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Thread: Adventures in DIY

  1. #1501
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I have a power strip in the back corner of each end of the bench. They fit well enough there that I don't feel the need to mount them. I have quite a collection hanging on the gray shelves and an even larger collection of extension cords on the other end. This is what happens when you consolidate two houses, plus two parents' houses, into one! So naturally I went out and bought the two new ones for the bench, because they were nice and white and had 90 degree plugs.
    Fair enough. I just find it easier with the strip mounted - it's a one-handed operation to unplug something.

    Good job on finishing it though! It obviously was needed!

  2. #1502
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    That's a good point. Perhaps I'll stick a screw or two into the bench where they are.

    This week I'll start on fixing up the old garage. The long-term plan is to convert the old shop and laundry room (from when it was attached to the former mobile home) into storage and build two new benches the size of the one in the new garage along the west wall, with space for some of the power tools. The first step, however, is going to be simply clearing out all the accumulation of stuff -- especially cardboard boxes, that is currently littering it. Then I can park my truck in there.
    Until a couple of months ago, I couldn't get the truck in anyway because of the presence of the trailer-mounted catapult. It's nominally a two-car garage, and we have indeed had two cars in it, but you couldn't open the doors one one of them, and had to kind of walk sideways to get between. But last week I disassembled the catapult for the first time in a few years, stowed the wooden bits in the shed, and leaned the little trailer against the retaining wall. Made me kind of sad.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  3. #1503
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    Looks good, Treb. I know what you mean by those grey shelves being limber. I have a 58" (147 cm) tall version of that for keeping shoes and other light items. I'm glad it's not any taller.

    I've been painting. A long time ago Brett suggested using Benjamin Moore's "Advance" line of paint for something I'd built, because it is so tough. The local store that sells this brand and from which I buy most of my paint recently changed hands and the new owner decided to briefly close while remodeling the store. That took almost two months (supply chains of course)! I like to buy from local stores, otherwise we'll lose them, so I waited and did other things. Anyway, I bought the paint and the requisite primer to finish the risers for my stairs. I had precut them from MDF to slightly larger than the finished size and had them all laid out on sawhorses. After the second coat had dried I marveled at how uniform and good the finish looks. I'm letting it harden a full five days before I install them. I also need to get my 80-tooth 10" finish blade sharpened before doing that. Using it to cut the laminate flooring really beat up the teeth.

    I'm also painting the many pieces of trim intended for the doors. That is tedious. But I'm looking forward to having it out of my garage.

  4. #1504
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    Not a huge DIY project but I decided to refinish the front door now instead of waiting five years past when it should have been done, as is my typical MO.

  5. #1505
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    Hmm. I put up some shelves, I made a workbench, I made a coat rack, I put up more shelves, I made another coat rack. I need another project.
    The obvious one is to get busy cleaning and fixing the old garage, but I'm having difficulty getting motivated for it. Perhaps you guys can help.

    This garage was originally attached to the mobile home, now gone, but was structurally independent so we were able to have the mobile removed and add a fourth wall to the garage. It's about 20x36 feet exterior dimension. Inside one end is divided into two separate rooms, the former laundry room and a workshop.
    My dream scheme has been to build a new workshop area along the new wall of the garage and dedicate the old shop and laundry to storage. The shop area would consist of two eight-foot benches, constructed much like the one in the new garage, and a space between for a sit-down disk. (I've got the desk; in fact I've had it 60 years!) Power tools which could get mounted to one of the benches would include the drill press, band saw, router table, and grinder. (None of these are large ones.) The chop saw has its own stand. The most used of these, by far, is the drill press. I'd also want to mount a vise.

    Any suggestions? How should I set things up? Make holes to mount whichever tool I'm using and store the others underneath? Maybe I can devise some sort of quick-change system.

