The birth of an espresso bar - Page 2

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#11: Post by cannonfodder »

Niko wrote:Those pots and pans hanging over the Elektra has always made me nervous! As long as the new setup doesn't have those things hanging over the machine like that...I'm all for his new project. if he had a couple of Brownings hanging over the Elektra, there wouldn't be an issue over what types of shots he can produce.
:D Would you like a single, double or a double barrel? :shock:
I am going to put a rod iron wall mount pot rack over the cabinet, so they will still be there, but look much nicer.

The fireplace mantel beside the turkey mount holds the old shotgun, the Browning is tucked safely away.
Dave Stephens

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Randy G.

#12: Post by Randy G. »

It seems that all sick minds think alike! :wink:

For some months we have been talking about doing much the same. The kitchen layout in our home is not at all conducive to large pieces of equipment on the counter. The Domobar was about the limit, and with Rocky behind it not much counter space is left at that end. Add to that my wife's equally compulsive need to collect kitchen appliances and there is not much room left for the cats to land (krups toaster oven, kitchenaid mixer, toaster, three or four bread machines, vac sealer, microwave, etc.). I am not at all better- 4 Hottops, a Gene Cafe, an iRoast2, Hearthware Precision, Hearthware Gourmet, a Senseo, a Keurig machine, a Clarity, A small commercial Bunn, and a built-in gun cabinet converted to a display cabinet with three glass shelves filled with collectible coffee odds and ends.

So about the time that Dave posted his score of the base cabinets my wife, sick of my cluttering up her kitchen, decided she had enough and ordered this [I asked her, and she gave me permission to say that]:


I got the dark red version from J.C. Penny's from for $200 on closeout- $235 delivered with tax... Search for "Texas Kitchen Cart."

It's 54.75wide x 22.5deep x 35.75 tall. Lift the fold-down leaf along the back edge and the top is now 54.75 x 33.5" offering a serving area.

Although at the moment it is a bit overkill, when the Mazzer Kony arrives it will look just fine. There is no place in the kitchen to place the Mazzer except right next to the Jennair stove top, and that's not going to happen!

The plan is to do the corner of the den in hardwood flooring, remove the wheels, mount the thing semi-permanently to the floor, and plumb it as a wet bar with hot and cold water, adding a bar sink, and plumbing the drain.... we shall see how far that goes. The two cabinets and the drawers will certainly clear a lot of space in the kitchen.
Espresso! My Espresso! -
LMWDP #644

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#13: Post by cannonfodder »

Today was a big work day. I got the tools, unboxed the cabinets and did some rough fitting. Keep in mind that when you fit cabinets you need to remove and trim the baseboards so they fit flush against the mounting wall. Once I had decided on a layout I trimmed the baseboard and removed the section that was behind the cabinets.

I do have a couple of challenges, the first being a floor vent in that corner of the kitchen. The cabinets will cover it, but I have a plan for that one. The second challenge is the lack of plumb walls, which really drives me crazy. When I build something, I take particular care to make sure things are plumb and square, unfortunately the builders of my house did not have the same care in construction so a LOT of shimming was needed to level things out.

As I said, there is a floor vent in the corner of the kitchen and I will be covering it. I did not want to move the vent so I decided to remove the vent cover and put a new vent in the base of the larger cabinet. I picked up a 2x12 vent that will fit nicely. So I take several measurements, break out the carpenters square and layout my cut line.

A saber saw works best for this kind of cut. The easiest way to make the cut is to drill two holes in opposite corners. That will allow you to put the blade in the hole and make one horizontal and one vertical cut. Take your time and make your cuts true and things will fit like a glove.

I also needed to cut an opening on the right side of the corner cabinet for access to the electrical outlet. My goal here is to make this cabinet look as if it were part of the original house design, but not make it too permanent. I have plans on putting in a wet bar downstairs once the kids have grown up so one day this will probably be relocated, so no big holes in the walls.

Again, take several measurements, use the carpenters square to frame out the opening, take a couple more measurements to verify things are square and get ready to cut. This time I tape over the cut seam with masking tape. This will help keep the cut edge even and prevent chipping. Once again, drill opposing corners, put in the saber saw and cut.

