Sinking it

I spent my afternoon working on the mop sink area:

Mop basin area
Mop basin area

Primary tasks today were to cut a 2½” hole through the cement board, the insulation, and the siding for the drain line to exit through and cut a precisely sized, perfectly square hole for the access panel (below the faucet).  I accomplished these but it took 3 hours to do it. 

Drain with trap
Drain line with trap assembly

To determine where that hole in the cement board went to make the whole thing fit, I needed to get tricky about measuring the height of the drain pipe when it’s installed.  There is no room to work down there, so I spun the trap assembly around so the discharge pipe was close to the outboard edge of the basin, then I could get an accurate height measurement.  Then I stood a piece of 3″ pipe in the drain hole of the sink and spray painted the floor around it.  That gave me a definitive reference of where the drain is so I could remove the sink and work at laying out the hole on the cement board and cutting it. 

Then I made a template (accounting for the sole plate in the wall and using a wall stud as locator) to use in transferring the hole to the siding so the two holes will line up perfectly.  I also used it to trace the circle on the insulation which I did not staple in place in the lower part of the wall.  That way I could pull it up and out of the way to get to the siding, and I used scissors to snip a tunnel through the batt.  For some strange reason, it all lined up well.

I have NOT glued anything together or permanently installed the cement board.  I’ll need to move all of this out of the way when Robert Gann comes to run the water line in and install the supply lines.  That will require drilling through the studs and running pipe to the faucet. I did staple the insulation in place. That’s an 8 inch thick wall with plenty of room for insulation and plumbing.

Next step, level the floor under the sink so the cement blocks it sits on will be level and the sink will sit squarely atop the base blocks.

Moment of Truth

For some time now I have wanted to move the light switch controlling the kennel’s interior lights. One of the reasons I wanted a left hinged, inswing door was that the switch for the lights was in the right side of the door as I went inside. But that door was not available (at least not in a model I could afford). I waited and waited for Home Depot and Lowe’s to restock, but it just wasn’t happening. The door I wanted was probably sitting in a container ship off the coast of California. So, I bought a right-hinged door that was available. But then I had to go around the door to turn on the lights. That’s awkward.

Moving the switch to the proper side of the door meant surface mounting it on a concrete block wall. Home Depot had an attractive system for doing just that, including low-profile switch boxes sized to fit the cover plates.

The building has several outlets and switches mounted to the concrete now, but they use standard plastic wall boxes, and the result is quite ugly.

I mounted the switch boxes and wire race (conceals the wiring) a while back. I’ve been delaying the wiring work because I wanted a day when I did not have a vet appointment to keep, or errands that would send me hither and yon. I wanted most of a day to focus on this one task so I could get it done and have lights again. That day was today.

An experienced electrician could probably have knocked this out in an hour. I am not an experienced electrician. I know enough to get things done, but I take my time and check things thoroughly as I go.

Junction box
Junction Box

This junction box is mounted at the top of the wall, on what was the header of the roll-up garage door. That door is no longer there and I’ve walled in the opening. A cable comes across from the breaker box to supply power to the light system. A cable goes out to the interior lights, another to the exterior lights. Neutral wire and grounds from all cables are bonded with wire nuts in this box. The hot wire goes down the wall to the switches, power returns come back up the wall to the junction box and are wire nutted to the hot wires of their respective power circuit. So this box is where all the magic happens.

Switch boxes
Switch boxes

This is pretty basic stuff here, except that the low-profile wall boxes leave no room behind the switches for wiring so that all has to be routed around the switches. This issue is compounded by the fact that all the wiring comes down one race. The wires for the box on the right (exterior kennel lights) comes in and goes out through the box on the left (interior lights). Getting everything to fit and making the connections was a task! This 12 gauge wire is stiff stuff.

All closed up, no wires showing.

With the wire race cover and switch plates installed everything is hidden away nice and neat. The switch boxes and the race are primed, so I can paint them the same color as the wall to further hide the mechanics of the thing.

Now to The Big Question — will it work? I really hate it when I turn the power back on and something erupts in a shower of sparks, or nothing works at all. I *think* I’ve got it right, let’s find out.

Kennel Update: Walk-Through

The ongoing kennel project has come to the point where I thought you might enjoy a walk-through.  It is no where near finished, but progress is being made.  I am thrilled to be able to offer our residents secure, heated “bedrooms” to stay in on the cold winter nights that are coming.

Ready to go?

So, what do you think?  Please leave a comment below.

Kennel Update: Guillotines

Our Board of Directors approved the purchase of three Kennel Clad guillotine kennel doors.  You’ll know why they’re called that when you see the video.  I ordered them and they arrived quickly.  I spent my afternoon today installing the first one.  It went into Rebel’s bedroom.

I wanted Rebel to go out into his outer room so I could open his inner door and work less encumbered by having to open and close the door every time I went in or out.  But Rebel was having none of that.

However, he perched himself on his bed and lounged there watching me work.  He never got in my way and never tried to squeeze out the door with me.  He watched intently as I worked as though it was the most fascinating thing he’d ever seen.  He was SO adorable!

There were several challenges to overcome.  The biggest was the fact that the walls I’m mounting the door slides on are not even close to be being flat.  Warping the rails causes the door to bind.  I got around that by shimming the rails where needed.  Fortunately, as a former furniture maker, I have a fair stock of ultra thin pieces of wood laying around to stack up for the perfect shims.

It took me a couple of hours to unpack the boxes, decide what tools I needed, get everything staged, and then install the first door.  But the end result is satisfactory.  I should probably go buy some sheet metal to cut up for shims instead of using wood shims: wood will rot.

The final door has been installed and is working properly.
Check out my Walk Through video for the result.

Kennel Update: K3 Complete (almost)

Scout‘s inside room is now secure and accessible by humans (I mean aside from getting down and crawling through that hole in the wall – which I have done).  The building is still pretty crowded with lumber and stuff, so getting a good camera angle is difficult.
I still need to find the channels that go on either side of the door hole so a sheet metal clad wooden panel can slide up and down in them to close off and open up the doorway.  The channels are shaped like a lower case “h”, the panel rides in the three sided channel, the flange bolts to the wall.  A cable (to prevent chewing it in half) goes up to a pulley on the wall, that splices to a rope that runs out front to a cleat.  I pull the rope to open the door and tie it off to keep the door open.
I cleared out and swept the next section.  I need to go get a load of block, then can get started enclosing Blade’s room: K2.
I finished the day by organizing my parts box.  This will save time as I build the next panel: no more sifting through random parts looking for the one I need.  I also put away all the wrenches, the pliers, wire cutters and such I used in building the chain link panel.  Time to go back into masonry mode, those tools will just be in the way and maybe get lost in the shuffle.  Tis better to straighten up before moving on.