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Tuesday, 24 November 2020


Great pool table light,

With that degree of structure tightness, you really should gat an HRV. Panasonic makes just the ticket in a unit the size of a bathroom fan that is whisper quiet and energy efficient. It will also eliminate VOCs from your spray foam off gassing over the winter when the windows are shut. It only requires a single small hole in the wall (supply and return combined) and will fit above your rafters. If you can’t find it online email me and I will send you the details of one I installed in a similar setup.

Nice. I would get a simple humidistat like this to leave in there when you first start using it, just to make sure things don't get up to the dreaded "mold" levels.


Mike, I recall in your previous posts that you were considering painting the floor to save some money. May I suggest Epoxy paint typically used for concrete garage floors, it will hold up nicely and if you apply the colored specs while the paint is curing, it will add a nice effect when fully cured. I would then apply a coat of clear sealer to finish it off. These can be all purchased at a Paint Store and is simple to mix and apply, just a thought.

Fun and useful fact for photographers: if you want to order a can of 18% gray paint, it’s name is “Trolley Gray” and you can get it at normal paint prices. I have never seen a trolley painted that color.

If you want a car that color so that you could use it instead of a gray card you could order it in Chrysler Vapor Steel Gray or Volkswagen Polar Gray.

Apparently 18% Gray is also known in the UK as Dulux (a paint brand) Urban Obsession.

The color naming racket sounds like a fun one.

It's insane that we don't already build our houses this way.

If you like your tables fast, a little heat under the table is said to be the way to go.

Sounds like it'll be game over if you or your opponent fart in there during a game :-)

Hi. Just keep in mind that warm air has the capacity to hold more water vapour, so rather than decrease the humidity, you have just converted it from a liquid to a vapour. When your shed cools down or any surfaces cool below the dew point, the water will condense out again. You will either need to keep the shed's temperature above the dew point or use a dehumidifier.

Re your 11/20 administrative note, suggestions for Black Friday:

I recommend the NEC MutiSync PA272w monitor. With its NEC-branded version of the x-rite i1 Display Pro, there's no rationale for working with an uncalibrated monitor.

My wife works with a pair of Dell IPS monitors, for which the stand-alone x-rite i1 Display Pro does a dandy job.

Based on your account a few years ago, I bought a Vitamix, which my wife uses to make her breakfast smoothies. Nice machine, but buy ear protection for yourself at the same time, because when that thing takes off, I leave the room.

Managing air quality is something you need to get a handle on, before you start hanging prints, specifically:
- Humidity
- Temperature
- VOCs and off-gassing from paint / insulation. (I've no idea with regards to your specific insulation, and don't want to presume either way if it's an issue or not).

I'm sure you're aware of this, perhaps a few words on how you'll handle it?

Paul Martini's comment wins the internet today! :)

"By the way, when they build whole houses this airtight and well insulated, they have to install air-exchange ventilating systems."

This is something we're struggling with now in the UK in our damp climate. Government insists we build homes as tight as drums and retrofit older properties to as high a standard as possible but we have next to no knowledge of these forced ventilation systems. You can get them, but most people have no idea of their existence and you certainly wouldn't find one in your new home. Result: windows streaming with water for half of the year and black mould everywhere.

Incidentally, warm air holds more moisture, that's why the paint was able to dry.

Wow, nice insulation story! Wish I had that in my apartment! I have electric baseboard heat in mine, altho I don't know why anyone would select that heating in Wisconsin (I knew I was going to get killed with energy bills, but needed to make a move after 6 months of looking). Even after covering the windows with plastic each winter, I can turn the baseboard heater on for an hour, and then off, and within the next hour, the heat is gone! I'm already amazed at how many places I've lived in had zero insulation, even tho they were built in the 80's! Viva more insulation!

