Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Brake Pad says what!

 The brake pads on the van were making a lovely grinding sound, so I ordered up some new ones.  I decided not to replace the rotors since we are planning to purchase a new van sometime in the not too distant future.

I always have to re-remember how to do it and watch a video but it went pretty well.  Nick helped out on the second one.  Van seems to still stop and the grinding is gone, so success!


It is pretty amazing how much of the pads we used, probably should have gotten to it earlier, but the grinding has only been going on for a week or so.  Not sure why 1 pad still had more wear left on it.


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Cabin Weekend

 We came back from the cabin last night, we put all the lifts and boats in and I was able to finish up the bathroom project.  Hinges on cabinets are hard...  Especially when retrofitting.  We used Discovery+ instead of the dish while we were up there.  We just need to figure out how to get the local channels and Jo could cancel her dish network.



Monday, May 24, 2021

Hot Day, Put up the Pool!

I put the pool up on Saturday (by myself! no mean task).  Then we filled the pool Saturday and Sunday.  It actually filled up pretty fast in my opinion.  We probably just let it fill longer than in the past (we like to give the well pump breaks).  Then today we went out and picked up the sand and muriatic acid.

It is just starting to take on that brown color, tomorrow morning it will look really disgusting.  But in a week or so it will hopefully be crystal clear.  Chemistry it amazing!



Sunday, May 23, 2021

Nicks Birthday Computer

 All Nick wanted for his birthday was a new computer.  Since the newest computer in our house is from 2013 I think it is probably time.  He is doing some amazing things on there and it would help him out to have a little more power.

Luckily Jen cousin was around to lend a hand, since I haven't built a computer in a long time.  Still pretty much the same, but reassuring to have more eyes on the process.

Everything went well and Nick is happy with the new blazing performance.  No GPU's to be had at this time, so we had to go with integrated graphics for now.  But still a massive upgrade!




Saturday, May 15, 2021

A Water Softener for the house

 We have been in our house for 12 years now.  We really like our water, but we get a build up of calcium around the faucets and on the showers.  We also occasionally get some iron in our water, and when you open up the pipes it is very evident that some iron settles in there.  So we thought we would give a softener a try and see what happens.

The installation when pretty smooth, just followed the directions.  I also had to replumb the kitchen sink, since that line came from the left side of where the softener was going.  You can see the new 1/2 line going up right after the softened water comes out.


We also installed the shut off valve on the left there so I had to cut into that line as well since I wanted the shutoff to be upstream of the outside faucets.


The drains from the softener I wanted to keep out of the way, so I join them with the 3/4 inch pvc and run them to the drain (it is the same material as from the furnace).

We have had it running for about a week now and we are pretty pleased with it.  The phone app seems to work pretty well, though it is pretty spartan.  I wish you could see more history on it.  Dishes seem easier to clean and the taste isn't too bad, but we are going to get a RO system which my wife has wanted for a long time.


Friday, May 14, 2021

Mulch for the back garden

Thursday and Friday we spent tilling and putting down mulch in the back garden area.  It really cleaned it up!  It looks so nice now.

It took 2 loads in the trailer (1 yard) for $47 a load.  We were able to get it from the place just up the road, which was the first time we have used them.  They were very helpful.





 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Cabin Bathroom Remodel ++

 On Sunday we finished most of the remove work.  The floor is done (except for some final caulking), the sink is in (except for the water lines, since the ones I had were too short), the toilet is working, still need to finish the cabinet door, and the electric heat is back up (after a little tingle, I really wish all electricity came through the switch first).

We reused the medicine cabinet, but I did something pretty cool.  I opened up the wall and recessed it.  This will give us a little more head space above the sink.  We all took the opportunity to sign the back of the wall of course.

Fortunately, the drywall behind there is covered in paneling as some of the nails pulled through when I cut out the stud.  Overall I am pretty happy with how it turned out.  We are excited to get back up and finish off the few final remaining parts of it and get to work on the next project!





Sunday, April 18, 2021

Cabin Bathroom Remodel +

 Now that the demo is done, Jen started painting the walls.  We went with a darker color which was controversal, but it turned out really sharp.  The drywall had been up for a long time and soaked up a lot of paint, which made the first coat challenging.  But once the first one was up the second went quicker.


While Jen worked on that I tried the old spray painter that Greg had in the basement.  It didn't work as well as I had hoped.  Paint came out and covered the wall, but it kind of made a mess too.


