All posts by Joe Harper

Build a Makerspace – Part 5 – Drywall

Before you start reading this you may want to catch-up with:

Part 1 – Why Build a Maker Space
Part 2 – Walls Going Up
Part 3 – Framed!
Part 4 – Insulated!


It’s like a puzzle! A horrible, heavy puzzle. With special rules like don’t install the sheets vertically, don’t end a sheet with a seam around a door, pieces should be hung from the top down, and so on and so forth…


Tools for this part of the build:

  • Figure your SqFt for your drywall and over buy by about 10%-20%.
  • A bucket of drywall screws.
  • at least 2 cordless drills, I used the Milwaukee M12 brushless drill
  • Help! you will need hands for this, beyond yours.
  • a Dremel with a router attachment and a drywall bits (Not a must have but made cutting out electrical box opening a breeze!)
  • Tape measure, pens, a brain and probably another brain to check your brains math before you cut.
  • Utility Knife for scoring the drywall
  • a long straight 2″x4″x8′ or longer to break the drywall on
  • Drywall Screw Setter Bits make sure your screws are inset enough to be filled with mud later. Get some!
  • Steel corner bead for nice sharp corners

This part had lots of math, lots and lots of hands, and dear god, was it hard carrying all the drywall down from the driveway to the basement. I bought 10′ long sheets and it was delivered by the Building supply on a truck with a forklift. Unfortunately I have a steep rock walkway that leads down to my basement that no forklift could ever traverse so the pallet of material had to be taken down 2 sheets at a time.

Once down there we started at the top and by top I mean the ceiling. Do yourself a favor and take a spare 2″x4″x12′ and some scrap 2×4 cut to about 3 feet long as a prop for holding the drywall up to the ceiling from the ground. This worked great and save backs and sheets by keeping one of the helpers on the ground. th ceiling is the hardest part and I now understand why folks like drop ceilings. You never end up holding 30 pounds over your head while you screw it into a floor joist 10 feet above the ground with drop ceilings.

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Continue reading Build a Makerspace – Part 5 – Drywall

Build a Makerspace – Part 4 – Insulated!

Before you start reading this you may want to catch-up with:

Part 1 – Why Build a Maker Space
Part 2 – Walls Going Up
Part 3 – Framed!


This place is gonna be LOUD. With the Saws, the Hammers and the grinders that will eventually make their way into this room, it was decided early on that the entire space would need to be insulated before the Sheetrock went in. This was actually one of the more costly and time-consuming parts of the build. I can’t blame folks for not wanting to jump in and help with this part as hours of sweating in a Tyvek suit, respirator and goggles is not much fun. I still had plenty of itchy nights after stapling up the pinky goodness.


Tools for this part of the build:


I did a test (though not very scientific) by running the air compressor in the workshop before and after the insulation and the sound suppression when listening upstairs was significant. Also, the room now stays at a very stable temperature  regardless of the rest of my basement. I have been considering running HVAC lines into the room off the first floor trunks but may not have to due to this insulation.

Continue reading Build a Makerspace – Part 4 – Insulated!

Build a Makerspace – Part 3 – Framed!

Before you start reading this you may want to catch-up with:

Part 1 – Why Build a Maker Space
Part 2 – Walls Going Up


Ok, this time we have everything here so we are going to get this done.

We start by cutting all the needed 2″x4″x10′ boards to 8′ 6″ long.  As our walls are going to be 8′ 10″ before the tray this is to accommodate for the footer and header on each wall. The footers were pressure treated 2″x4″x12′ lumber and we used a cartridge riffle gun to shoot the nails into the concrete.  The headers were constructed with 2×2 beams and 2×4 ribs on the ground and then nailed in place above the walls. This was hard work but easier to do with a helper because they were pretty heavy once built.

We had to build in the headers to cover the ventilation that runs from the HVAC in the basement up to the first floor. This will also add some visual interest to the ceiling which sounds nice but adds a lot of work to the drywall, mudding, sanding and ultimately the trim assuming I ever put any on the ceiling down there.

Continue reading Build a Makerspace – Part 3 – Framed!

When Drones attack! (or more likely, when people attack themselves though stupidity)

(Warning: This post contains graphic images that show blood and fresh wounds and my be disturbing to some people.)

The most dangerous part of any UAV is the operator or programmer. Failure to pay attention, or double-check your surroundings, or your power systems, or your control system, can have catastrophic results for you the operator or for innocent bystanders.

But to be sure, the person most likely to be injured by a UAV is you the operator. Fingers are cut or lost, arms and faces slashed all due to negligence on the part of the person most likely to get close to the craft while it is powered, once again you the operator.

SO how do we avoid the carnage?

Continue reading When Drones attack! (or more likely, when people attack themselves though stupidity)

It Is Not A Drone.

Ok, so I love my UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) which is the nicer name for what the media insists on labeling as “DRONES” lumping hobby grade flying things in with the flying Grimm Reapers that the developed military’s of the world like to fly around and bomb villages with. This is not fair and paints an ominous perception in the minds of the uninitiated among us.

The average hobbyist UAV out there is less than 3 pounds and about 14” square. The average payload that these UAV’s can handle is about that of a small camera or less than 2 pounds. Advanced models can be flown at distances of about a mile or so away however +80% of UAV’s can only be flown a few hundred feet away before the craft is too far away to see or the radio signal is too weak to control the craft. Military drones are satellite controlled from a base on the other side of the planet. Continue reading It Is Not A Drone.