Baby's got a brand new old sink

Baby’s got a brand new old sink

i hate plumbing
cause i love water
the irrepressible will of the flow of a community of droplets
that grows exponetially by volume
is a powerful inspiration to me
i guess the difference lies in the control

if you’re gonna channel water
you have to keep it all in check
if 1 little seep occurs
it will eventually expand like American settlers in the west
as more & more drops come to join in the fun

in all my years of building and renovation
i’ve always avoided all but the simplest plumbing
because if you make a mistake you end up with a big goddamn mess

but baby wanted an old porcelin farmhouse sink to go into our 19th century farmhouse
and found one on Craig’s List
beatup from decades of dishes & pots
pocked with way to many applications of Ajax
but there she sits now that i bought it for her birthday
took me 3 days to get it in
1 to get the rust and scum off and recoat the bottom
another to rebuild the most cockeyed cabinet i think i’ve ever seen
oak facade with nothin’ but particle board, paper board, and knotty pine behind
so typical of a shallow real estate flip quick trip to Homer Depot for the cheapest thing you can find
but i got it all shored up with various pieces of stuff i keep in the barn…
off cuts and leftovers

With the exception of the new fangled hardware...looks like it's been there since for decades

With the exception of the new fangled hardware…looks like it’s been there for decades

on the 3rd day
i started out by retro fittin’ the cabinet
to support the contours of the sink
i’m pretty sure it’s a prewar unit
cause the steel was shaped to fit over nominal 2x4s
that were 1 3/4″ x 3 7/8″
so i ended up havin’ to mill pieces for it to rest on
then came the plumbing
i’ve installed faucets before so that’s no big deal really
while the shape of lumber has dwindled over the years
seems that faucet standards remain the same
they even had a sprayer hole on there
so our new unit plugged right in
i put the drain assembly together
got the drain pipes screwed on lickety split
god love the compression fitting
boy i sure do
i was able to reuse all of the existing PVC fittings
just add a tee + extension since we replaced a single basin with a double
and a quick little bit o cleaner and adhesive on the right angle goin’ down
Bob’s your uncle and i was done
ran water in both basins
no leaks
stopped up the drains to collect water to test that
both drain assemblies were seepin’
that’s why i hate plumbing
nothin’ but a big pain in my ass

come to find out you do have to wrench tighten the drain assembly…
“one the tighter connections in plubming”
i thought was all hand tighten
so i had to pull out all of the drain pipes
got down under there with the 18″ pipe wrench through a 12″ wide cabinet opening and cinched ’em down
cussin’ & scufflin’ all the way
but done
tested it again

baby made up some raviolis for supper
Trader Joe’s goat cheese and sundried tomato with their vodka sauce on top
and i sat down to look at a some web forums to see what they had to say
sorry guys but i don’t even remember which sites
cause i was so aggravated and intensely lost in my morass of drips
that my myopic mind could only focus on my deal
i didn’t even look at the URLs or site names
but i found my issues
the first was the fiber filter on the drain i pulled out of the existing sink was shot
and wasn’t helping to lubricate the friction between the nut and the rubber gasket
so a bit of dishwashing liquid does the trick to smooth the way
and i guess i didn’t use enough plumber’s putty in either assembly
it seems to help to get some putty into the threads of the drain stem to really seal the deal

so slopped great gobs of putty in there
and when i got back under there and pick up that heavy bastard to crank that nut down again
round about midnight
i stopped
took a cleansing breath
and realized that it’s just not that bad
it’s just a sink
a sink that my baby really wanted
a sink that will make our lives a little happier
so what the fuck
take it easy and let it be good
let it flow like our little creek on down to the river and into the great big ocean
just tighten the nut

woopsie...but no drips

woopsie…but no drips

as you can see here i jiggered 1 of the gaskets
maybe i over tightened a bit
but it doesn’t leak so i’m not goin’ back til i have to
cause it works
and sittin’ here by the creek now
i know that i have more water channeling to do
there will be other sinks to fix or install
and even right here in amongst the rocks
for when the mountain fills with droplets
in the spring and autumn
and whenever we get our next hurricane
the creek will rise
and we want to encourage her to go specific places
in order to play well with our other citizens of the ravine
not the least of which is our little 1 Leaf wedding oak
it helps me to remember
that the power of water will
rests in it’s ease of action
and in the ultimate willingness to play along with the path
and a commitment to be within the community that resides there

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