Mill Creek Haunted Hollow: Construction BLOG

Entry 266: August 16, 2014
Took me over a week to put the first dormer together. Took me a day to put this much together on the second one. I still need to put the ridge cap on and then caulk and paint everything, but this is an awesome start.

This is the left dormer. There's still masking tape hoping things together while the gorilla glue dried, but it's looking pretty good. After I add the ridge cap and do the obligatory caulking and painting, it will look as pretty as the other one.

And here we have the first one. All sealed and painted. I still want to add some color, but I'm not sure how yet. Maybe bring some of the chianti red into the front and inner row of the two corbels. I'm sure I'll figure it out.

These are the smaller dormers on the tower. I need to design something similar to the large dormers, but maybe not as elaborate. What I do want is a larger finial on the ridge cap of each dormer.

Entry 265: August 14, 2014
Slowly getting more work done on the dormers. It's finally coming together. Of course, I still need to build everything for the second one. Then I need to figure out what design I'm going to use for the tower dormers and make four sets of that.

Added the two corbels to the underside of eack dormer wing.

Right side (before cleaning and caulking).

Left side (before cleaning and caulking).

The ridge cap and finial glued and dried. I'll trim and sand before final paint.

Another shot of the cap with some caulking started to fill in the gaps.

Entry 264: August 12, 2014
Slowly getting more work done on the dormers. It's finally coming together. Of course, I still need to build everything for the second one. Then I need to figure out what design I'm going to use for the tower dormers and make four sets of that.

Extended the roof on both sides to cover the side fins of the dormer trim.

Glued in place, clamped to secure, and more caulk and paint.

Not the best angle, but you can sorta see I added the ridge cap with finial on the top

Entry 264, Continued: August 12, 2014
When we got back from Disneyland, we were greeted by a nasty hornets nest hidden on our front porch. I tried spraying them out, but I finally had to take down a celing panel to get in and really spray them good. The nest was the size of a volleyball!

When I finally opened the panel, I could see the "size" of the problem.


Entry 263: August 11, 2014
Projects have been very slow to take shape due to work and family, but I'm finally getting more pieces built for the dormers.

I spent a lot of time designing the trim to go around the dormers. After looking at the various dormers in Disneyland, I decided to create my own pattern and go for it.

Entry 262: August 5, 2014
Got out the lathe to start turning accent pieces for the improved dormers. I enjoy it, but I'm still working to make them look alike.

I start with a block of cedar I've ripped to 3" by 3".

Then I just go for it with my lathe chisels.

The lathe can be messy. Good to do this sort of stuff outside.

Sor far, I have three done. I need to build a template so I can get them a little more accurate.

Entry 261: August 3, 2014
My 10 year old just turned 11. She requested a zombie cake and my wife abliged.

Entry 260: July 31, 2014
ALERT! The Pose-n-Stay skeletons are back at Costco. They'll probably go pretty quick!

Entry 259: July 29, 2014
Finally adding more trim to the tower. Saw lots of inspiration in Disneyland and now I want to make my tower look better.

First shot shows the tower the way it's been.

Here you can see I've added some corner edging to the roof.

Next, I added the crown molding to the top of the tower roof. (still need to paint)

Entry 258: July 28, 2014
Many years (and four girls) ago, I married the absolute love of my life. My rock, my friend, my partner in adventure, my better half, my wife. We have lived, grown, and changed; and I am still madly in love with her and find her drop dead sexy!

Entry 257: July 15-19, 2014
We had a lot of fun in Disneyland. I won't bore you with all of the pictures we took of the girls on all the various rides, let's just say every day was fun, but long. I think we actually hit every ride in the park at least once, and we had a good time in California Adventure, too. I'm happy to say, I went through the Haunted Mansion six times while I was there. Turned out, it was a favorite of M.J. and Elly, too!

The littles had their autograph books with them the whole week and got to meet a lot of celebrities.

Had to take a pic of them in front of the statue.

We usually went back to the hotel for dinner. Some people were more tired than others.

Daydreaming about the park as we ride the ART shuttle.

Candid as we ride through Storybrook Lane.

I begged to go on the monorail. Turns out they changed the route and now all it does it take you outside the park to "Downtown Disney" which is a mall. If you sty on the monorail, to continues around back to Tomorrowland.

