Thursday, December 27, 2012

Only 3 Years from Receipt to Installation

Listening to my CD jukebox or news radio is important to me when I’m working with my hands.  To make sure nothing is missed, there are speakers in the kitchen, in the soffits near the patio, and in my shop which can all be set to provide a continuous trail of sound while I move around from one activity to another.

Three Christmases ago, I noticed a dead zone between the patio and my shop.  So Santa was asked for a set of 6X9 coaxial automobile speakers to install in the shop soffit closest to the area.  In what was poor planning on my part, I had the shop’s attic blown full of insulation before the speakers were installed.  Having no desire to tromp around in the insulation running wires, the speakers languished on the wood vise bench until a way of running the wiring without getting in the attic dawned on me the other day.

Cutting the holes in the soffit was supposed to be the easy part.  Thinking the soffit’s plywood seams all ended on rafter tails, after referencing off of a seam, I got halfway through the left-hand speaker’s hole before finding a rafter tail in my way.  Oops.  But after scabbing the wood back in & slathering the boo-boo with wood filler, the outcome of round two was matching oval holes.

Part of the plan had always been to cut a hole in the inside wall above the existing receiver connection to access the new wires.

If this was a home improvement show, the host would tell you to simply fish the wires from the oval holes to the square hole with an electrician’s wire snake.  Through the magic of TV wires would then appear where needed in mere seconds.

But this is real life, and it is not that easy when a soffit is involved.  Fortunately, in my case, there was a soffit vent located halfway between the speakers almost in front of the hole in the inside wall.  Removing it allowed for really easy wire access.

The next hurdle was how to fasten down the installed speakers & grilles.  Since the plan had always been for the speaker to rest on top of the soffit’s plywood, nuts & washers were hot-glued on before the speakers were set in place.

Since the garish grills that came with the speakers obviously provided no protection against mud daubers, Santa also brought me a more suitable set.

But in dry-fitting everything together, the hole patterns were found to not line up.  Fortunately, my toy box had a set of used, bland grills whose hole patterns were more accommodating.

Painting was the next step.  Normally I spray paint outside of the shop.  But a new water heater installed a day or two earlier came wrapped in a phenomenal amount of cardboard which made a great spray booth for the four items needing paint.

The speaker project itself turned out looking & sounding good.

The downside was the new paint covering up the boo-boo reminded me the shop’s original paint is now over 13 years old.  I think I know what one of next spring’s blog posts is going to be about.


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