We are now connected to the world! We have satellite internet installed at home and, thanks to Union Guy's research, the cost was half of what I expected. The connection speed is noticeably slower than what I'm used to on cable, but it's way faster than dial up. The Boy will now be able to talk to me on MSN when he gets home from school, and I'll be able to update the blog from home rather than waiting until I am at Union Guy's place or making time for it on my lunch hour at work. Ahh, the luxuries of modern civilization.
In other news, I started working with the pine that I got from Kodiak Forest Products. Wow, is this stuff wonderful! It is sturdy and solid and handles like a dream. I've got 3000 lbs of 1x6 tongue and grooved pine sitting on Contractor Man's trailer outside under a tarp. The installation test is the bathroom: that's the next 'small space' in which I can test out stain colours and finishes and so on and decide if I'm happy with everything ... best to figure that out in a smaller space before I start on the main living area, I figure. Besides, it'll be really nice to have walls around the loo.
I got a new air nailer that handles 2" nails (Princess Auto, $30, works great). When the boards are up on the wall you don't see any of the nail heads, as the wood is thick enough that I can nail through the tongue, unlike that thin stuff I used in my bedroom. There's just no comparison with the 5/16th pine ... this fits together easily and has way fewer 'unusable' bits. I'd highly recommend it!
People ask me all the time why I went with wood instead of drywall. The primary reason is that I love the look and feel of the wood - it is warm and somehow grounding, good for the spirit. The installation does require more cutting and fitting than with drywall, but I think that in the end it requires about the same amount of effort to do either. Besides, I'd rather have sawdust than plaster dust, and once I stain and seal it, I'm done! No need to repaint in a few years. One of the other nice things about the wood is that I can actually handle the 1x6 boards myself ... a sheet of drywall is much too heavy for me to manage on my own.
The Boy helped out yesterday by putting stain on boards - we are using Watco Light Walnut, which is easy to apply with a cloth (a significant advantage for The Boy who finds brushes a bit awkward sometimes). We set up a couple of sawhorses, lift the 12' long boards up there and he wipes the stain on. He looks like a real construction guy in his Carhartt overalls and amazingly dirty white Sorels ... although the bright blue heavy duty rubber gloves do detract from the look to some extent. :)
The stain we are using is very light, but it warms up the pine a little and brings out the grain without making it seem dark. Oil stains are a bit of a hassle for cleanup, but nothing makes wood look as nice. I don't find it awkward to work with, either: you wipe it on with a cloth dipped in stain, let it dry (which doesn't take long), and then start using the boards. Once they are on the walls they'll get a topcoat of Verathane to seal the wood, and voila, we are done.
I see that photo uploads aren't working at the moment, I will try again later so you can see what we've been up to.