Posté le 26/07/2011 at 00:05

Workshop : Garage project, the renovation

Act 1 : walls...

OK, first thing, if you've never tried before, painting concrete blocks is Hell on Earth. Specially after 50 years of dust encrusted in... icone smiley wink
I've painted the walls using a paint which actually is a primer... But it's way white enough for a garage. Plus, it was on a special offer. icone smiley laugh
So, white acrylic paint Jullien "Multifond 2" it will be. I sprayed the first coat using an HVLP gun, diluting by 50% (that's border-line for the cohesion of the paint, be it works). The spray-gun is quite handy for the first coat, it gets the paint in every hole/asperity of the blocks, it blows away the dust (still remains lots of it even I thoroughly brushed the wall before - wear a dust mask!) and removes the small loose grit from the surface (these gravels would f*ck up your paint roller in 2 sec. if your try it directly...).
The second coat is applied with a paint roller end blocks the concrete from sucking in more paint. Finally, a third coat to make it shiny white, with the roller loaded to the max with paint (almost like a plaster coating!).
Eventually, 2 and a half 10L paint container will be necessary to cover the surface of 45m² (484 sq ft : walls + ceiling), while each paint pot was supposed to cover 96m² (1033 sq ft)! Didn't I tell you concrete blocks suck paint? (...and suck at painting!)
It's long, very long to paint that bloody thing if you want a bright, pristine white result...

Act 2 : floor...

My floor was covered with greasy/oily dirt (see previous article), and I decided to clean it using a concrete grinder. The idea behind this is to remove the top 1mm from the concrete surface to get rid of any oil stuck in... I've rented the machine at "Loxam" (picture below).
To be perfectly honest, it was probably not the best solution. You can not imagine the amount of dust that beast will generate : after less than a minute of use, I couldn't see past my elbows! I couldn't even see my hands! Plus, that very fine dust goes everywhere, including the whole building basement and my neighbours garages... Hence heavy complains from them, it was Armageddon! icone smiley laughicone smiley laughicone smiley laugh
And, I discovered that the floor of my garage wasn't perfectly flat, and the grinder can not get into these shallow areas... At the end of the day, I managed to clean 90% of the whole surface. Fair enough, but I'm still unsure it was worth the hassle.

After that, treatment was :
  1. Acid cleaning ("Shampooing sol ciment/béton V33"), using a floor-cloth.
  2. Rinsing with floor-cloth too (twice).
  3. One coat of special primer : "primaire d'adhérence spécial ciment/béton V33".
  4. Finally, two coats of V33 floor paint : "peinture sol V33 trafic extrême gris clair U133/A".
And here is the result :

Act 3 : electricity...

I am not an electrician, but I believe I managed not too bad...
4 fluorescent lights on the ceiling, 3 halogens above the workbench, the whole circuit wired with rigid 2.5mm² wire in PVC conduits (with helluvalotta bends and "T"'s!), 3 outlets, 2 switches, and a real electric cabinet with circuit breakers to make it safe.
Voilà the current status : that's day and night compared to what it was before! Bright, clean, with plenty of storage space. Still looks a bit messy on the pictures, I didn't have the opportunity to organize everything! icone smiley wink
Compared to the original Sketchup plan (see previous article), I've moved the tools panel to the side wall : it's more practical, access is easier this way than if it was above the workbench as originally planned.
Speaking of which, next step : the workbench! icone smiley wink
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Posté le 15/07/2011 at 01:54

Good bye, shuttle.

A few days ago, the orbiter Atlantis took off. That's the 135th, and very last, mission for the american space shuttles..
Chris Bray was on the site of the launch of the first shuttle in 1981 (Columbia), and again for the last one ; hence this picture, took 30 years apart...

That's the end of an era, which takes its origins in the Cold War. Remains the feeling that with the disparition of this tool, the future of Man in space seems farther than ever.
What will we dream about after ISS is closed in 2020?...

Speaking of which, here's a pic I kept since Januray.
Shot by Thierry Legault (go check his website, unbelievable pics/vids!), who calculated than during the last solar eclipse, the sun, the moon and ISS would be aligned... for 0.86 seconds. And that would only be observale from the Sultanate of Oman. I reckon that guy didn't ditch the Math class. icone smiley laugh
So, he went there, and actually got the picture (click on it to see it full res) : bottom left is the Moon, 400.000km from us ; ISS orbiting at 500km ; and the Sun in the background, at 150 millions km.
Just for fun, the black dot bottom right is a solar eruption... the size of the Earth.

I leave you with a few links : a brilliant video, some 360° panoramic views, and a great galery of night sky pics...

Ni-night, everyone... Good-bye, shuttle.
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Posté le 14/07/2011 at 01:08

Workshop : Garage Project

I'm tinkering around this garage for more than 15 years now...
The bare concrete floor is greasy due to the oil and braking fluid spilled all those years ; since the concrete absorbs the fluids, it un-cleanable. The floor and block walls produce fine dust, the shelves on the walls are about to collapse, lighting is way insufficient, electrical installation is disaster waiting to happen...
Anyway, if I want to be able to work here in good conditions, it's high time I give it a complete overhaul.
As would Murtaugh say in Lethal weapon : "I'm too old for this shit". icone smiley laugh
Pros :
  • Surface of the garage is a bit above average : 17m2 (183 sq. ft.)
  • Same level as the street, no ramp : good thing for the dropped KG and the Albatross' trailer.
  • Natural light source at the back of the garage : as the garage is located right below the parking, large windows at the back bring some sunlight down there, as well as some additional room to store stuff.
  • Electricity is available.
  • 5 minutes walking from my place.
Cons :
  • Basement level (underground), below a residential building : that's a limitation for noise, and spray paint/kärcher use are just a no-no ...
  • The bitumen of the building's parking is right above my garage's roof : in mid-summer, it turns into a natural oven!
  • Neighbors : a bunch of old people live in this building, and have organised a sort of militia in the basement, taking turns... As soon as I make some noise or dust, they're on my back. I hope someday I'll have a place without any neighbors... icone smiley sad
  • No water inlet/outlet.
  • Walls made of 5cm (2 inches) blocks ; it's difficult to fix anything really sturdy (I'm thinking shelves).

