Tuesday, December 27, 2016

After the Snow

First Snow
Day 29 (12/26/16)

With the snow and cold weather things have slowed down at the hall. Two weeks ago we had braved the cold and started putting up the voting booths into the loft. They are going to be used as shelves to store artwork. Last weekend it was so cold that we knew the heat pump wouldn’t have a chance warming up the entire space from below zero so we didn’t even try. Last Monday morning I had a bit of a scare when I found out that the power had been out in Belgium. I immediately raced over to the hall and found that the breakers had tripped when the power came back on. The good news is that after almost twelve hours without power the crawlspace and bathroom were both within tolerable limits. I am supposed to get an alert from Weenrgies but didn’t get anything until about ten the next day apologizing for any inconvenience. Monday night I went back over and checked again and everything was working fine. Today I had the day off and it was forty degrees so I decided to go over and finish the voting booths and do some painting. I was the first time it had been warm enough to paint all month. I managed to finish the loft area and put a last coat on the west wall. I was impressed with how quickly the heat pump warmed the space when it wasn’t approaching zero. I found I was really excited about going over and doing some work. Sometimes a guy just has to pound some nails.   
Warming up 

Sizing thing up

The Install

Ready to be trimmed out

Cold day at the Hall

This is inside

Finished Loft

From the Loft

Getting closer to opening

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Industrial Door

Our New Door
Day 28 (12/4/16)

The weather is starting to take a turn for the worse. I know that some people are hoping for a white Christmas but I am hoping that the whole winter stays warm and mild because I have things to get done. One outdoor project that we needed to finish was the door. The original door was pretty rough looking and the window had been replaced with a piece of Plexiglas that rattled every time you closed the door. We had looked into a replacement door but since it was not a standard size all of the options were very expensive. We had started working on the door about a month ago by covering the bottom with aluminum diamond plate. We liked it so well we decided to cover the whole door with it. We also decided we wanted to tint it green to match the other outdoor trim. There was not a local outlet for the diamond plate so I started looking on line. At first it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. I was able to find reasonable priced diamond plate but the shipping was outrageous. Finally I found a source that had both reasonable prices and reasonable shipping. At the same time I ordered a 24X24 sheet of tempered, thermo pane glass for the window. The diamond plate arrived in just a couple of days but I did have to wait awhile for the window since it had to be custom made. While we were waiting, we researched keyless entries. We wanted something that would complement the industrial look while offering the convenience of keyless entry. We finally decided on a Schlage lever handled system and found it on sale at Menards. Friday, I got the call that the glass was finished so we decided to get it done as soon as possible. Like so many things in this project we didn’t exactly know what to expect once we got started. Saturday we prepped everything and made a list of last minute supplies we would need to get it done. We got up early this morning and made a quick trip to Sheboygan to get the last of the supplies and by eleven we were back at the hall and ready to start. I started by drilling the diamond plate and painting it. I then worked on cutting the trim for the window. We had already installed it and caulked it on Saturday. We also put weather stripping around the inside of the door. By one o’clock we were able to start putting the aluminum on the door. Except for having to cut out a little for the hinges it went remarkably well. After we had the plating screwed on we were able to start trimming out the window. Considering that the original had not been made for the thermo pane it also went well. Finally we had to install the keyless entry. We both had concerns on how well it would fit into a door of that age. Eileen had been reading up on it so when it was time to put it on it all fit together like a charm. By the time we were done it was getting very slushy but it was completed and snug. We loved the way it looked and were able to cross another task off our list.

Drilling the screw holes

Starting to Paint


I love this stuff

The original Door with new window

Adding the Diamond Plate

Trimming out the Window

The finished door with keyless entry

View towards the Road

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Big Blue Ceiling

The Ceiling is mostly finished
Day 27 (11/27/16)

It was Thanksgiving vacation so that means four days to work on the hall. The latest big project has been painting the ceiling. Eileen had started on the area over the loft a while ago so our goal was to get it finished by the time we had to go back to work. We had looked into hiring it done but when we got the estimate of fifteen hundred dollars we decided it was something that we could do ourselves. We purchased a rolling scaffolding and paint and managed to do it for three hundred and fifty dollars and now have scaffolding for painting and insulating the outside. It proved to be a good week to work on hall because we were also able to monitor our new heating systems. It wasn’t real cold yet but most of the week was in the high thirties to low forties. I have set the bathroom and crawlspace heaters at around forty-five degrees. It may be a bit warm but we both agreed that we would rather pay a little more for heating than risk having to replace plumbing if the electricity went out. We were really happy to see that on sunny days we get quite a bit of heat gain. We also got to use the heat pump system in the rest of the building and it worked great. I am sure it will work even better when we get a chance to insulate the building. The entire week was not only about ceiling painting. While Eileen was painting I worked on wiring and while I was painting Eileen worked on some of the many other details we need to finish around the hall. At the end of the week we had indeed finished painting the ceiling and now have another major project crossed off from the list. The next big project will probably be lighting. We had thought about hanging track lighting around the hall but are now thinking that we can mount them directly on the ceiling without a problem. Slowly but surely it is starting to become the studio/gallery that we envisioned.  
Heating up the Hall

