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Detailed info about building shipping container structures PT 4
Hi-cube steel containers are best for building structures: They have a net interior ceiling height 8’ 11" and a standard container’s ceiling height is one foot less than that at 7’ 11". Many people want refrigerated insulated containers. If you are wanting a permitted home, you are wise not to use them because inspectors need to inspect inside the walls, which is not possible. They have interior walls with polyester insulation inside already, so you cant weld anywhere due to insulation catching fire, you cant run wiring or plumbing inside the walls. Theoretically, one could put electrical via metal conduit pipes mounted on the outside of those inside walls and avoid any welding, but how ugly would that look? The aluminum container is a lot weaker and more expensive than a steel one, the reefer unit takes up a lot of space and has to be removed, etc. We doubt seriously that the county would permit their use for a home, no homes have been approved to our knowledge using them. Steel containers are easy to work with, and the easy to apply ceramic exterior coating gives you outstanding heat insulation by reflecting heat before it heats up the exterior steel surfaces. Combining that coating with ventilating skylights and windows for good ventilation gives you a home every bit as cool as a conventional wood home with minimal or no termite worries. We further recommend that you insulate and drywall the interior walls for further insulation against heat and cold, also giving you a quiet home that is easy to clean. You can go with no insulation and drywall, but then you have to look at the corrugated walls, clean around that corrugation where it meets the floor and stare at electrical conduit pipes, outlets and light fixtures. Some folks insist on doing things this way, citing concerns about mold in the walls. This is actually a valid concern. Single wall virtually eliminates any bad effects of condensation, including mold and rust. You still get condensation but it is very easy to deal with. Metal structures with insulated walls are more prone to condensation problems, which generally makes one more prone to rust, and possibly mold. Condensation also occurs in wood structures. The only solution is ventilation. Air vents can solve the problem. A removable baseboard is a great idea, allowing you to check for moisture on the floor of the wall cavities. Gravity pulls moisture down to the ground and mainly causes rust. We can advise you on condensation issues. With no insulation inside, it gets very cold at night. Your body heat radiates right thru any single wall structure. If you follow our advice on treating surface rust, your steel containers will last for many decades. Steel containers, also referred to as cans, are very strong. However, if you cut out entire 40’ long walls, which is what many of our plans offer, you do need vertical support or roof trusses for direct support. If you try to make a living space that is one can wide, you live in a 7’ 6" space, which we think is generally too narrow. We understand that some of you want the lowest cost structure possible, and single wide spaces would be the lowest cost and simplest to build. This kind of project would allow one to put a roof over their heads and add-on later legally. We are designing one can projects with multiple sliding glass doors for a super-wide opening, with adjoining enclosed lanai, or retreactable awning. This really opens up that one can home nicely. With the enclosed lanai option, this allows you to have much more built-ins and countertop space etc inside. Without the enclosed lanai, those elements are very minimal to comply with code pertaining to minimal required amt of unencumbered interior space. When you join two cans together and cut out the two walls that touch each other, you end up with a 16’ wide space, three cans gives you 24' width, etc., which we feel is a lot nicer to live in. Our first project utilizes two cans side by side and cut out for a 16 x 40 interior space. It has 2 legal bedrooms, one bathroom, a very nice kitchen with massive countertop space and real wood cabinets. Don’t used containers have dents and rust? Generally they do. Ours tend to have less than most, but the dent issue is a probem with county inspectors. Even though we have nice used cans, you are much better off purchasing new ones if building a home or any structure that you want to permit. This is because county inspectors do not like dents or rust, and have actually shut down projects made from used containers. Just about every used container has been in service for 8 years, so the steel sub-floor has rust all over it, and in about 12-15 years, the sub-floor will crumble, and there goes all that money invested in your home. We actually guarantee success with your permitted structure if you use new cans, and do not if you elect to build with used ones. We greatly encourage taking off the double doors and welding up that end for several compelling reasons- The County hates them, bugs can crawl around the rubber gaskets and infest, many folks think they look ugly and complain to the county, making it harder to build container homes. Also- if you have cans on site for storage or whatever, they must be removed from your property before final