Working on the Old House #10 Cabinet Start

We’ll pick up on the work in the kitchen, using some off the shelf cabinets from Home Depot, and then add a couple from the workshop.

Let’s see if we can make some sawdust, shall we?

We start with a finish for the three upper cabinets. This is a 36″ and two 21″ cabinets. I gave them a couple coats of BM flat latex in the color of Dove Wing. After sanding, three clear coats of Varathane waterbase finish goes on. More about finishing in another post – just trust me on this one…

Once the cabinet face frames are painted, it’s time to get them on the wall. First a ledger board is temporarily screwed to the wall. It is placed and leveled to rest the bottom edge of the upper cabinets.

Before the center cabinet is installed, the 7″ diameter hole for the range hood vent is marked and cut.

The two lower cabinets rest on the ledger, and the top one also rests on a ledger. Each cabinet box is screwed to the wall, slightly loose. This allows the cabinets to be slightly adjusted. Since I do everything by my self, it’s the only way to get these cabinets on the wall in the right spot. The face frames are then drilled through the sides and trim head screws are used to join the three boxes.The cabinets can then be permanently attached to the wall using wide head cabinet hanger screws.

We now run the 7″ duct up through the cabinet and out the original location for the exhaust fan.Not Ideal, but there is no other way the duct to run – so we’ll work around this issue to at least make it look presentable – I hope.

Again, because I work alone, a little improvisation is necessary to attach the duct and electrical to the hood. Anything is fair game when trying to defeat gravity.

Slow going, but eventually we have an operating range hood. As you can see in the photo, make sure the duct is always installed with the pipe inside the next in the direction of the air stream. This will prevent duct edges from catching dirt and grease.

Now to make some custom cabinets. Because the exhaust exit sits proud of the lower cabinets, we’ll have to make them deeper to hide the ductwork. Store bought uppers are 12″, custom ones need to be 16″. Here I’ve made some 3/4″ UV coated boxes. The one on the left is solid – the one with the duct is made of pieces to go around the duct work.

Now we make a couple of doors for the small cabinets. Rail and stile bits on my router table make this a quick project.

An easy way to line up the hinges on a Euro-style door is to place both hinges in the pre-drilled holes. Then use a level or a straightedge and slide up tight to the hinges. Then mark the locations for the screws – this will give you aligned hinges every time.

We attach the doors for a preliminary fit to see if any adjustments need to be made.

Since they don’t look overly stupid, we can proceed. I used a cove bit to create a profile on the outer edge of the doors to visually match the ready made cabinet doors.

So we’ll leave it here for the time being. I’ll think about some trim details and how to finish this off.

More to come.

Working on the Old House #9

We continue with the renovation of the old house. I plan on selling this 1920 home once I’ve made a few improvements. The plan is to sell it this year – as a slow and steady worker – this may be a challenge.

Since I replaced the original window over the sink, it’s time to make some new jambs and casings. I usually start with the side jambs. They are ripped to the required width and then cut to length. A little mock-up of the sill is made to get the measurements.

A sill is cut and put into place to allow for measuring the casings.

The side casings are put into place temporarily and a block of wood is used to set the reveal offset. This will allow the top casing to be marked for proper width.

The header is cut to width and the two side casings are attached to the top using kreg screws in the back.

The completed ‘U’ shaped casing is then attached to the window jambs and the wall. I always make casings this way as they will allow for nice tight joints at the corners that won’t open over time.

There was an issue with the soffit nailer at the ceiling. It was 2X2 lumber and well attached to the ceiling lath. I was afraid that if I tried to remove it I would cause quite a bit of plaster damage. So to make lemonade out of lemons, I decided to make a small drop and make it into a design element. I have a 1X7 fascia plate attached to the face of the nailer.

Face nailers were added to allow for the 3/4″ tongue and groove paneling to be added to the ceiling portion.

I am using recycled pine that was originally used on the porch ceiling at my other renovation. It needed a good scuff sanding to get the best paint adhesion.

The T&G paneling is attached to the 3/4″ wall sheathing, butting up with the new window casing.

I brought the T&G siding up onto the ceiling drop and placed a new ceiling light box in the center. I had one long piece of crown molding left from my kitchen renovation in the other house, so I thought this would work well here.

Now we turn our attention to the plumbing – a little copper pipe re-routing and a little fiddling and we can start thinking about new cabinets.

An unfinished base cabinet from Home Depot is reworked to accept the new plumbing.

Holes cut and then I decided adding a Dishwasher might be a good idea. Another electrical box is added for the DW service.

So this is were we are. A dishwasher, and a couple of ready-made base cabinets. Looks like there’s a lot more to do. I see some custom cabinets in my future.

Time to dust off the tools again.

Working on the Old House #2

As we are all trying our best to get through this challenge, I hope each of you is safe and healthy. And since we are all staying close to home – you might as well spend a little of your free time with me – looking at an old home. We will continue….

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We started with this fine example of Early Crack House architecture, circa 1920. Here I’ve removed the vinyl siding and the soffit banding covering the gable above the aluminum door and windows.

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The plan is to put this back to an open porch as it was originally. It will not only cost less to renovate, but will also keep with the character of the house. Since we’ve secured the front door we can remove the offending elements. (Shown on the ground to the left).

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The best way to get rid of unwanted building materials is to set them out on the curb and wait. These were picked up by a couple of scrappers in less than 5 minutes.

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So with the porch opened up and the gable covering removed, we can see what we have to work with. And right here we have asbestos panels. The vertical panels were attached to the building with wood battens covering the panel joints. The appearance boards over the opening are solid, but need some attention as well.

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The best course of action was to leave the original asbestos panels in place. It would cause more problems to remove the panels that were solid and well attached. So here I’ve covered the gable with sheet PVC with solid PVC trim.

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I recreated the original trim design on the gable. All PVC, it will be much more durable (and safer) fully encapsulating the asbestos panels. The PVC header trim will also not rot at the attachment point of the pillars, where absorbed water in the concrete could be a maintenance problem.

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Now that we have an open porch to work in, we can add a storm door and work on the severely weathered original clapboards. Exterior trim was also fabricated to cover the original 8′ door opening.

And on we go – we haven’t spent a lot of money and it is starting to look a little respectable.

Stay safe and I’ll see you again soon.

So it’s time to pester you some more

My last blog post was October 21 of last year.

Some of you must have thought – “Well, that’s it for the old geezer- he won’t be back” and surprisingly, you would have been mistaken. I will admit 2019 was not a stellar year in the home renovating or health department. I did minimal work on my project last year because the hospital industrial complex missed me and my money. I did several small projects, but nothing that was show & tell worthy.  I did however, work on my old house –  which you will see seems more like an abandoned and sad little place. It’s a little one bath home that was built in 1920 that had seen better days – much better days. My brother lived here before me and ‘insisted’ I give up apartment life and live the life in luxury and buy this place from him. And I thought he liked me…but we’ll fix it up a little.

So until the weather warms up and I can get back to renovating the MisAdventures project, I’ll keep the blog alive with recent and current updates on turning this old house into a comfortable little place for a new family. It won’t be the no expense spared nonsense like the MisAdventures project, but we’ll make in nice.

We’ll  start with this.

Yes – my old home – for some reason, my wife likes the new one better. Here I’ve started taking the vinyl siding off the front. The siding guys thought a contrasting band of soffit would make a nice accent across the front, above the windows. It did not. Oh, and I’ve already removed the shower-curtain curtains that added just the right touch to the aluminum windowed porch. It had a 1980’s crack house kinda vibe. But we’ll see what becomes of this place. My neighbors will thank me.

See you soon…I promise.

Curt