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That 'big project' I've been banging on about for a few years now....

Started by James Harrison, January 31, 2020, 08:06:41 PM

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James Harrison

Quote from: The Bullet on February 18, 2024, 01:11:30 PM
Quote from: James Harrison on February 18, 2024, 11:46:08 AMrusted solid and seized.


Try a few drops of Ballistol, wait overnight and try again. Of not successful, repeat.

I don't think any amount of lubrication would have gotten these out....



Absolutely rusted solid.



Well, I moved the bottom half upstairs and that seems to live quite happily where I had in mind for it.  My only concern is that I'm in the habit of using that space when I walk into the bathroom - because of how the door is hung, it blocks the room - so I've put it here and I'm going to see how I can live with it for a little while. 

You might also see that the remaining tiles from when I did the dining room fireplace have also migrated up here, and I'm seeing whether they would be a good fit for the bathroom floor.  I'm erring toward 'no' at the moment.  They just look too busy. 





The marble and the tiling, separated at last.  I really didn't like this job.  I started out with a screwdriver, and by the time I'd done thing we had three screwdrivers, some pliers, a hammer, a hammer drill and a chisel in play.

It's also scuffed the dining room table quite badly - one reason why I've only got a cheap one at the moment is because I was expecting it to be subjected to this sort of rough treatment.  I'm glad I've resisted the urge so far to think 'dining room is finished, get a nice new table and chairs'. 

Right- next step, live with it for a week or two and then if I don't tear my thighs open on it in the small hours, head off to the stone mason and get a new sheet of marble that  can set the sink into. 
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

SeVeNeVeS

Quote from: James Harrison on February 18, 2024, 02:08:02 PM


That marble top is almost exactly the same as I'm planning to mount my bath heater on (when I get enough money to carry on with it)


I now know what it might have looked like originally, could help me out there
Cheers James.

James Harrison

Ahh! - yours has also got the same weird band of brown/ black/ grey gunky mess that mine had/ has.  I found it comes off - or at least, most of it does - with some damp cloth followed up by furniture polish, and elbow grease. 
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

Madasasteamfish

Quote from: James Harrison on February 18, 2024, 06:05:47 PMAhh! - yours has also got the same weird band of brown/ black/ grey gunky mess that mine had/ has.  I found it comes off - or at least, most of it does - with some damp cloth followed up by furniture polish, and elbow grease. 

A possible alternative would be wiping it with a small amount of ph neutral detergent (the *well known Nottingham High Street chemists* own brand 'sensitive' type fer instance) added to a 50/50 mix of de-ionised water and white spirit, and then rinsed with a damp cloth.

That's always been the way I've known to get rid of deposits/stains on polished/waxed stone and wood. And a layer of microcrystalline wax can help protect it too.
I made a note in my diary on the way over here. Simply says; "Bugger!"

"DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH."

James Harrison

Quote from: Madasasteamfish on February 20, 2024, 05:08:51 PMA possible alternative would be wiping it with a small amount of ph neutral detergent (the *well known Nottingham High Street chemists* own brand 'sensitive' type fer instance) added to a 50/50 mix of de-ionised water and white spirit, and then rinsed with a damp cloth.

That's always been the way I've known to get rid of deposits/stains on polished/waxed stone and wood. And a layer of microcrystalline wax can help protect it too.

I will have to give that a go. A little bit more done this week - I ordered the copper mixer tap that matches the sink.  When I get around to the new bit of marble, that's the washbasin element more or less sourced. 

What would be really nice, of course, would be a copper bath and shower mixer... yes, you can get them... for a price... that might be a purchase in a few months.  I didn't think, when I set out on this caper, that the bathtub and WC would actually turn out to be the cheaper items.   
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

SeVeNeVeS

It seems you are happy with the location of the cabinet and havent stubbed toes or bruised shins, so I would say use the original marble top you are most likely going to have to drill holes in the unit anyway for plumbing and securing, its going to be there for ever so why be precious about the top? and will save money.
By all means pay to get the holes cut, that I understand may not be a DIY job but I don't see why you want to preserve the marble........
There you go, just a few random thoughts (yet again :D )