inspection. They will not issue final otherwise, it is a pet peeve of the county. Cans are also very secure. There are many plans out there that put the cans separated apart and bridge them with traditional wood based materials. The main problem we have with these designs is you loose security when you build long sections out of wood, and you also compromise the termite proof nature of the structure. For plans where cans are separated, we weld metal across those gaps that we salvage from cutting out interior walls. Also, we plan on offering thick metal pieces that completely cover all windows and lock up securely so you can really secure your structure if you plan on being away for long stretches of time. When you leave, you have the option of locking up very securely, eliminating any chance of breaking in through wood. There would effectively be no wood to cut through and no windows to break into. This option comes with a price tag of course, but for some, it is well worth it. That being said, if someone really wants in, they will get in, and others will break into another house that is easier to get into. Such is life… How does electrical work? For Insulated homes, we run BX conduit which fits inside of the walls, with outlets and lighting fixtures that are flush to walls just like a conventional home. For those not wanting insulation and interior walls, code forces you to run ugly metal conduit pipes that you see running to all outlets and lights. We work with the electrician and his electrical plans, and do only what he prescribes. Most often, they allow us to run wire and connect to outlets and light fixtures, and he inspects everything. Law states you must have a licensed electrician and plumber who pulls those permits, draws those plans, and takes legal responsibility for his work. What about Plumbing? No problem. Again, you run your plumbing like any other structure. Keep in mind, often it is essential to cut away some steel structure from the can's floor, which takes a bit more time to do. Where there is plumbing, we have framed walls to hide pipes and offer an easy surface to mount essential things in those bathroom and kitchen areas. If off-grid on water catchment, you may need to run an electric water pump to maintain workable water pressure. This consumes tiny amts of power and is not a problem. In catchment scenarios, we recommend a water purifying system with sufficient strength ultra-violet lamps to kill parasites, bacteria and etc. Catchment water has parasites due to insect exposure, bird droppings and rats. For catching water from your roof, we like the look of traditional, trussed A-frame type roofs, but they add a lot of cost to the project. They make your structure look like a real home and are really great, but increase costs. However, we can create anything custom that you might want. Shed style roofs are a lot less expensive and provide a clean and easy way to catch water. Our designs direct all the water to one long end of the roof and one 40’ long gutter collects all the water and directs it to your storage tank. Standard metal roofing is used for the best overall look and reasonable cost. Another option is to make a roof from plywood and coat with elastomeric coating and polyester fabric meshed inside of that heat reflective coating. Our coatings are NSF rated safe for water catchment. What about interior walls? Wherever we need to cover the metal container wall inside, or where desired, we spot weld thin, hollow metal studs horizontally for hanging your choice of wall materials. Wiring, insulation and plumbing fits perfectly inside the walls with our steel studs. Insulation in the walls is not required on any island, but highly recommended by us. Please note that the bldg dept requires drywall or other specified fire resistant material for wall covering due to fire ratings. Where we build walls such as for bedrooms, bath and kitchen, we use 2x4 steel framing, but we don’t punch holes through the can. The stud on the floor is screwed through the thick wood floor, and the vertical and ceiling studs are welded in place. Our homes have no wood on the inside of any wall, which gives one peace of mind regarding termites. That being said, you should keep your eye out for any mud tunnels laid down by ground termites by looking periodically underneath your structure. Most of our homes have post and pier foundations made of wood, so that foundation and the wood floor of the cans, as well as whatever wood doors etc you choose inside your home is the only wood that you need to monitor. The containers wood floors are generally coated with a material that insects and termites do not like, so that is not a significant worry. Compare this scenario to a home made entirely of wood, with wood inside the walls everywhere that termites could get into without anyone knowing. It is possible to take out the wood floor if you wanted to, but we see no need to. Ceiling insulation goes on top of the containers metal "roof" so no ceiling insulation is within the interior space.This translates to no mold problems in that area. This is a compelling reason to not install exterior siding- seeing your metal walls allows you to catch any rust or punctures before water can cause mold inside your walls, and before rust can spead and create problems. You can make container homes that do not have a gabled trussed