rwotzak


Web Producer


rwotzak

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Aug/Sept 2014

Aug/Sept 2014

Aug/Sept 2014

June/July 2014

June/July 2014

June/July 2014

Behind the Kitchen Door: Interviews With Fine Cookings Top Chefs

Behind the Kitchen Door: Interviews With Fine Cooking's Top Chefs

Take a look at the personal kitchens of 11 amazing cooks in this series of audio slideshows from FineCooking.com

The Incredible Stonework and Art of Lew French

The Incredible Stonework and Art of Lew French

For over 30 years, Martha's Vineyard resident Lew French has been creating one-of-a-kind works in stone and other materials

The Making of a Hobbit-House Door

The Making of a Hobbit-House Door

This one-of-a-kind custom door was inspired by a creative couple's love of Art Nouveau and elfin details

Book Excerpt: Back to the Cabin

Book Excerpt: Back to the Cabin

Get a sneak peek of this beautiful book, plus you could win tickets to the Midwest Lake Home & Cabin Show and meet the author

Reflections on Hurricane Sandy

Reflections on Hurricane Sandy

The anniversary of the second-costliest hurricane in US history is only a few weeks away. During the last week of October, 2012, Hurricane Sandy ripped up the Altantic coast, causing over $68 billion...

Learn Timber-Framing Skills at Montpeliers Log-Cabin School

Learn Timber-Framing Skills at Montpelier's Log-Cabin School

Would you like to spend a week working alongside talented restoration carpenters to reconstruct a piece of history?

High-Speed Homebuilding Videos

High-Speed Homebuilding Videos

Three time-lapse videos, each of a different style house and set to a different genre of music. Which one is your favorite?

Outdoor Projects Special Issues Available for iPad

Outdoor Projects Special Issues Available for iPad

Download the Fine Homebuilding app to find mini magazine issues on building decks, sheds, patios, and more

Fine Homebuildings Ever-Growing Collection of How-To Video Series

Fine Homebuilding's Ever-Growing Collection of How-To Video Series

Online subscribers get exclusive access to videos covering many building and remodeling topics, including drywall, windows, siding, roofs, and more

How to Remove an Old Bathtub

How to Remove an Old Bathtub

Get that cast-iron tub out of your bathroom with nothing more than a reciprocating saw, a screwdriver, and a moving blanket

Ladder-Safety Jigsaw Puzzle

Ladder-Safety Jigsaw Puzzle

We heard that the latest Inspector game was a bit easy, so we changed it up a bit

How to Remove a Toilet

How to Remove a Toilet

Plumber Mike Lombardi demonstrates how to make this dirty remodeling job a little easier

How To Build a Healthy House

How To Build a Healthy House

The home in this video was built for a person with a severe chemical sensitivity, but the goal of building with healthier materials and details should be important to every homeowner

The next generation of Fine Homebuilding readers

The next generation of Fine Homebuilding readers

Elijah is wondering, Elijah is wondering, "What IS the best substrate for a tub liner?"

Gardens are job sites too

Gardens are job sites too

Darla looks right at home in this beautiful Upstate New York garden

The Best Photos of Dads Working With Kids

The Best Photos of Dads Working With Kids

Thank goodness we decided the winner of our Father’s Day photo contest would be chosen at random — it would have been impossible to choose a winner any other way...

Frame Decks Faster and Easier with ThruLOK Fasteners

Frame Decks Faster and Easier with ThruLOK Fasteners

There’s no hole to drill, PLUS all you need is one tool to install it. It’s a one handed process with 3 simple steps: drive the bolt most of the way in with your drill, put the nut on hand tight, and drive the bolt home.

Blueprint-Reading Basics: How to Navigate a Set of House Plans

Blueprint-Reading Basics: How to Navigate a Set of House Plans

Construction documents are usually more organized than they look. Learn some common symbols and drawing types that will help you find what you're looking for when you pick up a set of plans.

Shoring up a load-bearing wall

Shoring up a load-bearing wall

When I need to install a header for a new window or door in a bearing wall, I shore up the wall with a temporary row of angled 2x4s alongside the existing wall. As shown in the drawing, the temporary...

Rooftop dogs

Rooftop dogs

Some dogs are braver than others. The short-eared pup wandered all over the roof inspecting his masters' work; the long-eared dog was content to watch from the window. Long Island, NY

You Could Save a Historic Prison

You Could Save a Historic Prison

Don't let these beautiful stone, timber, and cast iron architectural details end up in a land fill.

Power Tool Drag Racing

Power Tool Drag Racing

Bored with your typical weekend DIY projects? Here's a better use for that belt sander!

Bobcat Ballet

Bobcat Ballet

Two daring excavator drivers find ingenious ways to get their machines from point A to point B



Recent comments


Re: How To Temporarily Tack Up Trim with a Nail Gun

I'll look into your ad concerns, guys. We don't specifically place ads on the site for anything unrelated to home building, so I believe you are seeing regionally targeted programmatic ads.

Re: How to Lay Out an Accurate Ellipse with a Stick, Two Nails, and a Pencil

Jim_in_Edmonds_WA,

I'll see if Chuck has a better answer, but my first thought is to use this tip to mark a template out of thin plywood, and then cut out and use that template to layout the inverted "radius" you're looking for on your workpiece. Does that sound right?

Re: Tablesaw Kickback

Muscle302, there was initially only a small link to the video; I embedded it so you can now watch it above.

