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Home Improvements

Big Owl

Cyburbian
Messages
2,524
Points
28
Excellent idea!! I might just rough it out with a sander and a contour gauge. It'll look more "hand made" that way I guess.
If you go that route, I'd suggest using a power sander of some sort to rough out the shape and fine tune it by hand using a piece of a pool noodle or pipe insulation cut lengthwise with a piece of sand paper with adhesive back stuck to the inside curve. Or you can buy something like these

_softsanders_1318965482.jpg
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,355
Points
39
Helping RT gear up for Phase 2 of improvements to the beach house. Contractor is coming next weekend to go over the two inside projects-bathroom renovation to get rid of the fugly wall and floor tile, the fiberglass tub and shower surround, and cheapshit vanity. We're going to use the leftover laminate for flooring, a prefab shower base, glass shower doors, tiled shower surround plus the return wall, new vanity, and new hardware/fixtures.

The other project is restoring the garage. A previous owner decided to turn the garage into a room, not entirely sure what they used it for because it's sort of awkward in relation to the rest of the house. All they did was frame up a box on top of the concrete floor and drywall over the garage door and ceiling, build a weird little closet, and extend the HVAC ducting without resizing the system so it's always hot or cold. Oh and they removed the door between the dining room and garage but left the doorway. Just going to have them demo everything, install new drywall, tape/spackle, put a garage light in, and cap off the HVAC.

Phase 3 is a new roof, unfortunately a tear off since there's two layers and a couple of soft spots in the decking. Also new siding, soffits, and trim.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,495
Points
30
If you go that route, I'd suggest using a power sander of some sort to rough out the shape and fine tune it by hand using a piece of a pool noodle or pipe insulation cut lengthwise with a piece of sand paper with adhesive back stuck to the inside curve. Or you can buy something like these
So now I am seriously considering a router and router table. It's not necessary for this small project, but there's a lot of smaller furniture projects I have that I just cannot find pre-built things to fit. IMO, a router is really a tool everyone should have anyway. It's a tool for life if I get a good one.

Reviews look like this Bosch router is the best beginner one to start with. I'm not sure which table to go with either. Cabinet or regular bench top. I'm leaning towards the cabinet just because I like the enclosed space for bits and such.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,991
Points
38
It took longer than anticipated and then there were some scheduling conflicts with our installer but our fireplace insert is being delivered today and installed Friday. If all goes right, I'll be able to sit in the armchair next to a roaring fire Saturday morning with my coffee and newspaper.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
12,316
Points
44
^^^A router is a good investment. I had a Craftsman and the table to match. Used it many many many times when I was doing projects. Sold it to our Public Works Director last year as I was done with projects and he was starting to build.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,495
Points
30
^^^A router is a good investment. I had a Craftsman and the table to match. Used it many many many times when I was doing projects. Sold it to our Public Works Director last year as I was done with projects and he was starting to build.
I think I'll snag just the router for now and forgo the table for a bit. I think it's unlikely I'll need the table for anything immediate anyway, and I can round a shelf edge without the table.

On the same line of thinking, do I really need a table top planer, or will a handheld do the trick, at least for now? Now that I've started down this path, I see a lot of projects I can do (two small entry tables, plant stands, an outdoor work table, a deck box). Tons of things I have needed over the years but have never been able to find anything I really like the look of.
 

Big Owl

Cyburbian
Messages
2,524
Points
28
I think I'll snag just the router for now and forgo the table for a bit. I think it's unlikely I'll need the table for anything immediate anyway, and I can round a shelf edge without the table.

On the same line of thinking, do I really need a table top planer, or will a handheld do the trick, at least for now? Now that I've started down this path, I see a lot of projects I can do (two small entry tables, plant stands, an outdoor work table, a deck box). Tons of things I have needed over the years but have never been able to find anything I really like the look of.
It's a slippery slope. It's very easy to wind up with a garage full of tools. I have a number of routers. My biggest one lives in my small router table. My router that gets the most use is a bosch colt palm router because its light weight and small. I'd say get you a good 2 - 2.5 hp router with both a plunge base and fixed base. That will do most every thing you need to do. You can stick it in a router table if you need to at some point.

