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Patrick McCombe
Associate editor


patrick_mccombe
Associate Editor Fine Homebuilding Magazine

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Contributions

New Rules for Large Electric Water Heaters

New Rules for Large Electric Water Heaters

A new rule from the Department of Energy (DOE) bans electric-resistance water heaters that are 55 gal. or bigger.

Portable Table Saws: We want your feedback!

Portable Table Saws: We want your feedback!

FHB is testing ultra-portable table saws and we'd like to hear about your experience with the Bosch GTS1031 and DeWalt 7490/7491.

An Affordable Production Pocket-Hole Machine

An Affordable Production Pocket-Hole Machine

Kreg's $400 Foreman pocket-hole machine is nearly as fast and less expensive than cabinet-shop versions.

Porter-Cable Recalls Routers

Porter-Cable Recalls Routers

This popular monster-sized router can shock users because the handles are uninsulated

Install a Prehung Exterior Door

Install a Prehung Exterior Door

Installing an exterior door so it works and looks great is an essential building skill. Carpenter Andy Engel is going to show us how to do it.

Blower-Door Testing

Blower-Door Testing

Learn how to set up a blower door and run an airtightness test.

Patricks Barn: Framing a Deck

Patrick's Barn: Framing a Deck

Building a porch on the back is one of the barn's last big projects.

Patricks Barn: Blower-Door Testing

Patrick's Barn: Blower-Door Testing

With training from FHB author Larry Armanda, I test the airtightness of our barn with a blower door.

Patricks Barn: Drywall Is Done

Patrick's Barn: Drywall Is Done

After more than 90 hours finishing drywall, I'm happy to be priming and painting.

Patricks Barn: Budget and Costs

Patrick's Barn: Budget and Costs

With the barn moving toward completion, it's time to open the books.

Homes Can Survive Tornadoes

Homes Can Survive Tornadoes

A researcher says that for only $600, the average new home can be built to survive all but the biggest tornadoes.

Patricks Barn: Taping Drywall

Patrick's Barn: Taping Drywall

A few tips from drywall pros have really improved my finishing.

Patricks Barn: Drywall Is Hung

Patrick's Barn: Drywall Is Hung

Seventy sheets later, the drywall is up and ready for finishing.

Patricks Barn: Heat, Light, and Internet

Patrick's Barn: Heat, Light, and Internet

Heat, light, and an internet connection make a barn a lot more liveable.

How to Sharpen a Block Plane

How to Sharpen a Block Plane

Associate editor Patrick McCombe shows how he tunes up an old plane or preps a new plane for its first use

Patricks Barn: Customizing a Drywall Lift

Patrick's Barn: Customizing a Drywall Lift

A simple modification allows me to hang the lowest sheets on a sloped ceiling.

Patricks Barn: Thats definitely not OSHA approved

Patrick's Barn: That's definitely not OSHA approved

My wife eloquently describes my rig for hanging drywall above the barn's stairs.

Patricks Barn: Time for Drywall

Patrick's Barn: Time for Drywall

With the rough electric finished, installing the drywall is next.

Energy Nerd Recognized by Fellow Blogger

Energy Nerd Recognized by Fellow Blogger

Taunton's Martin Holladay gets high praise for his Musings of an Energy Nerd blog on GBA.

How To Install an Exterior Doorknob in a New Door

How To Install an Exterior Doorknob in a New Door

You may be nervous about drilling the proper holes for that new lock set or door handle, but it's not as difficult as it looks

Patricks Barn: Tying Up Loose Ends

Patrick's Barn: Tying Up Loose Ends

We're just starting the rain garden, but at least the painting is done.

Patricks Barn: Painting a Big Building--Fast

Patrick's Barn: Painting a Big Building--Fast

Nothing improves the look of a building more than a fresh coat of paint.

Patricks Barn: Two Big Doors Make a Big Difference

Patrick's Barn: Two Big Doors Make a Big Difference

Two pairs of homemade doors make the front of our barn look a whole lot better.

Patricks Barn: Building Basic Stairs

Patrick's Barn: Building Basic Stairs

Few things are as satisfying as building a set of utility stairs.

Patricks Barn: Insulating With Garbage

Patrick's Barn: Insulating With Garbage

Salvaged insulation is both our project's greatest attribute and its greatest headache.

