Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Handyman University
Old 01-21-2006, 09:43 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
wabmester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,459
Handyman University

I was not a handyman before retirement, but I felt that it was my duty to tackle the field as part of my retirement agenda.

I've learned a bunch.

For example, I've learned that stud finders are good at finding hot water pipes, and that you can drill through a hot water pipe if you're determined enough.

Today, I learned how some outlet boxes work.* * I decided to finally wire the house for ethernet.* *Set up a hub in the crawlspace, ran some cat5 to the livingroom, took out the cable outlet box, fished the cat5 through the cable hole, punched down the cables into the socket, pushed the modular sockets into the cover, and proceded to put the outlet box back in the wall.

But the box's screws no longer had anything to attach to.* * Apparently, these new-fangled boxes have "wings" that extend when you crank the screw.* *I managed to unscrew too far, and the wings are somewhere in my wall now.

Easy to fix, but I thought I'd offer this lesson before somebody else repeated my mistake.

__________________

__________________
wabmester is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Handyman University
Old 01-21-2006, 11:57 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Re: Handyman University

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
I've learned a bunch.

For example, I've learned that stud finders are good at finding hot water pipes, and that you can drill through a hot water pipe if you're determined enough.

Today, I learned how some outlet boxes work.

Easy to fix, but I thought I'd offer this lesson before somebody else repeated my mistake.
Studfinders are great at finding cast-iron sewage piping, too. Maybe it's a good thing that most of our piping is plastic.

Last week while drilling holes in our roof we ran across a discrepancy in locating a ceiling rafter. We found the lower end of it just fine, but when we snapped a straight chalk line up the roof and whacked the area with a mallet, the rafter seemed to have moved an inch to the left. After a prolonged discussion we decided to drill the hole on the line anyway.

It turns out that the rafter was warped by nearly an inch to the left. We didn't miss it but we didn't completely hit it, either. Luckily we bought the really expensive brand of roof caulk and it'll be easy to keep an eye on the situation from our livingroom recliner.

Now we're getting to the electrical part of the solar installation. ~480V DC and up to four amps of current. Needless to say I'll be shading the panels from the sun, wearing thick rubber-soled shoes & no metal, and keeping one hand in my pocket.

Anyway my point is that my favorite handyman tool is a $12 subscription to Family Handyman. The back of every issue is a page of "Great Goofs" to help teach from the experience of others.
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-22-2006, 07:38 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BUM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mid Hudson Valley
Posts: 1,778
Re: Handyman University

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
I was not a handyman before retirement, but I felt that it was my duty to tackle the field as part of my retirement agenda.

I've learned a bunch.

For example, I've learned that stud finders are good at finding hot water pipes, and that you can drill through a hot water pipe if you're determined enough.

Today, I learned how some outlet boxes work. I decided to finally wire the house for ethernet. Set up a hub in the crawlspace, ran some cat5 to the livingroom, took out the cable outlet box, fished the cat5 through the cable hole, punched down the cables into the socket, pushed the modular sockets into the cover, and proceded to put the outlet box back in the wall.

But the box's screws no longer had anything to attach to. Apparently, these new-fangled boxes have "wings" that extend when you crank the screw. I managed to unscrew too far, and the wings are somewhere in my wall now.

Easy to fix, but I thought I'd offer this lesson before somebody else repeated my mistake.


DIY projects are educational, fun (at least for me) and can improve the value of the house. I've been doing it for so long that I started to keep a scrapbook of sorts. All I really do is take a few pics and keep adding them to a Powerpoint slide show.

Remember way back when Powerpoint was for making presentations at work, heh, heh.

So ah wab, what have got against wireless networks? Got mine up and running allover the house in about 5 or 6 hours. Half the time was spent on the pesky print server. Anyway now it all works great everywhere. Probably even from the neighbor's house. (pssst... His works fairly well here too!)


__________________
In a panamax down by the river.
BUM is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-22-2006, 11:42 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Handyman University

New stud finders can determine the diff between studs and electrical wires/pipes.

