A Pantry Like No Other

I’ve paused my obsessive blogging about my kitchen partly because I’m perpetually worried that you all see my posts on facebook and roll your eyes like, “Oh, goody. Jay sawed through another gas line.  Big friggin’ deal,” and partly because my wrists, elbows and hands have raised their collective voices in protest for being asked to enter endless bookstore numbers on my laptop, turn screwdrivers, hold palm sanders and then type about all of it.

Carpal tunnel anyone?

Anyway, let’s catch up.  When last we met, I was soothing my bruised ego (after flooding the basement) by painting random park benches and building drawers.  I have recovered sufficiently enough to unveil my latest triumph.

Check. It. Out.

Behold the self-contained beauty of the drawer slide out thing

I took out the glass in a couple of glass cabinet doors and replaced it with MDF (sort of like plywood only kind of better and a crapload dustier to cut), glued and nailed it in, then attached the drawers that I built from spare wood in the garage.

Later, we’ll paint the cabinet fronts to match the kitchen and put on  drawer pulls.

For my next trick, I decided to use medium duty drawer slides on the top and bottom.


The answer is no, it’s not flipping level! These drawer slides are a thing of the past.

After trying for two days to get the godforsaken drawer slide out thing to actually SLIDE OUT, I decided to take a break and build another drawer slide out thing that probably wouldn’t budge either.

This one had to be built a few inches off center to get around the funky air duct that the dear installers left jutting into our pantry.  Degree of difficulty? 8.

New drawer slides (model not included)

I finally got wise and sprung for the better drawer slides and it worked proving that my death grip on my wallet sometimes gets in my way.  They totally work now!

And scene.

What, you may ask, is Kris doing whilst I am toiling away at our project?


She’s landscaping the entire back yard.  By herself.  Apparently she “needs somewhere to go that isn’t under construction.”

Picky, picky.

In case you’re wondering who gets any rest in our house.

I’ll stop typing now so that my fingers don’t fall off, but I will be back with updates on what will be the most awesome built-in wine rack in the world:

Why yes, that is an old bookshelf.


How Jarek Got His Groove Back

After last week’s severance of my confidence from my person by my plumbing,  I couldn’t bring myself to look at another kitchen related project.  Instead I cleansed my palate of Hell Corner and did this instead:

Bench Before

Before taking out my aggression via sandpaper.

Bench After

After reattaching some boards, painting, and stenciling.

I feel much better now.  So much better, in fact, that I decided to dip my toes back into The Project.

I’ve been sneaking out to the garage to play with my tools all week.  I do love them all, but I reserve a special place in my geeky, diy heart for my table saw.  She is strong.  She is capable.  She can do anything.  I’m sure of it.

This unfettered admiration is almost matched by my infatuation with the band saw that was one of the tools that Terrie the other Tool Fairy provided the other week for the promise of a couple hundred dollars and my lawn mower.

What?  Have you seen my yard?  It measures approximately 6 1/2 x 4 inches.  I have been mowing it with a weed whacker for a year and a half.

Anyway, I’ve been bonding with my first love (the table saw) by figuring out how to build out our pantry.  And who figured out how to make cabinet joinery for the slide-out drawer cabinet thing without so much as ONE shop class in high-school?

That’s right -ME.  But before I get too self congratulatory, let’s just review the training I’ve had in all things home improvement.



Exactly.  While other boys (who, incidentally, were born into actual [ahem] boy bodies) were busy building soap box derby cars and plaques in shop class I was planning my wedding in a high school class called “Marriage and Family” [a mandatory class exercise I managed to squeak a C out of after planning a K-Mart Wedding with Kentucky Fried Chicken catering – which, incidentally, isn’t too different from what my actual wedding was like later on, except we went to McDonald’s after hitting the Justice of the Peace].  Also on my class schedule was Home Economics, and Foods.

I’m convinced that the Unit 40 school district contributed to the melt down I had years later while shopping at the Boy Scout store for my step-son, Ben.

I would have been a kick-ass boy scout.  Instead, I was in the friggin’ Brownies making up cheers and dances in South Side Elementary School’s lunch room.

Anyway, imagine my GLEE when I actually succeeded in putting up a level built-in cabinet wall, complete with hidden screws I drilled with my pocket hole jig, then actually installed drawer slides for the slide out drawer cabinet thing (at midnight last night)!

Behold the Beauty!

Ok, so it’s not beautiful YET, but once I patch and paint the walls and install the drawers it’s going to be great.

But THIS –  this is the thing that swept away the anxiety of Hell Corner in a thunderstorm of AWESOME.

With my trusty table saw, I mastered (sort of) the technique of building the drawers this morning before realizing that Bruno ate a light bulb.  That put an end to my fun.  That and the fact that I have to actually work today.

See the perfect grooves?  The beautiful cuts?!  The straight lines?!!!

Recognize that wood, Terrie? That’s the stuff you were going to BURN! Blasphemy!

Anyway, I think we can all agree that I.  AM. AWESOME.

Today anyway.  There is that phone call I have to return to my therapist, but that can wait until tomorrow.

Today I rock.