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🎭 Cuts and Crafts
Presented by Chaat Butsunturn, John Fawcett
Originally aired on
December 18, 2020 @ 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM EDT
Join John and Chaat as they explore their crafts of woodwork and cooking, respectively.
Hey, everyone. Hey, I'm John Fawcett, and I'm joining you from my patio on a piece of furniture that I built.
I'm going to talk about furniture today. Chaat, do you want to introduce yourself?
Yeah, my name is Chaat Butsunturn, and I'm, among other things, I'm the host of Cooking with Cloudflare.
And so John and I are talking about our relative crafts, and I was going to give a tour of a kitchen where we can talk about, like, what kind of tools are handy and do you need for a good and easy kitchen experience?
Cool. I'm excited to actually see your kitchen. I know you actually have a show on Cloudflare and everyone's seen your kitchen, but I actually haven't.
But before we get the tour, and I would really love the tour, but tell me, how did you first get into, like, interested in cooking?
I mean, like, I make terrible food in my kitchen, and I'm inspired to make better food.
But, like, how did you get interested in cooking?
Yeah, well, I love food. I've always been a good eater.
And by good, I mean, like, I was the kid that all my friends' parents loved to have over because I eat all, you know, all the moms loved me because I'd eat all their food, you know?
And my mom was a great, she still is, a great cook. And so I always wanted to help her in the kitchen, but I think she thought I was more of a hindrance and an obstacle than a helper, you know?
And so it wasn't until, I guess, college that I started cooking in a real amateur level, just trying to piece things together.
But then when I got married, my wife is a great cook, and she's from a family of really good cooks.
And so that's when we started cooking, and I really discovered cooking with the help of recipes.
Go figure, right? So cooking often sounds intimidating because you're like, oh, I don't even know the first thing about how to scramble an egg.
But when you have a recipe, it's like an instruction manual, and all you got to do is follow along.
And after a while, you kind of pick up some tricks and you remember stuff.
I imagine it's kind of similar to crafting and woodwork.
Absolutely. I mean, I've learned some of my most important techniques from using other people's plans.
And actually, when the pandemic started, my fiancee was like, I want a table.
I'm like, I can't build a table.
Working up to that. So speaking of recipes, do you have any recommendations for maybe some amateur enthusiasts?
Any recipes that are really going to expand your knowledge?
Wow, that's an interesting one. Because, you know, it seems like for some cooking, like for Filipino cooking, for example, you know, there aren't really many Filipino restaurants.
And I think it's because the best recipes come from your mom or grandma or someone's mom, right?
And there are other things where there's a lot more, you know, recipes out there.
So I think, you know, it's good to start with like a basic cookbook.
And, you know, one of my favorite resources was a magazine called Fine Cooking.
But it was, I think, just acquired by something called Food and Wine.
So I don't even know what happened to their archive of recipes. But, you know, what I like about Fine Cooking magazine back in the day is, aside from recipes, it also had stuff about, you know, techniques or tricks or tools.
Like what kind of frying pan should I get?
You know, stuff like that. So those are some of the things I think I could touch on, like when we get into like the actual kitchen.
Yeah, very cool. Very cool. You know, you mentioned, you know, cooking with your mom and you, she didn't think, you probably thought you weren't a very good helper.
Presumably, and you're cooking with your wife now and y'all are, you're all both great helpers and team members.
This is a sort of a weird question.
But what makes a good helper in the kitchen? Well, I think, you know, the challenge about what we're cooking with my mom is that probably at the time I was like nine or eight, you know, and like having a 10 year old myself, I sometimes they don't quite have the motor skills to hold a heavy pan or whatever.
So I think what makes a good helper in the kitchen is someone who's interested and also someone who's, who's can lift up a pot of water.
Right. And that's where I think kids can be limited in some of their utility.
But something that's great to do with kids, lemonade, making cookies, scrambling eggs, you know, so there's some basic stuff that you can get people involved in at any age.
Cool. So before I go on any more questions, I got to see your kitchen.
All right. Give me, give me a tour. Okay. Let's see what we got.
