Random Thoughts [Home Improvement/Decorating Edition]

calvinhobbes

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Is there any readily available wood that is more durable than Douglas fir, but not heavier than it? I’m hoping to find the time to make flower boxes for my balcony railing and they can’t weigh a ton before I fill them up.
 

93Flareside

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Is there any readily available wood that is more durable than Douglas fir, but not heavier than it? I’m hoping to find the time to make flower boxes for my balcony railing and they can’t weigh a ton before I fill them up.
Maple or red oak.
 

NecroJoe

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Is there any readily available wood that is more durable than Douglas fir, but not heavier than it? I’m hoping to find the time to make flower boxes for my balcony railing and they can’t weigh a ton before I fill them up.
In the US, so probably not helpful, poplar would be readily available and lighter, though not particularly weather resistant unless appropriately painted. Western red cedar should be lighter, and outdoor resistant. Redwood will be about the same weight as doug fir, and outdoor resistant.
 

calvinhobbes

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Redwood will be about the same weight as doug fir, and outdoor resistant.

Ooooh… wouldn’t that be something. There are more Redwood trees in Europe than I used to think and of course, sometimes one is cut down. I’ve actually found some rough planks on eBay, but they’re 450km away and I‘d have to pay a sawmill to cut and plane them, so these flower boxes would be rather expensive ones.

edit: Maple… HOLY FRICKIN’ GOD, that stuff is expensive over here. :blink:
 
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Matt2000

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they’re 450km away and I‘d have to pay a sawmill to cut and plane them, so these flower boxes would be rather expensive ones.
Call Xzibit, he can plane them while he planes them to you. :razz:
 

eizbaer

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2) Yankee lighting wall pixies are only 1800watts max sustained load. Transitioning the the beefier outlet would mean some electrical work in the walls, and our current (no pun intended) panel is already maxed out, requiring a bit more work/cost.
I keep forgetting about these sorts of issues, although I should know better...
We're in the extremely privileged situation that basically everyone here has 3 phase electricity @ 16 A available for their stove & oven (so 11 kW total). So really, the available power isn't ever an issue. I know that's a very different story already in NL, BE and UK (just off the top of my head)... which of course makes a gas stove much more sensible all of a sudden.

edit:
screed is being poured all over those nice wiggly pipes as i type this.
1662117706091.png

smoooooth :love:
 
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NecroJoe

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New fridge! It's 2" wider than the old one, but nearly 5" shallower, so it makes the kitchen feel so much bigger. Especially because the fridge door is now split in the middle, so it doesn't swing out as far.

20220902_122924.jpg
20220902_122914.jpg
 

eizbaer

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Those 2“ is just about as much as is possible though, right? 😂 I like the optimization effort. Our future fridge just got delayed by another two weeks… not that it matters. It’s a very regular 60 cm wide, 2m high fridge freezer combo affair.
 

NecroJoe

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Those 2“ is just about as much as is possible though, right? 😂 I like the optimization effort.

Indeed. If it were 1/8" wider, it would actually impede into the doorway into the garage. It's JUUUST a hair shy of it right now. :lmao:

We had a specific set of parameters we were looking for:
33" or narrower
Counter depth
Fingerprint-resistant stainless
Shelves in the fridge section that were only 1/2 width (not spanning the full width of the fridge)
Bottom freezer that could hold one "standard" frozen pizza
Filtered water dispenser, with filters available at our local Home Depot or Lowe's on the shelf.

We only found two options that met all of these criteria. One of them was a Fischer & Paykel, and was over $3,500. :oops: So we went with this one instead. Most counter-depth fridges are 36" wide, and most of the ones narrower than that are side-by-side fridges, which we don't like. And then once you get beyond that, you get into models with the freezer on top, or you start giving up on features because they are more value-oriented.

There will eventually be some sort of cabinet over the fridge, but it'll be a standard 12" deep. There's no room for side walls of a surround, so we'd have no way to support a cabinet as deep as the fridge like how most fridges would be designed into kitchens nowadays.
 

