Monday, November 22, 2010

Upstairs Kitchen... Officially Retired!

I never thought I'd see the day but I'm finally using the downstairs kitchen! There's still some minor work to be finished but I'm moved in and it's in daily use now. The upstairs kitchen is pretty well cleaned out now and I've already removed the upper cabinets. I'll spend the next month slowly trashing the cabinets, counters, etc and getting rid of the fridge/stove. Just to show you the style that somebody thought was better than chestnut woodwork and real craftsmanship... groovy man! Eek... someone had enough sense to paint over it at some point.

Meanwhile it's outage season again and I already worked 25 days in a row (10 hr days) so the house has taken a bkac seat for a bit. Here's a taste of what I'm talking about when I refer to "outage season"... taking apart big turbines, wiring, controls work, rebuilding valves, etc, etc.... basically 6 months of maintenance work crammed into a few weeks before everyone wants to turn their heat or AC and demand for electricity is high. Here's our #8 steam turbine apart. This unit will make 450 megawatts of electricity.... 1 MW will power about 750 homes!

I have done a few things though. First I found an original Scott Paper towel holder from I guess the 20s-30s. Scott Paper was just down the street in Chester making this a neat item to have in my retro kitchen. I sandblasted and gave it a fresh coat of paint... it's now ready for another 50 yrs of use!

Another neat find was a 1940s Cosco step stool. A must have in a old kitchen... especially one with high cabinets. The steps fold under the seat of course. I was going to go with an older wood style version till I found this... and at $25 I couldn't resist. This will be sandblasted and receive a fresh coat of paint soon too. Not sure what colors I want to use yet.

Finally I whipped up a few birdhouses and feeder for a birthday present. I think I may have to make a few for myself too! They turned out pretty good.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Fridge!

It was a bit of an adventure trying to pick it up... and even more getting it in the house myself... but it's finally here! It's the Northstar model 1952 from Elmira Stove Works. Because it was a display model with a small 1 inch scratch in it, the price was knocked off a third... sounds good to me! I should be moving into the "new" kitchen by this weekend... finally!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hooks, Racks, and More Hooks

By special request I'm posting about my quest for organization in the new kitchen...

Pots and pans are always a PIA to store, so I spent some time looking for options that didn't cost as much as the pots and pans themselves! My solution?? A simple lid rack for around $10 on the door (though I did have to make a slight modification) and some hooks threaded into the butcher block to hang the pans and smaller pots. Oh, and after 10 years I finally sprung for a nice stainless cookware set!

Next was an idea actually borrowed from the salvaged stepback cupboard. Hooks with spring locks to hang mugs...making use of the empty space about the plates, bowls, etc. There was an old set of these installed in the cupboard, but they were heavily painted over so I removed them. I managed to find some new ones online and installed for my fiesta mugs and china set. These are a great space saver!

The wine rack is finished and newly stocked. It worked out really well and stores more than I expected (about 30 bottles).... now which bottle to christen the new kitchen with???

Today my latest EBAY find arrived... a chrome canister set from the 40s/50s. It's a neat set with deco style font for coffee, sugar, tea, and flour. They go nice with the stove and other retro items in the kitchen, plus I got a good deal on the set!

Tomorrow I get the new fridge. I was able to get the one I really wanted, but managed to get a display model that was 1/3 less in price because of a 1 inch scratch. I think I can live with it!! It was shipped from Ohio and is waiting for me at the shipping companies philly hub. I also picked up a neat old Scot Towel paper towel holder that should arrive any day. It will need sandblasting and new paint before I get to install it.... stay tuned, the end of this project is in site!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Appliance Time

I'm at the point now where it's time to get all the appliances installed permanently in the kitchen. The stove is finished and ready for service, so next up was the dishwasher. Other than having to change out the valve I installed, the dishwasher went in without a problem and is hooked up. I finished running the circuits for the dishwasher and the microwave/toaster oven, so now these are all in service!

An upgrade I made from my earlier plan was adding a garbage disposal to the sink. Originally this was going to be an open bottom sink. The plumbing I installed is all chrome plated instead of PVC since I figured it would show and of course a disposal would be out of the question. Then I built the base for the sink... so now a disposal was a no-brainer. I ran a circuit under the sink and installed a GFI/switch combo in a box to plug the disposal in. The GFI outlet is wired through the switch, so you have to open the cabinet door and turn on the switch to operate the disposal. Due to the construction of the wall and the windows, adding a wall switch at this point is just not an option. I won't be using it too often so the hidden switch won't be that much of an inconvenience.

The floors are finally cleaned up of glue residue using mineral spirits. Then they were mopped with a cleaning solution and finally several coats of a buffless wax finish. Time to touch up the baseboard painting, finish the butcherblock waxing, and decide on a fridge. I better get started on the kitchen table refinish too! Oh, and it's outage season again at work, so not much time for house projects for a few weeks.