All right. So some, some of my, my, my fans on, on cooking with Kloffler have seen a lot of our kitchen and we've lived in this house here for, you know, a number of years and we got it.
We did do a remodel. And so I'll point out some of my, my favorite features.
Mind you, we're not a hundred percent, totally super dialed and clean right now, but it's mostly clean, but, you know, you'll see the area that that's, that used it sometimes becomes like more like storage.
So if I'm looking around here, one of my favorite features of the kitchen is that right there, an Island.
Right. And on this didn't used to be here, but what's nice about the Island is it's a central place where you can use it for cutting.
What here, what you see here is a bottle of wine and a box of wine. What I like about it is it's a great stand.
So like when I'm doing my cooking show, I can just show people as I'm, as I'm cutting as a good elevation, I can bring it over to the stove.
Right. Awesome. I love it. And then with the, the Island, the other thing that's neat is it has drawers in it, right?
So we have all kinds of, of, of, of, of tools available.
Having storage is super key in a, in a, in a kitchen. Starting with, with that wall over there of the kitchen, you can see our, our, our stove got a microwave.
One of my favorite features is we built this here for the microwave, right?
But the, there was a space here, which just happened to fit a box of olive oil.
So this year is olive oil and whenever I need it, I can just easy access.
Right. So handy stuff. Both my olive oil and these like soap bottles that I can just turn around and keeps things a lot cleaner than like the actual bottle that, that it comes in.
Great. I also have, so we have a microwave, which we get a lot of use out of.
We've got the oven. We've got a bunch of pots and pans. We've got here, that there, this thing is a, an espresso machine.
It's awesome. It's a, it's a Jura, J-U-R-A.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I've wanted one of those for a while. They're great.
You know what I mean? They're, they're, they're, they're, they're not cheap, but when we've had it for like almost 10 years, right?
And when you think about it, I have a double every day.
And if we were going to Starbucks, you know, I mean, this thing paid for itself within two years and, and, you know, because I can use whatever bean I want.
So that, that's great. Another thing about the kitchen here.
I've got, got a toaster over there. This thing's kind of handy.
So this, this grass thing is, we got it for baby bottles. You can use it to drain your baby bottles, right?
Well, the other thing I like to use it for is wine glasses.
After you clean your wine glass, you just put it on top of there and keep, you know, it's, it's safe and gentle rather than the drying rack with other plates and pots and pans, or it could get broken and stuff.
So repurposing something from, from that era.
And then finally, I'll show you for the kitchen. We have a little dining nook and I love this little space here, a little desk nook with our computers.
Is that your, is that your Cloudflare office? No, my, right. That's usually the kitchen office.
My, my Cloudflare office, I'm happy to say we have a detached garage in back where I, I've, I'm able to, you know, separate myself from the family unit.
And just kind of grind away, do my thing. Yeah. It might seem Susie Bates, she, she's got a shed in the back of her yard.
We, we delightfully call shed quarters.
That's a good one. Right. Yeah. So love the kitchen and I love the island.
You had mentioned that, you know, you remodeled. Is there, is there anything else other than the island that, and then that, that awesome, that awesome olive oil holder that somebody looking to remodel their kitchen should, should be looking after or looking for?
I think there's one more, one more thing that I'd mentioned.
So we had a fridge, right? And when we built the, the, rebuilt the, the, the kitchen, we made a space for the fridge, right?
And you'll see like, this is kind of neat.
Yeah. You got shelves over here and all that kind of stuff.
And it goes over to this side and there's the desk note. Well, the problem with this is that now we are limited to those dimensions.
So when I'm looking at a fridge, I have like three choices.
That's basically it. Because, and, you know, if I thought about it, I would have built a space that isn't enclosed or confining.
So you have more flexibility.
If your family grows, you need a bigger, a bigger fridge, or you want to have more different kinds of models that that's one thing I would be aware of is like, you know, don't, you know, those are some of those limits that you, you, that you, you can, you can forget, you know?
