Home Improvement Discussion

Stuff around the house/flat/apartment/condo/etc.

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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#221  Postby laklak » Aug 24, 2016 7:29 pm

There's a beauty parlor in Waynesville, NC named "Curl Up And Dye". I found it amusing, but then I'm senile.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#222  Postby The_Metatron » Aug 24, 2016 10:53 pm

Blues Brothers, scene 19.


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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#223  Postby Scot Dutchy » Aug 25, 2016 7:54 am

ScholasticSpastic wrote:Every time I tell someone we're excited to buy a large, stainless steel sink for my wife to dye in I get funny looks....


My late girl friend was a great dyer using natural fibres and natural dyes. They did not always work out perfectly and I did wear some odd colours but luckily it did not matter in the 80's.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#224  Postby OlivierK » Aug 25, 2016 9:54 am

laklak wrote:I just finished my work space, garage is finally done. Tools hanging on pegboard and all that cool stuff. I would post pictures but I've already messed it up with another project, building a new cradle for the dinghy. When that is finished I will consider a trebuchet, or maybe a ballista just to be different. I don't follow the crowd, you know.

Today, the first question my 12-year-old asked on coming home from school was "Could I have that spare piece of wood from [his sister]'s science project?", said spare piece of wood being a four foot long piece of half inch by half inch pine, the rest of which had been used to frame a poster.

Not long after, there was the sound of bursting balloons, as he'd used the pine and a hot glue gun to frame up a small ballista using a half-round of bamboo used as a launch chute for kebab skewers propelled by a party balloon driven catapult. From 2 metres, it could put a bamboo skewer through a cardboard box, and from five metres had the accuracy to take out inflated ballons. He and his younger brother even managed to embed one bamboo skewer into solid timber.

If we ever built a decent sized one, our property would make an excellent firing range (we're on top of a small hill with open land for 300m down to a river, and nobody on the other side).

Unless the neighbour's cattle decided to wander across the river flats.

Maybe we need to build an equally large rotisserie setup over a campfire to go with the ballista. Mmmmm, fresh steak!
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#225  Postby laklak » Aug 25, 2016 2:26 pm

Clever lad!
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#226  Postby Onyx8 » Aug 25, 2016 3:23 pm

Great story.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#227  Postby crank » Nov 30, 2016 12:51 pm

laklak wrote:Hardwired ones here are required to have a battery backup in case the fire takes out the mains.

What's your issue, crank? You have at your disposal a veritable treasure trove of self-proclaimed experts. We're ready for anything from kicking in a carpet to building a trebuchet.

Thanks, hope the offer had more than a 4-month good-for date. :oops:

And I'm still not going to explain the weird bit because I have an issue that popped up yesterday. This thread kept nagging at me during this latest hiatus off the forums, too busy, too much crap going on, barely able to stave off trips to crazytown, so some things had to give.

OK, so I had to turn off the power to the house briefly yesterday, may or may not be related to problem. Later, when I tried to wash some dishes, the water pressure was way way down from normal. I have a well, there aren't that many things that can cause this. Being extremely sweaty and odiferous right then, I took a shower first, then looked into problem. The water pump was running, drawing 12 amps on both legs of the 240, this is its normal numbers, at the pump, it is showing 20 psi, it's set for 40 on and and 60 off, but now running continuously and only hitting 20 psi. This will kill it fairly quickly because it's not getting cooled much, so I turned it off First idea, leak, but it had to have run for a couple of hours at least, should be big wet spot, or water spewing out somewhere. The well is 100 ft from house, the line not buried very deeply. Or something is clogging the well casing, or the pump is going bad. The day before, I noticed the water ran very reddish for a brief time, something I see in a line I haven't used for a while, it's the way the water is where I am, I get the red stains in sink toilet tub etc. The reddish tint is barely noticeable normally unless it concentrates by unuse.

I have very little experience with a water pump system, really, none other than getting one installed and using one, this is first problem for me. I'm thinking the pump is dying, they do have a shortened life in my kind of water quality areas and I have no idea how old it is other than more than probably 5-10 years. There could be something clogging the casing, no way to test that that, any ideas?

Coincidentally, I tried my trebuchet out for the first time just a few days ago, I'm wanting to use it to spread winter rye, just because! It didn't work for shit, I'll have to do a video. The original design is not all that good, and years of exposure haven't helped it, but it was still sturdy enough to have done better. I don't have any idea why the guy made it the way he did, if he used anything more in the design than what you could glean from seeing one. I saw the article on trebuchet math, I need to peruse that.

