Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

Dining Room Table Base

I’m in the process of building our new dining room table. The dining room is pretty long, so Lori wanted a table that was about 12 feet long. It’s tough to come by those (at a price that is budget-friendly), so I decided to make one.

I looked at a lot of different plans and designs. None were exactly what I was looking for (or what I needed), so what I came up with was a hybrid. The one that was the “foundational” design, more or less, was this table on Ana White’s website. Because my table was going to be quite a bit longer, I put an extra leg in the center. I changed a few other details as well.

The base is assembled with a combination of dowels, glue, wood screws, and pocket screws. I used lumber from Lowe’s and added some decorative edges with my router so it won’t look quite so “Farmhouse” style. The base itself is 9 feet and 7 inches long and about 31 inches wide.

The table top will be 11 feet and 11 inches long (roughly) and 35 inches wide. I’ll be edge gluing 7 12-foot 2×6’s together to get (I hope) a nice, smooth surface, and then staining it a dark brown. The base will be painted white.

The table should be able to seat 14 people without much crowding… 12 people with plenty of elbow room.

Dining Room Table Base

Snowy House

Sunday after the big weekend blizzard.

Snowy House

Brilliant.

Cyanide & Happiness #4062

Construction Time Lapse Video

I had a time lapse camera set up across the street taking pictures every 5 seconds. The batteries lasted from April 12th through June 1st. I got the video (the camera creates an AVI) and edited out all the nights and weekends. It’s almost seven minutes long which is longer than I wanted, but speeding it up in my editor didn’t work too well, so I left it alone.

Stuck in the Middle

Front of the house as of June 27th, 2015. All the windows (except for one) are in. Shingles are on. House is wrapped (except the garage door area because of framing work they’ll need to do when the garage doors are installed).

We’re sort of squished in the middle.

Stuck in the Middle

Stuck in the Middle

Drilling wells

We’re having a geothermal HVAC system installed and they started drilling the wells a couple weeks ago. The original plan was to have four 250-foot holes for the larger geothermal unit and three 250-foot holes for the smaller unit (because of the length of the house, it’s more efficient and cost effective to have two units like that). However, around 80 feet down, the driller hit a big area of sand and the hole kept collapsing back on itself almost immediately, so the hole plan had to change. There will be twelve 80-foot holes for the larger unit and eight 90-foot holes for the smaller unit. Our whole back yard is currently dotted with holes spouting black tubing!

Once it’s all done, everything will be hidden four feet underground, so it’s no big deal. It will actually be a little easier on the geothermal pump because of the shallower wells. We just have to make sure that any future construction plans don’t dig down deeper than four feet!

Geothermal well drilling

No in-ground pool for us!

Stuff Everywhere!

Master bedroom framing

Master bedroom framing

It’s amazing the progress that’s been made since my last update (which was, admittedly, a long time ago). We’re still living in the center section (the original house, basically), but both additions are nearing the point where they’re going to be drywalled.

The roofs are done and shingled. The windows (except for one that’s on order) are all installed. The interior framing is (I think) all done except for, perhaps, a few minor things. Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work are done on the garage wing and have been started on the master bedroom wing.

That’s expected to be completed by next Monday or Tuesday so the inspectors can check it out and the insulators can come do their bit. After that, it’s drywall time!

Framing in Megan's room

Framing in Megan’s room

HVAC duct work

HVAC duct work in the garage

Electrical panels

Electrical panels in the garage

 

 

 

 

I don’t have a current, full exterior view at the moment and it’s raining right now, so I can’t go take one, but here’s a shot around the back of the master bedroom wing. They just finished roofing the porch out of the master bedroom so I took a picture of that and of the view that we’ll have from the bedroom out onto the porch.

Master bedroom porch and view

Master bedroom porch and view

Ummm… Nice to meet you?

Just had an interesting visit from an older gentleman (probably in his seventies). He was driving by very slowly (which is really common with our construction project looking the way it does) and I was sitting in the garage, so I waved. He stopped, backed up, and pulled into the driveway.

I walked over and he told me he used to know someone who worked at our construction company. I confirmed who it was and said I’d pass along a hello. Then the conversation started to range all over… mostly from his side.

