My First Serious Project #1: Our Kitchen

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Blog entry by manilaboy posted 11-21-2009 03:49 AM 1439 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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We have been living in our house for six years now and we still have no formal kitchen. The dishes had to be done outside. SWMBO is putting up with the situation very calmly. So far lady luck is smiling. But no need to push it. I guess we all have an idea of what happened to those who did…

I did the the 6’W X 12’L X 8’H extension all by my lonesome only on weekends/holidays. Walls, roofing and the ceiling. The concrete pour for the flooring I subbed out. The size is less than ideal but compared to the 2’ X 4’ space the house came with the developer called kitchen, it is a luxury already.

As this is a very small space, we will be going for open shelving to prevent cramping the space further. Wood countertop on base cabinets made out of 3/4” marine plywood. Frame and panel doors bought at the local HD.

Wood for the countertop is Narra (Pterocarpus Indicus). The species is endemic in the Philippines and is the most popular material for furniture. 3/4” X 12” X 7’. P240/bd ft (about US$5.00/bd ft). Now you have an idea why I titled this blog as my first serious project. Making a mistake is out of the question.

The countertop being cleaned up with my trusty run of the mill Stanley low angle block. By the way, the construction is by the hybrid sort. I have a portable power planer but for delicate work and expensive materials, I will always go unplugged. But that is not cast in stone. I used a router to true up the edges for crisp glue joints. I guess for me it is going to be safety, accuracy, speed, consistency/repeatability and the tool I have available which will dictate if I will go powered or not.

With the shavings swept. The beauty of Narra is already beginning to show.

The countertop after 120grit sanding and a light pass of turpentine.

I hope it won’t take another 6 years to finish. LOL

Thanks for looking. All comments are welcome. Violent or otherwise.

More to follow…


-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

8 comments so far

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3377 days

#1 posted 11-21-2009 05:06 AM

Violent? Rico come on now…lol (trying to decide if I should turn my head on my laptop sideways)

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#2 posted 11-21-2009 05:13 AM

Looking good

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 3202 days

#3 posted 11-21-2009 09:30 AM

Nice colors on the wood…...good job…....looking forward to seeing completed project

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3471 days

#4 posted 11-21-2009 11:23 PM

Hi Rico. That Narra sure is pricey, which is why I use Gmelina at 35 peso,s a board foot with a bit of stain :-) Just picked uip 3 sheets of Narra faced plywood for 300 peso,s a sheet. I,m almost to frightned to cut it. Kitchens in the rich suberbs are amazing. Acres of benchtop, more cabinets than you will ever need, high end appliances and not a smell or scrap of food to be seen. They never get used because the maid does all the cooking in the “dirty kitchen” out the back! Hope yours gets many years of use, just remember the extractor fans for the bagoong and dried fish smells both of which are banned from my house.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 3964 days

#5 posted 11-24-2009 02:29 AM

Hi Darryl,

You have been in the Philippines long enough. You should have developed a liking for them. And for that alone, I will go to the Bureau of Immigration and lobby for the awarding of a Filipino citizenship for you. hehehe.

As for the extractor fan, it was the first among the appliances that got installed. I can’t stand that smell either ;-)

Sorry for the blurry picture. No flash on my camera phone. It looks and is messy because of the wood filler I applied with my fingers and before sanding. This is going to be painted so no need to be fuzzy on this one. This one is sitting above the range. The cabinet it is attached onto houses the circuit breakers for the electical circuits in the kitchen. I will be installing another fan just above the fridge and again under a cabinet to hide it.

Hopefully, they will be enough to move the smell and the hot air out. It is a lot easier to do it that way than banning dried fish and squid and “bagoong” in the house. By the way, “bagoong” and green mango go very well with ice cold San Miguel. In fact, they all go together very well. Try it. If you still have not. LOL


-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View Benji Reyes's profile

Benji Reyes

333 posts in 3107 days

#6 posted 12-24-2009 09:07 AM

That’s the way to go Rico. I remember my first place when the wifey wanted a kitchen that would work! Keep the sawm dust flying! I’ll visit you one of these days if you don’t mind… Maligayang Pasko sa inyong Lahat!! “Merry Christmas to all!!”

-- Benji Reyes, Antipolo, Philippines,

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 3964 days

#7 posted 01-02-2010 12:06 PM

You’re very much welcome, Benji.

Happy New Year Everyone!


-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View axilla_the_hun's profile


22 posts in 3218 days

#8 posted 01-06-2010 06:57 AM

Nice idea, venting the ref’s hot air outside. I’m thinking about doing the same for my computer; it’s exhausted air seems hot enough to dry clothes with.

As to the range hood, you might want to consider putting a huge fan. When we did our kitchen i mounted a 4” centrifugal fan over the range, and ducted it out via 4” pipes, medyo kapos ang suction for stir fry or bagoong/tuyo. A window mounted radial fan actually did the job better. Another option is to buy one of those big restaurant grade impellers and mount that outside (maybe even make it double as a dust collector ).

-- I still have all ten thumbs

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