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Tile inlay

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

I’ve been working on a project to learn how to inlay tile into wood. I’m pretty sure this isn’t the best way to do it, but here’s what I did.

First, I marked off the area where the inlay would go and cut the edges with a utility knife.


Then I used a router to take out most of the wood in the inlay area (but didn’t go all the way to the edge).


Next I used a chisel to remove the rest of the wood to the edge. This still left a fair amount of rough wood though, so after that I used a Dremel to take out more.



Finally, I sanded it out, stained and varnished. Here’s the final product:


It was a lot of work, and the results aren’t perfect, but like most things, I’ll probably get better as I do more of this.

New tile design

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

We poured a little stoop for the battery house today and had a new design idea.



Other than that, the roof is done, and we’ll finish the outside OSB tomorrow. Then it’s on to plumbing and electrical (I think).

The weather here is starting to change. The monsoons, which have been light and should be over by now, seem to have picked up steam in the last couple of days. Last night, it rained all night, and the thunder booms shook the whole house. It seems to be getting cooler and seems like fall is here.

New kitchen counters

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

I like the tile part of our interior work. I just do the design, pick the materials, and watch while the work is done. It’ s how I imagine other people “build their own house.” Ha ha.

Seriously, I am in the final stages of a big project for work, and so the timing was good for Brad to tile the kitchen counters.

Here is the work in progress.



And the final results.

Looking like a real house now

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

So we have two and a half walls done now and one and a half more to go.

The final coat of stucco is going on *much* easier than the first coat. (Good thing too, since it’s hotter than hell right now. We’ve been getting up early to start around 6 and be done for the day by noon to try to beat the heat. I’m sure appreciating our lovely onsite shower this week.)

We’re using an acrylic stucco (El Rey Perma-flex) that is supposed to flex and not crack as much in the extreme heat. It is very smooth to put on and the seems don’t really show at all (unlike the first coat). The only bad part is that the stuff really sticks to everything. Our hands and arms are coated in it, and I have scrubbed my skin with a brush until I feel like I have no skin left.

One thing that is very nice about this product is that it comes premixed. No adding sand; no cement mixer; no shoveling or hauling loads of it. (I especially appreciate this since this was my job on the basecoat.) Our division of labor on this coat is that Brad trowels it on and I do the finish.

Putting the tile on has been interesting. I had this idea to put tile accents on the outside and found some beautiful dark blue Japanese tile to use. I wanted to put some small 1″ tiles inside our arched doorway and  a row of larger tiles along the top edge. I thought the arch would be really hard but the top edge would be easy. It was actually the opposite. The problem with the tile at the top is that it is relatively heavy and wants to pull off until it dries a bit. (After it dries, I don’t think it’s ever coming off.) We have had several strips fall off, whereupon they fall 12 feet and break, ruining the tile. We have extra though, and we’re getting better at it.

The results look really great, I think.

Nice work!

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Look what Brad did today (while I was working on other stuff — getting ready for a marathon of 8 presentations in 48 hours next week…why do I agree to these things?:)



The kitchen counters are next. (We finally have the tile.)


Monday, May 31st, 2010

Isn’t this beautiful? Brad did 99% of it, but I did the little mosaic part. I’m surprised how nice it turned out. Another new skill. :)

Brad proves his reputation as a master tiler

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
our shower floor

our shower floor