Monday, May 26, 2008

End And Beginning

The communication panel. This box routes TV, phone, and data to all rooms. The two holes at the top of the box are for the DSL modem and router that will supply the entire house with Internet hookups.
Granite countertops are the main holdup here. This picture shows the kitchen, which lacks all the backsplashes.

This is the powder room. It lacks the backsplash.

Mrs. Underground Carpenter's make-up area. It lacks a granite top on the apothecary cabinet, a repaired door front and a mirror. I still have to install the other four drawers in the apothecary cabinet. Two points if you noticed the middle drawer front that needs to be adjusted.

This is the door closer on the kiln room door. Notice the exhaust fan to vent hot air out of the room while the 2500-degree kilns are running.

Every self-closing door needs a kick-down.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Granite Slogs Along

Our plumber layed out the locations(at 3 sinks) of spouts, valves, air gap, soap dispensers, and RO dispenser so that the granite guys could drill the 1 3/8"holes in our 3 cm granite countertops.
Here's David (left) and Richard (right) drilling holes for the kitchen sink.

Things are happening fast and furious here, and Carpenter has been putting in long days finishing up odds and ends. Postings will continue to be in short supply until we finish this house.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Milestone

Wednesday we moved the water system equipment into the garage. It's been out in the weather for two years now, so we thought we'd put it in the garage to protect it from blowing sand, extreme temperatures, sunlight, etc... This is a picture of the electrical equipment that controls our water system. The box on the left is a relay to power the submersible pump which is almost 500 feet down in the ground. The box on the right is the constant-pressure controller. Its job is to transform single-phase power to 3-phase, to power the pressure pump inside the water tank. The pressure pump only comes on when there is demand, and it is variable, keeping our water pressure at a steady 50 psi. Notice all the cool toroids in the high-tech Subdrive 75 constant pressure controller.
The disassembly operation. Clockwise from bottom: Jim disconnects the wiring to the controller, Gary helps lift out the constant pressure pump, Bill is pulling the pump out, and Jim stands ready to receive the pump. Jim and Gary are G&H Electric electricians, and Bill and Jim are Hacking Plumbing plumbers. Two fine companies working together like a well-oiled machine. Clockwork, smooth and by the numbers.
Gary(left) and Jim(right) mount the pump controls on their new home, a plywood panel inside the garage. Behind them is the new 1550-gallon water tank, which is on a special circular concrete pad.
Bill(left) and Jim(right) lower the constant-pressure pump into the new water tank. We had to clean it up a bit. It had a coating of clay sand on it.
The big white pipe is how the water gets from the well to the garage tank. The two grey conduits are power to the submersible and a convenience outlet at the well. Where the white PVC water pipe comes out of the ground I painted it and then wrapped insulation around it. That should protect it from the sun's rays and the occasional winter freeze. Where we're at in the Mojave Desert it has only dipped to freezing 10 times in the last 50 years, but you never know with the possible global climate changes.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

All In A Day's Work

The finishing touches of any house seem endless. The details are what makes a home from a building box. This is a hose hanger for the central vacuum system. The bag holds attachments and tools.
This is a Put Down, a place to put down groceries or whatever while you unlock the door and open it. I got the idea from Malcolm Wells. He loves to put one at each outside door. A very good idea.
Mrs. Underground Carpenter and I unboxed the washer and dryer today. We still need to put the fronts on the pedestals, but only after we move them into their final place and level the machines. They're away from the wall because we need to get a 220v cord and plug for the dryer and a 90 degree hookup for the two hose connections on the washer.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Underground Plumbing

Here's Mike from Hacking Plumbing installing a toilet in the shop bathroom.
Mike is installing the water heater and recirculating pump(for instant-on hot water). Notice he carefully shields his work area from soldering splatters and paste flux blobs.
This is the utility room sink, set but not finished yet. We had to take off the countertop and set it over the upside-down sink to put on the clips that hold it in. Then we set the countertop/sink back on the cabinet.
This is one of the two utility sinks in Mrs. Carpenter's shop.
A pic of the shop bathroom. The water supply is not hooked up yet, so the bathroom isn't functional yet. Also, I haven't yet installed towel bars and TP holders.
This is Bill uncrating the toilet for the guest bathroom. Bill started at the other end of the house from Mike.
This is a wax ring. Moments later, Bill put the toilet down over it, smooshing it down and ensuring a tight seal to the pipe below.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Electrical Stuff

This is the switch for the lights on the front of the house. The cover is down to show the menu-selector. You can set up to 20 different times for the lights to turn on and off, all days or just weekdays or weekends, and it figures sunrise and sunset for you so you don't have to keep resetting for dawn and dusk. It takes a bit of time to wade through the instructions and set day/date/time and program on/off times. Oh, one other cool feature is "random". If you switch to random mode, it changes your programmed times by up to 20 minutes to simulate randomness.
This is with the cover closed. If you want to turn on a light without a program, you just push the cover and it switches the light on.
This is the Communication Center at the Underground Carpenter Mega-Complex. The wiring is not quite finished, but the telephone cable(Large black cable) is now run in, so next week our electrician can hook up telephone throughout the house. The large yellow cable is romex for 110v power. There are two more boxes to hook up inside the comm center which will supply power to the video amplifiers and modem/routers.