Let’s Talk About The Kitchen.

I’ve gotten your emails. And your tweets. And your comments. And I know. I’ve been a bad blogger lately. BAD. I have not been posting frequently. I want to make amends. I want to be better. I hope we’re still friends, you and I. Or, as Gaga would say, Yoü and I. For whatever dumbfuck reason.

I also realized that, aside from just not blogging at all, I’ve also spoken nary a word about anything outside the going-ons in my bedroom. Not that way, you filthy-minded freak. Let’s try to be mature about this, please.

But we have other rooms! Three of them! Four, if you count the hallway, that scary beast of an appendage. So let’s talk about the kitchen. Or rather, let’s kvetch about the kitchen. Pain-in-the-ass-o’-mine that it is.

You see, before I moved in, this is what the kitchen looked like. Renovated circa 1995 with all of the deep thought and careful consideration driving the actions of most NYC landlords, it is a sad place. And despite actually being a fairly sizable room, this is the extent of the storage. A few really cheap cabinets and almost no counter space. Oh, and a fun fact about those cabinets: the shelves don’t even adjust. What. The. Hell.

Then Max and I moved in and it exploded into this:

So crowded. Oh, and the space next to the fridge? The 6 feet of nothingness? Went from this:

To this:

Believe me, internet. I am ashamed. I’m sorry you had to see it. But you’ll never appreciate the mild improvements I’ve made if I didn’t share just how bad things got. I hope you get the picture of my desperation with this awkward horrible excuse for a room. A room where I’m supposed to be able to create meals.

So while we’re a long way from a truly gratifying before and after, I’ve made a few semi-notable functional improvements that I actually feel really good about. It still looks like shit, but at least I can cook in the damn place.

A big part of the problem was having so little counter space to prep food on, which just seemed silly since there’s such a buttload of space to the right of the fridge. So I moved the fridge over two feet…

And plopped in a new base cabinet from IKEA! Of course, it looks nothing like all the other cabinets and (for now) looks a little like it got lost on the way to somebody else’s house, but I’m so glad it’s here. Seriously, it’s awesomesauce.

I decided to top it with the NUMERAR butcherblock countertop in oak, which is fancy stuff. It’s really heavy. We bought the smallest piece available and had to cut it down ourselves. Which just meant that I got to purchase a circular saw of my very own. So exciting, you guys. Look at me. Real power tools.

The whole butcherblock thing kind of skeeves out Max, but thus far I’ve ignored his complaints and continued to cut veggies and stuff right on the countertop. I’m not super concerned with keeping it looking pristine, and really don’t mind it showing some use. And by “use,” I mean millions of cut marks.

The other great thing about this cabinet is how it’s pimped out. Check it, yo:

Hell yes. Pull-out trashcan + recycling bin, courtesy of Simple Human. It’s bomb. So nice to be able to chop shit on the countertop, then casually just slide the waste off the edge and have it fall into a waiting receptacle rather than all over the floor. It’s also nice that we don’t eat up precious floor space with trashcans.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL.

An apartment on the second floor of our building is currently being renovated to death (god knows why…this never ends well), and a whole bunch of molding was on its way out to the trash. And our kitchen sports this window. I call it Sad Window. It has no molding. It has an ugly security gate. It has a dusty crooked venetian blind that I have always been too afraid to use. Behold:

It’s the only window in our apartment without nice original moldings, and I dreamt of doing something about it. So when fantasy met opportunity, I struck. And carried all this shit into the house. Max was not pleased.

It was all totally grungy and disgusting. It also had about a million of these terrifying old nails. When you find yourself counting the years since your last tetanus vaccination before embarking on a home-related project, you know you’ve crossed a line.

With the nails removed, I knew that with some careful hacking, I could do my darndest to restore Sad Window. Luckily, I have also recently purchased a mitre saw of my very own (I know! so many tools!). And yeah, I’m kind of fucking amazing with it. They don’t call me Chop Saw Charlie for nothing. In fact, nobody calls me that, it’s idiotic.

I basically just measured, cut the pieces down, and did some careful cobbling together to recreate the original moldings (which was surprisingly complicated, actually. There are a lot of pieces involved in that molding work) and attached them to the walls with finishing nails and construction adhesive. I hate to say things like this, but it really brings a lot of much-needed character back into the kitchen without feeling too contrived, which I like. Once everything’s caulked and painted (yes, someday, it’s all getting painted. I don’t even want to hear it.), it’s going to look amazing.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL.

