The Screened Porch

Noel finished up the last of the screen windows for the side porch, then he assembled the big egg chair I got for out there. In the evening the sun comes from the west and makes the porch warm and comfortable, and this chair is so perfect. It's gigantic, big enough that two people can actually sit in it, or one person and a couple cats.

Once we have the door hardware on the screen door, the cats will be allowed to come out on this porch to spend some time "outside."

Egg chair on the side porch

I need to clean up the sawdust all over the floor, and I am going to do a little more furnishing out there: some metal plant stands that are currently in the kitchen, maybe get a little side table for next to the chair to hold a drink. But it's mostly there.

Screens for the Screened Porch

I've learned a lot of stuff about screen windows in the last few weeks. One is that I am not terribly fond of screen windows.

Anyway, the painters finished painting the frames for the windows. I did a very poor job of designing these, and have some regrets about how I did it, but in my defense I've spent most of my adult life in Northern California where screen windows are rare.

Anyway, the windows needed to have their screens put in, so we got a roll of screen material, and a big spool of spline, and then another big spool of spline because the first one was the wrong size, and we set to work. (When I say we, I mean Noel, because there's not really a good space for two people to work on this at once and also I've been really busy.)

The narrow screen, assembled

The first screen he put in was on the narrow window next to the door. That was a pretty good proof of concept.

Screen assembly line

Then it was just a matter of slowly working through each window. Each half of the window takes 30-40 minutes to do, and neither of us has long stretches of time with nothing to do, so Noel has been going out and doing one while waiting for something or as a small break.

Putting a screen in, in the dining room

Kneeling on the porch has been a bit rough, so the other day he tried using the dining room table, which was more comfortable and made the work go a little faster.

screen porch with a few of the screens in place

The hardware to hold the screens in place is pretty simple, as befits a porch. Just a couple turn latches at the top and bottom of the screen.

We have had a little slowdown on this project as I've taken over part of the dining room table for this little project:

Foster kittens snoozing

At this stage they need a little station where I can weigh them before and after every feeding, but they are growing well and I should be able to transition them to a less intensive routine in a week or so.

(These are not kittens we are keeping; I only foster them for the shelter.)

Back to the Bog Garden

I left off working on restoring the clawfoot tub for the bog garden last year (we got months of wildfires, I ended up fostering more kittens this year than usual, and also my work got really busy, like working until 2am most nights busy). But I really want to get that done and set up, so I set myself the goal of working on it a little every day for the next few weeks to finish it up.

One of the things that had held me up before was the feet. They are super rusty, two of them have been painted over that rust with latex paint, and I could not quite figure out how I wanted to handle that. I pondered hand-cleaning them with steel wool, but that would take forever, and what I do not have is an infinite amount of time. So I did some research on chemical rust removal.

rusty clawfoot tub foot

This week I went and got some Evapo-Rust. This stuff is pretty amazing. You soak your parts in it, and it removes the rust. You can re-use it, so when you are done you just pour it back into the bottle. Even better, maybe the best, is that it is skin-safe (and eye-safe, though I did not test that; basically you don't need to wear goggles in case of splashes).

rusty foot soaking in Evapo-Rust

I cleared the actual dirt off the feet, and one at a time I've been soaking them in a bucket of Evapo-Rust. Every time I go by it, I use an old toothbrush and give it a little scrub to help things along.

The first one I soaked for 24 hours, and this is how it came out (I took this photo right after I pulled it from the bath):

clawfoot tub foot with no visible rust left

The bright orange dots there are dots of formerly white latex paint that were stuck in the rust.

There's still some rust on there, in the impressions in the design. I'm leaving the second foot in for 48 hours, and I'll put this back in after that one is done. But it looks pretty amazing, and would be just fine like this.

The next task is to remove the latex paint from the other two feet. For that I am using Goof-Off's Graffiti Remover. I haven't tested this yet, but I do have other paint strippers I can try out if it doesn't work. Once I've got most of the paint off, I can soak them in the Evapo-Rust.

The rust coating I put on the tub body last year must have been too old, because it didn't completely work, so I've got some work to do there, as well. I'm going to wire brush the tub all over to clean it up. Then I got a new can of rust converter -- this one is Dupli-Color Rust Fix, because the local auto body shop didn't have AdCoat. I'll also use that on the feet.

Then it's a final paint coat, and I can get to plumbing.