The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Non-woven batard form?

  • Pin It
PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat

Non-woven batard form?

This is probably going to sound completely odd, but our cabin has a tiny little water closet under the stairs and I need to find/make a very narrow lavatory sink (6" deep max front to back) to go in it. In order to wash hands, the sink only has to be the width of your hand, but it would help if it were a rounded oblong so you could scoop you wrist and forearm through the trough to rinse.


Anyway, I'm posting here on TFL because I have a wonderful open weave french bread serving basket, and an equally lovely woven reed batard banneton which are the perfect size and shape... but obviously, being porous, aren't going to work to make a homemade vessel sink. I've been online searching high and low for a glass, glazed ceramic or metal vessel roughly the same shape and size. All I have been able to find are unglazed pottery baking pots, fluted brioche pans, and low-sided bread serving bowls... none of which will work for a functional sink either.


Do any of you know where I could source a waterproof bowl or batard form that might work? I'll even take poly if that's all I can find! Who would have thought it would be this difficult to find a wide, narrow-depth, somewhat squatty but not shallow, batard-like container?!


Thanks for your help!

Ford's picture
Ford

I am not insensitive to your need.  I've been to Alaska; is there not a place where you can find a bowl, glass, stainless steel, pottery, that would fit your need.  An aluminum roasting pan might work.  I am not sure where in the wilderness you are but can you not get to a town to buy one? 


Ford

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat

The nearest place with a shopping center is 3+ hours away, and the selection for anything non-standard is really limited. There really aren't any cool artisan type stores in Fairbanks, and kitchenwares are only to be found at Wal-Mart, Sears and the like... no Williams-Sonoma, no Sur La Table, not even a Crate-n-Barrel or BB&Beyond :(


However, I think I may have solved the dilema... a fish poaching pan.


Steel Fish Poacher


The less expensive ones are stainless steel, usually 18-20" wide/long, only 6-7" deep, and 5-6" high... and they're available through Amazon with free shipping to our PO box, bonus! We can always use the lid and steamer tray as shelving above/beside the sink, and the handles to hang our hand towels.


I would have liked to find something ceramic with a little more of a smooth taper to the bowl. I'm worried about the difficulty of cutting the drain hole in the steel and whether the squarer sides and bottom will still drain as nicely as a more conventional basin. But when you live in the middle of nowhere you really can't be too picky.


But, I'm still open for suggestions... although most online retailers only ship through UPS and they don't deliver out here, and certainly not to a PO Box (we don't have a street, much less a street address), and the rates are usually painful.


 

pjaj's picture
pjaj

I don't know what your budget is for this but a cheap DIY method would be to cast your own sink from Glass Fiber. A bit messy and time consuming, but you could then have it any shape and size you wanted. You could even cast in the outlet. It may be possible to use a sacrificial batard form as the mold, or even encase one completely.


The materials are widely available mail order and probably fairly light and compact to ship.


Alternatively a kitchen supply / fitters could probably make you a custom sink from Corian or similar material from your drawings and ship it to you - at a price!


http://www.newkitchen.org/countertops_sinks/alaska.html

clazar123's picture
clazar123

They are generally small tho I like the custom corian idea.

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat

I can check with Alaskan Counter Fitters in Fairbanks next time I'm there, just to see what the budget for that would be. All the other are "down south", several hours away (i.e. a day's drive). There is a custom body shop in town who may be able to hook me up with glass mat and resin. The mat isn't really a problem to obtain; but the resins are more difficult/$$$ to get mail order since many are classed haz-mat, which makes them difficult to transport here via air or over-the-road through Canada. I've even considered attempting to cast my own sink with mortar and seal it like the concrete countertops, but haven't been able to locally source the plasticized mortar mix that is recommended. Making a mold for any of these options isn't a problem... have flour and junk mail, will papier mache :)


I looked at several bar and prep sinks since they're generally pretty small, but most of them are deeper than they are wide, are drop-ins or undermounts, and wallmounted ones all have the taps mounted on back further increasing the depth. Even a narrow oblong vessel on a ledge with a wallmounted tap encroached on the walking clearance from the door to the loo... it really is a closet, you can touch the both walls without even extending your arms much! I'm pretty sure I'll end up having to move the sink if accessibility becomes an issue later in life.


