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RE: Have you cooked a turkey on convection roast? (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: rococogurl on 11.15.2013 at 03:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

Happy to share the stuffing recipe, legallin, thanks for asking.

A few notes:
**There is no egg in this stuffing -- none is needed.
**If someone wants to make it richer there are two ways: one is to mix in about 4 tb of unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch cubes just before stuffing the turkey. Or add cooked pork sausage to the recipe as specified below.
**I usually use non-latex gloves when I work with the turkey and stuffing just to protect my hands from scrapes and the gloves make it easier to stuff under the breast, I find. I remove them before I truss (too slippery otherwise).
** Frozen turkeys need to be thoroughly defrosted and drained really, really well and blotted well inside. (Best to sSee notes upthread on this).


Mushroom-Sage Turkey Stuffing

Makes about 10 cups

Enough for cavity and breast of a 12-pound turkey. This can be prepared several days in advance and stored in an airtight container. It should be brought to room temperature before stuffing the turkey. The recipe doubles and triples easily and a variety of mushrooms can be used.

1-pound day-old sourdough bread (I use a sourdough boule), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups boiling chicken stock
6 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 medium onions, minced
4 medium celery ribs, sliced thinly or chopped
1-pound fresh mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced thinly (can be combo of white mushroom & portobellos, cremini or can be any mixture of fresh mushrooms or fresh combined with dried . If using dried mushrooms strain and add sub the mushroom-soaking liquid for the stock above - coffee filter best for straining)
Salt and ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried, crumbled sage leaves, or ½ teaspoon chopped fresh sage
½ teaspoon dried summer savory, or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh savory
1/3 cup minced parsley

Put the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the hot chicken or mushroom broth and mix thoroughly; set aside to cool.

Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and onions. Stir over low heat until softened. Stir in celery and cook over medium-low heat until celery softens; add to bowl with the bread.

Heat 3 more tbsp. oil to the skillet. Stir in the mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat until they darken and all the juices have evaporated. Add mushrooms to the bowl. Add salt, pepper, thyme and savory; mix thoroughly. Adjust seasoning to taste. Can cool, cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

Remove stuffing from refrigerator 2 to 3 hours in advance. Stir in parsley. It is ready to use.

Note about additions: 1 pound of cooked bulk pork sausage can be thoroughly cooked, drained, crumbled and added to the stuffing. It is delicious but makes it much heavier (of course) and it makes more stuffing.

To stuff the turkey 3 ways (neck, breast, cavity)

Remove everything from the turkey cavity (I keep the neck, heart and giblet to cook in the stock for the gravy. The liver can be cooked, minced and added to the stuffing if you like or used for something else like a pet -- otherwise discard).

Turn the turkey with the leg end facing you and check inside the cavity from the leg end for anything along the backbone -- scrape it out with a paring knife and discard the gunk.

Turn it so the neck end faces you, lift the neck flap and pull away all the visible fat and anything else clinging to the neck skin, taking care not to cut through the skin with a knife or make any holes in the neck skin.

Rinse turkey in ice cold water, drain well it well by upending. Then pat it dry inside and out with paper toweling, changing the toweling several times. Be sure to blot out any excess liquid inside the cavity. The turkey is ready to stuff.

Turn the turkey so the neck end faces you. Lift up the neck skin, and with your fingers, gently feel for the connecting membrane the holds the skin onto each side of the breast, which you can see. Carefully break through that connecting membrane, wedging your fingers in between the skin and breast meat and working around to make a pocket with a 1-inch margin all around. Work carefully to avoid making holes in the skin, which will stay connected to the breast bone.

Repeat to make a pocket over the other side.

To stuff, lift up neck skin and push small handfuls of stuffing into each pocket, working it down towards the cavity end. Fill the pocket evenly to form a 1-inch thick stuffing layer. Repeat to fill the other side. Massage as needed from outside to equalize stuffing and mold it to the contours of the breast.

Turn the turkey and stuff the neck end. Pull the neck skin under the turkey, then secure it by twisting the wing tips back and under so they hold the neck skin in place (if the skin is too short to be held in place by the wings, it can be secured with a toothpick, skewer or trussed). Wing tips are flexible and will stay put so the neck-end of the turkey rests on them.

Pat the inside of the turkey dry again with paper toweling. Spoon stuffing into the cavity then push it back towards the neck end -- it can mound up outside slightly or not. Slide a piece of trussing string under the turkey tail. Pull the legs together then loop the string up and around the legs in a figure 8. Tie a knot to secure them.

It is not necessary to sew the turkey closed at the cavity end.

The turkey is stuffed and ready for roasting. It can be and set aside at room temperature 70-72F for 3 to 4 hours, if necessary.

This post was edited by rococogurl on Fri, Nov 15, 13 at 15:08

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clipped on: 11.15.2013 at 05:35 pm    last updated on: 11.15.2013 at 05:38 pm

RE: Have you cooked a turkey on convection roast? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: rococogurl on 09.07.2013 at 09:06 am in Kitchens Forum

wannaknow - FDA and food safety people give a 2 hour guideline for food being "safe" out of the refrigerator. Anyone who is concerned about this should abide by that guideline.

But I've edited a food magazine, written 4 cookbooks, and taught cooking classes for 9 years so I've test-cooked and watched others cook turkeys and everything else. IME a turkey that's been defrosted in the fridge can have a considerable amount of ice crystals both on the giblet package and inside the cavity. Even fresh turkeys can have some if they've been iced.

So, IME, leaving a turkey out for 6 hours (4 minimum) in a cool location -- underscore cool by which I mean 68 to 70 F -- allows the deicing to complete and the cavity to be properly drained of residual liquid that collects there.

Otherwise, that liquid in the cavity (which harbors a lot of natural bacteria and traces of blood -- notice it's pink) will be absorbed by your lovely stuffing while the turkey cooks. Or, it will pool up inside the cavity and not look so appetizing when it's done (also true for chicken).

I want all that excess liquid out of my turkey. So I leave it in my sink to let it drain. An idea place is a prep sink (open end down) with a sink rack. The location must be cool.

Why don't I worry about safety? Optimum refrigerator temperature is 40 degrees F. (My fridge is 40F this a.m.) That's 8 degrees above freezing. IME an 18 to 20 pound turkey that's refrigerated for a day or two doesn't get dangerously warm in 6 hours, especially with the troublesome liquid being removed.

I handle poultry with food-safety gloves (always a good idea). I rinse the cavity (again, they say you're not supposed to) and I pat it as dry as possible with paper towels. I also put some kosher salt or sea salt in there.

Also, my sourdough-mushroom stuffing has no egg. No egg in stuffing is a good practice. Important: I stuff just before roasting -- I don't stuff ahead and I don't ever refrigerate the turkey with the stuffing inside. That's not good for reasons stated above.

Stuffed or unstuffed, cook the turkey right away. It shouldn't hang around.

Additionally, I use a fast roasting method for turkey that starts in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Even after the oven is turned down to 325, the turkey is cooking at higher heat during the first hour.

That means heat will penetrate faster to the center, -- which is especially desirable if the turkey is stuffed -- helps thick breast meat and leg joint cook through. Also, the skin (which permits evaporation) becomes browned sooner and thus retains moisture better.

Ilene improvised with the cookie sheet but I use something slightly deeper for roasting poultry. Had Ilene been roasting a brined turkey there would have been trouble. A two-inch high roasting pan will do. That's what I use. I don't like deep "turkey" roasters.

I love a convection setting for turkey for the reason stated above -- the hot air circulation creates crisp skin that helps seal in juices.

This post was edited by rococogurl on Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 9:11

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clipped on: 11.15.2013 at 05:36 pm    last updated on: 11.15.2013 at 05:38 pm

RE: Have you cooked a turkey on convection roast? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: rococogurl on 09.02.2013 at 03:50 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've done it both ways. Sort of depends on the oven and how it performs. One thing I will say is you get to know your oven doing a turkey.

alex mades some really good points: air dry the turkey in advance, get it out of a deep roaster and cook it on the lowest rack possible (heat rises).

I leave mine out of the fridge for at least 6 hours before roasting, which helps the heat penetrate. I also leave the stuffing out as well (no egg sourdough with mushrooms, onions and sage) so it's not ice cold.

I stuff and truss it then rub it lightly with vegetable oil. I also kick-start it at 425 for 15-20 minutes then I turn the heat down to 325 for the duration. That starts the browning earlier but also helps insure it will be cooked through -- so it needs to be near the bottom of the oven and it might need a sheet of foil loosely over the top at some point.

Whether I'm using convection or not, I cook it at the same temperature -- convection cooks more quickly in some ovens but that mainly affects how long it cooks.

My oven has a drip pan that slips underneath whole the rack. The one issue with using the rack method is that there are no veggies in the roasting pan and no cooked-on bits that give the gravy so much flavor. So it depends on the end result: gravy or no gravy.

More often, I put the turkey in a shallow but sturdy roaster (never a deep one) and let it rest on a bed of finely minced onions, celery and carrots with thyme leaves and a bay leaf or two. Those cook down and, as the juices start to caramelize, the veggies help form the base of the gravy. Meanwhile, I take chicken stock and enrich it with all the turkey trimming, neck, gizzard and heart.

Turkey is relatively lean, which is why it's always important to keep the breast moist. When I was editing a food magazine years ago, we did a side-by-side test of basting and no basting. Basted turkey was more moist (it also gives a base for the gravy -- guess by now it's clear I love me my gravy). So I baste as quickly as possible (opening the oven door lets out 1/3 of the heat) so the first baste is when the oven is turned down from 425 to 325 -- it helps reduce the heat. Then about 1x per hour during the cooking. I've seen turkeys take forever to cook because someone was pokey about the basting and 325 isn't a very hot oven.

I've found that the breast meat can be kept super moist by putting some stuffing under the skin all over the breast and then shaping it smooth. Great results and terrific, crisp skin that's sort of like crackling with benefits.

There is clean up in the oven after roasting a turkey though not always as much as with a chicken.

A probe is great as long as it's in the thickest part of the thigh or breast but not touching the bone. Then there's the old skewer test for doneness -- stick it in down to the bone in the breast and in the second joint -- if juices are pink it needs more time -- they run clear when it's done.

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clipped on: 11.15.2013 at 05:37 pm    last updated on: 11.15.2013 at 05:37 pm

RE: Bassett Sofa with Down Cushions????? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: dcollie on 11.07.2007 at 06:09 pm in Furniture Forum

I can't address Bassett cushions specifically, but generally the industry all uses the same basic format, and from your description you are telling me that you are looking to buy a down-wrapped cushion, not a spring down. Most furniture builder outsource their cushions, so they're pretty commonplace among the major suppliers.

Down 'leaking' is a thing of the past, as any maker has down-proof ticking surrounding the actual down itself. As for 'packing down', it sure does take a long time for that to happen, I've seen down cushions routinely go thirty years, much longer than the coverings and frames in some cases.

Almost all cushions are lifetime warrantied from all the major premium makers these days, thats not unique to Bassett. Cushion suppliers warranty them, so the furniture makers pass that along to you. Most the time, you only have to pay the UPS charge for a new cushion and they rarely want your old one back.

Here's the three basic cushion types, simplified:

Qualex (Foam): Just as it sounds, wrapped with a fiber ticking. Better foams can be quite durable and comfortable. For most leather furniture, this is the best choice. They retain their shape and form well.

Semi-Down Cushion (Down Wrapped). You have the foam cores, and then 1" to 2" of goods feather down is wrapped in the ticking and surrounds the foam. Usually a nominal upcharge.

Spring Down (Marshall Unit). A high tech cushion that replaced the full-down cushion in most applications. A Marshall Unit is a series of small grids (waffle-like) each with a small spring about the size of a pencil inside every individual grid. The down is them placed inside each grid with the spring in each one acting as a shock absorber. There are hundreds of little grids and springs in a typical sofa cushion. All is then encased and wrapped with another layer of down encased in ticking. Marshall units are expensive to make as you would imagine, and carry a premium upcharge. The benefit is all the comfort of a down cushion, but the cushion will return to about 80% of its height after being sat upon, and doesn't need to be fluffed back up like an all-down cushion.

It always pains me to hear of an upholsterer throwing out a Marshall unit cushion to replace with conventional, unwrapped foam during a re-upholstery procedure. Rarely have I ever seen a Marshall unit break down, and you cannot simply go do the crafts store and buy one. Most will last through three or four upholstery jobs just fine. They are custom made and usually only available from the manufacturer IF they are still making that specific model frame.

Hope that helps explain it some.

Duane Collie
The Keeping Room

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clipped on: 05.02.2013 at 08:14 am    last updated on: 05.02.2013 at 08:14 am

RE: Countertops: Super White, Carrara or Other? (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: srosen on 12.23.2012 at 08:50 am in Kitchens Forum

Hello 2littlefishies,
Thats a great question-calcareous stones or any stone that has calcium in its makeup will always etch. It is just a chemical reaction.The calcium neutralizes the acid resulting in a dull spot.
However if you compare etching on a highly polished surface to a very matte surface depending on the stone their will be a difference in the look.
Also if you knew at what level your surface was finished or honed to or at. It would be possible to use a series of abrasives to remove the etch and match the finish of the existing surface.
There are some companies or folks who will use acids to etch stone. In some cases they are going after a particular look.In other cases they are taking a shortcut to produce a honed finsh or reverse a slab that was delivered incorrectly(such as polished and should have been honed). Or a customer changed their mind after the polished slab was delivered and installed.
First their are many different types of acids having various strength's and properties. From weaker citric acids up to hydrocholoric acids and beyond.
I have seen these types of finishes (using acids)done and they never seem as uniform(blotchy) as when abrasives are used.
Because stone will contain various mineral components and depending on the acid used some minerals may be adversely affected . I have seen veins become pitted and or eroded though the use of acids.
Acids seem to leave the surface rough and the pores open attracting and holding soils. An example of this would be an etch on your white or light marble countertop or around a commode will if not refinished will turn dark or black overtime as it holds soils.
Using progressive grits of diamond abrasives and finishing with an aluminum oxide wet slurry produces one of the most uniform matte finishes I have seen.
While honing to a matte finish may make the etching less pronounced it can make the surface more susceptible to staining agents.
Using the proper impregnating sealers applied correctly and maintaining with ph neutral no rinse cleaners will extend the life of the sealers and protect the suface from staining. Impregnating sealers will do nothing to protect the surface from etching however.
There are some new products on the market to protect marble from etching and staining. They are coatings something I have never felt was appropriate for stone surfaces. In the past these coatings made the stone look like plastic and phony. Have a look at clearstoneusa and drytreat. We all know dry treat as they have been making stone sealers for a long time. They now have a product called vitremela for marble.Both these products are quite different. Because they are new there are pro and cons to each. These type of coatings may not be for everyone.
At this time dry treat offers no warranty on their product as it has a life of under 5 years. Clearstone offers a warranty with their product. Both products can be polished or honed.
I hope my answer wasnt too long.

