Sunday, May 24, 2020

Bad news then good news and then more bad news...then more good news?

I had to take a quick break from the blog because life has been a little nuts.  First, the workshops have been going off without a hitch! Really great.  Everyone seems to enjoy them and I am figuring out quickly what is working and what is not working. We are moving on to more advanced specialized courses and hope to have more to offer soon.  If anything it has been great to interact with people even if it is over the zoom. 

A bit of sad/bad news. Liz's mother passed away.  It wasn't a surprise but it was still tragic.  Liz's mom had been sick for quite some time.  She has been living down in Florida for over ten years now and for the last year Liz's father moved down there to take care of her.  We got a call around three weeks ago letting us know that she wasn't long for this world. After talking about it, we decided that Liz would go down there to be with her before she passed. Flying was insane apparently. The airline promised that the plane would be at 1/3 capacity (it was full). She has been away for three weeks now. I hope she can return soon. We haven't decided how she is going to get back.  Since flying was crazy she might drive but it is almost 24 hours without traffic. UGH. I hate that I couldn't comfort her when all this went down. With the workshops and work I have been working 12 hour days. 

With a lot of states going into phase two I have been called back into work.  Which is crazy.  We have been busy! super busy! Like Xmas busy.  I guess everyone is scrabbling to get their weddings back on track and want custom engagement rings....right away! I am lucky that I don't have to interact with the public and the owner of the store is providing masks at the door and there are four or five hand sanitizing stations around the store. 

Our studio is in full gear.  We finished insulating and the drywall has gone up. We don't have long now before we can move it.  We still have the outside, the flooring, the lighting and the ventilation. I bought all the furniture and it is now living in our bonus room (I may have jumped the gun on that) The cats have been using them as a jungle gym. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

More work on the studio

All of the new windows are installed in the studio which is exciting. I think the reality of the size of the studio is setting in which is....small.  I think that we can do a lot with a small space which is ideal but it might be a tight squeeze. We are looking for studio furniture.  Because we are trying to do this the right way we are going all out. We have always been a huge fan of the Seville UltraHD workbenches so we will probably get a few rolling carts to go under those benches AND a number of other things.  We shall see how far the budget goes. I guess the ultimate goal is to add value to the house and to provide an ideal workspace for both Liz and I.  We also have a finished basement so we are going to probably extend some of the studio there (digital tools, laser printers, sewing machine etc).  I am super excited about it all. 

UltraHD Rolling Workbench CabinetUltraHD® 4-Drawer CabinetsUltraHD® 4-Foot Worktables

I am also launching Rhino courses through a local school here in Rhode Island. They were having a hard time filling classes before the virus hit so I am contributing a portion of the tuition to the school. They are doing all the back end organizing and monetization so they are for sure contributing their fair share. They are also awesome people so it is great that I can help. If you are interested in the class go to to check out when the next will launch. 

The mayor of Providence has recently closed parts of the city with barricades to allow for more public space. The idea is that there would be more room for people to walk around without getting too close. Luckily....our house is literally one house in from the barricade so it might be hard getting our drywall delivery. 

Here are a few images of the windows, a few screen shots from the class, some promo material. 

Friday, May 1, 2020

The floor is in!

The floor to the studio has officially been installed!  Here in Rhode Island they are closing down some of the streets to make room for more open public space so people with no yards can walk around freely with plenty of room around them.  It is a super nice gesture but....I am not sure if we are going to be able to finish up our job here. We still have drywall to do and we are not going to be able to get the truck in to do the delivery.  I am not hauling drywall on a cart for two blocks. Maybe.....if I get bored enough I might.  Gotta work off these quarantine carbs. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

studio flooring and other things!

