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Thread: The House Of The Golden Balls

  1. #1
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    Default The House Of The Golden Balls

    Comes a time in the life of every house when the roof needs to be replaced! Our 1889 Victorian was in great need of roof repairs this year. The old cedar shingled roof lasted over forty five years but had started to leak. Squirels had eaten their way through one dormer and proceeded to make their way down the inner wall above the closet under the inner stairway. They chewed their way through a lath and plaster wall and started making nests therein! What a mess! the roof leaked and the contents of the closet were a mess. They even chewed up my prized copy of Dixon Kemp and part way into an old nautical dictionary! Enough was enough so we bit the bullet and started searching for a roofing contractor. Needless to say, they, the good ones were booked up for nearly a year! Finally a friend came to us with a rescue and introduced us to the roofer that was to do his new house. Even he was booked till spring but at least he committed to the job which finally was done just before the first of October. We are glad we waited because the job is really well done! Our roofer had gotten in a good supply of the best cedar shakes available and stashed them away. Good cedar shingles and shakes are really hard to find now days and many houses are being roofed with rubber shingles! Our crew was efficient fast and clean! They never left a mess and at the end of the day the carted off all of the debris leaving our digs spic and span every evening during the job.
    Victorian houses usually have decorative ridge caps that end in a metal finial at the gable peak ends. we are so happy with the work that I decided to add an extra decorative touch to our Queen Anne Victorian Home in the form of gold leafed finial balls! It took only a day to prep and leaf the three finials for our place that the neighbors have dubbed,
    "The House Of Golden Balls" We kind of like the way it looks. They should stay shiny till the next roof is needed. House picture will come as soon as it is available.
    Jay

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    So, you are starting a side line of money lending then?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    After all that I'm picturing something like this -

    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    I love gold leaf. I think itís the wee brushes I like most.

    Peace,
    Robert

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Actually only when I do glass gold lettering to I use a "wee brush" to create a crystal effect on the gold. It takes a few beers to build up enough wee for it!
    Jay

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Here is the final effect shown here at the upper right of the photo. There are three balls on the house on the ends of the ridge caps. The total amount of gold was about a third of a book. Took a few hours but the neighbors like it and named it the House of Golden Balls. The leafed house numbers are taken from US paper currency. I often use font from US bills as it has a nice look and goes well with the Roman alphabet.
    Jay

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Golden Gronicles?
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  8. #8
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    Golden Gronicles?
    Chez Beckham
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Actually only when I do glass gold lettering to I use a "wee brush" to create a crystal effect on the gold. It takes a few beers to build up enough wee for it!
    Jay
    Hmmm... every gilder brush Iíve ever used has been a wee thing, essentially a wide ferrule and hair. I found the wide, handle-less brushes excellent for lifting and applying sheet gold.

    Peace,
    Robert

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Yes, you are right! The wide brush is used for lifting a sheet of loose glass gold off the guilder's pad. I flip the brush through what hair I have left to build up static electricity in the brush to hold the full leaf of gold and transfer it to the surface that is being leafed.
    In this case, the gold is "Patend Gold" that is backed by a thin leaf of tissue paper. I usually do not keep glass/loose gold on hand as most of the lettering work I do is out in the wind where patend gold is easier to work with. I did do the house numbers with glass gold though. They have held up for nearly twenty years with no need of touch up. It was my partner and dear friend Walther Methner who owned Walter's Sign Studio who first thought of gilding the first set of gold leafed finials on the house. Sadly, Walter passed on some three years ago. He was one of the best free hand letterers I have ever worked with!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 11-07-2018 at 11:54 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Yes, you are right! The wide brush is used for lifting a sheet of loose glass gold off the guilder's pad. I flip the brush through what hair I have left to build up static electricity in the brush to hold the full leaf of gold and transfer it to what is being leafed. In this case, the gold is "Patend Gold" that is backed by a thin leaf of tissue paper.
    Jay
    Thatís why the beard.

    Now, leafing letters and numbers? Well, thatís certainly an art and skill much beyond simple leafing of objects. Iím more of a ďslather it with leafĒ type ham fisted operator.