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clipped on: 12.24.2012 at 09:20 am    last updated on: 12.24.2012 at 09:20 am

wash rhythm chart (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: Cavimum on 11.27.2012 at 03:12 pm in Laundry Room Forum

@buffalotina - this is the "wash rhythm" chart I printed out from the Miele UK site. I really do not know which model it goes with, but the types of cycles on this machine were quite close to my W4842. I imagine your 3033 will be very similar.
Hope this helps.

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clipped on: 11.27.2012 at 07:51 pm    last updated on: 11.27.2012 at 07:51 pm

RE: Vintage-look kitchen with unpainted wood? -help! (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: roarah on 09.17.2012 at 10:00 am in Kitchens Forum

It is a big fallacy that all vintage kitchens were white. Many were gumwood, quarter sawn oak or other fine woods. Here is a link to, IMO,the best vintage kitchen I have seen on this site. Sayde restored her orginal gumwood cabs so I do not think you can use this wood in your house, but a similar look could be achieved with a quarter sawn oak. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sayde's non painted vintage kitchen

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clipped on: 09.17.2012 at 08:37 pm    last updated on: 09.17.2012 at 08:38 pm

Bluestar Simmer Fixed! Do's and Don'ts!

posted by: buffalotina on 04.02.2012 at 10:22 am in Appliances Forum

Well I thought I would post the outcome of my Bluestar 22K burner adjustment exercise because it shed valuable light on the process for me and I hope it will be useful for others who may attempt this. If anyone read my other thread you will see that I had previously tried to adjust the simmer on my bluestar burners and claimed, wrongly it seems, that the lowest flame was achieved by turning the simmer set screw to the end of its travel. At least that is what I THOUGHT I was doing. In that case it seems though, as Stooxie warned, that I was actually involving the movement of the main valve shaft too. Thus CLOCKWISE was raising my flame and ANTICLOCKWISE was lowering it. However going anticlockwise I seemed to feel an "end point" which I assumed was the low point of the simmer adjustment. Yesterday I decided to have another go at one of the 22K burners to see if I could get it lower as I had never reached the point reported by others where you go so low that the flames almost go out and the ignitors click. I inserted the screwdriver and as before clockwise raised the flame and anti clockwise lowered it. After talking with Mandy at Bluestar today I realize that even though I was pretty sure the valve stem was not moving in fact I must have been moving the valve stem to get those variations. Anyway, yesterday I kept on going, with more force, in the anti clockwise direction and that is when I felt like something gave way or stripped inside the valve and the flame got higher. Then I was just not able to get the flame back down to its previous level. Mandy told me to adjust the simmer while the valve is in the off position. Sure enough now I was able to turn the screw in the proper direction: CLOCKWISE to LOWER the flame and ANITCLOCKWISE to RAISE the flame (makes a lot of mechanical sense). It turns out that this adjustment was never possible for me before, I think because the set screw just was too tight and would not budge. Evidently my extra force in the anti clockwise direction must have freed up the screw but by that point I was still not able to get adjustment because I think the valve stem was moving easier the the screw. Today with the screw loosened and the valve in the off position I was now able to turn the screw clockwise, indeed until I had no flame at all in the low position!! So now I have adjusted the flame and it is actually much lower than my other 22K burner. After talking to Mandy I decided not to try to adjust the other one because that screw is definitely stuck: with the valve in the off position it will not turn clockwise. It feels like it would be easy to actually strip the head of the screw and so I think I will leave it as it is.

To summarize:

1. Although I thought I had adjusted all my burners a while back it seems that they were in the factory set position because the screws were quite tight and unknown to me I was actually moving the main valve slightly (thanks Stooxie - that is what you said!).

2. Applying extra force to the simmer set screw loosened it in the anti clockwise direction which is actually the flame raising direction. Presumably when I felt something "give" it was actually the set screw loosening.

3. In order to get the flame back to very low I had to turn the now loosened screw in the CLOCKWISE direction (but this was only possible with the main valve/shaft in the off position).

4. My now adjusted 22K is much lower than the other one which is at the factory preset position. However I don't think I will touch that one now for fear of stripping out the set screw. It is definitely not moving too well and Mandy said I would need a whole new valve if the screw head stripped....

5. Mandy also warned NOT to hold the valve shaft with pliers or anything while you adjust the set screw because it is possible to snap the shaft off that way....thankfully I did not do that.

So now I have two kinds of 22K burners: one with factory set low and one with "bossa" low. There is definitely quite a difference: If I put my hand over each burner I can get my hand much closer to the lower one before it feels uncomfortably hot. I was never actually that unhappy with the simmer before all this but I did find I had to move things back to the smaller burners quite often to finishi off stews etc with the longer cooking times. I think this newly adjusted burner will be very useful.

Sorry this was so long winded but I wanted to post it as a guide for others. Mandy, as always, was very helpful and many thanks to all who replied with help on the other thread.

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clipped on: 04.04.2012 at 06:17 pm    last updated on: 04.04.2012 at 06:17 pm

RE: Marble - sealer questions (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: srosen on 10.26.2011 at 10:40 am in Kitchens Forum

In our stone refinishing business over the last several years we have been honing and rehoning many marbles(especially calacatta's,carrara's,dandy,statuary and more in and around the ny metro area.We do this work onsite at businesses or residences on polished marble whose owners found that dealing with polished marble in an acidic enviroment was to much to deal with. We also rehone honed countertops that have become abraded and or etched thru use. Or were just delivered with a finish that was a bit too shiny or at times not quite uniform enough. Anyway what we found is that if we get the level of hone just right although the countertops will etch from acidic substances it is much less obvious to the eye and can be easier to maintain. It also means customer will have longer intervals between professional services from companies like us. While polished stones or marble will etch and stand out like a sore thumb a polished surface is less resistant to the intrusion of staining agents. In the stone world always remember that a true stain will be darker than the stone and an etch mark will always be lighter. No exceptions to that rule. So anyway some polished stones will not need much sealer or take much because their surfaces when polished had a chemical reaction(beilby layer)with the polishing compounds used that caused the surface to gloss over and fill in the pores. However honed surfaces may make etching less obvious they can be more easily stained if not sealed properly. There are many sealers out there on the market that are very good. Water based sealers can be better for more porous stones due to there larger molecule composition. They also can be easier to work with and have less of an odor.Solvent based sealers can be more penetrating and work well on denser stones. Some have strong odors some dont. I like to work with sealers that dont smell and there are many goods brands out there.
If you intend on doing this yourself send us an email and we will be happy to give you sugestions and walk you thru the process. If your fabricator is reputable and will take the time to properly seal the countertop then I would go with him as he should have a good knowledge of what the stone needs. The porousity should be tested so you know how porous your stone is. Based on that your fabricator should use a high quality sealer. No matter how good a impregnator(sealer) is,it is just as good as the operator who applies it. Your marble will need a minimum of two applications of sealer possibly more. The most effective way of applying a sealer is to load up the surface ,give the sealer time to absorb and then completly remove any resisue left on the surface. Most companies will apply another application immediatly after the first. We have found that if we do a application in the morning and one later on in the day we get a better result. Our chemist tells us that it is even better if you wait for the first application to cure(24 hours) and then apply a second one you will get even better results. While it is hard for a company to make extra service calls like that our chemist has always maintained that a better sealing job could in fact be done by the homeowner as they would in some cases have the time required to do a better job.
If you do chose your fabricator make sure they tell you what sealer they are using so in the future you can use the same when needed again. Once the sealing has been done retest the surface using the water test and see how long it takes before the stone absorbs the water or not. If the water doesnt get absorbed after 30 minutes that is a great job. Remember a couple of important facts-sealers only temporarily inhibit or prevent the intrusion of staining agents into the pores of the stone. Sealers for stone are impregnators and live below the surface of the stone.
Impregnating sealers can not prevent etching.(chemical reaction occuring from the calcites in acid sensitive stones neutralizing an acidic substance and leaving behind a dull spot)
Stu Rosen
www.mbstonecare.com
www.stoneshine.com

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clipped on: 03.23.2012 at 04:46 pm    last updated on: 03.23.2012 at 04:46 pm

Replacing Bluestar igniters and spark module (36-inch RNB)

posted by: thull on 10.13.2011 at 11:00 pm in Appliances Forum

[I apologize if the external links don't work; I tried and couldn't figure out what else to do]

I had problems for several months with the igniters on my 5-year-old 36" RNB. The simmer burner and a couple others would not stop clicking. Basically had been using the range as a 3-burner to avoid the bad burners.

I copied and saved a post (by p10rs) from a long time ago about trading out the igniters and spark module for Viking-purposed parts from Guy Banks. Honestly, it was a bit tough to follow and read like the process would be challenging (even more so than it actually is). But I went ahead and ordered the parts. Then they sat there forever while I had an extremely-busy spring and summer.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and I finally made time to work on the stove one weekend. I thought I'd write up what I did so others can follow if desired. The bottom line is that it's a challenging project- I'm pretty mechanically adept and I think anyone who expects it to be plug-and-play maybe shouldn't take this on. The usual disclaimers apply as to not being stupid and realizing it's free advice that's worth what you paid for it. That said, here's what I did:

Diagnosis: Before buying parts, I did try to tweak the igniter positions to push the wire end a little closer to the flame. I also traded a couple of igniters among burners to see that the clicking continued even with a different igniter. I came to the conclusion that I had at least one bad channel (simmer burner, left-rear) in one of the spark modules. I also noticed that the interior of most of the igniters were rusty, and that a few of the ceramic insulators had cracked (though not apparently badly enough to fault).

Igniters: The Viking igniters (PA 020028) are an improvement over the stock Bluestar ones (and they're much cheaper at $42 for 6, unless Bluestar's prices have gone down). They have flat tops that seem to keep water out, and that should make them last longer since water in the open top leads to internal rust that cracks the ceramic insulator, too. The wide top seems to make the flame sensing a little more sensitive, but it also means that your placement has to be more precise to get the spark to arc at the right spot to ignite the gas. I had to do a lot of position tweaking to get this right, but it also let me adjust the low flame even lower than they were before on one 22k BTU burner and a couple others.

Igniter Replacement Steps:

1) Take all the burner bowls and rings out so that everything's easier to get to. Might be a nice time to run them through the dishwasher.

2) Remove old igniters: Easier said than done. The bullet connector on the wire pops loose, easy peasy. Getting the rusty mounting screw loose from the bottom of the cast iron burner, not so much. You pull the burner and tube out (and to a work bench or other handy spot). On a few burners where the screw didn't immediately loosen, I sprayed the screw with WD-40 and let it sit. Not sure if heat would've worked better than the WD-40. I still managed to break two of them off. This then required the use of the drill press and an extractor to get them out. I really am glad I didn't have to re-tap the burner for something larger b/c that's something I haven't really done before.

3) Modify wires: The old igniters have the wire terminated inside the ceramic insulator. The new ones have a 0.110" (2.8mm) tab on the bottom. You need new insulated spade connectors in the 0.110" size with a 20 gauge wire size and a crimper.

-Cut off the wires just below the old ceramic igniters

-Strip back ~1/4" of insulation

-Crimp the new spade connector onto the wire

I didn't plan well and ended up running around on a Saturday to find the spade connectors. I (finally) found what I needed at Pep Boys. I wasn't sure if the insulation would take the heat, so I have fired up a 10-gal pot to boil ~4 gal of water on the 22k BTU to check. The insulation survived fine, but I went ahead and ordered non-insulated connectors and high-temp heat shrink tubing in the event that these get toasted with time. I also think having the heat shrink over the whole connector would be better.

4) Mount new igniters: p10rs' writeup talked a lot about breaking the old igniters in order to salvage the metal mounting tab/flange for use with the new igniters. The igniters I bought already have a longer flange (two screw holes at either end, ceramic insulator in the middle) at about the same height. I couldn't really figure out a reason to go through removing the tab from the old ones, especially since both new and old tabs are swaged (force fit) so they're locked in place along the ceramic insulator.

The issue I found is that the head of the igniter is pointed 90 degrees away from the mounting holes, where the wire tip on the old one is over the mounting hole. Here's what I did, and we'll see if it lasts. I held the top of the igniter (metal head only) with pliers, held the mounting flange with my hand, and turned the igniter head 90 degrees counterclockwise (holding it rightside up) in the insulator. I think this is just twisting the wire/tab inside the insulator slightly. Note that I did turn one clockwise by mistake, and I felt the metal break inside (and the head started turning freely). Surprisingly, it still worked (for now) but I'm sure it'll fail more quickly. I went ahead and ordered a few more igniters to have as spares.

Might as well replace the (rusty) screws that hold the igniter to the burner. They're 6-32 (#6, 32 threads per inch, machine screws) and you should get as short as you can find (3/8" in my case, which even still a touch longer than original) with pan or button heads. You'll need #6 washers in part to space the longer screw out of the hole and also to make sure the screw holds the whole thing together (mounting hole a little big, heads on cheapo screws from HD a little small). I got zinc-plated steel for both, and I put a little oil on the screws when I threaded them back in, thinking that may help stave off rust. If I'd been more motivated, I might've dug out my Tetra grease (Teflon-based) instead.

5) Put the burners back in place, plug in the wires, and fire each one up. You want to make sure each lights in a reasonable amount of time. If the spark is going too much to one side or the other, you'll have to tweak the igniter orientation. You can do this by loosening the mounting screw and rotating the position slightly, then re-tightening. And you can also bend the mounting flange to move the igniter closer to the burner (or further away, though that's less likely). I especially had to do this on the simmer burner. Since the igniter has that tab that you aren't using that's hanging in the middle of the burner, you can use something with a hook (machinist's pick for me) to pull up and a screwdriver to push down to adjust the igniter tilt without removing the burner.

New igniter1

New igniter2

New igniter3

Spark module: There was a lot of talk a while back about Bluestar's Invensys modules having quality problems (not particular to BS, as it was a problem across multiple range brands). My c.'05 range has two of them, but I believe that newer ones have just a single spark module (for 6 burners in my case). I bit the bullet and bought the single 6-burner Tytronics module (PA 020042) from Guy Banks. This made replacement a challenge b/c I had to re-route the wires from the 2nd module (for center-front and center-rear burners) and I had to mount the new (bigger) 6-burner module where the other module was. I also didn't want to have to drill any new holes in the stove or to make mounting brackets for the new module. And this made the most sense for getting all the existing wires to hook back up to the new module. Here's what I did:

1) Turn off power to the range. Breaker is easier (for me) than sliding and unplugging.

2) Remove knobs (rubber gloves or a jar opener help with gripping). Remove drip pan (and clean!).

