Craftsman Bungalow Restoration

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Blog series by gizmodyne updated 11-20-2016 09:18 PM 29 parts 172787 reads 220 comments total

Part 1: Bungalow H...E... Double Hockey Sticks

06-13-2007 03:57 PM by gizmodyne | 7 comments »

Introducing the Money PitI thought I would blog about some of the restoration projects here at the homestead since so many of them:a) involve woodb) require toolsc) got me into woodworking In June 2001, after 7 years of “courtship,” K. and I got married. We moved from San Diego to Los Angeles for new jobs, but could not find a place to live. Our new school year was starting in a few days when we spotted an intriguing ad mentioning a rental house in “bungalow heaven.”...

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Part 2: Gasp!

06-14-2007 07:49 AM by gizmodyne | 8 comments »

Year OneOn our first night of ownership we tore out the nasty smoke and urine stained carpet (aka: floor protectors). In the first month in our new house (March 2002) we added heat and quickly painted a bedroom. Life might have continued on with me painting everything white had I not gone to a fantastic home tour in our neighborhood We quickly bought every book we could find on bungalows and took our first visit to the Gamble House. That summer we taught summer school (booooo!) and w...

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Part 3: Good Bye 1970's

06-16-2007 06:10 PM by gizmodyne | 5 comments »

Summer 03 It was time to take care of the bathroom… We called contractors for bids with a budget of 15 – 20 thousand. Most came, looked at the project, and never called back. Finally one of the contractors, a high-end company, said, “Look, for the style you want there is no way to get it at this budget.” He wrote out the order of the construction and offered to give us a list of his subs. It was time to roll up our sleeves. We ordered a dumpster. Out c...

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Part 4: Brick by Brick

06-17-2007 01:05 AM by gizmodyne | 8 comments »

Summer 03 Continued The bath was under restoration. Meanwhile the monstrosity of a fireplace had sat uncovered for 6 months. “Paint it white,” my dad said. “Put curtains around it,” (Like the elephant man?) We just smiled and said, “We’ll just wait.” A lot of the houses with redone fireplaces end up with tile. We knew we wanted to try to remain true to the house but had little clue what was there. The brick pointed to brick, but the hearth ...

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Part 5: Birdhouses for everyone

06-17-2007 04:51 PM by gizmodyne | 5 comments »

This is not exactly a restoration story. But it explains a bit about what is to come. Birdhouse By this time we had taken our first woodworking class. I had gotten a little interested in woodworking by a book my mom had given me. We had also started shopping for furniture and seen how expensive it was. Around the house I had built a fence and a small garden bench. At a garden store one day we saw a cute little bird house for around $25. “I bet I can make that,” I said....

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Part 6: Shingled Out

06-18-2007 07:19 AM by gizmodyne | 11 comments »

The paint was peeling, many shingles were missing, or severely damaged. The rafter tails were rotted. It was time to paint. We quickly removed the a.c. unit from the front of the house and the rat highway (Palm tree). We found a painter through a neighbor (Good fortune since he painted the house whose colors we liked). Did I mention the missing shingles? These are actually redwood barn shakes that come in 36” lengths. For my house’s design they are cut into 18̶...

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Part 7: The Shop!!!

06-20-2007 03:22 PM by gizmodyne | 15 comments »

The wood bug bites After painting the house and finishing the shed, I got heavier into woodworking. I had now built several tables, and other projects, but was frustrated by lack of space to work. The garage had been demolished by a previous owner so any wood projects meant driving to class or hauling my tools out of the shed and basement. The backyard when we bought the house. Note the dead trees and the massive eucalyptus stump from a tree that had fallen 20 years earlier.The dila...

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Part 8: Living Room

06-22-2007 05:10 PM by gizmodyne | 13 comments »

Let’s get it startedWe finally became permanent tenured teachers last year and decided it was time to get more done on the house. My friend Juan had found a great carpenter also named Juan who does it all… paint stripping, rough and finish carpentry, paint and stain. We took the plunge. These guys are reliable. They show up on time and even work Saturdays. They never say no. To start we planned to have them strip the living room, fix the plaster, paint, and restain, and f...

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Part 9: The New New Mantel

06-23-2007 08:12 AM by gizmodyne | 5 comments »

New MantelKristin was never very happy with the first mantel we paid for. I agreed: The color, and proportion were not right for our house. The DesignI studied all of the shelves in our house and went to my friend Juan’s to measure his mantel.I measured the inglenook and fireplace in order to layout the space in sketchup. I played with some dimensions and was happy with the following. I did not have time to tackle this project so Juan Reyes, our carpenter, tore out the old ma...

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Part 10: To Blog?

06-28-2007 04:27 PM by gizmodyne | 11 comments »

Sidenote I am trying to get caught up with the old stuff, so I can write about the current renovation on the kitchen that started this week. I have been struggling with where to keep this blog. I used to write about my house on my own blog. But I like the picture posting here. I think this site design or some variant on gardening or home renovation would be useful to the many housebloggers out there. Anyway.. I will keep on here.