Buying all of these power tools comes at a cost that is felt not only on my credit card (but actually, they’re not as expensive as you might think), but also on our utter lack of storage space. So I needed to do some rearranging in the kitchen. All that really means is that I colonized the pots and pans cabinet and turned it into my personal tool locker. Whoopsie!

This inspired a big move: one day, while under the influence of cold medicine (for a cold, not for recreation. well, kind of for recreation.), I totally manhandled a huge IKEA Pax wardrobe from a corner of our bedroom into the kitchen. It’s the same one I had in my old apartment, and brought it here as a temporary storage measure that has since become permanent. Funny how that happens.

I know, it’s HUGE next to the fridge, and really pretty stupid looking. A note about that fridge: it’s been leaking water into a small tupperware in the back of the fridge section since I moved in. I thought maybe I just needed to defrost the freezer, so one day I unplugged everything and took a hair dryer and melted all of the ice, sopped it up with a towel, the whole bit. I thought I had fixed it. Yet, now it still leaks. I hate this refrigerator with every fiber of my being, and I wish it would just die so we could get a new one. I would be willing to sacrifice the mochi in our freezer for that to happen, seriously I would.

Anyway, back to the wardrobe. Someday, I actually think it could look good if integrated with built-in cabinets and stuff. And it’s actually really great for a kitchen. Totally holds the vacuum and kitchen appliances and even extra linens and some other random stuff. And our ragtag collection of pots and pans! It’s luxurious, to say the least.

Side note: Magic Bullet is the fucking shit. It’s like non-stop smoothy making excitement up in here. Also, if it’s good enough for Courtney Stodden, it’s good enough for me. 

So anyway, the kitchen isn’t completely miserable anymore, I guess. It works. It’s ugly, it needs a lot of work, but it’s okay for now. It’s still totally bursting at the seams storage-wise, but it’ll get there. Someday.

And yes, that is a portrait of Martha Stewart chilling up there in the corner. Max painted it a few years ago and I love it. And Martha. We are huge Martha fanboys, and proud.

Oh yeah, janky horrible “temporary” milk-crate shelves are in here now. They’re still ugly, but annoyingly helpful when we’re at such a loss for storage.

Decanters give me faith, though. Someday, we’ll be those people. The people who decant their food and then have a proper shelf to put them on. We’ll get there.


92 Comments

  1. See you posted like an hour ago. And, not a single comment. Your readers, who love you for you and your writing style want to hear anything you have to say, have all fallen asleep after the long wait for you to blog again. I love the trim on the window, and the other storage–huge improvements. WOW. You actually have an “eat-in” kitchen and you probably still go sit in front of the TV. But, in my mind you sit there with your morning coffee looking very brilliant and reading the NYTimes, of course.

  2. Good to know that you have been doing, even if you haven’t been blogging about it. My reader has sorely missed you.
    Can’t believe that you just casually plopped your molding magic in the middle of your post! If it were me (and it never will be) that would the screaming, NY Post style, headline. Is that Martha hanging in your Kitchen?

  3. the best part of this post is the commentary from mama kanter. welcome back, daniel! excited to see how you’ll whip this kitchen into shape.

  4. also, not sure if it’s just me, but some of the photos aren’t showing up. (not that it mattered, because like monica, i was too busy dyyyyyying over your molding job.)

  5. You Mum should get best comment. So glad my mum is elderly and doesn’t own a computer. Good work with that moulding by the way. Love how you salvaged it. x

  6. I’m awake, Mom! Mind you, I am in San Francisco, so it’s only midnight.

    Daniel, are there a couple photos missing from the top of the post? Specifically, after these two sentences:

    ‘You see, before I moved in, this is what the kitchen looked like.’

    ‘Then Max and I moved in and it exploded into this:’

    Can not believe how much difference that molding made to Sad Window. LOVE. Also love Martha’s Corner.

  7. I think there is definitely a lot of progress! Love, love the kitchen table corner and the spices set-up, the molding, the new ikea & butcher-block cabinets…
    Are you allowed to paint the old cabinets?

    • Um, debatable. I’m sure it is not encouraged, but I’m not sure there’s any other choice. So does that make it okay?

