Monday, March 30, 2009

My Most Eggciting Project Yet!!!

Where do you get an egg holder with a 90 egg capacity? Not in your refrigerator for sure!!!

This is in response to Lynda's need to display eggs that her staff will be decorating for an Easter competition. As with everything that we do, we decided to stretch the limits on this project and made the biggest egg stand that the shelving cabinets could accommodate.

It measures 90 inches long, has three steps and is affixed with labels for the participants names to be written.

I would've liked it to be in a darker stain, but keeping with the theme of Easter and freshness, I decided to apply a clear varnish instead.

I constructed this from pine boards using 3 pcs. of 1x4x8', 2 pcs. of 1x2x8' and 2 pcs. of 1x2x6' as risers. I used a 1.25" Forstner bit to bore the holes which are 3" apart. The 3" came from the label size and worked in my favour as 90" was equally divisible by 3"

I assembled the unit using screws and completed the entire task along with the sanding, the 3 coats of varnish and the sanding between coats in two days. It took me two and a half hours to affix the individual labels in a perfect line - a task I completed by midnight last night.

Drilling the holes outdoors with the Forstner Bit


Varnished & Labelled

Close-up showing details

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One Flu Over

Well it looks like whatever I had last week - has gone. Not sure if it was the Flu - no body ache or fever. I was sneezing a lot especially after demo-ing Lynda's ceiling studio. I really should get myself a mask and that's something I intend to do tomorrow.

Lynda claims that it must be exhaustion and I am trying to do less but I do feel the pressure to get the basement in some sense of order. 

The work on the washroom has slowed down to a crawl and I intend to be back on track by next week.

On Getting a Great Deal

I constantly scour Craigslist, especially for tools - and I've scored some amazing deals in the past year. Recently, I've got good deals on books for both myself and the girls as well. However, this weekend I scored the most amazing faucet for the main washroom - It's for future use, but I could not resist snapping it up for the price of CAD 339.00. What makes the deal sweeter?? Home Depot's Spring Dreambook (in the mail this morning) lists the very same faucet at CAD 558.00 (excluding tax)

The faucet came BNIB (brand new in the box) and was heavy. Real jewellery for the Chedworth Claw foot Tub that it plans to adorn.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Opening Pandora's Box

With due respect to Pandora and her box!!!!

The Ceiling in Lynda's Studio was of the wood panelling type. I wanted to access the ceiling ever since I found out that the HVAC ducting that let to our rooms outlet had come apart. I also wanted to increase the light in Lynda's area by installing pot lights in the ceiling. Since the ceiling had to be pulled down in strips, I enlisted the help of the entire family and they all really got into the spirit of things, especially Layla who donned my Hard Hat and wielded the pry bay from the get go.

What I did find, when pulling down the ceiling was fairly disturbing. 5 junction boxes in less than 40 square feet. The Ontario Building Code does not allow junction boxes to be covered up or made inaccessible by a finished ceiling.

The wiring itself was a complete mess and I'm glad that I will be doing up the entire basement walls this summer as they were put up without any insulation.

Layla getting into the swing of things

The duct leading to our bedroom

One, Two-Three, Four, Five

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Small Living - Really Small Living

We spotted this residence on Highway 27, while driving to a Consignment store in Nobleton. This is/was a railway guard's caboose. I had to stop and snap some pics. It seems that the owners have everything. There is a chimney, so they have heat - the antenna tells us that they have TV. There is no evidence of running water and/or indoor plumbing unless, the run between the caboose and the ground is well insulated to protect from freezing during the winter months. It would be amazing to see how the interior is arranged. Small spaces challenge me. I'm officially intrigued.

They even have a bit of landscaping going on

Washroom & Laundry Room Build - Part 5

Here are pictures with the concrete poured and done 

The clean outs and drain came level with the floor after all

Water drains into the drain when poured anywhere on the floor

The pipe for the Toilet Flange. The collar around the pipe is 
merely a spacer (my very own conceptualisation) that Mike 
said that I needed in order for the Toilet Flange to be glued 
flush with the floor.

