A cool dry place. A root cellar in your kitchen.

I don’t know about you, but it’s hot and muggy here. I keep looking at items that want to be stored in ‘a cool dry place’. I wish I could say that my apartment qualified, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t some days. I turn the AC off while I am at work to save some money on the electric bill. The temp climbs up into the high 80s. Not exactly cool. It isn’t exactly dry either.

I brought my small dorm room fridge down from WI and wasn’t sure what to do with it. I figured it out. I think I am going to build a cool dry place.

I am going to build an insulated pantry. It will look like a normal pantry on the outside. But the inside will be insulated with foam insulation. I will also use one of those water rid buckets or large amounts of silica gel to keep everything dry. I am thinking that the small refrigerator and a good amount of insulation should enable me to bring the temp down to 50 degrees or so. You know, normal root cellar or basement temperatures.

On the bottom shelf I will put the dissecant as well as anything that isn’t food stuff compatible, like batteries, etc. The shelf above that I will store my negatives in their fireproof box as well as anything else that won’t bother food as a buffer between the stuff I don’t want to eat and the stuff I do.

On the upper shelves I will keep things like my flours, spices, oils, potatoes and onions. You know food stuffs that don’t really need to be in the fridge, but ought to be kept cool.

I suppose the veggies will need to be in their own little moisture cubby so they can stay a bit more damp then the rest of the unit. Just like the crisper in the fridge.

Hrmm.. I wonder if I can make an easy access panel for my spices. I am seeing something like the butter drawer in your fridge, only pointed out, into the room through the door. This could keep the spices cooler than sitting in a cupboard, and help decorate the cabinet. I wonder if I could get some UV filtering glass for the spice doors….

Just thinking out loud… I suppose I could make this a bit smaller, like a table top unit for keeping my veggies and such. A counter top root cellar. I bet that is a marketable product right there. A 50 degree refrigerator for storing your veggies.

A little market research. I am seeing these little wine coolers. These look about perfect for what I am looking for for a root cellar. I could probably tint the front glass with window tinting to block most of the light.

What do you think? Is something like this useful for you?

Mom was visiting

Mom was visiting for a week. I am dropping her off at the airport in a few.
We did all kinds of cool stuff. Spent a day at Epcot, watched the sunset at Clearwater Beach.
I don’t want to send her home…




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Electronics Hutch

I recently moved all my junk to Florida from Wisconsin and don’t have a place to put all my electronics peices and parts and tools and whatnot. I don’t want it all laying around for the cats to sort for me, as most of it would end up sorted under and behind the furniture.

So I have been looking for either a TV armoir or a computer hutch. I ended up at the Rooms To Go warehouse on exit 10 off of I4. They sell all the local scratch and dent items there.

Man did I make a find! I picked up a Tracey Computer Cabinet which retails for $699.99 for $327.99. Good deal, eh? It has some minor nicks and such in the corners, but nothing more than I would pick up in a year or two. It is missing the top crown moulding and only has 3 of the legs, but this works out in my favour as well!

I am going to put it on a cabinet so it stands taller. 23 inches taller in fact. That is the height of my elbows to the keyboard tray as the hutch sits on the ground tonight. This way, I can work on it standing up, or I can use the tall chair I will be getting/making for it.

Being that I am a internet junky, most of my electronics requires programming and an eithernet connection. So I will use the ‘computer’ part of the hutch to full effect. My 4U rackmount computer will just be either in the lower cabinet or sitting on the top of the unit. I will put my rackmount KVM in it to, as my next main computer will be DVI and won’t work with the KVM. I will also add a 24 port hub so I don’t run out of ethernet jacks.

I plan on picking up one large or two smaller LCD monitors for use in the hutch. This will give me the maximum amount of storage space inside.

Electronics hutch closed up

This is the unit sitting on the ground without the legs. I will be getting a cabinet of some sort to go underneith it. This cabinet will be for storage of all the ‘good junk’ parts like old VCR boards and so forth that I would be canabalizing from. This should leave about a foot to the ceiling. I will put the computer gear up there I think so it can keep itself cool.

Empty Electronics hutch with a cat checking it out

It even comes with a whiteboard and corkboard! Here brother is checking it out. One of the few times he will get to sneak into it.

pull out keyboard tray and work surface in electronics hutch

The Keyboard tray is sitting in a pull-out work surface. This is PERFECT for my needs as I can pull out the workbench, and also access my keyboard.

drawers in electronics hutch

The bottom has 2 drawers, a thin shelf (for the computer I guess) and a pull out printer drawer that won’t fit either of my printers. Looks like parts and tool storage to me!

UPDATE: Here is the plans for the base I plan on making for the electronics hutch. http://mike.creuzer.com/2008/01/electronics-hutch-base-plans.html