I know, I know. Some of you are going to really miss that old wood cook stove. But I’m pretty sure once you’re in the cabin for a few days, you’ll love what we built in its place. Far more useful than a decorative antique stove that wasn’t even hooked up. Brighter, cleaner, and definitely more useful. Besides, that old cook stove is moving on to its new home down in the Little Cabin by the Big River. There it will be used for both heat and cooking. I can’t wait! If we can only figure out how to fit it in the old doorway.
In the meanwhile, here’s the hutch we built last week. Cost: $0. Once again, thanks to all of Bob’s junk piles… and a little help from friend, Marv, for a little bit of Versabond.
So, here’s what we did. Remember, we build not too dissimilar to how I cook. We start, try, and adjust along the way. No blue prints here. This one was simple enough. And remember too our building method of deciding what we need, gathering material and seeing what we have, and adjusting our design and building accordingly.
What we had was a lot of rough cut one-by-six boards. And a few tiles left from the flooring of Cabin #1, which just so happen to go nicely with the counter top already in Cabin #7, where this hutch was design to fit.
We started with the back wall. Cut the boards to size, and used a grinder to “finish” the wood – mostly remove the rough cut saw marks, bring out the grain and color of the blued pine, but still leave a somewhat rustic look.
Next, we built the two sides. Our first plan was to do some fancy scrolling and router work along the edges to dress it up, but once we saw how nice the clean, straight lines matched the current cabinets in the cabin, we chose to stay plain.
We ripped down several boards and used the now three inch width boards for bracing and shelving brackets. Shelving was all done in the same rustic finished boards.
The counter top is tile. For this we borrowed Bob’s sister’s tile cutter, which really is a worth while tool for anyone working with tile. I have no idea how to make custom cuts without this easy to use too. Though, for us, it uses a lot of electricity, and our solar powered system was not sufficient. We did have to run the generator for the few minutes the tile cutter was in use. The grinder, by the way, works great on our solar electricity alone.
The counter was first built with the one-by’s, then on top of the rough cut lumber, we smeared on a thin coat of Versabond to seal the cracks between the boards, then a thicker coat onto which the tile were laid in place.
When that dried, we mortared the spaces and sides, using a big thick damp sponge to keep the surface moist and remove all excess mortar from the tile surface. Probably due to the rapid drying of on the old one-by lumber, the mortar cracked a little in the final stages. Needing a rather durable and easy to clean surface, we used a silicone based cement filler to seal off those crack lines and finish up on top of the grout.
With guests coming and going already in that cabin, it’s in use and seems to be a good addition to the kitchen.
I know it’s a change, and for those who know and love that cabin, I know you’ll be missing the old cook stove at first… but let me know… I’ll bet you’ll be pleased with this new little addition.