But first, WHO MAKES CABLE THIS WAY?! BECAUSE THEY NEED TO DIE. SERIOUSLY.
Okay, that's out of the way. So. I need to split this cable and power supply around and also shorten a bunch of the supplied cables (see above) and some of that's not interesting, but a little of it is. Specifically, hey, let's use old DSL noise filters as project cases!
That's a Fancy Y Cable, Basically
Old DSL Filter Case
Power comes in the right side in the latter photo, and goes out both sides, because that makes sense in this particular setup. I'm doing this at the four-wire point because I'm wanting to be on the far side of the controller - I only want one controller for all the lights, so there's only one switch, and so on. I could probably just run a bunch of extension wire between the three separate LED strips, but that's hacky and weird compared to this.
Regardless, to get between the lower LED tape and the upper LED tape, I need to run wire in the cabinets, and I want that to be modular because of reasons. So I'm using old PC internal power connectors - they're four-pin, and modular! Of course, the wire colours are all wrong, so I'm fixing that with heat-shrink insulation in the appropriate colours.
Left side finished, right side in progress.
Also, I'm bundling the completed cable in larger heat-shrink, for neatness
It's hard to get the colour balance right in this photo, but the lower bank is in; the upper bank doesn't have to be yet, to use the lower, because again - modular! It's awesome. This is a full-power white test, with some treatment in iPhoto to bring down contrast levels in the original picture. (The phone wants to use the brightest light as reference, and, well, anyway, trust me, the LED strip is very bright at this setting.)
Jerky panorama is jerky
I love how it makes the 1958 formica just glow. Also all the aluminium works particularly well here. It's lush.
I'll probably set the LEDs to a warmer colour - you have a lot of colour range to work with in these lights - for final purposing. But this... it's kind of neon and electric and awesome, for now. <3
So. goddamn. close. And now it's days more. Most of the scars will be where the replacement refrigerator will go but I am still just crazy with motherFUCKER!
Also my hand will be okay but goddammit.
Anyway, before things exploded, I restored a built-in cutting board. The bottom side here had been the "outside up" part; previously, the other side on that same half had been the "outside up" part. But this old style is made twice as big as it needs to be, so you've got four sides to burn through over a 90-year lifespan.
This is Side 3 of 4, the best current side, so I'm using it. (Side 4 has some scratching, but could be used too without shame. But since I'm doing this idiotic restoration project, I may as well go all the way, right?) This is after sanding:
That's cool and all, but there's no grip, and the edge is just, well, ply edge, and that's kind of fugly. The edge was fugly before, because Mister Fixit was a cheap bastard with no eye for detail. I either needed to route out a groove with a router, or I could install some sort of pull.
My plan had been to get an old-style pull that just screws on, but those aren't really common anymore. Plus I was toying around with ways to hide that plywood edge. And then I realised that L-metal is cheap and easily available in aluminium, and a decently nice standard cabinet pull could be bolted to the L-metal, which I could then screw to the edge of the cutting board. To wit:
I was also careful with my choice of screws, because decorative industrial! And yet also highly functional, which is of course always the goal, particularly with mid-century modern.
I also had to drill some divots behind the pull, so the heads of the bolts had someplace to go. I didn't take a picture of that, but it's just a couple of dents, so not much to see anyway.
Put back in place, it looked really nice right away. Oh, the pull is silver too, just a warmer silver - not brassy like it kind of came out in this photo:
I took a detail shot of the end of the L-metal, attached. I also bevelled the corners - it just seemed like the thing to do. Again, too, intentionally- and carefully-chosen screws, because when doing this sort of thing, details matter, and this kind of detail costs nothing but a couple of minutes of searching through the screw bins at the hardware store:
And open, well, I'm really quite happy with it. It even matches the custom cabinet I made before, in tone, so everything goes together. Hopefully we'll get a good decade or two out of this. That'd be nice. And then I can flip it over, invert the (highly symmetrical) pull fixture, and we're good for another decade or two.
I also put in a new sink fixture, as the old one was leaking. And that has a story, too, because Mister Fixit (or a successor in this case I think) had put in a wide-set style fixture at some point, so I assumed the sink was a wide-set fixture sink.
Okay, some of you won't know what that means. Modern - as in for decades now - sinks come in a couple of standard configurations, "wide set" - where the holes are 8" apart - and "narrow set" - where they're 4" apart. And there are variants, but those are the most common. Go to homedepot.com and enter "bathroom faucets" and you'll get the picture.
