home office

Speaker stands for Sofia’s office.

February 7, 2024 Wood working , ,

Sofia took down the curtain tie downs on the window casings, which left a small hole in each.  She also had a pair of new speakers that have been taking space on her desk that she thought would go well in exactly those positions, and commissioned me to make her a couple speaker stands.  Looking at them in retrospect, they have a bit of a Star Trek enterprise look:

Each has a 5.5″ inset circular region, routed out about a 1/4″ deep.  I stacked 4 or 5 old CD (things like Windows 95, and NT4.0 install disks that I didn’t care about) and then used a router bushing to trace the outside circular profile with a small upcut bit.  Then, with a large plexiglass custom router base that I made (about 12″ x 12″) that didn’t sag into the hole I wanted to make, I then hogged out the interior using a big 1/2″ bit.  The exterior circular profile of one base was cut by hand with a jigsaw, and then sanded.  I then double stick taped a second rough cut piece, and used a router bit with a pair of tracing bushings on it, to cut a matching profile in a second piece of wood.  I used the table saw table saw router table extension I’d made:

to trace the profile of one piece onto the other.  Here’s a couple details of the joinery:

I notched slightly into the top so that I had a flat surface to join the wall flap to.  I’d used scrap (maple?) from an old dresser we disassembled last year, and it had a slight warp to it.  Routing out that 3/4″ groove (running it on my router table on some flat stock) gave a nice rectangular gluing surface.  I also used screws, inset into the top about a 1/4″ inch, to physically join the two pieces together.  I’m not sure the screws were required, since the glue joint seemed suprisingly strong, even without dove tails or other structural elements.  To finish things off, I hammered in a couple of really snug dowels, and flush cut them.  The dowel wood is clearly a different type, but I think the contrast looks really good.


Here’s the final configuration:

Unfortunately, neither Sofia nor I thought of measuring the wire that runs between the two speakers, and it’s not quite long enough.  The final part of the project will be cutting that wire and soldiering in an extension, so the wire can be tucked away under the desk.

Awesome bookshelves in my home office space

September 15, 2018 Incoherent ramblings , ,

Sofia and I spend a large part of the day installing a set of four Ikea Liatorp bookshelves in my office today. The shelves fit pretty much perfectly, with a 1/4″ gap on each side. In fact, to get them to fit we had to take the baseboards and window casings off, but I’ll put in new ones butting up nicely to the shelves. When we eventually sell the house, the buyer better be interested in bookshelves, because these are a permanent feature of the house now!

The Liatorp model shelves are nicely engineered.  There are easy access leveling pegs, they join together nicely, and the backer board uses screws with pre-drilled holes in exactly the right places, plug some other plugs that hold the backer in place (far superior to the Billy model!)

Here’s a view of the whole shelf unit, which is loaded bottom heavy since the top shelves are spaces closer at the moment:

I had a lot of fun moving books down from the bedroom bookshelves, and have moved most of the non-fiction content.  I was really pleased that I can mostly group my books in logical categories:

  • Statistics and probability, with a couple German books and a dictionary too big to fit with the language material.
  • Calculus and engineering:

  • Computer programming, including my brand new Knuth box set!

  •  Spill over programming, general physics, fluid mechanics, and solid mechanics:

  • Home repair and handywork, plus two religious books too big to fit in the religion section (I’ve got other religious material in boxes somewhere in the basement, including a Morman bible, a Koran, and a whole lot of Dad’s Scientology books (and a couple of mine from days of old) :

  • Optics and statistical mechanics

  • Investment and economics (although the only one I’ve really cracked of these is the old “Principles of Engineering Economic Analysis” from back in my undergrad days)

  • Electromagnetism and some older general physics books from Granddad:

  • Algebra, complex variables, General relativity, mathematical tables, plus Penrose’s book, which spans most categories:

  • Political, classics, some borrowed Gaiman books, and religious

  • Languages:

There’s a bunch of tidy up and finishing details to make my office space complete and usable, but this was a really nice step in that direction.  Mysteriously, even after moving all these books downstairs from the bedroom, somehow the bedroom bookshelves are still mostly full seeming.  Was there a wild book orgy when we weren’t looking, and now all the book progeny are left behind, still filling the shelves despite the attempt to empty them?

Home office progress.

November 13, 2016 Incoherent ramblings , , , ,

We’ve had a giant cavity the room that that is now my home office space. It had been cut into the garage by the previous owner of the house to mount a CRT TV in, made the garage a lot less usable, and also let in a lot of cold. Last weekend we took it out completely:


and on Tuesday I framed in a new wall support, and got it into place:


Then sealed things up again:


I happened to have a sheet of water resistant board kicking around the garage, so used that:


and today I did the rough coat:


While I had some compound mixed up, I filled in a few other things in this space. Quite a while ago I fished ethernet and coax cable into my home office space, so I got the box in place for these:


and did a rough plastering fill of all my fishing holes:


It will be nice to get this space completely in order, but we’ve now made some good progress on that front.