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12/07/2022 01:53 PM
peacock kitchen cupboard
a basic "carcass", or case, made of pine, lying on a concrete garage floor, held together with bar clamps. it is made of four 1x12 boards attached in a rectangle with two pine boards slotted into the interior as shelves

So! As I may have mentioned before, sometimes I do woodworking. I work with hand tools and no power tools (except for Cordless Drill My Beloved). I do this because, to wit:

  1. I don’t have room for power tools, as I actually want to park in my half of my garage
  2. I don’t want to set up a whole dust collection system even if I did have room
  3. I hate the fucking noise
  4. I hate the fucking dust (see point 3)
  5. I am deeply clumsy and don’t want to lop off a finger, which I absolutely would do if allowed to get anywhere near a table saw
  6. I’m a pretentious broad
This post is about a kitchen cupboard I just finished building from construction-grade pine I got at my local Homo Depot.

We keep a kosher kitchen in my house, which is great! But also it sucks because we don’t have enough cabinet space just like. In general. Because despite this house being in the shtetl (affectionate) it somehow is poorly laid out and lacks sufficient cabinet space for our Jewish Ways. So I started working on a cupboard a couple of months ago that would allow us to actually get some of our lesser-used-but-still-vital cooking dishes out of the Ikea cabinet thing that is allegedly “the baking cabinet” but in actuality is the “baking, plus the overflow of cooking utensils we don’t have room for elsewhere” cabinet.

a rectangular, unfinished pine cupboard with two shelves. it looks like a large box and is propped up in the middle on a piece of scrap wood

This cupboard plan is from Rex Krueger (web site, yootoobs), whose YT channel has been a big help to me in dialing back my Hobby Hipster Snob tendencies that always end up costing me a lot of fucking money that I didn’t need to spend. His original plan (on his web site, it’s like 5 bucks I think) has this cupboard at roughly 2 feet high by 4 feet wide by a foot deep. I wanted to build this specifically to put under the edge of my kitchen island, so I scaled up and added an extra shelf, measuring specifically to fit a couple of my larger kitchen appliances. Mine ended up around 34" high by 54" wide by just over 13" deep.

closeup of one side of an unfinished pine cupboard - there is one door attached with a clamp to hold it in place. the space for the other door is open, revealing two shelves in the case interior

frontal view of an unfinished pine cupboard with plywood double doors attached. the doors have no handles and each pair is marked with a cabinetmaker's triangle

Scaling up necessitated a couple of changes, most notably making double doors on each side instead of a single door. The original plan calls for one door on each side, but these doors would have been wayyyy too big and would have probably ended up sagging. Also hitting me in the face when I went to get the fuckin dutch oven out of the thing because I am, as noted, clumsy (see point 5, above).

I ended up making the doors out of ¾" plywood instead of gluing up boards to make panels because the idea of doing that much gluing up with bullshit big box store pine made me want to fling myself and the cupboard out a window. To prevent defenestration (a word I learned from my children when they were young) I used the plywood. It’s better this way.

a piece of homemade "stairstep" molding made out of pine

a closeup picture of the corner of an unfinished pine cabinet, where you can see stairstep molding has been attached

the corner of the cupboard, showing the molding on the top

I also made my own molding, as per Rex’s video. He suggests you come up with your own profiles and whatnot, but I was Tired and went with his instead. I don’t own molding planes and I don’t currently plan to buy any, but he shows you how to make some basic molding profiles using a rabbet plane and a regular hand plane, both of which I own, so I used those. It was fun! I like using the rabbet plane, even if it is a Stanley 78 that clogs after two passes. It’s an American tradition to use a Stanley 78 and swear creatively at the inevitable clogs. Your grandpa probably did it too. It’s fine.

a top view of the cupboard showing off the molding that's been installed around the top edge

a frontal view of an unfinished pine cupboard with two shelves. the face frame and molding have been installed but there are no doors installed yet

It took a while to get the doors correctly fitted to the cabinet openings and vice versa, because no matter what anyone says, inevitably your case will be just a little bit out of square, especially if you’re me and have been doing woodworking for roughly a year on nights and weekends. Frankly I was relieved the case was square enough to slap on the plywood back and have it line up enough to glue/nail it down. Once I had the face frame on, the molding nailed down and the doors figured out it was paint time!

pine cupboard with two shelves - the shelves are painted a golden yellow but the rest of the cupboard is as yet unfinished

closeup on the corner of the cupboard. the shelves are golden yellow and the outside is peacock blue

pine cupboard, golden yellow on the shelves, peacock blue on the outside. there is blue painter's tape on the edges of the shelves.