Once that was done I worked on building some shelves for the room as well.  Since we don't know what we want to do with the floor yet and I want to keep as much off the floor as possible I went with a hanging design.  I used old wood that had been shelves in other parts of the basement that we had taken done.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Cabin Bathroom Remodel

 The bathroom at the cabin is in bad need of a redo.  Greg had purchased a new toilet 2 years ago, but we never got around to installing it.  Since Jen and I had appointments for our COVID shot in Brainerd last week we went up early and spent the week working on it.  Here is the before:

It wouldn't have been so bad, but the toilet had a condensation problem and the floor around it was in pretty bad shape.  First we had to pull the baseboard tile off the wall.  It was attached with glue, so it was a combination of prying and using the oscillating tool.  There were some cracked wall tiles, which we were trying to preserve, but they were below where the new tiles would cover so we were OK.

Then we started pulling up the linoleum around the toilet and found that it was glued down plus the floor was in bad shape.


Luckily there is a subfloor that is in pretty good shape, so we started pulling up the floor which took most of a day.


That oscillating tool was the hero of the project for sure!  I used it and the circular saw to cut through the floor and pull it out in chunks.  



Friday, April 2, 2021

Why women keep men around!

This is fine.


Update:

My daughter continued to claim the drain was slow, so I attempted to same maneuver again.  Lo and behold there was at least an equal amount of hair further down in the drain again.  Happy to say it is flowing well now.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

3D Printer Fun

 We recently got back from a trip to Colorado and Arizona.  Before we left I challenged Nick to design a robot dog for Maddie.  I said that I would get them a 3d printer once his design was complete.  Well he whiped out a design in a couple days and we decided to wait till we got back to buy one.

Of course the second we got back they wanted to get it, and we didn't have anything to do so we drove over to Microcenter and picked up a Ender 3D Pro, which Nick had scoped out and I reviewed.  It was very affordable and seemed to be highly regarded.

We put it together this morning in about a hour and a half.  It went together pretty easily and once the bed was leveled it has been happily printing away for awhile now.

Hoping we can get a lot of good use out of it!






Friday, February 12, 2021

Keyboard Replacement

Recently my Father-in-Law passed away.  My Mother-in-Law doesn't have a use for his old computer, so we thought Maddie could use it.  The issue is that the keyboard is in pretty bad shape, some of the keys don't work well and the W key is missing entirly.  So I thought it would be a good time to get Maddie to help me replace the keyboard.  It is pretty amazing how easy it is to purchase a keyboard and install it.  How many computer have gone to the dump because people didn't think to replace it.

The laptop is a Dell Latitude E7450, so we ordered this keyboard from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3aWwKVo

Maddie and I worked together to pull the old one off and install the new one.  Here is a link to the you tube video we followed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQE-1jy1eB4

The only tricky thing is the that cables on the new keyboard seemed a little long, but we just pushed the battery down on them and it is working well, so they must slide around a little.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Recumbent Bike Build

 My in-laws are trying to get a bit healthier this year and purchased a bike to with that.  We went up to help them get it out of their trunk and put together.  The thing is a beast, the box says it weighted in at 163 pounds and I believe it.  Jen and I were able to muscle it into the house, then Nick and I were able to work through the 4 steps to put it together.

It went together pretty easily and seem like a sturdy bike.  They purchased it locally, but it is a Spirit XBR55 Recumbent Bike.  They found it for $1350, about 1500 after tax.  We saved them $150 by putting it together for them.

Now the key is for them to use it.  Lets hope so!




Friday, January 8, 2021

A little organization comes into the world

 I forgot to take a before, but the cables coming into the box were long and coiled all over.  The panel was a mess.  I had to go in there to hook up the Ubiquiti router that I recently got to resolve some wifi problems we were having with our home school and work situation.

Once I got in there I realized the panel was a mess, so I went and ordered a little patch panel to help organize it.  At first I wasn't sure how to patch the wires in, but after reviewing the direction I figured it out.  Just match the colors, even though they are not in order.  It is the A style so hopefully that works with your setup, luckily it did for me.

I want to order some of the little black clips so I can attach some of the other things in there a bit better.

The Ubiquiti router I got is working a bit better.  I don't love the app interface that I have had to use though, it is very restricted.


Here is the little patch panel I ordered:



Replacing an Arc Fault Breaker

This is the view I like to see of my circuit panel, all buttoned up and happy.  However, for the last couple weeks one of our arc fault breakers has been tripping quite a bit.  Probably once a day or so.  The kids computers are on this breaker so needless to say it is quite inconvient.

It sounds like breakers do need to be replaced sometimes, so I thought I would just replace the breaker.  Turns out it is a little challenging to find the right breaker.  They don't make it the easiest.  But I was able to find a suitable replacmeent at Menards ($36, ugh so much more than regular breakers) and was able to pick it up on the bag sale, which was nice.

It always feels dicey to me to put my hand in the panel, but I was able to get the old one out and put in the new one.  Didn't realize for an arc fault you need to attach it to the neutral bar, as well as the neutral line for the circuit.

So we will see what happens now, I am hoping to not have to deal with it anymore.  Or at least for another 10 years.

We have not had any issues in the last 10 days, so that is a definite improvement.