Mark's Studio Build Diary - The Construction Phase

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Postby MarkEdmonds » Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:07 pm

Hi Paul - many thanks for your advice :)

Some points for discussion...

For building the frames, I want to try avoiding glueing due to time considerations (and space to lay the frames out). I have next week off work and I want to get a production line process going for the building. What do you reckon to using right angle brackets such as www.screwfix.com quote no 18918? Using these, the frames will be ready for the fabric straight away. If I follow the principle you outlined, there wont be any major structural or procedural defiency using the brackets will there?

For fixing to the walls, I didn't chose brass screws and cups because they are easy! Logistically, screwing is actually more difficult than velco, especially for the ceiling panels. I chose brass screws because I thought it would look OK and it guarantees the frames wont move. I have a big distrust of velcro.

However, two thoughts from this.

Regular spaced brass screws at the regular intervals is going to give the room a sort of "rivetted" appearance. Might look cool for some quiffed up posey designer on a tv makeover program but I don't think I want that.

I do really want the seamless approach and went through many designs to get this (including hinges, clips, magnets, slots and so on) and all because I was trying to avoid velcro. But, if I use full frame lengths of velcro and make sure it is attached properly, maybe it will work. One bit of bad news though - I didn't realise how bloody expensive velcro is. I can see myself having a 100 quid bill for the stuff :( Hitler's gas bill as you would say! :)

Staple gun - definitely going for a powered one and with 8mm deep staples. Probably the Screwfix code 98982. Anyone see any reason why not this model?

Wood size - 12mm by 30mm. This is about the right size to minimise flexing although the cross bracing is a good idea. 12mm will be the frame depth obviously.

Colour - I've got some swatches of three shades of blue in hessian and muslin. Muslin has a finer appearance but is thinner so I would have to double wrap to prevent the semi-transparent appearance. Almost certainly going to be hessian in a light blue coloor with is very similar to the blue here:

http://www.galaxy.be/contr4.htm

Look at the section immediately to the left of the window - this is my blue.

So there we go, think I have nearly everything in place now. Start ordering tomorrow. Working out more expensive than I was expecting which eats into studio controller/sub woofer budget :( but the room has to look good. I want to get a buzz each time I walk into it - a sort of two fingers to the daily grind - where I can sit down and think, I fucking built this place and this is where I live! :)

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:11 pm

Bob wrote:Mark

I don't know how big your speaker baffles are, but I stumbled across this a few minutes ago

knightfly wrote
Barefoot put forth a comment on this size requirement some time back, and I've never been able to find it again - something to the effect of a minimum distance (in all directions, but NOT centered)from the woofer of 4 or 5 woofer diameters for a minimum baffle size. As I interpreted that statement, it would mean a baffle that extends FLAT in the EXACT same plane as the front of the speaker box for at least 4 times the woofer diameter in all 4 directions. IOW, if you had speakers with 8" woofers, the baffle should be flat for at least 32" in a radius from the woofer, but assymetrical (more flat space on successive sides, so that any artifacts from the edge of the extended baffle do NOT reinforce each other at the same frequency)


Bob - thanks for the information but I've abandoned using baffles. My own tests were probably poor and I didn't like the results but since then, the speaker position sweet spot is such that there isn't room anyway.

I'll soffit mount in my next studio whenever that is but for now, space rules my roost and there isn't enough of it!

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:17 pm

Dan - any chance of a more sober smiling smilie?! Whenever I see this one :) it makes me think that is how I would look if I found some thai sticks in my fridge! You know, something just a little less Jokerish?

:)

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:11 pm

Well, things moving along now - spec finished and all components ordered. This includes everything from the fabric, wood, hardware, velcro and other fittings needed to complete the room. Bit shocked at how much it came to - this is just the finishing stage but it still hit 500GBP :( Brings total expenditure to around 2,000GBP. For 2 grand, I could have brought a small step up in monitor quality perhaps but that would never have given the improvements the room treatment has. To be honest, although 2K is a lot of money, I think it is going to be worth every single millionth of a penny! :)

Other things going on all of a sudden as well. Got a phone call from Kawai at lunchtime telling me they could deliver my piano - this evening! (About a month ahead of when I was expecting it) At 19:40, it arrived. Wahoo!!! 12 gun salute to Kawai for arranging that odd-ball delivery time! Only problem is that it weighs a tonne which gives me a nice logistics problem lifting the top half over the base section for mounting. I think I will have to play safe and humbly put out a call for help - lifting about ~45Kg for precision mounting is either going to break myself or the piano.