roof. A flat roof is used mostly where people want a slick, contemporary industrial look. The problem with that on Oahu is that you have to create a 5.5 inch airspace in the ceiling, which lowers your ceiling height drastically- 5.5 inches airspace plus the thickness of your insulation. Oahu requires a total of R19 ceiling/roof insulation, which can be accomplished with foam insulation under the roof and some foam or fiberglas insulation in the ceiling just below the containers metal "roof". This allows you to use thinner insulation on the roof, and thinner insulation in the ceiling space with less air space, giving you that slick modern look, a higher ceiling height inside and complying with the rules. Big Island folks can put ceiling insulation with liitle or no air space because they do not even require ceiling insulation. We definitely recommend it. What about flooring? The lowest cost option is simply using the plywood floors that come with the cans. They are 1 1/8" marine grade mahogany plywood that can possibly be sanded and finished, depending on the condition of your particular floors. You do need to seal them up with something that locks out moisture and vapors if you want to use them as your actual floor surface. We do not recommend going this way, mahogany stinks. A floor applied on top of the mahogany that is sealed will eliminate the smell if done right. If you insist on using them, the metal trimming around the wood can be sanded and painted. Ceramic tile floors are the best suited with containers. This is due to the thinset adhesive being able to lay down thick to float out the slight level differences between the wood and metal on the container floor. Bamboo or other wood flooring requires floor leveling compound to be applied. We recommend hiring a flooring specialist to do that, it is not easy, and requires a lot of experience. You do not want to create a disaster. It is recommended to create a moisture barrier if laying a floor down via a coating product called MVP or similar. Although a shipping container's metal sub-floor is super strong, rust can cause problems later on, so it is recommended to at least do something to slow it down once you have the containers off ground on your post and pier foundation. We wish this could be avoided, but in all honesty, we have to mention this. New containers would provide a much easier way to deal with this, and might be worth the extra money In the beginning. The black rust proof coating that comes from the factory on new cans is in great condition compared to used cans. How are windows and doors finished? With windows, vinyl is the lowest cost, they don’t rust and work well in Hawaii. If you want maximim ventilation, you should consider those large glass louver windows with vinyl frames. The let in almost 100% vs sliding vinyl lets in about 50%.We spot weld L-shaped metal around the entire outside window opening, screw the window through the metal wall from the inside. The screws are hidden from sight via the L-shaped metal outside. Having an overhanging eve reduces water getting into your windows obviously, and this plus the natural shade produced are very compelling reasons to have an overhanging roof. Again, we offer thick secure metal coverings as an option to cover and lock down entire window areas made from metal the same thickness as the walls of the can if desired. Are these homes green? Absolutely, and how green depends on you and your situation. You are first off recycling used steel shipping cans. From there, the next consideration is power. Going full or partial solar photovoltaic, aka PV is the most significant step towards the green lifestyle. Wind is also a very viable option and can be used together with PV if you have wind. Solar water heating is the next most significant step, but we also really like the on-demand gas heaters due to their great energy savings, reasonable initial cost and clean, simple installation with no storage tank. Solar costs significant money to get installed. You get the credits afterwards, and we obviously give it our thumbs up all the way, but you need to decide if you can swing the upfront costs along with everything else at the same time. You can also heat water on your roof in a black tank and use that for the lowest possible cost. It does require periodic replacement, so we don’t really like that side of it. It is easiest to go with a system that be plumbed properly into your system that does not require much thought or maintenance. Read about equator appliances in the "can I have a laundry room" section directly above. They are green any way you use them- either with PV power or on-grid, they are the world’s most efficient appliances. Being green also means using your gray water to water the landscape and grass. Don’t forget- being green means shading your home with a long eve, and a roof coated with ceramic coating, lots of ventilation via windows and doors, ventilating skylights for heat to rise out of and natural light to come in. Do not get fanatical, do what you can, and leave yourself the infrastructure to add on later. Shading, ventilation, & insulation are the priorities to do while building, so they are the priority. Shipping Container structures Good properties: Very quick to build your home or structure- we can build out quite a bit so it arrives ready for structural, electrical, plumbing