Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Maybe I disregarded a wise saying: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. In a corner of my kitchen, there wasn't really anything wrong with the little cupboard holding my bread machine and a press grill for making toasted sandwiches.
However, since the above photo was taken, I had painted the cupboard gray, and the painted wood wasn't reacting well to the heat of the machines and occasional drops of hot cooking oil. So, I thought it would be a good idea to glue ceramic tiles to the upper surface. Above all, my daughter was spending the weekend at Gamone, and she has a reputation for being quite an expert in the installation of glazed tiles on floors and walls. First, she glued the tiles in place perfectly.
Then she filled in the gaps between the tiles with white mortar and smoothed it all down to obtain a perfect finish.
We both agreed that it was a job well done. All that remained was to let the mortar dry and put the cupboard back in the kitchen, along with its drawers. Alas, the following morning, I discovered with surprise that the mortar, in drying, had developed big cracks.
When I inspected the situation more closely, I found that the wooden plateau was hugely warped.
The warping—no doubt caused by the moisture of the mortar—was so pronounced that the central row of wooden pegs attaching the plateau to the left and right sides of the cupboard had been completely drawn out of their holes.
The warping had started to detach many of the tiles from the plateau. What's more, at the front of the plateau, the warping prevented the drawers from being inserted.
In other words, the wooden plateau had played a trick on us, and all the nice work carried out by my daughter was henceforth a total mess, which could not be rectified. This time, my cupboard was well and truly "broke", and I would have to fix it, one way or another. So I decided to use a clawbar to remove the plateau.
I told my daughter on the phone that her tiled plateau was so nicely curved that it would make an ideal base for a home-made rocking chair.
Unfortunately, I never had an opportunity of actually trying out my rocking chair. When I tried to move it, all the ceramic tiles fell off.
Clearly, the tiled plateau was a doomed object. So, I scratched my head a bit and decided that it was time for an excursion to Grenoble, to purchase a table top at Ikea. And here's the final result:
An observer would never guess that I had to saw off a couple of centimeters of the base so that the cupboard with its thick new plateau would fit in beneath the windows (which I don't usually open).