Out With the Traditional Modern Kitchen

The cabinetry was hand built by Sterling in situ and dated November 16, 1960. We relocated them 51 years and one day later.

Now that I am dismantling the kitchen, I am feeling a qualm that I hadn’t ever expressed appreciation for my cabinets and their sturdy construction. I’ve lived here 31 years and these cabinets have been the set with which I did my daily choreography, my daily Tai Chi form, opening and closing cabinets, taking out dishware and putting them back. They had some ugly faux walnut varnish treatment which we removed, revealing the birch veneer and its sunny wood grain. I enjoyed working in this kitchen and made some fine meals for wonderful family and friends.

Dave Luce, of Albie Barden's team, preps the house for the Transition.

Dave Luce is an amazing person who can very tidily take a kitchen apart and make it appear somewhere else, and then, for an encore, carefully clear a staging area in the garage for the coming construction.

Funny story about constructing this, though. Dave puts together the really nice counter with stovetop and cabinet, then puts in the leg and plumbs it and declares it true, that this is its spot. So I take a pencil and I draw around the leg so if I ever knock the leg out of true, I can always push it back into its spot. Well, then Dave actually braces the leg! Twice! Way better than the saw horses I was going to use.
So, I’m contracting, packing up everything, except a wok and a tea kettle. Then, when the time comes to expand into the new space, I will mindfully and studiously, seeing what really is useful and what really is better purposed elsewhere.


I even got a lesson in how to make kindling. I thought I had a pile of kindling as I had been collecting the fine shards from the hardwood I’d been stacking. No, that is a pile of fine shards of hardwood, good to use after the kindling catches. Kindling is composed of fine shards of pine, because the pitch in the wood is a natural accelerant. So, any pine studs left from deconstructing walls and shelves are recycled, split, and kept in a dry, remote spot.
And a lesson on how to replace a broken axe handle. One has to saw off the metal part, insert the new handle into the axe head, wedge it, bang it in there, then soak it in a pail of water so everything swells and wedges nicely, insuring the axe head would not fly off when one swings it. Who knew? I quickly studied up; Wikipedia explains axes

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