This sink had a wide-set fixture on it, and I assumed that meant the sink had wide-set holes. NOPE HE'D JUST BODGED IT IN THERE LIKE A CLOWN ON A HAMMERTIME BENDER. And I didn't discover this until after I'd discovered that the cold-water cutoff valve didn't completely cut off the water supply. I had a bucket, but that still set a timer.
So I bodged the damn thing in too. I shaved the plastic mounting piece so its side-hole inset points were gone, got a couple of brass screws, drilled some holes, and bolted the damn thing into place. I should've left a note saying "VERY BAD DAY WAS NOT GOING TO HOME DEPOT AGAIN FOR ANY REASON BECAUSE FUCK THIS." Or something similar. But I didn't. Anyway, it's solid, just stupid, and here y'go.
Looks perfectly normal, doesn't it? Good. It had damned well better after the shit things put me through today.
Brand. new. floor. Goddammit.
The panel that the microwave is sitting on also opens; the hinge is against the back wall in this photo. But it has a microwave on it, which is the point of that most of the time. I just didn't want to nail it down, and hey, I had the piano hinge.
This next photo has literally all the room colours in a single shot:
The Other Busy Corner
I spent a fair amount of time making those doors line up properly again, so they close without scraping and all that. The two doors under the sink had metal plates for magnetic latches, but no actual magnetic latches - the grapple parts were missing. As far as I can tell, they were never put in - there wasn't even a good place to attach them. So I built a good place, then attached them, and now they work as intended, a mere, I dunno, 58 to 78 years later? Something like that.
I really like how the glass doors really popped once the excess paint was scraped off:
All Four Doors
I'd like to rehang that one that's a little off, but the way those hinges work make it really hard, and then the latch would be wrong. Original construction flaw, I guess. Nobody seems to notice it in person but me.
I'm thinking of putting a little shelf rack or something on the wall space here, but I'm not sure. To the lower right will be the range, and to the far right, the refrigerator:
Usual Corner Different Angle
This would fit, tho' I'm not hugely fond of it as an object. I don't hate it, either. It's okay. Whatever goes there has to be really shallow, to avoid conflicting with the glass door on the left.
Left to do: glue/tack down the formica in the cabinet under the sink (same as the countertop), replace the sink fixture with one that doesn't leak (already purchased), the LED strip lighting above and below cabinets (big time sink), and finish and install the slide-out cutting board. I'd be pretty sure I'd be done tomorrow if it wasn't for those lights. But Monday. Monday should be good.
I cleaned a big chunk of it up today, as I'm starting to wind up the work. It's close now. But honestly, even I'd forgot what it looked like. Look at this I mean god damn.
Love the Blue
Replacing a nasty old plastic outlet plate with a matching silver metal one didn't hurt anything either, but still. You can just go swimming in this, can't you? I don't even particularly like blue most of the time.
(Click image to enlarge a lot)
And here's today's photo of the corner. That trim honestly was the best idea I had. Hey, look, these cabinets belong in the same room now! I'm just so happy with that.
July 25 2014 update
You'll notice the top-access cabinet is back and there's a microwave on it. That's because it's finished! I skipped the insertable bin secondary storage area to save time. If it comes to matter, I can always add it later. I'm just trying to get this thing done now. Maybe Sunday.
Only the horizontal trim bar has the second coat of green on it in this picture; the rest will darken to match.
But the big thing is - okay, that corner? At the countertop level, it's dead space. With stuff put where it makes any sense at all, that corner becomes inaccessible. Here's what used to be there, and where the stove used to be.
We're rotating the stove 90 degrees to the right and moving it out of that corner, because if it's in that corner, 1) it's burning the cabinets (see the heat damage?) and 2) you can't even open the oven door completely, it hits the refrigerator. You can just see the side of the fridge in the lower right hand corner of the lower picture. That's terrible. So we're fixing it. (The fridge has to go under the cabinets to the right - it can't go anywhere else.)
But I didn't want to put just countertop there because that creates really massive dead space. So I made a countertop that opens (three different ways!) to reveal a large, deep drawer's worth of storage.
Click to embiggen
You'll note where I had to build interesting leg arrangement to dodge the gas supply. Also, the drawer part (and to-be-attached countertop access) isn't connected to the legs; it's sitting in the plywood skirt that wraps around it. This is so it can be removed entirely for things like gas line access, without removing the legs/frame/skirt assembly.
It was originally going to be two panel top access, not three, but I was thinking about it and the only rational place for the microwave is against the right side of that wall, so the largest access is really mostly a countertop that I'm not nailing down. Since the whole storage space is one big compartment, you can still access everything even with a microwave sitting on that panel.
