The back window frame also got it's first layer of primer. Looks better right away.

[attachimg=3]

And the full wall in all its glory.  [smile]

[attachimg=4]

[attachimg=9]

Time to reinstall the lights. Getting cosy again in the room.

[attachimg=5]

Also removed all the floor protection and did a thorough vacuuming.

[attachimg=6]

It's starting to look like a living room again. It has been too long a building site. But I'm not entirely done yet.

[attachimg=7]

[attachimg=8]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on January 24, 2021, 05:05 PM
"Maybe I am not as fast as a real plasterer yet, but at least I can get the same result now."

When I was an apprentice I was told; "get good first, speed comes later".

No use doing it fast if its wrong.

It is a good feeling when you tackle something new and it looks great when you're done. Enjoy!
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 24, 2021, 05:12 PM
looking good.

What material are those pipes?  Usually they are iron/galvanized here, plus 100 years of paint for added strength.  Those look to have bends in them, so bit curious.  Not usually exposed except where they pop out of the floor.   Are you planning some escutcheon plate at the top, or boxing them in with something.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: hdv on January 24, 2021, 05:16 PM
That wall looks much better than my only foray into plastering in my previous house. I got it mostly straight and smooth, but it took me a lot of time to get there. After that I decided to keep to things I was better at and enjoyed more.  [embarassed] My hat off to you sir! Well done!  [thumbs up]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 24, 2021, 05:49 PM
When I was an apprentice I was told; "get good first, speed comes later".

Absolutely true.

No use doing it fast if its wrong.

At first I was doing it slow AND wrong!  [big grin]

I do enjoy the result of all these blood and tears I have to shed here.

What material are those pipes?  Usually they are iron/galvanized here, plus 100 years of paint for added strength.  Those look to have bends in them, so bit curious.  Not usually exposed except where they pop out of the floor.   Are you planning some escutcheon plate at the top, or boxing them in with something.

They are iron, steel. Bending pipes is a normal thing here, no need to use couplings everywhere. When you have stone houses it is more difficult to hide them than with wooden houses, so you see them very often, especially in older houses where they were added long after the original build. This house from 1938 originally had a chimney in the living room, with a single heater for the entire house, in the middle of the long wall I just plastered. My father removed it in 1982. I do plan on something like an escutcheon plate for the pipes, but have not put much thought in it yet.
 
That wall looks much better than my only foray into plastering in my previous house. I got it mostly straight and smooth, but it took me a lot of time to get there. After that I decided to keep to things I was better at and enjoyed more.  [embarassed] My hat off to you sir! Well done!  [thumbs up]

Thanks a lot!  [smile]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 24, 2021, 06:20 PM
Time to tackle the next wall. Another example of old, rotten mess. 5 layers of wallpaper again. I tell you, sometimes I just want to get the jackhammer  out and level the entire wall instead of scraping that paper off.  [smile]

[attachimg=1]

I was lucky, a large piece came off at once. I was not so lucky with the rest.

[attachimg=2]

The sockets and switches in the room are 46 years old. Worn out, plastic crumbled, and the metal brittle and corroded by the chalk from the wall. They will have to go.

[attachimg=3]

More mess. My father just ripped the old plinths from the wall and put wallpaper over them without levelling anything out.

[attachimg=4]

But in the end I got the wall free off all paper. Now I can build it up again.

[attachimg=5]

Started plastering it all. Put a corner profile on the corner of the closet to get a nice, sharp edge.

[attachimg=6]

The heating pipes again, difficult. I take it slowly and do it piece by piece.

[attachimg=7]

All done here for now. Nice and white again.

[attachimg=8]

Had a look at the window at the front of the room. I painted these for the last time over 20 years ago. The glass-in-led panels have acryllic panels over them. Funny thing is, the paint behind the acryllic panels is still in its original white, while the rest is totally yellowed, what a difference. Those acryllic panels provide quite some protection gainst UV radiation.

[attachimg=9]

[attachimg=10]

Time to do the very last wall of the room, under the windows. First I have to remove the radiator.

[attachimg=11]

Wallpaper went of easily here, done in 15 minutes.

[attachimg=12]

Used plenty of water to remove the wallpaper. I let it dry overnight and applied primer the very first thing the next morning.

[attachimg=13]

And I plastered it. You can still see the stuc profiles in there, I removed them and filled their space with more plaster.

[attachimg=14]

And all done. This is the first time I did an entire patch in one go and it is just good, smooth and straight, no further work needed. Now it needs to dry for a week before I can paint it. Only in the bottom left corner you can see a small plastic bag, this is where my cable for TV and internet enters the house, so I didn't touch it for now to protect the box. I'll fix that later.

[attachimg=15]

And the entire corner done. Only need to paint it now.

[attachimg=16]

You can see clearly when the plaster is dry or wet. When it is still wet it is grey, and slowly but surely you see white spots emerge and get bigger and bigger every day.
 
[attachimg=17]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 24, 2021, 08:22 PM
Hope you don't discover all that wall paper is load bearing.  [tongue]

Did some looking, looks like there are places that will bend steel pipe for home radiator setups.  It looks like you have compression fittings, so this isn't old school heavy iron pipe.  Radiators here are almost all just part of remodels/restorations. Not many install them new. From what I found, it looks like most folks use iron till into the floor, then switch to PEX when working on there old house.  Obviously this only works on hot water systems, not steam systems.  I'm sure if someone was installing a brand new radiator system, there would be some trendy looking bits. 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 25, 2021, 02:54 AM
Did some looking, looks like there are places that will bend steel pipe for home radiator setups.

You just do it yourself with a pipe bender.

I'm putting in a new radiator in the bathroom, and I have to adjust the existing pipe a bit, I'll make some pictures then.

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 25, 2021, 11:07 AM
oh, so vastly thinner pipe than what we think of here.   That's more like EMT conduit here, which people bend with the same tools.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on January 25, 2021, 12:07 PM
Tube and pipe, with respect to the mechanical trades, both can be used for a wide variety of process fluids, gasses, or vacuum (with the correct specs).

The difference between them in the trade has to do with how they are called out or specified. Tube usually is sized by the OD and wall thickness, and pipe is known by its nominal size and schedule of which there are about 20 IIRC.

For example look at 1/2" TUBE. You have the 0.500" OD plus a choice of materials (CS, SS, Cu, Al, various plastics, and other materials) and a choice of wall thickness such as .035, .038, or .065" wall, are common wall thicknesses used for instrument tubing.
Example: 1/2" .035" wall 316 SS Tube

For PIPE it would be called 1/2" pipe but almost nothing about it is 1/2". The OD is 0.840", just shy of 7/8". The ID is not 1/2" either, and depends on the pipe schedule. For STD wall or Sch. 40, the wall thickness is .068" and the ID is .704". Not all pipe sizes are available in all schedules. And beginning at 14" NPS and ABOVE, the OD actually _is_ the NPS size, just to make it a little more confusing. And on top of all that add the dozens of different material types and specs.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Michael Kellough on January 25, 2021, 12:15 PM
The Tee fittings look like bronze. Are you sure the pipe is still rather than silver painted or plated copper?

Is the heat source steam or hot water? Here, hot water heat “pipe” are just copper tube, but the tubes are seldom bent. They use soldered fittings instead.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 25, 2021, 12:26 PM
Oh, I'm very aware of tube vs pipe vs hose, etc.    I just don't know much about how a modern Radiator system would be plumbed.   You don't bend "pipe".  They are using some form of tube for it,  I have no idea what is defined in US building code for that.

When I think radiator systems like that, I think traditional pipe, thus my curiosity.   We bend soft copper in plumbing, but we don't run that for stuff through the house, we used L and M thickness, which you don't bend (but you can by pre-bent stuff that does done with proper bending machines).  We also bend small stuff like supplies under sinks and such.

If it's just a hot water system, not a steam, then there isn't much reason it can't be done just like we do hot water supply plumbing, or radiant floor heating.   But this is why I'm curious to know more specifically what is being used there, a spec. I can't think of anything we do here that is thin wall tube, in steel, used for plumbing.  But I'm not a licensed plumber either.  We used copper or PEX for basically everything, or in some instances of evil, galvanized pipe.  A food plant would have custom stainless plumbing.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on January 25, 2021, 12:41 PM
Interesting, not sure if such things are used in the US when the plaster or not.  I have only ever seen them going over the entire wall, no screeds.  Of course you are also putting on the plaster massively thick compared to here.

A couple of things I noted, I've watched a local plasterer in action and he did not use stuc profiles, he just slathered the stuff on. I really think those profiles are great for getting a uniform plaster thickness.

Nice job on that long wall Alex  [big grin] it does indeed look flat and smooth.

I also like your choice of lighting, those sconces produce some nice shadow lines on the wall which is what Euro lighting has always been about. [smile]

Those "pipes" look similar to our electrical conduit both in the ability to hand bend the stuff and also the exterior finish.

Here is a photo of the bathroom plaster (smooth finish) and the living room plaster (textured finish). It may be difficult to see but there is approximately a 1/8" difference in thickness between the room plasters, the living room plaster being the thicker of the two.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 25, 2021, 12:56 PM
interesting Cheese,    My house had 2 layers of 1/4" plasterboard, and a final layer about 1/4" thick (3/4" total).  Bathroom, has what looks to be slightly thicker plasterboard, with about 3/8" coarse plaster, then a skim of smooth stuff.   
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 25, 2021, 01:50 PM
Tube and pipe, with respect to the mechanical trades, both can be used for a wide variety of process fluids, gasses, or vacuum (with the correct specs).

