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Old 02-20-2012, 12:42 PM   #361
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


My last day of working on the bookcase, I got the top/bottom pieces of the face frame nailed in and then cut the stiles to length. I knew it'd be a few more days before I could get back to sanding them, pre-staining, staining, and then the 3 coats of poly.

The alarm went off the next morning at 5, but I snooze nearly 45 minutes. When I got up, the carpenter was applying poly to the second stile. My mind reeled at what time he must have gotten up to sand all of those curves by hand, stain, and... ohhhh wait, that's the color it should be. It took a good 30 seconds to set it, but then I realized there wasn't any stain on these pieces. A couple rounds of expletives followed from each of us. While I was at work, he sanded the poly back off meticulously, then pre-stained and stained. He felt terrible about the whole thing, but I knew he'd only been trying to help and that I had the option to start over on them if they didn't turn out well enough.

Unfortunately, when he sanded the two stiles, he sanded only those two stiles. So when he stained all four, two came out glass smooth and two came out closer to raw. In some woods, that might not be a big deal, but in cherry, it's a huge difference in color (smooth sanded stains lighter), grain pattern (smooth sanded stains with a very subtle grain) and color pattern (smooth sanded stains very evenly colored). We spent the evening applying stain to one, then others, to try to get the colors to match. In the end, they don't match perfectly and the texture is different between them. I could start over on the pieces, but that would put me another week behind and use up that much more 10 year old air-dried wide cherry. I don't see myself doing that. I'll call it character.

Here's one of the not-so-sanded fronts, now finished under three coats of poly. All of the backsides now have their stain drying. You'll hopefully see them all installed together tomorrow.



And a small correction... on the last frame image, I said that it was drying its second coat... but it was still on its first. Here's the color after the third coat, no stain used at all (still need to touch up a few spots):


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Old 02-21-2012, 10:33 AM   #362
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Installed the front pieces with one nail each so I could measure some things. Cut down, plumbed and scribed the side pieces. Here they are just before being sanded down.



Backside went 80-120-180, front and side went 80-120-180-220. Pre-stained and stained all three sides last night. Poly starts this morning.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:42 AM   #363
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Poly done on the scribed stiles. One coat on the back, four on the edge, and three on the front. They'll be hung this morning. Measurements have been taken for the face frame for the cabs and drawers. I didn't plan a dust shelf into the cab section, so under-mount BluMotion slides might be out of the question. We'll have to see.

My MonoPrice order arrive with the home theater stuff I ordered. Banana plugs and pin plugs at Fry's were retardedly expensive... $20 for two pairs. I paid on the order of $1.40 per pair (36 pairs). Same for wall plates... $60+ for the 2-gang 7.1, I paid $15.30 for the 3-gang 8.2 model.



I removed the two mono ports that shipped with it for two subs and replaced them with banana plug keystones from a spare jack (an extra $1.90 or so), since my sub requires both leads. That's an atypical setup, so I kept the mono jacks just in case some day I need them. Here's what it looked like before... note the dead center, where it says "subwoofers".



Also picked up 100' of in-wall CL2 sheathed 12g wire and 50' of the standard oxygen-free 12g variety. That should be enough to run the 5.1 for now, and I can pick up more later if/when I install the rest of the wall plates.



Cut all of the wall plates areas out of the drywall and installed low-voltage brackets. This one is the main 3-gang, directly below the TV mount.



And here's a mock-up of what the finished product will look like at each wall plate. Note that it's not actually connected in the attic/walls yet. I also am still on the lookout for clear heat shrink tubing (don't want to cover up all that pretty brass!).



Wish I'd gotten more done, but by the time I squeezed an hour of volunteering in and donated blood, the day was pretty well spent and I was having trouble keeping my arm above my should for more than a minute.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:03 PM   #364
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Do you get better connecticity using the gold plated speaker adapters instead of simply inserting the speaker wire into the back of the speakers?
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:09 PM   #365
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I suppose it depends what you mean by connectivity.

If you meant does it provide a higher quality signal over using bare wire, then no, they will not do that. I believe they're gold-plated copper, btw. Gold is almost always only for the look when it comes to cables.

However, they do greatly simplify plugging and unplugging. I like to take my speakers down to clean them. Had one fall off the mount while cleaning it once -- never again. It also provides a break-away points at either end of the cable in case of a cord snag so that it doesn't injure sombody, damage your equipment, or both.

The difference in signal increase I'll get is from upsizing the speaker wire. I can't find any specs on the home theater the existing wires came with, but I suspect they're 18 awg at most. They're also silver in color, which probably means they're not copper, and I don't think I paid enough for real silver cable... though I'm admittedly not a stereophile.

Moving to 16 awg was probably a good idea, and I may have noticed a difference at 14 awg. I'm not positive that I'll ever have a good enough system to notice the 12 awg difference, but then again, for a few dollars more, I know I won't have to upsize again in the foreseeable future.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:10 AM   #366
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On Friday, we had to pick up an important document from 90 minutes away, tried to do some shopping, and came back. Stopped at Grainger, Home Depot, Lowe's, and Harbor Freight looking for clear heat shrink tubing -- all of them carry at least black, but none of them stock clear. Harbor Freight actually had the best selection in colored rolls and diameters. Didn't compare prices, but I'm pretty sure they're close to the bottom. Also tried to find another gallon of polyurethane, but the two stores I called that we were going to drive past didn't have it -- one claimed it was a special order item and the other claimed that the county they're in prevents them from stocking it. I call BS... it's water-based ffs!