    Note that at this time of year I SHOULD be frantically getting catapults ready to go. But I'm not.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  6. #1506
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    A nice dilemma to have. My initial thought is to concentrate on the table saw. Do you have the saw you want or will you be buying a new one? In either case, design the shop layout around the saw. My second thought is dust collection. Think about where the dust collector will be and how you'll use it. Will it be mobile (mine is but doesn't actually get moved much) or stationary. Third thought - and this one can be a project - you will want a medium duty bench with integral wood vises. Build one. I bought mine but it easily could have been built in my shop, I just had other things going on at the time.

  7. #1507
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    Don't have a table saw. I probably never will, because they terrify me! This is not going to be such a serious shop that I need serious dust collection. I may (or may not) just adapt the shop vac to the dust ports on various tools. No two of which are the same size, of course.

    I'm probably insufficiently skilled to do the integral vise but will look into it!

    The first stage of the project needs to be just clearing out all the mess down there. I'll also start to develop some plans and make an approximate bill of material so I can get quotes from the lumber places. Lumber is really expensive around here lately! That project in the upper garage was about $300!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #1508
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    In that case, you might consider a large central work table. Along with the vise-equipped bench which sits to the side, my shop is dominated by a 4 ft x 4 ft table topped with two 5/8" MDF panels (which are screwed in and can be replaced when they get too damaged). The table is higher than most - 37 inches - so I don't have to bend over as much. 90% of project work gets done on this table, which also has a shelf below the top for ready tool storage. If I had more room in the shop, I'd have built it with three 2x4 panels instead of two.

  9. #1509
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    It needs to be linear, I'm afraid, so that I can park my truck in there. Again, this is not all that serious a shop.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #1510
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    When I built the workbench at one end of my garage it ensured that I'd never be able to fit a full size, extended-cab pickup in there again. I've never thought of that as a problem!

    I've put up the door casing everywhere the new flooring has been installed. The last time I did this sort of thing I bought an air nailer and used my friend's compressor. That was six years ago. That compressor went to his son after he died, so I bought a new one.

    The next step is to finally install the new flooring on the stairs. But there is still some drywall compound and paint to apply where the drywall had been carved out to accommodate the previous stair nosing in yet another ill-conceived choice made by the original builder.

    A friend of mine sharpened my good 10" blade so I'm ready to start cutting the risers and laminate. Man, that laminate is hard on carbide! And when that's done I'll install the handrail I ordered in February, which was the seed for this entire renovation.

  11. #1511
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    My truck is only a compact one, 2005 Ford Ranger. I have no need or desire for a bigger one. I'm thinking of replacing both the truck and 2011 RAV4 with a newer, nicer truck. It just needs to have a six foot bed and two, not four doors.
    In the stuff I don't get department are enormous pickups with four doors and about a four foot bed.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  12. #1512
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    My truck is only a compact one, 2005 Ford Ranger. I have no need or desire for a bigger one. I'm thinking of replacing both the truck and 2011 RAV4 with a newer, nicer truck. It just needs to have a six foot bed and two, not four doors.
    Odd twist in the truck market in the last several years: they quit making single-cab light trucks; it's only crew-cab or extended-cab now, so the shortest cab you can get is the one they call "extended". (This made one less wheelbase & frame length for them to need to think about manufacturing.) And since then, even in full-size trucks, Toyota and Nissan have dropped the single cab entirely, and Chevy has made it available only with an extra-long bed (again presumably the same wheelbase & frame as another version with a shorter bed & longer cab). Only Ford is left still making single cabs with normal beds. And the new Silverados' extended cab with the half-size second doors has those doors attached at the front now instead of the back! Among Fords, a single-cab F-150 has slightly less length than an extended-cab Ranger (the shortest new Ranger that exists), but more height & width.

