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The Kitchen - Part 4: Cabinets

The cabinets were a bitter-sweet project.  The sweet part was adding a couple new base cabinets, new countertops, new color and new handles.  The bitter part was kinda two-fold.  First - I wanted to tear them all out and start afresh, but at the same time this was a refresh more than a complete remodel.  Besides that - I hate to get rid of these huge, solid, built-in-place cabinets:


Alas, they had to stay, which was okay in the end because of my constant struggle to want to keep things here at 173 as close to "original" as I can (within reason).  One of the big problems in the kitchen is lack of counter space.  On the side with the sink, this was compounded by a third of the countertop essentially disabled by the design of the cabinets, and the low placement:


You can really see that in the area of that pineapple.  See how the sides of the cabinet sloped down?  Not only that, there was also a little half-shelf at the bottom of it - leaving about 3" below it to the counter, and maybe 10" in front (Sorry for the terrible quality - early cell phone camera!):


In a kitchen with precious little counter space - this was a real hindrance.  Maybe this is a better picture:


After much deliberation, there was only one thing to do.  Pull out this saw:


And have at it:


Believe it or not, it made a huge difference!  Then there's the counter tops.  Look closely at the picture below.  Ah heck - you don't even have to look closely!


Notice the two different tops?  One is the 1950s teal blue (which I like by the way), and the other is a wood grain laminate.  That's because of this thing!:


Yes, ladies and gentlemen!  That's the sink/dishwasher combo.  It may have been a good idea in the '50s, but it was hideous!  And, it was so old, the dishwasher hasn't been used for anything but a storage cabinet for the past 20 years!  But let me tell you something - that stinkin' thing was built to last!  Couple that with Mr. Mosher installing it to withstand a nuclear blast and you have almost 8 hours of cussin' and swearin' trying to get that thing out!


I mean, I had to literally tear it out.  That dishwasher was incredibly heavy, but I was so frustrated by the time I got it out that I picked it up, hauled it outside and dumped it in the yard until Sunday night when one of those guys that pick up scrap metal on trash night helped me haul it to his truck.


All of which left the kitchen with a view of every color and surface used in the kitchen in the 90 year history of 173!


Oh, and here's the dishwasher wiring just a-comin' through the wall!


Then came time to figure out how to reconfigure a couple new base cabinets and marry them up with a couple old/original ones.  I hated to cut into the cabinet floor, but in the end, you do what you gotta do.


You know how, when you pay money for something, even at a very affordable price, and you just don't want to screw something up to the point you'd have to go buy another one?  And you know all the pressure you put on yourself?  Well, I had to cut part of the counter off because I just couldn't squeeze another inch of wallspace...so I got a bit stressed.  Setting up for the cut involved more than just a few YouTube videos (again), and at least an hour of measuring, aligning, and re-measuring and re-aligning.  I was going to use my little 4" circular saw, but I got nervous about controlling it, so I went with the trusty ol' hand saw!


Meanwhile, with uneven walls and unlevel floors, installation of the cabinets was a ball!  And trying to fit the sink base just so was a bit tricky too, but it did end up coming together.


Then, of course, came another cut in the counter.  I'd never cut a hole for a sink before, so I watched a another bunch of YouTube videos - really, a ridiculous number of YouTube videos.  After all that, I nearly screwed it up anyway, but it worked out - barely.


Eventually, the cabinets and sink were all installed:


Luckily, the base cabinet on the other side of the kitchen didn't require any cutting (except for one small thing I'll get to later - probably!).


Here's a little bonus shot so you can see both counters at once.  It also shows the extent of mess that was going on in the kitchen!


One more bonus shot - told ya - MESS!


And that's the story of the cabinets.  We're getting there, I suppose the next post will be about the painting of it all!

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