Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Building a House of Railway Sleepers - Part 6

It's been a looong time (about 4 to 5 months!) since the last house building post. So I believe a little recap is in order. It hasn't been out of laziness (well... not entirely) but because of buildiness...

The rooms are (room is) Ready!

Finishing the sleepers on the rooms turned out to be a very dirty job, and I had to get a serious mask so I didn't breathe all the cloud of dust that comes out of cleaning and sanding the sleepers with a wire brush in the angle grinder. After I was done with all the walls my son Pablo and I applied Linseed oil to finish all the walls in a opaque look that has kept looking nice over the last 3 months.

The rooms were ready for New Years Eve (goal met!), but we didn't sleep in them because I hadn't build a bed or bought a mattress yet. Since these two were in financial conflict with getting to the end of the year, and buying more roofboards among other materials.

But... we spent our first night in the rooms the first weekend of January, just with the boards on the roof (no shingles, we could see the sky trhough the holes of the knots in the roofboards), and the two rooms had no dividing wall between them.

That night with our matress on the floor we discovered that a 10 x20 feet room overlooking the lake is very adequate, and much better than two 10 x 10 feet rooms (one of them with view to one a dividing wall).

So we decided that it would be better for us and the kids if we kept the large room all to ourselves and they have no room at all, and sleep in the living room and in the upper floor later on... Being young they don't seem to understand the rationale behind this. So I'll have to build a nice second floor and the room for us, so they can keep our room before they can hire a lawyer and sue me.

We still allow them to sleep in the room with us yet anyway, since the living room is not done yet, and still lacks walls and floor.

Room 721

That night we realized that our large new room has 7 windows, 2 doors and 1 step, and it has a good 180 view of the surrounding landscape. We also discovered that once the sun is up so are you, so the next week we added blackout curtains, so we could sleep a little after 7:00 am. Now we can develop photo film at noon if we wish to.

Over the next weeks we have equiped the room with a bed, mirror, night tables and storage for sheets and blankets. Along with railway nails to hang jackets and stuff. We also added the very cool double action wooden window to the (future) bathroom wall.

The Kitchen & the Table

On February we vacationed on the house for two weeks, first with the kids and the second week alone by ourselves. During those days we built the bed, the marble kitchen table with the marble my sister pamela gave me as a present, and finished the kitchen in the same way (dirrrrty wire brushing and Linseed oil) that we finished room 721.

We also applied oil to the wooden part of the table, and then we put it to good use cooking pasta, fish, steaks and hot dogs (Domingo's favourite meal) and everything else cooked in the very fast gas furnace my mother gave me for Christmas.

The table was a lot of work, first we built the wood structure for the surface, then added the sleeper legs, then a half inch layer of concrete where the marble would rest and then the red and white marble pieces in a circular fashion.

The next day we added the center piece made of oregon pine, and sanded and oiled everything, all in all two days of work. A lot if you compare it with the bed (also with sleeper legs) built in two hours. But it's not my first bed (it's the fourth actually) and it was my first viking style kitchen table.

During the vacation I also installed a water pump and a garden fawcet outside the kitchen so we have water to do the dishes, I also hooked a couple of garden sprinklers next to our room, so we have fresh green grass next to the house and everything feels cooler.


Where are we now? Adding shingles becasuse it will rain anytime soon, so we'll hurry to finish the roof properly first and then move on with walls and floor in the living room and bathroom.

I'll be adding pictures of the hopefully completed roof after this weekend.

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