On the train passing by It's a Small World.

A blurry pic of the castle at night.

We're ready for the fireworks! Even brought ear protection for Elly so she wouldn't get too scared or anxious.

My pilgramage is complete. The Haunted Mansion!

It was great to visit again and see the old house again.

Lovely funeral carriage.

Can't forget the pet cemetery.

Elly in line, ready to get in to a doom buggy.

Entry 256: July 13, 2014
Taking a break from work and remodeling. The entire family is driving (3 days) to Disneyland!!!

We're on the road! Yesterday was a good travel day, and this morning we're waking up at the Running Y Ranch in Klamath Falls, OR. Thought I'd take a pic of the sunrise.

Entry 255: July 7, 2014
Finally took Saturday morning to construct and place the new bench in the community park. Took a couple of hours to dig the holes to the proper depth, but mixing the concrete and securing the posts was easy after that. Have to say, I think it looks pretty good. And at 12 ft, it should accommodate several parents.

Built five support posts for the 12 ft bench. Each post goes 2 ft into the ground.

Saturday morning and I'm digging holes in the park! What fun.

M.J. came out to keep me company. She wanted to help dig, but I didn't want her getting hurt.

M.J. got bored, so Elly came out to play and supervise. She was very excited to help mix concrete.

All five support posts are in with concrete. First seat board shows they all line up.

Elly approved of the construction!

A shot of the completed bench with the play area in the background. The next few weeks will be weeding the play area.

Entry 254: July 4, 2014
Watching the fireworks from the top of the tower with the littles! They're loving it.

Went op to the tower roof to watch the fireworks in the neighborhood.

I think the girls (Elly and M.J.) really enjoyed the time. Had their noses pressed against the glass for an hour.

The older girls were off having fun elsewhere, but I think they missed out on a great memory.

Entry 253: June 30, 2014
Finished the other section of fence. This twelve foot section goes across the front of the yard and gives the area a finished look. Happy, happy.

The two front sections go across the raised bed where the pumpkins grow. This really enhances the path and yard.

Need to do a bit more aging on the two posts, but I'm really happy with it. Just like everything else, these are removable. (Like I'd ever want to do that!)

Entry 252: June 23, 2014
Okay, so, I want to stay married, and that means I have to let the idea of a Halloween car go (for right now). Instead. I'm finally building the balusters for the front balcony. I'll probably need to build 75+ balusters, and they'll all be made out of cedar, but this one I threw together using a piece of scrap 2x4 - just to get a sense of how it would look.

Entry 251: June 21, 2014
Been thinking about a Halloween car lately...

I keep looking at old cars. It's a sickness, I know. I'd really like to get an old garage find and restore it. I've looked at Model A 4-doors, Hupmobiles, Plymouths, etc. If anyone has a barn find they want to get rid of for $2K or less, please let me know. You know I'll take care and restore it with love.

There are always fun, potential barn finds on Criagslist and/or eBay. Such tempting possibilities.

Last week there was a 1929 Model A 4-door (parts car) for sale on Craigslist. Seller was asking $2,000 for it.

I found the ad again this week and the seller has dropped the price to $1,650. If I call, I can probably negotiate even lower. It's not a pretty vehicle. It would need a lot of love. Probably take me several years to restore it.

Doesn't that sound wonderful?

Entry 250: June 20, 2014
Still working on the sign that goes over the entrance to the cemetery/yard. My plan is to mount a round piece of PVC to either side and that will slide over the top posts of the support pillars.

So, here's the sign with all the pieces attached. The glue is drying and things are help on with brads and clamps.

These end caps will attach to a piece of PVC pipe which will slide over the center posts of the fence pillars.

Here's a shot of the PVC pipe and how it should attach to the wood. I used my sander to round the wood piece so it would match the curve of the pipe.

Entry 250, Continued: June 20, 2014
I couldn't wait any longer. I had to put the sign up. It slipped on top the posts just as I wanted. I still have the clamps on to hold things together, but it is up and a good coat of paint has been applied.

Had to get the ladder out to put thwe sign up. Also had to unscrew the two top finials from the center posts. Thank goodness I didn't glue those on!

