IkeHaus: finishing the roof and building the internal Ziggurat

Finishing the majority of the structural work

So, after sleeping until 2pm on Sunday, I was still QUITE tired.   This is how I looked, according to photographic evidence recovered by the crews who explored my lair after the fact:

EXHAUSTED after the 17 hour day on Saturday

EXHAUSTED after the 17 hour day on Saturday

That, I initially intended to get homework done on Sunday.  HEH.  I actually did, but then asked my housemate Amber if she wanted to get food (she did), so then we decided to go to Buffalo Wild Wings… which happens to be across the street from a Home Depot AND a Petco.  So we considered going into them (we did) and I spent more money ( 😦 ) but purchased the small handful of components still needed for the internal structure; the fluorescent light fixtures for the roof; and some electrical parts.  Also made a run to JoAnn Fabrics and BARELY got there on time, but successfully bought some green canvas to make the hammock for Ike.

Fluorescent light fixtures, and prepping the roof for its eventual finished look

So, I drove back to the CEID and got set up for a “short” evening of work.  HEH.  The roof needed a small set of things done:

1) fluorescent fixtures wired up, installed, tested and NOT catching fire
2) figuring out how to run the wires for those fixtures on the TOP of the roof without making it look crappy
3) installing steel handles on the roof to make it easier to move, match it aesthetically with the base
4) make sure that there will be space to put a marquis reading “IkeHaus” across the front of the top (more on this in Part 3 of this mini-series on my blog)

These things were all done, over some indeterminate period of time, during which I somewhat selfishly decided to play music (again) in the CEID to make work go easier.  The wiring for the fixtures was done with a heavy-duty extension cord, which I got to cut apart and wire into the setup.  The damned thing was GORGEOUS when it all lit up and didn’t catch fire:



The Ziggurat

At some indeterminate point, I finished the roof work, and gazed upon the pile of spare wood components along with the small aluminum sheet and extra floor tile I purchased earlier in the evening.  The volume of the IkeHaus is a smidgen over 112 gallons (Ike’s old hovel was a mere 29 gallons, and a tall tank, so VERY small perimeter for him to run around).  This means 1) I need to make use of the vertical space effectively and 2) I would like to match the aesthetics of the rest of the project with the internal fixture; without 3) having it break easily or look crappy.

Thusly, my mind (fueled by Buffalo Wild Wings and Froyo World) wrote on the back of a receipt from dinner to design a Ziggurat (the official name, now), as a flat-topped pyramid with some kind of steps would solve the issue of providing Ike a cave to hide from the heat if needed; a platform to bask; and a method of climbing (and if needed, staying at any height) to the top of the platform.

The build, I will admit, took me a GREAT deal of time.  But the thing will NEVER fall apart, it even features a two-level internal cave… and the hammock hangs off the side (and in fact, the green canvas is the only color to the whole project… which is white, black, grey, and brown otherwise 🙂 ).  Take a look:

the Ziggurat standing in all its ladder'd, ramp'd, and hammock'd glory

the Ziggurat standing in all its ladder’d, ramp’d, and hammock’d glory

I departed the CEID around 3:45am on 4/8/2013, and got the components into the house (having spent approximately 9 hours in the CEID, for a total of 26 hours there over a two day period).  I got the components into the house, and I think it looks pretty damned good, set up in the basement:

(MOSTLY-) finished setup, in the basement

(MOSTLY-) finished setup, in the basement

This means, then, that hopefully over this coming weekend, I will be able to finish the project, which will involve:

1) laser-cutting “IKEHAUS” into a wood marquis for the front of the top of the roof
2) get the Raspberry Pi talking to the sensors, computer intake/exhaust fans, and controlling the lights (though as time goes on, I am realizing that the amazing RasPi is great at many things, but not necessarily precisely-timed events, so I might need to stick an Arduino into the design to control all the timed events… along with:
3) I want to get two small backlit LCD screens (possibly this one) to put atop the roof, on either side of the marquis, for the purpose of displaying important data (at this point, number of hours of life out of each light bulb; how much electricity this new design has saved over time; the amount of money saved as a result; the point in time when the electricity savings has paid off the STUPIDLY expensive costs of the IkeHaus; perhaps automated reminders of which days to feed Ike worms, versus vegetables and fruits… and more)
4) I will need to wire those LCDs from the front to the back of the top of the roof, alongside the fluorescent fixture wiring… and then I will buy some nice looking wood to cover that channel.
5) I got a simple vinyl white sticker of the CEID logo, and I will indeed find a tasteful place to put it on the finished product
6) any other final touch-ups and last-minute details

Until those components come in + I have time to do this… the trick is to NOT plan out and build an automated butternut squash growing box, so I don’t have to buy him that from the grocery store any more.  Must. Not. Spend more money by building more awesome networked things. MUST. NOT. &c…




Slideshow of the build during and at the end of Day 2:

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