Mark's Studio Build Diary - The Construction Phase

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Mark's Studio Build Diary - The Construction Phase

Postby MarkEdmonds » Sun May 23, 2004 8:27 pm

OK all Construction Controllers, gonna go for studio build.... Timber? Go! Electrics? Go! Acoustics? We are Go! Lighting? Go flight! Catering? Allez! Capcom, Construction Control, you are GO for construction! *pssshhhhhpppp* Roger that! *psshhhpppp*

Yes, today marks the start of the actual construction work. No more time for deliberating over obsessive detail. Time to get on with the real work.

FIrst off, I have to say my sincere "Thank Yous" to everyone here for the excellent help I have received. I think it was the end of January when I started looking into this job and here I am at the end of May, actaully starting work. There has been a lot to learn during that time and a lot of planning. The simple fact is, I couldn't have done it without the help here so when I say thank you, I mean it. Thanks guys!

OK, plan is as follows. I've got a few evenings to finish off preparing the room before a couple of major deliveries with stuff I can't get in the car. On Friday, I start work full time and have just over two weeks to complete as much as possible. I've done a plan in MS Project which is a safe balance of work load and if it goes to predicted, I should be installing the fabric finishing in the second week in June.

The scale of work is quite minor compared to one famous project on this forum but there is still a lot to be done. Therefore, please don't expect to read about a huge job from the ground up. I am simply treating an existing room with a few simple structural jobs going on as well. The best way to understand the scope is to consider a well-done amateur studio room rather than a full blown professional job like Paul's.

Right, on to the work.

First job was to clear the room of the kit which I did last night. Now I have to strip the room down ready for the building and that includes the lovely job of demolishing the lathe and plaster ceiling.

This went pretty well using two essential tools of domestic destruction - a lump hammer and crowbar. I estimated two hours and it came in pretty well dead on. Unfortunatley though, I completely cocked up my estimate for cleaning up - a ceiling shouldn't have produced this much rubble. It took five hours to clear.

Now, had I hired a skip and just wheel barrowed it in, it would have been simple but I was fighting the budget so I decided to.... bag the whole damn lot up in shopping carrier bags!!! Crazy mut. Anyway, my dustbin is going to get very heavy over the next few weeks as I filter it away.

Thankfully, with the ceiling removed (and most of the skirting boards), the house didn't throw up any nasty surprises. I've just got a few mains cables to tidy up and three million lathe nails to remove. Looking quite tidy and promising.

I still have some tidying up at the perimeters of the old ceiling and also channel out some plaster where wiring and ventilation systems will go so still some messy jobs to come but the worst of it is done.

Day 1 complete and looking good.

Pictures at:

http://www.sonicbedlam.co.uk/Studio2005 ... 050523.htm

Mark
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Sun May 23, 2004 10:06 pm

Greetings Mark

Personally I would have kept the same thread going ( You're diary ). People will be following our diaries, and use them for reference for their own builds in the future. Just my opinion. YMMV :)

Anyway, regarding your demolition rubbish....

The dustman have refused to empty the bins when I've put that type of stuff in there.

See how it goes, but you might find it easier to drive it upto the tip ( It's on the A47, on the way to Eye, just over the parkway bridge, and then 1st right ). Probably get rid of it in a couple of trips, and bob's your uncle!

:)

Paul
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Mon May 24, 2004 9:33 pm

Day 2:

Not much construction work (if any). Only have the evenings for work these few days and I had a social visit from someone who actually wanted my ceiling debris for their garden (?!?!?). I wasn't going to argue so half the bagged up plaster has gone which is a blessing. Thanks for the info on the tip Paul, I'll take the rest there.

On work side, I have been pulling lathe nails out the joists which is bloody tedious and most of them broke off anyway so took a lot longer than expected. Boring stuff.

