Slow progress on the Kitchen

We pushed hard throughout the summer to get the kitchen back to functional. With Susanna not working, the boys stuck at home, and no family vacation, we were able to move back into the kitchen a few months. Once we were back into the kitchen, things slowed down a lot.

Pantry cabinet, refrigerator and coffee nook – starting to look lived in.

In September, the kids went back to school, Izzy started school, and Susanna started work. And things slowed down. That isn’t to say, I got nothing done. I have installed most of the trim, cabinet toe kick trim.

Earlier this fall.

I have a few things left to finish at this point. We are tiling the backsplash ourselves. This last weekend, I tiled the nook behind the stove (seen open in the picture above). Susanna and I plan on tiling the wall this Saturday.

After we tile the wall, I need to finish the trim around the windows. It has been nearly impossible to remove the window sill trim without breaking it. I’ll need to make new sills and finish trimming the window. The window sills aren’t difficult to make, I just need to take some time in the shop and just build them. I even have an old one pulled out to duplicate.

And then it is just finishing touches. I need to order and install the baseboard trim. Again, and easy project – it just requires measuring the walls.

The final project that needs to be done is to build a radiator cover. But that wall isn’t part of the functional kitchen, so the windows and radiator are last on my list…

I’ll try to get some better pictures tomorrow.

Kitchen Update

Our plans had been to have a family trip to Europe this summer and renovate the kitchen in 2021. When the craziness of the spring spilled into the summer, we cancelled our tickets to Europe and decided to instead renovate the kitchen.

Susanna and the boys started the demolition in the beginning of July, and then I spent a few weeks updating services and hanging the drywall (with some help from Ben). The boys were stuck at home for the better part of the summer, so we had lots of help during the hard part of the project.

Earlier this month, Susanna spent two weeks finishing the ceiling and walls, from the joint compound, through sanding and finally painting. Then, last weekend, we rented a sander and spent 8+ hours sanding the one hidden gem we found during renovation – a hardwood floor under the linoleum kitchen floor.

The kitchen layout is similar to the old layout, however we did eliminate a window to give us more cabinet space, and moved the fridge. Eventually we will pick up a counter depth fridge to fit with the cabinets. We purchased cabinets from IKEA, and while I don’t really like their furniture, their kitchen cabinets are pretty easy to install and seem to be of reasonable quality. The rail system for hanging the uppers makes lining them up a snap. So no complaints there.

This weekend we hung the cabinets on the wall where the fridge will go. The next week or two will be doing the other two walls and working on trim and other finishing touches. We aren’t too far from having a partially usable kitchen!

First wall of cabinets installed, with a space for the refrigerator. They still need the toe kick installed, and the side panels to match the color, but progress! But the coffee nook is ready for use with a temporary countertop.

Workshop Updates – Quarantine

I have had a lot of extra time over the last two months. I have been able to go into work part-time, and have to work from home the rest of the time. For a few weeks I was only able to go into the office for 10-15 hours a week, but am back to 5.5 hours/day in the office and 2.5 hours at home. I set up my telework workspace in my workshop – that allows me to get out of the house and work without too many distractions (at least not limits the 4-year old distractions).

As part of preparing my workspace, I removed my old, small desk from the workshop, and built in a new larger space. That gives me room for two computers (work and personal) without having one on top of the other.

My new desk space in the workshop. I moved the computer into the closet next to my workspace. I added a cat door (bottom left) so the barn cats can go upstairs for food and I can keep the door to the second floor shut for heat.

In addition to my desk area, I have been spending a lot of time cleaning and organizing the workshop. I have been spending evenings over the past few weeks cleaning out the closet. I moved my personal computer into the closet, which will hopefully keep the dust down on it. I built a shelf and am in the process of building storage drawers.

The closet is heated, so I can keep paint/glue in it over the winter. I’m trying to keep the resins and glue a little better organized so I can be ready when it is warm enough outside to work on the boat.

Rearranged closet with a glue/epoxy station on the right, and paint storage under the shelf. I have one additional shelf to install under the printer and should finish off the ceiling with some scrap lumber

Once I finish cleaning up the rest of the space, I’ll add pictures of the (hopefully) organized workshop.

A new (and crazy) project for 2019

Macwester 26 Sailboat – moved from storage in Groton to our yard.

Getting a boat is always a bad idea. The question will be how bad of an idea this one will be. The first step, moving it from the storage yard to home went without a problem. The trailer needed 4 new tires, but the rest of it is in decent shape. The lights even worked (which was not expected).