Nords...just do the work at night with a really bright work light
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-22-2006, 12:45 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
wabmester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,459
Re: Handyman University

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUM
So ah wab, what have got against wireless networks?
Speed.* *I recently set up a new media center that gives us streaming TV, and my wife watches DVDs all the time from the other media server, so our wifi bandwidth was saturated.* * We'll have 100Mbps now (and maybe gigabit, but I went cheap and used cat5 instead of 5e/6 -- the one area where they say you shouldn't scrimp, but the cat5 box was on sale!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Needless to say I'll be shading the panels from the sun, wearing thick rubber-soled shoes & no metal, and keeping one hand in my pocket.
I'm enough of a klutz that there are two areas that I always contract out.* *Structural and electrical.* *Saving a few bucks just isn't worth the risk of having a few amps travel through my heart....
__________________
wabmester is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-22-2006, 01:12 PM   #6
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Handyman University

I do nothing around my House, I am a total klutz.

My wife is quite good, and I have several Brothers who are Trades People, that is why you have Brothers, so they will feel needed.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-22-2006, 04:01 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Re: Handyman University

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Also just finished the Wiring for my new Basement Cabinet Project. I added a dedicated Sub-Panel for my Audio Gear and TV.
Yikes, Cut-Throat, are we looking at exposed bus bars in that panel?

Better hope a cockroach, a centipede, or a rodent (or your fingers) can't bridge from one to the other. Around here we'd be sniffing roast gecko several times a day...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-22-2006, 04:29 PM   #8
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Handyman University

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Yikes, Cut-Throat, are we looking at exposed bus bars in that panel?

Better hope a cockroach, a centipede, or a rodent (or your fingers) can't bridge from one to the other. Around here we'd be sniffing roast gecko several times a day...
Well, yeah. I took the Cover off so you could see the wiring!
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-22-2006, 05:53 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BigMoneyJim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DFW
Posts: 2,627
Re: Handyman University

I'm failry brave about electricity and power tools, but I always make sure to have someone else around to call 911 just in case. An extra person around can be the difference between gruesome death and a funny story.
__________________
BigMoneyJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-22-2006, 05:58 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,119
Re: Handyman University

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
An extra person around can be the difference between gruesome death and a funny story.
Or the difference between a gruesome story and a funny death, depending on who's doing the telling....and who's doing the dying.

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-22-2006, 07:21 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Re: Handyman University

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Well, yeah. I took the Cover off so you could see the wiring!
Oh, OK, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
I'm failry brave about electricity and power tools, but I always make sure to have someone else around to call 911 just in case. An extra person around can be the difference between gruesome death and a funny story.
Just as long as that person's not smiling funny watching you gruesomely dying...

When I was working for a living, one morning the power went off in our building. (The cause of the loss of power was a Public Works Center employee opening a mis-labeled breaker, but we didn't know that at the time.) The "scheduled outage" wasn't supposed to affect our scheduled training so we called PWC to raise hell request customer service and they took their sweet time came right out. The PWC lead electrician walked out to the backyard breaker assembly (a six-foot-high cabinet) saying "Yeah, probably a rat again" so of course a large crowd followed him to watch the fun.

He strolled right up to the breaker cabinet and started unbolting it. Several senior Navy electrician's mates were a little concerned that he was barging in without taking precautions (for example, insulating himself and making sure that the rat hadn't grounded something to the cabinet door just before expiring) but they weren't going to lecture a PWC employee. They hadn't earned much goodwill with their behavior and he might be about to provide some very realistic experiential training.

As the last bolts were undone, the younger members of the crowd surged forward to get a good look. Without actually seeming to move, all of the senior electricians somehow managed to end up in the back of the crowd, shielded from potential fireworks and with a clear path to the first-aid equipment. I noticed that knowing looks were exchanged among them as everyone else's attention was on the breaker panel.

Of course the whole show was anticlimactic when the PWC guy opened the door and realized that the breaker label was different from the cabinet label. With 20 witnesses realizing that PWC had switched the labels, the PWC electricians suddenly became a lot more cooperative...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-22-2006, 08:24 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,119
Re: Handyman University

OK Nords, here's an electrical story for you...

Not long after the earth had cooled, I was in my college apartment late one Friday afternoon when the power went out, followed a half second later by a large “boom!”. The apartment complex was next door to a Safeway which was undergoing an expansion. I looked out across the parking lot and saw the source of the explosion was at the rear of the grocery, and and ran over to gawk at the accident see if I could be of assistance.

Two guys operating a crane on caterpillar tracks (ie., steel) were finishing up for the day and “leveling” the boom to secure it over the weekend. The crane was outside the rear of the building sitting next to the elevated loading dock. One guy was in the cab while another was on the ground next to the track and the dock .

