Camp Kitchen–Part 1

IMG_7905With my weekend off I decided to check off one of my standing to-do’s for this summer’s vacation by building the first part of our new camp kitchen… and saving a house plant along the way.

I headed to one of the nearby ‘big cities’ for some lumber. I stopped by the gun show while I was there, and picked up some ammo cans, brass, and 1st aid supplies. With some 2×4’s and plywood in my truck, I came home to build the vessel for our stove.IMG_7898

My sister had salvaged a propane range and refrigerator from an old camper, so the plan is to render a table to hold it while at our property. First, I ripped a couple of 2-foot-wide strips off the sheet of plywood with my circular saw. Since I have no table saw, I used a chalk line and guide-board to make the cut as straight as possible.

IMG_7901Next, I cut 4 legs and built a box to carry the weight of the stove at the appropriate height. I IMG_7902measured everything so that the stove would sit flush on the plywood ‘countertop.’ Upon dry-fitting the appliance, however, I found that there was bent portions of the outer frame that added 1/4” to the height of the stovetop.

I decided to remove this section and cut the flange, so the stove would rest directly on the IMG_7907platform I had constructed for it. I was concerned that this was designed as a gap for heat dissipation, and that operatingIMG_7909 the oven might cause a hazard. However, noticing a plate on the belly, I removed it and found a hair tie, match stick, spent sparkler, & cigarette butt. I then theorized that if none of these items had been scorched or caught fire, that it was likely safe to sit on 2×4’s. I wonder how many different kids had stuffed these in the vent since the 60’s era camper was first purchased…

IMG_7911AfterIMG_7913 refitting the stove, the height issue was resolved, but another surfaced. I had neglected to get enough 2×4’s to extend the box to a pair of rear legs, or provide as much counter support as I liked. Now, certainly, I could have gone to a local yard and picked up more 2×4’s. However, I had accidently purchased redwood boards, and didn’t want to pollute the project by mixing it with fir or pine. The solution… angled rear legs. With 45 degree cuts on both ends, they provided all the support I need!

IMG_7914IMG_7915On to the counter-top! I measured & marked one of my ripped pieces to reflect where the stove would go. I had to make to make multiple cuts per side, as my miter saw couldn’t quite accommodate the 24” depth. I took it out to the carport for a good sanding, only to realize that I had sanded the WRONG side. After a good laugh, I figured being soft underneath only makes it better Winking smile

IMG_7919I added rear supports off the angled legs to shore-up the back of the counter. Much to my surprise, I got different lengths! After much IMG_7918deliberation, I realized my rookie mistake. I had been measuring the distance from the floor, which wasn’t level. In fact, it sloped a 1/2” across my 4-foot wide project. Arghh! I made it work, with some adjustments, and mounted the plywood which was a tight fit!

I re-used the cut-out from the top as a shelf underneath, then added a few more 2×4 scraps for support against the stove. TIMG_7910ada! My outdoor range was complete. I ventured to the hardware store for linseed oil, but by the time I realized I needed mineral spirits to cut it with, they were closed. IMG_7908

I had grabbed some potting soil for another project, though, so I diverted my attention there. You see, when my ex-wife was moving, she left me some cuttings off one of her houseplants. They had survived for over 2 years in just a mug of water, so I figured they deserved a new lease on life. Cutting some holes in a dollar store pot, I gave them a new home. Their fate is still to-be-determined, but I’m hopeful.

Well, that’s all for now. Next on the list is to finish the top with linseed oil, maybe add a lantern tree, and build the stand for the refrigerator. Stay tuned!

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