I didn't know you guys call it by different names, tube or pipe. Here we call it all "pijp" = pipe, large or small. As long as it transports something, gas or liquid.

I googled a bit and found this (http://www.wermac.org/pipes/pipe_vs_tube.html) website, isn't that correct?

oh, so vastly thinner pipe than what we think of here.   That's more like EMT conduit here, which people bend with the same tools.

They are 15 mm thick, with a 1,5 or 2 mm wall. When they are closer to the heater they are mostly 22 mm in a normal house, but when they split up to feed a single radiator they switch to 15 mm.

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 25, 2021, 01:52 PM
The Tee fittings look like bronze. Are you sure the pipe is still rather than silver painted or plated copper?

Is the heat source steam or hot water? Here, hot water heat “pipe” are just copper tube, but the tubes are seldom bent. They use soldered fittings instead.

Yes, they are all steel. We don't use copper for our central heating system, that's all steel pipes and steel or brass fittings. Lately more and more replaced with PEX with a metal inner lining (tube?).

Copper is used here for drinking water lines inside the house. And also more and more replaced with pure PEX.

Our central heaters all use water in the pipes. Water gets heated in the heater, and then pumped around through a system of pipes that feed radiators in all the separate rooms.

[attachimg=1]

I am a bit amazed about all you guys' comments about pipes and heating, don't you use central heating systems? How do you keep your houses warm in the winter?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on January 25, 2021, 02:06 PM
I’d say 90% of the heating systems installed in the US since 1950 have been forced air furnaces.

It’s not unusual for people to tear out their hot water radiators and replace them with a central forced air furnace.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 25, 2021, 02:17 PM
Tube and pipe, with respect to the mechanical trades, both can be used for a wide variety of process fluids, gasses, or vacuum (with the correct specs).

I didn't know you guys call it by different names, tube or pipe. Here we call it all "pijp" = pipe, large or small. As long as it transports something, gas or liquid.

I googled a bit and found this (http://www.wermac.org/pipes/pipe_vs_tube.html) website, isn't that correct?

oh, so vastly thinner pipe than what we think of here.   That's more like EMT conduit here, which people bend with the same tools.

They are 15 mm thick, with a 1,5 or 2 mm wall. When they are closer to the heater they are mostly 22 mm in a normal house, but when they split up to feed a single radiator they switch to 15 mm.

Yes, thats right,  Tube is OD based (Hoses are ID based), and pipe is a trade size (dimensions don't match anything really).  Our "pipe" sizes are the same as yours, they are just trade designation,   so the OD on a 2" pipe is like 2-3/8", etc.  Doesn't match up to anything.   We used Pipe for things like our PVC drain piping,  black Iron pipe for natural gas, Galvanized pipe for water (not really used in new stuff), also Rigid Conduit is basically the same as Galvanized pipe (but it's not the same thing).

Our tubes when it comes to houses are a bit odd, we have a system called CTS  (Copper Tube), it's based on the OD, but it's the listed OD plus 1/8th". So 1/2" copper  is 5/8" OD.  It comes in different wall thicknesses that vary the ID.  When PEX came over, they adapted it to the same system, so 1/2" PEX is 5/8" OD, but much smaller ID than Copper.  This means quick connect fittings and such are interchangeable, but it also means buying something from Europe can be a nightmare as the PEX is a different size.

HDPE is coming into N.A. now too, at first with the geo thermal folks, but growing.  They have just left it metric, so thats good.

Cheese and I were not saying your pipes were EMT, it just has that look.  It's a thin wall steel conduit used by electricians. It's what they used when they don't want to use PVC conduit, but don't need to go overboard with Rigid.

New houses are almost all PEX.  Some states like California only approved PEX a few years ago. And earlier system, polybutylene had major failures, so people feared "plastic" for years.  Now must what you see in a new house will be PEX, but parts of it are still copper.  Some folks still are "Copper or nothing".  For a time we used copper for the waste plumbing too, you still can, but that is very rare, mainly for repair work.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 25, 2021, 02:36 PM
A couple of things I noted, I've watched a local plasterer in action and he did not use stuc profiles, he just slathered the stuff on. I really think those profiles are great for getting a uniform plaster thickness.

Nice job on that long wall Alex  [big grin] it does indeed look flat and smooth.

I also like your choice of lighting, those sconces produce some nice shadow lines on the wall which is what Euro lighting has always been about. [smile]

Those "pipes" look similar to our electrical conduit both in the ability to hand bend the stuff and also the exterior finish.

Here is a photo of the bathroom plaster (smooth finish) and the living room plaster (textured finish). It may be difficult to see but there is approximately a 1/8" difference in thickness between the room plasters, the living room plaster being the thicker of the two.

Thanks Cheese.

If you're a good plaster I guess you don't need the profiles so much anymore to make it all straight anyway.

As for the lighting, my parents bought those in 1982. My only choice here is that I kept them while I threw most old stuff out, because I also really like these lights. I was lucky to find a 3rd one in a thrift store once. Now that the wall is white as opposed to the browned wallpaper that was there before, you suddenly see a nice sheen of green light coming out of the bottom through the glass.
 
As for your plaster, those minute differences in thickness are inconsequential. What matters is total strenght and if it's 10 or 11 mm makes little difference. What you can see clearly in your plaster samples is that there are two layers, the darker one to fill out the wall, which is a mixture of gipsum and river sand, and the thin top layer that's only gipsum. They did that in the past because sand is much cheaper than gipsum, but nowadays gipsum is so cheap that all plastering is mostly done with it.

- Forced air furnaces, now that's something I didn't know. Takes a lot of space though, all the air ducts, and don't you get a lot of heat loss during transport?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 25, 2021, 02:38 PM


I am a bit amazed about all you guys' comments about pipes and heating, don't you use central heating systems? How do you keep your houses warm in the winter?

Like Cheese said,  Forced air.    Radiators died mid 50s for the most part.  Big thing was air conditioning.  Soon as you need ducts for AC, having a completely different system (radiators) is pretty pointless.

Steam was common for a long time, but also force air was around for a long time with the famous "Octopus" Furnaces.  A lot of those systems were basically gravity like steam systems.  Heat rises, and the cold falls down thru big grates in the floor, then re-heated.

For a time, in the 60s/70s Electric heat took over.  Electricity was stupid cheap.  And it's a bulletproof/simple system.  So lots of baseboard in homes in those times, even systems with the wires embedded in the ceiling.  When Electric prices went up in the 70s, it became much less used.  By then, AC was common, so now almost all new housing is Forced air.  Depending on where you live you might be. Oil or Natural Gas or Propane for the heat, sometimes it's an electric air handler.  And then of course Heat Pumps which have long been common in the south, but now are becoming normal in the north.  Those systems have electric heat in them as backup.

Radiant floor heat exist too, but it's limited since you still need ducts for the AC, so the benefit isn't there. Also folks start to find a hot floor isn't very comfortable, has moments, but not something the enjoy all the time.  I know more folks with Radiant in their garage floor or driveway than in their home.   Electric radiant is common in bathrooms underfloors.  That is largely to meet code requirement of heat in a bathroom, yet not have to have an air duct, or an ugly wall heater.

Geothermal exist, but is expensive, most just use a Air source Heat Pump verses Ground.

Lots of folks still heat with wood.  If you are in a rural area, there is no Natural Gas.  Oil and Propane are expensive, and you run low just before a blizzard.  If you are in a rural area and don't want the hassle of wood, then good chance you might just still run electric radiant, as it's really the only reliable option that doesn't take physical effort of the home owner.

So much of this vary on where you live.  The US has every climate, different resources/history/construction timeframes.  No one in south Florida heats with coal. Someone in Minnesota might have wood fire, electric heat, and gas/propane all in the same house as their house was updated over time, and backup.  Having at least 2 methods to heat house is a good plan, many folks will have 3-4 ways to stay warm.  But the person in Minnesota might not have AC, but everyone in the south does, otherwise they die. Air Conditioning is pretty much the sole reason populations shifted to parts of the south (especially the southwest).  You can find a lot of stuff out there how in the US, the invention of AC, combined with the post war Era, drove the population south in very large numbers.  If AC didn't exist, the major sprawl of the south wouldn't exist at all.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: pixelated on January 25, 2021, 02:45 PM
Quote from: Alex
...I am a bit amazed about all you guys' comments about pipes and heating, don't you use central heating systems? How do you keep your houses warm in the winter?

We just build a fire in the middle of the floor and the smoke goes through a big hole in the roof.  [tongue]

Here in the North East, heated water systems are perhaps the most common, similar to yours, but the radiators are usually baseboard units that are long and a few cm high. Our house was originally equipped with a forced air system, but we replaced it last year with a mini-split heat pump designed for low temperatures. These seem to be gaining in popularity. Radiant floor systems using heated water are popular too. Central AC is not especially common here, at least not in houses that are older than 20ish years.


 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 25, 2021, 02:49 PM

- Forced air furnaces, now that's something I didn't know. Takes a lot of space though, all the air ducts, and don't you get a lot of heat loss during transport?

Yes, ducts take space. In old houses they suck (head knockers in basement).  Since the 70s/80s they have designed around them more, so you generally don't notice.  There are different systems. Some are high pressure and use smaller sizes.  Like anything, you plan for them.  Engineered floor joist are 14" tall, so plenty of room for them.  A lot of it comes down to the installer/builder and how much effort they put into the packaging.

