Dwayne Hodgson

A Portfolio

The work and adventures of Dwayne Hodgson,
+ Learning Designer & Facilitator at learningcycle.ca
+ Storyteller & Photographer @ thataway.ca

Quarter Round

What is "quarter-round" and what does it have to do with learning? Let me explain...

Before Christmas we cleared everything off the second floor and took off the mangy carpets in all the rooms so that contractors could install hardwood flooring. We went with this neat company called Logs' End that specializes in old logs recovered from the Ottawa River. The logs come from trees cut during the hey-day of the Ottawa Valley logging era (somewhere in the late 19th / early 20th century). Because they were old growth, the grain is finer and you can get nice wide (5 1/4") boards. Each log is brought up by scuba divers, one at a time, to minimize habitat damage, dried and milled into flooring. 

To save a bit of money, I elected to purchase and install the quarter-round myself. This is the little strip of wood that covers the space between the baseboards and the flooring. If you look at if profile, it is a quarter of a circle (hence the name). 

So here is where the learning comes in. While father is a master carpenter who has built every kind of furniture imaginable, sheds, fences, decks, docks, garages and even a few houses (including one in Japan!), those genes seemed to have eluded me. My hope is that they will skip a generation and that my kids will be much handier than I am. As I often lament, "I'm not rich enough to be this incompetent....". 

But hey, gotta save some money, so we measured all the rooms, headed out to local Home Despot (some names have been changed here for privacy reasons), and then I came back with some 130 linear feet of 11/16th's quarter round sticking out the back of the rental car.

Since I had never done it before, I decided to start in the rooms where no one would see it (Safety), and duly proceeded to screw it up by cutting things too short or at the wrong angles (doh!), or marking up the finish with the nail set (doh!).

But after reflecting on what happened (Praxis), I gradually refined the process by starting with the longest lengths first, measuring three times, and generally just learning to relax since the caulking will cover a multitude of sins.

After a few attempts, I gradually built my confidence to move up to the more visible spots (Sequence and Reinforcement). And despite a few glitches, it did get done and I got better at it. But I must say it was helpful to have some tech support from two neighbours (Input along with Inductive), one of whom generously lent me his most marvellous Nail Gun (Good Gear); it would have been better, however, if I had swallowed my pride and asked for their help at the beginning. 

But no matter. The work is done and the floors look great. Just don't look in the corners of my office....