NecroJoe

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Trying to figure out a light swith/control for my garage...

My garage, approximately 22ft x 10ft:
1662605788811.png


The background:

My garage initially only had one of these lights, on the wall, right next to the "top" door on the plan, which is the door from the kitchen, and it's wired to a wall switch right next to that same door. Even with a high-wattage LED lamp, the reach was pitiful, and much of the light was "wasted" as it was close to the ceiling. It also cast terrible shadows and dark corners.
1662603887421.png


About 6 years ago, to "upgrade" the lighting, I initially bought four of these (about 40 watts each), plugged them in to a power strip screwed to the ceiling, and plugged the strip into the outlet on that porcelain light fixture pictured above. All of the lights were controlled by the single wall switch. I ran the lights in a straight line down the middle of the garage, and it was a HUGE improvement. So much more light, and relatively even (except for the area under the opened garage door, which blocks the ceiling when it's raised).
1662603891724.png



The down-side to this setup is that the switch that controls these outlets is near the door from the kitchen, but there's no control for the lights at the side door (opposite wall from the kitchen door), nor the garage door on the far end of the garage. So if I try to come in the side door, the garage is dark and I need a flashlight to get to the kitchen door switch.

Since I installed those lights, a couple of things have happened:

a) One by one, all 4 of the lights have died/are dying. :wall: We're down to the last one, where one of the 6 banks in the fixture is dead, and one is flickering. Today, I just received replacements lights fixrures I've ordered: https://barrina-led.com/products/pa...t-corded-electric-with-built-in-on-off-switch I'm planning to either "railroad" them down the ceiling like the railroad ties, or I may have to run two parallel lines if my connector wires are too short, (or maybe some sort of fun zig-zag pattern.

b) We've since added an outlet in the ceiling in the middle of the garage.

In my head, I have two solution ideas, but having trouble figuring out the product solution that would best solve it.

Option 1: Occupancy sensors
  • I'd love to have ceiling-mounted occupancy sensor plug adaptor. The trouble here is that I can't find a plug adaptor that has remote occupancy sensors so that could see all three entrances, or a single 360° sensor which I could hang from the ceiling, and could see all three entrances.
Option 2: Remote switches
  • I could replace the light switch with something like the Lutron "Casetta" switch, and then add a wireless "Pico" Remote switch at the other two doors. This isn't Ideal, since the remotes are battery operated. Yes, I know they claim a 10-year battery life. We have 3 of these remotes currently, and have had to replace two batteries this year, just their 3rd year of service since installation. In my head, if I'm already replacing batteries, I'd rather have hands-free, occupancy sensors that automatically turn off behind me when I leave the garage.

Anyone have any thoughts?
 

NecroJoe

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I'm assuming wiring in 3-way switches at each entry is out of the question?

Correct, I'm not willing to alter the wiring. But the single most logical suggestion, and one I hadn't even thought of until now. Ha!
 
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calvinhobbes

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Anyone have any thoughts?

Perhaps you could plug a “smart” socket into the porcelain one, install sensors on both doors and configure the setup to turn the lights on for a short time when one door is opened.

Alternatively, buy as many smart sockets as you have light fixtures and program a couple of scenes. That way, you would never have to light the entire garage when it’s unnecessary.

You would still have the battery issue, but at least you’d be getting lots of options together with it.
 

Matt2000

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I like the idea of having them horizontally across the ceiling, that could look really good. If you went with individual switching on each then you could have a warp speed effect. :p

When it comes to PIR sensors, I don't like them all that much because they inevitably go off when you're trying to do something and are hidden (like doing something inside the car because they don't work through glass) or will stay on because a fly is in the room. Neighbour's outdoor lights are constantly going on off at the moment, detecting moths I assume.

All that being said, it might be the right solution for you. Could you mount one of these units inside a plastic tube that is suspended from the ceiling?