I used milk paint from milkpaint.com - this is an “early American” style cupboard and milk paint seemed like it would work well, plus it’s what Rex uses in the video and I don’t see any reason to make decisions about this kind of thing when the plan guy has already made them for me. So milk paint it is. I did two coats.

two door panels up on plastic painter's triangles, painted peacock blue. the paint is in various stages of drying and looks mottled.

the inside of four plywood cabinet doors, painted golden yellow

blue peacock cupboard with golden yellow shelves. the paint is very matte and non-reflective.

Milk paint dries very matte - it is extremely flat, does not reflect anything at all, and furthermore is quite fragile without something over the top to protect it. To topcoat it I used a couple of coats of shellac (the stuff in the can from the hardware store, I don’t have time to be a shellac snob). Once that was dry I put a coat of paste wax over the top and buffed it to a sheen with an old cloth diaper. (thank you to my dead, hippie wife for having that just lying around the house. Love you, babe! <3)

Once I was done with painting the case and the doors, I moved the goddamn thing into the actual house, both to prevent it from getting dusty and to be able to park my car in the garage now that it’s winter so I wouldn’t have to scrape snow off my windshield.

It may or may not have taken me a month after that to get the doors attached and the handles on. Don’t worry about it.

two peacock blue door panels resting on a wooden workbench. there are two brass stylized peacock handles resting near the door edges facing each other.

It wouldn’t have taken so long except that apparently I, in my infinite genius and because I am extremely handsome, mixed up the doors and painted them upside down, consequently causing me to install them upside down. I think that’s what happened, anyway. Either way, it meant the damn doors didn’t fit, so I spent a productive, if stultifying, afternoon chiseling and planing and scraping the door panels, shelves, and case to get the fucking doors to hang and fit correctly. This also meant I had to re-paint and re-shellac in various places, which was annoying, made more so by the existence of my cats.

(I also installed magnetic latches so the doors would stay shut. Modern technology is wonderful. And by “modern technology” I mean “$2 off-brand latch thingies from the hardware store”.)

However! I triumphed!

the top of a peacock blue cupboard. there is flour in the crack between a couple of the boards

a peacock blue cupboard with four doors. each door has a brass handle in the shape of a stylized peacock

view of the peacock blue cupboard from the side

view of the interior of the cupboard - two shelves finished in golden yellow

the peacock blue cupboard open, showing the golden yellow shelves with various kitchen appliances and cooking dishes stacked inside

The goddamn cupboard is finished! And in my kitchen! And the damn doors close! Mostly! And there’s stuff in it and out of my baking cabinet! And I didn’t cut off a finger! Hooray!

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11/25/2022 02:17 PM
test post

just testing my cross-posting abilities. nothing to see here.

Source: covington-shenanigans https://covington-shenanigans.tumblr.com/post/701920778722099200/test-post

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08/22/2022 02:34 PM
long gay weekend
Partner and I took Thursday and Friday off for the specific purpose of hanging out and being gay together, which was very nice, as we haven't  really had the chance to do that before. Next time I think we need a week.

Thursday we did what my partner calls "parallel play", where they worked on some electronics projects they have going on and I spent a lot of time in my garage woodworking shop braving my third ever attempt at dovetails. (I'm making a box for the Shabbat candles that's big enough to hold a full 72 candle box and will look prettier than the cardboard box currently sitting in the hutch.) It took me until the very last set to realize I had cut all the other sets backwards. sigh. I nearly ragequit the whole thing -- I had already sweated over sizing all the pieces correctly and good workholding is still very much in progress on my bench -- but then kind of shrugged, said "fuck it, I might as well finish" and carried on. I was very brave about it. (I was not brave at all and whined a lot, but I did keep at it.) Shockingly, the correctly-cut dovetails had a decent friction fit and the other three sets...very did not. Alas. I glued it up anyway and called it progress.

