May 21, 2009

Underlayment Removal

Now that the kitchen portion of the project is basically done I cleared out the dining room and started prepping the floor for tile. The existing particle board needed to be ripped up so that I can replace it with plywood later.

I pulled up the carpet and pad and then set the circular saw to 5/8ths and cut some seems in the particle board to make it easier to pry up. I then started in the corner with a prybar and flat shovel and ripped all that nasty stuff up.

It actually pulled up pretty easily. Heres a picture with the particle board removed and all the nails pulled. The subfloor is 1/2 of 5/8ths plywood and its not nailed down very well which explains why my floor always felt bouncy and make so much noise. I'm going to have to secure this layer with a few pounds of screws prior to laying anything else on top of it.

May 18, 2009

DIY Countertop Attempt 2 - Success

I couldn't live with the marks on the first countertop edge so I thought I'd give it another shot and start over. I didn't have quite enough particle board to for a solid two layers so I cut out a solid top and added some blocking to the back to build up the thickness.

I used the first attempt countertop as a template and cut out the new top with the flush trim bit.

I then flipped it over and glued and screwed blocking in place to make up the full inch and a half. Once that was dry I used the flush trim bit to trim the blocking down to shape. One theory on why the edge got messed up when trimming last time is that the edges weren't quite square so this time I flipped the whole piece right side up and ran another pass with the flush trim bit from the top. I think this actually helped quite a bit.

Lon came over to help again for this part and we got the edge strip on trimmed flush. This time we set the top edge as close to flush as we could and then used files and a sanding block to bring it flush which avoided having to use the router on both sides of the edge. We also used Lon's plunge router this time and the better depth control made things a lot easier.

Same as before...apply the contact cement to both pieces and take a picture while waiting for it to setup. We also applied a layer of packing tape to the edge to help protect it from getting damaged again while trimming the top.

We again used some scraps of wood to help line up the top and then rolled it on working from the center out. Once it was stuck down we used the router to trim the edges. This time I actually tried to leave a little bit extra especially around the corners. I then came back with the file and carefully cleaned them up by hand.

Here is the final product, there are a few areas where I went just a bit to deep when filing the edges but its barely visible and much better than the last attempt.

The next project was to trim out the toe kick under the sink. I had to allow for an vent register and also build up the front enough to cover the gap I mistakenly left between the tile and the vent duct...

3/4 plywood with some extra 1/8" spacers built up enough thickness.

I then glued and stapled the veneer, installed the register, and finished up the corner with a piece of oak trim that I stained to match.

May 14, 2009

DIY Countertop Attempt 1

One of the last major tasks remaining before I can call my kitchen remodel complete is to finish the small peninsula countertop. Since its an odd shape I either needed to order it custom or build it from scratch and it turned out to be pretty expensive to order custom so I thought I'd try building it from scratch. It can't be that hard right :)

I started by cutting the basic rectangle out of high density particle board, I then used a circle jig for my router to create a template to round off 3 of the corners. I then clamped this template to the each of the 3 corners of the rectangle and used a flush trim bit to copy that shape to the actual countertop. Once this was done I glued and screwed a second sheet particle board, slightly oversized, to the first and again used the flush trim bit and router to cut the 2nd piece to match. The picture above shows the finished substrate.

Next I applied contact cement to the edge of the countertop. Since the edges of the particle board are very porous it took 3 coats. I then cut down a thin strip of laminate and applied contact cement to it as well.

After letting the contact adhesive setup for 15 minutes I applied the smaller edge strip and pressed it on with the J-roller. I was surprised how well the contact adhesive works...sticky stuff. I then followed the same steps with for the large edge except I had Lon help hold the laminate straight while I applied it around the edge.

Here you can see how I used the flush trim bit to route off the excess laminate around the edges. The plexiglass "thingy" is actually my circle jig, I put it on since it provided a more stable base while routing along the thin edges of the countertop.

This picture shows a test fit of the countertop after trimming the excess laminate from the edges. Lon's dog Tana and Echo are posing in the background.

I then applied contact cement to the top surface and sheet of laminate and use some scrap sticks to help position it. I then worked it from the center outward using the J-roller. The picture above is after the top was applied but before the edges were trimmed.

Here you can see the overlap.

The flush trim bit trimmed off the excess nicely, except for one small problem...

The edge along one of the corners wasn't perfectly square which caused the router to just nick the surface of the laminate along the edge... This was pretty disappointing mostly because I never expected to get this far without some other rookie mistake. Now I'm trying to decide whether I try to apply a new edge strip, start over with a new substrate, or just leave it since its only a duplex anyway...I'm leaning towards starting over and using this countertop as a template.

On a positive note, I got the back of the cabinets trimmed and that turned out pretty nicely.

May 1, 2009

Dishwasher and Sink

So I finally have a functional kitchen again, there is still a bunch of little things to take care of but at least the appliances our out of the living room and I can cook and wash dishes again. Here are a couple pictures.

The dishwasher fit nicely and went in without a hitch.

The sink on the other hand was a pain. I think next time I might mount the sink to the countertop and then install the whole assembly to the cabinets all at once. The little clips that hold the sink in place are a pain to line up and tighten down while laying upside down inside the cabinet. Ah least its done.