Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   drywall as a thermal mass
Monday, December 9 2002

Since the downstairs stairway is almost finished (it just needs a coat of paint), I've been taking the time to put in the little finish details, things such as the three-material border where the kitchen linoleum meets the hardwood floor and office carpet. I also hung a banister railing today. It's nothing but a thirteen foot long 2 by 2 native oak plank hanging on some fancy banister hardware. As a banister it's a little too rustic for my tastes, but Gretchen thinks it's great. It will need some sanding or else somebody is going to sue us for splinters.
I went to Lowes twice today trying to get the right stuff for the bathtub installation and for the hydronic heating apparatus in my studio. But somehow I kept getting stuff that was either completely wrong (an electric baseboard heater - duh!) or slightly wrong (a six inch tailpipe extension instead of the seven inch one I needed). I noticed today that Lowes was installing electronic shoplifting detector hardware at all its exit doors. It's going to suck if Lowes ever stops being the easiest place to shoplift in the entire mid-Hudson region, but somehow I don't think these detectors are anywhere near being operational; for now they're just there to intimidate would-be shoplifters. In order to seriously implement an anti-shoplifting system, Lowes is going to need to start dropping shoplifting bugs, those swollen little plastic things, in their products. They'll also have to install hardware in all their cash registers to neutralize those bugs when legitimate purchases are made. In the meantime, well, never mind.
My idea of depositing drywall scraps inside interior walls is apparently not a new one. In the housebuilding book I got in Columbia, Maryland I learned that putting drywall scraps inside walls is an excellent way to increase a room's thermal mass. Thermal mass acts like a battery, storing excess heat when a room is too hot and releasing it when it is too cold. Today I went crazy with the thermal mass drywall idea, depositing something like ten to fifteen cubic feet of drywall in the soffit I made for the pipes coming up out of the kitchen. I loaded so much drywall in that small wedge-shaped space that I actually began to worry whether or not it would strain the floor joists. I did some research and found that a 4 by 8 by half inch sheet of drywall weighs 54 pounds, which makes a cubic foot of drywall weigh 40.5 pounds. At ten cubic feet my drywall thermal mass only weighs four hundred pounds, which is still quite a lot.

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