Tag Archives: sink

Soggy spring

I would love to say that we have accomplished a whole lot in the last month since I posted, but unfortunately we haven’t. This is largely due to the weather. I think this past May has been the soggiest one on record. Rain is pretty common in May, but it has been rather severe this year.

Our area was pretty lucky in that the worst we had were a few basements where the sub-pump broke and they wet basement floors. Other parts of Ontario and Quebec had full blown evacuations and states of emergency. When you come back to your house after it all resides and find that the water was up to the level of your counter-top in your kitchen, you could say that we had a lot of rain.

My last post was on May 2nd and it wasn’t long after that when things started to get crazy. We had two days of severe rain, then this happened on the 7th.

Yeah, that’s right. It started snowing. This has been known to happen in May, so it wasn’t so much of a big deal, except for the fact that it didn’t stop. I bet you can guess when I took the following picture?

That wasn’t the end of it either. It just kept snowing, right through until the 9th.

You can see that there wasn’t a whole lot of accumulation, but still, three days of snow in May?

Someone needs to turn up the outdoor thermostat.

That wasn’t the end of it either. I think we had a day or two break and then we had two more solid days of rain. When I say solid, I mean around 60mm (2.5 inches) of rain. That number may seem small, but if I put that in equivalent snow terms that would be 60cm (2 feet) of snow. It rained A LOT!

Those were the two heaviest days, but we’ve had quite a few days where it rained since then. Not nearly as bad. On May 14th we had a severe thunder storm which included hail. I had just done my weekly trip to the dump and it started on my way back. I was pulling into the driveway when the hail started so I sat in the truck for a bit and snapped this picture of the hail building up on the windshield wipers.

Not only has it been wet, it hasn’t been particularly warm either. We’ve had a few days above 20C (68F) but not many. And on those days when it isn’t cold and raining, the bugs are bad enough to pick you up and carry you off if you aren’t careful. The black flies especially are having a bumper year. We’re hoping the dragon flies will show up soon and we have seen one or two, but the big swarms of them have yet to arrive. They help a lot with reducing the biting insects.

All of this wetness has put a big damper on our firewood harvest this year. Going out in the pouring rain to cut down a tree isn’t a great thing to do. It’s even more inadvisable if there is high wind. Don’t try cutting down a tree in high wind and expect it to drop where you want it. I avoid that at all costs.

In addition to this, because of all of the rain, there were times we couldn’t even get the truck up the hill for fear of burying it out of sight just because the ground was so saturated with water. We still can’t drive to the top of our hill because a lot of water is draining down the road and it’s very squishy.

Of course there is the bug factor as well. Once you do get a decent day to go cut wood, you have to deal with the bugs. So, needless to say, we are behind in our firewood harvesting.

Fortunately, we haven’t been completely idle. We did get started on installing a new sink and finishing the counter-top around it. Here you can see the cutting of the hole where the sink is going to go.

Slightly closer so you can see the sink outline in pencil.

There we have it, a hole for a sink.

We even have a sink to put in that hole too! We bought it at the Re-store which I have to say, is kind of a hit or miss in terms of whether it’s really worth it or not. The sink we bought didn’t have holes for faucets, nor did it have a strainer basket. We weren’t too concerned about the faucet holes as we aren’t likely to have any faucet for a while. A new strainer basket cost $20 for the cheap one. The sink cost us $45. I could have bought a brand new sink for $100 that included holes for the faucet and strainer basket. Add some tax in there and you start to wonder if it was really worth the savings. Things to think about if you ever go to the Re-store for building materials.

Now for the counter-top we decided to use a 19mm (3/4 inch) piece of plywood with red oak veneer. One sheet of that will set you back $85 so you don’t want to mess it up. I cut out the piece to size for the counter first.

I scribed the hole for the sink from underneath and then cut out the hole for the sink as well.

Voila! New counter-top. Well, almost. The counter then went out to the staining and finishing department. I can say that it has been stained and had two coats of varnish put on it. The next step is to put a thick coat of epoxy on it to make it durable and waterproof. We have the epoxy, but it is sensitive to temperature and humidity so that part has been put on hold until things dry up and warm up a bit.

So it’s been a slow start to the year. We haven’t planted anything in the garden yet either because it’s been so cold. Last night we had a low of 2C (36F). Yes, we had a fire. They say we should be safe for planting after the full moon in June, which is this Friday. We can only wait and see at this point.

Kitchen Countertop, part 1

So, I mentioned in a previous post that I’m working on a new counter top for the area where the kitchen sink goes in the trailer. We have made some progress on that front, but let’s start the story at the beginning.

Remember this guy?

Planer

That’s my planer. It does really fun stuff. To give you an example, I present exhibit A.

KitchenCabinet1_001

That is a nicely weathered 2×4 piece of lumber. However, after passing it through the planer a few times, I can make it look like this.

KitchenCabinet1_002

It looks brand new, fresh out of the tree, and the corners are really nice and sharp.

So, using the planer, I used a bunch of old lumber I had, planed it down and starting making the framing for the counter. Here you can see I have several pieces in place.

KitchenCabinet1_003

Once again, as with the cabinet we built, getting everything level is a bit of a challenge. I didn’t just measure one spot and cut all of the pieces to the same height. I put the first one in the back corner, which you can see above, and then using my six foot level, measured each post to make sure it would all be level.

Here you can see that process in action.

KitchenCabinet1_004

If you were to zoom in and look really hard at that picture, you’d be able to see the bubble in the level sitting in the perfect position.

I should mention here, that with the table saw that I made, in conjunction with the planer, I was able to do fancy things like this.

KitchenCabinet1_005

I needed to make the post edges 90 degrees to the edge of the plywood floor, and we were working on a 45 degree angle at that spot. So after some playing around in Sketchup, I made that. If you’re wondering why the posts have numbers, if you’re cutting each post to a different length to make things level, it’s important to know which one is which so you don’t put them in the wrong order, or trim a corner off the wrong one.

I finished the framing and it came out looking like this.

KitchenCabinet1_006

In the section on the left will be a series of drawers, the 45 degree part will just be some simple cupboard doors, and the part on the right will have our recycling bin in it. I can’t do much about that big mess of tubes and wires as they’re all connected to that hot water heater you see at the back. Someday, we may actually want to use that 😛

To cap it off, I put a piece of plywood over the top, so we can at least use it as extra counter space for the time being.

KitchenCabinet1_007

We plan to do a butcher block style counter top, so I’ll just attach that to the plywood.

Unfortunately, that’s all there is at this point. We have a few other projects underway all at the same time, so I put that one on hold while we get some work done on a few other things.

What are those other projects you may be asking? Well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I’ll give you a little bit of a hint here.

Solar01