Progress in the kitchen

So the time has come to up the ante in the kitchen.
We have already fixed in the island and sink placement and so it was time to fit in the framework for the worktops, run the air feed for the range/boiler, get the walls rendered where required, get the floors in for the various appliances that are to be fitted, restore the seat under the window, run the gas line for the hob, run the cold water feed emergency cooler and drain for the range boiler, and generally prep it up for finishing touches.

First off was to get some render on the walls.
This is first coat lime render and sticks to the recipe we have used throughout for first coat render made of 1 x Lime 3 X sharp sand, 1 x sieved torchis (cob) and a liberal dose of yak hair.
The first coat can afford to be the consistency of double cream (not extra thick) and you apply by first using an air hose (easiest method) to blow out any loose material, and then give the area a good spray of water. Once the wall is nice and wet you sort of chuck the stuff at the wall.
I have the mix in a wheel barrow next to me so I can scoop up what I need then work it up on the hawk. It takes a while to get your wrist action right (I suppose working on ships for years does have some advantages) but once you have your technique sorted you can really get a move on and cover large areas quite quickly.
I use a plasterers trowel (the long oblong one) and get a decent lump on my hawk, work it up a bit (by lifting it and dropping it on the hawk to get rid of any excess air) and then using the end of the trowel flick it at the wall using fist sized lumps. This means you get good penetration of any large holes and all the cracks.
You just choose one area and keep at it until you have done about 5 to 10 minutes worth and have a good area covered (up to 1m2)
Then get a half hawk load, work it up and pushing really firmly smear it on over what you have done.
You have to use quite a bit of force to get it to run smooth but just do one or at most two runs of the trowel with each extra load you put up. If you spend too long fannying about with it you will worry it off the wall and have to start again.
If what you have done comes off when you apply the smoothing coat just bide your time and leave it longer before you apply the smoothing coat.
This is whats known as the scratch coat so don’t much about with it too much at this time as long as it is on the wall and following the contours you want then its fine. After it has been on the wall about an hour or more you can go over it with a wet trowel just to tidy it up and fill in any gaps or missing bits you need.
Here is after the chucking process and the first smearing in one section

and here is some more early work

You can really build it up to cover all sorts of stuff underneath but make sure you take photos so you know where it all is

This lot was tidied up and secured to the wall by using some plastic bash in tabs made for the job. The bit of plastic piping you can see is going to be for the feed and return 16mm copper tube to two lengths of “Thermaskirt” (http://www.thermaskirt.com/products.aspx) that will be along the cold wall on the other side of the kitchen (it backs onto a garage is insulated but could just do witha small heat source there for any really cold snaps) I am miffed that they will be seen, but it was one of those things that we forgot to consider at the time when we laid the floor.

Now here it is all done up with the “scratch” as well,. The scratch coat is what gives a key for the next smoother coat to grip to.
You achieve the effect by either spending money buying a scratching tool OR you get a 20 cm length of 4 x 2 and then make some drill holes to stop it splitting and then hammer half a dozen nails through it. Then you mark up what you have done going in about 3 to 5 mm depending on how deep your first coat is. Bast to do this last thing before you knock off or first thing in the morning as it will still be workable then.
(also not that all the wood beams and uprights etc have all been masked and covered where possible as Lime mortar is a bastard for staining wood black if you let it get on and it penetrates deep as well.

This is the rest of the scratch coat on leaving stone revealed in the places where we want it

and here with daughters dog in the middle of the room wanting me to chuck the ball again

Mrs B has taken ion the task of this rooms render and the results so far are looking good. The areas in the pictures above are now ready (once dried for a few days or better still weeks) for the smoother top coat that is the same mix but doesn’t have the hair in it (opinions vary on this but I prefer the top coat without hair) which Mrs B will be starting in the next week or so.

Here you can see how we are trying to build in a transition between new and old materials in way that enables them to sit comfortably with each other. Once all the wood is oiled up and the render lime washed etc we think it will be a very welcoming warm and comfortable kitchen.

Love and Peace

Bentley

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