Saturday, May 30, 2009

All Dressed Up And No Where To Go

Two weeks ago the fabricator bought the slab of marble for the cabinet. I made 3 phone calls to them and each time I was assured it was a simple job and they should be able to get it to me soon. As far as stone counters go, it really is a simple job. It is just 4 or 5 straight cuts, with no sink holes to cut, and no finishing or polishing of the edges or surface.

Last week someone was out sick and they got a little behind. No big deal. These sorts of things happen. This week I called and was told I would get it by Friday (Yesterday). I was sure it was going to happen, so I spent a few hours after work each night getting ready for the installation. I got all of my tools set up and took care of some normal weekend chores so I could spend all weekend working on marble and trim for the middle section.

The marble needs to have the edge trimmed, and then the surface polished and sealed. The final trim for the middle section will consist of more than 4 dozen small pieces that will need to be cut precisely as they are installed. I decided to just set up shop in the dining room, rather than making what could be hundreds of trips back and forth between the shop and the dining room. Each piece will take multiple cuts, so despite the potential for mess, this will save hours and hours of time.

Below are some shots of what the dining room looks like right now.

1. Router hooked up to the shop vac with a new bit installed and tested for height, ready to finish the edge on the marble
2. RO sander with 100 through 220 grit paper, along with the polishing attachment and solution
3. Compressor, hose, and brad nailer to put on the trim after marble is finished and in place
4. Compound miter saw ready to install the trim
5. Router table set up with the female bit of the rail/stile set installed and tested for height, ready to install the trim
6. All of the trim I’ve milled over the past few weeks ready to be installed

There is, of course, just one little problem…..

The marble never showed up. I feel like I’ve been stood up for the prom. I spent all week getting all gussied up, only to be left here waiting and wondering where my date is. It is very frustrating. If I were a woman I suppose the thing to do at this point would be to start shoveling ice cream in to my face while I watch predictable chick-flicks all weekend. As a man though, I feel compelled to get shit-faced drunk while I sit around and watch predictable sci-fi movies. I have nothing else to do!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Internet To The Rescue!

I think I came up with an idea for the trim. I couple of readers left some good comments, and others with rad Photoshop skilz submitted a few doctored up pictures. While it is hard to say at this point how any of the ideas will work in the end - mine or theirs - the different perspectives allowed me to think of things I might not have otherwise.

Allen’s Idea

Paul’s Idea

Allen’s would definitely work, and is not off the table at this point. Paul’s idea is closer to what I will most likely do. The rest of the trim for the middle section is sort of a coffered ceiling look. Because I must maintain symmetry with all of the squares, I can’t have the new trim encroach on the other trim. Think Paul's idea, but a little less.

The real problem all along is the space I have to work with. It is only a half inch thick. The existing piece I made is about 3/8th inch thick. Quick math will tell you I only have an 1/8th of an inch left. That is not enough to do much of anything with.

Like I said, I think I came up with a good solution, but rather than confuse the issue more, I’ll post better pictures in a few days. I thought the marble was going to arrive this week, but it didn’t happen. I spoke with the owner of the shop on Tuesday and they purchased the slab, but didn’t get a chance to cut it yet.

I’m going to call again this Tuesday. I really need to get it in next week because I’m reaching a point where I’m running out of things to do without having the marble in place. On the plus side, I am literally weeks away from finishing the project.

I got the shelves finished today….

And I have piles of trim waiting to be installed after the marble is in.

The only thing left to work on really, is the last little door in the middle section. I’m hesitant to work on it because the final shape and size will be determined by the middle section trim and marble. None of that matters though, right now, because this weekend is The Big Race, so it is not like I don’t have other things to do.

For The Glory!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Doing Lines

When I was still in the design phase I made the decision to bring in the sides of the middle section of the cabinet so I could have a single piece of marble for the counter. If I made the middle section the same width of the rest of cabinet, the width of the counter would have been 8’ 4”. I was told by local suppliers that stone slabs only come in 8’ widths. So I brought the sides in 3” on either side, which makes the counter 7’ 10”. I can now have a seamless piece of marble.

One problem solved and another one born.