I had/have been planning to cut a hole in the bottom of the storage area (the white floor area, on the left) into which a bin would be inserted, to use even more of that dead corner space. Picture in the last panel a rectangular hole into which drops a plastic bin. (I wanted it to be removable for cleaning, too; hence a drop-in bin, rather than a permanent installation of some sort.)
But now I am somewhat less certain of that whole phase of the project. It does add more storage space, for sure. But I worry that removing the bin will prompt items to be dropped through to the floor. I was going to attach a cloth bag of some sort around the bin, attaching it to the underside of the primary storage area, but now I wonder if I'm just getting gimmicky.
Any thoughts on that?
I wish LJ had this kind of photo post
Kitchen restoration project in the 1924 addition to a 1911 building - it's almost all of what I've been doing lately. (Well, that and the rest of the apartment. But the kitchen has taken the most time and is the one I haven't contracted out anything except the new floor, not shown).
The person who added this kitchen in 1958 used a seemingly-random assortment of old used cabinets from different sources. They're all decent cabinets - and all older than 1958 - but they don't go together and so feel like a bunch of isolated islands rather than of a piece. I'm trying to fix that, by adding matching trim to the cabinets which didn't have it (window cabinets did, others didn't).
I'm using vintage wood, retained when other parts of the building got work. Parts of this trim came from a room which formerly had ceiling tile and early-60s panelling; other parts came from a strange, damaged, and badly-placed-to-start-with storage drawer cabinet in the basement.
Also, I fixed that fan, as well as cleaning and repainting the cover. INDUSTRIAL!
Swamped with day job work; I mentioned some of that here. But I did find time to go see and write up an analysis of Maleficent, and lament how it should’ve been great, but wasn’t, quite. Near-misses are so painful sometimes, and this is one of those times. I lament the film it should’ve been.
I can’t be done with this kitchen restoration soon enough, I gotta tell you. I’ll be at it all day again today, then tomorrow hopefully recording some vocals with Leannan Sidhe. Until then, have some flowers.
Can’t Bee Done With … ar ar ar ar ar
Blue and White and Edges So Sharp
Not just recent mess, either. Long-term mess. Mister Fixit built it, circa 1958. He didn't do it very well; the design is... problematic. And he wasn't a detail person. And he had this odd infatuation with plywood walls - I don't even know where to begin with that, I just have to live with it.
So much time has been spend just repairing things. Fixing cracks in plaster walls, restoring missing parts of plaster walls, repairing the ventilation fan and other electrics damage, so much sanding and stripping oh my god... Thursday, I finally was able to prime everything - or almost everything; Friday, I've started adding paint.
Priming everything made a big difference. But I was putting the first colour on the walls and even before I'd done the first small panel, I found myself thinking, suddenly, this room is... cheerful. What the hell? And bigger, too. Lots bigger. All at once. And it's not just me, Layna got home and said the same thing.
This little kitchen has been many things, but never cheerful.
There's still a lot of work to do, but here, some before and afters. Notice particularly difference in ceiling, where you can see it in the before shots vs. the after.
This makes this corner look better than it was, but that's okay:
Southeast Corner, Before
Southeast Corner, Current
Cabinet interiors have been primed and will be painted - but the colour won't change from this. The green remnants - the bottom layer of the original colour - has been matched to an average and will go back to that. The trim will have a lighter version - almost white, but not quite white - of the wall colour.
You can see a little bit of the ceiling's "before" state in this next set.
Southwest Corner, Before
Southwest Corner, Current
I feel like I have to stress: same camera. Almost the same location. Note that the size of the blue square on the wall (which will have a counter in front of it, so will function again as a backspash) doesn't change between photos, which means I'm about in the same place, just the angle is changed a little.
I can't believe how much bigger this feels. Look particularly at the ceiling before and after - that's actually representative.
Part of it is repairing many tiny details. The wall in the before has many tiny points of damage. It still has several after, too, but they're not nearly so noticeable, and there are not so many; they're much improved. Note also this, where the glass-door cabinets interface with the wall:
The room is/was filled with many little things like this. Mister Fixit wasn't much for detail work, and it's really obvious. That little dark spot is a triangular hole that has been there since this kitchen was built - he didn't cut the trim right, and didn't bother to fix it. It's just been a little dark hole since 1958.
I fixed it.
There's another place - I didn't take a photo - underneath the east side of the cabinet, where there appeared to be a bunch of nails and weird things sticking out of the underside of the cabinet. They'd been painted over a few times. I started poking at them.
They were thumbtacks. Big ones, too. Somebody's thumbtack collection, that whoever - and I do not blame this on Mister Fixit, this is someone later - couldn't be bothered to pull out before painting.
I don't have a picture. It's too silly, and not something you'd've seen unless you bent over to look under the cabinet. But it's fixed now.
