We bought a 100+ year old stone cottage!

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Very cool. All of it. I really like the concrete counters. My oldest boy and I did a patio grill / countertop for some folks a couple years ago and it has held up well. As with most projects involving homes it always seems there is more that can be done. I'm still remodeling the house I grew up in. It's just across town and I'm not living in it yet. But I did have a small victory this past week, I have running water in the kitchen! I've stripped the kitchen down to bare studs and redid everything, wiring, gas line, plumbing, drywall paint and a different cabinet layout incorporating old and recycled pieces that eventually will get skinned in oak veneer with new doors and drawer fronts built by me in the 1930's "Craftsman" style. I also put down new hardwood floors to match the rest of the house after removing a wall between the kitchen and the living room. Really opened things up for entertaining folks as the cook (me) isn't stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is in the living room. A little more work and I can move in. Great to hear from you again. I really do love what I'm seeing here and miss seeing you here more.

That sounds awesome Carl!

We did the next lot of concreting today, my arms feel ready to fall off, but that was a big step needed to give the walls and floors a solid base, I will get some more pics up soon.
Forgot to get pics of the concreting, but here is a little friend that dropped in to say hi, seems to be living in some concrete castings out the back:

An update for the kitchen light/electricity frame:

Test fit the old industrial light shades in place:

Built some curved drop downs with bosses to mount them to:

Weld in the little curly detail pieces:

Then started on the paint:

Realised I needed to sort the flue for the cooktop extractor before I went any further, here it is in the rough place with the hole cut through the ceiling:

Also realised I needed more depth for the extractor, so built this top extension out of some sectioned fence pipe, the style matches the curved edges on the concrete bench tops nicely:

More to come, just lots of half finished jobs, as everything has to be done in order.

Some bike related stuff is making it's way in too, these are the clamps that hold the lights up, bought 3 matching scooters from the local dump shop for $5 to get them.
Hope things are going well for you down under. Any new progress photos?
Hope things are going well for you down under. Any new progress photos?

Luuuuuuuke. Hope you're well. We miss you.

Hey Luke, long time no see! How's the cottage coming along?
Hey all!
Sorry been gone awhile, things have gone a bit crazy...

Of course we have been busy with the house, but a lot of other stuff has happened including multiple hospital visits for both of us, (actually @JokerWifey is currently back in the hospital again) I had to be transferred to an interstate hospital for stomach issues (they were worried it was cancer, thankfully not, but do have other long term issues...) and just as I was getting back on top of things I had to do a computer rebuild and lost all my pics and files!

Thankfully I was able to get most of my pics back from Google Cloud but some stuff is gone and it has taken time to get my settings back to where they were...

Anyway, thanks to all who messaged or posted expressing concern, thank you, really!

I happened to be wearing an RRB shirt in the hospital!
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Picking up where we left off with the build...
This will still be a bit disjointed as they happen, just the way it had to be to work around power, plumbing etc...)

Needed to have a larger intake for the kitchen exhaust fan, so went searching and found these galvanized buckets that match the galvanized flu perfectly:


Then I was able to do more painting and install the LED oyster lights into the old industrial shades: (Still running off extension leads and a power board in this pic)

Then we were off to start work on the old laundry, which was now becoming a second bathroom specially designed for visitors with caravans:

Started by repairing a large section of floor:

Then removed the walls and mocked everything in place to ensure we had enough room:

Started putting up new frames:

Mortared the shower recess in:

And apparently that is the last photos I have until these ones I just took:


Still need to finish and fit the face frame for the shelves:
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We are base lining the walls with 1/2" waterproof plywood and then putting whatever finishing over the top, just wanted some support with these old uneven wall frames, of course living in the middle of outback nowhere, it was cheaper to just order a whole stack in.

We also did some landscaping around the laundry door, added in some treated sleepers and a step:

Then we decided the front porch needed more support, we needed to be able to walk around up there to fix the roof, and we needed to run the wiring along the front too, so we started with a custom made wiring chute:

Anchored brackets to the wall:

And lifted it into place:

Then we could work on the roof supports, here is the basic shape:

Added some bracing:

Paint them up:

Then weld them to the brackets and add the joists:

And now we have a straight, level, and strong porch roof:
We needed vent tops for the exhaust fans in the bathrooms, came across these ex-mine ones at the local dump shop:

A test fit, admittedly a bit large, but I love quirky history:

So they got installed!


