PolyDad (polydad) wrote,

MicroHouse, Part 2

So I'm building a MicroHouse for Laura's son Matthew. (Next time I have access to a scanner, I'll include pictures of Ken Isaac's 1966 original.) Currently, I have 25 pieces of plywood cut to proper shape and size; eleven more to go, which I hope to finish this afternoon. (Starting blanks are four feet square; finished pieces are 42.25" x 42.25" x 39" x 39".) But I leave on Tuesday night, so that's all the progress that's likely to get done this trip.

Still to do: Drill 20 holes in each sheet, sand 'em all smooth, and paint 'em. Bend 480 angle irons to the proper angles, mostly 98 degrees. Devise wood-brace replacements for 130 more such angles; will be using a single piece of wood to replace five braces each in 26 places. Then buy the pipe to use for the legs, cut and bend it to shape, and bolt everything together.

End result is a near-cube, each side about 84", with a point in the middle sticking out about another 4" and the rest of the side tapering neatly away from that point. Up on legs, it looks a bit like a simplified Lunar Lander.

I need to figure out how much time this-all is going to take. The holes can be gang-drilled, to a degree; clamping four sheets together and drilling 'em all at once is recommended. Nine of the sheets have big cut-outs in 'em, and thus get different hole configurations. But that leaves 27, clamped and drilled in seven groups. I don't know how long doing one group will take, yet.

Then will come sanding. Using an orbital sander will be vastly faster than the hand-blocks Isaacs used, but I don't know how much time, yet. Obviously, have to do that one board at a time. And painting the same; since with painting clean-up is more than half the job, doing as many panels at one time as is possible is the best strategy. Once the panels are drilled, sanded and painted they're done.

At least two internal edges will need metal-cladding to protect them from the wear a rambunctious nine-year-old will put on them that a 40-year old Isaacs didn't. easy enough in principle; get a piece of sheet metal, bend it over the edge, and bolt it in place. But again, time-consuming.

Not yet planned or scheduled: Cutting the two hatches, and figuring where and how many windows, then cutting holes for 'em and installing 'em. I'm thinking four. I'm also thinking about gluing some foam-board to the ceiling and a couple of the upper inside walls, for extra insulation. Cheap, and not difficult, but again time-consuming. Should glue some fabric over it, also. Matthew likes blue, and denim is nice and durable.

For him to want to use it for his bedroom, it should be very comfy. I'm thinking about creating some form of warm fuzzy giant-teddy-bear for him; separate project but might need to be included in this project timeline. Isaacs had heated the originals with 1-kw. space heaters, and reported them to be nice and cozy through a Minnesota winter. And he wasn't using foam-board.

Buzzer went off; time to go cut some more wood.
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