The Welcome sign is up! The clamps are still on because I used Gorilla Glue to attack the wood mount to the PVC pipe. I also used some brad nails, but knowing how Gorilla Glue expands, I thought it best to keep the clamps on overnight.

A close-up of the clamp/mounting collar.

A nice coat of gloss spray paint to set things off. I'll hit it with a few more coats and then the water seal.

Well, the sign gets lost in the tree branches right now, but I think it looks great! Now I need to build two more sections of the iron fence to go across the front (where the white bucket is).

Entry 249: June 19, 2014
Working on the arch to my graveyard fence. It's very slow going because I have to wait for glue to dry. And I know, I feel like I'm cheating, buying pre-cut wooden letters, but there's only 134 days till Halloween and I have other things I need to get to!

Entry 249, Continued: June 19, 2014
Have I mentioned how much I dislike waiting for glue to dry?

Entry 248: June 18, 2014
Working on the arch for the cemetery gate. I'm bending two pieces to create the arch and I've cut fret pieces to mount above and below the two bent pieces.

I just don't know what to put between them. Pattern, text, straight bars?

Got a lot of suggestions on Facebook, but it was my daughter who walked by and said, "why don't you just say, 'welcome'?"

Entry 247: June 14, 2014
No work on the haunt or fence sign today! Today is all about my oldest graduating from High School. She did great. High Academic Honors, Presidents Achievement, etc.

Yes, I've very proud. At the same time, I know I'm going to miss her terribly when she goes to College in the fall.

Entry 246: June 11, 2014
Getting more done on the cemetery fence.

Put some dark paint in a spray bottle and thinned it with water. Started the aging process on the fence columns.

First coat of weathering looks pretty thin in the sun.

I like where it's headed, but I need to go darker with some of the aging.

Four sections of fence up and both pillars in place.

I need to design and build the arch to go over the entry. At first, I was thinking about an arch that would say "cemetery" or "Burnside Manor" or maybe "Haunted Hollow", but now I think I'm just going to go with a nice design and not confuse people with text.

In my planning, the arch will span the two top spires.

Entry 245: June 8, 2014
Building the first of two tower/pillars that will support the entry arch.

This section will rest on top of a regular 4 ft column. The additional height will give clearance for an arch to go across the entry.

Bottom of the pillar.

Top of the pillar. The central rod will continue up for a bit and a medium finial will rest on top.

Another shot of the whole thing. It's about 4 ft tall, added to the 4 ft base, should give enough clearance for guests and ToTs.

Entry 244: June 7, 2014
Now that I have the basic posts done, it's time to work on the gate entrance. I'm going to build two more posts, but instead of the ball toppers, I'm building an extension of of the iron fence style to support a gateway arch.

Puttling together the top section of gate pilar.

I'm happy with the look. I'll need to build a second one and paint them both.

Entry 243: June 6, 2014
Had a really good day continuing the cemetery fence build.

Here's the plan. First I dig a hole 18" down and put in a 3" piece of plastic pipe.

Next I add a 2" piece of pipe to the fence post and have it extend 18" beyond the post.

Then the 2" pipe slips into the hole of the 3" pipe and I have a stable, yet removable, fence post.

Two down. The hardest part is digging the holes. I'm just using a gardening shovel and piece of aluminum pipe to dig the holes so they don't get too big. If I used the post-hole digger, I worry I would hurt too much of the asphalt, as I'm trying to put these right on the line.

Three posts in place and two sections of the fence resting between. I don't want to secure the fence to the posts, so I'm either going to drill holes and have pins hold the fence sections to the post, or I may just screw the fence into the holders. At least with screws, I can pull them out with minimal damage.

Four posts and three sections of fence done. Now I have to take the weekend to finally figure out the entry section. That will be the fifth post and will be an arch stretching over the brick path entry. The other side will come down in the raised flower bed.

Entry 242: May 31, 2014
Been a busy work week, but Saturday is finally here and I got three more sections of cemetery fence put together. I'll let the Gorilla glue dry (for the caps) and then get some coats of black on. I've also put together three of the posts. I don't know what sort of cap I'm going to put on yet. Might just go with a ball. If I'm inspired, or find something cheap, I'll put that on instead.

Entry 241: May 27, 2014
Took the first section of fence out to the backyard and hung it from a tree with some wire. One can of flat spray paint later and it looks pretty good. I'll definitely do the second coat (can) in gloss.