How to Choose and Mix Setting Type Joint Compound

How to Choose and Mix Setting Type Joint Compound

If you need to get a drywall-taping job done quickly, this is the compound for you

Patricks Barn: Its Not Just a Barn, Its a Hands-on Lifestyle

Patrick's Barn: It's Not Just a Barn, It's a Hands-on Lifestyle

With spring upon us, a new garden takes priority.

How to Choose and Mix Ready Mix Joint Compound

How to Choose and Mix Ready Mix Joint Compound

Ready mix Joint Compound comes in a variety of formulas including all purpose, lightweight and with dust control.In this Building Skill we're going to talk about ready mix mud and I'll show you how...

Patricks Barn: Wrapping Up the Exterior

Patrick's Barn: Wrapping Up the Exterior

It took a little longer than expected, but the barn's shell is nearly finished.

Patricks Barn: The Dirt-Cheap, High-R Building

Patrick's Barn: The Dirt-Cheap, High-R Building

Salvaged polyiso and a prograde foam gun make a supercheap, energy-efficient wall.

Cool Stuff from the Builders Show: Day 2

Cool Stuff from the Builders' Show: Day 2

I’m continuing my quest for the best new stuff at IBS 2012.

How to Paint Fiber-Cement Siding

How to Paint Fiber-Cement Siding

Painter Jim Lacey shares some tips for caulking and painting fiber-cement siding.

Cool Stuff from the Builders Show: Day 1

Cool Stuff from the Builders' Show: Day 1

Walking the show floor reveals some clever new products.

DeWalt Debuts Brushless Motors

DeWalt Debuts Brushless Motors

DeWalt shows off some cool new tools at a press event timed to coincide with the International Builders' Show.

Its Show Time!

It's Show Time!

I'm heading to the Super Bowl of building products.

Patricks Barn: Learning to Love Vinyl Siding

Patrick's Barn: Learning to Love Vinyl Siding

Encouraged by a super-tight budget, we decided to finish the exterior with vinyl.

Patricks Barn: A Perfect Place for a Party

Patrick's Barn: A Perfect Place for a Party

My son's sixth birthday party was the first use of our new space.

How To Fill Nail Holes and Paint PVC Trim

How To Fill Nail Holes and Paint PVC Trim

Painter Jim Lacey shares some tips for filling nail holes and painting exterior PVC trim.

Patricks Barn: Siding for the Holidays

Patrick's Barn: Siding for the Holidays

With some extra days off, we put up a lot of siding.

Patricks Barn: Merry Christmas to Us

Patrick's Barn: Merry Christmas to Us

When my mom asked what we wanted for Christmas, we came up with the perfect gift.

Patricks Barn: Siding Is Just Around the Corner

Patrick's Barn: Siding Is Just Around the Corner

With the insulation and felt paper in place, we hope to start siding soon.

Patricks Barn: Wow! Its starting to look like something

Patrick's Barn: Wow! It's starting to look like something

With insulation defining the space, the barn frame is starting to look like a building.

Patricks Barn: Installing Windows

Patrick's Barn: Installing Windows

When a carpenter friend offers his help, we decide to hold off insulating and install windows.

Patricks Barn: Oh Boy! Mountains of Polyiso Insulation

Patrick's Barn: Oh Boy! Mountains of Polyiso Insulation

We're wrapping up some loose ends and getting ready for wall insulation.

Patricks Barn: The Hydrangea Is on Life Support

Patrick's Barn: The Hydrangea Is on Life Support

A freak early-season storm leaves our town and landscape in turmoil.

Patricks Barn: Priming Siding

Patrick's Barn: Priming Siding

Back-priming wood siding makes the paint job and the wood last longer.

Patricks Barn: Making Siding

Patrick's Barn: Making Siding

Yes, it would be faster and easier to buy something from the lumberyard, but what fun would that be?

Patricks Barn: We have a roof!

Patrick's Barn: We have a roof!

With the roof done, it's time to start siding.

Patricks Barn: Weathering the Storm

Patrick's Barn: Weathering the Storm

Hurricane Irene spared our house and new barn, but some of our neighbors weren't so lucky.

Patricks Barn: The Inevitable Slowdown

Patrick's Barn: The Inevitable Slowdown

It would be great to spend more time building, but sometimes work and family come first.

Patricks Barn: Roof Framing

Patrick's Barn: Roof Framing

Framing a steep roof is both tiring and a rush.

Patricks Barn: Framing Continues

Patrick's Barn: Framing Continues

With the walls of the main barn nearing completion, it's time to start the roof.

Patricks Barn: Raising the Frame

Patrick's Barn: Raising the Frame

A long holiday weekend means extra time for building.