On deliveries, I am all set for the plywood floor boarding and "rockwool". Seems there is a East Anglian shortage of RW3 at the moment. I could get it delivered at the end of the week but it would be excessively expensive ~£28 per pack. Another dealer said they just couldn't get it and another said I would have to wait until end of July. Eventually, I settled on 100mm Rocksil RS60 which is the same density so hopefully OK. I've ordered through Travis Perkins who are doing it at about £14.20 per pack. That price sounds better than it is because with RS60, you get three slabs per pack (not 4 as per RW3). Even so the price is pretty good and matches the price for the last lot of RW3 I had delivered back in February. I've also ordered the marine ply (25mm) which is about £67.50.

Mark

PS: I started a new thread because I thought people would be interested in seeing the real work happen rather than churning through lots of preamble, most of which is about wiring! Hopefully, this thread will be much more compact and easier to digest.
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Tue May 25, 2004 1:38 am

MarkEdmonds wrote:Day 2:

Not much construction work (if any). Only have the evenings for work these few days and I had a social visit from someone who actually wanted my ceiling debris for their garden (?!?!?). I wasn't going to argue so half the bagged up plaster has gone which is a blessing. Thanks for the info on the tip Paul, I'll take the rest there.

On work side, I have been pulling lathe nails out the joists which is bloody tedious and most of them broke off anyway so took a lot longer than expected. Boring stuff.

On deliveries, I am all set for the plywood floor boarding and "rockwool". Seems there is a East Anglian shortage of RW3 at the moment. I could get it delivered at the end of the week but it would be excessively expensive ~£28 per pack. Another dealer said they just couldn't get it and another said I would have to wait until end of July. Eventually, I settled on 100mm Rocksil RS60 which is the same density so hopefully OK. I've ordered through Travis Perkins who are doing it at about £14.20 per pack. That price sounds better than it is because with RS60, you get three slabs per pack (not 4 as per RW3). Even so the price is pretty good and matches the price for the last lot of RW3 I had delivered back in February. I've also ordered the marine ply (25mm) which is about £67.50.

Mark

PS: I started a new thread because I thought people would be interested in seeing the real work happen rather than churning through lots of preamble, most of which is about wiring! Hopefully, this thread will be much more compact and easier to digest.


I think we're gonna have to use the Rocksil in future matey :)

I ordered another 11 packs of RWA45 from Travis's last week. When I woke up today, I found 14 packs of Rocksil RS45 ( same density as RWA45 ) on the driveway.

I'll save the rest for my Diary :)

PAul
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Tue May 25, 2004 10:37 pm

Day 3:

Boring mundane jobs this evening - hoovering, refixing floorboards, hoovering, channeling out plaster for the ventilation system, tidying up loose mains cables, blah blah blah and more bloody hoovering. The only bit I found vaguely amusing was drilling a 60mm duct through the wall for the DAW cables. Unfortunately, I managed to get the holesaw completely wedged on the arbor as the nipples which prevent it locking popped out without me noticing. Grrr. Given that was the highlight of the day, it sums up the current interest level quite nicely!

These reports will get more interesting on Friday - I promise!
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Wed May 26, 2004 1:06 am

MarkEdmonds wrote:....as the nipples which prevent it locking popped out without me noticing. Grrr. ......!


Yeah, I'd be pretty pissed off if some nipples popped out without me noticing!! :( :( :) :)
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Wed May 26, 2004 9:24 pm

Day 4:

No unexpected nipples popping out this evening!

Uneventful entry - just more work preparing the room. It is about ready now and I'm slightly ahead on the timeline so I should be able to start lining the ceiling tomorrow evening.

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Thu May 27, 2004 10:06 pm

Day 5:

Final boring post. Tomorrow the deliveries arrive and it gets more interesting.

This evening was more clearing up and preparing for storage of the Rocksil and plywood. Knocking it on the head for now as I need to be up and ready early tomorrow - if the last TP delivery is anything to go by, they will be round by 8.

Mark
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Fri May 28, 2004 12:04 am

MarkEdmonds wrote:Day 5:
...- if the last TP delivery is anything to go by, they will be round by 8.

Mark


I always ask for afternoon delivery :)

8am? SOD THAT!!!!


