Monday, June 14, 2010

Knox Hill Project: Weekly update

No huge projects this weeks. Yard work continues. We continue to work in the basement with cleanup and are working out the logistics of the HVAC ductwork. We also now have a working front porch light!!!! I know not a big deal for most people but its the first time in 139 years the house is actually lit up so in the overall scheme of things its news.
One important project however is the tin work on the front dormer. Our house like many in the day had a tin cornice and decorative window trim. After 139 years , it is of course showing its age and I began the process of repair. The only "bad' places on the tin work is at the bottom of the decorative "blocks" at the base of the trim. This tinwork was common in Cincinnati (not so in the rest of the country, as it was usually only on commercial buildings.) Now there are some local roofers who can duplicate stuff like this , and the cost is high. I prefer to 'repair' things that are original whenever possible rather than replace.
I worked on the west side first as it was in better condition. First I made a template on some cardboard then transferred that to the metal. This was cut with a heavy tin snip. I made the "patch" a larger area of repair so it went to a natural "break' in the design and the repair would not be so noticeable. Even though this is seen from 30-40 feet away you eye can pick up seams so you want to make sure they are in a good position.
The pieces are fitted for match, the edges are deburred using a dremel with a grinder on it to get them as smooth as possible. The patch panels are attached using a two part epoxy suitable for meta and the edges are then soldered together. For good measure I use a couple of screws in key areas to hold things together while the epoxy dries. In a week I will remove the screws, fill the holes with solder, prime everything with a good primer and then carefully remove any built up flakes of paint off the old metal and it will look as good as new. A little caulk over that to protect the seam joints until they are primed. In case you are wondering about the painters tape? This is a flatter area that water could collect on and the tape protects the base metal until I can prime and paint next week.
So one side done, I've already precut the repair pieces for the other side , but I ran out of time so that's a project for later this week! I will also a new base Sill trim under the window and she will be good for another 100 years!

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