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Old Oct 1st 2017, 4:19 pm   #1006
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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Following on from my 'cabinets' post, does anyone have any recommendations for cabinet door / drawer hardware installation techniques? Basically, I need to drill about 50 holes in total to accommodate the hardware (handles) and I need to ensure the holes are correctly placed. I saw a 'jig' or 'template' of sorts at Home Depot, I will probably buy one of those. I've chosen a 'two hole' handle unfortunately that doubles the number of holes needed

A simple piece of hardboard screwed to a 1x1 piece of wood comes to mind, which I would drill carefully with 'guide' holes, which would would then sit on top of each drawer and act as a guide. I'd still have to center this left/right, but that shouldn't be too difficult. For the doors, I could possibly use the same piece of wood oriented vertically but drill a second pair of guide holes closer to the edge.
If all the drawers are the same size I would make a snug frame to fit all four sides of the drawer front, attached to a thin piece of plywood - effective a tray or very shallow box, then fit that over each drawer in turn to drill the holes. Be sure to make with an arrow for "up" if the door handle isn't in the centre vertically.

For handle on hinged doors it is easier - just two sides and a piece of plywood, though you will need mirror-image jigs for left and right doors - after drilling one, hold them face-to-face and use one to drill the hole(s) in the other. ..... I use a similar technique for positioning curtain rails - an internal 90° corner in a piece of plywood, and that can be flipped for left and right corners of the window, which I now keep in one of my tool boxes.

Once you have your template jigs set up there is really no difference between installing one and two screw handles.
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 2:21 am   #1007
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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If you don't have a Bahco bow saw, get one! (A 21" triangular one would be a good starter saw). Those things are like razors, and I have to be sawing a limb or tree more than 4" diameter before I bother to fetch my chainsaw. Literslly 5-6 strokes will go through most 3" limbs! Of course ladders and chainsaws don't mix, so when working up a ladder I use one of my 36" bow saws on limbs upto at least 6".
Bought a bow saw today, cheers for the heads up Made cutting the branches the loppers couldn't cut a piece of cake. Between my new bow saw, the loppers and shovel, I'm managed to dig up a few tree/bush/shrub roots. Got about 7 more to go though

Concentrating on the front garden first and foremost so we can get some perennials planted out the front. Going to borrow a jet washer and clean of our porch and steps soon.

My advantage is my dad has had his own landscaping since he left school at 16, so I know a lot of things around the garden and how to do stuff (decking, bricklaying, tree care, etc). My downfall is the minute I get indoors! I have to watch videos or ask my girlfriends dad a lot of stuff. He retired early and now buys foreclosures and flips them, and fixes them all up himself. Great guy, hard worker and I'm learning so much of him. Between him and my dad, I learn a lot which is good for the American house that always needs work!
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 2:44 am   #1008
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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Bought a bow saw today, cheers for the heads up ....
You're welcome.

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.... Concentrating on the front garden first and foremost so we can get some perennials planted out the front. ....
Consider some azaleas - they provide a nice splash of colour, and if you can find "encode azaleas then they flower in the fall as well as the spring, but cost a bit more (Lowe's sells them, but a garden entre will likely have a better range of colours. Americans seem to default to boxwoods which don't flower, and holly bushes, which don't flower and get too dämn big!

I have just, finally, finished digging out hollies and boxwoods myself from along the front of the house, but I might have to wait until spring to plant the azaleas if the local garden center has sold most of it's stock. ..... I will need five.

Camellias are another good choice, and they flower in the fall and winter, but they grow bigger than azaleas, so need more room. But whatever you plant, give them room to grow - Americans usually plant too much and too close together.
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 2:13 pm   #1009
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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Consider some azaleas - they provide a nice splash of colour, and if you can find "encode azaleas then they flower in the fall as well as the spring, but cost a bit more (Lowe's sells them, but a garden entre will likely have a better range of colours. Americans seem to default to boxwoods which don't flower, and holly bushes, which don't flower and get too dämn big!

I have just, finally, finished digging out hollies and boxwoods myself from along the front of the house, but I might have to wait until spring to plant the azaleas if the local garden center has sold most of it's stock. ..... I will need five.

Camellias are another good choice, and they flower in the fall and winter, but they grow bigger than azaleas, so need more room. But whatever you plant, give them room to grow - Americans usually plant too much and too close together.
Thankfully my grandparents in England are huge garden enthusiasts so I know a bit about plants. We have a 10ft by 7ft plot either side of the steps going up to the porch on the front of the house. Plan currently is to plant 2/3 bushes either side, but we don't want any that will grow above 3/4feet as that's the height of the wall. Might need to prune and trim if it comes to it!

Along the front of the plots we are going to plant some low growing perennials. Want to make it look nice and appealing. Hopefully have the roots all out in those plots by end of the week so we can plant this weekend. I might turn the soil a bit too to make it softer for planting and easier for the first few times of watering.

I noticed Americans plant bushes too close! A lot of what I had to cut down had entwined very badly and this caused issues. Also didn't plant some bushes deep enough so the roots were not correctly in the ground, once I found some roots on some bushes, I was able to lift the root out the ground as it was more than an inch or two below surface!
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Old Oct 10th 2017, 6:39 pm   #1010
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

Anyone here ever done a concrete kitchen countertop.

