The school-turned-condo building we're working in has 3 floors; we're currently working on the 2nd. Today I noticed something strange in one of the former classrooms on the 2nd floor.
In the center of what was once a classroom, there are a series of holes cut into the floor, and the holes form a perfect circle, maybe 10'-12' in diameter. The holes have since been filled in with wood plugs, and nobody seems to know what the purpose of the giant circle and holes in the floor were.
Until somebody can figure this out...not knowing what those things were for is going to bother me a little bit.
The delivery of the kitchen island/cart got bumped back a few days, so updates on it - and some video - will have to wait. In the meantime, I was fortunate enough this week to get to jump in with a carpentry crew working on the conversion of an old, vacant school building in south city to loft condos...36 of them. The original school building was designed by William B. Ittner, who designed a **few** things in the St. Louis area, was constructed in 1907, and covered over 60,000+ square feet at the time of its closing in 2004.
The work we're doing is relatively straightforward stuff - kitchen cabinet installation, 3-piece baseboard installation, hanging all the doors (which isn't easy, because a fair number of doors are going into the original wood jambs, and those things haven't been square, level or plumb in quite some time), repairing some of the original wood windows, and doing a laundry list of odds and ends. One of the really cool aspects of the work is getting to see the reuse of some of the original building details, and in some cases handle the installation; a number of wooden built-in cabinets are being reused and incorporated into the units as closet/shelf space, some of the original blackboards still hang on the walls in the units, the old-school cast iron and wood coat racks were cut into small sections and installed inside the front door of each unit, and most of the original hardwood floor - maple, I believe - is being refinished.
There's still a lot of work left to do, but man...what a fun project.
It's been a chaotic week, but I'm getting close to finishing the kitchen island/cart I started for a client a few days ago. The top is butcher block style, and made of maple that I got from U-Pick Hardwood, easily my favorite hardwood lumber supplier. The steel, which makes up the frame and shelves, came from Shapiro Metal Supply. I got casters from Consolidated Truck & Caster, which was the only material supplier of the three I just mentioned that's anywhere close to being convenient for me to get to (and partially why this build has taken a few minutes).
At this point the steel is 95% welded and the butcher block top is glued up in 2 separate pieces. Tomorrow's work will include finishing the welding, putting the top together, and fabricating some way to attach the casters. And getting everything cleaned up. And painted. And assembled. And delivered. It's been a fun build - welding anything always is - but man...what I wouldn't give for a chop saw. Cutting steel with a grinder, exclusively, is for the birds.
Well, it's a little anticlimactic, but it's done. I stopped filming anything during the last hour or two of the project build because I flat out didn't have time - literally zero minutes to spare - to deal with that stuff, and I was pretty flustered as it was due to the dulling of every chisel, plane and saw I used throughout the project. Work with enough reclaimed lumber and the dirt, nails, etc. take their toll. I needed my tools sharp, and they weren't...and I needed sleep, but there was no time...and working on the last piece of the puzzle - the stretcher - was NOT fun due to the things I just mentioned.
But the video of the build, all 4 parts, is finally done. There's a project taking place right now - a maple & steel rolling kitchen island/cart that is pretty much the polar opposite of the table build in terms of design and materials - that I'm filming as I build, so maybe the next video or two will show some improvement. Hopefully, anyhow.
If you've been checking out the videos, thanks for watching. Having put together a few at this point, I have a whole new respect for the people who make a living as YouTube content generators. You wouldn't think it - I didn't, at least - putting together a 6 or 7 minute video every couple days would be all that arduous of a process...but it definitely can be, especially for a rookie like me. But they're kinda fun to do, so that makes up for the time required to assemble these things.
Anyways...thanks again for watching, and keep your eyes peeled for the next one!
For all the sawdust I've made in my life, I still get pretty mesmerized by the big tools at the steel yard that make big sparks. An upcoming project requires some steel angle and steel plate, so I ventured up to Shapiro Metal Supply today to pick up the materials...and watch the sparks fly.
Part 3 of 4 is wrapped up. Figured I'd stop with all the editing and reediting and reediting; the narration on this stuff has been the hardest part for me, but this video was kind of a 1-take job, on purpose, mistakes and all. Its kind of like a throwing a baseball...if ya aim the thing, and get real hung up on thinking about what you're doing, odds are good that the end result is going to be bad. But if ya just rear back and throw it, and simply trust that your mechanics are sound, more times than not you'll be OK. I HATED the narration - it sounded forced, and rehearsed and not at all "real" - on the first few videos, so on this one...I just chucked that baseball as hard as I could and hoped for the best.
Enough about video narration. Here's the 3rd video covering the trestle table build, and the 1st one - of 2 - where I get after the table top. The table top was simple, but involved a LOT of steps - edge jointing, glue up, split repair, trestle frame pockets, breadboard ends, flattening - and in hindsight, required way more time to build than I thought it would.
Man...these things take a silly amount of time to put together. And I'm still struggling with knowing when the call things "good" and get the video uploaded to YouTube, and when to keep editing. Not having a decent microphone sucks even worse - I think - than not having a real camera, so maybe that'll be the first upgrade to the setup when the time comes.
Until then...I'll keep plugging away. It's really tough to chop 20+ hours of work down to a 10-minute video, and it's a bit of a challenge to put the videos together for an audience that did NOT build whatever the video features (because I DID build the thing), but as long as each one is a littler better than the one before...and I'm not sure I pulled that off between videos 2 and 1...than I'm in good shape.
Anyhow...here's the second video in the series, the fabrication of the trestle frames. I'll try to get the next one put together a little quicker...
After a silly amount of editing and editing again and editing again...I'm sorta happy with what I came up with for the first installment of the trestle table build video series. There's not a lot of actual build footage included in this first video, but I do spend the first couple minutes introducing myself and the project, and that only took about 43 takes to get something that wasn't entirely horrible. As it turns out...staring at a camera and talking to it, without taking any big pauses or tripping over some words or saying something obnoxious or just feeling a little weird in general...it's not as easy as I thought it would be.
Anyways...here's the video. The next part, where I actually start building stuff, should be up sometime soon.