Anyway, the closing chapter in this project is about to be written. Will it have a happy ending? Will it end in tears? Will there be a Hollywood sequel? Stay tuned...

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:11 pm

Double post due to error on server
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Thu Aug 05, 2004 1:44 am

MarkEdmonds wrote:Dan - any chance of a more sober smiling smilie?! Whenever I see this one :) it makes me think that is how I would look if I found some thai sticks in my fridge! You know, something just a little less Jokerish?

:)

Mark



This is my favorite big grin bb code :D
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Thu Aug 05, 2004 1:45 am

MarkEdmonds wrote:Dan - any chance of a more sober smiling smilie?! Whenever I see this one :) it makes me think that is how I would look if I found some thai sticks in my fridge! You know, something just a little less Jokerish?

:)

Mark



This is my favorite big grin bb code colon-capital D
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Fri Aug 06, 2004 7:17 pm

Initial deliveries for the final stage have started to arrive.

Here is a pic showing what the overall colour scheme is going to look like.

Image

I've colour balanced this to get it as accurate as possible although the piano doesn't look right. Fabric is hessian. Although the blue looks light, this is in direct glare of the flash and ceiling spotlight so a lot of the walls have less illumination and it will look a bit more sobre. At least I bloody hope so!

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:24 am

Arrrrghhh!!! The gods mock me. :cry:

I booked my leave for this week as we have just had a stonking spell of glorious weather. I have to do sawing jobs outside as I don't have a work space like a garage or big enough shed. There is no way I am using the mitre saw indoors with the ultra fine dust that creates.

So first day of leave and what does the weather do? Thunder storms and pissing down, high humidity and temps well over 20C. I'm sweating just using a tape measure.

As John Cleese said, Thank you god, thank you so bloody much. :(

:bang

Mark
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:18 pm

Your not kidding mate

I was inded sweating just using a tape measure in my studio build last night. I was measuring the ceiling joist positions and was dripping sweat from my brow like a fountain.

Paul :)
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:35 pm

Yeah, not only is the weather a killer but I'm currently being subject to one of the worse forms of torture known to mankind.

There is a bloody ice cream truck tootling round jingling out the Wizard of Oz theme. Every bloody 20 seconds, we're off to see the fucking wizard. :evil: Wish I could get a noise abatement order on the SOB!

However, despite these attempts to send me utterly insane, the day hasn't been a total waste (even though some deliveries haven't arrived). I've been putting up extra frame supports where the fabric frames will be mounted and made my first attempts at stapling in some fabric.

Thank god I bought an electric stapler! Even on the minor bits I've done so far, a manual one would have been murder. Amazing how quickly the job eats up staples as well. The first fill lasted about 10 seconds. I thought the device had broken and I couldn't believe that I had gone through an entire length of staples that quickly. I ordered 10,000 of them. I'm seriously beginning to wonder if that will be enough.

Mark
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Mon Aug 09, 2004 9:18 pm

Yep, lots of staples! Good job each individual staple doesn't cost much.

Although you could always buy the 'Supersoundproofing Acoustic Staple" @ $14.95 each :)


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Postby MarkEdmonds » Mon Aug 09, 2004 9:44 pm

Paul Woodlock wrote:Although you could always buy the 'Supersoundproofing Acoustic Staple" @ $14.95 each :)

Paul


hehe :) ! - only if they are paladium plated and come in a felt lined presentation box made of hand carved oak.

Grrrrr... don't get me started on hi-fi nonsense :bang


Anyway, today's progress has been slow due to the weather and also I am taking it easy with the staple gun and fabric whilst I learn how they handle.

First off, a nostalgic view round the room before it starts to turn blue.

The ceiling:

Image

The front wall:

Image

Exciting stuff eh?! The right front corner:

Image

The right wall:

Image

The right rear corner. Note that I've already covered part of the framing here and you can see the Auralex DST-Rs.

Image

The left wall where I have also covered some of the frame:

Image

No big shakes so far but I did jump in a bit with the front wall/ceiling corner trap. This is the only part of the room that won't have a fabric frame so this is stapled direct to the RW3 structure. Wasn't especially easy given the angles but I am about 60% happy with it for a first attempt. The photo makes it look worse than it really is - probably due to the direct light from the flash.