Patricks Barn: What Will It Look Like?

Patrick's Barn: What Will It Look Like?

A post-frame building is cheap and easy to build, but it also poses some challenges.

Disposing of Spent Spray-Foam Canisters

Disposing of Spent Spray-Foam Canisters

Disposable spray foam kits are effective and convenient, but how do you get rid of the tanks and hoses.

Patricks Barn: Rookie Mistake

Patrick's Barn: Rookie Mistake

Success with concrete starts with having enough to do the job.

Patricks Barn: Underslab Insulation

Patrick's Barn: Underslab Insulation

This past weekend we leveled the gravel with a site-built jig and put down a layer of rigid foam.

Cool Owner-Built Home in Georgia

Cool Owner-Built Home in Georgia

A former Georgia state congressman and aide to Jimmy Carter has a pretty cool house that uses boats, aircraft, and an ancient oak tree for living space.

Almost out of the Ground

Almost out of the Ground

With the foundation done and water and power lines run to the site, the fun part is about to begin.

UPDATE: Mike Rowe testifies before Senate

UPDATE: Mike Rowe testifies before Senate

Workingman hero and Discovery channel TV star, Mike Rowe tells the Senate, people who make civilized society possible deserve more respect.

Festool Postpones New Jigsaw

Festool Postpones New Jigsaw

The latest round of testing reveals the Carvex jigsaw isn't ready for the North American market.

A Chance to Win Free Systainers

A Chance to Win Free Systainers

Home Fixated a tool and home improvement website is giving away a set of five Festool tool and parts organizers.

How to Sharpen A Chisel With Diamond Hones and a Honing Guide

How to Sharpen A Chisel With Diamond Hones and a Honing Guide

Fine Homebuilding editor Patrick McCombe shows step-by-step how to get your woodworking tools super sharp.

New Jacket Has Heating Element

New Jacket Has Heating Element

Milwaukee's M12 Jacket uses an M12 battery to stay warm for up to six hours.

Time to give up CAD (Cardboard Aided Design).

Time to give up CAD (Cardboard Aided Design).

With help from a friend, I've decided to learn SketchUp and enter the 21st century.

A Place for Everything

A Place for Everything

I finally did something to organize my collection of long-handled tools.

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Our new project space has turned into a bigger project than anticipated.

Problems with Nissan Frontier Pickups

Problems with Nissan Frontier Pickups

Nissan is recalling 303,000 Frontier pickup trucks for steering problems. The recall also affects Xterra SUVs.

Timeless Beauty

Timeless Beauty

The Shakers' brief heyday has created a lasting legacy.

My New Favorite Power Tool

My New Favorite Power Tool

After struggling with a consumer-grade chainsaw for years, I finally bucked up for the real deal.



Recent comments


Re: Portable Table Saws: We want your feedback!

Thanks for the feedback BurgessBuilt. I agree, the push stick holder on the rip fence is really smart.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Framing a Deck

Thanks to both of you. The deck is now done. I'll add a picture to this blog or maybe I'll do another post describing the rail and stairs.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Blower-Door Testing

Thanks for the comments and kind words, Milwaukee. We haven't had any problems with the wall assembly. Foam is the sheathing in this case as it's fit between the girts on the exterior with another layer on the inside fit between the posts. The rafter cavities are filled with poly-iso board. My success in air-sealing the space comes down to foaming seams and gaps with perhaps 2 dozen cans of pro-style foam and a case of tri-polymer caulk.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Drywall Is Done

Thanks for the comments Northeastbuilder.

Re: How to Install a New Toilet

Hi MikeWise,

I have a 2006 and 2009 IRC here at my desk.

It's in section P2705.1 General

3. Where fixtures come in contact with walls and floors, the contact area shall be watertight.

Maybe others will weigh in with section numbers for 2012 and the Plumbing Code.

Re: How to Install a New Toilet

Thanks for the comments everyone.

EngrMike
The closet bolts Mike uses from Sioux Chief have chunky shoulders that hold them upright without a washer or additional nut. They're very cool. You can see them here by pasting this link in your browser.
http://www.siouxchief.com/Specialties/Toilet/Plumb-Perfect.VGC48

Leftturner
Rubber packing is gasket material used for flanged connections like those on some circulator pumps. You can find it at the home center or the plumbing supply house. Wood shims will get moldy in many climates as summertime condensation drips on them and eventually rot.
You can see the packing here.
http://www.amazon.com/Lavelle-Rubber-Sheet-Packing-Utility/dp/B000H5SMGM/ref=pd_sim_sbs_hi_1
Not caulking the toilet base is a code violation.

