Monday, August 3, 2009

A Sinking Feeling...

This blog entry is dedicated to Fred and Brian. Without their hard work, my wife would never have been motivated enough to prod me into action...

On Friday, the taper/mudder finished with my workshop walls! Apparently, the fee I paid him didn't include cleanup-after-sanding, though, so I have a bit of a mess on my hands still. No matter - it feels good to almost have this part of the process behind me.

I thought I would be able to get down there on Sunday and do some cleaning and wipe down the walls in preparation for paint, but I was wrong. Apparently, recent trips to my sister-in-law's house (Fred and Kate) and some friends in Lawrence, Kansas (Brian and Belinda), got Dana itching to have a few more items checked off of my "Cinderella List". The first one that came to mind was replacing the kitchen sink.

We'd actually purchased a replacement sink over a year ago (closer to two, honestly), but were putting off the installation because we wanted it to coincide with new cabinets and a counter top, as well. Alas, we are financially responsible people and so are waiting until we have the money saved up before we perform our big kitchen renovation. It will probably take another two years to save up enough money - this was apparently too long.

So on the way home from church this past Sunday, we stopped by Lowe's to pick up a few necessities I knew I needed, made our way home, changed clothes, and got right to it.

Taking out the old sink was satisfying. It was acrylic and probably 20+ years old - the faucet was rusted and the coating had scraped off the bottom in several places, so it didn't easily come clean.

It was so light-weight that I had to remove nine clips holding it to the counter top before I could take it out. Here is a picture of the sink as it sat in the garage post-removal. I kept the plastic wrapped tight for over an hour after it stopped moving, so I felt safe in uncovering it to snap a few pics for you.

Take note of the ever-present stains in the left side and the absence of any glossy acrylic coating in the right side. It's removal was a triumphant moment, indeed.

Of course, once the tools came out, Teeters the Helping Cat made her presence known. She used her acute sense of observation to determine exactly what tool or part I needed next and did her best to thwart me by batting it away. But look at how cute she is - you can't be mad at that innocent face for long!

You might also notice the white knobs on the doors in the first and third photos. Dana started working on replacing those while I was working on the sink. Again, we'd already determined what kind of pulls and knobs we wanted - we really just wanted to put them on new cabinets. You'll see the change later on...

Nothing is ever easy in my house. Because the new sink had a different drop to it, I had to adjust pretty much every piece of PVC under the sink. I suppose I shouldn't complain - it could have been chrome.

Teeters once again made an appearance at this point. You'll notice, however, that I refrained from any displays of PB as I finagled the pipes into place. As a joke, I did have my pants pulled down just enough before this picture was taken, but quickly yanked them back up as Dana reached for the camera. Normally I wouldn't have minded, but I hadn't grown my Hulk Hogan mustache back yet and it just didn't feel proper, you know?

You can't see it in that last picture, but I believe at this point my back is broken in two separate places - a result of trying to crawl around under the sink attaching the plumbing back up. You also can't see the hernia I narrowly avoided trying to lift the new sink into place. Did I mention the new sink is cast iron and weighs in at just around 130 lbs?

Here is a shot of the new sink in all it's glory - it is called a Smart Divide Sink by Kohler. It has a half-divide separating the two sinks, making it easier to wash such things as cookie sheets and cutting boards without trying to wedge them into one bowl. (Here you can also see the results of Dana's hard work - the new pulls are going to look great when we have new cabinets on which to mount them, but I think they look pretty good on the old ones, too! Good job, sweetie!)

I'm of the school of thought that if you're going to do something, go ahead and do it right the first time. In this case, it meant spending a little extra to get drains that matched the new faucet.

Once again time eluded me, but I need to hurry up and find the time to get down to the basement and do some sweeping. When I came home from work today, I was greeted by Teeters, the Black and White Shop Cat - black on her right side and white on her left side, where she had been laying down in drywall dust. Parts of the house looked like David Caruso's team had just finished dusting for finger prints.

So while I didn't get to spent Sunday working on the new shop like I wanted to, and the closest I got to woodworking was knocking out the two support blocks in the front of the cabinet with a hammer so the sink would fit, I still feel my time was well-spent. After all, marriage is all about comprimise, right? Plus, putting in a new sink made my wife happy, and that means a lot to me, too.

Unfortunately, we spent a lot of time staring at the surrounding cabinets and appliances this weekend. I know it reminded me that I still haven't changed out the old dish washer with the new one (sitting in the cardboard box in the garage). Let's hope Dana was temporarily blinded by the dazzling sparkle of her new sink, at least until my back heals...

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