Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Cabinets again

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

I’ve made some more progress on the cabinets since my last post, though I can’t do as much today as I’d like to. I put in and stained the bottom interior planks, I’ve stained the exterior left side panel, and I’ve put in the wall bracing for the countertop. Here’s the overall look:

cabinets2-1The fuzziness on the picture is due to misting on the camera phone’s lens – sorry about that.

Next up:

cabinets2-3This is the view of the exterior side panel. Eventually there wqill be a board covering the edge of the panel that isn’t stained, so don’t panic. And yeah, I’m going to have to tape the panel and re-paint the wall. Oh well.

A closeup of the pocket holes I made with a Kreg jig that I’ll be securing the front top panel with:


I’d attach the top and bottom front panels today, but the stain on them is still sticky/tacky, so I have to wait. So far, so good…

Cleanup is a pain

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Trying to clean up the basement a little bit today (and all week, really), since there’s so much dust and debris. Trash day is normally tomorrow, but due to the holiday it’s delayed until Thursday. I’ve already got 7 large construction debris bags sitting out back to drag up tot he curb tomorrow evening, and I’ll probably have two or three more by tomorrow afternoon. And that doesn’t include the crap I need to get rid of that’s not really “debris” but is instead crap that I’ve been “storing” since before I bought the house – inherited stuff from the previous owner like spare linoleum floor covering, extra carpet rolls, and other ridiculosities. I can hardly believe myself, but I am considering buying, rehabbing, and flipping the 2-story unit two buildings up the hill if it’s not yet been sold in another year and a half… it’s a bank-owned foreclosure, about 1300 sq feet. We’ll see what I feel like in another year plus.

Cabinet base

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Finally some actual pictures of the cabinet base.This first picture is of the wood planks that I drew in ASCII art format last time:

Cabinet base, no front

Sorry about having the drill in there, I had just finished putting up the side board that you’ll see later.

Some closeups of the back corners, to show how they’re joined and the side offsets:

Back right baseThis is the rear right of the cabinet base. I’m obviously not concerned about the bottom of the wallboard, since it will be completely hidden from view. The left rear:

Back left baseThe joining is simple metal L brackets. Nothing fancy, and definitely not what I would use on visible areas. You might be able to see some space along the bottom of the boards – the floor isn’t level so I’ll have to put some shims in place to get a level sturdy setting. I don’t want my cabinets wobbling – especially after I put a wine rack on top and put wine bottles in the wine rack!

This is the left side panel:

Left side panelYes, there’s a small 3/4″ wide ledge in the wall itself. I’m pretty sure it was put there to accomodate the air vent, but it looks wrong, which is why I consider myself quite fortunate that it will be hidden by the cabinets. The vent will stay there, but the duct leading to it will get redirected to a ceiling vent at some point. I’ll just seal up this vent – I don’t want air flow going into a closed cabinet and not doing the room any good.

Finally, I was able to add in the front of the base:

Full cabinet baseNotice on the left how it doesn’t quite align with the edge of the side panel? Yeah, that’s going to change – I need to secure the front panel to the side panel with another set of L brackets. Once that’s done and the shims are in, I can start putting down the planks that will form the bottom of the cabinet. The sides and back will just be the wallboard – trying to add in wood paneling would be more expensive than it’s worth, and I want the back open to the power outlets. Yes, they’ll be inside the cabinet, but they’ll also be available in a pinch if I need them temporarily, or if I ever decide to put in a power outlet on the front base of the cabinets (which I probably won’t do, ever).

For now, it’s time to head back to Lowes for another set of L brackets and maybe some 6 foot oak planks, then do some holiday shopping. Oh crips, how I’m going to hate myself when I get back home…

Cabinets going in

Friday, December 20th, 2013

I’ve started on the base cabinets for the wine rack. By started, I mean I’ve put in part of the base on which they will be built. It doesn’t really look much like cabinets at all yet, but I’m going slowly. I think I’m going to take pictures along the way to document the progress, but I don’t have any yet, so here’s an ASCII drawing of what I’ve got so far, looking down from directly above:

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-+  |                                          |                                       |   |
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                              (this piece of wood not present yet)                         |

The outside is the wall contour. The space is almost exactly 6 feet wide – it’s maybe 1/2″ less than 6 feet. I’ve got a 1×6 running along the back, about an inch and a half from the wall, and 22.5″ 1×6’s attached to it. The next step is to for the left side with a 1/2″ or 3/4″ thick wood piece that will be 2 feet deep and 3 feet tall when viewed from the front. Then I’ll put in the front piece of wood where the double line along the bottom is, attaching it to the crosspieces, and then I can put in the cabinet bottom. Once that’s done, I can start building up the actual cabinet framing.

Here’s hoping it all goes well.

Don’t kill the plants!

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Hi again. It’s me. I’m back. I’ve had a few sysadmin-y posts recently with the new job and all, and I’m starting to get back in to home improvement projects as well. No, I haven’t finished the basement – I’ve made some progress but not much, although I keep at it. I’m just naturally lazy and it’s taking a while to get over that and get back to work.

