Cabinet pulls are hard

After my cleansing rant, went up the hill to install cabinet door/drawer handles. 

Still pissed. But the handles are installed and with one minor exception, did not have to hold myself accountable. They look marvelous. There are pictures. That as usual, don't look as marvelous as the real thing. Fail to capture the nuanced perfection of the simplicity of the handle design or the adequacy of the installation.

We did the kitchen in Denver about 20 years ago. Can you freaking believe that. Remember two things:

  1. How expensive the damn cabinets were.
  2. The infinity of available pulls and handles.

IKEA makes it a little easier. They only have hundreds of available pulls and handles. After much deliberation we went with a real basic handle for everything. Kitchen guy wanted us to sex it up a little. But we resisted. Stayed the course. Were prudent.

I like our decision. Only problem is the handles we chose are effectively a 3/8 inch diameter steel rod bent into the shape of a handle. I used my "mine micrometer" (a crescent wrench of appropriate girth and a tape measure) to determine the diameter. I have a very nice digital micrometer gifted to me a while back by my loyal bike wrench, but a mine micrometer is pretty much always at hand on a construction site. Plus, I might be considered a sissy (or worse a liberal) if I used some highfalutin digital gizmo. This is Arizona and the barrio...

The issue with a 3/8 inch rod is there is NO ROOM FOR ERROR. If you have to wallow out a hole to get things to align. You had better not have to wallow much or it's gun'a show. See how I worked gun in there. This is Arizona and the barrio...

Other thing I learned about our decision. If there are two handles next to each other, like for a cabinet that opens with two doors from the center, those handles had better be dead nuts level and parallel. I'm pretty sure the eye can pick-up 1/32 inch or less of out of alignment or parallel. Further, I learned our templates, while about as good as a template can be expected to be, were just not up to the task of handles that were next to each other. Further still, THE VAST MAJORITY OF OUR HANDLES ARE OF THE NEXT TO EACH OTHER VARIETY. Piss...

So I developed a painters tape, mark the holes on each door of a pair, then use a very sharp pencil, tape measure, and level to adjust and align, drill VERY CAREFULLY, install hardware, and tweak (not twerk, I went to find a twerking link, but a bit much even for me) until done. Took awhile. And a lot of the work took place 9 or 10 feet above the ground. Tools were dropped. Took awhile.

Had to go AFYAMF on the door guy yesterday. He's had a series of minor problems along the way. All of them have cost me money, but never a whole lot at one time. Just noise level stuff. We get too much of this, too little of that. If there is too much, can't return it. Of course we always find out when we're trying to use it.

I suspect the mistakes are generally driven by the fact all his order sheets are hand written with a dull pencil in small boxes. And, there is nothing easy about doors and windows. On the order of infinity things need to be specified. I had no idea. Anyway, along the way things have been wrong. We've adapted or settled. Shame on us for not inventorying ALL the parts.

But a rage has been building.

Yesterday, CtC is installing the closet doors. Hummm, hard to have two doors bypass on one track. Call the door guy.

  • He has to see for himself. First mistake.
  • He sees for himself and in ear shot of me, says yep, that's wrong. We'll have to order more rails. Second mistake.
    • Everything is ordered around here. Takes weeks. Seems ridiculous to your musist. In this particular case, the track is an aluminum extrusion, I've already looked. The extrusion fits a set of quite nice ball bearing trucks to carry the door. Very nice, doubt we'll have any trouble with these doors. IF THEY EVERY GET INSTALLED. Anyway, just does not look very complicated to me, they must sell closet doors on a fairly regular basis. Steal some off of stock.
  • He says we may be able to get them out of Sierra Vista with luck by Thursday. Third mistake.
    • This is Monday. Sierra Vista is an hour away. I've ridden my bike quite a few times from Tucson to Sierra Vista or from Sierra Vista back to Tucson. About 100 miles.
    • If they're in Sierra Vista one of us is getting in our freaking car and going to Sierra Vista to get the damn rails. Enough.
  • I smell a rat and suspect he is buying time. Go all AFYAMF on his ass. In his defense, he had probably not yet gotten the memo and thought this was the same old same old. In a nice, but firm voice, your musist asks "What do we have to do to be absolutely positively sure we have them for Thursday?" CtC repeats the point in his ever pleasant manner. Door guy says he'll check and call.
  • End of day. No call. I ask. CtC calls. Seems there are problems. I'm not yet sure the full details, but I think there are four in Sierra Vista. CtC understands that is all we need. We NEED eight, but we have four already. None of us at the Quail Manor need to build an Excel spreadsheet to do that math. I'll get more clarity today.
  • Best part. Door guy tells CtC that he has discovered the guys that built the door frames, presumably in Sierra Vista, knew they were short. But built and shipped them anyway. THAT's some fine American craftsmanship. Lordy, lordy, lordy.