Then it was time for the big job...

Running the wiring!

Nearly 1/2 mile of wiring went into the house by the time we finished up, but the electrician was very happy with what we did.

Started by pulling the roof sheets off the laundry and starting the longest runs all on cable tray:

They then come through the wall into the kitchen:


Which then got it's own custom cable tray and conduit set up:


Across to the middle of the kitchen to the next custom cable tray joiner:

And some went on to the second bedroom where there was yet another custom piece:

Of course it was also picking up other cables along the way, like our new cooktop:


Benchtop power points:

Then through the wall into the dining room:

Trays on the dining room light frame:

Then through the front wall: (more custom lights)

And down to the box:
About this time it was the middle of summer, and I was very sore from working hard, so my 1996 Hilux while in very good condition and with low miles was getting to be hard work with no power steering or air-conditioning...

So I bought a different Hilux, an 89 extra cab, with power steering, air conditioning, the fabled 22r engine and a huge 400,000km...

And man was it ugly...


A new front fender so I could actually open the door properly:

A huge session with an upholstery cleaner:

Straighten the bullbar and add some driving lights:

And a wash, and it is still ugly!

Thankfully because my other Hilux was in such good shape, and I bought it just before the COVID car price stupidity, I made a not insignificant profit when I sold it...

Then came the flooding...


Thankfully no damage at the house, but lots of clean up in the front yard and gutter.

Time to fit a back door!
Steel frame:


Widened an original 1920's Federation style door to suit:


Steel security grill for the window made out of old gravel grading mesh from the mines:

Paint and hang:


The outside needs a strip and repaint, I had some trouble with the original shellac lifting under the new paint.
It was finally time to polish out the concrete counters and seal them!


Not perfect, but we love them!

We also were constantly fixing broken render around the place too:


Replaced the broken louvers in the laundry with a proper window:

Plaster and paint:

And a lovely untouched photo of the sunset on the day I did the window to finish this post, never seen colors like it before:
Then it was time to line the main toilet.

Quite a while back I bought these 3 old trestle tables off FaceBook, they used to be the bake sale tables used by the local fire service, I didn't really have a plan when I bought them, but it was $15 for all three, so...

Separated them up and ran them through the planer to level the twisted boards out:

Then out came the glue and nail gun:

Lots of insulation in the walls too:

This was actually done before the power went on, hence the wires hanging out the walls... I'm just trying to keep each job in one post.

All the boards were sealed with water based polyurethane and the two end walls (behind the toilet and opposite) were done in white painted plywood, it came up nice.

I don't have any more photos, because after all of that... We moved in!

So now we have been living here since the start of the year, still doing small jobs as I can, plenty left to do...

Next job is to redo the sink area, I'm not happy with the little single bowl sink we have, so it is getting replaced, after that is locked down I can work on putting walls and shelves in the cabinets so we don't have food and plates/cutlery in boxes everywhere!
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(deep sigh of relief) ... listen here young man! Don't you do that again! hahaha

it is SO good to hear that you are ok. Sorry to hear you've had some tough times, glad you were able to persevere. Thanks for posting the cottage updates. It looks great.
Luke my brother sorry to hear of the the health stuff on top of everything else. Man if you chucked a couple of bike wheels on that custom metalwork It would have to win Custom job of the year.(rideable or not)
You have turned necessity into artwork and definitely kept it in the reuse and recover area as well.
Luke my brother sorry to hear of the the health stuff on top of everything else. Man if you chucked a couple of bike wheels on that custom metalwork It would have to win Custom job of the year.(rideable or not)
You have turned necessity into artwork and definitely kept it in the reuse and recover area as well.
Luke my brother sorry to hear of the the health stuff on top of everything else. Man if you chucked a couple of bike wheels on that custom metalwork It would have to win Custom job of the year.(rideable or not)
You have turned necessity into artwork and definitely kept it in the reuse and recover area as well.
Hey Dave! Good to see you still around!
Thanks for your kind words, it really has been a labor of love, the amount of hours that went into those frames... :21:
Good day Luke!
So relieved to read from you and that you and your wife made it well through tough times.
Your cottage is coming along nicely. I like very much how you put your fabulous ratrodding skills to good practical use here.
Greetings from Berlin to down under! 😁
Glad to hear you’re still kicking it. Your house shows the same creativity as you bike projects. Sorry to hear about the health issues, hope everything works out for you both so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. Take care.
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