Friday, December 14, 2018

Fixing a beam!

This style of Rummer was originally built with beam ends sticking out at the peaks and at the lower ends of the roof. Sticking out anywhere from 9-12 inches. When new, our house had eight of these in total. Long before we bought the house the four beam ends at the peaks had been cut flush and covered with metal flashing. All four lower beams are still there and all are experiencing some degree of rot. They've been exposed to the elements for 42 years. Painted, but no galvanized steel caps. Rot settled in many years ago and started doing its thing.

When you're not sure how to fix something, it's amazing how long you can pretend it's just not there. And the longer you "forget" about it, the worse the problem becomes. After all, the beam ends that stick out aren't really structural, so no big deal, right? 

Because it's the most visible, we chose to start with the worst one. 

YIKES!!! Seriously...the only thing holding it together was paint (Rodda Oxford Brown, of course). 
So how do you fix that crumbling mess? I had NO idea! Tear into the front of the house and replace the whole beam? Make a box beam? Get creative with epoxy?
Luckily we have The Eichler Network. It's a great resource and they have an article on this very topic. If there had been structural integrity at stake, I would have consulted a pro. But this is replacing a non-structural beam end and the steps seem fairly straightforward. 
1- Remove the rotten section of wood
2- Cut a new piece that fits in just right
3- Attach it
4- Fill and sand any gaps/seams
5- Paint it 
You're done
How hard can it be, right? Let's give it a shot!

1- Remove the rotten section of wood. 
Luckily for us, access is pretty easy -- but it's still about 8-feet off the ground so I would need to stand on a ladder. After considering a few saw alternatives, I decided to wield a reciprocating saw. The rot went further into the beam than I expected, but after about 1/2 hour of cutting and 32-inches later, I found "the good wood." 

2- Cut a new piece that fits just right
This is kinda tricky. I was cutting the bad stuff out with a hand-held reciprocating saw, on a ladder, with sawdust and rotten wood chunks raining down on my face, so the finished cuts aren't super exact. I fixed up the ends as best as I could using my grandpa's old belt sander and 40 grit sandpaper, then traced a template for the new piece on some cardboard. It still took plenty of "adjusting" to make the new piece fit snugly. 

3- Attach it
Glue? Lag bolts? Epoxy? Hmmm.....
I talked with the guys at the lumber yard and they suggested we use 4-inch, hardened, galvanized, lag-screws and toenail it together. They thought 4 would be enough, but I used 6. I pre-drilled the holes, then made them larger to countersink the screw heads.

Then I put the screws in until they were almost all the way through the new piece, applied a bunch of waterproof wood glue to both new & old surfaces, got some help to hold it in place and screwed everything together.   

4- Fill and sand any gaps/seams
I used that old belt sander with 40-grip paper where it was really out of wack (1/4-inch off at the worst spot...seems the original beam has a bit of a "cup" to it), then I used a smaller (lighter!) sander to lower the high spots and save my shoulder muscles.
For building up the low spots and filling in the seams and screw head holes, I used Bondo. It's great stuff. Just mixed it up in small amounts, glopped it in there, smoothed it out as best as I could, let it all dry, sanded it smooth, and repeated the process until it looked right.
If you try this, wear safety glasses!!! And maybe a mask, too. That dust gets everywhere! 

(SORRY! I thought I had pictures of this phase...but I can't find any. Just imagine the above pics, only smoother and with Bondo filling up the gaps and screw holes.)

5- Paint it
First a little primer... up the Oxford Brown...

...and finish up with a nice paint job. 

This was NOT an easy job. But it turned out really nice and it's SO great pretending not to see that rotten stump of a beam we lived with for so many years.
One beam down. Next up...the peaks! That'll be super tricky....


Monday, March 16, 2015

Minecraft Rummer

We have a daughter in college who seems to be spending a lot of time playing games... Maybe too much time! Here is our home recreated in the Minecraft style (circa 2015).

Front View

Back View

Front Entry and Atrium

Logia and Living Room

Living Room and Dining Room

Kitchen and Family Room

Roof View

Now, back to reality. The weather is warming and we are looking outside at all the project that are waiting for us. We have completed quite a bit in the backyard and will post some updates as soon as we have the spring clean up complete.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fixing a wall... with cooled LAVA!

Well I finally did it... I went to work on repairing the lava rock wall that's been crumbling since we bought this place.
In looking at the wall, it appears that many people have tried their hand at repairs. It's not a task for the timid. Not only do you have to mix mortar, but you need to tint it so it'll blend in with the still-standing sections.

This is the AFTER shot... I couldn't find a good BEFORE, but even better... can you spot the 5 pieces that are new? 

Add a BOSKO Tiki, traditional dresses, and it's perfect for selfies!

