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Portable Air Conditioner Awning Window HVAC #7: Thermal curtains, Banksy, and Gee Fix

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Blog entry by DevinT posted 03-29-2021 08:08 PM 607 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Supply/Return Part 7 of Portable Air Conditioner Awning Window HVAC series no next part

Our condo is 3 stories tall. It is a nightmare to cool/heat. Attempting to change the temperature in the middle floor (where we spend most of our time) usually requires altering the temperature of the entire home. It is not ideal.

You know those plastic flaps inside walk-in freezers? I contacted stripcurtains dot com and ordered some strips and mounting hardware.

Quick-Links to videos found in-order below:
  1. https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1319826995568467968
  2. https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1319833993714384896
  3. https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1320221353090244608
  4. https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1320224455755329536
  5. https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1320226395767730176
  6. https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1320228863402598400
  7. https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1320232818446794752

ASIDE: The strips that are prevalent in walk-in coolers and freezers are made of hard plastic that is not UV-resistant. You can opt instead for what is known as “ambient temperature” strips which are both softer and resistant to yellowing when exposed to sunlight. For the inside of my home, I chose the ambient-temp strips.

It might look a little strange using strip curtains in your home, so to lighten them up I purchased Banksy wall art decals from Etsy dot com and very carefully transferred the vinyl to the strips and then cut the artwork.

To achieve this, I first cut up a large cardboard box and taped it to the floor with blue painter’s tape. I then attached the strips to the mounting bracket and laid everything out as it would appear when hanging.

(below image) Then I unrolled the vinyl artwork and roughly positioned it where I wanted it on the plastic strips.

(below image) There is a white paper non-stick backing on the transfer plastic to-which the vinyl art is stuck. The first step was to peel off this white backing and then tape down guides so we know where to adhere everything.

(below image) After placing the artwork down, the clear transfer sticky back is peeled off leaving the vinyl stuck to the plastic stips.

(below 2 images) An X-acto knife is used to separate the plastic strips by cutting the vinyl along the edge of each strip.


(below image) The next steps were to install the mounting bracket above the doorway. So I stacked-up the strips and put them away until the bracket was installed.

(below image) I used blue painter’s tape to secure the bracket above the doorway. Just strong enough so that I could pilot the wholes for the lag bolts and drive them in.

(below image) I got out my trusty Little Giant ladder for this job.

(below 9 images) Mounting this bracket into dry-wall. Each dry-wall anchor can withstand 500 lbs of sheer weight. These are no ordinary drywall anchors, they are the mind-blowing Gee Fix anchor from Great Britain. If you have never heard of Gee Fix, stop what you are doing right now (this blog can wait) and go learn about Gee Fix—it will change the way you think about drywall.









ASIDE: With a total of 4 Gee Fix anchors, I calculated that this bracket can hold up to a full 2,000 pounds (a friggin’ ton) when the force is applied straight-down. You could probably run and jump, catching yourself on the strips and—depending on how many strips you were able to grab ‘hold of—at worst tear a strip or two. You could be falling and catch yourself on the strips and they won’t rip the bracket out of the wall. Absolutely nothing short of an amazing show of force could possibly ever rip this down.

(below 3 images) Now it was time to attach the bracket to the wall anchors using lag bolts.



(below image) And there we had it. Banksy on plastic strips over a doorway at the top of the stairs leading from the 1st floor to the 2nd.

But wait, this is a 3-story condominium and we have to do this one more time to fully cordon-off the 2nd-floor where we will be running the portable air-conditioner.

ASIDE: The portable AC unit we are using is capable of cooling between 450 and 700 square feet. By installing these strip curtains in 2 locations on the 2nd floor, we were able to create a 371 sqft. area to cool. The AC unit should have no problems whatsoever with that square footage.

(below image) Alright, let’s do this one more time.

(below image) The artwork for this plastic curtain is also a Banksy and it comes rolled-up in a tube, shipped from Estonia. This particular artwork actually came as two separate vinyl sheets (not visible in the below image).

(below 5 images) The vinyl backing sometimes comes messed-up. It is a challenge to fix.





Here is how I fix where the transfer paper has come loose and bubbled away from the vinyl. This is an unbelievably tedious process with amazing results. I don’t like to rush it, so I literally put on some jazz, pour myself a glass of wine, and sit there for hours with special tools smoothing out the vinyl against the backing:
(video 1) https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1319826995568467968
(video 2) https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1319833993714384896

(below 3 images) After flattening one of the two vinyl sheets:



(below 3 images) Flattening the second of the two vinyl sheets:



(below image) Both sheets are flat now, ready to be transferred onto the strip curtain.

(below 3 images) Transferring the artwork onto the stip curtain.



(below 2 images) I popped the bubbles with an X-acto knife, removed the strips from the bracket, and stacked them up for storage until we could get the bracket mounted.