Patrick McCombe
Associate Editor FHB

Re: Patrick's Barn: Budget and Costs

The foam we bought from Insulation Depot had a fiberglass facer. No, I didn't include a vent space. Even though vented roofs are more-forgiving, I like hot roofs.

There's more about insulating the roof in this post:
http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/22229/patricks-barn-wrapping-up-the-exterior

I'm especially proud of the modification I made to a siding nailer to hold the insulation in the rafter cavities.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Budget and Costs

Hi A, I used a portable tablesaw equpipped with a rip fence to cut the foam to width. You'll want some kind of outfeed support to help keep things under control. I used a snap-blade knife from Tajima for cutting the pieces to length and fitting them around obstructions.

Here's a link to the Tajima website that shows the knife:
http://bit.ly/16K1u7Q

Re: Patrick's Barn: Budget and Costs

Thanks for the comment, Cleon. The building has about 1100sf of space, so the cost right now is about $25 per sf. If my cost to completion is accurate, the final cost will be closer to $34 per sf. The building has only a hose connection inside for washing paint brushes etc, so the plumbing costs are much lower than a house would be. If we want a bathroom in the barn someday, we'll need to have an engineer sign off on adding to our home's septic system.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Taping Drywall

Thanks for the comments everyone. I spent about 3 hours sanding on Sunday--no fun. It's looking pretty good though. With a first coat on everything, I'm going to switch to ready-mix compound, which should be less stressful and as geoff suggests, much easier to clean up.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Heat, Light, and Internet

Thanks for the kind words, Jeremy. The wood stove is in the back of the lean-to section of the barn. The space is about 6x12 with a sloping ceiling that's 12 ft. tall on the high side and 8 ft. on the low end. The stove is closer to the low side as it meant a minimum of double-wall (rather expensive) chimney pipe. I'm hoping to give a video tour of our barn soon--stay tuned. I'm hoping to see your workshop project. Send pictures PLEASE!
Patrick

Re: Patrick's Barn: Heat, Light, and Internet

Thanks for the comment Red Baron. It's too bad that you have to destroy vintage stoves. I've found reconditioned models similar to ours being sold for more than $2000 by shops specializing in vintage stoves.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Heat, Light, and Internet

Yes Matt, good question. I have a 12-in. square grill that connects the top of the wall in the stove alcove with the knee wall in the upstairs room. I may evn put a little fan in there if necessary. And yes, I've already used the stove to make woodworking mistakes go away.

Re: Letter to the Editor: Financial burdens of complying with future building codes

Thanks for the well-written letter and feedback on Fine Homebuilding. With regard to your estimate for new motion-sensing switches, perhaps I'm missing something, but I found a motion sensing switch for $51, admittedly much more than a traditional snap switch, but nowhere near $1200.

Wounldn't this work in the application described without any rewiring?
http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-ODS10-ID-Decora-277-Volt-Occupancy/dp/B0007N72P6

Re: Patrick's Barn: Customizing a Drywall Lift

Thanks Dan.

Re: Patrick's Barn: That's definitely not OSHA approved

Yes, your desciption of a 2x4 platform is what I first had in mind, but it just seemed like overkill. Of course I'd feel differently if my method put me in the hospital. I appreciate your thoughts.

Re: Patrick's Barn: That's definitely not OSHA approved

Thanks for the comment bski. I'm curious. You'd rent scaffold to hang one sheet of drywall? How does one set it up on a 39-inch wide staircase? Where does one tie off in such a situation?
Have you ever gone skiing or rock climbing? Aren't they more dangerous than sitting at home?

Re: Patrick's Barn: That's definitely not OSHA approved

Your idea is probably better, Cussnu2. The second part definitely!

Re: Patrick's Barn: Time for Drywall

Thanks for the comment, Renosteinke. Yes you're right, my barn will never be a place for livestock-I hope. The plan is to make it real living space as money and time permit. Our house is tiny (800 sf), so the barn is meant to be place for projects and making a mess. Maybe someday the upstairs will be a guest suite.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Two Big Doors Make a Big Difference

Hi Jaybour67,
I do. I'd suggest building them right in the opening. Space the perimter of the door away from the opening with 1/4 thick shims for the proper reveal.