      • Love your answer:-) Like the story of your old apartment showed, the changes you make will only make this apartment easier to rent, so you really shoud have carte blanche to do whatever you want! I am looking forward to see the painted cabinets!

  8. It all looks awesome (though, I can’t see the top few photos either).
    I love the molding around the window, and great idea to put the fridge over further and pop that new bench section in there.

  9. Is that really your Mom writing, or just some joker of a friend? Because if it really is your Mom, it’s no wonder you’re so damn awesome.

    (PS for what it’s worth, I totally imagine you sipping coffee at that table, reading the NYTimes. I would never have you down as a TV dinner kind of guy. In fact, I’m pretty sure you have no need for food at all. You survive purely on wit and adrenaline).

    • Oh no, that’s my mama! My friends would never be able to capture her subtlety.

      (oh, we’re total couch-eaters. mostly because our kitchen is so depressing. most of the time the TV isn’t on, though! Unless it’s X-Factor night.)

  10. Great, you are alive. Was getting worried over the weekend …..
    THANKS for sharing the kitchen re-vitalisation.
    When seeing the first kitchen-before-pic, I immediately thought: “Move the damn fridge to the right” …. and you did ;-))))
    I personally find the seating corner a bit on the sad side. Why not move it a bit more to the center of the room or maybe between the chest of drawers (are they called this way in English?) and your shelf assemble, moving the shelf assemble more towards the window?
    Is the window blinking to you in joy and glory each morning, waving kisses of thank-you towards you?

    • Oh, the whole thing is a bit on the sad side! It’ll get there. Everything’s kind of packed in right now, so layout is liable to change, too. Eventually all that crap between the door and the table is going, we just need it in the interim.

  11. I like the butcher countertop and sliding trash can under it. So smart!

  12. I love Ikea in a why I know I shouldn’t.

    Your ideas are always so good! I examine the photos for ideas I can use.

    Of course I live in Minnesota and have no open storage in my kitchen and millions of other reasons I can’t use the ideas.

    But I look at the photos anyway. And discovered that, I think, you and I have the same ice bucket!

    I look so forward to the next transformation.

  13. Even though I subscribe to over 100 blogs I always save reading yours till last coz I know it’s gonna be good… and it was.

  14. incredible improvements already. i totally love the ikea and woodblook solution! question: what has been done with the shelf that graced the wall of the former 6 feet of nothingness? were those brackets as sweet as they looked?

    • No, not really. Actually, it’s a floating IKEA shelf, and it turned out the brackets were purely decorative and not even properly secured to the wall. So weird. I still have the shelf though, just in case.

  15. oh and the window trim is magnificent … i wouldn’t say it’s stolen but rather rescued and you should be honored for that move.

  16. looking good!

  17. Just wanted to say that you are an inspiration. Before you, I was (irrationally) scared to use a saw or sander in my apartment. I’m slowly getting over that silly fear, and this weekend made a dresser into a kitchen island! You’re awesome!

  18. Daniel, it was nice to see you in my Google Reader again! Your kitchen looks great – the shape and layout is very similar to the one in my old apartment, and it was a difficult space to work with. I’m impressed that you came up with so many functional improvements, and LOVE the window. It’s so happy now!

  19. Awesome stuff! And MARTHA! :D

  20. I have your feed as a widget on my iGoogle homepage so when you make a new post I can see its there, woo-hoo. I don’t have that for any other blog, you’re just special.

    Wow, I can’t believe you did that with the trim, it looks like it was always there!!

    I am going to admit that I hate the Pax right there but I’m sure eventually you’ll do something with it. Maybe put it facing into the room on the wall where Martha is? I’m a little surprised you didn’t make custom shelves on the wall next to the fridge!

    Well, cant want to see what happens next and hopefully an update on the hallway, haha.

  21. Brilliant, and man, That molding job looks like a pro! Now that you have a mitre box and saw I know you will be building all kinds of things. Very talented not only with design but also building.
    Cat

  22. Looks great! That molding job is pretty spectacular, it’s great that you repurposed the molding from another apartment. And putting the pull out trashcan under your chop space is brilliant! I wish I could swing that, but the only cabinet in my kitchen is under the sink. I will keep that idea in the back of my head for future kitchens, though.

  23. what coffee maker is that? i’ve been looking for a new one.

