Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Carpenter…

I’m a versatile kind of guy. When I’m presented with mystifying information, I try my best to look at it from all angles. Study possible permutations. Seek alternate explanations. So after long and careful cogitation and rumination, mixed with a copious number of naps, I’ve come to the conclusion that my wife takes perfectly good pictures with her cellphone. It must be me that’s out of focus.

It pains me to think on it, but I’ve passed on some sort of blurry gene to my sons as well. They appear to be out of focus all the time, too. There’s also some sort of dark aura or emanation all around us, causing pictures of us to look underwater. Of course, we’re only underwater financially, but something is causing it. It must be me.

So here we are installing several of the very few closed cabinets in this kitchen. This set is going over the stove, which is under that fuzzy moving blanket. If you ever have to install cabinets like this, it’s smart to attach as many of them together as you can lift, and install them as a unit. They go together hard one at a time on the wall. I’m removing the cleat we used to support the cabs while we attached them to the studs in the wall. The backsplash will eventually cover the leftover screw holes, so we don’t worry about makin ’em.

I like open shelving in the kitchen. I don’t like it around the stove. Even when there’s a range hood (coming soon), cooking fumes makes stuff greasy right around the stove. Spices and such come in so many package configurations and sizes that they display poorly out in the open. And directly over the stove cabinets don’t usually get daily use. That’s a recipe for greasiness if they’re not enclosed.

Since I’ve already maligned so many kitchen designs, I might as well keep going, and tell you I hate overlay kitchen doors. I only use inset doors when I build cabinets. They’re fussy to fit, so they’re not as popular as they used to be. I like the way they look, and the gratifying thunk they make when the magnetic catch hits home.

There she be. My poor, long-suffering wife finally has a hood with a light over her stove. It was the cheapest thing at the home store, but she still hugged the box when I brought it home. Little things like that are important in a kitchen. Good light, sharp knives, unlocked booze cabinets nearby; that sort of thing.

Working late here, I gather. Either that, or it’s finally winter, when the sun comes up just over the horizon, looks ashamed of itself, and then sets behind the mountains about four hours later. These cabinets were exactly to my wife’s specifications. Open shelves for big bowls and things on the left, All the pots and pans in deep drawers on the right. They’re just plopped there, waiting to be attached to each other, shimmed to the floor, and screwed to the wall. The inspector is hard at work, as usual.

Speaking of things made to order, Mrs. Cottage was tired of a trash barrel running around loose in the kitchen. I went out on the intertunnel and priced pull out trash cabinet hardware. Apparently, everyone but me is an Arab sheik with an oil well out back. I couldn’t believe how much they cost. Let’s make one.

We had a cabinet shell that wasn’t good for anything else, so we used that. I had some very heavy-duty drawer slides. We bought two plastic buckets for cheap. The pullout part is just a tray with two rounded rectangles cut out of its top. It’s all made with scrap 3/4″ birch plywood, which was already prefinished.

The front is just a simulacrum of a cabinet, with a honking big handle to make opening and closing it easy. Trash in the front, recycling in the rear, just like the town dump. We’ll put a proper piece of countertop on it later. Having a counter on both sides of the stove is nearly mandatory in kitchen design, if you ask me.

The other cabinets are affixed to the wall and floor now. We plopped a length of demolished countertop on them to keep the kitchen humming. We’ll find a use for it somewhere when we install the real countertops.

Of course, like everything else in the house, the wall wasn’t plumb, or flat, or at right angles to anything else, so i shimmed it and skinned it over with drywall to get ready for finishes. Purple drywall is for damp locations, of course. That location ain’t damp, but the purple color is nice, ain’t it, and we already had the piece in the house.

So I guess it must have been the fall, because my regular helper is nowhere to be found in the pictures. He must have been in class. Luckily, I had another helper to step in and hold one end of the trim while I nailed it off.

[To be continued. To help support Sippican Cottage, tell a friend about us, link to us, subscribe for our intermittent updates, hit the tip jar, or buy a book. Thanks!]

4 Responses

  1. Oh, I’m gonna overstep my bounds and make a (dare I say it) suggestion.

    I dunno where you got the cheap plastic buckets for the garbage, but I can almost guarantee you that sooner or later, one (maybe both, eventually) will crack or break. It’s a rule of thumb, if it’s not wood or metal, and sometimes even if it is, it’s going to deteriorate and break. I’ve got some of those 5-gallon water containers made out of blue plastic, and even though they’ve been stored out of sunlight the plastic deteriorates until they’re brittle and snap like twigs.

    The problem is that when you go to replace them, you’ll never find exactly the same ones again. Maybe something similar , but with Murphy in charge his laws take effect, and you won’t be able to find one to just pop in to replace the old one(s). Here’s the suggestion: Buy a couple of spares as soon as you can from the same place you got these, and hide them away, even from yourself, so that you have them as backups. If they’re a couple of bucks a pop it’s cheap insurance to not have to re-cut the plywood openings, or replace it with new wood (of course, given your skills that’s probably not a lot of effort for you like it would be for me). Hey, you can always stuff ’em in the rafters of the basement’s basement. You’ll look like a miracle worker when you produce them for your wife following the Great Garbage Can Emergency five or ten years from now.

  2. Hi Blackwing- You’re not going to be popular around here, talking sense like that. The readers get used to listening to me, and any sensible idea sounds strange to them after a while. They might become agitated. But if my ship comes in, I’m buying two more. But don’t tell anyone.

  3. “I like open shelving in the kitchen.”

    I hate open shelving in the kitchen, ’cause grease eventually goes everywhere (check the top of your ‘fridge in 6 months).

    Now two of my kitchen would fit into one of yours, so when it came time to replace the old cabinets, I pretended to be an Arab oil sheik and bought new ones, with inset glass fronts. Nice and tidy; the room isn’t any bigger but it LOOKS bigger. And—all the ugly, mismatched cups and crockery practically begged to be given a new home with the local thrift shop, so I obliged them.

    The best part was the enthusiastic approval of my wife, the Queen of Tidyness, She Who Will Not Tolerate Clutter. Nor dirty dishes or an unsquared corner in a stack of books.

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