Corbin's Treehouse - Corbin Dunn, Santa Cruz, CA
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The 'Project Hutchinson' Category

Kitchen Remodel: Black Concrete Countertops

I’ve been wanting to remodel my kitchen ever since I first moved into my house over 10 years ago. I am finally getting around to it, and concrete countertops have been in my idea plan for at least 6 or 7 years. I’ve done a few previous ones for smaller house projects: my Scuplin IPA Utility Sink Counter that I made back in 2015, and first one as a bathroom vanity countertop. I’m building my kitchen in sections, and I got one section installed and was in need of a pair of countertops that sit to the sides of my stove.  Here’s a... [read more]

Kitchen Remodel Progress

My kitchen remodel is going slow, but I finally got to the point where I could install some of the cabinets! Next up will be a concrete countertop.

Kitchen Cabinets: Introduction and Sketchup

I’m remodeling my kitchen and building new cabinets out of alder wood. I like to remember what I did, so I’ll write up some details for the next wood working project I tackle.  The first thing I did was to use Sketchup to design a 3D model of the current kitchen. This involved taking physical measurements of the room and creating a model of roughly where things were located. Then I started to fill in rough sizes of cabinets as boxes and worked on the face frame design. Here’s one of the first rough renderings I did:   I decided... [read more]

Utility sink counter top: The Sculpin IPA Counter

I wanted to touch up some of the areas next to my newly remodeled bathroom, and the laundry room needed a new utility sink. The plastic piece of crap I had was junk and I couldn’t find anything that would fit in the space I need. So, I made a custom cabinet, and planned on a nice concrete counter top similar to my last one.  This time I decided to do a more complex mold: I did a 3D design in Sketchup and made a template to go off of (based on my real top). The above shot is what... [read more]

Bathroom Vanity / Remodel

A “walk around” video of my vanity: I’m super happy with how it turned out! A nice eco friendly concrete countertop:

Bathroom Vanity: Counter Top (part II)

Some pictures of it roughly installed:    THE SPROCKET EMBEDDED!

Bathroom vanity: counter top

The project continues with a nice counter top. I wanted to go for concrete as I’m fascinated by it, and got two concrete counter top books by Cheng and some premixed stuff from his website (more on this later) Based on the books, I built a template – but I used cardboard since I had it laying around: I built a mold based off information from the books. Sprayed some sticky stuff on it, and tossed down a bunch of aggregate that I also got from Cheng’s site. Notice the custom side inlay on the far side; a bike sprocket piece!... [read more]

Bathroom vanity: woodworking/finishing completed

I’ve had the bathroom vanity completed, and I’ve been behind on posting progress. Some of the finishing setup: After finishing, I screwed the drawer fronts on: It is now sitting in my bathroom and I’m working on a concrete counter top!

Bathroom Vanity: Sanded, and starting to finish

I finished up the drawers. I used the Bessey clamps to keep things straight and tight, and also to pull close any gaps on the end: After that, some still had some tiny gaps…I mixed some sawdust and glue together and filled them with that. Then everything was sanded with 150 and 200 grit paper: And the first coat of water based polyurethane: I was having trouble getting it to spray to the thickness I wanted. I think I’ll let this first coat dry overnight and sand it down with 200 to knock off high spots.

Bathroom Vanity: Taking shape

My bathroom vanity is starting to finally look like something.  Here it is dry fitted before glue up: The process will be to put one side on The back, and then the other side: Then lastly the front can be slid on. It went together pretty well!   Front door glue up didn’t go quite as well; I had some alignment issues. I forgot that the last time I made glued together doors I had made a right angle jig to clamp them too. This had allowed me to get everything aligned and clamped straight. The main problem I had... [read more]

Bathroom Vanity Notes

These are mainly notes to myself on building my downstairs bathroom vanity (cabinet). Face frame construction was normal pocket hole screws and works well for the face and back frame (back side seen here): In the above photo, you can see the stopped groove for the bottom sheet of ½” plywood. I learned from prior projects to always stop the groove at the pocket hole screw locations. You can’t see the pocket hole screws, because they are on the back of the cabinet. The tongue will get trimmed these points. On the plans and Sketchup model I didn’t draw in... [read more]

Kickback! and the bathroom vanity cabinet

I started planing some wood down to ¾” thickness for my bathroom vanity cabinet:   As I was ripping one pice to width a small sliver came loose; there was a crack in the end of the wood, and as soon as it was free it caused some HEFTY kick back. Luckily I never have my body directly behind the wood while ripping, and the SawStop’s awesome splitter prevented it from actually kicking back. It pushed back in my hand about 5 inches. I am really happy with the SawStop.      I’m starting to get some of the pieces... [read more]

Bathroom cabinet: Free Sketchup model download!