    If I'd been ordering my new truck made for me and had the choice, I would have gone for a single cab. But, now that I have one with an extended cab (with the extra half-doors attached the proper way, at the back, of course), and have been using it for about a year & a half, I actually like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    In the stuff I don't get department are enormous pickups with four doors and about a four foot bed.
    If I were paying for the back seats anyway, I'd get an SUV (and take out the back seats so more of the space under the roof is usable. But Chevy had an interesting solution with the Avalanche several years ago: the back seats and the walls & windows around them could be removed or somehow folded & tucked out of the way to make that part of the truck essentially a forward extension of the bed... or you could say it had a long bed in which you could enclose the front part of it and put seats there. I'm still a bit surprised that that hasn't caught on since then. With that conversion option, you're never stuck with just one or the other (long bed but no back seats, or back seats but not such a long bed). It's right up there with my PT Cruiser's completely removable rear seats as "things that I would have thought would be industry standards by now but have been abandoned instead".

    * * *

    I just got back inside from checking out my own truck's bed. I was planning to remove the liner so I could get started on the floor & sides of whatever I was going to build for myself, then bring that starting point inside to add to it slowly & gradually over the winter while also making up my mind about the final design. Then I found out that the liner isn't removable. I thought it was a drop-in, but it turns out to be some kind of hybrid of drop-in and spray-on: as thick and rigid and independently shaped as a drop-in liner but with spray-on-liner stuff under at least the edge areas to make it about as sticky as a fully spray-on liner. I'll need to detach the storage boxes and folding tonneau cover just get close enough look at all parts of the liner to see what I'd be getting myself into trying to get rid of it.

  13. #1513
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    I almost put this in the "amuses" thread.

    I've installed almost all of the ~95' (~29 m) of new baseboard to go with the new flooring. I pre-measured all the lengths and worked out how to cut them from the 14' lengths with the least waste.

    The 80:20 rule of thumb, wherein 20% of "something" requires 80% of the effort, 80% of the fish caught are by 20% of the fishers, and so on, also seems to apply to this task.

    The first half of the pieces (by length installed) seemed to take no time. But each of the numerous short pieces takes just as much time to measure and cut, and only slightly less time to install than the long pieces, and so I realized this is probably another example of this rule.

  14. #1514
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    Trebucet's rule of projects:
    The first 90% of the project takes 90% of the time.
    The last 10% of the project takes the other 90% of the time.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  15. #1515
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    Recognizable. I have made it very clear to my wife that when I say I'll finish a project, I WILL finish that project and she doesn't have to remind me every two years.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  16. #1516
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Trebucet's rule of projects:
    The first 90% of the project takes 90% of the time.
    The last 10% of the project takes the other 90% of the time.
    That reminds me of the 50/50/90 rule: if I have a 50% chance of being right, I'll be wrong 90% of the time.

  17. #1517
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    I'm contemplating building a TARDIS, full scale. I need a project.

    https://woodworkingformeremortals.co...ur-own-tardis/

  18. #1518
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    I'm contemplating building a TARDIS, full scale. I need a project.

    https://woodworkingformeremortals.co...ur-own-tardis/
    The interior materials are going to ruin you.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  19. #1519
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    The interior materials are going to ruin you.
    Hadn't considered that. I suppose I could get it barely functional and go back in time a few years to buy Amazon stock.