My water, drain and 220 will be running up through the bottom of the cabinet so after I cut the electrical access hole I marked and drilled out my lines. While you can use a simple drill bit, larger holes are best made with a keyhole bit. So drilled my holes, ran my lines and slid everything into place.

Then the hard part, getting these level. I cut shims for a half hour to get everything level. Once leveled up (you need a bubble level to check all of this). I measured and marked my anchor screw locations. If you are not aware, homes in the US are manufactured with a 16" spacing between studs. So I simply measure from the corner to 16" and I have my first stud. I use a one penny nail to verify I have a stud where it is supposed to be. I drill a 1/32 pilot hole so my screw will run true and anchor both cabinets to the wall.

Now it is time to mark the counter top and cut it down. It is a stock Formica countertop from Lowe's and is 6 feet long. I will have an overhang on the left side (towel rack is going under there) but I need to cut one foot off. There is a trick to cutting Formica. You cut from the underside using a very sharp fine toothed carbide tipped finishing blade on a circular saw.

As with the electrical cutout, you need to back the Formica with some blue painters tape. It is heavier than plain masking tape and pulls off easily and clean.
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So we have out counter measured, marked and measured again and ready to cut. I put my finishing blade in the circular saw and get ready to cut. If you have a steady hand you can simply cut along the trim line. I like to take out extra insurance and put a jig down to guide my saw. Perfect cut.
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Now it is time for the final fitting. Put the counter top on the cabinet and inspect the edges to make sure everything is square.

To mount a countertop to the cabinet you need to put leveling blocks under the mount points on the cabinets. The easiest way to do this is to crawl into the cabinet with a marker and simply outline the mount locations. Then you can take the countertop off the cabinets, put a bead of glue on the spacer blocks and nail them into place.

Now I am in the home stretch. Tomorrow, mounting the end spacers and cap laminate on the exposed end, screw it to the cabinet, cut the grommet hole that the lines will run through, cut and mount the kickboard cover and trim. The devil is in the details.
Dave Stephens

Ken Fox

#14: Post by Ken Fox »


Looks like it is going to be great!

You clearly exhibit more competence in your carpentry than any of the contractors in my area. When you have some free time, I have a couple of projects for you.

What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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#15: Post by mogogear »

HB wrote:Seems Dave and I have similar thoughts.

Below is a photo of HB's new research laboratory (center), warehouse (center-right), office (right), and employee fitness center (far left). Arranging space and hookups are still in progress, but I'm at least out of my wife's kitchen. The cabinets are prefabs from Lowes as is the countertop (brown faux marble Formica hides coffee very well). The wire shelves are from a local restaurant supply. The poster over the bar is a blowup of the friends of HB banner printed by Kinkos.



I would really almost consider a trade for your poor "stock" Oly 2002 sitin' up there like some poor buzzard......
greg moore

LMWDP #067

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#16: Post by cannonfodder »

No photo update yet. I was working on the espresso bar late yesterday and just ran out of steam.

The counter top is mounted to the cabinets; I installed the laminate end cap and sanded it down flush, installed the wall side backsplash, cut the toe-board (but still need to cut the vent opening in the board) and started mounting all the plumbing against the wall.

I have a ½ inch copper main in the basement I put in a couple years ago with a carbon filter and heavy duty pressure regulator. I am running a 3/8 line from the regulator up into the bar and into a 3/8 T. From one line on the T to another regulator, then off to the Elektra. From the other side of the 3/8 T I run a 3/8 inch line into another regulator. Then a ¼ line out of that regulator into a ¼ T. One line runs up to a quarter turn shutoff valve and stops, which is my spare line for bench work. The other line from the T runs into another quarter turn shutoff valve and then up through the 2 inch hole I cut in the counter and off to the Bunn coffee machine. I am one fitting short of having it finished.

I repaired the broken drawer, cut a 2 inch hole in the back center of the cabinet and installed a grommet to make it look neat. I have photos and will post them later tonight.

