May 18, 2011

Nightstand Design Review

So I've been kicking around ideas for a pair of nightstands for awhile now and have come up with the following design.

The majority of the piece will be made from 4/4 (1 inch thick) air dried cherry and the drawer fronts will be curly maple. One of the constraints that drove this design was to use only 4/4 lumber which somewhat limited the design of the legs.

What I like about this general form is that the two drawers will offer a lot of storage. The middle shelf should be a great place to keep the keys/phone/wallet clutter so that the top of the nightstand can remain clutter free.

What do you think? Does it look decent, kinda funny, horrible? Should I bite the bullet and spring for some 8/4 cherry for thicker square legs? Are the general proportions decent? I'm looking for some honest feedback now while I can still tweak the design in sketchup.

Feel free to leave comments here or in the discussion thread I posted in the woodnet forums



April 25, 2011

1810 Dining Room and Kitchen Remodel Part Two

The kitchen and dining room remodel is now nearly complete. I meant to post more updates on this progress as it happened but my camera started flaking out and was out for repair for awhile (Huge kudos to Canon for standing behind their products and fixing an 8 year old camera for free!). Now that things are mostly wrapped up here are some of the pictures I did manage to take of the process.

The top layer of vinyl flooring in the entryway came out fairly easily.

The bottom layer peeled off nicely as well but left the paper backing so we had to soak it down with water and scrap it up.

Laura took care of most of this while I stood around and took pictures :)

Once it gets soaked through the adhesive releases and the paper backing scrapes up easily. Its a messy process but it works well.

Here is a last look at some of the old cabinets before demolition.

While gutting the bathroom I managed to punch a hole in the wall trying to get the vanity out. As much as I hate patching drywall you would think I would have been a bit more careful.

I cut the whole into a nice square and then added some plywood scraps to support the patch.
I then screwed on a scrap piece of drywall and then spent the next day or so taping, mudding, and sanding until the whole was no more.

With the drywall patched and the rest of the cabinets ripped out it was time for paint. It was nice to be done with demolition and start the process of rebuilding.

The bathroom looks quite a bit better with a coat of paint and a new light fixture.

After paint we installed the upper cabinets.

After the upper cabinets were in it was time to finally clear out the appliances and start the tiling process. The first step was to cut and install the Ditra underlayment.
When I remodeled the 1808 half of the duplex I did the tile in two phases. This time I wanted to get it all done at once. The biggest challenge with this was getting the entire kitchen and dining room completely empty. The living room was a bit cramped at this point.
I ended up laying the tile in a few stages over about a week. This allowed me to pre-cut a bunch of tiles and set them while still having access to either the front door or the garage entry.
Below you can see stage 2 of 3 complete.

After all of the tile was set Laura helped me prep and install the grout. In my opinion this is the hardest part of the process so the help was really appreciated. One interesting note is that we used microfiber cloths to clean the tiles after the initial grouting and wow does that work better than the standard sponges. Between Laura's help and using the microfiber cloths grouting seemed like a breeze compared to when I did the 1808 half of the duplex.
Once the tile was in and grouted progress really picked up and it wasn't long before the cabinets were in, countertops were installed, and the kitchen had appliances and running water again.

It's nice to have a stove again!

The lower bath is now functional again as well.

At this point I'm working on trimming out the toe-kicks and exposed backs of the cabinets and once that is done I can re-install the base trim and call this project done.

January 28, 2011

1810 Dining Room and Kitchen Remodel Part One

The remodel of the kitchen and dining room of the 1810 half of the duplex is finally underway. Since the 1808 kitchen remodel dragged on forever and it is really inconvenient to grill out every night and wash dishes in the bathtub I'm putting a lot of effort into making sure that anything that can be done ahead of time gets done before demolition of the kitchen. With that in mind I spent some time over the holidays building the custom section of countertop that will be needed later.

This is the same process I used last time, a double layer of industrial grade particle board glued and screwed together and pattern routed to the correct shape. I applied laminate to the edges first making sure to hide the seam along the edge that will be hid by the stove. Once applied I trimmed off the excess with a laminate trimming bit in a palm router.

With the edging applied and trimmed I then glued down the oversized piece for the top and used a J-roller to press it down firmly.

I then trimmed it up with the router and went over the sharp corners with a hand file to finish it off.

Since the existing countertop was falling apart and didn't match the kitchen anyway I decided to tear it off and install the new one for a few weeks until the whole kitchen gets demolished.

This past weekend I started some of the preparation work in the dining room. This time I am planning to tile the kitchen and dining room all at the same time so it makes sense to make sure the dining room floor is ready for tile before I start anything in the kitchen. I pulled off the trim and removed the carpet and pad from the dining room area.

I'm not planning on replacing the remaining carpet until after I move out so I made sure to leave enough to make it to the edge of the future tile and will trim back the excess later on.

Since the particle board underlayment isn't rigid enough to support the tile it had to go. I set the circular saw to 5/8ths and cut a grid into the floor and then pulled it up in small sections.

Once the particle board was gone and Echo inspected my work I added some 2" deck screws to secure the existing plywood to the floor joists. This helped tighten up the floor a bit and minimize a few of the squeaks.

Finally I put down a layer of 5/8ths BC grade plywood and screwed it down roughly every 5 inches with 1 1/4" deck screws. This firmed up the floor quite a bit and should be a nice stable foundation for the tile.