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Kitchen done! (mostly)

March 7, 2011

While Sue flew off to New York City for four days with a friend to see Broadway shows, dine at fine restaurants, shop… I worked on fixtures and appliances all weekend.

Getting the Kitchen completed was my goal before Sue returned. While it really wouldn’t be a surprise, (cuz I know she figured I’d be at BAB all weekend) I thought it would be nice to be able to send her a photo of the completed kitchen before she boarded her return flight.

The dual-fuel range was the biggest pain in the butt. (Nothing is easy at BAB.) The anti-tip bracket needed mounting to the floor, therefore concrete anchors, therefore some hammer drilling. I also had to buy an enormous 50-amp power cord and wire it to the stove.

Then there’s the gas connections.

Junk that goes behind the range

First problem is that the height of the supply valve in the floor, plus an adapter, plus the flex line was too tall to fit under the recess at the back of the stove. So I had to buy a 90-degree elbow. Problem two: the elbow can’t rotate on top of the valve because the drywall is too close, so I had to cut away a little square. Problem 3: when I test fit the flex line on the stove, it appeared to stick out quite a bit (after also adding the required flare adapter); beyond the 3/4″ gap there was meant to be between the range and the wall. I saw that there was a 90-degree elbow screwed into a pressure check valve, so I figured I could just remove that and then install my parts sideways. Problem 3a: there was no room to get a wrench in to unscrew the elbow. So I thought I’d just loosen the pressure valve assembly, pull it away from the range, and then unscrew the elbow. Problem 3b: there were no visible screws or bolts holding the pressure valve to the range body. But I felt a hole underneath that appeared to line up with a bolt I could see going into the valve. I would need to lay the range fully onto its back to access the bottom of the valve. Answer: Forget that – I just cut another hole in the drywall…

Customizing the wall for the range

And then all of this was supposed to fold up in the recess of the back of the stove. Oh, and I had to make sure the back foot was captured in the anti-tip bracket. Blindly.

But before I pushed all this back in – I had to test everything. What I haven’t explained is that most of Saturday was spent working on the washer and dryer in the Laundry. The washer was a piece of cake – and I set a test run and it ran perfectly. But the dryer – no go. While the electric portion worked fine – the air would not get hot (it’s a gas dryer). So I spent several hours troubleshooting what I THOUGHT might be a gas problem. Since the supply line was new, and a hundred feet long, and I wasn’t sure if the plumber bled the line – I thought that maybe I needed to bleed out the air. So I stuck a fan in the window, opened up the gas line and bled it for almost two minutes. Then I worked on other tasks for 30 minutes waiting for the room to clear, and then hooked up the gas again. No go.

Maybe I didn’t bleed it enough? Not knowing the flow rate of gas, I thought I should bleed it again while I worked on other tasks outside the apartment.

A final hookup – no heat. Drat. Maybe the problem was the dryer and not the gas. So that’s when I moved to hooking up the range – if I got the range cooktop (gas) to work, then I can isolate the problem to the dryer itself.

So when I got the gas cooktop working – I had to make a celebratory video to send to Sue. Click here to view it (9 seconds long) on YouTube.

And lastly don’t forget – then there was the height adjustment. I had to push the stove in, check height on all four corners, then pull it out to adjust the feet. (The back feet are only accessible from the back of the range.) I wasn’t making much progress, and the third time I pulled the stove out – I realized the sliding in/out action was making the feet spin and change height. Like a lunatic I tried the push-in pull-out process at least four more times thinking “Maybe this time the feet won’t rotate…” Finally I smarted up and took the feet totally out, wrapped them in tape to make them “stickier” and not spin. Then, it only took two more in/out cycles to get the height adjusted correctly.

Other things completed this weekend in the kitchen:

  • hardwire power to garbage disposal
  • assemble (Ikea) sink faucet and install
  • scab sink drain from demo-house sink and install on new sink
  • install disposal and waste line
  • connect dishwasher water line, waste line, and install dishwasher
  • test everything!

Here are some pictures – sorry for the quality – I only had my phone and it was night…

Dishwasher goes well with old cabinets

I really like this next photo – it’s quite dramatic… the beauty of the granite counter comes out – but you really gotta see it in person.

The Kitchen Throne

And here’s the overall shot – only thing left to do is to install the hood over the cooktop, install the ceiling fan, and roll in the Big Ass Refrigerator!

Looks even better during the daytime!

In case you noticed – yes, there are lights in the wall cabinets – they shine up AND down. Very cool thing from these 50’s era cabinets. To highlight the cabs in their full glory, we’ll post some daytime photos after the three remaining items are done.

I can’t end the story without showing a picture of what the kitchen looked like for most of the weekend; I make it tiny so you have to WANT to see by clicking on it.


The best good news: I got everything done in time for Sue to download photos to her phone and enjoy them on her final leg back to Saint Louis.

So for our female readers, after reading this you can dope-slap your husbands/boyfriends/sig-o’s and say “SEE! Sue gets to fly off to New York while Tom spends the weekend finishing (her) kitchen! What have YOU done lately?!”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. dby permalink
    March 8, 2011 10:48 am

    Nice kitchen! Does the range still send up the orange flares or is it all blue flame now? The orange could mean something wrong with the combustion…
    Looks like a skylight over the sink? Nice quality of light.

    • Tom permalink
      March 8, 2011 11:02 am

      Hmmm… and I thought the orange was for “flavor”. We’ll check it again but I think it’s all blue now.
      Thanks Dave!

      • dby permalink
        March 9, 2011 8:56 am

        might want to disregard what I said… undoubtedly there is a lot of dust in the air at the BAB, right? the flares may be ignitions of whatever is airborne.

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