Sunday, December 30, 2007

Plumbing and soldering

When we bought this house I wasn't planning on doing any plumbing, but my father-in-law talked me into replacing the old galvanized pipes upstairs as long as we're doing all the other remodeling. So for about a week the water to the house has been off while we tore out all the plumbing to put in new copper pipes. Yesterday we turned the water back on, and amazingly enough it worked. Of course I went through great pains to screw the connectors into the galvanized pipes that still remain in the basement. Also since I have done a lot of soldering with electronics stuff it was easy for me to figure out how to solder the copper pipes together.

As far as I can tell soldering pipes is very similar to soldering in electronics. The two main things to remember are: flux is your friend and use lots of heat. Here's how I did it.

To start off with I just soldered a connector to a pipe. That way I could easily inspect both where I was putting the solder as well as inside the connector at the opposite end of the solder joint. To start off with the copper needs to be cleaned. You can buy a special brush to clean out the inside of the copper, but instead I just used the green scrubbing pad on a regular sponge for washing dishes. Rub where the copper connects to make it shiny. Then you put on the flux. I got the best connections when I put the flux on the outside of the pipe as well as the inside of the connector. Remember that the flux helps the solder flow and that's why you need a lot. When I did use a lot of flux then I could see the solder not only went all the way around the outside of the connection, but the flux helped it wick into the joint. Now I know that those are very strong joints. The pipes themselves will break before those joints leak. The other thing to remember is to use lots of heat. If you don't use enough heat then the solder won't flow, it just balls up. The same is true with electronics, but there you need to take some care to not heat it up too much or you'll damage the circuitry. With the pipes you don't really need to worry about this. So use lots of heat. (Just don't burn down the house:)


Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas eve and this is how I feel

I spent basically all day working on the house. When I wasn't at the house I was getting supplies (borrowing power tools, getting plumbing stuff, and so forth.) Now it's probably time to go to bed. So instead I'm on the internet looking at supplies and calculating how I'm going to change the kitchen sink area so that we can install a dishwasher in the near future. At least if I stay up until 3am it won't be on the computer (I hope.)

As I side note, I just love this comic. The artist can draw very well, but for some reason he draws the main characters as stick figures. Then you have the irony of whenever there is actually good artistry (even better than this one) and the characters are still stick figures.

Also if you decide to follow this comic, be warned. Not all of them are the cleanest. I just avoid those ones.

The outside of the house

I know what you are wondering. Why in the world haven't I posted a picture of the house itself especially since this picture clearly isn't new (there is currently no grass in sight, and not even a driveway in sight.) Well I had to do some special modifications to the picture before I uploaded it. Can't be giving away secret information after all.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ceramics room

One of the oddities of this house is the ceramics room. We bought the house from an old man who had basically inherited it from his parents. In the past his mom had done ceramics. Now we have a room full of ceramics and ceramic molds. There was a kiln in garage, but that vanished in the space between when the seller moved the assisted living and we closed on the house. (Just like many other things. Darned greedy family that wouldn't help him move.)

Now I just need access to another kiln.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Working on the house

Difficulties getting time with high speed internet continue (or any internet for that matter.) At least I can post this now. This is what I wanted to post last week.

When we bought the house, it was in a major mess. Dirty, full of junk, and with lots of fixer upper work to do. In a couple of places the carpet was so worn that you could see the floor underneath it. Amazingly enough though that was one of the nice things about it. What you'd see is a spot of hardwood floor. Last weekend and this weekend we worked on pulling up the carpet. Here is basically our first view of the hardwood floor without carpet covering it up.

(as you can imagine, it's a dusty in there.)


Saturday, December 8, 2007

The anouncement

Well I mentioned this in my first post, so I might as well give the announcement here. Of course if you're reading this blog then chances are you're you're among my family and friends and you already know about it. If not then I don't know who you are or what you're doing reading my blog, but that's okay. I'll tell you anyway.

We bought a house!!

We actually closed on it a couple of weeks ago, and because of it life has gotten a lot more hectic. We had to move out of the apartment and in with some family so we can fix up the house and not wind up paying double rent. Also we bought it from an old man and we bought it "as is" so we need to take a lot of time to clean out his stuff. I'd post more but unfortunately the family we're staying with doesn't have high speed internet and I haven't had much time for the internet outside work anyway. I do hope to post about once a week to tell about the more exiting stuff with the house (you know just about anything besides, "we filled up the trash with more junk.") Monday I'll post what we did today. I'd say now, but I'll wait until I can upload a picture at work. It's one of those things where words just aren't enough. You have to see pictures.