The Scrap House

It looks like… a house! | August 21, 2010

Fairly major update today. I’ve been working on the kitchen, and my dad has been working on the living room. Let’s start with my less heroic efforts.

A few days ago I started framing in the cabinets. Random 2×4 scraps… it’s a common theme!

Now, I’d like to talk a little about Ockham’s Razor. He’s a man with a damn close shave, y’all. But he had some jazz about the simplest solution being the best. Well, I should have run with that. But no… oh no. I had some old bi-fold doors that I’d planned to use as the cabinets. According to the archives, I found them at the dump on May 5th of 2009. Retro! Here’s the first attempt at the hinges:

Simple physics will tell you, and should have told me, that that just won’t work. Gotta have clearance on the front end, yo! So, real cabinet hinges are compound. Compound is a fancy word for complicated. So I went with it! Take two:

And that… didn’t work brilliantly. It was like Bob Dylan… the range was limited.

So then I did the unthinkable. I looked at a real cabinet. I was frontin’ like Andrew Jackson! *insert cricket noise* Anyway… turns out that the hinges go on the outside! Brilliant! Fulcrums and stuff!

So I cut these hinges(notice the cut line), and then mounted them on the outside. And as the French say, “it worked.” (Some French people speak English.)

A little trimming to the edge for clearance and voila.

I then did the other cabinet door, for under the stove. That involved cutting another bi-fold door, ripping the edges off, and then reusing those pieces as trim for the front. I.e. the top and bottom became the edges of the front. If you cut a bi-fold door up enough it eventually just gives up and becomes a cabinet door.

Now, despite having found two nice stainless steel double-basin sinks, I’d yet to find one small enough. However, I did find a bucket that had been used as a grout bucket. It looks enough like a sink, and was the perfect size. However, it needed to have a sloped bottom to drain properly, so I drilled a hole in the center, bolted it to a 2×4, and pulled on it until it was sufficiently dented. I’ll install a drain later.

I then proceeded to plywood the top and cut the hole for the sink.

Then came more plywood for the backsplash.

And then the tile. The tile itself was left over from doing our fireplace several years ago. The spacers and grout were from a generous donation about a year ago from Pennsylvania. So thanks to Leo Carmosky for that! He also gave me some tile that will likely see use in the bathroom.

Arbitrary Macro shot:

And then came grout and the front trim piece.

The dark spot on the counter in the next picture is just condensation from a drink, not a stain…

Meanwhile in the Hall Of Justice… Dad’s been working on the Waynes Coating for the living room. Something I have neither the skill nor the patience to do. Considering he’s had to dodge outlet hole’s cut by other people, it’s pretty damn incredible how good it looks.

The outlets were yet another hurdle. Back many moons ago when Hyatt and I did the wiring, we mounted the outlet boxes flush with the studs, which is incorrect. They are supposed to be slightly out, flush with the dry wall, or paneling as the case may be. So Dad had to redo those. But of course, it now looks great.

A coat of white and we’re golden. Or white, actually. It’s much more exciting than it looks… you’re watching primer dry. A darn site faster than paint!

Now, earlier tonight after doing the counters, I was in the mood for a proof of concept. So, armed with scissors and staple gun in hand, I took to covering one of the walls in the kite board material I got. This is, quite possibly, the greatest stuff on earth. Snapple ain’t got nothing on us! First off, because of the grid pattern, it cuts easily. I was simply tacking some up to see what it would look like, but within five minutes it was cut, tacked, and tight enough to be ready for trim. Simply awesome. I especially like the contrast between the white paneling and the vibrant green. There will be a chair rail, corner molding, and crown molding to frame it all in of course.

It is, in short, perfect. How my dad thought to go ask the local kite-board rental place for material is beyond me, but he did, and it’s awesome. The material is ever so slightly transparent, so on the other walls I’m going to put up tar-paper first to provide a solid backdrop. I have a ton of tar-paper anyway, so I might as well use it. Now… for the ultimate party trick… look how cool it looks with the bathroom light turned on!

And that, friends, is all I’ve got for the time being. No clue when the next update will be… we’ll see. Let’s see… a quote to leave on… I’m going to go the cheap route. I say the cheap route because it’s the same quote that’s been my email signature for a while, but I do like it despite it most likely beingĀ  wrongly-attributed. So, nonetheless:

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts. And beer.” -Abraham Lincoln


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5 Comments »

  1. It doesn’t look like a house! But it is made of pallets!

    http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/pallet-house.html

    Comment by Jesse — August 22, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

  2. Sorry, don’t know if “Waynes Coating” is a little joke or just your interpretation of having heard the word spoken but not seen it written:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wainscoting

    Comment by Ed — August 29, 2010 @ 6:38 am

    • Ed- thanks for the heads up. I replied to your comment on the front page.

      In all seriousness, it’s a bit of both. Sadly, at first I just didn’t know. Dad’s mentioned it a couple times but I haven’t gone back to change it. In that was I suppose it’s somewhat of an inside joke. I’ll spell it right from now on, I promise!

      Comment by austinminiman — August 29, 2010 @ 8:16 am

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About author

This blog is dedicated to an experiment a group of three other fellow students and I are doing at our school in Buxton, NC. My Drafting III class and I set out to see if we could build a house for free. It's small, but functional. All the materials come out of dumpsters. And most of all, it's working.

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