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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:15 pm 
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This thread was Len-morgan's suggestion, we'll let him lead off with some good advice as well as some good laughs... Steve

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Soooo, when a Musician dies, do they hear the white noise at the end of the tunnel??!? Hmmmm...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:37 pm 
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Lessons I've learned so far:

1) Don't trust estimates of material useage provide by design programs. My first (computer) esitmate of 2x4s was 99. Ended up using 207! And we didn't have more than 10' total of scrap. Drywall looks like it will be off by about 25%. I think I would have done better with a dart board and blindfold.

2) Related to #1, it will cost at least double (and more likely and order of magnitude) what you think it will. Things like screws, cool tools you find at Home Depot while shopping the stuff you REALLY need, etc all add up. Those "little bits here and there" can consume a lot of your budget.

3) Mark where your studs and joists are before you cover them with drywall. I have not been able to locate a stud finder that worked reliably through 5/8" drywall although I have tried many (see #2 above! Sad ).

4) No matter where they end up laying, make sure that your studs/joists are on some sort of consistent center spacing. This is exceedingly difficult with splayed walls and such but even if at the end of a wall you end up needing a stud 4" away from the end to keep spacing consistent all the way down the wall, DO IT. This is not something you can fix in post production. :) If you don't you end up shaving and inch or two here or there which really slows down the work.

5) Don't be afraid to return wood that is warped - Better yet, go pick it yourself (and mark it, preferably with an odd color and in a way that is difficult for the supplier to copy).

6) Don't buy (and have delivered) more material than you have floor space to put it on. If you want to be really good, plan on having a little space to work too so you can actually us up the stuff you bought.

7) Take the time to think about how you're going to build. I know, I know, the smell of sawdust and joint compound bekons like a long lost lover but resist the urge! When putting up the last sheet of dry wall across the door way in my vocal booth both my carpenter/electrician helper and I got in there - him to screw it down and me to hold the sheet in place (it has to be raised about 3/4" or so off the ground to meet the ceiling). Don't get ahead of now. As soon as we put in the last screw, he asked me to hand him the Dremel tool to cut out the door opening and I said "What Dremel tool?" I took quite a while with his pocket knife (the only other tool we had besides the drywall screw gun) to cut a big enough hole so I could get out and get the Dremel. Now while you are all ROFLing, at least I didn't paint myself into the corner! Perhaps a better way to do this would have been to put up the door opening FIRST so that we could have just pulled down the insulation and walked between the studs.

I guess what I'm advising here is that you "build" in your head before you take hammer to nail (or driver to screw as the case may be). Make sure you don't have material where you need to build something or that it is at least easily moveable. Note that 75 sheets of 5/8" inch drywall stacked too close to a wall you need to cover does NOT meet the burden of "easily moveable."

Probably most important: Remember that you have (had) a family, bills (not construction related), mortgage, .... job, etc. You probably have a significant other that does not share your lack of concern for drywall dust in bed. She KNOWS it's not baby powder! Your family will serve you better and far longer than ANY recording space you could possibly build! If you choose to ignore them, then build it really well because you may end up living in it! :Smile:

9) "Plumb" is not a fruit. "Square" is not the guy with thick glasses you knew in high school. Yes, Virgina, it really DOES matter.

10) Do not listen to the radio while working if they are playing songs with numbers in them! (1999 - Prince, 1,2,3 - Gloria Estafan, 12 Days of Christmas - Various Artists). It really makes it hard to remember that wall you just measured. Embarassed

11) Turn off your telephone and/or cell phone and disconnect your doorbell BEFORE going up the ladder to put up the next sheet of drywall.

12) When putting up your calking, plan on releasing the trigger a good 5 minutes before you get to the end of the current bead to prevent losing 1/2 a tube on the floor.


Last edited by len-morgan on Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:53 pm 
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More Lessons

13) Self-adhesive dry wall mesh tape really isn't.

14) Your face is actually magnetic! But only when applying joint compound directly over head. The effect is heightened when you are actually looking up at it.

15a) Never put on more joint compound than you are willing to sand off.

15b) Never sand off more than you put on...it really messes up the sheet rock.

15c) You can't effectively sand down the head of a dry wall screw. Better to put them in properly...ALL of them.

16) Inside corners are a bitch to put in. Angles less than 90 degrees are worse than my first wife (i.e., worse). :-)

17) Do not wear loose fitting pants while applying joint compound. When you don't pay attention to the angle your holding the container of joint compound and drop a load in your shorts, the excitement is only momentary. After that, it's only irritating (and very cold!).

18) If you choose to ignore lesson #17, when it happens to you, put down your tools immediately and take a shower BEFORE IT DRIES. If you don't ...well... imagine ripping out several nose hairs one at a time...then multiply it by about 100!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:11 pm 
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19) Do not write wisdom points with a number that ends in an 8. The result will be an incorrect number with a "cool" emoticon (a.k.a. " 8) "). We must therefore skip 28, 38, 48, etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:35 pm 
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IF you want to use a point ending in 8, just use BOTH parentheses - that should work, like (28) (That was a test) Steve

Guess it failed :cry:

OK, lets try checking the "Disable Smilies in this post" box -

(8), (28), 8)...

Better.... (damn, now I WANT to use a smiley... :=((

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Soooo, when a Musician dies, do they hear the white noise at the end of the tunnel??!? Hmmmm...


