Monday, September 19, 2016

Expanding Storage

Awhile ago, I had put in a platform over my work bench in the garage to store "stuff".  It was about 6 feet by 4 feet and stored our lawn chairs, old pipe, tennis racks and such.  Well, we needed it to hold more.  So now it is 6 feet by 10 feet :)  The kids think it will make a great play space now.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Garage Door Springs, time to replace


Well, the house is 7 and a half years old now so it was bound to happen.  I had actually been thinking about picking up a couple replacement springs a couple weeks ago.  Jen had went to pick the kids up from the bus stop after school, when they got back from the bus stop and tried to open the door it would only open about a foot.

So they ended up sitting on the porch reading books till I got home from work (Jen had left her cell phone and there is no way to get into the house short of breaking a window...)  Once I got home we got into the garage through the other door and were able to check out the damage.
Sure enough the spring on the left was in 2 pieces.  The one on the right was still in one piece, but I thought it might be broken as well.  I started to loosen the set screws on the springs and drums so I could take off the springs.  I didn't let the tension out of the right one and I should have, because once it loosened up it released quickly.

Off the Menards to pick up some springs, I took the old one to compare and finally found one that matched fairly well and picked up a Left and Right wound spring.  $80 for the pair plus $10 for a set of steel bars to wind them (I had a pair but could only find one of them, of course I found the other one the next day).
Once I had the springs it took about 30 minutes to put them up.  The door even sounds better then before, I am not sure they were wound as tight as they should have been.  The lefthand / righthand winding confused me for a minute, till I looked at the directions and saw that the lefthand winding goes on the right side of the garage as you look out.  Then that was easy.

Working on torsion springs is a little nerve racking, but that is a good thing they can be dangerous.  But if you are careful and take your time, I don't see why it isn't a DIY project.

8 years ago I hired someone to come fix springs at our old house, I will do everything to avoid that again.



Monday, January 4, 2016

New Bed

Final Product.
Cost for parts:

1 - 1/2 inch 4x8 sheet MDF: $50
5 - 2x6x8': $16
1 - 4x4x8: $9
3 - 2x4x6': $5
4 - 2x4x8': $9
8 - 2x4 Joist Hanger: $6

Hardware: $9 (screws, bolts, nuts, washers)

Total: ~ $104

I also had to buy and long drill bit (5/16") for $5.


Design.
I started with a design I sketched out on paper, a simple design that fit the size of our new bed.  I ended up with what my wife calls a "chunky" design, but that she likes.


The design is based around 4x4 legs, with 2x4 and 2x6 "ledges" for the frame to rest on, that makes it easier to bolt the legs on since you don't have to hold them up as well.  Giving it considerable girth.

The legs were glued and clamped, so that they don't have screw holes.
Leg Pieces.

Frame built in garage.
 It breaks apart as well so we could get it up the stairs, then it is held together with 16 bolts.
Disassembled.

Maddie putting it together.

Kids having fun under it.





Friday, December 18, 2015

New Shades

Last Christmas my folks gave us some money to purchase shades for our windows, we finally got around to spending some of that money.  We purchased shades for our basement and bedroom, because Menards was having a 51% off sale on Levolor shades.

If you haven't noticed shades are stupid expensive, so we were pretty happy to find these at a decent price.  The only issue is that the middle window is 5 feet wide, so there is quite a bit of weight on the strings.  They have worked fine, but I worry about that a bit.

We ordered 5 shades at 36" wide (60" tall I think) and 2 at 60" wide.  We wish we had ordered for the middle floor as well, since they are working pretty well.  We paid $61 for the 3 footers and just under $100 for the 5 footers, $539.62 all together.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Does this make it a Finished Basement?


I had purchased a ceiling fan for the basement some time ago when it must have been on a good sale.  We have been wiring plugs and some recessed lights in the basement when Nick comes across the ceiling fan.  He wants to put it up, so I say maybe tomorrow we need a bracket for it.

I picked up the bracket on the way home from work and we put that up.  We get the fan out and realize that we can't just mount it to the bracket it needs some drywall up as well.  Nick convinces me to put up a piece of drywall so we can proceed.
Nick did some wiring, Maddie put in the light bulbs and away we went.  We also had to buy a fan controller (light switch), we found one that will just control the fan, however they also had one that will control the fan and the light from the same switch with a dimmer for the light as well.  It was $25 vs $22 for the other.  So this way we can also put a switch in for the hall light as well. :)  A 3-way switch no less.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Creating an Arduino Etch A-Sketch

I ordered some Rotary Encoders for another project and thought I would put together a simple Etch A-Sketch Arduino.  Then I programmed a simple viewer in Processing.  It is really rough, but it works.

Github



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Attic Ladder

I purchased an attic ladder for our garage shortly after we built our house.  It has been garage decor since that time.  I finally had a feel weekend a month ago and we decided to put it in.  It actually went in fairly easily, but it does take two people.

You need an opening in your ceiling, then headers on either side of the opening.  The ladder is designed to fit between trusses 24 inches on center.  Then you put up some temporary boards to rest the ladder on.  Finally you secure the ladder, then test the length of the ladder.

Unfortunately, the ladder we purchased was a bit too short, so in order to use it safely you have to put a 4x4 under the end of the stairs.