Cutting panels

I'm sorry, I don't quite understand?


Reply to
Theo Markettos
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Ah, polycarbonate doesn't laser cut very neatly - you get charred edges. Structurally they're fine, just not pretty. You might be able to do some surface polishing to tidy them up.


You also need to be wary of fracture mechanics with acrylic (and polycarbonate too?) - cracks can originate at sharp corners so better to have round ones than square ones. The de Havilland Comet effect.


Reply to
Theo Markettos

Yes, polycarbonate crack propagation is a serious problem.

Reply to
Frank Miles

Yeah, I was tempted to take a D size (smallest I have) sheet of mylar, cut off the title block, etc. and try printing on that! (thinking it might be better than this "card stock" I used)

But, I don't know how hot the phaser runs (since it melts wax) and the only color laser that I have has a high temperature fuser. In neither case did I want to risk trashing a printer just to see if mylar would make a good "medium".

[And, of course, laminating that afterwards subjects it to yet another thermal process...]
Reply to
Don Y

For some reason, nothing shows up for me (I probably have my browser locked down to tight for something they are using to show what

*should* have been a static image! :< )

Typo? Studs here are 16 inch centers.

But, often you will encounter studs spaced at closer distances (especially at the ends of walls, closets, etc. -- where things didn't work out to nice multiples of 16).

E.g., in my case, one panel fits between two studs 9.75 apart; the other panel (located on the opposite wall just a few feet away!) fits between studs 13" apart (i.e., 11.25 and 14.5" on center, respectively). Go figure...

Leviton has a boat-load of similar products "for the home". The one thing they have in common is outrageous prices! Everything is sold "a la carte" so a complete solution easily sets you back several hundred dollars.

E.g., a 66-block is ~$25 (um, hello! ask your friendly neighborhood telco installer for a couple!); a "door" to cover the wiring center is $30-50; a 24 port panel is $200 (so, I'd need three of those??); they want $4 for a *single* CAT5 keystone jack (WTF?) etc.

Folks forced down this route spend (waste?) a lot of money on things of very little value (IMO, YMMV) I'd rather spend that on something that actually *does* something ;-) (if it doesn't spin electrons, it's not doing anything for you!!)


Reply to
Don Y

As in "tuck it all into some corner"!

I have these things all scattered around the house as befits their roles. E.g., the CATV distribution amp is located in the "space" above the front door (what would be an "attic" in a normal house but, here, is just a foot or so "tall"). Barely accessible but rarely *needing* access!

The irrigation controller is located in the garage near the garage door as it's easy to get out through the wall to the valves (well, actually, the valves are distributed all around the yard -- front/back/sides -- but this is where I chose to bring them all through the wall since it is close to the rest of the "water" stuff (future flow meter, valve, master irrigation valve, softener, filtration, etc.) -- things that are handled by the "water" controller! (i.e., a home may or may not have an irrigation system -- but *should* have "water"!)

The HVAC controller is located in with the furnace (d'uh!) as that's a convenient place to get at the wiring for the swamp cooler, furnace, ac compressor and "thermostat" (temperature sensor). Since every home needs one *and* every home needs a doorbell (?), that controller also monitors the various doorbell (buttons) and drives a pair of speakers in the ceiling in two different parts of the house. Since AC power is readily available, there, I can spend a fair bit of power "making noise" when someone comes to one of the doors (front/side/back/garage/driveway).

Media gets served from a set of processors in a closet off the kitchen (since I need rotating media, there, and places like "in the ceiling" or "in the garage" would not be appropriate.

All of these are integral parts of the automation system so none of them has a user interface, etc. I.e., no silly thermostats, doorbells, etc. hanging off walls in hallways, etc.

Closet is considered "living space". I.e., heated/cooled. You *could* survive in a closet whereas you couldn't in a garage.

Here, garage is a death sentence for all things electronic. Even with our insulated door it still gets pretty warm in there! (before the new door, it would easily hit 140)

I keep debating running "air" into the store room in the garage and moving the doorway to open into the interior of the house (instead of into the garage). That's a fairly large space that would be a great home for the freezer (currently in the garage!), my larger printers, plotter, etc. But...

I have another friend with a small rack in his *bedroom*! Dunno what the appeal of that is supposed to be...

