Thursday, November 2, 2017

Closing (almost) the doors

After several weeks of work and wasting a lot of time in other things, we finally got the doors back in their place.
The garage with its doors

Things worked almost fine, with a small exception (of course, as always it generates additional extra work). Since the bottom of the doors got cut off because in bad state and for avoiding to touch the ground, the "holder" doesn't reach the hole in the ground anymore, so the doors do not "stay put", so to speak.
I realize this explanation doesn't help much, but the only thing is that I will invoke the power of the blacksmith to come and see if there is anything smart he can do to fix the problem.
That's how they look inside (yes, temporary handle and still unfinished details)

That is not the only thing missing though. Painting of the metal is still prio 1 and, after putting the doors back, there are some minor patches that need to be painted again (the top of the door frame and the door got scratched initially, because the door was too "uptight", where the doors were leaning there are minor marks of the pieces of textile that were just under, ...) .
Still a lot of work to do... 

The main problem is that the season is not very favorable anymore for painting, although I have challenged the weather in many other occasions with discrete results.
Now, let's see how long more I have to deal with these doors until they can be really considered finished. Because, after all. I still miss the right handle to close them...! Blacksmith, where are you?!!?

Monday, August 28, 2017

Progresses for the pool

Eventually the pool area is coming together. And when doing that, we have also added some additional tasks to the list of minor/any kind of projects.

Despite my total reluctance to civilization (=fiber), we have at the end bent our knees and dig for that. But only because we are preparing (mentally as well) for having electric cars. If I am much 1906, at least for the cars I think moving towards something environmental friendly is necessary and I want to support that.

Digging done under a mystical light
It doesn't look pretty, but I hope it will work out
Hopefully it will look better later on, after we get an electrician to fix it
On the pool area, we have got the foundation for the house we are planning to built (when, hopefully before next spring).
The foundation
At the same time, we have tiled everything around the pool again, lifting the level up (so no more kids would squeeze themselves under a lock roof) and putting some form of flexible concrete between the tiles, to avoid a forest of weeds.

A lot of tiles and tiles to be cut have been placed again, much more beautifully, around the pool
Behind the pool, towards our neighbour, we have been gifted of an abandoned area. When I say abandoned, I really mean it. A lot of junk had been thrown there, old rotten logs, pieces of metal, rubbish...The area has also grown wildly with plants. 
We thought (although we have no plans for it yet) to give it a clean out. After all, we can't have a fancy pool area (or at least a neat one) and a jungle of whatever just on its edge.

The edge between the pool and the "forgotten" part of the garden

Cleaning out the area from a lot of everything that has grown wildly. The density of birches were the highest in the whole Åkarp ;-)
Work is still ongoing, but I hope at least this part of the job can be concluded soon. Then we will have to face the house building. How, I am not really sure yet...

Bellevue, a construction site once again

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The garage doors

Repeating that there is always something to fix is going to be boring. But I will like to add to that that every project we start takes forever to be fulfilled and there is always some spin off.
One of this summer projects have been the garage doors renovation.
Our garage, probably built for Nils Lorenz Larsson around 1920, when he got his first car.
First task for this was to be able to OPEN the doors, because more and more soil and dirt have been accumulated in front of them, making the simple act of trying to go inside the building basically mission impossible.

When digging out we found out that under all the layers, there were some stones (ölandstenar) and we have started at least to make them visible a bit, although we have - of course! - not completed the task and we have done an approximate job.
Finding the stones under the grass.

So, the doors have been in a quite dreadful abandoned state. They could barely be opened, closed, locked, anything (?), pieces of wood were flying around when Mattias passed nearby (he has a magic touch), the planks were getting apart, ....
They therefore got to have a beauty treatment at a carpenter.

The doors are at the carpenter. Getting repaired where needed
A bit of the bottom will be filed off since it is in a bad state and so that they don't touch the ground too much. The hinge was having masonite under it and got completely rusty

The planks are also getting glued together
When doing the reparation the carpenter removed two hinges, which had been applied with a thick layer of masonite under. The result was that (since they were on the lower part of the door), they have probably got quite some water and they got completely rusty and couldn't be saved.
The bad state of the hinges

How the rust have been eating them up
That required to open a new task. Go to blacksmith and get new hinges, carriage bolts and screwnuts
That resulted into a new collection of items:
New and old hinges

New and old carriage bolts (photo courtesy of Martin Hansson)
New and old hinges, detail

Getting some anti-rust paint

Getting some anti-rust paint

The carpenter had then to try to remove the previous lock mechanism. That was completely rusty and useless.
For doing that he had to remove the handle, which sadly he cut off in two (he stated it was necessary because they were rusty inside and became a big block)

My decapitated handle
That of course generated yet a new more task (for the blacksmith again). Of course, I can buy a new used one that looks the same. But it won't be the same one that every owner of my house (minus two) have been using years after years!

What was left of the lock mechanism
Also the fact that the lock mechanism has seen better years generated yet a new task, but this time sort of "easy" to handle. Just find a proper new mechanism that would fit somewhat our door.
Where the locks where. Now got filled in with a new lock and new wood.
Once the doors got finally home, the hard work of painting them started. First, after scraping the door from loose paint, base paint and then two layers. Hard work but I am pretty satisfied of the result.
Scraping the doors. Removed almost all the paint with the help of some infrared heat. Most of it was coming off itself though 

It looks as the first layer is brown, then white, and then there are two layers of green. 

Base paint

Base paint

Applying the first layer

Second layer

Second layer

What is left now to do is the door frame. I have started to paint it a bit yesterday (I had already retouched it a bit and paint where needed some base paint) and finally, the new hinges need to be mounted (and with the help of God, for once, there won't be any side issues or extra things to fix) and the doors need to be turned for getting paint on the other side.