and foundation inspections straight from us. Even if we don’t do any build-out, it arrives with a roof overhead from day one, which allows you to work inside if the weather is not cooperating. No other system has a roof overhead until you build one, which takes time, and you lose a lot of time if the weather is wet, which happens often on the Big Island of Hawaii. Govt and corporate clients find containers to be very cheap for them compared to building from scratch because their costs designing from scratch are incredibly prohibitive. This fact has increased demand for containers significantly, raising prices for everyone. Strong and transportable, stackable and very configurable- many design options, but not as flexible as other systems due to limited sizes of containers. It is best to not cut containers because the corners are a big part of their strength, and labor dealing with cut containers is on the high side. Reasonable project cost if kept simple, and using designs that make sense. Not all designs make economic sense. We can cut to the chase for you, just ask for our help. Not so good properties: Metal that is not galvanized rusts, and containers are not galvanized. We recommend using new containers so you are not chasing rust forever, and so inspectors don’t give you grief over dents. You need to be proactive dealing with rust by keeping containers painted with the proper paint, treating rust properly and fixing dents so bldg inspectors don’t fail you at inspections. Steel of any kind is not recommended if your location is near the ocean with on-shore winds due to corrosive salt spray. Shipping modified containers inter-island is very expensive. Trucking and placement is not cheap either, and shipping container costs are going up constantly due to high demand from Govt, Military and Corporate entities using containers to build structures and for storage worldwide. Due to the economy, shipping companies are sometimes opting to keep containers in service for 12 yrs instead of the usual 8 yrs due to lower revenues and higher replacement costs. The cost of steel keeps going up, partly due to higher energy costs. It takes a bit of energy to produce shipping containers. Limited design flexibility due to limited container lengths and widths. Building with 20s is very expensive, we recommend using only 40s or 45s. We can ship 40’ high-cubes to neighbor islands for next to nothing because we supply containers for big box houses to ship their cargo in, so 40’ hi-cubes are the way to go with us on the neighbor islands as well as oahu. 20s are almost the same price as 40s, and we have no connections for shipping cargo in 20s to the neighbor islands at this time. 20s are expensive everywhere compared to 40s, so unless you cannot get 40s onto your property due to a tight driveway or other logistical reasons, you really should build with 40s, specifically 40’ hi-cubes, which have a 9’ ceiling height compared to an 8’ ceiling height on standard containers. 20s only come in standard height now. Containers only come 8’ wide on the outside, 7’ 9" on the inside. By the time you insulate and drywall, the interior width is only about 7’ 5". Doing double-wide structures means you pay for metal that you cut out, which also costs you in labor money or labor time if doing these cutouts yourself. Of course you can use the cut-out metal, which is why designs where you separate containers apart and truss a roof over everything make a lot of sense for many reasons, but one important reason related to this discussion is that you can use that cutout metal to weld across those spans for an all-metal structure. This is why we say some designs make sense, and others do not. Ask us for our expert advise on container structures. Conclusion- Even though container structures have a lot of not so good properties, there are a lot of designs that make sense, are quick to build out, and thus can be time and cost effective. It is recommended to do as little welding as possible because welding burns the oil out of metal, making it much more prone to rust. It is imperative that you immediately prime and finish paint all welds within 30 minutes from the time the welds are completed. We are not prejudiced at all, we recommend the building system that we think makes the most overall sense for you and your application. You are the boss, so in the end, we build what you want us to build. Light-gauge steel frame with OSB, T1-11 or Hardy siding Good properties: Termites do not eat steel (not yet at least!) Many insurance companies offer lower premiums on steel frame homes, but homeowners insurance costs are generally not worth considering in this debate. You can build walls and other elements in a warehouse or other area out of the weather and sun. Steel-frame walls are lighter than those made of wood, so you can truck sections to building site and assemble quickly. This reduces materials left on-site, thus reducing theft potential, and can speed up the construction process. Galvanized frame members fare pretty well against rust if you are careful to paint all your cuts with the proper paint. Steel is not recommended near the ocean, especially areas with prevailing onshore wind. Not so good properties: Steel frame structures are not even in terms of thermal performance, ie the frame expands and contracts at a different rate compared to the