It continued to snow in the morning, which was rather annoying. Simon was going to try and come over and drop off the oven and a few other bits and pieces, but was worried about being able to get to the boat safely. Luckily it wasn’t too bad, and so he headed over to the boat.
Once he was here, we helped clear snow from a patch by the boat so that he could turn the car around, and then unloaded. We couldn’t offer tea, however, because the water taps outside had all frozen so we had nothing to fill our bottles from. The cooker, a fetching Spinflo Caprice in green, came in one piece with the oven, grill and hob, and it was 500mm wide. We’d bought an Ikea cabinet, which was designed for ovens 600mm wide, the standard domestic size, in the expectation of having to adapt it to fit the cooker.
It proved to be a very taxing problem. The cooker mounts are two horizontal rails, with holes for mounting, but they were too close together to sit on the metal brackets provided with the cabinet, so a new method was required.
We thought about the problem over a cooked brunch in the ASDA cafe, where the staff are worryingly starting to recognise us, and went to B&Q to get some wood and bolts.
The plan was to make a couple of wooden baulks to attach to the base of the unit, and mount the cooker itself on some bolts sticking up vertically, with the horizontal mounting plates on the cooker between two nuts, one at the top and one underneath, so the whole thing can be raised or lowered and adjusted to fit the work tops when they are put in, much like engine mounts allow the exact alignment to be adjusted.
We measured the 50mm by 50mm wood we had bought, and cut two baulks to length. I drilled these through at 8mm to accept M8 bolts, and drilled a 10mm deep recess in the underside of the block with a 25mm hole saw, so that the heads of the bolts would be flush with the underside.
These were then mounted in the oven, and after several test fittings, the frame made of e 50mm section wood was in place, and the cooker was sitting on the bolts.
We are slightly concerned about how hot the mountings will get, and so have resolved to leave the back off of the cooker cabinet so that they can be easily seen and felt when the oven is on, to ensure they don’t get overly hot. If they do, we’ll think of a new way of mounting it.
It took a great deal of time to mount the oven, especially when the M12 bolts that we were originally going to use didn’t quite fit, and had to be returned to B&Q and swapped for M8. This was the time when I really wished there was a Mackays ironmongery shop in Langley Mill, as it’s one of the most useful shops in Cambridge when buying nuts and bolts and has a far better selection, at a quarter of the price, as there is in B&Q. But, unfortunately, we are under a bit of time pressure and had to pay the premium for the convenience of getting them now. Luckily it’s only a 5 minute walk from the mooring.
We’ll be able to cut one of the spare sections of white board to fill in the gap next to the cooker. Eventually, the whole thing will be surrounded by a plywood half height bulkhead behind the cooker, going across the boat, with a small section to the side of the cooker. This will mean that pots and pans on the top of the hob can’t get knocked off by people passing by. We’ll probably tile the top of the bulkhead as a splash back, and put in 12v and 240v sockets, as it’s very easy to get to the back of it.
After a cup of tea (the outside taps having unfrozen when the snow stopped and the sun came out) we set about temporarily mounting the sink. We needed to do this because he tap, from the back of it, will foul the cabin sides where they slope in if the units are pushed right back under the gunwale. The run of units along that side need to be moved away from the wall, which will provide space for any other pipe work and cables that are required.
Test fitting the sink and tap showed that the gap required was 100mm, and so we cut some wooden blocks to screw onto the wall and then to screw the cabinets onto, so they are solid and can’t move, regardless of how much the boat moves.
Finally, I mounted the Whale Gulper shower pump, and ran the 19mm hose from the pump in the bathroom along behind the units to the skin fitting under the sink, attaching it to the wall at regular intervals. The bathroom sink and shower will drain into a sump, from where the Gulper pump will pump the contents through this pipe along the 4 feet to the 1 inch internal diameter skin fitting in the kitchen, which the kitchen sink will also drain through. This means we won’t have to install anymore skin fittings, and can, in the future, fit a seacock so that the hull can be made completely watertight to gunwale level, apart from the gas locker drain and the small drains for the well deck, should we decide to do anything crazy like cross the Wash, or do any serious river passages like the Thames tideway- or even take Willow back to it’s roots and visit the Severn and Gloucester docks.
After a tidy up and a sort out, moving the rest of the Ikea boxes into the bathroom and sorting out the detritus of instruction manuals, little polythene bags, and polystyrene blocks that you get with flatpack furniture, we headed off to the station to go back to Cambridge.