Here is my downstairs bathroom cabinet design in Sketchup: A quick rendering:   And placed in my bathroom setup:   Download the free cabinet sketchup model: Downstairs bathroom cabinet 2015.skp    

How to make a custom bee hive stand

I’ve been keeping bees for about a month now. I absolutely love the little girls! My friend, Stefan from A Jar Of Honey in San Jose, gave me a hive to get started. I needed my own bee stand, and here is what I came up with. Cut two 2x6s (2x4s would also be sufficient) long enough to hold two bee hives. Cut two more long enough for the width of the hive. Nail them together; the legs will later add strength:     The legs I made with 1.5″ metal pipe and angle iron. 1″ pipe would be sufficient,... [read more]

New fruit trees

I got a few new fruit trees and shrubs last weekend! The new peach tree is far back right (hard to see), behind the apple tree (no leaves right now). A new blueberry bush (TODO: note what variety), and a raspberry (Willamette Raspberry) ‘ It’s interesting for me to go back on my blog and see my old trees when they were young.

Downstairs Bathroom Remodel – Tiling the shower

My downstairs guest bathroom remodel project continues. Last status was posted in “Downstairs Bathroom Remodel, shower pan, etc“. After I built the shower pan, I installed the 1/2″ cement backer board, being sure to not screw into the plastic shower pan bottom. I then used Red Guard to seal in over the thinset for the niche, and while I was at it I did the corners and bottom “just in case”. The pan is designed to capture water, so that shouldn’t really be necessary, but you definitely don’t want the niche to leak into the wood frame. For the shower... [read more]

Downstairs Bathroom Remodel, shower pan, etc

This is mainly for myself to remember what I did. I built this half wall, but it seemed flimsy. I didn’t want it to move *at all* as it might cause tile to crack: I ended up adding in lots of other support members, and that stiffened it up. Ideally just some 45 braces from the top edge down might have helped more than anything else. Doing the drywall by myself was challenging on the roof. I devised this T bracket to hold up one half of a sheet while I screwed the other half on (holding it up with... [read more]

Firewood Hutch

An oak tree fell down at the end of last winter and I ended up with a lot of great firewood. I saved a few pieces for woodworking (we’ll see how those turn out), but the rest is going to heat my house. I needed a convenient place to store the firewood, and I originally was going to turn my back door cement area into a covered firewood area…but Costanza and my friend Mark convinced me it was a bad idea (it would block too much light into my house). So, I designed a little firewood hutch that would go... [read more]

Bathroom Remodel Done!

I finally completed all the trim and paint in my master bathroom remodel! It looks awesome! I am happy with every bit of it. Some of the final pictures below: Left side of the sink / vanity cabinet: I custom made the cabinet; the bottom floats 2″ completely off the ground, and the top section floats 2″ off of the bottom section. The mirror is custom made by myself out of scrap cherry, and an old mirror I had laying around that I cut to size. Unfortunately, it has a small scratch on top..and I cracked some of the wood... [read more]

Bathroom almost done!

