Wanna Make Charcuterie Boards?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Heeeeyyyyyyyy guys!  Whaaat's up?  Long time no see, I know!

Wow yes I've been gone eons huh?  Yeah, sorry.  I've been mightily swamped with The Exorcist and then the workings of life around it.  As it turns out now too, I'll be staying the whole season one which means November which means wow, scant few projects to share until then.

I'll figure something out.

Sooooooo right!  Hi!

Wanna make a charcuterie board?  Or you could use it as a serving tray of sorts, or a trivet, or decorative tray or, well, I'm sure plenty of other nifty ways.  But I was asked by the restaurant/bar to make charcuterie boards, so that's what I'm calling this.

Ok, it is a bit whack-a-doodle but bear with me.  Yes I know, these are not typical charcuterie boards.  But again, like the beer flights, I struggle with normal.

packages of wood shims
Ah.  The humble shim.
And yes, it's with shims again.  Am I boring you with the shims?  Hope not.  They're a neat little inexpensive, versatile, and useful material.

Heh, spot of a story first, if you'll indulge....pat, pat, cozy up....

I may have mentioned, I'm not sure, no guess not, that my affinities do not necessarily lie with Lowe's.  Not sure why, just a personal whatever, never been able to get into the whole Lowe's thing.  Always have trouble with them too.  To each their own, right?  Right.

So anyway.

I'm poking around the interwebs, trying to land a band saw.  (Yes baby's shoppin' band saws!!!)  I come across an article discussing which stationary nine inchers are the best.

As an aside, I was hesitant over Menards' offering as the same mix-&-match-the-name brand's drill press sucked.  Sucked.  I ended up returning it.  Oh yes I did.  Well after the ninety day or whatever grace period was up too.  Hold onto your receipts my friends, worth it.

Anyway, right.  Hesitant about the Menards one.  Decided the Skil one* was the way to go.  Who has it who has it who has it....Home Depot says yes on sale but ohhh nooo wait, out of stock.  Lowe's has it online.  Ummm, hm, ok.

Reluctantly place the order.  Two days later, not a peep.  Ok, it should be here by now.  I see online it's suddenly no longer offered but a store in North Springfield, Illinois has several, the ONLY store that does.

I dial up the 800 number.

Agent apathetically says, "uh yeah no, it hasn't gone out, we don't have any, no we can't ship from that store (lame a**) policy blah blah bs, go drive down and get it."  Right, drive a total six hours?  I really don't have that luxury of time, thanks.  "Store manager will ship it for an additional $30, not free as you ordered."

I was a wee irked.  Ended conversation dissatisfied, paced, hemmed, hawed.  An extra thirty was a budget-buster.

Call back to try and get them to do the right thing.  Get shuffled to another office where the guy talks over me, a la raising his voice over mine, plus constantly interrupts and is a jerk.  "They'll ship it for $30+ more, not free, can't use your 10% off coupon, sorry 'boutcha, I'm not here to help you, our bottom line is all that matters."

Right.  Now I'm pissed.  "Don't talk over me," I snip, "your policies suuuuck but fine, just ship the damn saw and I will never shop Lowe's again."

Well, after that I received no more information.  No nothin'.  Information blackout.  No receipt, no tracking number, nada, zero.  But they did take my money right quick.

Two days later the saw magically arrived at Mike's place of employment (package thieves 'round the 'hood woulda loved that so nope, I ship to him).  Whaaaa??  Surprise!  I ran right out to pick it up, Finn in tow for a nice drooly car ride to see Daddy.

Finn sticking his head out the car window
Different car, different day, but what's cool is that Finn finally likes car rides.  A major feat as he really did not.
Later that day an assistant manager from the North Springfield store emails me, Mark, who I hadn't any prior contact with.  Summarizing he says oh my gosh, I heard you were upset, I am so so so sorry, I don't know what happened but I want to make this right.


Wow, my goodness, finally someone sane and nice and that gives a sh*t about customers.

So he fixed it.  Quickly, easily, and professionally.  Snap snap, just like that.  Like any of the three phone agents could have done but no.  Mark refunded the shipping charge, fixed a sales tax error by Captain Rude, emailed my receipts, followed up, was super nice and deserves all the praise in the world.

I struggle with Lowe's on occasion but know the store in North Springfield, Illinois has my back.

But baby has a brand new band saw now and so far so good, I do like it.  Yay!  It's not big and butch like I'm used to but it cuts and I expect Skil Band Saw and I will be quite the best buds.

Right!  So why did I need this band saw?  For the charcuterie boards!  Of course!  Hahaha

After researching and thinking and poking around online and thinking and not coming up with any interesting ideas, I finally came up with an interesting idea.  Shims.  Slice 'em down the middle, glue 'em together, and make a board that way.