OK, that's far from the perfect place, but hey... It's not like I have the choice. icone smiley laugh

The project : Solutions / optimisation of room :

As usual, Sketchup is my best friend here to organize/layout everything. icone smiley laugh
Planning :
  • White paint on walls and roof : more light and less dust.
  • Lightgray paint on the floor : easy to clean, no more concrete dust. But painting on that oily surface will be tough...
  • One long shelf on each side, almost as long as the garage itself, with many angle brackets. The shelves being more than 185cm high, I can easily walk below.
  • A 5 shelves rack near the entrance. I'll buy it from Castorama (your "Home Depot") : see here. 90x40cm, height 180cm, heavy duty (supposed to handle 80kg per shelf - I doubt it though).
  • Home made workbench, wooden structure. Since the floor is far from being flat, I'll handle the variations. Four drawers below the countertop (actually, wooden crates 40x60x15cm from Castorama as well see here).
  • The air compressor will be hidden below the workbench. Not an ideal situation for tis ventilation, but I'll be able to take it out if it has to run permanently. Winding drum for the compressed air hose right above the compressor.
  • Brand new electric circuit matching safety standards, with proper circuits breakers, 2 electric outlets near the workbench, another one close to the door.
  • Four 1.20m fluorescent lights on the roof, plus three 150w halogen lights above the workbench.

That's it, that's the project right now... Gotta get my hands dirty now! icone smiley wink
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Posté le 12/04/2011 at 13:04

Promenade du Soleil

Petit voyage dans le temps aujourd'hui, avec 9 cartes postales du même coin de Juan-les-Pins : ce qui aujourd'hui s'appelle le Boulevard Baudouin, ou "Promenade du Soleil" (enfin, son début). Neuf photos, datées de 1903 à 1967, qui permettent de voir l'évolution du lieu...
Cliquez sur la première pour l'agrandir, puis utilisez le bouton next pour passer à la suivante, la date du cliché apparaissant en légende.

A l'occasion, j'irai vous prendre en photo ce qu'est devenu ce quartier aujourd'hui (vous pouvez voir l'endroit dans Google Streetview ici)... Et si je trouve d'autres cartes postales du même lieu, je mettrai à jour cet article, histoire de suivre l'évolution à travers les ages! icone smiley wink
Edit 15/06/2011 : Ajout de la photo de 1930 (avec le bus)
Edit 22/07/2011 : Ajout de la photo de 1935
Edit 26/08/2011 : Ajout de la photo de 1967 (en couleurs)

Références :
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Posté le 30/03/2011 at 13:28

Crouzet-Valence VM125 metal lathe

Pour démarrer le dossier "atelier", voila quelques photos du petit dernier... icone smiley laugh

Je cherchais depuis longtemps un tour à métaux, mais d'une part ce sont des machines très recherchées (les prix s'envolent), et d'autre part si l'offre est généreuse dans le nord du pays (passé industriel oblige), c'est loin d'être le cas ici, dans le Sud-Est. Et comme on parle de machines qui pèsent lourd, la distance est un paramètre important.

Après des mois de surveillance des petites annonces, je finis par trouver mon bonheur sur eBay : un tour Crouzet-Valence VM125, du milieu des années 50!

Et vous voulez savoir le meilleur? Le vendeur se trouvait à 10 minutes de chez moi, et il me l'a gentiment livré (merci encore Fabien) avec sa remorque tractée par sa Jeep 1944 (!)... Le tout pour 200€! icone smiley laugh
Hauteur de pointe 125mm (donc diamètre sur banc 250mm) : ça limite un peu son spectre d'utilisation, adieu tambours et volants moteurs. Entre pointes 400mm, pas assez pour un arbre d'hélice, mais largement suffisant pour mes besoins. Possibilité de fileter et charioter grâce à un entrainement par vis-mère (d'où le nom "VM") et une boite Norton ; avec même un système d'arrêt automatique, bien pratique pour les filetages qui doivent s’arrêter net. À voir à l'usage.
Un beau bébé qui approche quand même les 400kg sur la balance (merci les potes pour décharger), mais avec un encombrement limité à 120x50cm au sol : le petit tour dont je rêvais depuis des années!
Aaaaaaaaah, si je l'avais eu pour fabriquer mon sous marin...icone smiley wink
Donc voilà la bête. Beaucoup de nettoyage à prévoir, pour le moment que des bonnes surprises sous les couches de graisse, il est en globalement très bon état (les rails du banc ont souffert de la corrosion, mais rien d'irrémédiable).
Je n'ai pas encore tenté de le faire tourner, il me faut un variateur 380V pour ça... A suivre bientôt!
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