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Renovating the Loom Room! R's 12 day Challenge 2019

 
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Every Christmas I challenge myself to do something new in the 12 days of Christmas.   Our Feastday is on the eve, so I usually have Christmas day through Distaff Day (Jan 7th) to spend at home.  I stock up on supplies, cook extra food on the Feast Night, and work like the clappers for 12 days to get the project done.  

This year, it's renovating the Loom Room.  

Before-.jpg
Before!
Before!
 
r ranson
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Day one: Christmas day

Christmas day is a day for spending with ones you love, doing things you enjoy, so we spent most of the daylight hours mucking out the animal houses.  It sounds weird that this is fun, but it's quite relaxing to do something physical after a huge feast.

For the project, we moved the furniture and all the easy stuff out of the room.  The loom, castiron sewing machine and cast iron typewriter desk got pushed to the middle and covered in cloth.  We could move them.  We probably should move them, but I don't want the risk of hurting ourselves.  Also, it's kind of nice to have somewhere to put stuff.  
getting-ready-day.jpg
getting ready day
getting ready day
 
r ranson
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Day 2: remove the window trim

12 windows make a lot of trim.  But we got it done with all the nails out of the trim so it's safe to handle.  

That was a big job for me and I think it's going to be the most difficult part of the whole project.

Much of it was ladder work and I'm beginning to understand just how bad my fear of heights has grown these last few years.

I was also worried about what we would find if we took apart the trim.  Some of the stories I could tell about this house.  I would say the plumbing was done by Red but he's far too handy and didn't use as much duct tape to connect the pipes.



So I expected to find something interesting behind the trim, but I was pleasantly surprised to find everything as it should be.

So ends the demolition.

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carefully pry off the trim to avoid taking off the paint
carefully pry off the trim to avoid taking off the paint
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remove the nails right away for safety
remove the nails right away for safety
 
r ranson
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Day 3: sanding.

Ug.  I have decided I dislike sanding.  It's noisy, hard on the arms, and dusty.  My camera spent most of the day hiding under a dropcloth and only came out for dust-free shots.

There's lots of sanding left for tomorrow.
 
r ranson
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I love this battery-powered sander.  Much better than the corded one we normally use.
small-sanding-day.JPG
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r ranson
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One of the decisions I have to make soon involves the cable for the TV cable.  There it is, nearly four yards of the stuff just plopped out of the wall.  Ugly trip-hazard.  

As a TV room, this sucks.  Which is funny because this is the first place anyone says would make "a great TV room".  The fireplace makes it look cozy, but the high ceilings and the excess of windows, make it drafty and cause too much reflection on the screen.  

I haven't had cable since David Tennant left Doctor Who, but I understand that technology has changed quite a bit since then.  Do TVs still use cable wire?

Some ideas:

1.  Snip and patch.  Since we intend to be here a good long time yet, why not just snip the cable and plaster over it?

I tried pulling it back through from the basement, but it's in there really good!  So I would have to snip it at this end and snip it in the basement so future people don't get confused and imagine it goes somewhere.


2
.  Tuck it in the wall and put a blank plate over it.  This is my first choice, but the wire comes out between a double stud which doesn't give me much room to push it back in.  I would have to make the hole larger and then find some room in the wall to push it.  This is possible.

3. leave it because it's useful.  I don't much like this idea.

Any more options?
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Personally, if it wasn't in a horrible place for it, I'd stick a bit of furniture there. I'm pretty sure our cable TV thingy-ma-bopper is tucked behind furniture. We don't use it, either.

Maybe some sort of decorative frame thing put over it--that way it's not a tipping hazard.

Those are the ideas that first come to mind for me, because I have no idea how to do anything more complex. Your options 1 and 2 seem impossibly hard to me, but would probably be something my dad could do in an hour....

If anyone knows wiring, maybe they could cut it and make it shorter? Like somehow put the adapter thing flush to the wall?
 
r ranson
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Day 4: I discovered something worse than sanding - vacuuming walls!  

But after much work, the mudding (plastering) could begin.

