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Archive for the ‘Knowles – 1888 Eastlake’ Category

Paint Shaver Pro Review

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

After last year’s fire that I started while heat gunning the exterior of our 1888 Victorian, I started researching alternative methods of paint removal. I had previously stripped the entire exterior of our 1914 bungalow in San Jose without incident. But our current house has blown in insulation which presents a definite fire hazard.

I looked at several different chemical strippers but they were all expensive, time consuming, and messy.

I remembered hearing about the Paint Shaver Pro a few years ago and I had always considered that it must be too good to be true or why would people still be using heat guns or chemicals. Well I started looking for reviews on the Internet and generally they seemed favorable.

The biggest stumbling block is the purchase price. The 6 amp model is $599. But considering that the small fire I started with the heat gun cost me more than that to fix, well it was a no-brainer. Especially since I got away very lucky with the fire and caught it early.

I tried getting a used one off of Ebay but they always ended up going for close to the new price so I finally just ordered it from their web site. I received it about 10 days later. I just went with the 6 amp model, and none of the accessories. The blades last a long time and several Ebay auctions I saw people were selling lots of extra blades they never ended up using.

The biggest difference other than price between the 6 amp and 8 amp models is that they say with the 8 amp model you don’t need to sink any exposed nails. Well I’ve hit a few nails with my 6 amp model and it doesn’t seem to create much of a problem, not even nicking the blades.

I used a couple of boards that were going to be removed to practice on. Once I got started I couldn’t believe how fast it really went. In one day I easily finished stripping the south side of the house. Using the heat gun it would have taken me at least a week or more, plus a lot of electricity. There were a few areas that it couldn’t get into, mostly because of the exhaust vent, but I can sand those small remaining areas.

The shaver can leave some circular marks but they sand out easy. It’s a lot easier sanding the redwood without having to go through all the layers of paint.

I have v-rustic siding so it still leaves the groove that needs to be stripped. A previous owner caulked all of the joints which was a really stupid thing to do so I’m still spending a lot of time removing the paint and caulking from the v grooves, but it’s still progressing a lot faster than the section I did last year.

The fact that I haven’t had to call my fire department out this summer was an extra bonus. It’s embarrassing when you’re a fireman to have to call out your own department to extinguish a fire you started.

The Roses are Reappearing

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

9 years ago when we moved to Ferndale we thought that since our house sits on Rose Ave, that we should plant the 15o foot long front exposure with rose bushes. We bought 13 rose bushes, some Cecil Brunner and some Gertrude Jekyll.

Within days we discovered one of the major differences between gardening in San Jose and gardening in Ferndale. Deer. While we were at the nursery picking out the roses, we also bought 3 apple trees and 3 blueberry bushes. The deer demolished all of those in a matter of weeks.

The roses barely survived, but after our yard started repeatedly flooding we had to do something to prevent that and while that work was going on, we transplanted the roses to the back yard.

We built a concrete retaining wall and then started building a trellis fence on top of that. It’s still not finished but it’s at the point where we can start growing the roses up on part of it. So we started moving some of the remaining Cecil Brunner roses back to the front yard.

I can’t wait until June to see our lovely arbor entrance in bloom.

Rose Trellis

Victorian Preservation Association - P.O. Box 586 - San Jose, CA 95106-0586 -