James Harrison

Quote from: SeVeNeVeS on February 24, 2024, 07:29:23 AMIt seems you are happy with the location of the cabinet and havent stubbed toes or bruised shins, so I would say use the original marble top you are most likely going to have to drill holes in the unit anyway for plumbing and securing, its going to be there for ever so why be precious about the top? and will save money.
By all means pay to get the holes cut, that I understand may not be a DIY job but I don't see why you want to preserve the marble........
There you go, just a few random thoughts (yet again :D )

Yeah, it would be a lot cheaper to do that, but I'm the sentimental sort who sees something that's survived 120-some-odd years and thinks it would be a shame for me to damage it now.  I know the same argument applies to the timber carcasing but the difference there is that the holes in that will be comparatively small, hidden and (if it comes to it) reversible. 
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

SeVeNeVeS

so may it remain in the garage wrapped for the next 70 years only to be thrown in a skip when you die.......

I know I have a house full of such treasures I just cant ditch but I know if I dont use them somehow will end up on the local tip. ::)

Synistor 303

Quote from: SeVeNeVeS on February 24, 2024, 01:55:03 PMso may it remain in the garage wrapped for the next 70 years only to be thrown in a skip when you die.......

I know I have a house full of such treasures I just cant ditch but I know if I dont use them somehow will end up on the local tip. ::)

Just finished clearing a (deceased) cousin's place of not only their own precious 'treasures', but the treasures they had inherited from their parents and grandparents... I am now looking at our stuff and thinking; if the kids don't want it, I'm getting rid of it... (Not necessarily to the tip, but charity shop or giving to anyone who might want it and use it.)

James Harrison

Well, things are still slowly moving forward;
1. I bought the copper mixer tap that matches the washbasin.  It's yet to arrive and I'm not entirely convinced that it hasn't gone missing in the mail, but we'll see.
2. I've found I can buy a copper bathtub/ shower mixer tap - we knew that anyway - but I've found somewhere that will sell me the exact same item for about half of what the first place I saw wants. 
3. Pointless buying the mixer tap without knowing what sort of bathtub I'm planning to use.  I want a roll top type but the only place it can go is where the current tub is - in a corner.  So that dictates a roll top type specifically designed for a corner, which narrows down the hand-wringing somewhat.  Of course, it's useless buying the tub until I'm actually ready to use it.  But I have a fair idea which one I'm going to go for.

I think point 3) taken in combination with the washstand (now happily ensconced in the bathroom) gives me the kernel of a concept for the space. 

At the moment that concept is built around the washstand, a corner bath, Edwardian-style floor tiles and flat metro wall tiles. 
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

James Harrison

The tap has arrived;



And taken in the round with the washbasin it's wider than the washstand.  Not much wider, but wide enough.  That settles the issue of getting a new top, then.  Because it won't fit otherwise.

Next component to source will be either the new washstand top, or the copper shower mixer.
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

SeVeNeVeS

Quote from: James Harrison on March 04, 2024, 05:41:06 PMThe tap has arrived;



And taken in the round with the washbasin it's wider than the washstand.  Not much wider, but wide enough.  That settles the issue of getting a new top, then.  Because it won't fit otherwise.

Next component to source will be either the new washstand top, or the copper shower mixer.
From the photo the top already over hangs the carcass front and sides, so to me you should see if the combination of basin and taps will fit inside the base dimentions, if not you will have to do some chopping of wood.
Not trying to state the obvious but minor things do get overlooked sometimes which can often escalate into major problems.
If it were me doing this project I would loosely assemble the whole thing, mark the position of the basin from the uderside, centre, get the hole cut in the top and then work out where and what style of taps suit making sure stuff will fit. taps may have to be mixer offset to one sise or 2 seperate taps either side of the basin, your previosly purchased bath taps just might be suitable (?). Use the the mixer in the kitchen or something.
Less bull at the gate, purchasing things that look good in theory, potentially wasting money and more planning with maybe the odd compremise.

James Harrison

It will all fit together, with the mixer tap offset, within the dimensions of the base unit.   
Initially I wanted the mixer tap to be set central to the washbasin, but the more I think about it actually the less practical that seems.  With my current set up I find the tap always gets turned to the side to give me more room over and in the basin.  I can see a situation with the tap permanently set central over the basin might become a nuisance....

That photograph by the way is a bit deceptive.  Whilst the top does overhang the base, it's by a much smaller margin than it might look.  An inch, probably a bit less than that in fact, all around. 