Image

That was quite a big area to do with one sheet (8' x 3') and it didn't help that there is no Y axis support to help pull it tight. Whatever...

Some staple gun tips:

This is the staple gun I've got:

Image

Quite a comfortable unit to use but it has cut-out a couple of times. Can they overheat? How do they work anyway?

1. Always have the head absolutely flush with the surface. If it isn't, the staple will buckle at one side.

2. If you are using it one-handed, the pre-coil action tends to make the staple fire out slightly up from where you have it positioned so you need to predict this. Two handed operation prevents this.

3. The fire button is a little too light. Although I haven't yet stapled a finger, I nearly did much worse. I was transfering it from one hand to another and without even realising it, caught the switch and fired off a staple. The gun was about a foot away from my face and pointing straight at me. I was lucky. The staple literally bounced off an eye-brow. A couple of mills out and that could have been interesting :? . So two lessons here - never point it at your face! and keep your fingers clear of the switch. Obvious really but people like me sometimes need to learn the hard way.

Anyway, tomorrow I start on frame construction no matter what the bloody weather is doing.

Mark
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Postby Eric.Desart » Mon Aug 09, 2004 9:51 pm

Hi Mark,

:) Nice work !!

:oops: But my neck still hurts finding the right position for my head to look at your first (ceiling) picture.
Good advice: don't mind my stupid comments.

Cheers
Image
divinely-inspired
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:55 pm

Eric.Desart wrote:Hi Mark,

:) Nice work !!

:oops: But my neck still hurts finding the right position for my head to look at your first (ceiling) picture.
Good advice: don't mind my stupid comments.

Cheers


Hi Eric,

Tilt your head 45 degrees to the left then tilt it 45 degrees back! That photo was my token "Batman" shot :wink: !

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Tue Aug 10, 2004 8:30 pm

Now then, frames and fabric today. A fun combination :( It rained all day again so I had to set the saw bench up in the kitchen. Retrospectively, that wasn't too great an idea but at least I dont have a her indoors to nag me about it.

Frames are coming along nicely. I've done a third of them so far but hit a minor snag. I'll do a post about the frames probably tomorow.

Mean time though, it's fabric time ladies and gentlemen and my first attempts at wrapping a frame. Should be good for a laugh.

Now, I'm no "haberdasherist" and I doubt many studio builders are so this method was a combination of tips I've picked up from here and my mum who enjoys upholstery. Enjoys?! Anyway... lots of pics and description coming up...

#1

Image

Clean the floor up and get everything laid out. Staple gun, jar for dead staples so they don't get loose and damage the floor, staple remover, tape measure, scissors, lots of staples and velcro.

Roll out the required length of fabric. Shake and pull it about a bit to get the weave even then lay the frame on top and centrally. Don't cut the fabric off the roll as this acts as a nice weight for pulling the fabric tight.

#2

Image

Fold over the short end and staple the mid-point. Now work out stapling alternately left and right at about 1" intervals keeping the fabric tight until you reach the corner brackets. (The photo doesn't show all the staples.)

#3

Image

Technique for the corners is unknown to me so I just kept trimming the fabric back so that I could keep it tense without any overlap. I then finished the peak of each corner by folding over (like wrapping a present) and ramming a staple through the whole lot. You have an extra bit of depth to play with because of the corner bracket height.

#4

Image

Cut the fabric as seen in the photo so you have flexibility to wrap the main lengths over the frame.

#5

Image

Now starting from the corners already complete, work your way down each side going about 4 inches at a time. Use the weight of the main fabric roll to keep one axis tight and watch the weave of the fabric to keep that parallel to the frame sides for the other axis.

When you've done about 10" down each side, your new staple gun should pack up :( At least mine did. It must have an intermittant fault so a quick phone call to Screwfix for a replacement. Ten minutes later though and it starts working again. Odd.

Anyway, when holding the fabric tense on the frame, it helps to ease it round by both pulling the underside and top side. If you only pull the top side, you don't take up the slack as the frame is not a frictionless surface!

#6

Image

Now cut the whole frame free of the fabric roll and repeat the corner process again. For some reason, the overall tension level in the fabric seems to get tighter the further you work along the frame so by the end, you are having to keep the fabric under a lot of tension. Finally, trim of the slack on the inside of the frame.

