OK, I've had a few weeks break during the nice weather for our holiday and generally enjoying the summer.  Now time to get back into studio building.


First thing on Saturday I spent a couple of hours tidying up as the garage (workshop/store room) had become a bit cluttered with junk, off-cuts, saw dust etc. etc..  Although the amount of timber had reduced it seemed to be taking up twice as much space as it did when I started.  So this was time well spent sorting out off-cuts and timber into neat piles.  At the same time I cut the joist timber to size and put them in situ resting on the top plates of the framework.  This freed a lot of space up as these were 4.8m in length so were stretching the full depth of the garage.  This left me with 9, 2m joist off-cuts - much easier to store.  After this and a more general tidy and sweep things started to feel a bit more organised.


Having already marked the position for the joists I fixed the truss clips in place securing them to the top plates but I didn't screw them to the joists.  This just keeps the joist in the correct orientation, ie. long edge upwards - don't want these to bend.  I'll fix them more permanently a later.


Next thing I needed to do was finish the corners of the framework to ensure that I have a solid surface to attach the plasterboard at the edges of the walls.  I achieved this by adding vertical timbers into the corners at 90 degrees to the original uprights (probably best to look at the photos to see what I mean).


I have a few little finishing jobs (securing joist etc.) to do on the framework now but essentially this is pretty well finished.  




Electrical Preparation:

To connect the room to the electrics I decided to run the power from the consumer unit in the garage, which is next to the outbuilding but not attached.  The garage consumer unit is attached to the wall nearest the outbuilding so it makes perfect sense to utilise this.  The current supply is fed from one of the house rings through a conduit  suspended in space...not ideal but at least it gives me some light whilst building.  The consumer unit has a spare 32A RCD (fuse) for the studio ring and I'll take a spur from the garage ring for the extractor fan.  This ensures that the extractor is isolated from the studio ring.  I'll also run a cable from the garage lighting circuit to cater for studio lighting.  There is a gap between the two buildings which starts at about 2' to about 1' the far end. (you might visualise this a bit better in a couple of shots in the album).  To connect between the two I am running a length of plastic ventilation ducting which will easily accommodate all the cabling (ring, extractor fan, lights ++) I am likely to need.  The ducting is about half a brick wide by a full brick high so I needed to cut and remove half in each building.  I did this by drilling a lot of holes vertically through the middle of the bricks and all round the outside through the mortar.  The outbuilding brick came out fairly easily but the garage one took a little longer as the mortar being only a few years old was a lot tougher.  The garage is actually brick/breeze block so this left the breeze block inside the garage to break through just below/left of the consumer unit.  This was a breeze  ... like a drill through butter!  Job done and with a bit of assistance with the mallet the conduit was in place connecting the two rooms together.





That completes the work  for this weekend but it's certainly good to be back in action and the break has given me even more enthusiasm to get the studio done.  Well that and the fact that I have signed up for another OU (Open University) course for Feb 2010 - AA302 From composition to performance, in case you are interested.  I won't have a great deal of time for studio building after then.

Just a quick post to let you know that I'm alive and kicking!!  June has not been a very productive month in terms of studio building, what with my holiday and other commitments.  We have also had quite a spell of good weather and I have been enjoying a bit of time with the family and catching up on some jobs around the house/garden.  Anyway, I hope to get at least the framework complete with joists in position - more soon...

Saturday morning and a trip to the builders merchant.  I needed 8 lengths of bracing timber and another couple of joists.  I needed the two additional joists because I had revised the spec of the stud-work since first drawing up the scheme.  I had originally chosen 600mm centres between stud uprights but later decided to reduce this to 400mm centres, which resulted in the need for two more joists.  These are 7x2" and are stocked in 4.8m lengths and I only need them about 3m.  Quite handy actually as I can only fit about 3m safely in the car.  But it did mean I had to cut these at the yard and no power tools allowed!  So for once, so far on this job, it was manually cutting the two down though the guy there did help support when cutting.  They had a very sharp saw so it didn't take too long.  I put these into the car along with the 8 x 3m lengths of planed timber for the wall bracing.


