Saturday, January 14, 2017

Another kitchen update

"Another post soon" - famous last words for a blogger. When last we left the kitchen cabinetry we'd finished the South wall and were getting ready to turn the corner toward the stove. And then Thanksgiving and Christmas happened and it took a while to get back to it.

The corner has not only been turned, it's reached the stove. Hooray!

Chris chose to build the corner cabinet in place rather than do it out in the shop. It's big for one thing and the thought of carrying it into the house was daunting. Also, it's been freezing cold outside and it didn't make a lot of sense to heat the shop. 
Building a massive corner cabinet
I've got three shelves in the cupboard. The bottom shelf is (obviously) full depth and will hold lots of heavy, bulky items like crockpots, canning equipment, fryers, and other small appliances.
That's how big that cabinet is! Fantastic storage.

The second shelf is a bit over half as deep (15 inches) and is 11 inches off the bottom shelf. Why 11? Because that's how tall my tallest pot & lid combo is. And the 15 inch depth? We got there by having me lean into the cupboard to put away the crockpot in the very back corner. Chris then measured from the wall to see where my head was; so I can easily reach into the corner without whacking my noggin. Very practical, these measurements.
Test fitting a few items
And the top shelf is 9 inches higher than the second (yup, that's the height of my tallest stock pot/strainer combo) and is 8 inches deep. I designed the top shelf to fit my frying pans. The handles extend into space and are easy to grab. I don't keep my cast iron on that shelf simply because it's too heavy to grab out one-handed, but all the other flat pans go there. The very corner of the top shelf is not 90 degrees. Instead it bridges the sides so that I can put something a bit deeper there (like my grill pan).

The shelfs are made of cabinet grade hardwood plywood and Chris faced them with cherry. They looks so nice that I'm rethinking my plan to put cabinet doors here. I may leave it open instead (for anyone wondering why there is light peeking through from the top, the counter wasn't complete when I took the picture).
Starting to put stuff away
Connecting the two counters was tricky. We decided on a stepped pattern rather than a mitered corner. We like the visual texture better but that darn ash is really moving around on us. We're going to leave it, gaps and all, for a year to see what the summer weather does to it. If it stabilizes we'll fill the gap with copper, much like we did on the stair landing. 

We were worried (okay, not worried really, but mildly concerned) that the new section of counter wouldn't stain the same as the sink section. Remember we're using homemade natural stain. It varies. A lot. Well, we needn't have worried. Came out great.
Hard to tell we stained them weeks apart and with different batches.
We decided to put a double edge on the back of the counter. Design-wise it sort of matches the floor trim, the shaved raw wood edge at the top, the same curve to the bottom. So I like how it ties everything together. Functionally, it solves the problem of shrinking boards. See, it's actually mounted to the wall, not the countertop. The bottom trim edge is wide enough to hide the gap when the boards shrink. I confess we felt pretty darn clever when we thought of that.
So now Chris is working on drawers. I specified depth and he mocked one up. Drawer depths were again determined by the stuff that will reside inside. The top two drawers are 3.5 inches deep for utensils, pot holders, and knives (I like enough room to actually lay stuff out flat; I hate jumbled tools. I'll have to do a post on what's inside the drawers when we're all finished). The next two drawers are 5.5 inches deep and will hold smaller pots and their lids as well as my braising pan. The bottom drawer is 7.5 inches deep and fits my 3 and 4 quart saucepans with lids. The drawer fronts are cherry and will darken to match the vertical cupboard edges. I really think the whole thing is going to look wonderful - and be incredibly functional.
Testing the drawer design
I've been playing around with ideas for the drawer and cabinet pulls. Not sure what I'm going to land on yet but so far stones or old silverware are the front runners.


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