This blog documents my studio build started back in 2009. I'm keeping this live for reference as it may help others who are thinking of taking on such a project.
I wanted to do a bit of testing of the cabling between the computer and the room itself. If you have read earlier posts you'l know the computer will reside in the airlock and connected by cables under the floor. I will be making a desk but I wanted something temporary just to check it out so I made use of some steel from a disassembled office desk attaching a scrap piece of timber between the legs and adding a back brace to stop it wobbling. I placed a piece of MDF on the top to give a decent size surface. This worked out pretty well and provides enough space for a couple of monitors (screens), keyboard, mouse etc. I also made a small shelf in the airlock for the PC box to sit on.
I have a spare computer to use for testing purposes which I placed on the shelf and connected all of the cabling up. The space is very tight but it fits in there quite nicely actually. I hooked up my 24" monitor to one of the DVI cables in the room and fired up the system. All good and it even runs at the full 1920 x 1200 native resolution of the display even on the long cables. I had issues with this on my DAW when I tested a while back and I could only seem to get it working reliably at 1920 x 1080. Great news - so I'll probably put this graphics card in the DAW when I try it again.
I have just ordered a couple of 24" 1920 x 1080 displays so I might use the original 1920 x 1200 along with one of the newer ones side-by-side. But I'll do some further testing these arrive to see what combination works best with Cubase 7, Wavelab 8, HALion 5 etc.
I had the day off from work today as it is my daughter's 7th birthday and I had a bit of time to do some further checks, for example connecting up the homeplugs between the studio and the house's CAT6 network, which worked a treat. I do have CAT5 cables running into the house but I haven't got these connected into the home network yet so this will be fine for the time being.
OK, so the task this weekend: lay the laminate flooring.
I started with the easy job: laying the underlay. I had a roll left over from a room from the house when we had the extension built and I always had it set aside for this job. All pretty easy and only took a couple of full lengths off the roll and one half length. This has a foil top to it which resulted in quite a funky looking effect. See photo below.
The next conundrum to solve: check whether there was enough laminate to cover the area sufficiently. As mentioned earlier this was taken up from an existing room and had obviously been cut to suit that room. I pretty much knew there was enough m2 but having been cut to various lengths and some having had the tongue and groove end chopped off to fit the original room I had to be sure the lengths would work in my room.
I had initially thought of just ploughing on picking pieces up and laying as I found them but very quickly realised this could have proved disastrous. In the end I spent Saturday afternoon laying each piece out and choosing it's position just like a jigsaw puzzle. Some lengths were slightly damaged so I was also swapping them out for the best ones. This definitely paid off and I was able to cover the entire area with pretty well perfect pieces. This left me with Sunday to actually fit the floor.
It required a lot of pieces cut to various shapes and sizes so and I made sure my work bench was clear and the circular saw was mounted on my ad-hoc table. In fact I started trying to cut the lengths up to the fence (I should say 40 x 40 mm length of timber clamped to the work surface) but this would have proven time consuming. In the end I just drew lines and cut everything by eye freehand. This worked out a dream and most of the cuts were reasonably straight.
The floor went down really well and I was actually very pleased with the result :-)
Photos to prove it:
Just a short entry today. I finished all of the panels for the electrical and network cables tonight. All good and hopefully I'll get the laminate flooring fitted at the weekend.
I was at the Cambridge folk festival on Saturday so that ruled out any studio work but I did find a bit of time on Sunday though we (the family) spent a couple of hours on our allotment that we have just taken over. No crops this year but the site had been left hence the weeds were out of control so just getting things prepared for next year.
I have just got the laminate flooring that I had donated but I'm not quite ready to lay it yet as I want to decide on a couple of things. Firstly, how my monitors are going to be mounted - I'm considering bolting the stands into the floor so I will need to allow for this before the flooring goes down. I'm also probably going to rout out a couple more channels for any cabling for the electronic drums.
One job I could make a start on was to tidy up the installation boxes for wiring inside the airlock area. These were pretty much just temporarily secured and needed some backing for the covers to sit flush against. I have a few pieces of about 8mm think plywood that would serve this purpose well and this simply involved cutting a suitable size and cutting holes for the boxes to fit. These were then just screwed to the stud work and the front panels screwed onto the boxes. I managed to get the 3 CAT5 boxes and in addition another plywood piece for the PIR light to sit. I also did a bit of work on the panel for the PIR switching and the fan controller on Monday night. This leaves just the two double sockets and the light switch to be done.
Having had a busy Friday and Saturday on Sunday I set to work on the door and, as it happened, got more done than I had anticipated. I remembered from the first door that there were a lot of time consuming jobs but this time with the benefit of previous experience I ploughed through it pretty quickly.
I had already stapled the P seal onto the inner MDF panel in the week so it was just a matter of marking out hole positions ensuring they miss any obstructions like locks hinges etc. I then inserted the pins into the door itself and offered up the seal panel and it was in place ready to be screwed on.
I had some concern about the MDF laminations around the lock, even though it was well glued together, there is a very remote chance that the lock could pull through the MDF sheets if enough force was exerted. As extra security measure I inserted some 65mm long screws around the perimeter of the pocket with the lock mechanism sits joining all four layers together.
Next job: fit the surrounding frame door stops. As before, I used MDF cut into 110mm wide lengths to cover the full depth of the frame. Once cut to length I took my time to ensure that they met the door frame stops pretty snug with the door fully closed and marked there position. I repeated the process again to ensure the accuracy as this would be crucial to the effectiveness of the seal. I then moved the frame stops in by 2mm before screwing them in position to ensure that the seal is compressed when closed.
Now I had to get the heavy duty latch fitted. Again, thanks this being the second one I needed very little time to plan. All went well and as before I used the square section barrel to cut the 18 diameter hole for the barrel itself, though this time I mounted it in the drill by inserting a stud length into the threaded end making it a lot easier.
All that remained was to fit the rest of the hardware: the latching plates ensuring that the door was pulled tight compressing, the seals and then the box plate for the lock bolt to engage into. The router again makes light work of this and I quickly had all the fittings in place. So now apart from attaching the plasterboard panel inside and tidying up the outer frame that's doors complete!
What's next? Well, having not really come up with a definite plan for the floor this has been solved. I have been given some light wood effect laminate flooring which had been taken up and replaced by solid wood. Laminate it is. It's in good condition and there's just enough for my needs. I also have a complete new roll of high quality underlay left over from our house extension. So my next major job is laying flooring.