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Old 06-25-2008, 03:00 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by bbbamI
I..hang wallpaper...

Someone told me once the best test of a marital relationship is to work together wallpapering a small, out of square room...
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Old 06-25-2008, 03:41 PM   #22
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I pump gas, cook, do laundry, clean the house, garden; if I had several million dollars I would pay people to do most of that.
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:27 PM   #23
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How much lift? Crane Fireball model??
....Wondering about that also. Roller or flat tappet? Hearing about lots of problems with modern oils (lack of zinc and moly) combined with high lift flat tappets and heavy valve springs.
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:53 PM   #24
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....Wondering about that also. Roller or flat tappet? Hearing about lots of problems with modern oils (lack of zinc and moly) combined with high lift flat tappets and heavy valve springs.
Since my car is completely original I went with the stock lift and duration and bought it from Crane. I had what I thought was a bad lifter but once I took it apart I found that the rockers were also a problem so they were replaced also. Originally I started with just a lifter change but didn't like the way 2 of the lifter bottoms looked so I replaced the cam also.

I went with original flat tappet and used Rotella Oil with a can of EOS I had stashed. Also used the Crane stuff on the lifter bottoms and the lobes of the cam. No problems and she runs great.

The car still has the original mufflers and the baffles are shot so the next project is to replace the mufflers. Mostly everything on the car is original so I hate to replace anything.
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:55 PM   #25
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"A man's gotta know his limitations."

I do house painting better than the pros (so others have said) but that doesn't mean I like it, I'm just anal about surface preparation, which I know from model-building will make or break a paint job.

I can do light electrical work (Dad was an electrician and I went on side jobs with him often) such as running a new outlet. Eons ago I did heating and A/C although much of what I know about that is now obsolete and I don't have the specialized tools anyway. As far as plumbing goes, for anything beyond replacing a faucet I call a pro because that's easier than making four trips to the store for all the right fittings.

The mistake the folks in the article made was failure to plan ahead and think all the steps through beforehand.
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:09 PM   #26
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As a teenager.... and slave labor....

I changed out 3 clutches... rebuild a carb... did way to many brake jobs without the proper tools (those springs CUT DEEP when they go flying)...

Put on a roof... the first quarter looked 'wavy', but I got the hang of it and the rest looked good.. installed an HVAC system... painted the house... twice... did some wall work... never did the float, but had to do the sanding... and lots of different plumbing items....


As for now... I just fixed a hole in the ceiling due to a water leak... it looks OK, but could not get the 'bumps' (can't remember their name) to look like the old stuff... so it is still visible...

Had some of my wall 'separate' from the ceiling... went to try and 'fix' it... and this big piece of old mortar just dropped out Seems they did not fit the wall right when it was first built and decided to fill the up to 1/2 inch crack with putty.... and after 20 plus years it decided to break.... I think I did a great job... it looks almost 'real'... now have to spackle (that the word!!)... and then paint... but I now see another crack at a place I can not reach... over two stories high ceiling and wall...

I would rather pay than make the mistake....
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:45 PM   #27
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We've been getting our house ready to sell over the last year. I try to do the things I do well or enjoy doing. Unfortunately, I've had to contract out more projects as the desired listing date approaches. In the last year I have:

Rebuilt all the soffit and fascia and replaced the window trim (lots of reaching over head, climbing up and down ladders.) I had to do it in smaller increments to spare my 50 year old shoulders and legs. I saved a lot of money and it looks great, but never again!

Painted the exterior over several days as I worked around weather issues. Glad I did it myself.

Concrete footing and concrete block work - I happily hired a contractor to handle this one. Concrete work is hard work and time critical. I also lack masonry skills. Just send me the bill.

Wiring garage lights - I'm a good electrician and enjoy wiring.

Interior paint - Forget it! I did the exterior. Running short on time anyway. Send me the bill.

Landscaping - One of my specialties! I just have to rent a tractor with a front end loader to move material around.
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Old 06-25-2008, 06:45 PM   #28
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Having lived in a 1930 vintage house for 33 years I'm more than familiar with DIY projects and I'm more than familiar with the costs involved in doing them.

Lemme tell you, it ain't like HDTV. Here are my rules of thumb.

First, forget the schedule, you ain't gonna get it done in one weekend.

Second, forget doing it on the cheap. It's gonna cost you plenty.

Here's a link to a project that I completed two years ago. The laundry room was the last room in our house to get a complete renovation. I put this one off as long as DW would let me and then it was time to get to work.

Total cost of this little weekend project was about $3500 and it took better than three months to complete. The cost did not include the appliances. The finish work was the easy part of the job, correcting a lot of problems and arranging the room the way we wanted it was the time consuming and expensive part.

This link is just a bunch of pictures of all the work that went on. For the executive summary just click on the before, during and after pictures. For the cooks tour you can hit them all.

Index of /laundry
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:08 PM   #29
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Just from reading the first few paragraphs, it sounds like the author isnt very familiar with or very good at DIY, so a pox on it.

This from the guy thats spent the last six weeks having his house torn apart inside and out and doing about 20% of that work myself. Except for huge projects I do almost all my own work.

If I know a contractor really, really well and I can get a deal where i'm paying for the materials at a discount and am getting the labor at cost then I'll pay a guy to do it.

Otherwise I've found that by the time you call 5 guys, have 3 of them call you back, have 2 actually show up and neither of them when they said they would, get a bid thats either overpriced or intentionally underpriced with the intention of jacking the price up later on when my house is torn up, get the guys to actually show up, eyeball them to make sure they dont cut corners or screw something up, I end up with a mediocre job I could have done myself in less time and with much less hassle.

