Recent comments

Re: hard to drive or walk home to take a leak

The famous steep driveway house on New Bridge Rd. is bad, but not as bad as the photo indicates. Better use your parking brake!,-94.232312,3a,75y,304.85h,72.32t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sbQHQUFmDIN1EXrvadsGizw!2e0?hl=en

Re: You can build this shed for about $2,000

Nice design! I am planning one, but need to keep raccoons and other critters from burrowing underneath. I also need to prevent interior condensation issues from our wild Midwest temperature/humidity swings. Probably some combination of ventilation and insulation? That way I can store tools without them turning to rust.

Re: Handy Hose for Spray-Foam Insulation

Good tip if you have that type of wire available. You can also use commonly available plastic or rubber tubing. Almost every big box and hardware store sells clear vinyl tubing.

Re: Why I Don't Use Cellulose or Blue-Jean Insulation

My current home has blown-in cellulose insulation. I have found rodents love the stuff! While remodeling I opened up an exterior wall and the cellulose was laced with rodent tunnels and mouse poop. You can hear them moving around all winter. Seems they eat right through the fiber board sheathing to get in. In ceilings where I have fiberglass, I don't see any evidence of infestation. In a few walls I have opened up the cellulose has settled about an inch at the top.

Re: Cut Drywall Without a T-Square

The guy's I've seen have the drywall stacked against a wall. They used the "factory edge" of a sheet or cut-off as a guide to make the next cut. Hold the guide piece with your hand and foot and run the knife up. Snap it while it is standing up and cut the back side. They would never set a single sheet on a sawhorse. Too inefficient.

Re: Make a Perfect Pipe-Outfeed Support in a Pinch

Keeps asking me to update Flash player, but it does no good. Haven't been able to watch any videos for a few weeks. Very few websites use Flash anymore because of ongoing problems.

Re: Make a Tape-Measure Note Pad

Another way to do it is to glue a piece of plain white Formica to the side of your tape measure. The sample swatches they give away at the big box stores are ideal. You can erase it with your thumb.

Re: How to Install Dense-Packed Cellulose Insulation in Walls

The problem with cellulose insulation is that mice love the stuff. It's not irritating like fiberglass and makes excellent living quarters for mice.

Re: A Good Reason to Buy a Toilet

Had a pressure assisted toilet that went in the trash because the kids plugged it so often. It was also very noisy. Everyone in the house knew when you flushed it.

The American Standard Champion is a good toilet, but my kids plug it too, but not as often. I bet there isn't a toilet on the market they can't plug.

Re: Submit Your Tip!

Often you want a nice smooth finish on a piece of wood trim, oak stair treads, or furniture. It's common to use wood filler, but this is impractical and expensive on large surfaces.

A simple and inexpensive solution is to use plain old drywall compound or plaster of Paris.

Sand the wood in the normal fashion finishing up with 220 grit.

Use an appropriate putty knife to coat the wood with drywall compound. I use it right out of the bucket. Let it dry overnight.

Sand the piece down to remove the excess joint compound. You will see the joint compound has filled in the grain. If you want an extra smooth finish, repeat with a second coat.

Clean up the dust with a tack cloth.

Stain and finish in the normal manner.

Re: Kobalt Enters the Cordless-Tool Market with an Impressive 18v Drill Driver

My concern is where am I going to get a battery packs and other parts for this tool a few years down the road assuming the tool survives

I wish power tool manufacturers would get together and standardize all the battery packs.

Re: New DeWalt Cordless: In a world of 18v tools, why go 20v MAX?

I know it will probably never happen, but I wish cordless tool battery packs were standardized across the industry.

Re: UPDATE: Ultimate Miter-Saw Stand -- And the Winner is...

I ususally don't comment too much on these forum, but my miter saw is one of my most versatile and commonly used tools.

"One person suggested a modular approach, with a basic stand and more tailored options (e.g., framing or finish work). What do you think?"

I think a miter saw and stand need to be chosen for the specific application, each with different needs:
Furniture: accuracy, stability
Trim: accuracy, long infeed/outfeed, cut versatility
Construction: portability, ruggedness, board capacity
Flooring: portability, good dust collection

Even the saw choice is affected by the application. For example, some may find that a slider saw has too much side-to-side play for accurate furniture cuts, but it's perfect for construction.

"And what about materials? Most of us are comfortable with wood, less so with metal. Would the advantages of metal (weight, rigidity) outweigh the difficulty of building a stand with it?"

For portability, aluminum would be ideal. Fairly easy to work with if you are building you own stand. Anything coming in contact with the wood should not be bare aluminum.

"And no one, I think, has mentioned cost. Do you have a top end for a stand you’d build yourself."

The stand shouldn't cost more than the saw.

Re: UPDATE: Ultimate Miter-Saw Stand -- And the Winner is...

I use a Delta Kickstand with a Bosch 10" miter saw. I hope the new articulated arm saw comes out in a 10" version someday.

Kickstand Pro:
Very stable heavy duty construction
Good infeed and outfeed rollers with a wide range of adjustments.
Large 10" wheels make easy to haul up and down stairs.
I can park my shopvac under it and connect the hose to the saw. Getting all the sawdust to go into it is another matter.

Ironically, the Kickstand has no kickstand to store it vertically. I'll make my own when I have time. It was made to store flat which is OK in the truck, but not in the garage.

The knobs for the feed roller extensions put tension on welded nuts when tightening them. Eventually he weld breaks.

What I added:
Storage box with sliding top with enough room for material clamps, crown molding clamps, and measuring tools. Same height as the saw base.

What every stand needs:
A place to hold/store pencils. I'm always losing them. Easy to DIY though. How about a pencil sharpener too?
More storage is always a bonus.
A power strip, or provisions to add your own.
Adjustable measuring tape on both sides.
A quick way to remove/attach the saw to the stand.
Material stops that give you more range than the ones on the saw.
Extensions rollers with a flip-up/flip-down backstops. Useful to keep skinny trim from flopping around.

Re: Question: What is Causing This Black Mold?

Look at products like Cuprinol or Wolmans.

Re: 7 Rules for Remodelers

Have detailed plans and the scope of the project in writing and agreed upon with the customer. Discuss a plan for change orders with the customer ahead of time. Let them know they are welcome to change or add on to a project, within reason, but it will affect the price and completion time.

Re: Play Fine Homebuilding's Game "The Inspector"

The game was letting me select the same thing multiple times. Also I don't think gutters and downspouts were common on homes of this era. Exterior door is not original.

Re: UPDATED: Profile Photo Contest

I tend to read most articles, but seldom watch videos. I don't know what kind of time commitment I need for a video, but I can always skim an article and pick up where I left off if I get interrupted.

For electrical wiring, many of us have to pipe conduit, so articles using Romex aren't very useful.

Why not include some of the off-brands in tool comparisons? Even though you may think they are unprofessional, many buy them as throwaways or for job sites where theft is an issue.

Some of the tool tests could be more scientific. For example, I would love to see a test on miter saws where you put a tension gauge and a dial indicator on the blade to see how much side-to-side deflection there is. Why not get a decibel meter and measure how loud those tools are?

More of us are using CAD or drawing software for even basic layout drawings, and spreadsheets for job planning. Perhaps some articles on that would be useful.

I must confess I let my paper subscription to FHB lapse. Some of the articles were too basic, many had great info, while others were too esoteric. It's a big challenge to provide a mix of articles that interest everybody. I feel FHB's strength has always been the great illustrations and useful tips and techniques. Also love the tools reviews, but they need to be more brutally honest, advertiser dollars be damned.