I had a similar experience with heating my studio space that was constructed with similar insulation as your shed. It was originally unheated. I installed a single, electric baseboard type heater. I splurged and purchased the one with a built in thermostat. I discovered I when I set it on low at 45 degrees Fahrenheit (or ~7 Celsius) the interior room temp reached 68 F or 20 C!

That triple socket in-line lighting fixture is nice, given the purpose, but it's vital that you select a bulb that will (a) put out lots of light, preferably at a near daylight color temperature, (b) provide nice a wide beam angle, (c) present a short neck, so that it stays well recessed inside the shade, and (d) consume minimal power. (Don't use a halogen bulb! They run far too hot for the intended fixture, function, and environs.) A long operating lifetime would also be desirable.

So OK, here is that bulb: https://www.zoro.com/satco-13w-par30-short-neck-led-5000k-60-beam-medium-120v-s9424/i/G3409563/?q=Zoro.com%20-%20Satco%20%23S9424,%2013W%20LED,%20PAR30S,%2060˚%20flood,%205000˚K,%201k%20lumen.

This is a Satco #S9424 reflector-type PAR-30SN (short neck) LED bulb. It consumes 13 Watts, has a normal E26 Edison screw-base, puts out 1,000 lumens at 5,000˚K with a 60˚ beam angle; it's also dimmable, and exhibits a projected 25,000 hours of operating life (i.e., about 17 years if used 4 hours/day, every day). It's made in China, and sells for $10 ea. if purchased on-line from the Zoro website. (A great place to do business, despite their crummy search function.) You'll never come close to a better bulb for this application!

I’m a lightbulb geek and I checked out the Satco #S9424. I found that you can’t buy them in California. I was curious as to why, and it turns out that the published color rendition index (CRI) is only 83 and below the threshold for being legally sold in California. The California standard is actually 80, but the bulb has to pass a test and 83 is kind of close to the limit.

I wouldn’t want to look at photos under 83 CRI lighting anyway.

Nice to know that California tries to keep really ugly lighting off the shelves.
Actually I would be happier if they simply made it a requirement to put the CRI index on the packaging along with a flickering index.

If playing pool was crucial to my mental stability, I would have made more of an effort to find a place in the main living space with nearby access to get up from working and go over and shoot... just saying...

[I made *every* effort, believe me. There is absolutely no room in my house or garage for a pool table, no possibility, none, nada!

And the fact that it requires a short walk outside is a plus, in my view. Gets me out of the house and into the blue light. It's why I keep the dog food in the barn.... --Mike]

Portable electric heaters top out at 1500 watts because 1500 watts is 12.5 Amperes at 120 Volts, about as much current as you should draw continuously on a 15 Amp branch circuit. Do take the advice about some sort of ventilation system seriously. In addition to the reasons folks have cited, I’d add concern about radon gas possibly building up in a tightly sealed structure. It is a potential problem throughout the Northeast.

[Is radon a problem in an above-ground structure? This rests on skids that serve to ventilate it from the underneath. I think radon loves the lowest open space, right? Which would be, in this case, open space. It's a very weird molecule, though, and I'm no expert. --Mike]

@Hugh—I live in CA and I'm aware of the (Federal?) guideline restriction concerning CRI. In truth, that restriction is honored only by Home Depot (and perhaps some unknown others), so I place my on-line orders for this bulb (for home delivery) with other sellers. I have never experienced any delivery delay (3 separate orders).

I've never judged photos under the near-daylight 5,000˚K beam emitted by the Satco #S9424 bulb, but I can assure you that this lighting is absolutely superb for both reading and craft applications. I do a lot of DIY close-up electronic assembly work and I find that bulb's output to be far superior to all of the other specialty craft lighting (some was costly) that I've tried. I suspect that this CRI issue might be the result of some creative trade tinkering.

I’ve been puzzled by this 1500W business but have finally realised (thanks to Frank Field) it’s due to your weak leccy, of course we have proper leccy here in U.K. at 240V so we can have 3000W ;).

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