The problem is less one of 'it won't all fit on' and more one of 'once it's all on there's no room for my fingers', which is a bit of an issue when you're trying to turn the tap on. 

Well, it's not like I'm fit and ready to start work on the bathroom in earnest yet, so there's still time to really go through this in detail and suss out what I want, what works for me and how it's all going to come together.


 
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

James Harrison

Not much to do in a provincial town on a weeknight  :-\

So....



More accurate photo of the overhang to front and rear on the washstand.  It's a finger's width, or thereabouts. 



Not much room to play with at all when placing the top on. 



At the moment there's a radiator where I want the washstand.  This will be moved as part  of the remodel and then the washstand can go back to the wall.  Or it might stay where it is and I just have a deeper top fitted. It's about a four-inch gap or so.



Here I've placed the washbasin on top of the stand.  You'll have to imagine, for the moment, that the basin is set into a hole and actually close to flush with the top of the marble.



From above you can see it fits quite nicely, there's a decent margin of marble all around. 



But then you can also see that with the mixer tap placed central, there's a bit of an issue. 



'It's a bit tight round here'



But if I set it like this... (still within the confines of the carcass underneath)...



... that problem looks like it goes away.  I can not only reach the tap handles here, but actually turn them.
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

SeVeNeVeS

Like I say, and I know it's a bit of a faff but I would get the hole for the bowl cut first as close as you dare to the front leaving room for adequate marble to the confines of the base. Get it back and then decide where the taps should go and then take it back to the stonemason to drill the tap hole.

Next mission of sourcing would be the waste/ plug fitting. A brass/copper 1/14" "clicker" should do the job nicely ( i think brass would be a nice contrast). if there is an overflow on the basin you will need a "slotted" waste.

Approach the company you purchased the basin from and make sure it's brass and not plated pot metal, I've had past nightmares with those, one in fact shearing and snapping after a years use and they just leak. Cheap chinese rubbish.

Please don't think I'm telling you what to do. Only offering advice after over 40 years of dealing with kitchens and bathrooms, personal cock ups and bitter experience of expensive mistakes. Only trying to help me old mate.

James Harrison

Quote from: SeVeNeVeS on March 08, 2024, 10:16:17 AMPlease don't think I'm telling you what to do. Only offering advice after over 40 years of dealing with kitchens and bathrooms, personal cock ups and bitter experience of expensive mistakes. Only trying to help me old mate.

I don't think that at all; it's useful advice.  (I'm only expecting to have to do this once, after all). 
I have got the plug that matches the washbasin - that was I think the second bit I bought back in December (or maybe early January?). 

I think I've about got all the bits for the washstand (the new top excepted).  That leaves
- bathtub (not going to buy that yet, I have nowhere to store it)
- WC (not going to buy that yet, again nowhere to store it)
- Bathtub and shower mixer tap (I could order this now, I suppose)
- Radiator/ towel warmer (don't know which one I want/ can fit in yet, nowhere to store it)
- Floor tiles (no idea which ones I want, yet)
- Wall tiles (I know which ones I want.  I just don't know how many, or how much wall I want tiled).

The problem is of course that the functional fittings go in after the floor and wall finishes.  Whilst I've been applying a 'buy bits when I see them' approach so far, that can only achieve so much.  Especially when the bits I now need to buy have to harmonise with everything else.   

I think I want a much clearer idea of exactly what I'm aiming for before spending more money on this.  There's not really the freedom to evolve the design over time the same way there was for the sitting and dining rooms.  It needs to be right- or very close to it- first time. 
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

James Harrison

I think the activity this weekend will be buying a sheet of plywood and trying to make a template for the washstand top.  That will at least give me an idea of how far back the washbasin needs to be seated and where the tap can be placed. 

The remainder of the sheet I could then use as a new backing piece to the splashback, the original of which is warped (I knew about that when I bought it).  At the moment I'm a little wary/ concerned that tiles might start dropping out of it.

I don't think I want tiles all around the room.  I need them on the floor of course, and around the bath is a prerequisite, but the washstand has a tiled splashback anyway so it's debatable how necessary more tiling on that wall is.  I can also imagine that doing the whole room in dark green tiles (to match the washstand) would result in a very dark room - in comparison with those same dark green tiles on only the two walls. 

