New Office Art

New Office Art

This is something I came across a few years ago and have thought about it off and on ever since. After coming back from our big trip I began thinking about it again and finally decided to get to it. It’s a big old map printed in a rough home made frame.

As it had been a while since I thought about it I couldn’t find the old bookmark I had made, but found the tutorial online again pretty easily to follow along with. There were a couple adjustments, but followed this pretty close. It really was pretty straight forward to do and I’m so happy with the results. The map came from the site the tutorial suggested, Big Map Blog, and I found a birds eye view of New Orleans from 1885. We spent a week in New Orleans during the trip and it holds a special place in my heart,┬áso it seemed like a perfect fit.

One of the adjustments I made from the tutorial is where I had the image printed. It cost a bit more than what they described but Acadia University has a print shop who has printed some large format images for me in the past and done a good job so I had them print this too. It came out really nice and was only $40 for a 3′ x 2′ colored print.

The other adjustment I made was the wood and finish I added to it. From Home Depot I picked up a couple knotty pine 1″ x 4″ x 8′ boards and cut them to size. The tutorial called for pickets and the only ones I could find when I looked close were pressure treated and seemed heavier than the pine boards. I wanted it to be as light as it could be. For the finish I used a technique my sister let me know about called the baby wipe method. It’s really easy. You put any color toll paint you want to use on a baby wipe and essentially use it to paint the wood. It’s really quick to do, and it dries quick as well. I tested on a piece of the left over wood with a couple of colors but settled on black as it better matched the picture and the other frames in my office.

It’s hardly a complex project, but I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Home Repair Weekend

This weekend, although filled in with a lot of fun, had some home repair items take place that I thought were going to cost me a lot of money. As it turns out I was able to fix both without calling anyone in!

The first thing ended up being really minor, at least for now. The toilet down stairs at my In Laws wouldn’t flush. The pump downstairs wasn’t kicking in to push it up out of the basement so it just wasn’t going anywhere. With the help of Google I was able figure out how to manually run the pump. After I did that the pump started kicking in by itself again as normal and has been working fine! Hopefully it stays that way.

Last night we had family and friends over for dinner and a games afternoon. We were playing Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne. During a break a bunch of stuffed chicken breasts got put in the oven. We continued on with the game and then when it was close to time to eat Jen went to check on things. The veggies on the stove were all done, but the chicken breasts were still frozen.

Luckily with Jen’s parents down stairs we were able to use their oven to cook and things were just a little later than planned. While they were down there cooking though it was time to do some troubleshooting to figure out what’s wrong. Probably the the element just burned out and we’ll have to get a new one. Nope element looked and tested fine. Uh oh. All burners on the stove still worked, and the broil worked, just not the bake element.

Taking things apart a bit further we found the we got to the control board and noticed some slight burn marks right near the bake line. We did a few things to troubleshoot and it seemed the problem was somewhere in the control board. After a quick search it looked like the control board was around $150 USD plus shipping and who knows how long it would take to get here.

Right near the burn marks there are two relays, one for broil and one for the bake elements. Since the broil worked and based on the way they were connected it seemed logical that it was the bake relay that was the problem. They two replays looked the same, but I couldn’t see the component numbers on the bake relay. This seemed like a good excuse to get a new soldering iron. My old one died a few years ago and there have been a few times where one would have come in handy, but never bought on.

Once everyone left I ran into Canadian Tire and picked up an iron. There wasn’t solder removing braid or wick though. After asking around I found somewhere I could get some today.

As far as I know we haven’t used the broil on our oven since we got it, so I figured if I removed the bake relay and it was the exact same as the broil one. So I swapped them and put things back together and now the baking works and the broil doesn’t. I can live with that!

The solder job wasn’t the greatest, but it works. There may have been a bit of burning when I was trying to get the old solder off to get the parts out. I’ve never been good at soldering though. My instructor in college years ago said I did well enough to pass the high reliability soldering part of my course, but he asked me, or begged me, to never to do it in a job.