And you guessed it, the boom of the crane had touched a high-voltage line (14,000+ volts IIRC) and the poor guy on the ground was zapped and blown several feet from where he was standing. An arc between the steel track and the loading dock blew a foot-wide hole in the 8-inch thick concrete. The power was still on and the entire crane was "hot" with several thousand volts of juice. The crane operator sat absolutely motionless in his seat, afraid the sweat and other body fluids dripping from him would electrocute him at any moment. It took over half an hour for the the power company to get there and shut off the juice. The fire department had to climb into the cab and physically remove the guy from the crane. Although he was uninjured, he was petrified and refused to believe it was safe to move. Until I lifted off on my solo flight in pilot training, that was the most frightened human being I had ever seen.

The guy on the ground survived, although he was hospitalized for weeks. The local paper did a follow up on him a few months later and he still wasn’t back to normal and probably never would be. Said he didn’t remember anything about the accident, which isn’t too surprising, I suppose...

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-23-2006, 01:12 AM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Re: Handyman University

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
OK Nords, here's an electrical story for you...
Double yikes.

I was going to tell one about a spilled coffee pot and a 25-amp breaker... but never mind.

I'm surprised the operator had the presence of mind to stay put. Usually if they don't anticipate the electrical-wire problem then they don't know how to deal with the inevitable aftermath.

I had to endure a bunch of the Naval Safety Center's stories when I was on active duty, but that one would be in the crane operator's hall of fame!
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-23-2006, 07:50 AM   #14
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Handyman University

My Brother is an Electrician, his latest job, for which he was paid $60 an hour, was to sit and watch painters in an electrical room to make sure they did nothing wrong.

I first thought, typical Unions, but it obviously makes sense based upon prior posts.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-23-2006, 08:53 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Handyman University

I replaced a breaker in a live box at my wifes (then girlfriends) house. Had good safety gear on but gave her a broomstick and told her if I looked like I was being electrocuted, to hit me with the stick and knock me down.

Guess I should have been more specific with what "being electrocuted" looks like. Standing still apparently was good enough.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 01-23-2006, 11:15 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SteveR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,803
Re: Handyman University

Back in my younger days when I was in Jr. Jaycees, we used to run a Haunted House in an abandonded Jr. Gym basement. The wiring was prehistoric and my job was to wire up everything from speakers to special effects lights etc. I worked "hot" and it was quite an educational experience on concentration and focusing on the task at hand. It was a fun activity and I have many fond memories of having to repair walls each night because we scared the crap out of some really large guys that actually went through some walls to run away.

__________________
Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
SteveR is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 02-19-2006, 09:46 AM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 52
Re: Handyman University

Having just retired from heavy industry, it is dangerous place to make a living. Drilling through bulkheads (the walls on a ship) there can be a power distribution panel on the other side. Or once in a while a crane will drop a load. Or the unsure footing may make you slip. Or the power panel you opened was supposed to be tagged out but wasn't deenergized. Or the depressurized pipe with oil, fliid, or steam wasn't depressurized and drained. Or the rotating equipment that wasn't supposed to be operting starts rotating.
__________________
Gpax7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Handyman University
Old 02-19-2006, 09:56 AM   #18
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Re: Handyman University

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpax7
Having just retired from heavy industry, it is* dangerous place to make a living. Drilling through bulkheads (the walls on a ship)* there can be a power distribution panel on the other side. Or once in a while a crane will drop a load. Or the unsure footing may make you slip. Or the power panel you opened was supposed to be tagged out but wasn't deenergized. Or the depressurized pipe with oil, fliid, or steam wasn't depressurized and drained. Or the* rotating equipment that wasn't supposed to be operting starts rotating.
Am I being hypersensitive, or by any chance would these be military vessels?

Not that I've ever seen anything like that happen, of course...
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trinity University (San Antonio) Sam FIRE and Money 21 09-21-2007 05:38 PM
Retirement U(niversity) yakers Other topics 5 04-16-2007 11:11 AM
Whoe here uses a handyman to do work around the house? thefed Other topics 26 08-28-2006 04:45 PM
Donald Trump University? wildcat Other topics 29 06-04-2005 01:40 PM
MIT Open University Hyperborea Other topics 8 01-06-2005 06:37 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:27 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.