Category Archives: office

Back to work, part 3

Steven trimmed the extra inches off the 8-foot-long desktops, spray painted the cut ends with flat black, then black satin, then two coats of clear satin polyurethane. That took 48 hours in the garage, waiting for paint to dry.

Saturday morning, Jacquela helped to carry the desktop modules into the office. Steven finagled all three panels into position, using 5/8-inch spacers to hold each desktop free of the walls — to create a “pass through” for network cables and electrical cords.

Lying on his back on the floor, Steven screwed 1/2-inch wood screws through the brackets and into the underside of each desktop, locking the wood panels into secure position. Jacquela was NOT available to photograph Steven working under the desks.

Everything got wiped down and cleaned up.

And, then, finally, it was time to bring the desktop computer back into the office — and power it up.

In photo above … Steven’s desktop computer set into place at the southwest corner of the office — booted up, connected to the Web. With Adobe’s dog bed tucked neatly under the side wing — because the dog is barely separable from Steven.

There's a new computer coming from HP. Two monitors are unboxed and ready to connect to the new machine when it arrives -- right side of desktop.
There’s a new computer coming from HP. Two monitors are unboxed and ready to connect to the new machine when it arrives — right side of desktop.
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Back to work, part 2

The Leons came back from Thanksgiving dinner with the Cooksleys and Steven set to work burning off the calories.

Steps in the process — locate the studs behind the drywall, mark them with blue painter’s tape, calculate the height for the desk at 30.5 inches per guidance from the web on desktop ergonomics, measure out a level line around the walls, then mount the brackets level and plumb that Steven ordered last week — the brackets arrived the day before Thanksgiving — while also working out where to not put brackets in order to be able to slide two-drawer file cabinets under the desktop and between two brackets.

After that, Jaquela helped Steven carry in from the garage two of the desktops — test fitting the parts to calculate what has to be cut off.

In photo above, one of the desktop pieces resting in position — the plywood is now stained black, using a black stain that is premixed with polyurethane. Then Steven applied two coats of clear satin polyurethane atop the stain. From a distance, it’s perfect. Up close and personal, it’s not perfect, but it should endure years of abuse from keyboards, monitors, pens, pencils, paper, glasses, paperclips, and countless projects that trundle into Steven’s work.

From atop a chair, a vertiginous view of the brackets and one of the smaller desktops test-fitted into place -- and all the obstacles that Steven is working around -- tools, chairs, network-attached storage devices, uninterruptible power supplies ...
From atop a chair, a vertiginous view of the brackets and one of the smaller desktops test-fitted into place — and all the obstacles that Steven is working around — tools, chairs, network-attached storage devices, uninterruptible power supplies …
Shifting perspective to floor height from the office entry off the pantry corridor -- brackets screwed to walls, blue tape to mark studs, unfinished planks of pine to use as spacers.
Shifting perspective to floor height from the office entry off the pantry corridor — brackets screwed to walls, blue tape to mark studs, unfinished planks of pine to use as spacers.

Meanwhile, out in the garage, Steven measured everything three times, then cut the two larger desktops down to size, and began touching up the cut ends — first with flat black spray paint to cover the raw cuts, then spray black satin stain mixed with polyurethane to blend with the surface of the finished desktops and, eventually, two coats of clear satin polyurethane sprayed over the cut ends to protect eveything. Sometime as early as tonight, the desktops will be ready to transport into the office for permanent mounting.

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Back to work

1-dsc_3853Now that the garage floor is clean and clear of obstacles, Steven moves on to his next project — staining the plywood that will become the desks in his office.

Actually … These are the plywood desks from his old office at Sea Eagle. Steven saved the wood to re-use it. Thinking ahead, as always.

Today, he sanded the bare wood bottoms and patched the holes with wood filler, and sanded what were the polyurethaned desktops, giving them “bite” for an application of stain or spray paint.

The desktops will be black — drama against the white walls.

The first coat of stain will need “sanding” with steel wool. Then a second coat of stain. Maybe a third.

The shelf brackets that will brace the wood to the walls are already on order.

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Notes, 29 Jan. 2016

Ron is home sick. Day three. He and Steven suspect a virus. The plumber was sick a couple of weeks back. The garage door company pushed back into next week because the install team is down. Steven compared symptoms with Peter, one of the carpenters — sinus cavities so blocked you gasp for air. Combined with allergies to ceder pollen, because ceder is off the scale.

We campaign on without our leader …

Above, the team from Gilsa continues to lay weed block and cover it with gravel, extending the gravel deck off the kitchen side door around to the front of the house.

About an hour later, the gravel extends to the front porch and dirt is going in between the concrete pavers.
About an hour later, the gravel extends to the front porch and dirt is going in between the concrete pavers.

Steven signed off on change order 26 — we went $600 over on the lighting budget.

Steven also signed off on draw 7 — and Ranserve has begun to reconcile all the line items, change orders, monies not spent, as we approach what promises to be the final month of construction.

It’s one-third the massive truck that Ron drives, but Steven was able to transport two eight-foot-long and two six-foot-long lighting tracks inside his serviceable Honda Element from Lights Fantastic to Emerald Hill. Now the electricians can finish putting up the track in the office.

Since the garage doors are reportedly on schedule for next week, Steven cleaned up the random pile of lumber stored in the garage, moving it clear of where the doors will be assembled, sweeping the floor clean, and shifting out of the way Ron’s desk, a pile of pavers and a second pile of bricks. That leaves only a second pile of dried-out 60-year-old studs that the framers cut from the garage when joining the existing two-bay structure to the new garage shed; Ron plans to recycle these.

And … between conference calls and work, Steven began assembling the specs requested by the Austin Green Build program. This homework will take a while.

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