Sunday, January 8, 2012

A modern scribe

Scribe \ˈskrīb\ noun
1: a member of a learned class in ancient Israel through New Testament times studying the Scriptures and serving as copyists, editors, teachers, and jurists
2a : an official or public secretary or clerk b : a copier of manuscripts
3: writer; specifically : journalist
transitive verb
1: to mark a line on by cutting or scratching with a pointed instrument
2: to make by cutting or scratching

Jeffrey was a learned scribe today. Not the noun form, the verb type!

We have a lovely full surround for our Sub-Zero paneled refrigerator. This will integrate it seamlessly into the cabinetry of the kitchen. Of course, since I purchased the whole ensemble on Craigslist, it wasn't custom made for our kitchen (these things are never a stock item, always custom done). And our plaster walls and wood floors and weighted sash windows are not the most plumb, level, and square. Which meant that this very tall, rather deep cabinet sat quite wonky.

I wish I had a picture of how bad it was, but of course, we were more focused on correcting the errors than we were documenting them for posterity. It was pretty bad. Up close, you could see huge gaps and spaces along the back edge, some well over a finger's width. From a distance, you could see that it was very crooked in relation to the wall and the ceiling. Shims alone were not enough to fix it. Scribing was required, and big time.

Thankfully, as a custom piece, it has a built in overhang on the side panels for just such scribing. Many cabinetmakers today simply stick a piece of molding over the gaps, but the best tradesmen still build their cabinets for a custom fit. This was our first experience with such, as we have only ever installed stock cabinets. What a joy to be able to transcribe every bump and anomaly of our plaster walls directly onto the cabinet side and erase the offending gaps with a jigsaw.

It was a joint effort; I traced the walls with a compass and made all the marks, and Jeff did the cutting and sanding. Here is the "before" on one side (not even the worst side, but the only one I could really photograph).

And here is the "after" on the trickiest side.
See that join between the cabinet and the wall? No? Oh, that's right, I don't either! And our trusty bubble level reads perfection on all faces. Not bad for a quick evening's work!

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