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November 2009
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In the closet behind the Flat Screen TV Install we built a couple of wide shelves out of a Bi-Fold Door. We needed to shelve the rest of the space. Because of the width of the space(41”) and the depth of the shelves (15”) we made them out of 3/4” plywood.

The client decided how much space she needed between the various shelves which determined the spacing. In small sizes plywood is a sound shelf. In larger sizes you need to stiffen it for use.

Having determined our locations, the first order was to install wall cleats to support the back and sides of our shelves.
These were made with 1×2 pine screwed to the studs with 2- 2” deck screws at each stud location. The right side pictured here has the cleat extending beyond the face of the shelf due to the location of the stud. Not elegant but sturdy.

Here is our closet with the cleats installed.  You can also see the outlet mounted for the TV toys, Dish receiver, DVD/VCR Player, surround sound, etc. Also are the holes for passing the cables between the boxes and the TV. I offset the holes between the front and back to that light was not an issue. Yes I know it is a picky detail.


Shelf Edge Detail

The fronts of the ply shelves are  reinforced with an aluminum channel. Here is a photo showing the edge detail at the front of the shelves. This is an aluminum channel cut to length and glued and screwed to the front edge of the shelf. I used a countersink bit to drill the holes to keep the top of the screw below the face of the channel.  We also sanded the channel and sprayed it with KILZ primer sealer as a base coat for the finish paint. Latex paints do not stick to metal very well.  We are using Shelving and BEHR Premium Plus Ultra   Semi Gloss in White.


Speaking of BEHR

We bought a can of BEHR Premium Plus Ultra to try out. I will not recommend or use it again. The theory is that having the primer and paint will save time and or steps. It doesn’t.  The cost of materials is basically the same within a buck, and your savings come from having to cover the area once.  It did not seal and cover the mill stamp(the black printing that is stamped on all lumber telling you where it was produced) and the two areas we used it in had an uneven finish. Part gloss part flat. We ended up second coating it. No net savings labor wise.

It is still better to use primer and paint as separate operations. Priming coats and seals your wall surfaces, as well as pointing out defects that get covered by sanding so you can fix them before putting down you final color.

I am still a Fanboy of BEHR Paint, just not the primer/sealer paint.

Here is our closet with the shelves installed and painted.


Flat Screen TV Install Episode 3 Pantry Side

Having finished the viewing side and mounted the TV,
It is time to check the progress on the pantry side.

After removing the box that held the old TV, we sorted out the wiring. We also saw a bit of history. This area was originally a pantry that was about 8 feet wide. It was shortened to install a built in large side by side reefer/freezer during a previous kitchen remodel. It was further shortened with the arrival of the projection TV.
The various colors display the history of shelving.

One of the things we are trying to do is to recover the maximum amount of space. One of these areas in behind the built in reefer.
This was the access for the back of the reefer.
There is a good bit of space behind this wall. First up was to open up this wall to access the area for storing the 16 folding chairs and 4 folding tables that used to be in the main closet. Trust me it was packed.
One of the requirements was shelves that were at least 14” wide and 21 inches high for a series of serving dishes. They could be higher as these are not everyday dishes.
Hollow core doors to the rescue. We bought a 30” bifold door, and remodeled it to provide the shelves we needed.  Basically we cut the door into two pieces, and joined them together to form our shelves.  We installed 1/2” cleats around the perimeter to hold the shelves in place.
Here is a detail.
We only needed to add 5/8” to the end of the doors for a perfect fit.
Hollow core doors are not for heavy shelving applications. But there are many places where you need wider than normal shelving and these are a cheap alternative to manfacturing shelving in odd spaces. Occasionally you can find them in the clearance bins at the big box stores due to a surface defect that will not hurt their lives as shelving.

Flat Screen TV Install Episode 2

One of the objectives is to de-clutter the viewing area for the new flat screen. Behind the old TV was this.
Cables everwhere
Here is the rats nest of old cable, new cable, surround sound cables, connectors for the old vcr and splitters.

After demoing the box on the closet side, I reused the lumber to create the new wall on this side. I used the bracket to locate the 2- 2 1/2” holes for the various cables to pass through. The new TV has the connectors on the right, but in the case they replace this TV they have the ability to hide the cables regardless of which side the TV connects.

I may have mentioned before that remodeling is never as easy as the plan. You know, demo the closet, build a wall, mount the TV, build some shelves. Well the demo brought up a surprise with the outlet that had been supplying power to the old TV. There was a standard piece of 12/2 romex as expected for the end of a circuit. There was also a piece of 12/3 romex that terminated in the box. Somebody had wired 1/2 of the plug on one circuit and the other half was a different circuit, both fed from the same breaker.

But Wait! There’s More! Not only were there two circuits in this box, but the outlets, lights and fans in the viewing room were also on the same circuit. This led to computers eating power supplies, fans shutting down computers and other interesting effects.
Code? Code is not even in the same county!
A call to Joe the Electrician brought him out to straighten out this mess. We now have a dedicated circuit for the computers, a separate lighting and fan circuit, and a circuit for the TV.
We are moving on.

Chinese Drywall Hazards Update

A  report posted on the National Association of Home Builders website is noting that a preliminary multi agency investigation is inclusive. That posting is here.
Early Findings Inconclusive on Chinese Drywall Hazards
The original government reports are available here Most of them are in PDF.

This is not the end of the issue or the investigations. You should note that the NAHB is a industry funded group, funded by a lot of the home builders that built these houses. Outside of the continuing investigations the importation of Chinese Drywall has stopped.

In a drywall related matter, I noticed that the local Lowes stores have discounted the Denswall paperless drywall. This stuff was supposed to mitigate mold problems. I don’t know either way. But it does require a different group of materials for finishing. I am sure that part of the lack of adoption was price, as it is significantly more expensive than standard drywall, even at closeout pricing.

Flat Screen TV Install Episode 1

We are updating a client’s TV viewing. We are sending the projection screen TV packing and installing a new Visio 55” TruLED on a wall mount. Here is the old TV in its garage. This is as sharp as it gets.


This is not a simple pull the plug, hang a bracket, mount the TV and go. It never is. This TV is mounted into the wall which made the pantry smaller.  Here is a diagram of the current pantry.


Here is the pantry with the back of the TV garage. We will eliminate the box, install a shelf for the channel box , dvd player and other toys.

The right side of the pantry has a small opening to get into the area behind the built in refer/freezer. Going to open that up and make that space a useful member of this household.


Yes there are a lot of things that have to happen before we hang the TV on the wall. Remodeling is like that.

Moving from Typepad 3

Finally got all the photos to show up. The problem is when using paid typepad to upload photos, it clones them, making two photos with different names then calls both of them when you insert it into a posting, effectively doubling the bandwidth overhead.

Consider this image.
When I uploaded it, it was named 42inches.jpg.
when typepad inserted it, it was renamed and it changed it into two images,
I don’t even want to think about how much space the names take up. It used an A anchor tag for the first one (an anchor tag is what is used most often for links) and the second uses an  img tag which is what it is for.
If you have a lot of photos, your bandwidth bill skyrockets.

Don’t even get me started on the quantserve 1 pixel gif tracking.
It is still an ugly mess in the code. I have to rebuild my various guides, but hey everybody knows we should have built the second prototype first.

And despite the image problems, which is a typepad problem, self hosted WordPress is a great blog platform.

Yep. typepad can kiss my furry Swedish ass.