More on my Music Box

I got down to taking apart my 'Gaytone' and decided to try out the existing amplifier. Having removed the turntable, I connected my 'Sansa' directly to the tonearm cable. We got sound, but just a peep. Not good enough, so the amp section goes as well. I took apart the PC speakers and separated the main parts to plan for placement within the box. The length of the amplifier box requires me to build out an angle. This sort of works out as I will have a rest against which I can make the Sansa stand up. I've done a conceptual drawing and I actually think that it works. 

Trial & Error

The Parts ready for reconstructive surgery

Conceptual drawing of the 'Gaytone'

Washroom & Laundry Room Build - Part 4

Last week Mike came over and completed the balance of the rough-in plumbing. We managed to get everything according to plan and I now have the task of filling in and cementing the entire thing over. I also put in the clean outs and the drain and tried to get them level with the floor. That was an absolute pain, but it turned out OK.

The typo 'colset' is unfortunate and difficult to correct!! 

This is the end for the Shower Pan

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thrifted Gaiety

This morning saw us driving to Kitchener to collect some parts to repair Layla's Laptop. Derek had initially quoted me CAD 40 for his old Compaq, but on meeting me lowered the price to CAD 20. Hey. I'm not complaining.

After spending close to 2 hours at the Waterloo Regional Children's Museum, Lynda and I decided to hit some Thrift Store on the way home.

I'm always on the lookout for Vintage tech that I can hack. It is generally quite difficult to get anything really vintage as these seem to get a better price on Ebay. However this morning, I struck gold.

I happened upon a Portable Turntable in a wooden case covered in a faux leather material. I thought that it would be perfect to use as a Summer sound system for the picnics that Lynda and I have planned with the girls. I will hack a pair of amplified computer speakers that can accept dual (12V DC or 110V AC) and connect them to my Sansa MP3 player for tunes.

I may (or may not) throw in a Rechargeable Battery Pack to make for true portability. Here are pics of the unit.

What is that number??? Telephone?? Inmate??

Clamshell Case Opened

Try making Components with that name these days!!!

16 RPM. Just how old is this???

Friday, March 6, 2009

Easel Hack

Last night after American Idol - Yes we are Idolaters!! - Lynda was painting and commented that she did not have anywhere to set her wet brushes down.

That set my mind in motion and set about to create something for her brushes that also looked good. A quick trip to the Thrift Store gave me a narrow vase. I used some old pine that I bored, cut and drilled to my specification. I sanded it down and gave it a quick coat of lacquer and attached it to the easel. It's a bit crude and I'm sure I could have done better if I wanted to spend more time on it.

The Easel as it was prior to the hack

Cheap Brush Holder...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Plan on Having a Plan

While I sometimes let a lot of my projects take the organic route, building a washroom needs a firm plan. Eveything must be just right. So it helps to have drawing at my finger tips for dimensional reference.

And so, here, without further ado is my very own Tactical Command Centre.

The One Dollar Hoe

Sometimes your best tool is also your cheapest one. (That just does not sound good)

I had to get some trenches done for the plumbing and this hoe from Dollarama was the best tool that I could find.

Cheap Hoe!!!

Washroom & Laundry Room Build - Part 3

I seem to have slacked on getting the framing done in time. Anyways - I've completed framing the walls against which the shower cubicle, WC and Sink will go. Horizontal bracing still has to be done, but I will do that tomorrow. The framing was an absolute bitch on account of the sloping basement floor as well as the concrete wall which was quite out of plumb.

I got everything plumb on all axes, and finally used 'Tapcon' concrete screws to affix the base plate to the concrete floor. I was tempted (for all the wrong reasons) to use the 'Ramset' Trigger Operated Powder Actuated Tool. It uses a low velocity cartridge, .22 caliber, to fire the nail through the wood into the concrete floor. Oh Joy!! But I would have to rent the tool, buy the cartridges, buy the nails... The Tapcon's were a better bet.

I've only done the two walls as they will be used as reference for the placement of the toilet flange and shower pan drain.

Now we wait for Mike to come complete the balance of the rough in plumbing.