So we moved in to this house and the, the fridge space was exceedingly small and finding the right dimension fridge that, that, yeah, that was exactly right.
Took me a very, very long time.
Anywho, so as someone who likes to cook, but is not all that great, is there any like tools an amateur should get?
Yeah, let me, I'll go through like the very basics of like what would be useful to have.
And I'm going to start because you're a woodcraft, a woodworker and all, I'm gonna start with knives, right?
So we have a, I have a knife block here and this pretty much has all the knives I think I would need.
I'm gonna add two from the, from the dishwasher, right? So now the most common one everybody knows about is the French, is a French chef, right?
And these are, y'all need one of these. This is from Wusthof, but there are lots of good brands out there.
Wusthof, and I forget the other one. It's a, gosh, I should know it, but they all have, they're about probably like eight to ten inches, slightly curved.
So you can, you can cut on the, you know, roll against the, against the cutting board.
I have a, one of these things, which is a honer, basically helps align the blade.
I have a carving knife. This is, I don't use this much, but it's great for like roast beef or turkey or chicken.
If you're cutting, you know, something like that.
A serrated knife. You know, there are a couple here. This one's good for like tomatoes or fruit.
You know, sometimes the, the skin on a, on a, the rind can be hard, tough to cook.
Definitely get a good bread knife, especially in California, you know, bread, you know, you want to have a nice serrated knife.
I'll have there. Then finally, a couple of peeling knives, a shorter one and a taller one.
This is actually, I think the most versatile one, this size. But sometimes the peeling one is nicer because it's, you just have a little bit more control for, for, you know, shorter.
It's just like with your golf clubs, you want to have a little flexibility in there.
The other thing that I think would be useful to have then in terms of pans, I'm going to go down here where we have some pans.
If you can find one, it's great to have a good cast iron pan.
It acts like a non -stick.
This thing has been around since my wife's grandmother's pan, apparently. So it's been around for like a hundred years.
Right. And it's still, and how do you clean that thing?
Great question. Yeah. So I don't really use soap and water.
Typically what I do is I'll use iodized salt, pour it in there, use a paper towel and use that, that abrasion there to, to, to get it up, get the grind off.
And then if I really need to get something out, I'll use like something like steel wool to, to, to get the grind out.
And then finally, you want to make sure you keep it seasoned.
So I'll heat it up over high heat and then shut the heat off, put a little canola oil or something on there and then rub that around.
It just kind of absorb into the pores of the pan.
It kind of keeps it nice and seasoned. So it doesn't stick, nor does it impart a flavor to it.
Right. Then I think everybody needs probably, I think this is a six quart.
This is another one that's a handy size, right?
A little bigger. That one also has one of these things, right?
This is not a strainer, but this is for steaming vegetables, right?
So you just put that on top, steam your broccoli or peas or beans. That's pretty handy.
Everyone needs one of these. A bigger, a bigger sized one for like pasta, you know, or mashed potatoes.
And then finally, last thing I'll point out is that I did finally get from Santa last year, a bonafide nonstick, right?
And then this one's also pretty handy.
This is a 10 inch pan. Now you'll notice that it's kind of deep and it has, it doesn't rim up like this.
Like this thing has kind of like a smooth side.
Well, things will fly out all the time on that. With this, it'll keep it inside and you can put, put a cover on top.
This is very flexible tool, right?
So those are like the core elements of what you'd want in your, in your kitchen.
Those pots and pans, good set of knives, a cutting board. And that with, with everything I just showed you, you could, you could do it all.
You don't need as many as, as, as I had.
I mean, cast iron pan, I'd say is the nice to have. It's not really the, the need to have.
Yeah. What do you have against nonstick? You only have like one nonstick pan.
Yeah. That's a good question. Well, one of the things I like about the thing is not nonsticks over time can either get nicked or I think the technology has come a long way, but before a lot of nonstick happened by, they would put a coating on there and that coating over time will wear off.
And there, I had one wearing off into your food.
Exactly. Right. So you, you want to find a nonstick that has maybe enamel based or porcelain or something like that.
I think this has like maybe diamond in it or whatever.