The inswing carriage doors on the lean-to section of my barn are board and batten. I temporarily screwed the battens to the opening and then screwed the boards that form the doors to the battens through the batten's back (interior) side. This created a fastener free look on the street side of the doors. Once all the boards were in place, attached T hinges to the battens and removed the screws that temporarily held the battens to the door frame. The final step was to cut the battens in the center with a recip saw, converting a single big panel into a pair of swinging doors.

This is tough without a picture or drawing.

To pararphrase:

1. establish and trim out the opening with finished jamb material
2. temporarily screw battons that span the whole opening to the jamb material
3. screw on the boards to the battens from the back side through the batten,leaving a reveal around the perimeter and between the two doors (if there are two)
4. attach hinges to the battens, remove the temporary screws holding the battens to the jamb stock
5. cut the battens in the center to separte the one big door into two doors.
6. open and close the doors a few dozen times to get the full enjoyment of having a weathertight, secure building.

I used a cane bolt that goes into the concrete slab to secure the passive door and a slide bolt that connects the active door to the cane-bolted passive door. They can only be opened from the inside. You'll need a hasp or something else if you plan to open the doors from the outside.

Clear as mud? If you need further explanation just ask.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Painting a Big Building--Fast

Thanks for commenting Tim. I'm definitely considering a water table to hide the above-grade sections of pier, but I'd have to buy more stock.

My coworker suggested a series of potted plants in front of the piers. I'm pretty sure he was kidding, but I think he's right, plants or shrubs would also solve the problem of the visible piers.

I almost painted the piers white as an interim solution when I was top-coating the siding, but I chickened out at the last minute. I got concerned the paint would peel and look worse than the bare concrete.

Re: How to Remove an Old Bathtub

Thanks for the reply Veggie Gardner. I see no reason to save the plumbing in a full bath rehab with new fixtures in new locations as is the case with the project featured in this video. It just doesn't make sense to undo or work around plumbing you're going to cut out anyway.

I've met a lot of hack plumbers in my day too, but I can tell you, Mike Lombardi is not one of them. I visted several of his jobs before he took on the bath remodel in our Project House. The jobs were clean and well run and he cares deeply about his trade and his clients. It's not fare to lump all plumbers in the same basket.

Re: How to Remove an Old Bathtub

Vegetable_Gardener,

"I will be removing a tub this winter to remodel my bathroom and thought this video is just what I need to help me do it "the right way". Wrong.

It was just another reminder why I do it myself rather than hire a professional."

Why do you say that?

Re: How to Remove an Old Bathtub

Actually, the tub is cast iron. It's from the 50's and weighs hundreds of pounds.

I can't imagine is faster to remove a drain with pliers than a recip saw.

Seperating the tank from the bowl makes it easier carry and safer to lift. We're saving the toilet for reuse. It's a relatively new Toto.

Re: Sustainable Temporary Stairs

$8600 good gravy!

Re: Patrick's Barn: Building Basic Stairs

Thanks for the comments everyone. The community interaction is one of the main reasons I post to this blog. user-1060588, The nails are actually going across the grain because of the angled nature of the stringers. Airtite, not sure what you're talking about with regard to bearing at the bottom of the stringer as there's 9 or 10 inches of bearing there and a kicker to prevent the stairs stringers from sliding. This also reduces the load on the top. And at the top: it's true the strap doesn't reach the bottom of the stringer, but the nails are into the lower half of the stringer. Maximize the photo and you'll likely see what I mean. As far as safety glasses on my little boy, he wears them when we're using striking tools without fail, but an impact driver doesn't seem like a threat. I suppose a screw or bit could break sending schrapnel, but that seems unlikely. As far as me wearing safety glasses, I plead guilty as charged. Since I've passed the big 4-0, I need bifocals. The lenses are polycarbonate so they offer some protection, but admittedly, they aren't big enough to guarantee safety. We'll try to do better in the future. And you're right, a precious moment could be ruined forever with an eye injury.

Re: Patrick's Barn: It's Not Just a Barn, It's a Hands-on Lifestyle

Hey Axemann, Sorry for the slow response. I did put foam between the girts with a second layer on the interior. I did'nt put the second layer on the exterior, because I didn't sheath the building. I used the verticle pine siding for racking resistance which wouldn't have worked with a layer of foam between the siding and the building. I could have put foam on the roof instead of the rafter bays, but I would have needed super wide fascia and a second layer of sheathing for the shingles. This project has a rock-bottom budget and my labor is free. Thanks for the question.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Oh Boy! Mountains of Polyiso Insulation

Hi TD,

Thanks for the comments. I'm assuming you've seen this:

http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/22091/patricks-barn-the-dirt-cheap-high-r-building

and this:
http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/22229/patricks-barn-wrapping-up-the-exterior

My own advice: Cut the sheets 3/4 in. undersize so you leave yourself with a 3/8 in. gap on all sides that you can foam in place. Smaller gaps don't seal as well; bigger gaps work fine too but waste spray foam. And get a pro-style foam gun if you're doing even a small amount of this.