    • It’s Kalorik brand but I wouldn’t recommend it… at all. The coffee is fine but even though I like the abnormal narrowness, I think the whole thing is pretty poorly designed, particularly the carafe, and the mix of materials just reads kind of cheap in real life. Planning to buy another one soon (have my eye on a Cuisinart at Target), but it does the job for now.

  24. Wow, what a transformation! Love the eat in part with migthy Martha watching your food :-)

  25. And here I am again at the end of the day and need to admit that I have been meditating over the new term I learned from you today: “decantering” food. In German, it’s only used for putting red wine in a glas pitcher ;-))). I am envying you for the beautiful “Pear-Ceramic-Jar”, and have been drooling over the IKEA food containers. They are great because of the “look-through-window” at the top, but why didn’t they design them with proper twist-off closings?
    Have a great day/ evening.

    • Actually, I have no idea if decant is the right word to use there… Wikipedia seems to think it also just applies to liquors. Hmmmm.

      The Ikea containers have sort of a rubber seal on top, and so far everything’s stayed nice and fresh and all that. And they’re pretty good looking too, I’ll admit (Max and I fought about these for at least half an hour in IKEA, it was so embarrassing. He won, but I like them now).

      • haha, just yesterday I totally grabbed those Ikea containers, carried them all the way to the cash registers, and then set them down before checking out. I like, but don’t love them for my apartment. Maybe they’re just more dude-ish. Why is picking the perfect thing so hard?

        Looking forward to your continued improvements in the kitch!

      • You can totally decant non-liquids. Wikipedia’s a dorkfish on this one.

  26. I am experiencing a moment of extreme happiness in detecting that my two favorite bloggers (you being one of them) have the same bright yellow coffee mugs.

    And they say the internet makes us sadder!

  27. I know I hate when people say this to me, but good grief, WHEN do you have to do all of this stuff?! Did you secretly drop out of school??

    (The molding = Amazingness.)

  28. Hi Daniel! I remember e-mailing you a while ago to ask about your “wondrous” tools- glad you finally got some big boy ones! :) Also glad you have a dedicated place to store them now. I’m still stuck in dorm-land so nice tools and a place to store them are a world away. What all did you nab? I like DeWalt myself, but they’re uber pricey.
    -Katie

    • I went with Ryobi for the circ saw and the miter saw, mostly to keep costs down. They’re nice though… powerful enough and have all the necessary features, and really just what I need since it’s not like I use them constantly, but enough to make purchasing worth it. The chop saw was about $120 and the circ was like $50… I don’t know, for some reason I thought stuff like that was WAY WAY more expensive.

      • Ryobi is a pretty good price. DeWalt is more heavy duty and you’re right, it does cost a lot more. Refurbished is about the price you would get new.

  29. You are the only design blogger I know who is as good (read: entertaining) of a writer as he is a designer. Even your half-assed* updates are great. Keep ‘em coming.

    *Far from it – that window update is inspiring.

  30. MAGIC BULLET! Now I *really* want one…

    Also, the molding looks beautiful – nice job. :)

  31. I had the EXACT SAME SECURITY GATE and I took it out. Oh yes I did. I live in Harlem. Prayers would be appreciated.

    • I did too, in my old apartment, but this building is way less secure and our fire escape faces a busy street… so it just doesn’t seem like an option here. I know our place has been robbed a few times (not since I’ve been here, but still!), so I’m just glad it’s in the kitchen instead of another room. I think I do want to move it back a few inches toward the window itself, though, and hang a shade in front of it to soften it a bit, at least. And maybe try to spray paint it white.

      • I have this weird kitsch vision of it painted white and adorned with fake ivy (or real plants?). Trellis! Not saying it’s a good idea, just can’t get it out of my head.

  32. missed you, but i think the rescue of the molding and the denailing and purchase of mitre saws and the way it really kind of transforms the space WAS ALMOST WORTH THE WAIT.

  33. I’ve got three words for you: Tool Lending Library.

    http://brooklynskillshare.org/post/641544844/check-out-brooklyn-brainerys-awesome-idea-for-a

    And lots of hardware stores have a loan program that only requires a small deposit and then an hourly or daily charge. Usually pretty reasonable. Looks great.

