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  1. #1
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    Adventures in DIY

    And now for something even farther off topic...

    For the last few weeks, I've been plugging away at remodeling our master bathroom. I'm not talkin' just paint and towel bars. We're pretty much gutting the place. My garage looks like a Home Depot warehouse...tile, thinset, grout, light fixtures, vanity cabinets and top, vessel sinks, water fixtures, and a whirlpool tub.

    What with my day job, a limiting physical condition, and other life goings-on, it's been pretty slow going but it's finally starting to look like some progress has been made. I've grabbed a snapshot of the progress here and there and put them in a project gallery.

    If you've got anything going on, feel free to share it here.
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2014-Aug-27 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Repaired link
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  2. #2
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    Thanks, gonna borrow your shower floor idea for my current impossibly uneven one!
    Not mine, but quite admirable:
    Basement Project: Hand-made Lamborghini Countach

  3. #3
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    Looks like a lot of work, Peter.

    The only DIY I've done recently was to put a bookshelf in my office closet.

    Not just a normal bookshelf, though - it's two-sided and built on a 12-inch lazy susan. When the sliding door to the closet is open, the bookshelf can be rotated to get at books on either side.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarongsong View Post
    Thanks, gonna borrow your shower floor idea for my current impossibly uneven one!
    If you're going to tackle a tile shower yourself, you may find this site invaluable. I stumbled across it after getting my project underway and it steered me away from trouble on what I hadn't yet started. If I'd found it before starting, I absolutely would have gone with the Kerdi shower system.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  5. #5
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    Last winter I finally finished the master bathroom I started a couple of years before. One of those 70's vintage things with yellow formica counter and flocked metallic wallpaper.

    The big thing was gutting to the studs and opening the room up. Signature piece was one of those triangular Jacuzzi tubs in the corner. I did very careful measurements and worked out that if I removed the door and frame I would have exactly enough room to maneuver the tub in. Except that I forgot the new tub was four inches higher than the old one.

    Patching the hallway wall I had to rip out was a real pain. Tub worked out nicely, though.

  6. #6
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    I'm considering doing a DIY bathroom upgrade in the master bath. Its... bad. Cramped and seriously way out of date. But I don't trust in my carpentry skills yet and my plumbing skills... well I can fix a faucet. But I also don't want to accidentally shower the room underneath it.

  7. #7
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    Home Depot ALERT!!

    I just completed a bath remodel as well. To the studs and sub floor.

    So I decided to keep the 48 vanity and just repaint it. But the top was deep blue formica with baby blue sink insert. Icky I know, but it was the 80's and I was building the entire house as well as working. The ex wife talked me into it as it was to be the kids bath and I had my plate full.

    So to today. I chose a solid surface with built in sink for $170 at HD. Adding the cost of the solid counter and adding a sink, my labor with an overall 2 week dead line. I figured it was quicker and cheaper and looked quite nice. But when I got home and started the assembly I noticed the error of my ways. The fawcet was drilled for 8 inch centers and what I chose was a reasonable priced 4 inch fixture.
    So there I was at 8:30 PM the day before my dead line rushing out to Lowes and HD. The 8 inch fixtures started at $100 and went up from there! Twice what the 4 inchers cost. They had me by the short hairs and I had to pony up.
    Does the world need 8 inch centers for a bath?

  8. #8
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    Nice cat.

  9. #9
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    There's an amazing amount of information packed into that site---thanks again!

  10. #10
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    Update

    I finally finished setting tile in the shower area and grouted today. After some caulking and touch up painting, I get to hang the new shower door and install the shower trim hardware.


    Click for larger image
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2014-Aug-27 at 08:38 PM. Reason: Repaired image/link
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  11. #11
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    Hi, Good job. Remember to read and understand your hardware directions well, and procede under caution as per 'application' for your situation. If need be, return to the seller to exchange for the correct one, or best advice in how to use the one you have.
    A well lit garage makes a great staging area, truly nesessar to the success of the job. The trick is to finish the job in a timely manner . Success will be forthcomming. The smart guys read...often.
    Best regards, Dan

  12. #12
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    You are great..! You have done beautifully. Inspirational you are for all. Most of the people not doing this they hire someone else who does it better.

  13. #13
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    Sweet, Brett!

  14. #14
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    This update isn't very far down the road from my last but it feels like a project milestone: the shower area is pretty much done. The last obstacle to putting the shower back in business was the shower door I installed Saturday. Once the silicone bead cured overnight, we could shower upstairs again! Besides the newness factor, the experience was doubly odd after showering in the tub downstairs for so long. It's larger, there's no curtain constantly brushing against us, and we have the feel of tile underfoot again.

    For reference, the photo on the left is a "before" picture of sorts, taken after I began demo. I was so intent on getting started, taking a pre-project photo slipped my mind. On the right, of course, is the completed shower.


    Click for larger images

    All that remains in this area, is a wall cabinet that's still on order and some paint on the window and door trim, plus a little touch-up here and there. Next week, I start removing the old whirlpool tub and tub deck in the outer bath.
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2014-Aug-27 at 08:42 PM. Reason: Repair image links
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  15. #15
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    Looks great Brett, I am always doing stuff to my house, I have knocked walls out and rebuilt them making an archway, tiling floors and walls in my down stairs toilet and laying floating floors in the three bedrooms. A womans job is never done. I have pictures but they are too big in size to upload.
    The real art of conversation is not only saying the right thing at the right moment but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the most tempting moment. -- unknown

  16. #16
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    I don't have any projects on. But i do a lot of this kind of work as part of my job. Looks very good to me, nice work!