[Though, having said that, I've thought of replacing the library card catalog I have with a pair of short racks and put much of this rack-mountable kit in them instead of treating them all as free-standing devices. Problem is finding racks that are the right height (I want to use the top of the racks as a "standing" work surface) *and* not too deep (front to back).]

Mine is getting more and more nervous as the "controls" are disappearing. "Why can't I just use change (radio) stations like I used to? What do you mean, there soon will be *no* remote for the TV??" As a concession, I had to install three "control panels" so she can interact with the system in a more "traditional" manner. I've rationalized this to myself by locating them in the three places where you would typically want a quick summary of system status and presenting this visually would be most efficient: the two primary doors by which we enter/exit the house and the hallway to the bedrooms (where you "say good night/morning" to the house).

[There's also a panel located in the closet that houses the media servers but that's more of a convenience for *me*... so I can do maintenance work without having to boot up a PC to "talk" to the system.]

I have two sorts of "connection points" in the house. One type is dedicated for specific needs. E.g., the drop for the irrigation controller is *just* a network drop FOR THE IRRIGATION CONTROLLER.

The "uncommitted" points in the house (24 of them) each have a network drop, CATV drop and a POTS drop. So, you can plug in a laptop, phone or "conventional" (i.e., non-IP) TV in any of those locations.

All the POTS drops terminate at a pair of punchdown blocks mounted on the wall alongside the furnace.

All the CATV drops terminate at the distribution amp above the front door.

All the CAt5 drops terminate in this small closet (the subject of this "panel" design).

Ah, OK. I knew a guy from (?) placerville. *Small* town (?)

Yup. Though it's not just "saving money". I find these sorts of "puzzles" to help keep my thinking "pliable" since the sorts of constraints that you face are very different than the "9 to 5" sorts.

E.g., deciding how to plumb the pressure regulator/master valve/ anti-siphon device/main shutoff assembly required a fair bit of

3 dimensional thinking: "Yeah, I can envision all these parts *assembled*. But, will I be able to *disassemble* them once they are positioned in this particular location? Will I be able to unscrew this fitting? Do I need to add a union?

You also learn things like: galvanized pipe sucks!

(e.g., I've replaced everything with copper pipe and brass fittings -- *threaded* fittings instead of slip fittings so it's easier for *me* to service in the future!)

And, you can control the *quality* of the workmanship. E.g., the *hired* plumber initially installed some of this kit -- and didn't seem to know what "vertical" meant! (No, 80 degrees isn't vertical... it might be considered "upright" by some but it sure isn't vertical!)

Finally, it avoids the "Olde Farte" syndrome -- folks who rationalize hiring people to do things because they are too lazy/unambitious to do/learn for themselves! Sooner or later, the body will limit what I can do. Until then, I'd like to "try" as much as I can! :>

[12 tons of rock coming this fall... at least I was smart enough to schedule it when its COOLER!]

Having said all that (rant!), I may change my tune after I replace the roof next year... I guess a lot will depend on how much heavy stuff I have to carry up there! (so far, I've only dealt with 80 pound felt -- heavy but manageable!)


Reply to
Don Y

The connectors are 0.625 wide. So, 12 of them across are 7.5". (some panels break this into (6+6) + (6+6) -- which means an extra "gap" on each side). And, another 12 on the "other side". (i.e., 15 inches of connectors)

Panel is 19" wide (standard). You need ~0.5 to 0.625 "ear" on each side to fit between the "rails" of the rack. So, you really have ~18 inches -- 15 of which are "spent" on connectors.

There is a 1" gap between the first group of 12 and the second group of 12. It is through this gap that your proposed "cut" would pass.

Neglecting the fact that there are a couple of mounting screws (standoffs/studs) in the exact center (which support the inner "ends" of each span of 12 connectors), best case, you would only have < 0.5" as a "mounting ear" for each "half" of this bisected panel.

I.e., if the panel was expensive, you could "just barely" make it fit, with this approach.

But, since its relatively easy to come by such panels, its easier to just trash one half of each panel and leave yourself a nice wide "ear" on each side.

I think you could just draw file the edges to remove any sharp burrs.

If you set out with this as a goal, you can find one for free with very little effort.

I started "accumulating discards" from friends, colleagues, auctions, etc. and have a decent collection of different styles, sizes, etc. E.g., I found it easiest to connect all the "field" wiring for the

*alarm* system to the alarm itself using more of the same sort of connectors/termination. It sure beats screwing hundreds of conductors to terminal blocks/barrier strips! :> Especially when you want to remove the unit for servicing!