So, but what we got was like 40, 50 bucks, I think.
And I, I don't really know much about pricing and see if that's a, that's a good one.
So it's not that I have against nonstick, but we have a lot of all clad, which is a particular brand of stuff that makes excellent stuff.
It's great for heat conduction.
And most of the stuff that I cook doesn't require nonstick, honestly.
I mean, you need nonstick maybe for, for omelets, for eggs, you know, but if you're doing, you know, most sautés, you don't require it.
We also have a nonstick wok.
That's pretty handy. And where I like about having with a big wok and oh, yeah, I talked about storage.
We have more storage up here, right? So up there is where I keep my wok.
I also have there a roasting pan so you could use it for like roasting chickens or turkeys or prime rib and whatever else.
But I'm curious also to hear about like, what kind of tools are you using in the workshop?
Well, let me, let me first give it just a little bit of tour of the patio.
So when the pandemic started, I mentioned I started building patio furniture and I'm coming from you live on my patio on a chair that I recently built.
Let me start with just showing off the chair.
So this is. Whoa, that's nice. This is the chair and you can see to the next to it is a coffee table and sofa that I also built.
This is a patio and those things did not survive the Texas summer as well.
Learned a lot and they all went into this chair.
What kind of wood is that? What's that? Oh, great.
It's African mahogany for the chair and African mahogany is a hardwood that is pretty resilient to just being outdoors by itself.
Everything else out here is cedar.
It's a softwood. Also very resilient, but not nearly as as nice as the African mahogany.
Well, mostly everything on the patio was built by me, but let me just go ahead and talk about the workshop real quick.
Yeah, come on in. So my workshop is the garage, unfortunately, and we have a two-car garage as you can see potentially.
Actually, I'll give it a little tour.
And so two-car garage and when I'm in the middle of a project like I currently am, my table saw and my jointer is out.
Potentially, I've got some other big items out in the middle of the floor and when I'm done with the project, it all kind of goes back towards the walls and I bring the car back in.
So, let's see. This right here is my miter station.
This is where I do, you know, just 90-degree cuts that I need to do multiple cuts of and I've had this miter saw for a while and I decided to upgrade to a much larger miter saw that can perform a lot larger cuts.
So I found this one to be pretty limited down to only about five and a half inch width boards, whereas this one can go to like 13, 12 inch.
Sorry, no, no, no, more like 16 because it can actually glide along this track as well as chop.
So it's, I don't know if you can even see that.
Cool. Yeah, yeah. Let's see. That's a great space.
What was your first tool? First tool actually was this drill right here. Like I got a Ryobi cheapo set at Home Depot and I wanted to build cornhole boards.
That's great. So then I got, I got this miter saw to make, well, actually that was later actually.
Okay, then I got a jigsaw to cut the circle out of the board.
I was using the circular saw that came with the kit that I got, but anywho, there's tons of tools in here.
And right now we've got the planer jointer combo, which I'll talk about in a minute and the table saw, which is currently being used as an outfeed table to my planer jointer.
We've got the dust collection unit, which hooks up into the table saw and the planer jointer at the moment.
Oh, wow. So let's talk about boards.
Let's see if I can get this angle right.
Is that like one of the most core skills that you need as a woodworker is how to work with boards?
I guess that's like the foundation of all woodworking is a board.
Pretty much. Yeah, if you're not working with square boards, you're going to have a tough time.
So if you've ever had the opportunity to put two pieces of wood together and somehow combine them, that's called a joint.
And if you were never able to quite get those two pieces of wood together, it's probably because of one of three common problems that are affecting your wood.
And all those things have to do with how square your wood is. So what do I mean by square?
Well, I just mean dimensionally square, like all the corners should be exactly perpendicular and 90 degrees to each other, all the edges, right?
How do you measure? How do you know whether something's square or not? Well, a lot of times the variation is so large that you can just see it, but let's talk first about the different kinds of warping that you'll see on a board.
So first, and I don't have a board that you'll be able to actually see this on.
So I just drew some marks.
