Sunday, February 1, 2009

A little carpentry

While H and B are off in New Hampshire, I am hardly kicking back. (Nevermind that I'm writing this while watching the Super Bowl.) The house is in need of much cleaning, and a little repair, too. Three weeks ago I shampooed the carpets, this past weekend I was working on a bit of carpentry in the kitchen. More on that when it's done.

Two weeks ago I did a bit of woodwork to cover the transition from carpet to hardwood floor at the base of the stairs. When I refinished the hardwood floors a couple years ago, I tore out the carpet on the first floor. However, silly me, I cut the carpet all the way to the far side of the door jam leading upstairs. The floor underneath, for the width of the door jam, was just planks, not hardwood. Plus, I now had a raw edge of carpet just hanging out.

So, we've been needing a piece of wood to tack down the edge of the carpet and extend to the hardwood floors for, oh, about 3-1/2 years now. I just got around to it two weeks ago.

It wasn't exactly an easy job, mind. The profile of the door jam is not regular, nor is it symmetric left-to-right. After ruining one piece of oak, I decided that I might have better luck making a paper template to test my measurements.

To better illustrate the asymmetry I'm taking about, here are the right and left cutouts laid side by side.

To make matters a bit worse, I was doing this work during the recent cold spell. I did not relish the idea of trying to use my table saw in the garage at 20 below, so all the cuts to rough-cut the plank had to be made by hand. Aside from my own comfort (frostbite is no fun), I wondered if the cold temperature would have turned all the saw's lubricants to glue, or made the saw blade dangerously brittle.

So, hand tools all around. I made the profile cuts with small japanese pull saw, then finished with a small chisel. It ended up being a snug fit, but just right.

A little router work to radius the edges and create a lip to overlap the carpet, some stain and polyurethane, and I'm done.


Clara said...

That looks quite nice. And I have to say that I personally prefer the look of door jams that are like that.

Candace said...

Nice job, Alex!