Sunday, 21 November 2010

Flashdance weekend

Thanks for all the funny Flashdance comments from yesterday. You guys should get a comedy gig somewhere.


Yes, Jason and Mr Rooney, our fabulous builder, make a formidable team. 

Mr Rooney measuring 

Mr Rooney gave Jason a crash course in arc welding 101, hence the welding masks in the previous post. Together, they welded a cross beam onto the stair posts and drilled and welded brackets for the joists. 

Jason channeling Jennifer Beals

Afterwards, Jason said he felt like the chick from Flashdance; the only knowledge of welding he could draw upon. 

Mr Rooney broke into a song and dance routine to rival Irene Cara and Jennifer Beals. It was 1983 again at the Sow's Ear - you had to be there. 

Cross beam attached to the white posts. The old stairs will be decommissioned at the last possible minute.
Thoughtful Mr Rooney attached rings for a swing for Son #3.

Mr Rooney is also not one to let free labour go to waste. He recruited Sons #1 and #2 to unscrew the old hinges on the timber casement windows (the ones we bought from Will), explaining carefully how to use the drill. 

The boys did a marvellous job. Son #1 made sandwiches for Jason and Mr Rooney (I was out with the other children) without even being asked. He must've liked hanging out with the guys.

Jason helping the boys with the windows

While the kids were working, Mr Rooney and Jason started formulating plans for fitting the casement windows into the sunroom.  It won't be a case of taking out one window and replacing it with another - nothing is square, so it's going to be a fiddly job!

One window was sacrificed as a template - to use for sizing and general experimenting.

They decided that the next day would be set aside to work on the windows -  making them exactly the same size, perfectly square, sanded and rebated for installation.


Mr Rooney set up a joinery workshop in our garage and carport. He then gave Jason a crash course in Joinery 101. Mr Rooney is a born educator and Jason has learnt more this weekend than ever before.

Precision is the name of the game for Jason

Sons #1 and #2 were given the task of sanding down the windows.  Again, Mr Rooney explained everything carefully and gave them each an orbital sander. 

It was like the dueling sanders down there. We've never seen the two boys any happier and they'll have a good memory of their first foray into power tools. They did another marvellous job. 

#1 Son in the sweat shop

In the afternoon, I took all the boys to the park while Jason and Mr Rooney got stuck into the heavier duty power tools - the table saw and router. 

When we came back, seven sets of window were perfectly sized and finished on the front lawn. They will be an excellent starting point when installing windows in a non-square house like the Sow's Ear.

Hopscotch Casement window and son #1 with safety-wear
Jason and Mr Rooney worked extremely hard this weekend. I don't think Jason has ever enjoyed renovating  as much as he has this weekend. He was so happy which is never ever the case after working on the house. 

So, thank you Mr Rooney. You're good company and a top fellow.

A well-deserved beer for the men, lollies for the kids.


  1. What a massive effort - I bet there was more than one beer enjoyed after all that work! How great to have your boys geting in on the act as well...our Molly isn't too good with the renovating caper :)

  2. Wow, what a great effort this weekend. I should have brought my casement windows and joined in the fun! Are you going to miss the view with those new casements? Ours are the same and we are thinking of replacing the glass to clear in some of the panels. Well a beer or two and lollies were well deserved! Nice work. ;-)

  3. Sarah, there was more than one beer involved!
    Jenny, we don't have a view on that side. There's just an old abandoned house which will no doubt be knocked down and replaced with a McMansion. We are future planning. If we had a view I would probably have clear glass.

  4. It's looking good, amazing what progress you can make when there is more than one person working away. The kids make good free labour too. Looking forward to seeing the finished sunroom. I was curious about the glass panels too, but it all makes sense now. Lots of light and privacy. Hope it isn't too much of a hassle fitting the windows. Good luck.

  5. What a weekend you had. I'm enjoying following the process of it all. Glad it's all coming together. Have a great week!

  6. That is a big job getting those windows to fit. But they are going to be amazing.

  7. Wow! Looks like a productive time. Have a great week.

  8. a busy weekend at your place. i was betting on more than one beer also...

  9. Wow what a great experience for one and all. So cool for the boys to use REAL power tools, I can see how much they would have loved that. I never understood why they abolished the child labour laws, they must have been so useful.


  10. Sounds like a perfect weekend for boys. Aaaah, the joy! How lovely that your two boys also got to help. I think we all love Mr Rooney...

  11. #3 is going to love that swing! The other two looked very happy being workers too. Looks like a very productive and happy w/end!

  12. Great shots Brismod...and I know exactly what you mean about a "non-square" house.
    Number 10 is way out of square and I have to keep reminding MONT that he's wasting his time trying to get things "perfect" coz it aint gonna happen.

    Love how everyone got involved in the process's great for the kids to get a taste of how things are done.

  13. Who would have thought that an utterly shite task like squaring up joinery could turn into such a golden day.


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