Recent comments

Re: Key Ring Makes a Cut Bucket More Comfortable

Sort of agree with Renosteinke above but not completely.

First another reason not to paint from the original can is the sealing ring gets full of paint and makes proper replacement of the lid impossible.

I don't use a plastic pail. I use a metal one but still a dedicated pail not a cut bucket.

Proper way to load a brush is to dip 1/4"-1/2" in paint then slap the brush on the side of the pail to knock off any excess paint which would drip off the brush. Don't wipe the brush.

When finished painting, pour paint from pail into original paint can then take your brush and collect any remaining excess paint in the pail then pour that also into the can or transfer it with the brush.

You clean the pail with the brush. Especially with oil paint first wipe any excess paint from the brush with newspaper. Then put 1-2" of the appropriate solvent in the pail and use the brush to remove the paint. When you've cleaned the whole pail, spin the brush with the handle between your palms and the brush down in the pail to get rid of excess solvent. Repeat with clean solvent until the solvent remains clear after the last cleaning. Latex solvent (water) disposal is easy but paint thinner is another issue. You need 4-5 empty thinner gallon cans. Mark each can for cleanliness. First cleaning gets disposed of and the second is saved for future first cleaning etc. Takes about a gallon of thinner to clean a brush.

I'm a general contractor but all of the above came from an old time union painter.

Re: How to Clean a Paint Brush

Only read the text. Did not watch the video as Adobe Flash Player messes up google chrome so I disabled it. The following is from an old time commercial painter that I met at a job years ago: First always paint from a pail rather than the can. Pour a few inches of paint into the pail and close the can. When finished pour remaining paint back into can and close can. Rub excess paint from pail and brush with newspapers or rags. With an inch or so of whatever is solvent for the paint(water or thinner)begin to clean the pail with the brush. Clean all over including any spills on the outside. Hold the brush head down in the pail with the handle between your palms and rub your hands back and forth to spin the brush and force the cleaner out of the bristles. Repeat with new solvent until the last cleaning leaves the solvent clear(or nearly so). Along the way use a wire brush on the bristles if necessary. Leaves you with a clean brush and a clean pail. Dry brush with newspaper or rags. If using thinner, it takes about a gallon of thinner to clean a brush. To conserve thinner, discard the first cleaning thinner then save second cleaning in marked can for the first cleaning next time and save the third for the second in another marked can etc. I have brushes that are decades old using this method.

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

One thing that I forgot is that the small window is tolerable because there is a 48" x 48" curb mount skylight in the roof. I salvaged it from a job where I was doing something nicer but plastic bubble skylights are dirt cheap and provide nice light.

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

Also built my own shed and since I was going to be looking at it I wanted it to look nice. I also wanted to avoid the building department. Up to 120 sq. ft. outbuilding is not considered a structure and does not require a permit. I built mine 10' x 12'. Non structure can also be only one story so I built mine with a 4 in 12 pitch shed roof. Loft style shelving on the high end stores all of my boxed power tools, four sets of extra wheels for my car hobby and still does not interfere with head room. Since the roof slopes toward our house and we see it from our deck, I splurged on double thickness Presidential Shake shingles. Our lot is not dead flat so I built it on piers, posts, beams and joists like a deck. Later built a redwood deck directly outside, at floor level, so I have extra outside shop space when the weather is nice. Completely wired the inside but to avoid permit requirements I plug the building into an outdoor receptacle using a 10 gage outdoor extension cord. Plumbed air outlets on all walls with sched. 40 PVC. Have a nice metal pre hung raised panel door from Home Depot for an entry. Dead bolt keyed to my house key. Only has one small 24" x 24" window because I didn't want to sacrifice the wall space. Building is sheathed with 1/2" OSB for shear and as a backer for 7-1/4" smooth Hardie Plank. 12 foot long dimension means no joints in the runs of Hardie siding. Wish it was bigger but I have the space maybe I'll build another.

Re: Self-Taught MBA: Jack of All Trades, Master of One

Although I've been a California licensed contractor since 1982 I need to admit that I've probabily never mastered the organizational skills that you speak about(even withj a Cal Poly Business degree). My jobs always seem to take a little longer that I envision But I seem to get recommended and hired because of the work that I do. I tend to love being a "jack of all trades". In my current job I drew the plans, framed, plumbed, wired, insulated, vented through the roof, modified cabinets and made the finish trim. I hired framing helper, drywall, stone counters and paint. I'm 69 and have had a long enjoyable career being as involved in as many of the trades as possible on my projects.

Re: Make a Handy Sanding Block with a Belt-Sander Belt

Been doing the same thing for 25-30 years since my neighbor, who worked in a cabinet shop, gave me my first one. We use plywood, riped to width and cut just short of the length of a flatened belt. Then you us a rasp to radius the block to allow a tight fit.

Re: Choosing Trim Nailers: Which Gauge Finish Nailers Should You Own?

I suppose that the method shown for checking a level is pretty much the only option to use in a store but there is a better way to check at home/job. For the level vial, shim one end untill it reads exactly level then flip it end for end. It's much easier to look for exact center than to try to remember how off center it was. For pumb, adjust two drywall screws separated by sightly less than the level length so that the level reads plumb when held against the screws. Flip to check/adjust.

Re: How to Paint Fiber-Cement Siding

I'm going to be redundant. I posed something similar on "there's a beter way".

