It’s Electric: Return of the Electric

Alright alright, I get it, the title sucks. But this is the third and (hopefully) final chapter in the workshop electrical series (part 1 and part 2). The workshop electrical has been run and is ready to be hooked up, all that was left to do was install the exterior plugs on our house from which I will run the power. This meant putting three new circuits in the electrical box and installing multiple exterior outlets in the area of the recently fixed stucco. As always, with my electrical work I tried to plan out exactly what I wanted to do ahead of time. This meant I spent a decent amount of time in Home Depot looking at the different conduit connectors and eventually building a contraption that would fit right next to my electrical box.  I put the tape in place to protect against debris while drilling through the…

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New Skill Unlocked: Stucco

I am not sure if I have mentioned this previously, and it is probably worth discussing at some point, but we had a really old electrical panel on the house when we moved in. I mean, I’m talking original to the 1955 house old.  Definitely not safe or adequate for our needs. This panel (and a sub-panel in the kitchen) totaled 100 amps. Our new panel is 200. This was something we knew would have to be upgraded when we moved in to support the needs of a modern home (i.e. the electric car charger) so it wasn’t a surprise or a big hardship to upgrade the panel. What was slightly unexpected was the hole in our house’s stucco that was left behind when the old panel was removed. In order to support the larger panel, it was placed right next to the old location, leaving behind a missing patch…

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It’s Electric Remix

Last week I discussed running the electrical for my workshop. At the end of the post I alluded to the fact that I am running the power to the workshop in a slightly unconventional manner. The easiest way to think about it is that the power will be supplied to the workshop as if it is an RV. When an RV comes to a park, it hooks up to the park power using an extension cord connected to an exterior plug on the RV. In the same way, when I want power inside the workshop, I will hook up via an extension cord to my house power.  This strategy has one big advantage, and it is that I do not have to dig a trench or run aerial lines from the house to the workshop for power. Digging a 2 foot deep trench all the way to the workshop seems…

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It’s Electric

Well, now that the greenhouse is fully built, our vegetables are growing like crazy, and it’s as hot as it gets in Colorado, it is time to get back to my workshop build. I haven’t been able to get that much done since my last post, but I was able to tackle a majority of the electrical work this weekend. Because this is going to end up as a finished workshop, I knew I wanted to have plenty of outlets and lighting for the shed. After a bit of research and planning based on my needs, I decided to go with 2 outlet circuits, one 20 amp and one 30 amp. These two circuits will allow me to have multiple tools running simultaneously, i.e. a dust collector and a miter saw, and having the 30 amp circuit will allow for some higher power tools in the future if necessary. You…

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Tuxedo vs. Fan

We have a pretty good battle going on in our household, one that I didn’t really expect. It’s between the king of the jungle, Tuxedo himself, and an unexpected adversary, the circular fan. I guess I have no one to blame but myself, it’s a story as old as time. Or at least as old as 2015, i.e. The Avengers: Age of Ultron. I created the conflict through my own selfish desires to have a shelf to put our fan on during the summer. Here’s the deal, Allyson and I do not have air conditioning. While this is more common here in Colorado, I would venture to say we are in the minority as more and more homes upgrade to central a/c or evaporative coolers. Now you may think we are crazy, but with some planning, effort, and *gasp* sacrifice, it becomes possible to go without a/c. One key to…

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Two People Walk Into a Bar

And they say ouch...Yikes, that was a rough intro into the post this week, our project to fix up under our kitchen bar. If you remember from a couple of weeks ago, this is what the bar looked like when we moved into our house. Also a big yikes. And here is what under the bar looked like after we pulled those cabinets away. And here is what the bar looked like after we fixed the floor. Once we finished fixing the floor, it was time to fix the wall underneath the bar. Allyson, as the household design expert (despite Tuxedo’s best efforts), decided that a board and batten design would be the best, and I was more than happy to implement. Because we added brackets underneath the bar for support (this may have been overkill, but I got a little paranoid about the unsupported 18” overhang), I had to…

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New Skill – Refinishing Floors

A few cursery google searches and it is pretty clear that refinishing a section of hardwood floors is a difficult task, even if the work itself is relatively straight forward. The main issue comes in matching the repaired section of stain/finish to the hardwood that surrounds it. Even using the original stain to patch sections can be problematic and end up with easily visible patch jobs throughout your hardwood floors. That being said, Allyson and I “decided” to patch our hardwood floor because there’s no way a patch would look worse that this.... Some people could call this a focal point of the room, just not in a good way. As I discussed previously, the flipper left us with some problem areas in our house, and the area under our bar in the kitchen was one of them. The first step to fix the issue was to refinish the section…

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What Were They Thinking?

For the past year or so, Allyson and I have thought “what were they thinking” quite a few times as we look at all of the work that was done in our house by a “flipper”. Some times, it’s relatively small things that I will end up fixing at some point, like not properly hanging light fixtures on walls so you can see the hole in the drywall behind it. Other times it is about something that is unforgivable and they should be forced to sit at a table for a week where everyone is bragging about their job and story topping (this is my own personal Hell, yours may be different). Take how they hung the lights in our bathroom for instance. Looks great right? Can you see the issue here? We didn’t see it immediately, but when we did it became impossible to unsee. *Glass shattering* It does…

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Greenhouse Part III – The Finale

That’s right, this is part III and the final installment of the Greenhouse project series. It’s been a fantastic ride, and I owe it all to my friends and family for getting me this far. Seriously though, building this greenhouse has been a really fun project to complete and will end up being extremely useful as well. At the end of my last post, I included a photo of the fully framed greenhouse, complete with door installed. Today, I want to highlight that door. I have spoken previously about always trying to reuse or repurpose things, rather than buying new. This not only helps prevent wasting resources building new items, it can also save a crap ton of money. The door that we installed on the greenhouse was found at a Habitat for Humanity Restore for $35. It’s a beautiful (and heavy) wood and glass door. Allyson and I were…

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Greenhouse Part II

After completing the foundation, which I discussed last week, it was time to build the frame of the new greenhouse. In this case, I took some time before starting the build to sketch out detailed plans of the greenhouse. Here is the "short" wall, 12 ft long and 4 ft tall. This should allow for a row of vegetables to be planted right inside this wall. The "tall" wall, 12 ft long and about 7 ft tall. Notice the space on the right side for our door we bought from the Habitat ReStore. The side wall, about 6 1/2 ft long. I didn't add measurements for the inner studs, but measured them real time after installing the roof trusses. Sketching out the plans really helped me to visualize the design and make any adjustments I needed to before I made my first cut. Once again I was able to reuse…

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