Is anyone a National Electric Code whiz? I've got some questions about that. And I'm finally getting started on a number of things that should generate lots more on that and other things. E.g., anyone know of a trick to working with UF cables? Jesus, what a fucking bitch, there must be a tool because I'm lucky I still have all of my fingers. I'm working with 8 gauge and that stuff is tough, I think you could do a 180 with a caterpillar/tank treads right on top of it and it would survive.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#228  Postby crank » Nov 30, 2016 1:25 pm

This is new to me, the floating arm trebuchet. The counterweight is constrained vertically and the pivot is allowed to move horizontally.

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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#229  Postby laklak » Nov 30, 2016 4:18 pm

UF is a bitch to strip. There are various tools for working with it, Home Depot usually has a selection of them ranging in price from about $10 to upwards of $70. I just use a Stanley knife and pray.

Don't know much about wells and pumps, but I imagine somebody here does.

I want a floating arm trebuchet.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#230  Postby crank » Nov 30, 2016 5:35 pm

Ditto the trebuchet. I looked at a couple of videos on UF stripping after posting earlier and yeah, it looks like a really sharp utility knife and the prayer is it, that's what I did, hoping there was something better, I'll look at the tools but something tells me the only good ones will be in the $70 range, too much for the limited use I'll get out of them.

Update: found a couple of videos with tools said to work for UF, no way in hell will the ones I saw, that looked like CAT strippers I've seen, work on 8 ga, they were working on what looked like 12. There's a big difference going from 12 up to 8.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#231  Postby The_Metatron » Aug 01, 2017 12:53 am

In my kitchen ceiling are a pair of skylight windows. Great for lighting. They are real energy collectors, too. At roughly one square meter each, and the angle of incidence of the sun's rays to the glass, I'm guessing broad daylight adds about 1 kilowatt of power in the form of heat to my kitchen.

That's fine in the winter. But, it isn't winter. It's getting hot as fuck (it's an industry term) here. Being the unemployed cheap bastard I am, I devised a neat way to keep a bit cooler in the kitchen. All I did was drape a length of parchment paper underneath the window frame with thumbtacks.

Image

Now, all that makes it past that parchment paper are a couple thin slivers of direct sunlight:

Image

Job done, for only a few cents.


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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#232  Postby The_Piper » Sep 27, 2017 12:12 am

I mickey-moused the hell out of one of my sheds, and hammered my thumb pretty good. :whine: I almost never do that. It's still kinda throbbing. I mentioned the work I was doing today here in the rant thread.
The shed has other issues anyways, so if I get them fixed maybe I can think about redoing the roof, wood and all. I'm not expending any money to contractors, so if I can't find a friend to help (supervise and do 1/2 of the work) then it's days are numbered. It should hopefully last 5 more years or so the way I have it.
Maybe I'll share pics tomorrow. It's bad. Maybe it wouldn't matter if it was a small one, but it's 10x16. I have another one like it also with issues, but it's in much better condition. It was built as a tool shop, probably before I was born. I painted that one gray this summer, and want to have it fixed. Both of them need to be jacked up, they were built on the ground, so naturally the bottoms are rotted. My house was like that too. There is still a rotted beam, but it's not completely rotted, and I stopped the moisture getting at it. Yada yada.
I'm thinking about building a little one, I have a bunch of pallets to make a frame. :lol:
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#233  Postby laklak » Sep 29, 2017 2:08 pm

I need to wire a generator transfer switch into the main breaker panel. I know how to do it but it's illegal, I'm supposed to hire an electrician, get a permit, and all that jazz. I called an electrician and he wants $500 to do it, plus parts. WTF? It's less than an hour of work, including mounting the new box. I'm not an idiot, I understand wiring, and I'm not going to wire the hot into the common or otherwise fuck it up.

I think I'm going to break the law here.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#234  Postby Scot Dutchy » Sep 29, 2017 2:27 pm

Good luck. Be careful.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#235  Postby The_Piper » Sep 29, 2017 2:47 pm

laklak wrote:I need to wire a generator transfer switch into the main breaker panel. I know how to do it but it's illegal, I'm supposed to hire an electrician, get a permit, and all that jazz. I called an electrician and he wants $500 to do it, plus parts. WTF? It's less than an hour of work, including mounting the new box. I'm not an idiot, I understand wiring, and I'm not going to wire the hot into the common or otherwise fuck it up.

