after the past 3 days where i didn't do any bathroom work, today was the big push where i finally at least patch the hole in my bathroom wall. after all i have all the materials and tools i needed. also my relatives who are coming to stay at my place for one night will be arriving in just 6 days. is 6 days enough to repair the bathroom?

i woke up at 9am and started working. in my mind i'd rehearsed all the steps enough times that - to be honest - the bathroom is already finished - in my head at least. i just needed to carry it out for real.

the 9ft long 2x4 that i nailed to the bathroom friday night? my little kickoff renovation? well, turns out the wooden beam had enough twisting warping that i needed to realign it. that was the first thing i had to do. it actually took longer than you'd imagine, and i didn't finish realigning the beam until almost 11am.

next i started breaking apart the piece of 4x8 ft drywall. something that i didn't realize until my father brought it to my attention (and that the home depot guy demonstrated to me when he split the original full-sized drywall in half) is that drywall can be easily split apart using nothing more than a utility knife. score the drywall with the knife and then crack it at the seam. of course a ruler is super useful as well for scoring straight lines and measuring, but really, all you need is a knife. for some reason i thought i'd have to cut all the drywall pieces with the jigsaw tool. the hardest part though is to get the correct measurements. it didn't help that my bathroom pipe boxing has different dimensions depending on whether you're near the floor or the ceiling. but i cut up long pieces of drywall for the two sides of the boxing and another piece that would be for the piping cutout.

making the cutout would take up most of my afternoon. it involved using the new jigsaw tool, which until now i've only used to cut a few stubborn drywall screws (with difficulty) and to trim the 2x4 wooden beam. but i've yet to use the jigsaw to make advanced cuts, like tracing out a curved shape from a piece of drywall. using the poster board template i made a few days ago, i traced the cutout shape and starting cut with the jigsaw. it was surprising easy, a jigsaw will go through drywall like butter. it will also get drywall dust everywhere. i'd already prepared ahead of time, closing the bedroom doors and putting newspaper on top of my fish tank and kimchi jar. i also had the vacuum ready to clean. but the dust was so much that it covered up the pencil line i used for tracing. so i attached the shop vac to the end of the jigsaw, there's a special attachment for that. it wouldn't fit snug, so i used some blue tape to hold it in place. it worked in that it sucked up a little bit of the dust, but i ended up cutting and blowing at the same time.

i figured it'd take a few cutout attempts before i got the right shape, for the first pass, i wasn't too worried about getting it exactly right. it was my first time using the jigsaw on drywall, i didn't think i'd get it perfect on my first try. when i went to see if the cutout drywall would fit, there were all sorts of issues. for one thing, my original template was relatively flat, so i didn't have to take the thickness of material into consideration. drywall is different, much thicker. second issue was with my original template i was able to insert the poster board inside of the wall; i couldn't do it with the drywall, so my measurements were off.

i went ahead for a 2nd attempt at making the cutout with another piece of drywall. i had enough to make 3 attempts before i needed to start worrying if i have enough drywall material to cover everything. the 2nd try worked better. i had the measurements right, and i managed to fit it in place after shaving the back of the drywall material to match the contours of the ventilation pipe. i had a pretty good cutout, something that i could live with. by that point it was abut 1:30pm.

my father was supposed to stop by this morning with the 10ft paper-faced corner bead i bought yesterday. since i didn't hear from him, i called him at the cafe to let him know i was coming back to pick it up. he told me was actually at the house this morning around 9am, and left the corner bead and a bag of asian pears on my doorsteps.

that saved me a trip. when i brought the corner bead into the bathroom however, i discovered pretty quickly that it wasn't 10ft but rather 8ft, since it wasn't high enough to reach my ceiling from the floor. how could've i made such a mistake? i checked the home depot website. all they said was they had 10ft corner beads in stock, nothing about 8ft, although the price i paid was for the 10ft.

