Thursday, 27 September 2018

From Junk to Kitchen!

The first half of this journey can be visited HERE.

Once we were back home from Alaska, my first priority project was Anne's outdoor kitchen! Before we left, Anne's dad had run some wiring for us. It was easy enough for me to simply finish it up with the outlets and one master light switch.

The counters were each designed with specific things in mind. First, my dad had given me a cast iron gas stove years ago for just this sort of project. The stove sits up a few inches and in an outdoor environment cooking for a large group, one might want to use a large stock pot for stew, frying oil, or any other idea. This meant I needed a lower than normal counter to accommodate the stove itself and stock pots. Second, we wanted a small fridge, but a large enough one that would actually be useful for food prep. These types of fridges typically come in 34 or 36 inch tall varieties. 36 inches is about as tall as I wanted the counters to be, so I made sure there were enough 34 inch fridges with decent reviews. A 36 inch fridge would require a 38 inch tall counter because of the structure under the counter. Third, the sink was to be a big metal bucket style. It needed to be low enough to accommodate the tall sides, but high enough that one doesn't need to stoop over it. Fourth, I have tiles that are 12 inch by 24 inch. This means, for convenience sake, make the counters 24 inches deep and make a change at an even foot. The long counter that hosts the fridge is 8 feet long, then it drops exactly 12 inches so that a tile can be used vertically. The lower counter hosting the stove is the remaining length. Now that my dimensions are all decided, time to act.

The LEGS. I chose PVC to be legs because I had plenty leftover and I thought the round legs would look smoother than chunky rustic wooden 4 by 4s. I cut the PVC 1 inch shorter than my final height because the horizontal support will add another inch and the counter plywood is another half inch. With all my PVC cut, I strung them up on the clothes line and painted them. While they dried, I cut round pieces of wood and connected them to the floor where each leg would go and to the underside of my horizontal support. Once dry, I seated the legs onto the round floor guides. I secured the long horizontal supports to the plywood and Anne and I lifted this over the legs and I guided each leg to fit over its corresponding round guide. We did this for all three counters at three different heights. The sink counter is made of leftover floor slats (not plywood for tiling), but the same horizontal support board idea was used.

I put edging along the counters to hold in tile grout, set the tiles, and grouted the tiles. Then I painted the edging. I added an accent edge color to match the color tiles I used so that I wouldn't have to cut any big tiles. Make it look like I did it all on purpose!


Time to paint the exterior RED! My good old $65 WalMart special paint sprayer painted the new container house as well as the interior of this project and the exterior. This corrugated metal would be practically impossible without the sprayer.

Anne wanted lights to match the ones in the other areas of the property. We bought a strand and I plugged them into some Christmas-time clicker switches to have an off/on button.

Let there be light!
Dinner time!
The incoming plumbing is a simple garden hose. Anne buried it a few inches so we wouldn't accidentally mow it. The outgoing plumbing is a pipe to a garden hose to water the trees in the yard. 
Cutest bucket sink ever.
I think she likes it.
Anne is adding her own touches daily including plants in old pots outside the door. My grand finale was making signs for our spaces. Anne has cooked amazing meals using her outdoor kitchen every single day since its completion. Our small cabin stay cool and I think she feels like she's on vacation out there!


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