Heat loss depends.  If you have the whole system within the envelope of the house, it doesn't much matter.  You try to get the distribution good. Just like radiators, you loose heat along the way, and can't get the balance perfect, always a cold corner.   If the duct is outside the envelope of the house, it gets insulated.   They can also be sometimes underground or poured inside a concrete wall.

We also now have HRV (heat recover ventilators), as houses are now highly insulated/sealed, they have a problem getting fresh air, so now you are required to exchange the air in the house with outside air at a rate based on size of house.  The HRV is a air to air heat exchanger and fans, so hot air leaving, heats up the incoming cold air.  So that is something else that needs ducts, and these can be combined with the HVAC system.  Also you have to provide make up air for bathroom fans, range hoods, etc if they are over a set size.

So once you have ducts, adding a whole separate system for radiators/radiant/etc just doesn't make sense unless someone really wants it.

You go into a lot of retail environments, it's all above your head and they don't hid it anymore, they just paint it, you look up and see a big network of tubes, with lights hanging down.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: FestitaMakool on January 25, 2021, 04:21 PM
Great job Alex. It’s looking very impressive, such large surfaces demands lots of skill.
I’ve stayed clear of brick and mortar houses, mostly because I like houses of wood (as the majority are here). I know there are some huge benefits regarding less maintenance, easier to keep cool in the summer and hot in the winter (that is if insulated sufficiently though [wink])

Central heating as you have have been and are common still, new technology regulates water based systems. But it is high maintenance and slow reacting nowadays, as the valves has like hairpin openings. More common now are domestic ventilation systems, which is recirculating heat by convection of hot and cold air. So is heat pumps (inverters, or air con units, which are used in reverse for heating) I have two of those in my poorly insulated house. But these are supplying the whole house without any other heat sources, even as now with -14° Celsius outside. (8° F) or even colder.
Ducting is most common by new houses, due to domestic ventilation systems.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 25, 2021, 04:24 PM
Octopus Furnace (https://www.oldhouseguy.com/heating-old-octopus-furnace/)

For those in parts of the world who have no idea what this might have been.  Folks still have these in service. I've known folks who had them installed in their much newer house, like salvaged old one and installed it.

Real heating requires its own footings/foundation  [wink]

no moving parts, just create heat.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on January 25, 2021, 05:35 PM
You try to get the distribution good. Just like radiators, you lose heat along the way, and can't get the balance perfect, always a cold corner. 

That's where zoning comes in.  [big grin]

The price of zoning equipment has really come down within the last 10 years. Putting it well within the reach of the average Joe or Josephine. [smile]

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 25, 2021, 06:12 PM
These wires have been hanging there since 1982. And they've always irritated me since 1982. Time to fix that. I've plastered these walls 2 years ago, it was my first experiment in plastering as a test for a job somebody asked me to do. So back then I concentrated on getting the walls straight but left these wires as they were.

The original light point was at the hole on the left but in 1982 the light was moved to the right, which was a better place for sure. Now gone, but that wall on the left was then covered entirely with a book case. My mom collected books. She had about 7500 when she died. Boy, did those books use up a lot of space. Funny thing, I now have 10 times as much books as ePubs on my phone.

[attachimg=1]

Took the lamp off the wall, and marked out the spot for the slot in the wall. I can't just make a slot from the original spot to the new spot, that's against code. Not sure if it is an official rule or just a convention, but for clarity, a conduit in the wall should always run straight up or down, and never horizontal. So you know that when you want to hang a picture for instance, don't do it exactly above a lamp or a socket. But if you do it next to one, you should not worry about drilling into hidden electricity.

I used the multimaster with an old half-round wood blade to cut the sides. The blade already had lost all its teeth, but it still could cut easily into the soft sandlime stones that make up the inner walls.

[attachimg=2]

Then I cut out the slot with a slot bit for my hammer drill. The slot has to be deep enough for the conduit to completely lie within the stones, and be free of the outer plaster layer.
 
[attachimg=3]

The slot bit. Amazingly, it is very dull, but still just works fine.

[attachimg=4]

And the conduit placed with a small wall box. Not big enough to fit a socket or a switch, but good for a lamp.

[attachimg=5]

I put three wires in. Blue is the neutral wire, and black and grey are the leads. Their colours indicate they come from a light switch. I put one wire for this lamp, and a second in case I want to make a light for the mirror in the hall on the other side of the wall. They're not connected yet though.

[attachimg=6]

The conduit sticks out in the space of the ceiling. I have to connect the wires here to the proper lines. Which is a bit tricky, everything's out of reach. I'll do that later.

[attachimg=7]

Then I had to cut a second slot for the other wire. This did not go as smooth, probably due to its proximity to the corner. But nothing a dab of plaster can't fix.

[attachimg=8]

And all patched up again.

[attachimg=9]

As said, I plastered this part two years ago, put in a lot of work, for a result that was only so-so. Funny thing with plaster, you can look from one angle and think it is alright, and look from another angle with a bit different light and suddenly see dosens of imperfections. So I put a thin layer of Fill & Finish over it to smooth it out.

[attachimg=10]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 25, 2021, 07:43 PM
lot of work there.

I would assume they are going to a structural concern not letting you cut horizontally.  I don't think you can do anything like this here.  If it was a block wall, you would be able to fish a conduit down thu the cavities, and drill in from the side.  There no cutting into concrete/brick walls like this.  Here wires need to be 1-1/4" away from the edge of the framing, so folks don't run nails/screws into them.  Anything closer, you need nail plates/conduits.  Folks try to run things vertical just from a general benefit of avoiding going thru studs and such, but you can go anyway you want if you follow the rules.   Closet thing i can think of to this is houses made with insulated concrete forms, they will carve paths in the foam to run wires.

I don't want to think about how much mess this make doing that trench.

What happens at the top of that conduit?  Do you extend the conduit?  Or do you put a junction box there?  We would either have to run the conduit all the way to where it's getting power, or transition in a junction to a wire type that can be used out of conduit.  But any junction there would need to be accessible, so if that is closed in later (ceiling), you can't have a junction box there. The wires cut right there imply you are doing some sort of junction.  Some inspectors might not consider it a conduit, and just cable protection and let us run romex down that conduit.

Why no box for the thermostat?  We have the same issue here, folk don't install boxes for thermostats, it's just hole in the wall.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on January 25, 2021, 09:32 PM
"But nothing a dab of plaster can't fix."

See, your plastering skills have improved to the point that this is a trivial matter. :-)

Would you have made that same statement 2 years ago when you first worked on these walls?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on January 25, 2021, 09:59 PM

1. I would assume they are going to a structural concern not letting you cut horizontally. 

2. What happens at the top of that conduit?  Do you extend the conduit?  Or do you put a junction box there?  We would either have to run the conduit all the way to where it's getting power, or transition in a junction to a wire type that can be used out of conduit. 

1. Not structural but rather for safety concerns...makes sense to me. Vertical paths from an electrical source delineate a vertical "no cut/drill zone" while horizontal paths know no boundaries. Horizontal paths are like the Wild West.

2. I'm interested in this...a junction box is the fall-back position as long as it is somehow accessible. Connections buried within walls or cavities without access are a definite no-no. 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 25, 2021, 11:24 PM
Learning is happening.  This got me to finally look into this more.   Looks like they call it "chasing" and use machines called "wall chasers".  Metabo even sells one in the US it looks like, but everything about it is Europe, so I'm not sure what it is doing on the US page.  Milwaukee makes "wall chasers", they just don't sell them in the US.

If you planned such a method from the start, you could probably do this and be legal in the US, it's just hard to think of a case you would do this.  Make a wall thicker so you don't violate structural code, just to make it really hard to put stuff in.  Folks would just pour or lay up a wall with conduit in it during build. 

I did find stuff on the routing,  makes sense,  1/3rd deep vertical, 1/6th deep horizontal,  straight paths. Of course good luck making a curve.  Not unlike some of our framing notching and hole drilling rules.  we have 40% for structural and 60% for non structural walls for holes in them (centered in studs), plus rules for notches.  Their depths from surface look to be similar to ours.

wall chasing (https://www.diydata.com/general_building/chase-wall/chasing-cables-pipes.php)

Saw a few other pages with some hints to things like distances from corners.  Hard to find information from the US, as searches don't look to show stuff in other parts of the world.  I'm sure the right term would open things up.

It's definitely interesting.  But yeah, closest thing I can think of is the foam version of this in ICF construction.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: mkasdin on January 26, 2021, 12:25 AM
As said, I plastered this part two years ago, put in a lot of work, for a result that was only so-so. Funny thing with plaster, you can look from one angle and think it is alright, and look from another angle with a bit different light and suddenly see dosens of imperfections. So I put a thin layer of Fill & Finish over it to smooth it out.
I’ve seen a few plasterers in the UK and Wales using plaster Skimming Blades to level the coats. I don’t remember the exact YouTube channel, but they save time, simplify the process and cuts the workload. Figured I would share, the blades come in various sizes and with a 24”-32” and a pole you don’t need stilts!
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 26, 2021, 03:10 AM
lot of work there.

I would assume they are going to a structural concern not letting you cut horizontally.
.....
There no cutting into concrete/brick walls like this. 
.....
I don't want to think about how much mess this make doing that trench.
.....
What happens at the top of that conduit? 
.....
Why no box for the thermostat? 

