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October 2008
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The Rich are Different

On a link from a normally cool blog comes this number.
Source – Nieman Marcus

M-Velop. only a 100,000 grand.
One of 10

A sort of transformer playhouse. The Rich are different.

Energy Efficent Housing

In the US regardless of how they spin it, lifestyle living, retirement community, planned community, (community as designed for the Stepford Wives) and so on, modern housing is what Malvina Reynolds wrote  about.

”Little boxes on the hillside,

Little boxes made of ticky tacky

Little boxes on the hillside,

Little boxes all the same,

There’s a green one and a pink one

And a blue one and a yellow one

And they’re all made out of ticky tacky

And they all look just the same.”

I am not a strong advocate of new construction as it is for the most part characterless, wasteful, designed and constructed to minimum standards, besides there is no fun in living in a place you can’t remodel. I am however a fan of any technique that can make you comfortable and energy efficient. Less money for utilities, more money for movies.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is building 12 Project Homes to demonstrate Energy Efficiency.
Hattip to Design Shizen for the link

This is interesting as construction changes, you or your children may be remodeling these down the road.

Flat Screen TV Price Drop

Flat screen TV is the cats ass for watching movies and series on DVD. Prices are gonna drop like an asteroid crashing into the sea. If you are thinking about one, after thanksgiving by about 10 days or so should see you getting a great deal.

This is my 42'' Visio. HD Programs are sharp enough to slice your eyeballs.  1080p and more plugs than you can possibly use in the back. Has 2 AV inputs, 2 Component inputs, with HDMI, which will play blue ray as well as standard DVD's

I watch a lot of movies and series TV. I own them all. I build my own shelving. There is nothing like watching an entire season without commercial interruption. Admittedly, 22 'hour' long episodes makes for a long day, but with a comfy chair, a hot air popcorn popper, and beverages, it is doable. Plus you can take breaks anytime you want.

Not a lot of series go 22 anymore, it is more like 12-15, but it extremely enjoyable this way. So much so, that I watch only a few actual shows at the time that they are on. There is enough stuff going on that I can wait until the season comes out on DVD.

Enough about my habits, since this is about flat screen TV's. Also, keep your eyes peeled for Tool bargains as the housing market has put a real hurt on the big box stores as well as electronics and just about everything that goes into houses.

Artroom Expansion 20

The last bits inside are drying, and the painting outside is beginning. Here is the state of play.

We added 6 glass block windows to the east wall approximately 32'' apart. These are just below the top plates and in every other stud space along this wall. They provide ambient light without  glare as they are this high on the wall.

The cabinets originally sat on the floor on the opposite wall. We built a cleat system and remounted them on the wall. The cabinets and glass blocks working out so well in terms of proportion was blind dumb luck.  The floor cabinets were the 2 door units. The client found the three door cabinet that is in the center of this wall and after mounting them the glass blocks just worked out. Lucky me. Probably why I haven't won the lottery.


Moving on…. The design and assembly table was cut down 2.5 inches and two shelves were added for storage of some of the larger items like the boards used for panel assembly as well as the longer lengths of 'came' used in stained glass.

The counter height and depth was designed by the size of the rolling carts you see underneath. The left end is anchored by a steel cabinet containing small pieces of glass. The cost of some glass will make your nose bleed.

The wall brackets are 4' on center so we could screw into the studs behind. I used 3'' deck screws for this. The photo on the left shows a Dewalt Countersink drill bit. What makes this  an outstanding tool is the length of the bit and the taper of the drill. They are relatively expensive compared with straight bit countersink bits, and finding replacement drill bits is a chore, but it is worth the effort. They come in #6,8,10 sizes. They are made for longer screws, but when you are drilling through plywood,drywall and into a stud for a three inch screw, they have no equal. The replacement bits are best found at a Dewalt Store or at Amazon.   

The wall brackets are angled, allowing me to get two brackets out of my plywood. They also stop 5'' off of the floor. This allows for ease in cleaning underneath the counter. 

On the other wall where the cabinets used to sit, we reused the counter as a backing for the glass cutter. More three inch screws. It also formed a convenient holder for bulletin boards. Nothing says love better than stuff that does not fall down, trust me. Also in this photo is the a/c unit we removed from the endwall when we started this project.

For those of you following along, wondering where this is all leading, remember the whole point of this project was to get the kiln into another room with expansion space for another one. 