As you can see in the picture above, I now have these gaps to fill. I’ve known about this all along and never gave it a whole lot of thought. It was always thought that as I trim out the middle section, I will just add a piece of wood there to cover the framing. {You can see a blog entry I printed up and stuffed in the cavity}

So yesterday I made up some trim pieces to cover the cap. Because I was impatient months back, and wanted to see progress, I put up the casing around the edges. This should have been one of the last things to do, but I couldn’t wait. Now, I may need to get the trim in place before the marble goes in.

I left a half inch thick space to slip the trim in behind the casing. So I planed down some scrap pieces of curly redwood and slipped them in to place, but I don’t really like it. In the picture above, the red circle marks the door and the green circle marks the stile of the face-frame. It seems like this trim piece should line up with the stile.

If I move it back, though, it will leave parts exposed that shouldn’t be. Because I only have a half inch to work with, there is very little room to get something else in there. I’m not sure what to do at this point, but I need to come up with something this weekend because the marble is supposed to be here next week.

I may try and cut a then piece of veneer to go behind the new trim piece and in front of the exposed section. It will need to be very thin, though. Remember, I only have a half inch to work with and I need to be able to fit both the trim piece and a new veneer piece.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Marble Is On Its Way!

They came by today to make a template. I supplied them with an accurate diagram, but the woman in charge strongly encouraged me to get the template done. I started to protest, but then capitulated because I just got the feeling that the more I insisted against it, the more likely something would go wrong and it would be my fault because I gave them the diagram.

So they came by a made a template today. They showed up on my lunch hour and were in and out in about 20 minutes. They showed up about 10 minutes late and the woman actually apologized for being late. And it was a sincere apology! This sort of thing is almost unheard of coming from a contractor or tradesman.

I called 3 different people for estimates. One place said they only do granite, not marble. Whatever – click! The next place got the estimate wrong. I sent them the same diagram with the same explicit instructions on the edge and they still added in more than $300 for a laminate edge I didn’t want. Even after deducting that, they were still 20% more than the people I ended up going with.

The people who are cutting this marble are the same who cut the slab for the kitchen island. I’m doing the same deal, where they cut the basic shape and then I finish the edge. For the island, they had a partial slab in the yard and I picked it up, so that was dirt cheap. This time, they will need to order a new slab and I will have them deliver the final piece. I will also get the remaining part of the slab, which is larger than the piece for the cabinet. More on that later.

While the young man made the template I took the woman in to the kitchen and bathroom to show her the other marble work I had done. It was fortuitous because she said she would try and find a piece of marble that closely matched what I already had. They buy from someplace down in San Leandro. She told me the cost was about half as much as buying locally.

So they should have the slab by Monday and cut it sometime next week. If all goes well it will be in the house by next weekend and I can start to work on the edge. In the meantime, I’ll work on the shelves and start to make the final door. The only thing besides that, is the trim on the middle section.

I could be done in a month!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Back To Solid Foods

Which is good because I like solid foods. Many of my favorite foods only come in solid form. Unfortunately, a nasty abscessed tooth prevented me from eating solid foods for several days last week. On Monday I was able to pay an endodontists absurd amounts of money to drain nasty liquids from my jaw. By the weekend I was back to eating solid foods and back to working on the cabinets.

I milled and installed the baseboard. That was pretty straight forward.

I also got the glass installed. In the end I did not do any etching on the glass. I couldn’t decided on anything and I’m too far into this to drag my feet now. Even so, this was a time consuming and tedious project. I made the quarter round to hold the glass in myself. It is ¼ X 3/8 quarter round that I made on the router and table saw. Then I had to nail it in to place! I’ve broken glass in the past doing this and I didn’t want to brake any this time.

I also made the shelf brackets. Veeeerrrrry tedious work. Lots of time with a jig saw. If you’re not familiar with these types of brackets, you can read about them here.

Aaaaand, I bought a carpet for the room. I’m a sucker for 25% off and couldn’t pass it up. The rug is 8X11. Originally (1895) the room had a 9X12 rug in it. I can see where it was tacked down to the floor. I could probably find a 9X12 rug at a zillion times the cost of the 8X11 one I bought at 25%. I’m happy with the 8X11 rug.