wood-based siding. This can cause screws that hold the siding to your frame to release, causing siding sometimes to not be secured completely to the frame in places. This can really be a problem if your labor strips screws that hold your siding to the frame. Steel frame homes lose about 37% of its insulating performance because steel conducts heat about 300 times faster than wood! Heat reflective coatings on west facing walls outside can overcome a lot of this problem, but those coatings cost money. They are great for any structure, but with steel frame, you almost have to do this on west facing walls. Acoustic performance is not as good as wood frame homes at canceling out sound. Condensation occurs more easily vs wood frame homes. Condensation can drip down on your steel track and cause rust where the studs meet the lower track. You can minimize condensation and the bad effects of it by applying a heat reflective coating on your west facing walls, and properly ventilating those walls. Keeping the temperature inside your home as close to the temperature outside minimizes condensation. For those who have had a rough time in the past with termites, steel frame offers more peace of mind regarding termite damage. You should always exercise do diligence and research carefully your building environment conditions and the performance of the various building systems/materials before making a decision on what kind of system you want to build with. This is where we can really help you. Steel frame structures are considered by those favoring it as being stronger than wood frame homes. Steel frame is put together with screws, which adds to the frames strength, but we do not feel that the difference is as great as the steel industry claims it is. Steel frame members are more consistent, but lumber is not all warped and crooked either. A properly constructed wood frame home is strong, we do not think steel is vastly superior to wood in earthquakes and hurricanes. Either system can be put together well or not, and the quality of your materials can be good or not good. More importantly- the quality of your labor makes all the difference for sure. We feel that overall, wood frame homes are vastly superior to steel, especially in hawaii’s humid climate and that hot suns effect on those west facing walls. That said, we will build whatever you want us to build. You are the boss. Heavy gauge steel frame with steel exterior walls Good properties: Frame and exterior walls are both steel, so they expand and contract evenly. Steel buildings are strong, and built on a slab, they can fare better in hurricanes and earthquakes generally speaking, if constructed and designed to handle high winds and seismic load. These days, hawaii’s bldg and planning depts. are requiring higher performance in all structures, but simply meeting code does not mean you are protected for sure. We recommend over-building if you can afford it. Violent weather is now the norm worldwide.
Budda's Glock Build
This is an article I put together a while ago, while trying to learn about building glocks and aftermarket parts. Finally have all the components and have started building it. Updates and pics to follow. I ended up with building a Glock over other model pistols due to the ease of aftermarket parts and 10 minutes on youtube will let you do all the work yourself without having to need a gunsmith.
Building a Glock Research
I was undecided on whether to start and do a build on a custom STI tactical 4.15 with an extended 5 inch barrel to be of legal length in oz or buy a Glock and came across the following picture on the m4carbine forum, which sort of settled the choice for me. That and finding several Australian importers of glock parts, that hadn’t been available to me in the past making buying the accessories and parts much easier than importing from overseas due to current import restrictions. It also allowed me to do most of the work myself, unlike working on a STI 2011. http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=95628
The following link describes how to break the trigger down into its separate components, in order to understand how modifying each one can change the characteristics of the trigger and gun as a whole. http://militarytimes.com/blogs/gearscout/2012/01/01/glock-setup-tips/
There are three main components to the Glock trigger action that determine pull weight: the connector, firing pin spring, and trigger spring. I will be discussing these along with barrel choices, guide rod recoil springs, guide rod weight and combinations of these. The following information is all I could find to learn about building a Glock, since I had never owned one before.
Firstly Guide Rods;
To start with in Glocks guide rods have absolutely no effect on the accuracy of your pistol. In a standard 1911 the guide rod, being so short, only guides the spring at the end of the rearward action. This allows the spring to move from side to side in the frame channel and could allow interference. The full length guide rod forces the spring to stay centered and slide along the guide rod reducing the interference. Ti is worthless for guide rods, you want heavier not lighter. Steel is only slightly heavier but if you are really in tune with your gun you can feel a subtle difference in the handling. Tungsten is much heavier than steel and makes a significant difference.
