Sunday, November 15, 2015

Food Cart Project Part XXXIV: Service Counter and Exhaust Hood

More forward movement's been made on the cart. I got a string of lights mounted underneath the awning over the service window. I think this gives a nice inviting effect, and of course a little extra light won't hurt when it gets dark out (these days, around 5:00 pm):

I also stained and finished the service counter:

I used a pretty dark stain, sanded some of it off to get this interesting grain effect, then finished it with six coats of polyurethane. The combination of the finish and the dents, gouges and wear the wood had to begin with (an old doug fir 2x8, by the way, for those of you who keep track of such things) gives it a nice patina, I think:

I also got a lot of caulking done around the trim. I'm about halfway done with that. Most significantly, though, my exhaust hood and fan arrived this week. Those will get installed next weekend...

Definitely looking forward to having those in place. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Food Cart Project Part XXXIII: Exhaust Hood, Awning and Menu.

Last weekend I met with a guy called Dale Barron, who does exhaust hood installations for restaurants, to assess my cart and discuss helping me with installing a hood. A few days later, I ordered my hood and fan from a company called Ventilation Direct. It's basically a six foot wide version of this (minus the fire suppression system; a class B extinguisher should suffice, in the short term, anyway):

That's set to ship about a week and a half into November, so installation of that will probably happen in the second half of the month, or perhaps early December. After that comes the electrical work. In the meantime, there are lots of loose ends to be tied up. This weekend, one of those loose ends I attended to was building an awning and some steps for the service window:

The awning is mounted on hinges just above the window, and the supports are secured at the base of the window with linch pins:

I also worked on the chalkboard menu, which mounts in the window:

If you're thinking I didn't quite crop that photo tight enough to read what's on the menu, well, yeah, you're right. Don't want to give away too much this early in the game... But I've got the menu items pretty much nailed down at this point. The prices will be added to it once I've finished sorting out all of the food costing. Here's what that awning looks like when it's collapsed, by the way:

That'll be secured with a padlock eventually. The shelf underneath the window is a fir 2x8 I picked up at the Rebuilding Center. I'll be staining and varnishing that next weekend.

I also had a great talk this weekend with an old friend of mine who's a web developer. He's going to take what I designed for the Squarespace website I created, and mark up something a little more sophisticated with respect to search engine optimization, mobile device displays and the like. I'm looking forward to getting that rebuilt, because the Squarespace site, while attractive, doesn't support HTML text, which makes it difficult for Google, Bing, et al to find it; obviously, less than ideal.