Skirting Sinks And Dotting Windows

Working the punch list of unfinished projects, I finally had to deal with the underside of the bathroom sinks. I didn’t want to build cabinets (moisture, mold, termites), but I did want to hide the pipes:


So I cut some of the aluminum that I had left over from making the kitchen drawer bottoms and bent them on my DIY sheetmetal brake. I drilled holes under the counter tops, inserted plastic anchors, and screwed the aluminum skirts up into place. Now the undersides of the sinks look finished. Here is the skirt in the half-bath under the stairs, ready to screw into place:




The master bathroom:


A closeup:


And the second bedroom bathroom:


That’s one more of the few remaining items to scratch off of the list!

In other news, we have had more than our fair share of birds flying into our big windows. With 800 species of birds travelling through this area, something is always in the air. Apparently, the birds see trees reflected in the windows, fly toward the trees, and hit the invisible force field of the glass. We’ve been able to save most of them; we hold them cradled in our hands until they can shake off the stunned ?-what-?-just-?-happened-? look. I did some research and found a couple of solutions. One was to apply decals that look like birds-of-prey or other shapes.

Another option, the one we are going with, is rolls of 1/4-inch wide tape. The tape has 1/4-inch square dots every two-inches. You roll out the tape, rub the dots to adhere them to the glass, then peel back the tape leaving the dots on the windows. It is labor intensive! The dots add a modern look and you can barely see them from inside the house. The product is called Feather Friendly and is made by 3M. Here I am in the process of applying the dots — I had to take a break as it was about to rain and the humidity was too high and the dots wouldn’t stick:


With the kitchen cabinets done, I no longer needed to work in the carport/bohio and it was time to clean the floor. Sawdust from the caoba (African Mahogany) didn’t stain the porcelain floor tiles, but it stuck like glue, and with the addition of some dog pee here and there (thanks very much Jabo), it made the floor difficult to clean. We tried soap, then bleach, then vinegar, then scouring powder, and a lot of elbow grease. Finally, Armando suggested that he clean with a water/muriatic acid solution. This did the trick in short order a couple of hours:



And remember Ramiro who helped with welding and painting? He is between jobs so we brought him back to do some painting. Here he is sanding, wire brushing, two-primer coating, and two-finish coating the bars on the master bedroom bump out. He is a meticulous painter and this paint job should last a good number of years:


Here it is all bright and shiny:


And of course, Cynthia and I managed to sneak in a nine-day trip to the pueblos surrounding Medellin, Colombia to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Our gracious AirBnB hosts made us a fabulous celebratory dinner. El Retiro turned out to be our favorite pueblo in the area. It is located in a forested, mountainous area about a half-hour from Medellin’s airport in Rionegro. Much of the industry of the area relates to wood, with a plethora of furniture makers turning out excellent pieces. Thanks to some of our blog readers who came for our 25-cent house tour, for recommending the area!

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.

14 thoughts on “Skirting Sinks And Dotting Windows

  1. Beautiful and functional and as my husband always says “sanitary solution” but for me, that word does not work well on your excellent creativity and craftsmanship . Wow, we are going to miss your updates and inspiration!
    Perhaps we will be in touch when we return to Panama, and see if any of the 25 cent tours might still be available. Cheers and once again…BRAVO!

  2. Hey there !
    I landed on your site here, whilst searching for homemade metal brakes.
    I’ve read all your posts about this project of yours in Panama. I am astonished at all the work you’ve done. I applaud your efforts, planning, and perseverance. You’ve turned that piece of jungle into a beautiful home. So, when do we get to see your homemade press brake, and the box and pan attachment for the brake ? You still have to remake Cyn’s seed bead cabinet in metal yes ? Again, congratulations for your project, and your 10 year wedding anniversary.

    • Hello Chuck,

      Thanks very much for your comment and compliments. Yes, it has been a journey of perseverance. We are putting the final touches on it and I must say that I am very happy with how it has turned out. Perseverance seems to be the determining factor in this success. But I am afraid I have to disappoint — before I make the press brake, I think I need to sit and play my guitar for a while! And yes, Cyn’s seed bead cabinet will be in metal. The termites are wicked here. I had a very old print from a soapstone etching, of woodpeckers, very precious to me as it was from my grandmother and I remember it as a child. The termites ate every bit of the paper. I hate termites! Thanks again for you compliments and anniversary well wishes — I am happy that you enjoyed reading my blog. Fred

  3. Beautiful Home! What is you experience/background? How did you come up with this plan….Just curious. I’ve been searching for real info on how to get started, but everything is so vague. My wife and I plan to move to Panama, her country of birth, when I retire in 3 and half years. It’s my plan to keep myself busy building our dream home. Any direction you could provide would be fantastic!

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