We had 100+ guests stop by for a quick dip in the pool. Tiki Kon 2014... this was back in July of 2014.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

We're still here!

I know it's been quite a while... but we are still here and still love living in our Rummer. 

The major projects are mostly finished and we're sort of just spending time enjoying living in a great house. 
I guess that's not entirely true... I've been working on "Plan B," our 1956 Airstream Safari. Haley says she wants to go on a trip in June and there is a LOT left to do before it's roadworthy. I'm thinking I'll start another blog to document that little adventure. 

In the meantime, we've had some great pics taken in the last year or so... why not share!

I do hereby solemnly promise to try and add updates on the home office re-do, the garage workbench, and future plans for the master bedroom and bath. 
Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rummer Plaque

Spent a wonderful day out in Oak Hills at the Rummer Tour sponsored by the Historic Preservation League of Oregon. Walked through some amazing homes; attended a MCM architecture presentation and Q & A featuring Robert Rummer himself; popped over to the open house hosted by the fine folks at the Rummer Network; then finished off the day with a fantastic steak dinner at Poor Richards. Simply perfect day!

Now, for the super exciting news!... These really cool Rummer plaques (designed by Bob and Phyllis Rummer and friends) are now available for Rummer homeowners to purchase and proudly display in their entryways.
If that isn't cool enough... each plaque is customized with the year-built for each home and automatically enters that house on the official registry of Historic Rummer Homes. It's about time! What a great way to honor the design and historical impact Rummer Homes have had on the Mid-Century Modern architectural movement in the Pacific Northwest.

So if you own a Rummer... get your plaque today!

The tour was great fun and deserves its own post. We will post our highlights and a bunch of pictures soon. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Cave

I can't believe I am posting my room of shame... MY office! That's right, and I'm sure many of you can relate to the chaos associated with your home office. It is the center of all computer activity for the entire family. It is the scheduling center, catch all/storage room... and "if you don't know where it goes, just put it in the office" room. Now, to compound my shame, my office is not a room with a door that can be shut to hide all offensiveness from visiting company. No! It is an open nook just off the kitchen and family room. Yes, it is visible. VERY VISIBLE.

Located right off the kitchen and family room.

Here is the embarrassing BEFORE picture. (It is even more embarrassing because it is actually the NOW picture, but I have plans for this to change very soon.)
The home office, aka "The Cave"

I really don't work like this. Really! It's usually not this bad, but with a massive garage clean up underway all "office" items were put in the office. Now... what to do with it all. Hmmm.

Problem #1: Limited Space
The usable area in the room (that is not used as a walk through to the garage or extra pantry storage) is approximately 5' x 5'. That's small, very small. So we have to be very efficient with the space. The needed elements are:
It really is a small space!

1. Functional desk area (this is essential for my work and to house the computer)
2. White board or other option for organizing schedules, calenders and important family business
3. Limited flat surfaces (we are terrible with clutter... need fewer spaces to just stack things)
4. Scanner/Printer station
5. Shelving... lots of storage for all the crafting and paper supplies
6. Charging station for iPods, phones and iPad

Problem #2: Storage
Even with my attempts to operate a paperless design business, I still have a lot of paper (hmmmm), books, markers, pens, straight edges, Xacto knives, swatch books, supplies and MORE PAPER. My need for good usable storage is great. 

Problem # 3: Budget
Basically, I have no budget for this office redo. Maybe $500... that's a big maybe. So I have to be really creative and resourceful with the plans.

The Inspiration
I found this fabulous wall unit a while back when we were looking for a storage piece for the living room. It was a little too bold for our formal living room, but the wild colors, clean lines, and modular design are perfect for my office. I may work in a cave, but I refuse to live like a cubicle dweller. My creative juices would dry up instantly in a beige environment.  

The Initial Design Plan

Besta individual cabinet units at IKEA are a great and inexpensive option. Mounting them on the wall in a staggered design will give the stock cabinets the custom look of a wall unit. I hope!
Overall storage design with colored doors.

Note: the cabinets will be installed on 2 walls (wall A and wall B) creating an L-shaped configuration. We will need to customize the stock IKEA cabinet doors with paint. That should prove interesting and I will devote an entire blog post to that adventure.
Inside of the planned storage.

Wall Treatment
I really want something different on the walls. Something that adds some texture as well as function. Here are a couple of the options still under consideration.

Pantry Wall:
The back wall will be serve as multi-purpose storage... brooms, kitchen pantry, misc. To keep this area versatile, we will install individual shelves and then build sliding closet doors (similar to our hall closet doors) to keep the walk way clear and conceal the clutter! (I know our storage habits... even with the best intentions, it will be cluttered. Best to plan now on how to hide it in the most attractive way.)

Now, I just need to get up enough courage go back into "the cave" and start. If you don't hear from me you know where to send the search party.