Re: How to Keep Your Saw Plugged In

user-660115, Are you viewing this on an iPhone? We're working on some compatibility issues with the video player we use. On an iPhone, I've found that the video player works OK if you quickly press the play button as soon as the page loads. Hopefully we'll have the player working seamlessly on all devices very soon. Thanks for your patience.

Re: Lay Out Accurate Stair Stringers with this Custom Tool

charles3,
My guess would be that the kerf helps hold the straightedge in place while you're positioning and clamping it, but I'm sure it would function just as well if you just clamped a plain board on the side of the square that you wanted to bear on the stringer.

Re: Make Rust Removal Easier with a Modified Wire Brush

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. As Chuck says, there always is a better way, and every suggestion we get from our readers makes our collection of tips more useful. Click one of the links in the text below the video if you have a unique tip you'd like to share.

Re: Pavillion

Very nice! Please tell us more about this project!

Re: Built an at-ground deck from recycled Trex

Great project! And thanks for taking the time to outline the whole process.

Re: The leveller

Great tip, Vincent! That looks so much easier and more reliable than trying to use wooden stakes and string. Thanks for sharing.

Re: Outdoor Projects Special Issues Available for iPad

Sorry for the delay. We've had a few technical difficulties but expect to publish the walks, patios, and walls issue very soon.

Re: combine power cords and dust pickup hoses on sanders. planers, saws etc.

It's the little extra details like these that make your day go sooooo much smoother. Nice tip!

Re: What's Better: Crawlspace or Slab-on-Grade?

You're probably right, cussnu2. I changed it to "toes".

Re: Take your pick.

That's so much better than fetching the newspaper!

Re: Protecting a SIPs Roof From Decay

Mica239,
Sorry about the confusion. I edited the link to go to the appropriate page.

Re: winder stairs

Nice job!

It's those unique projects that always made trim carpentry enjoyable for me. One of my favorites was deciding how to carve transitions where different baseboards met at a room transition.

Re: Bill Rose on crawlspaces: A bad idea, should be illegal

Folks, I appreciate your concerns, but there are a few facts to consider when you're talking about the pros and cons of crawlspaces:

1. Sealed crawlspaces are different scenarios completely from the pier foundations often found in warm climates, so nobody is saying we should eliminate those.

2. Vented crawlspaces like the one in the above photo just don't work the way many people think they're supposed to. If you have a cool crawlspace and it's hot outside, the laws of thermodynamics (basically: hot always moves to cold, and wet always moves to dry) guarantee that the humid summer air will go into the vents and condense on all of the cooler surfaces, causing mold and rot. This also means that radon will often not go out through the vents, but rather up through the leaky floor of the house above. In places where it's cooler outside, you wouldn't want to vent either because you'd be throwing away heat that should be keeping your house warm.

3. People usually can't decide whether a crawlspace is inside or outside the conditioned space of the house. If you want to vent your crawlspace, you better air-seal the underside of your floor, and probably insulate it too. Otherwise those gasses and that mold you're trying to get out of the house will just leak up into the house. Alternatively, you can install a vapor barrier on the crawlspace floor and seal the space up tight.

There's more to it than this, but the ideas presented in the article above are based in real-world evidence documented by many builders in many places. I'll try to collect some actual examples if anyone is interested.

- Rob Wotzak, Fine Homebuilding Web Producer

Re: Make A Custom Hole Saw To Remove Stripped Screws

GreenHeartCo, I'm sorry if attributing our April Fools video tip to "April Uno" seemed in bad taste. We were merely using the name as a hint that it was an "April 1st" prank so that nobody would take it seriously and hurt themselves with their own dangerously-modified hammer. Fine Homebuilding's mission has always been to showcase the best work by the best builders and remodelers, regardless of whether they are women or men.

Re: TreeHouses from the 60's

Yes, Please! Tell us more.

Re: Raising money for the farm

Great job John! Not only is this a meaningful project on more than one level, you also got some great pics of the kids helping out. I especially like the photo of Josh cutting the mortise while standing on the beams.

Re: Reader Poll: Do you still use a corded drill?

The last time I used a corded drill was when an auger bit got stuck in a beam I was mortising, spinning the drill out of my hands and yanking the cord right out of the back of the drill. (being a lefty, the darn trigger lock would always get pressed by accident).

If I ever take on another timber-framing or large masonry project, I might rent a heavy duty corded drill, but my 18v NiCad cordless Ridgid has done fine for virtually every task over the 7 years that I've owned it.

Re: How NOT to Wire a Garage Door Opener

I had a similar situation in my house when I moved in. The previous owner powered a little workshop in his shed with some 12-gauge romex that he buried about 4 inches under the lawn! It's a good thing he never decided to plant any shrubs back there...One good scoop with a spade and ZAP!

The guy ran the cable underground from the shed to the filter pump for the above-ground pool, then under the gravel around the pool, and then stapled it to several deck joists before he sent it into the basement to connect it to the BX cable feeding the basement lights.

He also thought vinyl siding made a good wire chase for feeding exterior electrical boxes.

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

Dreamcatcher,
Matt was just too fast for me! He published the article before I could upload the SketchUp model to the website. It's in there now. Have fun.

Re: Green Tax Credit Guide

Thanks for the feedback. I've updated the article to reflect the more recent additions to the available tax credits, and I've added a few links to other resources for energy-efficiency financial incentives.