Skillet Trivet: A Story in (Mostly) Pictures

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I figured since I have so many photos of this wacky adventure, it might be entertaining to do this as a photo essay of sorts.  Considering I gave my new camera a good workout.  And clearly I need to keep working it until I figure the schmancy bugger out.

As such, this'll sorta be photographic discourse into what my brain does.  Heh.  Yay!

So the chef.  Yeah, the chef at the restaurant/bar, super nice guy, like him lots but he's mad at me.  Or irritated with me.  Or grumpy.  See, right as he asks me to build all these nifty things for him, wham, the phone rings, it's The Exorcist season one.  Television job = zero Becky time.

I can't blame him; I'd be surly too.  For (embarrassingly) two months now we stop in to dine, I slink over to the kitchen, apologize profusely.  "I promise!  I promise!  I'll get it done."  Then I slink back to Mike, "how am I gonna get these done?!"

I must say, I've been struggling for brilliant ideas on this project, a trivet of sorts for cast iron skillets filled with nummy brunch foods.

Struggling because I haven't had time to sit, think and focus solely on only.this.project.  Can't say I'm in love with the end result (because I didn't sit, think and focus solely on only.this.project) but I suspect he got fed up with waiting and said yeah, just do this idea.

Here's how it went:

Scene 1:  Menards, fancier wood aisle.  Peruse, peruse.  Brain ninety percent distracted by everything else in my small world.  Espy dazzling piece of 1x8x8' hickory.  Hickory, cool!  "OooOOooh, this is preeettttyyyyy!  Oooph, this thing is dang heavy, well ok time to go."

piece of hickory lumber
Yah, nice eh?  Photo, despite swanky new camera, doesn't do it justice.  Lame basement lighting.
Scene 2:  Back at the ranch.  Ok, the scene thing is annoying so I'll, yeah, forget it.

I had a design idea that I thought would be cool so I just went at it.  Yeah.  Mistake #2.

trying to cut hickory lumber
Choppity chop!
Mmk!  I'll just cut me a hunk of the hickory here, 8.25."  Yep.  Vvvreeeeeeee, smoke, clouds, dust.  I thought the saw was going to choke to death.


Somehow I manage to get through it but my cut is all janky crooked.  Holy dissatisfied.  I cleaned it up on the miter saw which also was, to my surprise, a tiny bit unhappy about hickory.

Ok then.  I see this is going to be different.

(Seriously, not once did I stop and say hey ya thick-headed butthead, this wood is too hard, regroup!)

drawing circle on hickory
Okey doke!  Let's cut a circle!  
Pilot a hole with a Forstner bit?  Wasn't having it.  (The corded drill has a stuck chuck so cordless it was, or wasn't I should say.)  Drill bit?  Went through begrudgingly.

jigsaw and blade

This jigsaw,* it continues to lose points in my book.  Tried to put a nice Bosch blade in there, nope, won't go.  Won't go won't go won't go.  Why?  It's a hair thicker than the blades that came with the saw.  Oy me.  Same T top, just thicker.  Smh.

Use wimpier blade.

errant jigsaw blade

Then that happened.  Yep, *plink!* popped right out even though it was locked and clamped, scampered off whining.

Hm.  Ooooh-kaaay.

bad circle cutting in hickory

Never deterred, I used a fine toothed (yes metal cutting) blade slowly and this is how looovely my freehand cut came out.  Mmm hm.  Yep.  Thumbs up, nice work.

angled cut edge on hickory

Oh, by the way, more negative jigsaw points?  It always always cuts on an angle, as seen above.

jigsaw markings close up

Yet more saw poopiness?  See those markings under there?  Where, you ask?  Yeah.  Where the green and gray meet, in the shadowed area.  Those are the degree marks for tilting the base so you can cut on an angle.  Can't see nor read them.  Granted it clicks but still.  Can't tell if it's on zero degrees.  It is but it's not as everything I cut is angled.

Moving on.

Oh but right, mistake #1?  Hickory.

