Pool Table For Sale

Alas, it appears I have to part with the pool table I’ve owned for the last decade or so. I hate to, because if I ever have the room again for one in my home, I’ll never buy one this nice.

This is an Olhausen Drake II three piece slate table with upgraded solid oak side rails and legs. Made in the USA. Oak. Ornately carved legs.

Here’s an example of a lesser version of this table being sold new for over $2500: http://www.seyberts.com/products/Drake_II_Olhausen_Pool_Table-100574-10116.html

Full size (not a tiny bar table, but the size you would rent in a good billiards hall). Distance between bumpers is 46″ by 92″. Outside length is about 56″ x 102″ and 31.5″ high.

A full complement of accessories included:

– Set of 16 balls.

– Both 8-ball and 9-ball racks.

– Complete set of cues… 15, 17, 19, and 21 ounce, plus bridge and stubby cue for tight spaces.

– Wall mounted cue holder.

– Cue chalk and hand chalk.

– Vinyl cover.

– Wall mounted score keeper and rattle cup for pool variants.

The table is in beautiful condition; a couple of minor nicks and scratches that you would expect, but otherwise in perfect condition. All of the wood is still beautiful.

The only concern with condition is it still has the original cloth (felt) from 20 years ago. I would highly recommend replacing it with the newer style, faster, cloth. In the process you can change it to whatever color you prefer, instead of the tan that it is now.

I am happy to help you break this down and load it up, so you can see how it is built (really pretty simple). Be warned, though… each of the three pieces of slate is over 200 pounds. There are also professional moving services available, which I would recommend for anyone not mechanically inclined.

I am currently asking $999, which I believe this an excellent price for a table of this quality.

If you have any questions about it or would like to check it out, please email me at john@johnstewart.com.

More pictures here.

Guest Bathroom Remodel

On the left is what the guest bathroom looked like when we moved in. This spring, we finally got around to updating it. We were going to try and rip out just the rightmost cabinet and squeeze in a shower kit. However, nothing really fit well, and it became obvious that we would also have to tear out the vanity.

Given that, it freed us up to design whatever we wanted. I always had an affinity for glass block, so I wanted to see if I could make that work as a shower wall.

It turns out Pittsburgh-Corning has a Sketchup library which allows you to design using all of the shapes they have available. I played around with this until we had a design that fit the space how we wanted; a screenshot of the final design is on the right:

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Ripped out to the studs; the work begins. I’m committed now! On the right, after the plumber has finished installing the drain and supply lines, and laying out the glass block to know the dimension to build the pan.

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The shower pan was built by a separate contractor (this and the plumbing being the only jobs I farmed out on this project:

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Tile on the shower pan and the curb, to make a nice even base for the glass block:

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The first row of glass block goes on. I built this using, instead of mortar, the “ProVantage” system. Basically, it consists of using silicone to glue the blocks together with plastic spacers:

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The block is up, and Augie helps me remove the shims I used to get the block completely level as the silicone cured up:

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Drywall seaming and then grout going into the glass block. Until the grout was in, the glass block wall was jiggly like Jell-O. After the grout, it’s solid as a rock:

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I put a shelf in over the protrusion of the concrete foundation wall, which had a slanted top. Now it’s quite usable as a surface. First coat of primer is up:

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The first coat of real paint is on the wall, and the tile work on the shower walls begins:

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Toilet goes back in, grout complete in shower:

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And here are the final shots with the vanity installed and all grout/caulk completed:

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All in all, it was a hell of a lot of work, but a hell of a lot cheaper than having it done by someone else… and a lot more satisfying.

Crazy Old Stuff

The previous owners of our house lived there for four decades. In that time, they collected a fair share of household products which you certainly won’t find on store shelves today.

During our little tour of these household products from a bygone era, don’t forget the local civil defense warning signals.

If it’s a simple alert, turn your crystal set to 1240 and wait for instructions.

However, if it’s an attack, take cover immediately!

While you are huddled in your basement during the air raid, you can prepare for the inevitable nuclear fallout by freezing some of your foodstuffs with these Bes-Pak Waxed Paperboard Freezer Boxes.

Only 98 cents for a 15 pack!

Did the radioactive ash inconveniently melt some holes in your roof?

No matter, you’ve got a  can of Master-Mixed Asbestos Fiber Cement!

A look on the back shows it was a product from Sears, Roebuck and Company.

I have not yet been brave enough to open it.


If your wife gets too hysterical due to the bombs falling, you can calm her down with a dose of this chloroform and a handkerchief over her face.

Better living through chemistry, indeed.


Also, for "every surface and every purpose", this Gold Dekorator [sic] Spray Paint for styrofoam.

Only 99 cents, and look how happy the housewife is to cover every object in her living room with this stuff!

I’m not quite sure what to call this, or what its purpose is.

I assume it’s a sprinkler head of some sort, because it’s got a thread and gasket which looks to fit on the end of a hose.


Last, but certainly not least, is this bottle of O’Darby Irish Cream Liqueur. I’d really like to know when this was last made.

Check out the Wisconsin tax stamp on the neck. When was that last used? I don’t recall seeing those on bottles of booze since my youth.

We opened this up the other day (the bottle was still sealed) and the contents had almost totally coagulated. All that poured out were a few drops of a very dark sticky liquid.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour through the products of America’s past as much as I have in finding them. As I continue to explore our new home, I’m sure I’ll find more of these little gems to provide a follow up.


