Monthly Archives: June 2014

in the interim

While I’m waiting for the stars to align for the completion of the electrical work, I am compiling a list of other things I could very well be doing to further the container project.

This is a list for my own benefit. You won’t be interested. Though if you are, feel free to add your suggestions in the comments.



– build the closet
– build the sink cabinet
– clear the sod and lay down gravel for patio area
– finish installing and trimming the window
– trim the doors
– put up ceiling beams
– buy the track for bed loft lights
– find interesting hooks for coats and backpacks
– make a cat door
– build storage shelves
– reinstall door molding (vertical strip)
– install door weatherstripping and sweeps
– reinstall threshold strips to accommodate vertical brass slide bolts
– design kitchen area shelves to fit mason jars, spices and dishes
– choose curtain rods and hardware
– touch up enamel on the Poang chair

Anything I’m forgetting?

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Lights

I saw a light fixture that was absolutely stunning. I found it – where else? – on the Earthwise website. Look at this gem:

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 10.51.32 PM

But, alas, by the time I got to the store, it had been purchased. It was a steal, too.

Then, as so often happens when urban spelunking at Earthwise, I saw something that was different, but at least just as good. Two low-voltage glass pendant lamps. Squee! Only $20 apiece. Then my friend Josepha found the two small track lights with glass shades for $5 each, and a spectacularly harmonious asthetic was born.

lights

Add to that the bullet spots I bought a while back, and the whole thing comes together.

lighting - Version 2

Now the lighting scheme is: the two glass pendants in the main living area, one bullet spot as a porch light and the other above the sink, and the two small track lights in the sleeping loft. It’s gonna be cool.


Research topic: Solo Carpentry

Abstract: We studied the effects of solo carpentry on our population (n=1, on a good day) as the subject attempted to frame an interior wall and install a window by herself. It appeared that inventive solutions, YouTube consultation, prior construction experience, and use of various linguistic forms (profanity, whimpering, et. al.) were all used by the subject to achieve desired post-build results. In one instance, subject was able to abandon a sub-task when success was clearly not achievable, though generally tolerance for frustration was fairly high, considering. Subject was able to finish the task in just under 6 hours, time which encompasses all building sub-tasks, and 44 miles of driving distributed over two hardware-store forays.


I could say things went “wrong”, but really, in the end, I was able to get a decent looking, fairly square window frame. By “wrong” I mean “in an untoward and painful fashion, requiring several do-overs and the offending of my ‘git-r-done’ mentality. I reigned it in and took the right steps and the right amount of time to do the work correctly.

Our little girl is growing up!

I woke up early and got to work early. Around 8am, I was out in the can getting tools ready and surveying the situation. I spent ten minutes searching for the caulking gun. It didn’t have enough goop in it, so I had to go to Mountain Lumber (16 miles r/t) for Lexel. This stuff is the tits when it comes to caulk/adhesive. Once you use it, you’d better assume your item is not moving without the use of demolition tactics. You think I’m kidding. I’m not.

I cleaned off the window frame and slathered it with a nice bead of Lexel. The window went in like buttah. I pressed it firmly into the frame and then went to get the drill. And watched the window fall four feet to the garden below. Without breaking.

I swore up and down at my stupidity in thinking the window would stay put, and at the window for not staying put. “I’m alone, window! Who the fuck do you think is gonna hold onto you while I get the tools?!” Enter Mr. Helpful Tuba-For, which acted as a brace while I wrangled all players into place. Shimmed and trimmed and all that. I was ready to screw in the alleged sheet metal screws.

I broke four titanium bits, then found that the “sheet metal” screws weren’t tough enough to go through the COR-TEN steel until I drilled holes two sizes up (#6 screws, #10 hole).

Disappointed!

Disappointed!

Another trip, this time to Home Depot. Twenty-eight miles round trip plus going through a two-mile-long paving zone, doing 12 mph behind a pilot car. I was able to return the broken bits and to buy cobalt bits (and sponge brushes for eventual tent re-sealing, but that’s for later). When I got home I promptly broke the first of the three bits I had purchased, and since I had a decent number of screws holding in the top of the window, I threw up my hands and decided to frame instead.

Hit my thumb while framing. The Ridgid drill driver came down hard on my right thumb (see pic). It was truly and horrifically painful. I couldn’t cry but I wished I could. It took about an hour for the swelling to go down. Later on I might have to do the old lighter-and-paper clip thing.