    Peace,
    Robert

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    I hate to be the one to mention it, but surely you primed the zinc before applying the gold.
    http://www.gilders.com/the-gold-leaf...ations-vastly/

    Edit: The slow sizing must be a good insulator to prevent galvanic corrosion. Gold is very inert, but zinc is far from it. Gold is very noble and any pinhole on a gold electroplated part will corrode quickly.
    Last edited by MN Dave; 11-08-2018 at 07:15 PM.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    It does not need primer. I merely washed off the surface of the galvanize with acetone and applied slow gold size to it. I know, from past experience that this gold job will last, at least twenty five years! The gold is inert and will not tarnish or peel as the hot dip zinc acts as a primer. As long as it is not abraded the gold will remain shiny. The slow size stays flexible and does not loose it's grip over time. Gold leaf on boat letters must be protected though or it will soon rub off because of wash downs, swabbing and slapping of sea water. Cove stripes are the only exception. Thanks for posting the information on gilding. More information and materials can be purchased from Art Essentials of New York Ltd. http://artessentialsofnewyork.com/
    On the West Coast, I deal with McLogan Sign Supply in Anaheim CA for brushes and lettering paint. Gold leaf is more reasonable from Art Essentials.
    https://www.mclogan.com/shop/supplies-c-


    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 11-08-2018 at 01:39 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Chez Beckham
    :::Cleaning Monitor:::
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  15. #15
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Hmmm... every gilder brush I’ve ever used has been a wee thing, essentially a wide ferrule and hair. I found the wide, handle-less brushes excellent for lifting and applying sheet gold.

    Peace,
    Robert
    In adittion, the gilders brush that is intended for lifting an entire sheet of gold in one piece is called a "Gilder's Tip". It has no ferrule in the normal sense. The squirrel hairs are in a single row and laid on a wide piece of light card board that is folded over. The tool is extremely light in the hand and is necessary if one is to pick up an entire leaf of glass gold.
    Jay

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Here is the final effect shown here at the upper right of the photo. There are three balls on the house on the ends of the ridge caps. The total amount of gold was about a third of a book. Took a few hours but the neighbors like it and named it the House of Golden Balls. The leafed house numbers are taken from US paper currency. I often use font from US bills as it has a nice look and goes well with the Roman alphabet.
    Jay

    That's some lovely detailing on your house, Jay, and some masterful carpentry!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Thanks Jim! We try to keep it looking presentable. It did copy the house trim when we built the garage and shop. This is not an old shop loft door. We call the square barge board trim pieces "Belly Buttons". The lifting hook framing and door is reclaimed railway tressle stock that is Port Orford Cedar. No glue or metal fastenings, other than the cliched copper boat nails on the X bracing in the door. It is all draw pin mortis and tenon and t&g construction. The upper arch rail board is made of two pieces of stock that are joined with a hammer head joint. When we finish the building I will gold leaf that ball too.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 11-09-2018 at 05:04 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Thanks Jim! We try to keep it looking presentable. It did copy the house trim when we built the garage and shop. This is not an old shop loft door. We call the square barge board trim pieces "Belly Buttons". The lifting hook framing and door is reclaimed railway tressle stock that is Port Orford Cedar. No glue or metal fastenings, other than the cliched copper boat nails on the X bracing in the door. It is all draw pin mortis and tenon and t&g construction. The upper arch rail board is made of two pieces of stock that are joined with a hammer head joint. When we finish the building I will gold leaf that ball too.
    Jay
    theres loads of class and style here...pretty darn neat!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Thanks Bernadette for your kind comment! Here is how the loft door was made. Some copper rivets were used on the X braces but, mostly it was all trunnels and draw pin mortis and tennon joints. Wood is Alaskan Yellow Cedar. There wasn't enough width to the stock to make the arched top in one piece so, a keyed hammer head joint was used for that. That joint was a bit of work but the whole thing went together like a big jig saw puzzle once the pieces were cut. The pins went into slighly off set bores and pulled the frame together tight. Wedges were then drven into the mortices to add to the stability of the frame allowing the T&G paneling to float in the framing. This door faces East and catches the morning sun. It heats up and shrinks and expands with the weather changes. So I decided to build it this way to allow it to breath a bit. It has been in place now for nearly ten years and now looks like it will last a while.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 11-15-2018 at 01:12 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    I used oil based paint on the door and got a chance to use the hay bale tackle to lift it in place.
    Jay

  21. #21
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    The reason for the weird purchase on the sling was to allow easy access to the hinge pins and simple removal of the strapping from the door jamb.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 11-21-2018 at 01:00 PM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Here is our old house in winter. Shop has a catalized wood burning stove that keeps the work space toasty. While some people accuse me of being an artist, I like to think of myself as just being able to think more clearly and be more creative in this kind of environment. We came to Port Townsend thirty two years ago and fell in love with the town and this place and just are more happy being able to have the privilege of being custodians of this fine ole home that dates back to 1889.
    jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 11-22-2018 at 01:07 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    That's some lovely detailing on your house, Jay, and some masterful carpentry!
    I think on this when I hear the constant "Get an education ! Get an education !" Why is it that the only 'education' that has value in the US now is one that comes with a certificate ? Why are we the richest nation in the world (more or less) but we can't afford to shop anywhere better than Walmart ?

