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Me and Sylvia (April 4, 2002)

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Slugs leave trails, sheep leave droppings, bees make honey, and humans leave two things: art and garbage. Where these meet is called entertainment.

Robyn Hitchcock


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Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004

A simple water-saving home improvement

In the course of remodeling our bathroom, which will happen next month, I will be installing an on-demand hot water recirculation pump I bought from Advanced Conservation Technology of Costa Mesa, CA. I am just speaking on supposition right now as I have not used the pump yet; but it just seems like a really good thing to do without any downside -- you get your hot water without standing around waiting; and you avoid wasting ~10,000 gallons of water/year that would otherwise run down the drain while you're waiting. So I'm encouraging anyone who owns their own home to do this. It's not very expensive (~$350) or difficult to install. ACT is not the only company that sells these pumps. BuildingGreen.com has an article about them.

posted afternoon of December 22nd, 2004: Respond
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Saturday, April 30th, 2005

A First

I have many projects in my woodworking portfolio that took longer than they should have taken -- furniture pieces generally take me two months minimum and it's always been a source of frustration for me. But tonight I built my first piece of furniture (well, more "finish carpentry" I guess) that I finished in a single session -- 3 hours from a board to installation. It is a built-in shelf in our new bathroom. The main time-consuming part of it was carving out a recess in the surface of the shelf -- basically I wanted the shelf to have a lip around its edge, so I chiseled out the area inside the lip with my new set of gouges*. I was able to get it quite flat except for one corner where the grain is funny -- there is a rise and a depression there. But everything is quite smooth.

The shelf is mounted between the moldings of two doorways. I had been thinking for a few days, that a shelf would be nice there, but could not figure out how to do it. This evening it hit me -- pocket screws! I have never used pocket screws before; but I cut pockets for them out of the board with a chisel, and it worked just great. After we finish the painting in Sylvia's room I am going to post some photos of various home improvements we have been doing; I will be sure to put a shot of this up.

(Here is a post I wrote at Woodcentral about the technique I used to hang the shelf.)


* I really want to recommend these gouges by the way. If you enjoy carving wood they are going to add dramatically to your enjoyment. They are 18 fishtail gouges in various widths and sweeps, plus two parting tools, available at the low low price of $200 from Woodcarver's Supply. I say they are "new" but I actually bought them about a year ago and have used them lightly a couple of times since; this is the first heavy work I have done with them. When I saw them I found them too good a deal to pass up; plus I love fishtail gouges, and I only ever see straight gouges for sale elsewhere.

posted afternoon of April 30th, 2005: Respond
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Thursday, May 26th, 2005

Project pix

Got my scanner working!

posted morning of May 26th, 2005: Respond
➳ More posts about Sylvia's room

Tuesday, April first, 2008

Bathroom Renovation

For the past few months, we've been in the process of renovating our 2nd floor bathroom -- workers in and out of the house, trucks driving up and delivering large heavy objects, paint odors and sawdust mixing with our air... It's finished now! And what an improvement -- the old bathroom just was not a well put-together room. Besides that the tiles were old and ugly and the fixtures falling apart, the layout was nonsensical. You pushed the door open into a narrow corridor next to the bathtub and at the end of the bathtub there was a little bit of space and then the toilet; the sink was placed so that you would always knock into the corner of it when you were going by there.

We rearranged the space pretty radically and as I said, I think it's a huge improvement. Before and after pictures are here. The design and the painting (which still has a little bit of touching up to be done) are my and Ellen's contributions, the other work was contracted out.

Update: I posted a rough floor plan of the before and after layouts here.

posted evening of April first, 2008: 3 responses

Thursday, April third, 2008

Bathroom layout

Per Mr. Fritz's request, a comparison of our bathroom floor plan before and after the remodeling project:

Only very roughly to scale. But the basic message communicated, that there is now a lot more open space in the bathroom through which to move, is an accurate one.

posted evening of April third, 2008: 4 responses

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Ellen's article about our bathroom renovation(s) is out, in today's Star-Ledger. With nice pictures of the rooms, and a lovely picture of Ellen and Sylvia.

posted evening of September 10th, 2008: Respond
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