Now, the previous bracket was a header mount. Where I need to hang this curtain, I have to go into the ceiling and so I will be working with a different type of mounting bracket.

Putting up this bracket, I will show a bit more of the Gee Fix, since it really is a uniquely strong component. We will also see some creative use of blue painter’s tape.

(below 4 images) I painstakingly took measurements on the ceiling to avoid electrical boxes, conduits, or wires. I then attached the bracket at the precise location. NOTE: The brackets are ordered to-width so that they fit perfectly in the hallway and (last bracket) above the doorway.




(below 2 images) It was now time to drill into the ceiling. I taped an empty cardboard box to the wall to catch falling debris.


(below 3 images) I then used my spade bit to core out the firewall (in the ceiling is an extra panel of 3/4” dry-wall behind your standard sheet acting as a fire brake). The ceiling therefore has 1.5” of dry-wall to drill through.



(below image) Let’s get a close look at what the Gee Fix looks like. In the below image, from left-to-right, are 3 states of the Gee Fix. At far left you can see what comes in the package. I take that red cord and throw it in the trash and use guitar string instead. Trust me, you don’t want to be using the red cord and have it break on you, causing part of the anchor to fall into the recess behind the drywall where you’ll never get it. In the middle you can see that the cord passes through the anchor cap and the anchor plate. Those teeth on the banana shaped plate grip into the backside of the drywall and the cord makes sure that the center-hole in the cap aligns with the center hole in the plate. In the last state on the far right, you can see how it attaches to the wall and the lag screw that I will drive into it (with washer). Since the Gee Fix is made of nylon, the cap screw hole expands to accommodate a larger thread simply by forcing the screw through the hole.

(below image) Also note that I don’t use the screws that Gee Fix comes with. The 3 screws aligned on the bottom in the below picture are what Gee Fix comes with for each anchor. Above that are the 3 screws I use. Same thread, but much longer considering I am going through 1.5” of drywall in the ceiling. To the right of that is the lag screw I drive into the set anchors.

Here is a video of me using the guitar string and demonstrating how one is supposed to use it by first inserting the anchor plate behind the drywall:
(video) https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1320221353090244608

Here is a video that shows, once the plate has been inserted into the wall how you thread the cap:
(video) https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1320224455755329536

You insert the temporary screw into the center, drive it in so that it passes through the plate in back and draws it tight, you rip out the cord, put it in permanent screws, tighten those done, and finally remove the center temporary screw. You’re now ready to use Gee Fix:
(video) https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1320226395767730176

That’s enough demonstration, let’s actually put in a Gee Fix:
(video) https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1320228863402598400

ASIDE: I should have worn gloves. Fiberglass is itchy.

(below image) This is what it looks like with the anchor plate shoved into the ceiling behind the drywall with the guitar string hanging out:

Putting the cap on: (video) https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1320232818446794752

(below image) I’m doing this all on a ladder by the way.

(below image) We’ve got the anchor cap installed and I inserted the center temporary screw to hold everything together when I rip the guitar string out.

It’s rather satisfying to rip the guitar string out: (video) https://twitter.com/freebsdfrau/status/1320235997322309632

(below image) Removing the guitar string makes way for the 2 permanent screws that need to be driven into the anchor cap/plate.

(below 2 images) I needed some additional light, so I took some painter’s tape and stuck my O-light to the wall


(below image) I drove the 2 permanent screws in.

(below 2 images) I removed the temporary center screw.


(below image) Now I just have to do it 3 more times.

(below image) Here I am working on the last anchor in the ceiling.

(below image) Finally all 4 anchors are installed and ready to use.

(below 3 images) It was time to snug the bracket up to the anchors with lag bolts.



(below 3 images) With the bracket finally installed, we could unpack our art-laden strips and install them.



(below 2 images) Now, with these 2 strip curtains, we have effectively reduced the square footage to cool down to a meager 371 sqft.


(below image) I want to mention that these mats are wonderful. Ergo Kneel saved my back, knees, and more when working on the floor for several hours trying to get the artwork flat.

-- Devin, SF, CA



3 comments so far

View ddockstader's profile

ddockstader

216 posts in 4313 days


#1 posted 03-30-2021 05:09 AM

A. You are a creative genius for figuring out this extremely involved process and documenting it.
B. You are a glutton for punishment.
C. Thank you. I intend to keep this both as inspiration and education.
I think somewhere around the second or third hour crawling around on the floor, I’d have just stood up, sold the condo, and moved somewhere that only had 1 floor. But I commend your dedication.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3810 posts in 4490 days


#2 posted 04-03-2021 02:11 AM

The cool factor on this is just off the scale. You’ve got more creativity and patience than most. Nice.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

8337 posts in 1764 days


#3 posted 04-03-2021 01:49 PM

i simply just love this it looks like a very nice way to solve your problem lots of GR8 pictures Welcome to LJ’s hope you stay GREAT JOB :<))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

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