Saturday, June 23, 2012

Our New Band Saw

Our new Band Saw
If you are new to the blog, then you need to keep reading to appreciate the fact that we have been staring at our new band saw for over a month without being able to power it up because of the lack of electricity in the studio.  Oncor finally made it out Thursday morning to install our new meter. The electricians started putting fuses and breakers in within an hour. So it should be no surprise that while the HVAC guys were on the roof setting up the air conditioning for the studio, we had already begun playing with our new band saw!

The final adjustments before Oncor energized the studio!
One of these goes to the band saw... we're not sure which one...
Like any new toy, the first thing you have to do when you get a new band saw is to see how thin you can slice veneer.

Showing off my band saw skills to Chelsea and the kids
I like this new saw...

Friday, June 22, 2012

100° F = 100 Degrees of Fun!

It’s been hot… really hot.  The average temperature in the studio has been hovering around 100° F, and it’s just getting hotter outside…  We have been working diligently to get the HVAC installed over the last several weeks and finally got our 3-phase power enabled yesterday!  It is an entirely different world in the studio now.  No more stifling heat, no more noisy industrial fans, we can actually hear Amos Lee now, and we don’t feel like we are going to pass out from heat exhaustion.

What an adventure this has been.  It all started when we designed the exposed duct work to run WITHIN the trusses instead of underneath.  This meant we had to make some structural modifications to the steel work in the building, but the aesthetics and functionality make it worth the effort.

18 inch duct doesn't fit through the steel...

As you can see, the 18 inch ducting doesn’t quite fit within the trusses, so we knew we would have to reconfigure the structural supports.  Just to be safe, we reinforced the joists with some simple framing while the work was being done.

A few temporary supports (just in case)

With the supports in place, we began moving steel around to accommodate the duct work.  This involved a lot of cutting.  Once the ductwork is in place and the inspection complete, we plan on coming back and re-bracing the trusses and removing the temporary framing.

Lot's of cutting!
New runs for the duct work
A straight shot down the hallway of the loft

With the duct work being configured inside, we waited patiently for a window in the weather that would allow us to open up 4 foot holes in the roof and get a rather large crane in the dirt alley way behind the warehouse.   On Wednesday morning, we were able to pull the trigger.  The units showed up 30 minutes before the crane was in position and we were ready to go!

New ACs!

Not ideal weather for this kind of operation...
Last unit being lowered into place

A week later the internal duct work was complete, everything was wired up, and a few days afterwards we finally had power to the units.  Now we have 16 tons of HVAC and life is wonderful once again!

The final duct work

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Our New CNC Machine

With the studio coming together nicely, we went ahead and asked Laguna to ship the new CNC machine last week.  At 14 feet long and weighing a couple of tons, it was quite an adventure squeezing it through our loading bays and rolling it around the studio floor.  The process began when Steve called us from Laguna and sent us this picture of the machine being prepared for transport.

The new CNC at Laguna being prepared for transport

A day and half later, a semi pulled up in front of the studio with the CNC, and 30 minutes later, our rigging company pulled up their semi with a 35,000 pound capacity Versa-Lift.

One very LARGE lift

Knowing the CNC was wider than the loading bay, we had come up with a few strategies for getting it into the studio. Among these was a 9 foot shelf on which to lift the machine like it was being presented on a platter (my favorite) and a boom arm with rigging from which to hang the machine and swing it into position.  In the end, we settled on simply lifting it by 2 legs from one end and driving it into the loading dock.

In the end... the simplest approach is often the best
Tight squeeze
Just about the time our blood pressure started to drop to normal...

This is a real testament to how rigid Laguna makes these units.  At 14 feet long, the frame didn’t even budge.  Once in the warehouse, we found it surprisingly easy to roll the unit around the floor on 40,000 pound industrial skates until we got it in its final position.  Now, Chelsea is waiting patiently for us to get our 3-phase power issue straightened out so we can power it up!

Chelsea waiting patiently for 3-phase power...