The life of an amateur/hobbyist woodworker is fraught with perils that conspire to steal the precious little time that can be devoted to woodworking and furniture building. If you happen to be married than the risk to that time is exponentially increased. The dreaded “honey do” is always lurking just around the corner. Almost always posed in the guise of a request, but the seasoned among us know better. It is just such a “request” that has been taking up all of my shop time as of late.
The house that we purchased and moved into over this past summer was built in 1968 and designed by the original and sole owner. As such, it remained virtually unchanged over the years. There is no master bath and the bathroom and kitchen are essentially time capsules. Lovingly maintained over the years, the house aged in almost pristine condition. These “outdated” features however are what kept the house from selling. Most folks looked at it and saw total gut jobs and tens of thousands of dollars in expense. My wife and I fell in love with the details and those “dated” aspects are what drew us to this house.
All of the cabinetry in the house was built in place. No mass-produced boxes installed anywhere. The bathroom vanity and the kitchen cabinets were all built in place piece by piece. They are nothing fancy, but solid beyond belief and have stood the test of time.
The above is a photo of the kitchen as it looked on the day that we viewed the house for the first time. Notice anything missing? I didn’t at first, but the wife was quick to point out the lack of a dishwasher. I told her to go and stand by the sink and I would take the picture again and solve the problem. She failed to see the humor however, and my fate was sealed.
“Honey do” mission number one would be to install a dishwasher.
So after a couple of months pondering and putting off the inevitable the time came to tackle the dishwasher install. The electrical and plumbing were not that big of a challenge, I can do that stuff in my sleep. No, the big issue was the built-in cabinetry. If the kitchen had standard cabinet boxes, I could have just taken one out and slid in the dishwasher. These cabinets are a continuous mass running from the wall. Cutting into them was a little daunting. To make matters more complicated, the cabinets are 30″ “blocks”. In other words, two drawers with two doors below are about 30″ wide. A standard dishwasher is only 24″ wide. What to do with the extra 6″ puzzled me for a while. The epiphany came Saturday morning. Since the front on the cabinets is just one large face frame, I could cut out a section and mover everything over 6″, frame, doors and drawers. Then install a filler board where the cabinets meet the wall on the far right.
The gaping hole conundrum.
I’ll spare you the blow-by-blow, but after not one, not two, but three trips to Lowes for parts and supplies I managed to install, with the help of my brother, a new sink, faucet and dishwasher. Leaving me in good graces for at least a little while.