Paul :)
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Fri May 28, 2004 9:41 pm

Day 6:

Yahooo! At last I can report something interesting!

I'll keep the text brief as I've done some photos which show things better.

Well, just about got up at the crack of dawn in anticipation of the early deliveries which of course, didn't turn up until lunch time and mid-afternoon :(

Anyway, spent the morning pottering around and starting on the ceiling whilst trying to look after my back which is dodgy since loading wood into the car last weekend. If I was going to have to shift 32 bales of Rocksill and 7 sheets of plywood by myself, I couldn't afford to bugger the back any further and jeapodise the entire build. Thankfully, both delivery drivers were really helpful but cripes, that marine ply is seriously heavy. I'll have to devise some risk-free method to get that outside when I need it so I don't frig my back or damage the ply surface.

Whatever, despite the slow start due to deliveries being later than I expected, progress was smooth and rapid from then onwards. I called it a day at 21:00 because it was getting a bit late to carry on using the circular saw outside and I've got to tread carefully with neighbour relations with the noise and dust etc..

Some pictures:

http://www.sonicbedlam.co.uk/Studio2005 ... 050528.htm

Roll on tomorrow!

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Sat May 29, 2004 5:42 pm

Day 7 Part 1:

Post-script edit: Sorry to be drawing attention to this wiring issue but in a normal DIY wiring situation, you would never touch this side of the consumer unit as that would be done by the electricity supply people - ie, a professional which I am certainly not. Therefore, I am playing safe here.

Sore back meant I had to do light work so I've been working on the new consumer unit. I'm going to post some pictures here showing the work so if you don't want to see a CU, skip this post as the next will have real studio work.

Meantime, if you're there Paul, any chance you can have a quick look at these photos please and see if there is anything obviously wrong with what I have done?

First up is a general view of the new unit with the tails and earth in place. Now there is one potential huge problem here. The tails are 25mm but the earth is only 10mm. I bought 25mm earth for the job but the maximum size the CU will take on the earth is 16mm. Now, from what I can find on my wiring books, I am between two stones here. The guides seem to state that for 100A 25mm tails, you should use 16mm earth but for 60A 16mm tails, 10mm is OK. The house supply cutoff is 60A so can I get away with 10mm earth even though it is on a CU wired with 100A 25mm tails? If I do need 16mm earth, I hope I can get some from the main DIY suppliers with the bank holiday in the way before the electrician comes on Tuesday!

The bus bar has been cut and the distribution of MCBs is probably how I will keep them. The VB16 on the non-RCD side (left) will do the studio spur (unless I should use the VB32?).

Note there is no grommit round the tails entrance - simply isn't room. Is this OK?

Image

Next shot follows the tails as they loop round to the service connector block. The thin black lines on the wall are my minimum radius guide (5cm for 25mm).

Image

OK, now round to the 100A service connector block. My only concern with this is that there is a *very* small gap of outer insulation on the neutral as it enters the block. The access hole in the block is too small to take both insulation layers. You could slide a folded over piece of paper in the gap but the inner insulation is OK of course.

Image

Finally, on to the earth bonding. I haven't wired in the earth yet because I don't know for sure if my 10mm earth is OK and secondly, I don't know if I am allowed to touch this bit as it is directly connected to the house supply. (I am also nervous about touching it with all that juice flowing locally!).

Image

OK, that's it. I've spent ages on this job as I approached it with a fairly fanatical mindset so I hope all is well.

My sincere thanks to Paul or anyone who has examined these photos and can highlight anything that needs improving!

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Thu Jun 03, 2004 8:10 pm

Days 8 - 12 Summary

I thought I would save up some news to make the posts more interesting.

Work has been progressing but not at the rate I would like. My sodding back has been giving me a really bad time so I am having to pace things so it doesn't go altogether. Public health advisory: look after your back! You don't realise how important it is and how it affects nearly all your movement until you bugger it up!

Anyway...

With the exception of the wall to ceiling corner traps (where I am having trouble getting my head round the geometry at the corners), 90% of the framing is complete. 90% of the ply base floor is complete. 95% of the ceiling is done. Lots of other minor jobs on the go as well.