Re: How to Choose and Mix Setting Type Joint Compound

Good question Mikey. I've never mixed hot mud with soft water as every place I've lived and worked has really hard water. Hot vs. cold water does make a diiference though!

Re: Patrick's Barn: It's Not Just a Barn, It's a Hands-on Lifestyle

Thanks for the comments Pestoman. While browsing the Deerbusters website, I saw the electric fence and acesssories. Believe me, if our lot didn't border the grade school bus stop and we didn't have a 6 year old boy running around, I defintely consider electric fence. But given the circumstances, going electric didn't seem like a good idea.

The fence maker claims the product we bought will last 10 years or more. As far as attractiveness, it's not the best, but I think it will look a whole lot better once there's a bounty of veggies on the inside.

As far as cost, I think we're going to have a total of $600 invested between the fence ($280), 4x4 posts ($220), and hardware (???).

Your point is a good one though. Thanks for bringing it up.

Re: How to Choose and Mix Ready Mix Joint Compound

Thanks for the comments, Dave. I agree with you, setting-type compound is great, but some folks feel more comfortable with ready-mix. And three coats of setting-type compound is overkill for all but the most-rushed or smallest jobs.

About the same time we shot this video, we also did a video segment on setting-type compound that discusses the advantages you mentioned in your comment. The video should be available soon.

Stay tuned.

Patrick McCombe
Associate Editor

Re: Patrick's Barn: The Dirt-Cheap, High-R Building

Thanks for the interest, Res. The Patrick's Barn blog and constructing the barn are both labors of love, but drafting is not, so there are no detail drawing to show you. You can look back at this post

http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/21165/patricks-barn-wow-its-starting-to-look-like-something

to see what's going on with the walls. There's one layer of foam on the inside of the girts and another cut to fit in between them. Both layers are sealed around the perimeter with spray foam. As far as the roof goes: I'm cutting pieces of foam to fit inside the rafter cavities and sealing the edges with spray foam.

Re: How to Paint Fiber-Cement Siding

Thanks for the comments. The caulk Jim is using is a high-quality arcylic latex exterior caulk. It's not painter's caulk. We should have done a better job explaining that.
Fine Homebuilding's video audience includes builders, remodelers and DIYers. Our aim is to produce content that satisfies the needs and curiosity of all three groups. The Building Skills video series, as the name suggests, are basic skills for those just starting out in their homebuilding pursuits. If you feel the content is too basic for your needs, I hope you'll check out one of our our other video series, like Master Carpenter, or There's a Better Way. Patrick McCombe Associate Editor

Re: Cool Stuff from the Builders' Show: Day 1

There's more here, Intlenus:

http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/21984/its-show-time

The next International Builders' Show is in Vegas:

http://buildershow.com/Home/Page.aspx?pageID=762

Re: Patrick's Barn: Siding for the Holidays

Two votes for fiber-cement, Cosmo, Scarecrow; at least one coworker made the same suggestion. I'll look into it. I've never worked with it, though.

I recently photographed an affordably-built house in Asheville, NC with Hardi panel. It looked good.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Siding for the Holidays

I agree, Firthbuilders. I realy like the look of steel ag panels, especially as roofing. It looks great on modern buildings too. There'd be a lot of waste on the gables though. I used a plain galvalume version on my last home's cross-gabled roof and had a bunch of triangles left over.

Thanks for the suggestion. I think more people should consider screw-down metal panels for roofing and siding. It's a great material.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Siding for the Holidays

Thanks for the comment rurunene, but I think you're wrong. For starters, the pine siding (which is a naturally decay resistant species) is primed on all sides, preventing it from taking on moisture. The felt behind the siding is somewhat wrinkled, so it allows any infiltrated water to work it's way down. If that weren't enough, each board has two continuous drainage channels form eave to grade by means of the shiplap joint, which isn't tight together. And I have a real overhang. Destructive testing of bad stucco jobs has revealed you can do just about everything wrong and if you have a decent overhang, the building is going to perform pretty well. Roofing felt, what you describe as tarpaper, is an amazing material. It can take on water and release it as conditions change. In short, I think I'm covered.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Merry Christmas to Us

That's right, Res. The siding is right on top of the 30-lb felt. With the first wetting, the felt wrinkles up creating a natural drainage space. I love the system because it's fast, easy, and there are no wacky details to work out. The siding is coated all all six sides and we have a real overhang. Personally, I think rain-screen is overkill in most situations.

