Tag Archives: diy

I fixed the stove

Our stove just stopped baking. It was weird. As soon as I got some cookie dough to make cookies with Maxie it stopped heating, though the broiler still worked.

We thought about calling a repairman, but given the cost I thought I’d take a shot.  Did some searching and figured out there is an igniter that lights the gas that was probably the problem. The part  costs $90, so I went for it.

I took the door off, removed all the racks, removed the oven floor and the flame spreader. Then I remembered to switch off the electricity to the oven. Doh!

The old igniter unscrewed from next to the gas plate but didn’t have enough cord to actually unplug. I snipped and stripped the leads and did the same with the new igniter. Joined the wires with  some ceramic nuts and then ask that was left was replacing everything and testing. Worked first time! Huge savings and now I can make cookies with Lazerpants tomorrow…

Ginsperiment results

image

See my initial post on barrel aging/oaking Breukelen Gin.

That was way faster and better than I expected. I tested with friends after only 2 weeks. Decided to remove the oak cubes as they were both very good already.

12g to 9oz is definitely enough for the oak cubes. Might do less but for longer next time. 16g kind of overpowers the gin.

I used Breukelen gin because my pal Tove Hermanson shared a rare-ish bottle of barrel aged Breukelen gin and it was weird and wonderful. It tastes like a really flowery whiskey full of that same caramely smooth warmth. Like looking at butterflies as a summer sun sets.

Now to whip up some more batches!

Secret Project D – a Custom DIY Dresser

Secret Project B has been so on my mind that I totally forgot to write up my Secret Project D!

thin_hudson_dresser

Sam had been talking about wanting a dresser, but none of the ones we found really fit where we wanted to put one. We liked West Elm’s Hudson dresser. Clean modern style, but it was too deep to fit our space. Sounds like a job for me!

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I made measurements and decided that the best way for a nerd like me to proceed would be to make a sketchup design. I found a sketchup model of the thin hudson and made my dresser model based on that.
I started working on this last August on nights and weekends.

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Afterwards, I dropped by a West Elm to see how they put theirs together. That’s when I realized that I didn’t have to make the stretchers in the carcass solid – I could make them a frame and they’d be just fine. Also – less weight in the furniture will be helpful when we move it around.

Then life gets in the way – the project was on hold for months. After figuring out what I wanted to do I bought tools, and got started in December.

I decided to go with a furniture grade plywood. Not all plywood is crappy – some looks really nice. I went with Baltic Birch. It’s good looking, the beveled edges on the drawers have a sweet pinstripe on them and I could get it nearby at the Brooklyn Dyke’s Lumber1.

bevel_drawers

Plywood has a couple of other sweet properties for small apartment woodworking. The cross-grain layering of plywood makes it very stable with regard to moisture. This means I don’t have to have a jointer or planer to flatten the wood. In addition, the sheet of plywood has a continuous grain veneer – so you cutting the drawer fronts from one sheet of plywood preserves that grain across the drawers.

drawer_fronts

When you buy lumber, you have to know how to order it, and you need to know how much you want. The sales folks are used to dealing with people who order very large amounts, so not knowing makes you an irritant. You won’t get what you need. Fortunately, if you build your model in Sketchup first, there’s a handy plugin that calculates how much lumber to buy and gives you a cutlist based on your model. It even gives you a plan on how to get the most out of the wood with the least waste. That’s so helpful!

Armed with my cutlist, I grabbed a truck from zipcar and brought back three huge 4’x4′ sheets back to my woodshop in the sky.
wodshop_in_the_sky

After many nights and weekends of cutting, swearing, panicking, gluing, screwing, sanding and shellacing I got the dresser done. My woodshop in the sky has turned into a baby room, so I’ll have to find a new place to make any future furniture. If any folks are interested in either how I made it or what I’ve learned about small apartment woodworking, I could write more about that.

1ks-see-ya-later

  1. I cannot imagine the creepy search terms those folks find in their server logs  (back)