I had been keeping my eye out for a new family sailboat. I was looking for something bigger than the O’Day 22 we previously owned. But one small enough to keep on a trailer. I really wanted one with an inboard engine and a proper head (toilet). This had both. Plus was a reasonably shallow draft, which is good for exploring Long Island Sound.

I had looked at the boat a few years ago, but the price was higher than I wanted to pay at the time. The previous owner listed it again this year. He lives in Colorado and was tired of paying for storage. So I decided to go take another look at it.

Cabin – looking forward from the aft end.

I initially looked at the boat with a couple of friends from work in late November. It was a mess. I didn’t want it. It had a few inches of water over the cabin deck, and was filled with foam pieces (almost like an animal had been living inside of it). However, a week later, the owner asked if I could pump the water out of it, and would give me the dinghy behind it if I would. I wasn’t interested in the dinghy, but I figured I could spend an hour and pump it out.

Will and I went down to the boat, but the water in the bilge was frozen, so we couldn’t pump it out. However, we cleaned up two garbage bags of trash, and the foam pieces. It was just foam from the hull-liner, and the cushions were in perfect shape (just dirty), so no animal living on the boat.

We went down a few more times and did some more cleaning and looked around. The diesel engine turned over by hand, the rudder and screw turned easily. The biggest problem is that the trailer tires were shot, and the rudder was coming apart and needs to be repaired. The access to the diesel is excellent, so working on the engine won’t be too difficult.

Rudder in need of repair.

I spend more time talking to the owner. I wasn’t planning on sailing in 2019 and was only looking to pick one up if it was a really good deal. This one wound about as cheap as they get. It was sitting in a storage yard costing the previous owner around $100/month. I initially offered to take the boat at no cost so he didn’t have to keep paying for storage. After some more talking, we finally came to an agreement at a cost of approximately two months of storage fees. So I picked up a new boat for a total of $200 plus four new trailer tires.

I asked a friend to help tow the boat, and he towed it the 10 miles home on Saturday afternoon. Now comes the process of cleaning it up over the next year or so. I’ll probably redo the electrical (because I like doing that sort of thing). The topside and bottom both need to be repainted (at least the bottom below the waterline). The diesel needs to be tuned up and returned to running condition. And the inside needs a good cleaning, some new hull liner, and some paint. The wood is dirty, but mostly in good shape. The rub rail needs to be replaced in sections, but none of the fiberglass is soft.

Cabin looking aft.

I will try to start posting here again for 2019 – I pretty much dropped off for the past 5 months.

Keeping cool…

A couple of pictures of us making the best of a very hot weekend. The mini-pool was a great idea – thanks to Susanna!

Susanna and Izzy in the pool

Ben and his little sister playing in the pool.

Izzy, keeping cool on a very hot weekend.

Will at Devil’s Hopyard State Park.

Sunday at Mystic Seaport

This morning I dropped Ben off at the Seaport for his first day as a junior volunteer. Susanna’s dad, Dan, joined Isabella and me for a morning at the museum. It was the wooden boat show weekend, so the museum was packed. We arrived at the museum more than 30 minutes before opening to drop Ben off and there was already a line to get in the door.

Dan, Isabella and I spend a few hours walking around enjoying the show, although all Izzy wanted to do was meet dogs and throw gravel into the river.

Boats, Mystic Seaport Museum

At Mystic Seaport with morfar.

Waiting for Mystic Seaport to open.

Waiting for the museum to open

At the water table, children’s musuem, Mystic Seaport

Weekend Pictures

A few pictures of Sunday. We spent the afternoon by the pool to escape the heat.

Enjoying a cool dip in the pool on a hot day.

Ben and Izzy drawing on the patio.

Plus a few of Izzy at the Mystic Seaport from the previous weekend:

Isabella in a barrel at the cooperage, Mystic Seaport Museum

Checking out one of the sawhorses at the shipyard at Mystic Seaport Museum.

Workshop time with Benjamin

Tonight Ben decided to head out to the workshop to work on his chess set. We have milled lumber for half of the pieces (the white pieces) and glued up the wood for the board. He put tape down on the board tonight, and I helped him mark out 2″ x 2″ squares. He cut out the individual squares and then used black spray paint to paint the dark squares. The light squares will remain natural wood color.

In the meantime, I spent some time cleaning up window trim (so I can paint it tomorrow) and picking up the workshop.

Spray painting the chess board.

Cutting out the chess squares on the board.