  17. #17
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    Never had any problems doing bath remodels.
    (Other than making the mistake of doing one during an Ohio winter - did you ever try to shower in an unheated basement during the middle of winter??? Brrrr...)

    The only DIY project I ever regret doing was tiling my kitchen floor. Did a great job, but even with kneepads I blew out both knees and haven't been the same since... next time I'll hire someone to do that part.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAFriend View Post
    The only DIY project I ever regret doing was tiling my kitchen floor. Did a great job, but even with kneepads I blew out both knees and haven't been the same since... next time I'll hire someone to do that part.
    That's what my bro does, though they haven't had work since circa Thanksgiving.

    The other week he got a side job, and afterwards he said something like "It was great to find some work, but after being off so long, look what it did to my knees." His knees were bruised to hell, swollen, and had cuts around where the edges of the pads run (and yes, he was wearing knee pads).

    Doesn't sound appealing to me.

  19. #19
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    My knees can give me trouble, too. Heck, in my condition, almost everything gives me trouble. I spent a lot of time on my knees in the shower area: floor demo, two layers of sand mix ("deck mud"), mortaring the curb, tiling, grouting, caulking, sealing, whew! I trashed the first pair of knee pads I bought...cheap, uncomfortable, aggravating pieces of junk they were. I paid a bit more for the current gel-filled pair and they work pretty well.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  20. #20
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    I'm impressed, folks! I used to buy houses and remodel portions of them during my down time. These days I live in an apartment! I can move furniture and hang pictures on different walls...

    I still do all my own work on my car. Does that count?

  21. #21
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    I spent a lot of time on my knees in the shower area
    Thank you. I'm filing that away for the next time I need to black-mail a moderator.

    ...err, I mean... good post.

  22. #22
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    We're finishing our basement for much needed (okay - wanted) additional space. Quite a project. If anyone wants to know a nice trick to hang 14 ft sheets of 5/8th's drywall on a nine foot ceiling with just you and one other person - I know one, thanks to my father-in-law.

    Building nice maple cabinets now.

  23. #23
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    For my next DIY project, I'm trying to repair one of my Altec Lansing Model 6 speakers. The midrange silent. I already tried swapping the speaker out for it's twin in the other unit, but no go. So now I'm replacing the capacitors on the crossover circuit. These speakers are not designed to be easily repaired, I think. The case, which is super sturdy, doesn't come apart, so I had to break off the four plastic retainers to get at the circuit board from the front. Trying to access it through the woofer hole was also a no go. I'll replace the plastic retainers with wood screws. Hope the capacitor replacement does the trick because I think I'll have to enlist professional (read: expensive) help if it doesn't. These speakers, which are about 40 years old, sound really great when paired up to a good system, such as my equally ancient Kenwood receiver.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    For my next DIY project, I'm trying to repair one of my Altec Lansing Model 6 speakers. The midrange silent. I already tried swapping the speaker out for it's twin in the other unit, but no go. So now I'm replacing the capacitors on the crossover circuit. These speakers are not designed to be easily repaired, I think. The case, which is super sturdy, doesn't come apart, so I had to break off the four plastic retainers to get at the circuit board from the front. Trying to access it through the woofer hole was also a no go. I'll replace the plastic retainers with wood screws. Hope the capacitor replacement does the trick because I think I'll have to enlist professional (read: expensive) help if it doesn't. These speakers, which are about 40 years old, sound really great when paired up to a good system, such as my equally ancient Kenwood receiver.
    Didn't work. Now I'm sad. As much as I like these speakers, it's probably not worth shipping them somewhere to be refurbished.

  25. #25
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    The main trick I know is to use a "dead-man". You don't have to buy beer for a dead-man, which I consider a huge benefit at the end of the day.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    The main trick I know is to use a "dead-man". You don't have to buy beer for a dead-man, which I consider a huge benefit at the end of the day.
    I dunno, if the song's right, your "dead-man" wouldn't say no to a stiff drink at the end of it.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    The main trick I know is to use a "dead-man". You don't have to buy beer for a dead-man, which I consider a huge benefit at the end of the day.
    Much easier in fact. Better support for the entire sheet and less lifting involved. He made a giant lever. Screw short 2 x 6 into the studs near the ceiling. The lever was a long 2 x 4 rectangle hinged to the 2 x 6. Slide the sheet up the lever, lift against the ceiling, hinged suport legs drop down to the floor and the sheet is held.

    No beer for a big lever either.

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  28. #28
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    And this jig has to be removed and re-attached for every sheet?
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    And this jig has to be removed and re-attached for every sheet?
    Back out four drywall screws - slide down the wall - rinse and repeat. The thing I liked about it is that it holds the entire sheet against the ceiling with no flex. All you have to hold is drywall screws and a driver. When you're hanging 14' sheets, two dead men won't hold the middle and end flat.

    Plus it's cheap. Buy a couple 2 x 4's and some hardware. And you can use the 2 x 4's to build something else when you're done, so it's recyclable.

    A pro wouldn't use it. They've got better tools. But for a one time project, it beat spending money on tools that I'll never use again. And it beat paying a pro to hang it.

  30. #30
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    Hmmmm...if I ever have to drywall another ceiling, I'll have to give that some thought. Although, it's unlikely I'll ever use 14' sheets! The only place I could conceivably use them is upstairs...but they won't make it up the stairs.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. ó Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

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