Concrete counter update

Maybe I should call this the ‘concrete counter chronicles’? 

Anyway, I snapped away the forms and this is what I got. Not bad. I would recommend, when pouring, to: 

  1.  Reach into the bucket of mix, grab a handful of cement and put the mix into the front area of the form and press down on the mix. That will ensure you get the mix fully into the front of the forms an avoid larger pockets at the bottom front of the form. You could probably also use a dowel to tamp on the mix. Regardless.. do it so no gaps form.
  2. Make liberal use of the sander to vibrate the form and reduce the air bubbles. 

For #1 you can see that, if you move from left to right, I did not push the mix on the left and I did as I moved to the right. I screwed this up because it was just me mixing and pouring and I was rushing. Bad move as I had plenty of time to work the mix.

Regarding mixing in a 5 gallon bucket… I offer a basic pointer. From the 2nd bag forward I mixed the concrete in 10, 30, 30, 30. I mixed water and 10% of the bag to start, got that going with enough water to get the mix pretty wet. Add more concrete, add water, mix. Repeat until the entire bag is in the bucket. Pick up and pour. 

I found that to be easiest way to mix and make sure I didn’t have dry areas of concrete at the bottom of bucket. 

I may make up a slurry and fill the pinholes along the front.

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Mom and her fawns

We’ve lived here for 4 years now and each year there have been at least 1 fawn and up to 3 running around in the late Spring and Summer.

This year we’ve got 1 doe with 2 fawns and another with 1. 

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New closet project

Below is a shot of the closet off the kitchen. Going to build some shelving and the like here starting next week. 

The idea is to make this into storage for the kitchen appliances and food as well as a ‘mud room’’ with an area to sit down, hang coats and store shoes. 

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Building kitchen cabinets – Part 1

I am now on to building cabinets for the house. Cabinets for the kitchen, built-ins and the like. 

I thought I would document what I was doing

Part 1

The first thing to do is to have the necessary tools. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but you want them to be in good shape, be able to cut straight, etc.

I have a nice table saw with plenty of power (Steel City), a chop saw, sander(s), a Kreg jig and screws. 

I also built a box that helps me do cross cuts on the table saw for material that is to large for the chop saw such as 24” wide plywood. 

You could certainly use a Skil saw if that’s all you have plus some nice straight lengths of wood and some clamps. Use the straight lengths of wood as guides for your cuts. Clamp them down to keep them in place. 

Here is my jig (and table saw with the out table and dust collector): 

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Once you have the tools and naturally a place to do the work you need a plan for building the cabinets. Below is a shot of the plan that I have for my 36” base cabinets. This allows me to review with cut list and know with certainty what I need and just simply do the cutting. 

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With your plan in in your hand, review the cut list and start cutting the pieces to match cut list. When making your cuts make sure to keep the kerf (the width of the blade). I forgot about it…once. Hence why you see the plans above.

You will end up with a pile of wood that looks something like what you see below. The 1×4’s are used for the base. The pile of plywood contains three pieces for each cabinet. 

This pile needs to 1×4 supports to be cut as well as the bit of 1/2” plywood that will make up the back of the cabinet.

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Cleaning the deck

Below is an image of our deck after a bit of cleaning and gently power washing. 

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We used Restore on the deck after replacing about 1/3rd of the 2×4’s on the deck. We sanded the entire thing with power sander (again gently) and applied the Restore. That was 2 years ago. One thing that we did was use a small roller that was the width of the 2×4’s and SLOWLY applied the material. We then used a small putty knife between the joints to clear the material. Doing so kept the material from crossing the joints.

One side effect of this is that we used considerably less material than we anticipated given the size of this deck and a smaller secondary deck we repainted as well. 

Very happy with the results. 

 This is the deck midway through the reconstruction back in August of 2013. Note the pepto-bismal pink color. Lovely, no?

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Pantry closet – part 3

Here is another update on the pantry. The wife wanted to get the spices out in the open so that we could see them, know what we have and not buy more of what we already have. 

Apparently 3 containers of Allspice is a bit wasteful if you are not going to use it. In addition, the spice racks were taking up 3 shelves in one of our cabinets that we then were able to free up.

She did a bit of digging and found example of folks hanging spices stored in tins off a metal sheet. 

So, she purchased as series of tins and magnets. She glued the magnets to the tins. She then purchased chalk markers and labels (they wipe clean with a bit of water on a towel). 

I bought a bit of stainless (24” x 48”) and hung it from the door using contact cement and 4 mollies. 

Here you have the result: 

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