Meanwhile. CtC started installing the upper cabinets in the bathrooms. Lots of details to sort, but we have all the parts. Thank you IKEA. There is an under-cabinet light. Under the cabinet. There is a wire poking through the wall to power the under-cabinet light. Where do we want the light so the wire comes out in the right place. We have to decide where the light goes left to right and then front to back. Since there is going to be a mirror below the light it's going to be seen. We want it to look as good as possible.

And since SWITBO will be applying just that little dab of make-up she thinks she needs, we want the lighting to be perfect. I, for the record, don't think she needs any...make-up.

We're still working scenarios.

And there are filler pieces. We have one 30 inch wide cabinet that will align with the 30 inch base cabinet, which is really two 15 inch cabinets, but 30 inch total. We nominally have room for another 30 inch cabinet, but given the vagaries of construction thought it prudent to get a 24 inch cabinet instead and use fillers.

So we have to figure out fillers. No biggy except that wall cabinet fillers have to fill not only the front, but underneath as well. Then do we want one big filler or split the different and two smaller fillers. More work, but we're splitting the difference and running two fillers. Going to put a piece of 1/4 inch melamine sheet along the bottom of the cabinet so have a uniform finish. Check out that melamine link. Kind of wondering whether melamine should even exist in the home! Cabinet backs and drawer bottoms are frequently melamine so we're not the first!

Meanwhile, the countertop guys showed. There were scheduled between 08.00 and 12.00. Every time these guys have called they say the name of the company, that has nothing to do with IKEA, and act like I should know them like I do say Home Depot. I don't, but eventually figure out who they are. They act like a four hour window should be expected, and they will call 30 minutes before they actually arrive. But if I'm not there its $250 and back to the back of the scheduling queue. Gives me a warm and fuzzy.

So, they finally show about 11.30, after calling 30 minutes before and sounding like thugs. Turns out they kind of look like thugs too. Pull up in a lowered loud pick-up with black out windows and wheels and tires so that I'm pretty sure this truck is not going to be used ever to haul anything very heavy. Gold chains and attitudes. This is going to be great.

Measurements are taken. Going to be a seam right here. No, you're going to see it. Say what?? What if I don't want the seam right there. Well, we can move it. Where are my choices? And note taker guy starts whiting out his notes. They take notes in ink. Hummm. So, I notice he has been whiting out the dimensions.

Don't like the choices so I tell them just to leave it where it was. Kind of because it is as good a place as any and partly to mess with their attitudes. Measurements are taken again. I've kind of lost confidence in the process. They want a signature that I agree with everything so it can be my fault if it is wrong. "See, you signed right here". Cool I say, let's run the measurements again and I start running check totals. This dimension is an inch off the others around it. Explainable, so OK. Then we agree on which edges are finished and which are raw.

Color me nervous... In theory will get a call in a day or two to schedule installation the latter part of next week. 

Here are pictures.

  • Note the alignment of the handles on the tall wall. Worried these thing to death. I knew the first thing you see coming in the front door is the tall wall. And, the next thing you would see is the line of handles that run the length of it. Had to be dead on.
  • I forgot to mention DTW (putting up fences) has been hard at it. Got the attachment points to the Quail Manor and perimeter walls sorted, which was no mean feat. And dug a post hole for the gate post on the north side of the house. There is a picture of digging a post hole on "A" Mountain. Yes, that is a jack hammer fully plunged into a two foot deep post hole. Nothing is easy on "A" Mountain.