Saturday, December 25, 2010

Base/Plinth Installation

Just prior to the hardwood floor installation, I had put in a temporary base/plinth design at the bottom of the new wraps I built at the entrance of the dining room.  Since I'm in between major projects, this made a great time to circle back and finish these wraps once and for all.  The temporary design is below.

 To dress up the wraps, I wanted a simple build-up design that added dimension where the wrap met the floor.  The possibilities here are endless.  I decided to keep the design in the theme I had with the other moulding I had put in throughout the home.  The first step was to put in a base/plinth that was higher than the baseboard yet shorter than the cut-out design.  I went with a sixth inch height.  I cut MDF to size on the table saw and mitered the edges on the compound miter saw.  MDF was a good choice for the blocks as MDF is stable (when not around water) and takes paint like a champ.  It produces alot of dust so be careful when cutting.  The mitered edges avoided my having to fill the rough/porous edges.  Below is the dry fit.

After the dry fit was good, I attached the blocks with an 18-guage pneumatic nail gun.  Senco is nailer  brand I prefer - typically used by the pros so it is good enough for me.

Next, I attached a shoe mould over the block to provide a simple transition to the wrap surface and re-attached/adjusted the base moulding.

Next, I tapped off the surrounding areas and painted the area.  When painting crucial projects like this, I go with the best paint possible.  That is, Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore.  The paints like Behr and Valspar provide great colors but the quality cannot compare.  Thus, when it matters most, I go with the good stuff.  In this case, I used Duration from Sherwin.  This is a paint/primer in-one mixture that is by far the best paint I have used in the past 15 years - no comparison.  This particular paint is exterior paint - yep - exterior paint.  You can use exterior paint on the interior...but never vise versa.  Don't make that mistake.

Cut/install the shoe moulding...and you have the finished product.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Custom Wood Range Hood

The final renovation project for the kitchen is now finished!!  After much planning and design, I built and installed a custom wood range hood.  Thankfully I am somewhat adept with woodworking as the same cabinet design was quoted to us at over $2,000 which was a total ripoff.  If you search the internet for resources for building such a hood, there is very little out there.  Some of the best ideas I got came from touring homes that were in the process of being custom built.  

Below are the photos showing progression of the installation.  

Demolition - removed the previous cabinet - when we moved in the house, a microwave was installed below the cabinet.  Now the microwave rests in the center island.  It was quite painful cutting through the cabinet's three-layer crown I custom built two years ago but it had to be done.  

I pre-built a frame to exact specifications to enclose the blower surround (bottom) yet fit perfectly in the space between the cabinets.  Not exactly a job for the faint of heart.  Went in the first time with no problems.  Sides built out of 3/4" birch hardwood/plywood and framed with the help of a KREG pocket hole jig set. I set the depth such that the hood would come outward 6" from the existing cabinets - certainly adds dimension to the cabinets now.  I also applied birch edge-band (hot melted) on the sides' bottom edges.

Installed the base blower/power pack very easily.  Manufacturer of blower sold surround to fit perfectly.  Luckily my electrical was in place from the old microwave.

Custom built my own duct work.

Attached the front frame - built out of 1 x 4 and 1 x 6 S4S and put together with the help of a KREG pocket hole jig set, of course.  Corbels, courtesy of, were attached in anticipation of holding a shelf.

Repaired existing crown and installed new crown to match.  Built/installed a shelf.  Routed out a channel for displaying any dish we choose (example dish shown)....and here you have it!!...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Birthday and Snow

Today is Johna's birthday and a gift of white powder has arrived.  We're taking the day of rough weather to get some holiday baking done.