Cerebral Gibberish

What's on my mind, might just blow yours.

Archive for the 'Projects' Category

Phew! Strawberry Picking

Posted by heymoe on 2nd May 2009

Just got back from strawberry picking at farm up the street from my house. The owners of the farm are really nice and they have been running the strawberry patch for at least 5 years now. I must have been out in the patch for almost 2 hours picking. I ended up with about 20 pounds of fresh strawberries that I’m going to make into a strawberry wine.

My Blueberry + Mango wine is in the aging stage now but won’t be ready for consumption for at least another 4 months. I figured I better get another wine queued up since the aging process takes so long.

My Blueberry Hefeweizen (wheat) beer is almost done. I got it in the keg a little over a week ago and under co2 pressure to get it up to the proper carbonation level. It should be ready in another week or two.

My Keezer / Kegerator build is stalled while I wait for the drip tray to arrive. Once I get the drip tray in hand I can finish laying out / designing the table top. Right now I leaning toward having the table top done in tile, which I’ve never done before but this is as good of a time as any to learn. I finished the base last weekend, I just need to sand and stain it along with the table top when it’s done. I’m looking forward to having 3 taps in house with my home brew ready to be served.

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DIY: Spiderlite

Posted by heymoe on 15th June 2008

Last Updated: 6/26/2008 (See the Updates section towards the bottom)


I recently started to experiment with off camera lighting and in order to try and save money I thought I would try and build my own version of a Spiderlite TD5 which are made by Westcott for $364.00. The speaker at a recent seminar I attended seemed to think highly of the these fixtures, granted I’m pretty sure this was due to Westcott sponsoring the event. None the less, they seemed to be flexible from a lighting point of view and the design seemed to be pretty basic.

The goal of my design was to build a Spiderlite all from off-the-shelf parts while needing only basic tools (IE: screw drivers, needle nose pliers, etc..) to assemble it and to provide light controls similar to the Westcott Spiderlite TD5.

After exploring my local home improvement stores for about an hour I was able to find all the parts to build my Spiderlite and this is what it looks likes.

DIY Spiderlite-4891
DIY Spiderlite-4895
DIY Spiderlite-4901
DIY Spiderlite-4893
DIY Spiderlite-4902
DIY Spiderlite-4909

The total cost before taxes and not including the bulbs was $56. Throw in 5x 27w daylight (5500K) compact fluorescent bulbs (which I don’t think are bright enough) and the total comes to $91 before taxes which is a savings of ~$368 over the Westcott Spiderlite TD5 + Westcott TD5 bulbs.

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Done: Family Room Arch

Posted by heymoe on 10th February 2008

I finally got around to ordering and installing the arch kit of my family room entry. I ended up ordering the Insta Arch product and over all the install process was pretty simple. I’m sure I would have been done a lot sooner if I was better was doing drywall work. I would not go through so many apply mud, wait for it to dry, sand, repeat cycles. In any case with the exception of a few very minor fill ins and of course paint, the arch is installed. I took pictures during the different phases of the install so check them out HERE if you want to see the process. The pictures are labeled “Family Room – Entryway – Arch Install”.

Family Room - Entryway Before_0
Family Room - Entryway - Arch Install-2100
Before
After

Yeah! one less item on my family room remodel check-list.

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Sunflower Project: The End

Posted by heymoe on 27th August 2007

Well while I was in Alaska the last sunflower bloomed and today, since the planets were looking pretty sad at this point, I cut off the remaining seed heads and chopped down the stalks. I now have 5 seed heads of different sizes hanging in my garage drying. It looks like I have more then enough seeds to plant next year. I’ll have to take a few pictures of the drying seed heads tomorrow and get them posted.

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Update: Sunflowers 2007

Posted by heymoe on 15th July 2007

Sunflowers 07-15-2007_2
Sunflowers 07-15-2007_1
Sunflowers 07-15-2007_0

Well I now have two actual sunflowers now and the bees have been busy doing what bees do with flowers. I would have three but my tallest plant got knocked over during one of the storms early last weekend and when if fell over the flower head must have hit on my of deck chairs just right and got cut off 🙁 . So now I have a really tall, head less sunflower plant. The smallest plant on my deck has the flower head forming slowly but surely. One of the plants up by the mailbox is also forming a flower head while the other one, which is about half as tall, seems to be taking its time. I really wish I had a nice digital camera but looks like I’ll have to wait another month for that still.

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Update: Family Room Arch

Posted by heymoe on 15th July 2007

Family Room - Entryway Prep_7
Family Room - Entryway Prep_A

This weekend I cut and installed the side drywall pieces so which finishes the prep work needed to the threshold so i can get the final measurements to order the custom elliptical Insta Arch. The final measurements ended up being 44 1/8″ wide by 4 1/2″ deep. I had to do some extra work on one side when installing the drywall since the builders used a wrapped 2×4 which would have caused the width of the opening to be different front to back. The fix was to use some wood shims to which allowed me to build up support under one side of the drywall and screw it down to make it level. Any ways, I’m not sure how long it will take for the custom arch to be made and shipped but I’m hopping it will be here next weekend which means I have to start making up my mind on the flooring again.