Well, time to turn it over and see what attempt number 1 looks like. Hope it isn't too rippled.

#7

Image

Looks pretty smooth to me. Certainly better than I expected.

#8

Image

Onto the velcro stage. I've got "Ecru" or beige velcro because it matches the wood frames better. The velcro is the self-adhesive type.

#9

Image

I decided to run the velcro in short strips rather than the entire length. This was for three reasons:

1. It is easier to keep parallel with the frame sides.

2. Relevant only to the ceiling panels: if the glue starts to dry out and the frame droop, the shorter run will mean that the entire supporting length can't be pulled off.

3. Following on from 3, if I ever need to replace a length, it will be easier to replace a short section than do the entire length.

Each strip in the photo is 1 foot long and I put the stipple side on the frame rather than the fluffy side. I also put a staple at the end of each strip which you can just see - extra security against loss of adhesion.

#10

Image

How do you get the mating half of the velcro on the walls in the correct position to match the velcro on the frame?

Easy. Put the other side of the velcro down on the frame to mate it but don't remove the adhesive backing yet.

Now do a few practise runs of putting the frame in position on the wall so you can put it in its exact position in one movement - no scope for getting this wrong. Once you are happy, remove the backing off the velcro to expose the sticky side and mount it on the wall. Knead round the frame to seat the velcro and make sure it sticks over the entire length.

#11

Image

Stand back and take in the view! Actually, for my first attempt, I am bloody chuffed! There is really no rippling or sagging in the fabric and the transluscency of the fabric is exagerated by the flash photograph so it looks a lot more uniform in the real room lighting.

Overall, the fabric stage took about 1hr 45mins but that included down-time whilst the staple gun was being stubborn. Hopefully I'll get much quicker because although I'm really pleased with this one,..... I've still got another 29 to go!!!! ARGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! 8O

Mark
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:30 pm

Greetings mark

Some nice work going on there. Well done mate :)


I'm pleased you went for the velcro method, rather thanthose ugly brass screws :) You won't regret it :)


Paul
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:33 pm

Your mum enjoys upholsterey? Cool!

I might have some questions for her, when I start building my own sofa! :) ( I'm serious btw :) )


Paul
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:59 pm

Paul Woodlock wrote:Greetings mark

Some nice work going on there. Well done mate


Yeah thanks! I'm quite pleased with it so far.

I'm pleased you went for the velcro method, rather thanthose ugly brass screws You won't regret it


Velcro was always my first choice but I got paranoid about its strength after trying to use it for cable runs. This is different though as you have nice long even lengths. The vertical panels aren't going to come down in a month of sundays but I am a little nervous still about the ceiling ones.

Your mum enjoys upholsterey? Cool!

I might have some questions for her, when I start building my own sofa! :) ( I'm serious btw :) )


I don't doubt it! With the scale of projects you do, if you said you were going to paint Queensgate in transparent aluminum, I wouldn't be surprised! :)

Seriously though, I'm sure my mum will be dead pleased to offer any advice if she can. You are probably going for some ultra-cool leather sofa moulded into the shape of the rear of the room (complete with remote controls, beer fridge and "lumbar" vibrator?!) ?

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Wed Aug 11, 2004 9:09 pm

Important tip for today:

Don't use an electric staple gun near light bulbs!

I don't know if it is physical shock and an electro-magnetic pulse (or whatever) but it has a nice habit of blowing the bulbs. I was working up on the ceiling next to the lighting array, fired a staple and pop went a bulb. Oh I thought, pretty clever. Did another staple and the next bulb went. Prove it wasn't a fluke - next staple and next bulb goes. Three halogen bulbs blown in 20 seconds!

Be warned!

When I'm working at the same area tomorrow, I'll use the manual staple gun to see what the likely cause is (if I have any bulbs left to blow).

Handy tip for budding studio builders next:

The fabric framing job is the most utterly tedious, boring, mind-numbing job of the whole lot. Don't think this is a quick finish it off job 'cos it ain't.

It isn't difficult (although the ceiling is awkward), it is just so bloody dull.

Anyway, I've got about 40% by area of the ceiling done now and improved my fabric technique significantly. I've just done an average size frame from first staple through to mounting on the wall in 45 minutes which is an hour quicker than yesterday. Things looking up there at least but still a long way to go.

Mark
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