3) Unscrew control panel- there are screws underneath plate holder and just above drip pan (easier to take out with oven door open). Remember that the self-drilling screws go back underneath the plate holder along the top edge of the control panel (I didn't at first).

4) Either let the panel hang down or rotate it up and over to rest on the plate holder (be careful of the oven thermostat capillary tube when doing this).

5) Unscrew the brackets that the module on the right is attached to the stove with. You do this with a screwdriver from inside the burner area.

6) Unscrew the module from the brackets. Leave the module wired up and just hanging there. Pull out the brackets.

7) Make a mounting plate for the new module. I had a scrap of stainless sheet that I cut to the size of the new Tytronics module. I used the module to mark the mounting hole locations and the old mounting brackets (after measuring the original gap between the two brackets from the holes in the control panel) to mark where to drill holes to attach the new mounting plate to the old brackets. This is tricky, and I didn't get it perfect- after I got done, the brackets only lined up on one side. I settled for 2 out of three screws being sturdy enough to attach the module brackets to the control panel.

8) Mount the new plate to the old brackets. There isn't tons of room between where the brackets are screwed to in the back of the control panel and the gas manifold. So I didn't want to screw the plate to the brackets and add plate thickness plus screw head height to the spacing. I ended up using aluminum pop rivets to attach the plate to the two brackets.

9) Mount the new module to the plate with the old mounting (sheet metal) screws.

10) Move wires from the old 4-burner module to new 6-burner module. I did this one by one so that I didn't have to label the wires (like you would if you took them all loose). I'm kinda forgetting exactly how I did this- I either pulled the old module partway out under the gas manifold, slid the new one in back, then traded, or I slid the new one partway in and traded there (then you just pull the old module out over the gas manifold). There's the power (L- line, N- neutral, G-ground), 4 wires to the switches at the knobs, and 4 wires to the igniters at the burners. The two wires for each burner (wire from switch at knob; wire to igniter) have to go to tabs on the new module with the same number.

11) Mount the new module where the old one was using the existing screw holes.

12) Move the 2 switch wires and 2 igniter wires from the 2-burner module to the new 6-burner module. Keep the order the same (i.e. 1 and 2 go on 5 and 6 in the new module).

13) Unhook the 120V line, neutral, and ground from the 2-burner module. These need to be capped off so that they don't accidentally ground/short to something inside the control panel. On my range, at least the 120V line is passed through this connector to the other spark module (i.e. you can't just cut it off and put tape on it). I used some heat shrink tube I had to make a long sleeve on the connector that I folded over on itself and zip-tied in place. I'm sure there are lots of other ways you could do this.

14) Remove the 2-burner module (and brackets if you want).

15) Reinstall control panel (remember where self-drilling screws go) and knobs. Reset breaker to re-power. Test burners.

Old spark modules:

Old spark modules

New spark module: The extra wires are above the gas manifold with black heat shrink tube over them; blue zip tie holds them in place.

New spark module

Hope that's useful info. Just one of many ways to tackle this.

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clipped on: 10.14.2011 at 05:17 pm    last updated on: 10.14.2011 at 05:18 pm

RE: Bluestar door trouble (again) (Follow-Up #75)

posted by: vslice on 09.14.2011 at 04:52 pm in Appliances Forum

I called the BS rep again just to double check about the hinge and she wasn't sure so she gave me the number of the BS service dept. I called them and they said that they can put the hinges from the new range doors on the old doors that have the problem. I'm not sure if you need to get the old door from them and they give it to you with the new hinges or if you can just get new hinges, but at any rate she said that they wouldn't keep giving you the same defective door over and over again. She said they haven't had any problems with these new hinges yet, so that's good news. She also said that they would send a new door free of charge even if you are past the warranty period because they recognize it as a manufacturer's defect in the door. So that's good news. At least people won't keep having to replace the same poorly designed door over and over again. If anyone needs the number it's 1 800 449 8691.

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clipped on: 09.14.2011 at 06:49 pm    last updated on: 09.14.2011 at 06:49 pm

Miele Dishwasher problem and fix

posted by: fauguy on 03.08.2011 at 03:10 am in Appliances Forum

I've been using a Miele Diamante Plus model G2143SC since last May 2010 and haven't had any problems with it until 2 weeks ago. I started noticing that when the water would drain from the dishwasher (regardless of which wash mode or cycle it was in) that there would be a loud "rattling" sound coming from the bottom. I opened up the bottom filter, nothing in it, and I removed the non-return valve that's on the right side. Rinsed it out (there's a metal ball inside) so I thought maybe this is what is causing the sound. After a few days of testing, having it drain water with the door open, I pinpointed the rattling sound was infact coming from that non-return valve, as I could move it a few mm and it would stop and then start.

So I called Miele up, explained the problem to them and asked if they could send me a new non-return valve. All they asked for was my name and address and sent it UPS ground. I asked the guy if he ever heard any type of problem like this, and of course the answer was 'no'. But he has no problem sending it out, and said if it didn't fix it that they've schedule a repair tech to come out.

I got the part in today. I removed the original non-return valve and used a suctioner to get out all the water that was in the bottom area, and used some paper towels to get it all dry in the area where the valve fits-in. I then put in the new non-return valve, and noticed it fit much tighter. The original one I could take in and out without too much force, but this one was much tighter taking in and out (though I only did that twice to try).

After the new one was installed, but the filter and everything back in. Ran the hot water at the sink so it would be ready, and put the dishwasher on the Express mode (no detergent and empty), since it fills 3 times and gets done in 15 minutes. The noise was gone at all the water drains, no rattling at all. I then ran the dishwasher for the Pots/Pans mode (since it was really full) and used the half-tab. Again, all the drains were quiet and no rattling sound.

When I had both non-return valves in my hand, the origional one looked sort of yellowish where the rubber o-ring seal is, but the new one was cream color (like the plastic). So I'm thinking that maybe the rubber seal went bad after the 10 months of use, or maybe it was the metal ball inside with the other internal rubber seal.

In any case, it fixed the problem, and I didn't have to fool with the repair guy to come out. Now hopefully this new one lasts and doesn't start to make that sound again. But if it does, it's an easy fix.

Now here's the question....Has anyone else heard a rattling sound from their Miele dishwasher whenever it would drain the water?

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clipped on: 03.08.2011 at 05:41 pm    last updated on: 03.08.2011 at 05:41 pm

RE: Help with mounting a range hood---do we need to modify the wa (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: macybaby on 12.19.2010 at 01:14 pm in Appliances Forum

You can cut a piece of plywood (like 3/4" thick) and mount it on the wall to span the studs, then use that to mount the hood to. It will cause the hood to stick out that much further from the wall, so that might mess with your clearances.

About mounting to the lath, depends on what you have.

Now it your lath is like what we had upstairs, darn stuff was 3/4" by about 4" wide, with groves milled in to hold the plaster - and firmly attached with larger nails - even with a big pry bar that stuff held firm - and hard - wore out blades trying to cut through it. You could mount just about anything to that.

Most of the house had the standard 1/4" thick by 1" wide lath strips - the kind you can break across your leg with minimal effort. Held on by 1" wire nails - very easy to pop off the walls. (they make wonderful fire starter- but mine are also 75+ years old).

I saw lots of evidences where previous owners had mounting things to the walls. Sometimes the screw hole would be about 1/8" from the edge and the lath was split, sometimes they used a bit too much force and stripped out the threads that formed in the lath. From what I saw, I'd have no confidence using the lath for support other than to hang small pictures.

if you go that route, you need to put in toggle bolts, not screw it to the lath. It could cause flex in the wall, and over time the plaster may crack. If you plan on tiling your backsplash, any flexing will could also pop off the tiles.

For me, I'd be cussing, but I'd be finding a way into the wall (either front or back side, which ever is easier. Though with plaster that is a total pain, sheet rock is easy. Otherwise I'd be paranoid the fan it going to end up through my cooktop.

We never mounted a fan to the wall, but we did have an OTR range that mounted to the wall and the upper cabinet.

BTW - a good way to put in supports is to make a box out of 2x4's and then insert the box in between the studs, and attache the "sides" to the studs. No toe nailing needed, so you won't split the ends of the 2x4's. We had a lot of places we had to frame up using that method as we didn't want to open the wall up any farther than needed (just center line of the studs.

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clipped on: 12.20.2010 at 07:41 am    last updated on: 12.20.2010 at 07:45 am

RE: Slim refrigerators: GE or Fagor + other small appliances (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: davidro1 on 09.15.2010 at 10:45 am in Appliances Forum

If you can think of any other requirements, now is the time.

The Summit CP-171 is a Danish design (Vestfrost). Danes are the world's biggest manufacturer of compressors. This fridge has TWO compressors running two independent coolant circuits: one for the freezer and one for the fridge. This is a feature that Subzero uses to justify charging 300% more. It's a feature that Liebherr puts into their 30" fridges, but not their 24" fridges.

I've seen the GE fridge too. It is OK, reasonable, not bad. I figure you will be satisfied, and you won't be dissatisfied. I've not seen it operating.

I've also seen Blomberg, Danby, Fagor, LG, Miele, Conserv, Liebherr and many others. Most of them in operation. Ultimately they all look feel and seem to operate almost the same, since modern technology has caught up, everywhere, and they all work well.

hth

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clipped on: 12.19.2010 at 07:21 pm    last updated on: 12.19.2010 at 07:24 pm

RE: Is Bluestar still in business? (Follow-Up #75)

posted by: parrym on 09.29.2010 at 02:51 pm in Appliances Forum

@buffalotina:
There is a set screw behind a little silicon putty if you pull off the knob. It's the same for the oven as it is for the burner knobs. Page 22 of the Owner's Manual talks about adjusting the burners via the set screw. Oven thermostat is the same idea.

Here is the procedure for calibrating the oven I got from Trevor @ Eurostoves.

Oven Cal

If you can't read it, let me know and I will email.

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clipped on: 10.01.2010 at 08:24 am    last updated on: 10.24.2010 at 06:28 am

RE: Is Bluestar still in business? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: dcunited_2009 on 08.11.2010 at 06:28 pm in Appliances Forum

email to the following:
mschutte@bluestarcooking.com
mallen@bluestarcooking.com
jschlotter@bluestarcooking.com

Explain your situation (nicely) and you will get a resonse.

They are working on their prompt responses.

As far as the servicer...not all servicer's service all brands. BlueStar is a VERY simple product to service therefore any servicer can do so. They may need a little guidance, but a simple phone call should do the trick (assuming someone answers...just kidding!!!).

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clipped on: 08.11.2010 at 08:39 pm    last updated on: 08.11.2010 at 08:39 pm

RE: Arlosmom, are you there? Please tell about your hood . . (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: arlosmom on 08.08.2010 at 06:41 pm in Kitchens Forum

Sayde, I pulled the shop drawings for the hood from my files in the attic. Here's what is noted on the drawings: powder coated Prismatic (P) Pewter Glitter PTB2309 Texture. They don't specify a manufacturer, but in noodling around on google, I think the manufacturer is probably NIC Industries. NIC makes powder coats and has a color by that name.

So far, it's been completely problem-free. I've scrubbed it a number of times and it looks like it did on day one.

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clipped on: 08.08.2010 at 10:09 pm    last updated on: 08.08.2010 at 10:09 pm

RE: Stove top cleanliness (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: cat_mom on 12.31.2009 at 11:02 am in Appliances Forum

We have a Wolf AG range with the removable black enamel burner pans. For light cleaning (dust, small grease splatters) I use Perfect Kitchen from BB&B, which was recommended by people at the Wolf/SZ showroom. I spray it directly on the range and wipe off with a paper towel (seems to work better than microfiber for this)--for spot cleaning you can just spray a little on the paper towel itself and then wipe the spot(s). If I need to, I can usually buff off any small smudges with a dry microfiber. I tried it on my granite when I got, and it works great on that, too! For the granite I use it with a microfiber.

For a more thorough cleaning, I remove the pans themselves and clean them in the sink. For regular grime/grease, I clean the pans with BKF and a little dish soap (I use regular Palmolive). After rinsing (with hot water generally), I dry with a dishtowel (mine are the Ritz Wonder Towels--lint free). They come out great. I hold them by the edges or use the remover hook-thingie to pop them back on the range to avoid finger smudging my now-clean pans (!) .

For baked on grease, or really encrusted food stuff, I'll spray the pans with Dawn Power Dissolver, let sit for a bit, and then clean (with a blue scrub sponge). The Power Dissolver's great on pyrex baking dishes, too. Just watch out for drips on hardwood floors--I think it (and/or Easy Off) eats through the finish/polyurethane.

One trick I've used: if I've just cleaned the top (or it's pretty clean), and I know whatever I'm cooking might splatter, I'll lay some sheets of alum foil over the unused burners/sections of the range top before cooking. Then, I can just crumple up the splattered foil, and avoid the need to clean the top of the range for awhile!

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clipped on: 06.08.2010 at 08:13 pm    last updated on: 06.08.2010 at 08:13 pm

RE: Need Pix of Custom Hoods for 36' Range Plz (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: boxerpups on 05.28.2010 at 01:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi Dr.Joann,

Here are a few. I was wondering how your kitchen was
coming along. If I remember correctly you were moving down
south from New England or maybe you said you liked Boston
and That is why I thought New England... On to the hoods.
~boxerpups

Heather Thompson
Photobucket


Ronys Marble and Granite Island
Photobucket

White Kitchens
Photobucket

Eastern Kitchens
Photobucket

Atlanta Best Nest
Photobucket

CJS Millwork
Photobucket

Virginia Cream Kitchen
Photobucket

Nashville Kitchens

Photobucket

Kitchen and Bath Design Center
Photobucket

Okay, Okay I threw this one in just for eye candy : )
Photobucket

SRS Woodworking
Photobucket

William Hefneropen kitchen Concealed Hood

Photobucket

Light Yosowat kitchen design
Photobucket

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clipped on: 06.02.2010 at 04:43 pm    last updated on: 06.02.2010 at 04:43 pm

RE: Anyone with a copper range hood? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: allison0704 on 05.27.2010 at 11:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thank you, Monkeymo!

Sayde, I will check email in a minute, but I don't mind posting info here. Have before. I've linked pictures below.

I used a VAH liner. 48" range. Liner was that or close. I don't recall exact length.

The first photo shows location before hood was started. DH and I recessed the medallion into the wall.

The second photo shows the liner installed in the wooden frame. Liner was attached to wall first, and top vent section (metal triangle looking piece) attached on top. 3 sided hood frame was built in their shop, attached to wall/liner, then covered with pine trim on top and bottom edges. This picture shows plywood piece cut/installed on each side. Front was next (no photo of that).

3rd photo - front shot of the above.

4th photo - right after we moved in. So shiny! lol Did not have time to give patina - easy to do by leaving copper outside for a couple of days and dousing with bucket of water. Let dry. Repeat numerous times until you get the look you want. Lay flat, if you tilt you will have streaks. I did spray with water a few times, but hard to reach top and I didn't want to spray paint/wall.

