Catching up

12 07 2012

As the summer heats up, a number of things start happening at my house.  The grass starts growing, then gets mowed, then grows some more, then the horrendous lack of rain turns it brown, then it gets watered, then it grows out of control but still brownish, then it rains finally, and the cycle continues.  As the temperature outside rises, the desire to be outside and have fun in the relatively short Wisconsin summers increases; but at the same time, the extreme heat prompts a rise in the desire to be in my wonderfully cool, sub-arctic feeling, cool glass of lemonade feel on a hot day climate controlled basement, where even with the air conditioning not running all that often it is probably a steady 68-70 degrees on even the hottest of days.  This certainly makes it easier to stay motivated when there are projects to complete; and even the Wisconsin summers can, at times, be too hot to handle.  It also tends to make my writing more infrequent.

With the basement basically finished and livable, Melissa and I assessed where we stood on the final areas in the basement that have not to be given the Matson Stamp o’ Completion.  The Bar area was still not finalized, and the bathroom was barely even started.  For those not in the know, we are expecting our first child in October, and since it might be a while until he can grow into his tool belt and handle a power tool, we decided that we needed to set some goals for where we want to be once this little handiless-in-waiting graces us with his presence.

We decided that the bar needs to be completely finished with the cabinet and countertop in place, the plumbing finished, and a little learning-experience adventure/mishap with the bartop epoxy corrected.  We also made a plan for the bathroom.  At the very least, by the time the little player to be named later joins our family, the bathroom must have a toilet.

Finishing The Bar

I had a little adventure with the bartop epoxy.  The solution is a mixture of a resin and a hardener.  The two are mixed together and then poured on the surface.  I must not have mixed them together the best, because after about 4 days, there were still some spots that were pretty tacky.  I read up on it and found out that if the epoxy is still tacky after that many days, I probably didn’t mix it good enough and it will never get any better than that.  Perfect.  Who needs coasters when your glass will simply adhere itself to the counter?  I’ll just make a bunch of glasses permanent fixtures on the bar and we’ll just get a bunch of straws!  I chiseled out the effected area and poured a new mixture.  This time, I went all MacGyver on it and fashioned a coat hanger into a fancy mixin’ device and stuck it in my drill.  This made mixing it much more efficient and I think much more thorough.  This final application not only came out much much much smoother, but it completely hid any and all of the chiseled areas that I thought for sure were going to be visible forever.

We also finished up the cabinet and counter.  With the help of a friend of mine, we got the cabinet in place, cut the counter top to length and depth, and installed the sink.  I have since assembled the drain which involved a lot of YouTube-ing and some advice from my friendly neighborhood TrueValue.  The last thing I need to do to put the stamp of approval on the bar is to install the faucet.

I also want to point out that I built the shelf above the microwave.

The ultimate sports bar, or at least it’s mine

The Bathroom

I had started drywalling the bathroom when we decided that I had about 3 months to get it into a working state.  The had been something along the lines of drywall, install shower, drywall rest of shower area, mud, paint, floor, finish rest plumbing (including toilet).  Since our object was altered to make the most important aspect getting a toilet working, I changed the plan to: stop drywall, get flooring in, do all the plumbing at once, (including installing the shower, install the toilet flange), then finish drywall, mud, paint, install toilet.  The reason the shower is important is because a) it actually makes up one of the bathroom walls, and b) I can’t finish the drywall until the shower is in, and I’d rather do all the taping, mudding, and painting at one time.

After learning how to install tile floor in the bar, the bathroom seemed quite easy.  It really only took me a couple of days.  I laid out all the tile that needed to be cut and had pretty exact measurements for it.  I used my dad’s wet saw tile cutter, and I even bought an angle grinder to cut a hole in the tile where the toilet flange will go.  About tile, on an effort to results ratio, it is about the easiest of all the projects I’ve done for the results.  In other words, other than the thought and planning that goes into making sure to maximize the full tile usage, limit the number of tiles needed to be cut, and making sure to cut tiles to the correct size–oh, and making sure the whole thing is square (details)–the actual process is extremely simple and difficult to mess up, even down to the slotted trowel that makes 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch rows of mortar so there is no guessing how deep or even to spread the mortar.  The next step is installing the shower, and the work continues.

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One response

13 07 2012
Erika Minnick

LOVE the bar!!! Great job 🙂 So excited for you guys to be parents!!

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