Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Basement Trim Finished

Skirting, as my friend Jake calls it (no doubt the proper English), has been completed in the basement. The birch veneer didn't work out as well as I had hoped it would. Seems trying to make a lining for the inside of a box that is in no way really true, plumb or square is much harder than if you were working around the outside of said box. So, instead, I opted to stain and polyurethane (heavily) the 1/4" ply that was already making the structure of the box. That had been the original plan anyway.

Here are some beauty shots.

This is the overall finished product of the most detailed section. This wall started as a 2x6 stud wall around the walk out basement corner. I built the inside wall flush, being 1" off the concrete wall that is further down left (no longer visible). This allowed me to take advantage of the offset in the two walls thicknesses to build this bench seat, built in shelf space and under bench storage. It took me a long time to settle on the color for the storage and oak bench and shelf. It's a bit warmer than pictured. The little round patch in the middle of the shelf is the mat from an earlier project last year.

Also, in the above picture, you'll note a diamond cell blind. This was reclaimed from one that my kids nearly destroyed. The original had a broken draw string and was 2 1/2" too wide for the window box. Using a long box cutting blade, with the blind compressed in a C clamp, I cut the paper portion to size (having loosened and slid aside the aluminum ends.) Then I took a metal cutting blade in my skill saw to it to bring the aluminum rails within size. After rethreading the replaced draw string with a piece of 14 gauge copper wire as a make-do fish tape, reassembling and replacing the plastic end caps, it's a perfect 36" fit inside the window box. Total cost: $1.40 for the replacement draw string.

This is a close up of some detail I ran into. The baseboards were about 1/4" higher when installed than the bottom inside panel of the storage area. I had planned 3/4" corner molding to go all the way around the opening. Where the baseboard interferes, I had to use a razor to cut out a strip the width of the bottom corner molding. Then I ripped the corner piece on the table saw to make it a flat insert that only went inside the box and not along the edge where the baseboard is. The sides of each corner molding are beveled at 45 degrees to produce mitered corners. Where the side pieces join the bottom ripped piece, pictured here, the needed a modification. The inner edge is beveled at 45, but the outer edge has a butt joint to meet flush with the top of the baseboard. All told, there are 5 individual final cuts which probably took 6 or 7 actual fitting cuts to get just right. The final result looks pretty clean.

So, with these final details in place, I can begin moving my office. Just as soon as I clean up from construction (started tonight after fixing and hanging the blind) and get some other items cleared out of the way - like some bookshelf kits that have been waiting for oh... 4 years to be assembled.