Most recent picture is on Atticmag. Still shiny, but not as much. Is not sealed with anything.

Most any carpenter should be able to build. Basic skills, with the exception of making trim - have to have the right tool/bits.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: hood photos

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clipped on: 05.28.2010 at 08:41 pm    last updated on: 05.28.2010 at 08:41 pm

RE: Blue Star Ignitor issue Redux (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: inquisitive-gourmet on 04.11.2008 at 06:56 pm in Appliances Forum

I thought I would throw my experience with the bluestar ignitors in, for what it is worth - in the hope that it might help someone who thinks they have a defective ignitor module but really has a different issue.

I have a six burner Bluestar cooktop for about two years now and had the same problem mentioned by many of you -- that is, the simmer burner would light, but when set on very low, its igniter and all of the ignitors on the other burners would continue to fire and click endlessly. In looking at the situation, I concluded that the wire in the center of the porcelain portion of the ignitor (which is located near the burner and is used to light the burner) is also the wire that senses the temperature of the burner and triggers a signal to try to re-ignite it. I also noted that while the wire had good contact with the flame at higher settings, it was not really in the flame when the burner was set very low. So, what I did was get a pair of long nose pliers and very carefully (you don't want to crack the porcelain) bent the ignitor wire so that it was directly over or touching the flame when the burner was set on its very lowest normal setting. This procedure worked and I have had no problems since. Additionally, I also found that getting the wire much closer to the flame also allowed me to lower the flame even more than usual by turning the burner control knob toward the "off" position (rather than fully clockwise). By properly positioning the wire, I was still able to have the burner re-ignite when I intentionally blew it out, even though it was on a very low setting close to the "off" position. (Setting the burner low by turning the control toward "off" is still not recommended since it is possible to turn the burner to a spot where a very low level of gas is being released, but not enough gas to sustain a flame, and that could be dangerous as the re-ignitor will not function properly, will not be able to re-light the burner, and gas will continue to flow. So, exercise extreme caution if you adjust the flame in this manner. (And for those who are curious - yes, I did use the control screw behind the knob to set the flame as low as possible before trying any of the above.)

I hope this helps some of you - who really do not have a defective reignitor - but have merely a minor alignment problem.

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clipped on: 08.23.2009 at 12:06 pm    last updated on: 08.23.2009 at 12:06 pm

RE: Bluestar warning on quality and customer service (Follow-Up #122)

posted by: p10rs on 07.12.2009 at 10:28 pm in Appliances Forum

HELLO EVERYONE, I found this thread while goolging information on the Bluestar igniter and ignition module problem. I have owned a 36 Bluestar( 4 burner with grill) since November of 2005 and it recently started with the always-clicking problem. The range is fabulous to cook with and on and has met all my expectations. As to the quality of other semi-pro ranges my only experience has been a close friend in NC who spent one year trying to have his oven fixed on a brand new Viking. I was at his home on a couple of occasions when the "local"repairman came over from Johnson City, Tn. (about an hours drive) and the range looked like a computer inside. After 5 or 6 trips ever circuit board had been replaced at least once and the oven still would not work for longer than a week or two. Viking finally sent him a replacement range. The circuit boards cost many, many hundreds of dollars each and after the warranty expires you are buying them. In addition the entire range has to be moved out from the wall and the back disassembled to get to the boards. So I wouldnt complain too much about your Bluestar and its ignition module problems.
Now as to the clicking problem. Lots of talk and not much investigation or thought going on here especially by those persons who dislike Bluestar. Im not an electrical engineer but have you considered the nature of the ignition and re-ignition system?
The simple part is sending an electrical signal down a wire to the igniter, causing a spark and igniting the gas. The hard part is using the same apreratious to monitor the flame and being able to report back to the ignition module that the flame is still lit or at some later time that the flame has gone out so the electrical signal can be re-sent to re-light the flame. All in all it would be much simpler to just have the spark fire when the gas control knob is turned to a specific location and then off when the knob is turned away from the "LIGHT" setting to adjust the gas flame. However no one seems to want to make it that simple so here we are.
I have taken apart several of the igniters that were original to my range and they are in fact reasonable well constructed. The wire is covered with a high temp heat resistant covering, the "barrel" male electrical fitting is well made and fully shielded, the copper wire is 20 gage, stranded and tinned. The fault with the igniter is that the wire is connected to the stainless steel "spark probe" by what is apparently a plain metal crimped fitting. This crimped fitting is apparently rusting from water, cleaning fluids, whatever and I believe leading to two problems: 1. Cracking of the porcelain insulator from rust pressure (think rusting rebar and concrete) and 2. Increasing the resistance of the circuit so that the ignition module thinks the flame has gone out when it has not. This may also lead to stress on the module its self and cause premature failure of the same.
There is an easy fix for those of you who have a Philips screwdriver, needle nose pliers and can use them and would rather do so than write nasty e-mails and bogs all day long.
There is a source of parts on the web for both the ignition modules and the new and improved igniters( that Viking is using) The web site is called guybanks.com. They sell Viking range parts but they have both brands of ignition modules( 4 and 6 burner models) and the new "flat top" igniters. The flat top igniters are sealed to prevent fluids from entering them and I suspect preventing them from rusting and disrupting the electrical circuit of the re-light system.
You can adapt the new flat top igniters to work with your Bluestar burners easily as follows: 1. Remove old style igniter 2. Break ceramic insulator with a hammer up by the metal probe 3 cut probe off just below the connector that connects the wire and the metal probe. 4 pull wire out of broken ceramic insulator 5 drive out the rest of ceramic insulator with a round object (Phillips screw driver) and a tap from your hammer-it comes out very easy. 6 attach the metal fitting that was around the igniter to the new flat top igniter with a little bit of prematex ultra copper high temp RTV (NOTE THE OBLONG END OF THE REUSED METAL FITTING MUST FACE THE SAME DIRECTION AS THE FLAT TOP IGNITER- ON THE FIRST ONE DO A DRY RUN WITH BURNER TO SEE HOW IT FITS BEFORE YOU GLUE THEM 7 set aside to cure- about two hours 8 strip clipped end of wire and attach a new 18-22 gage insulated female spade clip to end of the wire so you can plug it on to the bottom of the new flat top igniter (they dont come with a wire) 9 attach new igniters back to the burners. You will need 4 or 5 6x32 machine screws and about 10 small washers. Just take one of the old igniter screws with you to the hard ware store. Get the shortest screws you can. Mount the "new" flat top igniters with the old/new screws and washers as needed. You want the igniters to sit flat so you will have to put a washer or 2 under the screw so the igniter sits flat and thus stands straight and is in the proper location next to the "flame holes" on the burners. Be sure it is not touching the burner ( it would be grounded and not spark, nor to far from the bottom flame hole) Once you look at it and do one you will see how easy it really is. The part number for the new igniter is PA020028.

Now the next thing is the ignition module. The one Viking(PA020042-6 BURNNER-TYTRONICS) uses is not a drop in replacement for the one Bluestar uses so it takes a little fussing around to get it back into the same location(mounting holes and blades in different places) . I suspect this is why Bluestar has not changed their brand of modules because they obviously designed their controls and front panel around one particular sized module. THE IMPORTANT THING TO DO AND REMEMBER WHEN CHANGING ANY MODULE IS TO LABEL AND WRITE DOWN WHERE THE WIRES CAME FROM!!!!! Three wires are pretty self-explanatory, ground, neutral, and line(hot). Then there is one set of wires that are labeled 1-4 or 1-6. These wires come from the control knobs( the switches behind the control knobs really) and turn on the electrical spark to the correct burner. The blades are the same size as the gdn, neutral and line blades. When you remove these 4 or 6 wires just use a magic marker and put 1 slash, 2 slashes, 3 slashes etc on the appropriate wire when removing as a double check. You will clearly be able to see which wire you are removing from which blade. Use a flashlight, go slow and by the way use needle nose pliers to pull the wires off the blades(pull on the plastic fitting, not on the wire)
Next you will need to remove the wires that run to the igniters. These are NOT labeled and if you later hook them up to the wrong burner it will click forever even if it has lit, thus defeating the entire purpose of this repair job!!!!!! These 4 or 6 wires are on the opposite side of the module. The metal blades are much smaller than the ones you just worked with and there is a number imprinted into the plastic case next to the blade. However it is very difficult to read if not impossible while the module in the range(invensys module-original Bluestar equipment if you dont want to change brand of modules). The good thing is it is easy to figure out where these wires go if you get confused. All you have to do is attach each of the "slashed marked" wires one at a time to its correct blade and turn it on. The igniter will click, and you will know it "wire/circuit x " so just mark that on the burner holder. Once you have them all marked just trace the wire from a burner, say number 3, to the small blade labeled 3 and plug the wire in. test it and you are all done. By the way, on the invensys module, these smaller blades are numbered 1-4/6 from left to right, just like the bigger blades.( on the TYTRONICS module the small blades are numbered so you can easily read them)
One last point. If you use a six-burner module in a four-burner stove you have to jumper small blades 4 and 6 together and then ground them to a screw on the range. Not a big deal.
There is another thread on this site that has to do with the same problem. Down about half way look for a post by annalbin 12-21-08 . Read it and notice what mistakes they made when they replaced their ignition module. I used their post to start my fix and it was some help, but they didnt do it the easy way. It would be nice if they would scan the Bluestar instructions and post them on this forum. I cant post a link to it but the thread name is: BLUE STAR IGNITOR ISSUE REDUX

The ignition module is located behind the front control panel. All the control knobs come off, gentle pull off or if they need a little help pry both sides at the same time with two small flat blade screw drives until they move a quarter of an inch or so, then finish the removal by hand. The panel its self is attached by ( in my case-36" range) three screws above the control knobs and three under the bottom of the panel. It does help to have a long (6 inch metal blade before the handle) Phillips screw driver so your hands and the handle will be below the control panel when removing the top 3 screws. You must have the oven door open, no need to remove and the drip shelf? out. When you replace the panel you will have to push it up and in a little. Start with the upper, outside edge screws. The upper middle panel screws dont always want to line up just right with the screw holes, so just take your flat blade screw driver, put in slightly into one of the extra upper panel slots(you will see them) and just gently push or pull the panel until it lines up- very easy to do)
Now I suppose the question is how do you tell if the problem is/are the individual igniters or the ignition module? Well if an igniters cracked, duh- that one is simple. If all the igniters spark and dont turn off when your burner lights then it must? Be the module. I guess the question is, is that all of the possibilities in the fault tree? It would seem as if there are other possibilities such as a bad igniter with an internal fault but no external signs of the fault. I wonder what symptoms that would present and how would one diagnose such a problem? Any one care to take an educated guess?
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I ALREADY TOLD YOU IM NOT AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER NOR DO I HAVE AN FORMAL TRAINING IN THE DESIGN OF GAS RANGES, OR ELECTRICAL IGNITION SYSTEMS. I DONT THINK YOU CAN KILL YOUR SELF OR YOU SPOUSE OR DOG OR CAT OR WHATEVER NOR DO I THINK YOU WILL SCREW UP YOUR WONDERFUL BLUESTAR RANGE, BUT YOU DO KNOW WHAT FEE ADVICE IS WORTH, DONT YOU? I SUGGEST YOU REMOVE YOUR CONTROL PANEL, LOOK AT THE INTERESTING PARTS BEHIND IT AND IF YOU ARE NOT INTIMIDATED BY WHAT YOU SEE ORDER THE PARTS AND GO FOR IT. WHAT THE HELL WE DIDNT GET TO THE MOON BY SITTING AROUND ON OUR COLLECTIVE BUTTS AND WHINING.

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clipped on: 07.13.2009 at 07:01 am    last updated on: 07.13.2009 at 07:01 am

RE: RMkitchen Marble Question (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: trobs on 11.20.2008 at 07:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

There is a fix for white honed marble counters. Take Comet powder, make a paste out of it. Take a Scotch scouring pad and apply like you are waxing a car completely over your entire counter. The bleach will whiten the marble and the pad will take away any etching. This is also good for stains. I do it twice a year on my white Danby counters and it gives the entire counter a beautiful egg shell finish. It also add some sort of stain resistance from whatever else is in the Comet. Do a small out of the way area for an experiment if you don't trust me.

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clipped on: 11.22.2008 at 05:52 pm    last updated on: 11.22.2008 at 05:52 pm

RE: Anyone with the Black Cambria Leather (Antique) granite? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: azstoneconsulting on 12.05.2007 at 07:11 am in Kitchens Forum

vfish-

What you are proposing is cone every day by lots of consumers
The one question that I would ask- Is the stone you
are considering "Cambrian" leather, or "Cambria" leather?

Cambrian Black is sold as a "granite" has some really
attractive texture in the color and a granulation that
is not found in most other black granites, save for Galaxy.
Here's alink to see what "Venezian" granite looks like in Black - color is "Lido": http://www.venezian.com/lido.html

Cambria Black is a man made and I don't think (I could be
wrong) they offer a "leather" texture for theis version of
black - called "Cambria Black".

There's a night and day difference between the two products
and the fact that you are looking at going with a "leather"
or "venezian" look - I think - will have a dramatic effect
in making your island "pop
- color wise.....

As far as cleanup and maintenance, the Cambrian Black leathered stone should be really easy to work with. It will
not show the finger prints as easy as a polish stone.

I would NOT suggest a honed black - I have done Absolute Black honed - the last six jobs that I did was in 2001 - NEVER AGAIN!!! It shows EVERY finger print, and is WAY to much GRIEF for me and my customers.

This is one lesson I learned that I teach new guys getting into
the business at AZ School of Rock - so they don't have to
go through what I did 6 years ago.

Hope that helps you

kevin

Kevin M. Padden MIA SFA
Fabricator, Trainer & Consultant to the Natural Stone Industry
www.azschoolofrock.com

Here is a link that might be useful: AZ School of Rock

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clipped on: 10.08.2008 at 09:17 am    last updated on: 10.08.2008 at 09:17 am

RE: Where did you get your drawer organizers? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: chefkev on 09.21.2008 at 08:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've been obsessing over this recently. Besides a whole lot of web sites from places like cooking.com, kitchensource.com, spacesavers.com and organize.com, the Container Store is a really good place to see lots of options (if you have one anywhere near you) and many Targets have a semi-decent number of choices. Several GWers in the past have posted some very nice online places that do custom acrylic and custom wood dividers, but they are on the expensive side and I'm paranoid that after paying up for them I'll suddenly decide I want something different.

I'm currently leaning towards some of the OXO adjustable drawer dividers but am having the hardest time making up my mind. They look super functional, but being here on GW Kitchens may have spoiled me and I'm wishing they looked a little nicer. I'm interested to see what others post.

