April 13, 2010

And so it ends...

Here's the final look. See the first post for what came before.

Final thoughts.

Loads of fun. And I think I managed to hit all the high points of my about me blurb. Offbeat idea. Check. Freaked out wife. Check. Creative outlet and problems to solve. Check. I learned about a lot of stuff I hadn't tried before. How to work with pink insulation, casting and molding parts, woodworking and staining, lighting, flooring, and building/refinishing furniture pieces.

I like how it turned out. Undoubtedly you'd have done things in a different way and that's cool. What I hope to have achieved is this--As kids we always come up with great ideas for the perfect tree-house or go-cart or carnival or haunted house but we never really get them done. We lose interest, don't have the money, or the parents say no. I just wanted to finally finish something cool like that now that I didn't have those constraints any more. This room IS my perfect tree house now.

I say to anyone out there, think it up and DO it. It gives you an immense feeling of connection within yourself and sense of accomplishment when you finish but of course as I have said, its more about learning what you can do and who you are in the process.

Thanks for following along it was a hoot. Get out and do something yourselves to prove to the world you are here and perhaps slightly "off".

And laugh more...

March 9, 2010

Strange and mysterious Powers

Here we are nearly at the end of our trip.

A couple of final projects here. I have some touch ups on the paint around the room and some small things to do before we tie up at the pier on Vulcania for some much deserved and exciting leave...

Well as much excitement as you can possibly have at the bottom of a crater. In an extinct volcano. With no women or bars around for thousands of miles...

Anyhow, the gauges are back with a refinement requested, nay DEMANDED, by alert blog reader Jeffry. I added some piping to each of them to simulate some sort of functionality. They look oodles better and it was cheap to boot. Thank you my loyal fan...

See the previous post for how utterly out of place and ugly the functional inside of the paint booth looked. Using some spare rivets I had just lying around, some wood, and a mysterious orb given to me by a Gypsy, I built a removable front for the box. Its like a mini power supply room from like in the movie. Right? Well the Disney people used clear salad bowls and Christmas lights for theirs so this works. Anyhow it turns an unused part of the room into a little slice of Hollywood.

Once the cleanup and last couple of small projects are done I'll post some before and after shots and a round up of the salient highlights and pitfalls of the room as a warning to others.

I'm sure there are TONS of Nautilus bedrooms being made over out there...

Oooh...Check out this video. Pretty.

February 20, 2010

Nicest paint booth ever!*

*Not necessarily the nicest ever. Don't sue me.

Still its pretty nonetheless. At its heart is a regular old stove top exhaust fan unit where previously I had made a box under it with some thin MDF. It worked fine with a dryer hose run out through a blank board sandwiched in the window. Ugly and functional.

Here we have gone all hoity toity. The exterior is thin plywood glued on to the existing MDF and trimmed out with some wooden craft moldings exactly like those I used on the shelf on the computer desk. Some glue and a little time with the brad nailer and its done. The top has a flap on hinges to provide access to the fan controls and otherwise look pretty, and the bottom is a top-secret hidden compartment with the face being held in place by some stout magnets. I will keep paint, jars, airbrushes, and other stuff hidden in here.

Whats left to do,(when it warms up some), is to run a more permanent and attractive hose up and out through a 4 in. hole to exhaust outside via a standard dryer vent fixture. I am also thinking about something to block off the front of the booth when its not in use, the inside is just so ugly. Hey, I think a 27in. flatscreen would fit nicely in there!

This was the last of the major projects. (Huzzah!) I have a couple of smaller more or less set dressing type projects but I could start modeling in here anytime now if I wanted, but first I'm going to get all the paint dings and shiny screw heads covered while I still have my steam up. I figure once I start working a model then that's it for room work and we can declare the festivities closed.

However, can't get too antsy yet, there's still more to do...

February 14, 2010

A - Door - A - Bull

Right then. Here's the finished "door" for your viewing pleasure. Door to all you Land Lubbers out there, but its a "hatch" to us salty sea-going types. This was a living room project, Marsha's favorite. I put up a couple saw horses to work on gluing all the trim parts and rivets in place in the only open space we have inside. When that was finished I still had to wait for a warmish day to spray paint the thing outside.

It was primed a dark grey then given an overall coat of rust. Then I over painted with the final color that matched the porthole mirror I purchased at the USS Razorback museum last summer for just this purpose. Hiya co-tripper Jeffty! Some of the rust color kind of bleeds through giving a more three dimensional look to the finish. I am happy with the result.

