Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tweaking and Improving an Ikea Norden Table

I really cannot complain about our Ikea purchases.  The kitchen went together quickly and the corner sink was at a price that was difficult to beat!  In the bathroom, the porcelain sink there was a revelation, and really fits the space well.

A few oddities with how the sink fit into the kitchen are easily overlooked and really only noticeable when you are working on the plumbing.

Our chairs are over a decade old, and while not going strong, are still serviceable on a day to day basis.

The Norden table we purchased though had a noticeable fit issue, and was very heavy to move.  I decided to deal with both these issues yesterday.  The centre drawer supports/runners were well fit at the base, but as they rose to the tabletop, they spread apart to such an extent that the top drawers were not in the runners, but were constantly falling off the rails on one side or the other.

First up, Kenny and I removed the tabletop carefully.
Clamp the sides together and lay the bar on top of the supports.
Drill the new holes just slightly to the outside of the original ones.  Of course, after drilling the holes is the right time to test fit a drawer, right?
Replace the screws and we're golden! 
Now, to add casters onto one side of the table, carefully mark off the height of the wheels. 
Cut, sand and mark for the casters.  Predrilling is essential to prevent splitting the legs.
With the wheels in place, return the supports to the tabletop for mounting.

Knock, knock - who's there? - the law! - the law who? - THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES!  Rats, moving those metal bars out a quarter inch put them right on top of the hinges from the tabletop - time to redrill everything towards the inside of the table. 
Marking the bit to ensure I don't drill right through the tabletop! 
Looks great!  Works great!

With only two casters, one still has to lift the far side of the table to move it, but they are on swivels, so it's easy to move in any direction at will.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

We Have A Ceiling!

Oh happy day!  A week ago my parents arrived from the (sunny?) south to help me complete the last major work in the cabin.

Nana and Kenny were able to connect through his lessons and a shared love of her iPad :).  Papa and I were able to spend almost all of our time doing the remaining work on the cabin that required scaffolding.

Ranta Construction had agreed to let me rent their scaffolding for a week or so, and it was a real boon to our work.

We first set it up down at the kitchen/stove end of the cabin and worked our way in behind the stovepipe.  Papa was on the scaffolding for the most part, and I was cutting the boards to fit.  Kenny was our official photographer, and I think he did an awesome job.  I'll not post all of his 250+ photos, but try to pick a few choice ones.

Yes Papa, the stovepipe is probably a bit dirty.
Every project begins with the first board.
Fine tuning that all important first board.
Precision blueprints to ensure the best fit!
With random lengths, sooner or later you're going to get a joint like this.
The collar around the chimney really finishes it off!
Once you have the technique down pat, you can really cover ground (ceiling?) quickly!
And coming at it from a different angle.  Nana provides advice.  Also, can you spot the third person in this picture?

Ripping with a circular saw.
Now we're really close!
Remounting the clothes airing rack.  I changed this up a bit by adding pulleys directly to the rack and tying off the rope up at the ceiling again.  This made the load twice as easy to raise and lower.
Installing the collar retention devices to make the fan safer.
Installing some trim.
Haters gonna hate.  Channeling my inner DiCaprio.
It was pretty disruptive having the scaffolding set up for five days, assembling it at one end of the cabin and then dismantling it to move it to the other end, then dismantling it again to return it to the first end, before finally taking it apart and returning it.

We did have the scaffolding on casters but if you may recall, there is a large, laminated beam in the centre of the cabin at about eight feet.  So we had to remove the top section of the scaffolding to be able to roll it down to the far end of the cabin.  Due to the nature of the v-joint panelling we were installing we couldn't quite finish the paneling in one direction without full access to the area to be paneled in the other direction.

Kenny showing off that he can move the (very heavy) table all by himself!
Papa did a fantastic job adding some simple trim in the corners, as well as trimming in the upper windows.  Everything up there looks just totally awesome!  Now it inspires me to continue working on my other jobs.

The best part though - seeing Nana and Papa again.  They are well loved here on the homestead!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Our Bathroom Tap Arrives!

Our bathroom tap finally arrived a little while ago and I have to admit that it was exciting to finally get that phase of things completed.

Once again I dismantled what had gone before, which wasn't that big a deal as I hadn't cut anything to size yet, and as you may recall, the old tap was just jammed on top of the pipe and hanging above the sink.

I removed this old tap, lifted the bowl entirely out and attached the new tap.  It was interesting - this one was identical to the one which I had ordered for the kitchen - a single lever controlling the flow from one pipe.  Unlike the kitchen one however, this one arrived with a small red button on the lever indicating (to me) hot water.  The original kitchen one arrived with a blue button.  It makes no difference to me, but I guess there are occasions where you may want one or the other.  Ordering from China, and with no option to pick, you likely have to take what you can get.  It's still a perfect tap for our purposes.

Mounting the exciting, new tap!
I fitted the sink back into place, and siliconed along the edge where it met the vanity.

Clear silicone along this edge should suffice.
I tightened up the water pipe under the tap and turned it on for a first trial.  Yuck, the water had clearly stirred up some of the iron with which we are profoundly blessed.  Luckily it cleared quickly.

Not everyone can claim to have running cola in their pipes!

Looking good down here!

Then I taped off the sink, mirror and acrylic back (side?) splash.  With some judicious use of white silicone and a talented index finger, I managed to make it look like it belonged!

Nice, straight lines!
Mounting the door closed in the sawdust/shavings/peat bucket and really gave everything a finished look.

The door will hide the bright orange duff bucket.
I then had the inspiration to cut down the good section of my original counter top, and mount that on top of the rack I had fitted in beside the vanity.  Now we would have a good amount of storage space, as well as a place to set down our toothbrushes :).

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

The hand towel also doubles as a curtain to hide our unmentionables...  (Which are actually just Donna's hair care products and equipment, in case you're wondering what's actually there.)

A shelf for a glass of water, and a little space for a spare towel.  Perfecto!