New House

We just had our counter-counter-offer accepted on a new house. 

This is how I feel:

Anyone want to buy an adorable cottage in the bestest neighborhood ever? Two car garage, 200 amp service, all hardwood floors… plus a poker room in the attic.

It’s only a few blocks to Whole Foods and Starbucks… plus it’s a block away from Quarry Park (an awesome dog park / mountain bike park) and a block the other way is Hoyt Park. Also it’s on a dead-end street in the middle of the city.

For Sale: 1993 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4WD

Update: the Jeep is SOLD.

This is your basic spartan 4WD runner. Mileage is 208k.


  • Engine has less than 20k miles on it; replaced in 2003 (I have documentation on this)
  • New rear brakes! Drums and shoes replaced a couple of months ago.
  • Alloy wheels – take a look at these compared to most any other Jeep wheels; they’re by far the most attractive. I see these online for $450!
  • Manual seats / windows / locks (less to go wrong!)
  • AM / FM / cassette. I’ll include my cassette tape adapter with it and we’ll call it "iPod Ready"
  • Part time 4WD – leave it off for better fuel economy, kick it in when you need it
  • Solid clutch (was replaced soon before engine, and because of that was one of the reasons I decided to invest in a new engine back in 2003)
  • Manual 5-speed transmission – fun to drive; more fuel efficient than an automatic
  • Thick plastic trunk liner for wet cargo included
  • Full size spare tire/wheel
  • Vent windows – very old school; you won’t find those on a newer car.
  • 4 liter 6-cylinder engine (thus the "Sport" model)

  Known Issues

  • The cruise control doesn’t work.
  • Significant rust on bottoms of both doors
  • When cruising at highway speed for a while, there is often intermittent power loss for a split second (downshifting / varying speed relieves this). This has happened for about two years now. I suspect strongly the fuel pump, but have never had it replaced because it is a non-issue in the city. It’s been a reliable runner for my daily commute.
  • Tires probably nearing end of life
  • When I had the brakes fixed a few months ago, I asked to have the fluid bled – apparently the bleed valve is frozen, and it needs new wheel hubs to fix this. I didn’t get a second opinion and decided it was time to stop investing in this car.

This guy has been my daily runner for the past ten years, and is the first car I ever owned. It’s been all over the country with me and I’ll be sad to see it go, but I’ve finally upgraded. You probably don’t want this car if you’re allergic to dogs; I’ve vacuumed up the hair as best I could, but my trusty hound has been a rear seat passenger for years.

If you need a decent 4WD junker, this is it.

Kelley Blue Book is on this in fair condition is $1500. I’m asking $1000 firm.

Please don’t respond to this ad if:

  • You don’t know how to drive a stick shift!
  • You’re not aware of the known issues above – I’m being open about the problems.
  • You’re allergic to dogs (see above).
  • You intend to lowball an offer – I’m in no hurry to sell it, it runs, and has 4WD. I’m asking well under blue book, and don’t want to dicker. $1000 is an excellent deal for a running 4WD vehicle.

I have tried to be as descriptive as possible and represent accurately the condition of the car. It’s a used car, and is sold as-is.

If you’re interested, please email me through this link (this goes through my craigslist ad).

For Sale: 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee AWD


Big Red is no more. =(

This car has every available option (this is the Orvis Edition):

  • Leather seats (powered both driver and passenger)
  • ABS
  • Power windows/doors
  • Powered moonroof
  • 5.2L V8
  • Premium Infinity Stereo system
  • Climate control
  • Alloy wheels
  • Towing package
  • Front grille guard
  • Tinted windows
  • New battery

This was simply the finest SUV money could buy in 1995.

No rust (except for on the towing accessory). I’m the second owner, and the previous owner was my mother, who washed this guy every week, kept it garaged, and changed the oil religiously. Mileage is about 200k (the odometer says 184k but it wasn’t working for a while).

The Kelley Blue Book says this is worth $5230 in good condition. Cosmetically, it’s in better than good condition. Mechanically, there are a couple of known issues:

  • Transmission – since this is an all-time all wheel drive car, there is a coupler between the front and rear differentials. This has had a problem for at least the last 100,000 miles where if you are turning tight on dry pavement, the front and rear wheels lock to the same speed and the car will buck slightly. The mechanic told my parents at the time it was something like an $800 repair, so they left it, expecting it to seize completely any time. It’s run for 100k miles like this, so obviously it’s not a major issue!
  • For some reason, the trunk latch is stuck. I never had it checked out, but you’d have to get into it from the inside to fix. Perhaps simple, perhaps not.
  • The CD player only works occasionally with some CDs – I’ve never tried cleaning it with a lens cleaner; this might help
  • The power antenna doesn’t go all the way up any more. Reception in town is fine, so I never bothered trying to fix this.
  • One of the fog lights is missing the cover

Despite the issues, this guy runs well. I bought a new car and want it out of my driveway. Come over in this awful weather to see how well this car drives in the snow (I will miss the AWD)!

Despite the fact that KBB says this is worth $5230, we know it is not (it’s got 200k miles on it). However, it runs, and cosmetically is in beautiful shape.

I am asking $1500 firm. I know this is worth this much, and I’m in no hurry to sell, so please don’t respond to this ad and intend to lowball me an offer. You’re welcome to check it out, but don’t expect me to take less than $1500.

Old school cell phone included. I’ve never used it, but supposedly (even though it has not normal service) 911 still works with it, so I never took it out.