The handle is supposed to look a little like a "dog" which is navy talk for the handles around the edge of water-tight doors to seal them tight against the sea or foul weather. Its kind of a neat design in any event.

The final major project, the re-facing of the paint booth and its associated exhaust piping, is well underway and will be operational soon. I am putting in a dryer vent style fitting for the exhaust and I will need a warm day for that since it requires a 4 and a half inch hole in the house. Then its on to final touch ups and details.

Alas..(or Hurray!) The end is near.

January 31, 2010

Nearly two years at sea...

February 19th 2008 was the first blog post. Wow time flies.

It looks like we are about to wrap up this little trip under the sea. Just a couple more items to do, but they are fairly busy ones.

Pictured are the gauges I was referring too previously. This was a fun little project that let me use some of my Adobe Photoshop skills. The inclinometer on top is from a real ship somewhere and I bought it last year at a nautical shop in Galveston which has really bounced back from the hurricane by the way. Some Brasso cleaned up the old brass and made it all shiny like. I had the opposite problem with the barometers I used for the other two. They were TOO shiny so I took some light grit sandpaper and a hobby product called "Patina-It" to them to tarnish them up a bit. Now they and the inclinometer look pretty close.

I started on the inside of the door too but I way way over-thought it at first. I tried using thick sheet plastic and silicone adhesive to cover the whole thing and give me a nice flat surface with the intention of hiding the wood grain. It laid out fine but as the glue dried it shrank causing all these bubbles to form (just like my map fiasco earlier). I was able to rip it off and remove the glue with mineral spirits and start over. A couple coats of primer will more than hide that grain I have since concluded. Point is, great ideas don't always work and in fact "great ideas" can end up just being plain stupid upon execution. That said, I still learned from the event and Plan B is working out fine. Not everything works right out the gate.

I have to make more rivets to finish the door. I also have to begin work on the painting booth and its hose that will exhaust outdoors. With a little decent weather, (current temp is 18 with the wind chill), I should make great strides on this in the coming week and THAT my friends will end up being the final big project for the room though there will still be some remaining tweaks here and there before I call it done.

January 25, 2010

Genuine imitation wood paneling at no extra charge

These are posts are coming quicker now...

Just a quick down and dirty one this time. My workbench is done and as you can see has certainly gotten a makeover from its stark whiteness. The legs are painted the same aged copper as the other "fittings" around the room. The side panels were too. The design is a decorative resin decor thing from Hobby Lobby, and the corner pieces are a couple wood pieces from the Home Depot. Sometimes you just gotta poke around these places fending off the "May I help you"s until something clicks in your head.

The front is some more of our old friends the rivets, and the top... the top is a stroke of genius. (well inspiration maybe) That beat up white top was just something I thought I'd have to live with but then I saw wood grained shelf paper at Wal-E-World and that saved the day. Just a last minute idea but it really will help catch glue and paint spills when I get to modeling again and be very easy to replace when it gets too mucky.

I am working on those brass gauges I mentioned in an earlier post now. I have the inclinometer cleaned up and am preparing fairly passable Engine Order Telegraph, an Seawater Depth gauges to go with it from a couple of surplus barometers. Should be ready in a day or two.

Only two major projects remain. The painting booth that you can see in the background here and the inside of the bedroom door. Thats got to be made to look metal like the walls. How am I going to make that hollow core wood door with all that grain look metal? Stay tuned!

January 17, 2010

Biggles! Put her in the Comfy Chair!

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

It turns out it wasn't the torture I'd feared, but "restored" may be too strong of a word for what I have wrought here. Whatever else you can say about my skills though, it IS a functioning chair again. I have learned that I am neither naturally gifted at upholstery work or that I could ever make a living at it either for that matter.

Originally it was stuffed with grass and horsehair or something but I just went with some seat cushion foam cut to size for the bottom. I used the old seat as a pattern and just cut everything a bit long around the edge. I pulled it tight with clamps and worked around the edge tacking it into place hoping for as few wrinkles as possible.

I used patterns to make the exact and symmetrical shapes for the chair top front and back and tacked them taut around the edges as well. Once I started it got easier as I went along. For the final touch I used some fancy looking upholstery nails and a gold trim around all the edges.

The chair itself is somewhat shorter than the computer desk chair it replaces so a lap keyboard pillow is going to be in order for any kind of typing. All in all though a nice compliment to the room.

I will be starting on my workbench project next. It is getting repainted and disguised a bit but nothing too exotic going on. The weather looks decent for the next couple of days so I should get a lot done. Things are clipping along nicely now.

Is that a light I see at the end of the tunnel?