The electrics has hardly started and the engineer wouldn't wire in my consumer unit for a silly technical reason on the existing CU tails.

Some photos:

Ceiling

Image

Rear wall

Image

Image

A sequence of sorts showing work on the rear wall and the fan enclosure

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The reason for the shelf immediately above the fan is to allow an access hole for the fan. The fan design is quite neat in that you can remove the motor assembly but leave the main fan mounting in place. Therefore, I am going to build a removable panel to fit under the shelf for periodic maintenance of the area.

I haven't uploaded any photos of the front and left walls as they are pretty boring.

In general, it doesn't look like much has happened from those photos but the camera wide angle is limited and it all looks much better in real life.

Current jobs are filling the framing and building the "control panels" for the electrics.

A bit behind on schedule unfortunately but still got another clear 7 days for the work.

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Fri Jun 04, 2004 9:39 pm

Day 13

Good and bad today.

Bad was this sodding controller box:

Image

I wont go into the details but I got in a complete mess with this simple job. Left to right are fan speed controller, fused spur for the fan and a 2 gang socket off the ring main. The vertical box thing is a door bell repeater.

OK, on to some really amateur stuff and probably completely ineffective but what the hell. Prize exhibit number 1, a fan silencer box.

Image

You can stop laughing now! I made a major cock-up with this and didn't position the backdraft shutter so the hinges were vertical but by the time I had realised this, it was forget-nailed in so I kicked the wall and left it.

Here is a general view of this part of the room which is nearly complete.

Image

Now on to more interesting work - first build of a ceiling corner trap. I've gone through numerous designs for this because it was going to be tricky for getting the measurements and angles correct. Reason for this is that no reference point in the room can be taken as true. It is an old house - the walls aren't straight and the joist spacing is irregular.

Anyway, having convinced myself it was structurally sound, I selected the simplest design possible - two planks. Here is how it looks empty.

Image

To get the angle brackets at 135 degrees, I simply used straight ones and clamped them in a vice before bending them over the vice jaws.

The only difficulty with the design is getting everything in place with just two hands. Having quadruple-quadruple checked the positioning and measurements and with clamps just about holding it in place, I said to myself work fast! and went for it - then the driver battery died :-( Ever tried driving twelve 2 inch number 8's into (oak?) joists by hand? Nearly killed my wrist.

OK, final proof of concept is to fill it. So....

Image

It works! Nice clean cuts as well except for about 3 slices where I tried cheating and cutting 3 slabs deep at once - not worth it. As long I don't hear a crash during the night, I think that design works nicely.

That's all for now - off to let off some good-feeling steam.

Mark
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Postby Scott R. Foster » Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:00 pm

Damn.. that looks awesome Mark!
SRF
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Postby Bob » Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:10 pm

I love it.
Regards
Bob Golds
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:53 pm

WOW!

At last! Someone's made a Horizontal Corner trap, and a CHUNKY one at that!! Cool! I Like the angled brackets holding the battern to fit the triangles in. ( he says geekily : )

The electrics look fine btw :) Sorry, I've been meanign ot get back to you on that for ages now.

The Absorber and trap pics look great! I can't wait till my place starts to look like that :)

I Must comment on the fan and fan silencer.

Have you turned it on. I bet you have :) Loud isn't it? :)

Looking at you pics I don't think it's gonna be enough.

Firstly I would have preferably installed the fan outside the studio on the other side of the wall and tightly cemented in the flexible ducting through the brick wall. Then on the studio side of the duct I depending on much soundproofing you want to retain is use the whole bottom section of your corner trap ( where the fan is currently situated ) as a splitter silencer. Which should be covered at least 4 layers of drywall. or 3 layers of drywall and outside MDF layer.

Doing this will retain the studios sound proofing rating and at the the same time silence the fan noise from escape through yor duct.