No it is not a structural concern, cutting slots in walls is a normal thing. But PVC conduit is very weak and easy to puncture with a drill bit or screw so it is a simple safety measure.

Yes, those trenches made a real mess.

I will install a junction box at the top of that conduit. Just a little bit of wire sticks out, and you always have to make your connections inside a junction box. This spot is good to reach as the floor above it can be opened. I can't finish it right now because the room I have to go into to connect it further to the switch is temporarily designated as storage area right now. See pic below. The wire is just to the right of this hole and I have to drill through that wooden beam there to get into the other room, just like the conduit you alread see there. But to finish that, I will have to empty the entire room, remove the carpet and open up the floor. Access panels are already there.

[attachimg=1]

As for the thermostat, a box is not needed nor wanted. It is only low voltage, 5 volts, so no safety concern here, and second, thermostats can be very small, so if you put in a box it might be bigger than the thermostat itself and you don't want to see a hole there.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 26, 2021, 03:21 AM
"But nothing a dab of plaster can't fix."

See, your plastering skills have improved to the point that this is a trivial matter. :-)

Would you have made that same statement 2 years ago when you first worked on these walls?

Yes, I actually would have said that, patching a little hole is easy and nowhere near the complexity of plastering an entire wall. If you have a sander, it is just like fixing a hole with putty in wood. [smile]

I’ve seen a few plasterers in the UK and Wales using plaster Skimming Blades to level the coats. I don’t remember the exact YouTube channel, but they save time, simplify the process and cuts the workload. Figured I would share, the blades come in various sizes and with a 24”-32” and a pole you don’t need stilts!

Yes, thanks, I have a few of those. Most difficult part in learning to work with these was too figure out when the plaster was stiff enough to get the proper effect. Do it too early and you rip your new layer of plaster open because it is still too soft, and do it too late and it has no effect anymore because the plaster's too hard.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bert Vanderveen on January 26, 2021, 07:28 AM
I don’t think skimming is a method to level the coat. What happens is that the smaller particles in the plaster (that are floating in the water, kind of) are forced to the surface by applying pressure and this results in a finer and harder surface. So, this is more of a 'polishing' action than a levelling action — comparable to the way concrete floors are treated during the initial curing with floats and those big saucer things.


(I may be totally wrong about this — I have always avoided doing plastering… So, correct me, by all means.)
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 26, 2021, 08:58 AM
I don’t think skimming is a method to level the coat. What happens is that the smaller particles in the plaster (that are floating in the water, kind of) are forced to the surface by applying pressure and this results in a finer and harder surface. So, this is more of a 'polishing' action than a levelling action — comparable to the way concrete floors are treated during the initial curing with floats and those big saucer things.


(I may be totally wrong about this — I have always avoided doing plastering… So, correct me, by all means.)


Yes Bert, sorry but I have to totally correct you on this.

A skim coat is just a thin coat of plaster over a surface, nothing else to it. It is common technique with drywall where you just put 1 or 2 mm of plaster on it, instead of 10 to 20 mm like we do over a stone wall. It can also be used to level out an existing wall with minor damage.

As for the particles, your plaster should always be well mixed so it is a homogenous compound. It becomes hard by a chemical reaction, and pushing on it has no influence. In the case of drywall compound, like what's used in America, or the Fill & Finish I use, it dries by the water vaporating out of it.

This video explains a skim coat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVxIVdDEFTI
 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bert Vanderveen on January 26, 2021, 09:20 AM
@Alex  Right — another illusion shattered.  [wink] [big grin]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on January 26, 2021, 10:03 AM
Very interesting Alex, I've never seen the skim coating done with a roller before.  [smile]

A friend of mine has been in the drywall/painting/plastering business for 40+ years and watching him work is always a treat. When he skim coats he just uses a standard knife & mud pan and holds a normal conversation with you like the two of us were talking over a cup of coffee.

When he's done, everything is flat & straight and when he sands there's barely any dust on the floor. Impressive indeed.  [big grin]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Sparktrician on January 26, 2021, 10:26 AM
Connections buried within walls or cavities without access are a definite no-no.


Concur!  It's a major code violation around here.   [scared]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 26, 2021, 11:30 AM
Very interesting Alex, I've never seen the skim coating done with a roller before.  [smile]

Me neither. Is says on the bucket you can do it with a roller, but I don't see the benefit. I doubt you work much faster that way, while I would guess you spill a lot more than with a trowel.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on January 26, 2021, 11:38 AM
I assume the main benefit is getting an even distribution of material, which then is flattened.

Just load it up on the sprayer  [tongue]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 31, 2021, 03:14 PM
While the plaster in the living room had to dry, I thought I'd expand my activities to the bathroom upstairs. Remodeld by my father in 1984, and I have always hated every part of it. It had a much too big and clumsy built closet, very ugly vinyl wallpaper on the walls which didn't even line up, and a ceiling that looked horrible. Tiling was also all over the place, and so was the thinset. And don't get me started about the radiator.

I ripped almost everyting out except for the tiles, because new tiles are not in the budget with these daring covid times. Have to save that for later.

Here used to be the closet, I forgot to take a picture of it. Was just made out of particleboard and severly degraded by all the water it had to endure over time. Behind it was a wall with very old tiles. I removed the tiles, they were so loose I could almost rip them off by hand. It also revealed the gas and water pipes that go up to the central heater in the attic.

[attachimg=1] [attachimg=2]

The very ugly vinyl wallpaper.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]

For some reasons the ceiling had these thin pieces of trim around it, and the ceiling was done very unevenly with a textured plaster we call spachtelputz. I never understood why my father just didn't let it go all the way to the walls and cover the ceiling entirely. Of course the trim was never painted also. I once started to paint them, but when I was half way I thought, sod it, I'd better rip them out once I have time.

[attachimg=5] 

After I removed all the wallpaper I was left with this un-earthly landscape: top layer plaster, bottom layer sandlime, residual wall paint and patches of vinyl wallpaper glue. 

[attachimg=6]

[attachimg=7]

[attachimg=8]

Taking the vinyl off was pretty easy with the multimaster and a scraping attachment.

[attachimg=9]

And another headscratcher: this radiator was placed sideways. There was not much room to place it normally though, but why install this thing instead of getting a proper bathroom radiator? Not only is it way too big for a 2 x 2 meter room, but installing it sideways blockes all the fins so it won't even work properly.  [huh]

It is totally rusted on the bottom too, so I'm gonna replace this with a proper one.  [cool]

[attachimg=10]

And some pics the next day.

[attachimg=11]

[attachimg=12]

[attachimg=13]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 31, 2021, 03:56 PM
The grey bottom layer of sandlime was pulvering. Where neccesary I treated it with a primer that "glued" it all together. Then, before I could start plastering, I had to apply primer for the plaster itself.  This time I used the red stuff, Knauf Betokontak, and this is a primer that is quartz based, and you use it on surfaces that are non-porous, and have very little suction. It is very rough stuff, it feels like Saphir 24 sandpaper when it is dry, because of all the quartz particles in it. Makes for very good adhesion of your plaster.

[attachimg=1]

Other parts needed the yellow primer too, to regulate it's suction. The white parts are a quick drying plaster I used to fill all the deeper holes in the walls so I was left with a more or less even surface for the final layer.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=2]

Then started plastering, the smaller parts first.

[attachimg=4]

[attachimg=5]

The water pipes needed a solution, can't let them remain visible like that. I'd figure I put some drywal around it.

[attachimg=6]

Used a bit of scrap wood to build the frame. I put them as close as possible to the pipes, I don't want to waste space.

[attachimg=7]

And all drywall applied, and the seams taped. 4 hours work.

[attachimg=8]

[attachimg=9]

I made a fine mess out of it ofcourse, so time for a bit of clean up. That's why I think Festool vac should be good in cleaning too. They're not, not really.  [sad]
 
And all plastered. Now it needs to dry.

[attachimg=10]

[attachimg=11]

[attachimg=12]

When it was dry I noticed this wall was concave, I had to fix that with a centimeter of extra plaster. Green primer is the same is the red, but from another brand.

[attachimg=13]

And done. Now this wall is nice and straight, because I want to make a new closet against it.

[attachimg=14]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on January 31, 2021, 04:47 PM
When my father made the closet, he found it wise the bolt the closet to every surface he could find. Two walls, the ceiling, and oddly enough also the floor. Yes, he drilled holes in the floor tiles. Totally not necessary, and actually a big no-no, because you compromise the waterproving of the floor. Well, I had to do something about that. Time to put a few new tiles in.

[attachimg=1]
 
I cut the old tiles with an angle grinder and a diamond disc. This way they were easy to remove in small parts with a chissel.

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

But now I'm left with the old thinset, and that's hard stuff. Thought the hammer drill might do it with a spade bit. Then clean up with the MultiMaster and a diamond coated blade.

[attachimg=4]

All cleaned up. The blade of the MM act as sandpaper for thinset, and it works wonders. It is all flat now and ready for the new tiles.

[attachimg=5]

Luckily we had some tiles left over. I tell you, these have been laying in the attic since they were originally installed, and that's almost 37 years ago. I can't count the times I have thought of throwing them out only to say to myself, nah, maybe they come in usefull one day. Well, that glorious day has finally arrived.  [smile]

[attachimg=6]

Thinset applied with a 10 mm comb so I can gently lay the tiles down and wiggle them to the exact height to line up with the rest.

