Thursday, January 30, 2014

How (not) to install a magnetic knife strip

A few months ago, I cut myself three times washing knifes and what turned out to be a shattered glass hiding in the dishwater. Then a couple minutes later, I cut an apple and sliced open my thumb to the point of nearly going for stitches. So it seems wise to start keeping my knives in an open space.

Blood loss be damned though, I need more counter space! My knife set turned out to be one of my favourite Christmas gifts (even if it does have it out for me), but like many people in small apartments, I have no counter space for the knife block. I've never particularly liked magnetic knife strips, but I'm a girl on a mission and I'll sacrifice my own personal taste if it means there's room for a few more dishes to collect by the sink.

I picked out FINTORP for this purpose and actually performed the elusive mission of "popping into IKEA to grab one thing" and do you know how hard it is to RUN through the showroom because you couldn't possibly trace your way to the kitchenwares through the warehouse?

Before I get started, I think I should make one thing clear in case it hasn't been adequately communicated so far: I make things really complicated. Not on purpose, but it seems like every time I try to do one simple thing as a project, it turns into a 2-week-long debacle. Even "I'll just quickly throw up this light fixture" turned into a 2-hour nuisance. This story is peppered with moments like that, but here was the base of my problem (literally): the wall I planned to mount this on is the only cement wall in the whole apartment. My bachelor apartment was 100% cement, so I know that it is impossible to drill into without a special drill that I sort of despise. I decided to improvise...

The red box pictured here is my fail-safe for everything that is going to be temporary, won't take a nail, or simply involves enough work that my laziness takes over. I thought Velcro mounting tape could do just as fine of a job mounting a magnetic knife strip, and hey, I wasn't wrong.

This was two layers of Velcro tape because one layer wasn't thick enough to reach the wall from the inside of the strip. Two layers was too much (go figure) and it wobbled and creaked and threatened to detach itself every time I wanted an apple. For what's it's worth, this stayed up for over a week before I took it down so if you really are just looking to put it on the wall with no notion of quality, go nuts! Otherwise, plan B. (Note: properly mounting things to the wall with hardware should not be plan B)

If you refer to my kitchen photos before, you'll see there aren't a lot of appropriate walls to store stabby items upon that aren't this one. This is key knowledge when you consider where I ended up putting it.

So now to reach the sharp objects, I have to reach over a heat source. Before you lecture me, I intend to make less use of this particular burner. However, I only have one large element so yes, I made chilli on it.

Here's another Addie moment, which I will describe as a series of events:
- Find perfectly sized drill bit
- Start drilling; drill bit breaks
- Get slightly larger drill bit; drill holes
- Holes are too big for the screws
- Attempt to compensate with wall anchors
- Anchors are too big; drill bigger holes
- Insert anchors; one hole is too small and anchor gets stuck
- Pull a muscle prying the decimated anchor out of the wall; drill bigger hole
- Other hole is too big, anchor hangs around the hole
- Hope for the best and screw everything in
- Drink

I like it though, mainly because it frees up a good amount of counter space. Unfortunately, my steak knives didn't make the cut and have been relegated to the cutlery drawer. You will see before/after shots of how much more room there is on the counter in my next post, so try to not to die from anticipation.

I should end with a question, right? Okay, one that no one else has a problem answering for me.
What would you have done differently??

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