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Part 11: Dining in Style

06-29-2007 02:46 AM by gizmodyne | 6 comments »

Selling Point Besides our clawfoot tub, the only nice thing in the our house when we bought it was the dining room. A picture from our walkthrough. Fir wainscoting with a plate rail. We later found out that the wall paper is a custom reproduction of a Morris and Co. paper from the turn of the century. We have visited William Morris’ birth home and country farm in England last year. The wall paper hid most of the damage. The ceiling was cracked, peeling, and had an unfinished l...

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Part 12: Back 40

07-14-2007 04:19 PM by gizmodyne | 9 comments »

Almost nowBefore I get to the current work on the kitchen, let’s play catch-up.: After a successful but expensive run on the living room and dining room we decided to keep on with the back of the house. We had two rooms to strip/stain and replaster/paint. Plus the L-shaped hallway. I will let the pictures do the talking. DenThe den before (why did I paint it like this?).. During plaster work and with windows stripped. Turns out the casements had been replaced. They look lik...

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Part 13: Summer 07 --- Kitchen Demolition

07-27-2007 05:40 PM by gizmodyne | 7 comments »

The PlanSave the plaster, the upper cabinets, all millwork, and the windows (is that millwork). The douglas fir cabinets had been refaced in the long past. Could it be removed? Before The kitchen before… Upper cabinets are original with refacing and paint.. The evil laundry porch. Close up on laundry sink. Nice huh? Under the sink. That is my poor man’s possum proofin. My first homemade shelf. Good times. If I had a hammer… Demolition Time!!!! I demo ...

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Part 14: Summer 07 --- Kitchen Weeks 1 and 2.. Stripping and Repairs..

07-28-2007 04:03 PM by gizmodyne | 3 comments »

SummaryThere was a lot going on in the days after the demolition. I worked on staining the guest room and millwork repairs to the kitchen. I oversaw the coordination of the electrical after the plumber left. The guys worked on stripping and sanding and more stripping. Here we go…. In the kitchenA shot of the area where the fridge had been. The vent indicates that this was a California Cooler. Predating fridges the were used to keep food cool. A hole in the floor let cool air from the...

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Part 15: Summer 07 --- Kitchen and Den Weeks 3 -5

07-29-2007 05:11 PM by gizmodyne | 8 comments »

Slow DownThings actually slowed down a lot during these weeks from our perspective, as the amount of work in the kitchen apperaed to be moving slowly. Plaster work and sanding are not exactly exciting. Lots of sanding. We spent time running around buying tile and so on. We went shopping….Our new (old) stove. It is tiny. One of the guys that they sent did a terrible job preparing the wood in the porch so when they stained there were evil sanding marks from the palm sander in many s...

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Part 16: Summer 07 --- Kitchen and Den Weeks 6 - 8

08-25-2007 05:01 AM by gizmodyne | 17 comments »

Where’s my Camera Cord?I lost my camera cord about a week ago so I haven’t been able to post photos recently. So some catch up with pics… (Borrowed my sister’s cord). Kitchen…. Cabinets anyone?If you followed the cabinet making journey you have witnessed some of the madness behind our method. And this week I got to install them finally. The kitchen is stained and painted now… I stained the cabinets and trim then finished with dewaxed shellac and thre...

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Part 17: Catching Up (Summer 07 - Feb 09)

02-08-2009 06:29 PM by gizmodyne | 3 comments »

How does this happen? I have been working in off and on on the house projects since summer.Last time I wrote here, we were just having the floors done. Living RoomHere is the after shot.Looking back the other wayThe inglenook Dining RoomWith the addition of the Stickley Table we hosted a great Christmas Dinner. KitchenI built and installed the custom dishwasher panelI stained and installed the remaining doors and drawers for the kitchen cabinet.Stained and installed a swinging door.I...

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Part 18: Cabinet Door Repair

02-08-2009 07:16 PM by gizmodyne | 1 comment »

The last three cabinet doors to install are the originals that I found used as shelves in the laundry room. Here they are, stripped and in temporary place. ProblemsUnfortunately two of the doors have significant damage and hack repairs. Door 1: Missing chunk of breadboardand chunk of beadboard/ breadboard at opposite corner.Door 2: Missing corner and bad repair via metal bracket thingThe other end has the sameView from end. Deconstruction I pried off the ends. These types of door a...

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Part 19: Must... make ...doors

03-15-2009 12:02 AM by gizmodyne | 5 comments »

If you remember the last time I fit the doors in…..They were all dinged up and “beyond repair.” Well a hammer and saw later(see last blog) and they were ready to stain. Procedure: Washcoat, two coats gel stain, shellac, poly. FrankenHingesNothing comes easy around here. I knew the shape of the original hinges but could not find a supplier. So I order two different types of hinges from rejuvenation… Check out the video of how I mixed the two hinges. Not rocke...