Friday we went to the art museum (yay!). I haven't been to the art museum maybe since I moved back here in 2015 because at first I 
just didn't have time due to caregiving, and then because going to the art museum by myself was the world's most depressing thought. We did two exhibits and then left for less overstimulating climes, and also to hit a late afternoon farmer's market in hopes of finding good things for dinner, something I also have not done since well before Plague Times. The farmer's market turned out to be one of those that has very little in the way of actual farmers or produce -- there was one produce stand out of the dozen or so in attendance -- so we revised plans and went to a nearby little gourmet market where they make their own pasta from scratch. We also picked up some empanadas for breakfast (I love not having to cook on Shabbat). Shabbat dinner was orecchiette in (store-made) red sauce with basil and rosemary from the garden with a kale/white bean/roasted garlic skillet thing on the side for protein. It was... so fucking good, for real. We ate it again for dinner the next two nights.

Shabbat was sleeping in, empanadas, and more woodworking time. I did some work on my bench to make the workholding not suck as much. I set up our new WAP/router. We ordered in dinner and hung out enjoying each other's company.

Sunday I did some more shop maintenance, got the box bottom chopped out (rabbets, baby), started mortising in the hinges for the lid, and glued up the box bottom. It's gappy, probably because the rabbets are a bit uneven, but I'm willing to live with it -- this is all a learning process. I've been doing actual woodworking (that isn't building a work bench) for only about nine months, and only on weekends and the occasional weeknight at that, so I need to remember to cut myself some slack. I'm in the stage where I'm very much still learning the basics but want to Make Useful Things but don't quite have the skills yet to make them, or to make them in a way that won't frustrate me. Getting there.

Today was back to work, of course. Hopefully I can grab some time this evening to get the hinges fitted on the box lid and maybe start applying finish. Whee!

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03/09/2022 02:33 PM
memories of livejournal
Someone on the blue hellsite (not the bird site, the other one) pointed out that Russia is closing off Internet access and this means LiveJournal may disappear for the rest of the world at some point soon. Obviously there are much, much bigger problems right now, even just related to Russia isolating its citizens from the global Internet; the disappearance of a basically-dead journaling site doesn't rate at all. Still, it prompted me to log back in to my old LJ account to save what I could from it Just In Case. Here is what I have learned from this adventure, in no particular order:

1) I used to blog a lot, wow.
2) I was... such a fucking obnoxious little asshole, holy shit. How did anyone stand me? Current Me would smack 2001 Me repeatedly for being annoying, mean, and attempting to cover my blazing insecurity by being a swaggering, self-righteous prick. Jesus christ.
3) I'm so glad I'm no longer in my twenties.
4) I only started becoming a Real Person once I turned thirty. I had a big glow-up where I grew a personality and it was a good move.
5) There are essentially no tools left to easily download your journal entries, but right-clicking and using "Save Page As..." still works. It's depressingly manual and tedious, mind you, but it does work.
6) Apparently at some point twenty years ago I had decided to go back to school for animation? Obviously I never did it but I can't tell from my LJ entries why I didn't. It wasn't because I acquired a family, because this decision was almost three years before $WIFE and I met. It is a mystery.
7) The Purimgifts community still exists? And is still running a yearly fic-a-thon?? They posted an update today???
8) Nobody I know has posted in their LiveJournals in at least ten years. It's a graveyard in there... spooky.
9) There used to be so many personal blogging sites on the Web. How do we bring that back? It was cool.
10) My relationship with my parents has gotten much better in the past twenty years, which is both depressing and a good thing.
11) My sister had a brief fling with blogging and her blog was called "A Day at Satan's Whorehouse". God I love her.

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12/28/2021 12:40 PM
a Q&A with yossi
Q: Do I want to work this week?
A: No. No, I do not.

Q: Did I foolishly not take PTO between xmas and New Years due to a lack of foresight?
A: Yes. Yes, I did. I am (allegedly) working this week, alas.

Q: Do I regret this?
A: Yes. Yes, I do.

Q: Am I actually working, though?
A: ...I plead the Fifth.

Q: Do I have to go to my daily standup meeting and give a report on what I've accomplished each day this week anyway, thus requiring Cleverness and Trickery on my part?
A: Yes. Yes, I do.

Q: Did my "work" yesterday consist of organizing and cleaning out my office of a year's worth of detritus while listening to trans punk bands?
A: Yes. Yes, it did.

Q: Did I just order myself breakfast because I don't want to get out of my recliner and make myself something?
A: Yes. Yes, I did.

Q: Is writing this entry possibly a way to put off the "going to work" portion of my day?
A: ...Yes. Yes, it is.

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