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clipped on: 09.22.2008 at 11:44 am    last updated on: 09.22.2008 at 11:44 am

RE: Finishing wood island countertop - advise pls! (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: clinresga on 09.20.2008 at 09:37 am in Kitchens Forum

Late to the game but would echo the Waterlox idea. We have BB counters at the lake and have "experimented" with multiple finishes:

1) Our first try was satin urethane. Bulletproof, no maintenance, but even satin has the very glossy look of "plastic" and would seem to defeat the whole purpose of using reclaimed wood. Even on our BB counters it screams "fake" and I hated it.

2) Next, we went traditional with mineral oil. A huge PITA. Applied many many coats, laboriously worked them in, and the counter still stained at the first hint of wine, strawberries, grease etc. We also had some delamination which required repair, and I think that was in part due to the poor water repellency of the MO. I considered the beeswax/mineral oil approach but still felt it would be way too much trouble for less than ideal protection. I'd be even more concerned if we had used more "delicate" wood like yours as opposed to generic BB.

3) My "light bulb went off" moment. We had already done our floors in Waterlox and loved the look--totally natural wood with none of the plastic appearance of urethane. It's been four years and they are holding up great. Checked to confirm it was food safe and, having done so, sanded away and then used it on the counters. They look great and are totally stain repellent. Water beads up, unlike with MO.

If you use the Satin finish after the initial coats of Sealer the final result will be quite matte.

Waterlox is polymerized tung oil. It maintains many of the advantages of pure tung oil but to quote my definitive expert source (see below):

"Polymerized tung and linseed oils dry faster, harder and are more durable than raw oils."

Pure tung can take days to weeks to dry between coats. We didn't have that kind of time.

And, on the subject of mineral oil:

"Mineral oil is recommended for cutting boards. MO will not cure as it is a non-drying oil and will continually leach out with every washing, requiring periodic reapplication. It will also leave a mess on your countertops if you apply too much Ick! The problem with cutting boards is that you cut on them, so any type of film finish is pretty much out of the question."

I do not cut directly on the BB counters. I'm careful to use cutting boards, mainly for sanitation purposes (I can throw them in the DW, as opposed to having to try and scrub down countertops after raw meat exposure, for example). Therefore a film-forming finish like tung makes sense for my purposes.

BTW: I have been cautioned rightfully in the past to warn folks with nut allergies that there is at least a theoretical risk of reaction to tung oil based products including Waterlox. Though, as I said then, given the consumption of peanut butter in our household, anyone with a real allergy would anaphylax just walking into the kitchen.

Here's my source: Incredibly detailed, extremely useful discussion by SteveRussel of oil finishes for wood

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clipped on: 09.21.2008 at 10:16 am    last updated on: 09.21.2008 at 10:16 am

RE: Inset cabinet hinges (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: velodoug on 09.13.2008 at 09:35 am in Kitchens Forum

They are called mortised cabinet hinges. The ones we used are HERE. They are more work to install because they are mortised into the door and the stile and mistakes are clearly visible. They are not adjustable, but they don't need to be adjusted. Because they are mortised they can't move around. Install them correctly and they'll still be correct in 100 years. (The design inspiration for our kitchen cabinets was a 100 year old 3/4 inset liquor cabinet I salvaged from a big house on the Jersey Shore that was being demolished. It's now being used as a tool cabinet in the bike shed.)

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clipped on: 09.14.2008 at 02:01 pm    last updated on: 09.14.2008 at 02:01 pm

RE: Please recommend a pull-down faucet with clean lines...ASAP (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: mamadadapaige on 09.12.2008 at 01:42 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've got a Rohl pulldown faucet that has clean lines and it works great. I have been very happy with it (although I think it is a little big for my smallish sink, but not worth changing out.)
k

Photobucket
Photobucket

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clipped on: 09.14.2008 at 08:24 am    last updated on: 09.14.2008 at 08:24 am

RE: Need cabinet advice for nightmare situation (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: buehl on 09.11.2008 at 12:30 am in Kitchens Forum

You might check places like Rev-A-Shelf or Hfele for some inserts for your cabinets. They have pull out shelves and other cabinet/drawer organizational items. It's worth a shot at any rate!

http://www.hafele.com/us/index.htm

http://www.rev-a-shelf.com/

There are other vendors as well, I just can't think of them right now.

Sites like OvisOnline, KitchenSource, TrashCansAndMore, LeeValley, CabinetParts, ShelvesThatSlide, etc. all sell Hfele, Rev-A-Shelf, and/or other vendors.

As to doors/drawer fronts, if all else fails check out Scherr's Cabinet & Doors. I know many folks who buy IKEA go to Scherr's for doors & drawer fronts to put on their IKEA cabinet boxes. So, I know they sell doors & drawers separately. Now, whether you can match your existing cabinet box's finish, I don't know. But there are ways to do some cosmetic work on exposed cabinet faces & sides.

http://www.scherrs.com/


I suspect, though, that no matter where you go you're going to have a 6 to 8 week wait. Be patient. This is a room you're going to have to live with and work in for many years (unless you're going to turn around & sell it). Take the time now to have it done correctly, you won't regret it. A year or two from now you won't care that you had an extra several months wait b/c you'll have the kitchen you wanted...and you'll be glad you waited! [I speak from experience, btw! My 6 to 8 week remodel that started January 21 still isn't completely done!]


Good luck and I hope you find that your doors & drawer fronts are waiting for you....!

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clipped on: 09.12.2008 at 10:57 am    last updated on: 09.12.2008 at 10:57 am

RE: An oder in my Miele Dishwasher (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: carol_jk on 09.09.2008 at 01:37 pm in Appliances Forum

My Miele Optima had a slight odor when it was delivered, and I called Miele customer service for advice. They said to run the Saniwash cycle two times, adding 2 cups of vinegar to the water after it fills for the wash portion of the cycle. You didn't say which model you have, but my instruction book says there is no prewash prior to the main wash, so I added the vinegar after the first fill. They also said never to add bleach. You might give this a try even if it seems that the odor is from the dishes being held for more than a day.

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clipped on: 09.09.2008 at 04:16 pm    last updated on: 09.09.2008 at 04:16 pm

RE: tkos and kias: progress, 'accessory', and produce pics (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: trailrunner on 09.09.2008 at 12:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

My spelling is going to the dogs....:) Deer and produce !! Mustbe, what recipes did you submit ? I would love to share if you want to. I have a wonderful Morrocan Eggplant dish that I make if you have lots of eggplant and would like something new. Here it is in case :

This is our most favorite eggplant dish. You can make it in a shallower 13x9 pan and serve as an appetizer. I make my own bharat but you can buy it also.

Ingredients:

(spice blend-- I store in a jar in freezer)

1/4 c black peppercorns

1/8 c coriander seeds

1/8 c cassia bark

1/8 c cloves

1/4 c cumin seeds

1 t. cardamom seeds

1/8 c ground nutmeg

1/4 c. ground paprika

Source: (adapted from) Kitty Morse's North Africa: The Vegetarian Table
Serves: 4-6

Notes: Serve this as a side dish with sweet or savory tagines, or as a light main course with a fresh green salad. Tunisians also apparently love to stick slices of it inside crusty bread spread with a little harissa and eat it as a sandwich.

1 large globe eggplant
salt for sprinkling
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped ( may use red onion)
1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed and diced
8 large eggs
a handful (about 1/2 cup packed) chopped fresh parsley or coriander/cilantro leaves, or a mixture
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz (225g) gruyre cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes( or baby swiss)
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1-2 teaspoon bharat (Tunisian spice blend)
1 tsp rosewater
3/4 teaspoon salt
harissa (North African hot pepper paste) or cayenne pepper, to taste ( or hot sauce) (optional)
lemon wedges

Peel and cut the eggplant into 1/4-inch dice. Sprinkle lightly with salt and place the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and cook the eggplant, onion, and pepper, stirring occasionally until golden and soft, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a colander to drain off as much of the oil as possible.

In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and add the herbs, garlic, cheese and bread crumbs. Add the eggplant mixture. Season with the bharat, salt, and a small spoonful of the optional harissa or cayenne pepper. Add 1 tsp rosewater if desired.

Grease a 2-quart souffl dish. Pour the egg mixture into the dish and bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown and puffed in the center, 45-60 minutes (a knife inserted into the center should come out clean).Bake less time if using 13x9 pan. Cut into wedges or squares to serve. Serve hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges on the side.

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clipped on: 09.09.2008 at 02:57 pm    last updated on: 09.09.2008 at 02:57 pm

RE: Soap Scum/Film On Glass Shower Doors (Follow-Up #40)

posted by: shalymar413 on 06.26.2008 at 02:37 pm in Cleaning Tips Forum

*** YOU HAVE TO READ THIS ***

OK, SO I'VE TRIED ALMOST EVERYTHING: KABOOM, SHOUT, WATER/VINEGAR MIX, MR. CLEAN ERASER, DRYER SHEET (WHICH LEFT A SMALL SCRATCH IN THE GLASS), ETC... I FINALLY CAME ACROSS A SUGGESTION: MR. CLEAN ERASER + A LITTLE DISHWASHING DETERGENT... I THOUGHT 'WHAT THE HECK' I HAD ALREADY TRIED MR. CLEAN ERASER BY ITSELF, WHY NOT... TRIED IT... IT WAS AWESOME... THIS IS HOW I DID IT...

1. APPLIED A LITTLE BIT OF DISHWASHING DETERGENT TO THE CENTER OF A MR. CLEAN ERASER.
2. APPLIED TO MY GLASS DOORS.
3. USED A WET TOWEL TO WIPE THE SOAP OFF (IN CASE YOU'RE WONDERING, THE TOWEL WAS WHITE, ALTHOUGH I DON'T THINK THAT MATTERS.)
4. USED ANOTHER TOWEL TO WIPE DRY.

IT LEFT THE DOORS SPARKLING CLEAN! NO SOAP SCUM, NO RESIDUE, NO STREAKS... THEY LOOKED EXACTLY THE WAY THEY DID WHEN WE FIRST INSTALLED THEM.

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clipped on: 09.05.2008 at 06:44 pm    last updated on: 09.05.2008 at 06:44 pm

RE: Soap Scum/Film On Glass Shower Doors (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: chard8 on 06.10.2006 at 10:26 pm in Cleaning Tips Forum

A few suggestions:

soft scrub (non bleach type)

dawn original

cascade (liquid/jel) works great for removing water spots
~as it does for your dishes~

vinegar also works great
(wear a mask, the fumes will kill ya)

hopes this helps !

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clipped on: 09.05.2008 at 06:40 pm    last updated on: 09.05.2008 at 06:40 pm

RE: Marble poultice (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mnhockeymom on 05.01.2008 at 07:14 am in Kitchens Forum

I cut and pasted some info into a Word doc that I saw on this forum - I can't give specific credit to anyone but here it is:

"Here's a poultice formula for coffee:
Make a solution of 20-30% peroxide (available at beauty supple places...wear gloves Mine is called Salon Care 30Extra Lift Volume Creme. Bought it at Sally's Beauty Supply Store.) and a few drops of ammonia. Then mix in some sort of WHITE "material;" e.g., paper towel, napkin, tissue. Make only enough to cover the stain. It should be paste-like (consistency of peanut butter).
Wet the stained area with distilled water. Pre-wetting fills the pores of the stone with water isolating the stain and accelerating the removal by the chemical.
Apply the poultice to the stain being careful not to spill any on the non stained areas. Apply approximately 1/4-inch thick over-lapping the stain area by about one inch.
Cover the poultice with plastic (food wrap works great). Tape the plastic down to seal the edges. It also helps to poke several small holes in the plastic so that the powder will dry out. Failure to do this may result in the poultice staying wet.
Allow the poultice to dry thoroughly. This is a very important step. The drying of the poultice is what pulls the stain from the stone into the poultice material. If the poultice is not allowed to dry, the stain may not be removed.
Drying usually takes from 24 to 48 hours.
Remove the poultice from the stain. Rinse with distilled water and buff dry with a soft cloth. If the stain is not removed, apply the poultice again. It may take up to five applications for difficult stains.

Here's some additional tips!
For the "white stuff" you are going to use for your poultice powder base ... get some diatomaceous earth ("DE"). You can get this really CHEAP at a pool supply store or free if you know someone with a pool that uses it. It is used in some pool filtering equipment. I went to the pool supply store and they gave me some since all I wanted was a small amount.
Good info on stain removal:
From www.stone-panels.com/details/stains.doc
Iron (rust) - Poultice with Oxalic Acid + Powder + Water. May also try a product called Iron-Out (available at hardware stores). Both mixtures may etch polished marble, so re-polishing will be necessary.
Ink - Poultice with Mineral Spirits or Methylene Chloride +Powder.
Oil - Poultice with Ammonia+ Powder Methylene Chloride can also be used on tough oil stains.
Coffee, Tea & Food - Poultice with 20 percent Hydrogen Peroxide + Powder.
Copper - Poultice with Ammonium Chloride + Powder
Paint (water-based) - poultice with a commercial paint remover + Powder
Paint (oil) - Poultice with Mineral Spirits + Powder. Deep stains may require Methylene Chloride.
HTH
MaryT"

Hope that helps!! Good Luck!!

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clipped on: 09.02.2008 at 07:42 pm    last updated on: 09.02.2008 at 07:42 pm

RE: Miele dishwasher: comparison of models (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: jerrod6 on 05.24.2008 at 02:17 am in Appliances Forum

Did you order the color booklet describing each model? If not I would order that from Miele because it lists the features of each model and highlights a new feature as you move up the model line.

Briefly:

Advanta is entry level has 6 programs and uses 5 different temperature settings. It has convection passive drying.
It also has standard 12 place setting racks.

Inspira - is like the Advanta except it has fan assisted convection drying and uses push buttons instead of a dial like the Advanta does.

Diamante - Similar to the models above except that it has 14 place setting racks and is quieter.

Optima - is quieter than all of the previous, has height adjustable middle basket that can also be tilted, has the premium flexible racks holding 14 place setting.

Instead of having fixed water temperatures it uses a sensor to examine the soil level and adjust the hotness of the water to the soil level. It has a built in water softener that mixes soft water with regular water to adjust it to the correct hardness allowing you to use less detergent.

Has a china crystal cycle that uses low temperature and short times to wash dedicates.

You can select between detergent types(gels, tabs, powders) so that you can get the best results from each.

It is quieter than the above mentioned models and has a 24 hour delay start feature.

Excella has everything the Optima has plus touch controls that use a display screen so that you use a menu to select cycles and options. Uses the display to communicate via sentences and phrases rather than lights. Can use slightly less water than models above depending on program cycle.

Has about 19 program cycles, including special ones that are designed to wash cheese and pasta starchy items. Other programs use low temperatures and take less time and still clean well.

