Saturday, 29 March 2008

It's Spring! Time to Renovate (Again)

Hello all!

Once again things have slowed to a crawl at 'RC'. You never know what life will throw at you until you decide to start your own business. Seriously! Anything that can go wrong outside of the business has or could still go wrong.

The good part of it all is that there is always a way to make lemonade out of lemons. Chris and I have been soo0 busy trying to play catch up with our families and our full time careers that it's amazing that anything else can get done. However, one of those projects that I am working on right now is utilizing some wasted space in my family room that I uncovered when I was renovating my kitchen in January.There was a whole area above my fireplace that was not only 'not' insulated, but was big enough to install actual shelving. However, I tried measuring a space for my old CRT 27" and realized that it was definitely not going to fit. It's funny because my wife and I have hummed and hawed about buying a new LCD television but didn't feel justified because the old 27" still works.

So, the fun began when I sat down and tried to figure out what I could do with that upper space besides insulate it and re-seal it. My wife and I both agreed that the best thing to do was leave the space and reshape it to hang a 37" LCD. So, now all I had to do was build a box wide enough and deep enough strictly for the new television.

I installed a new outlet in the hole for the TV, installed 2" electrical conduit to fish wiring from the ceiling directly to the back of the set and popped in the speaker wiring for the right, left and centre speakers that will eventually hang around the LCD box. I also ran a support board down the back and centre to support the LCD wall bracket.

Incidentally, if you are wondering why the wall is all green and white, it is because they had fake bricks glued up there and I tore all of them off to make way for another sheet of drywall that I will put over top of the old one. I don't intend to put them back either. Anybody have a need for fake dark red brick? I have lots of them.

If you are confused as to what this has to do with 'RC' and woodworking, it's because I also have to build a stereo cabinet that will go in the wall to the left of the fireplace. The original builder had installed a cubby for fireplace wood but I never use it. So, it is the perfect place to put a stereo and computer system instead. The reason why this is important is because we now have the challenge of coming up with a cabinet that can hold all of the stereo equipment, properly ventilate and also hold a media centre PC (more ventilation required). I also want to be able to store DVD's and CD's in it and cover it all with a glass door. The cabinet also needs to be removable.

The hole is almost 4 feet deep and about 3 feet tall with a cold air return passing over top of it. Since I only need about a foot of this space deep, it's going to be really tricky to redesign the whole cabinet to fit stereo equipment nicely AND be convenient to work behind if equipment upgrades or repairs are ever necessary.

A while back, I had mentioned building a cabinet that looked like an old jukebox. I have most of it designed as a free-standing unit but now I begin to question whether or not a could somehow incorporate it into this instead.

I have drawn up quite a few other cabinet designs as well but nothing that is yet to be set in stone. I also have a clean palette on the face of the fireplace. I haven't even totally decided what to do with that either.

And once we get through with this project, we plan to build a media room for Chris' house as soon as he's set to go. There will definitely be some cool innovation going on in there as well. So, stay tuned and we will continue to update this project as well as our playhouses!

Friday, 14 March 2008

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

Okay, so things stalled for a little bit here at 'RC'. It seems that life and family and all that good stuff (or a necessary evil - you pick) has hampered our release date for the first playhouse model. Well, don't panic! We are still plugging away at them.

The good news is, it looks like things will finally be back on track and we will finally get to move our tools into the big garage where there is definitely more room than my basement (which has been a nice cozy retreat to say the least - note the picture above). March is halfway over and the warmer days are finally ahead of us (as I write this, we are receiving about 15 centimeters of snow which isn't unusual in Alberta). We've been churning out some new furniture designs in the meantime, all on paper, and hope that some of them get to see the light of day in the very near future. I'm going to make it a point of posting some of our doodles in the coming days just to prove it to you.

But, pressing on, I won't let this new dusting of snow hamper my spirits. Besides, I've seen some Canada Geese flying over my head while I was at work. They obviously know something we don't.