The one thing that I just don't know at the moment - and it is quite daunting - is how the strip out and replacement works are best phased and how long they would take.  What I want to avoid if possible is having the bathroom reduced to a state of complete non-functionality for a prolonged period of time.  A day (two at the outside) I could probably work around, longer than that and it would start to become an issue. 
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

SeVeNeVeS

Not going to give my opinions on design this time ( although I do have a few ideas).

Ply template is an excellent idea. (make sure you buy marine ply and seal any edges for the backsplsh)

2 days of disruption is more than a little optimistic considering what you want to achieve and the amount of work involved, unless you have a 2 week holiday planned, i would say at least 5 days plus of having to rough it.

See if your plumber can connect the existing wc to a flexible pan connector and cold water it will be a bit wobbly for a while but usable most important movable the rest of your ablutions might have to be done at the kitchen sink, good old fasioned strip washing or arrange to go to family for a shower.

Some sacrifices will have to be made for the final finish.

Do you want to change the light fitting any additional accent lighting/ wall lights for atmosphere, if so the cables have to be run before the fit out.

A few jobs you can do yourself to hasten progress is strip tiles and flooring, remembering any walls currently tiled and not in the final plan will probably have to be skimmed and PVA applied, again discomfort but cheaper and quiker in the long haul.

James Harrison



Well that's a bit of an embuggerance isn't it?  The damp patches on the dining room chimneybreast have returned.  Whats happened here is that moisture has come to the surface of the plaster and then found an impassable barrier in the form of the emulsion paint.  So what it has done then, is to blow the paint off the wall. 

I'm fairly sure I know the source of it - it's only at the bottom of the wall, there's no sign of it anywhere else in the room, I'm quite confident in asserting that it's wicking up through the house footings. 

I can't recall if this is one of the walls that was tanked when I had the room replastered a few years ago.  I suspect not, the walls that I absolutely know were tanked are completely dry.   I also recall that when the plaster was drying out this particular wall never quite got down to 'dry as a bone' levels of aridness.

The completely wrong way to fix this is to clean the wall down and just re-paint it, all that achieves is a repeat of the problem in maybe a year or two.  Then there are people who will call this situation 'rising damp' and sell you something that you paint onto or pump into your wall as a damp-proofing course, but that's completely ignorant of how masonry acts when it gets saturated and there's nowhere for the water to go. 

What I'm going to do is firstly to remove what's left of the emulsion paint on that wall.  Then I'm going to give it a coat of fungicidal wash to hopefully stop mould and other nasties growing on it.  And then I'm going to get some old-fashioned permeable paint.  This will allow the moisture in the wall to escape to atmosphere, so at least it can't do any damage to the masonry. 

Fundamentally the house is built such that the walls need to be able to breathe to control moisture.  If I were redecorating the sitting room and dining room again that is one major thing I would change - I wouldn't be painting the walls with vinyl emulsion.   
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

James Harrison

So this is what I got up to this morning.  Sanding.  Lots and lots and lots of sanding. 





Now, why is it just on the chimneybreast?  If it were coming up through the foundations as I suspect, surely it would be happening on most of the internal walls too?

The alternative hypothesis is that I've got relatively cold, humid air from outside that comes down the chimney flue.  I know it's a powerful draught because when I had the chimney replastered a few years ago (when I found that large fireplace opening that people wanted me to keep) it was bl**dy cold in there until I had the fireplace reinstated.  So cold air sinking down the flue, reaches the bottom, and can't go anywhere.  The moisture from that air gets into the brick and then starts working its way through.  If this were an external wall there'd be air movement that would encourage evaporation and the water would come back out, but this is an enclosed space so it just stays there.  Water then wicks through the masonry and into the plaster, and through the plaster.  And then blows the paint off the wall. 

One easy way of reducing this would be to open the little door in the top rear of the fireplace and at least give the air somewhere to escape to.  I just think I might have created a pocket of dead air in the chimneybreast which is a potential cause of the problem.     

The fact that I've exposed the plaster two years after painting the room and there's no sign of a salt bloom on its face is at least encouraging and suggests that I could repaint the wall with an appropriate medium and reasonably expect not to get that horrible white efflorescence. 
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

SeVeNeVeS

Just a quick thought.... do you ever intend to use the fireplace for a fire?
If not get the flue capped on the chimney pot, no more cold air from that source then see what happens..........

