Saturday, September 29, 2018

Kitchen Cart Makeover

A few weeks ago, someone left this cart beside our driveway. It was the evening before trash day and they probably wanted it to go out with our trash.

But I saw that it had wheels and took it in to remove the wheels. Turns out, it was the same height as our table saw and I used it a few days as a feed table for the table saw to cut some whole sheets of plywood. Just as I was about to take off the wheels and haul the cabinet back to the end of the driveway, Hubby mentioned that we might use it temporarily for garage storage. I've built a few cabinets for the garage, but no drawers yet. After looking it over again, I thought it might work in a spot I wanted to use for cooking in the garage.  I needed to make a narrow cabinet to fit between the refrigerator and freezer.  Earlier in the summer, I built a dutch oven cook table, but I didn't want to leave it outside all the time even though it was built out of pressure treated wood.  Instead, I wanted to store it under a counter in the garage so it wouldn't take up good counter space.

With the wheels off, I needed to build a new base for the cabinet, and since I wanted my dutch oven cabinet to slide under it, I needed take off the base anyway. The cabinet was completely made with mdf except for the thin butcher block top and drop leaf.  I started by taking everything apart and refinishing the butcher block top.  I used the two shelves in it to build a new base and reinforced with some scrap wood, and used the old base to make stretchers across the back. Then I refaced the cabinet with some scrap pine. I probably should have rebuilt the drawers as they are fairly shallow, but for now, I just built new drawer fronts. Attached to the wall, it is sturdy.

With my rebuilt drawer fronts, the original drawer screws were too short. When I tried using longer screws, I found that the original screws were metric. At first, I thought the cabinet was from Ikea, especially with the metric screws and being made of mdf, but I didn't see anything like it on their website. It probably came from Target or Walmart. It looked like something that had to be assembled by the buyer with a hex key. Since I didn't have any screws with the right threads, I decided to buy new pulls instead of new screws. Until I found some, I just made some pulls out of scrap. Later, I found some cute pulls at the big box store with the same spacing.  The dutch oven table fit under it with the concrete pavers removed.

With a curtain held in place with tension rods, and cabinets on both sides, no one will ever know it's not built of solid pine.

I used the attached towel holder and some of the leftover shelf scraps to build a new towel rack but I haven't finished that yet.  I made a shelf above it to hold eye wash and first aid supplies and then I cut the John Deere logo with a scroll saw.  Since the wall is a blue green, I didn't want to paint the shelf green and let Hubby pick the color.  It looks good against the wall.  Eventually, it will go on the wall to the left of this cabinet.  But that wall hasn't been painted yet.

After the cabinet was finished, the only leftoever pieces were the doors, the butcher block leaf, and the wheels.

Friday, September 28, 2018

First Real Modification to Our Fifth Wheel Trailer

In the RV world, mods are things done to an RV to make it work better or be more comfortable. We've done a few things, like added some stick on lights and towel bars, but nothing major. So this is my first.

The bottom part of the corner tv cabinet has a big open space with two doors separated by a panel.  The panel makes it hard to get to anything behind it, but I'm sure it is supporting the rest of the cabinet, thus the size.  Also, it was dark in there.  To take this photo, I had to hold a flashlight in one hand and the camera in the other.  Otherwise, the inside would look like the cubby above it on the left side - another odd little space.

We've never really known what to do with this space, especially since it doesn't have any shelves.  The previous owners had a laundry basket in it, and we tried that, but dirty clothes were always falling off the side into the black hole behind the panel, and hard to reach over the laundry basket.  They left the laundry basket in the cabinet, probably because it wouldn't come out easily.  We put various things in the odd shaped space on the left side and eventually just started tossing our shoes in there until they too ended up behind that panel and were hard to reach.

This week, I decided I'd had enough and I made some cardboard organizers.  If you'll notice, the cabinet is an irregular wedge shape and the corner on the left is walled off for something electrical. That makes the cabinet space wide at one end and narrow at the other end, with even less space in that one corner.

One of the biggest issues with an RV is the amount of weight it can carry and that the pickup can tow. Every pickup and trailer comes with its own weight limit called the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Ours is 8800 pounds. That sounds like a lot until you start subtracting the dry weight of the trailer, the weight of water carried in the tanks, and the amount of cargo stowed in the trailer. The dry weight of our trailer is 7153. Then there are the unseen or unnoticed extras like the vent covers, the septic hoses, water hoses, surge protector, water regulator, filters, jacks and levelers, camp chairs, rugs, power tools and tool box, and storage bins for all that stuff. And we haven't even made it inside the trailer where the fun stuff is. It adds up fast.

I'm always amazed when I see RV remodels where someone has taken out the RV cabinets and replaced with a solid wood item. (RV cabinets are built with 1x1s, 1x2s, and 1/8" plywood. Yes, it's cheap, but it's also light weight. I don't know if they are aware they have a weight limit or if they just don't care. Going over the weight limit makes the trailer harder to pull, harder to stop, and it's just dangerous for them and everyone on the same road.

So with that in mind, I made these organizers out of cardboard. Heaven only knows we have enough of the stuff here and more delivered every week. I doubled the cardboard pieces, put them together with hot glue, and attached all the pieces with reinforced packing tape. They seem pretty solid, but time will tell.

Since we need to be able to access the electrical corner of the cabinet, I couldn't install anything permanently, so I made these pieces fit snugly together. No one piece could be very big and still get through the doors either. I'm not sure what the manufacturer was thinking when they designed this. A lot of people have put a fireplace there, but with it tucked behind the dining booth, we wouldn't be able to see it, or feel any heat, so this is a better option for us. Plus, we didn't have anywhere else to put shoes or the vacuum.  I also made room for a small printer and our big collection of plastic tote bags, aka trash bags.

Here they are in place.

And loaded with stuff.

I also added a small, stick on light so we can see what's in there.  Next, dividers for the upper cabinet in the kitchen.  Not that there is a separate kitchen in our RV; if I stand in the middle of the room, I can be in the kitchen, dining room and living room at the same time.  As tiny house people say, it's not crowded, it's cozy.  Liars.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Funny Feline Friday

I think my cat is a masochist. He thinks he is a martyr.

This is not the face of a happy cat. This is his accusing look. Blaming me for the too small, too hard, and too uncomfortable bed he is in.

He has a soft, cushy bed.

But will he sleep in it? No. He sleeps in every new box that comes in, and under boxes that are propped against another box. He sleeps on the rug in front of the door so he can see us from all directions. He sleeps inside the coiled garden hose. He sleeps on an uneven pile of lumber. But he won't sleep in his bed. So it was no surprised to see him sleeping in this tub that had been in the pond for a year and smelled like pond scum. I threw a rug in it to make it more comfortable, and then he wouldn't sleep in it anymore.

He likes to be wherever we are working, regardless of the noise or mess, so it should have been no surprise to find that he had made himself at home in this container. It is right in the middle of the room we are insulating.

It looks a little like a cat bed, but it isn't. It is a cast iron hibachi that I put on some wood to flatten it, and I put a towel over it to keep the dust and cat hair from sticking to the oil on it.

It can't be comfortable, and not just because it is iron. See the middle? The damper is in the middle of the hibachi, sticking up right where Buddy's lying.

After I took these pictures, I moved the damper to the side and covered it back up. Then, I put a chair cushion on the floor for him to sleep on. When I came back through the next time, he was back in the hibachi. Silly cat.

Linking to:
Feline Friday at Comedy Plus