Build Day #19: Easy on the polyurethane!

Johanna's report for yesterday is all about power outlets. I've shared it below but thought I'd take the opportunity to write about our experience in trying to nature-ize our little house.

Last month, Jim and I went to a lumber yard in Hilo to check out potential options for adding some live edge local wood to the interior of the house. We've been working hard to design the space to feel open despite it's cramped self, which means everything is pretty streamlined and engineered. To "bring nature inside," we've been looking to add details that break it up a bit. We started with the idea of doing all of the countertops (ha, like we will have thousands of linear feet!), but it started to feel like too much. And I can't help but think about my only experience with furniture made from wood in its natural state: @1970s, heavily-polyurethaned, yellowed-with-age tables. So, when Johanna said that if we went that route, she would want to add a little tile around the sink to protect the surface from water, I drew the line. No way, no how. Ain't going to happen.

So, there we were, unsure of what exactly we were looking for, amid rack after glorious rack of local wood floor planks, stacked high on palettes doing their drying thing. A small team of brawny guys were pushing sections of magnificent logs through the saws and transporting them on forklifts to various places throughout the expansive property. I think the owner Hal said there was 40,000 square feet of space covered with corrugated metal roofing to protect it all. Nothing is enclosed, so it's like wandering through a labyrinth of lumbery goodness. And that smell of freshly cut wood...ahhh.
Our mission at hand, though, was not flooring (we'd decided already on engineered - lighter, more durable), so we checked out a couple really big slaps - or cross sections - that would work as a "bar" surface at the end of the counter (this I could live with). Each piece had a story, which we listed to intently, waiting - of course - for indications of the slab's soul. When Hal brought us to see a honking piece of mango - termite damage and all - and told us that it came from the center of HIlo, where the Coquis Diner and Sports Bar and baseball field are now, are curiosities were piqued. 

Coqui frogs are the bane of the Big Island. The tiny suckers have no predators, and the males make a hell of a lot of racket all night long as they try to attract mates. In the not-so-distant past, one bugger made its way to the island from its native Puerto Rico, and it's been multiplying at a hideously fast pace ever since. Particularly along the Hamakua coast, where vegetation is plentiful thanks to cooler temps and lots of moisture, their chirps can be annoying at best and deafening at worst. Anyhoooo, we always found it funny that a bar would pay homage to the critters. Now, as landowners in a coqui town, we are down with the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach.

And then Hal said the magic words. "Those old dame survived the tsunami of 1946." Sold! Sold to the couple with an obsession with soul!. We paid the modest amount of cash, loaded her up, and we were off, blissfully happy about our slab's tale.

Long story short, we ultimately decided to use the piece for the desk across from the kitchen and to leave the counter surface as uninterrupted quartz. Tom - Johanna's fabulous cabinet maker - no doubt will turn it into something fabulous, and we can't wait! and remnant pieces will be used for shelving in the "living room." Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here's Johanna's report from yesterday.

8/23/17 Outlets are us!

Here are the 2 cool USB charging outlets. by the bench and over the mango desktop. the last 2 will go in the loft.

 He got everything in. all the outlets and switches. even the up lite works now. we are plugged in. and hot. All in but the lights. we are going to put battens in and then paint final time before the lights and plates can go on.

Cyndy caulked all the trim and started painting the last of the green touch up. she hopes to finish the exterior tomorrow! Yeah!

We got the last 2 pieces for the loft flooring done today. looks divine. We are going to put a 1/4” sheet of ply on top of the t&g and paint it, so you can get what ever rugs you want. I like to have one by where you get onto the loft. easier on the knees.

Tomorrow will be the interior battens. Bill taking a personal day off. We need to get ahead of him. so nice he wants a day off.

The windows are due in on the 29th. so so close. Can hardly wait!!

Alrighty then...



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