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Update: Sunflowers 2007

Posted by heymoe on 9th July 2007

Sunflowers 07-09-2007_3

We have a Sunflower!!! So far this is the only one that has fully opened. It looks like another one will be fully open in a few days. The tallest plant is taking it’s time and the smallest seems to have stalled. Both of the plants up by the mailbox are still just growing. Its so pretty. 😛 hehe

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Family Room Arch

Posted by heymoe on 7th July 2007

Family Room - Entryway Before_0
Family Room - Entryway Prep_0
Family Room - Entryway Prep_3

As an added sub-project to the family room plus a way to postpone having to decide what type of flooring to get for the family room (carpet or hardwood), I’ve decided to modify the entryway into the family room by adding arches instead of just the standard framed box that it is/was right now. I’ve found a company on-line called Insta Arch that makes a product that should make the arch conversion a lot easier by creating a custom arch form that you nail up and then do the normal drywall work to blend it into the wall. The traditional / hard-way to make arches involve creating the a rough arch frame into the entryway and then taking a strip of drywall that has been soaked in water to make it some what flexible which is nailed to the rough arch frame and hope the bending of the drywall does not snap it. After I removed the existing frame around the entryway today I found that I’ll be gaining almost 2 inches in height to the entryway which will be nice. Over all the removal process was pretty easy and I did not damage the existing drywall. Now I need to buy some drywall to cover the exposed wood and then I can take the final measurements to buy the arch conversion kit.

Family Room - Entryway Prep_2

If this arch conversion works out I’ll be converting the other three entryways I have down stairs to arches as well which are the kitchen to dining room, the main hall to the living / pool table room and the dining room to the living / pool table room. For the dining room to living / pool table room, I will give a different arch conversion product a try from a local Raleigh company called CurveMakers. They make some really elegant / fancy arch conversion kits that I think this entryway needs. Fun and exciting stuff right?

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Update: Sunflowers 2007

Posted by heymoe on 4th July 2007

Sunflowers 07-04-2007_0

It has been almost a month since my last sunflower update and a lot has happened since then. Three of the four plants on my deck have grown quite a bit since then. The tallest is now about 9 feet 3 inches tall the next tallest are around 7 feet 8 inches tall. The runt is still shorter then me and not all that healthy looking since it kept drinking up all its water before I could give it more. It also got blown over and broke its pot so I had to replant it into a bigger pot but I think it’s a little late for that. It’s interesting to note that the height of the plant seems to be related to the size of the pot it is in.

Sunflowers 07-04-2007_2
Sunflowers 07-04-2007_8

Any ways, all four of them are starting to form their flower heads now. One would think this is normal since I planted them all at the same time but the two plants I moved to my mailbox are still growing and no signs of any flower heads yet. They are still pretty short compared to the ones on the deck, the tallest being 6 feet 5 inches. I’m wishing I would decide on which camera to get and buy it so I can get some nice close ups / macro shots of the flower heads and the critters that I find on them. Oh well, I only have so much money to spend and I still need to finish up the family room.

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Family Room Project

Posted by heymoe on 23rd June 2007

I’ve actually been working on this project for awhile but did not have this site up and running to talking about it. Any ways to catch everyone up, my family room has not really been used all that much since my after college roommate, Justin, moved out to get his own place. The carpet in this room was not all that great to start with, then throw in a cat, that shall go un-named 🙂 hehe, using the carpet in this room as their litter box, pretty much finished it off. I ripped out the carpet, pad and pulled up the tack strips a few months ago which unveiled a whole lot of dirt (Geezz, would be nice if home builders sweep up before installing carpet) and of course cat urine stained sub-floor boards. Cat urine, it turns out, is hygroscopic which is why the odor stick around. Well before I install new carpet or hardwoods, still not sure, I have to take care of the cat urine. I could either 1) replace all the stained sub-floor boards or 2) apply a stain & odor sealer to the sub-floor. I decided to do options 2 since it would the the cheapest and quickest solution (Well I hope its a solution, if not, a new sub-floor it is). I also ripped out all the baseboards since there is a chance they are also contaminated with urine as well. Ripping out the baseboard left some scares in the dry wall so I patched and sanded all of that. Before the painting starts I had to prep the floor by pulling up all the staples, nails and other loose material. I then took a hand planer and shaved down any sub-floor joints that were not even with each other. This will make install hardwoods easier if I go that route. This is pretty much the state I left the room until today.

Family Room - Floor Prep 1

The first thing I did today was sweep and vacuum up any loose debris from the floor then I applied a thick layer of the odor & stain paint along the border of the floor, basically cutting in so I can use the roller easier later.

Family Room - Floor Prep 3

Letting this dry gave me time to take care of a work related issue since the on-call person decided to go see a movie with the pager. Next, out came the roller and I applied the first coat to the floor. Over all this process went quickly and I did not paint myself into a corner. I did run out of paint and did not finish all of the first coat but not a big deal.

Family Room - Floor Painted 3

After a quick trip to Home Depot, enough time past to allow me to start the 2nd coat and apply the 1st coat to the last part I did not finish. I still have to apply the 2nd coat to that one spot and do some spot touch ups but that will be tomorrow.

Any ways, after the paint drys I still need to install new baseboard, repaint the walls and decide if I am going to install hardwoods or carpet. I’m leaning towards carpet still since the rest of the downstairs is already hardwood and being that the family room has a fireplace, I think carpet would make it more cozy. I also never understood the whole, lets install hardwood so I can place a rug over it, concept.

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