You could release your inner luddite and get a good low angle block plane. A good sharp block plan producing curls of wood is a zen-like experience.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
5,778
Points
29
What are your thoughts on ceiling fan lights? We have a ceiling fan in our living room... it has a light.. I love the fan... hate the light.
I love the combo. But the style must fit the room.

Bedroom - both
living room - fan only unless no fireplace
Small room - whatever works

Our house came with 3 matching light/fan combos in the bedrooms, and a fan only in the living room (with a fireplace). While the fan/light size and style works in the smaller bedrooms, it's wrong for the master. I'm going to put in a different style combo. The fan only in the living room is OK, but I'm more concerned about other things that are not OK style-wise so I'm not worrying about it now.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
2,394
Points
33
I highly recommend checking out pawn shops for power tools. I got a nice mitre saw for $40, a circular saw for $20. They work fine. The only thing is to ask to plug it in before you buy (assuming plug-in).
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
27,906
Points
70
What are your thoughts on ceiling fan lights? We have a ceiling fan in our living room... it has a light.. I love the fan... hate the light.
We have one in the bedroom. Like the fan. Hate the light. The fan in the family room does not have a light. I like that one.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,676
Points
30
My latest favorite site is Family Handyman (sic).

Stumbling across their FB feed, they had an array of Saturday morning projects. This one explained how to fix the gap in a door jamb.
My garage service door was set too close to the hinge side, and a result the latch wouldn't catch, plus it was a needless struggle to turn the deadbolt.
Note my use of past tense!

My gap was about 1/2 on one side, so wimpy thin cardboard shims wouldn't work. I used a leftover strip of door frame weatherstripping from the overhead door, about 1/4" thick. Cut it to size, undid one hinge, used it as a template to Sharpie the drill holes, opened them. Inserted under the hinge on the door, replaced the screws.
Et voilà! The door is magically moved over towards the latch, which now catches and holds with a gentle push. Deadbolt now works a treat. And I've kept some material out of the landfill. :up:
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,991
Points
38
We got our fireplace insert installed Friday and it's awesome! I wasn't home during most of the install but thanks to an access panel behind a cabinet, they didn't have to cut into the walls anywhere to run the electrical components over to the fireplace. We ran the fireplace most of the day with the temp and blowers both on a medium setting on Saturday and it kept the main living area (living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, foyer, and a bathroom) toasty warm. For reference, that's probably about 1,200 square feet of living space.

In fact, it was probably working a little too good and when we started to get the kids ready for bed Saturday evening I went down to the end of the house with the bedrooms and realized they were relatively chilly. I looked at my the log on my thermostat and saw that the furnace hadn't kicked on all day.

Sunday afternoon my wife and kids were at the movies so I got cranked the new fireplace up to high, switched the ceiling fans to really get air flowing in the rooms with the high ceilings, and turned on the smaller gas log insert in the other fireplace (that doesn't really throw out all that much heat) and left everything going for a while. I fell asleep on the couch watching reruns of The Cleveland Show and woke up sweating with the temperature inside the house around 85º. It was great!

The plan is to use the fireplace during the day but I need to sit down and reconfigure the Nest thermostat to turn on for an hour or so before bed no matter the temperature just to take the chill out of the air in the bedrooms.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,251
Points
37
I'm convinced the lady I bought my house from thought the answer to all household problems was CAULK! Among all kinds of places I've found CAULK, this included the grout in the shower, which I'm guessing wasn't bright enough for her (the house was built in 1965), so she decided to use a tube (or 12) of tub CAULK to make it look prettier. I've had a massive battle trying to keep mildew from the tile and grout lines in the shower. I've tried store bought products, I've mixed up recipes I found on the interwebs. Good old fashioned elbow-grease and plenty of it, too. It sometimes looked better, but never completely great.

That is, until I found Chlorox Tile-X Mold & Mildew. Spritz that stuff on there and sit back and let it do its work. And baby, does it work! There are still a few tiny spots here and there, but it looks like a brand new 1965 pistachio green tile shower again. Awesome.

