Team Seacats

Archive for August, 2012

Catch Up with the Past

by on Aug.29, 2012, under Garage Mahal

I missed a post in here with some of the fun stuff that happened downstairs…this is more of a picture post than anything…but the blue stripe is up (and looks terrific if I do say so myself). It’s still a bit of a mess downstairs and I’m hoping to work on that a little tonight by recycling the mountain of cardboard boxes. I’ll have the painter come back to paint the exposed block wall once I have the trim up. Electrical is 90% done.  We’ve got a ton of business to take care of for the next few days but I hope to get another solid day in on the floor on Labor day (which is fittingly named for my case).

My poor truck loaded down with 2300 lbs of flooring before hauling it upstairs:

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The very nice and clean shaft-mounted garage door opener (the other one has yet to be installed).
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We’re really happy with this color:
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Wood Underfoot

by on Aug.27, 2012, under Garage Mahal

Once again, I find myself reminded at how poor I am at estimating time.  I thought I could install the 860 square feet of flooring in a weekend with Tim’s help.  I was about 50% correct!  I selected a thicker 12mm laminate flooring for the additional durability (heavy’ish equipment) and it requires a good bit of force to get everything locked together.  It’s going very well and looks terrific…but I have to stop and shift back to some production shirt and commemorative plaque work we have coming quickly for several big events.  We can, at least, carry out the bulk of the work in the new office space as the air conditioning, lighting, and music situation is completely functional…we’re just limited to half the workspace and the bathroom isn’t functional yet.  I also went through about 6 different types of bulbs before settling in on a 50w equivalent LED PAR20 bulb.  I had thought I would wait a couple of years for the LED prices to come down a little more – but I came in a little under budget with drywall and painting so I splurged on the bulbs.  with 22 can lights, I can flood the space with (dimmable) light with an equivalent 1100 watts while consuming less than 200….and the mean time to failure on these bulbs is 23 years (at that point, 50% of them would have been exhausted).

I’ve also completed almost all of the electrical downstairs and can actually plug things in now.  I have one more garage door opener to mount…will have more information on that soon.

Cabinets mounted so we can floor around them.
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Starter row of flooring.
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Man, I’m glad Tim could help!
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This is where we stopped after about 13 hours.
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Ohhh! the Progress!

by on Aug.20, 2012, under Garage Mahal

Things are flying now, and I’m not getting much sleep… but I finally have the building back in my own hands and have been working non-stop on fitting out the electrical, audio, and network.  I have help coming this week to starting getting the cabinet and floor installation started.  I haven’t had a chance to upload much in the way of photos, but here are a few from a week ago after the painters were (mostly) finished.  The upstairs green was after only one coat of paint so it’a little brighter and mottled than it looks now with two coats.  It’s a bold color – but we love it.

I’ve also really come to appreciate my new chalk-line laser level – this thing is super handy for installing all sorts of things from the wall striping, lighting, and soon to be the upstairs cabinets.

As business is getting ready to erupt with several large projects in the next several weeks, my focus has moved completely to the upstairs area and anything required to have the county inspections signed off so we can start moving in and setting up our production cells.  More photos soon.

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Tool-Based Motivation

by on Aug.05, 2012, under Garage Mahal

While I struggle to get contractors to show up and finish their stuff, I have found myself letting out a big depressing sigh every time I step into the garage. After trading voice mails for two days, I discovered that my sheetrock guy was out of town all last week (vacation or family emergency unknown).  I’m giving him four days next week to finish or I’m finding someone else/doing it myself.

On another topic, I have a sign project for the graphics business and I’ve really needed a new drill press to finish out 24 signs with about 8 holes each. I sniffed around on craigslist for a drill press and stumbled across a guy that had six factory refurbished units listed at about 1/2 of retail. I was scheduled to meet him one afternoon last week and he failed to show up.   Feeling like being stood up provided enough of an excuse, I tried the warehouse door and found it open. I sniffed around and found the drill presses and decided that it was indeed a great deal. After picking out the one I wanted, I also found several table saws on pallets in various conditions. One of them appeared to be a 110V unit with very little use (most of the larger saws are 220V).  By the time I finally met with the guy a couple of days later, I had talked myself into both the drill press and the table saw. The drill press was a “damaged box” that was reinspected by the factory and found to have no issues. The table saw was a show room demo unit that was barely used and it has a 64″ (or something ridiculously long around that) Biesmeyer fence and a mobility kit with a kick down wheel.

The table saw weighs about 400lbs and unloading it was going to be quite a chore.  That proved as enough motivation to get the I-beam and hoist installed on my ceiling.  The beam and hoist were solely intended to help loading and unloading boats from trailers (or double-stacked boats on/off trailers).  After loading up the saw (with a hand operated fork lift at the warehouse), the truck was backed into the shop, a strap arranged around the saw, and the hoist put in action.  Once lifted, the 400lbs saw easily rolled back eight feet out of the back of the truck and was gently put on the ground back on it’s included mobility kit.  Nothing groaned, nothing creaked, the hoist stayed put in any position.  It was buttery smooth lifting and moving the load.  This operation would have taken at least four guys to unload that saw.  Wow…I felt like that beam and hoist just paid for itself – and I’m just getting started!  However, I’m finding that I not used to having it yet – while assembling a wheeled mobility kit for the 300 lb drill press, I must have downed a whole beer scratching my head about how I was going to lift the drill press onto the mobility kit before it dawned on me to use the hoist again. All big items will be on wheels in the shop so they can be moved and rearranged.  With about 30 minutes of rearranging, I will be able to switch the shop from fiberglass/boat work mode to cabinet / sign shop mode.  I may eventually need to re-wire the tablesaw for 220V because it causes all the fluorescent lights in the old shop (on one old 15amp circuit) to flickr out when it starts up!  Now, I also need a dust collection unit (it never ends).

I need to get out there tonight and wrap the new tools in plastic to protect them from the paint and dust.

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I still have some work to do with the beam – this particular hoist was borrowed.  It’s going to take a little fabrication work to mount the hoist I have purchased to this trolley.  The ceiling will eventually have some casing/trim run around the beam to hide the MDF and sheetrock joint (MDF was used under the beam to prevent compressing and cracking the drywall).

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