Showing posts with label Saving Time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saving Time. Show all posts

Heat Gun with 2 Heat Settings, Which is High and Low?

I've got a decent Black and Decker 120V heat gun, with two heat settings marked "1" and "2" on the switch. However, there is no clear mention of which setting is high heat, and which setting is low heat. I don't use the heat gun regularly, so if I had to use it on low heat to avoid melting something, I would flick the switch back and forth to try to figure out which setting was the low heat setting.

I finally got tired of this routine, and took 5 minutes to figure this out and label the heat gun for clarity.
500W setting - Measured using the Kill-a-Watt
 I have a Kill a Watt energy meter, so it was quite simple to connect the heat gun, switch the Kill a Watt meter display to instantaneous power (Watts), and flick the switch back and forth to determine that switch position 1 is 500W, and switch position 2 is 1000W.
1000W setting - Measured using the Kill-a-Watt
I have a Brother TZ label maker in my garage toolbox, 30 seconds later I had the heat gun labelled for clarity. No more uncertainty as to what switch position is low, and what switch position is high. Nice.

Sources and Links

I hope you found this post useful. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below. I answer all questions. If you're interested, you can help support this site by using the following links to in the United States.


Ikea Kitchen Cabinets for Garage Organization - Vertical Wall Cabinet for Skis and Thule Racks

One of the things that was sorely lacking in the new house was any form of garage organization - just a huge, empty, 40 x 18 x 10 foot box.

Next to no organization - piles of boxes and a big open mess.

I did a bunch of research, and looked at the garage storage systems in the big box home improvement stores. My impression of the systems offerred, both in metal and in melamine - was typically of mediocre quality, and a lack of flexibility. Typically, only one or two base cabinets and tall cabinets were offerred, so getting a good fit with my space would be difficult or impossible.

Then I went to Ikea and checked out the Akurum kitchen cabinet system. Here - lots of choice in base cabinets, wall cabinets and tall cabinets. Lots of widths, height, door and drawer combinations. In essence - exactly what I was looking for - full flexibility to implement a storage design taking into account my space available. (Note - I understand that the Ikea Akurum system will be replaced in 2015 by a new kitchen cabinet system - Sektion - but that shouldn't change the principles of implementing a similar solution in your garage).

Here's my post on the Akurum cabinet installation. 

Here's a photo of the completed tall cabinet - loaded with racks and gear:

Completed Cabinet Installation - Perfect for Skis, Hockey Sticks, Thule Rack Bars
Empty wall - ready for cabinets.... I had been wondering what I could do with this space between the mandoor and garage door.

Bare corner ready for cabinet installation. I had to move an alarm motion sensor up to clear the cabinet installation. 
In order to fit the cabinet - it was a tight squeeze - I had to use the router to remove some material from one side of the cabinet - to clear the ceramic tile installed on the bottom 2 feet of the wall in my installation. Note the plastic levelling feet used - makes installation a breeze.

A router removed some material from the side surface of the
 cabinet to clear my ceramic tile on the lower part of my garage walls. 
A wall mounted plywood strip compensates for the thickness of the ceramic tile on the wall at the bottom. The metal hanging bracket ensures a solid installation - very simple and straighforward to hang the cabinet on the wall.

Plywood spacer and wall bracket for securing the top of the cabinet. You can also see the alarm sensor wire has been extended. 
Adding boxes to the initial wall cabinet. Levelling is quick and easy with the plastic cabinet feet.

Box installed, waiting for cabinet doors
Once all the wall cabinets are installed, its time for some doors and drawers. I went for the soft close hinges and drawer slides - makes for a polished installation. I also installed a second cabinet door with extra height to hide items placed on top of the cabinet. This space is perfect for wheel holders.

Top door - extra height to help hide items placed on top of the cabinet.
Door installation - checking the height of the shelf with my longest set of skis.
One tip for making the whole process go quicker - use an air powered trim nailer - brad nailer for tacking the back panels of the cabinets to the cabinet frames - this really speeds up the slowest part of the whole operation.

I also added some velcro ties to help store poles and accessories.

Velcro tie - held down with a wood screw and washer.
Pefect for holding ski poles.
Completed installation with the door closed. 
After about 15 months - this setup is still rock solid and very practical. I can't imaging working without it now.

Final touch - was installing a second garage door remote on the side of the cabinet for convenience. I ran all the wires in surface mount wiring channels - to hide the wires and neaten the installation.

Garage Door Control installed on the side of the cabinet

Door sensor installed - wiring channels hide bare wires.

Organization of the Thule Rack Parts


This was a super upgrade. When ever I need to rack up the car - my racks are right near the garage door - no running around and digging up rack components. The skis are also right by the garage door - just open the garage door - throw the skis in the car - and off to the hill. Excellent upgrade and time saver, helps the garage look neat. 

Sources and Links

I hope you found this post useful. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below. I answer all questions. If you're interested, you can help support this site by using the following links to in the United States. Cabinets are available at Ikea - in person or online.


Central Air Conditioning Condensation Drain, Trap and Cleanout

Last summer I began having humidity problems in my house, even with the air conditioning running. A quick inspection of the fan coil unit showed that the evaporator condensate pan was not draining properly, leaving the pan full with water. As the fan circulated ventilation air when the air conditioner was not running, it would simply evaporate the water in the condensate pan, and bring it back into the house.

My condensate drain was constructed of 3/4" CPVC pipe, and the installer put in a simple P trap made of 90 degree elbows, as shown below. I tried flushing out the P-trap by putting a hose nozzle inside the fan coil unit - very awkward, and not very effective. I had to find a better way of cleaning out the trap.

Condensate drain made from 3/4" CPVC pipe and 90 degree elbows
A second issue with this drain was that there was no slope added to the pipe when it hit the floor and ran for about 20 feet.

Drain runs about 20 feed along the floor slab to a floor drain
To be able to get in and clean out the P trap, I cut the trap out of the system, and reinstalled it with two CPVC union fittings. I started by installing the top union, to be able to measure the down pipe on the other side to get the right height for the second union. When I got the P-trap removed, it was completely gunked up with scale, rust from the condensate pan, and spider webs. It was easy to clean out once removed.
Installing CPVC union fitting on the trap

Here's the finished trap with two unions installed. 
I also corrected the slope of the pipe running along the slab, to avoid water pooling in the flat runs, evaporating, and leaving scale. 

Shimming the drain pipe to get the correct slope 
Adding shims under the pipe straps to correct the drain slope.
All told, this project took a couple of hours, but it should reduce the amount of maintenance required to keep the pipe flowing, and greatly simplify cleaning out the trap. If you're putting in a new drain, consider putting in the union fittings right from the start. They're not expensive, about $4 or $5 for a 3/4" union.

Water fllowing through the drain line again.