Monday, November 6, 2017

Quick Update

The time seems to be flying by these days. In September, we decided to buy a bigger trailer. We were looking at bumper hitch trailers and then found this garage kept fifth wheel trailer. We didn't intend to buy it, we just wanted to see what it was like. Hubby could stand upright in the shower, so after a week of discussion and comparison shopping, we decided to buy it. Then, after another month of shopping, we sold our F150 and bought a Chevy 2500 to pull it.

The change in trailers has been life altering. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Making a Small Camper Workspace

I think the hardest thing about living in a small space is the lack of countertop. In our trailer, which wasn't meant to be lived in full time, there is exactly seven inches of kitchen counter space. If I'm not cooking on the stove top, I can use that space, but bottles won't stay upright on the grate, and particles of food fall through the grate and onto the burners. But trying to prep food while I'm cooking on the stove is a real pain. So I decided to make a removeable top to extend the counter space when I am cooking or prepping. It is out of the way against the wall when I need the whole sink.



That light spot on the counter is a reflection of the light above it.

I made is using a pieced board from Home Depot similar to this one. The one I got had final thickness of 5/8". I also had to cut it down on the table saw so it's final size is 19"x48". Then I wanted to try out a tinted Watco Danish oil on it so I bought a can of cherry tint. On pine, it was kind of an orangey-red, but so is the trailer, so that's okay. I like Watco oil because it penetrates the wood and I think that helps with water resistance. I won't be using this as a cutting board, so being food-safe didn't matter.

It has not only made cooking in the trailer easier, but it is also a good place to put the Instant Pot which I use a lot to keep from heating up the trailer.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Internet Again, At Last!

No more hotspotting, so I hope to be online again more. I say I hope because I've gotten out of the habit of being able to be online at leisure. I still feel a little guilty for using gigs when I've been on for more than ten minutes. Then I have to remind myself that I have unlimited data now. I don't have unlimited time, those pesky chores still have to be done, but in just a few hours today, I'm already slacking off on them and spending too much time online.

The other day, while driving down the highway, we watched a storm moving in. It was like the old soap opera, The Edge of Night, if you remember that one. I snapped this between swipes of the wiper blades.

Friday, June 30, 2017

A Quilter's Memorial Service

Recently, a woman we knew died from cancer.  I knew her from the quilting guild and Hubby knew her through her husband.  This was what we saw when we entered the santuary:  every pew draped with quilts she had made.  I knew she made a lot of quilts, but thought she gave most of them away. During the service, someone said that this is a fraction of the quilts she made in her lifetime, because she did indeed give most of them away.

It was a lovely service, with readings from a story she wrote of her life for her family, and personal stories from her family.  Most of all, they talked about her rough childhood and how she overcame it and formed a lifelong desire to help other people.  One of the ways she helped was to make and donate quilts to women's groups, veterans groups, and her church.  An amazing lady, and I wish I had known her better.  She will be missed.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Outdoor Sink Table

This is my finished table, and it turned out just the way I wanted it, with a galvanized tub sink and a hand pump.  At least it finally turned out just the way I wanted it.

When I first thought of this idea, I planned on doing a tutorial, but then I found that someone (or several someones) not only had the idea before me (Rats!), but had already done tutorials.  So I won't waste your time with another one.

Crafty Staci has one on how to put the drain in the tub.

Click on picture for tutorial. (Photo used with permission by Crafty Staci.)

 Be sure to read all the comments for more detail.  I used a 17 inch round tub where she used a 22 inch oval tub and because of that, I had to use a smaller strainer.  I found a 3 inch bar sink strainer at Lowes.  The larger kitchen sink strainer overlapped the rounded ribs of the tub and would have been difficult to seal.  I got the tub at Tractor Supply but I noticed that Home Depot also has a similar tub.

There are also hundreds of tutorials on building the sink table. I found one similar to the one I made at Ryobi Tools but it was really an Ana White plan. The differences between hers and mine is that I didn't make a tall back (a 2x4 just fit the gap after the last deck board and made a nice backsplash) and didn't put the bracing on the back. I built my back just like the front.  And I had to add two support boards (identical to the side aprons but 2x2 instead of 2x4) on either side of the sink. I also made mine wider (it's 48 inches) and it is about an inch deeper.

Click on picture for tutorial.  (Photo used with permission from Ana White.)

So while I won't waste your time with another tutorial, what I will do for those who might want to make one of these someday is to show you some of my oops moments so you can avoid making them.

1.  Drilling the hole in the tub.  That is the scary part, and for good reason.  When I bought the strainer and told the plumbing department man what I was going to do, he said I needed a 1-3/4 inch hole saw for metal.  Not true.  After Hubby made the second hole with me holding the tub to keep it from spinning with the drill, I attempted to insert the strainer and found that it was about a quarter inch too small so I had to use a metal file to enlarge the hole.  What's a hole saw, you ask? This.  It fits on a drill.

Staci said her husband put a piece of wood and pounded on the center of the tub to make an area for the drain.  We did that also, not necessarily to make an area for the drain, but to make sure the bottom of the tub was solidly on that surface to drill into.  You can see that the bottom of the tub has a rim that holds it up about a quarter of an inch.

With my first attempt, I didn't do that, and after the bit cut through the final metal, it bounced, spun the tub, and made a jagged cut.  Rats again!

2.  Draining the sink.  Notice in Staci's picture that her tub has a flat bottom.  Mine has round, corrugated ridges, and those ridges keep the water from completely draining from the tub.  What I wish I had done was to pound the entire bottom of the tub so it had a concave shape.  If it really bugs me, I might try to go back and do that.  I put some suds in the sink so you can see how much doesn't drain completely.

3.  Drain pipe or not?  The man in the plumbing department also told me I needed a drain pipe attached to the strainer or the water would splatter into my bucket.  But that isn't true the way I built the table.  I use a five gallon bucket which just fits under the sink.  If I had a drain pipe, I wouldn't be able to get the bucket under the sink at all.

4.  Attaching the tub.  When I was trying to design this table, I thought I would just put the tub on a shelf under the counter.  But when I began building, I could see that that would make the table way too heavy and it would actually be in the way.  So I took a cue from my kitchen sink and attached straps to the 2x2s on either side of the sink.  Somewhere around here is some metal strapping, but it's probably packed in box under twenty other boxes, so I had to improvise.  I used the plastic strapping that held our lumber delivery together.  In this picture, I just have one strap on.  When finished, I had two straps, crossed under the sink.  When I find the metal strapping, I will change it out.

5.  Plan ahead.  Goes without saying, right?  Well I had this bright idea to hide my screws with wood plugs.  After I had the plugs glued in, I realized that we haven't found the sander yet.  Packed in one of those piles of boxes still in storage probably.  So, someday, when I find the sander, I'll sand off all those plugs.

I called this an outdoor sink table in my title, and someday it will be outside.  For now, it's beside my travel trailer to give me a big tub for washing dishes.  If you have ever washed a casserole dish in a tiny travel trailer sink, you know why I wanted a bigger sink.  I am not using the hand pump right now, but later, when the sink is outside, I'll put a bucket of water under it so kids can pump water.  This is a cistern pump that was handed down to us from Hubby's parents.  My kids loved pumping water when they were little and I hope it can be enjoyed again here.  You may remember it being in my galvanized tank pond at our last house.