    It's a puzzle. The people who built these beautiful buildings might have had a sixth grade 'education'. There ought to be more avenues for living than sitting in a cubicle writing javascript to spy on people.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Here is our old house in winter. Shop has a catalized wood burning stove that keeps the work space toasty. While some people accuse me of being an artist, I like to think of myself as just being able to think more clearly and be more creative in this kind of environment. We came to Port Townsend thirty two years ago and fell in love with the town and this place and just are more happy being able to have the privilege of being custodians of this fine ole home that dates back to 1889.
    jay
    aw heck...look at all that snow!....its 1450 hrs and its 39 deg c in the house here. I stopped work in the boat shed because it got up to 43 deg c.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite View Post
    There ought to be more avenues for living than sitting in a cubicle writing javascript to spy on people.
    I quite agree (says the guy who lived through the "education" mantra). I'm lucky enough to have met some young people recently who are stepping out of that mold (mould?), living in a yurt learning and passing on woodworking as an art form. Looking forward to seeing what they end up doing.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I used oil based paint on the door and got a chance to use the hay bale tackle to lift it in place.
    Jay
    Looks awesome Jay. Surely there is a lot of love and skills put into this. I love it!!!

  27. #27
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Looks great! What's up in the loft area? Looks to be an interesting space

  28. #28
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Loft area is my drafting room and a small apartment that are under construction. The appt. is designed to look like a square riigger's stern castle interior.
    I am planning to build the one sleeping cabin with a wooden grate overhead that has a star projector in the space over it. Stars will project on the overhead and sounds of a ship undersail will just be audible. we plan to use it as a B&B with a special sailing theme. Note that the windows are made of flawed glass. This will become the Great Cabin and the drafting room will move to another space.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 11-28-2018 at 11:40 AM.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    That's very cool! You'll fill that on Wooden Boat weekends for certain

  30. #30
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    When I was a kid my father took me to the private office of the owner of Fellows and Stewart Boat Works in Wilmington CA. To a seven year old it was like visiting Aladen's cave! I later discovered that The South Coast Boat Company in Newport Beach had one as well When South Coast Closed, my partner and I rented the building for our sign company. Voila, we had the existing stern castle office room at our disposal! It was done in the same manner as was the one in Wilmington. It had a teak conferance table under the stern windows, a wet bar and the cabin was fitted out in varnished teak with ivory tongue and groove paneling. After we closed our sign shop the building was vacant and up for sale.

    The room was vandalized and sprayed with graffiti. I swore I would build one for myself, if I ever had a chance! When my wife and I went to the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, thirty three years ago, for the first time, we discovered the old 1889 Victorian house by accident and just by accident it had a for sale sign. Also, by accident, the house was listed at a price we could afford. I some times wonder if it was all really by chance?
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 11-28-2018 at 05:27 PM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    A happy chance, if so. Or was it cosmic design? Karmic accumulation? Or are you just one bloody lucky lad?

  32. #32
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    What a great thread. Congratulations on a lovely home and thanks for sharing some of the details.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Ross View Post
    What a great thread. Congratulations on a lovely home and thanks for sharing some of the details.
    Yes! Thank you for treating us.

    This might inspire me to replace our front windows, pitch pine, but getting tatty. House a bit older though, from before 1800.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    A happy chance, if so. Or was it cosmic design? Karmic accumulation? Or are you just one bloody lucky lad?
    Having been around the block a couple of times, and out to sea with only one oar, I think that keeping one's mind open to focus on the positive has a lot to do with one's fortune. The real reward comes from being ready to accept the good when it arrives rather than crying sour grapes over a mistake from the past!

    Thanks to you all for sharing the happiness and calm that the F.C. Harper house brings to us!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 11-29-2018 at 01:00 PM.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: The House Of The Golden Balls

    Jay,

    It is luck, as much as anything. Of course, diligence, and openness, and work, etc. But, luck, too.

    I am so happy you are able to recognize and appreciate the wonderful things in your life. And happy you share them with us.

    I was unfortunate enough to be grievously injured and lose my home. Which totally opens up the possibility of living on a boat!

    I agree 100% with your notion to always be open to new opportunities. We never know when something will be wonderful or terrible, and our outlook colors the results as much as anything. For example, had we not lost our home, we’d never live here, around the corner from my kid’s GREAT grandparents. Spending time with your greats is priceless, eh? Wouldn’t trade that for any house. Or boat...

    I’d love to see that great cabin, some day. I could plan a mutiny. It’s a lovely plan you have.

    Peace,
    Robert

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