Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Archive for the ‘photos’ Category

A fire on the hearth once again

Back in October, the glass cracked in the wood burning stove. It’s not safe to use with cracked glass, so I got right on the phone to the company that installed it for me. The stove was still under warranty and I needed to go through an authorized dealer to get the part. Unfortunately, after getting the process started, this dealer stopped returning my calls and emails. I checked with some other authorized dealers of this brand of stove but with no luck. I finally contacted the manufacturer to report that their preferred method of using authorized dealers to service their stoves had broken down. Fortunately, their warranty service provider was very helpful and with some info about my stove, got a new glass panel shipped to me at no cost. So after suffering through the worst of this winter’s cold snaps without the use of our stove, this weekend we got to work replacing the broken glass.

I’m not sure how the break happened in the first place. This type of glass is actually a form of tempered ceramic and it’s supposed to withstand the hottest of temperatures. From what I understand about glass in general, it could have been a fault in the glass itself that finally gave way. I could have been that it was screwed into the door unevenly (as we discovered when taking it apart.) Some of the screws holding it in place were wrenched down really tightly and that may have caused it to crack when everything expanded with the heat.

The bolts have to withstand pretty high heat too. They hold the little metal clip that curves over the edge of a round metal bar that holds the glass snug against the inside of the door.

Here are the clips and bolts disassembled.

Our cat, Charlatan, was on hand to provide proper supervision.

The bolts were pretty tight, either from having been tightened really hard at installation, or from all the heat. With some muscle, K.O. was able to get them all undone while I steadied the door.

The broken pieces came out pretty cleanly. You can see the braided gasket still attached to some parts of the glass. The new piece of glass had this gasket already attached.

We gave the door a quick cleaning to make sure there wouldn’t be any debris between the door and the glass.

While I held the new piece of glass and the bracing bar in place, K.O. carefully re-assembled the clips.

Using a flathead screwdriver in one hand and a Phillips screwdriver in the other, K.O. held each clip in place so it wouldn’t twist sideways as the bolt was tightened.

Ta-da! Shiny new glass!

A fire glows warmly on our hearth once again, keeping our home toasty warm on a very low budget.

Even our fluffy overlord approves.

Flashback to June 2012: Des Moines Rehabbers Club Meeting

Last June I was thrilled to tour the gorgeous home at the corner of E. 9th and Jefferson, across the street from Union Park. That house holds a special place in my childhood memories and getting to talk with its owners about its restoration was a real treat. Many thanks to Dan and Carolyn Rogers for opening their home to us and sharing their stories of the beautiful restoration work.

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Keepin’ It Classy

Here at Our New Old House we like to promote participation in democracy, even when sawing mitered corners for quarter-round trim.

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Here are the pieces for the living room and dining room cut and ready to stain.

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We went with 3/4″ rather than the usual 1/2″ quarter-round trim because the gap between the baseboard and the floor was pretty big. We wanted to make sure to cover it all up and give it a nice clean look. Take a look at these before and after pictures. I think we’re well on our way to nice and clean.

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Controlled Chaos

Chaos is no stranger at Our New Old House.

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Fortunately, this is controlled chaos. And out of the chaos, a beautiful room full of woodwork is emerging.

The masked man lurking in the shadows is K.O. Armed with a sander and an indomitable will, he helped me sand and prep all the woodwork in the living room.

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Now it looks amazing!

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We also installed the freshly stained stops on the windows and put a final coat of sealant on them.

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Living room windows: COMPLETE!

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Andronicus, stain not thy floors with blood.

Clouds and eclipses may stain both moon and sun but it was our job to stain these floors with Cherry Minwax.


But first, Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. (Does anyone else think that sounds a little dirty?)


When I did the front bedroom floor back in (omigosh) 2010, I applied everything using a brush. It was a small room and I wanted to be very careful about how much and how evenly everything was applied.


Ha! Remember that hair?

This time around I had a much larger area to cover and I also had help to keep things moving so we wouldn’t leave the stain on too long. We used wooly pads on the end of broom handles to spread everything on the floors.

Here’s the Pre-Stain going on in the bedroom. (Tee-hee!)


I still wiped everything by hand to make sure I got even coverage.

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We had some fun with the rag bag.


Then we started applying the stain a section at a time.


Once that was done we used basically the same technique to apply polyurethane. We used a variety specially made for floors. It was a little thicker than usual polyurethane (it looked and felt like maple syrup) and allowed application of a second coat without needing to sand in between.

Here are some more pictures of the staining and sealing process, in no particular order.

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