Below are some guiderod weights. Aftermarket rods are all same brand. Weights do not include the recoil spring.
Stock 17 2.04 grams = 0.071 ounce
Captured Stainless 17 18.3 gr = 0.645 oz
Cap Tungsten 17 34.18 gr = 1.206 oz
Non-cap Tungsten 34 44.56 gr = 1.572 oz
When compared to stock the tungsten is significantly heavier. When compared to stainless the tungsten is almost double the weight. Here is where it gets real interesting. An empty G17 weighs 625 grams. Adding a captured tungsten rod increases the total weight of the gun by more than 5% and in a key location. An empty g34 weighs in at 650 grams. With an extended tungsten rod you are increasing the total weight by almost 7%.
Something that weighs less than 2 ounces may not seems like much but it does make a significant difference in recovery from recoil.
My personal view
I’m using a model 22 in 40cal and converting it to a 9mm. This will bring up the barrel wall thickness and also the front weight of the firearm. I am therefore sticking to a steel guide rod. If I were using a stock thickness competition barrel I would then use a Tungsten rod.
Captured Vs. Non-Captured;
I personally use non captured rods. It is easier to swap out springs and with a little practice it is not any harder to assemble your pistol. There is no mechanical advantage or disadvantage to either, it’s just personal preference. If using a single load, such as when reloading a captured system is easier to install when cleaning. It’s similar to a bolt with a nut on the end that keeps the spring under tension. The advantage of non-captured is when working up loads or using more than one type of factory load and wanting to tune the firearm to the load being used. I generally use three different loads. A 147 grain subsonic at 980fps, my usual load is a Hornady steel match 125 grain running at 1100fps that cost $280 per 500 and ex-military FMJ plus P loads which cost $350 per 1000 rounds. An uncaptured spring set up allows me to change them out using a $12 spring, whereas with a captured system you have to replace the entire guide rod and spring.
KKM vs. Stormlake vs. Lonewolf. There are three links below comparing the three brands. From what I can tell there isn’t that much difference. If I were to choose a standard wall thickness match grade barrel, to fit in a standard slide assembly 9mm to 9mm, without opting to use a conversion/bull barrel 40smith to 9mm luger. I would probably choose a KKM due to the type manufacture, using button rifling.
Button rifling is a process, in which a Titanium Nitride coated Carbide button is pulled under pressure to displace metal to produce a rifled barrel. This process is very expensive but produces a better finished size, surface finish, and surface hardness as well as maintains a more uniform rate of twist than any other rifling process. Each button can be used to produce thousands a barrels before wearing undersized. This allows us to maintain the highest level of quality control.
That’s if I wanted to wait 6 months for the import process to occur in this country and could be bothered filling out B709 forms. If choosing a bull barrel style conversion it would be between a Stormlake and a Lonewolf as KKM don’t make a conversion barrel. The same import process would be required for the Stormlake. Lonewolf have an importer listed below. Hence the lonewolf is my choice.
Note: I have been told that KKM barrels are very tight and some require minor fitting.
The NY trigger are a coil spring within a frame as opposed to factory coil spring, the modules alter the internal geometry and relationship of the trigger linkage. You now have a spring pushing straight up on the back of the cruciform, instead of applying pressure at an angle. The result is a smooth trigger pull and a clean break, with a lightning-fast reset.
Dawson are just reselling the Glock Triggers kit. It removes pre-travel and gives a nice trigger: reduced travel and light pull, not for use on anything but a competition gun. I would offer one word of caution: you need to be very careful about setting the over travel stop and make sure that it does not creep out of adjustment, by using a little blue Loctite.
The Ghost Rocket is not a trigger kit, it is just a connector with a fixed over travel stop that needs to be fitted to an individual gun by filing. It works well, but it is not a complete trigger kit.
NOTE; If you have a Glock that has a couple thousand rounds through it your trigger is already lapped in. If you replace the trigger bar or connector in this gun, it will feel terrible. Any part that is replaced into a lapped system needs to be lapped in itself before a reliable evaluation can be made.
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