Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #39: Outdoor ACU>RITE Digital Wireless Temperature Sensor Housing (Part 1)

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Blog entry by Paul Bucalo posted 03-24-2015 02:00 AM 935 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 38: Outdoor Temperature Sensor Reading Fix - Part I Part 39 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 40: Outdoor ACU>RITE Digital Wireless Temperature Sensor Housing (Part 2) »

I posted in my previous blog entry the need to create a weather protected housing and mount for the ACU>RITE sensor, which will track outdoor ambient temperatures and transmit wirelessly to the indoor digital display. Previously we had it mounted on the enclosed porch inner wall. The temperature skew due to heat loss into the porch was tremendous, making the unit useless for our need.

Because I didn’t go into the project with a clear idea of what it would end up looking like, as adjustment have been made in function, so has the design been altered ‘ad hoc’ to meet the changes. This makes for both frustrating an fortuitous results.

The following pictures show the build process in snapshots, then jumps to the final, unfinished result. The wood used, with the exception of the wooden drawer knob, is milled hemlock from pallets. All wood surfaces (including inside the box) will be painted with an exterior semi-gloss white latex enamel. The brass colored railing bracket will be sanded, primed and sprayed with a white enamel, then finished off with several coats of spray poly. The notion with using white is to minimize soaking up heat from direct sunlight.

Here is the sensor that will go into the box:

The fours sides of the sensor box were cut to identical dimensions:

On two opposing sides, I drilled holes and chiseled out a mortise to receive the hanger pin that will suspend the senor so it doesn’t touch any of the sides of the box:

To create a square box, I staggered the butt joints all around. Small nails were used to align and secure the glued joints while assembling:

I didn’t worry about the unfinished edges. These would come off on the bench sander later on:

The sensor box is glued, nailed and assembled. Starting to clamp together:

Never can have too many clamps:

This is how the sensor will be suspended within the box:

Next, the top…beginning to look like an outhouse:

From here on, the unpainted finished sensor box and bracket:

The box is tall enough to clear the top and bottom ends of the sensor by a little less than an inch. Originally, I had planned on having the box suspended by chain from beneath the top of the wall bracket. It occurred to me that the wind would bash this against the bracket, so I spent a lot of time in Lowe’s looking for a solid mount solution between the box and bracket. Unfortunately, the railing bracket only came in brass colored chrome plating. I will sand and paint later on:

The only difference here is the sensor pin is inserted into the box slots:

A view from the the other side. By the way, the staple gouges you see in the triangular braces will be filled in with wood putty and sanded smooth before painting:

Next to the sensor is the plastic screen that will be placed between the open end of the bottom of the sensor box and the bottom vent plate. This will (hopefully) keep spiders from spinning webs or bees/wasps from making nests within the box. Before I can staple the screen to the inside of the bottom plate, I have to paint the plate. Also, the zip-tie will be used to keep the sensor pin from coming out on its own—like a cotter pin, if you will:

The back side of the unit. I mounted the horizontal bracket support to the back mount plate via mortise and tenon. I wish I had the higher grit stones to sharpen my chisels…a gripe for another day:

Here you can see the pull end of the sensor pin. The other end has a hole to insert a small zip-tie through:

The sensor pin out:

When I brought this upstairs to show the wife, she went into a laughing fit. Needless to say, I was miffed. When she settled down, she explained that she wasn’t laughing ‘at’ the work I had done, but that she had only seen the small box before and thought that was all it would be. We have plans to move in the near future. She said when we do, this is coming along with us. I guess that means she likes it.

Once this is painted and ready to mount, I’ll take some pics and post it in the completed projects area.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Upstate NY USA

2 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile


2409 posts in 1723 days

#1 posted 03-24-2015 03:04 PM

What a creative solution Paul, not only are you a woodworker but you are also an artist.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

586 posts in 780 days

#2 posted 03-24-2015 04:53 PM

What a creative solution Paul, not only are you a woodworker but you are also an artist.

- luv2learn

Thanks, but you are way too kind. I feel like I should tip you or something. :D

Next post (Part II) will be out in a few minutes. It has a design update and new pics.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Upstate NY USA

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