Mark Boucher

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since Jan 17, 2013
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Recent posts by Mark Boucher

My warning is based on knowledge of tempered glass in general and a single experience of an employee walking across a glass top range during a cabinet install. It shattered like tempered glass, but I have no info about how that particular glass was labeled.

Looks like “ceran” is not tempered, so...

Sorry for raising the warning unnecessarily!
3 years ago
Hey Gerry,
Not a frequent poster here, but hopefully you can see past that. Please don’t cut that glass top! Often times tempered glass will shatter when being cut, but if it doesn’t using it in high heat could be seriously dangerous. The reason being: tempering glass adds a huge amount of surface stress all around the entire piece. This results in super strength properties compared to annealed glass, and the “safety feature” of catastrophically shattering into small bits (not shards) when broken. Cutting it unbalances that stress.

If you give it a try anyway, be prepared both while cutting or subjecting to heat for the piece to instantly shatter into 1/4” cubes.

Kind regards,
3 years ago
Spicy hot chocolate sounds great today! I’ve never heard of water kiefer — time for some research!
Mostly, I’ve been making herbal citrusy drinks with some combination of ginger, turmeric, ginseng, black pepper, and bitters. Yesterday, I got the juicer out and processed a pile of ginger and a grocery store pineapple into a small mason jar’s worth of liquid gold. This goes into the refrigerator, and is served with soda water, ice, and a garnish like a proper cocktail. This is nice, but I’d like to get a little more mileage out of the ginger — a big pile makes surprisingly little juice! Maybe I’ll try something in the pressure cooker, or make a tincture then cook off the alcohol?
3 years ago
I love the rituals of making and sharing drinks: tea, coffee, cocktails, sodas, cider, beer, fresh juices, kombucha, chai... so many recipes, and such a fun side of the kitchen! Since the new year these have all been non-alcoholic for me, though not necessarily so for guests. The change has come with enough of a bonus that I want to keep it going a little longer, however; one thing i have realized i am missing is the end-of-the-day pain relief function of an alcoholic drink. This is tricky territory! There has to be at least some mild pain relieving ingredient/function, but it’s really the psycho-somatic “feeling good again” anticipation caused by the ritual that I’m after. Much like how the sugary coating of an Advil sometimes makes you feel instantly better. Incidentally, super spicy food has this function for me as well.  

I’d like to hear about your drink-centric end-of-the-day recipes or rituals that help you get over it all. Bonus, if it helps you deal with the combination of aging and a physically demanding life!

3 years ago
I agree with Max regarding green vs dry carving.

As far as species selection is concerned, the material’s cleanability and durability are far more important than the type of toxicity mentioned above. We’re aren’t discussing carving spoons from poison ivy vines... Toxic does not equal poisonous to humans. In the case of cherry and other good utensil woods like my favorite: mesquite, the toxicity of the wood is a huge benefit to its suitability as an utensil material. Functionally, this relates to the material’s resistance to bacterial growth within the surface of the spoon, i.e., something you can’t clean off. More-toxic (referred to as rot-resistant in lumber specifications) and more-naturally-oily woods are the best types of material for utensils from this perspective.

The other key characteristic is the material’s cleanability. For this, super dense (usually impossible to carve dry) close-grained hardwoods are the best. Rock maple stands out in this regard. It is not rot-resistant chemically (it’s slightly better than other maples) however, it has a comparatively huge mechanical resistance: it’s easy to clean. Cherry also scores well with cleanability.

Bacterial growth either on the surface or within the surface of a utensil should be considered far more toxic to humans than the rot-resistant quality of any hardwood.

To be clear, I am not saying that a wood’s toxicity does not affect humans. This can be a serious concern while carving or sawing the wood. You will be exposed to toxicity equaling 10 lifetimes worth of daily spoon use while making the thing. So for perspective: carving the spoon = toxicity test; cutting firewood = toxicity test x 1,000.
3 years ago
Black Walnut lumber is particularly useful for making strong but delicately sized things like mullions for glass doors in casework. It is also traditionally used as the material for the rockers on rocking chairs. Some say that it’s bad luck on a boat — not sure if there’s any correlation to it’s actual properties. It’s fairly expensive thanks to shortages brought about by WWII gunstalks and singer sewing company tables.

As stated above, limb material isn’t useful for boards. You really don’t want to try to make anything longer than twice the heartwood diameter out of limbs.  
3 years ago
Contrary to what you may imagine, steam dries wood. So as long as the lid is used regularly, it should last well. Steam also kills most bacteria. Bonus. A lid like this should never be glued.

A cutting board is a different story. Glue it. Tightbond II is perfect for cutting boards, non toxic, and cheap. And, a first timer can make a glued cutting board in a couple of hours — instead of days.

3 years ago
1” should be fine with 4 bands. I made one out of 1” cypress. The extra thickness would be helpful at the bottom to side joint, but not totally necessary. The thing to look out for when picking is no knots and no sap wood. Not even a little bit. If you can’t tell, assume it’s sap wood. Also, look for Slick Seam. It’s a wood boat type product; it’s your friend.

Good luck.
3 years ago

D Nikolls wrote:Yes.

You may need to try a couple to see what you like; 3500k? 4500k?

The lower the number, the warmer/yellower the light.

You may also find 'high CRI' light nicer. Colour Rendering Index.

End partial quote. (Sorry, can’t see how to get my text out of the quote box.)

90 CRI

3 years ago
Ethyl mercaptan is added to propane so that you can smell a leak. So...
It really isn’t just propane.
3 years ago