Call it Rustic, not Crude: The Odyssey, #3: The Prize

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Blog entry by rejo55 posted 04-23-2012 07:34 AM 8493 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: The Travail Part 3 of Call it Rustic, not Crude: The Odyssey, series no next part

I decided to wait for the re-do on part two, The Travail, and let you in our PRIZE. If I can follow all the different instructions I got from you all, and I thank you very much for the response, maybe something good will happen, so here goes:

The Humble Abode, ten years old.

Come on in! This is the view as you walk in the front door (more or less). Miss Honey Ma’am had me build bookcases and shelves on both sides of the entertainment center this past week. I’ll probably update this later. She sanded the walls three times and applied three coats of oil based poly on every interior wall, except for the guest BR, which we furred out with 1×2’s and put up drywall, which she papered, the back wall of the dining room, which she painted, and the stick-framed wall between the kitchen and utility room, which she papered over drywall.

Come on back here and turn around. This is the living room. The kitchen is on your left and the hall to the right.

As you look left from the front door, this is what you see. MHM didn’t like the look of the “nekkid” cypress stairs, so she painted a runner. I think she done good.

This is the hall going to the master suite on the right and the guest bedroom and an “extra bedroom” (my music place) on the left. The door at the end is the guest bathroom. MHM kinda chastised me for not taking the sweaters and jackets off the clothes hook on the wall, but, heck, we live here.

Looking into the dining room from the kitchen. The buffet on the left was made out of solid 5/4 red oak. Our number one son-in-law made it for us before the flood in the old house. This thing is ten feet long and is four pounds heavier than a bull. When our house flooded the last time, when we could get back in to assess the damage, this buffet had floated up almost to the ceiling and was lodged between a door facing and a corner of the room. We had one. heck. of. a. time. getting that thing down without getting it torn up or ourselves killed. It is a monstrous, but beautiful piece of furniture.
Standing in hallway, looking toward the kitchen. There will be a shot and a story about the low wall to your left.

Her kitchen. A couple of years ago she wanted to rip out the mosaic tile countertops because they were too hard to keep clean. We shopped for what seems like a month before she settled on a kinda wine-colored Formica, which we had to special order. We installed it and she loved it until she realized that every bread crumb and speck of anything looked like a boulder. Now we are thinking about some other top—probably Formica, but NOT wine. She would love to have granite or Corian but those are waaaaay outside our budget. I might wind up pouring a concrete top. Don’t know, yet.

She wanted punched tin in the cabinet doors until we priced it, so we decided that we could do it much cheaper. I bought a roll of 12” galvanized flashing and she copied a pattern from an old table runner she had. I got some Masonite, traced the pattern on it, got my Dremel tool with a bit that is the size of a 4d finish nail and bored holes about every quarter inch around the pattern. I had some 4ft by 8 ft sheets of 1/2inch cardboard, so I cut a piece, laid it on the table, laid the flashing on top, and put the template over that. I bought two pounds of finish nails and started driving them in the pre-drilled holes. I found that it was better to leave the nails in as I drove them for two reasons: 1- they anchored the flashing and template and 2- I could see if I had missed any holes. We had priced the door handles and the ones we liked were out of sight, so she bought three dozen tablespoons at the dollar store for nine dollars and I bent them and screwed them on. Neat, huh? And inexpensive (spelled C H E A P ).

This is the only stick-framed wall in the house; between the kitchen and the utility room. The easiest way I could figger to install the supply lines and drain for the washing machine. MHM hung the quotation from Proverbs 31:26 and thought for a long time that one of our smart- a** granddaughters put up the “addendum”, but I finally told her that I did it.

She wanted a handy place to store some of her canned fruits and vegetables, so we decided that since this double window, which used to look out on a screened-in back porch but now looks out at a walled in storeroom, I built this shelf unit out of 1×4 SYP and just stuck it in the window. The window is still there. This just sits on the sill. She liked it, which put me in ecstasy!

This opening was made for my aquarium and MHM wanted shelves over it. I didn’t want to put up shelf brackets, so I screwed four 5/16 lag screw hooks into the header, cut four pieces of chain, bored four holes in some cypress lumber, threaded the chain through the holes and slipped 1/4” slick rod through the chain links under each board. Of course, it started “swanging”, so I screwed a 1” brass angle bracket under the center of each end to stabilize the assembly. They don’t support, just stabilize, and are unobtrusive.

Standing on floor, looking up between the walkway and the front truss at the loft room. The loft room is nice, but low. If we had planned on this room, we would have pitched the roof steeper, but I can stand up in the center of it. The grands and great-grands spend most of their time up there when they are here. It is full of MHM’s sewing supplies in big plastic totes and I just wasn’t up to climbing those steep stairs and cleaning it up for this “shoot”. You’ll just have to take my word that MHM did as good a job up there as she did in the rest of the house. She said that she would like to have a shelf along the wall to display some old glassware and nick-nacks, so I got some more lag screw hooks and some more chain and suspended her a shelf all along the kitchen wall in the living room. I also suspended one over the front door.