I did find some really cool wallmounted fountain sinks that may have worked if I inset it further into a niche between the studs, but $400+ for a bathroom sink is just a little too steep for me (even $200 for the procelain one was beginning to push it). If Fairbanks had a public-access pottery kiln, I'd be so tempted to make my own because they are just nifty.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Another category to consider - highly available, affordable, stainless steel steam tray pans.


Bien Cordialement, Wild-Yeast


 


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Even ones for corners.  


have you thought about Melamine? 


wood with epoxy surface/seal


Ok, now why would you want to get your whole forearm into the sink?  Are you that messy?  :)


I will see what brand names I can find if you're interested.  


Asparagus copper boiling pot?  Can you find a potter to make you one?  How about camper or mobile home equipment providers?  those wc's are pretty tight.


You could smear up a basket with cement and tile the inside.  


Clam shell?   

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat

The steam trays might work, and I may be able to source then in F'banks from the wholesale industrial catering supplier.


Melamine or a marine-varnished/epoxied plywood sink may work, my only concern is those pesky square corners. If I had a lathe, or a lot of time to use a hand-gouge, I could just make the darned thing out of a tree in my woods ;)


Since we'll be market gardening and selling eggs and raw milk (via share) on our organic homestead, I am a total stickler for hygiene after handling waste. After working an OR and restaurants for a few years, I firmly believe the only way to get your hands really clean is to surgical scrub from fingertip to elbow and then rinse with no touching... so need to be able to scoop my whole hand and forearm through the stream (sounds OCD neurotic, I know, but I only go through this when I'm handling food or just visited the restroom).


The asparagus steamer is an alternative to the fish poacher. I may be able to find an artisan potter to make it for me, or allow me to rent their private kiln to fire my own. I could even make it out of papier mache and seal it with several coats of marine varnish, although I'd have to sand and touch it up the sealant every year until I eventually had to replace it (and hope it didn't leak and get all slumpy and moldy -- ick!)


I did check out the two RV places in town, and several online (even checked out a train/bus/airline supplier!) and the smallest sinks they had were all corner sinks and I don't have a corner to mount it in except bent over at knee height under the stairs. The high side under the stairs is where the loo is so hubby can still stand up (mostly) and we don't have to step over the pot to get into the rest of bathroom and the understair storage.The bathroom itself is only slightly wider than the door (an icky bi-fold because there's not quite enough room to open a regular swing door and a pocket door wouldn't fit).


The space is already so tight I don't want to install some sort of vertical partition/heavy bracket, just to mount a corner sink or rotate a bar sink so the long dimension is wide instead of deep.


There are days when I ask myself why I just couldn't be happy with the outhouse and washing my hands in the kitchen sink?!? ROFL

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Can you mount the sink outside the wc?  In the hall?  Have you looked into hanging garden sinks?  Like this one?


Or a rubber sink?  It could be a frame that fits where you want it and stretched down to the goose neck.  No corners!  


Mini

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat

Hey Mini - that rubber sink is way nifty! I know I can source EPDM membrane here, and since I only need a scrap it should be pretty affordable. I'll have to look into that!


I did look at those hanging fountain sinks, and they're lovely, and would work if I niched them between the studs... but they're a bit pricey. I'm going to see if one of the nurseries in town has something similar with a lower price tag... not holding my breath since outdoor sinks and garden water features aren't really the craze here with our 6 mo of below freezing winters.


I could install the sink outside the room on the wall between the WC and the pantry, but then we might as well wash in the kitchen sink because it's only 6 feet from there :) Our cabin is only 16x24 feet... tiny houses are logistic nightmares sometimes.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I thought you might like that rubber sink.  Could even go on a back wall above the toilet and drain into the flush water to be used later.   I'm replacing my old waterbed, and I'm thinking about what to do with all that vinyl.  (Garden pond, trampoline, etc.)


Mini

Ford's picture
Ford

I just have to see pictures of your abode, especially the WC.  To give a reference to size, please include a picture of you or your husband in the room.


Your descriptions of the home have aroused my curosity.


I hope you do have time for some baking in the meantime.


Ford

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat

Hi Ford,


We're still in the process of building, but this picture from our blog should at least give you a rough idea what we're dealing with.



