Odd sink challenge: making it slope

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Hello!
I've got a small sink make from a plain white ceramic salad bowl. It was mounted on a counter, and a hole was cut through for a chrome drain pipe. Looks nice, but there is a problem. The bottom of the bowl -- about 1.5 inches radius beyond the edge of the drain pipe -- is pretty much completely level, and worse, the metal drain pipe lip is raised about 1mm above the level of the ceramic. Hence some water never drains (horrible for toothpaste, for example).
Replacing the sink isn't an option -- is is smaller than I have been able to find commercially, and a custom (pottery) sink costs a bit too much. The space it is in is not amenable to standard sinks, and we like the exact size and dimensions of the existing sink anyway.
Here are three possibly bad ideas. Can anyone comment or offer a better suggestion?
I could try and grind out a depression for the drain lip to sit in, but no idea how I could do this reasonable well.
Fill up the bottom 1mm of the sink with "tough-as-tile" epoxy paint or similar (and maybe paint the rest too, to make sure the color matches). Do this in 2 or 3 layers. It would still leave a level area at the bottom of the sink, but at least no raised lip. Can it go on this thick? Will it crack?
Lastly: do the same, but let it cure while sitting on a motorized potter's wheel type contraption. The spinning would push the epoxy outward, leaving the bottom sloped to the middle. This seems just unrealistic most likely.
Thanks in advance -Kevin
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Oooh....this is a good one. I'm just gonna watch.....
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Ya ya I know. But I have to try.
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On Mon, 16 Jan 2006 16:29:27 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

I recommended spinning in another thread, but here, I think it might run quickly to the outside and gather in the lower outside corner, without sloping.
Instead, how about attaching the whole thing to a sling and whirling it around in a vertical** plane, open end first, so tha tthe air rushes in and pushes the part near the center more than the parts further from the center.
Or borrow a convertible and mount the thing open end facing forward, and drive from Baltimore to Pittsburgh on the interstates with no stopping, to give even distribution. **You probably want to mount the whole bowl on a plywood doughnut (to let the air blow through) and rotate it slowly, so that it won't all sag to one side.
By using a convertible, you can check occasionally if the epoxy has hardened. When it has, you can turn around and go back.

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kevin wrote:

This reminds me of Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch....how about this? We lop off his legs, stick a tube in the back of his head so he can breathe, make a dandy fish.
It's extremely unlikely that you'll be able to grind the bowl without breaking it (far different than simply drilling a hole), and even if by some miracle you did, you've destroyed the glaze - whatever you patched it with would look horrible.
Anything that you use to build up the bottom of the bowl will also have to be coated and will look horrible.
It's the type of project where you could easily spend many hours or days making the thing look even half way decent. It would be better to have a garage sale or sell stuff on eBay to raise money for a sink that is meant to be a sink. Call around to a local college or ceramic arts store. You might find someone willing to make you a simple bowl with a hole for fifty or a hundred bucks.
R
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Why is that? Is the commercial tub-and-tile epoxy paint really that bad? I've never tried it, but have a new, unopened "tough as tile" brand batch left from the previous owner. Would this not work to reglazing any exposed area that was deglazed, and/or for building up the bottom?

Yup. But I think of it as a kind of hobby, or challenge. People spend many hours and days doing lots of things. Besides, I'm cheap, don't have terribly much money, don't like to spend money on things that I can do without (i.e., I can live with the existing sink rather than pay $100 or more), don't like to throw things out, and so on. I'm not unrealistic, though: if it ain't worth it, I won't do it.
I can get a custom made bowl for around $100 or so. But the tub-and-tile paint is free, and the existing sink is already there (and the hole in the counter was custom fit just for this bowl too!).
Thanks for the comments, though! -Kevin
It would be better to have a garage sale or sell stuff on eBay to raise money for a sink that is meant to be a sink. Call around to a local college or ceramic arts store. You might find someone willing to make you a simple bowl with a hole for fifty or a hundred bucks.
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Kevin,
If this sink is an example of the DIY work of the previous owner then there may be many more interesting though expensive discoveries to be made around your home. Whatever you do, do not open the walls. I've seen small, metal, circular sinks. Check out RV, boat, and mobile home suppliers for stuff made to fit very small bathrooms. Here are some for under $30 http://www.mobile-mart.com/rvsinks.htm
Dave M.
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In a word, yes. I used to rent an apartment in which the bathroom sink had been re-done in that stuff, and it was fine for the first month or so. Then it started chipping/flaking/peeling up, and it kept doing that for the whole year and a half I lived there. Don't bother. I think it would be even worse if you tried to build that stuff up to any thickness. If it were my sink, I'd probably try to make a new drain that comes in from underneath and fits the hole as close as possible, and seal around that new drain with silicone caulk, realizing that it wouldn't be a really permanent or durable solution. Good luck, Andy
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Thanks for the link re: rv sinks. Those are just about the right size (although they are plastic, which is too bad). I'll think about that some.
As for the DIY work, yes, the previous owner did a lot of interesting things. My favorite so far was removing the 18 foot long load bearing wall that ran right down the center of the first floor, and replacing with a tripled 2x6. Not sure what you mean about opening the walls though. I'd rather know about questionable plumbing/electricity and fix it right!
-Kevin
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kevin wrote:

