This was a day of wrapping up bathroom loose ends (those skinny pieces) and organizing the space in the house. Since we just attached the last 4×8 sheet of plywood in the bathroom, we now have a big clear work space in the center of the house. We moved stuff around, including placing partial panels on top of the bathroom.
Okay, time to start paneling the main walls and we’re going to start with the south wall (endcap) first. The first panel was the trickiest because we had to make the cut for the bathroom vent. That consumed most of the day that wasn’t committed to organizing, clear coat research and around-town errands.
In the early morning, we were convinced we wanted to go with some type of clear coat/polyurethane because the wood is just so darn pretty. Then we found out that we would likely need to sand between coats, use a brush instead of a roller, apply at least three coats and ultimately spend more time and money on the project than just painting. So now we’re not sure again.
Brian also discovered that the sawz-all works great at cutting rough arcs in the panels. This is surprising given how violently it behaves and how poorly (messily) it has cut other surfaces. In this case the 18 TPI Lenox blade we had used for PVC seems to be the key.
After more research with some exciting discoveries, we are leaning in the direction of clear coat again. We found a polyurethane that provides the coverage of three coats with only one application…and thus requires no between-coat sanding. What?!!? And…it might be about the same price as paint. What?! So it is fewer coats than paint, it self-levels, requires no sanding and costs less!?! It is Varathane triple-thick polyurethane. To top it all off it’s water based and so has little to no odor. Incredible. Finally we’ve found the clear, water based paint we’ve been dreaming about. And no priming – ONE COAT! We’ll test it on a panel first but the reviews look very promising.
We worked together for nearly the whole day and closed the shack at 2pm, starting at the house around 3pm. We attached three panels on the south wall, leaving 3 small gaps in our second row, and called it a night around 8pm.
After a short while of clunky working, we developed an efficient system. We take the measurements for a given panel and complete the first cut. While Brian is checking it on the wall, I use the oscillating tool to cut the bridge pieces we use to connect the panels to each other (an example is shown on Friday, above). When Brian is done, I help him take the panel down off the ladder and he uses the oscillating tool to make adjustments.
Once the panel is ready to be attached, one of us is on the ladder with the drill/driver and the other is on the ground, acting as the extra hands. Create hole, hand down drill, take driver and screw, attach screw…repeat.
An efficient and wonderful Sunday. Domestic duties and then a productive day at the house. We finished the three gaps and then took a quick snack and coffee break. We got the first panel of the third row (featured in image at top of post) attached with ONE cut. Meaning, we measured, cut, test-fitted and attached. No extra cutting and adjustments.
We had to cut and attach the bridges for connecting the second row of the panels to the third row. This took a little while. Once those pieces were done, we started cutting the other rounded panel for the third row. This one had an issue with some blind screw protrusion so it required many trims to get it to fit. Prior to attaching it, we took a break to go eat ice cream.
Upon arriving back at the house, we were dismayed to learn none of our power tools worked. After confirming the power was out at the meter, driving to the apartment and finding no power there either, we decided to use our mandatory 2-hour idle time and go on a hike. Having frisbeed for more than an hour in the morning and then going on this hike, the dogs were absolutely pooped by the time we got home.
We went back to the house to work until 7pm, completing the attachment of the other rounded panel and brainstorming about what to do in the space between the two end panels. The distance remaining in the third row is about 8 feet 5 inches, which is 5 inches more than two whole panels. We don’t want a 5 inch wide panel so we’re going to use two partial panels around the HRV and a full – uncut – panel to the left of it.