Friday, October 08, 2021

French apartment renovations, Day 291: Mama and Papa's new toy

11,639 steps

Wow, today was super intensely busy! I started out working in Le Catamaran, doing little touch-ups on the paint and prepping the wall in the front apartment for the AC/heat units. Then we got a call that we could come look at a bed that was for sale on the classifieds.

So we drove waaaaaaaay up into the hills behind Nice, in places I had no idea were even accessible. Tiny little winding roads barely wide enough for one car. We ended up in a dead-end road, and the house was at the very end up a super steep driveway. (You'd never see this anywhere that has snow or ice; think Olympic ski jumping kind of slope).

So we finally got to our desitination, and the bed that was advertised as a "lit en merisier" (birchwood bed) was in fact not wood at all, but MDF covered with fake veneer. Ugh. I told the woman, sorry, but I'm not interested since it's not solid wood. She kept telling me, "Oh, but at this price it wouldn't be solid wood! I paid a lot of money for it. I even have the receipt."

Nope, not interested. Well, that was a whole morning lost. Oh well. Eric dropped me off and then went directly to play pick-up soccer. It was last-minute so he just played in his street clothes and barefoot. Meanwhile I did as much work as possible until it was time to pick the kids up for lunch.

Once Eric came back, I went to work again and Eric joined me as soon as the girls were back in school. Then we got to the fun part: setting up our new toy. I mean, tool. A super nice planer.

We had to build on- and off-ramps to support the wood and OF COURSE our floors sloped significantly so these ramps had to be sloping to make everything end up level over 8 meters. Such is life in a 500+ year old building.

Then we got to planing. At first it was pretty easy when only the top bits of the board were making contact with the blades. But it got really tough once we were planing the whole board down. We took a total of close to 2 cms off in some places! Wow. Maybe even closer to 3. Eric was pushing and I was pulling and we were putting maximum effort into it. I don't even know how many passes we had to do--keep in mind we were only going down about 2 mm each time. I probably underestimated in the video.

But we got the board planed smooth in the end! Then we had to rip one end straight (because of course the whole board was curved. Of course.) Then we ripped the other end parallel. Then we planed each end with the hand planer. Then we sanded. Then we routed one of the edges with a rounover bit. Then we sanded. Then finally I vacuumed the beam and oiled it.

And that, my dear readers, was our day. Normal people would probably just buy a new board and call it good. But no. We have to cut a beam that is probably centuries old and make our own board. (And then do this 3 more times...another day.)

Plus of course we had kids to take care of, dinner to cook (zucchini fritters and scrambled eggs for those who were still hungry after the fritters), run errands, and more.

It's almost 11:30 pm and I haven't even taken a break yet today except to eat. I am going to go in bed and read for a little while!


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