If I don't start it, I'll never finish it.
The final design is nearly complete. The plan of attack, isn't quite that close, but it's gotten to the point that I cannot get much further without getting my hands dirty and tearing into the place.
But before I start,...
Rant On TV Demolition...
Nearly every single home fix-it-up show starts with a bunch of hammer-swinging, crowbar-thrashing, kick and punch Neanderthallery. Cabinets get torn down by glove shod hands to fall in huge, dust-spewing sections with doors swinging wildly and plywood splintering. Drywall and framing studs explode under the assault of wild sledgehammers, thrust as viciously as the rifle butts of the trenches of the Western Front in 1914. Claw hammers get flung like tomahawks through single-pane windows, blasting gleaming glass fragments in every direction.
In my, ever-so-humble opinion, it's a blast for television, but it just makes a hell of a mess for laborers to gather when the cameras turn off. This unnecessary carnage destroys any potential recycle / reuse / resale potential, and relegates a bunch more trash to our landfills. To top it all off, this aggressive assault increases the odds of injury. Stupid.
Real pro's don't do this crap. You ever watch Tom Silva from This Old House whip his 16 oz, hickory-handled claw hammer from his pouch loop and whip it around like he's fighting of a rabid grizzly bear? No. He takes tuff apart with surgical precision, without so much as a grunt of exertion. That's a true renovation bad-ass in my book.
Ranting aside, I need to keep some of our cabinetry intact for a temporary kitchen and I can't have a huge mess as we try to live our daily lives. This evening and weekend remodel project is going to take a while. A long while.
I pulled what was originally the over-fridge cabinets down first. They were screwed sideways into the panty as well the wall. It was a little awkward, to get the last screw out and take the weight of the piece at the same time, but it came down easy. I think it took me less time to unscrew it and lift it down than it would have to beat the thing off the wall like a berserk Viking. Plus, there was also a complete lack of cleanup. I slipped the screws into my nail apron as I went.
I didn't expect the pantry to be the beast. I expected to pop up the ladder and zap a couple screws out with the trusty impact driver and slide the unit out in one gentle tug. Yep, I'd slide the unit over to the temporary location, restock it with all our favorite munchies, and keep on demolishing.
No, it was the beast.
The pantry was tiled into place with absolutely no room to wiggle it out. There would be no easy sliding out. I slipped a crowbar under the side and put my boot on it to lever the thing upwards as I gave it a hard tug. Drywall dust sprinkled down from above.
Forget all that judgy stuff I said about violent demolition. I put some sinew, bone, and sweat to it and,...
I yanked at the damn thing like a raving madman.
I grunted and strained muscles, thrashed it back and forth, and kicked at the base with steel-toed Keens.
Drywall buckled above, wood splintered below, and the cabinet screamed as it skewed out of square. Curses slipped between my clenched teeth, through my tight lips. sonofabitch...
"In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenity that, as far as we know, is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan." -Ralphie Parker
It was done. The beast was free.
Despite my spat of violence, I had figured the drywall above would have given enough to let me have the 1/8 to 1/4 inch I needed. I'd be tearing the soffit out later anyway.
It had given way a little bit, but it was the cabinet base that had actually splintered waaaay too easily. It was rotted out for a few inches and re-faced with an outer veneer to hide the damageI'd discovered how our insurance company and restoration contractor had saved a few bucks when our house flooded a few years back. They'd just skinned the foot kick and end panels over and let the base degrade. Bastards.
I'd have to do something to repair the panty for temporary use, but I still had some Hulk rage left in me. I wanted to rip another section out. The next piece surrendered without a fight.
This will never stand
The pantry was drunk as a skunk. It couldn't stand up on on its own without slouching forward and crashing to the ground. There wasn't enough base structure to hold it up. I'd have to Macgyver something into place, preferably without going out and spending any money on material.
So much for getting a bunch of demo done on a Sunday afternoon. We had to have some semblance of a pantry and storage back together to start the week. Packages of food were scattered across every surface in sight.
I went to town, slicing scraps of 1x4 to length on the miter saw, drilling pocket holes and piecing a new, double-decker base into place.
I got a sweet, new Kreg Jig K5 Pocket Hole System for Christmas and I can't wait to try it out. The problem is that I've still not set it up and actually read up on how to the contraption. This would have been be a perfect situation to try it out, but the day was slipping away from me. I used my little buddy, the Kreg Jig R3, their smaller, entry level pocket hole jig, that can just do no wrong.
I screwed into the base from above and from the side to lock it into place. No pre-drilling time wasted, I ran Spax self-drillers through, one after the other until I had a solid base.
With the panty screwed into a wall stud, it wasn't going anywhere. After I reassembled the base cabinet and chunk of countertop, we had our little sub-kitchen ready to get us by for a while.
I called in the cleanup contractor while I restocked the pantry.
Ready for the next phase.
I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped, but it was a good start.
It's underway. No going back now.