Earth Hour 2009

We did it last year and we'll do it again this year. If you can. Do it. Turn off everything for just one hour. Last year we spent the hour reading books aloud to the girls by candlelight and played some board games.

Do it. You know you can. It's for our kids and their kids.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Restored ReStore Round Table

Just got down to doing up the round table that I picked up from the ReStore a month ago. The surface was all scratched, so I sanded it down, filled in the low spots, primed it and then painted it a 'Linen White'.

White is not so simple a color and it's taken us a fair share of mistakes to hit upon a white that's just right.

This is Behr W-F-120 Natural Linen, from the color family of 'Shaded Red'.

The table will serve as a 'Game Table' for the girls and us.

I painted just the top of the table to echo the look of the chairs. The only difference being that the chairs are a scandinavian 'blonde' pine while the table is varnished oak. Still - it works well for a CAD 5.00 table.

They Listened to Mama!!!

If you have not as yet heard it through the grapevine - Then you heard it here first.

Avi and Eva have gone bought themselves a house. In Woodbridge. It's a lovely Townhouse with a lot of potential. Congrats guys. Mama was right!!!

And maybe... just maybe there will be more news in the offing. And if it is so. Can we expect you guys to bust a move like these two??????

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In a Cornelia Funke!!!!

So I decided to get on the Inkheart / Inkspell / Inkdeath bandwagon. The first book of the series entitled 'Inkheart' was written by Cornelia Funke as 'Tintenherz' in her native German. Wikipedia has this to say about it - "The book is about a 12 year old girl name Meggie Folchart whose life changes dramatically when she realizes that her father, a bookbinder named Mortimer (Mo), has an unusual ability: when he reads aloud, he can bring characters from books into the real world. Meggie and Mo's adventure takes them throughout Europe, particularly Italy, and brings them into contact with many unusual characters."

What I found out just yesterday was that the book has been translated into English by Anthea Bell. If that name does not ring a bell - think Asterix. Anthea Bell is best known for translating the iconic albums from French into English along with co-translator Derek Hockridge.

Cornelia Funke has stated on her website that the book is targeted at ages 9 - 12. That is so within my age group!!!!

I ordered a copy of 'Inkheart' from Amazon. Rather than buy the book new, I managed to get the hardcover version used from Amazon Marketplace for less than 50% compared to new. The book was being sold by CalgaryGoodwill, so I'm glad that I'm also helping a good cause.

I thought that I'd read the book prior to watching the film (By the same name) which was released earlier this year starring Canada's very own Brendan Fraser.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

ReStore Score

We drove up to the ReStore in Burlington this Saturday and I scored me a sink.

I initially wanted the Ann sink from Ikea and would've eventually got it if Lynda had not spotted this sink lying forlorn on it's side - unloved by it's previous owners. It was the right size and more importantly the right price. We decided to adopt it and give it a room to itself.

Pros and Cons.

The Ikea Ann looks good. Damn good. It costs CAD 150 and uses a proprietary faucet that retails for CAD 90.00. Should Ikea go under (Ha Ha Ha Ha - I keep them in business) I'm out of a faucet and spares.

The Crane Westmont from the ReStore was CAD 30.00. I plan to use the faucet from the old bath sink. The money I saved looks damn good in my bank. It is even sized better that the Ikea Ann sink. Needs a cleanup, but my elbow grease is free.....

Ikea Ann

Crane Plumbing - Westmont

Feeling Horny - Finale

This project took it's time, but it's  done and finally hung on the wall. This morning after mass I went down to Home Depot and bought a 70 cent keyhole hanger and a can of Rustoleum's 'Heirloom White.

Not much else to say. It's done and it looks good on the wall facing our bed.

Some people would have a TV on that wall, but like I said in previous posts. We are not much of television people. We tend to blog in bed and if we have a movie to watch, we use one of the laptops.

Works for us. 

Now to try to score an antler chandelier at one of the garage sales this summer..... 

BTW - No animal was harmed for these antlers. They were naturally shed. Hence the missing skull.

This is the view as you enter the bedroom

View from the bed.
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