Wednesday, March 15, 2006

This Should Be Interesting

After conferring with Sadie and Mortimer the decision was made to cut the sink hole in place. That is, I will put the slab of marble on the island and do all the work there. I don’t want to risk breaking it after it is cut. This does present a bit of a problem. The sink is under-mount and I can’t cut the hole while the sink is there. I’ve come up with two ways to deal with this. Hopefully one of them will work.

First, I could cut the hole and then slide the slab back, then drop in the sink, and then slide it forward. That is a lot of sliding. I’m a paranoid person and maybe a bit of a pessimist. I really don’t want to move this thing once it’s in place. The second way is to cut the hole and then slide the sink under the slab. I will do this from underneath in the cabinet space.

Here’s how it will work.

You can see in this picture the template I made for the sink and faucet hole. The next shot is with the template removed.

Without the template you can see that the sink hole in the plywood is twice as big as it needs to be. I can move the sink to the left and push it up under the slab and then slide it to the right in to position. Once it is in to position I can give it more support. I tried this with a plywood cut-out of the sink and it seems to work. This is the preferred method. Sliding the slab out of the way is a back-up plan.

There are so many things that can go wrong with this. I’ve been telling myself all day that there are people who do this for a living and there is no reason I need to reinvent the wheel here and make this up as I go along. I’ll admit that I love the challenge but sometimes maybe I shouldn’t be such a cheapskate and call in a pro. I don’t know. Worst case scenario is I ruin a $350 piece of marble. It’s not the end of the world.

Speaking of worst case scenarios, I have been giving some thought to what I do if I screw it up but not bad enough that the whole thing needs to be pitched. Say, for instance, what if I cut the sink hole too big or something. Well, I can always go to a drop-in sink. That would hide a lot of mistakes. I can also move the faucet to one side if the drop-in sink is bigger. If I screw up the edges there is enough room to trim off a half-inch and do it over. I could call in a pro to re-do the edges if I screw them up. It would be humiliating but I could do it. So I just need to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Speaking of edges, I ran a short test on my router. I say “short” because my router died after about 3-inches. To be fair, it was a crappy router to start with and I really, really beat the hell out of it the last 4 years. It started doing this about a month ago. It just stops working for no apparent reason. I think the brushes might be going. What ever it is I did a successful edge – albeit a short edge – on the scarp piece of marble I have. There are a few chips but the blade is old. I think with a new blade and a better router it should look great. Here is the short test.

And finally, I’ve decided to change the cat’s names. Sadie will now be named “MOVE PLEASE!”, and Mortimer will now be called, “Get The Hell Out Of The Way You Stupid Cat!”. This is how I seem to refer to them all the time so I might as well make it official.


Anonymous said...

Greg, you are a braver man than I am. I'll bet you'll be fine though. Your plan seems to make good sense.

Nice edge on the marble, too.

Gary said...

After you cut the sink hole in the marble, you should slide shims under the edges to lift it off the plywood so the sink slides in easier. This would also allow you to caulk the rim before you lower the slab again.
When I did my concrete counter I found that you could lift one side and push the weight onto the back edge and lean the piece without any problem. You should caulk it in place though just to provide a level bed for it to rest on.

Greg said...
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Greg said...

Aaron, Thanks for the vote of confidence. I’ll need it with this one.

Gary, From what I’ve been told lifting and shimming is not a good idea. If this were the 2-inch thick marble I could do that. The guy who is selling it to me says it can not support it’s own weight unless it is standing on edge. I could get 3 or 4 people to all grab a side AND support the middle, but that is the only way. My thought was to smear caulk under the slab prior to fitting the sink under it, and then a thin bead of caulk where the copper meets the marble once it’s in place.

Gary said...

Hmmm, you are in a pickle my friend! If the marble cracks, you can accentuate it with colored grout and call it art or do something funky like channel the crack with you trusty router and insert a strip of copper or brass as decoration or even cut a section out and put in a stripe of different colored marble tile. I have some pink strips if you need them but pink isn't a kitchen color these days. Good luck!
I'm just prepping you for plan C, D and E.
Concrete may have actually been easier....

Greg said...

Easier, maybe, but certainly not as good.

You almost sound like you expect me to fail. The key here is don't put myself in a situation where it can crack. That is the whole point of doing this in place. If I get it down in one piece, and I never pick it back up, then it won't crack.