Franz
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Franz replied to Shawn and Jessica Dow's discussion Why is the center of my floor a different color?
"This is one I DEFINITELY have the answer to, because I watched it unfold. The floor in the center is original.  Around 1950 somebody came along with the idea to do something about that ugly old floor, and installed the newer (light)…"
Feb 23
Franz replied to KARODY ROBBINS's discussion Fireplace in 1885 Stick Victorian
"I sure wouldn't run that contraption if for no other reason than the unvented unit will deliver tons of acidic water vapor into the containment area. If it's in a fairly sealed entry room you could have worse problems with oxygen…"
Feb 8
Franz commented on WILLIAM D's group Cobblestone homes
"Cobblestone houses, barns and other structures are geographically unique to the area along both sides of the Old Erie Canal. They were built by Irish masons who came to work on the canal, and for a relatively short period of time.  The stones…"
Feb 4
Franz replied to Amanda Stroud's discussion Removing cement/plaster/The Blob from tiles
"Preferably brown vinegar. It's a fairly cheap acid and won't harm the ceramic. I would suggest doing the job outside unless you have an infatuation for the vinegar aroma."
Jan 27
Franz replied to KARODY ROBBINS's discussion Rounded openings on 1885 Stick Victorian
"OK, now I'm getting toward the confused end of the meter. Are you talking about an arch topped doorway from room to room that you can walk through? Any chance of similar houses in the neighborhood?  If there are it becomes amazing the…"
Jan 27
Franz replied to Amanda Stroud's discussion Removing cement/plaster/The Blob from tiles
"Tile is ceramic blob is either plaster or some form of concrete. Start by soaking the plaster side in vinegar, that should soften it so it can be scraped off with a stick Vinegar or even muriatic acid won't hurt the tile, but don't get in…"
Jan 27
Franz replied to KARODY ROBBINS's discussion New Restorer Buys Huge 1893 Stick Vick
"Rule of thumb, electricity as a product generally became available ro residential customers about 5 years after electric street cars.  Salina is interesting because street cars there were first horse cars, then cable drawn cars, then steam cars…"
Jan 23
Franz replied to KARODY ROBBINS's discussion New Restorer Buys Huge 1893 Stick Vick
"Quick & dirty search reveals municipal electric didn't exist in Beookvill until after 1918 when Kansas City Railways Company for the ... to provide for the erection of an electric distribution system in Brookville. That date definitely…"
Jan 21
Franz replied to KARODY ROBBINS's discussion Rounded openings on 1885 Stick Victorian
"If you have access to the interior side of the opening the framing will tell the story fast. Framing materials are either all of the same time period, or they are not. "local heritage commissions" are best dealt with with a van load of…"
Jan 21
Franz replied to KARODY ROBBINS's discussion New Restorer Buys Huge 1893 Stick Vick
"Red may be appropriate to the time frame IF it is located within 100 miles of a then iron ore mine.  Many barrels of red paint were manufactured in Rochester NY around 1900 mixing ore from the Ontario iron ore deposit and plentiful Linseed oil…"
Jan 17
Franz replied to Fred's discussion 1950 house plaster wall
"Hair in the ground coat, possibly horse depending on proximity to a slaughter house that sold hair.  Likelyhood of asbestos is pretty minimal given that the fibers are too short to serve the purpose horsehair served.  It could also be…"
Jan 17
Franz replied to JRTebow's discussion Chandelier restoration questions
"I'd say 1, possibly 2 of the hanging fixtures were installed in that house when the house was electrified. I'd also venture the house was NOT electrified when it was built! The man who did the knob & tube was a good skilled mechanic…"
Jan 17
Franz replied to KARODY ROBBINS's discussion New Restorer Buys Huge 1893 Stick Vick
"Pre 1900 you'll want to go with natural gas or acetylene lighting to be correct. You'll probably want to base the decision on was natural gas available at the house when it was built."
Jan 17
Franz replied to David's discussion 1920's garage/apartment in South Texas - insulation advice needed!
"I'd get rid of the sash weight system even though it can probably be repaired.  There are retrofit devices that work better and are fairly easy to install, even though in your location heat loss via the weight pockets isn't really a…"
Jan 11
Franz replied to Shane's discussion Connected bedrooms?
"ESCAPE in the event of Fire."
Jan 8
Franz replied to John Barnes's discussion Building Wooden Frame Inside Historic Brick Structure
"NO Casey, lack of sufficient masonry thickness wasn't why trussing rods were installed. Trussing rods have long been used to increase load bearing capacity of light timber beams.  Masonry under a beam must be sufficiently strong to carry…"
Jan 8

Profile Information

Tell us about yourself:
I'm a cantankerous old fart, possibly older than your parents or house.
I'm too damn old to waste time stating anything other than facts. If you can't deal with facts don't read my stuff.
Tell us about your old-house experiences and dreams:
I live in an old house. I've spent my life maximizing the house's possibilities.
I detest moron contractors and ignorant archetects.

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