Monday, October 22, 2007

Clawfoot pain

Ouch, produtive weekend!
On Saturday my dad happened to stumble over a free clawfoot tub for the farm.
The original plans for the bathroom specified a wooden or steel basin which was supposed to serve as a shower and mainly look rustic. It never got installed and when we bought the house we only found a drain and a shower fixture. We always wanted a real tub there, so we started looking for a clawfoot (looks great and saves us from building a surround). My uncle gave one to us for free, but it had a few flaws. The outside was extremely rusty from having sat upside down in a garden for years and the inside was well worn and rough showing some rust stains through the glazing. Refinishing is darn expensive here (let's say it costs you roughly 10 times the price of a cheap new tub) and involves nasty, stinky, toxic chemicals. We had one refinished and it stank for a year. So we never got around to do it and the tub has been sitting on the verandah, covered with a door to serve as a table.
Besides, the entire drain assembly was missing.

Now a block from us in Vienna they're cleaning out an apartment, tons of trashy 70s MDF furniture. However, my dad suddenly noticed one of the guy throwing a bucket of broken glass, porcelaine, bottles and whatever into what looked like a well-kept tub. So he asked the guy what was going to happen with the tub. "Want have?" was the answer... of course!

So on Sunday we planned an extra trip to the farm and started cleaning out the tub. we found: broken dishes, glassware, shelves (MDF and real wood), a sink and countertop (one pice) made of some heavy terrazzo-like material, bottles of liquors, some half full or full, various drugs (asthma drugs for example, but also a lot of stuff we didn't recognize by the names),... oh yeah, almost forgot the huge wallet like waiters use... empty of course.
That part was easy, wearing gloves.

The interior finish was in almost perfect condition give a fingernail sized chip near the drain. Outsideit had a rustic but ok beige paint job. And most of all it had a full drain assembly (only the overflow drain line was cracked from carrying it down the stairs)!
Only downside: two feet were cracked, one still useable, one shot, but the shot one is in the back so wo could always use a brick...

Now we had to get it into the car upside down. Our family car is a Mitsbishi van with wooden storage boxes in the rear. So we had to hoist the tub up about 1m or even more to get it in. Yuck!
Then we drove out to the farm and first did some maintenance, like the last mowing of the year and the first ever with the new mower. Then we hoisted the tub out of the car... it is HEAVY! We decided to put it on the verandah and either wait for more people or call a plumber to get it inside.

Now when I got up today every single muscle in my body SCREAMED... arms, legs, back... no matter how hard you try to lift with your back, at some point it will hit your back. Yeouch!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sign of life

Just wanted to say I'm still alive... more or less. Never before in my life I had such an exhausting job, so I basically come home at 7 or 7:30 PM and feel close to dead. Subsequently, the weekends are exclusively reserved for some recreation.

I finally need to finish that endless WC poject (hardly even notice the missing paint any more ;-) ) and want to get started on the verandah project around Christmas. I'm severely tempted to put the window into the new wall facing the yard instead of the exterior wall. This will save us from whacking a hole in the brick wall, finding a window that matches in both size and style,... but will take some light (read: a lot, because the yard side is a tight, covered passage). Dunno...
Framing around christmas is going to be nice anyway - I expect temperatures around or below freezing.

However, it's the only chance to get done before next summer since I take 4 weeks off work in late December/early January.