Server Build

I wanted a server for a while to take care of streaming music, streaming films, backup documents, photo storage, print server and anything else I need. I avoided the cheaper generally low powered NAS’s (I have a raspberry Pi that could do that) and decided to essentially build another pc to perform these tasks. It would be more powerful and offer more functionality. It will however cost more to run and take up more space. But I was happy with that.

Kit List

  • AMD APU A6-6400K (second hand)
  • MSI motherboard A88XM-E35 – FM2 socket
  • 4GB Generic RAM – now upgraded to corsair 1600mhz 4GB
  • 500gb Hitachi HDD – now upgraded to 120GB PNY Optima SSD
  • Silverstone SST-PS08W (with USB 3.0) case
  • 1tb data hard drive (see post here)
  • OS – Ubuntu 14.04.1LTS
  • BeQuiet 350w 80+ power supply
  • Pioneer BDC-207DBK Bluray drive
  • Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 rev.2 CPU cooler
  • Arctic mx2 thermal paste
  • Isopropanol alcohol (for cpu cleaning)

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Second Bed Build

Following on from the last bed build (see part 1, part 2), I made a second one. This time a full UK double size rather than a UK small double. As it was a full double I again added the centre 2×4″ and also a centre leg for extra strength.Frame made in the same way as before, 4×1″ for the legs, 2×4″ for the frame and 1×4″ for the slats. Prior to assembly, I cut everything to size, sanded it and varnished with water based polyurethane (dries much faster than oil based).

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Workshop Sounds – Lepai Amplifier

Lepai/Lvpin Tripath Amplifer

I had been looking for an amplifier for the workshop for a while and read about these small and cheap amplifiers on the DIYAudio forum [link to diy audio posts]. The posts suggested that although cheaply made the amps sound great and are very easy to mod.  So order placed and £19.99 later it arrived. My new version can badged as Lvpin, the new name for Lepai (apparently meaning “dependable product” in Mandarin”). I ordered one without a PSU, I happened to have an external hard drive PSU offering 12v DC 2 Amps output so I hooked that up first to check how this budget amp would fare.

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Building a bookcase

Building  a bookcase from pine as a present, here is the finished result:

After looking online for a while I found these plans which looked easy to build and would disassemble for moving.

So after settling on the plans I gathered up the following:

  • 1×9″ PSE Pine x4@ 1.8m
  • 1×4″ PSE Pine x6 @ 900mm
  • M8 300mm Threaded rod
  • M8 Lock Nuts
  • M8 Penny Washers
  • Polyurethane Varnish (oil based)

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Finish for workbench top and frame

All that’s needed now is to run over the bench frame with a random orbital sander 180 grit to remove the pencil marks and to improve the finish. I will then wipe over the frame with Danish Oil to protect it – two coats with six hours between coats.

Finishing the Workbench MDF worktop

The MDF top and shelf was varnished with polyurethane oil based varnish thinned by 50% white spirit for the first coat, left to dry overnight and then 25% white spirit  75% varnish for the second coat. It was laid on thickly and let soak well into the board. The varnish is thinned to really get it to soak into the board, rather than a top film of varnish that may chip away. Then a final neat coat of varnish was applied. I wiped the surface with 240 grit sandpaper between coats to key the surface.

[picture of varnish and white spirit]

This will soak in well and provide a durable and resistant finish for the bench top. Alternatively Boiled Linseed Oil or Danish Oil could be wiped over and again let soak in well or a piece of hardboard could also be used as a sacrificial top and replaced as required.

 

Cheap Simple Workbench – Every House Needs One! Part 3

Making a Workbench Part 3

Making a Workbench Part 1 is here, Part 2 here, completed (almost) picture here, tools lists here and final finishing here.

Now moving on, I marked up the shorter lower stretchers

Then applying plenty of glue I clamped the longer lower stretchers

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Cheap Simple Workbench – Every House Needs One! Part 2

Making a Workbench Part 2

Making a Workbench Part 1 is here, Part 3 here, completed (almost) picture here tools lists here and final finishing here.

I first started by marking up the long sides with four marks to provide a fixing point for the legs and marking four points on the shorted sides – 2 to attach to the sides and 2 to attach to the legs. I marked this up on a template to speed the process up, then piloted drilled and countersunk the holes.


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Cheap and Simple Workbench – Every House Needs One! Part 1

Making a Workbench Part 1 Part Two is here, Part 3 here, completed (almost) picture here tools lists here and final finishing here.

This post will detail how I build one of my sturdy and cheap 2×4” workbenches. My design was inspired by the hammerzone workbench plans: Link

I wanted easy construction, cheap materials and strength. I amended the plans in the following manner:

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Building a Guest Bed 2

Building a Guest Bed 2

Amendment:

I decided to add an additional 2×4” to the centre of the bed as there was slight flex in the frame. I cut the 2×4” to 167cm, flipped the frame over and marked the centre of the bed and the centre of the 2×4”. Then I lined these marks up and clamped 2 pieces of scrap wood each side to hold the 2×4” in place. I marked up 2 screw holes, ensured that the top was flush with the bottom of the frame and then piloted holed, countersunk and then put in two screws. Then I done the same the other end. Then I flipped over the frame and marked the middle of the centre slat, clamped the centre 2×4” upwards, marked holes and then pilot holed and countersunk 2 screws in. I choose to use 2 screws on the 3 centre slats, 2 on each end (not in the centre due to screws running underneath) and 1 on the others. All these were using 5x50mm screws.

This additional 2×4” has really improved the rigidity of the frame and although it would have been ok without.

I will give the bed a quick wipe over with Danish Oil at some point.

These plans are great, I spent quite a bit of time ensuring that everything was perfectly aligned and sanded it down, this is not really required and if your pushed for time you could omit, It may still be a challenge to get it complete inside an hour as the plans suggest!

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Building a Guest Bed Part one

Building a Guest Bed Part one

I needed a bed for a guest bedroom, I wanted to use a small double mattress to keep a little extra space in the room. Small double bed frames are a little trickier to find, so I decided to make my own. With some extensive online research I eventually stumbled upon low waste bed plans on instructables [link]. They looked easy to follow and judging by the comments many people had built and succeeded.

So one trip to the local builders yard later, I had a stack of CLS 2×4” and PSE (plane square edged) 1×4”.

bill of materials:

  • 2×4”
  • 4×1”
  • 5x50mm wood screws
  • 5x80mm woodscrews
  • 120 grit sandpaper
  • 180 grit sandpaper