If you have to have the Fan in the Studio room itself ( please say no ) then you should build it in a soundproof box ( as thick as the splitter )stuffed with rockwool and ensure the fan assembly is decoupled form the floor or box with the correct elastomer of foam pads of something.

Fixing the fan directly to the wall ( in the picture ) is gonna cause structural noise from the fan.




Here's what I did as a guide.

My fan is slightly more poweful than yours looking at the duct size ( na na na na naaah! :) ), and it was fucking LOUD when switched on in free air.

Even though my fan is installed in the garage loft space and would never interfere with the studio, I had to silence it,as the loft space ( tiled pitched roof ) is NOT soundproofed in the slightest. The Fan would have been heard whizzing away easily in the street at the dead of night.

SO here's what I did, and it took me about a day and a half....

For the fan itself which needed both enclosing AND decoupling from the mounting structure to quieten it, I decided to build a mini room-in-a-room on floating floor structure.

I built the inner box out of 18mm MDF to hold the fan tightly in place, gaps stuffed with rockwool, and room to take a 4" thick concrete casting on the bottom for a better mass-spring-mass.

I then built a bigger 18mm MDF box to leave a 50mm airgap between it and the inner box. The airgap was stuffed with rockwool. The heavy inner box sat on four foam pads. I made the pads big enough so the weight compressed them by about 15 to 20% A bit of trial and error there :)

I then made two flexible duct couplings between the two boxes out of the two legs of a pair of Woman's discarded leather trousers. Contact adhesive to mdf circular flanges.( cut with a jigsaw )

That was the fan silenced, the next step was to silence the airflow itself. As I already had a plsitter silencer on the studio side of the fan, I only really needed a duct silencer on the exhaust side. Standing in the garden near the exhaust duct was damn noisy without the duct silencer I can tell ya. Not good at the dead of night.

Anyway I built a biggish single skin mdf box connecting the Fan box assembly and the holes in the wall to outside. Before screwing the last section together, I connected a cylindrical tube of chicken wire, between the fan box duct and the holes in the wall, and stuffed the rst of the box with rockwool.

I can now stand right next to the fan box in the garage loft, or stand outside near the exhaust vent, and not even know the fan is switched on.

Oh, and looking at your fan silencer picture... It's not big enough by far, but you can't stick the duct through the middle as it won't work, you have to have the wool in contact with the air. As it should be an exhaust fan, any fibres will be blown out into the big wide world :)

I'd seriously re-evaluate your vent system.


Paul :)
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Sat Jun 05, 2004 8:37 pm

Day 14

What's up with the forum? Seems to be running very slow today?

Anyway... roughly halfway point of the main construction period and I am quietly happy with how things have gone. Made up a bit of time on the schedule as well.

Thanks for all the comments on my ceiling corner trap - I was pretty chuffed at how well it came out too!

Today was work on the right hand wall and that is now more or less complete.

Starting off with the usual warm up comedy act - a Kludges 'R' Us cable duct for the DAW cables:

Image

The piping is just normal down pipe - about 68mm diameter. Unfortunately, I bought the the hole saw months ago in anticipation without really thinking about how I would line the hole. So, the hole saw is 60mm and the pipe 68mm. Dumbo. To get the first section through the wall, I cut it lengthwise with a jigsaw and then compressed it to reduce the diameter (much tougher than you would think) and then hammered it through the hole. The angled section has a 45 degree cut but of course the diameter is back to 68mm so the two sections are taped together. What a crap job!

Now onto the front right corner trap prior to filling. As can be seen, the framework was pretty simple for this.

Image

And now all the open space filled:

Image

Here is a general view of the right wall having just started work on the ceiling trap:

Image

And now the ceiling trap complete:

Image

This is the same design as the last one except a bit simpler. There was an extra plank/batten in the first trap which for the life of me, I can't understand why I did it. As I removed one working-above-the-head step with the second trap, it was much easier to build.

This is the right rear corner with the traps coming together.