[attachimg=7]

You can use these little crosses to create the proper size seams between the tiles. I leave them in while the thinset dries. In the past, I have taken them out too soon, only to find out later that tiles can move while thinset hardens, also on horizontal surfaces. Not gonna make that mistake once again.
 
[attachimg=8]

All ready. Except that I can't fill the seams with grout because I don't have any and I can't buy any due to the lockdown. I've got to come back to that later.

[attachimg=9]
 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Frank-Jan 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bert Vanderveen 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

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]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

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

[attachimg=3]

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

[attachimg=4]

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!

[attachimg=5]

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.

[attachimg=6]

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.

[attachimg=7]

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.

[attachimg=8]

Looks good now, ready to be painted.

[attachimg=9]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.

[attachimg=1]

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.

[attachimg=2]

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

[attachimg=3]

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.

[attachimg=4]

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.
 
[attachimg=5]

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.

[attachimg=6]

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.

[attachimg=7]

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.

[attachimg=8]

The new pipe fitted. But it's too straight, I don't like straight. I like curves.
   
[attachimg=9]

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.

[attachimg=10]

Looks just fine.

[attachimg=11]

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.

[attachimg=12]

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

[attachimg=13]   [attachimg=14]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree 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?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: rvieceli 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
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree 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?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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:

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

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]

[attachimg=3]

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

[attachimg=4]

So yeah, I'll have to adapt that so it won't happen again.  [embarassed]   
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.
 
[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: pixelated 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.

[attachimg=1]

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.

[attachimg=2]

 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: danny l 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree 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?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.

[attachimg=1]   

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

[attachimg=2]

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

[attachimg=3]

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

[attachimg=4]

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.

[attachimg=5]

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

[attachimg=6]

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

[attachimg=7]

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

[attachimg=8]

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.

[attachimg=9]

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 08, 2021, 07:48 PM
cops knock on your door after people report you "finding things".  [tongue]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. 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?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex 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?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on February 09, 2021, 06:17 AM
"..metal junction boxes, those are not allowed here in homes."

Curious, what was used before plastic device boxes were available?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2021, 06:28 AM
Curious, what was used before plastic device boxes were available?

Metal. Been outlawed now for over 45 years here. You still find them in older houses, including mine, there are a few in the ceiling. That's how they installed them since before the war. Older wires also used to have cloth insulation instead of plastic like now. That cloth insulation would deteriorate and electrify the entire conduit system. They sure knew how to make it in the early days.  [tongue] 


Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 09, 2021, 11:11 AM
So ground wire thru everything has been mandated since the 60s (before then, it was only on a few items like bathroom plugs).  We have plastic and metal boxes, also fiberglass and other materials too.  Plastic has become common in residential, but in commercial side almost everything is metal.  You don't just have metal boxes, you have metal conduit (Rigid, EMT, BMC).  This is often running thru metal studs.

Big issue with the plastic boxes is they are generally junk. They flex, they break, they have stupid bent tab thing for holding the wire, and they are terrible for threading the screws into on the receptacles/switches, etc.  Verses the metal boxes where everything threads nice, they are solid, no concern over them getting smashed.   Also you get into things like hanging ceiling fans off you need a metal box for that. Someone could make a better box for sure, but the economics of it would make it a failure. Soon as it cost more than metal, people will just buy the metal box. You go to a hardware store and you can probably find 5 different non-metalic boxes (blue plastic, heavy duty blue plastic, fiberglass, white ones made out of something, black ABS based ones, etc). Everyone trying to make a better plastic box, and they still are all terrible.  Steel ones have issues to, but not so bad.

Some features of metal may exist in plastic, just not common.  Like gangable boxes where you can just keep adding gangs to them. 

Also remember the layout setup of our switches and plugs is very different.  You guys are based on a common circle, if you need 2 item next to each other, you just put another circle next to it.  Our stuff is rectangles on a tight pitch.  So every time you add a device, it's a different box, not just add on, unless you have the gangable option.  While it makes things tight, it has a benefit that if you have say 5 light switches in a row, it doesn't take up much space, where with the European style boxes you would be half way down the wall.

With all the applications where metal is mandated, they aren't going anyplace.  I'm curious what happens in an industrial environment over there.  Here its all metal conduit, metal boxes.  Giant racks of the stuff.  What do you use outside where you will have UV exposure? Or don't want to have it shatter when something hits it in the middle of winter?

The other thing on the ground is the "what if" situation.  What if someone wants to later have a switched plug in that circuit. What if the fixture being mounted up has a ground since it's a metal frame, thus has potential to be energized.  You never know what can happen in time to a circuit in the form of damage too.

I think most folks who have done electrical work here would agree, the north American junction boxes general suck, and having there being so many different shapes and sizes is a big issue, but I don't think anyone is looking to get rid of metal boxes. I'd be fine if the plastic ones went away.

Are your light switches all plastic? Ours have ground screws on them.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on February 09, 2021, 11:13 AM
Really nice job on the plaster ceiling Alex...my arms get tired by just looking at it.

Curious about the small step-up at the bathroom door, is that just for the bathroom only?

Plastic vs metal boxes...that's funny as I always install a metal box. The only exception is I installed a couple of plastic boxes in the bathroom where I was concerned about possible RF signal mitigation when I installed some Insteon RF switches and relays.

https://www.smarthome.com/collections/insteon-keypads/products/insteon-2334-232-keypad-dimmer-switch-dual-band-6-button-white
https://www.smarthome.com/collections/insteon-switches/products/insteon-2443-222-micro-on-off-module

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: danny l on February 09, 2021, 01:53 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.

It is mandatory in the netherlands as well. But this is only for about 25 years now. So older houses have only ground wire in wet rooms. But you should put ground wire to every lamp, socket or what so ever when changing the electrical system. That is a rule lots of people don't know.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2021, 02:48 PM
It is mandatory in the netherlands as well. But this is only for about 25 years now. So older houses have only ground wire in wet rooms. But you should put ground wire to every lamp, socket or what so ever when changing the electrical system. That is a rule lots of people don't know.

Since you seem to be so certain about hese rules, may I ask what your daytime profession is?

Would be nice of you were actually correct. But you try to correct me on two things and you're wrong on both.

What is mandatory here in the Netherlands since 1996 is that sockets must always be grounded in new installations and renovations. There is no such rule about lamps, and most certainly not in OLDER houses like mine.

I could put a ground wire in that little piece of conduit if I wanted, I have no problem with that at all, but there is simply no wire to connect it to unless I install a totally new one from the main switch board myself.
 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: danny l on February 09, 2021, 03:06 PM
The first working years as an electrician. The last 23 years i am working as a drywall specialist.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2021, 03:12 PM
Big issue with the plastic boxes is they are generally junk.

Someone could make a better box for sure, but the economics of it would make it a failure.

Someone did make a better box and decided to sell it here. The junction boxes used in a home typically cost 2 to 4 euros, so not a big deal.

I'm curious what happens in an industrial environment over there.  Here its all metal conduit, metal boxes.  Giant racks of the stuff.  What do you use outside where you will have UV exposure? Or don't want to have it shatter when something hits it in the middle of winter?

They are metal or plastic. I don't know what your concern is with plastic, there are litterally thousands of types of plastic, and some are very tough. PVC is often used, and that is not an expensive material yet very durable.

What if someone wants to later have a switched plug in that circuit. What if the fixture being mounted up has a ground since it's a metal frame, thus has potential to be energized. 

Sorry, that's their problem. They want to change the electrical system? Fine, they make it suitable for their needs, not me. I make it suitable for my needs. BY the rules.

I think most folks who have done electrical work here would agree, the north American junction boxes general suck

Well, stop making them suck then.  [tongue]

Are your light switches all plastic? Ours have ground screws on them.

Our switches do not have a way to ground them. Our switches generally exist out of a plastic inner core where the switching happens. All electrical components are totally enclosed, in there, there is no way to even touch electricity with your fingers. Then around that plastic core there is a metal frame to mount the switch in the plastic wall box. The metal frame is, again,  totally isolated from any electrical parts.

I will install these switches from the German quality brand Gira.

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2021, 03:14 PM
The first working years as an electrician. The last 23 years i am working as a drywall specialist.

23 years as a drywall specialist, but you were not aware that you can plaster over it if you prime it?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2021, 03:25 PM
Curious about the small step-up at the bathroom door, is that just for the bathroom only?

You mean this?

[attachimg=1]

My father made it like that to contain water inside the bathroom. Wet spaces here generally have raised thresholds as a dam.

I do not like it like this, it is flimsily done with tiles like this. I plan on putting a basalt threshold in.

[attachimg=2]

Plastic vs metal boxes...that's funny as I always install a metal box. The only exception is I installed a couple of plastic boxes in the bathroom where I was concerned about possible RF signal mitigation when I installed some Insteon RF switches and relays.

Sometimes I think you Americans are odd fellows. 120 volt because it supposedly is safer than 240, but then you built it inside conductive metal instead of insulating plastic.  [blink]
 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2021, 04:02 PM
The wall between the bathroom and the upper hallway also needed some work. This was the worst wall of all in the house, but I forgot to make a before picture here. Where you see that red snake of primer crawl up the wall, there was a huge crack in the bricks that ran from top to bottom.

My neighbour said his house had that exact same crack in the exact same spot, so it must be an original design flaw when they built these houses.

