Saturday morning. Jacquela and Steven meet at Emerald Hill with Aaron Pratt from Central Texas Custom Cabinets to discuss how to install the Ikea pulls — vertical or horizontal — on specific cabinet doors in the kitchen.
Before Aaron arrives, Steven and Jacquela slice open a package or three with help from Bani, one of Aaron’s expert cabinetmakers. Then we try different positions and orientations — vertical at the middle of the tall door, vertical at the top of the tall door, horizontal at the top of the tall door, horizontal at the bottom of the upper door, vertical at the side of the upper door, how far from or close to the corner of the door, or in the middle of the door.
By the time Aaron arrives, we’ve decided to go with vertical on the tall pantry cabinets, lower and upper doors, positioning the pulls one inch from the corner of the door panel. At the sink, however, and at one door opposite the microwave, we elect to position the pulls horizontally, in the middle of the top line of the door, aligning the pulls with everything else nearby — creating a consistent pattern, with horizontal pulls for all lower cabinets and vertical pulls for all upper cabinets.
Steven observes — It is bizarre to so extensively debate something as mundane as a cabinet handle for a whole hour, but it is also a significant measure of how close we are to finishing the house that we spent an hour debating how and where to install cabinet handles.
Steven took delivery today of more Schlage locksets purchased from Amazon at nearly 40 percent savings over the “big box” stores. Everything should now be on site in preparation for installation.
Ron Dahlke from Ranserve opened up doors and drawers at Emerald Hill to surprise Steven with several other deliveries.
Above, this device from Hafele features two power outlets and two USB charging ports. It will be installed into the countertop of the island, to power appliances and charge devices. It pops up when needed, disappears below the island countertop when idle. Cool. Suggested by Aaron at Central Texas Custom Cabinets.
Jonathan at Push Pull Open Close also delivered a small carton packed with brown paper bags, each one labeled. Inside each bag is one set of hardware to open, close and latch each pocket door.
Luis finished sanding last night by vacuuming up the sawdust and then sealing the hickory risers and treads. Today, he applied the first coat of water-based polyurethane, let it dry, and is sanding it down, by hand, not machine. There’s nothing better than fingers to discover rough spots that need more attention.
Luis continues building the stairs — riser, tread, riser, tread. This is craft. This is skill. And artistry. And passion. Luis pulled out his phone, scrolled through photos of his work to show Steven an octogon he built from six different species of wood, alternating colors into light and dark-banded orbits, gluing everything up, then assembling it into a large insert that was inlaid into a larger wood floor. This is the expertise and experience he brings to building the stairs at Emerald Hill.
By early afternoon, he’s about halfway up the staircase. He expects to finish cutting wood tomorrow, then start sanding and applying polyurethane.
Repeat as necessary, riser and tread, riser and tread …