Friday, January 31, 2014

The right tin to do

We've long liked the idea of a pressed tin ceiling for our bathroom and loo.  In fact, we had planned for it from the start, or at least we thought we had.  The hiccough we hadn't anticipated was the cost of freight - which brought the cost of materials to well over $1,500 before installation and finishing.  We really couldn't bring ourselves to spend that much and there didn't seem to be any viable second hand alternatives around.
We'd resigned ourselves to a garden variety plaster ceiling when I mentioned it to my brother.  Stagger me if it didn't turn out that he had a house worth of pressed tin that he had picked up 30 years ago from a demolition in our home town, Grenfell.  Not only did it have provenance (last century the owner had been my pre-school teacher) the price was right.  All he wanted was a set of white rear louvers for a 1956 FC Holden sedan.  How hard could that be?
With hindsight, the price was very much higher (and I still haven't found those louvers) .  Each sheet had three coats of enamel paint which needed removing along with 80 years of dust on the upper side.  All rust had to be treated, edges radiused and dents panel beaten.  Then followed an undercoat of red oxide primer and 3 top coats of white gloss.  Total time per sheet - don't even ask, but suffice to say that's two weeks of my life I won't get back!
Pressed tin in the bathroom
Installing it brought its own challenges, particularly for two vertically challenged builders like Jeanette and I.  But I have to say the end result is just what we were after.
We still have the cornice to go - I'm wondering about carving an egg and dart design into Tassie Oak. But I hope I talk myself out of it!

Monday, January 13, 2014

A concrete solution

It's not pretty - but it's finished!
Nette and I have finally discovered our dizzy limit – it’s one cubic meter of concrete.  The good news though is that we finally have a solid floor in the shed. 
It occurred to us early in the shed construction phase that with an area of 5m x 8m to lay the two of us were going to struggle to do it in one pour. So, with our second hand electric cement mixer, a couple of shovels, over 50 bags of cement, blue metal, sand and Rolex the watchdog to supervise we split the area into four and tackled it over several weekends.  We now know that with both us working virtually non-stop for 7 to 8 hours we can mix, pour and finish one cubic meter of concrete – and dare I say it - not a centimeter more.  
Step 1-build shed. Step 2-lay floor?
The result isn’t beautiful, but it’s finished.  

You may well be thinking that building the shed and then laying the concrete is the wrong way about – but it does have some advantages. Firstly, the shed walls help secure the formwork. Secondly, you are working under cover when mixing the concrete.  But most importantly, even we couldn’t get the size and position of the slab wrong. 
Next – the bathroom ceiling