There's a lot still to do. Everything has to be done by brush, other than a bit of the western wall, either because of texture or lack of room for a roller. It's making everything take three times as long. But this little kitchen?
I was going for sanity. I was hoping for "reasonably efficient." I think it might end up... happy.
eta: Here's another picture showing more of the ceiling and some wall:
This is not, strictly speaking, ephemera. It’s cabinet hardware, and as such, intended as durable over many decades, and therefore well out of range of Oldphemera under most circumstances.
But this cabinetry has an unusual provenance. A house built in 1911, expanded in 1924 for student boarding purposes, then a chocolate factory, then turned much later into apartments between 1958 and 1963 by a man I’ll call Mister Fixit.
Being a bit of a scavenger, Mr. Fixit used a lot of random sources for cabinetry when adding kitchens. In the upstairs unit of the addition, there are three entirely dissimilar cabinet sets crammed in together - all of which have in common only that they well predate the era of the conversion.
This kitchen has two unrelated sets, and it’s not even a big kitchen. It’s a galley. That takes dedication. And again - old cabinets, installed decades later.
I had wondered earlier where this guy kept getting random old cabinetry between 1958 and 1963 - an era before common reclamation and recycling services, when modernity and disposability were the rage - and only today did I put it together.
This was when rows and rows and rows of houses were being bought and either moved or torn down to make right-of-way for the new superhighway, Interstate 5, through downtown Seattle, and through the very neighbourhood of this very house.
I will bet all the dogecoin in the world that this is how he got these cabinets. These just aren’t old cabinets repurposed (and now, thanks to me, being restored) - these are ghosts of kitchens past.
All along this road was once 6th Avenue NE in the west end of the University District, a swath of arts and crafts and craftsman houses, with cabinets often just like these. All were swept away decades before their normal end of life - ephemera by situation, rather than intent. All are gone, lost to memory…
…except for these, my unexpected kitchen ghosts.
When we put down the new subfloor over this I’m going to leave a note saying DO NOT PULL THIS UP WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO IT IS NOT WORTH IT and then underneath the subfloor I will leave a note saying YOU PULLED IT UP! YOU PULLED IT UP, YOU GOD DAMNED MANIACS, YOU PULLED IT UP! possibly with an asbestos warning and possibly just with a photo of Charlton Heston.
eta: I got a rec from someone in my neighbourhood association. Hopefully it'll go well, but I'd still be interested in recommendations. These guys are more expensive than I'd prefer rly. ;_;
Also, if you're interested in small kitchen appliances (microwave, coffee maker, Snackster sandwhich grill, hot pot which I might keep, not sure yet) or a clothing iron, let me know! They all work fine, are in pretty good condition in general, and I've given them good cleanings. (Just this morning, which is why I'm posting about all this crap now...)
I shopped around a bit and ended up ordering from Best Buy, for delivery last Wednesday, which was the soonest their online form would give me. Wednesday came and it didn't happen; I found email in my junk folder saying "we've cancelled your delivery, call to reschedule." An hour-fifteen or so later, I was finally off the phone with some idea of why delivery had been revoked - their computer system had somehow managed not to include sales tax, which put a stop on the order - and got delivery rescheduled for this Wednesday.
This morning I got mail saying they'd cancelled delivery AGAIN, and to call their support number to reschedule AGAIN, and when I did, after 15 minutes on hold, the person I got didn't know anything, couldn't tell me anything, couldn't transfer me to someone who would, and wouldn't take my case number from last time to see whether there was any relationship. The closest she could give me to an answer is that somehow the delivery date was "too close to" the order date, which is pretty laughable even if you consider it to have been ordered last week, because week-later delivery is not exactly a rush job.
And all she'd do was re-dispatch it for delivery to some delivery agent who would eventually send me email. Supposedly. Not being interested in playing this game a third time in order to still have no washing machine, I told them to cancel the order and refund my money.
So, 35 minutes on the phone later, it's no washer last week, no washer today, no washer tomorrow, and no idea why not. I'll be talking to Sears and Home Depot in a few minutes - they're not great, but they've managed to deliver appliances on time in the past with pleasant regularity. The moral of the story: don't order appliances for delivery from Best Buy. So noted.
eta: Oh, I think I get it.
I think I ordered last year's model and they don't actually have it anymore. And instead of saying that they were jerking me around because the replacement model costs more. Because finding the model I ordered isn't happening, but finding the new model ($50 more) is easy.
Juanita Bay continued to be made of awesome - same rate of awesome as last week to the penny, it's a shame I could only be there for an hour - and somebody wanted a card specifically for making a Splinter-class flute for them. So they also got a card. Also, one family I remember from last week came back this week just as I was packing up and I played an extra song for the one of their children they described as "my fan." And that was awesome. HI!