1662626271016.png


Use the right size tube and it could look decent, cover it with vinyl wrap or paint it if you want. It would allow you to tweak the height for exact coverage of all of the doors. The switching is done inside the unit and then you can either take the plugs off the light fixtures, or just get a 4-gang extension and shove it into the ceiling or even into the tube. I'm not quite sure how you would fix the tube in the ceiling, if you can access it from the floor above you could use threaded pipe and a threaded cap. There would be a way.
 

GRtak

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Trying to figure out a light swith/control for my garage...

My garage, approximately 22ft x 10ft:
View attachment 3566695

The background:

My garage initially only had one of these lights, on the wall, right next to the "top" door on the plan, which is the door from the kitchen, and it's wired to a wall switch right next to that same door. Even with a high-wattage LED lamp, the reach was pitiful, and much of the light was "wasted" as it was close to the ceiling. It also cast terrible shadows and dark corners.
View attachment 3566693

About 6 years ago, to "upgrade" the lighting, I initially bought four of these (about 40 watts each), plugged them in to a power strip screwed to the ceiling, and plugged the strip into the outlet on that porcelain light fixture pictured above. All of the lights were controlled by the single wall switch. I ran the lights in a straight line down the middle of the garage, and it was a HUGE improvement. So much more light, and relatively even (except for the area under the opened garage door, which blocks the ceiling when it's raised).
View attachment 3566694


The down-side to this setup is that the switch that controls these outlets is near the door from the kitchen, but there's no control for the lights at the side door (opposite wall from the kitchen door), nor the garage door on the far end of the garage. So if I try to come in the side door, the garage is dark and I need a flashlight to get to the kitchen door switch.

Since I installed those lights, a couple of things have happened:

a) One by one, all 4 of the lights have died/are dying. :wall: We're down to the last one, where one of the 6 banks in the fixture is dead, and one is flickering. Today, I just received replacements lights fixrures I've ordered: https://barrina-led.com/products/pa...t-corded-electric-with-built-in-on-off-switch I'm planning to either "railroad" them down the ceiling like the railroad ties, or I may have to run two parallel lines if my connector wires are too short, (or maybe some sort of fun zig-zag pattern.

b) We've since added an outlet in the ceiling in the middle of the garage.

In my head, I have two solution ideas, but having trouble figuring out the product solution that would best solve it.

Option 1: Occupancy sensors
  • I'd love to have ceiling-mounted occupancy sensor plug adaptor. The trouble here is that I can't find a plug adaptor that has remote occupancy sensors so that could see all three entrances, or a single 360° sensor which I could hang from the ceiling, and could see all three entrances.
Option 2: Remote switches
  • I could replace the light switch with something like the Lutron "Casetta" switch, and then add a wireless "Pico" Remote switch at the other two doors. This isn't Ideal, since the remotes are battery operated. Yes, I know they claim a 10-year battery life. We have 3 of these remotes currently, and have had to replace two batteries this year, just their 3rd year of service since installation. In my head, if I'm already replacing batteries, I'd rather have hands-free, occupancy sensors that automatically turn off behind me when I leave the garage.

Anyone have any thoughts?


You can hang lights parallel to, and from the tracks for the garage door. This keeps the light under the door when it is opened. It only requires a bracket and a magnet for each end of the light.
 

NecroJoe

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You can hang lights parallel to, and from the tracks for the garage door. This keeps the light under the door when it is opened. It only requires a bracket and a magnet for each end of the light.

Ok my god, thank you for that. I actually knew about that trick, but had it tucked away in such a deep-down archive that I effectively forgot it.

Here I was, thinking I was going to have to buy some articulating cable management thing to mount a light onto the back of the garage door, thinking how I'll want to work an in-line switch that I could reach into it somehow so that it's not blasting us in the face from the "wall" when the garage door is closed...
1663027710519.png


...and the whole time, I had forgotten about that trick. Because I have shelgving that goes right up to the tracks, I'll need to span the width of the (single car) garage door with some notched angle iron perpendicular to the tracks, to span the width of the garage, and then attaching a light to that bar...but the idea is the same: add a mounting surface for the light, which the slot in above.
 
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