Sunday, December 6, 2009
Restoring an Original Kitchen Sink Base Cabinet
I'll describe briefly the term for those not familiar with that mode of construction - the mortise-and-tenon allows sticks of wood to be joined at right angles to one another - this is accomplished by cutting a groove or slot in the flat side of one board (the slot is called the mortise and the stick in this case is the rail or cross-piece) and having an extension in the perpendicular board by extending a "tongue" at the end of the other stick (the tongue is called a tenon and the stick in this case is called a rail). This joint is very strong and still used today, however in production shops it's nearly been replaced by the use of pocket screws (screws that are inserted from the back so they are hidden, angled down into the cross piece from the end of the "stick". This comes into play as the face of the cabinet (basically the surface that all the doors rest on) is made up of a frame or multiple frames of wood - thus the "face-frame"...
So the task is to first remove the mortise-and-tenoned face-frame separator, cut out the existing rotted floor and replace with a single piece of plywood. In this example I noted that much of the problem was caused or at least exacerbated by the discharge pipe leading from the bottom of the garbage disposal through the floor into a trap in the basement. Modern dual sinks share a common trap, so I thought I would reconfigure the drains and remove (and cap) the extra below-floor trap. This did require a bit of head scratching to get the pipes all aligned and working correctly - as an additional benefit, there's now more room under the sink.
Also note that I've begun reworking the plumbing and that I've added some two-by-four supports for the floor to help prevent any future sagging.
The next step is to carefully measure and install the new floor. The trick is to get as custom a fit as is possible - so the same dimensional thickness of plywood is used and very little gap is allowed between the old and new floor. The floor back is drilled with holes just slightly larger than the Pex pipe to allow access for the supply lines. The floor is then installed using brad nails to minimize exposure of the fasteners.