Don’t Sink This Project

January 31, 2012

If you’re at all like me, I kind of need an excuse to do the really grody (can you still use that word?) chores, say, like cleaning under the stove. I’ll get to that in a minute.

This past week/weekened, father Burb visited the BurbEx and helped us out with a number of projects, for no other reason less than because he is a foot taller than either of us (thanks for closing the heating vents!). He also brought a circular saw in to the household. This will allow us to get SO much more done! (read- very excited).

The first project we decided to tackle was to rip out the floor under our kitchen sink. Because we have had so many plumbing issues, the floor was saggy and nasty, so I thought it would be a nice surprise for Katie to put in a new floor. The most perplexing thing about ripping the floor out was discovering just how much of our kitchen (and house for that matter) were built in place. It makes it somewhat harder to do some of this because I’d hate to have our sink fall out because we moved a piece of molding, you know?

Anyway, the floor came out distressingly easily by breaking out the rotting away wood.

Anyhoo, you can see the floor being ripped out piece by piece. Perhaps the funniest part of this is that we found an interesting piece of wood. The guy that owned our house prior to us was a real “do it yourself-er” except that he really kind of sucked at it. Shortcuts and shoddy work, which is what we spend so much of our time fixing now. Anyway, the support wood stuck under the floor included this little gem.

“CA” are the first two letters of dude’s last name. It appears he was practicing his wood burning skillz before “fixing” the sink.

Once all the old floor was ripped out, we took measurements so that we could cut our new floor. Because the old floor was built in place, it was one solid piece around a pipe. We had to do two pieces to accommodate.

Yay! Twirly! I love my new saw. We decided to use quarter inch plywood for the new floor, as we had bracings running along the edges that held a groove for the floor to be set in to. We began by cutting the two pieces of the floor.

As you can see, our fancy saw horse is made up of our recycling bin. After cutting the two main floor pieces, we had to measure and cut out a chunk on each piece to fit the pipe. I made two cuts on each side, and then we used a screwdriver and rubber mallet to score and pop the piece out.

Once the pieces were completed, we were able to set them in to the floor space. However, the bracing with the quarter inch groove was not properly cut or something because the floor did not quite fit. We had to do some jiggering and have a slightly incline floor. Oh well.

You can see that these were winched in and then we used the rubber mallet to tap them down in to place. Once the floor was set in, it was snug enough to not really need any additional bracing or support. I added one piece of 2×2 along the left edge under where the board is because we cut the smaller piece of floor above, and it needed a support to sit upon. Otherwise, there was structure in the middle as you can see, and running along the right-hand side.

Once the floor was in, since it was too cold out to paint, I got cheap dollar store contact paper that will serve just fine for now. Again, cut to size, peel back the backing and place the paper down.



This tale comes with another epic story. Remember how I said I needed an excuse to clean under the stove? Well it came as the result of one of our cats engaging in mischief. When we first moved in to our house, we lost one of our cats for about three days. We couldn’t figure out if she got out, was hiding, or what happened. It turned out that there is a hole that was cut for no apparent reason that we can determine, in the back side of the sink and neighboring cupboard. That gave the cat space to get behind the cupboard and under the counter.

Initially, father Burb and I stapled some dipped chicken wire in to place. We threw a cat in the cupboard and she wasn’t able to get back there.

Done and done, so we thought. However, we underestimated the sheer panic and strength of a desperate cat, and she ripped the wire right down and got behind the cupboard.

Fine we said. We’ll take the food away when we can’t monitor and she’ll have to come out to get some. After a day and a half, we tried reaching back there and bodily removing her. However that didn’t work because the gap behind the counter was shaped like an L”

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Well, that’s supposed to look like an L. Anyway, she would hide back behind the corner where our arms, vacuum, tape measure, and other assorted items just couldn’t reach. We tried wet food, where the smell would drive her out after two days of no food. No luck. Finally, I decided that desperate times called for desperate measures.

I looked at possibly popping out a wall of the cupboard or something but again, because of the built in place nature of the entire construction, that wasn’t possible. I then began to wonder if it would be possible to pop the side panel off. Again, shoddy construction was a possibility. So after the third day, we pulled the stove out of place, cleaned under it, and then I began removing nails from the side panel.

Gross counter. Don’t worry, we cleaned it.

You can see the space behind the cupboard.

And the hole she got through.

Ultimately we got her out by prying back (rather than removing) the side panel, and when we could see her, I blew canned air at her. She did NOT like that so she ran to the other side of the L, which then allowed Katie to scare her out with the tape measure. She took off like a shot, and then I screwed in a piece of board I had cut to the right size, just for this occasion. No more hole, no more stuck cat. She’s now pouting in the cat tower.

I can’t wait to build more things, so we’ll definitely keep you posted on that.