First layer of brown for the inner part of the door frame

The door frame. Rotten at the bottom. Some extra care will need to be granted.
Now, let's see when I will get done and the doors will be mounted back...(will they work fine, then? I bet there will be surprises...)

Saturday, August 12, 2017


It is interesting that we have been living now in this house for five years and still, we don't have a doorbell working.
We have had some "modern" things on the gate and at the secondary entrance (via the kitchen), which worked so so, until one of them gave up fully.
There are traces of a traditional doorbell at the kitchen door, so that is something that will need furthermore investigation.
Now, when we moved (and even during the showing of the house) no working doorbell has ever been seen at the main door.
The doorbell leftovers on the main door

The previous owner left what he might have bought for fixing the problem for some possible buyer (with a better eye than us?), but apart that I can't find the button anymore, it looks a bit plain and boring.
Must have been something similar to this, that we have in pieces somewhere in the basement. Doorbell from Byggfabriken

Inspired by Villa Florens in Malmö, I went and search for some second hand doorbell, with the difficulty that the space on our door frame is very tiny, and hence, limiting the research basically to nothing.
A wonderful example of a jugend doorbell. So beautiful but also huge. From Bukowskis Market
I ended up buying a product from the german Ebay that looks pretty ok and fits the measurement, but it is newly produced (so there are chance it is going to work without too much fuzz, maybe?) and maybe doesn't seem hyper genuine, but whatever.
I can't break my head on everything right?
I have now to "just" try it out and see if the whole ringing thingy is working still....(probably not?)

Longing to test it...! 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Drying clothes during summer (a tale)

We have an ocean of space outside and I find it ridiculous to dry the laundry in the tumble dry when it is sunny.
Ok, this year we have seen the sun with a binocular, but as a general rule of thumb....
The conclusion after some deep thinking is that we should of course dry outside when the weather allows it.
But I can't surely be satisfied to have in our garden some primitive (or simpler) system.

A nowadays standard dryer
So, last year, I have looked around and decided what I want, because, for how our trees are looking and are located, it would be impossible to put a cord between and let things dry there.
Therefore, I found an old fashion (surprised?) dryer.
An old fashion dryer

But, for some unknown circumstances, nothing happened last year and I started then this year to gather forces to make this happens.
So, I surfed more and more and found that there are some instructions.
Like for example this:
I made a shopping list and....
one could think that by now we had already this in place.
But sadly, we still don't have the right wood :)
We did actually by some but it was impregnated and I'd like to avoid to use that for the environment.
So, we are still at square 1 with some minor knowledge about what we need to have in place for making this happen.
To the next chapter...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Playing in the dark...

Has't been very funny.
Not that the lights really help very much when it is pitch black, but one has, with some fantasy, the possibility to guess what there is on the piano score.

The wall sconces are shining in the tower room 
As always, what we try to do should have some form of old style. Of course, I'd prefer to go around just with candles and kerosene lamps, but I would really need a maid then...(which I'd need anyway).
Anyway, electricity did come to Åkarp 1912, so we can assume at least a century of lamps being used.

In the specific, I have managed to find on the online flea markets two wall sconces old style. I don't know how old, but they looked nice enough (sometimes, it is just too time taking to find the right item and one has to get happy with a good mixture that compromises aesthetic, price and style.
One of wall sconce
The big effort we made was in finding relatively good looking lightbulbs, cord and switch. 
The bulb was not straightforward. But we decided to go for a LED lightbulb (dimmable!) with an old-ish look.

The switch
Cord and switch was bought at Byggfabriken. A nice bakelite switch with a black textile cable, which I chose to be in black. I thought it'd work beautifully with the colors of the room and especially, with the grand piano.
One should mention though that I managed to have to return twice to the shop (which is one of my favorite, of course!) since I had bought the set only for a sconce and not two!!
What a pity! I had to go back and fix the problem!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hope for a pool area?

The biggest project for this year has been to redo the pool area for a series of reasons.
This we wished to have it done before the bathing season.
Of course, it didn't become like this at all... :-)

The work, which we initiated (well mostly Mattias) by tearing down the infamous cocktail bar, has started officially just 10 days ago.
This consists of the following steps:

  1. Remove all the tiles from the pool, fix the layer under them and raise the level of the tiles to the roof height.
  2. The joint between tiles
  3. Joint the tiles with some concrete-similar material, to reduce the weed 
  4. Build a concrete foundation for a little house, for which we have got some form of authorization to proceed from the municipality authorities (a very formal one wasn't needed, since the building is quite small, but we wanted to be on the safe side with documentation and stuff).
  5. Build the walls ourselves, using second hand old tiles and recycling windows and doors from the "Baltiska Villan" which got tore down.
  6. Reusing our tiles leftovers for the roof, build a roof.
  7. Use the house as changing room combined with a toilet.
Now, we have step 1 and 2, ongoing, with other minor gardening tasks.
Tiles around the pool have been removed 
Work ongoing

After, the east side of the pool has the tiles well placed and a new slope towards the garden, instead of tiles, will have grass (maybe?;D)
 As side activities, we are trying to remove some old firewood from behind the pool. Big pieces of wood has been left lying on the ground. There is a big lime tree and it is no good if the roots are "suffocated" by heavy material.
It turned out that most of it is rotten or full of insects, so it will be thrown, but still, we need to clean up the jungle behind there.
We thought of moving the firewood behind our garage, so a proper stapling of the existing stuff had been started.

Firewood in abudance

Behind the garage it now looks better. Still a lot of work to remove weeds despite last year attempt.