Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Workshop Cleaning, not my wood shop, my wife's.

  When we got married, years ago, we tired taking turns cooking dinner.  One person cooked the other cleaned up.  I was an okay cook, but, Eva is a kitchen Goddess.  Her cooking and baking are famous through out the land, (or at least locally).  Fairly quickly it was clear who should cook and who should clean up.   I don't ever imagine that I got the raw end of the deal.

  Since Eva regularly bakes 5 or 6 thousand cookies at Christmas each year and turns out a weekly supply of snacks for local organizations,  her kitchen is no idle play space, but a true work shop.  

    Today it is raining, overcast and chilly.  Eva is away for the day and so this is a good time for the serious spring cleaning of her work space. 

perfectly shiny and bright
loaded back up with tools.

   Eva's kitchen is a galley style kitchen, that sort of kitchen puts everything within easy reach and makes for a more efficient work space.  As every baker knows marble is great stuff upon which to roll dough and is easy to clean up.  A 'traditional' wood counter looks like a good idea but trust me it won't stand up to wear and tear like marble.  The cool thing about this marble  counter, it is made from an off cut, so, though it is very very cool, it was quite reasonably priced.

   How do I clean marble?  With stream. The kitchen floor and marble counter tops are easy to clean with steam.  One of the great things about steam cleaning is that it doesn't leave any residue on the surface.  I don't have to worry about whether I got the cleaning solution off the counter totally, so that it won't end up flavouring the next batch of cookies.  I also like steam because I don't have to concern myself with rubber gloves or other protection from chemicals.   

the other side of the kitchen, one piece custom stainless steel.
Note, the sink is large enough for commercial cookie sheets to soak flat.

  Stainless steel is also a great surface for a kitchen.  Eva designed this counter based on a commercial style work space.  While there are some very good stainless steel cleaner/polishers I again like steam.  I find that steam and a nylon scrubber will deal with any accumulated grease.  

   Once I finished in the kitchen I moved out side, there was a short break in the rain and I needed some fresh are.  I  gathered  up wind blown 'crap' from our gardens that began life in our neighbourhood recycling boxes.  I know that recycling is a good thing, and I know that people don't want their paper and plastic to end up in our garden, but.....

Etore, 32'' Grip ‘n Grab Grabber
Grip 'n Grab

  Anyway this is one of those things that you keep telling yourself that you don't really need.  No, you don't really need a Grip 'n Grab, but then you really don't need a table saw, or a circular saw, but they just make doing the job so much easier that it pays for itself in stress reduction.

  Speaking of circular saws.

  In the garage we have a bench made from a steel packing crate frame.  As part of the spring round up this morning I cleaned out the garage and uncovered my motorcycle, (hoping that the rain will stop before it starts snowing again) I cut some scrap plywood to make a top for the frame, yes I could have cut the plywood up with a hand saw, yah sure!.  It is so much less trouble to go to the workshop and get my circular saw and  cordless drill and knock the job off in minutes.

  The romance of hand planes and razor sharp chisels are what drives many woodworkers, but...keeping the place organized and functioning smoothly is what keeps the dream alive.



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