Neil's News


15 December 2014

I thought being a home owner would mean building crazy contraptions in the garage and annoying the neighbours with regular EMP events. But the path to this goal is an exercise in yak shaving[?].

Before setting up my workshop in the garage, the bare concrete wall needed to have all the holes filled in and painted white. Thao is good at painting (as with pretty much anything else she tries).

Workshops need power, so that meant running wires through the ceiling and down the wall to an outlet. Drilling into the concrete wall was an adventure, there's no substitute for a hammer drill and a masonry bit.

The steel legs of the workbenches would chew up the concrete floor, so custom feet were needed. I used an almost fully-retracted table saw to score grooves that the legs snap into.

Workbenches need power and light. Debris can fall into upwards facing electrical sockets, so covers were added. The elbow lamp is anchored with a hexagonal base glued to the workbench.

Quynh saw a stair-mounted shoe rack while touring houses and asked me to build one. Done.

We have a curious alcove behind the fireplace. I build some shelves to use the space more effectively. Since no angle in this alcove is 90°, each shelf is custom fitted. The shallower top shelf and the curve of the middle shelf allows objects of three different heights to be stored.

After four years in his box, Mr Deer has finally made his way back onto a wall. Since he is mounted over the couch, Quynh and I had visions of the anchor giving way and the two of us being gored. Finding a stud was obviously of paramount importance.

Unfortunately our house uses metal studs, which the stud finder I bought was unable to locate. But it turns out that the Tricorder app on my phone was able to find the stud instantly. The metal beam distorts the Earth's magnetic field, showing up as a clear blip as the phone is slid across the wall.

We've also mounted fire extinguishers, built picture frames, made a plexiglass enclosure for the rats, installed hooks, and more. I think we are about 20% done. Home ownership is definitely time-consuming.

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