Friday, January 12, 2018

New Kitchen Counter and Induction Burner

Crystal didn't like using the propane burner, and wanted a new counter.  We had experimented with an induction burner and found it very functional, but we wanted to build it into the counter to maximize counter space and reduce space to store the induction.  Also, I ended up switching to a very thin induction unit with more controls:

The new counter is acacia wood assembled somewhat like butcher block, which we purchased from an outfit local to us called Southeastern Salvage Home Emporium.  It's kind of a cross between Pier 1 and Big Lots.  I ended up using only about half of the board, so I can redo the table with the same wood later.

The process was supposed to be fairly straightforward:
  1. Remove the old gas burners and cap off the gas feed line.
  2. Remove the sink & faucet.
  3. Pull up the original counter.  This was difficult as there was a lot of screws hidden in places.
  4. Here's where I went slightly astray: I decided to get rid of the ugly covered offset in the backsplash, and ended up doing much more than originally planned:
    1. Removed the plastic backsplash (both pieces)
    2. Which necessitated removing the cabinet overhead
    3. While I was at it I removed the metal shield (later models use glass) over the burners
    4. Put copper sheeting on the bottom of the cabinet instead
  5. Organized a fresh bit of plywood to serve as the base of a new backsplash, which bridged and smoothed out the previous gap.
  6. Trimmed the counter to fit against the new backsplash
  7. Cut openings for the sink and the new induction burner
  8. Trimmed the counter down to about the same overhang on the front, but more on the left side to create extra counter space behind the screen door slider without need of a fold-up section.
  9. Cut angles on the corners to make it easier to move around
  10. Installed the sink and induction burner.  The induction burner rests on two wood bars I installed under it so that it's supported by it's original feet.  I drilled them down incrementally until the unit was flush with the counter.
  11. Finished the counter top with clear shellac.
  12. Installed copper tiles on the backsplash.
  13. We also put some oak veneer over some side panels.
It turned into a several week project, and still has one unfinished part: I need to build a wood trim piece to sit against the screen door slide, to reinforce it.  But in the meantime Crystal really likes her new kitchen!

Here's the video:

Replacing the toilet seal

As many have experienced, or rather smelled, the toilet seal on the Thetford toilet can sometimes not work as well as it should, and leak fl...