Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mini Cooper Logo Sign Project Video Part 4 of 4

Here is the final installment of the Mini Cooper logo sign project that I have been blogging about, along with the last video of it's construction.  In this fourth part of the video sequence I show you how a resin micro-balloon putty mixture is applied to the parts of the sign to fill the weave of the fiber glass cloth.  You'll understand why this is done once you see the video.  Also I get into sanding the parts and priming them to prepare the parts for paint.  Lastly the parts are assembled and the project is declared finished.

This project has taken me quite some time to put together and shoot video of it too. I learned a few things along the way about it's construction and how not to shoot video in the process. Hopefully you'll also learn something new that you can use in your next project.  I'm happy to have another idea completed to start planning my next inspiration that comes along. So sit back and enjoy the last video and keep on tinkering!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mini Cooper Logo Sign Video Part 3

Today again I am happy to post about the third installment video of the Mini Cooper logo sign that I completed a few days ago.  In this video I cover the process of cutting a dome shape into a circular disk of Styrofoam using a hand held hot wire bow and a simple wooden jig.  I also demonstrate how to install mounting blocks into the foam using fiber glass resin and a micro-balloon mixture to create a putty so that screws can be inserted into the fiber glassed part to make it strong enough hang up the sign when it is completed. 

 Lastly I will show you how to mix and apply fiber glass resin and cloth to the parts of the sign using the West System aircraft grade epoxy and resin.  So this 20 minute video has a lot of information in it for you that will give you a good understanding of how to make practically any fiber glass composite project easily in your own workshop.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mini Cooper Logo Sign Video Part 2

Hello Everyone!  Yesterday I posted about my Mini Cooper logo sign that I had built using fiber glass and foam composite construction.  This was an interesting build to say the least and to film it all at the same time was even more of a challenge than I had anticipated. 
   So to continue on you can check out part two of the four part series of how this sign is made. In part two you will see how I shaped the foam after cutting the parts for the sign in the first video and also build a special jig that I put together to create a domed shaped center piece for the sign.
  With the information that I have supplied in this series you will at the least be able to make a sign similar to this one or get some inspiration to create something else all together different using the same construction method.  Enjoy.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mini Cooper Logo Sign Is Completed

Several months ago I started this project and today I can finally put my blessings on it and call it done.  I as most of you know am a big Mini Cooper fan and so I thought I would make a Mini Cooper logo sign to hang in my garage.  It turned out so well that I changed my mind and now have it hanging in my living room!  Here's how the project turned out.  

With this project rather than show all of you how the sign was constructed through a series of photos like I normally do I decided to shoot the entire process on video.  So check out part one of the build in the video below.  I will be posting the remaining three parts of the video build in the next few days so check back to see how it all came together.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Simple Access From The Garage To The Workshop

This past summer a good friend of mine and I had a major project to tackle for my house and the workshop.  When my house was constructed the garage was not designed into the house plan but was added years later.  Why this was done this way?  Who knows.  Could have been lack of money or simply it was never thought of.  In the process of adding the attached garage an inner stairway was never added to the addition.  Again why would you not have an entry way from the attached garage to the inside of the house?  I had to pull the car in the garage in bad weather and then go back outside to get into the house.  A poor plan at best.  Again I suspect it was a lack of planning or money or both. 
  The floor of the garage does not match the height of the main floor of the house or the floor of the basement so a new stairway was installed to at least get into the house and go up to the main floor.  I wanted access from the garage also to the basement at the same entrance.  Garry (my house guy and good friend) sat down with me and showed me how messed up the living room would be if I tried to have both the upstairs and downstairs access.  It looked to be impossible without tearing up half of the house in the process and probably tripling my cost to get an my new entrance to the house.  So that brings me to this project that I can say is or will be completed in the next few days.  
  Rather than make an additional basement stairway for just moving large supplies easily into the workshop I compromised and instead installed a removable access panel to do the same thing at a much cheaper cost.  

 Here is the new entrance to the inside of the house after the construction was done.  After six weeks of work and a lot of dust that project was completed and worth every cent to get it put in.

 Here are the new steps that I now use every day. With a big smile on my face every time there is bad weather outside.

This framed up portion of the wall at the base of the step is where this project that I really want to show you today was started.  The wall looks a little out of place simply because it has a frame around it.  But this is where it all starts to make sense.

In the basement where there was no room for a complete stairway Garry and I decided to include a hidden removable access panel.  As you can see from the panel it is made from a four foot square piece of pink Styrofoam. 

 To hold the light weight panel in place I made four t-handles that slide into place near the four corners of the panel.  They can quickly be installed or removed and hold everything in place nicely. 

 A  four foot square two inch thick sheet of Styrofoam was inserted into a wooden frame and then fiber glassed into place.  This sealed the foam to make it nice and strong and able to last for years without damaging the panel.  The face of this panel was painted green to match the wall color in the stairway to the upstairs of my house. Again being fiberglass this panel is very light weight and the Styrofoam insulates the basement from any cold air that may get in when the garage door and inner stairway door are open at the same time. 

Now with the panel removed I can easily move large pieces of lumber or 4 x 8 sheets of plywood into the workshop with no problem.  While doing the stairway construction we used this access port a lot to use the tools in the workshop or pass materials up or down the stairs.  The only  problem with this access port is that the garage floor is 31 inches above the basement floor.  And after jumping up or down from this height while the stairs was being put it I knew that a small stair step needed to be installed to complete this project and make things easier and a lot safer to use. 

I started designing the small stairs as usual in my computer using my CAD software to figure out just how big they should be.  As I said earlier the height of the garage floor from the basement floor is 31 inches so this gave me a starting point.  I worked out the details of this little project and then was ready to start putting it all together.

So here in the shop the new little stairway is under construction.  I started out  with just a  simple 2 x 4 frame that is screwed together using pocked holes to hold everything nice and tight.  You can see one of the stringers for the steps sitting next to this framework on the table.  

 The stringers took some figuring out how to lay out on the 2 x 10's but with a lot of head scratching and careful measuring and cutting I got it all worked out.  The stringers after cutting lined up perfectly with the simple framework that I  started with and only need to be screwed into place to hold them securely to this frame. 

Next was just a matter of screwing the stair treads to the stringers.  Again I used pocket holes that were put into the stringers themselves.  The screws then went through the stringers and then into the bottom of the stair treads.  This made a nice clean  installation without any screw holes that you could see in the treads. 

I threw the rubber stair treads on to the completed steps just so I could show you how it looks in place for the access port.  Once I get the steps painted a nice gray color that match the other stairway I will install the rubber tread with double stick carpet tape to hold them securely in place.  When you go up or down these steps you only have to duck under the upper edge of the four foot opening to come in or go out.  It works great and is a great accessory to the shop and the garage when I need to move items in or out of either of the spaces.  This access port will never be used on a  daily basis so having to duck in or out of it is well worth it if I can have this kind of access to the shop when I need it.

Here the access panel have been reinstalled back into the wall to close up the opening once again.  As you can see I still need to paint the basement wall from the stairway construction.  I will also paint the access panel at the same time to make it blend in a lot better than the way it looks now with the Pink Panther logo on it.  The steps I will not mounted to the wall as I thought it best to leave them as they are so that I can clean under the step or remove them to make more room in the basement when this access port is not being used.  Either way this makes a great addition to the workshop and will come in handy in the coming years.