Garage ceiling - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 07-10-2008, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Garage ceiling

These two shots feature the interior of my garage. The area was completely unfinished when we purchased the home over 30 years ago, but I drywalled it after the sale. I also shortened the thing by six feet and built a heated and cooled interior storage room in the confiscated space. (I'll put a shot of that store room in another photo entry.) Fortunately, the wife and I like short, gas-sipping cars (the one in the photos is a Scion xB; the missing one is a Scion xA), so it is not necessary for us to have a deep garage.

Recently, the ceiling started to look a bit dirty (and buggy, since I live in north Florida) and it was difficult to do a cleaning job that was decent. The solution was to go over the drywall with 1/8-inch thick, pre-glossy-finished Masonite sheeting. I initially used 1x4 trim pieces to cover the seams, but I then got a brilliant idea and did the decorating work you see in these photos. My wife says it is probably the only coffered garage ceiling in the world. The installation work was done with a Ridgid framing nailer and Campbell-Hausfeld finishing nailer, both pressurized with a Ridgid pump.

In both shots you can see a 6x6 foot screen door in the ceiling that allows access to the attic-located heat pump air-handler unit. The door swings downward on hinges and the last time we had the handler replaced the workers praised me for having that door. The access door is screened so that cool air can flow into the attic area and help keep it (especially the air handler) a bit cooler in the summer. The big garage door is kept open during most of the day to facilitate the air flow, but the garage also has vents in the side walls to allow air to flow in that way, too.

That nearly new garage door is hurricane reinforced, and while I did not install the thing (apparently, even some good contractors balk at installing garage doors themselves), I did do the framing work around the perimeter. The guy who did do the installation (which took him an impressive two hours) said my framing work was as solid and precise as any he had ever seen.

Howard Ferstler
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-10-2008, 02:53 PM
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Nice job on the ceiling and good idea for a vent. Is the garrage air conditioned? And wow that`s a big gas container!! hope it`s not full! Oh, I like your speakers that you designed. I`m into hi fi... TUBES!! I have an old SCOTT that I push through two 4 ohm Heils...sounds OK for me! Have a run of the mill JBL sub run through the center channel pushed by an NAD. Rick

Never... I mean always... never mind Rick
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post #3 of 3 Old 07-10-2008, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pianoman View Post
Nice job on the ceiling and good idea for a vent. Is the garrage air conditioned? And wow that`s a big gas container!! hope it`s not full! Oh, I like your speakers that you designed. I`m into hi fi... TUBES!! I have an old SCOTT that I push through two 4 ohm Heils...sounds OK for me! Have a run of the mill JBL sub run through the center channel pushed by an NAD. Rick
The garage is not air conditioned, even though the walls are insulated. Just not worth the cost, I should think. However, the attic can get VERY hot, and so even normal outdoor air being pulled into the garage and then up into the attic helps to keep the latter area decent, although I would not want to spend much time up there in mid summer daytime. Each gable on the house has three vents, which also helps, and I increased the sofit vent area 400% a few years back by replacing the builder-grade minivents with versions that were more substantial.

Fortunately, the gas can is empty. If you saw one other corner of the garage you would probably faint. A shelf above the hood of the Scion xB has a shelf with eight (!) of those 5-gallon cans on it. They are also empty when stored in the garage.

Another corner of the garage has an 8000-watt portable generator sitting in it, and if a hurricane enters the Gulf I get to work (going to gas stations) filling up the cans. As the storm gets closer I fill up more cans, until I have all nine filled, plus the smaller one in the first photo, and the seven gallon tank on the generator. I store the filled cans out in my shop out back, and they have the ability (maybe with some siphoning work with my two cars in a pinch) to keep me in operation for maybe a week. The generator plugs right into the house, and the load is switched by a transfer switch. I would love to have a natural-gas powered generator, but there is no line in this area, and I have this paranoia about propane storage on my lot.

The shop also has four small, Energy-Star rated window air conditioners in storage, (a fifth also cools the shop in the summer) and I would temporarily install them in the windows of the house if we had a hurricane-related outage during our hot summer months. (The 8 KW generator is probably able to power my 36,000 BTU central air conditioner if I do not run much of anything else, but by using four smaller ones - 6500 BTU each - piecemeal I can get better mileage out of the generator's gas supply while still allowing the wife and I to be reasonably cool in the areas where I would only be running one or two AC units at a time.

Tube amps can sound as good as transistor units, but of course tubes will nearly always have less maximum power than even mid-grade receiver amps. More distortion, too, although that is more of an academic issue than practical one. And of course, they also consume more power and convert much of that extra power to heat. Still, if having fun with audio gear is the object, then go for tubes and enjoy yourself.

I heard a pair of Heil speakers several decades ago and was impressed as can be with their dynamics and their ability to generate a really fine sound stage. (At that time I owned a pair of AR-3a systems, so I was not easy to impress.) The dipolar radiation pattern was one reason for the soundstage illusion, but the dynamics were strictly a result of a driver that could generate a huge output level with low distortion. Nice speakers. You also cannot go wrong with any NAD product. I would suggest getting a better subwoofer. Two companies that make terrific bang-for-buck versions are Hsu Research and SVS. Both offer items that are roughly equal for the cost. You can easily zero in on either company with a Google search, and they sell factory direct, not in stores.

Yeah, the best sub outfit is Velodyne (I have reviewed several of their servo models and own an F1800RII), but even though they have maybe one tenth the very low bass distortion of the Hsu and SVS models, that edge is really gilding the lily. The versions produced by those other two are low enough in distortion to be essentially clean, and they cost considerably less than a subjectively equal performing Velodyne servo model. Still, I can see how some individuals are captivated by the ultra -low distortion of the Velodyne servos. I got a hell of a deal with the F1800 (it was a model sent to me to review), and I would never have purchased it at a typical store price.

My main system (not the smaller one that has the three home-built speakers, but the big one that has Allison IC-20 main speakers) uses a Yamaha RX-Z1 receiver, and also uses a Carver M500 amp to power the mains. The Yamaha has pre-out and main-in connections on the back, so it can accommodate the Carver and the Yamaha itself biamps the center speaker I built for that system, as well as powering the six surround speakers.

When listening to music (I generally listen to classical, but I am not immune to the qualities of rock, jazz, and country), I make use of the Yamaha's "Classical/Oper" hall-simulation feature that uses steering, center deriving, and surround matrixing to send signals to all the speakers, except the ones directly behind the listener. (Those "back surrounds" do get to work with movie sources.) The center feed delivers a solid, stabilized center image (a good thing if one is listening from off to the side a bit) and the surround speakers help to simulate a much larger space than my 22x18 foot main room. Seems to work fine, although there is obviously a lot of manipulating going on in terms of spatial characteristics.

Howard Ferstler
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