While it's super duper pretty, it's also super duper dense and hard.  Currently?, above my tool set.  Mike chuckled, "yeah babe, hickory is hard ya doofus."  He didn't actually call me a doofus.  No worries, I would have deserved it if he had.

testing pan in cut out
SoooOOoooo.....Back to story at hand.  Not only did the hole suck, it was TOO SMALL.  Omg.  8.25" of wood, $4, wasted.  Ack!  I measured wrong.  (L for loser sign on my forehead.)

pan on wood

If it would have worked, this was my idea.  Skillet sits inside hole, wood stacked on another piece of wood.  Didn't end up liking the idea anyway.  Crazy person design-on-the-fly time in 3, 2, 1....

more pan on wood

What if I offset the wood layers?  Nope.  Hm.

working out design

What if I cut it apart?  Ehhhhhhh.  That would involve cutting more circles.  No.

handles cut and set on wood

Trying again....  Final design concept.  Shrug.  Ok, go.  I'll stick those handles on how.....?

brand new air compressor tool
Ah ha!!  Baby's new present to herself.  Bostitch two tool combo kit,* plus bought a stapler* extra.
Bam!  Blam!  Bam!  Clink clink...

failed assembly

Sigh.  I opt to (humbly) take this over to the chef that night anyway to show him the concept.  (Mike says, "what the heck is this, you're showing him this?!  Clearly you were going too fast.")  And like I mentioned, chef's weary, says uh ok, go with it.

A week later an unexpected alteration of my Saturday schedule (aka, rain) and I'm back at Menards.  Buying MAPLE.  Thank you very much.

new wood
This time I buy 1x4 maple too.  Ahhh, thinking!  It's a wonderous thing.

cutting handles on bandsaw

Ahhh, thinking again!  I use the spiffy new bandsaw to cut the arc.

test fitting

Ahhhh.  My handle doesn't hug very well, darn it, it only touches the pan at the tips.  Flip the pan over, trace the arc using the top of the pan instead....

more test fitting

....on pine for a template so as to stop wasting pricy wood.  Smart(er).  (Yes, see, I got to sorta sleep in an extra hour or so, hence all the thinking.)  It's huggier but not perfect but, let's go with it.

more reworking

Opt to not blow up maple with pneumatic nail gun, go with glue.*  Water on wood for glue....

gluing wood

Clamp.  Wait.

stain testing

Fuzzy bad photo, sorry, still learning camera.  Stain test.  Decide on golden mahogany.

more staining
Larger stain test.  Hm.  Stain washes out the grain.  Yuck.
Pause.  Rethink.  Mmmm, nah, no stain.  What if....

testing antique oil finish
Minwax Antique Oil Finish,* never tried this stuff before.  Mmmm, yesssss, niiice.
For sh*ts and giggles, I put some a' that oil on the hickory?  Yep, of course I do.

antique oil finish on hickory
Right.  Sigh.



Oh, by the way, if you leave that oil in a red plastic cup too long, it will start to leech the outside red coloring into the cup.  Neato.  Oops.  So use glass containers if you opt to brush on.

Brush it on, buff it off, then wait twenty four hours.  Brush on, buff off.

finished pan holder

Right, so yeah, that's it, we're done!  I really want different countertops.  Day three and it's good to go.

finished design

And there it is.  I do wish it was more interesting.  Overall.  In general.

close up of wood

The maple is pretty.  Ideally I'd go over to Wood World, get maple there as the wood itself is the design here; sadly their pricing is out of budget.  I'll go look again though.  Heh.

Maybe for the itty bitty cutie dessert skillet trivets I'll have a ritzier design.

How does the chef like them?  Heh, I don't know, he wasn't there when I dropped them off nor has he texted me.

In the meantime, please, please come vote for Flipping the Flip over in the Amara Interior Blog Awards!  And share!  Please share.  It's a one time vote per email address, no registering, just a few seconds of your time.  Let's get baby shortlisted!  Voting closes September 9.  Thank you!

If you're a pin junkie, follow Amara's board with many of the nominees.

In the meantime too, it's project stock up time as well.  And whooo doggie, a carpet runner for the stair was purchased, shipped, and arrived.  I kid you not.  Ooohhh yeah.  Finally.  Finally!  Oh and quite the little shopper I was -- found them for $450, then $413 then $375 then $255 for two ten foot runners and one eight'er.  *fist pump*

Also found another cash back site* which at times has higher percentages back than eBates.*  The added bonus here is you can donate a portion, or all or none, of your cash back to a cause of your choice.  Thumbs up!  Right now my donation site is The Pet Fund.

What edge pull for the pocket door (less dramatic, yes), ummm, possible sconces for the hall bedroom.  Um...feels like there should be more....

Oh, there will be more, surely.  Stay tuned!

*The Ryobi jigsaw (don't buy it), Bostitch combo kit, stapler, Gorilla glue, and Minwax Antique Oil are Amazon affiliate links.  The Giving Assistant link is a give $5, get $5 -- we each get $5 when you sign up and use it.  Same for eBates but it's $10.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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