Some things that really bug me are visible brush strokes, paint drips (especially ones of a different colour from two rooms over), and dents in the wall.  You can see the pretty pattern from something repeatedly falling against the wall.

One thing I find really odd about this room is there are random squares of gyprock just stuffed here and there, where one could easily have a big bit.  It's like they either used up odds and ends like a puzzle, or they finished the walls before doing the wiring.  Anyway, there's a lot to do to make these walls mostly smooth.

We thought about replacing the windows.  These are aluminium so they get cold and if I don't remember to wipe the frames each morning, the condensation goes mouldy.  But the honeycomb blinds are great for keeping the cold out, so I think I just need to position the furniture so we can get to the windows and air them out each day.  

I was hoping to find ideas for window coverings for the upper window.  We want to keep the light coming in, but maybe a light covering would reduce heat loss in the winter.  But, since they are great at heat removal in the summer, I might want something we can remove for part of the year.  The thing is, I thought these were called eyebrow windows, but when I search google, those are round.  Any idea what they are called so I can look up covering ideas?
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dents in the wall
dents in the wall
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plastering day
plastering day
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Day 5:  DIY

Remind me never to go to the DIY store on a weekend.  It's crazy there.  Weekdays are full of contractors and professionals who rush in, push everyone out of their way, buy the stuff, and rush out.  But weekends!  Oh MY!  One couple had four staff helping them choose what kind of lightbulb they wanted and then they wanted tutorials on how to install it.  People just milling about with glazed looks in their eyes wanting lessons on how to fix their plumbing and get confused when the guy said "stop putting stuff down the drain if it's blocked"

I was very good and made a list of everything we needed.

2x plaster buckets
1x phone plate (white)
1x co-x plate (white)
many x foam insulation thingies for behind the plates
....

We got there just after opening and it was hell.  Who wears perfume to a home improvement shop?  Lots of people, apparently.  

Once the list was checked off, we had a gander at some toilets and vanities.  The house really needs another Throne Room so we wanted to price out how much that would be... but the crowds got worse so we found the last remaining checkout staffed by a real human and made our escape.

Thankfully the local Japanese shop was also open and we rewarded ourselves with sushi!

Shopping less than 45 min but when I got home, I needed four hours and a nap to recover.  By the time I was ready to start work it was dark and all I managed was to finish off plastering around the windows.  If we are very lucky (or skilled), this might be the end of plastering.  We'll see once it's sanded.
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High windows = clerestory windows.

I'd just say "small wide windows". <g>

Make form fitting pillows to  stuff in the window up there at night? Two inch soft upholstery foam maybe?

Make a drop drop curtain (like the old stage curtains that go straight up and down rather than sidewise)? Could run the whole width of the room or each window could have it's own.  Bottom of the curtain weighted with a straight batten in it so it would lie flat on the wall.

> cable
Really won't pull through from below? Had to get through that hole somehow... What happens if one person feeds it from above while the other pulls it from below? If you're going to cut it anyway, might as well make like Hercules from below and see what happens.

Well, anyway, looks like lots of fun! <g>


Cheers,
Rufus
 
r ranson
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Rufus Laggren wrote:
> cable
Really won't pull through from below? Had to get through that hole somehow... What happens if one person feeds it from above while the other pulls it from below? If you're going to cut it anyway, might as well make like Hercules from below and see what happens.



I think the guy that installed the cable fished it through with the old cable that was in that hole.  When it got to the wood, he somehow pushed the old cable back into the hole to jam the new cable in place.  There also seems to be a lot of staples up in the wall, so I suspect he took some wall off to install the new cable.  I do wish he had put it beside the studs instead of through it.  That would make it easier to just stuff the excess back in the wall.
 
Rufus Laggren
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> guy who installed the cable

Yeah, we can find some very innovative methods when undressing a building. Maybe a 3" tight coil wound close to the wall plate wouldn't look too bad. Keep it off the floor, small enough not to be gross...


Cheers,
Rufus
 
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Day 6: bad pain day not much accomplished

I did a little bit of sanding and wiring.  Nothing involving voltage, mostly removing dead-end wires from the wall.  I cannot stand the idea of having wires just sitting in the wall going nowhere, but that's most of what we've been doing with this house, removing the crazy from the past.  It's much tidier now.  