It went from…

  • This is quite a project. People are generally building smaller these days, not bigger.
  • It seems a shame to do this to a 1950/1960 rancher (ours was built in 1977).
  • His brother put an under-powered heating system in his home.
  • He just bought his first house last year and it’s very small.
  • The soil at his house is all clay and all the trees he planted died.
  • The roads these days are paved wrong.
  • There’s an oddly placed stop sign where he lives.

Then is started to get odd (odder?). I can’t remember the segue (if there, indeed, actually WAS one), but it went something like…

  • We just passed the mark where more of our cars are built in China than in the USA.
  • We also passed the mark where more music is downloaded than bought on CD.
  • The number of Christians in the US is decreasing more rapidly.
  • It won’t be long before God takes his blessing away from this country.

Then he said, gesturing at the house, “You’ll probably only get ten to twenty years out of this house.” Expecting some sort of “end times” religious reason (and kind of looking forward to it), I asked, “Why’s that?”.

He replied, “That’s when the Russian missiles will be coming.”

Ummm…

Ummmm... What?Then he went on about how we lost our chance to be friends with the Russians a couple decades ago and how they have three times more missiles now than they did five years ago, all trained on the USA. But we did sell them special weapons that fire rubber bullets for crowd control and they were appreciative of that.

That seemed as good a place as any to acknowledge the conversational dead-end that had just occurred, so I politely told him I’d pass along a hello to our builder and wished him a fantastic weekend. We shook hands and off he went.

And I thought, “Crap. It’s probably too late to build an underground bunker here.”

Roof Trusses!

Most of the roof trusses got installed yesterday… all the really big ones, anyway. It’s really taking shape now! …though it looks like our little house is trapped in the middle.

Roof Trusses!

Most of the roof trusses got installed yesterday!

Lots of Framing Progress

Placing the steel beam for the garage

Placing the steel beam for the garage

It’s been about two weeks since my last update and a lot has gone on since then. Wayne and his crew have been working crazy fast to get things done and the results are amazing to see every day when I get home from work.

The steel support beam was added to the garage. They started out with the beam sitting on pillars of stacked concrete blocks. That let them get the beam to the right height and steady enough so they could start adding the floor joists on top of it.

Installing floor joists

Installing floor joists

All three garage doors!

All three garage doors!

Permanent steel posts.

Permanent steel posts.

Midway through installing the joists, they finished framing the front of the garage, adding the third door (on the left side). They notched part of the existing house roof to accommodate the wall. Eventually, that roof will come off completely, but they didn’t want to do that quite yet in case of foul weather.

A bit after getting all the joists installed and putting the sub-floor down, they added the steel posts and removed the temporary concrete pillars. Now the garage is like an actual room, which was a nice transformation.

I took Megan up on top of it to get a feel for her soon-to-be living space. I think she’ll have plenty of room. Right now, it’s just a nice place to get some sun and enjoy the view.

Garage with floor installed!

Garage with floor installed!

 

Master bedroom wing... Stage 1

Master bedroom wing… Stage 1

Meanwhile, at the other end of the house, they’ve been working on the master bedroom wing. The concrete floor was poured and they had the basement level framed out in less than a week. The transformation was pretty amazing, especially from the inside where it suddenly got real seeing how the whole floor was going to be laid out. It’s much more exciting seeing it in real life than it is visualizing it from a paper drawing.

Lori and Rose talking construction

Lori and Rose talking construction

Lori and Rose in the basement hallway

Lori and Rose in the basement hallway



They ended last week having all but one wall of the first floor framed out, which includes the master bedroom, the closets, and the master bathroom. As with the basement level, it was great getting to physically walk through the “rooms” rather than just visualizing them from the drawings. Lori and I walked through it a number of times, probably with facial expressions similar to all the golden-ticket-winning kids from Willy Wonka when they first saw the inside of the factory.

Master bedroom wing - Stage 2!

Master bedroom wing – Stage 2!

Back of master bedroom wing

Back of master bedroom wing

Looking through the master bedroom

Looking through the master bedroom

Looking from the master bathroom through the closet hallway into the master bedroom and out to the porch.

Looking from the master bathroom through the closet hallway into the master bedroom and out to the porch.