image to enlarge)
From the time I moved to this trailer the kitchen sink leaked.
leak eventually got so bad I knew I had to fix it beyond trying to
replace the washers that since had become nonexistent.
To add to the problem the sink board, made of fiberboard, had rotted
away beneath the faucet to where the faucet was setting on nothing but
a sunken piece of Linoleum (pretending to be marble). Repair of the
sink in the conventional way was beyond question. It was time to put on
the old thinking hat and tackle the problem the poor man's way, which
is the only way I know.
I took a piece of wood about as wide as the back of the sink board,
between the sink and the wall (mirror in this case, I don't have two
sinks back-to-back, though that might not be a bad idea for the
future). I bought a new, howbeit cheap faucet that hopefully didn't
leak worse than the one I was replacing, and drilled in it holes to
match the pipes and fittings from the faucet. Wanting to be sure the
water that was on the top of the counter did not find a path by which
to reach the space under the sink, as it had in the past, I caulked the
area between the counter top and the wall. Since I have many old
bicycle tubes, I cut one apart and trimmed it to fit the bottom of the
board I made, and with weatherstrip cement I glued it (the gasket I
made) to the bottom of the board, allowing the smooth part of
gasket to go against the counter top. Then I cut the counter top holes
large enough to allow the connecting fittings to pass through. After
cleaning out all the rotted wood under the counter I could reach,
I installed the sink into its place. At the end of the
where the fiberboard hadn't rotted out, I installed two screws to hold
the assembly to the counter.
To keep the counter top from sagging in the back, behind the faucet,
before I caulked it I took a piece of 1/4 inch plywood, long enough to
reach the bottom of the counter, and long enough to fill in the space
where the chipboard was missing, and set in a couple screws to hold it
against the wall (under the sink). So far it's working beautifully.
By the way, if you buy a faucet with one of those extractable spray
do-dads, they can be worse than a pine board to try and extract through
the little hole provided. To make the hose more pliable, soak it in
boiling water until it's soft, then stretch it out and let it cool a
bit. It then will not only be more flexible, but it will be free of the
kinks it comes packaged with.
You can see the result of my labor in the photo to the left. Pretty
nice for a poor man's job, don't you think?
There's another beauty about this kind of assembly. For one it raises
the faucet up the height of the board, a great blessing for filling
those large containers, and if you ever have to fix it again, it's a
snap to just unscrew the board you made from the sink counter and
everything pulls up to eye level for
repair. Why don't all sinks come this way?
Before you install the board to the faucet, make sure it's well sealed
with a good coat of paint or varnish, then paint it to match the
That pesky vent fan over the stove has a way of getting so covered with
grease and fumes that it no longer wants to pull its own weight. Mine
was so sluggish when I first moved to the place I was afraid of it
freezing up and burning the house down. I don't know if they make fans
like that any more, but where I live the chances of replacing it is nil
to none. To rectify the problem I bit the bullet and pulled the
obstinate fan from the wall, cleaned it and all the vents and other
gadgets therein, and oiled the bearings. This worked, for a while, then
it wouldn't start because of so much buildup in the bearings. I took a
spray can of Gunk chain lube, bent the nozzle so it curved at a 90
degree angle, and with it I was able to reach through the vent slots
and oil the bearing shaft. This works great and after ten years of my
use (it's over 30 years old) it now gives me very little trouble.
Besides, oiling it is as simple as one, two three (if you count real
OR THE LACK THEREOF:
For years I lived on the
road, considering myself lucky to get to clean up once in a while at a
service station sink. Now I have a tub and a shower, but no hot water.
But in spite of the lack, I find what I have is a great luxury.
For hot water needed to
wash dishes and the like I bought an electric coffee pot that holds
about a quart of water that I keep on the stove top that I don't use,
using instead an electric skillet. A piece of plywood covers the stove
top allowing me much counter space.
Back to the shower. As
you can see in the photo, I have a foot stool and a five gallon bucket
sitting in the tub. There's also a small heater there I use to warm up
the bathroom on those cold winter, and summer as well, evenings. On the
footstool is a 30 cup coffee maker, in which I heat up the water I use
for my shower. When the water is hot I pour it in the bucket and fill
the bucket half-and-half with cold water (all I have) from the tap. I
used to have a great little battery operated camp shower I used,
sticking the one end in the bucket. But it broke and I can't
another to replace it. Instead I put the bucket of warm water on the
foot stool (taking out the coffee maker) and do a sponge bath. To rinse
off I use the lid of the coffee maker and dip it in the bucket..
Primitive to be sure, but a lot better than washing up in the restroom
BATHROOM COUNTER SPACE:
I don't know about
anyone else, but it bugs the tar out of me to have to work around, or
clean around, a bunch of bottles and other things stacked on that
little bathroom counter top. My aunt, who had a very large bathroom
counter top, had almost no room on the counter because of the hundreds
(or so it seemed) dusty and oily bottles of heaven knows what. When I
would clean her counter, it took hours to wash all those bottles, the
counter, and make sure the bottles went back in exactly the place she
had left them.
none of that in
my house. The first thing I did, before I even moved in, was to
purchase wire and plastic racks that hang from the wall so the counter
is completely accessible at all times. I even have a special little
tray where I put the toothpaste, brush and the likes. Everything not
used on a daily (or weekly at least) basis is stored in a box under the
sink. This method of making things findable I apply to all
rooms. It makes life a lot simpler.
Another thing I did upon
moving in was to caulk all places in the bathroom and kitchen where
water might pass through, such as around the counter tops, the tub, the
faucets, and cause problems down the road somewhere. My house is
completely veneered, other than the small areas in the bathroom and the
kitchen, immediately over the sink and stove. There's veneer over the
tub even. I bought a can of special varnish and put three coats on all
the veneer in the bathroom, not having done so in the other rooms as
yet as it appears it's not needed elsewhere. I believe in preventative
maintenance. Trying to do what should have already been did is the