Artroom Expansion 19

Details. It's always the details.
The counter was designed specifically as a garage for these rolling carts. We made it 16' feet long and 20'' deep to take advantage of the plywood. We reused the trim that was on the other side of the room when these cabinets were floor units. It has 2 coats of 'satin' finish waterbased polyurethane to protect it.

The glass block windows being centered was a happy accident.

The shelving units are being filled up with the various powders and fragments that go into fusing glass.
Here is the former exterior wall with the only items that remained.
A couple of details to wrap up, and then it is outside to paint the building.

Artroom Expansion 18

Having hung the cabinets, I built the counter for that wall. 16 feet of counter. It is 3/4 plywood with angle brackets for stud wall mounting. Building 16 feet of anything in a 22 foot shop is challenging.

But with careful measurement, it mounts quickly. The counter is designed to hold a number of rolling carts underneath. The brackets are designed to  screw through the wall into the studs behind making it strong enough to sleep on. The brackets stop short of the floor to make cleaning the area easy.

Here is the wall with the cabs and counter in place. I also installed 3 more glass blocks above for more indirect light.

Here is a view from the other side.

Artroom Expansion 17

Having built or recycled a number of the elements of the artroom expansion, this is how they are coming together.
The sink area is ready for the finishing touches. The client did a great job on the floor.    Adapting a shower pan for use as a sink was a challenging project. The FRP panels were recycled from another project as was the counter. We will be installing a black ribbed rubber cover over the counter extending over the edge of the sink, forming a drain surface.

Here is a closer look at the sink. The cap/backsplash on the left and under the window are recycled solid surface backsplashes from the Guest Bath Project. Through the window you can see the cabinets mounted that I described in my last post.

Looking down the counter to the doorway, you can see the shelving units created for material storage.

Here are the shelving units mounted.


Speaking of mounting, here are the rest of the wall cabinets mounted. After attaching the cleats, with the help of a neighbor it took almost 2 minutes to hang the cabinets.


I did screw them through the backs into the bottom cleat, just to stablize them. We decided to add three more glass block windows over the top of this cabinet run. There is a conduit run on the outside that needs to be removed before I can cut the openings.

Meanwhile I will be cutting the rest of the deck pieces for the counter that will be installed under these cabinets.

A Cabinet Hanging Solution

 We have a number of cabinets that need to be hung. Cabinets are heavy,  not so much for  their size but they are bulky and awkward. There are a lot of ways to hang cabinets, depending on construction, location, and obstructions.

Here is a simple solution to hang cabinets. I have created a cleat system to hang them. This works well in areas where you do not have soffits. You need about an inch of space between the top cabinet and the bottom of the cabinet hanger. Note also I have taped the doors closed. Easier to hang. I am a fan of easy.
Here is a shot showing the cleats with a cabinet in place

It consists of three pieces of plywood. One  is cut on a diagonal to create the wall cleat and the cabinet hangers. The other is a small  piece of plywood acting as a spacer for the bottom of the cabinets.

This is how the cleat and hanger works. Gravity becomes your friend as the weight of the cabinet helps lock the cabinet in place.

The cleat attaches to the wall with the diagonal facing up with the high point away from the wall. Yes the wall is a little wavy, but not enough to cause problems. This is however typical.

The hanger attaches to the cabinet with the point down away from the back of the cabinet. We attach the hanger to the cabinet with adhesive like PowerGrab, and some screws through the cabinet back.

Note that we make the cabinet hanger a little shorter than the width of the cabinet. Makes lining them up easier. I am a fan of easy.

The wall cleat and lower spacer bar are continuous. I used a laser level to establish my level lines,I measured and checked my stud locations to insure that I have solid attachment points,  and used 3” screws to attach the cleat to the wall. I use two screws per stud, so I don’t think about them coming off the wall later. I used a pilot drill to pre drill my screw holes. If you don’t, you will break screws and swear or cry a lot.

The lower spacer is higher than the bottom of the cabinet for a number of reasons. The primary reason is to provide a surface for attaching the bottom of the cabinet to the wall.
Secondly, it allows you the ability to shim behind the cabinet if the wall is not plumb. This is important in keeping the doors closed as most cabinets do not have locking mechanisms.  It can also serve as a raceway for the wire for under cabinet lights.

You can use this system for rooms that have soffits, but you need to adjust your dimensions. Remember that you will need an inch of clearance to place the cabinet, and will need to cover the gap after mounting your cabinets.