I think I'm going to break the law here.

If you're sure you know what you're doing, may as well. I don't know enough to trust myself with wiring. Which is unfortunate because my house has old wiring and I'd have a more enjoyable existence if it was updated, but that's on a "someday" timetable unfortunately.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#236  Postby OlivierK » Sep 29, 2017 9:00 pm

Piper, where I live there are a lot of owner-builders looking to do as much work themselves as possible to keep costs down. Many electricians are happy for owners to get their own wiring in place around the house (something they'd get a junior, unqualified trainee to do anyway, if they have one) and then leave just the process of getting it live to them. Jobs don't take long if all the wires are in place and stripped ready to connect to lights, outlets, etc. and pulling and stripping wires is dull work that many are happy to have done by somebody else. The trick is finding an electrician who is prepared to lower their bill appropriately. Some are happy for owners to do most of the work, but then want to charge their normal fee anyway.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#237  Postby crank » Sep 30, 2017 11:21 pm

laklak wrote:I need to wire a generator transfer switch into the main breaker panel. I know how to do it but it's illegal, I'm supposed to hire an electrician, get a permit, and all that jazz. I called an electrician and he wants $500 to do it, plus parts. WTF? It's less than an hour of work, including mounting the new box. I'm not an idiot, I understand wiring, and I'm not going to wire the hot into the common or otherwise fuck it up.

I think I'm going to break the law here.

I think the reason for the high cost and the banning us citizens from doing it is the requirement for an interlock to make sure the supply lines are cut off when your generator kicks in. Lineman have been killed by home owners injecting their generator power onto the grid, and anyone who is assuming the power is off because, we;ll, the power is off, might get quite a surprise when their neighbor connects his generator.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#238  Postby The_Piper » Oct 01, 2017 11:52 am

OlivierK wrote:Piper, where I live there are a lot of owner-builders looking to do as much work themselves as possible to keep costs down. Many electricians are happy for owners to get their own wiring in place around the house (something they'd get a junior, unqualified trainee to do anyway, if they have one) and then leave just the process of getting it live to them. Jobs don't take long if all the wires are in place and stripped ready to connect to lights, outlets, etc. and pulling and stripping wires is dull work that many are happy to have done by somebody else. The trick is finding an electrician who is prepared to lower their bill appropriately. Some are happy for owners to do most of the work, but then want to charge their normal fee anyway.

That might work.
I want my wires to be surface mounted, I think it's called. On the outside of the walls, so I don't have to open up the interior walls, I definitely can't afford that. I like the 1960's stained particle wood paneling too. :lol: If I had enough money opeening them and shoring up the insulation would be great I guess, but also I have so much stuff that I'd have to move outside to do that.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#239  Postby laklak » Oct 01, 2017 2:45 pm

crank wrote:I think the reason for the high cost and the banning us citizens from doing it is the requirement for an interlock to make sure the supply lines are cut off when your generator kicks in. Lineman have been killed by home owners injecting their generator power onto the grid, and anyone who is assuming the power is off because, we;ll, the power is off, might get quite a surprise when their neighbor connects his generator.


Yeah idiots backfeed the panel without throwing the main breaker, which is why I want a transfer switch rather than just wiring it into the panel, that way there's no way to connect the genny without disconnecting from the mains.

There was a story about a guy here who connected two generators to his main panel, thinking it works like batteries and you can just connect multiples in parallel. Fucking moron blew up both generators and started a fire in the breaker panel. A little knowledge can be dangerous.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion

#240  Postby The_Metatron » Oct 06, 2017 6:38 pm

crank wrote:
laklak wrote:I need to wire a generator transfer switch into the main breaker panel. I know how to do it but it's illegal, I'm supposed to hire an electrician, get a permit, and all that jazz. I called an electrician and he wants $500 to do it, plus parts. WTF? It's less than an hour of work, including mounting the new box. I'm not an idiot, I understand wiring, and I'm not going to wire the hot into the common or otherwise fuck it up.

I think I'm going to break the law here.

I think the reason for the high cost and the banning us citizens from doing it is the requirement for an interlock to make sure the supply lines are cut off when your generator kicks in. Lineman have been killed by home owners injecting their generator power onto the grid, and anyone who is assuming the power is off because, we;ll, the power is off, might get quite a surprise when their neighbor connects his generator.

I suppose it’s surprising that there arent automatic disconnects at the meter. If it detects power flowing in the wrong direction, open the circuit.
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