I am however a bit of a tinkerer. I started playing with an Arduino (no this isn’t a computer geek post), and I wondered if it could be adapted for some “maintenance” type tasks around the house – like watering plants. Turns out, it can! I haven’t put together the Arduino brains yet, but that will be soon – I started out by putting my 35 gallon trash can on the back deck and using it as a rain barrel.And not just a rain barrel – I redirected the air conditioning condensate tube to put the condensate into the barrel instead of just letting it drip out onto the lawn in one spot. I’m not much interested in spending $100 on a rain barrel when I can use a $30 lawn trash can for the same purpose. Then I got a drip irrigation system commonly used to convert Rain-Bird type pop-up sprinklers to drip systems, and added a 130 GPH pond pump to the mix. So far I’ve spent about $50 and I have enough materials to irrigate up to 6 different “circuits” of flower beds and pots from the rain barrel. Right now, it’s a dumb system – the pump will keep going until the water level in the rain barrel is too low, possibly drowning the plants I want to water, even with only a 1GPH drip.

What’s next? Well, I’m starting with some 1/2 inch tubing (1/2″ ID), cutting it about 1″ long to make some plaster-of-paris plugs. I put two galvanized nails in each plug, then let the plater fully cure around the nails, cutting off the tubing when it’s cured. This gives me a “sensor” that I can use to measure the water content of the soil, by measuring the resistance across the plaster with the Arduino. The wetter the soil is around the plug, the more water will be in the plug, thus the less resistance there will be.

Then there’s the other half of the “brains”. I have a test solenoid valve on order that I will be putting in-line with each irrigation circuit. The Arduino will use the data supplied by the plaster plugs to either open or close the valve, effectively starting to water the plants as soon as the soil gets too dry, and stopping once the soil is no longer too dry. Each valve is $16, the Arduino runs about $60, and the various bits like a MOSFET, resistor, diode and things will run around $15 per circuit. So the entire 6 circuit system will cost a grand total of $60+$15*6+$16*6 + $50= $60 + $90 + $96 + $50 = $296. Seems a bit pricey, but then consider that using the rain barrel and pump, and redirecting the A/C condensate to the rain barrel, will save and average of (based on other people who have done the condensate thing without the Arduino intelligence) $600 / year in water costs, plus the intangible benefit of having perfectly-watered plants year-round, even in the extreme summer heat, without having to actually water then yourself… I’m liking this idea!

Plus, it appeals to the geek in me.

Wine rack

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

My latest project is a wine rack made from 1×2 wood beams. I’ve got one side cut completely, got a few more pieces to cut for the second side, then I’m going to stain it. It’ll be a very dark mahogany stain which should go well with the wall color in the living room.

Quick progress update

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

This past weekend, I finished the living room walls.  I’ve got some touch-ups to do on the crown molding and later on the baseboards, but the walls are painted.  It’s a rich reddish color – the name is “Tawny Bluff”, probably thought up by an interior designer with an insecurity complex.  Regardless, I like the look.  The shelves are very different insofar as what’s on them – very few books compared to what I used to have, lots more decorative stuff and knick-knacky stuff.  I decided to not run component video and audio cables across the room under the floor, and I left the floor network jacks in place as well.  It’s now time for me to get serious about the basement; I need to finish stapling the network runs, run the A/V cable for the “gaming” environment, then close up the ceiling as the first steps.  I figure that should take me the better part of six months…  Hopefully less, but I know all to well how slow I can be.

Making progress

Friday, March 25th, 2011

The second coat is done, I’ve got two walls left to paint in the living room.  I’ve started putting the shelves back up; one will require some repair work, but I think I’m going to only put four shelves per side up this time, the fifth shelf was a bit low to be practical.  I’m also planning on moving most of the books somewhere else – I’m going to try for a semi-minimalist approach this time.  That will require some creativity in finding other homes for the books, but that’s okay since I can just box them and put them in the second bedroom for now.

Hello again.

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  The last post had the chairs not yet finished, and now I’ve gotten a lot more done, though a lot still remains to do.  The chairs were done, and they look great.  I still need to get two more for a set of 4, but that’s on hold.  Right now, I’m in the middle of repainting the living room.  So far I’ve gotten one wall done, another three with the first coat, and two yet to even edge.  I figure I can edge two of the three tonight, then finish everything up tomorrow and Friday.  Once that’s done, I can really start ripping apart the basement – it’s partially turn up now, but things down there have been on hold for a while.  The interesting part?  I’ll be putting in a kegerator and bar – I haven’t decided if it’ll be a wet bar or not, but it’ll still be damn cool.  For now, you’re mostly caught up on what I’ve got going on, so I’m headed home for the day to paint and then to hang out with a friend to celebrate something.  We’ll figure out what to celebrate later.  🙂

Chairs – almost done!

Friday, October 1st, 2010

The first coat of poly just went onto the chairs – at least, the top bits.  I’ll put the first coat on the underside in about 2 hours after the top is relatively dry, then hopefully I’ll have time to put the second coat on tomorrow.  If not, Sunday.  Probably pick up the other two chairs next weekend, get those done the following week.  Damn but I’m doing good…