Tiny kitchen and bath

Using leftover cedar I trimmed out the built in shelving in the bathroom. Above the door is the light switch for the track light. I used a piece of cypress above the door because it should handle the moisture of the shower.


I used a propane torch and charred the cypress boards. Japanese use this technique on cedar and cypress to help prevent rot, water damage, etc. It seals the wood and even makes it fire resistant. 

Above you can see the difference between the burnt and unburnt cypress in the kitchen and loft. 

I decided to burn the cedar in the bathroom walls as well. Pictured below is the burnt cedar before and after applying a mineral oil and beeswax finish to seal and bring out the colors. 

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Tiny progress report 

It’s gotten a bit warmer and it’s been fun woodworking in the sun. The fact that I only have about 4 and a half walls makes me want to use a bunch of different woods, textures and patterns to break up the rooms. White pine in the kitchen (left side of the trailer) and cedar on the other. A beam of black walnut as the header. We cut plained and jointed the cedar slats and stacked them onto the wall. We glued and finish nailed the pattern. A trim piece and some fancy screws with washers to hold it all flat.   

The yellow pine car siding on the left came out awesome. The unfinished part of the wall is the spice rack. We almost messed up and sealed the wall up before running the pex plumbing line behind it.
I ended up buying an all wood (no particle board) cabinet with drawers to build my countertop off of. I got the unfinished oak cabinet, and since I have access to $1 oak boards it is easy to match what we built to the cabinet.

I decided to use advantech flooring as my countertop base and flooring of the washing machine and underneath the sink. It is super dense OSB with a sort of epoxy glue that makes it waterproof and extra sturdy. Also, the house got its first dose of snow this weekend. Here is a coloradoesque view from my kitchen sink looking out on the weeping cedar trees from the weight of the snow. 

The larger box is where my washer dryer combo will live. Underneath the sink behind the toe kick will be the plumbing line in and to the sink, shower and washing machine. 

The shower is primed to be installed. Concrete backer board put up and a hole drilled with pex line running and a brass “shark bite” pex to copper elbow fitting. The plumbing line runs from the wheel well across the back of the cabinet and up the pine wall where the elbow leads to the shower. 

Materials gathering is so important. To be completely ready to start/ finish a task and to be stopped because I don’t have the right screws, glue or sawblade is the worst. Even not having the the right saw or enough material, it has gotten extremely frustrating working in a remote area. It has taught me to think 5 steps in advance. It would be best to purchase everything needed to complete the entire house and then begin construction once everything has been acquired, but with limited storage space it would be near impossible.

Wood work

With some of the leftover hardwood lumber I framed out my storage couch. 

I used some birch cabinet plywood (stained with a mixture of the last remnants of a few old stain cans found in my grandpas shop) 1/2″ thick, to seal off a section that will use to store my quilts. I lined the floor and walls of the storage area with cedar, and in the quilt box I put angled cedar trim to finish it out. 

In these pictures I’m using a big heavy piece of wood to weigh down the cedar until the glue cures. I am testing out different finishes to preserve different woods, since I am using a mixture of green and air dried lumber. The cedar has two coats of this teak oil. The hardwoods have all been coated in a mixture of orange oil mineral oil and beeswax. I got such a good deal on such pretty wood I decided to go back. I arrived around lunchtime and snagged a few more oak and hickory boards. When everyone took off I got to talking with the owner, and after finding out about the tiny house project he threw in some beautiful black walnut boards. I cannot express how important small sawmills have been in getting pretty lumber for next to nothing. The total cost is still currently under $5,000. Wood total under (including Home Depot framing wood) $300

Here is tonka walking on my freshly plained walnut boards. Below is the orange oil / beeswax finish. Such pretty wood!  

Oak beams 

We planed out some cedar and put an angle on each edge so the slats fit together like a puzzle. 

Driving around southern Missouri we found another sawmill this time for hardwoods dealing with mostly pallets and flooring. They let us pick out some beautiful 2×6 and larger boards for $1 each. 

Above is my bedroom loft before the beam and below is after. We planed the hardwood boards and cut them down to the 3″ thickness of the panel. We sandwiched the beam between two other pieces of wood and drilled / screwed and glued them together. Instead of staining the wood I decided to bring out the natural grains with a conditioning wood wax oil product. I used teak oil on some of the cedar. 

We used the router to cut a small notch on either side of the beam for the wires. It took some work to get them all aligned in the notch, but it looks much cleaner now. 

Power

I ran all of the wire along the ceiling connecting the LEDs and soldered them. The switch is located on the opposite side as the power, so I hollowed out the edge of the loft and ran the wires inside the panel. 

The downstairs and upstairs outlets are on separate breakers, and the kitchen and each appliance (fridge, washer) has its own breaker as well. I even have an exterior outlet on the back of the house for outdoor things 🙂 

I have a track light for the bathroom and plan to hide the wires in the wall. We had to extra extend the drill bit for it to fit. 

Cedar overload 

If you ever need lumber I highly recommend going directly to the source. They give away beautiful “scraps” for next to nothing($20 for this whole pile). He said to come back next week and he’ll have thicker pieces too. 