Then I drove to murksouth and showed a potential new housemate for this fall's Din tenant group and he seemed nice and hopefully all that will go over without any trouble. I'm going to have to scramble to get the place ready between August 31 and September 15th, particularly since I'm actually going to have to get it done by September 12th, because annathepiper and I are going to take a quick overnight trip to hang out in Vancouver with cow before she goes in for her hopefully final round of surgery. Evar. Fingers crossed.
I started a new song last night that kind of came out of nowhere. It's kinda mean, or possibly kinda creepy, or possibly just real angry, but in a "where the fuck did that come from?" sense. I dunno where it's going tho' but I'm gonna let it and see what happens. But now I am sleepy.
Woodinville 9am tomorrow. I'm gonna try it and see what happens. Maybe mornings there will be better attended - after Wednesday's rain-out I could use some luck. I meant to ask the people at Cupcake Luv (who have previously given me a cupcake, btw, and it was tasty) who are at both Juanita Bay and Woodinville about that, but I ended up having to hurry off before I could. I guess I'll find out tomorrow! ^_^
( This many photos in a row, I'll LJ-cut, even if they're small )
Earlier this year, I discovered that despite two years of not paying much attention at all, both the strawberries put in planters at MurkSouth by sksouth (red) and lyonesse (white) had died off in their planters, but had also escaped into the wild, and were still growing, just in the garden soil! (The white strawberries planted by lyonesse had done this once before, and I had put them back into a planter, from which they again escaped. Muah!) I put a couple of the red ones back into their original planter at MurkSouth, and now that those seem to have caught and are growing, I've brought a couple more out of the soil and up here, too! And I'm simultaneously doing the same with lyonesse's whites. To wit!
White strawberry transplants, garden soil to pot, Murkworks North
Red strawberry transplants, garden soil to pot, Murkworks North
I've also cut the blackberry infestation again, in the area I want to have be this summer's Big Garden Project. By the standards of projects later to come, it isn't big at all, but it's going to be a bunch of work. More on that probably later. ^_^
ETA: Oh yeah, I forgot. That watering can I got at McLendon's looks like this:
...and now that I've used it for a couple of weeks, I'm happy to say that I really, really, really like it. It's easy to carry, it's easy to pour, and it has a much nicer (and very gentle) pour pattern than the previous plastic one which disintegrated. So if you need a watering can, I recommend this kind. It's good. ^_^
In other news, annathepiper and I went to the U. District Streetfair today and I did a three-hour stint collecting signatures for Initiative 937. The goal is 60 signatures per volunteer today; I got 110-112, depending upon whether ditto marks are valid - I was telling people not to do it, that they had to write it out, but not everyone listened and two people got away before I could check, the bastards. Regardless, that was pretty good, and they said I might end up volunteer leader today, which would roxx0r. Anyway, now they're trying to get me to sign up for a stint at Folklife, and I might do that one day. I also saw mamishka briefly, who seemed in a really good mood, and I told her were Anna was hanging out waiting for me to get done with signatures, but they didn't meet up.
Monday-Wednesday's tokens: 0.3 miles
Thursday's miles: 2.8
Friday's token: 0.2 miles
Saturday's miles: 9.7
Sunday's miles: 25.7
Miles out of Hobbiton: 860.1
Miles out of Rivendell: 400.3
Miles to Lothlórien: 66.1
(We biked down and biked back and also did a lot of fair wandering.)
Anyway, after the signature thing, we met up with Danny (who has no LJ) and ate lunch, then wandered around looking at stuff and talking. I bought our annual supply of soap, and I also got a lab coat and goggles for chemistry, and I ordered a hat, so I'll have one that doesn't belong to Anna. It's not actually like the ones I usually wear but the one that didn't fit (because it was too small) but was the same type looked pretty good. Anna looked at some necklaces but didn't buy any - she just took the name for later reference. She did buy a cell phone, tho', which should make looking for work easier between contracts. We looked at this one booth selling home-made violins and mandolins. (They weren't very good. But it did make a tone, and for a $100 violin, that's about all you can expect. We joked about buying one so you could smash it on stage after a performance, like in Guitar Hero.)
So yeah, we had a good time. It's the first Streetfair in a while where I've really wanted to do more of it than I did, despite being there all day. So that's neat. spazzkat says I'm pretty red from all the standing in the sun. My throat is a mess from going "Hello! Sign to support renewable energy in Washington State?" for three+ hours. And I'm very, very tired. But in a good way. It was fun.