As for sanding, it's disheartening that I didn't do good enough with the plastering that I now have to remove a whole bunch of it.  But good news is that we probably won't need a second layer.  If we work hard tomorrow, then we should be ready to get our paintbrushes moistened on new years.  
 
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You can cut coaxial cable and put new ends on it.  I believe I've done it before and it worked and it wasn't that hard.  Very likely under $10 for the fittings and a razor knife to do most of the work.
 
Rufus Laggren
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> mudding

I have found the larger the knife the better the results. Using 8", 10", 12" sheetrock knives, when the patch _looks_ like a little 3" putty knife would do nicely, makes it all come out better. At least when this plumber does drywall. <g>


Rufus
 
r ranson
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Here are some photos from yesterday

co-x-5.JPG
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The problem and the solution
co-x-6.JPG
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If I can make the cable shorter, I can plug it into the back of this plate and it will look tidy. But it will also be useful! Best of all worlds.
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make the hole bigger so there's room for the cable to bend inside, and cut off the excess
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experiment on a bit of spare cable so I can know how hard to cut
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carve it up
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stick an end on it and call it done! Once the painting is complete, I can put the plate on.
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I love this sander on a stick. It has some sort of mesh instead of sandpaper so the dust doesn't clog up the sanding surface.
 
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O my gosh!  Following this thread!  I have some of the same jobs to do on this ol' house I recently bought.  Actually just got the pole sander thingy too, though it came without the pole.  Sanding mesh is next on my list!
 
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r ranson wrote:Here are some photos from yesterday



Many 'plasters' are water soluble, so you can use a damp sponge to 'knock off' the high spots.  Then after its dry again, a few minutes, you can go back to sanding.  For the drop down curtains, you can slide the thin metal bars, used for cyclone fencing into the hem, you can use them for the pull up ones too.  They used to use them in the insulated drapes we used to make back in the 90's.  
 
r ranson
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Day 7 (morning): Still sanding.  Only one wall left for the plaster sanding, but then I noticed the shape the railing was in.  Drips!  ALL DRIPS!  Where there aren't drips, there are brushstrokes.

For the round knobs on top, they only painted the top half and assumed gravity would do the rest.  

The railings are some sort of high-gloss paint and the white doesn't match.  When you go to the paint store, there are about 100 different colours of white.  White isn't just white.  There's warm white, blue-white, cool white, yellow-white.... If you counted all the different makes of paint there must be about one thousand different whites.  The white these railings are painted doesn't match the white we are painting the trim.  It also doesn't match the different whites they used to paint the railing and touch up the railing.  

Sometimes I feel the only reason I'm renovating this room is to subdue my OCD/ADD and how it focuses on all these little imperfections of sloppy workmanship.  


Because I don't want dust to get on the paint, I had best sand the railing first.  Maybe... If I'm lucky/good/blessed, I can start cutting in tonight.
small-drip.JPG
[Thumbnail for small-drip.JPG]
the railing
 
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After much sanding, I did a fingertip search of the walls to find any bumps or lumps that needed removing.  More sanding, more fingertip searching... and finally I felt that we had reached the point of good enough.

Next, to remove as much dust and debris as possible followed by the washing of the walls.

A few moments to enjoy the sunset and see to the livestock, then after dinner, I taped.  Tomorrow, the real work begins.
small-fingertip.JPG
fingertip search of the wall for uneven bumps
fingertip search of the wall for uneven bumps
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remove dust
remove dust
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wash the walls before painting
wash the walls before painting
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enjoy the first sunset of 2020
enjoy the first sunset of 2020
small-tape.JPG
[Thumbnail for small-tape.JPG]
tape
 
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Day 8: We got our paintbrushes dirty!

We did the two and a half light coloured wals today.  Cutting in in the morning, roller in the afternoon.  Finishing up after dinner.

Most of the wall we are doing light are already light, so I think one coat will do the trick.  But we did find two nail holes we missed on the kitchen side of the wall.  I feel I want to do a second coat on that side because it sees more wear and tear than anywhere else.  One of the walls was darker so it needed two coats.  