  20. #1520
    Here is the story so far. we have a tap in the bathtub that develops a drip the fix is pretty easy go get a cartridge and replace it. So yesterday I decided to replace because we already had the replacement. Well after trying the first it leaked as soon as I turned on the water, so turned the water off to house again and tried another on this one does not leak when the water is on in the house but now if we turn on either faucet it leaks behind the wall. Tried tighten the cold water faucet as much as I can but still doesn't work. And of course while trying to do this I got a call to work in the morning.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  21. #1521
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Here is the story so far. we have a tap in the bathtub that develops a drip the fix is pretty easy go get a cartridge and replace it. So yesterday I decided to replace because we already had the replacement. Well after trying the first it leaked as soon as I turned on the water, so turned the water off to house again and tried another on this one does not leak when the water is on in the house but now if we turn on either faucet it leaks behind the wall. Tried tighten the cold water faucet as much as I can but still doesn't work. And of course while trying to do this I got a call to work in the morning.
    My first rule of DIY plumbing is that I will not attempt anything that requires turning off the supply to the whole house.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  22. #1522
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    My first rule of DIY plumbing is that I will not attempt anything that requires turning off the supply to the whole house.
    I think I figured out what happened, I think I loosened some solder or something because there seems to a hole near a joint. The pipes were installed sometime in the early 80's by my grandfather, so looks like he fairly good job doing it since it lasted 40 years. But this either a brother in law thing to fix or a plumber, never learned to solder. Just my luck it happened when I tried to a fix and in the morning I have to go to sisters for a shower luckily it just around the corner from the were the auction is being setup.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  23. #1523
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    I think I figured out what happened, I think I loosened some solder or something because there seems to a hole near a joint. The pipes were installed sometime in the early 80's by my grandfather, so looks like he fairly good job doing it since it lasted 40 years. But this either a brother in law thing to fix or a plumber, never learned to solder. Just my luck it happened when I tried to a fix and in the morning I have to go to sisters for a shower luckily it just around the corner from the were the auction is being setup.
    Somewhat off-topic: In the Maritimes, do you say "sodder", as in the USA, or "Soul-dur", as in the UK?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  24. #1524
    More like the USA.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  25. #1525
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    My first rule of DIY plumbing is that I will not attempt anything that requires turning off the supply to the whole house.
    A very good argument for shutoff taps all over the place.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  26. #1526
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    Backroad Astronomer, I hope the plumbing goes well. I really don't enjoy doing plumbing repairs.

    Today I finally installed the handrails that I ordered back in February. It should have been a straightforward task, but turned into a major flooring renewal and painting project.

    The stair treads were completed last week. For several reasons that took a week to complete. First, the laminate is not wide enough to cover an entire tread. It's about 2 cm too narrow, but using the click joint would not have looked good and also been wasteful. I decided to rip the joint off the riser side of the large laminate piece and glue a narrow strip to it. So that was some precision cutting, gluing and clamping. The other reason is that I decided not to hold the pieces in place using brads, because I didn't want see any nail heads or holes and didn't want the hassle of trying to hide them. So after applying lots of glue and setting the pieces in place, I simply weighted them down for 24 hours with six boxes of laminate that mass about 90 kg. So, two treads per day.

    I tried to post about the stairs last week and include some pictures, but the BB software seems to think a 59 KB file is 2.85 GB, so no pics this time.

  27. #1527
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    Not sure if this is “do it yourself” or “kludge it yourself”.

    I replaced my sump pump backup battery with a new one. The old one took forever to change, and was of unknown age. It still mostly worked, and I didn’t want to send it to the recycling center just yet.

    Then I remembered I had a little-used LED “shop bench” lamp in my basement and an inexpensive inverter purchased on a lark several years ago.

    The combination makes a really nice light for my shed. It isn’t mission critical, so no problem using a questionable battery.

    I even added a standard wall switch to turn it on. I had to switch the low voltage side, or the inverter would slowly drain the battery. I found a 30 amp switch and suitable wire at my local big-box home center. I’m sure I’ve over engineered the wiring, but not sure if any NEC rules apply to 12 volt systems.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  28. #1528
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    I've endeavoured into the ancient art of font glyph hacking. Allow me a short explanation for the uninitiated:

    On computers and other digital apparatus, each text font is built up from small drawings, one drawing for each letter. Such a drawing is called a "glyph". On the oldest and/or most basic technology, each glyph gives you a tiny matrix of pixels (say, 12x18) and two colors (black/white), with the fancy ones having three: black/white/transparent. With the correct software, you can draw these glyphs to create your own font.

    Now what and why is font glyph hacking? Well, the computer doesn't care what your "a", "b", "c"... actually looks like, to the computer it's just a reference to a certain glyph. So you can replace their respective glyphs with any -tiny, black&white- graphic/icon that you need to display. For example, you can change the "a" glyph into a smiley face and every "a" on screen will be seen as a smiley face. That way, you can create visual graphics on systems that can in essence only display text.