I had a bit of damp on one of my chimneys turned out to be old builders rubbish from previous owners and earth banked up under the floor, dug it all out to level, nothing since.

Another thought..... the flue should have an upward pull, that's what they do. to see shut all windows and doors to the room remove the restrictor plate from the top of the cast iron and chuck in a smoke pellet or two it should go up with a mighty whoosh if it comes into the room you got problems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTMhi0B8gT4

J. Wilhelm

Quote from: SeVeNeVeS on March 19, 2024, 06:18:32 AMJust a quick thought.... do you ever intend to use the fireplace for a fire?
If not get the flue capped on the chimney pot, no more cold air from that source then see what happens..........

I had a bit of damp on one of my chimneys turned out to be old builders rubbish from previous owners and earth banked up under the floor, dug it all out to level, nothing since.

Another thought..... the flue should have an upward pull, that's what they do. to see shut all windows and doors to the room remove the restrictor plate from the top of the cast iron and chuck in a smoke pellet or two it should go up with a mighty whoosh if it comes into the room you got problems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTMhi0B8gT4


That's a great point.  Though built at the expense of a historically congruent restoration, an electric fireplace would be a great excuse to have something really steampunk in the house.

Probably not legal in your neck of the woods, IDK, but there is also natural gas or other petroleum based combustibles that could replace wood or coal burning.

James Harrison

Quote from: SeVeNeVeS on March 19, 2024, 06:18:32 AMJust a quick thought.... do you ever intend to use the fireplace for a fire?
If not get the flue capped on the chimney pot, no more cold air from that source then see what happens..........

I had a bit of damp on one of my chimneys turned out to be old builders rubbish from previous owners and earth banked up under the floor, dug it all out to level, nothing since.

Another thought..... the flue should have an upward pull, that's what they do. to see shut all windows and doors to the room remove the restrictor plate from the top of the cast iron and chuck in a smoke pellet or two it should go up with a mighty whoosh if it comes into the room you got problems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTMhi0B8gT4


That's a good question and it segues quite nicely into my occasional lecture series, "Not Much To Do In A Provincial Town".

So when I got home tonight I made the people in the Care In The Community Home next door wonder if I should be one of their patients, coming outside, crossing the road, looking at my chimney and going back inside.  Three or four times.  In the space of maybe three minutes. 


https://www.youtube.com/shorts/S--w4IaDAUM

Being too stingey to actually, you know, spend money on a smoke pellet I chose instead to burn some paper.  And I think the conclusion is that the smoke does actually get drawn up the chimney.  So, no issues there. 

Funny you should mention builders rubbish in the back of the fireplace.  If you recall, when I moved in this was actually a gas fire.  I had the gas fire removed, took the fireplace down and cleaned out the back of the stack. 



And that is what greeted me when I did that. 



And that's the stuff that came out in lumps. 



And that's the stuff that came out as dust, and grit, and ash.  And it was all sopping wet. 

As to whether I'm going to reinstate it as a live fireplace, the jury is out on that.  I've been here 4 years and that tonight is the closest I've had to a fire in there in that time. 
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

James Harrison

Quote from: J. Wilhelm on March 19, 2024, 06:44:13 PMThat's a great point.  Though built at the expense of a historically congruent restoration, an electric fireplace would be a great excuse to have something really steampunk in the house.

Probably not legal in your neck of the woods, IDK, but there is also natural gas or other petroleum based combustibles that could replace wood or coal burning.

We're not allowed to burn green timber but, at the moment, smokeless coal, dry wood etc are still legal (to my knowledge this part of town is not in a clean air zone). 
Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.

von Corax

Quote from: James Harrison on March 19, 2024, 07:01:55 PM
Quote from: J. Wilhelm on March 19, 2024, 06:44:13 PMThat's a great point.  Though built at the expense of a historically congruent restoration, an electric fireplace would be a great excuse to have something really steampunk in the house.

Probably not legal in your neck of the woods, IDK, but there is also natural gas or other petroleum based combustibles that could replace wood or coal burning.

We're not allowed to burn green timber but, at the moment, smokeless coal, dry wood etc are still legal (to my knowledge this part of town is not in a clean air zone). 

FWIW you shouldn't be burning green timber anyway; it'll fill up your chimney with creosote and you'll have a chimney fire. (Unless you mean the green pressure-treated stuff, which is instead chock full of copper arsenate.)
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