The shack has a ceiling

The progress of my new basement ham shack has taken another turn towards completion with the recent work completed on Saturday, 14 April.   If you recall, on 12 March (over a month ago) I blogged about the accomplishment of having the walls completed.  I had every intention of taking a weekend off and getting started on the ceiling prior to the end of March. 

Best laid plans…blah blah blah.  The weather in Colorado is I guess much like anywhere else.  Wait 5 minutes and it is guaranteed to change.  The immediate weekend after the walls went up was supposed to be nice.  However, it ended up windy/cooler and we delayed the outside painting project by one weekend.  This delay sort of shifted everything else on the schedule.  So we ended up doing the outdoors projects on the weekend of 24 March.  I did the sheet metal work for the AC/Heat duct work on 31 March.  Then on Saturday, 7 April I spent the day giving a presentation on summits on the air followed by a SOTA activation

As I had discussed, I rented a drywall lift and picked it up on Friday evening just before 8 PM.  This would allow me to get started early on Saturday without the need of running to the rental store.  I set my alarm as if it were a normal work day.  I allowed myself time for coffee and even some HF radio time.  With this being the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, I really wanted to work a couple of the special event stations commemorating the event.  I worked K3MGY and W4S and decided it was time to go to work. 

While the drywall lift was a bit awkward in some of the tight places of the basement, it really saved the day.  Essentially you just place a 4×8 sheet of drywall on the lift and crank it into position.  Then screw it into position, lower the lift and finish adding screws.    Then repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat until all done. 

It was our goal to complete the ceiling in one day.  It’s not that we couldn’t afford to rent the drywall lift for another 24 hours, it was simply the desire to just get the work done in one day.  The last piece of drywall was securely fastened on the ceiling at just before 6:30 PM.  This left me enough time to shower and return the lift with time to spare. 

The below three pictures were taken showing progress from the same vantage point (or very close).  We started on the walls the weekend of 25 February and finished the ceiling on 14 April.  While this sets no drywall hanging speed records and I’d go broke if I were a professional drywall installer (which I’m not and never want to be after this experience) all work has been done by my wife and I. 

Of course, now begins the messy phase of the project.  Over the next week or two, we plan to start the taping, mudding and sanding.  Like anything else, if you don’t regularly do this type of work there is a learning curve and as you progress you get a little better and a little faster.  I’m not sure when it will get completed.  I guess I’ll just say that we’ll get it done, when we get it done.  We have a tremendous amount of work to still complete.

Oh….I did receive notice on Friday, 13 April to expect my Elecraft KX3 to ship sometime the week of 16 April – 20 April.  I’m sure I will have a strong desire to take it on top of a Colorado summit for SOTA in the next couple of weeks. 

Final comment.  Each corner we turn in the overall progress, I do see the end result and it makes me extremely proud to be doing this work myself.  I’m not sure of the exact date I’ll officially move into the new space.  At this point my goal is to be 100% complete and moved into the new space prior to the Colorado QSO Party which will take place the first weekend in September.    It truly is my desire to operate in my State’s QSO party from inside the new space. 

Until next time…

73 de KDØBIK

Jerry Taylor, KD0BIK, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. He is the host of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “The shack has a ceiling”

  • Gary Branch N5BI:

    Very nice job..I’ve always loved basement ham shacks.

  • Byron N6NUL:

    Very nice! I hope to have my garage shack up by September and work you in both the Colorado and California CQ parties.

  • Chris kQ2RP:

    Even the spiders in my dark, dank, dingy corner of the basement are jealous.

  • John KD8LDN:

    Slow & steady gets the job done, even though having an “Easy Button” would be oh so nice. Good luck on the progress.

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