Allows you to add extras to programs(extra dry time, extra rinse, a "soak" which is a long heated prewash etc)

You can remove the middle rack and wash tall items only in the bottom.

Has sectioned cup racks - you can lower half or all of it.
Has a split cutlery tray which allows you to remove a portion of it or slide portions around. Good if you have tall items in the middle rack.

In addition to the soil sensor that the Optima has it has a load size sensor that detects the size of the load you are washing and adjusts the water fill level to match the size - saving some water.

It is quieter than the above mentioned models.

LaPerla has everything that the Excella has plus;
It uses a flat screen interface and screen - no buttons, and is rated as quieter than the above machines.

All the models can be connected to cold water and don't require an incoming water temp of 120F to work, which allows them to use lower temperatures Lower than 120F.

All of the models except the LaPerla can be purchased with hidden controls.

The Optima is in the middle of the line and a good place to start. Look at it, and work your way up or down, keeping in mind that steps up give you quieter operation, slightly faster cycles, and slightly less water usage.

Be aware that Miele is due to release their new models sometime this year so everything I just said may not apply to them.

If you don't have the printed booklet it is worth ordering and it's free.

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clipped on: 08.20.2008 at 04:07 pm    last updated on: 08.20.2008 at 04:07 pm

RE: Miele Speed Oven 4080BM - Why do you like or dislike it? (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: zsazsa1 on 04.16.2007 at 08:50 am in Appliances Forum

The unit is the same size as the Miele speed oven, I believe. I don't have the dimensions in front of me, but you can get the information via the link to Euro-line Appliances below. They distribute the appliance to dealers within Canada and can tell you the closest availability for you.

Our kitchen designer works with someone at Tasco, so we ended up buying our appliances there. Roger at Morley's Appliances (Woodbridge)knew about the oven first, and quoted a very competitive price though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Euro-line Appliances

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clipped on: 08.03.2008 at 12:18 pm    last updated on: 08.03.2008 at 12:18 pm

RE: ??? for Stonegirl or Stone People -- Getting Stain Out of Mar (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: azstoneconsulting on 08.01.2008 at 02:53 pm in Kitchens Forum

Karen:

Can you post pics?

IF the subatance that you are referring to is on the
surface of the stone (and has not been absorbed INTO
the stone) you may be able to scrape the suabstance off
with a plain razor blad - being very careful of course,
so as not to scratch the stone...

IF on the other hand the staining agent has litterally
soaked into the stone - or has been absorbed to a certain
point, you'll want to look at saponification - which
quite simply is "drawing out" or "extracting" the staining
agent solids - out of the stone.

This can be done by using a "poultice" that is applied to
the affected area, and using time and the chemicals in the
poultice to "draw out" the staining agent solids.

IF you have a scrap piece if tile, you can do a test, and
duplicate the same conditions on the test tile -
then try doing the poultice on the test tile and check the results.

Here's what I'd do:

1. in a throw away platic cup, pour about 1/2 a cup of Acetone
(available at any hardware store) into the cup

2. slowly add dry plaster of paris to the Acetone -
keep mixing until the "mixture" is the consistancy of pancake
batter

3. season to taste (really??? - NO...NOT really - I just had to
throw that one in there to add a little levity....HA!!!)

3. Pour out the "mixture" onto the spot, and spread out so the
spot is completely covered with about 1" of "mixture" overlapping
where the spot is -
eg: if the spot is 1" in diameter,
the "Mixture" should measure 3" across.
ALSO.......
The "mixture" should be between 1/2" to
3/4" thick when properly spread out on the spot in the stone - I use
a table spoon to spread everythnig out and even up the
thickness of the "mixture".

4. cut out a piece of saran wrap that will cover the "mixture"
with 1" extra on all sides - eg: if the "mixture" is 3"
across in diameter, the saran wrap should be a minimum
of 5" square.
5. tape down the saran wrap on all four sides to the
stone using 3M BLUE TAPE - THIS IS THE ONLY TYPE OF
TAPE I WOULD USE taping directly to the surface of finished
stone, as plain white masking tape can sometimes leave
a residue that will take more work to clean off.

5. Leave the entire assembly ALONE - do not touch it - for
a minimum of 24 hours.

6. remove the tape and saran wrap to reveal the now hardened
"Pancake" that is stuck to the stone. Carefully -
with a plastic putty knife - pry the "pancake" loose from
the polished surface of the stone. The spot should be either
gone completely - or - much less noticable - each stain
reacts differently with different stones, and sometimes
you may need to repeat the process multiple time - but this
technique works - especially for oils and solvent reactive
staining agents.

REMEMBER - THIS IS IMPORTANT - IF your Marble tile is POLISHED -
DO NOT use ANY KIND OF cleaner that contains ACID!!!!
this is bad!!!!!!!!! - Acid will etch the polish right off of the Marble and
instead of a stain, you'll have a dull area where the
polish USED to be....

anyways - Post some Pics if you can - I am sure that there
are other techniques that other folks here on GW will chime
in with... This one's just worked for me over the last 30 years...

hope that helps

kevin

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clipped on: 08.01.2008 at 03:21 pm    last updated on: 08.01.2008 at 03:21 pm

RE: What's the Best Garbage Disposal (Follow-Up #45)

posted by: volsboy77 on 02.24.2008 at 09:51 pm in Appliances Forum

The Best Disposer that you can buy today is Viking.Viking used to make theres by hand but they are now made by Ise BUT they still have the same grind System as there Old one for the most part.It is not a rebadge Ise for the most part that is.Viking bought the rights from Whirlpool of Kitchenaids/Hobart disposer Kitchenaids used to be one of the best out there till Whirlpool bought them and ruined them.I am a mechanical engineer and collect vintage appliances as a hobby of mine and I have got about 15 disposers from the 60s and up.There are only 3 makers for disposers in the U.s. today.Wasteking,I.s.e. and WhiteRock which are from china and under the name of Sinkguard.Ise and Wasteking are the main players though which I will talk about.Wasteking was bought out by Sinkmaster the older Wastekings were some of the best out there until they were took over.Sinkmaster took over and ruined it also in my point of view.Wasteking used to be Thermadore and made the best dishwashers out there but not any more.I have a bunch of old Wasteking disposer and its just unreal the quality of the old ones compared to todays.Kitcheaid as I said was a part of Hobart after Whirlpool bought and destroyed them Ise started to make there disposer by just slapping a K.a. name on them and charging 100 bucks more.There is NO Differnce at all between any of the Kitcheaid,Kenmore,Maytag,Whirlpool until just a few months ago when Ise came out with there Evolution series which are a VAST improvement but only if you go with the top model though.Viking hand made there disposers for years they were just like the Old Kitchenaids back in the good days.They has cast Iron everything and weigh about 45 pounds folks out there that had might rember certain Kitchenaids the old ones they had a button on them Viking calls it Jaminator Kitchenaid called it Wham-a jam.I have two Vikings one of the old ones and one of the new ones the good thing about going with Ise is they lowered the price by 200 bucks I paid 600 for my first one then had to wait for it to be made.The Ise made one I got it for 350 and it took about 4 days the grind system is the same.Cast grind ring and cast Flywheel amd Fixed hammers on it.Folks you wont hear that clicking noise with the Vikings and the Flywheel alone is as thick as a Pen is wide.The Viking also has undercutters that after the waste is ground up and fixing to go down the drain it is gound again.Viking is the only one out there that has a real undercutter on it.The New Evolution Excel model only has what they call a undercutter but it does not work well at all.I have tested both of them and the Excel while a whole lot better than the old Ise 777 just is not anywhere close when you can get a Viking for the same price as a Excel disposer.The Vikings can grind anything cornhusks,Steak,rib,chicken bones,wax paper,teabags and I could go on and on.I have never had a clogging with the Vikings I had to have the line dug up with the Ise disposers.If you look at the insides of them next to each other you could tell which is better in a sec.Its sad that the bean counters make everything throw away nowdays unlike they used to be.I have a Maytag 1/2 H.p. disposer made is 1976 which will grind anything rember the grinding nails video commercail and today they just add power which dont really help it just makes people think cause it has all this power it is better but the guts of it are dreadful stamped steel junk but its cheaper for them to sell power than to put good parts in them.Yes the Viking is made by Ise but it still has what counts the thick cast Sharp grind rind and all the other good stuff from the days when everything wasnt throw away...P.s. Sorry about my Grammer I am terrible at it.

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clipped on: 06.30.2008 at 03:20 pm    last updated on: 06.30.2008 at 03:21 pm

RE: Bluestar gas leak (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: cpovey on 05.28.2008 at 11:27 am in Appliances Forum

I used to deal with pressurized gasses a lot: Oxygen, Hydrogen (not fun), LP, etc. Gas leaks can be difficult. Methane molecules are very small and can leak through very tiny cracks, pinhole openings, etc. However, having one failed repair attempt does not entitle you to a new range.

I would talk to PP and explain your situation. Ask them to ship you a new regulator and all associated parts that could be causing the leak, and that you will return to them via Fedex all unused parts.

Your house will be unoccupied while you are gone? Simple-turn off the gas. This is a good idea anyway. I do it every year when we go on vacation. Unless you need a gas heat system to operate to prevent pipes freezing, tun off the gas to the whole house. If you do need a gas heater to be on, turn off all other gas appliances-water heater, dryer, range, etc. Gas can leak at any time from any place in the gas system. And even if you fear pipes freezing, just turn off the water as well, open the lowest faucet you have to allow for expansion, then turn off the gas.

You should consider installing a gas detector if someone will be in and out of you house occasionally. If on LP, install it low to the floor. If natural gas, install it high. Have them replace the battery regularly.

Particularly when unused, water vapor in the gas (there is always a tiny amount) WILL collect in low spots and WILL rust out gas pipes, which are almost always iron.

PS Enjoy London, the greatest city in the world, IMO. I am so jealous!

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clipped on: 06.13.2008 at 09:39 pm    last updated on: 06.13.2008 at 09:39 pm

RE: BlueStar Maintenance Issues, What's the Truth? (Follow-Up #74)

posted by: shanks5 on 05.08.2008 at 08:36 am in Appliances Forum

As an appliance dealer, I can honestly say there is no maintenance free product. We never represent any product as such not Blue Star, Wolf or Viking.

We also have a huge service department in case there is an issue, and we do not ship out of our trade area...ever. The issues raised in this forum stem from dealers disconnected from the service process.

Ladies and Gents, all of these products are wonderful when they work...The specifications between them vary slightly. What happens when they are problems(18% of new products have issues) should concern potential buyers

A couple of pointers:

1. Buy local if you can. An out of state vendor does not have a support network when there are issues...If you are buying from out of town, check your products thoroughly before signing for any product

2. Spend some time investigating the service apparatus of any product before buying that brand

3. Never buy a service contract unless the dealer has their own service....It is worth the cost of the paper

4. Look at the social networks like epinions or Angies List before buying buying from any dealers....

Good luck to all

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clipped on: 06.13.2008 at 08:16 pm    last updated on: 06.13.2008 at 08:16 pm

RE: What's the best stainless steel cleaner? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: lascatx on 01.23.2008 at 10:49 am in Appliances Forum

The only SS in my kitchen I have had any issues with cleaning has been my refrigerator (mine's Thermador). I don't know if it was because I used something different that then installers did or if it's just the nature of that finish.

Whatever it is -- I discovered my solution by accident. I had a sample of stainless polish. I have no idea where it was hiding since the reno but recently discovered it. I decide to try it on my ccoktop and hood, but it was very fluid instead of the thicker polish I was expecting and I poured half the sample bottle onto my cloth. It was way more than I could use there, so I went over to the fridge and gave it a try. It not only cleaned the front easier than anything, no streaks, but the clean has lasted longer than anything else I've tried. They say you can use it on wood, leather, plexiglass, Corian, Formica and other surfaces as well as stainless.

The stuff is Signature Polish and it is made for Subzero and Wolf. You have to order it from them (I searched and searched to try to find it), and the minimum order is 2 bottles at about $16 each. Their toll free number is 877-376-5474.

I can't vouch for it on other surfaces yet, but I'm thrilled to have someting easier to use on my hunk o' fridge. It has been two weeks since I last did the fridge and all I have done is wipe some sticky off the handles. It looks as good as it did freshly polished. Oh yes, and my dog doesn't lick it off the door(rendering the whole cleaning job useless) like she did the next best product I had used. LOL

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clipped on: 06.11.2008 at 06:07 pm    last updated on: 06.11.2008 at 06:07 pm

RE: How do you store a LARGE collection of spices? (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: many_hats on 02.11.2008 at 11:02 am in Kitchens Forum

I also use a drawer similar to some of the photos above but I have small metal containers with magetic bottoms. I slid a very thin piece of metal (from HD ~$11.00) under my Life Liner and the spices don't move (you can see the grey colour of it under the spices). The taller containers are from Lee Valley; they do not come with magnetic bottoms but I took some magnetic tape and cut pieces to fit the bottoms then glued them on. They all have glass lids so I can see quantities at a glance. The smaller ones have lids that twist to holes for shaking and a wide port for pouring.

The drawer is 24" wide, 21" deep; the face front is 6 1/4" high and the inside sides are 4 1/4" high. I have just under 40 spices stored so it's not a huge collection but I also have room for a 7 1/2" wide knife block and utensil storage as well so it could hold a lot more spices if I removed those.

spice drawer.

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clipped on: 06.11.2008 at 12:18 pm    last updated on: 06.11.2008 at 12:18 pm

RE: Painted ship lap ceiling in kitchen??? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: holligator on 05.24.2008 at 12:38 am in Kitchens Forum

Ours is also tongue and groove. It's pine and I believe it's 6 inches wide. It's definitely not too busy, and it's one of the features we get the most compliments on. Here are a couple of pics that show the ceiling fairly well.

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clipped on: 06.09.2008 at 12:43 pm    last updated on: 06.09.2008 at 12:43 pm

RE: A cautionary tale about strawberries on granite (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: stonegirl on 06.09.2008 at 12:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

You can poultice an organic stain with beauty shop strength hydrogen peroxide and diatomaceous earth or any other poultice base (talc, flour or even white paper towels)

Be sure to reseal the stone once you have poulticed out the stain.

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clipped on: 06.09.2008 at 12:38 pm    last updated on: 06.09.2008 at 12:38 pm

Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists)

posted by: buehl on 04.14.2008 at 02:56 am in Kitchens Forum

First off, I want to give a big thank-you to StoneGirl, Kevin, Joshua, Mimi, and others (past and current) on this forum who have given us many words of wisdom concerning stone countertops.

I've tried to compile everything I saved over the past 8 months that I've been on this Forum. Most of it was taken from a write-up by StoneGirl (Natural stone primer/granite 101); other threads and sources were used as well.

So...if the experts could review the information I've compiled below and send me comments (here or via email), I will talk to StarPooh about getting this on the FAQ.


