Category Archives: Construction

I regularly encounter interesting math, particularly geometry, in my woodworking and remodeling projects.

Lignum Vitae is a Remarkable Wood

I enjoy woodworking very much and I am now in the process of making a solid walnut countertop by gluing small walnut pieces together. While choosing the wood species for my countertop, I did consider a number of tropical species like teak and ipe. During this search, I heard a person mention that Lignum Vitae was the world's densest wood and is known for being so oily as to be considered self-lubricating. It is also a rare and potentially endangered species. Continue reading

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Good Example of the Economy of Scale

Yesterday, I saw an interesting article in the Journal of Light Construction (JLC) that does an excellent job of showing how the per-square foot cost of a deck construction drops as the total area of the deck increases (Figure 1). I found this interesting because I am going to have a structure built on my lake property in northern Minnesota. I thought this data would provide a good illustration of how I use Mathcad generate product cost models. Continue reading

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Candidate for the Dumbest Idea I Have Heard

My coworkers and I often discuss our home remodeling/repair adventures. This morning, a coworker described how a neighbor in his home town used a rifle to solve a common plumbing problem. I do not condone this approach and I am appalled at every possible level that someone would even try it. Continue reading

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Geometric Table

I am always looking for interesting construction projects. I don't necessarily plan to build them for myself, but I do often turn to these project for inspiration. I usually store them on Pinterest. Continue reading

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A Little Geometry for Laying Out a Drawer Pull

I finished building a cabinet a couple of months ago just as the extreme cold arrived, which made my garage shop uninhabitable.. The ten-day forecast is now showing rising temperatures, so I am starting to think about my next cabinet construction effort. Continue reading

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Fan Airflow Versus Static Pressure Diagram

I was so happy with my previous fan installation that I am considering replacing some old fans with new, higher throughput, and quieter fans. The installations will be similar to that shown in Figure 1.

I have been using a nomograph (Figure 2) for my home HVAC calculations (example). I have decided that I am now living in the 21st century and I should figure out the formula that this graph represents. In this post, I will generate part of this nomograph to verify that I have put together the correct formula. Continue reading

Posted in Construction, General Science | 3 Comments

Bathroom Fan Selection

I recently began remodeling a small bathroom on the second floor of my home. I have never been happy with the ventilation in that bathroom, particularly during showers when it seems more like a steam room than a bathroom. I decided to upgrade the ventilation fan in this room and I have been very happy with the improved performance. Figure 1 shows how the fan looks on my ceiling − yes, I am experimenting with a wood ceiling . In this post, I will go through my fan selection process and my ultimate choice. Continue reading

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PVC Expansion and How to Deal with it

I have written a post about the problems that I encounter with the improper use of PVC pipes and accessories in outdoor Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) deployments. During my normal reading about codes and regulations, I found an example of a bad installation and an example of how to properly deal with PVC expansion by installing an expansion joint. Both of these items deserve some coverage here. Continue reading

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Super-Strong Sawhorse

Quote of the Day How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak… because in your life you will have been all … Continue reading

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Wood Hardness Versus Moisture Content

Introduction I have long been told that wood hardens as it ages, but I have anecdotal evidence that this is not always true. I also know that some species are far harder than others (Figure 1). I read the following … Continue reading

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