All in all, I'm pretty happy.


In other news, I discovered one of the plugs (just the top one of the socket) is wired to the wall switches.  ug.  Not just one wall switch, but two!  This complicates the wiring a bit.

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[Thumbnail for small-plug-new-paint.JPG]
 
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I want to talk about paint fumes.  Even with the windows and doors open, fans and an air filter, zero VOC paint is not without smell or effect on me.  I think Zero must mean something other than none.

There were a few moments today when I got dizzy and had to be helped off the ladder.  But I think we can make a big push to get most of the painting done tomorrow and then just a few touchups.  It's going to take a couple of weeks for the smell to dissipate, but I feel it will be okay.  The Zero VOC paint is a lot better than the regular paint that takes months before I can enter a room without fainting.

I wish I could afford the natural paints, but this is beyond my budget.  When it comes time to paint my bedroom, I'm going to save up for this... if I can find out where to buy it.  But at this rate, that's years away so I have lots of time to save.
 
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Just because there are no VOCs in it, doesn't mean there isn't other stuff in it.  To be fair I don't know what a VOC is...  Is vinegar a VOC because if I painted my walls with it I'd probably get a headache...

What about homemade clay paint?  Natural paint BB for PEP
 
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Looking at the paint this morning

I missed plastering two tiny nail holes right at eye height and there's a section where I didn't sand the plaster well enough, again at eye height.  There's a bit of awkward wall where I need to go over again with a brush because the roller didn't get in there properly.

Not too bad.  I think most people would leave it, but I want to be happy with the end result and I don't think I would be happy if I left these three mistakes.  
 
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Day 9: painters remorse

Is it the fumes or am I really that unhappy about the new colour?

I guess the decision is "Do I hate the new colour enough to go out to the shop, spend money, bring home the new paint, then paint the walls again.

What pisses me off is the colour in the tin doesn't match the colour on the card.  The card has an earthy brown with yellow tones, on the wall it's pink.  Maybe it's the purple showing through?  Maybe another coat would help?
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We chose the colour to match the highlights in the stone
 
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A second coat often changes things a bit.  And it usually doesn't consume as much paint as the first paint.
 
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yes, I bet a second coat will bring it to the color you expected
 
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Day 10: fatigue

Thinking about how much trim 12 windows requires, it was surprising when we discovered a flyer in our mailbox for 25% off trim.  So we went to the shop and discovered that even with the discount, the trim was still 20cents more per foot than the regular price as the regular shop.  Worse, this shop only came in 6' sections instead of the 14' sections we calculated for.  the shorter lengths require buying more trim to make it work.

Back to the regular shop (not feeling too hot by this time) and discovered that if we buy 200' we get 20% discount.  We need 180 feet for that room and with many rooms left to go, 200 feet seems about perfect.  Extra unexpected discount!  

A lot of resting time after going out, then I made the mistake of attempting some painting in the evening.  I got the second coat on part of the wall last night, but I had to stop as the fumes got to me.  When I get overwhelmed by fumes, I get sloppy.  We now have paint on the blind which won't come off.  Trying to find a matching blind for just one window will be challenging... and more expense.  very upset at myself, but I couldn't figure out how to get the blinds down without damaging them.

I learned one very big thing about "zero" VOC paint - it stinks.


 
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Turns out last night was worse than I thought.  I didn't clean up after painting or put the lid on the paint.  

feeling miserable.  
 
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Day 11: help

I had lots of help today from lots of sources.

Biggest help from my family member that did the final coat of paint on the last wall.  

But before that, a surprise visit from a friend who was in town.  A friend who is also a licenced electrician.  I was fiddling with the breakers when he arrived (the breakers are not what they claim to be - this room is 11 and 12).  There are lots of ways to change a plug.  Youtube was confusing me, so I got several books from the library.  They were too boring to read and got returned.  I understood the basics of what to do from high school, but what I didn't know was the CODE.  If I wire this and it's not according to CODE, then the government and insurance people will be angry at me.  I wouldn't' want that.