Shower door installed (I paid someone to measure and install it…it was much easier than me doing it myself): Cabinet doors and hardware installed. Waiting for the counter top to be fabricated…

Bathroom remodel: Shower tile

I’ve been rather slow to update my blog. It is mainly for myself to remember what I did. After I finished the shower pan, I painted this red waterproofing membrane on the areas that might be exposed to leaking; in particular, it was required for the two niches I made, and also the window sill. I had extra, so I painted it around: After that was done, I started tiling the wall! This was my first tile job *ever* and it wasn’t easy getting the hang of it. My neighbor Mark loaned me his tile saw, which helped greatly in... [read more]

Bathroom remodel: stain/finished

I’ve had this done a while…but here are some pictures of the bathroom cabinets and vanity. This is mainly for me to remember and look back on my blog and see what I did to the house over the years. Drawers installed, but the faces aren’t mounted yet: Here is the installed plumbing for dual showers (one on each side). Here’s the left side; the plumbing runs to the upstairs bathroom: Right side: I then built a shower pan according to a tile book I have (and the internet). I sort of took what I thought was the best/easiest approach.... [read more]

Bathroom remodel: tile rendering

Playing with tile options (ordered!) and still working on the bathroom remodel project. Cabinets have the finish applied, and I’m doing drywall work. Then plumbing…then tile.

Bathroom electrical

I tore out the rest of the drywall, and removed the old bath tub. I then started redoing the electrical in prep for the new cabinet. The electrical switches were on the wrong side; they should always be on the opposite side of the door hinges, so they are easy to get to when you open the door. The prior owner seemed to like to always put them on the left, which makes them really difficult to use. I wish I would have realized this before I drywalled my main entrance; otherwise I would have moved the switches. At least... [read more]

Bathroom remodel: drawers finished

I finished my drawers; sprayed 4 coats of Target Coatings Water based lacquer on them. (EmTech 6000). It took a whole gallon to do them all..and ran out right at the end. These are mainly notes for myself, as I wish I had made notes when I did my last set of drawers. I would first spray the bottoms on edge, like below: Then drop them into the normal position after they dried and do the rest. I put on two coats, then sanded with 220 to get any bumps off. The bottoms of the smaller drawers got a little... [read more]

Bathroom remodel: moving the water ins and outs

The bathroom remodel is a slow project when I do everything myself. Today I worked on finishing my drawers while also moving the plumbing for my sink. It’s hard to tell, but I cut out the 2″ ABS pipe drain on the left and moved it to the right. This mostly involved messing with stuff under the house. Tomorrow I’m going to learn how to to sold copper soldering and move the water inlets (seen on the left).

Bathroom Cabinets: Floating design

I want my bathroom cabinets to “float”. The top one floats 2″ in the air on top of the bottom cabinet, and the bottom cabinet floats 3″ in the air off the ground. The right hand side can be screwed into the wall, but the left side needs support. I welded up this bracket; it is bolted to the bottom and bolted to the pair of studs. It is quite sturdy! The top slips on; for testing to get the position right, I clamped the bracket to the walls, and used a brace on the right side: It is plenty... [read more]

Bathroom cabinets; drawer faces and doors

Still working on stuff. Playing with stains; left side is 1/2 cherry ply, right is cherry wood. Bottom has a maple gel stain, top has pennsylvania cherry gel stain. Cutting all the face pieces to 1 5/8″: 1/2″ wide groove in the center of the 3/4″ piece of wood: I then put a 45 on the inside, and a V groove with the router table 1/2″ from the outside: I tanned the boards outside for about ~5-10 minutes to get them a little brown before gluing up. The inside cherry ply is still a little pinker. It was tricky gluing... [read more]

Bathroom cabinets – building drawers

My woodworking project continues! I planed a bunch of maple to 5/8″ thick my drawer thickness. I went with 5/8″ instead of 3/4″, since my top drawers should appear more “dainty” as they are small. I should have done 3/4″ for my larger bottom drawers, but it is too late for that decision. I used my Leigh dovetail jig to cut the dovetails: Since these drawers are small, I used 1/4″ maple ply (with a MDF core) for the bottom. My larger drawers will have 1/2″ ply bottoms. The larger drawers I had to biscuit joint smaller pieces of wood... [read more]

Bathroom Cabinets – bottom piece

Tongue and groove practice; I have a height matched set. Note to self: Put the little rubber grommet inside the chuck. Place it on my table, and push the cutter into it until it bottoms out against the grommet. Then I can mount it in the router and it is always at the same height. Cut it with the “good face” down. Have the height set so there is a larger area on the bottom (slightly of, as seen here in the picture): Here’s a trick I came up with for cutting a straight edge on plywood. The two sides... [read more]

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