    • Oh, trust, I am no stranger to renting tools, but since they weren’t THAT expensive and there aren’t any hardware stores anywhere close to me that do that sort of thing, it just made a lot more sense to buy. I’ve actually never come across a hardware store that does loans, usually you pay somewhere around $20-25 to rent a tool for 24 hours. Which just ends up being an expensive hassle if you want to use something more than once.

      • Good to know. I thought after I wrote it that it would be odd if you weren’t. The place looks great.

  34. Great job with the moulding and all the storage improvements…you’ll get there!

    and totally digging the Amy Sedaris “easter eggs” in the photos in this post and the last one :)

  35. i have that same starburst clock, but the wood veneer sticker was thrashed. so it got some home depot hardware love. i’m amazed that ya’ll have time to hash out all these projects. i’m lucky if i get one completed per month.

  36. I had a REALLY crap weekend, long weekend actually cos the shittiness of it spilled all over yesterday. Your post is the best thing that has happened in at least 3 full days (even though I’m mad at you for posting so sparingly :( Even if you don’t have time to put up pictures – Just write something GODDAMMIT’ your just so good at it!
    Bisous xxx

  37. ….ahem…. that should read ‘YOU’RE just so good at it’ (embarrassed grin :] …)

  38. You are so creative AND funny. Your posts make me laugh – so enjoyable to read. I’ve been blog stalking waiting for you to return. Yay!

  39. You’re marvelous. Your writing, your humor and your mad DIY skills just slay me. That kitchen is starting to look (dare I say it?) good!

  40. Great job thus far! Love the spice jars and rack – where are they from?

    • They’re from IKEA, although I can’t seem to find them on the website anymore… but I think they still carry them. It’s from the RATIONELL VARIERA line. The labels are from the Paper Source!

  41. I love your site. I haven’t commented before but now that you’re talking about the kitchen I can’t shut up (this is all-caps exciting for me). Two words: china cabinet. And now a hundred words: The thing is, we didn’t have enough cabinets in my tiny, terrible kitchen to fit both pantry/food stuff and dishes so we made a choice; food stuff was uglier, so it got put away. Dishes look nicer, they went in a cabinet by the table and we seriously uncluttered the cabinets. Open shelving would work too. I’m also a big fan of pot racks (so, so easy to grab one when you’re cooking and empties a cabinet) and have found very tiny, flat-against-the-wall ones that we’ve anchored with bolts that hold hundreds of pounds (seems like a good place to be overly cautious) that made them feel out of the way.

    The window looks amazing.

    • OHMYGOSH HI DEB!!! If I do all of these things, will you come cook here? Please?

      • Even if you don’t. We could make pie. Your kitchen fits more than one person, right? It will feel like an arena to me!

  42. Nice save on sad window. That was really nice pay it forward credit. The things people throw out! If I thought I could get away with it, I’d paint the security grate bright yellow, or tomatoe red. Then it’s an industrial window treatment, see?

    We have mix-matched cabinets in our kitchen. I decided to match the new cabinets (white glass doors from IKEA ) to the subway tile back splash. My DH just loves the stupid freaking old cabinets, so until he drifts into dementia, I’m kind of stuck with them. I would get the matching drawer handle for PAX hat the other new cupboard has.

    One more suggestion- get a butcher block top for the milk crates of shame. Paint them with plastikote paint- no primer needed. The counter top with make them legit, and keep things from falling through the top.

    Thanks for having the courage to show us a true before and after!

  43. Oh, kitchens. I think apartment architects take a special class entitled “plenty of space- and how to squander it maddeningly”… coincidentally shortened to “Interior P.o.S.”

    Look, if 80 people each day can go thru my dumpster illegally (and it turns out that they, indeed, can) and no one does anything about it, then I’m sure no one’s coming after you for molding. Especially since you put it back ONTO the building it was from; you didn’t steal it, you just moved it. It hasn’t been removed from the premises! Well done, you!

    (Also, glad you’re back – you’re my favorite)

  44. You know what? I just got a vintage 1970s book about lofts (called LOFTS, natch), with pictures of Soho pioneers like Leo Castelli, etc. And your kitchen looks exactly like the ones in the book. It looks like the loft kitchen of an urban creative person. I think that’s a whole lot more fun than a “perfect” kitchen.

  45. oh thank god you’re back. I can stop cyber stalking this page! (not really, I’ll still stalk). In honor of your return I thought I’d post a comment, random though it is. my first!