I got my friend to change one plug while I watched, then I changed one while he watched.  I asked loads of questions.  We even did one fancy plug where the top and the bottom don't go on the same thingy.  Top and bottom are on different fuses.   After he left, I did 5 regular plugs on my own.

Because these are outside walls, we used the foam stuff to stop the draft from getting in.  
small-old.JPG
I think electricians eat a lot of carrots because he didn't need a flashlight, but I did.
I think electricians eat a lot of carrots because he didn't need a flashlight, but I did.
small-plug.JPG
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small-new.JPG
screwing a live wire onto the plug - note the screws not in use are also put down so to prevent it touching the walls of the box
screwing a live wire onto the plug - note the screws not in use are also put down so to prevent it touching the walls of the box
small-new-in-wall.JPG
careful to make the plug level - don't screw too tight.
careful to make the plug level - don't screw too tight.
small-plate.JPG
the plate and insulation
the plate and insulation
small-plug-done-cover-on.JPG
installed
installed
 
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Day 12:  work

It turns out I didn't have all 12 days this year.  Today I returned to the world of humans.  It looks like everyone was ill over the holidays which is another good reason to stay home and get stuff done.

It was funny today.  We swapped stories of what we did on our holidays and each person responded to my renovations with "when did you have time to relax and do something fun?"  I was relaxing and doing fun stuff.  It was a project for me to make my home a nicer place to live - I can't think of anything more fun than that.  That's probably why I'm going to die alone as a crazy chicken lady.


What remains?

1.  Window trim!
2.  Sanding the railings and bannister
3. Painting trim and bannister
4. Big clean to make sure that no paint got where it shouldn't.  
5.  Reassemble the studio and set it up for sewing.


 
Rufus Laggren
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This is a little late, but maybe informative to somebody: Respirators with  filters for chemicals work. As soon as you smell anything like chemical, change the filter.


Rufus
 
r ranson
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I forgot to show photos of the saftey stuff I used for the power.

Before I started, I tested to see if all the plugs were wired correctly (both top and bottom)

To discover which fuse, I plugged a light into the plug then went downstairs while someone yelled at me when I got the right fuse (the light went out - I probably should have warned them first)

I use the pen tester to see if the things were live.  It's very sensitive.
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r ranson
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Rufus Laggren wrote:This is a little late, but maybe informative to somebody: Respirators with  filters for chemicals work. As soon as you smell anything like chemical, change the filter.


Rufus



I haven't found a respirator that will work for my issue.  It's not the normal problem with fumes, it's an issue with my autonomic nervous system that misinterprets certain chemicals as an urgent danger and causes me to faint.  It's the same system that causes some people to faint at the sight of blood.

Most filters work with dust.  There is a filter that should work for my problem, but I would have to wear a suit and be wired to an O2 tank or with a positive pressure system with a tube to the outside.  Too complicated and expensive.  If I can keep the exposure low then I can manage, but this time the project was too big and too many days exposed to the problem.  
 
r ranson
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Day 13: tidy

Today is a day for cleaning up.  I'm taking the green tape off the walls and we might do a tiny bit of paint touching up with the brush before cleaning the painting supplies.  There's a tiny smudge on the white wall where dark paint got.  Maybe a spot or two where the plaster absorbed the paint too much and made it matt.

Once that's done, we'll finish up any electrical stuff for that room and put that away too.

Then we can measure for the trim.

While we're on the tidy frame of mind, I want to do a quick run with the vacuum over the whole house as it's been badly neglected these last two weeks.
 
r ranson
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I did the first railing yesterday in a high gloss white paint



I'm actually really unhappy with this paint.  It's some old stuff we have from before and it's super-thick.  It starts to dry within a second or two of putting it on and pools.  The brushstrokes are way too obvious!  

After the first coat, I sanded it and added a quarter teaspoon of water to my jar and it was mildly better.  On the whole, I'm pretty unhappy with the results of painting this railing.  Three more to go, plus all the window trim.  
 
It will give me the powers of the gods. Not bad for a tiny ad:
All of the video from the Eat Your Dirt Summit
https://permies.com/t/106759/video-Eat-Dirt-Summit
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