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December 31, 2014

Looking back on the year

Jenny and Mary

Jenny and Mary

   The year is at it's end.  So what happened in 2014?  It was actually a busy year for  In March I rewrote the backend to the photoblog and through April did a lot of clean up work to all of  Operation Lux was conceived and placed into service in July and is still logging luminosity data.  The solar powered web server project was conceived and has slowly been coming together.  The Elmwood Park network has had several updates, some because they were useful and others because of equipment failures. pulled in over 100,000 visitors for the year averaging around 3,800 unique visitors/month and serving about 30 GB of data total. 
   Looking at the log files for I see that the Polynomial Regression site is now the most active. Around October the site surpassed the King's Quest Walkthrough for number of visitors/month and has stayed that way.  The site shows up in Google as #3 for "Polynomial Regression calculator", #3 for "Polynomial Regression math", and #1 for "Polynomial Regression PHP," each search resulting in a different page of the site.  I am pleased knowing that this open-source project is now being used.
   So what do we have to look forward to in 2015?  Well, the solar powered web server we hope!  In addition I have several Arduino projects in the works, and I hope to being those to conclusion and share both the source code and designs.
Zach and Free Library

Zach and Free Library

   One thing I did not do that I should have was pre-sand the the siding.  The project was already so behind schedule that I figured getting the siding installed was more important than getting all the steps in the right order.  So some post-hoc sanding is required.  Zach got to work sanding one of the finished sides while I worked on installing siding on an unfinished side.  It was nice to have the help and company.
Porch roof waiting for glue to dry.

Porch roof waiting for glue to dry.

   Today I measured out and cut the porch roof.  The angles make the task of gluing the pieces together difficult, but I found a trick that worked out pretty well. After getting the pieces cut I used the belt sander to angle the edges.  I taped the seams and then applied glue to the center.  This seems to work pretty well and I may have to consider redoing the main roof using this method.
   Zach and I worked on the free library for a couple hours tonight.  I finished about half the siding on the 3rd side of the house and Zach worked on sanding out saw marks. Before the light of the day was completely gone I turned an other pine board into 1/16" strips as I was down to 3 strips left.  I'm not sure why but in the beginning I was having a lot of trouble keeping the board tight against the fence.  So a few of the initial strips have thin spots I'm going to have to work around.  I had to use the wood planer and since the garage is full of lighting gear I decided to open the garage door and throw the chips into the driveway.  They almost made it to the sidewalk.  Xiphos initially thought it was snow until he remember that December forgot to be December and we didn't have any.  I should now have enough siding strips to finish the house.
   Picture is a closeup I took in the morning hours of the two finished sides.  The siding is quite convincing and I think with the trim it works well.

1 comment has been made.

From Amadameus

December 30, 2014 at 5:13 PM

That looks amazing! Slatted wood looks kickass.

December 27, 2014

Second side of siding finished

   Finished up a second side of siding on the free library.  Found that listening to some history while doing this fairly monotonous activity works pretty good.  I want to complete a third side this weekend before I switch to concentrating on the front of the house.  That will require making a porch roof, installing the porch floor which have to be done before I can side it.
   Siding the free library is a lengthy process.  I had already turned a nice 6"x8'x3/4" piece of pine into 1/16"x8'x1/2" strips.  Most of the board turned into sawdust as the saw blade is 1/8".  Despite my table saw being a construction grade saw, it did a great job of creating these thin slices.  I had at least 30 strips sitting in the bedroom for sometime before this project was ready for them to become siding.  Along the edges I glued some 3/4"x1/4" trim.  This squares up the corners as well as gives some nice guide for the siding.  Then it was a long process of putting the siding on.  The 1/16" strips are thing enough I can use metal sheers to cut them, so that is nice.  I get them fairly close, usually within 1/32", and then use 80 grit sandpaper to file the wood down the rest of the way.  For placement I use a hot glue gun to tack the siding down.  A small bead every 4 inches or so seems to do the trick.  Then I cover the edge with wood glue which will permanently hold the strip in place once dry.  The hot glue dries much faster--within seconds--which is why I use it.  The long strip of siding that span the entire side require clamping when done.  I'll usually do several rows and then clamp it to keep it from bowing out.  The process takes awhile, but it is turning out to look how I want.

December 24, 2014

The Elmwood Park Free Library

   Long weekend, so time to get some work done.  I haven't even announced the project yet despite working on it for two months.  This is the Elmwood Park Free Library.  Here in Middleton free libraries are all over town.  These are generally just little boxes with a door.  We decided our free library should be just a little more complicated.  So we decided to make a model of our house for the free library, and for the last couple of months it has been taking shape.
   Today I glued in all the windows.  The window frames stick out 1/4" and I clamped some 1/4" plywood on either side of the window as a reference.  This is enough room so I can place glass behind each one.  Since the free library is holding book and will be sitting outside, it's important the windows keep the water out.  So this setup should allow for that.