so i had to make a supply run after all. i left a bit before 2pm, taking the motorcycle first to my parents' place so i could borrow the car and go to home depot. after some searching, i found the 10ft paper-faced corner bead, paid for it, drove to my place to drop it off, grab the 8ft corner bead, return the car to belmont, then ride the motorcycle back to my house. that whole outing took a little over an hour. i stopped by the cafe briefly to gave my parents a status update, ended up helping move some furnitures from the upstairs apartment, before finally getting home by 4pm.

i took a 30 minute break to have some tonkotsu ramen for a late lunch, before getting back to work.

the 2nd drywall cutout was okay, but since i had a spare drywall piece leftover, i wanted to improve on my 3rd attempt, make it even better. so i got to cutting with the jigsaw, and had a new drywall cutout by 5pm that was the best yet. instead of installing it right away, i decided to prime the exposed areas of the cutout, to prevent future moisture from seeping into the material. i left it to dry while i tackled the next item on my list: cutting the cutout from the wooden baseboard.

making the baseboard cutout was more challenging. there was the material consideration: the poplar baseboard is not only a harder material but thicker too. the only saving grace is the cutout portions themselves are relatively straight-lined with some slight curves. the second challenge was cutting a 45° bevel for where the corners meet.

the first half of the baseboard - from the wall to the pipe - i managed to cut that without issues. the second half of the basement - from pipe to the outer wall corner - that was more challenging, and required the dreaded bevel cut. my first attempt was good, but it was just a test, and i trimmed it off in order for the real piece. maybe it was performance anxiety, but my first real attempt was skewed, and wasn't good at all. i tried following my pencil line, by i ended up cutting diagonally. my second attempt wasn't straight either (failed to follow the pencil line), and there was also a curve to the bevel. i tried to make it flat by sanding, but no matter how much i sanded, i couldn't flatten it down. so i decided to do a 3rd bevel cut. this was make or break, since i was running out of poplar. having cut the bevel already 3 times, i had enough practice. this 3rd real attempt i cut it close to perfect. proud of myself, i cut the wood on the other end and took it to the bathroom. my eyes flickered for a slight second as i realized i cut it too short.

i went online and checked to make sure home depot was still open (close at 10pm) before i put on my jacket (7:30pm) and rode to the watertown store. they seemed to be all out of 6" poplar wood, only 6" maple which was slightly cheaper. however, i did find some leftover 6" poplar that had already been precut to 1ft length (actually 14 inches), so i grabbed one and went to pay. the cashier was the same guy i saw earlier this afternoon, i reminded him i was the guy who bought the paper-faced corner bead.

i left home depot by 8pm, got home in just 12 minutes.

i started by making the bevel cut, since it was the hardest part. if i could just do this, everything else would be easy. first try, i got it close to perfect. the trick was changing the jigsaw blade to an all purpose wood blade and going relatively slow. the rest was easy, i even redid the other part of the baseboard (wall to pipe) to improve on the first version.

next was the molding, which also required bevel cuts. i had the first bevel cut done on my first attempt (it helps that the molding is a much small piece of wood). i discovered that i could simply reuse the other half of the bevel cut, so i didn't have to make a second bevel cut, just a lucky coincidence saving me some work. by the time the molding were finished, it was already 9:45pm.

starting at 10pm i started covering up the pipe boxing with slabs of precut drywall. not sure what was louder: cutting material in my kitchen with the jigsaw or drilling screws into the drywall/lumber. the screws would dig into the wood, vibrating the whole house it seems. i thought about telling my upstairs neigbors but it was already late, and i figured the quicker i work, the quicker i get it all done. even this portion of the project - which seems like it'd be easy - had it's challenges. screws along the outer corner were easy to secure, but the ones up against the walls required screwing into the wood at an angle. often times the screws didn't like that, and wouldn't go all the way in. it also took me a while to figure out the settings on the cordless drill, and the proper technique to attach a screw (steady drive, some inward pressure).

i finally had all the drywall pieces screwed into place (including the cutout) by 12:30am. i was in daze but relieved to be done with the hardest part of the project. i went to the kitchen to look for something to eat. i remembered my parents giving me some leftover steaks from last night, so i ate them cold while watching tv in the living room.

next phase of the project is patching and sealing the corners and seams. there will be much "mudding" followed by sandy.