Monthly Archives: June 2012


So I cut the Formica tonight at work, used the shear in the machine shop, wow, worked perfect. It’s max width is 37 1/4, how convenient as I needed 36 1/8 plus. I cut the length to 37, clean, then cut some 1″ strips, 3 total, saved one full length for the front, trimmed the other two to 20 for the sides (19 1/2 required). Cut the big piece to 20″ to match for 36 1/8 x 19 1/2..
So we have all the pieces cut for the kitchen sink to be glued up, all over sized for trimming with the flush cut router. I’ll get that tomorrow.
Darin was still in when I got back, he said a quarter inch flush cut router should do. Tape the edges so the router bearing doesn’t damage the veneer when you cut the top, it could get hot. Also, set the depth of cut to just under the depth of the veneer so the bit doesn’t damage the edge. If the bearing picks up tape debris it will just move the cut out, clean it and re-cut to flush. Will do.
So I cut a piece of plumbing strap and smoothed it on the sander for tank bolt sizing, in my pocket. Also cut a piece of the veneer from the scrap to match at HD. We’re ready.


Next you’ll be working with latex (hope that’s what you got, can’t take back a color mix), it’s water soluble before it dries, so no more thinner fumes, much nicer to work with. You have to clean it before it dries, carry a wet rag and clean your brush and tools right away or put it in water. When it dries it’s a hard rubber, takes TSP (trisodium phoshate, a heavy detergent) to clean it off, and you have to soak it. Nicer than thinner but dries your skin seriously, wear gloves. I don’t have any here, may need to get some, but only if mistakes are made. Clean it before it dries with water.
So we need 20 bolts, nuts, washers and 16 lock washers. Checked a piece of plumbing strap, looks like a 1/4″ tight, we’ll bring some. Measured a 2x, we’ll need 2″ bolts, a little long but room for the strap, washer, lock and nut should be right.
Just had a thought, may be cool to get 4 thumb screws and 4 wing nuts for the strap openings, costs more, probably better to just use bolts and keep a couple wrenches aboard, better torque with a wrench and these tanks are heavy when full (120 lbs.). Put them up empty, then fill the fresh. Reminds me, we need to build in a tap to fill the fresh, standard 3/4 hose size mounted outside, before the check valve and capped (to keep it clean) to fill it. Be cool to have a shut off valve below that so you could use hose pressure instead of the pump and not fill the tank. This is good, and should fit the code, shut off (then fill tap), screen, the one way check valve to prevent backwash, up to the fresh water supply. The pump needs to go in after the check valve or BE the check valve, as it has 2 in it, depending on the type of pump. We may need to valve it off separately, we’ll see. As they have a lot of good valves at ReStore we can work it out. It’s looking like we’ll need to go from a 1/2″ system  to a standard 3/4″ hose, then back again to fit the sinks. It’ll be a challenge, hope for RS parts.


So Saturday is on. What to do. I picked up a couple swatches of color for paint at Garrett’s, asked about it, $25 a gallon whatever color you like, exterior latex. We’ll need at least a gallon. The paint tray can be reused I think as it’s dry by now. We’ll need another roller. You have the can of primer, maybe pick a color from up there and trade it. I picked Cherry Chocolate or Crimson Sky, Ace F51 or F52. You pick.
I need to keep working on the counters and table, but mostly we need to get the water tanks up so we know where to drill the holes for the drain and fresh. We can use the green bench back to crawl under with a pillow (helps on the neck) to secure them with plumbing strap (we have that). We’ll need bolts, washers and nuts, 20 total, 2 on each end, that’s 4 per strap, times 4 straps, 16, plus one per strap to tighten or loosen it, 20. The size of the big hole in the plumbing strap (I’ll clip a piece). Wouldn’t hurt to pick up a wrench that size to keep aboard, cheap HF set. We need a pump, the 12 volt marine at HF looked good and it’s stainless. So shopping is in order if you can swing it.


So I talked to Darin this evening about Formica, a lot of good hints. First, you need to cut the raw stuff oversize, then use a flush cut router (a straight router bit with a bearing the same size on the end, need to get one of them, need it anyway) to trim it to fit. Use contact cement (got that) on each piece to secure. Start with the two end edges, then the front edge, then the top, so it all gets covered and doesn’t leak. Best to use a router table (have one) so not to slip and cut into the plank at the wrong angle, better to keep it a little on the clear side. You can cut Formica on a table saw with a fine tooth blade, but keep the blade high so it cuts down as the stuff tends to float. The problem is lining it up, that’s why you cut it oversize and route it to fit. On the top, to get it even, use slats to hold it apart with the contact cement on it, line it up, then pull a slat and press it down, pull another and use a roller to press it even. Keep doing that until its down and smooth.
On the sink cutout, fine tooth blade on the jig saw, tape all the cut lines and draw the pattern. Tape the back of the saw (good idea) to prevent scratches. Drill a hole to start the cut on each end and cut it just the ends. Screw a board across the middle scrap section with a couple screws to hold it up as the final cut clears, then finish cutting the long sides and pull it out with the board. Any small chips will be covered with the sink edge. Use a fine file to trim the outer top edge to an angle, always filing down, when the paper ruffled under side falls off its there. Wow, that’s valuable information, thanks to Darin Scott.


