Monday, October 11, 2010

Busy Weekend! AV System Setup, Wood Stove Painting and New Hydraulic Hoses for The Wood Splitter.

I’ve been looking forward to getting the TV going for weeks! I installed the TV up on the wall about 5 or 6 weeks ago and scheduled a DirecTV install only to find out that I didn’t have the clearance for a good satellite signal. We rescheduled that day and cut down the trees last weekend. The DirecTV guy came back this week only to tell us that the dish wasn’t on the work order and he didn’t have the parts. GEESH! Anyway, he put in the extra effort and came back the next day to make it happen. Once the receiver was installed it was time to install the receiver and speakers that Donald got for me. The electronics consisted of a Proficient M40 plus two 6.5 inch indoor/outdoor speakers. Initial tests with the TV and its built in speakers just didn’t cut it. I needed more volume!


The M40.


One of the speakers fresh out of the packaging.

So the biggest challenge with this project was finding a location to put the electronics including both the stereo receiver and the satellite receiver. Initially I thought I’d put it in an empty shelf on one of my work benches but I thought maybe that would be a poor decision given that my drill press is right above it!!! All I would need is for a few metal shavings to fall into one of the heat vents and ZAP! Because of this I decided that I needed to build a small wooden shelf for the electronics to sit on.

I measured out the biggest component which was the stereo receiver and decided that a platform of about 16x18 inches would be sufficient. I also wanted the electronics to be placed near the TV so that I could point the remote in the general direction of the TV and have it work as opposed to pointing up to the TV for one thing and then down low to the receivers for another. This meant that the shelf needed to be placed up high on one of the horizontal beams in the garage. Obviously because these beams are only about 8 inches deep I needed to build some extra support into the shelf.


The first step was to mark off the beam line.


I needed three of these to help support the shelf.


Clamping them like this made it very easy to drill holes and then screw in wood screws to hold it all together.


All three pieces applied to the main shelf piece.


Some stain and varnish





This is what the shelf looks like mounted up on that beam. I used three self tapping screws to set it into place.


This is the speaker mount. A single self tapping screw in the middle was all it took to securely mount the speakers to the beam.


The receivers are stacked here on the shelf and the speakers are mounted exactly 80 inches from the corner of the garage. A sound check proves to be awesome. Everything looks and sounds GREAT!

The next project was to repaint the wood stove. We had a temporary leak in the chimney last year and it caused some rust on the top of the stove. I ordered some wood stove paint online (metallic brown was the color) and began sanding off the rust and loose paint.


This is the paint we used.


I picked this up at Ace. It’s a rust/paint remover and it did a great job.


The stove after using that bit to scrape off all the crud. We taped off the stack and window. We also put some plastic around the bottom to keep the paint off the floor.


A closer look of the post sanded finish.


A couple of coats in. Looks pretty good but definitely not brown! It looks gray to me.


OK done. Once the last coat set we used a hand broom to buff it all out. The color evened out nicely afterwards. We built a fire in it even though it was 86 degrees that day because we wanted to air out any fumes while the shop was ventilated.



The innards of my Robotron 2084. I have some new DRAM chips coming and I am hopeful that it will begin working again. I spent some time on this but need those RAMS to proceed.


And finally the wood splitter. We pulled it out of the weeds; it was almost like it was velcro’d to the woods! After pulling it into the garage we began to remove all the hydraulic hoses. One of them was severely cracked and all but one were in need of repair. After taking them off we took them to a local shop for replacement. It should be back in action just in time for cooler log splitting weather!

I know it has been a while since I’ve posted anything auto mechanic related but I think that will change soon. I have a persistent transfer case leak on my 2001 Ram which I think will require me to drop the case to repair. I replaced the rear seal but that didn’t fix it. This will be new territory for me, so I’ll definitely document it here if I need to work on it!

Monday, October 4, 2010

TV in The Garage and a Neglected Log Splitter

Not too much to report this week, but I am giving the garage a major upgrade: HD Satellite TV.  I bought a flexible tv mount from my brother and installed it in the corner of the garage near the lift.  I spend the vast majority of my time in that area and this time of the year I miss so much football from being in the garage on Sundays that it only made sense to put a TV there. 

I had an extra 40 inch TV that I either needed to sell or do something else with it so I decided the garage would would be a great location for it.


I hooked up the RV’s DirecTV receiver and dish to test it out and came to the conclusion that the TV just didn’t output enough volume to handle the space.  I’ll be installing speakers and a simple stereo sound system in the coming days to help amplify the sound.  My brother is an electronics dealer/installer and I’m getting the equipment from him.  Pivotal Audio Video ( – highly recommended!  : )

DirecTV is coming tomorrow to install the HD dish and DVR.  I actually had to break out the chain saw and cut down some trees to make room for the signal.


A couple of those trees were about 16 inches in diameter but they all fell in a nice non shop threatening manner so all is good.

Now I just need to get the log splitter back into operation!


This is my next project.  It needs new hydraulic hoses and a general reconditioning (oh and some weed removal).  I’ll post the progress here so stay tuned.