The label does say to use in a well ventilated space. Not because some lawyer thought putting that on there would be a good idea. They really mean it. I coughed up a lung the rest of the day, but hey, the shower is clean again! Totally worth it.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,355
Points
39
I'm convinced the lady I bought my house from thought the answer to all household problems was CAULK! Among all kinds of places I've found CAULK, this included the grout in the shower, which I'm guessing wasn't bright enough for her (the house was built in 1965), so she decided to use a tube (or 12) of tub CAULK to make it look prettier. I've had a massive battle trying to keep mildew from the tile and grout lines in the shower. I've tried store bought products, I've mixed up recipes I found on the interwebs. Good old fashioned elbow-grease and plenty of it, too. It sometimes looked better, but never completely great.

That is, until I found Chlorox Tile-X Mold & Mildew. Spritz that stuff on there and sit back and let it do its work. And baby, does it work! There are still a few tiny spots here and there, but it looks like a brand new 1965 pistachio green tile shower again. Awesome.

The label does say to use in a well ventilated space. Not because some lawyer thought putting that on there would be a good idea. They really mean it. I coughed up a lung the rest of the day, but hey, the shower is clean again! Totally worth it.
The beach house. Their answer to any home improvement project was caulk, hot glue gun, pins (not nails), and staples.

Sounds like you need a better fan in the bathroom.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
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Moderator
Messages
11,251
Points
37
The beach house. Their answer to any home improvement project was caulk, hot glue gun, pins (not nails), and staples.

Sounds like you need a better fan in the bathroom.
There's no fan in the bathroom (and no light in shower or even outlets in the bathroom anywhere, for that matter). She CAULKED and painted the window shut. Once the weather breaks, I'll be outside finishing refurbishing all the wood windows and triple track storms, and will get the window operable again. I will not poison myself a second time, that's for sure. :D
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
6,156
Points
34
I'm convinced the lady I bought my house from thought the answer to all household problems was CAULK! Among all kinds of places I've found CAULK, this included the grout in the shower, which I'm guessing wasn't bright enough for her (the house was built in 1965), so she decided to use a tube (or 12) of tub CAULK to make it look prettier. I've had a massive battle trying to keep mildew from the tile and grout lines in the shower. I've tried store bought products, I've mixed up recipes I found on the interwebs. Good old fashioned elbow-grease and plenty of it, too. It sometimes looked better, but never completely great.

That is, until I found Chlorox Tile-X Mold & Mildew. Spritz that stuff on there and sit back and let it do its work. And baby, does it work! There are still a few tiny spots here and there, but it looks like a brand new 1965 pistachio green tile shower again. Awesome.

The label does say to use in a well ventilated space. Not because some lawyer thought putting that on there would be a good idea. They really mean it. I coughed up a lung the rest of the day, but hey, the shower is clean again! Totally worth it.
That product makes my chest hurt.

I found that using those post-shower/bath sprays were pretty effective in keeping mildew down, but those started to make my chest hurt, so I stopped using it.

I found a home made formula of water, Dawn dish soap and boiling vinegar that cleans just about anything from a bath tub. Talk about needed ventilation and personal protection. Vinegar vapors burn eyes and mucous membranes. I had to tie a heavy cotton towel around my face.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,495
Points
30
I learned last night that there is such a thing as "drywall texture" that you can spray on a repair to return the orange peel look. I've struggled with large patches forever because they always stand out. I bet this will fix that problem.
 

kjel

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39
There's no fan in the bathroom (and no light in shower or even outlets in the bathroom anywhere, for that matter). She CAULKED and painted the window shut. Once the weather breaks, I'll be outside finishing refurbishing all the wood windows and triple track storms, and will get the window operable again. I will not poison myself a second time, that's for sure. :D
Because of course. Most of the windows in the beach house were painted shut. Fortunately it just took a few minutes and a sharp blade to get them open.

If you squeegee the walls after finishing showering most of the water is eliminated and what's left evaporates quickly so it won't mildew as fast.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,991
Points
38
If you squeegee the walls after finishing showering most of the water is eliminated and what's left evaporates quickly so it won't mildew as fast.
My in-laws keep a little squeegee attached to the wall for us to use in the showers in their house in Florida. I was skeptical about it really making a difference but I bought one for our master bathroom and it really does seem to be effective at keeping things cleaner.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
14,204
Points
48
I learned last night that there is such a thing as "drywall texture" that you can spray on a repair to return the orange peel look. I've struggled with large patches forever because they always stand out. I bet this will fix that problem.
Just make sure the seams are smooth enough before you spray the texture and make sure you're using the same texture. There is orange peel from fine to rough and knock down and I'm sure a few more.
 