You're skeptical?

Re: Patrick's Barn: Siding Is Just Around the Corner

Thanks for the feedback Doc. I believe my gun was the forerunner to the Dow Pro 14, but it's essentially the same tool.

As far as taking care of it:
I always spray the tip and nozzle with som Pam before use and when I start to notice the dispensed form is sticking to the end. Periodically (once or twice a day with heavy use) I gently scrape the tip clean with a utility knife.

The most important thing is to always keep a can on the gun. Most recently, I left a can on there for more than a year. The gun was fine, but the foam wouldn't hold it's shape once dispensed, so I tossed the can. When I read the instructions, it said to use up foam within 30 days.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Siding Is Just Around the Corner

I was planning to, Res and thanks for your comment and interest. However, I'm expecting this to be a multi-step project, so "done" is somewhat of a moving target. Once the barn is weather tight, we'll move inside for aditional insulation and mechanicals.

In the spring, we'll likely start with the rain garden that we agreed to build as part of the town's wetlands permit. The barn is in the "buffer" area of a small stream, so a storm water management plan is part of the permitting process.

If we have enough cash remaining, we'll build a deck and porch roof on the back of the building after that.

This is strictly a cash project; we haven't borrowed any money and we don't plan to. Although, I'm planning to seek refinacing for our home mortgage to get a lower rate, once we have the additional equity of the barn. The barn will have to be completed to the degree that it's an asset to the property and not a liability, as I suspect it is now.

Would you be interested in what it has cost so far? Anybody else curious how much we've spent?

Re: Attic-Insulation Upgrade Takes a Wrong Step

This is good stuff, Don. Would you mind telling us how much cellulose you installed and what it cost? Where did you get the machine and did you have to pay a rental fee?

Re: Patrick's Barn: Wow! It's starting to look like something

Thanks very much! I realy appreciate your tips and comments. You're not too late at all, as there's plenty of additional polyiso to install. At this point, I'm planning a layer between the girts and a second layer on the inside of the girts. We'll air seal on the interior layer with spray foam.

We have a ton of insulation, so there may even be a third layer on the walls, but my first priority will be to fill the rafter cavities after the walls are done.

Re: Design snapshot: Sach's covered bridge

I think the windows were placed lower so horses would have a tougher time seeing out of the bridge and therefore less likey to get spooked.
Patrick

Re: Patrick's Barn: Priming Siding

Thanks for the input Renosteinke. Sadly a new spray rig is not in the budget. Although I agree, it would making coating all those boards a lot easier.

Re: Cash Flow: How I Wrecked My Business, Screwed My Friends, and Almost Destroyed My Marriage (Part 2)

This is great stuff. Many thanks.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Making Siding

Thanks. As I recall, I drilled a pair of 1/4-in. holes 1 1/8-in. up from the bottom (double check, please). There's a single steel rod inside that you have to go underneath. I'm using countersunk carriage bolts with wing nuts to hold on the poplar fence because it saved a little time, but tapping for flat head machine screws would be better. I have a larger piece of butcher-block pine screwed to the poplar fence (good plywood would be fine)and a pair of 4-in wide feather boards screwed to the pine. I layed-out the holes on both sides of the fence very carefully and drilled from both sides toward the center of the fence. I got to use an automatic center punch for the first time. I bought it secondhand for a few bucks about a year ago. Cut and paste this into you browser if you're not familiar with this neat little tool: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_center_punch

Re: Patrick's Barn: We have a roof!

Hand held or in a table?

Re: Patrick's Barn: Roof Framing

Thanks for your thoughts Dreamcatcher. I too thought about your concerns with 2x8 sheets, especially with the 7 /16 OSB I'm using. It seems flimsy in 4x8!

I was felting the shed roof last night and I put up some roof jacks on the main roof. I only have four, so I may have to get a few more.

I think it will be relatively easy once I have the first course down (I already have most of the first row on both sides). I plan to nail some cleats to the rafter tails to help me place the remaining first row sheets.


Re: Patrick's Barn: Roof Framing

What a great idea, Andy! You may have saved my life.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Framing Continues

Thanks Don.

