I'll admit this much right off the bat: This blog entry is a sincere deviation from the tried and true Good Rubbish formula. There's nothing terribly creative about it, nor particularly destructive for that matter, and it doesn't involve making stuff out of stuff that people generally don't make stuff out of. For all of these reasons I apologize profusely, but I logged some hours doing this project and I'll be damned if I'm going to let all that labor fall by the wayside without at least getting a blog entry out of it.
So my parent's had this dreadful silverware organizer in their house - one of these extendable plastic pieces of crap that sells for about $3 American at Walgreens - that's acted as a source of nearly infinite frustration for anyone who's taken on the task of emptying their dishwasher.
I mean honestly, who designed this fucking thing? What sort of silverware related use could possibly be applied to those minuscule triangular compartments at the bottom of this disaster? Perhaps storing buttons? How about pepper kernels? Stem cells? Anything? Uggh... ridiculous.
Anyway, my fam's spent an inordinate amount of time complaining about this thing, but no one had really been able to solve the problem it presented as all of the other silverware organizers we could find were either too big to fit in our silverware drawer or just as bad as the one we already had. Well a few weeks ago I decided that, with my mom's birthday coming up (it falls on Saint Patrick's Day, a fact that put a hefty damper on what could have been some of the most debaucherous nights of my life from 2000 through 2003) I'd build her a custom silverware tray to ease the suffering of her, my father, my sibling, and indeed the whole of America as well. This be how I did it:
I first took out a sample of each of the individual types of silverware I'd need a compartment for, then laid them down on paper and cut out a square around their basic shape. I left a little extra space on all sides so that I'd be covered later on if I needed to trim away a little bit of space to make room for another utensil.
Once I had all of the basic shapes mapped out, I spent some time laying them out on the base of my eventual tray (cut to be the same size as the bottom of the drawer, obviously) until I had a format worked out that made sense (spoons generally next to other spoons, forks generally next to other forks) and fit nicely together. The spaces I left between each utensil's spot are there to account for the wood dividers I'd be adding in later. "When's later", you ask? Later is now, my friend.
After measuring out all of the lengths of wood that I'd need to create all my dividers, I cut up some cheap lathe (runs about $1 for 5 feet of it) to match those distances. In a nauseatingly strenuous test of finger stability not far removed from a heated Jenga battle, I stood the lathe sections up on their ends and glued them together to match the pattern I'd laid out. I then left the room, curled up in a ball on the floor, and prayed that a tiny gust of wind didn't come by to ruin this preposterously fragile structure I'd just created (I'm sure there's a better way to do this than the route I took, but I certainly couldn't think of it).
Somehow, someway, it survived the next 25 minutes. Praise Yahweh, he is a good man.
I glued my spindly divider framework down to the baseboard and clamped it into place, but unfortunately my baseboard was notably warped (this is what happens when you exclusively shop the bargain bin at the lumber yard), so I had to run a bunch of screws from the base into the divider framework to keep the two securely fastened to one another. Considering that the lathe I was drilling into was about 1/4" thick, this was no simple kind of task. Fortunately, I am no simple kind of man. Eat me, Lynard Skynard.
The two pieces of wood I'd been working with weren't even close to being the same color, so I decided to paint the baseboard black to cover up this fact (my folks' counter top is black, so the color wouldn't be completely out of place in their kitchen). I also hammered some tiny nails in through joints in the lathe wherever possible, to take a little bit of the responsibility for keeping this thing together off of the glue I'd slathered on earlier.
Once everything was in its final place, I put on a couple coats of light wood stain to strengthen the color of the lathe a bit, then administered 2 coats of polyurethane to the whole apparatus to create a plastic-like barrier between my fam's silverware and the toxic paint/stain that were covering the wood.
After that I just had to wait for mom's birthday to roll around, then lay in the silverware before basking in the glow of my earth shattering accomplishment. Dig it:
Hot damn. If the respective casts of Dynasty and Dallas were ever to break bread with one another, I feel as though they'd have no choice but to store their silverware in this very receptacle - it's that fucking glamorous.
Speaking of glamorous, you should tune in for my next entry, in which I'll show you how to remove bags from under your eyes using fermented ferret stool.
Monday, March 17, 2008
HOW TO MAKE A CUSTOM SILVERWARE TRAY OUT OF... UH, WELL... WOOD, AND GLUE... AND PROBABLY SOME NAILS OR SOMETHING.
Labels: Basic Construction