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September 07, 2013

Basement construction, day 21

   Very hot today.  Picked up some supplies for my additional shelves and some mounting brackets.  Much of the remaining work is small stuff.  I've done a lot of touch-up painting.  The wiring is complete, but the wires need to be tacked down.
   I dumped out a bucket of water in the sink and ended up soaking this little guy.  Looks like he got stuck in our sink, and wasn't too happy about it.  I managed to convince him to get into a 5 gallon bucket and took him across the street.  Let him go right by a restaurant dumpster.  Hopefully he decides this is a much better home than our house.

September 06, 2013

Basement construction, day 20

   Not too much work today.  I have two shelves that need to be cut.  Both are about three feet in length and will extend existing shelves to either the wall or an other shelve.  More organizing to get things into place.
   The picture shows the setup from the back of the basement.  It's clean and I've been trying to keep things that way. 

September 05, 2013

Basement construction, day 19

   Clean, shinny benches mostly open.  The shelves are starting to fill with unpacked items.  Today I installed outlets under the two auxiliary benches.  Four double gang boxes for a total of eight outlets.  Like the primary bench overhang, each outlet in the gang box is supplied from one of two separate 15 amps feeds, so I have a total wired capacity of 30 amps.  Right now all the feeds come from the same source, but that will change at some point.
   The main bench now contains all my computer hardware, and all four monitors are connected to the Blue-Dragon.  The blower for the sleeping quarters has been mounted and duct work installed.  And the hole I made with the router has a patch in it.  I have ordered more LED reel lighting for under the benches, along with a switching 12-volt power supply to drive them.  There is a very long shipping time and I assume it comes directly from China and is likely on a boat right now.  LED reels have become quite cheap, and I'm happy about that.  I don't like the wait, but I have plenty to do before it gets here.

September 03, 2013

Basement construction, day 17

   Here is an image of the two florescent fixtures I installed in the sleeping quarters.  They provide plenty of light when it's needed for cleaning and changing bedding.  They have both been painted black.  I painted one of the cords as well, but the material the cord is made of doesn't hold the paint and it turned into a sticky mess.  I may have to replace the cord with an all black cord, but for now everything is functional.
   The sleeping quarters still has some work to be done.  I need to caulk the edges to make them light tight, although the general darkness of the basement keeps me from noticing any light leakage.  I also want to put in a black light and use the florescent paint I've had since I commissioned this sleeping quarters.  But I have many things that need to be done first, so functional is good enough right now.

September 02, 2013

Basement construction, day 16

   The starts of lighting were wired in today.  Although I have used colored light prior to this, the setup I have now is much more permanent.  In my previous setups I have used 3-way switches to create two control points for lighting.  In this new setup, I could not decide where best to place the two switches.  I can exit my sleeping quarters on either side, but I wanted one light switch close to the entrance to the work area. My compromise was to add a third switch. Much to my dismay, 4-way switches are expensive costing around ten times as much as a 2-way switch. However, for the center switch in a three switch setup they are required.
   With the lighting I also made some progress on permanent electrics as well.  I don't yet have a dedicated feed from the breaker pannel, but since I don't yet need to run a space heater I can put that off for now.  The complication comes from the fact Xiphos has the need for a 50-amp feed to the garage to run his welder.  Our breaker panel is full, but the style of breaker is such that there is available a double switch that fits in a single socket.  This will allow me to condense some circuits and install my feed.  An other drawback is that the area around the breaker panel is finished.  So new wiring going two/from the panel is harder to run.  None of this is complicated enough to keep me from adding my own feed, but complicated enough I feel my efforts are best directed elsewhere until my main area is fully operational.
   Although starting to become function, my area is also a complete mess and is in dyer need of cleaning.
   This photo does capture just how dark my work area is.  There are local area of light and color, which will fill out better once I unpack and fill the shelves.  The black canvas offers so surface for reflection like the black plastic.  In places this eliminates the shape of the wall and offers only a void to which there is no depth—one is simply looking into the darkness.  This can create the illusion there are no wall but rather only unilluminated emptiness.
Ladies of the court

Ladies of the court

   Yearly trip to the Bristol Renaissance Faire.  Since I'm reading about queen Elizabeth I and queen Mary, Queen of Scots and this the same time period as the faire I met some interesting characters.  Among them was Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester—the queens favorite.  He gave a presentation on court fashion, and I had an urge to ask him if his wife was still alive.  Amy Robsart (his first wife) died mysteriously from a fall down a flight of stairs while Dudley was always around the unmarried queen.  Convenient?  A lot of people at the time thought it was suspect too.

August 31, 2013

Basement construction, day 15

   Added additional lighting for the sleeping quarters.  This is closeup of a thin florescent light fixture.  It had a red LED to indicate the unit was powered.  Since I wanted my sleeping quarters to have absolutely no light (unless I turn them on) this had to go.  The light has a touch switch to turn on/off.  I found the LED is required for the touch switch to work.  However, the diode aspects and voltage drop caused by the LED are not required.  The unit worked by simply shorting the LED wires.  I figure this will not be a problem as there is likely a current limiting resister as part of the circuit anyway. 
   After removing the LED, I painted the fixture black and it works great. 

August 30, 2013

Basement construction, day 14

   The hanging shelve above the main work bench has been installed, painted, and covered in polyurethane.  I had it setting on a couple of milk crates and a computer case most of the day.  Put a plug on the outlets so I could get those powered.  My other shelves are ready for use, and I started unpacking some of my items.  The organizing process will take a long time, but once unpacked I'll consider it "done"—for now.
   Also in the picture to the left is my work computer setup.  There is no permanent keyboard shelve—just a couple of milk crates, and some wood to get the height correct, and some clamps.  The setup works well, although with all the work I need to do, sitting in an unfinished basement can be distracting.

August 29, 2013

Basement construction, day 13

   Second set of shelves installed, painted and topped with polyurethane.  Also attached my second bench which had been sitting in milk crates.  For this I bought a 12 foot long 2x4 as I needed an 11 foot span.  All of my benches have a full brace along the wall which means less legs needed for support.  Work progresses slowly.  The sleeping box now has fully electrical control.  Initially I had placed just power into the sleeping chamber, but the fan control wasn't connected externally.  I changed that so the fan control is functional from inside the sleeping chamber.  There are still questions about how I will power the setup long term, but for now I simply plug everything in to existing outlets.
   Xiphos too is doing construction for his room.  Here he is modifying this bunk bed to get more headroom.  And the sparks were flying.