Front bedroom

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Junk ready to haul away

When I moved into this house, I started piling boxes I didn't know what to do with in the front bedroom. Mostly because it had the most hideous carpet I'd ever seen, and I couldn't imagine doing much else there for a while. Then, I took out the carpet and intended to use that room as a lab; but there was too much junk in the way all the time, and it turned into a storage room. After I got married my wife nagged me for 4 years to take everything out, and make it a guest bedroom. Another back room had become the actual "lab" (to the extent I ever have time for electronics work, or just fixing things) so I just added more shelving there, and spent several weekends moving stuff to the new shelving, and getting rid of stuff I would never use again. Mostly I had a huge surplus of monitors, which were in working condition but just obsolete. Also a lot of old stereo stuff. I was always in search of a good tape deck, but being mechanical they never last long enough, so most of them needed belts and/or had developed other problems. Now I just want to get one of them working well enough to digitize all my tapes, and then get rid of them. So for now I kept the nice ones (Nakamichi BX-1 which needs an idler wheel assembly (and I don't know where to get it), couple of Sansui rack-mount ones that need belts, an old Akai top-loader, etc.) Deseret Industries is a good place to get rid of junk of this kind; they aren't too picky, and will try to sell almost anything you give them in their thrift store, or find some other use for it. (I do not support the Mormon religion, but almost every charity/thrift store has some kind of religious affiliation. At least they try to do some good works.)

Junk all moved out, starting paint prep
Junk all moved out
Scraping old carpet glue

The floor was covered with some nasty red goop (carpet glue, I assume) which had gotten hard and flaky and needed to be scraped off. Several years ago I had tried Jasco adhesive remover, which seems kindof caustic and turns it into red liquid glop that gets all over everything, and burns your skin if you get any on yourself. But I ran out of that before getting much of the floor done. I tried various kinds of tools to scrape it and then tried a brick chisel (3 or 4 inches wide) bolted to the end of a piece of pipe. (To bolt it, I had to drill a hole in it, and that wasn't easy - I think it is cast iron, so drilling is tough and I dulled a couple of drill bits doing this.) I sharpened it on the grinder and that ended up working pretty well, but still took a lot of elbow grease. My wife and I took turns at it for a few hours and got it done.


Painting the ceiling
Painting the walls

We looked at some paint pamphlets from Home Depot and liked one green room we saw, so decided to do something like that. The ceiling and doors are a greenish white and the walls are a sunny yellowish green. This room can get a lot of sun in the afternoons when the curtains are open. My wife will probably enjoy having such a sunny cheery room because most of the others are not. We were getting tired of the white walls everywhere.


Bamboo floor
Bamboo floor

Last night (July 6) I stayed up late to get this bamboo flooring done. I didn't know they made bamboo flooring, but happened to find it in Home Depot, and we decided on it mostly because I could install it myself, in one (long) day, whereas carpet would have to be ordered and we wouldn't be able to get it installed for a couple weeks. They told us all the good carpets are special order (the cheap rental-grade ones are in stock in the store) and they will not schedule the installation until the carpet has been delivered. My wife's sister is arriving in a week, and we wanted to get this room finished before then. Anyway, they advertise that bamboo is 25% harder than maple, more moisture resistant, and some web sites say that it's usually treated with boric acid or borax and therefore is also termite-resistant. (I wish I knew if this brand was treated.) That would be a very good thing, because we have had termite problems. I had to leave a gap around all the edges (for expansion, to prevent buckling in case it ever gets wet - let's hope not) and I figured I can fill that gap with some kind of powder that kills termites, like boric acid powder or something like that. Then we need thick baseboards to cover the gap.

It looks like they must grow some especially thick variety of bamboo, and then they cut it into square strips and glue them together to make boards. It is already just as cheap as hardwood (maybe a bit cheaper) and is considered environmentally friendly, due to the fact that bamboo can be regrown in 4-6 years, compared to 50 years or more for hardwood. So it would appear that bamboo farming is becoming a growing industry.

We still need to get baseboards installed, ceiling molding (because the paint line for the color change is not as smooth as I had hoped), curtains, a big rug, furniture, outlet and switch plates, and door thresholds.

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