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  #141  
Old 08-25-2009, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: Christo's Cucina

Thanks Kirk,

I've been a bit quiet on the list this summer (northern half of the blue ball).

There is still much clean up to do and I've had a bit more feature creep.

Todos -

OVEN - finish the color coat on the oven - it's been so wet here this spring and summer - when I'm not travelling it seems to be raining.

Countertops - I've decided to go with Granite - The whole patio and kitchen are looking so nice - I'm afraid my first attempt at concrete countertops may be less than great. I'm looking at kitchen in a box from Bedrock Creations for granite tile and trim.

Columns - wire up the LED lights and Silicone caulk the glass blocks in place

Seating wall - Add backs to the seats so guests don't disappear off the back. One of my guys in China took my sketches and made brackets for me on my last trip there - I brought them back in my checked luggage and had to pay a fee for overweight bag.

Stairs - Buy Blue Stone treads and scribe them into the retaining wall blocks, dig footers and pour the foundation for the stair treads. Stack block and top with Blue Stone - so wish I had not made them curved!

Arbor - yes - arbor the latest feature creep. Kelly wanted an arbor and I designed a beautiful one - then she said it had to be out of vinyl. I bought all the parts from Lowes and Home Depot, modified them and came up with this. Used one deck rail kit and cut down the ballusters; one gate kit for the bottom side rails; and the rest are standard parts. I found the rafter ends on line. And if you have an arbor - apparently you have to have a fence.

Table and Chairs - we found two sets on sale at HD late last Fall. Ridiculously low price. We've assembled them and have them right across from the pizza oven.

I built a rack to transport the blue stone on my trailer last weekend. I'm going to try to get some stone at lunch today.

Also sincerely apologize for the lack of wine glasses or beer bottles in any of these pics.

Christo
Attached Thumbnails
Christo's Cucina-arbor-fence.jpg   Christo's Cucina-table-chairs.jpg   Christo's Cucina-holes.jpg   Christo's Cucina-arbor-no-tail.jpg   Christo's Cucina-arbor-fence-2.jpg  

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Last edited by christo; 08-25-2009 at 04:55 AM.
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  #142  
Old 08-25-2009, 07:07 AM
mfiore's Avatar
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Default Re: Christo's Cucina

Quote:
Originally Posted by christo View Post

Also sincerely apologize for the lack of wine glasses or beer bottles in any of these pics.

Christo
Don't let it happen again!
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  #143  
Old 08-25-2009, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Christo's Cucina

It's looking so polished and finished! I always have a problem getting a project 100% done, when 92% feels and looks so complete, but it sounds like you're barelling ahead to the finish line--even if the finish line keeps moving on you. ;-)

The arbor is gorgeous, the perfect entrance to the yard. It matches the railing on the house beautifully. What are you going to grow on it?
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  #144  
Old 08-25-2009, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Christo's Cucina

Trying Mandavillas right now. One red and one pink per side. One of the red ones died while I was in China.... Planted a Mandavilla plant in it's honor to remember it by.

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  #145  
Old 08-26-2009, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Christo's Cucina

Wow that is all way cool! (with or without wine glasses ) You've been very busy.
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  #146  
Old 08-26-2009, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Christo's Cucina

Christo, I've been all over the Wine Enthusiast catalog and cannot find the cork-screw you are using (riding) in your 3rd pic. Guess I'll stick with screw cap. Dino
PS: Mandavilla and all the trellises look awesome.
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  #147  
Old 08-27-2009, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Christo's Cucina

I had a good time on the skid steer for sure! I rented it to regrade the side of the yard and since it only cost 30 dollars more for the auger attachment, I figured I should dig the holes for the arbor and fence.... That's how I got the arbor.

I made a rack for my trailer. I read on a site that 10 degrees of slope is right and it worked well. I went out and picked out and up the bluestone. Bluestone is more or less a type of sandstone. It is heavy stuff. It also forces you to become a bit Egyptian. I figured out how to move it around without picking it up. One end at a time and lots of sliding.

