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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Garage update 5

The garage is getting close to completion, at least the diamond plate siding part is.  Honestly, it was a monumental undertaking for me, but I've had a lot of fun with it.  Will I ever get back the $ I put into it? Probably not.  But, that wasn't the point.  The point was to cover up the exposed concrete wall, because it looked awful next to my newly painted garage floors :)

Now, the walls look awful next to the diamond plate!  That's going to be another monumental undertaking.

This update is a continuation of the stairs.  The decking stairs that were there before, I kept... well, most of it anyway. Turns out, they weren't very level to begin with.  A little shimming here and there helped, though still I wasn't going to just build them all new from scratch.  The banister, I did rebuild, and for that, I planned to create a capped wall.

At this point, I became clear to the fact that I was not going to have enough diamond plate.  The two sheets I had remaining, would cover the inside of the capped wall, but not the outside.  Fortunately my supplier, Phoenix Metals, had more and offered me 3 more sheets at a similar rate.  In total, I used 13 4' x 8' sheets.

Right about this time, I started becoming present to a nagging feeling.  Too much diamond plate?  Well ya, that's definitely the case, but covering the majority of the outside face with all diamond plate seemed like, extra too much.  This is when Amy came out with a drink, and set it on the horizontal 2' x 4' supports inside the capped wall, and said, "you should really make this a shelf so you can set stuff on it."

So that is what I did.  Thanks Amy! Now we have style and functionality!

Making the cutouts for the shelf was probably the most physically challenging part of all of this, even more than moving the stairs in and out of place.  You see, between two sheets of diamond plate, and the plywood backing, that was a lot of cuts to make.  When you cut sheet metal, in this DIY scenario, you use a fiber blade in a skill saw.  The metal sheet flexes, vibrates, and wobbles, and if not careful, the back side of the blade will grab the edge and cause violent kickbacks.

I made heavy use of the laser leveler here, all to align the cuts to the holes.

In the following picture, rather than realign the laser, I just used the plywood backing as a template to markup up lines on the diamond plate.

Here is what happens to the fiber blade after a sheet or two of cutting.  Fortunately, after this much wear, I can use the fiber blade in my angular grinder.

As back-breaking as it was, shifting, aligning, supporting, adjusting, cutting, marking, filing, 30 times over, cutting the holes for the shelf came out surprisingly accurate.

Though it is not implemented yet, I routed a hole in the top right corner of each recessed shelf cubby. I plan to install recessed LED lighting, the Dream Color stuff, once I start back on the electrical.



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