Came home, cooked lunch, and ran all the in-wall wiring for the home theater with the CL2 cabling. For the rear sections, we ran it up and cable stapled it along the rafters to avoid crossing any Romex and inducing major hum in the lines. I know where the Romex I put in up there is, but there's other rats nests that I haven't fully traced yet. Also installed all the banana plugs on the in-wall cables, connected and installed the face places.

Yesterday, I made all twelve of the cables that will be visible with the oxygen-free wire (six from the speakers to their individual wall plates, six from the stereo to the main wall plate). That puts me at 36 pairs of banana plugs installed (some multiple times because I had to remake the cables) with some very sore fingertips from all the copper stabs.







Since I don't have the heat shrink tubing yet, I preventing them from shorting on each other by separating them with pieces of cardboard taken from a Ritz cracker box and some Scotch tape. Ghetto, but effective.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:12 AM   #367
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Also did some cable management with the TV mount. None of these cables are seen from the front anymore.



The finished result, which could still use some power cable management.



Not an anime fan; that just happened to be scrolling past on the front page of Hulu when I took the picture.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:37 AM   #368
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Painted up 16' of chair rail and 70' of door casing last night. Hope to get a few missing pieces finally cut and nailed today.



We'll see how much of the spackle / sand / paint routine I can put up with today.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:34 AM   #369
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What do you think of the speaker mounts? I assume they are from monoprice as they look the same as the ones I just received from them. I didn't get a chance to install them on the weekend but they seem pretty sturdy especially for the price.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:46 AM   #370
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They feel rather flimsy to me. I wasn't expecting too much for the price, but I have a hard time trusting them. They'll be fine unless an earthquake hits or we have kids over or something.

I'd much rather they were metal, but you get what you pay for.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:03 AM   #371
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Only got a couple pieces of trim done before I was ran out of patience for it.

Finished the wall in the dining room around the big window and completed the piece for the door at the end of the hallway.



The piece of the floor is to be attached with adhesive to the side of the cabs.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:14 PM   #372
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Yeesh, no updates in over a week. My bad. :\

Lets see... there was plenty of time spent at work, but some of the time I had off, I spent enjoying the surround sound again. Movies cranked up, TV shows I could actually hear crisply, Rocksmith cranked way up...

Went to go do some more caulking yesterday, got one tube done (messy stuff!), then went to fetch the other two tubes I'd just bought, and realized they were clear (instead of Brilliant White). Ugh. No reason to show that picture.

Also bought and then spent half a day installing a CISS for my printer. I was going to just keep buying cheap Chinese remanufactured cartridges for ~$1.25/ea and recycle them at Staples for $2/ea, but on my second and third orders, I got some cartridges that weren't filled properly with crummy ink, causing my print heads to try to dry up on me. On this machine, that would mean the death of the printer because they bury the printheads so deep that you can't get in there to remove/clean them without specialty tools. Anyhow, here we are, having performed about 10 head cleanings to flush out the nasty ink and re-moisten the heads, then 250 pages of black.



Not so much Home Improvement; close to LifeHacking, but still DIY.
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:17 PM   #373
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Wanted to do some volunteer work, but without finding anything I liked, I started on my own project. Still have to decide which charity I want to donate this to or auction it off for. Wounded Warrior Project comes to mind, as does Fisher House.


One hour in: mostly research, sanding, gluing pattern on, drilling pilot holes. (not including the two hours looking for the pattern)


Two hours in: Getting the feel for it again, not liking what I've done so far, starting over!


Three hours in: Feeling like this one looks better, but still not liking the blade I have on here for this project. Doesn't track well, then I noticed it's been cutting diagonally. Trashing this one too. Will try with thinner stock (13/16" is just too thick in hard maple!), better blades and more practice today.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #374
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I'm completely lost with your last 2 posts? What is a CISS for a printer? What are you building? What is the new project? Sorry man you lost me. dorf dude.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:01 AM   #375
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shumakerscott View Post
I'm completely lost with your last 2 posts? What is a CISS for a printer? What are you building? What is the new project? Sorry man you lost me. dorf dude.
Hey, that's fine. I assumed some things there, and that's my fault.

A CISS is a Constant Ink Supply System. Essentially, it's a set of ink cartridges you place in your printer and a set of ink tanks that sit on the desk, connected to each other by tubing. You fill the cartridges and tanks, bleed the air from the tubing, and prime the print heads on the printer so everything has ink and there's no air in the system. The idea is that as you print, it creates a small amount of suction that draws in from the tanks to keep the cartridges topped off at all times. Once it's set you, up stop buying cartridges and buy ink by the pint or even quart for less than the cost of even one cartridge and just top off the tanks every one in a while.

As for the scrolling, essentially I I was trying to make a piece of art ton donate to a veteran's charity or try to auction for charity. It's a first attempt, so it's not perfect. You didn't get to see the pattern yet, because it's not finished.

Or wasn't...

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