So I am trying to figure out what kind of flooring to put in our new studio. From what I have read online the best and most affordable thing might be VCT (vinyl tile see above!). I have detested this type of floor ever since I moved out of the dorms in college. I feel like EVERY apartment I have ever rented has had this garbage vinyl tile (also every hospital, school and cafeteria).  They always end up peeling up or cracks or just looks crappy. I would normally just stick with the concrete floor but it is going to be freezing in the winter and it is way off level. Also as far as maintenance goes I think it might be the best option. I wouldn't want fancy wood floor because we will for sure mess it up rolling around or dropping something hot. We also don't want tile because of all the grout lines. Also I don't want to chase stones bouncing around.

So our plan right now is to put down a thick vapor barrier, use treated 2/4s and 2/6s to level the floor, put T and G underlayment (probably a high quality OSB), a rubber membrane and then the VCT.

So the question is should we go with the high end luxury VCT (looks like marble or wood) OR should we go with the school gymnasium run of the mill gray.

In other news the 80 amp sub panel is in and we are waiting for our inspection which should be any day now. Yesterday was Liz's birthday which was kind of a happy sad moment so I took her to the beach!  It was of course overcast but lovely.  When things level off we will celebrate properly.  It has been raining like crazy but I guess that is New England for you!

I am also about to launch my first ever online Rhino CAD class.  I will promote here and let everyone know!

Friday, April 24, 2020

getting ready to launch

I have been working hard with The Bench to launch a series of online CAD courses.  Since I have been laid off I have been hitting all of the projects pretty hard.  The first being the workshops and second the garage/studio reno and the third cooking (old food blog might make a come back)! 

My thought is to have downloadable content that would accompany the live class.  So this would be accessible after the class ends or in-between sessions.  I am acknowledging that people absorb content in multiple ways so I am trying to be ready for everyone. 

So far I have around 30- 40 pages of an interactive powerpoint. I am making animated GIFs for all the tools I am demoing. This will accompany the recorded class sessions. We hope to have this launch in the next week or so.  

I am having some computer issues that I hope to solve soon.  Photoshop just took a massive poop on me and Adobe's answer to my problem need to buy a new computer.  Which is wild because it has been working for weeks now and one morning I woke up and.....the video import tool I had been using no longer works..... three weeks of flawless importing and just stops working.  I am pretty sure its not a hardware issue. 

So now I am in the process of moving everything to the cloud and re-formatting my computer. 

Because of the rain and the cold temps the studio has come to a screeching halt.  We have wired everything and we are waiting on our inspections. I should have more photos on that soon. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

More work on the garage. This time with Liz

We made some serious headway in the last couple of days. The wires have been pulled, the conduit has been buried and the boxes have been installed. We framed out the opening and de-installed the garage door. We put in a large glass door and there will be an additional window installed eventually.  

Today we installed the rest of the collar ties and the strapping for the drywall/recessed lighting. We ran all the wiring for the cans which will house LED lights.  We also ran the wiring to the back wall for the mini split (which will be in the back of the garage)

At this rate we should have a usable space in the next couple of weeks. 

Sunday, April 19, 2020


As I mentioned in a previous post we have been "disinfecting" our cloth masks and phones with a wide spectrum UV lamp.  I bought this lamp a number of years ago to cure prints coming off a Form 1 printer. This was before Formlabs made the Form 2 and way before a "curing chamber" was on anyone's radar.  We upgraded our printers at school and bought a curing chamber for our prints so this thing went back to my studio. Up until a couple of months ago it was sitting in a box. 

Because my Prhozen 4K resin printer is a little too messy for home use, I brought the UV lamp home. I promised Liz that I would rig up something to place our masks under when we came back from the grocery store (from what I have read it takes about 20 minutes to mutate/kill viruses). Also the UV lamp shouldn't come in contact with you skin so the setup should be easy in/easy out. Again, I am not a scientist/doctor/smart person so I am not sure if this is even going to work.

I didn't want to use up too much filament and I didn't want to create a mess of supports, so I am printing four legs with recessed holes for the four corner mounting screws.  This way we can sit this on the counter and bob's your uncle.