Archive for the ‘Kitchen’ Category

January/February 2012

January 4, 2013

After returning from nearly  a month in the sun and sand in Sarasota, it was time to get back to work.   I laid out my agenda, which included: 1)  complete the stain and varnish of kitchen cabinet doors and drawers, 2) install whirlpool tub in master bath, 3) get and install doors for kitchen pantry, and laundry closet as well as for the entry closet, 4) get and install liner for solar chimney 5) get and install melamine liner in the kitchen and master bath window wells.   I did my due diligence shopping for the right doors, and price so ended up doing a trek across the border to Home Depot and Menards.   Came back with the pantry door, the closet doors, tile for the bathtub enclosure, and white board masonite for the lining of the solar chimney.    Then I got to work.

As  I was beavering away at the interior finish stuff, I got an email from my daughter saying that her husband Dean had discovered just the thing I needed.   I must first of all confess that I am an aficionado of VW camper vans, having had several over the years.    He had discovered a 95 Eurovan Camper in pristine condition, but with a broken automatic transmission at an unbelievable price.  They had decided I needed to have it, so now the deliberation began about dealing with the bad transaxle.  Internet research revealed that the Eurovans had a history of problems with the automatic trannies, and getting a good warrantied rebuild was going to cost upwards of $5K.   Dean who is a good mechanic, wondered about switching over to a manual transmission, a task he had done before on a couple pickups.   So again internet research and becoming a subscriber to the Eurovan mailing list and hunting through the archives.   It turns out that it is pretty straight-forward to do the transplant if you have a donor van, so I began the hunt on Craigslist and Kijiji looking for a suitable Eurovan with standard transmission.   After a near success, and one that was way to far away, I found one in Kitchener that met our criteria and was sound and drivable.


November 2011

September 24, 2012

November turned into a strange month in construction operations. I was preparing to drive to Newfoundland to spend the holidays with my wife, and to bring back a bunch of things for the house which had been stored. So in addition to finishing up the solar chimney facing, and making another increment in getting the kitchen cabinets installed, I designed and implemented a scheme for putting a top, and lockable doors on my utility trailer. This was also season for the various choirs in which I sing to have their final preparations for Christmas concerts so some extra out and about for that, the major one singing Messiah with the London Pro Musica and Symphony London the first week in December. As that approached conversations with Elena determined I was not going to Newfoundland for Christmas, but we were trekking to Sarasota, FL for a “white Christmas”, sand not snow 🙂 The van minus trailer but with a bike rack went South rather than East for sun and fun. Below is what I accomplished before the Holiday exodus. Just to make life interesting in addition to a lot of beach time, we also did a sing-along Messiah in Sarasota…. can’t stop singing!

August 2011

September 6, 2012

The wordpress software buggered up, and I lost a lot of work I had put into doing posts.   After a back and forth with the sys admins the problem was solved, but I had got out of the habit of updating as I went along; mea culpa.   I have been queried by friends and family about how things are going, and they have been going slow but steady.   I am now going to try and update the progress on the house, probably not as richly (or verbosely) annotated as when  the work is done but at least a summary of the work and pictures of the progress.

After my son and family visited in early July I got back to working on the cabinets for the kitchen as documented in the last post, and my sisters encouraged me to visit Iowa and see my Mom when sister Trish was visiting, recently moved from Framingham, Mass to Louisville, Kentucky.   Anyway that took a little more than a week out of my work schedule, but family visits are pretty special, and 93 year-old Moms aren’t going to be with us forever.

I made a cross-border trip and came back with the soffits, fascia for the roof edge, and cement board trim for the exterior window frames.  Installing them and completing  kitchen cabinet finishing and installation was my task over the next several weeks, as well as starting work on my patio structure.   The gallery below shows what was accomplished before the end of August.

Summer Time …………..

September 26, 2011

After getting back from my leisure time in the sunny South,  it was obvious that I had much to do.   Since I had promised my son and family a place to stay and visit me, I needed to make sure at least primitive amenities were in place.   I had hung 2 of the interior doors before the trip, and quickly finished hanging the rest on my return. I hoped to finish the trim and hopefully varnish the interior doors before their arrival.    Also meant getting a functional bedroom, other than my “man cave” in the RV.   I needed a real dining table, and decided that the little drop leaf dining table I had been given when I hit the ground in Ontario, by neighbors in the trailer park who saw me running my little propane barbecue on the grass.   It was rough but sound, and had been supporting my barbecue ever since.   I stripped the ancient paint, sanded, primed and repainted it to make a serviceable dining table. I also began putting the trim on the interior doors, and got word that my shower doors had arrived at Menards in Davison MI. So a day trip to pick them up and return home to get back to work.

June 13, My refurbished barbecue table, now temporary dining table.

June 15, Master bath and mechanical room doors hung, awaiting frames, finish and hardware.

Door hung on 3-piece bath in workshop.

It became quickly apparent that I had greatly underestimated how much moulding I would need to frame the interior doors, so soon after getting back I made another trip to Port Huron to get more of the oak trim that I needed. I also picked up a ceiling fan for the living room, as well as stain and varnish for my finishing activities. While poking around Home Depot, I spotted a Kohler cast iron sink of the type I wanted for my kitchen, at an incredible mark down. Unfortunately I already had my VW Jetta pretty full with other stuff I had rounded up, and decided come back later for the sink, hoping it would still be there. Came back 5 days later, and it was there; not bad for $77!

I then became a busy beaver, with mitering the trim and installing it on all the doors.   Next was the preparation for varnish with filler for nail heads and sanding.   As the end of the month approached, I had my layaway queens size bed delivered and commandeered some young strong backs to help move my linen cabinet from the garage  to its place in the bridging hallway between bedrooms and the master bath.

June 30, My bargain Kohler cast iron kitchen sink.

A bed in master bedroom, first furniture for moving in!

Linen cabinet installed in hallway between bedrooms and master bath.

Master bath, with towel bars and mirror; ready for guests!

As I was getting ready to start the stain and varnish on the interior doors and trim, my son called to tell me they would be visiting me a week earlier than the original plan, so decided to delay the application till after they left. So after a pleasant few days with grandkids exploring my place, it was back to work, first with doing the stain and varnish on the doors. I also now put my shower doors on so the temporary curtain goes into storage.

Mechanical room door, framing and finish complete, hardware installed.

Master bath door, looking in.

Looking from master bedroom to master bath.

Looking from back of master bath, new shower doors installed.

Looking into master bath, new shower door.


































The next item on my agenda was to finish and install my kitchen cabinets. I quickly discovered that I had made a small error in the framing of the space in the partial wall that divides the kitchen from the great room. The width of the space was slightly narrow, in relation to the width of the cabinets to be fitted. There was however enough “meat” in the oak framing to trim a small amount from the edges with a router. My friend Don Eyles, a master wood-worker gave me hand with this in his shop and now my cabinets fitted.

July 23, Dissembled kitchen cabinets being sanded, stained and varnished.

Drawer ends of cabinets being finished.

Glueing veneer panels on sides of wall cabinets.

July 29, Finish work progressing.

Finished drawers in cabients.

Finished veneer on side of base cabinet with an exposed side.

drawers back in finished cabinets.

Finished veneer on wall cabinets.

July 30, Measuring for fit of base cabinets in the kitchen island.