Once arriving home I set about attaching the bracing timber to the back of the stud-work.  Bracing is necessary because these walls are basically free standing and apart from being attached to themselves and bolted to the floor are not connected to the brick walls or existing ceiling.  The ideal method for building the walls would be to construct each side away from its location complete with bracing, then bolt them to the floor fully assembled.  However, because of the small size of the room and its shape, doing it this way would be nigh on impossible.  Though it did mean I had to come up with a method for attaching the bracing behind the stud walls from the front.  What I did in the end was cut and drill about 64 blocks to allow me to screw them from the front.  This was quite a time consuming job but it worked very well.  As a secondary measure I glued the bracing to the stud-work and glued each of the blocks before screwing them.  The other advantage of doing it this way is that you really appreciate the effect that bracing has on free standing walls.  Before attaching the bracing, these walls could be rocked easily but after bracing they are extremely stiff.  Check out the:



The job didn't go completely according to plan as I realised that I couldn't get the bracing timber behind the doorway wall !!!  You'll need to look at the photos as it would be difficult to explain.  Luckily though by disconnecting the doorway wall from the sides and slackening off the sole plate nuts I was able to lean it into the room and feed the bracing timber between the doorway pillars and the stud wall itself...phew!!  I did have to re-jig the walls upright again though before re-screwing them together but this didn't take long.  



I completed this pretty well on Saturday and I thought I would offer up one of the joists in position on the top framework.  All OK at each end nearest the walls with a decent 1" gap between it and the roof support.  However, I slid it along the framework and quickly realised that the central roof support was a tad more bent than I thought, bowing down a huge amount.   I had only moved the joist about a couple of foot before it wedged against the roof support!!!  This was the end of the day on Saturday so I had to ponder this over night...what to do?


OK, I had come up with a few ideas but in the end I decided to cut some chunks out of the offending roof support where my joists would live.  You might think that this is not a good idea but luckily, if you read earlier in the diary,  I had added two additional roof supports before even starting the main build (there was only one support centrally in that direction originally).  This saved me really and was not at all worried about cutting into the timber.  You'll see from>> this photo << the solution.  I also intend to jack this timber up slightly and attach a strengthening timber to the side later on to stop any more potential movement.


Not a bad weekends work and for me it's about ticking off each job but things are still moving along.  That's probably it for the next couple of weeks as we are off on holiday on Saturday the 13th for a week to Southwold on the east coast.  Though I'll probably finalise where the power will be entering the studio from the garage this week and there are a couple of little jobs I can do in the week.  I also need to be thinking of the ducting and design for the ventilation system.


Another sunny weekend and Saturday was spent with friends so only Sunday available for building.  I didn't manage to get too much done but I did get the four walls secured to each other.  I spent a fair time ensuring the walls were square and upright so it took a little longer than you might think to do.  Also, I couldn't get the clamps behind the timber frame (only 1" gap between them and the wall), I had to attach some wooden battens to the side walls to allow  me to clamp them tightly together.  The result of the time spent is that I'm very pleased with the squareness of the frame.  The next thing I need to do is improve the stiffness of the walls, adding more screws and attaching  bracing behind the stud work.  Although I wasn't able to get a great deal done it still felt good to get this job done - another one off the list...a lot more to go!  


Even though we had a glorious bank holiday weekend here in the UK with BBQs galore, I did manage to get a fair bit done in the studio.  I can now say that I have the four stud-work walls in place  .  Completing the back wall on Sunday and working for a good few hours on Monday to complete the front wall (at the door end). Though it's not quite job done as they are all basically bolted to the floor but are not attached to each other...a job for some evenings this week I think.  All that is required now is to clamp together and screw them all together ensuring that all angles are square and walls are upright.  The wall at the door end is probably going to require a bit of packing out to achieve this as the concrete is still a little ramped near the wall but I don't think this is going to cause too much difficulty.