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Old 06-26-2008, 10:11 AM   #41
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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.
Drat, and I was hoping. Our house is under somewhat benign neglect. We have a long list of projects, but then we don't end up following through because we are too lazy to start calling and getting estimates.

And then the current DIY project of ripping out panelling and a scabbed-on wall, and painting bookcases and the room has been in an incomplete state for over 8 months now. At least my excuse is that I've had a shoulder injury that has kept me from working on it. Somehow, painting hurts more than martial arts or tennis... (It actually does, and by a long shot.)
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:40 PM   #42
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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.
True, and finding the 2% share can be a lot of fun. Example: The "two man dirt auger" really can't be operated safely by one person. This is the post-hole digger with the motor mounted on top and the big auger bit. No matter how motivated you are. No matter how much you think the "two man" thang is just something they have to say because of liability issues/personal injury lawyers.




If you DID try to operate one of these things by yourself, it would work just fine. It would dig much faster than you could ever do it by hand, and you might even congratulate yourself for saving the $20/day more that the one-man auger would have cost. You might say, "man, this is going fast, it's great," and give 'er the gas. Then, you'd hit the first tree root of the day and go for the ride of your life. This would happen repeatedly--spinning you into all manner of things. At one point you could be digging a hole next to the phone pole when you hit a rock and go for a ride. And your hand would get pinned between the handle of the auger and the phone pole. And the throttle lever, on the outside of the handlebars, is pinned down also, jammed into your knuckles and in "full gas" position, urging the beast to squash your hand even more and pinning you to the death machine.

Don't ask me how I know.

The one man-dirt auger, with the engine mounted on a wheeled dolly and the auger bit on a simple lever arm, can safely be operated by a child and offers no comparable excitement
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:41 PM   #43
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If you DID try to operate one of these things by yourself, it would work just fine. It would dig much faster than you could ever do it by hand, and you might even congratulate yourself for saving the $20/day more that the one-man auger would have cost. You might say, "man, this is going fast, it's great," and give 'er the gas. Then, you'd hit the first tree root of the day and go for the ride of your life.
See also the legendary Hole Hawg, the deadliest hand tool on the planet. And this sucker is supposed to be operated by one person.



I've had one of these catch and flip me upside-down.

Oh, there's a posthole-digging attachment, too...
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:19 PM   #44
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The one man-dirt auger, with the engine mounted on a wheeled dolly and the auger bit on a simple lever arm, can safely be operated by a child and offers no comparable excitement
Well, heck, where's the fun in that?

Some DIY projects require a Zen or Sun Tzu approach-- "winning" by avoiding the imperative to have to use an auger tackle that project in the first place.

When I brought home a one-man rental auger I thought I'd just be digging the five holes for the project I had in mind. Silly me, as a marriage veteran I should have known what would happen when spouse saw that tool on a one-day-only rental and imagined all the possibilities...
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:43 PM   #45
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See also the legendary Hole Hawg, the deadliest hand tool on the planet. And this sucker is supposed to be operated by one person.



I've had one of these catch and flip me upside-down.

Oh, there's a posthole-digging attachment, too...

Chuck up this demon hole cutter in a hole hog and get up on the top rungs of the 6' ladder to bore a few holes for new ceiling boxes in the 100 year old shiplap on the ceiling. MMmmm! Good fun!
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:50 PM   #46
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I just finished my most recent DIY project a few weeks ago. We had a walk-in closet, finished by the house builder with the finest of 2" dowels and a particleboard shelf. The dowel broke and the shelf was sagging badly.

I think we all know what happens next.

Now, I could put in a new dowel, and maybe flip and reinforce the shelf. Of course, I'll have to empty the closet out to get to everything. And once the closet is empty, well, we could patch the wallboard dings and paint. It's been 25 years. And another shelf would be nice...

I wound up ordering a three-wall system custom built from easyclosets.com. Measure carefully. At multiple points... If you tell them a wall is 102 5/8 inches, that piece will measure 102 3/8 inches when hung, so at no point can the opposite walls be closer than that. You'd think that would be obvious, but in fine tract-built homes, the concept of parallel surfaces is actually unknown. We have walls that vary by over an inch in separation front to back or top to bottom.

Once everything was cleared out, well, I could see the closet had that old floorboard. The brown junk that's 1/4" thick and maybe 2" high. I've replaced that with white colonial trim around the house. Time to change it here while I can get to it.

Naturally, any good closet needs a cedar lining. Aromatic red cedar, of course. I wound up paneling what would be the back of the clothing bays on each side of the closet. This took a bit of time. Then I mounted the rail for the suspended closet parts. The rail has to be nice and straight, so all the closet parts align properly. Alas, the walls are not straight. More shims. Lots of shims...

Anyhoo... After several days we had this:
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:05 PM   #47
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You'd think that would be obvious, but in fine tract-built homes, the concept of parallel surfaces is actually unknown. We have walls that vary by over an inch in separation front to back or top to bottom.
Nothing is ever level, plumb or square in a house.

