Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kitchen Bar Top Complete!

It's taken way longer than we thought it would, but our bar top that finishes off the kitchen island is finally done.

But before we get to the big reveal, let me share what it took to get here. First David came up with the bar top design:


Please note the ogee edge all around the glass, along with the diameter of the three holes. These will come into play later.

We had hoped to have it made at the glass shop here in Corozal, but that didn't happen for a variety of reasons, which I blogged about last December. Instead, we had the work done by a shop located in Chetumal, Mexico. We were told that it would be ready around the beginning of February, but that didn't happen. Then we were told it would be ready somewhere near the end of February. Well that did happen, but not before a few day's delay for when the truck transporting the bar top from the factory in Mexico City broke down on its way to the showroom in Chet.

While waiting for the glass to get done, we knew we were going to need some sort of support brackets, as well as bolts, to keep the glass secure. We had picked up bolts on an earlier trip to Belize City, which explains the 1/2" diameter request for the bolt holes in the design.

But getting brackets was another matter. We wanted something thin enough to fit between the front cabinet doors on the island, but sturdy enough to support the glass. They were going to need to be custom made.

Yet again, David sat down with his laptop, came up with a design, then was off to Capital Metal (right here in Corozal) to see if they could do the job. Turns out that not only could they do the job, but said they could have the brackets done in less than a week. At this point in our remodeling efforts, we just nodded our heads and said, "yeah, right".  But lo and behold, they got them done early!

To be on the safe side, we had five of these made and painted -- one being a bit bigger than the others to be used as the middle support. From what I recall, they averaged out to be around $12.50 USD each and that included the painting.

Here they are mounted, waiting for the bar top to arrive. During this interim, I used the time to train myself not to jab my hip on the pointy ends of the bracket, with only marginal success.

Then finally, this Monday, the glass was here:


Whaddya' think? Pretty cool, huh? Those brackets almost disappear and gives the illusion of the glass just floating there.

But things didn't go quite as smoothly as we hoped. Remember that ogee edge I pointed out earlier? Well that didn't happen. We got a half-bullnose. And remember those 1/2" holes that were to be drilled for the bolts we bought? Well, that didn't happen either. Instead, they drilled 7/8" holes. Why? 'Cause they could. 'Cause they don't need any stinkin' design plans. 'Cause who knows?

When David pointed out the issues, the guys at the shop did acknowledge them, still without giving any reason. But they did end up knocking 10% off the price and found three bolts that would fit, which they threw in for free.

And believe it or not, this piece of glass made it from Mexico City, to Chetumal, then here to Corozal mounted only on a piece of plywood, wrapped in some paper, and transported in the back of pick-up trucks. But there aren't any scratches or nicks or chips. Go figure.

At the end of the day, we're more than happy with the end result -- even though it took over two months and didn't turn out exactly how we expected. Of course, now we have to teach the cat to not jump up on it. Yeah, I know, good luck with that.

But Wait! There's More!

Just when you thought our kitchen was complete, there still one more kitchen project  in the works.

See where the table is along the side wall of the kitchen? Well, the table (and the six chairs) are being adopted by friends of ours and we'll use the space for...

...a corner cupboard and a desk area! David designed the cupboard in such a way that we'll have a pull-out shelf for the water bottle, a bin for dog food, plus lots of shelves to use as a reserve pantry/storage area. The desktop will be the same type of wood design as the countertops. The cupboard and the desk base will be white, with doors to match our kitchen cabinets. I'll move my computer from the spare room to the new desk and will be able to be within easy reach of all my recipes and be a pain in the ass to David while he works on his laptop in the living room.

We're using the same contractor who did all our kitchen stuff, and he expects to be able to start the job in about three weeks. Then it will take about three weeks for the actual build to take place. As the word "about" is a relative term, and the concept of time is relative living in Belize, we figure we should see it sometime around mid- to late May. Watch for updates!

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