Reply to
Don Y

Ha! New life for Logo Turtle: outfitted with laser/water/plasma cutter so it *scores* a path to it's destination!

"Mommy, look what I drew!" :>

Reply to
Don Y

I don't drive or walk as far -- though the two distances tend to track pretty well (about 1500mi in each case). What I find more annoying is how relatively *easy* it is to pick out a "decent" set of tires yet how incredibly frustrating it is to find shoes that you are comfortable (briskly) walking 30 miles weekly!

[And, you only realize you bought the *wrong* pair AFTER you've been walking in them for a few days: "Maybe I just need to break them in?" :< ]

I've told myself that the next time I find a pair that I truly like, I will buy *several* pairs and store them! (I get a lot of wear out of a pair of shoes -- so much that the manufacturer has long since stopped making any model that I've adopted!)

Reply to
Don Y

We've chosen to lay our tile "diagonally". Looks nicer (have purchased the tile and examined the layout on a CAD rendering I made of the floorplan) than "square". But, I've been told this requires more cutting and more waste (doesn't seem like this should be the case but I will take the word of the folks who have done this for a living).

I guess there is *no* tile that I will be able to set "against a wall" that won't need to be trimmed. :-( Plus, there's the "drop" into the sunken living room that will only use fractional tiles...

At a couple of bucks per square foot (to install), I figure I can afford to buy a decent saw and sell it when I'm done (for dimes on the dollar).

Reply to
Don Y

Polyester or mylar can be used in a laser printer. Vinyl or tyvek can not. Acetate is also a no no.

By as astounding coincidence, we have several dozen miles of clear polyester film in stock.

Still trying to build a rewinder to make sanely shippable eBay offers. We are open to a bid on the entire lot. FOB Thatcher.

Many thanks, 

Don Lancaster                          voice phone: (928)428-4073 
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Reply to
Don Lancaster

Hence, my using label material made for laser printers. Fun thing is that the front of the package say ink jet. If you read the instructions, it says it is for lasers as well!

Reply to
Charlie E.

I think I've done this project... I did some tile in my mom's kitchen last year. I was replacing the stove and oven, and the old tile looked bad, and I made the mistake of suggesting that it should be replaced. *I* was thinking of replacing the 4x4 tile with... more 4x4 tile. But no. Between my mom and GF, they came up with a diagonal pattern of larger tiles, with glass tile inserts across the middle row of corners. It looks good, but there is not a single tile on those two walls that I did not have to cut (almost all of then under and around cabinets and windows, and those that weren't needed the corners cut for the glass inserts). Every single f'ing one.

And why buy the saw? Most home centers (or rental centers) will rent you a fairly high quality one for a modest sum. And let me suggest not getting a cheap tile saw. And if you're doing a large floor, you should be starting from the center anyway, and you may be able to avoid cutting any tile (and thus needing to rent a saw), until almost the entire floor is done.

And yes, the diagonal pattern will cause much more waste near the edges. Although the area away from the edges is all whole tiles (unless you're doing corner inserts!). So the amount of waste is related to the ratio between the length of the edges and the total area. Try to plan your layout so that none of the edges ends up with tiny bits of tile. Sometimes you luck out and the scraps from one edge are big enough to use on another edge, so you have almost no waste, other times you're tossing 49% of each tile on the edge.

Check with who you're purchasing the tiles from - you can usually return unopened boxes. Better to buy an extra box or two, and have one to return than to have to reorder, which stops the project and then you may not get tile from the same lot number.

Reply to
Robert Wessel

Excellent! Does that mean I can go home now?? ;-) (I suspect this is going to *fry* my knees!)

I'd considered inserting some of the 4" tiles we're using for the countertop in the corners of the larger tiles (15"?) we're using for the floor. "Tie" the floor and the counter together, aesthetically. But, I'm not sure I want to take on that extra work...

Ah, OK. Wall tile.

Sh*t Happens. Rent one for a day/week/whatever and midway through that period you have to fix a car/go to hospital/attend to a sick relative/etc. When you're "on the clock" for something at which you aren't already *proficient*, having to worry about getting the equipment returned by a certain day/time just makes a tedious problem into a *stressful* one!