All I need to do is finish that plumbing (one fitting) and either purchase a 20 amp 5 foot extension or build one. I have the oak base trim stained and ready to go, that will be the very last thing to go on. I have to mount the hardware on the cabinet doors and drawers and give it all a leak test.

Once finished, I will put up a parts list and price list so if anyone else wants to give it a go, you should have a relatively complete parts list.
Dave Stephens

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#17: Post by LeoZ »

so where are the pots going? cooking is just as important as coffee drinking :)

BTW, you guys got it all wrong.. the plan should be for a bigger house, or at least kitchen expansion! ;)

im sure we all have upgrade plans mine are to add additional counter and cabinet space in my breakfast area, most likely with a 2nd bar sized sink, but certainly a water line. sin'ce ive been using the lever more and more and the hx less, a drain line isnt really a concern too much, but we will see.

have fun with the reno!

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#18: Post by cannonfodder »

Once you have the buildup blocks attached to the bottom of the cabinet it is time to mount it. When you lay the counter on the cabinets, it is best to weight it down so nothing moves while you make it permanent. It would best to put 70 or more pounds on the countertop. You can use an espresso machine, some weights or your first born son, provided he does not have a case of the wiggles.

I like to drill pilot holes with a small drill bit. It makes the screws run true and starting is easy.

Next up is the hole for all the power and water lines. I decided to put it in the rear center of the counter top. Measure your width, twice, mark your centerline and then drill your hole.

Again, we are cutting laminate so it is best to put a layer of tape over the cut point. You will want to start from the top of the cabinet with your keyhole bit, drill down until the pilot drill passes through the bottom of the cabinet top. Then remove the drill, go under the cabinet, put the pilot bit back in the hole it just made and finish drilling up from the bottom. This insures you get a smooth hole on both the top and bottom. Remove the tape and put in a grommet. I went with a 2 inch hole and I am glad I did.
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If you are putting the cabinet against a wall, you will need a backsplash for that side of the wall. I did a little fine sanding to get the fit just right and siliconed it down to the cabinet. I wanted to run a caulk bead down the joint to insure no water would make its way under the joint.

Here is trick number 5 or so. Take you blue painters tape and lay a strip on either side of the joint, make it close. Keep it within 1/16 of the joint on either side. Get a small cup of cold water and a couple of paper towels to wipe you hand on. Lay a small bead down the joint. Dip your finger in the cold water and then drag it down the bead, wiping your finger off when the caulk bunches up on it. Dip your finger in the water before you wipe it down the bead. Once it is smoothed out, peel off the tape. You will be left with a tight even bead of caulk.

I used a silicone that goes down white but dries clear. So while the photo shows a white bead, once it dries, it disappears.

Now it is time to put the hardware on the cabinet. This is the most delicate part of the job. If you drill the pilot hole in the wrong place, there is no fixing or hiding it. So get out the carpenters square. Measure your left distance, and then the right, then the top then the bottom, then the bottom center. You can not measure to many times. Mark your screw center points (I used 3 inch center to center brass handles) and drill. If you measured correctly, the handle will fit perfectly. Now do it 5 more times.

I am still a part short for my plumbing, have to put two handles on (the wife got some 3 inch C/C and some 3.5 inch C/C so I need to exchange the wrong size), put down the toe board and bottom trim, but it is basically finished. I moved the kit to the countertop and hooked up the VBM and Cimbali Jr for tomorrow morning. It is not looking to bad. Once the VBM goes back, I will have lots of cabinet space and I have a ton of storage under the cabinets.

A job is not manly until meat has been exposed. Feel that testosterone flowing
Dave Stephens


#19: Post by kinkbmxco »

Looks Great!
Another tip for applying caulk which I just recently learned, is mix a little water and dish soap, dip your finger in that, then swipe it. The caulk won't stick to your fingers.

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#20: Post by OlywaDave »

Hey look above me another Olympian! Welcome to HB. That makes about 3 or 4 on HB here I think.

Dave your bar looks great. I am JEALOUS. I get a little of the business because of coffee stuff in our kitchen from time to time. Not like the rest of you I suspect, I'm lucky enough to have a girlfriend that works in the industry and some "our" stuff is hers.
David White