As it always seems, when it gets busy I can't get much done. You know the deal, put out the fires and handle everything else another day. Anyhow, I did get into the greenhouse between projects and noticed that the caulk in some of the deeper cracks had shrunk a bit overnight. So I went over those again to make everything flush. I had about 1/4 tube of caulk left, and since I couldn't come up with a decent fix for the smaller cracks I figured I'd pile it on those small cracks on the first table just to finish off the tube.
I applied a little bit of caulk at the front edge of the table to keep that area smooth and dumped the rest in the middle where the myriad of small cracks were. Not only were there small cracks in the middle, but unbeknownst to me there were low spots too. So I kinda got lucky there - I was able to apply caulk to the areas that had lots of low spots and cracks, and whatever was left seemed ok (the table isn't even so water will drain off to the back left so that's where I left off). However, I gotta check to see if I have any more open tubes of caulk I could use up. If so, then I might just use it up on the remainder of low spots and cracks.
Not sure what is going to happen on Monday as I have a couple other projects that came up so we'll have to play it by ear to see what (if anything) can be accomplished.
Looking at the pics, you've made some really nice progress on paint alone, but I concur some cracks here and there are nastier, so I look forward to another adept demonstration of your caulking kung-fu.
I started off by priming everything again. All those hairline cracks are really annoying because they don't fill in decently. I did cram as much paint as I could into them but they came back after it dried. I'm hoping I got enough into the cracks to coat the inside because then I could just pile on multiple coats of the red polyurethane to fill them up. There were just too many small cracks to try and caulk - it would take too much caulk and take way too much time. You have to know when to say "when".
For the center tables I caulked the bigger cracks, any knots and the screw holes. I really should have counter sank the screws when I installed the top, but I was under pressure to get the tables done. Oh well, gotta leave something for the next guy to do.
For the south tables I did the same thing, but the tops are secured with carriage bolts so I tried my best to caulk any of them which were below the surface of the wood. You can see the big long crack I caulked in the first table which turned out great. If you look to the left of that big crack you can see where I attempted to fill in some of the smaller cracks with caulk. While that worked, it just wasn't cost effective. Really, I'd need some thicker type of product which I could apply with a squeegee or broad knife. I'll have to think on that a bit.
I was able to do this work because the sun came out which helped to dry stuff quicker. Unfortunately I couldn't do any more painting because I had other jobs which I wanted to finish while the weather was somewhat nice (sunny, cool and windy). I made serious progress on that so now I have a little breathing room which I could dedicate to putting a first coat on. Depends on how busy it is on Saturday, and I can't do anything Sunday because it's Easter.
Time to work on the inside of the greenhouse a little bit. Annuals and perennials will be arriving soon enough and I need to start setting things up for them. It's been chilly (but not freezing) here for the last week but inside the greenhouse it can get quite balmy if the sun is out and the doors closed (it helps I patched up all the tears as well).
So where do I start? The tables need a refresh badly. I stained them approximately 7 years ago and then put on a coat of clear marine grade spar polyurethane. Unfortunately that polyurethane didn't hold up and started chipping off taking the stain along with it in spots. It's not terrible, just very unsightly. First pic is from the center of the greenhouse and the second is the south side.
Why didn't I take a pic of the north side tables? They are very old and unpainted and will be replaced after the planting season is over. As you can see, the tables aren't terrible. The south side tables have a lot of cracking on them though (middle tables not so much because I replaced the tops in 2013-ish). And these pics are after scraping & wire brushing. Any big cracks are just on the first layer of plywood which can be repaired after priming.
The first goal is to cover the bare spots of wood. The second goal is to encapsulate any remaining loose clear polyurethane/stain. The third goal is to fill those small cracks and checks in the wood. That sounds like a job for my favorite latex primer. I have about a half a gallon (so 2 liters) left of the plain white primer, but I'm going to hold on to that for other projects. Instead, I got a brand new gallon tinted to a light grey. That should help with coverage issues. Some of the tables really didn't need much primer as the surface was sound, but I needed to fill in those small cracks which meant piling it on and sweeping the paint into the cracks leaving the rest of the surface a little "hazy" with only a very light coat. When I finished priming all the tables, I went back and brushed on another coat on the first table on the south side and the two closer tables in the middle (the ones on the left) before I ran out of time.
Pretty happy with the results to say the least. If I have time tomorrow, I'll put on another coat of primer on the other tables. Also those large cracks and checks need to be caulked which I may not get to due to the weather being cloudy (which means no excess heat in there except for residual heat from the ground).