  46. Your kitchen is coming along well… I love your seating area.

  47. So happy to see a new post! I must know about your tea kettle as I am tired of using a pot to heat water in. I love yours, it kind of looks like an Alessi one, am I right, but it doesn’t have the bird whistler. Does that thing hold 64 oz of water? The alessi one does and that just seems like a huge amount, but it really doesn’t look so big sitting on your stove top.

    • Hm, I have no idea how much it holds. It’s Michael Graves for Target, Max brought it with him when he moved but I think they still sell it (pretty inexpensive, too). The Alessi ones I think you’re talking about are also Michael Graves.

      It’s definitely not that big… pretty normal teapot size? haha. I don’t drink tea, clearly.

  48. Please tell me the fan is no longer behind the faucet!

    Nice job on kitchen. I know, a boring comment, but really, nice job.

  49. As a proud infomercial junkie, I covet your magic bullet. I dream of being invited to a brunch ala the infomercial’s happy couple, and treated to a delicious meal of alfredo, quesadillas and smoothies. AND DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN MAKE FACE MASKS WITH IT, TOO? IT’S TRUE! Why waste hard-earned $$$ at the spa?

    The moulding looks great! So does Martha (but she always does).

  50. Oh boy, you’re back! The window trim looks great!

    Re tetanus shots — a few months ago I went to the Emergency Room for what I thought was an emergency, and all I got out of it was a clean bill of health and a new tetanus shot. Cost me $3,000 for that tetanus shot. But I’m glad I got it, all the same.

  51. Hi Daniel,
    I saw a bunch of haters commenting on this post on Apartment Therapy and I just wanted to say: THE MOULDING LOOKS GREAT. Forget the naysayers.

  52. I’m too lazy to see if you already answered my question…where did you buy those spice racks? And the wooden counter top thing…are you telling me I need to go and purchase a saw? Crap!

    • IKEA! And yes, for Ikea countertops you do have to cut yourself. It’s really pretty cheap to rent a circular saw (from a big box store or sometimes smaller hardware stores), and not too hard to use. The other option I think would be trying to find a carpenter or someone who can just run it through a table saw for you… probably not too expensive either.

      (for references, the circ saw was only about $50, which isn’t THAT bad. But I plan to use it a bunch, for one-time I’d recommend renting.)

  53. Killing me here. Are we in a fight? Why are you not speaking…or writing.
    Once again, begging for an update, sigh.

    • SO BUSY SO BUSY SO BUSY.

      The blog don’t write itself.

      • Just the fact that you replied is enough for me. No longer killing me. So Busy? I am So Excited to read and see.

  54. Hi Daniel, Love the kitchen in process. Question: Is that cork lining the cabinet drawers and if so, where o where does one purchase such a thing? I am already hearing the advantage of cork in the drawers in my kitchen.

    • Oh, it’s just cork con-tact paper! It’s nice stuff. We bought it at Target, but I’ve seen it at lots of hardware stores, probably Bed bath and Beyond and the Container Store would have it, too!

  55. I know you’re very busy…….but I REALLY miss reading your blog………..

  56. It has been 21 days since you’re last confession. We heard you’re walls dressed in white for halloween! Hope someone took pics!

  57. Can we talk about something else now?

  58. See, your readers are so desperate for more now they are making up rumors. Please post more often. I know I can pick up the phone but getting caught up here is fun too!

  59. I’ve been checking the Ikea website like a mad woman, is this the base cabinet you got? http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S89869695/ and then you installed the pull out system separately? I need this configuration in my kitchen and I cannot figure out what it is. help please?

    • Sort of, it’s really this one and the trashcan/recycle bin is this from Simple Human. If you’re not planning to use them (which you won’t if you’re doing a trashcan underneath the drawer), you don’t have to buy the shelves that are part of that cabinet set-up, just make sure you tell the IKEA kitchen planner person that you don’t need them. My doors are APPLAD.

      • Thank you so much! We picked it up today and I will be ordering the Simple Human set up too. Now just have to figure out how/where to get the butcher block cut down to size.

      • Yeah, if you don’t own a circular saw or a table saw, you could rent one from a hardware store or take the butcher block to a cabinetmaker or woodworker or someone that you can ask to just chop it down for you. They probably wouldn’t charge you much at all!

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