The Storefront Nears Completion (of Killing Me)

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The last few weeks have been a death march of painting, trim and general freaking out to get the Lost Art Press storefront ready for the March 12 opening and book-release party.

This week I hope to share details of some of the cool stuff we have in store (literally) for the opening: a special store-only T-shirt, stickers, a poster that just arrived on my doorstep today and the copperplate prints from Briony-Morrow Cribbs from “The Anarchist’s Design Book.”

Oh, and my daughter Katy is launching her own line of soft wax under the name “The Anarchist’s Daughter.”

Some of these items will make it onto the LAP website; but some are too nichey, weird or in tiny quantities. Some are experiments that will fail.

For those of you who want to crap on my finish carpentry skills, I offer these photos. Installing the casing was easy with a nail gun. But the baseboard has been making me hate bricks.

Our building is a rare example of North American masonry construction. No studs. So installing the baseboard has been tricky. Typical masonry construction has “wooden bricks” every 24″ or so to allow you to install baseboard. But because of the plaster restoration and a variety of other complications, I’ve located only about a dozen wooden bricks.

So the baseboard has been installed with a combination of long finish nails, Tapcon screws and construction adhesive. It’s a laborious process to do well on plaster walls that wave like your grandma.

Luckily my eyesight gets worse every year, so it will look fine (to me).

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. Special thanks to Megan Fitzpatrick who painted the interior facade white and gray during the weekend. Friends are good things to have.

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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30 Responses to The Storefront Nears Completion (of Killing Me)

  1. rwyoung says:

    As per usual, my reading comprehension is sub-par. This combined with a trick memory causes the phrase “The Anarchist’s Daughter” to register as “The Anti-u-know-what’s Daughter” which then produces a memory of a short lived cartoon called “Lucy, Daughter of the Devil.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy,_the_Daughter_of_the_Devil

  2. I’ve found that cut nails work very well for nailing things to mortar and cinder blocks, and it might also work with softer bricks (or perhaps just align the nails with the joints). I’ve got about 100 feet of plastered, 1920s cinder blocks walls in my house, and all the moldings are nailed to it with cut nails. They are very difficult to remove.

    • Francis,

      Good to hear from you! Believe me, I wanted to use masonry nails. But good ones are very difficult to find here.

      The Chinese masonry nails are utter rubbish. So you have to find old ones to do this kind of work here.

      • I’m not even sure my nails are masonry nails, though… They are the same nails that were used to nail down the maple floor (I salvaged a few pounds when I removed some flooring to build a new staircase). They look pretty much like what I used to get from Tremont before you told us about these nails from Dictum.

  3. Alex A. says:

    I feel your pain. A few years ago I was installing tropical hardwood quarter round and shoe moulding for the hardwood floor in our condo.

    What should have been easy was complicated by the weird construction method of the walls which were metal lath plaster with three inch tall metal at the top and bottom of the walls. All trim had to be glued in place with construction adhesive since no nails would hold and screws cracked the plaster. Lots of blue tape and weights held the trim in place while it dried. It took a while but turned out good in the end.

  4. Martin Green says:

    Looks very nice Chris, let me know if you still need our help ?

  5. Looks like all your work is paying off, though–looks terrific! Rick

    Sent from my iPad

  6. simonjhillier says:

    Baseboard ??? Skirting if you please 😉 Two options fixing into masonry, cut nails or drill in some dowel wedges and nail. Also gorilla glue is what I resorted to.

    Masonry nails go into masonry but just don’t grab like a cut nail.

    Also , the cut nails kind of twist into the masonry as they are hammered in, makes it blowout the brickwork when (if) you need to remove.

    450 feet to do in my house. I used pre-under coated mdf …the shame

  7. Hey Chris, how’s the floor finish “slip quotient” that you had discussed? A real coincidence when you mentioned that–while taking a heavy cut with my jointer plane in Sept., my feet slipped from under me resulting in severe sciatica–no joke! Severe pain, weeks of chiropractic treatments–so a no-slip floor finish is an important shop feature. Rick

    Sent from my iPad

  8. I just learned something new. I’ve never heard of wooden “bricks” before. Makes sense and I’ve always wondered how molding was attached to masonry before we had construction adhesive and caulk guns. Thank you for sharing.

    Now to crap on your carpentry skills…do you regret not hiring Norm? 😝

  9. connell100 says:

    I feel your pain!

    Our house was built in 1890. We too are on the Ohio River but in a framed “farm house”. It is framed in full cut poplar which I assume was used rather wet. There are no straight boards in the framing (twists, bows, etc.). A few years ago my brother-in-law contractor helped us redo the kitchen. He was all about “plumb, level, and flat”. I kept telling him “Make it smooth!” You know what, it worked out fine!

    You are doing well also. Just keep it smooth!
    Connell

  10. Probably you just don’t have bats and she needed a change of scenery… and then got bored and saw the cans of paint.

    If Katy needs any graphic design ideas for her waxy product, I can take some pictures of her early signatures and send them to you/her. I’m particularly fond of the Anarchist Sock Monkey signature…

  11. Derek Long says:

    If the mortar is accessible, you can space out wood wedge “plugs” between the bricks by working out some of the mortar. Then nail the skirting to the plugs.

  12. g2-a046a0c5b2c7961ec1d865a63e8a5f4a says:

    … another Schwarzian masterpiece … keep it comin’!!!

  13. skilledno says:

    Feel the pain of English renovators 🙂 there are several methods to deal with the skirting boards to old brick work problem. But we won’t go there now your finished…

  14. billlattpa says:

    I can tell you from much experience (as an electrician not as a carpenter) that high-level finish carpentry is at least as challenging as high-level furniture making, and often times even more so.
    Good luck with your store. I know that small business operation is tough, but then again so it waking up and getting out of bed every morning. At least when you do that you’re doing something you enjoy.

  15. Farmer Greg says:

    Was there a special reason you painted the ceilings gray?

  16. Daniel Roy says:

    Hi Chris,
    I’ve been following your renovation of this building. Happy for how it’s progressing.
    I was wondering if during deconstruction you found any traces of the original turn of the century molding or wallpaper, that kind of stuff? Also, do you have any photo’s of the interior from back then? One more question: Is the plaster applied directly to the bricks or is there lathe attached to the bricks, then plaster? How is it done?

    Best wishes,
    Thanks, Dan

    • Dan,

      We do have two loose bits of original moulding – one piece of casing and another of baseboard (skirting to the Brits) from a back room. And we have the baseboard currently attached around the bar, which appears to be original to the structure.

      The casing was a standard Victorian pattern still being made by a local millwork company, so that was an easy call. The baseboard in the back room would have required custom shaper knives. The baseboard around the bar is a stock 7″ with an ogee at top. So we chose to match the bar baseboard throughout.

      We haven’t recovered any wallpaper, per se. Though above the side door the original plaster appeared to be painted yellow with some ebullient Victorian stenciling.

      I don’t have any photos of the interior (yet). I have a researcher at the library looking for some. We do have some ghosts and murders…..

      And the plaster is applied directly to the brick. I don’t know much about plaster work, but the guy mixed it on site and used two different kinds – one against the brick and one as a topcoat.

  17. Peter Hay says:

    The progress looks great. Best of times for your opening and continuing projects. ________________________________

  18. charlie says:

    I cant look at those light fixtures anymore!
    https://zangra.com/en/p/black-enameled-warehouse-lamp

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