I had left space for the top step when I built the patio last November. Made a template out of cardboard and cut a pretty nice fit. Then the tricky part - I did not take pictures of this as I was on a roll. Trace the cardboard on the rock and cut it out with a diamond blade and a skillsaw.

Straight cuts were like brick - cut the curves freehand with a few passes - careful to support both edges to keep the rock from breaking prematurely.

I used a series of grinders and finally a random orbit sander with 60 grit paper to smooth the edges.

I put down a bed of mortar and lowered the top step in place. Looks and fits great!

Cutting bluestone and finishing the edges is not that hard!

The next step may be more of a challenge - I've got the template cut and I'm going to have to cut the stone to fit the shape of the block wall - so I've scribed the cardboard for an exact fit. Wish me luck for tomorrow's step.

Christo
Attached Thumbnails
Christo's Cucina-trailer-rocks.jpg   Christo's Cucina-top-step.jpg   Christo's Cucina-top-step-2.jpg   Christo's Cucina-top-step-shape.jpg   Christo's Cucina-top-step-final.jpg  

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Last edited by christo; 08-27-2009 at 08:39 PM.
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  #148  
Old 08-28-2009, 09:10 AM
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Default Re: Christo's Cucina

Wow, nice! Everything you do looks so utterly professional!
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  #149  
Old 08-29-2009, 05:06 AM
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But wait! there's more. actually 2 more steps.

Was going to cut a notch in the face of the retaining wall to recieve the 2nd step, but cutting the first one wasn't so bad, and as I'm pretty sure the wall will move some (but hope not much), I decided to leave it separate from the wall.

The rest of this post (dreadfully long I'm afraid - sorry for that) deals with how I made the cut - so you might just want to skip to the pics below.

Made a template that allowed for a smooth curves front and back, did not like that and made a new one that scribed the shape of the landscape blocks to the stair tread.

Traceing the template and cutting and finishing the front curve was just like the step above- but the back was a bit intimidating. Turns out it was less tricky and time consuming than I thought. the plan was to angle the cut so if I had any grinding or adusting, it would be an easier go of it.

Put on my ear, eye, and breathing protection and I followed my tracing freehanded with my skillsaw and created about 1/8 thick groove (max). I then cut full depth relief cuts on the waste side every 4 to 6 inches (depending on the radius of the cut). I used the template again and traced it 1/2 inch inboard of the top cut. I put the saw in the grooves of the relief cuts and ran them to the line on the bottom - the arch on the blade was sufficient not to cut into the top of the stair tread.

Then I not so carefully cut a rough shape of scribe on the bottom about 2/3rds or so through. I was very careful at the ends to not back cut as the ends would show.

Flipped it back over (that was the hardest part for sure) and used a 4 inch grinder with diamond saw blade to carefully increase the depth of the cut, because it was a inside curve, it encourged the blade to angle back to the bottom saw cut.

Moment of truth - wacked the one of the segments with my rubber mallet and it broke out perfectly. The rest fell in line, leaving the ends for last. A bit more careful cutting there and they fell neatly away.

Used the coarse grinder to clean up the back cuts and then used the fine grinder and sander to neatly clean up all visible edges. The first attempt at a trial fit is what you see in the pics. Very happy with the results - but I'm quite sure this is a testament on how not to do it.

One more step to go. I'll spare you any more gorey details until all steps are in place.

One more cup of coffee and out to work!

Christo
Attached Thumbnails
Christo's Cucina-template.jpg   Christo's Cucina-scribed-step.jpg   Christo's Cucina-scribed-step-installed.jpg   Christo's Cucina-back-cut.jpg  
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Last edited by christo; 08-29-2009 at 05:12 AM.
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  #150  
Old 08-30-2009, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: Christo's Cucina

The depressing thing is, you got it all looking so perfect, nobody will notice anything when they walk up the steps. Now if you'd got it all lopsided with chips and cracks and I don't know what, they'd go: Hey, what's with the steps?

Never mind, we all know . And they do look fantastic! And complicated...
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