I purchased two gallons of old (circa 2012) reddish floor polyurethane for nearly 50% off to use as a first coat (same type of paint I used on the back cooler floor and table in the back room except in a reddish). It's a win-win for both of us. The paint store is able to reduce it's inventory on rarely used items, and I get a quantity of paint to use for a steal. There's nothing wrong with it either - I had them shake it up and there were no skins at all. So I'll be using that for a first coat and touch-up. I purchased another newer gallon which I had color matched to the current color of the table tops to use as a final coat. Not sure when the final coat would be applied, but I assume I'll do that after I get the new table tops on the north side cut to size and primed maybe in late June-early July.
Well, I cut a couple strips of tape and overlapped them a bit to form a big enough piece to bridge the gap. Mind you, I was on a ladder inside the greenhouse - so I took the piece of tape and pushed it through the tear in the plastic "roof" to the outside and carefully maneuvered it around till it covered the area of the tear. I then pushed my free hand through the tear and pressed down the tape on one side to adhere it, took my hand back down through the tear and pushed up against the plastic on the other side of the tear till it adhered to the tape (as best I could at least). With the outside of the gap bridged, I then ran pieces of tape over the tear from the bottom to make the patch more secure.
Space Voyager, on 15 April 2019 - 07:47 AM, said:
I don't think I ever saw ceramic coated screws, but definitely sounds like an awesome choice from a weather perspective!
Yeah, it's not really a new thing - they first appeared at the local hardware store maybe 8-9 years ago. The first iterations of it were kinda garbage, but as time went on they became better. I believe I first saw them being used on an episode of This Old House on PBS where they were installing a composite deck and needed a fastener that would last as long as the decking material. I'm sure that they are common enough now that you would be able to find them in your area. I guess it depends on how popular decks are in your area.
Space Voyager, on 15 April 2019 - 07:47 AM, said:
DRYwall screws. Get it?! I too used them for the wrong purposes as I had quite some left over from the bathroom and toilet renovation (ceiling) and was reminded of the dryness of the drywall the hard way.
Ugh, yes, I get it. Must be a common occurrence to use drywall screws for other purposes than attaching drywall itself. By the way, they make specific drywall screws for bathrooms and high humidity areas. They aren't ceramic coated, but come in a painted variety as well as a zinc electroplated type. I've been using the zinc type for a while (I actually used them to attach the moldings around the garage door in the back last year) and they seem to hold up quite well as long as they stay relatively dry (read: not submerged or constantly wet).
Space Voyager, on 15 April 2019 - 07:47 AM, said:
Anyway, have I told you already that you're not paid enough?
Probably. Anyway, maintenance to me is fun. I'd probably do it for free but alas, I need to earn a living somehow.
That's some proper insulation work right there. The greenhouse slats seem very well protected but I do agree with you that using some washers would be adviseable. And if one were to further nitpick (which I'm guessing is pointless as you mention this shall soon be replaced anyway) the screw heads are the one thing left exposed, so being prone to rusting at some point.
Actually, I'm using ceramic coated decking screws to hold down the slats right now (downright expensive, but worth it). They've been on the greenhouse since 2013 and looking at the screws I took off the other day most look perfect except for a few that had a little rust on the threads. I purchased a bunch extra (see why it's a good idea to buy in bulk?) just in case I'd need them.
Funny thing is, back in the day we used regular black oxide drywall screws for the slats. They rusted pretty quick, but since we were replacing the plastic on the top & sides so frequently it didn't matter too much. Heck, we even replaced the slats back then. I might replace the slats anyway this time around even though they are green treated. They were cheap enough, and knowing what I know now I'll probably put some wood preservative on them for a little more protection. It might prevent them from warping too.
I'll have to take a head count on the number of washers I'd need. I could get them in stainless which would cost quite a bit, but the normal washers seem to hold up ok (we used washers to hold down a black plastic mesh cover for a little shading in the summer). Yeah, they rust eventually, but not horribly. Maybe I can get the stainless ones cheaper off the internet somewhere - I have time to research that yet.
Thorondor, on 12 April 2019 - 09:45 AM, said:
On the other front, also not going to begrudge your experimentation with different surface fixes (hydraulic cement/glue) on that door threshold. It's a perfectly acceptable way to find out what works best.
The catch, of course, is we both know there's no real "fix" for limestone (), except actual replacement with, say, granite or cement tiles...
Well, limestone will hold up fairly decently if you apply a water sealant on it every other year or so and don't step on it too much. Unfortunately this is on a door we use quite a bit. It was never meant for this amount of foot traffic, water, ice, snow, salt and the elements. Replacing it would entail busting out the limestone and poring a concrete slab. Possible of course, but I just know if I'd try and tackle that with the limited tools and resources available that it would take a long time and the door would therefore be out of commission for a while. So that would be a job for a professional mason.