Monday, 4 May 2009

Old school flooring, door stops & floor ghosts

We have been picking away at the livingroom and made some good progress this weekend. The oak strip flooring is now out - and to my shock and amazement - I realized this flooring was nailed by hand... with real nails and a nail set.

And there were a lot of them!

Every time Jill & I were cursing all the nails, I kept reminding myself “it is faster to take them out than it would have been to install them” (repeat as necessary).

There is a pocket door into the room, and as we were sweeping up I noticed the high tech door stop. A scrap of wood stuck into a hole in the edge of the door. It was a fairly snug fit, but I managed to wiggle it free.

From the tool marks it looked like a pretty quick job - likely a small hatchet. I looked into the wall cavity and sure enough - it stopped against a 2x4. What a beautiful reminder that you don’t need to overthink everything.

Once all the nails were out, we lifted the tar paper to reveal the original room patterns and ghosting. I was quite delighted to see this, because it confirmed what I had suspected - the two rooms were divided by pocket doors. The room is 12' wide, and the two partial walls are 36" long - just enough to contain a 34" pocket door and close the gap.

The original pine floor has been grained to look like quartersawn oak. I am sure the spirits of the house will be happy once we put a real quartersawn oak floor in.

Here is a quick shot of our backyard as seen from the third floor. We are putting in a veggie garden along the fence to the left. We were sad to see our big tree go - but we are excited about growing some of our own food.


Blogger tomausmichigan said...


When my father-in-law started his carpentry apprenticeship in 1946, most of the floor layers were Swedish and they all had nail-pockets sewn in the bottoms of their trousers, so they could nail off a floor without straightening up. Those were men!

7 May 2009 at 20:39  
Blogger David said...

Good day Konrad, I would like to know how I can contact you, I will be in Vancouver Monday and Tuesday of this comming week, And I will be driving back to Whitehorse and was thinking of stoping by to have a look at your work!! My enail is as follow:
But only if it's possible!
Thank you.

24 May 2009 at 13:49  
Blogger tomausmichigan said...


Have you given any thought to putting the sliding doors back? Its more work, some inconvenience in arranging furniture and less of the 'open' feeling that people seem to want, but, on the plus side, lots of charm, some good corners for the Christmas tree, and you have the ability to close off the room for heating in a power outage, if you put in a new fireplace or stove. Old-fashioned can be good.


25 May 2009 at 07:31  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Tom,

We are going to add “shoulders” back to the room to visually divide it in half, but still allow us to extend a dining room table the full length of the room for those occasions that call for it. We are on the same page my friend - the plan is to be able to close the room off and heat it in case of an outage - there will be enough room for all 4 of us to line up on the floor. Who knows - we may have a few sleep overs just for fun!


25 May 2009 at 18:22  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi David,

Sadly - I am back home in Ontario now.

Next time?


25 May 2009 at 18:25  

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