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gym, Crashplan change, under-deck ceiling - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal
gym, Crashplan change, under-deck ceiling

This morning, "J" and I went to the gym. Since the details are mostly notes to myself, I'll lj-cut them and put them at the end.

Later, I bought a renewal of my Crashplan subscription. Unfortunately, they discontinued Crashplan Home, which was about $150 per year for all of our computers. They replaced it with their small business service, which is $10 per computer per year (discounted 75% for the the first year), or more for an unlimited number of computers, or a transfer to Carbonite, which costs less without the first-year discount, but more for now. I chose the discounted first year.

The small business Crashplan has a different user interface, which I'm still trying to get used to. For some reason, my wife's secondary laptop has two back-up sets, which count as two computers. I'll have to figure out how to merge the sets, or maybe discard the old set after I figure out whether there's anything on it that matters.

For most of the rest of the day, I worked on the under-deck ceiling. Yes, the same under-deck ceiling that I called finished except . . . last week. The ceiling is hinged so that J or I can clear debris off the top of it so that debris dams don't make it leak exception was that the ceiling. The exception to being finished was adding a permanent mechanism to hold up the ceiling; I had bar clamps as a temporary solution.

So, my new support mechanism is to hang chains from the deck joists (using bolts through low-stress points in the joists), attach large spike-nails to the cedar structure of the ceiling with screws and pipe galvanized hanger strap, and hook the chains over the heads of the spike-nails. That seemed simple enough.

As it turned out, it was pretty complicated. A design question was how to attach some of the spike-nails to the cedar frame. I resolved that by deciding to mount those vertically, and pulling the chain around the edge of the frame to them. That doesn't unduly stress the structure because those connections are only used to help lower or lift the four ceiling panels.

A more complicated issue was that I couldn't find spike-nails of the right size at any store. Some of the spike-nails needed to be about five inches (12½ cm) long, some about seven inches (18 cm), and one about nine inches (23 cm). The only sizes I could find were 10 inches (25 cm) and 12 inches (30 cm). Since I didn't need the heads of the five-inch nails anyway, it worked out well enough to cut the 12-inch nails to a five-inch piece (the pointy end) and a seven-inch piece (the head end). I started the cuts with a Dremel cut-off wheel, and finished them with a hacksaw, to save cutting wheel wear and because the cutting wheel is pretty slow anyway. I smoothed the cut ends nicely with the Dremel, then coarse sandpaper.

Attaching the spike-nails to the cedar frame wasn't all that easy either. To use screws, I had to drill through the spike-nails, and drilling a screw-size hole through a 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) thick round spike-nail wasn't easy, since I don't have a drill press and couldn't find my vise. I broke a few drill bits, but I managed to drill the holes.

One part of the attachment that worked well was the hanger strap. I was able to attach that to the cedar frame without drilling any new holes that might invite rot. (Cedar doesn't rot easily, but no sense tempting fate.) They fit nicely, and the screws through the drilled-with-difficulty holes just keep the spike-nails aligned with the straps.

Attaching the chains to the joists was easy, but measuring them correctly took time. I wanted slope for run-off, and because it's a fairly mild slope the chain supports have to be pretty precise in length.

So, after all afternoon, I only had one of the four panels entirely completed. I didn't have the light for easy continued work, except on the deck above. That wasn't much help for the next three panels, but I did go ahead and cut the remaining spike-nails to length, and drilled holes in the five-inch sections. I may save myself some time by leaving the ten-inch nails (which are shinier than the 12-inch nails for some reason) at their full length.

Gym notes:

Stair machine 101 floors

Barbell chest press, 65 pounds, 15 repetitions
Lat pull-down, 85 pounds, 15 repetitions
Barbell skull crushers, 45 pounds, 15 repetitions

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