pjenk


member


pjenk



Recent comments


Re: NAHB Sees Shortage of Skilled Labor

Having been a member of the Carpenter Union on the east coast then moving to California in the early 70's I witnessed first hand the attempts and quite frankly the fantastic sucess of the "home-builders" associations at destroying the best source of trained tradesmen it had by importing low-skilled low wage workers from primarily Mexico and South America all through the 80s and 90s. At first the bargaining agreements decoupled residential building from commercial, creating a two tier wage system. The lower of the two was residential. Now that residential carpenters were being paid less than commercial carpenters where do you think the union membership shifted. As the available local labor shifted to higher paying commercial work hiring halls couldn't supply skilled workers to residential job sites and contractors lobbied their associations and politicians to turn a blind eye to illegal immigration to fill demand at the lower wage. Its not so difficult to train a willing young Latino worker if all he has to do is learn how to install sub floor or he becomes a "sheeting nailer" or just rolls truss week after month. No thought was ever given with what to do with all these people once the boom ended. So the race to the bottom began and now we are left with the results. I don't blame the kids coming over the boarder they were escaping a life of poverty that most Americans have little understanding. The fact is because they were coming to an industry that being systematically de-unionized and they had lost the best chance for representation and bargaining power. By the way the Union work force that is left is mainly concentrated in Commercial work where a Carpenter wages still allow a member to afford the housed that he no longer builds.

Re: Tips for Specifying, Pouring, and Finishing Concrete

Ok nothing incorrect with the basic information but like the the man said "where's the beef". It must be that my expectations are out of line but I didn't find a lot more information on specing, pouring, and finishing here than I would by just reading the back of a bag of concrete at the local "depot". If you only spent a little more time explaining the C/A/H2O ratio rather than on the jargon the article could have been helpful, for the new-be at least. The article was terrific, if it's intent was to provide the reader with just enough new vocabulary the next time "he's" ordering "the whole 9 yards of a creamy 6 sack pea gravel mix" out of the local batch plant to finish the stepping stones he has on his weekend honey do list?
And just so readers don't get the wrong impression, the term "placed" is used by many pros not impart status but to remind themselves and the guys working for them that concrete must not be allowed to drop more than 4' from the edge of the hose or chute to eliminate "aggregate separation" which weakens the final product.

Re: Supersize Me: Working with Details in SketchUp

Hi Matt thanks for the tips on revolving those knobs and how you overcame the issue with the geometry "falling" out.

I'm coming over to Sketch up from Auto CAD so the question I have is about another technique you use. It's probably second nature to you but I could determine what command u use to initiate it.

There are a number of times during the process when you are selecting the door/draw face and the background case work is greyed out. I am guessing you do this to make it easier to find a reference point or line to select.

What is the command line or sequences of commands you use to isolate yet keep active and rendered with texture/color the group you're editing (the door drawer in this case) while turning off the texture/color or "greying out" the background groups (groups=objects in ACad speak)

Thanks

Re: Window Flashing - New-Construction Best-Practice Tyvek Method

I think that Ricky and Edwardo deserve cudos for a fine installation. I learned the trade in the late 50s and 60s and basically all of the techniques of counter flashing that they use are similar to the best practices I learned. The difference is or course the material technology, ie; Tyvek substitutes for 32" courses of 15 or 30# felt. Although Matt talked about sill pans made out of sheet metal they were often constructed of the same felts used to flash the jambs. It takes a little knowledge of folding paper but a seamless two way corner can be achieved. I don't know how long felt will actually last but I can attest to seeing intact felt in houses built in the early 20 and 30s, that I have remodeled. So we can stop water with transnational materials and good craftsman ship but it certainly takes a longer than 10 minutes to install a window using traditional materials. Over the course of time I have determined it's prudent not to mix old and modern material technologies. So if you happen to find yourself putting in a couple of windows or doors and the "papers" are traditional felts stick with them, use the same counter-flashing techniques, and get a book on Origami. It's actually very satisfying to fold a seamless two way corner, just don't plan on accomplishing a window installation in 10 minutes.