I cut the fridge counter frame down to fit with the table saw after clearing out the corner. Looks good, it’ll need to be squared so it’s level with the floor. Moved the fridge in after vacuum cleaning it. I’m thinking it would be better to reduce the P side counter width to about 16″ so you can serve comfortably to the window. We can build the frame then add an angle to make it a smooth reduction. It’ll work, but the fridge fits and is in for now. We’ll need to pull it out to install the floor, should have it under. I still need to trim the frame flush with the multi-tool.
We need to get the walls covered soon, maybe door skins or old paneling. Be good to insulate it first. They’re rebuilding #4 at work but don’t know if they’ll redo the ceiling tiles. Those would be good, we’ll see.


Went in early enough to hit the RS, a few good scores. Brought Chin’s lower faucet valve nut along, found a package of new parts to match for 2 valves with compression rubber fittings and all, including teflon tape, score one. Also found an adapter threaded to fit it to a 1/2 pipe, a tee fitting for the gas line for the water heater connection (fits) and best of all, a sheet of Formica ~30″x41″. All for the cost of $3 and change, score! The Formica looks like walnut maybe, wood grained. It’ll make the main sink counter easy, maybe more, need to do the math. Or maybe the table, it’s nice stuff for $1.50, but mostly good to figure how to work with it, buck and a half is really cheap even if I blow it. Thinking I should take it to work and cut a piece on the shear to 3/4″ for the edge, then fit it to the main sink counter same way. The shear will cut it straight, but won’t work on the long P side, won’t fit. We can practice with this stuff, get it right, and use it to make the difference for all the counters. You OK with walnut looking counters?
Also noticed they have Linoleum tiles 1′ squares, but Kenny said no, we need the full sheet with no seams to meet code, coved up on the edges. Good score, plenty to do.


So Chin gave me a couple valves for under the sink, may have a couple more. One’s missing the end nut, but RS may have them. Larry may have some too. I needed that for the pipe thread size. Now I can figure out what to get to build the fresh water system, at least some of it, the connections to the faucets. The hot water will take some more thinking as we need a heater. Had a thought, would be cool to have an outside tap Dside of hot and cold tied to a shower head with a flip down semi circle for a removable shower curtain, hook nearby for a robe and towel. Maybe throw in a wood grate (got one in storage) stashed under to keep your feet clean. That would be neat, probably not to code, keep it hidden, detachable. But nice, put the valves underneath “for cleaning the tanks” with a hose up.
So we’re going to need a pump and an on demand water heater (ODW for short) to complete the water system.


I tinkered with the plumbing fixtures for the grey tank, it’s ready to go in. I have the hole saw set up too, but we need to install the tanks temporarily to verify the location of the drain, then drill the drum and install the custom made expanding fixture, very cool. I even made the wrench from a piece of heavy brass stock. Ready to go.
The fresh water system has yet to be done. I need the valve size under the sink to figure it out. My friend Larry at work has some he’ll bring in, then we can get it.
I checked out the new box for the overhead light, if we include the plate it will short out, but if we just get a couple longer screws to fit the tabs (cheap), the ceramic light fixture will fit fine without the plate and not short, easy fix. We’ll need to wire that with the switch at the front door or add another switch box as it doesn’t have a pull switch.
We really need paneling soon. Thought, door skin is pretty cheap, it’s a thin ply wood, maybe an 1/8′ but good grade comes in 3′ wide sheets, I have a couple. Could be worth using if we can’t find some old paneling on craigslist. Look for that, old paneling, somebody is remodeling.


So tomorrow is on, I made it to RS for a few more plumbing parts and another electric box (with tabs) for the overhead light, need to change that. I’ll need to drill a couple screw holes in the metal panel cover I also bought to attach the light fixture.
Thought, paint the area for the outside lights first, it dries quick, that way Joe can put them in and we won’t need to remove them later (well, maybe for the finish coat, or just tape them). We’ll need to bag them as you paint the rear wall. The wind this week did a number on the masking papers, needs touch up tape and such.
I drew a rough sketch of the counter with a seat addition at lunch, not to scale but it shows the idea (attached).


Talked to Kenny at lunch about Formica, we’ll need to get it first before cutting the holes for the sinks. He also suggested using hot glue and sticks to hold up the inner piece as we saw it out so it doesn’t crack. Stan suggested we cover the Formica outside the cut to prevent scarring from the jig saw, thinking we should use card stock, got plenty. Chin said ‘Hard as Nails” glue is what to use to for the Formica, let’s get a tube when we get it. Not this weekend as we need to finish the other side framing so we have valid measurements. I’m thinking it would be best to have the Pside counter wide at the fridge, then narrow a bit with a curve or 45 angle to finish out the counter so you have a bit more room to maneuver inside.
Thought, maybe a fold down counter after the fridge for a seat, across from the stove, that would be nice. Not sure how to rig it but it’d be nice, we can figure it out. Let’s see, the counter would become the seat back a little higher with a slat on the seat to hold it as a back, out just a bit so the angle is good. Upper extensions to hold it as a counter flush but a notch back for down, and a couple grooves and slats when up to hold it in, could work. I’ll need to draw it out with measurements. Or just a flat counter, but a seat there would be nice. Let’s talk.