My father already patched it with cement back in 1972, but most of that had crumbled by now and it all just came down when I removed the wallpaper that was over it. Most of the original plaster also came down.

Luck had it I was working on a job were we had a mason building a kitchen extension, and I asked him how I could solve this best. He went to his van and he came back with some special concrete cement that had special fibers in it so it remained flexible when cured. He told me how it was called, but I forgot, this was over a year ago. This stuff was especially developed for these kind of cracks. I applied it and so far I have not seen the crack re-appear.

[attachimg=1]

I used this wall to smear out the left overs I had from other jobs so it was already filled for the most, but now it was time to apply the final layer.
 
When you plaster over a crack, you should place some netting, which is basically the same stuff as the mesh tape you put over drywall seams.

[attachimg=2]

First a small layer of plaster as glue, and then you press it in.

[attachimg=3]

And all done.

[attachimg=4]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 09, 2021, 04:43 PM


Are your light switches all plastic? Ours have ground screws on them.

Our switches do not have a way to ground them. Our switches generally exist out of a plastic inner core where the switching happens. All electrical components are totally enclosed, in there, there is no way to even touch electricity with your fingers. Then around that plastic core there is a metal frame to mount the switch in the plastic wall box. The metal frame is, again,  totally isolated from any electrical parts.

I will install these switches from the German quality brand Gira.

(Attachment Link)

So our switches don't have metal you touch either. But like yours there is the metal around it. We call it a Yoke here.  That gets grounded. You never know what will happen to cause something to get energized. Also since switch covers are often metal, it's the ground path for the cover.  Thus with a bare copper wire running thru the whole system and every bit of metal connected to it, no matter what happens, you have a return path that isn't you.

I've been trying to find more on your electrical there, but it's hard since search engines want to show north American results, type in Netherlands and google will return results with Netherlands scratched out.  Get some stuff on the UK, but they (ignoring their whole ring bus issue) basically do things the same as N.A. and use similar hardware, their metal boxes look almost identical to ours.  Maybe there is a "Stanley: How to wire your house, Netherlands Edition" Book.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 09, 2021, 05:01 PM


Sometimes I think you Americans are odd fellows. 120 volt because it supposedly is safer than 240, but then you built it inside conductive metal instead of insulating plastic.  [blink]

Lower voltage, harder to get an arc going, harder to overcome the bodies resistance and send power thru the person.

Metal boxes/conduits is safer because the system always has a defined return/ground path.  If you don't, and do everything plastic you have to hope that they system always maintains that isolation and nothing goes wrong.  You can't plan for everything that can happen, so by having the ground paths, you have covered anything that could happen, even if you could never imagine it.   No real different than things like GFCI (ground fault), you shouldn't be standing in water drop a toaster in with you, but it's there just incase.  Or AFCI (arc fault), your wiring shouldn't have an issue, but you never know if someone will manage to send something thru a wire, or the wiring just gets old and brittle after 100 years and looses it's insulation.  Also it gives a path for static discharge.

Regions like Chicago are metal for everything, no Romex wiring. They had a "fire incident a while back" and take no chances.

Anything fails in a system with metal boxes, metal conduit, it has a return path, and any fire created in the moment can't get anyplace. 

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2021, 05:37 PM
ROFL, you're really fond of electricity, aren't you? I'm not getting drawn into a discussion about it like you had with Coen. I don't care, I'm just fixing up the house.  [tongue]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 09, 2021, 06:15 PM
ROFL, you're really fond of electricity, aren't you? I'm not getting drawn into a discussion about it like you had with Coen. I don't care, I'm just fixing up the house.  [tongue]

I thought you were ridding the old world of wallpaper  [tongue]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Sparktrician on February 09, 2021, 06:54 PM
Sometimes I think you Americans are odd fellows. 120 volt because it supposedly is safer than 240, but then you built it inside conductive metal instead of insulating plastic.  [blink]

BA-HAHAHAHA!!!!  Leave it to you, Alex, to point out the obvious!   [big grin]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 09, 2021, 06:54 PM
I thought you were ridding the old world of wallpaper  [tongue]

Quite right, and my holy mission is daunting enough as it is without getting distracted by ground wires in metal boxes.  [smile]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 09, 2021, 07:08 PM
I thought you were ridding the old world of wallpaper  [tongue]

Quite right, and my holy mission is daunting enough as it is without getting distracted by ground wires in metal boxes.  [smile]

Just want you safe when you go chewing on wires.

I pity any door to door wall paper salesman knocking on your door.

As you master plaster, when can we expect you to start doing a fresco on a wall?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on February 09, 2021, 11:20 PM

1. You mean this?

2. Sometimes I think you Americans are odd fellows. 120 volt because it supposedly is safer than 240, but then you built it inside conductive metal instead of insulating plastic.  [blink]


1. Yup

2. Unfortunately, I've had the bad experience of grabbing 120V several times, and while not debilitating, it certainly got my attention.

More importantly, on one of those occasions the 120V grab prevented me from releasing the trigger on the circular saw, and I was only able to cut the juice when I ripped the extension cord from the wall because my fingers were still wrapped around the trigger switch.

I can only imagine what the outcome of that adventure would have been if i was hooked up to 240V.

On another note, as DeformedTree said, the plastic boxes in the US are horrific. Totally trash. They come with a pair of 14/16 penny nails that are supposed to secure it to the wooden studs...NOT.

Junk...Junk...Junk

The boxes flex, they move, the internal threads strip out, Junk...Junk...Junk

While the steel boxes can be attached with #9 or #10 screws and will last a life time. Besides, we can attach a ground wire to them and feel safe.  [poke]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2021, 02:51 AM
More importantly, on one of those occasions the 120V grab prevented me from releasing the trigger on the circular saw, and I was only able to cut the juice when I ripped the extension cord from the wall because my fingers were still wrapped around the trigger switch.

I can only imagine what the outcome of that adventure would have been if i was hooked up to 240V.

I've had countless shocks from 240 by now. Not one of them ever bothered me a bit.

But getting zapped with a running circular saw in your hands, how did you accomplish that? Glad you weren't hurt.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2021, 03:00 AM
As you master plaster, when can we expect you to start doing a fresco on a wall?

I actually know how to paint in an artsy-fartsy way also. I can paint your portrait just fine though I mostly work with pencils and pastels. Been a while though.

Right now I'm making frescos on every wall, all in white latex. I consider it an expression of my inner self and my vision for things to come, which are both an empty shell and a bleak future. Notice how the lines all converge to form a continuous path through a hollow plane?

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Peter Halle on February 10, 2021, 07:42 AM
ROTFLMAO!  [thumbs up] [thumbs up] [thumbs up] [thumbs up] [thumbs up] [thumbs up]

Peter
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2021, 08:17 AM
 [smile]

I also put a fresco on the window frame in the back.

I don't have to tell you experienced art critics that this time I took my inspiration from nature.

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: pixelated on February 10, 2021, 08:42 AM
It's stunning, you should quit your day job and do art full time.

 [big grin]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Sparktrician on February 10, 2021, 08:49 AM
[smile]

I also put a fresco on the window frame in the back.

I don't have to tell you experienced art critics that this time I took my inspiration from nature.

(Attachment Link)

I guess we'll have to start calling you Alexangelo now...   [big grin]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2021, 09:14 AM
I guess we'll have to start calling you Alexangelo now...   [big grin]

Yes, I am afraid I'll have to insist.  [cool]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on February 10, 2021, 11:08 AM
Great job on the Photorealism aspect Alex...here are a few that I'm familiar with. [big grin]

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2021, 05:52 PM
Nice paintings cheese, airbrushed?

All the cars and chrome look great indeed, only the skin of the woman in the second picture does not look very realistic to me.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Cheese on February 10, 2021, 06:36 PM
That’s exactly the reason I threw that photo in Alex...all the rest are very, very difficult to identify as a painting , but those legs are readily apparent.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2021, 06:52 PM
My attic is also done, I did most of it back in october and november. I also build a closet with shelves back in june or juli 2020.

I didn't think of making a lot pictures here while I was working on it. Just forgot.

But the attic was, you guessed it, one big mess. It was filled from top to bottom with stuff. My mom didn't like throwing things out. It took me weeks just to sort it all out and throw 95% of it away.

The attic was very ugly, there was never any real work done here. 4 types of carpet leftovers on the floor, brown, yellow and white carpet, and a few pieces of red linoleum. Walls fulls of holes and crumbling plaster. Not a drop of paint on the wooden beams, and full of nail holes and torn off parts. I must admit, when I was a child, I did my part of the destruction here, because the corners of the slanted roof were ideal for building huts. And as a kid, I loved building huts. And my parents didn't care what I did to the attic, as long as they had a moment of rest.  [wink]

Well, I think I made up for all that now.  [cool]

Come to think of it, I am still buildings huts, just a bit different.

There was this big old antique closet in the middle of the room. An heirloom of an aunt of my mother. I always hated it, old and ugly, and somebody once painted it old pink. That was a popular colour here in the 1920's. When I was a teenager, I had a ninja star and a BB gun, this closet made really good target practice.

But now I wanted to get rid of it, but didn't want to throw it away because most of it was red oak. And that's pretty expensive wood here. So I put it on marktplaats for free pick-up, I thought, maybe somebody wants to restore it or do something with the wood. But nobody was interested. And then I thought, wait a second, maybe "I" am somebody who can do something with the wood. And I was right about that. Took it apart and already used its wood for various projects in the house.