Last edited by knightfly on Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:32 pm 
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Here are some more tips I learned.

Do not store lumber anywhere other than where you're going to install it. Sudden temperature changes (i.e., from cold garage to warm studio) will cause it to warp on you. If you put the lumber right into the construction area it will have a chance to remain straight.

Lumber steaming - there are instances where lumber warps and the store won't take it back. You can torque the lumber using vices and place a hot-steam vaporizor aimed at it and often you can torque it back depending how thick it is. Works okay with 2x4's. While this sounds like more work than it's worth, if you have 10 $5 douglas fir 2x4's that's $50 that just warped out of your wallet.

Working with older wood (i.e. recycling). While constructing my garage loft studio, the original wood was so old that it was actual dimenions. A 2x4 was really 2"x4", without the traditional rounded, milled edges. So I recycled removed wood where I could to maintain those dimensions in the outer walls. Because the wood was so dry after 60 years, zipping in drywall screws would cause them to split. Predrill and chaulk best you can to prevent splitting. Or, replace all the old wood with newer wood. I like the density of the older wood, so I tried to recycle best I could. Also lowers cost.

Electrical - work with the power off. This is something I generally don't do as I'm very comfortable with electricity, but it's an easy way to eliminate your studio with a fire, or worse, eliminate yourself. Make sure you plan your circuits out well with a 20% margin. i.e. if you add up all your "stuff" and find you need a 15A circuit, wire up a 20A circuit. No need to run things at the limits. Your breakers will thank you.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:18 pm 
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20) When putting joint compound on your ceiling joints, wear something on your head! Apparently the makers of joint compound having been working with the Defense Department because if you leave even just the smallest "buger" hanging it WILL find you! They even have the "loiter" option (at least on my brand) so if it sticks, you move on, then come back in the area (it doesn't matter HOW long after), it will attack! Note: Bringing the cat into the construction area as a decoy does not seem to fool the smarter brands of compound.

21) When applying joint compound to your walls, do not put more in your bucket than you can reasonably apply in say 2 hours. Your arms get REALLY tired holding the bucket!

22a) Rolling objects like scaffolding and such will ONLY move perpendicular to the direction you want them to. You can occationally fool them by TRYING to move in the wong direction but they are smart and soon figure this out.

22b) When you lock the brakes on rolling things, please make a mental note of it. If you push hard enough, they will fall over before they'll roll.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:33 pm 
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Painting & Such

23) When using a roller on a long pole and painting over a door way, WEAR A CUP. I forgot this and will now have to find a new barber shop quartet (we already have a tenor!)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:21 am 
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Electrical Installation

24) When doing electrical work at a high elevation where there is a chance of falling, wrap a piece of #12 Stranded wire around your waste with the opposite end loose. If you fall the wire will always get caught on something and save your fall.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:32 pm 
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25) Alway pay in cash or the wife will tally the REAL cost not the one you muttered in passing when the project started.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:41 am 
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Don't buy fresh 2x4's at the store on 105 degree (Faren) outside day, transport in the back of truck, unload into the air conditioned "soon-to-be studio" area, leave for the day, and come back the next day expecting that wood to be straight and true.
Fresh lumber still has quite a bit of moisture in it. Air conditioning does it's best to combat this.
My remedy for this is now buying lumber that feels and smells as dry as possible, real early in the morning, and working without the air conditioner on. The walls are straight, I've lost ten pounds, and have been able to cancel both my tanning salon and health club membership to help fund the studio.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 5:06 am 
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Fpellegrini wrote:
My remedy for this is now buying lumber that feels and smells as dry as possible...


Or you could be crooked lumber and then hope that leaving it out overnight in the A/C will straighten it. :-)

len


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:12 pm 
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26) When attaching door closers, make sure you attach the door handle FIRST or have an extra screw or something to pry the now tightly sealed door open enough to get out. (See #7 above) :-(


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:20 am 
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27) Before embarking on the installation of locks, door furnishings, etc. ensure that one's power drill is strong enough to actually cut through the doorframes with a woodcutting bit. Otherwise, tedious and frustrating chiseling awaits. There is a reason that method of construction was largely abandoned some decades ago. Otherwise, buy pre-fitted doors....

27a) When choosing door furnishings, etc. ensure that the door is hung, and the doorframe is designed, in such a way that you can attach your fittings correctly without compromising the integrity of either the door or frame, and without further compromising the already less-than-perfect isolation abilities of your door.

27b) When installing door locks/mortices/face plates: measure twenty times and cut once. Do not entirely trust those flimsy paper guides that come with the lock set.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:52 am 
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29) (I skipped "28") Do not put electrical wall plugs or wall sconces within 17" of any corner if you plan to add floor-to-ceiling bass traps.

30) Be sure to make sure that there is *nothing* in the sill area between your windows that you do not want there forever *before* you install the last piece of glass. No matter how many times you check, check one more time before sealing. (this is especially true if you have an assistant, and *triply* true if the assistant is a teenager.)

31) No matter how many cases of Green Glue you buy, you will always be *one* case short.

32) Your spouse is always the first one to show off your progress to their friends during the day, and then bitch at you that very night for spending so much time (and money) on the build.

33) Dust breeds overnight.

34) Soldering Neutrik combo jacks should be an illegal activity.

35) A drywall lift is the greatest invention ever known to man.

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"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
Napoleon Bonaparte


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