Friday, August 30, 2013

Looking For Closure

I finished up the last of the cabinet doors. Well, almost. The two doors for the far right side cabinet came out a teensy bit short, due to a measuring error. I hung them and if you didn't look closely, you barely noticed that they were only an eighth of a inch taller than the opening. I mulled it over, in my mind, and told myself it would be OK. I removed all of them to take them back to the shop to spray the finish. As I carried them down the steps, two of them fell and broke. Guess which two? Seven doors and the two shorties bite the dust. Pretty long odds, so two new doors it is. We happened to go to the local OSH store to see what kinds of knobs and pulls they had. The store, near us, is closing and everything was on sale. We picked up some that we liked for a pretty good price Wifey chose them, so I'm sure they're perfect. All of the woodworking, for this project, is done. I will be building a rolltop breadbox, to match the desk that I built earlier but it is not critical to finishing the job.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Large And Painful Movement

I managed to get the large counter top into the house and set in place. It was touch and go. At it's smallest dimension, it is, exactly, the width of the patio sliding door. It took about ten tries before I was, finally, able to get it through the door and on the cart, that I built. The cart was knocked together from two by fours and some big, industrial casters that I got in a dumpster diving expedition. There was some damage, I'm afraid. Three small areas splalled out of the edges. I should be able to patch them. Even though I had set the slab on a cradle that was built from wood, there was still enough pressure against the edges that they popped when I lifted it. Another lesson learned. Next time I'll be sure to have it supported, at least, an inch , or so, in from the edges. In all, it came out OK. A bit of repair and some re polishing and everything will be hunky dory. Tomorrow, we should have all but two of the lower doors installed.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thump Thump.....Thump Thump.....Thump.....Thump.....Aw, Crap

I'm planted on the couch, right now. I was in the process of picking up the counter and bringing it up to the house. I did receive the polishing drums, yesterday, and I finished the curves, around the sink opening. For those who are unfamiliar with the Fongderosa, we have two and a half acres. The house sits on a hill and the shop is down below. I made a cradle for the slab from 2X8s so I can lift it without damaging the concrete. I pulled the tractor up to the table, secured chains to the cradle and picked it up. It was all the little John Deere could handle and I had to prop the loader up with a pole so all the weight on the bucket wouldn't push the bypass valve open. Then I felt that familiar feeling as I went into atrial fibrillation. CRAP!!!. I did manage to get the tractor, and it's cargo, up the driveway and safely to the back door. I should be OK in a few hours, or tomorrow morning at the latest. I did, also, manage to get the raised panel blanks, for the lower cabinet doors, glued up prior to the "incident". I hope to build the cart, that I will use to transport the counter from the back door to the kitchen, tomorrow. If all goes well, we should have the entire counter and cabinets done in three or four weeks. I'm getting pretty exited. Everything that goes in, lately, has really made a difference in the overall look of the room. It has taken, so far, about as long as I figured it would. I have no over blown sense of my capabilities and I knew, from the get go, that this wasn't going to be a weekend project.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sometimes Life Throws You A Curve

Hundreds of you have asked, "Carl, what about the second part of the counter that you made a while back?" Well, after trying to finish the edge of the sink cutout, I realized that I will have to pony up a few more bucks and buy a set of diamond grit polishing drums. It's just the only way to get an inside curve polished to the same finish as the top. That's another 125 dollars for tools and expendables. Of course, they will last me for quite a long time as they will be used very little. Sometimes when ya gotta, ya just gotta. The piece should be ready to install in a day or so. Then the table will be free to form up and pour number three

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Facing Reality

A few days ago, I made all of the drawer faces. They are the easiest part of making cabinets. Just cut them to size, rout the profile on the edge and it's a done deal. I've stained them and will spray the finish in a few days. We have to choose knobs or pulls for them pretty soon. There are about 20 drawers and doors in the kitchen and the hardware, that we've looked at, ranges from a few bucks to 12 dollars, each. That's a potential outlay of $250 for pulls. If that's what it takes to get what we want, then we'll just have to spring for them. Overall, it doesn't matter. I suspect that what we will have, when done, is a 15 to 20 thousand dollar remodel. I have not kept track of costs (I wish I had) but far less than that has been spent, to date. Today, I installed the new drawer faces. We may, actually, have a finished kitchen in the very near future. Along with the faces, I cut and routed all of the rails and stiles for the lower cabinet doors today. I should have them assembled by the end of the week. They will have straight tops, rather than the arched tops that the uppers have. I felt it might be too busy looking with all that detail. That plus they're way easier to make. The missing face, under the sink will be a flip out holder for sponges, dishrags, etc. I have to order the tray and hardware for it.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Having A Blast

Yesterday and today was spent trying to sandblast the glass for the upper cabinet doors. This did not occur without the usual drama. First, the HVAC foil tape, that I used to mask the pantry door just proved too frustrating to use. It does work well, but it is a bear to work with. It is very sticky and difficult to remove after cutting the pattern. You have to pick it off, little at a time and it, sometimes, leaves a residue that is hard to remove. So, I thought I'd try self stick shelf paper. No good. It is not thick enough and the sandblaster blows it away. I then tried regular blue painters tape. It worked OK, but, it too, is too thin and will also blow away if you're not very careful. I spoiled one pane of glass and managed to do one that came out nice. Pretty poor success ratio. Duct tape is too gummy and doesn't leave a sharp edge. I also tried Gorilla Tape. A bit better, but still not good enough. I finally went to the local sign shop and got some adhesive backed vinyl sheet. This proved to be the hot setup. It adheres to the glass, but peels right off. It cuts easily, it takes pencil marks well so it's easy to follow the layouts with the hobby knife and it didn't cost an arm and a leg. I did manage to, clumsily, drop one pane and break it after masking and blasting it. Harsh language was heard, emanating from the shop. So far, I've ruined three pieces off glass. I believe I have a system now and should have the rest done by tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is today and all of the doors are installed. It really makes a difference in the looks of the kitchen. It now has one, unified look, rather than seeing all of our Melmac and cheap plastic water tumblers

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I Can See Clearly Now...........For A While, Anyway

Yesterday, I bought four panes of glass and cut all of the pieces for the upper cabinet doors. The next step is to mask them and sandblast the pattern, like I did with the pantry door. I also dragged the new, small, counter up to the house and swapped it with the wavy one. It sits much better. Nice and level. When sealing this one, I applied two coats of the stuff. After it dried, it had an orange peel texture. I grabbed the random orbital sander and went over it with a 320 grit pad. After that, I hit it with 0000 steel wool, some automotive rubbing compound and then a couple of coats of wax. It has a very nice luster without a fake plastic look. I like it. Besides all of this, I had time to paint four cabinet doors that I built for a storage cabinet at our church. Three major things done, no blood spilled......pretty good day, I'd say