    These hacks of course were done a lot for games, to allow for/extend the number of graphical elements on screen. But it's also very useful in more serious context, where eg you want to overlay a graphical interface over video using simple text overlay hardware. And that's what I've been doing this week (and last year as well). Trying to use that very precious pixel real estate to create some clear and attractive icons while not losing the letters and numbers that I still need. It's half engineering, half art. And the most ironic thing is that I'm doing this job on a 4K 32bit monitor...
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  29. #1529
    Tomorrow I will probably go to the hardware store and pickup an epoxy kit for fixing pipes we need it fixed soon. Maybe in the future I might teach myself how to solder but not right now.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  30. #1530
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    I'm about to take out my truck's bed liner. I've already taken off the tonneau cover and a pair of swing-out tool boxes to get to the liner, and popped out the caps on some holes in the liner that I don't know the purpose of.

    Try to find out how to do that online, and you'll find three kinds of methods for either of two kinds of liner:

    1. For a spray-on liner, soften it with a heat gun, and scrape it off with a plastic scraper.

    2. For a spray-on liner, soften it with a chemical solvent such as CitriStrip (active ingredient: citric acid), and scrape it off with a plastic scraper.

    3. For a drop-in liner, unhook & disconnect whatever doodads are holding it down at various attachment points, and lift it out, which is likely to involve pulling up on it so hard that it bends if it's tucked tightly into corners.

    So, of course, mine is neither spray-on nor drop-in. Or you could say it's both. Different parts of it are each type. I can see the spray-on effect on the tailgate and at least part of the edge of the liner at the front wall, but the front wall also has shape features that say "drop-in" to me, so it looks as if they used the spray-on stuff to glue a solid drop-in panel into place. The floor and sides have three separate solid drop-in-type panels, joined along two front-to-back seams just to the inside from the wheel wells, with each seam glued with a thick line of something that looks like tar. These are much thicker & sturdier than the drop-in liners that can be seen bending so easily in "how to remove a drop-in bedliner" videos; they make those look like hardly more than a film by comparison. The side panels actually have screw holes that were used to hold up the swing-out toolboxes I've already taken out. The central floor panel is corrugated and has air between it and the metal floor at the high points, and is not secured directly to the metal floor; I can pry it up just a bit with a crowbar. So it's held in place by the side panels, and I'm not sure how they're held in place. Their back ends, the ones that are exposed by opening the tailgate, have smooth rectangular edges like a solid panel, but they seem stuck to the metal like a spray-on liner, so maybe they're solid but glued. It's that way at the back of both the wall part and the floor part, but, along the sides of the bed, the liner panels don't touch the metal; I can hear the emptiness behind them when I knock them.

    On the bright side, this multi-panel construction must have been invented to make it possible to put in a solid drop-in-like liner that's so stiff & sturdy that it doesn't bend like a one-piece drop-in liner does, so I should need to only attack the edges & seams and then pull out whole panels at a time, rather than needing to try to bend this monstrosity like an all-drop-in liner or scrape off every square inch like with an all-spray-in liner. Unfortunately, it also means I have a few different substances to attack (spray-on parts for the tailgate & front wall, tar-like stuff in the joints along the floor, & whatever secures the back edges of the side panels), and the same methods might not work in each case.

    That tar-like stuff looks like it was applied hot, so it probably can be done with a heat gun. But I don't have a heat gun yet, so I'll start by trying the CitriStrip as soon as I have an opportunity to apply it & let it sit still for a bunch of hours, then see whether buying a heat gun is necessary.

    * * *

    BTW, why do they make screws that will only go into pre-drilled holes in sheet metal or sheet plastic pointy as if they were going to need to drill their own holes?
    Last edited by Delvo; 2021-Oct-06 at 07:43 AM.

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