Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kitchen Update December 7

Lots of good stuff happened this week. Caroline got more painting done, I got more sanding done and then finally on Friday night we took some huge steps forwards.

We disconnected the kitchen sink, took off the counter top and dove into the big counter top replacement.

We started by centering and cutting down the sink support. Even though our sink will be underhung, it's not actually going to hang from the bottom of the counter top. It's going to rest securely in this nice frame.

One sink, perfectly dry-fitted.

Next we added a second bread-board slot. I cut a test board to fit the other breadboard slot then traced that board here so that the bread-boards will be interchangable. I then routed tracks and put in the the two supports for the breadboard.

When I removed the old supports from the inside of the cupboard and pulled out the nails I made a small crack. I glued and clamped it, placing a paper towel over the glue area before clamping so that the clamp wouldn't glue to the cupboard. That light-blue junk by the corner of the breadboard slot is the remainder of the paper towel and will be sanded off soon. It was still a little wet in the picture.

Then came the 2nd most terrifying step. Cutting the counter top to length. We measured, and measured and cut and measured and cut and measured and cut again. We kept trimming it too long, just to be safe, then re-fitting and verifying our measurements again and again. Finally we got it just right. 

Next was the MOST TERRIFYING STEP OF THE WHOLE PROJECT. Cutting out the sink hole. We'd left a hole in the middle, and now with the sink fitted we placed the counter and then used a marker to trace the inside of the sink. I then used a jig saw to cut about 1/4 inch inside the traced line. 

At this point, with all the pushing and moving a few of the boards came loose. They must not have had good glue contact, or maybe they were clamped too tightly and all the glue squeezed out. I don't know.  In any case, Calvin was super happy to help fix them. I drilled diagonal holes across 3 boards at a time and Calvin hammered in little glue covered pegs cut from a dowel. They held really well.

Back to the terrifying sink cut out. We put tape around the inside of the sink and then used the router to make the edge.

I almost bought a new router just for this task, and maybe I should've. The right bit would've been a 2 inch flush trim bit with a bearing. But the 2 inch bits I could find all had a 1/2 inch shank. My router is a 1/4 inch shank router so I had to make do with a 1 1/4 inch flush trim bit, and a 45 degree angle bit.

I'd cut back a bit with the 45 degree angle bit, which would leave almost exactly 1 1/4 inch of wood to cut with the flush trim bit. Then I'd switch bits, trim that back and then repeat the process. Finally it was trimmed back correctly and I smoothed out everything with the palm sander.

After that Caroline and I did a happy little jig and drilled the hole for the faucet. We drilled from the bottom with a spade bit until the point poked through, then drilled from the top so we wouldn't get any tear out.

With all the cuts made we're finally getting it prepped for sealing. We're going to be using Waterlox which requires 4 coats, with 24 hours between each coat. And it's supposed to be stinky. Yay.

Sealing prep meant sanding everything with 220 grit paper with the random orbital sander, getting it wet to raise the grain then sanding it again. Let me tell you, baby's bottoms have nothing on the smoothness of this counter top.

The Drop Leaf

Finally the moment you have all been waiting for. Real life photos of our drop leaf! The light from the window washed some of these out a bit, sorry.

Here's the drop leaf folded down. It goes all the way to the floor. 

End view.
 Top view. There are some gaps because 1) our boards were slightly uneven 2) I'm bad at cutting things exactly the same and 3) so that as the wood expands and contracts with the weather the drop leaf won't bind up. 

The two support boards will be attached to the cupbord and hide behind the dropleaf.

They'll hinge out into a V when the drop leaf is open. They're nice and solid. I could probably sit on the drop leaf. (But I won't).


Top view of the hinge.

We're pretty excited about all the extra counter space.  We're gaining the 3 feet or so of the drop leaf, an extra 6 inches by the stove and one extra cutting board. We won't even know what to do with all this space!


Caroline said...

You are a master carpenter, Michael! I love how it's coming together :)

Abbey said...

You are pretty amazing! Great work!