Don't apply caulk the way that they show. Instead of leaving behind a tail of caulk that needs to be tooled with your finger(messy and wastefull of caulk) point the tip of the caulking tube toward the uncaulked part of the joint. With practice, you can maintain a small bubble of caulk in front of the tip. This lets you know that you have filled the joint. The bubble is excess caulk over what is needed to fill the joint. The tip travels over the just applied caulk and tools it. You don't need wipe away gobs of caulk. Just wipe it with a wet finger or rag and you're finished

Re: How to Keep Things Clean When Caulking Trim

This is a two part comment with both parts aimed at having less caulk to wipe.

First, I use a little metal tip which screws onto the end of the caulk tube tip. It has a smaller opening than you can make in the factory tip. Works best with latex caulk as you can clean it after use with water and a toothpick. They are not easy to find for sale. Best to ask at an older independent paint shop.

Second, work in the oposite direction with the tip pointed toward the un-caulked area. By careful control of the caulk gun, you can keep a little bead of caulk in front of the tip. As you move along, the tip tools the caulk and leaves an almost perfect bead. Most of the time you just wipe with a damp rag for perfect caulking.

Re: How to Trim a Hollow-Core Door to Height

In less time than the author took setting up his cut I can build a jig that eliminates most of his steps. Take a four foot piece of 1" x 8" MDF. Add a piece of 1-5/8" door stop to the MDF, flat face to flat face about 1" in from one edge of the MDF. Using a four foot level to hold the door stop straight, glue and screw the stop in place. Now thake your skillsaw and cut the 1" x 8" running the edge of the saw shoe right up tight to the edge of the door stop. 1" x 8" works for us west coasters who use a Skill worm-drive or similar saw. Those big old side-winders may require a wider board. Now mark each side of your cut on the face of the door out near each edge. Align each end of your jig with each mark and clamp in place. (The reason that I set the stop 1" from the edge of the 1" x 8" is so that you can clamp behind the stop, not on top of it. If you clamp on top of the stop, and try to cut an 1-3/4" door with a 7-1/4" worm drive, the saw has to be set low enough that it hits the clamp.) Run your saw along the bottom of the door and your cut is done. The jig prevents tear-out better than tape and a knife cut. Since it sits between the saw and the door, it prevents maring of the door by the saw without all the tape. Since you set the edge of the jig on the actual line you want to cut, it eliminates mistakes and inacuracies than can happen when you set the guide away from the cut. Finally, with the jig you can cut a 0 to 1/16" taper, if needed, cleanly. In the example above, it doesn't look like the hinges had been set yet. If that's the case I'd cut both ends of the door. That way you maintain the proportions of the top and bottom rails(nothing looks stupider than a panel door with a bottom rail narrower than the top) and by cutting both ends you may not cut away the blocking on either end eliminating the need for a plug. If I needed a plug, I agree with the previous poster. Use your table saw and chop saw to clean off the old plug for reuse and use clamps no nails.

Re: BUILDING SKILLS: Cutting a Door

Some of the protective steps are valid but this not the way to trim a door. If you do the following you will find it less time consuming(after the jig is built) and will enable you to trim a door more accurately and the remove tiny ammounts(try 0-1/16" tapered cut with the above method) for perfect final reveal.

The Jig:
Materials: A four foot piece of 3/4" MDF at least 3" wider than the dimension on the wide side of your saw base from the outer edge to the blade. A four foot piece of 1-1/8" door stop. Glue, finish nailer, 4 foot level, 1" drywall screws.

Assembly: Measure from one edge of the MDF a distance about 1/4" more than the width of the wide side of the saw base. Using the level to maintain a straight application, glue and finish nail the stop to the MDF along the previous measured distance. Add a few drywall screws. Clean off the glue squeeze out. When cured, cut the MDF running the edge of the wide side of the base against the edge of the stop.

Use: Mark both sides of the door bottom where it is to be cut. Set jig on door right on the marks. Clamp jig in place at each end. There should be enough exposed MDF behind stop. Set clamps so that saw does not bump them when cutting. Place shim or block between clamp and door so finish is not marred. Set saw on jig and cut door running saw base along door stop.

As the saw cuts right along the cut off edge of the MDF, you can remove very little material and the jig itself acts to prevent grain lift up better than tape. The jig is clamped firmly in place whereas the tape itself can lift.

Once you have one of these, it's quicker than the feature, easier and more accurate.

Re: New from the Tiling a Shower Video Series: Install a Shampoo Niche

Don't know where to start. Why not plan ahead for your niche and include it in your wall framing? Why use cement board instead of floating the walls? Is your framing so perfect that it doesn't need squaring or plumbing? I guess not since I see what looks like thin-set floating over the cement board. I don't doubt that you can make it acceptable looking but this is "Fine Homebuilding". There's nothing fine about it. You should be ashamed.

Re: A Moldy Crawlspace Nightmare

I find it very odd that there is fiberglass insulation that appears to be in good shape between the joists in a crawl space with no access. The insulation would indicate to me that the area had been worked on fairly recently. Whoever worked there before must not have bothered to follow codes.

In any event, your clients should actually be happy that they asked you to do the wiring and that you discovered this. The probable alternative would have involved the floor failing and perhaps injuring someone as they fell through.

Have fun. Repacing rotted structure under a bath is such nice work.