Stone Information, Advice, and Checklists:

In an industry that has no set standards, there are many unscrupulous people trying to palm themselves off as fabricators. There are also a number of people with odd agendas trying to spread ill rumors about natural stone and propagate some very confusing and contradictory information. This is my small attempt at shedding a little light on the subject.

Slab Selection:

On the selection of the actual stone slabs - When you go to the slab yard to choose slabs for your kitchen, there are a few things you need to take note of:

  • Surface finish: The finish - be it polished, honed, flamed antiqued, or brushed, should be even. There should be no spots that have obvious machine marks, scratches, or other man made marks. You can judge by the crystal and vein pattern of the stone if the marks you see are man-made or naturally occurring. It is true that not all minerals will finish evenly and if you look at an angle on a polished slab with a larger crystal pattern, you can clearly see this. Tropic Brown would be a good example here. The black spots will not polish near as shiny as the brown ones and this will be very obvious on an unresined slab when looking at an acute angle against the light. The black specks will show as duller marks. The slab will feel smooth and appear shiny if seen from above, though. This effect will not be as pronounced on a resined slab.

    Bottom line when judging the quality of a surface finish: Look for unnatural appearing marks. If there are any on the face of the slab, it is not desirable. They might well be on the extreme edges, but this is normal and a result of the slab manufacturing process.


  • Mesh backing: Some slabs have a mesh backing. This was done at the plant where the slabs were finished. This backing adds support to brittle materials or materials with excessive veining or fissures. A number of exotic stones will have this. This does not necessarily make the material one of inferior quality, though. Quite often, these slabs will require special care in fabrication and transport, so be prepared for the fabricator to charge accordingly. If you are unsure about the slabs, ask your fabricator what his opinion of the material is.

  • Cracks and fissures: Yes - some slabs might have them. One could have quite the discussion on whether that line on the slab could be one or the other, so I'll try to explain it a little.

    • Fissures are naturally occurring features in stone. They will appear as little lines in the surface of the slabs (very visible in a material like Verde Peacock) and could even be of a different color than the majority of the stone (think of those crazed white lines sometimes appearing in Antique Brown). Sometimes they could be fused like in Antique Brown and other times they could be open, as is the case in the Verde Peacock example. They could often also go right through the body of the slab like in Crema Marfil, for instance. If you look at the light reflection across a fissure, you will never see a break - i.e., there will be no change in the plane on either side of a fissure.

    • A crack on the other hand is a problem... If you look at the slab at an oblique angle in the light, you will note the reflection of the shine on the surface of the stone. A crack will appear as a definite line through the reflection and the reflection will have a different appearance on either side of the line - there will be a break in the plane. Reject slabs like this. One could still work around fissures. Cracks are a whole other can of worms.

    • Resined slabs: The resin gets applied prior to the slabs being polished. Most of the resin then gets ground off in the polishing process. You should not be able to see just by looking at the surface of a slab whether it was resined or not. If you look at the rough sides of the slab, though, you will see some drippy shiny marks, almost like varnish drips. This should be the only indication that the slab is resined. There should never be a film or layer on the face of the stone. With extremely porous stones, the resining will alleviate, but not totally eliminate absorption issues and sealer could still be required. Lady's dream is an example. This material is always resined, but still absorbs liquids and requires sealer.

    • Test the material you have selected for absorption issues regardless - it is always best to know what your stone is capable of and to be prepared for any issues that might arise. Some stones indeed do not require sealer - be they resined or not. Baltic Brown would be an example here. It will not absorb one iota of anything, but it is still resined to eliminate a flaking issue.

Tests (especially for Absolute Black) (using a sample of YOUR slab):

  • To verify you have true AB and not dyed: Clean with denatured alcohol and rub marble polishing powder on the face. (Get denatured alcohol at Home Depot in the paint department)

  • Lemon Juice or better yet some Muratic Acid: will quickly show if the stone has alot of calcium content and will end up getting etched. This is usually chinese stone, not indian.

  • Acetone: The Dying usually is done on the same chinese stone. like the others said, acetone on a rag will reveal any dye that has been applied

  • Chips: Using something very hard & metalhit the granite sharply & hard on edges to see if it chips, breaks, or cracks


Measuring:

  • Before the templaters get there...
    • Make sure you have a pretty good idea of your faucet layout--where you want the holes drilled for all the fixtures and do a test mock up to make sure you have accounted for sufficient clearances between each fixture.

    • Be sure you test your faucet for clearances not just between each fixture, but also between the faucet and the wall behind the faucet (if there is one). You need to be sure the handle will function properly.

    • Make sure that the cabinets are totally level (not out by more than 1/8") before the counter installers come in.

    • Check how close they should come to a stove and make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter.

    • Make sure they have the sink/faucet templates to work from.

    • Make sure have your garbage disposal air switch on hand or know the diameter

  • If you are not putting in a backsplash, tell them

  • Double check the template. Make sure that the measurements are reasonable. Measure the opening for the range.

  • Seam Placement: Yet another kettle of fish (or can of worms, depending on how you look at it, I guess!) Seam placement is ultimately at the discretion of the fabricator. I know it is not a really popular point of view, but that is just the way it is. There really is more to deciding where the seam would go than just the size of the slab or where the seam would look best in the kitchen.

    Most stone installations will have seams. They are unavoidable in medium or large sized kitchens. One hallmark of a good fabricator is that they will keep the seams to a minimum. It seems that a good book could be written about seams, their quality, and their placementand still you will have some information that will be omitted! For something as seemingly simple as joining two pieces of stone, seams have evolved into their own universe of complexity far beyond what anybody should have fair cause to expect!


  • Factors determining seam placement:

    • The slab: size, color, veining, structure (fissures, strength of the material an other characteristics of the stone)

    • Transport to the job site: Will the fabricated pieces fit on whatever vehicle and A-frames he has available

    • Access to the job site: Is the house on stilts? (common in coastal areas) How will the installers get the pieces to where they need to go? Will the tops fit in the service elevator if the apartment is on the 10th floor? Do the installers need to turn tight corners to get to the kitchen? There could be 101 factors that will influence seam placement here alone.

    • Placement and size of undermount (or other) cut-outs. Some fabricators like to put seams in undermount sinks, some do not. We, for instance will do it if absolutely necessary, and have done so with great success, but will not do so as general practice. We do like to put seams in the middle of drop-in appliances and cut-outs and this is a great choice for appearances and ease of installation.

    • Location of the cabinets: Do the pieces need to go in between tall cabinets with finished sides? Do the pieces need to slide in under appliance garages or other cabinetry? How far do the upper cabinets hang over? Is there enough clearance between the vent hood and other cabinets? Again the possibilities are endless and would depend on each individual kitchen lay-out and - ultimately -

    • Install-ability of the fabricated pieces: Will that odd angle hold up to being moved and turned around to get on the peninsula if there is no seam in it? Will the extra large sink cut-out stay intact if we hold the piece flat and at a 45 degree angle to slide it in between those two tall towers? Again, 1,001 combinations of cabinetry and material choices will come into play on this question.

    You can ask your fabricator to put a seam at a certain location and most likely he will oblige, but if he disagrees with you, it is not (always) out of spite or laziness. Check on your fabricator's seams by going to actual kitchens he has installed. Do not trust what you see in a showroom as sole testament to your fabricator's ability to do seams.

    With modern glues and seaming methods, a seam could successfully be put anywhere in an installation without compromising the strength or integrity of the stone. If a seam is done well, there is - in theory - no "wrong" location for it. A reputable fabricator will also try to keep the number of seams in any installation to a minimum. It is not acceptable, for instance to have a seam in each corner, or at each point where the counter changes direction, like on an angled peninsula.

    Long or unusually large pieces are often done if they can fit in the constraints of a slab. Slabs as a rule of thumb will average at about 110"x65". There are bigger slabs and quite often smaller ones too. Check with the fabricator or the slab yard. They will be more than happy to tell you the different sizes of slabs they have available. Note, though, that the larger the slabs, the smaller the selection of possible colors. Slab sizes would depend in part on the capabilities of the quarry, integrity of the material or the capabilities of the machinery at the finishing plant. We have had slabs as wide as 75" and as long as 130" before, but those are monsters and not always readily available.

  • Generally, it is not a good idea to seam over a DW because there's no support for the granite, and anything heavy placed at or near the seam would stress the stone, possibly breaking it.

  • Rodding is another issue where a tremendous amount of mis-information and scary stories exist: The main purpose for rodding stone would be to add integrity to the material around cut-outs. This is primarily for transport and installation and serves no real purpose once the stone is secured and fully supported on the cabinets. It would also depend on the material. A fabricator would be more likely to rod Ubatuba than he would Black Galaxy, for instance. The flaky and delicate materials prone to fissures would be prime candidates for rodding. Rodding is basically when a fabricator cuts slots in the back of the stone and embeds steel or fiberglass rods with epoxy in the slots in the stone. You will not see this from the top or front of the installation. This is an "insurance policy" created by the fabricator to make sure that the stone tops make it to your cabinets all in one piece

  • Edges: The more rounded an edge is, the more stable it would be. Sharp, flat edges are prone to chipping under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances. Demi or full bullnose edges would almost entirely eliminate this issue. A properly milled and polished edge will be stable and durable regardless of the profile, though. My guess at why ogee and stacked edges are not more prevalent would be purely because of cost considerations. Edge pricing is determined by the amount of work needed to create it. The more intricate edge profiles also require an exponentially larger skill set and more time to perfect. The ogee edge is a very elegant edge and can be used to great effect, but could easily look overdone if it is used everywhere. We often advise our clients to combine edges for greater impact - i.e., eased edge on all work surfaces, and ogee on the island to emphasize the cabinetry or unusual shape.
    Edge profiles are largely dependent on what you like and can afford. There is no real pro or con for regular or laminated edges. They all have their place in the design world. Check with your fabricator what their capabilities and pricing are. Look at actual kitchens and ask for references.


Installation:

  • Seams:
    One hallmark of a good fabricator is that they will keep the seams to a minimum [StoneGirl]

    • A generic good quality seam should have the following characteristics:
      • It should be flat. According to the Marble Institute of America (MIA) a minimal amount of lippage is acceptable (1/32"), but conscientious fabricators all strive for a perfectly flat and smooth joint.

      • It should be narrow - as in smaller than 1/16". (I think the MIA stipulates no larger than 1/8", but that is pushing it - and only if the fabricator bevels the edges of the seam, almost similar to the edge of a stone tile. This is, thank goodness, not a standard practice any more!)

      • The color on either side of the seam should match as closely as possible. On regularly patterned stones like Ubatuba for example - there should be no variation. On stones with variation in colors or veins, the match should be made as close as was humanly possible.

      • Vein direction should flow. The MIA suggests a single direction of vein flow, but it is acceptable IF DISCUSSED WITH THE CLIENT to change vein direction on a seam if no other option is available. This would happen in book matched slabs - you will have a "butterfly" seam in this case. In other cases, the fabricator could put a miter seam in a corner and change vein direction 90 degrees. This is usually done with extremely linear veining like Bamboo Green, for example, but this is something that should be discussed with the fabricator and agreed upon by the client.

      • The seam on the finished edge of the stone should NOT dip in and create a divot in the edge. When you run your fingers over the edge, you should not be able to feel the location of the seam at all.

      • The thickness of the slabs on either side of the seam should be equal (or feathered out so that there is no discernible difference)

      • The glue in the seam should be of a color that matches the stone as closely as possible. Glue joints that are too light or too dark will show up something terrible. The idea behind tinting the glue is to try to make the seam "disappear" or something relatively close to it

  • Checklist:
    • Check the seams for evenness and smoothness.

      • Make sure that the seams are neat and clean.

      • Make sure that the seams are not obvious.

      • Make sure the seams are butted tight

      • Make sure that there are no scratches, pits, or cracks

    • If sealing is necessary (not all granites need to be sealed):

      • Make sure that the granite has been sealed

      • If more than one application of sealer was applied, ask how long they waited between applications

      • Ask which sealer has been used on the granite.

    • Make sure the sink reveal is consistent all the away around

    • Check the gap of the granite at the wall junctions.

    • Check for inconsistent overhangs from the counter edges

    • Check for chips. These can be filled.

    • Make sure the top drawers open & close

    • Make sure that you can open & close your dishwasher

    • Make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter

    • Make sure that you have the appropriate clearances for your appliances

    • Check the edge all around, a good edge should have the following characteristics:
      • Shine: The edge polish should match the top polish in depth and clarity. The edge should not be milky, dull, or waxy.

      • The edge should not have "waves". Eyeball along the edge. A good edge should have a mirror like reflection and be fairly flat. Waves that you can see or feel are not a good thing.

      • The aris (very top of the edge) should be crisp and straight, even on a bullnose edge. Once again you can see this by eyeballing along the very top end of the edge profile. A wavy, dippy aris is poor craftsmanship.

      • A good edge will have a consistent profile. It will not be larger in some spots or smaller in others.

      • A good edge should also have NO tooling lines. These will be fine lighter/white lines running along the edge. This is a mark of a poor edge polish, of a CNC machine that is not set correctly, and a lack of hand finishing. This is common when a company has only mechanical fabrication (i.e., CNC machines or line polishers) and no skilled hand fabricators to finish the work properly.

    • Run your hands around the entire laminated edge of yor counters to make sure they are smooth

    • Check surrounding walls & cabinets for damage

Miscellaneous Information:

  • More than all the above and below, though, is to be present for both the templating as well as having the templates placed on your slabs at the fabricator's
    If you canot be there, then have a lengthy conversation about seam placement, ways to match the movement, and ways to color-match the counters that will be joined at the seam

  • Find a fabricator who is a member of the SFA

  • When they polish your stone for you don't let them wax it. It will look terrible in 2 months when the wax wears off.

  • Don't use the Magic Eraser on granite--especially AB

  • Any slab with more fill (resin) than stone is certainly a no-no!!

  • When you do check for scratches, have overhead lighting shining down so scratches are easier to see

  • Don't let them do cutouts in place (granite dust becomes a major issue)

  • Granite dust can be a problem...some have heard of SS appliances & hoods damaged by the dust, others have heard of drawer glides being ruined by the dust

  • If you have wood floors--especially if you're in the process of staining or finishing them--make sure that they don't spill or drip granite sealer on the wood floors. Apparently the sealer interferes with the stain or finish process.

  • Suggested Prep for Installation:
    • Remove any drawers and pullouts beneath any sections that will be cut or drilled onsite, e.g., sink cutouts and/or faucet, soap dispenser, air gap, instant hot etc. holes, cooktop cutouts.

    • Then just cover the glides themselves with a few layers of blue painter's tape (or some combo of plastic wrap and tape)

    • If you make sure to cover the top of the glides and attach some of the tape to the cab wall as well (to form sort of a seal)and cover the rest of the glides completely with tape, you should be fine.

