Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sanding the day away...

There is always plenty to do around here  in the summertime... gardening, of course, taking care of Murphy and Tucker, any improvements we want to do on the house or barn, and just normal upkeep kinds of things. Winters can be severe enough that upgrades and upkeep need to happen in the summer, or they may not happen at all.

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One of the yearly upkeep jobs I do is treating all the exposed wood on the house with wood preservative. I'm pretty religious about this because of our history with this house. It's a 40 year old log home, that we had to rebuild and stabilize (eventually covering the logs with stucco) because previous owners hadn't taken care of the exposed log walls. The only exposed exterior wood we have now are large timbers around the doors and windows, and the deck railing.

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The deck is another strange thing about this house. When we bought the house, the upstairs deck (off the master bedroom/classroom) had no railing... you just walked out the sliding glass doors to 4' of flat garage roof followed by a 10' drop to the driveway. This was NOT a good thing... Why the previous owners removed the deck railing is beyond me. One of the first things we did after buying the house was have a railing built around the deck.

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Here are a few before and after pics of that process:

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No deck railing... and before most of the exterior repairs (only the chimneys had been rebuilt here)...

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... the big header is up...


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... Aha, a deck railing... no more death drop off the classroom!


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That was 7 years ago, and each year I treat the wood of the railing when I treat the rest of the wood with wood preservative... and over the years it's built up on the horizontal parts of the deck... especially the top rail. It had built up so thick that you could hardly see the grain of the wood. That top rail was also looking pretty sad because the roofers who replaced our roof after last year's big storm, tossed our old roof off the house over the deck rail...  hitting the rail countless times, leaving it chipped, dented and looking neglected.

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Yesterday I impulsively decided to sand that top rail down to the bare wood and start all over again. I'm not sure why, but yesterday was "the" day... so I pulled out the orbital sander and got to work. It's a loooooooong deck railing and it was harder to sand through all those years of wood finish and dirt than I thought it would be.

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It was so exciting though to see the dirt and grime come off and see the gorgeous redwood gleaming again.

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It took a long time to get it sanded.... I'd sand a section or two, then come inside and get a drink or just sit for a minute, then I'd start sanding again. This continued all afternoon. Finally I had the last section sanded and could start coating it with the wood preservative.

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Oh. my. It looks so beautiful....

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The wood glows again...

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I feel a little soreness in my shoulders today from sanding... probably by tomorrow my arms will be too sore to be functional... but it was totally worth it.

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I LOVE how it looks....

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(On today's agenda: wood preservative on all the deck railing wood that I didn't sand!)

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