Saturday, 2 August 2014

A change of plan

Last Saturday I failed in attempt to buy a length of Ogee moulding at a couple of Suppliers in Redditch.  The moulding in question trims the meter cupboard in The Hall and, at some point in the past, a short section has been badly damaged during electrical work. I was in a position where I needed to repair an 18" length as the alternative was the removal and replacement of eight yards of moulding with new stock.

Today's plan was to try my luck at a Specialist Timber Merchant over near Wythall. The realist in me knew they would have nothing like it in stock but I hoped that they might have a cutter and be able to reproduce a short length. The more I thought about this the more I realised that this was going to involve a lot of faffing around with absolutely no guarantee of success.

I took a long look at the short section of moulding that needed to be replaced and wondered if I could make a composite that was similar. It wouldn't need to be exact as the damaged section is up at ceiling level. It just needed to be near enough in size and shape such that I could cut a 16" length and trim the top of the cupboard. The first step in this process was to get a clear view of the moulding profile so a clean ninety degree cut was made.
Ogee Moulding, circa 1950?
 I could see that I would need to make up the composite moulding from three sub-components and wandered out to the garage to find some decent, knot free, softwood stock. My pile of scrap soon produced a few lengths of pine and, once cut to length, I set to with the table saw to cut them to the correct width. It was then a case of many happy hours with a router, planer, chisel and sand paper to produce the three sub-component mouldings.
Composite Moulding Elements
 I was quite chuffed with my efforts and, when lined up with the original, I can see that they will blend in beautifully once they are fixed in place and painted.
Ready to be glued up
The final job was to make a cradle to hold the sub-components securely whilst the adhesive was drying. The cradle was a simple platform with a right angled stop along the long edge. I lined it with polythene to prevent the moulding from adhering to the cradle and then hunted down the PVA wood glue. Each component was given a good coat of glue and pushed up tight against the cradle stop edge. I used three pins to hold the components tight and then left it to dry for the next 24 hours.

All being well I can mitre it and fix it in place tomorrow evening.

Other stuff

During the day a Builder friend of Paul the Plumber called round to take a look at the brickwork around the Hall Window that leaked in a downpour earlier in the week. He couldn't see anything that could be identified as the point of water ingress but agreed that there are a couple of areas where re-pointing might help. He also recommended that the clematis is permanently removed as the foliage directs the rain on to the brickwork … He is popping round on Wednesday afternoon to do the pointing.

I also found myself working with some mortar too, as the face of one of the bricks in the Inglenook had crumbled over time. I had stabilised the brick with a PVA solution a couple of weeks ago and today I mixed up a small batch of mortar and applied a coat of render to rebuild the face of the brick. A coat of paint will eventually disguise the repair and, as they say, a blind man on a galloping horse would be glad to see it.

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