Sunday, May 01, 2005

Weekend work report

A year ago, I first tried restoring my bathtub. Unfortunately the surface was so far cracked, the restoring compound ended up seeping up out of the cracks. Saturday, I started correcting those cracks.

Saturday I woke up achey, but I downed a couple of naproxen, strapped on my respirator and safety glasses and headed to work. The time horizon for this effort is somewhat limited--when we attack the back of the trailer, we'll be removing the tub, so I want to refinish it before that time.

After several hours of fighting a bucking sander, I stood up and removed myself from the tub. Granted, it was a cold, wet, rainy day--but every muscle in my body was stiff and cramped. I felt miserable. Moreover, I was completely covered with epoxy dust. Quickly I jumped into a hot tub and scrubbed myself all over. When I got out, I was sorer still. After a couple more hours of pain, I gave in and downed a Celebrex and went to bed.

By morning, the Celebrex had kicked in. Today, Rick was going to help me for part of the day (he's studying for finals right now). First we went out to Home Depot for a new Dremel head, then had breakfast out. When we got back, I put my "dust clothes" on and went back to sanding the tub. I sanded it to smooth across most of the surface. My next step will be to put a new layer of epoxy, smooth sand, then finish off with the refinishing compound (Homax's Tough as Tile). I am also going to reinforce a mended crack from the back when I get it out. Right now, I think if the rest of my steps go well, the results will be better than the original tub. I have found several "OEM" drips and spatters--these will be gone now.

Meanwhile, Rick took over in grinding down the cuts I made to the frame last Wednesday. Earlier last week, he bought a new Rotozip tool. He was looking forward to getting to use it.

My next goal is to replace all the seals on the windows. While Rick worked on his grinding, I got to work on refinishing my first window. I worked by following the project mentioned on RJ Dial's webpage.

Window seals are in bad repair...

And one window doesn't even have a gasket (that's just a fat bead of silicone holding that window in)!
I have to say, if I ever were to rate a project based on "pains in the asses," this would bring in a whole herd of donkeys! Opening the window was a mystery to me, but I figured it out after a lot of trials. When I finally got it ready for removal, I found it was too stiffly encased for me to remove by myself. I had to get Rick to help me remove the window, there was a mystery gasket I hadn't expected, the glass cracked when Rick tried to separate it from the window tape (no biggie, it's easily replaced), cleaning up the frames was messy and long task, and then there's all that nasty metalic paint a previous owner painted on everything.

The mystery gasket

After five hours of messing with this window, I gave up, covered the empty window hole with plastic, stored my tools and took a shower. I headed out to a sale at Nordstroms and finally felt restored to girliness again. When I returned home I had acquired a new suit, a Pucci scarf and miscellaneous underthings. So, we spent the evening watching tv (Miss Marple, World at War on PBS) and I started polishing the window frame with my Dremel. I have only cleaned up one half of the frame. This is going to take some time and effort to finish, darnitall.

Window taped up for rain

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