I put some linoleum down in an added on laundry room 4 years ago. The room was positively trapezoidal. Six inches of difference between the back wall and the front wall and not a square angle in any of the corners. I had to use a non-patterned lino or it would have been really obvious.
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:31 PM   #48
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I think we all know what happens next.
Looks great.

But I think you got snookered-- your spouse can't possibly be expected to put her raggedy old clothes in such a nice new walk-in closet. You're talkin' a new wardrobe, and I don't mean the furniture definition of the word.

In fact that closet may make the bedroom furniture look pretty crappy too... and if you're going to have people over to the house to look at it, then it may be time to paint & recarpet!

But it looks great. Sorry.
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:37 PM   #49
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But I think you got snookered-- your spouse can't possibly be expected to put her raggedy old clothes in such a nice new walk-in closet. You're talkin' a new wardrobe, and I don't mean the furniture definition of the word.
Heh. I think this is the part where I'm supposed to buy stock in Coldwater Creek, because they're about to have a very good quarter. But that belongs over in Stock Picking.

DIY projects. I bet ya can't do just one...
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:04 PM   #50
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Nice job on the closet system. I remember doing pretty much the same drill. I happenned to be at a store that was clearing out their high quality wireframe closet systems, so I measured and bought one. Little had I realized that the $200 I spent on the system was only the admission ticket. The walls of the closet had never been painted, so might as well do that while I've got everything out. Removing the old closet system left some holes in the drywall, so that required repairs and a few layers of mud. While I'm in there, I should really install a cable track for the wires I run through the closet. Okay, so installing the closet system... required my best stud-finding fu, but otherwise straightforward. But now I discover there is a fatal flaw with this wire frame closet system: The caps that cover the cuts to the wire frames fall off, leaving very sharp, dangerous corners that are easy to cut yourself on while rummaging around in the closet. I spend many hours debating whether to remove the whole system so I can properly abrade the sharp edges down, and in the end experiment with different forms of glue to find one that will actually hold the caps on. What looked like a few-hour project ended up being days of work. And I'm happy that I ended up with a super functional closet.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:40 PM   #51
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Nothing is ever level, plumb or square in a house.

I put some linoleum down in an added on laundry room 4 years ago. The room was positively trapezoidal. Six inches of difference between the back wall and the front wall and not a square angle in any of the corners. I had to use a non-patterned lino or it would have been really obvious.
Yeah verily, there is no such thing as a right angle. The guy who installed the kitchen cabinets said they were close enough to square to make it easy.

Tile should always be laid from the center out.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:34 PM   #52
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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.
This thread is quite apropos... I was nailgunning some studs together today and a nail ricochet'd off a knot in the wood and out into the palm of my hand. The xray shows it didn't hit any bone, so I'm fine just a bit shaken. Ergonomically it is difficult to hold the studs in alignment without putting your hand in firing range. The proper way is to have someone else hold them together. Screws or duct tape would have worked
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:47 PM   #53
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This thread is quite apropos... I was nailgunning some studs together today and a nail ricochet'd off a knot in the wood and out into the palm of my hand.
Ouch!! I count any project that doesn't result in a trip to the ER as a success. Single edge razor blades are my most frequent tool of choice for prompting a visit to the ER. My wife now throws them out whenever she finds them in the house, so I have to hide a stash. I've been lucky with the nail gun, but I'll take your experience as a warning.

Oh, and that "Great Stuff" polyurethane foam? It's really groovy and is good for a lot of things, but I've learned that it makes a terrific mess and will not come off skin with any solvent known to man.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:07 AM   #54
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Owie. I havent hurt myself with a nail gun yet and i'm not looking forward to the time it happens.

My BIL cut himself up pretty good with a single edge razor trimming down some brick trim. I've found a mototool replaces a lot of the need for razors, although if you're not careful with one of those you can do a little damage.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:27 AM   #55
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This thread is quite apropos... I was nailgunning some studs together today and a nail ricochet'd off a knot in the wood and out into the palm of my hand. The xray shows it didn't hit any bone, so I'm fine just a bit shaken. Ergonomically it is difficult to hold the studs in alignment without putting your hand in firing range. The proper way is to have someone else hold them together. Screws or duct tape would have worked
Gives you visions of nailing yourself to the project, right?
Did that while twisting a stud into place and toenailing into the top plate - bounced the nail off my forefinger knuckle. lucky lucky lucky.
My DIY project for yesterday was skinnying under a rental house and replacing a section of rotten cast iron drainline. Communing with the spiders and the fiberglass insulation, breathing the heady aroma of dirt, fiberglass sparkles, mouse droppings, aged stuff from the leak - all in a cozy space i had to dig to get too. Good times!
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:05 PM   #56
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Wow, we just went and started looking at solid wood floors to install in the main floor of our house. I will have to tell DH to be really careful when he gets ready to start.

The laundry room and the closet jobs look fantastic.

I am still trying to get a contractor to do a small job (banister railing on our stairs). He told me in May that he would probably get it done in June, but it does not appear that it will happen. I have not heard back from him. I think that I might try calling a couple of more people and ask them to do the same job and see which one comes first. It is extremely hard to find someone to do small jobs.
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