Friday, February 25, 2005

Lodgepole Pine Log Bunk Bed

Building a log bunk bed is a challenge and building a twin over full log bunk bed is an even greater challenge. Armed with my trusty Veritas tenon cutter and forstner bit, I created a set of twin over full log bed plans and then the bunk bed.

Log Bunk Bed Log Bunk Bed Log Bunk Bed

The first thing to consider when making a log bunk bed is safety. Since most of the sleepers on the top bunk will probably be children. There are US standards to follow for building a bunk bed and you can find those with a quick internet search. The main thing you want to prevent is a child's head getting stuck in between the rails or the rails being too far apart to not provide security. The rule of thumb is any gaps should be smaller than 3.5 inches or larger than 9 inches, and the top rail should be at least 5 inches higher than the top of the mattress. Also, in my beds, I choose to integrate the ladder. Detachable ladders are more dangerous because they can come loose, are more dangerous to climb, and usually stick out into the room for someone to trip over them. Also, with my ladder the bed will fit into a smaller room.

The second hurdle is making the bed portable. This is really important when building log furniture because it get heavy quickly. I use 5 inch diameter logs for all of the vertical posts, 3 inch logs for all of the horizontal bed rails, and 2 inch logs for the stairs. All the connections are made with 2 inch diameter tenons. The bed comes in multiple pieces for transportation: the two end pieces, two bunk boards, and then the 8 rails. When the bed is assembled, all of these joints are secured with 4 inch lag bolts and washers. This is much more secure that nails or no extra hardware you find on other constructions. This makes for a beautiful, sturdy, and really heavy bed. This bunk bed is the perfect addition to any cabin or craftsman home and will last for years.

Log Bunk Bed Top Bunk Log Bunk Bed

Third, unlike other beds, bunk beds do not use box springs so you need to provide not only support but some kind of weight distribution, usually called bunk boards. For my lower bunk I used a 5/8 sheet of plywood since it is not visible. For the top bunk, though, I used 5/8 inch think 6 inch wide tongue and groove knotty pine. Once I create the platform I cut a L groove out of the 3 inch log side rails to hold the platform. This way when you lay down in the full bed you look up at a finished knotty pine surface.

I finished this bed with non-catelized laquer which protects and seals the wood without taking away from the natural beauty. Two coats works the best because three can give the wood a little too fake of a look.

Log Bunk Bed Log Rails Log Bunk Bed Bottom Bunk

I will custom build YOU a bunk bed for $950. This includes the ends with integrated ladders, all of the rails, the bottom bunk board, and the top tongue and groove knotty pine support board. I can finish the bed with your choice of finishes but I recommend the laquer. Delivery and set up is $100 within 3 hours of Portland, OR. I will personally deliver and set up your bed for you to make things are perfect.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Remove Comcast Branding from Internet Explorer after High Speed Internet Install

I recently had Comcast High Speed Internet installed on my PC and was unhappy to find that Comcast had felt it necessary to try and brand my computer. They had changed the Internet Explorer title bar and Outlook Express title bar to now read " by Comcast", had changed the Internet Explorer rotating E to now be a Comcast rotating C, and had installed some useless support agent on my computer. Well, if they can put it on we can remove it so here is what I found and how to repair what Comcast branded.

Remove "by Comcast" from Internet Explorer Title Bar
Warning: Whenever you mess with the registery there is a chance you can really mess things up so be careful.
Click on the Start menu and select "Run"
Type in regedit and press enter
Click Edit in the top bar and then Click Find
Search for "by Comcast" which you should find in IE and Outlook Express -- Just remove that string or make it whatever you want :)

Remove Comcast rotating C logo animation from Internet Explorer
Click on the Start menu and select "Run"
Type in "Rundll32 iedkcs32.dll,Clear" (without the quotes of course) and press enter

Disable the Comcast Support program on your task bar
Click on the Start menu and select "Run"
Type in msconfig and press enter
Click on the Startup tab
Note: The msconfig utility allows you to shut off any annoying programs that always run when you start up your computer. While you are here you should look for any other programs you don't want to run and un-click them also
Find "tgcmd" and uncheck the box next to it (you will notice is listed and the folder it is in and that clues you in)

Uninstall Comcast Support Agent Program
I have uninstalled this and have seen no problems
Click on the Start Menu and select the Control Panel
Click on Add/Remove Programs
Find Comcast Support Agent in the list and click on Uninstall
When it asks are you sure choose yes

Remove the Comcast added Internet Explorer Favorites
After you install Comcast High Speed Internet Service you will notice that they add a bunch of shameless marketing links to your IE favorites listing. To remove these favorites:
Open IE and click on Favorites in the menu
Browse down to the Comcast added favorites
On the ones you want to remove: left click and select delete
--You should find a couple of folders with advertising links and a few other Comcast Links
(Of course if you browse only with Firefox you don't have this problem because Comcast doesn't add advertising favorites links to Firefox)

That is all I have found so far. Hope it helps someone else remove Comcast's high speed internet service branding. This kind of corporate parasitic marketing is one of my biggest annoyances so let me know if you have any other examples of this and I will post the instructions to remove it here. Also, most of this branding really did not affect me all the time because I mostly use Mozilla Firefox for browsing and Mozilla Thunderbird for email but because they did it at all was evil enough.