Remember this lil guy? All framed out!
Yesterday we loaded up to go see progress. Zac took pictures, so while he is uploading those, here are my thoughts:
1) I'm thrilled with how the woodwork is turning out. John, true to his word, salvaged as much of the old as possible and has done a wonderful job re-building what was beyond repair. The old cabinetry is sanded down and and installed and ready to be varnished. As you should be able to see from the photos, it looks smooth, tight and even. I'm pleased. It's deeply emotional (don't laugh at me!) for me to see the old cabinetry in, looking like "my trailer" again. Relief flooding me.
2) Adding the trash cabinet created some problems. Even with the heater removed, there was less space than expected. This is a situation where we should have communicated better. I would have forfeited a bank of drawers- or the trash cabinet itself. John pushed the woodwork down toward the door (expected)-- and back into the bedroom- not expected, not gonna work. It pushed the bathroom, which is a metal box, if you recall, back about 5 inches, which somehow made the back bedroom 6 inches shorter on that side. This made the bedroom feel much smaller and, worse, also limited options as a twin mattress would not fit longwise on the wall. I could not live with that. Things were grim as John had already wood screwed and glued everything in. Bear in mind that the pocket door sandwiched between the kitchen and bathroom/ bedroom was also tied in. We worked together for a compromise. He will push it back 5 inches by shortening the depth of the cabinet above the "stove". I'm fine with this, and I think having the room in the bedroom is worth it. John very accommodating on making this change- he really wants me to be happy, and I really appreciate that.
3) Speaking of the "stove", which is now the range, that also is more complicated than expected. It's bigger than the stove was, and building in a cabinet problematic. If we build a full size cabinet to fit the range, the depth & width, it would make the passage very narrow and crowded, feeling claustrophobic. John had built in a rounded half base/ cabinet but no storage, with the range kinda floating out... Not very good looking, even though his curve on it was beautiful and mirrored the curve of cabinet above. Well, due to the bedroom issue, we are cutting back that wall cabinet, making it 5 inches shallower anyway. This solves some of the problem as the front of the range now is not cramped under the cabinet- the front burner will be free and not cramped 18 inches under, which makes me feel better about boiling a larger pot of water. John is going to remove the wire towel rack that juts out an inch or so. We will cut into the corner of the countertop and inset it about 2 inches, so the left knob still works, but the whole range is nestled in as much as possible. Not ideal, but I think it will blend ok once the stainless counter is in. It may still "float" out a bit, depends how it fits, and what seems lesser issue- tight corridor, or small "float".
4) Decisions had to be made regarding finishing the wood. John used birch as much as possible, but there were some places where the veneer would not bend, even with the steamer. Apparently veneer is thinner now than it use to be? Also, some places where strength deemed worth using some stronger support wood. John wanted to know if I wanted a stain on the wood, followed by the marine spar varnish. Alternately, no stain, straight to the varnish. I went with just the varnish. All the wood will blend better, it will be a little lighter, but I hope it will age and caramelize better over time. I really like Birchwood Beauties website- he updates even less than I do!- but he says "three coats exterior grade marine spar varnish with sanding in between each coat. Finish is then waxed to high gloss." Sounds excellent to me.
5) The metal interior frames for the windows look great. John did a swirl finish on them. I like it!
6) Yeah, we are not gonna be done next week lol! Probably 2 more weeks, maybe 3.
Y'all... it's so small! The Nuvite, not the beer. I mean... that little jar was $32.95. Plus shipping- about $40. I'm... perplexed. I mean, when I ordered 1/2 a pound, I guess I was just thinking it would be, ya, know, bigger. Like, a gallon. I know. I'm an idiot. (I would have ordered the pound, but it was out of stock.)
I mean, I love Sephora and all, but I don't even purchase beauty products that cost that much for such a small amount! Sigh. How much, exactly, of this magic potion do you think I need??
At least tomorrow is visit-the-Spartan day. It's so cold here today that school was cancelled... it's a big ole deal to get an "inclement" weather day in Houston. I mean, one that's not hurricane related, lol. We spent the whole day in pj's, ate cinnamon buns, made up some of those little camper boxes, snuggled on the couch... quite a perfect day.
It's warming up, suppose to be in the mid 40's tomorrow when we are at the trailer. We still think that's pretty darn cold, but, compared to 30 and freezing rain, it sounds just fine. I feel like it's Christmas and I'm the 8 year old!
Ariston 6+ Gal. 6-Year 1500W 120 Volt Point-of-Use Mini Electric Water Heater
Voila! Home Depot again. This lil guy is suppose to provide enough hot water for a quickie shower. It will definitely provide enough for dishes and hand washing.
A true tankless was not in the budget- and I have been warned that if you do tankless, don't go with the cheapies.
Fortunately, in Texas a cool shower is fine most of the year, and if it's not I guess I'll just be super motivated to build the bath house, pronto.
After I gushed about the amazing deal on the Makita polisher on Amazon, I got a wee bit nervous. What if it was a return? What if it was crappy/ broken/ the spawn of the devil, I don't know! Then the box arrived, looking less than reassuring.
Ok, so for all my waxing about the miracle of internet shopping: sometimes ya gotta see it.
Remember the cute lil fridge, with good ratings? Well, it's DOLL SIZED. Guess I had not put it into context that what had been in the trailer was not a standard sized "mini" fridge.
I found this one in stock near me at Home Depot. Sugar Plum was home from school sick, but fever-free and getting mighty board, so we went off to check it out.
It still seems pretty dang small, peeps. I guess when I read that it was 4.5 cu feet, I just thought it was gonna be HUGE. Not so much. Well, on the bright side, I guess there will be ice cream, right? Right;)
Guess what?! John told me to go ahead and order the necessary items to shine the ole gal up. I sure do hope he knows what kinda time commitment this is... but I don't want to talk him out of doing it!
I think I've made no secret of the fact that most of this technical trailer stuff mystifies me. Polishing falls in that category. There are many, many opinions written about polishing an aluminum skin trailer, so in the end, I looked to Brian "Cool McCool". Have you ever looked at his blog? He does amazing work and just seems like such a great guy. Brian says he uses "a 7" grinder/ polisher with wool bonnets and Nuvite Polish."
Well, that's good enough for me. Vintage Trailer supply recommends the same thing, but they sell a different brand polisher than I went with. I got the Makita pictured above, with the 3 bonnets, at Amazon. Rated 4.5 stars, over 150 reviews. List is supposedly $408, Amazon price $197.70. BUT... y'all do know to check the "used" price and see if there is a "warehouse deal", right? Warehouse deal means the item is new, but the packaging is damaged or perhaps it's been repackaged. It drops 30% or so off the price. This is how they describe it:
Condition Used- Very Good Item is in original packaging, but packaging may come damaged. Item has no cosmetic scratches or blemishes. Item has no cracks or dents. All accessories are present and undamaged.
I have bought several warehouse deal items and had excellent luck- never gotten a used item that I could tell- in fact, I've always gotten dinged up boxes at worst. And, you can always return if it's not what you expect.
So- one extra click and this baby is winging it's way to Texas for $137.12, free shipping.
I then picked up the Nuvite F7 at Vintage Trailer Supply, who describes it thus:
Grade F7 is a heavy cutting polish. It has a very hard and sharp, but very fine, abrasive that continues it’s cutting action throughout the buffing process.
It is a good choice for the first step when removing decades of oxidation or light corrosion from aluminum surfaces. It is usually best to follow F7 with C and then grade S. F7 is a popular choice for blending scratches in an otherwise lightly oxidized finish.
So, what do ya'll think? It's pretty exciting!