The monstrous buffet that you saw was on the back wall of the dining room, where the hutch is now. She wanted more room for the hutch, so we turned that big sucker perpendicular to the back wall and I framed up a low wall behind it. I then ripped the rounded edges off of some more landscape timbers and just faced the wall with them to match the rest of the house. I also installed an electrical outlet in it for her irongboard and vacuum cleaner. She immediately usurped that wall for her collection of crosses and religious things. I thought it turned out purty good.

The writing on these two boards pretty well sums up our philosophy and our priorities. We made them many years ago. I don’t think I have to say more.

These trusses were my greatest disappointment. When I cased them in with 25 year-old air-dried cypress, I took extra special pains with the fit, because, to me, they were the “high point” of this house. I worked slowly and when I got through, you could not see a seam or joint anywhere. Lo and behold, here on the Gulf Coast, “air-dried” must mean something on the order of 25-30 percent moisture content, because after about two years inside, in the top of the room with the air conditioner going, those boards shrunk in length and breadth and they look like hell, now. As I said before, that’s something for the grandkids to worry about. I’m too old now to get up there and do anything about it.

Well, there you have it, folks. The Prize. It was an Odyssey. The construction was a travail, because this was a labor-intensive project. But, in the end, The Prize was worth it. I wouldn’t take anything for it, but would NOT build another like it at my age. It has, literally, our lives’ blood in it, but it is us.

Thanks for lookin’ and have a good’un.

Joe and Pete (MHM) Remore

-- rejo55, East Texas

6 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2713 days

#1 posted 04-24-2012 01:33 AM

That is absolutely amazing! You two definately aren’t afraid of work. I like everything about your house but am curious about the flooring as I don’t think you said anything about it. Thanks for posting this and tell your bride she keeps an immaculate house!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View justoneofme's profile


639 posts in 2503 days

#2 posted 04-24-2012 03:52 AM

Well done Joe, getting your photos and write-up into blog form! What a wonderful and cozy home you and your wife have created … it was well worth the read, and those photos show off the talents of your joint labours of love!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View rejo55's profile


190 posts in 2265 days

#3 posted 04-24-2012 06:06 AM

Thanks, y’all. @gfadvm, the flooring is another story on its own. It’s just a cheap, foreign-made wood parquet. It has three coats of water-based poly on it (and is due for some, now). The story comes in the form of this:
We had calculated the total square feet that we intended to cover with it and trucked ourselves to Lowe’s and picked it out. The “flooring specialist” told us that we would need about five gallons of adhesive to put it down, and she showed us the can that we needed. So we picked up the can and the tiles, loaded them and took them home.
We found the center of the room, popped our lines and started very carefully laying them. We had about half of it down when we looked back and every damn one of them was sticking up just like a turtle’s head. Some of them were even broken. Panic!!! I grabbed the can of glue and saw that it was water based!I told MHM that we probably shouldn’t lay any more (joke) and we hightailed it back to Lowe’s. Of course the “specialist” was gone, so
I got the store manager and told him what had happened. He was properly apologetic (no, really), and offered to replace the tile and send a crew out to take it up and re-lay it for us. Well, Ol’ Chivalrous Joe (the idiot) said, “No, if you’ll just replace the tile and give us the proper adhesive, we’ll take care of it.” I’ve never seen anyone agree so quickly in my life. It took us three days of excruciating pain to scrape the tile up and get all the old glue off the floor. MHM and I both had blisters the size of quarters in our hands when we were through. That’s the reason I didn’t mention the floor in the blog. Just the memory puts shivers up our spines. Strange thing, though, the water based poly on top didn’t bother it. I suppose it was because there was some kind of finish on top, but the bottom was raw.

Have a good’un’


-- rejo55, East Texas

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2713 days

#4 posted 04-25-2012 12:41 AM

Joe, I’d have taken that manager up on his offer in a heartbeat! You guys are a tough pair! Keep on keepin on.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#5 posted 04-25-2012 12:56 AM

That’s an amazing place lots and lots of personal touches and a real homie feel.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View justoneofme's profile


639 posts in 2503 days

#6 posted 03-29-2013 03:49 PM

Hi Joe!! How are you and Miss Honey Ma’am doing?! I just happened to be going over a few of my projects … wondering how long I’ve been with LumberJocks, and was reading all the comments regarding my ‘Apprentice Piano’. Your glowing praise caught my eye, and I wondered if I had missed any blogs from you … so tapped onto this last one.
No more blogs? No projects?? This is just a note to let you know that I’m thinking of you, and hope all is well with you and yours. Happy Easter!

-- Elaine in Duncan

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