Monday, October 24, 2011

To be on a tropical island...

If you recall, my new kitchen design has an island in it.  The size of the island and the overall size/flow of the kitchen precludes having a sink in the island, but it doesn't mean I don't want electricity.  That's where the sweat and mess come in.  If you remember, my floor is made of concrete.  Because I'm not fond of the wires running across the top of the floor look, some major work was going to be involved in getting power to the island.  Yuck.

In order to know where to run the electricity, we had to know where the island was specifically going to go.  Trust me, after all the work it was going to take, I didn't want the darn thing in the wrong spot.  So, we cleared the decks in the kitchen and taped off the floor.  Thankfully there was a large divot (?) (not sure which word to use, so throwing a golf one in because it seems to be the same thing to me) from the old cabinetry, so we decided that was as good of a starting point as any place.   Any port in a storm.  We used an angle grinder borrowed from a friend to cut the channels before using an air hammer chisel out the concrete. 

In the picture it seems so simple and easy to do, kinda like on tv.  No big deal, cut three simple pieces out, and run some wiring.  H.A.  H.A.  In case you're missing the bigger picture, here's one that gives a better perspective...

So, with Marc running the air hammer and myself running the vacuum, we trudged on.  I ran the vacuum as a close distance, sometimes too close, sorry dad, in an effort to keep down the dust.  If you've never worked with concrete before, it rates right up there with grout & tile in terms of dusting mess and skin drying potential.  (Note to self, maybe I shouldn't wear flip-flops while doing concrete.)  I did tape off the doors and turn off the A/C to help with the effort, but I still need to scrub the whole house...

So, on and on we trudged, inch by inch, and what did we discover? 


Are you kidding me?  Rebar is only supposed to be every 2 feet, so I've been told, so what were the odds that the rebar would be running directly through the middle of where we were headed?????

Add to that another cattle panel, and the headaches were growing.   Thankfully, God was on our side and the rebar sat just low enough for us to be able to run a piece of conduit for the wiring.  All in all, I'm guessing it took just over 8 hours of angle grinding, vacuuming, air hammering and all the necessary safety gear, except steel toed boots to complete the job. Please note, that when I say complete the job, I don't mean finish the whole project, just chipping out the concrete.

It took another entire day to put in the wiring conduit. 

Due to the unlevel nature of the chipping concrete, so not going there, and the levelness of the conduit, the pipe wouldn't sit below the grade of the concrete.  Out came the heat gun, just enough to bend the conduit so that it stayed where it was supposed to.  It takes a while to heat up the conduit to bend it and it takes just as much time to cool it down.  Not to worry.  I had the uber heavy drain pipe from kitchen sink that had been cut out.  Boom!  Conduit done!  Finally. 

While it may not be a tropical island, I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy this island much, much more in the long run!!

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