Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kitchen Rehab- round 3; it starts with a cutting board.

        It's not my lot in life to know what I want and need, get it and be satisfied with it for decades. Thus the third major  go at our kitchen. Round one with the kitchen was to address a lack of daylight and get a gas cooktop.  Next (with DW on board) was to update our fridge, provide wine storage and replace the island and countertop. This latest go is to get up to specs with DW's cooking requirements. We like stir-fry meals and our little cooktop is underpowered.  She has also complained for more than a decade about our oven's small capacity. To address these issues, a range with 22K BTU's and a large oven will replace the current cooktop and oven. In order to properly ventilate said cooktop, the range and hood will go to where the oven presently is located.  Since this all requires electrical, plumbing, and wall changes, we met with the contractor who did our library and came up with a plan and allocation of labor.  In order to not have to replace the present perfectly good island granite slab, we decided to replace the cooktop with a cutting board.
       "You're not going to make that- are you?" was DW's first question, to which I replied that CrossCut Hardwoods had cutting boards made to order.  However, when I called them, said service was no longer available. Then came, by the area's standards, a major snowstorm. With the upcoming Valentine's Day and cabin fever from being snowed in for the weekend came my decision to make the cutting board.
       I rounded up all the hardwood stock less than 4 feet, and began the project.


       My first discovery was how much glue this was going to take, then how long it was going to take to do the project.  I had been hoping to at least have the rough/pre-sanded part ready for Valentine's Day, but that wasn't going to happen. What did happen when I glued up and chopped up the first part was realizing- this is indeed doable and likely to turn out well.

       Wife was very happy with the project when I fessed up to what I was doing and said we could make Valentine's day the 17th instead.

       I did wind up having to buy more boards as I ran out of shorts and also needed maple boards to complete the pattern.  The next major surprise occurred when I has loading it up to take to WoodCrafters to get it sanded. End-grain hardwood surfaces uneven to 3/16ths variation are beyond the scope of my hand held orbital sander (even though it is half-sheet size). At 60 lbs plus, even moving the cutting board into my car, to and from the sander and then maneuvering  it around for completing the sanding and finishing at home was work.

       Here is the almost-completed slab. I'm happy (my back and arms notwithstanding) and wife is happy. As they say in infomercials - wait, there's more.  With some of the leftover wood, I was able to make a tamping stand for our espresso machine. The walnut block shown next to it was what we used previously to protect our countertop from the portafilters,

      After the Academy Awards (we're having a get-together), the kitchen will turn into a construction zone for a few weeks.

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