It still hurts.

It still hurts.

After other farcical mishaps with the studs, cripples, and headers, I had a framed window.

Framed window

Framed window

Framed window

Framed window

Framed window

Framed window

Now it just needs foam sealant in the cracks. I’m excited to see what it will look like when I add trim and a 1” x 8” x 6’ window sill. It’s where I’ll put my knick knacks and my electronics and such, up in the bed loft. Maybe. I might just put tchotchkes. Or the tea service. Or THE ELECTRICAL SERVICE.

Electrical plan

Electrical plan


window, partly done

The new window came home today. Glen worked very hard with a hammer and crowbar, and was able to get the old window out. It was a very noisy affair!

Custom horizontal slider

Custom horizontal slider

container bug

container bug

my view from work

my view from work

Lexel is wicked strong stuff

Lexel is wicked strong stuff

All clean

All clean


far and fast

Over the weekend, I reaffirmed my friend’s Mike willingness to act as my electrical consultant. For the price of beer and pizza, he’s going to come over this Thursday to tell me how to wire up my container, and I’m going to do it. We’ll take stock of what I need to buy, then take a quick trip to Home Cheapo to acquire the supplies. I imagine three 24-oz bottles of various dark microbrews should suffice as fuel, to be accompanied by a LaGitana pizza (“voted best pizza in the Nisqually Valley” – duh!).

I have sketched out how many outlets, switches, fixture mounts and whatevs, and will email him a breakdown so he can start compiling a shopping list. SO EXCITED! Did I mention how much I love my light fixtures? The sconces are rescued from The Commencement and the metal spots are just really old and really cool.

Today I sent an email request for a quote on insulation. CleanSpace Northwest is sending someone out on THURSDAY, the same day Mike will be here. Serendipity much?

I picked up the new window from Home Cheapo today, and my task between 6pm and 9pm is to take out the old window and get this one in. That leaves tomorrow and Wednesday to finish framing around the window, making everything ready for Mike’s awesome visit on Thursday.

WOOT times ten!!

window


Working through it

Today was full of successes and progress.

I decided to move the TV to the long wall, thereby solving two problems: having enough space to store things above the sink, and avoiding watching TV from bed.

The stud wall, all 19 feet of it, is now fully framed. Note to solo carpenters: you gotta pilot drill those pups, or you’ll wind up backing out a bunch of screws, and getting overly frustrated. I learned this lesson early in the day, thankfully. Much gratitude to the quick-release clamps, as they were my second set of hands.

19' wall, framed

19′ wall, framed

The other long wall will be framed after I pick up the new (custom) Jeld-Wen window on Monday.

This wall is next

This wall is next



While framing, I knocked over a 2×4 that hit the french door. This could have been disastrous, but it hit the wooden cross bar and not one of the panes of glass. Not a big ding; sigh of relief. Then I realized that knocking things over was likely on occasion, and perhaps I needed to protect my laptop and cell phone. Hey, I watch movies and listen to podcasts while I work. No shame in that. I got clever after I knocked down the cheesy computer speakers for the umpteenth time. One of the benefits of metal walls.

Tired of knocking over the speakers

Tired of knocking over the speakers



I was really pleased to purchase two 12-volt rechargeable batteries for my Ridgid driver. The old ones had completely died a few years ago, and at that time the replacements were $99 each. I got these two for $69 online. Woot!

Two new batteries

Two new batteries



This week’s best find: lighting from Earthwise Architectural Salvage. If you aren’t familiar with this place, check them out. Locations in Tacoma (60th and McKinley) and Seattle (half a block north of 4th and Spokane). The spotlights are of unknown provenance, but the sconces are brand new, from The Commencement development on the Ruston waterfront. Neighbors complained that the lights were too bright. I’ll be using them indoors, so that’s not an issue. I love these lights!

Two sconces, two spotlights

Two sconces, two spotlights



And now, I’m off to ride motorcycles and — if I’m lucky — swim in Lake Cavanaugh.


Computer Voice: “Working . . . “

Container: working and not working. I need to put in the framing, but I keep putting it off, partly because I am afraid of the parts that come next (the wiring and the insulation). I have no confidence that I will figure out how to do the wiring. I hate to ask friends for help, because they do these things in their professional lives. Also, connecting the studs to the hollow beam near the ceiling was, I recall from previous work, a major pain in the ass. Even without the framing and insulation, I am able to use it for a project space. I like that.