Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

August 22, 2011

More August fun & games......


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We took out the fireplace.  Here is the aftermath of the lowering a removal of the parts.  Those are some really handy miniature chain hoists that I was able to borrow from work.  They made the task fairly easy.

Fortunately, there were some little steel rings welded to the chimney and we just tied the hoists to those rings.

This is the welded steel base that sat on top of the stonework.  It held the glass fireplace doors and glass panels, and the hood was sitting atop this structure.

This is the heat exchanger that was built into the hood.  It was heavy and we had some difficulty getting it out of the hood.

So here is the base after the removal of all the upper parts. Quite a nice bit of rock work, we were hesitant about taking it out.  But the install of the masonry heater, and the even heat it will provide has overshadowed the doubts.  No more chances of chimney fires, either. 

Before we started the demolition of the base, I hung some plastic sheeting in the shape of a small room surrounding the base.

From the living room.

And from above.  Yes, it had a plastic ceiling....

All this sheeting followed out the front entry way, where a box fan stood blowing out the front door.  This worked really well, as 99% (I'm guessing) went out the door.

The end of the first rough clean-up.

There's that nifty trailer again.  I'm guessing we hauled out about three loads of stone, mortar, iron and tools and supplies.  It works much nicer than a wheelbarrow.

Here's what it looks like right now.  We're hoping to be able to fill in around the new heater in such a way as to be able to preserve all the small, epoxied stone on the floor.

Paul, Candice and kids were up  a while back, before we tore out the fireplace.  We settled on the size and shape of the new heater, and what we wanted the outside of it to look like.  I didn't take many photos while there were here, but I got a few.

Peggy got a custom braiding job, and I must say it turned out quite nice.

Henry climbing on the stairs?  Who would have thought....
We had a great visit and we hope to see them again soon.
Well, that's about it for now, I have more stuff to post, but it will have to wait for a few day.

I gotta go, Carlo......


August 18, 2011

O.K., now it's mid-August.......


Here is the weather vane on the garage cupula, bright sun behind it.  It looked better early that morning, or maybe I just wasn't fully awake yet.....

We started taking out the fireplace, in anticipation of the building of the masonry heater.  Here we were trying to get the heat exchanger out of the hood before we tryed lowering the hood.

Heat exchanger out, I put up some flashing around the chimney to try to contain the sparks from the plasma cutter that I borrowed from work.  It works on the same principle as a welder, creating an electric arc that heats and melts the metal, but this thing also has compressed air at the tip.  That blast of air blows the molten metal away, leaving a nice clean cut through the steel. 

I cut out a strip all the way around the chimney so that we could lower it down at some point.

Somewhere in the last month, we had a visit from Hailee, always an interesting and enjoyable experience.  She certainly is growing up fast!!

The counter top folks came to install the tops.  The Corian type stuff gets epoxied together so there are no joints in the finished product.  These gizmos are vacuum clamps that hold the joint tight together while the epoxy sets up.

I was a little nervous when the guy started grinding the ridge of epoxy along the joint, but when he was done, you could not tell where the bonded joint was.

This was the most interesting spot. On the far side of that beam, the counter top ended right up tight to the beam.  The piece leaning against the counter had been notched to slide in around the angled beam.

Then they made sure it all fit together and applied the epoxy and clamps.

Out came the grinder and they ground and buffed the joint until it was all smooth.

Again, you cannot see the joint when they get done.  It looks like that beam was set down in through a square hole in the top!!

A view of the north, taken from the stairway.

And a view of the south end, again from the stairway.  So, the tops are in and secure.  I have a lot of finishing work to do, but a few larger projects are getting priority right now.  Actually, the fireplace stuff at the top of this post started immediately after the tops were finished.

So that's it for now, maybe I can get caught up with this blog in the near future.  Any of you Mattson types that may be reading this, I'll see you this weekend at the 'chicken shindig' in Phillips.

Laters, Carlo


August 8, 2011

July happenings.


This is getting ridiculous!!  Last post was early July, for crying out loud.....  I'll give a brief update on the past weeks, then I hope to get back on track and be a little more frequent with this blogging stuff.

On the weekend of the 4th, we got a visit from cousin Sue and Gary.  It was good to catch up and they got a grand tour of the mess, projects, plans and such.  Visitors are always welcome and prior notice is not necessary.

Later that day, we were joined by Dawn, Russ and Peggy's mom, Donna. I grilled some steaks and Peggy made a bunch of other goodies for dinner.  The first official dinner guests in the new kitchen!

It was a good test of counter space (just plywood at the time), sink and stove areas, etc.  It was a busy time and a good dinner.

Peg and Donna seemed to enjoy the day, and Russ and I provided a little music on button accordian and guitar. 

The day after those guests, Bryn stopped in for a brief visit on her way back to Milwaukee.  What would a Bryn visit be without tree climbing???

Or maybe visiting the peak of the A-frame roof?  It was good to see her and the visits are always too short to suite Peg and I.

The next week we got a visitor from McDermott Top Shop, a provider of Corian countertop.  He had an interesting set-up for measuring the kitchen.  A laser device on a tri-pod that fed information to his computer.  That in turn generated a cad drawing that would be used to manufacture the necessary pieces.

This device works really well, as will be evidenced by the photos of the new counter tops that they eventually installed.  Photos to follow......

I've also busied myself with a few other projects, including Peg's wheeler.  I got new tires and put them on, fixed all the breaks so they're working well, and rebuilt the carburator.  Also put in a new battery so the starter actually works now.

We worked on getting a garage sale set up and that went O.K. (meaning not much cash).  The remainder of the items went to St. Vinny's.  I'm sure that there will be a couple more sales in the future.

Between customers, Peg and Donna had the time to get in a couple of games of Scrabble. 

Rose and AJ also stopped in one weekend, but I don't have any photos!  I'm slipping, I guess.  They showed up Saturday and went home Sunday afternoon.  We got in a little wheeler riding, AJ's first time, and the grin never left his face......

Well, that's all I have time for tonight, more later.

I gotta go, Carlo