(there's a full post on the blog with the 3d models in case you get lost in all the following text)


The cabin is 24' north-south, and 16' east-west. I'm standing in the "living room" on the south side of the house facing the stair/wc (left/west) & pantry (right/east) on the north side.


The stair/wc/pantry takes up the north 8' bay, with the pantry on the right/east at 8x8 (where the back door is) and the L-staircase and wc underneath on the left/west at 8x8.In the stair/wc area, the lower case will rise on the left, meet the landing, and the upper case turns the corner and enters the loft in the center of the room (where the ladder currently is).The right side of this area will be the wc, with the composting toilet in the back under the stairs, and the sink a little closer to the door. The distance between the wc door and the pantry door is about 3', just wide enough for us to put in a hall-tree/coat-rack & bench.


The wood stove is almost directly in the dead center of the house. The distance between the pantry/stair/wc wall and the back of the stove is about 40", and that's our "hall" since it lines up with the front door (off camera to the left) and goes straight across to the "kitchen".


On the east wall (right) we're going to be putting 10' of cabinets and countertop with sink (where the tarp and big box is) and that will be our "kitchen". We cook on the woodstove and don't have a refrigerator, the DC freezer lives outside on the porch. The remaining bit of space (about 3') will be the "dining room" which will probably be some nifty collapsible table/cart with stools that stow under it.


On the west wall, we'll have a built in entertainment center/storage & display shelves, with a cubby to stow today's firewood. Together with two recliners along the south wall, that will be our "living room".


The loft upstairs is open, with the bedroom on the south end; with the home office, water tank, battery bank and electrical cabinet on the north side. (this pic is facing south toward the "bedroom" before we got the chimney installed)



There aren't that many pics with us in them, but I did find one of me standing on the deck when we finally got the first floor framed.



And here's a pic of the composting toilet we have set up in our wall tent. The one in the cabin will be built in a much prettier cabinet, but the basic design's the same.


 

Ford's picture
Ford

That is quite a project!  I can see that it takes a lot of ingenuity and engineering knowledge to accomplish the building and outfitting the home.  I am sure you will be proud of the finished home.  I wish you both all the luck and my prayers go out for you.


Ford

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat

If you have a flush toilet, then draining the sink's greywater into the tank would be excellent to conserve water.


We've got a (dry) composting toilet and "flush" with sawdust. No way was I going to try digging in a septic system through permafrost or spend the power & water with our off-grid system. We don't have any blackwater at the cabin, the dirtiest water we generate is from the kitchen sink, and that goes onto the compost pile to keep it moist in the summer. All the rest of our greywater goes out to the garden.  (Luckily, we're completely unregulated out here so no one will complain about "codes")


I think using your old waterbed as a pond liner would be cool as long as you covered it completely (not UV stable). You could use it as a waterproof membrane on a new root cellar/pit to keep it dry inside. They also make great WP membranes for a living roof system or underlayments for shed roofs. If you don't end up using it, I bet someone would snatch it up from CraigsList or FreeCycle in a heartbeat.

pjaj's picture
pjaj

I don't know if you have thought of this but caravans and boats sometimes use a fold down sink and taps. Usually placed so that you can use either the toilet or the sink, but not both at the same time. Maybe the water outlet could be used do flush the toilet?


On the other hand, since you are designing the house from scratch, I suppose you have already considered giving yourself a bit more room by repositioning one of the walls - or did you reached that "duh .. where are we going to put the sink" moment? B-}

PlicketyCat's picture
PlicketyCat

We considered a fold-down or pull-out sink, and we may still devise something like that to work for us. It's actually easier for us since our drain isn't plumbed into the wall, it just empties into a bucket that we take outside so no flexible piping required.


We definitely don't want a flush toilet, even if we had easy soil to dig septic and all the water in the world. Just don't see the sense in contaminating perfectly good fresh water and risk contaminating my water supply with blackwater septic, when it's no big deal to dump the poo bucket out in the curing chamber to let it compost.


The pantry being as large as possible is much more important than having a bathroom sink since we're 4 hours from the nearest grocery and winters are 6 mos long. The only option would have been to make the stairs narrower... but I think a 36" stair width is about as narrow as is comfortable, especially since we already had to make it a bit steep to fit in the space. I always knew I'd need to figure out some sort of smaller vessel for the sink so it wouldn't stick out too much past the 5" return on the bathroom door.