On the left of the oak closet there's all these shelves with all those drawers, that was my first woodworking project when I was 14 or 15, and made it with all the scraps left from my father's 1984 remodel. Quite the Frankencloset.

[attachimg=1]

Took the closet apart so now the old chimney is revealed. My father removed it from the first and second floor, but left it here in place. I'm not gonna remove it now, too much work. I'll close the bottom part with drywal and some plaster, and build a wall spanning closet over it.

[attachimg=2]

Everything removed. So many holes, this needs a skim coat of plaster.

[attachimg=3]

Left the Frankencloset in place for now because I still needed it. Due to all the work, my house was a big mess right now, and I needed a storage solution to get some law and order in here, not make it worse.

[attachimg=4]

Closed the chimney with plasterboard and plastered and painted it all. First particle boards for the shelves are in place. Nothing fancy, just something practical.

[attachimg=5]

Fast forward to end november, finished it all. After I had plastered the walls on two sides with a thin skim coat, the rest was all painting. And an incredible amount of "schuren en plamuren" as I always call it, sanding and putty-ing. In Dutch it rhymes.  [smile]
 
I also installed two types of used laminate flooring. Light brown in the corners to mark the storage places, and light grey in the middle.

[attachimg=6]

I plan to extend the shelves to the left also so it spans the entire wall. And make an elaborate system of drawers to store all my tools and fasteners - etcetera. The part with all the books is just temporary for now, I will redo that later.

[attachimg=7]

Part on the right will get more vertical dividers later on.

[attachimg=8]

And the other side of the room. This attic has never been so spacious before.

[attachimg=9]

It is amazing how quickly a stockpile of materials builds up when you're doing some work. This is like a family photo, one moment they're all nicely dressed up and sitting straight for the picture, the next moment they're muddy and all over the place again.

[attachimg=10]

I also removed the old TL-fixtures and replaced them with LED lights. I always hated te constant buzzing of the TL lights, I am so happy with LEDs.

[attachimg=11]

Another corner, filled with my trusty Stack O' Boxes. I like these, they come in two sizes and all stack together. I mark what's in it, and I have a very handy, modular system to store everything I have, and locate it in a second.

[attachimg=12]

This contraption built by my father will have to stay for now, I need the storage space. Later on I will remove it.

[attachimg=13]

My other trusty Stack O' Boxes.

Not as big as the other, but you know what they say, it doesn't matter how big it is, it's what you do with it. And boy, do I do a lot with these.  [tongue]

[attachimg=14]

That tiny window on the right is all the light the attic gets. I hope to change that to a bigger one someday.

[attachimg=15]
 
I am not yet sure what to do here with this hole for the stairs. Make a lid there, or leave it open? There are some practical concerns. Also still deciding on the fence, leave it like this or paint it?

[attachimg=16]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 10, 2021, 07:28 PM
looks nice. 

So, is there a stair case into there? or is that just an attic access hatch and you use a ladder?  The previous series with the crack, I was trying to figure out the stairs or what looked like stairs.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Yardbird on February 10, 2021, 07:35 PM
If the bottom portion of the chimney has been removed, what is holding up the upper portion?  I guess you do not have to worry about earthquakes or tornadoes, but that is still a few hundred pounds (sorry-few hundred kilos) just wedged in there.  Apparently it has held so far. 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 10, 2021, 07:41 PM
If the bottom portion of the chimney has been removed, what is holding up the upper portion?  I guess you do not have to worry about earthquakes or tornadoes, but that is still a few hundred pounds (sorry-few hundred kilos) just wedged in there.  Apparently it has held so far.

It's the Netherlands, their houses are below sea level, their chimneys above air.  [wink]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2021, 07:42 PM
So, is there a stair case into there? or is that just an attic access hatch and you use a ladder?

Oh yes, our Dutch houses are renowned for having stairs, they are the best stairs ever, and you will not find better stairs anywhere!

[attachimg=1] [attachimg=2]

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2021, 07:44 PM
If the bottom portion of the chimney has been removed, what is holding up the upper portion?  I guess you do not have to worry about earthquakes or tornadoes, but that is still a few hundred pounds (sorry-few hundred kilos) just wedged in there.  Apparently it has held so far.

Indeed, no earthquakes or tornadoes here. The stones of the chimney are interweaved with the outer wall. That's all very sturdy.

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 10, 2021, 07:57 PM

Oh yes, our Dutch houses are renowned for having stairs, they are the best stairs ever, and you will not find better stairs anywhere!

  (Attachment Link)

Oh my!

Did someone ask if they wanted a winder staircase or a spiral staircase and got a response of "yes"?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 10, 2021, 08:16 PM
Did someone ask if they wanted a winder staircase or a spiral staircase and got a response of "yes"?

I guess so.

While I am in the attic, I'd also like to point out the great PVC laminate floor I got for the entire first floor.

I got this for free from a couple who paid €4000 for this including installation.

But it did not work in their house, because a floor needs to be completely straight and flush to accept these boards. They are very thin, only 4 mm, and do not have the capacity to overcome small differences like standard wood laminate does. So in their house the boards came loose. Warranty work for them, and I could pick this up for free after it had been used for only 2 weeks.

It is so called fishbone laminate, you have a left and a right type of board, and install them in an alternating criss-cross pattern, like a fishbone. This is very high quality stuff, and I can't wait for installing them.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: rvieceli on February 10, 2021, 08:31 PM
Alex over here we’d call that herringbone. Looks good.

You seem to have a knack for finding bargains and free stuff.  [big grin]

Ron
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 11, 2021, 03:08 AM
Thanks for the correction Ron, herringbone it is.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on February 11, 2021, 05:12 AM
[smile]

I also put a fresco on the window frame in the back.

I don't have to tell you experienced art critics that this time I took my inspiration from nature.

(Attachment Link)

That's great work Alex. The painting above the radiator looks just like a window
looking out into your yard. I can almost see the snowflakes falling. :-)
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on February 11, 2021, 05:33 AM
"I am not yet sure what to do here with this hole for the stairs. Make a lid there, or leave it open? There are some practical concerns. Also still deciding on the fence, leave it like this or paint it?"

Make a swing gate for the opening in the railing. It should open out onto the floor and only swing one way. That way if you bump into it accidently you won't fall through the gate into the stairwell. If you hinged the gate such that it could open 180 degrees it could lay flat against the rail when moving materials in and out so as not be a PITA. The risk is you leave it latched open and the safety feature is lost.

If you stain or paint the railing use a contrasting color so it does not blend in with the wall. This could disguise the opening in the floor. Maybe even replace the nosing at the top of the stair with a contrasting color wood to make the edge of the floor easier to see. Sounds a little too industrial I guess but these ideas could be integrated into a home environment without being obtrusive.

I didn't notice any type of heat in the attic space, maybe a lid or hatch hinged at the wall with a counter weight would help keep the house warmer. Place the weight inside a PVC pipe so it does not bang around or get hung up on anything. The weight could be over in a corner or some other place out of the way, just run a rope or cable from the hatch through a couple pulleys.

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 12, 2021, 05:44 AM
Thanks Bob, good ideas. I'd do like to make a hatch there to keep the heat down in the floors where it is needed. The attic is very well insulated so that's not a problem, but I'm only sporadic there.

The problem with a hatch is that the heater is placed slightly over the hole of the stairs, so I can't make it in one piece unfortunately.

Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 12, 2021, 09:52 AM

The problem with a hatch is that the heater is placed slightly over the hole of the stairs, so I can't make it in one piece unfortunately.

Just move the heater over...slightly.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: hdv on February 12, 2021, 10:15 AM
When I look at that picture with the fence then I would expect the heater not to be in the way if you have the hinges of the hatch away from the heater. That is, on the right side of the hatch, as oriented in the picture. Or am I interpreting that picture wrong? It would be quite easy to check with a piece of wood of the proper length that you rotate along that right-side edge. I realise that would make hinging up a bit harder due to the longer span length-wise than oriented the other way, but it would also mean that the hatch won't be anyway near your head when you go up to the attic. Anyway, you will probably have realised this yourself.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 12, 2021, 10:46 AM
@hdv, if I make a hatch the hinghes will be along the long side, where the wall is. Hinges on the far, short side don't seem like a good idea to me.

Just move the heater over...slightly.

Creating everlasting peace on earth is probably easier.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 12, 2021, 11:36 AM
Remember the "dutch door" discussion.  Make a dutch door trap door.  Small half on the heater end.

Opportunity for a fun project, some sort of crazy door/doors.  Maybe a Lamborghini style door with a single pivot that moves up and out.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on February 12, 2021, 02:08 PM
"Hinges on the far, short side don't seem like a good idea to me."

With a counterweight it can be just as easy to open as any other configuration, and as stated might make egress easier. You could even run the rope for the counterweight to the level below so you could open the door/hatch before you ascend the stair.

If you did that the counterweight could be hidden in a pocket in the adjacent wall.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Michael Kellough on February 12, 2021, 02:37 PM
https://www.festoolownersgroup.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=65274.0;attach=327443;image

Better pictures of the heating interference would help. Until then...

Hollow-core bi-fold doors that fold to store against the wall. Bi-fold keeps folded height below heating equip. Could have a counterweight that keeps them up and use small magnets to keep them closed, after pulling down when going downstairs. Slight push from underneath as you climb would defeat the magnets and doors would fully open.

