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good breakfast, complicated flooring work, good dinner - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal
steve98052
steve98052
good breakfast, complicated flooring work, good dinner

This morning we had blueberry pancakes for breakfast – an uncommon treat for a weekday. "J" often makes double recipes so we have more for later in the day, but this time she made just a single, and we ate all of it before "T" even headed off to school.

J had a treat for dinner too: she made a salad for us. Salad itself isn't exactly a complicated dish, but keeping salad ingredients fresh around the house is complicated enough for us that we often leave it off the menu, to avoid the problem of salad fixings turning into compost instead of yummy meals. So it's a treat. The random leftovers we had with the salad (part of an omelet, some vegetarian biranyi, and the rest of a delicious home-made tortellini and soy-sausage soup) were all good stuff too.


The rest of this entry is about flooring, which most of my (presumably few) readers will likely skip.

My main project for the day was cutting floorboards around the furnace vent frame in the office (or north bedroom). There were quite a variety of cuts. I cut a small corner piece out of Row 69 #3 yesterday, and tried to make the complementary cut to Row 69 #2 yesterday, but I made a mistake on the latter and ruined the board (or at least that end of the board). So, the first order of business today was to follow the to-do list I wrote last night, and re-cut the replacement board. I cut the replacement board correctly, except for a small mistake that I can fill with sawdust and urethane varnish. The to-do list may not have been essential, but thinking it through last night certainly reduced the chance that I'd do it wrong again.

The next two cuts were to two different pieces, both numbered Row 70 #2 because the vent frame passes through the middle of that board number in my cutting pattern. (The way I've marked such boards in the past would make them Row 70 #2+ and #2&−, but I didn't bother writing the plus or minus on the stickers because their position is obvious.) About the only thing that was complicated about them was cutting them to match the not-quite-square corners of the vent frame, and I got that done right on the first try. It was easy to cut spline notches in their ends.

The final piece, Row 71 #2 was ridiculously complicated, because of the shape of the piece (right), and the need for both the length and width of the rectangular cut-out piece to be precisely matched to the vent frame, the need for a spline notch, and the need to preserve the strength of the thin waist section. To get that shape, I started by placing the board against the table saw with the blade retracted all the way. Then I started the saw and slowly cranked the blade upward until it emerged all the way through the cut. Then I slid the board along the fence in both directions until the blade almost reached the crosscut marks. That left me with a slot parallel to the length of the board. If I did the crosscuts normally, they'd cut deeply into the ends of the thin waist section, and as strong as this bamboo is, it would be pretty fragile that way. So for the crosscuts I cut normally for part of the way, then cut the rest of the way by pushing the board on its edge, across the top of the blade. The spline notch was comparatively easy: I just put the board against the fence and slid it down over the top of the blade, and slid it back and forth until the notch covered enough of the length of the thin waist.

That procedure violated all sorts of safety rules for using a table saw, so I worked very slowly to make sure I kept all my fingers attached.

But the table saw part of the job wasn't all. I only dared make the cuts to almost the length and width I'd need to match the vent frame. I did the rest of the job with coarse sandpaper, a block of floorboard scrap as a sanding block, and a whole lot of time. That one board took longer than the entire rest of the work today.

Finally, I didn't have enough spline pieces to hold the floorboards and vent frame piece together, so I cut three more strips of it from very thin plywood. My last task for the day was squashing the spline pieces with a vise-grips pliers. It's tedious but doesn't take a lot of close attention, which made it a good task for the end of the day.

Next on the flooring agenda will be to glue the spline pieces into the spline notches, and then start nailing down more boards.

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