I stained the plywood flooring of my closet and put up a backing for any visible holes in the cedar.

 

Due to mucky weather we brought the saw into the house to cut the cedar and it smells amazing in here now! There is plenty of cedar left for the other loft 

One screw at a time 

The windows have all been trimmed on the inside with furring strips. This will give my siding something to nail to. 
We found 2×3 boards at a Home Depot on the other side of the state. I think it was worth the drive for the decreased footprint. These frame out the single wall in the house -bathroom to kitchen. I put fire stop boards across in some places. These will be covered with a pretty wood and used as shelving in the bathroom. I used a piece of luann to cover the wall, staining the side visible in the bathroom shelves. The other side I left natural and plan on putting a decorative wood accent wall. This portion of wall will sometimes be covered by the sliding barn door. 

We also began the electrical process. I have 6 visible outlets plus 2 hidden for washer/drier and fridge. Both appliances run off 110. My LED lighting runs on 12v.

I still need a breaker box to finish the electrical. We are looking for one small enough to hide somewhere below the washing machine. 

The propane hot water appliance comes in the mail today ($75 off eBay compared to $250 in store- so I got two just in case).

On the way home yesterday I stopped by the American Cedar Mill & Log Homes. He is a one man cedar operation doing amazing work for the past half century. Inquiring about how thin he could slice I realized his scraps were perfect for my siding needs. $20 for a bundle of beautiful fresh cedar siding SOLD. Tomorrow morning back to the mill with a trailer 

Lights

I ordered 10 LED light strips 5 meters each with 300 diodes for $23 from alibaba. I chose soft white but they come in other colors as well. They come on a spool with adhesive already on the back. Every fourth diode has a line where you can cut the strip to the size you want. You can also solder them back together so I’ll have to find a use for all of the scraps. 

We have mock wired them with telephone wire and a 12v transformer. This will all look much more professional once replaced with electrical wire and switches, but for now I have lights! 

Since my trailer is 8ft wide they are the perfect size to run back and forth on each side of the groove where the roof panels meet. 

I am extremely pleased with how well they turned out. Especially being $2 a roll! Gotta love cheap Chinese goods! 

The temporary addition of the cardboard door has been extremely beneficial in keeping warm inside. It has been C O L D these past few weeks. (15-35 degrees) We have been using a ceramic space heater and it has been more than enough. I’m reconsidering my need for a propane heater as my appliances and heat from my laptop may be enough to roast me out of there. 
Also here are some updates on the first 3 windows. They are trimmed out with charcoal channel and secured with screws. 

I am contemplating adding little triangles in each corner to give it a more finished look as pictured below in the top left corner of the window: 

Here is the last photo I took on my way out of town for Christmas break

Holes 

I am a little hesitant to share the mistakes we have made but in order to learn from them I guess I have to own them..? We have been trying to figure the best tool for the job. It is the initial plunge cut thats giving us trouble. 
The small 7 1/4′ skilsaw with Diablo steel demon blade is amazing for cutting one side of the panel once it is in there but until the teeth of the blade catches and locks into the groove it has a dangerous kickback. This is where we incurred some minor cosmetic damage. Simple solution in order to cover it up we have moved the window down 3″. 

On the first window we cut the plunges with the 7 1/4″ diablo and continued the cut with the 10″ Milwaukee saw and Irwin metal blade. This larger saw cuts all the way to the other side of the panel but is extremely heavy and difficult to maneuver, especially on horizontal cuts. 

We even tried the sawzall but the reciprocating back and forth motion is terribly violent, and causes the metal skin to separate from the foam core of the panel. 

We took a late night trip to the store after researching oscillating saws. These are apparently somewhat new electric saws. After testing it out it will do the job but very slowly. 

We are now looking into using the smaller hand version of the skilsaw but the only charger we have for this tools battery is in Texas at the ranch. We will spend some time hitting pawn shops and hardware stores looking for a new charger and some badass blades that will cut through the metal like butter. 

It’s all about finding the proper tool for the job! 
The first window is near perfect, but with 6 more windows to go we need to find the easiest, fastest, *safest*, and most precise saw to cut the holes. The kett metal panel saw will arrive soon from eBay. 

Trim and Lights 

Gorilla glue should sponsor me. When it dries it is the same as the foam inside the panels, so we have been using it for any place where foam meets metal. 

Every decision seems so important. We were going to cut the trim pieces at 45 degree angles for a more finished look, but then we thought that might make a point for water to leak in. With the amount of silicone I have put and plan to add, I’m not sure if it would’ve even been an issue. 

The corner angles as well as the door frame are in the same galvanized as the wall cap channels. 

The metal brake they used to bend the angles was not set up right so the 90 degree angle is more like 100. Very loose and will not work. Until we figure out how to make the angle more square, it will remain in a pile on the floor. 
We also installed the LED trailer lights and wired them to the 6pin plug at the front  We drilled holes through the trailer frame to install the lights and hide the wires. This ruined a few drill bits and snapped some of the self tapping screws we have been using.