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Part 20: Madness and The Deck

04-11-2009 05:34 PM by gizmodyne | 22 comments »

Home Tour MadnessIn two weeks (April 26) our house is going to be featured on the neighborhood home tour. Over 1000 people will be walking through…. gulp. I have a to-do list longer than my arm. I’ll give you more details on that later. Item 50: Build DeckPreviously we had a crummy set of dilapidated stairs leading to our back door. After some poorly planned landscaping we ended up with a dirt circle. Seen behind me in this picture. On the upside it was a good place ...

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Part 21: Custom Refrigerator Panels 1

04-16-2009 05:21 PM by gizmodyne | 6 comments »

The Hole in My KitchenFor the past two years we have lived with a hole in the wall of the kitchen where the fridge was. I was going to turn this into a pantry, but we decided to put the fridge back in. We found a fridge that would accept custom panels. It is 36” wide. and only 24” deep to the doors.We had to cut back one stud in the wall to accommodate the depth and reinforce the floor for the weight, but the hole/nook is ready for the fridge. DesignI drew up several design...

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Part 22: Custom Refrigerator Panels 2

04-17-2009 05:24 PM by gizmodyne | 6 comments »

Fitting the doorsThe doors are held on with a piece of metal trim that protrudes from the sub door of the fridge. I decided to use a method where a 1/4” backer board is inserted into the trim and then my doors are screwed into place from the back. I soon realized it is much easier to fit my doors when the fridge doors have been removed and are laying flat. In the above picture I had already fit the freezer door. I did not take photos of this but you will see the entire process on ...

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Part 23: Making Kitchen Cabinets: Overview Design Phase

12-28-2009 12:59 AM by gizmodyne | 6 comments »

In the upcoming part of this series I will blog how to make base kitchen cabinets. I learned to make cabinets in a class and think that they are well within the range of any intermediate woodworker. This project will be a mix of traditional and modern materials/ techniques. In this project I will be making faceframe cabinets with traditional surface mounted hinges, plywood boxes, and modern drawer slides. If you are interested in building your own cabinets I think it will be a useful proje...

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Part 24: Corner Cabinets Part 2: It all starts with rough lumber. Sigh....

01-05-2010 06:25 PM by gizmodyne | 2 comments »

I ripped and rough cut up my old fir beams. We had to take this picture several times to get a shot where I wasn’t making the angry woodworker face. My poor little 10 amp Black and Decker circular saw was not cutting it. The blade kept coming loose (that’s bad). I eventually switched over to my Craftsman 11 amp and got the job done. I start by surveying the board with my metal detector. Usually I spend a few hours pulling nails, but a I am getting impatient and there were s...

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Part 25: Face Frames for Beginners

01-05-2010 07:42 PM by gizmodyne | 7 comments »

Chicken or Egg? Face frame cabinets are traditional in old houses like mine. A shot of my dining room. I have received some questions about why I started with the face frame rather than the cabinet boxes. Which is kind of a chicken or egg, pins or tails first type of question. If you do the math right it doesn’t matter as one should fit the other. Or build one to fit the space and build the other to match it (my actual method). For me cabinet building is interactive. I have ...

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Part 26: Making Solid Cabinet Panels and Preparing Ply Parts

01-17-2010 07:27 AM by gizmodyne | 6 comments »

My cabinets will have two visible solid panels. In this blog I will show the process I use in panel glue up (for bettor or for worse). Stock Selection Although the face frame stack is quartersawn, most of the original end panels in our house are plain sawn. About a year back a neighbor game me some old growth fir. Tasty!This wood was beautiful and will become the most visible panel. I also resawed some old beams to create the stock for the second less visible panel. I left the stock...

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Part 27: 165 Mortises (Domino-ed Cabinet Boxes)

01-19-2010 07:20 AM by gizmodyne | 11 comments »

Last time I built cabinets, I used my biscuit joiner. I thought about going with it again, but since I have a Domino I said what the hey: Go for it.Solid panel waiting for mortisesThe cabinets have 5 identical rails: Two at the top for attaching the counters, one to act a a face frame nailer, and two at the back for securing to the wall during installation. There is also a bottom shelf. I start by marking the approximate locations of the rails so that I put them in the right place. The si...

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Part 28: Making Window Sashes with Loose Tenons (dominos) 1

01-08-2012 07:09 PM by gizmodyne | 4 comments »

Have not been here much in the last year or so. I got a new position at work which has taken up more time in a good way. I have actually built a bunch more of the kitchen cabinets which I will post later. I am finally building some removable sliding windows for the porch. I put some fixed windows in a few years ago, but it was long enough that I completely forgot how to do the job smoothly. So I am going to document it this time. In this blog: How to make the frames. Here are two of the...

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Part 29: The Next Chapter

11-20-2016 09:18 PM by gizmodyne | 3 comments »

After 14 years we decided to sell our little bungalow. It has been a long time since the journey started and I learned everything I know about woodworking from building and renovating that house. During its listing the house was featured on the Real Estate Blog curbed and as the L.A. Times home of the day. We miss the house after putting so much sweat and tears and hard work into every nook. I also miss the shop, but it was time to move on. In the last five years our family has g...

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