Posts Tagged ‘eco’

Making A 3,000lb Onyx Vanity / Sink & Suspending It From A Ceiling

January 4, 2011

In the spring of 2010, the owners of Barbacoa Restaurant in Boise, Idaho, came to Impact Imports to help them decorate their new restaurant with unique pieces. One of the most unique pieces is the men’s room vanity / sink. It is made from a single piece of onyx stone and has 2 sinks and a tissue holder hand cut into the surface. The goal was to install this sink suspended from the ceiling on heavy anchor chains. As you can see from the pictures, this feat was accomplished. Here is how we did it:

On a trip to Indonesia in April of 2010, I began to hunt down and find all the pieces requested by Barbacoa. The most difficult piece was the men’s room vanity / sink combination. However, we knew the perfect supplier to make this piece. So it was only a matter of getting there, finding the stone and then begin the sometimes-difficult task of explaining how we wanted it. The travel time involved to get to this supplier in East Java, Indonesia, was approximately 36 combined hours from Boise. But, it was well worth the trip.

Upon arrival, I hooked up with a friend and began the search for the perfect piece. It had to be no more than 6 feet long and the depth would eventually be cut to 24-28 inches. The first picture in the series below shows the piece I found as it sits upside down on a pile of onyx stones. My friend is negotiating the price with the owner of the stone, and she was a tough one to bargain with! I chose this piece because it was exactly 6 ft long, and the angle on the bottom of the piece made it ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Compliant, saving a tremendous amount of manufacturing time. After about 3 hours, the stone was delivered to the supplier for cutting.

The supplier has these huge wet saws that cut through this material like butter! Most of the main cuts were simply "eyeballed," as I was kind of creating this piece on the fly. I think we pushed this through the big blades about 6 or 7 times to fine tune everything. Next came the layout of the sinks, the tissue box, the cavities behind the sink to hide the plumbing, the holes for the drains and, most difficult of all, the holes for hanging the sink from the ceiling. To find the center of balance (so the sink would hang relatively flat before we tied it to the wall with bolts) I had the supplier turn the sink upside down and balance it on pieces of bamboo! Highly scientific approach!

The end result is one of the coolest vanity / sink combinations you will ever see! We hope you enjoy it! Thanks, Barbacoa! Searching, cutting, hand crafting & installing the coolest vanity / sink combo ever!  
 
 
 
 
 

Reclaimed Teak Tree Trunk Furniture

November 24, 2010

Several years ago, we came across a supplier in East Java Island in Indonesia who had a huge warehouse full of reclaimed, old growth teak tree trunk furniture. This furniture is organic and rustic and modern, all at the same time.

This Furniture can be used indoor or out in any weather. Old growth teak performs really good in North America because it contains a lot of oil. Therefore, it is very stable and won’t crack much, if at all. If the furniture is used outdoors, the UV rays from the sun will ‘bleach’ the wood, turning it a nice, driftwood silver color. Each piece is unique and interesting in its own way.

By the way, this supplier pulls these old growth teak tree trunks out of the ground, reclaims the ground and replants the area using the same teak tree species, creating a new, slow growth teak forest. Beautiful business model….

Here are a few pictures of some teak tree trunk chairs.

                      Reclaimed Teak Tree Trunk Chairs  

 

 

 

 

 

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Passive Solar Heater

November 23, 2010

I know it’s a bit ugly, but i wanted to show you my home made passive solar heater. This heater is attached to our 10,000 square foot warehouse here in Boise. Right now, as i write this post, the outside official temperature is 24 degrees, with a windchill temperature of 11 degrees. But, the sun is shining, and this unit is creating heat for the warehouse approximately 95-100 degree air is coming out of this unit at about 10 cubic feet per minute.

To make this heater, I used discarded corrugated metal roofing to capture the heat, insulating it on the back side. The glass came from a remodel project (reclaimed), and the PVC pipes were sitting in the neighbors warehouse (also reclaimed). Heat is generated by the sun passing through the 1/8inch thick glass and is absorbed by the 2 layers of corrugated roofing. Heat rises, so there are 2 holes at the top of the box putting heat into the warehouse. The cold air is drawn into the bottom of the box from near the floor in the warehouse.

Now, if we only had about 15 of these on the south facing wall of the warehouse, we would save a ton on our heat bills AND be extra cozy in the winter!

Yes…… It only works when the sun shines, but we have PLENTY of clear, winter days here in Boise!

Passive Solar Heater

Passive solar heater outlet temperature

Dec 31, 2010: Official outside temp = 24F My Passive Solar Heater outlet temp = 119.3F

passive, solar, heater, home, made, warehouse, boise, idaho

This is a view of the passive solar heater from the outside. In this picture, you can see the (2) layers of metal roofing. The back piece is full 8′ long, while the piece suspended in the middle is about 7′ long, allowing air to flow on 3 surfaces. Hot air goes in to the building through these 2 holes.

home, made, homemade, passive, solar, heater, heat, free, eco, boise, idaho

This is a view of my home made passive solar heater installed on the southeast corner of our 10,000 square foot warehouse. The heater is facing almost directly south.

home, made, passive, solar, heat, heater, boise, idaho,

This picture shows the bottom of the home made passive solar heater. Cold air from inside the building (about 12″ above the floor) enters the heater though these 2 holes and washes up 3 steel surfaces painted black.

home, made, passive, solar, heater, heat, boise, idaho, impact, imports

You can see the sun shining through the (4) holes of the passive solar heater in this view from inside our warehouse. Cold air enters the 2 holes at the bottom and hot air comes back into the building through the top 2 holes.

The glass came from a remodel project (reclaimed), and the PVC pipes were sitting in the neighbor’s warehouse (also reclaimed). Heat is generated by the sun passing through the 1/8″ thick glass and is absorbed by the 2 layers of corrugated roofing. Heat rises, so there are 2 holes at the top of the box putting heat into the warehouse. The cold air is drawn into the bottom of the box from near the floor in the warehouse.

Now, if we only had about 15 of these on the south facing wall of the warehouse, we would save a ton on our heat bills AND be extra cozy in the winter!