I'm looking for a 2-3 year stopgap for a broken slab of granite in my kitchen. It's a real eyesore.

Concrete is appealing because it's cheap. Tile was another option but neither I nor my wife like it for a kitchen counter.

I am hoping to pour in place and deal with the lower standard of finish because it appears to be easier than forming it outside and installing it.

The surface area is about 25sqft. Not huge. It's L shaped.

Any advice?
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Old Oct 10th 2017, 6:46 pm   #1011
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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I am hoping to pour in place and deal with the lower standard of finish because it appears to be easier than forming it outside and installing it.

The surface area is about 25sqft. Not huge. It's L shaped.

Any advice?
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Old Oct 10th 2017, 7:03 pm   #1012
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

Granite is quite cheap these days - we paid $100/linear foot of standard depth counter top - I did my own demo and preparation - the granite installer showed up and installed the slabs.

So, assuming you can find matching granite, that would be either around $1,000 for replacement of the broken slab, or deal with some home-brewed concrete, with all the mess and dealing with things like smoothing and sealing.
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Old Oct 10th 2017, 8:18 pm   #1013
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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Anyone here ever done a concrete kitchen countertop.

I'm looking for a 2-3 year stopgap for a broken slab of granite in my kitchen. It's a real eyesore.

Concrete is appealing because it's cheap. Tile was another option but neither I nor my wife like it for a kitchen counter.

I am hoping to pour in place and deal with the lower standard of finish because it appears to be easier than forming it outside and installing it.

The surface area is about 25sqft. Not huge. It's L shaped.

Any advice?
I've always been perfectly happy with Formica and its modern equivalents.
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Old Oct 10th 2017, 8:42 pm   #1014
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I've always been perfectly happy with Formica and its modern equivalents.
In my experience the formica always peels off the chipboard substrate eventually - usually the end caps come away. The granite counters we bought still look like they did on the day they were installed, more than fours years ago. Since they were installed they have needed no special cleaning or reseal in because they are true granite, not a porous stone masquerading as granite.
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Old Oct 10th 2017, 9:12 pm   #1015
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Granite is quite cheap these days - we paid $100/linear foot of standard depth counter top - I did my own demo and preparation - the granite installer showed up and installed the slabs.

So, assuming you can find matching granite, that would be either around $1,000 for replacement of the broken slab, or deal with some home-brewed concrete, with all the mess and dealing with things like smoothing and sealing.
Challenge accepted.

I'll look around at the weekend for a nice granite version on sale. But, all the cabinets and counter will be replace in a few years; this is just temporary.
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Old Oct 10th 2017, 9:20 pm   #1016
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.... But, all the cabinets and counter will be replace in a few years; this is just temporary.
Our kitchen cabinets were going to be replaced "in a few years" when we bought our home. That was more than fourteen years ago, and we haven't quite got around to it yet!

Just out of curiosity, is the damaged slab broken into two clean pieces, or fragmented and/or with chips missing? My first thought, for a short-term fix would be to contact a specialist granite counter installer and ask if they can repair the slab. The granite counters we bought have two joins, made using epoxy resin, to make two L-shaped counters from four pieces of granite, and the joins are so good that they are very hard to see, even close-up.
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Old Oct 10th 2017, 9:58 pm   #1017
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

Granite work tops are a great luxury.

Quite glad our house came with them after using the chipboard variety up to now.
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Old Oct 10th 2017, 10:02 pm   #1018
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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Americans seem to default to boxwoods which don't flower, and holly bushes, which don't flower and get too dämn big!
I love holly trees, & am still mourning that my next door neighbor has cut down one of a large pair that separated our properties. She had the right to, as that one was on her property, but they were such a lovely old pair of trees, chock full of songbirds in all seasons. Most hollies actually do bloom, but the flowers are so small & unshowy (white or greenish white) they go unnoticed. All winter long I love to see the contrast of the red berries against the deep green holly leaves.

Am I the only one that hates to see trees cut down?
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Old Oct 10th 2017, 10:05 pm   #1019
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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I love holly trees, & am still mourning that my next door neighbor has cut down one of a large pair that separated our properties. She had the right to, as that one was on her property, but they were such a lovely old pair of trees, chock full of songbirds in all seasons. Most hollies actually do bloom, but the flowers are so small & unshowy (white or greenish white) they go unnoticed. All winter long I love to see the contrast of the red berries against the deep green holly leaves.

Am I the only one that hates to see trees cut down?
You'll hate me for this, but as part of my attempt to scale back landscaping it involved cutting down a humongous (nearly up against the 2 story house) Holly tree. It was just too much to handle.
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Old Oct 10th 2017, 10:34 pm   #1020
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Default Re: Home and garden projects

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Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Our kitchen cabinets were going to be replaced "in a few years" when we bought our home. That was more than fourteen years ago, and we haven't quite got around to it yet!

Just out of curiosity, is the damaged slab broken into two clean pieces, or fragmented and/or with chips missing? My first thought, for a short-term fix would be to contact a specialist granite counter installer and ask if they can repair the slab. The granite counters we bought have two joins, made using epoxy resin, to make two L-shaped counters from four pieces of granite, and the joins are so good that they are very hard to see, even close-up.
It looks to me like a bad install. There's a straight crack through the sink but one side is about 1mm higher than the other.

I think a good repair guy could fix it, if it was level.
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