Entry 240: May 26, 2014
Finally starting a new project. Building a cemetery fence to go around the front yard. Bought some pine and ripped a 1x2x6 into two lengths about 3/8 in. each.

One strip will remain solid and the other has 3/4 in. squares chiseled to slide the vertial rails through.

I took an 8 ft. length of pine 1x4 and ripped it into four lengths of 3/4 in square. I then cut those to match the lengths I wanted.

Bought 50 plastic spike tops off eBay for a good price.

Happy with the fit. Gorilla glue will keep them on.

Slide each vertical piece into the top bar.

Glue and nail the bottom plate on. Very happy that each 6 ft. section will contain 13 verticals.

Securing each vertical to the top bar with a brad and some Gorilla glue. I'm hoping the glue will give a welded look when dry.

Looks like th Gorilla glue may have expanded too much. Looks a little more puffy than I wanted.

I'm going to let the glue dry completely and then see if I can sand it down a bit.

Entry 239: May 22, 2014
Almost done painting the house. About the only thing I have left is the small bits of siding around the sun room. I also need to finish re-painting the white trim.

Finally painted in the base cut-outs on the porch columns. Love it.

Front porch looks very nice and pretty clean. Picked up some porch furniture to make things more comfortable.

Love my doorbell. It lights up at night.

white trim, clean siding, it's all coming together.

Corbels and coach lights look great.

The front porch. Another "to do" this summer is add the gutter to the hip roof.

For now, I just have the two columns closest to the entry painted with the red chianti detail. I'd like to add it to the other columns as well.

Wife has been working in the garden (when the kids will let her).

Under the wheel barrow is one of the two bins for the foggers to go in October. They pump fog through buried pipes across the path and front yard.

Some of them may be weeds, but they have nice little flowers.

The old bench made out of some recycled decking from a previous remodel.

Still need to finish the dormers and add the fretwork detailing.

Nice to have things painted and clean.

Pretty happy with the door dormer roofs. Added the sloping sides and other details. Still need to add the top caps and fascia.

Took a sunny afternoon to scrub the shingles on the hip roof. They had sawdust, pollen, and moss.

The two door dormers are looking better and better the more I work on them.

A rare shot of the side of the house (over the shed) showing the almost finished siding and paint on that side.

Thank goodness I have a spray gun! Still need to move the remaining wood and paint that area.

That's a good 20 feet of siding.

Working on the fascia. Looks like I need to attach the downspout.

What once was green is now dark grey. Hard to believe, but painting the house only took 12 gallons.

Need to get the brush out for the pieces of siding around the sun porch. Also need to get the weed whacker out and give it a serious pep talk.

This is the back of the house, which overlooks the park. Still need to repaint the trim (and wash those windows while I'm up there).

Another shot. My "to-do" list never ends. I need to clean up the deck railing, too.

The bare area under the tower just needs it's section of red panel attached, then I can put up the final corbels on that side.

Happy tower. Dry paint.

Detail of the apothecary (garage) tower. I need to climb up and add a shingle strip to the base of each dormer. Probably add a drip edge, too.

Love the tower, need to finish those dormers!

Another shot of the apothecary tower with clean, white trim. Of course, I'm always seeing the little things I need to fix - like filling in the nail holes on that base piece of fascia.

Entry 238: May 18, 2014
Got out the old Wagner paint sprayer today to get some of the exterior house painting done. I haven't used the Wagner in several years, but in the back of my mind I knew there was something about it I didn't like. After a few hours of house painting I cleaned everything up and went to take a shower. That's when I looked in the mirror and remembered why I'm not a big fan of the Wagner paint sprayer.

If you look across the top of my head, you can see the clean band of scalp where my headphones were.

This is as much as I got done. Believe me, when you're painting with a spray gun that only holds one quart at a time, it can take a while.

This is the tall side of the house. The nice thing is, it's in the shade.

This is the back of the house. Got most if it sprayed, but I know I'll have to go back with a brush.

This is the southwest side of the house. This is the side that gets all the weather. Two coats minimum for this side.

Another shot of the southwest side. I'll have to get the taller ladder over to this side so I can get to the top. Then it's up on the roof for the other green areas.

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