Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Oh, Am I Ever Board


In this next segment, we will finally put in the cover board under the stair step.

I have referred to this a number of times and choo may have been like "what the heck is he talking about?"  Now you can actually see it!  The floor of the sunroom is about 3.5 inches lower than the floor for the rest of the house.  So there is a small step down into the sun room.

In this picture, you can see the step up from the sunroom side.  The gap under the step actually is under the dining room floor - it's where I ran the AC, heater, data and cable TV lines into the sun room.  What's under the floor is actually the floor joists for the dining room, which are also the ceiling joists for the basement.   So I need a piece to cover this gap to hide the space and also to hide the wiring.

The green arrow, btw, points to Yr Fthfl Blggr's Big Fat Head in the pixture.

I cut a piece of pine board to fit in the opening.  It's pretty close in size, but I can't get it to slide in easily.  Turns out it's because there is some old (circa 1949) brick mortar clumped up there.  At first I thought, well, I'll just shave the board to fit, and then I said to myself, "Self, choo have a chisel and I bet you can just chip that away!"

And, so I did.  It chiseled off really easy.  A couple of light whacks on the trusty chisel and there you have it.  A heckuva lot easier than trying to reshape the bottom of the board.

Here's a test fit after the old mortar is gone.  Snugs up pretty well.

At one end is where I cut an access slot for the wiring.  How exciting is that?

Now I take ze board down to ze basement to stain it.  First I hit it with some pre-stain.  The wood is pine, so it's real soft and will absorb the stain at different rates, and the pre-stain should help it to look more even.

I have this goofy idea that I can make the pine smooth and sort of look like the oak that's on the step and the rest of the floor in the house.  Good luck to me.

To that end, I decide to grain fill the wood.  I used Elmer's Wood Filler, which I got at the Despot.  "Contains Real Wood Fibers" it says.  Hopefully it will work better than the Minwax filler I've used before.

We shall see.

You apply the filler across the grain - I used a putty knife, being careful not to scar the soft wood.  Try to pack it in as much as you can though.

After it sits for a while, scrape it off - again across the grain.

Then let it sit overnight and sand it smooth.  I used 150 grit to sand it.

The idea is that the pine is soft and the surface would look rough if it's not filled.

After sanding, I stained it with two coats of Golden Oak stain, like so.

I had this Watco clear lacquer I've been wanting to try so this was a good excuse.  A lot of lacquer is spray lacquer, but this can brush on.  The can claims that there will be "no brush marks."  Right.

Note: If you use lacquer you must must must use it only in a well ventilated area.  Not indoors unless you have an exhaust fan, and not near any spark or pilot lights.  I also strongly suggest you wear a respirator-type mask.  I got one at the Despot for $30 and it's well worth it.

The Watco went on great and looks terrific.  Part of my experiment was to see if it would work well on radio cabinets and maybe even geetar bodies.  I think it just might.

Here's the board in place.  I didn't use anything to hold it it - the weight of the "stair" and the tight fit of the board itself hold it in.  Plus I like the idea that I can always just pop it out if I need to get to the wiring for some reason.

Came out fairly well - the color is close and the filler and lacquer help make it sort of match the floor.

Next I need to cover the wiring that runs down the wall with some Wiremold.  Stay tuned!


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