Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Some thing actually got done in the meantime. We started caulking the bathroom (but ran out of silicone and didn't want to open the second tube before we can finish the job properly, i.e. after the door frame is painted). Also note that the wiring is finally finished! The lower single socket is for the washing machine and the double is for hairdryer, electric toothbrush etc. I'd have liked to have that next to the sink but that'd have been too close to the bath (60 cm minimum distance).

The bathroom door was a major pain in the rear. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before but it nearly made me give up. We somehow miscalculated the opening size and had to cut down the door to make it fit. The door has a rabbet (like all vintage and most new doors around here) so the curcular saw is mostly out. I gave the router with a rabbet bit a try and it sort of worked but didn't get too smooth, no matter what I did. It took like 5 or 6 passes and some work on the casings to make the door sort of fit (the walls were already tiled so I had to plane down the casings and then even cut down the tile slightly). Then the hinges gave me trouble. I'm using traditional pocket mortice hinges and that's a bit tricky. The hinges I had didn't really match the ones already on the door either so first I had to shorten the pins with an angle grinder. Then the hinges ended up being a bit off so hanging the door was quite tricky. Trying to fix the bottom hinge in place I broke two drill bits. Then I realised the hinges were too close to the opening and I had to cut down the door even further. The final straw was the lock. It's a door with glass panels and the stiles on either side of the glass are unusually narrow, requiring a non-standard mortice lock. Unfortunately some moron had kept the lock when he ditched the door. I even had some locks that are the right size but for the wrong door swing... ugh. We'll likely use a modern lock for steel doors which fits but takes a cylinder rather than a skeleton key (and costs three times as much). And that's not even all the trouble we had. That'd include ripping up the wall in order to sister the frame because one of the hinges had ended up in the aerated concrete block wall rather than in the timber.

That's the door I talked about in the last post. I think at the top right corner I used the heatgun for some reason but not sure about that.

While I messed around with stripper my dad and my brother stapled up the vapour barrier on the hall ceiling. Actually I should say nailed because the staples just shot through the plastic and they had to use nails instead.
When the plasterer came he just cut off everything below what he considered the finished ceiling level - in some spots above the goo that's supposed to seal the plastic to the wall. I hope he added some more before he plastered, otherwise we might get a nasty surprise in a few years.

Both the hall and kitchen ceilings are plastered now, that's the biggest news. I'd have preferred a full plaster & lath finish but the plasterer convinced us of letting him use Heraklith board instead of lath, pressed wood shavings mixed with cement. It only takes one coat of plaster so it's much faster to do. I'm a bit worried about cracking seams but they used fibreglass mesh, we'll see how that works out. I think Heraklith was invented in the 20s or 30s and had mostly replaced wood lath by WWII. It comes in thicknesses from 15 mm to 75 mm I think. The thinnest stuff is for ceilings with plenty of support and the thickest blocks can be used for partition walls like huge bricks. The narrow hall was done with 15 mm board and the kitchen with 25 mm.

We have another monstrous project in the works at the house in Vienna but I'll dedicate another post to that. Or rather a series of posts I guess.

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