I'll have to think about that for a while. I've never built a post-frame building before, so I'm learning as I go. I like how the girts make it eay to reach the higher parts of a post-frame building. It makes construction easier.

Re: The $6000 House: Taking Posession

How about some photos John? Where is the house located?

Re: My Story as Told by a Greenhouse

Amazing writing, Larry; it made me cry.

Re: Patrick's Barn: What Will It Look Like?

Your plans are great Don and thanks for commenting. Maybe other readers considering plans like the ones I bought will have questions for you.

Yes, I'll be posting regular progress updates. The first batch of framing lumber is scheduled for delivery tomorrow; just in time for the long weekend.

Re: Patrick's Barn: What Will It Look Like?

Thanks for the kind words, Ryno. I wasn't familiar with lumber link connectors, but a quick web search filled me in. Looks interesting; you're planning to use them?

The connections spelled out in my stock plans are pretty conventional--nails and lag screws generally.

Re: Patrick's Barn: Rookie Mistake

Thanks Andy. I'm so grateful for your help. I'm looking forward to the next pour, as I learned so much. Let me know when and how I can help out with one of your projects.

Re: Almost out of the Ground

Thanks for your interest Pete577. I'll give a rundown of the specs and budget as part of the next post. I should have it up in a day or two.

I've been traveling for the magazine, so I have a little catching up to do first.

Re: How to Sharpen A Chisel With Diamond Hones and a Honing Guide

Hi Benito 9,

Diamond plates do lose their adbrasive qualites as they age. In fact, the diamond plates in the Fine Woodworking shop have lost almost all their grit. My plates which are about two years old seem the same as when they were brand new. But it's true, even the coursest plates are pretty fine, so if a chisel is nicked, I first use a grinder to file away the damage. Sandpaper works fine too, but I like the plates beacuse they're so light and portable. Carrying around a piece of glass or granite seems inconvenient to me. Do you travel with your sharpening setup? Do you use a honing guide?

Re: Festool Postpones New Jigsaw

The press release didn't say what they were fixing, OKD, maybe because the engineers at Festool are a little embarassed. Perhaps they've had numerous failures with the European version that's already on the market?

Re: My Story -- The Quonset Hut

Great stuff, Larry

Thanks

Re: How to Sharpen A Chisel With Diamond Hones and a Honing Guide

You're right, BobboMax. I should have said eccentric. And for those of you who might be wondering: it is the same word as the one used to describe somebody who's a little unusual. I just looked it up.

Thanks for the catch.

Re: From Cardboard and Cutter to Click and Drag: Studio/Workshop Design in the Digital Age

Greengiant,
Thanks for the input. That transition has been the most difficult part of the design. Here are the two problems I've identified. And Yes, I'm a firm believer in roof overhangs so I don't think I'm willing to eliminate them altogther, but I'd love to see some options.

Here are another couple reasons for the design.

1. The shed roof needs to have enough pitch for a conventional asphalt shingle roof. Although you can go lower than 4/12 if you hand seal the shingles, I don't really want to. I think 4/12 is the pitch shown.

2. I thought about dropping the shed roof (Matt even drew it in SketchUp)so it's below the main gable which would have eliminated that awkward transition altogether. Admittedly, this looks the best , but it means I'd have 24 ft.of additional overhang to build (and pay for) and it would be very hard to paint the soffit in the future.

If you send me the photos I'll be glad to post them on the Editor's Notebook Blog so others can weigh in.

Thanks again for the feedback! Keep it coming, please.

Re: My Story As Told By Houses -- Part 3: The Old Frame House

Good stuff, Larry. Thanks for sharing.

Re: More Bad News for Ryobi: Cordless-Drill Recall

You shoul contact Ryobi Customer Service at (800) 597-9624 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit their website at www.ryobitools.com


Re: My Story As Told By Houses-- Part 1, The Soddy

Hi Larry,

I loved this glimpse into America's recent past. It's great writing and a very good story. I'm looking forwad to the next installment.



Patrick McCombe

Re: My New Favorite Power Tool

Thanks for the feedback, Chris. I'm very happy with my Husky chainsaw. Between this and the one I had previously, it's like night and day.

Re: In search of a quiet air compressor

At 26 pounds and 69 decibels, this Thomas is tough to beat.

Of course it costs more than lesser tools, but I'm sure you can afford it, Justin.

http://www.thomasairpac.com/products/airpac/airpac_electric/T-635HD/t-635hd.jsp