?
R
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You might be able to pull this off successfully.
1) I don't know how commercial glass services create frosted patterns, whether it's done chemically, or mechanically (with abrasives). A few phonecalls are in order. Perhaps someone can grind away the area around the drain ring, but keep it flat enough when finished so the ring has no gaps around it.
2) If the results of your phonecalls are successful, call a few pottery places and find out if it's possible to re-glaze the part that the glass place ground away.
There are businesses that claim they can apply a replacement glaze to old sinks, but I'm living with the unhappy results of that mistake, paid for by the previous owner of this house. It's not pretty.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Define successfully. ;)

They can etch the glass either way, but if he's trying to remove enough material to affect the drainage, sandblasting is the only way to go. Unfortunately, that would probably eat away so much material and weaken the "sink" so much that it would eventually crack just from normal usage.

They'd have to reglaze the entire bowl interior. They'll charge him for it, same as the sandblaster would. He'd still end up with a dog>fish bowl. The kiln would also present a danger to the bowl. Idoubt anyone would guarantee that they wouldn't crack the bowl while they were working on it. It'd be hours of work, plus costs, down the...errrr....drain. Throwing good money after bad, and all that.

If the "glaze" is sprayed epoxy, that never looks as good as a ceramic glaze fired in a kiln.
R
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I plead the fifth. :-)
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I have done this kind of work using a drill press, copper arbor and carborundum powder (from a rock shop). Fixing the bowl securely without breaking it will be a problem. The arbor will need to be exactly the right size but I had access to a metal lathe when this was done. Same for trimming down the top of the drain flange for an exact fit. Easy to jam it and ruin the piece. The carborundum is in a oil or water slurry and contained in clay dams. Slow work but I have made it work. Also made a hole in a Pyrex beaker this way. Diamond bit in a slow speed router running under water?? The lengths we go to. Richard
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Is all that necessary? I tried cutting a little bit with just a common hacksaw blade by hand, and it abrades just fine. The glaze seems harder, but the interior ceramic turns to dust pretty easy. I'm sure it will trash the blade pretty quick, but I those are a dime a dozen. I don't really like the grinding idea much though, because of the need for precision and the need to reglaze just the part tha was ground away. Wouldn't it make more sense to just refinish the whole thing with paint?
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this can be done with a sink drain countersink.
http://www.hisglassworks.com/pages/sinkkit.html
regards, charlie http://glassartists.org/chaniarts
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If you can get a replacement ceramic salad bowl, drill a hole at one edge of the flat area, and install the bowl 1:50 out of level.
Reguardless of whether you can do that, change the drain attachment to one that snugs up against the bottom of the bowl instead of sticking up through. That will get rid of the lip, at least.
(Solder a cut-off coupling and a washer made out of copper flashing to the end of a copper drain-pipe, with enough pipe sticking up through to engage, but not completely pass through, the hole in the ceramic bowl)
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kevin wrote:

When you say "mounted on a counter" do you mean that the bowl is really sitting *on* the countertop so you can see it's bottom too?
I'm doubtful that even if you could grind a counterbore into the bottom of the bowl to set the drain flange into that the resulting flat bottom would drain well enough to satisfy the "self cleaning" requirements. Even kitchen sinks have some slope down to the drain opening 'yknow.
Sorry to take a negative tack on this one, but I think the advice you already got about taking a drain piece to an amateur or semipro potter and having them make you a properly concaved sink with a suitable thick/strong bottom and drain opening would be the best overall solution.
HTH,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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I would think it would be good for toothpaste. You can probably grow more toothpaste right in the sink.

Take a course in pottery and make your own?

Get your wife to do the above.
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Cut a thin disk slightly larger than the diameter of the flat on the bottom of the bowl. Feather the edge. Put another hole in center, solder your existing drain to the underside. Run a bead of silicone on underside of the disk. Install, draw it down, hope it flexes enough to curve slightly.
Results will be terrible to pretty good depending on your metalworking skills. If you know someone with a lathe they may be able to spin a plate for you....
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