    • Usually the fabricators will have someone holding a vacuum hose right at the spot where they are drilling or cutting, so very little granite dust should be landing on the glides. What little dust escapes the vacuum will be blocked by the layer(s) of tape.

    • When done w/installation, remove the tape and use a DustBuster (or similar) on all the cabinets and glides

  • Countertop Support:

    • If your granite is 2 cm thick, then there can be no more then 6" of of unsupported span with a 5/8" subtop

    • If your granite is 3 cm thick, then there can be no more then 10" of unsupported span - no subtop required

    • If you need support, the to determine your corbel dimensions:

    • Thickness of Stone - Dimension of Unsupported Span = Corbel Dimensino

    • i.e., an 18" total overhang in 2 cm would require a 12" corbe; the same overhang in 3 cm would require an 8" corbel

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clipped on: 06.09.2008 at 07:26 am    last updated on: 06.09.2008 at 07:27 am

RE: need help! staining hardwoods (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: matt.hayes on 06.06.2008 at 11:02 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi.

What you need is a finishing specialist and to go through the mock-up process. I am not an expert, but achieving deep colors in wood may mean more that just applying additional coats of stain out of the can. Often the deepest colors are achieved through first dyeing the wood, then applying stain over it. This is definitely a trial and error process if you are matching something you've seen in a photo. If you want to tackle this yourself (that's a big undertaking in terms of knowledge and practical skills to acquire), there is an excellent book on Amazon entitled "UNDERSTANDING WOOD FINISHING by BOB FLEXNER". My suggestion is to find someone who is in fact an expert in wood finishing. If your floor installer has never applied more than a single coat of stain to a floor, their breadth of experience may not be sufficient to give you the product you want. I would not touch that floor again until you are able to have a sample created with which you are 100% happy. This probably means having your installer generate multiple samples right through from sanding, coloring & final finish. They will need to keep a record of the samples to clearly keep track of individual colors used, # of coats, type of sheen (for clear coat), etc. They should not proceed until you sign-off on a control sample. Have them cut it in half and keep one in your possession, and your installer/finisher should keep the other for reference during the finishing process.

It is much cheaper and ultimately can save time and prevent mistakes to perform your experiments on small pieces rather than an entire floor.

Good luck!

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clipped on: 06.06.2008 at 11:22 am    last updated on: 06.06.2008 at 11:22 am

RE: show me your fully integrated refrigerator/freezer paneled do (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: rmkitchen on 06.04.2008 at 01:18 pm in Kitchens Forum

We have the Thermador 30" fridge and 30" freezer, also not next to one another, and we did the same panels on both. (The first two pictures are of the fridge, closed & opened; the third is of the freezer.)

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clipped on: 06.05.2008 at 07:39 am    last updated on: 06.05.2008 at 07:39 am

Making final decisions... having a hard time - any advice??

posted by: mamadadapaige on 01.26.2008 at 11:12 am in Appliances Forum

Our kitchen renovation is well underway and I still haven't finalized anything except for cabinetry.

For appliances, I am looking at:

refrigerator: Subzero 650 or GE Monogram (bottom freezer). I like the interior of the Subzero a little better so am leaning that way. I don't freeze a lot so want to optimize the fridge space. I have a small kitchen without a lot of wall space so another consideration is going with a narrower fridge column and then freezer drawers (this option might be a budget buster and I am concerned about designating a 30" built in space for a fridge... what happens 10 years down the road when we need a new fridge and can't find one to fit the custom space).

range: Was pretty well decided on the BlueStar 36" with griddle, however, for the same price I can get the GE Monogram 36" inch with griddle which has the added benefits of being self cleaning and dual fuel. I do a lot of slow cooking and am most concerned with a very low simmer temp. I am happy that both ranges have the grates that once turned over can fit a wok. I haven't done a lot of this type of cooking but am excited to try new things once I have the new range. I love to cook and have produced many wonderful meals on my little kitchenaid range, so I am not totally sure what to expect in terms of performance from these pro-style ranges.

Bev. Center: thinking of the Kitchenaid

Microwave: considering the Sharp draw microwave or the GE Profile spacesaver. this will go in our island so the draw seems a bit better of a design.

DW: Kitchenaid (trying not to blow the budget here, just want something stainless and quiet)

Sink: Must fit into a 28" base cabinet so has to be single bowl. I saw one I loved on www.justsinks.com (under Culinary Series, Cotswold II - apron front stainless with towel bar). It might be a smidge big, unfortunately this website doesn't indicate what size cabinet is required. Am trying to get the largest sink to fit the space, the Blanco and Franke's are either huge or 19". any ideas?

Faucet: Thinking of the pulldown spray type, maybe KWC... seems like a good brand, Dornbracht's are beautiful but not sure they are in my budget.

Cabinets: After getting quotes on:

Kennebec Cabinetry: $32K
Brookhaven: $25K
Woodmode: $34K
Quality Custom Cabinetry: $28K
Plain and Fancy: $25K
Medallion: $22K
Crown Point: $24K

decided on Crown Point (which was my first choice and fortunately one of the lower prices). Thank goodness this decision is finally made... I am thrilled.

Sorry so long... I have spent more hours than I care to admit on this site and have found it incredibly helpful, but am just having trouble committing to the appliances. Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

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clipped on: 06.04.2008 at 10:52 pm    last updated on: 06.04.2008 at 10:52 pm

RE: granite template being done today - many questions... (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: franki1962 on 02.06.2008 at 11:49 am in Kitchens Forum

Stolen from a previous post

I think it dropped off this past week or so...the last post to it was 10/31. I have it saved. Here's a summary of it:

When deciding on a fabricator:
- See the installer's work, especially the seams;
- Talk about what they do to make the seam really tight and smooth.

Before Fabrication
- Mock up the location of the faucets, soap dispenser, air switch, air gap, etc. before they come to fabricate. Be sure to account for clearances behind the sink as well as b/w each item.
-- Make sure you have your sink/faucet templates (all sinks & faucets!)
-- Make a list of all your appliances and the required clearances (sides, back, front, top). This applies to both appliances w/cutouts (e.g., cooktop, etc.) and stand alone (e.g., refrigerator, range, etc.).
- Make sure you have enough of your lighting installed and functional
- Make sure you have everything that requires a cutout before they fabricate. You want to have all of these on hand when they come for templating.
- Post pictures for the TKOed of your slabs!

Fabrication/Pre-Install
- Be present for the template process.
- Be there when they place the templates on your slabs, but if you can't be there then have a lengthy conversation about seam placement, ways to match the movement, and ways to color-match the counters that will be joined at the seam
- Double check the template.
- Make sure that the measurements are reasonable.
- Measure the opening for the range.
- Be sure you test your faucet for clearances not just between each fixture, but also between the faucet and the wall behind the faucet (if there is one). You need to be sure the handle will function properly.
- Make sure the cabinets are totally level (not out by more than 1/8") before the counter installers come in. Saves big headaches.
- Make sure they have the sink/faucet templates to work from.
- Check how close they should come to a stove
- Make sure you have your garbage disposal air switch on hand or know the diameter

Installation
- If you have wood floors--especially if you're in the process of staining or finishing them--make sure they don't spill or drip granite sealer on the wood floors. Apparently the sealer interferes with the stain or finish process. Possibly consider brown kraft paper to protect your floors.
- Make sure your appliances are protected during the installation process.
- Make sure you have a pretty good idea of your faucet layout--where you want the holes drilled for all the fixtures and do a test mock up to make sure you have accounted for sufficient clearances between each fixture.
- Somewhere you will have a seam by your sink because they cannot carry the small pieces after cutting out for you sink without breaking. Ask them to show you where it will be and if you are ok with it. Should be covered in the appropriately colored caulk.
- Check the seams for evenness and smoothness.
- Make sure the seams are neat and clean.
- Make sure the seams are not obvious.
- Make sure there are no scratches, pits or cracks
- Make sure the granite has been sealed
- Ask which sealer has been used on the granite.
- Make sure the sink reveal is consistent all the away around
- Check the gap of the granite at the wall junctions.
- Keep an eye out for inconsistent overhangs on the counter edges
- Make sure all your edges are identical
- Make sure the laminate edge (if you have it) is smooth.
- Check for chips. These can be filled.
- Make sure the seams are butted tight.
- If a cut-out or a seam is worked on OVER a drawer, be sure to remove the drawer and tape the glide. There have been instances where the granite dust destroyed the drawer glide.
- Make sure that the top drawers open and close
- Make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter
- Make sure you can open your dishwasher
- Make sure you have proper clearances for all of your appliances.
- Make sure you have the appropriate clearances for your appliances.
- Make sure all your cabinets are still in the right place.
- Watch when they apply the sealer, so that you know how to do it later.

Post Installation
- Post pictures for the TKOed
- Enjoy your kitchen!

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clipped on: 06.04.2008 at 10:34 pm    last updated on: 06.04.2008 at 10:35 pm

RE: Second guessing my soapstone slabs (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: sherburne on 06.03.2008 at 09:12 am in Kitchens Forum

Do you know where the Green Mountain Original is from? I would guess a company in Vermont that imports Brazilian SS.
I have a son who started Elon U. in NC this year. Driving back to MA, I stopped in Alberene, VA, at one of the only operating quarry and fabrication plants in USA. Maybe the only one. They charge $57 per sq. ft. for 1 1/4" cut to your dimensions. Funky old plant. They have a website.
Google Alberene Soapstone.

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clipped on: 06.03.2008 at 02:44 pm    last updated on: 06.03.2008 at 02:45 pm

RE: Soapstone alternatives for natural cherry cabinets... (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: kevinb_flyguy on 06.02.2008 at 11:49 pm in Kitchens Forum


Without naming the company I work for, I can tell you there is another company in Denver with soapstone as well as one in Colorado Springs. Funny how the "D" word gets dropped on this forum all the time but the rules state I'm not allowed to mention our company.
If you're after a lighter green to go with cherry, Light Julya is a good choice. Another is Emerald Sunshine.
Also, custom soapstone sinks are available. Under mount, farm front, even pitch front farm front also known as a Philadelphia front.
Whatever you do, I would urge you to shop around until you've found the stone that is exactly what you want. It's too important a decision to just "settle".

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clipped on: 06.03.2008 at 07:49 am    last updated on: 06.03.2008 at 07:49 am

Stopping the Dust Mechanism

posted by: akarinz on 05.08.2008 at 04:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

Several of you asked me to share the system that my engineer neighbor came up with to prevent dust coming all thru the house.

First, here is what the finished screen looks like. You will need to build three poles, as show in the below picture. One for each edge and one in the middle.
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Each pole consists of two pole pieces. One is slightly smaller than the other. In other words, you could push the smaller pole inside the larger one. Kind of like the way a curtain rod might work. You are going to create a spring where the larger and smaller pole connect. In order to do this, you will need a washer, a spring and the screw tightener (sorry I don't know what this is called). I am hoping you can show the hardware store clerk the picture. As you can see, the washer sits on the edge of the larger pipe. It allows the smaller pipe to fit inside the larger pipe, but prevents the spring from going anywhere. The screw thing holds the smaller pipe in place.
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At the end of the poles, you may want to put some kind of protectant. My neighbor used duct tape and the rubber things that are at the end of crutches.
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You will now cut your painter's plastic, which should be wide enough to cover the area you are screening plus an additional couple of feet. It should be long enough to reach the ceiling to the floor, plus two feet. To set the first pole, position your plastic to the edge + 12 inches. The extra 12 inches are to be taped to the wall. Where the top of the pole will meet the plastic, wrap the plastic with strong duct tape. This is so the tension of the pole does not rip the plastic. Squeeze down on the pole, place the taped area over the top of the pole. Release and now the first pole is in place. Do the same thing for the middle pole and the other end pole. Remember to have around 12 inches extra, to tape on the other wall. This should provide a taught screening area, which acts as a temporary wall.

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On the bottom, wrap the extra plastic around a 2 x 4, or another heavy object.

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Now to create the wind source. Place a boxed window fan in another room and in front of an open window. Seal off any extra open areas if you can. Close all other windows and doors in other rooms. This creates wind to push back any dust that might escape the plastic. Note the cardboard on top of the open window. It does not have to be exact. After the fan is on, you should see the painter's plastic being pushed in the direction of the wind.

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To wrap up, in my pictures, the system is not as neat as I would like. That is because I put it up on the third day of the remodel. So I really didn't have a clear area to work with. Also depending on the thickness of the plastic, you may have to do repairs. Also the plastic was placed close to where the workers are working. In hindsight I would have placed it further away, so they don't rip it.

This works and is not as complicated as it reads. I tried to be very detailed in the explanation, but the whole thing took 15 minutes to set up.


Karin

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clipped on: 06.03.2008 at 07:37 am    last updated on: 06.03.2008 at 07:37 am

RE: Choosing Vent Hood Depth (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: kaseki on 04.06.2008 at 09:14 am in Appliances Forum

It may be worth sketching a side view of the range, hood, and stick figure cook on grid paper (to scale) to see what sightlines may be obscured and foreheads bumped with the hood at a given height. Writing as a slightly taller than average [sometimes D]H, I would be seriously annoyed if I couldn't see what I was doing or had to wear a hard hat to cook.

My choice is to move the hood heigher and buy a larger exhaust fan. How much larger? Now you are into very wordy territory.

In still air, growing the overhang is more important because the rising effluent plume expands at a relatively fixed angle, at least until it hits the back wall or side cabinets. In real conditions, air disturbances can displace some of the effluent and cause it to miss the hood. This calls for extra air flow to compensate, and I am not aware of any studies of this topic. Greenheck literature recommends a factor of 1.1 when raising typical commercial hoods from 6 feet, 6 inches to 7 feet. These hoods already have significant overhang, however, so a marginal residential configuration will likely need a larger factor.

In any case, at the burner 30 or more inches below a hood, there is very little airflow velocity from the hood flow itself. The uprising effluent velocity is the primary means of getting the effluent to the hood. Outside the hood edges, the airflow velocity from the hood is also relatively low, so it is difficult for the hood flow to make up for too small an overhang.

Take your pan size to be used on a front burner, put it on your sketch. Sketch a line upward toward the hood starting from the pan edge, angled at 1.5-inches per foot in the direction of the cook. Ensure that the hood captures this line.

A pan that extended to the 24-inch counter line, three feet below a 27-inch hood, would only have one inch per foot of angle growth. At three feet of hood spacing for a 27 inch hood, the pan edge must remain behind the counter edge by 1.5 inches to meet the rule. A 24-inch hood can be seen to be very restrictive in this regard, suggesting that frying be done on back burners only.

Some overcome hood extension limitations by spacing them out from the wall and putting a filler piece of stainless between the back of the hood and the wall.

kas

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clipped on: 04.26.2008 at 08:56 pm    last updated on: 04.26.2008 at 08:59 pm