Time Thief

Monday, May 22, 2006

Wait...what day is it? I think I missed one...

How do you know when to call it a day? When you do something like this....

Yeah, that's supposed to be a rectangle cutout for the medicine cabinet. I sorta forgot that I didn't put blocking in for the top and bottom of the cabinet because I wanted to keep my options open. As I inched closer to the light, I kept thinking, "Shouldn't this thing be stopping soon? DOH!" Dummy. Can't even get the place finished without having to fix something already. This is a time when power tools are bad. They let you do things faster than you can think about it. That was Friday night at about 11 and I knew I was done for the night.

I got up early and went to the farmer's market on Saturday. My purpose was twofold: 1) get there while some gettin' was good and 2) minimize weekend-morning-lounge tendencies by getting out and getting started with the day. I have a lot to do in the next two weeks and there's no time for slacking!

I hardly ever go to the farmer's market and that's a bad thing. These strawberries tasted even better than they look. Fresh strawberries are sorely missed around here. Where I grew up, there were strawberry patches everywhere. There were even two farms just up the street from one of my suburban abodes. I don't know if it's a Kansas thing or a Kansas City thing, but I'd be hard-pressed to find a pick-your-own patch around here. I had really forgotten how much better fresh berries are until I bit into the first one of these yummies.

(Why yes, I love my yellow laminate counters. Thank you for noticing. And the blue/mauve spotted wallpaper? That's my favorite!)

The rest of the weekend is kind of a blur. I know there were Garlic Dill Steamed Potatoes. I know there were a couple of trips to Lowe's and rental of their "To-Go" truck. Their rental process is more of a pain than the Depot, but the truck has a way-cool side gate on the bed. A Lowe's recently opened less than 3 miles from the Time Thief, so I've switched hemmoraging from Orange to Blue. It was time.

There was also a lot of cursing at the tile saw, way too much thinset, and the super-exciting task of finally digging the old wax seal out from on/under the toilet flange. It's best not to think about these types things while doing them.

I now know for sure that I could never install tile for a living. I'm waaaay to slow. My mom says it's probably because I'm trying to be too perfect, but that is definitely not the case. It is far from perfect. My hope is that, at minimum, it doesn't look DIY. I've been in houses where you could just _tell_ it was someone's weekend project and to me, that would be failure.

Drooooooool. I like it even more than I thought I would. The blue is a little strong, so I'm going to try some paint chemistry for the final coat. At first I was bummed that the white of the pinwheels was different than the white of the field tile, but now I like it. It lets the pinwheels stand out more.

If only the corner pieces of the shelf rail were finished, then I'd be ecstatic. I'm having a very tough time getting the miter to come out right. My first couple of cuts were way off. I switched to some spare wood trim pieces for more tests to make sure what I thought I was doing was the right thing. The wood trim fit perfectly on the first try, but I've got it the easy with with wood. I just went to the miter/chop saw, slid the blade to 45, held the trim upright, and cut. Wish I could do that with the ceramic tile.

Okay, so I tried to think logically. The tile saw is just an upside-down chop saw with a fixed blade. So, angle the tile instead of the blade and it should be fine. Nope. Still WRONG. I think I've realized that the problem is I don't have 90 degrees anywhere.

I know I should have pictures to demonstrate this, but I'll try to explain. The blade isn't large enough to cut through the whole piece at once. I have to do one cut right-side-up and finish it upside-down. I had been setting the piece on the saw oriented 90-degrees to the table. But, when it's on the wall, the top and bottom are not 90-degrees to the wall. There's a slight tilt to the top and bottom. I think if I replicate this angle, then the cut will work out. Must be time to make a jig.

I've just been slicing off bits of the same two tiles, so I haven't wasted much yet, but I only have a couple of spares. I'm getting to the nail-biting phase. I'm going to let the ideas simmer for a while and come back to it. I've already wasted far too much precious time on these 4 pieces. They'll get some attention again after there's a functioning toilet and sink.


  • Check the classifieds. I've been to a strawberry place off I-29 up by Platte City, but I don't remember the details.

    This site might give you a starting point:

    Here's another list:

    Good luck!

    By Blogger Mike, at 11:24 AM  

  • Hey - those are great resources! Thanks!

    By Blogger SmilingJudy, at 2:08 PM  

  • If you were really desperate you might be able to take the tile to your local small hardware store. There is a true value near my house that cuts almost anything for you, of course you pay a premium for it but if you feel like you will waste tile doing it it might be a good idea for just the really difficult pieces.

    By Blogger Greg, at 8:48 AM  

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