Sunday, February 21, 2016

Garage Lighting Upgrade

Last summer I replaced the basic CFL bulb in the garage with a 100w daylight LED bulb. It helped but it was still lacking compared to what I had in the garage at my old house. A few months ago my neighbor picked up a four foot LED shoplight from Sam's Club to mount above his workbench. I'd seen them before in the store before but seeing the light output in his garage sold me on it. This weekend I finally got around to buying and installing a few. The difference is absolutely amazing.

Supply list:
-Two four foot long LED shoplights (At least at my local store they're now selling a Honeywell model with a slightly higher (4500 lumens) light output.)

In the picture above I also bought longer hooks just in the case the ones that were included weren't long enough to go through drywall and "bite" enough into the stud but I didn't need them.

Installation was easy. I used a stud finder to find the studs in the ceiling, drilled pilot holes for the hooks, screwed them in and mounted the lights. I mounted one in the front and one in the rear centering them as best I could. Using the light socket adapter greatly simplified installation as instead of having to hardwire them in I just needed to plug them in. They also work with the existing light switch this way. The plugs on the lights are grounded so I needed the three prong to two prong adapters in order to plug them in. The cords aren't very long so I used one extension cord as well. 

Before. (Excuse the mess. Putting up a shed to get a lot of this stuff out of the garage is next on my list for the spring.)

After. As usual, the pictures don't totally do it justice but even my wife was impressed with the difference.

Crossposted from my house blog.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Beetle Decal

A few weeks ago I came across this decal on a site called The Decal Guru and had to get it for my Mac.

Nice addition for about $15/shipped.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Long Awaited Update

It's been over three years since I last posted anything to this blog or made any sort of update on the Bug's website. In February 2012 I took the Bug to the stripper. The original plan had been that by the following year she'd be ready for paint and taken somewhere to get sprayed. Life however had other plans.

In October 2012 my wife and I found out she was expecting and the following May our second son arrived into the world. A few months prior to that we had to sink a large amount of money into replacing half of the roof on our house. At the end of 2013, feeling squeezed by the size of our house we decided to sell it and build a new one. (Link to our house blog.)

I never expected the Bug to sit this long. As it stands now I'm making plans to at the very least get it primered and hopefully painted sometime next year. (Seriously looking at going the DIY route on this to save money.) The body has started to deteriorate slightly and I need to address it before any sort of rust starts to appear. And by restarting this blog it should give me the motivation to get some things done and make progress, however small at this point.

In the garage at the new house. It's the same size as my old one (and attached to the house) but it's a little more cramped since I no longer have a shed for storing all my yard tools and other stuff. 

Tool Cart

Over the years I've accumulated a pretty large collection of tools. So much so that my existing tool box above just isn't enough space any more for everything. I've ended up buying new drill bits and such simply because I overlooked them in the overflowing drawers of that box and have searched for a while for another solution. I'd love to get a wider tool box but I also like the compactness of my existing set up even if it does require a step stool for me to better see in top. (And I'm 5'11". It's tall.)

I love Harbor Freight. They definitely sell some crap but I've used them for years for getting various odds and ends for far cheaper than the big box stores. It's one of those places I can go into and spend quite a while just wandering up and down the aisles finding stuff I didn't even know I needed. It's kind of like following my wife around in Target.

A few weeks back I got a flyer in the mail that had coupon for a four drawer tool cart for $99. After reading the reviews and taking a look at it in-store I picked one up this weekend. I ended up moving all of my power and air tools into it along with the assorted bits that go with them.

The one complaint I have at the moment is one of the drawers doesn't open very well and overall they're not as smooth as my Craftsman boxes. I sprayed some white lithium grease into the tracks this morning but it didn't work like I expected so I'm going to need to fiddle with it a little more. But for the price I can't complain. It's freed up a lot of space in my main box and made it easier to find everything between the two. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

An Update and I sold my GTI

After coming back from American Stripping in February I had thought things would start to move at a somewhat faster pace. Ultimately though things never came together with the guy I had expected to do the paint and with life, work, and other things requiring money getting in the way the project has stalled yet again for the moment. I taught a number of after school classes along with summer school this year and will continue to do so for the near future. It provides great extra money but it also severely eats into my free time.

I sold my 2004 GTI 1.8T last week. It was a tough decision but with the constant climbing cost of gas (the required use of premium fuel didn't help) and the possibility of a growing family I needed to get something a little larger and more fuel efficient. (Especially with my forty mile round trip each day to work.) I sold her to a couple from Charlottesville, Virginia and I'm confident that she will be taken care of very well.

I debated long and hard about what to replace it with. Brand loyalty is a powerful thing especially given that I've owned and driven nothing but Volkswagens since getting my license fifteen years ago. It came down between a new 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SE and a 2012 Toyota Corolla S with the latter ultimately winning out. The engine is not quite as powerful as the Jetta but feature and space wise I was able to get on the Corolla pretty much the same as what I could get on the Jetta for several grand less. I also know from experience with my wife's 2003 Corolla S and various Toyota's that my in-laws have owned that they're very reliable, low on maintenance, and easy to work on. Still, it was a very tough decision to make. (Knowing I'd never hear the end of it from the wife if I went with the more expensive Jetta also factored into my decision. :) )

It's given me renewed motivation though to make progress on the Bug so I can have a Volkswagen to drive. Hopefully by next spring I'll have additional money available to make another round of progress. Stay tuned for updates.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Paint and Body Update

The Bug came home from American Stripping last Friday. It ended up costing me a little more than I had planned on but with three layers of paint and two of primer it ended up taking longer to strip all of it off. I've added a page with photos and descriptions - Body and Paint Part II. I've also gone back and added a bunch of pictures to Body and Paint Part I covering the welding and undercoating work that was done last summer.

Earlier in the week I spoke with the guy that did the welding for me and will also be doing the painting. He's backed up with insurance work right now but he's supposed to come by my house some time soon to take a look in person now that the Bug's been stripped and figure out exactly what will need to be done to get her painted. I'm hopeful that will be done sometime in the next month or two. I've got spring break from work coming up in mid-April and I'd really like to be able to spend that week starting to put her back together.

Monday, January 30, 2012

At the stripper!

The Bug is now sitting in the blasting bay at American Stripping on Cary Street in Richmond. With my father-in-law's help we trailered her up there this evening and dropped her off. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about her being away from home as this is only the second time in six years that she's been out of my garage. I doubt my stress level and blood pressure will return to normal until she's back home. But I'm also excited about getting this step of the project done. For now here's a photo from tonight of her sitting in the blasting bay on her cart.

Pasted Graphic