Costwise, unless the project requires some exotic and expensive tool that I cant rent at home depot, I usually can buy the tools, do the rentals, get the materials delivered if they're big, and still have a HUGE cost savings over paying someone to do it.

In fact, I now have a garage and shed full of tools I bought to do a particular job, saved money on that, and then owned the tool for the rest of its life.

I got a real chuckle out of the author complaining about paying $60 to have three pallets of pavers delivered to their door. For what its worth, I paid the same for delivery of a pallet of 80lb bags of concrete, 140 4x4's and 600 fence boards.

But for times like these when contractors are starving and you can get guys to show up and give a very cheap deal to get work, maybe DIY on something complicated or annoying isnt that great an idea.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:14 PM   #30
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I went with original flat tappet and used Rotella Oil with a can of EOS I had stashed. Also used the Crane stuff on the lifter bottoms and the lobes of the cam. No problems and she runs great.
I know quite a few guys that have gone to the Rotella. Now there's word floating around that even Rotella is cutting the additives back. Not sure by how much. You can send a sample of used oil to these folks to see how well the oil is holding up. Blackstone Laboratories
I've been using Maxlife and adding one ounce per quart of EOS every oil change for quite a while. So far so good. All stock 350 sb.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:28 PM   #31
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Yeah, the zinc thing is a real problem for flat tappet cars. But the tests on the new EOS proved it has about the same zinc amount as the old EOS. I haven't purchased any yet but will get some in a few weeks.

My car still has the original valve springs which after 35 years aren't putting too much tension on the cam so an oil change with a can of EOS should be fine.

If I were building a motor with a high lift and long duration I'd be much more concerned about zinc content. When starting up these race motors for the first time removal of the center valve spring to remove tension is recommended for the first 1/2 hour of running time.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:01 AM   #32
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Yeah, the zinc thing is a real problem for flat tappet cars. But the tests on the new EOS proved it has about the same zinc amount as the old EOS. I haven't purchased any yet but will get some in a few weeks.

My car still has the original valve springs which after 35 years aren't putting too much tension on the cam so an oil change with a can of EOS should be fine.

If I were building a motor with a high lift and long duration I'd be much more concerned about zinc content. When starting up these race motors for the first time removal of the center valve spring to remove tension is recommended for the first 1/2 hour of running time.
I remember they had to change the label to "assembly lube" for legal reasons not long ago. I think people were adding it to modern cars and it was messing with sensors and cat converters. I saw a VOA on that stuff from Blackstone and it was loaded with additives. They were suggesting that an ounce per quart should be plenty. I figure it shouldn't hurt eventhough like you I still have the mild cam and springs.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:46 AM   #33
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Anyone into DIY, and if so, what types of projects?
After 25 years, and after having to deal with contractors, we've lost all fear of DIY.

About the only things I haven't tackled are engine replacements, transmission repairs, arc welding, and appendix removal. (But I'm still young and I still have one.) I can do roof repairs but I'd rather let the trained (speedy) professionals have that one.

The blogger did a great job of describing all the surprises, but it's tough to write about a topic like that without coming off whiny. They could've finished on a more upbeat note, too, by describing how they're planning & estimating their next project.

One thing I've learned is that most jobs are more difficult without power tools. Yeah, you can do just about anything with hand tools, but the power gives a lot more convenience & speed.

I've also learned that many projects are worth revisiting. 10 years ago spouse and I put a door in a wall and swore "never again". Today the adjustable frames, jigs, & power tools make it a cinch. Family Handyman keeps us up on all the latest.

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That's ok...I'm convinced you have to have ovaries to hang wallpaper.
I'd amend that to read "You have to have ovaries to properly supervise hanging wallpaper"...
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:10 AM   #34
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I've found harbor freight is a great place to get tools for DIY projects. They sell fairly low quality tools that likely won't last very long, but cost about 1/3 or 1/2 the cost of the name brand tools you'll get at your local home center. Perfect for tools you'll only use a few times.

But infrequently used tools are also a liability... unless real estate is cheap in your area, the cost of storing them may outweigh their value. When you start building sheds or outbuildings for your tools then you're talking serious money.

Also most tools are so heavy that moving them would cost more than they are worth, so they tend to tie you down geographically.
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:11 AM   #35
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When you start building sheds or outbuildings for your tools then you're talking serious money.
Another reason to buy even more tools.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:29 AM   #36
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Over the years, I've done about everything one can do in residential destruction construction: wired, framed, roofed, plumbed, installed ductwork, hung drywall, ...

Still do much of my own work, though some tasks require an extra set (or two) of hands, so I usually farm out those jobs.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:15 AM   #37
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I've discovered that 98% of "must be assembled/operated by two people" issues can be resolved by a few screws or a roll of tape.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:18 AM   #38
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UncleHoney, that laundry room looks fantastic. Want to come over and redo my laundry room?
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:32 AM   #39
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When you start building sheds or outbuildings for your tools then you're talking serious money.
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Another reason to buy even more tools.
Been there done do that!
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:37 AM   #40
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UncleHoney, that laundry room looks fantastic. Want to come over and redo my laundry room?
Thanks Kronk. It only took 33 years to work out the design.

Think I'll pass, one was more than enough. Besides DW is making noises about the bath and the kitchen so time going to be tight in the near future.
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