Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Today I met a Genius.

So my New Year celebration this year is going to involve a Door finishing job. Being as its December and the temps are low, and the fact that I've been having a problem with finishes taking a really long time to dry in my shop, I did a little research and discovered the manufacture of my epoxy sealer offers his magical product in a cold temperature formula. Since tomarrow is New Years eve, I decided to visit the factory and pick it up in person so I could meet the time commitment. While there I got to meet the brains behind the formula and pick his brain.

Meet Steve Smith of Smith and Company. This guy has forgotten more about the formulation of varnishes and resins than I may ever know. I got the pleasure of getting an hour education on the history of varnish, the formulation of every thinning product available, as well as its proper use and so much more.

As much as I know about woodworking and finishes the more I want to learn. I am truely a student of the craft. Today was an amazing lesson.

If you're looking for the best products in wood preservation, check out Steves company at

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Whoa Im Loaded.

So here it is. Equipment placed and wired up. Damn if this thing doesn't almost look fabulous. I realized while admiring my masterpiece, that thing is never going to been seen by anyone. It's going to spend its entire life concealed in the obscured security of a hidden closet. Brilliant. All thats left now is build the faceplates..

Rack, I'd like you to meet closet.

So heres the closet where this cabinet will be living. This is the next project, I have a few plans for this as well. We'll get to that later...

Equipment Test fit.

OK time for a test fit. I grabbed the reciever and prepared for the moment of truth. Do I know how to read a tape measure? Here's a shot of the nearly completed rack with the reciever in it. It fits.


Duct the Cabinet

So now that I have the ducts in the floor to draw the cool air from, now I have to get that cool air up into the cabinet. In order to direct the cool air up in to the bottom of the cabinet. I cut a hole in the bottom of the cabinet and routed grooves into the bottom. In those grooves I inserted brushes that would reach the floor to seal up the cabinet to the floor. Check it out, works real slick.

Wait a minute, we need ducting.

Since the media equipment is sensative to heat the rack has to be well ventalated. I did a little research on this and learned the sides have to be solid and ventalation is best from the bottom so I installed vents in the closet to suck cool air from under the house.

Insert Hardware Here.

I wanted to be sure this little home built creation had all the bells and whistles of any commercial media rack so that meant hitting Guitar Rack for rack mount brackets, Piedmont Lumer for drilled angle iron that will be used for cord management and good old shelf standards to hold the equipment shelves that I made out of plywood and painted black.

Frame Built!

OK so I I still can't figure out how to insert more than one photo in a single post so Im going post happy today. Here's a shot of the framework assembled.

Media Rack takes Shape

So in the last few evenings I've been working on the media rack. I took those casings and built some framework for the rack using simple pocket screw attachements. Then I painted the inside black. While I was at it I added another thin coat to the outside to darken up that vampire finish. Once I got the panels finish on the panels they just didn't match all that well...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Media Center

So I'm super excited about this weeks build. I'm actually taking some time away from client work to do a build for my own house for Christmas, a very nice change of pace. When I built the house, I was just getting finished when the morgage crisis and all the other BS of our collapsing economy hit hard. (OCt 07) I was over budget and plain out of money. We were without heat for two months, no stove for seven, ect. Needless to say the media center was very low on the proirity list. As a gift to myself, I decided to get the basic components bought to get the system working on a minimilistic basis. As with all electronics the system spec'd at the time of build was now going obsolete so buying the basic controller components I needed via eBay and end of year closeout sales saved me a ton of money. What hadn't come down in price is the cost of the freaking rack to hold it all, still over $600 just for the rack.

I decided to build one. I started with some 1x4 Lifespan Casing that got painted red for an install job. The customer changed thier mind and wanted white. Knowing it would take three or four coats to fully cover the red with white, I just bought more material to save time, so now I had this red 1x4. Hmmm..

I thought I might do something artsy and dry brushed some black over it. The result was killer. It had this vampire goth look. I liked it, so did the missus, so I started building the framework for the component rack with this...