18 July, 2010

Finishing the Job

Well, sorta. There's still a lot of work to do. Sawdust and concrete dust over everything. It's gonna take some time to clean that all up.

I thought I'd show you the completion of my project to install the range hood. First off, I decided that a six or seven inch vent pipe was overkill for our needs. It's probably some engineer or something's requirements  based on the volume of air the fan is theoretically capable of moving per minute (times the square root of the hypotenuse of the angle of the dangle) to reach the decision for the instructions to mandate such a huge vent pipe.
Holes Cut For Hood Vent Pipe
Besides, availability of pipe that size is definitely an issue down here. I managed to find a two-foot section of six-inch flex tubing and nothing else. Right beside it was a complete four-inch vent kit with aluminum flex tubing for a clothes dryer. Hmmm, what to do, what to do...

I had purchased the two-foot piece the day before. After I reread the instructions for the fan and could find nothing definitive saying "Thou shalt not use less than the stated size of vent pipe for thine project", I said screw it, go with what's available and easy to work with.

I took the two-foot piece back and exchanged it for the complete kit. Once home, I promptly started to modify the range hood itself to accommodate the four-inch pipe. The hood had a seven-inch circular knockout which I knocked out. I now needed to make that four inches. I had a piece of sheet aluminum I had used for some other project. Thankfully, I remembered I had it instead of zooming off to Villa's or National and getting another sheet.

I cut about a ten-inch square of the sheet aluminum, matched it up with the top of the hood, scribed the seven-inch circle onto it, then found the center point and scribed a new four-inch circle.

After cutting that out, I caulked and screwed the new piece to the top of the hood and mounted the hood to the bottom of the cabinet as you can see in the photo above. That is, after I used my saber saw to cut three four-inch holes up through the several layers of the cabinet. With almost inch-thick hard, hard, hard wood, that alone was a day's work.
Range Hood Installed
Then came the fun bit of cutting a four-inch hole through the concrete wall in order for the hood to vent outside. I started off with a 1" cold chisel and my 2½ lb. sledge hammer. After getting through almost an inch of concrete, my swing arm felt like it was going to fall off. There had to be an easier way, but what?

Luckily, the little gray cells were really working well. I remembered Jim had an air-powered impact wrench with a cold chisel insert. Perfect. Covered in sweat and concrete dust, I zoomed around the canal to Jim's and borrowed the tool.

I'm not sure it made the job all that much faster, but, it certainly did make it easier. Eventually, I got a hole bored through the concrete. I left it to Cody to smooth out the hole (one of the bennies of having a hired hand). We trial-fit the vent flap. It fit so well, I took it back out, sealed the tube seams of the flap with aluminum tape and permanently installed it. I caulked and screwed the flap in place. A nice, clean installation.
Hood Vent Flap Installed
After that, I still had to install and fasten the aluminum flex tubing. That went really easily even though I had to force the tubing through holes the same diameter as the tubing. But, that made for a nice and snug fit.
Flex Tubing Going Up
I bent the tubing over and ran it along the cabinet top to the vent flap tube (a rigid aluminum tube). More aluminum tape secured both ends of the flex tubing and the job was done.
Flex Tubing Run to the Outside
Well, I still had to hook up the wiring, but that was easy (white wire to white wire, black to black, and run a new piece of wire to ground the hood. They included wiring for white and black, but no ground wire with the hood. They did supply a ground grommet and screw. I guess ground wire is really expensive.

Well, that was my project for the week. We took Friday off and went to Chetumal with Doug and Twyla. I drove. I had gotten an email from them early Friday morning saying our trip was off as their Isuzu was still in the shop (Rick, the mechanic). I thought that shouldn't impede our adventure.

I had been waiting till most of our construction was done before buying Mexican auto insurance. This now seemed like an opportune time. So, to Sanborn's (, where I purchased auto insurance in about five minutes, thus enabling us to relax and have a nice Friday.

A little shopping for the guesthouse and a great meal at Mi Viejo over by the old market in Chet (not the one where the Corozal buses stop) made for a good time.


Corozal Dave said...

Hi guys, WOW!!! Things have really moved along since I popped by for a quick visit early June. I'm amazed at how quickly it's come together. I'm heady back down August 1st, mainly to do my final interview for residency, but also to do more around out new house. I'm looking forward to popping by and seeing the progress first to remember to stop and buy some cold beers...had far too many of yours without reciprocating :). Also got to meet your new dog. Keep up the great work.

Dave Rider said...

Hi Dave,

Cold ones are always appreciated. Re: the progress - it seems to go in spurts, sometimes small ones, sometimes a giant leap, other times, it just pokes along.