Floor of the Loft

Floor over the Water Closet

Eileen's find from under the hall

Half done

Last of first coat

Eileen working on entryway

Last Coat

Almost Done

A lot of Art

Finished Ceiling

Petitioners Bench 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Kids in the Hall

Wade and the new Hand Chair from
Dutch Land Plastics
Day 26 (11/13/16)

We had spent the last couple of weekends weatherizing and cleaning so we decided it was time to enjoy the hall for a change. We had promised our grandson Wade a movie night so we figured before it got to cold we had better do it. Unfortunately, I think at this point there are going to be three children disappointed when it becomes a gallery. We decided to invite our friends Grant and Sally and their two children over for movie night along with Wade’s parents, Nate and Rita, and ourselves. To say that the children had fun was an understatement. Apparently Wade had been excited about movie night, at “the Belgium house” for days. From the moment he got there he was checking everything out. We started with some “Minion” shorts just to set the mood and make sure everything was working. Wade and Zaylia soon found they could make shadows on the screen and had a great time entertaining the guests. The feature for the night was “Ice Age 4” and it was a big hit. Even little Jossett, who is around a year and a half, was mesmerized by the big screen and at times would squeal and point in delight. Even though Wade had seen it before it was as much fun watching him as the movie. About halfway through the movie Wade and Zaylia wanted to ride their scooters so we cleared an area so they could get around. We took the opportunity to mix up some root beer floats. After some scootering and root beer floats it was time to finish the movie. Grant and Sally had brought the movie “Elf” so that was next on the agenda. By now though the children were movied out and preferred playing up in the loft. With the gates closed it is quite safe so they enjoyed throwing balls down at the adults while the adults would throw them back up in a game that soon became known as “Ball Toss”. Wade was having the time of his life. Little Jossett loved the loft area and didn’t want to come back down. Finally as Elf was finishing Wade and Zaylia started dancing to the credits music. I am not sure that I have ever seen so much fun. I think even Wade realized though that all things must come to an end and didn’t even complain when his parents told him they had to go home. He only asked how long it would be before they could do it again.
We even had a light show

Zaylia and Wade making Shadows

The Crew

Watching Ice Age 4

Enjoying the Movie


Wade busting a move

Zaylia, Wade and Rita

Up in the Loft

Ball Toss


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Clean, Well-Lighted Places

I missed my calling with the circus
Day 25 (11/6/16)
I was recently reading an article in Artnews magazine about the golden age of art dealing when, as it said, all you needed to start a gallery was “Clean, Well-Lighted Spaces”. Now don’t get me wrong I am not expecting Belgium, Wisconsin to become the new Mecca of art but more and more the old hall is becoming a clean, well lighted space. The beautiful weather the last two weekends has been a bonus for getting things done. Last weekend I worked on winterizing the rest of the hall. We put a couple of remote thermometers in the bathroom, hall and crawlspace so that we can monitor the temperature for the water. So far it is all systems go. I also stated redoing the front door but after I got it finished I liked it so much that I have decided that perhaps I will cover the whole thing with polished aluminum. While I was working on the door Eileen was setting up the new popcorn machine that we got for the gallery and splash painting the floor of the loft. We decided that this weekend we were going to try out our popcorn machine on Saturday and put it out there that anyone who wanted to could stop by and have some. We had a few takers including our Grandson Wade and his parents. Wade always fills the hall with life. He has to be everywhere doing everything at once. Our friend Teiva brought her boys for awhile. When we weren’t entertaining, Eileen started painting the ceiling from the scaffolding, proving that she has a wild side, while I continued winterizing and building a cover for the air-conditioner. Today we did some serious ceiling painting. While I took over on the scaffolding Eileen finished painting the loft and over the water closet. It was a beautiful day for November 6th and we were happy to see that with the heat gain through the bathroom window the temperature got up to eighty five. That bodes well for sunny days during the winter. We still have a long way to go but more and more it is starting to look like the clean, well lighted place that we envisioned. 
New Popcorn Machine

Remote Thermometer

Working on the door

Finished Door (for now)

First pouring

Eileen being brave

Wade and Nate

Wade and Grandma checking for sticky areas

Time out for drawing

Teiva and the boys

November 6th

Air conditioner cover sans paint

Back in the Loft

Enjoying some sun

Over the Water Closet

Getting there

Hello down there