The existing fence around opening doesn’t look so bad.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 12, 2021, 04:09 PM
Alright, some pictures here.

I placed a piece of wood next to the heater so you can see how far it sticks out, it's about 4 cm.

On the right there's this little water tap with the red handle which also sticks out. I could move this though, not that much work. 

[attachimg=1]

This little bend here also sticks out 1,5 cm over the edge.

[attachimg=2]

And a full picture of the stairway. The central column of the stairs also sticks out, this is what makes a hatch in the full length impossible.

[attachimg=3]

I have these two hollow core boards I want to use for the hatch. They are very lightweight. They exist out of a hollow honeycomb core of cardboard, surrounded by a thin piece of poplar wood on all sides, and thin plastic laminate over it. I can adjust them to the exact size needed.

[attachimg=4]

Here's how that looks inside.

[attachimg=5]

As I have two boards, I was thinking of the dutch door, just like DeformedTree said, and make it in two parts, left and right. The right part is straightforward and not a problem, but the left part will hit the heater and that little bend there. I could just make a small strip of wood under the heater to off-set the difference, but I do not find that a very elegant solution.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 12, 2021, 04:36 PM
Clearly the answer is to move the starcase over 50mm.  [wink]

That top view gives me vertigo just looking at it.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on February 12, 2021, 09:31 PM
Man that is a sticky wicket.

What about two hatch panels hinged on each side (left/right) that meet in the middle and are notched around the central post of the stair. Single action using counterweight would open/close both at once.

The left side with the heater looks to be the trouble side with the heater interference.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 13, 2021, 02:57 AM
Yup. like I said, there are some practical concerns. I will let it smoulder in the pot for now and see what comes out of it later. Still a lot to do here.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: DeformedTree on February 13, 2021, 12:53 PM
I think a "flat door/floor door" what ever one wants to call it will have some issues no matter what. Have to think about how you interact with it coming up those "stairs". You have to open it while coming up them, or near the start, unless you plan to just use your head to push it up.

Something like a roll cover you roll back to the lower floor end might be an option.

Still, why not box it in on the upper floor with a conventional door into the room. Maybe build cabinets in/around the build out.

Heats going to go up thru the house no matter what, putting a door there really won't change anything energy wise unless you insulate the floor. Plus with stuff in that space, i doubt you want it to become uncontrolled.  I don't think you have kids running around up there were you are trying to either suppress their sounds, or have concern about them falling down the stairs (nothing about that setup is safe). So I guess it comes down to whats the reason for the door. Clearly it has made it a long time without. I guess if a burglar broke in, a locked door might slow them down from stealing your bins or flooring.

I would think something like a hand rail would be more of a priority, but I'm guessing you are in the mode of "I've lived here my whole life without...."
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 13, 2021, 01:08 PM
It is just to keep the heat from the second floor escaping to the attic. All that requires is a thin hatch that prevents the air from moving.

No, I'm not gonna box it in. I am also not going to make a handrail, totally not needed.

Got no kids running around now, but might not be that long, and then I will make a fence with a gate as somebody suggested above.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread - DS 400 Sucked to the ceiling.
Post by: Alex on February 13, 2021, 01:10 PM
By the way, I was sanding in the living room today with 180 grit paper on the DS 400, and an odd effect occured. Made a video of it. Shows why it is important that you can dial the suction of your vac down.

I am just holding the hose to prevent it from wandering off, the sander is stuck to the ceiling all by itself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzJBW28MTD8
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: six-point socket II on February 13, 2021, 01:14 PM
Now you've publicly uncovered the secret of how Festool came up with the idea for the CT wings  [big grin] [tongue] [big grin] [wink]

Kind regards,
Oliver
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 14, 2021, 04:12 PM
A little bit done again. Now that I'm all done with plaster for a while, it's mostly painting, and a bit of carpentry. I have to adjust parts of the window and doors frames everywhere. Sometimes only a round over with the router, other times fix the miters or make a door fit. Or this:

Looking at the window in the back of the living room, for some reason the windowsill did not align with the jambs. Probably wrongly measured before ordering.

[attachimg=1]

Luckily I had some extra oak from the old closet in the attic.

[attachimg=2]

So I quickly put the 70 outside. Just 2 cuts, but I have to haul that whole thing outside. Most of the time I don't bother putting the legs up for a quick cut.

[attachimg=3]

And the rough shape finished with the 70 and the jigsaw.

[attachimg=4]

I had been working this day for over 10 hours already and it was close to 9 PM. I told myself I should quit and finish next day as this could only lead to mistakes. But I was foolish and wanted to finish this first, just a little thing.

So I promptly put the roundover on the wrong side. Bottom instead of on top.

[attachimg=5]

And made it just 4 mm too short on the other side so you'd still see a ghastly seam in front of it. I really should have quit.

[attachimg=6]

So I had to redo them the next day. At least I had the shapes already, so just a quick copy with a pencil and then cut it with the Metabo jigsaw. Made sure the roundover was at the right side now.

[attachimg=7]

[attachimg=8]

[attachimg=9]

Then I had to sand the entire window and everything around it. A few patches on the wall also, and the radiator beneath. These four always seem to do the brink of the work for me.

[attachimg=10]

And this guys of course. Time for a selfie in my Covid gear.  [tongue] I wear this a lot lately.
 
[attachimg=11]

All the schuren en plamuren done. Time to paint. First two coats of primer on the blank spots and then high gloss paint to finish it. Have to wait a day between each layer as it's all oil based.

[attachimg=12]

And done.

[attachimg=13]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Yardbird on February 14, 2021, 04:57 PM
Great recover!  We all make mistakes.  Learning how to blend a mistake away is what separates the "men from the boys" in my book.  And remember next time to "measure twice cut once" and learn from this mistake.   

I enjoyed your progress on this project.  I also enjoy your dumpster diving adventures-probably because I have done the same. 
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Jeff Zanin on February 14, 2021, 05:08 PM
It is a lot of big things and even more small things, you are taking care of them very effectively and making very good use of the lockdown. 

Maybe you need a curfew to stop working after a certain time or after so many hours.  But we all know what it is like to want to finish something that is almost done.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: FestitaMakool on February 14, 2021, 05:19 PM
Great job Alex, fun to see your challenges going through it’s paces to finish. The window looks great!
But, hrm.. your sanders are dusty [scared] [tongue]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 14, 2021, 05:30 PM
I also enjoy your dumpster diving adventures-probably because I have done the same.

Scavenging, recycling, repurposing ... yes.  [smile] Dumpster diving ... no. We don't even have dumpsters here anymore. Normal garbage goes into big underground containers you can't access. And for big garbage like this you make an appointment with the city recycle company and they come pick it up. This time I just recycled it before they did. It is amazing how with a few tools you can make old stuff new again.

and making very good use of the lockdown. 

Gotta do something, and it's the only thing I can do right now.

But, hrm.. your sanders are dusty [scared] [tongue]

It's what they do ... make dust. And they're all close to 15 years old by now. All that dust is like a medal for their accomplishments.

A knight in shining armour .... it is shining because he never did battle.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 14, 2021, 06:06 PM
Front window primed.

[attachimg=1]

And the door.

[attachimg=2]

Have to fix a miter like this.  [huh]

[attachimg=3]

Time to make all the plinths white too. Got a bit industrial here. A painting station and a storage area.

[attachimg=4]

[attachimg=5]

[attachimg=6]





Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Bob D. on February 14, 2021, 09:05 PM
That's man glitter, not dust.  [big grin]
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread - DS 400 Sucked to the ceiling.
Post by: Imemiter on February 14, 2021, 10:30 PM
By the way, I was sanding in the living room today with 180 grit paper on the DS 400, and an odd effect occured. Made a video of it. Shows why it is important that you can dial the suction of your vac down.

I am just holding the hose to prevent it from wandering off, the sander is stuck to the ceiling all by itself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzJBW28MTD8

Is there anything the DTS 400 can't do?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread - DS 400 Sucked to the ceiling.
Post by: Alex on February 15, 2021, 01:09 AM
Is there anything the DTS 400 can't do?

Iron your clothes?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: FestitaMakool on February 16, 2021, 03:57 PM
Alex, in the army we polish our boots, every day, even more than once a day - and we proudly force our boot trough snow, slushy snow, sand, soil, mud, water... then we polish again.

Imagine, your sanders, reaching for them in their cosy home in each systainer.. 15 years, still looking good after countless hours of hard work, scratches are memories [wink]  [big grin] [big grin]

- Will you do the windows in gloss finish?
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: Alex on February 16, 2021, 04:09 PM
Alex, in the army we polish our boots, every day, even more than once a day - and we proudly force our boot trough snow, slushy snow, sand, soil, mud, water... then we polish again.

Like I said ... knights in shining armour never seen battle. Please show me your boots after 15 months of heavy shelling in the trenches.  [tongue]

Imagine, your sanders, reaching for them in their cosy home in each systainer.. 15 years, still looking good after countless hours of hard work, scratches are memories [wink]  [big grin] [big grin]

I don't have to imagine, that's exactly how it is now. They simply look dashing. [cool]

- Will you do the windows in gloss finish?

Yes.
Title: Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
Post by: FestitaMakool on February 16, 2021, 04:58 PM
Haha, good Alex - Well, I like shiny paint, even that applied with a brush. Keeps the man in charge of preparation on his toes [big grin]