Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kitchen Update November 30

We started this week with a bit more dry walling. I cut out the crumbly dry wall around the top of the window, put in a new piece and mudded it. We just did some rough sanding afterwards because it's going to have tile over it soon.

Calvin saw Caroline with her white dusty hair and said "Mom, you look old!"

I also decided that I'd better box in the vent. It has been bugging me to see the sheet metal which was at an angle to get past the joist in the ceiling and which has a 1/2 inch gap behind it. I just knew stuff was going to get stuck back there and it wasn't I had to box it in.

Next up was the board that spanned the area between the cupboards above the sink. Caroline thought the design looked too dated, and wanted something cleaner. We bent a PVC pipe to make a smooth curve, traced it and then cut it out.

It's not quite as smooth as I'd like, but Caroline says she's happy with it, so I guess that's good enough.

Tuesday night Tyler came over and he and Ryan and I planed the counter tops. Ryan and Tyler were both great workers and we made a huge pile of wood shavings. After a few hours we had nice flat counters and tired arms.

We still had some time left so we started working on putting the trim back up.

After nailing up the first two boards we realized that since the floor is higher now we had to cut we took them down again, cut them and nailed them back up.

When we first glued up the counter we only clamped from the top because it was too heavy and unwieldy to get clamps underneath without dropping all the glued up boards. Clamping from just one side makes your surfaced cupped since the clamps aren't 100% lateral force.

We intentionally walked and knelt on the counter top while planing it and cracked it in a couple places which helped it lay flat.

I spent several hours on Saturday evening hunched over the belt sander making the counter tops smooth (the planing made them flat, the sanding makes them smooth). I only used the 80 grit because after the initial sanding I wanted to glue the cracks we made while planing.

While planing I collected a bag of wood flour (fine saw dust) which Caroline and I mixed with wood glue to make wood putty. Once the counter was glued and clamped (top and bottom this time) we mushed the putty into all the remaining cracks and holes.

Once it dries I'll do a round of 120 grit with the belt sander, then some 120 grit with the random orbital sander to take out the streaks the belt sander leaves behind.

We went through several revisions determining how to hold up the drop leaf. We decided that we wanted it to be sturdy and we wanted it to be the full height of the cupboard. In the end we went with this. These two panels will fold flat against the side of the cupboard under the drop leaf when it's not in use.

To use the drop leaf we'll flip it up, then pull these panels out in a V shape. They'll extend almost the full width of the drop leaf, they'll be solid, and they'll provide front to back support.

We decided to use a piano hinge along the full length of the panels. Unfortunately piano hinges don't close flat. Turns out that how flat the sides of the hinge close is called "swage" (pronounced swayj). 

Piano hinges are not swaged. We wanted something that could fold completely flat: either both leaves half swaged or one leaf full swaged.

You can see in the picture that the hinge forms a triangle because it's not swaged. 

We didn't want to wait for a custom hinge to come in, so I used my vice and swaged the hinge 4 inches at a time.

It's not as good as a machinist making a custom hinge could do, but it's better than it was...