Project | 01
Project | 01 Changing Careers
My current project is a personal one, of self-realisation; I am on a journey to start a new career as an engineer.
Mechanical, electrical, service, I'm looking to find an engineering role that gives me a more practical day-to-day experience than teaching, but one that still requires me to think, that presents me with problems and challenges that I can fix, and that I can go home from feeling like I've done my best.
Project | 02
Project | 02 Home Automation
I bought a reduced Google Home Mini for a laugh, and before I knew it, the house was a digital playground...
Turning lights on and off was just the start. Controlling electric blankets, blow heaters, fans, and central heating came next. Then individual lamps, then the printer. Then came PIR and temperature sensors to control security lights and climates.
Playing music with control for individual rooms or the whole house was easy, using ChromeCasts and Google Home devices. But this meant turning the amplifier on too, which required more advanced control , leading me to programming languages such as WebCORE and interfaces such as IFTTT.
It's been a hell of a ride!
Project | 03
Project | 03 Media Unit
I like films, games and music, and I like to experience them at their best. What I don't like is the octopus farm of wires and power supplies that accompanies any decent set-up. The ideal solution: a custom designed and built media cabinet. Using SketchUp, I created a scale model which I used to cut MDF sheet for the construction.
Features include: built-in passive cooling, large shelves for full size amplifiers, heavy duty wheels for easy relocation, a top panel on rails that allows easy access to wiring without removing any components, centre speaker housing, storage drawer.
Project | 04
Project | 04 Tanking the Garage
A mammoth project involving manually moving over a ton of earth and half a ton of gravel...
When the garage was built the damp proof course was installed the usual two bricks above the ground.
This would be fine, but it was set at a lower level than the garden's grade, by about two feet. The other side of the wall was soil, a concrete slab and the shed, with the soil packed up against the side-wall of the garage. Consequently, when it rained water soaked into the soil, through the wall and flooded the garage, causing damp, mould and some unpleasant odours.
Remove a row of paving stones and dig out a cubic meter of earth from a space approximately 18-inches wide between the garage and the shed, down to below the concrete base slab
Clean and prep the garage wall with adhesion promoter designed for the next step
Apply two coats of cementacious tanking slurry at 90 degrees to one another with 12-hours drying between coats
Add a layer of 2400ga waterproof membrane over the slurry to protect it and keep most of the moisture away
Cover a slotted drainage pipe in a geotextile filter sock and place it the length of the trench
Cut a hole in the garden wall and exit the pipe out onto the car park beside the house to drain into the rainwater sewer
Refill the trench 90% with washed pebbles to allow drainage down to the pipe, top with a geotextile layer and fill to the top with more washed gravel: French drain complete
Re-set the tiles using some left over postcrete. They're a little wobbly but it does the job!
Watch the garage interior wall dry out quickly over the next week
Seriously hard work but the garage has dried out and the smell is going away. It will also make the garage warmer in winter as the bricks will carry less heat away dry.
The final step that remains is to use a sealant on the interior walls to keep the remaining moisture out where we the wall is still below grade, adjoining our neighbours garden.