Thursday, July 30

Home made spaghetti, part 1 of 3

I'm given to believe that Raoul is in the midst of settling in after moving, and since I've been pretty busy I better step up and say something. It's time for a little arts and crafts here at Watch Us Eat! Today we'll be building a pasta drying rack. Now, you can buy these from Bed Bath and Beyond for $13-$20, but you can build one for under $5 if you have the right tools and a little know-how. Let's get started!

You will need: one 3/16" dowel 3' long, half a 5/8" dowel 3' long (just cut it in half and make a second rack), a block of floral foam about 4"x4"x3", a saw of some kind, a power drill, and sandpaper or a power sander. Trust me, eating splinters sucks.

Start by cutting the 5/8" dowel in half, to 18". Then drill two holes in it, one about 1 1/2" from the top, turn the down 90 degrees, then drill the second hole about 3" down from there. The holes will be perpendicular to each other.

Now rotate the dowel 45 degrees away from you and drill a third hole between the first two. Rotate the dowel 90 degrees in the opposite direction (towards you) and drill the fourth hole 1 1/2" below the bottom most hole. The effect you're looking for is a spiral of holes down the dowel.

Use a saw to cut the 3/16" dowel into four 9" pieces. (Note: I cheated. There's a box saw visible in the shot, but the jigsaw I used isn't.)

Now go back and sand everything. Everything. Twice if you have to. Then use a completely dry paintbrush to remove the dust.

Chances are, you don't have a 5/8" drill bit to make your hole in the floral foam. That's cool, you can just shove the dowel through the block. You'll want to push it half way through from one side, then half way through from the other to make sure it doesn't tear when the dowel punches out of the foam. If you need to, use a little geometry to mark the center of the block before you start punching.

Carefully slide the smaller dowels into the holes in the larger one, then wash the entire thing. Do it in the other order, and you'll find the wood will swell and make your fits waaaaay too tight.

Voila! Not only do you have a functioning pasta rack and saved yourself about $8-$12, but you'll have that warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment. Stay tuned, in part 2 we'll use this thing. Amongst other things.

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