So first we have what's called cupping. It's when the board is actually cupped in this direction.
So this this board should be looking like sort of like a half pipe almost.
So it's kind of concave or something like that. Exactly. Exactly.
And then there's bowing, which is the exact same thing except for this. Right.
I gotcha. And then there's just overall twisting. So whenever you've got certain high and low areas that cause the board to twist, so imagine I grabbed the board from these two corners and I just try to twist it, twist it up like a twisty tie and that's called twist.
Got it. All of those things can be remedied with the help of this device, the jointer.
And the way that jointer works, get a little bit closer in here.
Well, for one, we've got a very flat surface and actually let me just open this up just a little bit.
Board out here. Okay, well, I don't want to mess up my setup, but essentially you've got this really flat surface here and you've got a fence that you can butt things up against and then right here, you've got a set of blades in this throat.
Making me nervous putting your hands close to that.
So what you can do is you can adjust the amount of like opening that this throat has and this plate over here on the other side is slightly higher so that as you run a board through here and it cuts out the board, it lands perfectly flat on this other side.
So in effect, you can take a board which needs to be squared up.
It maybe has little valleys of unsmoothness. It kind of rolls and you put it on the jointer and you run it through and it flattens that surface.
So it's kind of like a planer, but it's doing it like totally like mechanically.
It's the first step to a planer. So well, actually this is the tool itself is a planer jointer combo, but if you're thinking hand planes, then yes, a hand plane is doing exactly what that jointer is doing.
And essentially you're just you're shaving off material from a board and hoping to get it flat.
If you were to use the hand plane, you would want to use what they call a jack plane, which is really long and it's got a blade and you're trying to force out all the unsmoothness over a certain area.
Okay, so I have actually already run this side of the board through the planer, the jointer rather.
So I have jointed this face.
So what that means is I've smoothed out this board relative to the jointer. Now the next step would be to make this face 90 degrees to an edge.
All right, so that so that we have this this one face that's flat supposedly relative to this face.
We want this edge to be 90 degrees. Then we'll have it will be halfway there. Right?
And the way that we do that is we we put our recently jointed face up against this fence right here and we run it through and I'm not going to actually do that right now because we're running out of time, but just to sort of demonstrate you would put it up against the fence.
You would hold it up there as much as you can and just run.
Oh, you can't even see that. Yeah, I was just asking to nudge it down a little bit.
Oh, there you go. Perfect. So you're going to take this board put it up against the face and since the face is flat and our fence is 90 degrees when we run it over the blade, it's going to slowly start making those two edges 90 degrees to each other.
Okay, and that's just that's just half of the board.
What about the other half? Well, we can since we made one face of the thing smooth and flat we can then run it through the planer and get the other side flat.
So what the planer does is it references off of one face of the board and then it just cuts off the other face of the board relative to the flat face.
So so you have to do all of this before you even start working with the wood, huh?
Unless you buy pre-dimension lumber, which I mean, which I highly recommend but even then it's not always a guarantee.
Hmm. But this this machine actually converts to a planer.
So where I can I can take this board and actually feed it through the bottom with the jointed side up.
Whoa. Jointed side down my bed and it will it will then make the corresponding face parallel to the recently jointed face.
So then we're three sides.
We're totally we're almost there. So then after that we have to take the board over to the table saw and my table saws is kind of covered up with stuff right now, but we have this thing called a fence which is exactly parallel with the blade and then we run the jointed edge across this fence and we cut off a side of the board and that will give us a almost perfectly squared board.
Wow. I feel like we're scratching the surface. We should have booked ourselves an hour, John.
Yeah, whoops. Maybe we can throw on another segment next year.
You know, I want to explore this a little bit more with you. This was super fun.
It was nice to chat and yeah, I don't know what else to say. In our last 20 seconds.
What's your favorite tool? Man, that's tough. No, I gotta say the table saw.
It's just the most versatile tool that you can get. If you get a table saw, there's a number of jigs and sleds that you can make that just you can do anything with it.
Well, this is Cuts and Crafts with John and Chad. Thanks everyone. See you.