I thought of renting a drywall lift since the ones you can buy appear to be pretty flimsy. And, if I hung drywall for a living, I'm sure a day or two would be perfect!

But, not having done drywall before, OJT seems like it should include a fair bit of "down time". Time to look at what you've done and figure out how the *next* piece of rock can go up quicker/cleaner/etc.

Yes. I sat down with a CAD drawing of the floorplan and looked at how the pattern changes based on where you lay the first tile. E.g., you want to look at the halls (since they tend to be "thin" when compared to the size of the (large) tiles... a diagonal pattern that is off center *looks* off center!

Ah, but there are *lots* of halls and "long sight-lines"! So, you have to consider each of these and how they play off each other.

Yeah, though that doesn't guarantee that you won't still have to

*trim* that other piece! :<

Already purchased the tile, inspected *each* one, etc. We didn't want to discover that we'd need (just!) "2 more" tiles and they were a different color lot, etc.

(sigh) I'm sure this will be one of those "glad its over" projects. But, I'm also looking forward to looking *back* on it and saying "Yeah, I did *that*, too!". :>


Reply to
Don Y

No. Doesn't need to be "professional" but, rather, "presentable"! I.e., you (I) aren't sitting this in the middle of the living room for folks to admire! Rather, it will tend to be tucked away someplace "seldom seen". (Do you have your wireless router out on "public display"? :> )

But, you don't want it to look like a total hack-job! And, want to ensure it is usable "down the road" since the number of times and frequency that you access it will probably be low -- you won't want to be scratching your head wondering "where does *this* go?" (because you'll probably be dealing with a problem or an enhancement and not wanting to screw around with something that *should* be working!)

In our case, it's literally *inches* off the floor in a closet. Space that isn't typically useful for the *other* stuff that is already in the closet. (I'm reasonably sure this is something I will regret as I get older and find stooping to be less and less "pleasant" -- but, no other choice unless I wanted to forfeit a garment closet, etc.)

So, the biggest issue is being able to identify the right connector without getting down *at* that level. To that end, I had selected different color RJ45's (keystone) for each room (this helps differentiate the network connector from the POTS connector on the same wall plate). So, I can carry that color scheme through to the legend/label on the panel overlay. ("Hmmm... the connectors in the living room are all green so it's got to be one of these four...") And, just adopt a "convention" of always ordering the connectors in a particular sequence (compass points, etc.)

For the "one-off" drops (irrigation controller, HVAC, alarm system, etc.) I picked little images that I can recognize without having to resort to reading small print ("Ah, the WHITE SNOWMAN represents the freezer...")

No. No one is paying for "the look" -- I'm the end customer in this particular case (anyone else replicating the work can define

*their* "customer" :> )
Reply to
Don Y

Hmmm... that's worth bookmarking! Thanks!

Reply to
Don Y

Sounds like some of the cars I've owned! :> (current vehicle you remove the front tires to change the plugs!)

But a rack declares a certain amount of space/volume to be set aside for the kit. As well as defining the *shape* it will take.

I've been trying hard to make all the "technology" disappear in this process. So you *don't* see lots of little boxes doing various different things "sitting around" with lots of cabling, controls, etc.

I.e., when I'm done, the "bookshelf" stereos, DVD players, DVRs, telephones, thermostats, doorbells, garage door opener buttons, irrigation controllers, etc will "vanish". Get rid of all that stuff hanging on walls, shelves, etc. I.e., *know* it's there (somewhere) just not intruding on my perception!

Reply to
Don Y

On a sunny day (23 Jul 2013 22:19:34 +0100 (BST)) it happened Theo Markettos wrote in :

I hat to sank you ferry much.

Reply to

it depends on the size of the room and the tiles.

eg: if your floor is 14.14 feet across (sqrt(200)) and the tiles 1 foot square (including grout) diagonal is more efficient

it's best to trim every tile that's against a wall. escpecially if the walls are crooked!

I've always used a tile cutter. I don't know if this works for stone tiles, but it's great on ceramic.

tricky bits I do freehand with a cheap 100mm angle grinder with a diamond disc (dust tends to ruin the motor bearings), but now there are those vibrating tools that would probably be even better.

?? 100% natural 

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Reply to
Jasen Betts

DuPont says mylar is reasonably good to 200C. paper is good to about 230C, so that's not much less. It should work fine

?? 100% natural
Reply to
Jasen Betts

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