Image

I have the usual dilema of how to join that irregular shape where the traps would meet. A cube is the normal method isn't it? Unfortunately, the corner isn't regular enough to make that very easy (or look good) so I am looking at having a continuous fill between the ceiling traps - either just stapling cloth over the gap or being ambitious with the RS60 cutting and making a whatever-you-call-that-irregular-shaped-polygon to close it off.

How does it sound so far? Well I haven't played any music in there yet but believe it or not, it doesn't sound anything like as dry as you would expect. The RW3/RS60 coverage is about 75% at the moment. Yes, the doors are off the hinges (because I will need to plane the bottoms off when the floor is complete) so that will have an effect but a sharp handclap in the room still has a noticable ring. Will be interesting to see how this changes as the lining is completed.

Mark
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Sat Jun 05, 2004 8:47 pm

Paul Woodlock wrote:I'd seriously re-evaluate your vent system.

Paul :)


I hear you Paul!

Unfortunately, space and logistics of positioning meant that anything I selected for the fan system would be a compromise. I nearly abandoned the fan altogether at one point in the design because I couldn't see how to work it in a satisfactory way. What I've got at least enables me to vent the room- I'm pretty certain that at low revs, it will be virtually inaudible and then I can whack the speed up during breaks.

I would love to have been able to do a professional job like yours but you'll have to trust me - whichever way I planned it, there was going to be a problem.

Mark
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Postby Paul Woodlock » Sat Jun 05, 2004 9:05 pm

MarkEdmonds wrote:
Paul Woodlock wrote:I'd seriously re-evaluate your vent system.

Paul :)


I hear you Paul!

Unfortunately, space and logistics of positioning meant that anything I selected for the fan system would be a compromise. I nearly abandoned the fan altogether at one point in the design because I couldn't see how to work it in a satisfactory way. What I've got at least enables me to vent the room- I'm pretty certain that at low revs, it will be virtually inaudible and then I can whack the speed up during breaks.

I would love to have been able to do a professional job like yours but you'll have to trust me - whichever way I planned it, there was going to be a problem.

Mark



Greetings mate :)

1] you HAVE to have ventilation.

2] I believe you COULD make it a LOT better with the room you've got.


Before you settle on a final solution, I would strongly advise you switch the fan on, set the fan speed and check the situation. If it's fine, then all's well and good.

I just want you to avoid being disappointed with the vent noise in 6 months time, and ending up putting up with it because you can't face ripping part of the studio build down t ofix the problem.

Even though I'm sure my vent system will work, I WILL test it before going past the point of no return.

I would advise you to start a seperate topic for your vent system ( like I did with the garage doors ) and thrash it out NOW.

Please don't be rash, or too eager to finish the job. You're doing a GREAT job with your build. DON'T skimp mate, the place doesn't deserve it.

If your not sure check.


caringly

Paul :)
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Postby MarkEdmonds » Mon Jun 07, 2004 10:39 pm

Days 15 & 16

Just a quick post 'cos I'm knackered.

Day 15, Sunday saw virtually no work as I was out of town at a party. Only had time to prepare and install a new set of tails for the consumer unit. Timings significant here: cut and strip tails - about 45 minutes, reposition connector box and wire in 16mm earth - about an hour. (That 16mm earth was a major PITA).

Day 16, Monday and a major landmark has been reached. After a heavy 12 hour day in ludicrous temperatures, all the walls and all the ceiling corner traps are framed and filled! Hasn't sunk in yet but this means that the main construction work is now complete. Pictures will follow tomorrow as I've had enough now. Also tomorrow, once I've tidied up, I can do a quick listening test just to see how the room sounds as it is now.

Another step forward today concerns the really interesting topic of the consumer unit. The electrician came and connected it up for me. Really nice old chap and quick to get on with the work. In the time it took me to make him a cup of tea (3 minutes), he had already cut and stripped a new set of tails! Compare this to my 45 minutes! With the CU now active, the forum can let out a cheer as this means there will never be any more boring wiring posts! Also - Paul, thanks for all your patient help with the wiring - doubt I could have done the tail side of that job without your guidance.

Anyway, pretty damn good day all in all. Now for some sleep....

Mark
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