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Why did my tiled walls crack in the corners?

Most likely the reason is that grout was applied in the corners.

At any intersection of planes like corners and a wall and your tub, chaulk should be used rather than grout.

The reason is that the walls move and chaulk has flexibility that keeps it from cracking, while  grout is rigid so when there is movement, it tends to crack.



Now is the time to redo that worn weatherstripping!

Now is the time to redo that worn weatherstripping before the cold weather sets in.

Give us a call and we can remove your old weatherstripping and install brand new snug fitting weatherstripping that will  stop those drafts that you have been meaning to fix.

Your home will be warmer and you will save MONEY on your energy bill!


Watch your FACE!

If you are a woodworker you know what this means, but if you are just starting out in fine carpentry, then you want to listen.

Perhaps you have heard about the term tearout.   This is what happens when you saw wood particularly plywood and the blade tears the wood fibers from the rest of the board.  Sometimes the wood fibers are torn completely off from the board.   Other times, the wood pieces are left dangling from the board.  Like hanging chads.  Remember that?   In either case, you are left with a jagged less than pretty edge. 

Saw how do you combat this problem?

The best solution is to use a splinter guard if your tool is so equipped.  A splinter guard is a component that hugs your saw blade as close as possible to put pressure on the board so that the wood fibers don’t have a chance to be torn off.

Unfortunately, many tools don’t come equipped with this feature.   In that case, put a “sacrificial” board on the exit side of the board to apply pressure to the board therefore creating a no clearance situation with the blade just like the splinter guard situation.  This is not easy to implement as this sacrificial board will not have the cut markings on it.  So this is not a great solution but can work in some cases.   Then there is the fact that you will have greater costs because this board will be sacrificed and not likely reusable aside from scrap.

Lastly, you can make sure that the face of your board is cut so that the splintered side is on the back side of the board.  

Each tool needs the face to be on a particular side:

Table Saw:   Face side UP

Portable Circular Saw:  Face side DOWN

Jig Saw:  Face side DOWN

In this case make sure that you put your cut markings on the reverse side the tool you are using needs the face side down.   I ruined a perfectly good bullnose trim for some stairs because I forgot about this very detail.  That was $30 down the drain not to mention the extra time it set me back to go back to the store to get the piece.



Wear that Safey Gear!!!

Whether you are a professional or a DIYer, it is of paramount importance that you follow all safety practices including wearing proper safety gear!

Some practices and gear are of critical importance. And some are a really good idea.

Critically important:

Googles:  Need to be worn when performing any sawing, grinding, hammering, chiseling operations whether it be with a power tool or even by hand.  No exceptions!  You eyes are very soft and easily injured.

Welding Helmet:  For welding operations, this is a must.   UV rays being emitted by the arc are basically like looking at the sun.   your eyes will literally be fried.

Respirator:  should be worn when spraying petroleum based paints, finishes.  The fumes are harmful to your lungs and will decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches your lungs.

Saw Guard:  As one that does carpentry, we all know that carpenters often if not always have this guard removed, because there are some operations that we cannot perform with the guard in place.   So typically we don’t put it back.   For you folks that leave the guard off, be extra vigilant while working with the saw.  100% concentration is required.   No distractions from any  customers and or fellow workmen.

Measuring lasers and levelers:   Be very mindful where the beam lands. The beam can cause blindness or serious injury.

Don’t place fasteners of any kind in your mouth!  If you swallow that nail or screw it is going to be a nasty painful  exit if it even comes out.   Otherwise, you will be having an expensive visit to the emergency room.

Really a good idea:

Hearing Protection:   Most power tools are extremely loud.   Even hand tools such as hammering can be equally as loud though more sporadic.   All this loud noise particularly the sustained type can take a heavy toll on your hearing and lead to hearing loss.   To prevent this all you need to do is wear your hearing protection.   The higher the decibel rating reduction the better. 

Protective Gloves:  should be worn if using caustic chemicals like paint strippers.   Theses chemicals can burn and open skin can get infected. 

Dust Masks:  Sanding whether it’s wood or drywall and mixing powders like mortar or grout kick up profuse amounts of harmful dust.  Demoing kicks up tons of dust, debris including mold spores, hair and even  mouse dropping dust!  Do you really want to be breathing that in!   It’s a good idea to wear a dusk masks even doing something like crawling into a crawlspace or attic to inspect the area.    Don’t be macho and say I don’t need a mask.   That stuff doesn’t belong in your lungs.  Tip:  If you don’t like to wear the masks because you get too hot, get the masks with the exhale valve.  They are a bit more, but they will be dramatically cooler.

I swear by these!   With these there is no reason not to use them.

Wearing your safety gear is like having insurance.  Thing don’t have all the time, but if something does you want to be protected.

Safety was never so cool!

Hey DIY’ers and Pros, 

If you haven’t seen the table saw brand Saw Stop, you gotta check out this video.

Pretty amazing safety device!   Quite unbelievable actually!

This may not be the table saw for everybody, but it certainly deserves a closer look.  Your fingers will thank you.


Another use for post it notes

Ever need to mark a spot on the wall with a pencil to hang a picture, mirror, whatever?

Then when you go to “erase” the mark, either it does not all come off or the paint is now worn away or shiny.   Let’s face it washable paint is not really great as they say it is.

Rather than mark the wall directly, put a postit note on the area and mark the postit note.   When you are done, just remove the post it note and the wall is clean. 

Now if you only have the strong adhesive kind of post it note, just touch the adhesive on your jeans and the small amount of lint will reduce the amount of stickiness of the post it note adhesive. 

Alternatively, if you use masking tape of some sort, make sure to flip one of the edges over onto it self so that you don’t have a difficult time to remove from the wall

Silicone vs Acrylic Caulk?

Many swear by silicone caulk.   By all accounts it does last longer and it sticks better to the surface.

But then why do I prefer acrylic caulk?

I prefer the acrylic because to me it has a warmer feel to it.   Somehow the silicone caulk seems cold and sterile like a hospital environment.  

And I feel the acrylic can be laid more neatly.   Silicone is touchy.   Ever see the sloppy mess in a public restroom?  Silicone for sure.  If done by an amateur, the results are absolutely terrible.

Ask me for a sample of both to compare so you can see what you prefer.