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.
Not a bit of studio building this weekend...for a good reason! We (the whole family) spent the weekend from Friday to Sunday in London. Stayed at a nice hotel near Regent's Park had a fantastic time: boat trip along the Thames, London Zoo, Natural History Museum and generally had a very relaxing time! what a weekend to choose as well, the sun shone the whole time enjoying our late summer :-)
Deciding on the location of the switches, sockets etc is probably the hardest part. I'm putting pretty much all of the switches inside the airlock. Settled on having two, 2-gang switched sockets to the right at about 20cm from the floor, these are to power the DAW (PC) which will be raised from the floor on a shelf. Fan isolator and speed control to the left at shoulder height. Light switch to the right of the internal door frame at shoulder height.
All that was needed now was to feed the cables and clip them to clip them in place. I attached a length of plywood to the bricks where I needed to run the ring cable down to make it easier to clip the cables to. Then running the other cables for the lighting and fan connections along the outer roof support then along one of the joists. I added additional noggings where the switches are to be located to attach socket/switch back boxes to.
Currently there is a single T&E cable running from the house through a conduit in the open air. This originally supplied everything into the outbuilding: sockets & lighting. Obviously I'll be removing this but I am going to make use of the conduit to feed a CAT5 cable through to connect the room up to the outside world. So before pulling the old 2.5mm cable through into the house I'll attach the CAT5 cable to the end. I'll have a double CAT5 near the DAW (PC) inside the 'airlock'. One will link to the outside world, the other will be fed under the floor to the desk - eg. for the laptop.
Family day out on Saturday (Haddenham Rally) so only Sunday available for studio building.
By the way, I received the new switch for the burnt out drill and fitted this during the week and now works perfectly. So I now have a spare drill which will come in quite useful.
Today's task was to assemble the door frame wall. Having already constructed the door frame last weekend I attached two lengths of stud work to the outer sides. These were screwed between the top and bottom timbers of the frame at exactly 37.5mm (3 x 12.5mm drywall) from the inside surface of the frame. This ensures that the drywall ends up perfectly flush with the inside of the door frame and also helped to align the frame when secure it to the rest of the framework. If you read earlier you'll know that the door frame will be offset to the right (looking from inside) of the outer door, maximising the amount of space available to locate the DAW. All went together really well and with two stud work uprights and noggings screwed I have myself a very sturdy doorway construction ready to mount the door to. Although I have plenty of offcuts I ended up with exactly the right amount of stud lengths for the uprights - more luck than judgement I think!
As you may know the fan will be located in the garage. The switching and fan speed controller will be located inside the airlock so the cables will be fed into the studio and back out to the fan, via the switch. I have pretty much designed the electrical layout so all I need to do now is feed the tails through allowing enough length to reach the desired positions. I'll need 2 x 2.5mm T&E (Socket Ring), 1 x 1.0mm (Lighting), 1 x 1.0mm T&E (Spur for Fan) and 1 x 10amp round section (Fan Return).
I made a start feeding the electrical cables through from the garage. I managed to get a few lengths through before the end of the day but this is a job I can probably get done during the week. That's that for the weekend but a reasonable amount complete - more next weekend...
We had friends visiting this weekend so there wasn't too much time available. They were not arriving until the early evening so I was able to get the door frame glued up. This was glued, assembled then strapped together tightly and left overnight. Later on Sunday after our friends had left I added some screws to the already solidly glued frame. I now have a sturdy door frame to insert into my stud wall. >>photo<<
Following on from an earlier point I have been looking at the available space inside my 'airlock'. It's going to be a little tight to get the computer in the space to one side of the door, at least with the door frame mounted centrally - ie. in-line with the outer door. So the plan is to mount the internal door off-set to one side, probably to the left of the outer door. This may seem a bit odd but what it does do provide a much larger area to the right to locate the computer. I have tested this out in terms of how practical this is for entering the room and it seems to be a very workable idea. A little more thinking to do here but so far I can't see any pitfalls.
I constructed the two short walls into the alcove of the inner wall, at 90 degrees to the door. Adding the top plates which were screwed to the joists in-line with the sole plates. The uprights were cut to size and screwed into position securing them to the top/bottom plates and then to the outer/inner wall. I shortly realised that I was getting low on 60/80mm screws and with a quick count up I need to be a bit careful. So I got things screwed together using the minimum amount of screws (enough to secure things in position) and would go around later adding further screws to strengthen. This meant I had just enough screws to finish the short walls with the noggings in place - though not before I had burnt out the switch on my power drill!
Bear in mind that I have used this, relatively small drill, to make all the holes in the concrete level, the brickwork as well as all the clearance holes in the stud-work it decided to give up whilst drilling a 4.5mm hole in a piece of timber. This put me out of action! Luckily we have an ironmongers in the village, one of those old fashioned shops with lots of wooden drawers, wooden boxes and pots with everything you are ever likely to need. Upon asking, 'did they happen to have any power drills? I received the answer, 'do you know I think we have one somewhere! Sure enough, down from the top shelf she hands me a drill - £20. It was certainly not the best bit of kit in the world but it would get me up and running again to finish enough for now.
I then dismantled the broken drill and found where the problem lie. The switch had burnt out! Further exploration revealed that the diode inside the switch had broken down. With a quick search on the net I found a couple of Bosch spares suppliers and ordered a replacement switch. I should receive this next week so I'll have the cheapie drill as a backup in the future.
Whilst tidying up at the end of the day I walked into the outbuilding/studio only to find I had a visitor! A Hedgehog had decided to walk in and inspect the place: >>photo<< He/she had a quick wander round sniffing about for a few minutes and walked out and disappeared into the darkness. Broken drill and the hedgehog incident: >>photos<<
After having a nice day visiting friends on Sunday I set about work. Having run out of screws on Saturday I had to get to thinking what I could that didn't require screws. OK door frame building it was. Having received excess length joists originally I made use of this timber to construct the door frame. It's fairly substantial timber (7x2") but it's going to be ideal for the frame for the inner door. The joist off-cuts are about 2m in length, so I'll only need three for the frame. Deciding on the dimensions of the door was the next thing. I had compared sizes of various doors and concluded on a frame size 700x1830mm. It's not going to be a very big door but big enough to get everything through including a person or two.
I constructing the frame with tongue and groove joints. I allowed extra length for the top/bottom as these were going to be grooved. I spent a bit of time ensuring that these were cut precisely and sure enough it fitted together very snug. I was even able to carry the assembly into the studio without being fixed.
That was pretty much it for the weekend apart from tidying up...