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Monday, October 20, 2014
Chair Rail

Chair Rail

Once you start, it's hard to stop.  With the completion of the Morning Room, and a conversation with the neighbors, I decided to start adding chair rail to the Family Room.

Starting on the wall which makes up the back side of the house, where we opted for two windows, was easy, since the casing I added to the Morning Room entrance made for a nice stop for the chair rail.

We wanted the chair rail to pass through fireplace at a particular height to draw your eye towards it. Technically the chair rail is probably a bit higher than chair rail is supposed to be, maybe counter height?  But, it's a decorative, not really a practical function.

Having a nice stopping point on the other side of the room, where the hallway to the front of the house extends, however, was more of a challenge.  For starters, I intend that each entrance will be booted, like the columns, and was done for the Morning Room.  The problem with this entrance, the entrance to the Kitchen, Family Room, was that it couldn't really be cased as it were.  This is because of the damned bulkhead that extend the entire width of the house--erghhh!  I hate that bulkhead!

To solve this problem, I actually built down the entrance about 4 inches, just to make room for the 3 1/2" casing.  That worked out mostly OK, except on the left side of the entrance, the crappy bulkhead is warped lower, than on the right side.  Yet another fine example of Ryan Homes SUCKY attention to detail.  Sure, my work is straight as an arrow, wish I could say the same for their work. Sadly, there isn't much I can do to fix it, so we just pressed forward.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Remember my work in the Loft?  Those four columns I built to house surround speakers left a lot of extra trim material in my garage.  I am not one to throw much away, so for each of the 2 3/4" x 1/2"  x 8' pine trim boards I used to build the columns, I had left over maybe 25 boards that were about 1/8" thick.

When I was building the columns, I couldn't find lumber that was the right thickness for the trim.  So what I decided to do was run them all through my table saw, standing vertically, to cut the thickness down from a 1/2" board, to about 3/8".  The problem with this was that running boards through a table saw on end like this makes it difficult to get dimensional lumber.  In fact one side of the board might be 1/64" or 1/32" thicker on a side than the other.   I made it work for the columns, but I wasn't exactly happy with how things lined up--sometimes.

For the Morning Room, I felt that a craftsman style wainscoting would look pretty nice.  But I wanted it to be higher than usual, chest-height, or apprx. bar-height.  That leftover wood would do nicely, I thought, except as I started to cut pieces and put them into place on the wall, that 1/32" off really made the wainscoting looked awful!  Chatting about this with a friend of mine, he mentioned he had a planer, and that I could borrow it.

Damn!  A planer?  I've got to get me one of those!!!

If only I had thought to use one of these for the columns.  Well, I packed up the 25 boards and headed over to his place and after running them through, we were able to shave each down to dimensional accuracy, and all of them the same thickness!

The next day I began cutting them and putting them in place, using a little caulking and a pin nailer along the way.

After getting them all in place, I used about a full tube of caulk to fill in the edges, and then began painting all of it with Ultra-White, Semi-Gloss paint.

The photos below aren't the best, I apologize, but hopefully you will be able to see the contours of the wainscoting.  Also, once we got the wainscoting painted, we decide to paint the walls above a light gray color.  This color was "Warm Chinchilla" which we got at Lowe's.  My SOE picked that color, but honestly it really goes well!  I think it connects with the gray/black/white speckle of the granite we opted for (even though we don't like the granite any more).

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