Gedunker

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37
Because of course. Most of the windows in the beach house were painted shut. Fortunately it just took a few minutes and a sharp blade to get them open.

If you squeegee the walls after finishing showering most of the water is eliminated and what's left evaporates quickly so it won't mildew as fast.
I'm a little worried about the window. It has a spring-loaded system (not pocket and weights). The track the window rides in is aluminum and is stamped "DO NOT PAINT". Of course, she painted it. So, yeah. We'll see.

We have a squeegee from our last trip to IKEA in Cincy. I bought it because the shower floor isn't adequately sloped. One of the three of us is good about using it, the others not so much. I'll have to try it on the tile now, too.

I've tried teaching the pigs to sing, but I've found it wastes my time and it annoys the pigs. Someday they'll have their own houses ...
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,495
Points
30
Just make sure the seams are smooth enough before you spray the texture and make sure you're using the same texture. There is orange peel from fine to rough and knock down and I'm sure a few more.
The patch I'm looking at now is fine orange peel. It's a good test patch for using the spray for the first time, it's in my basement on a wall that I think hasn't been painted in 20 years. I fell going down the stairs and put a hole through it with the laundry basket.

I have two other big patch areas that could use texture too. If it goes well with this test, I'll do the others.
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
2,114
Points
29
I'm in the preliminary stages of planning to install some floating shelves. They will be between two walls above a toilet. I've actually never done it before and want to do it right. Seems like there are a lot of el cheapo "kits" out there so I'm going to try to avoid that. It looks like having a drill press would make the job easier but that's one thing I don't have.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
5,676
Points
30
I'm in the preliminary stages of planning to install some floating shelves. They will be between two walls above a toilet. I've actually never done it before and want to do it right. Seems like there are a lot of el cheapo "kits" out there so I'm going to try to avoid that. It looks like having a drill press would make the job easier but that's one thing I don't have.
Lots of how-tos at the provided link
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,495
Points
30
Well I did a thing this weekend. Came home with a table saw, jigsaw, and a pile of lumber.

I decided the table saw was the right move to start a home woodshop. I was gonna go with a miter saw but decided I can do everything a miter saw can do plus rip boards with a table saw.

First test project will be something simple, building a gate for a deck. Shouldn't be too hard. After that, it'll be a cover to go over my glass top stove. Idea is I can use it for extra counter space when I don't need the stove.

Eventually I'll build a big worth table in the basement with a built in spot for the table saw. I just have to figure out the best way to get large lumber here. My table is planned to be 5' x 8'. It'll actually be two tables that join together because it'll go around a support in my basement.
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
Messages
5,022
Points
31
Discovered some water intrusion in the basement late last week for the first time since we've been in this house (two-and-a-half years). Granted, we've had a lot of rain recently, but the last couple of weeks was hardly the first time we've had lots of rain. Couple that with a noticeably higher water bill (especially considering that one of the two people that live here was out of town for two weeks of the billing cycle), and the proximity of the origin of the water intrusion to a sprinkler line...and I think I might have a busted sprinkler pipe. Yay! I turned off that water line, and we've been able to mostly dry out that area of the basement. It's started raining again this morning, and it will last for a couple of more days - we'll see if I'm right...and then I can get it fixed.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,495
Points
30
I picked up a chop saw (miter saw) at a pawn shop for $40. Stop in to a few pawn shops if you have the time; you'd be amazed at what you can find.
I think I'm gonna go the new route for tools. We have limited pawn shops here, and I am wary of buying anything used because I have no ability to really repair it. That said, the miter saw I was looking at is now way overkill with a table saw. It was a compound sliding DeWalt. I can downgrade that now to a regular compound since I have space on the table saw for larger items.

The table saw has a pretty limited table though. That's fine considering I was planning on building a large work space and including a built in area for the table saw. I have discovered that the included miter gauge is a pile of hot garbage. That'll be the first upgrade. I had to clamp the piece I was going to cut to the miter gauge, which is sketchy at best IMO. I couldn't remove the piece until the cut was finished and the saw was off. I'm not terribly worried about kickback on a crosscut though.
 
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