I know, shims again.  But see, the restaurant/bar, they wrapped the entire face of their bar with shims, so I am way beating a dead horse with this shim theme.

But it's cool, I swear.

So I set up the band saw to slice these shim puppies in half.

measuring a wood shim
Measure twice (fifty), cut once.
I love that the band saw has not only ruled edges but a locking guide.  Major selling point for me.

cutting shims with a bandsaw
Go Skil saw, go Skil saw!
Then I lined 'em all up face down so the good side will be level-ish enough, flip flip, thin to wide, wide to thin.

pile of cut wood shims
Ok, not in this picture but here's the parade of shim halves, three packages worth.
shims aligned together
All lined up, awaiting glue.  Although here, heh, they're right face up.  Goodness I need a nap.
Next, mixed up that spiffy plastic resin glue* (ah HA!  A project to use the glue!  Thumbs up!).  One a' these days, I'll figure out the ratio I'm looking for, the right consistency.

Probably when I finish the bucket.

gluing wood shims together

Brush brush.  Smear smear.  Smush smush.

Clamp.  Wait.

clamping glued shims together

As it was easier to manage the glue and the shims and the assembly, I pieced them together in chunks.  Plus, ok fine, Menards was out of every (affordable) 24" clamp soooo, make do, right?

Once everything was dry, flip it over and.....bam.

My camera goes out.  What the.....is it Mercury Retrograde again?!  No?!?  What the.....it's taking black pictures, the LCD is black, nothing.  (Yes, the lens cap was off; fair question though!)  Why....If it can go wrong, it does.  Alas.  Sigh.  Figures.

Distraught, I scour online for a reason.  I've only had this camera for not even three years, this is ridiculous.  Ugh!!  It's a Canon thing, I read, sticky shutters, just get a new camera.



I find a "fix;" it doesn't work.  This, yeah, ruined my day.  Super sad face Becky.  It was block party day too so I was already spent from setting up for five hours then grilling for four more.  She who sucks at grilling.

Last time around shopping for cameras...ugh, not an easy thing to do, amiright?  There are so many, so many options, so many this, that, the other thing.  It is brutally overwhelming.  Until!  Until I came across this article.  And by golly, I kid you not, Mark at ShotKit (yay for Marks this post, huh?) saved my day.

Even if you're not looking for a camera, his post is worth the read and/or save-for-later.  Seriously.  He is excited and enthusiastic and upbeat, and positive, and it's thoroughly refreshing.  I felt hugely relieved, for real.  What he wrote was clear as day and helpful for those of us who are maybe not as camera-literate.  Or, tell ya what, just peruse his site, he's got a bunch of great stuff going on.

If you are in the market for a new camera, shop via ShotKit's Amazon links, spread some deserving love overseas.

So now I've procured a new camera as well.  Oy.  Shaking my head.  Thank goodness for this tv gig.  The Fuji X-A1.  Our production designer, Charles, gave me the final Fuji push I needed.

Anyway!!  Right, charcuterie board!  So once all the glue dried, which wasn't long, I flipped it over and gave it a nice sanding with my Instructables-prize-winning sander.

sanding wood shims
Sad sander.  Why so sad, sander?
You'd think DeWalt would notice the sad face the sander makes and make it smile instead, right?!  C'mon DeWalt.

After the sanding, a good soaking of food safe butcher block mineral oil* and it's good to go.  The restaurant intends to put a sheet of wax paper on for ease of cleaning etc. which makes good sense.

sealing wood shims with butcher block oil
You get phone photos from here on out.
I like it.  I hope they will too.  And I hope you do too!  Or at least that this nudges a creative spark.

wood shim charcuterie board
If I was all schmancy and had some time, I woulda grocery shopped and staged this all properly.
In the monster news department, omg, come vote for Flipping the Flip by clicking this link starting now for an Amara Interior Blog award!  I'm up for Best USA Interior Blog!!!  Holy cats and dogs, people.  Please share the info! Share, vote, share, share, share!  You can also vote by clicking the Amara gadget on the top right of the page.  Voting is one time only so please share!

Other notables.....I forgot to mention our three year house anniversary at the end of June.  Or did I?  I don't think I did.  Doh.  Wow, three years already?!

Happy Anniversary to my sweetheart!  Yay!  Mike hand delivered to my work desk a cool lil' plant.  A surprise visit and a plant!  He's awesome, isn't he?!  He made my day, all right.

anniversary aloe
Happy happy happy birthday to my dad!  Yay!

And tissue, happy birthday to my pea who should have turned fourteen.

Oh and here are the roses that awaited my arrival home, another gift from Mike on our anniversary!  I sure do love that guy, blush.

So pretty, right?!  He's so sweet.
*The Skil band saw, plastic resin glue, and butcher block oil are Amazon affiliate links.  Don't spend that much on the saw though!  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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