Hope the new year is treating you well! We decided to brave the cold (stop laughing, those of you that are north of Kansas!) and come out for the weekend. After having spent the entire day out in freezing rain (I went to the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth Friday. Miserable day, amazing finish to the game!) I still wanted to go out to the property and work on the cabin some. We only have a small propane heater and I was skeptical whether it would keep up with the near freezing weather, so we stopped and bought a gallon of Denatured Alcohol to burn.
We got to the cabin late Friday night and it was about 35° inside. We poured up 2 quart sized metal cans full of alcohol and fired them up. We also got the propane heater cranking. Yes, I left a window open for plenty of circulation. I can only imagine how quickly 3 sources could burn up all of the oxygen in our little space. We got the temp up to the low 60s which was very comfortable and only a few degrees lower than we keep our large house in the winter. Problem was, we burned up all of the alcohol that night and the propane heater wouldn't keep up the next night. Saturday, we did good to keep it above 40° through the night. It was a bit chilly but still better than last year when we were sleeping in a well ventilated tent through the winter. Those were some cold nights!
We picked up some supplies to finish insulating the walls and looked for some options to improve the alcohol heater. Finally came to the conclusion though that it's just really expensive to burn alcohol. It was $16 for the gallon at HD and it probably only burned 4-5 hours. I can get 10 hours of electric heat by running our generator for less than $10 now that gas has fallen in price. We really need to work out a permanent solution. Good thing winter is only 2-3 months here.
We finally decided that we would install the countertop that Kim found on clearance ($30) at IKEA. We laid it face down and built a frame inside the opening. Took that out and built a second. (We cut all of the steel and dry fit the pieces before we attached them just to make sure.) This way we knew for sure that they would fit and be identical. Next, we connected the two frames with some legs. All-in-all, it took a couple of hours to complete. I had all of the steel left over from the house build. It's just been sitting in the woods providing a home to the spiders and bugs for a year! Anyway, the countertop now gives us a good work space in the kitchen and provides a place to keep all of the cooking supplies out of the way. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.
When we end up with a full sized fridge at some future date, I can take the legs off and shorten the cabinet to accommodate. Great thing about steel, you can just unscrew it and adjust it later!