Our friends, Andy and Karen, were almost our neighbors, but the stars weren't aligned. They eventually settled in Sacramento and are plugging away at a renovation. They've also started a blog to document it all — check it out!
Remember 8050 Shay Drive? It was the time-capsule house we visited a few years ago. It turns out that friends of friends bought it and we've gotten to know the (new) owners a bit. Well... families grow and things change and they're moving again and the house is for sale and open this weekend and next. Check it out!
The house when we first saw it was frozen in time — the 50 year old dishwasher and oven had never been used. Calvin and Kimberly have made a few updates for livability. For instance — although neat — that 50-year-old, never-run dishwasher would blow up on the first run due to dried-out hoses and gaskets. A new oven, dishwasher and refrigerator now grace the kitchen. However, most of the rest of the house is original — very original — which is quite a rare find.
The updates that have been done have been very true to the ethos of the house and they hope that the new owner can be the same sort of steward that they have been. We hope so, too.
Our friends at ModPop, Modmens (and us — ModApple) are teaming up for an atrium sale next Saturday, Feb 8th... Stop by to score some great deals on Mid-century goodies. I'll also have a CSSU shelving unit or two on display and for sale.
For the past few months, I've been generating quite a bit of dust in the workshop — to the point that I need some sort of ventilation (and dust collection) option. However, since a lot of the dust and fumes are due to painting and finishing, I wanted to tackle the air before the floors.
Commercial workshop air-cleaners appear quite effective but are expensive at nearly $400. However, in principle, an air filter should be a simple thing: pull air through a filter and exhaust filtered air back into the room... which shouldn't be that hard — or expensive.
I researched a few DIY options and figured that a 20X30in furnace filter would give be the best bang/buck filter size and that a 20in box fan could deliver enough CFMs to make a difference... a weekend later, I had a home-made filter that used up a bit of scrap wood and cost less than $25 ($18 for the fan, $4 for the filter and $3 for misc hardware... not counting the scrap wood and aluminum angle that were left over)...
After hanging the prototype, I made a few adjustments: re-routing the power cord to exit from the top and the creation of some steel cables for hanging (also leftover pieces), but the premise is the same. The fan is powered by the lighting circuit, so it comes on when the lights are on (not a bad option), but for $3 more, I added a simple on/off switch.
I also blocked off the rear of the fan a bit so that the fan would be more prone to pull air from the front-side rather than recirculate it on the back side. In the end, If I were to install filters on both sides, even that wouldn't matter.
I'll eventually run two channels down the long part of the box to hold the filter even tighter, but that's another project...
Touch-up painting can often be a drag. You haul out a bunch of gear only to paint a square foot of wall... however, I've stumbled upon a few things that have made it easier.
First, I've switched to the "mini" rollers for all of my painting — even large areas. I find that they're easier to control, hold just as much paint (or as much as i'd need), roll smoother/more even, and are much easier to clean. Plus, they don't take up nearly as much space in the cupboard and are often less expensive.
Second, I always like to use a paint try and liner... but what do you do when (1), you're out of liners or (2) don't want to waste a full liner on a small job...
Use a grocery bag. They make tackling the job and later removal — and/or storage disposal — of the roller (should you want to go that route) much easier. In a tightly wrapped bag, a roller will stay wet and usable for days (or weeks).
Over at NorCalMod, I just finished off the most ambitious build to date and have launched the latest CSSU version... the Integrated CSSU which integrates audio into the CSSU concept: think gaming centers, turntable stands, entertainment units, etc.
The first unit was built as an entertainment center to house standard-width (17in) audio gear. It is a standard depth of 14in, but we can also build a deeper 18 or 20in version for deeper components. It features integrated 2-way acoustic-suspension speakers constructed as separate pieces prior to integration into the CSSU — they're quite robust... and they look, and sound, fantastic.
Some features of the series:
Traditional CSSU construction with anodized aluminum standards, optional adjustable feet, maple or birch main shelving with a choice of contrasting wood or colors.
6.5in or 8in 2-way speakers with poly or kevlar woofers in an acoustic-suspension design
Dual-voice center channel and subwoofer (passive or active) available
White, frameless speaker grills
Adjustable center shelves
18.5in bays to accommodate standard-width audio gear
Customizable speaker width (see below designs)
The first unit was constructed of Baltic birch main shelves with teak veneered speakers (6.5in poly cones). It features adjustable feet and comes in at 56(w)x14(d)x24(h)... This version/sample is available for $850.
Click on the phots for larger, clearer versions and contact me if you're interested in spec-ing out your own Integrated CSSU.
One of the best gifts we received from Casie's family was the Gus Modern Sparrow glider — and we've received many complements on it. It's a beautiful chair and Casie swears by it for getting the boy to sleep.
However, today, Casie and Truman sat in it and it broke. When I investigated, I found an amazingly shoddy assembly using sub-standard and inappropriate joinery*.
*I should add that I don't think that this was Gus' intention (they're a decent outfit), but quality control and offshore manufacturing are hard to balance, it seems... and this post was created simply as a convenient place to house the information so that Gus can take a look-see. Ironically, both the solid walnut base and the steel rocking mechanism were of extremely high quality, but the joinery between the two is suspect to say the least.
Edit: I received a response from Gus*: "Thank you for getting in touch with us and letting us know you had issues with the Sparrow Glider. We will pass along all information, including your detailed pictures, to our design team. We take these matters very seriously and appreciate you taking the time to inform us of this issue. Gus*"
Interestingly enough, though, I'm not seeing the word "sorry" in the above.