Archive

artisan

Come the Apocalypse, this hand held auger bit drill (aka “brace”) will do the
same work for humanity all hand powered tools have done for centuries.

This one, of course, is not exactly your grandfathers brace and bit since
the bit is the innovative modern adjustable version introduced sometime
in the second half of the 20th Century.

Any size hole up to 3 inches with just a turn of the adjustment screw! Prior
to that most carpenters carried an entire cloth tool roll filled with every size
needed on the job to make holes from 1/4 inch up to a gargantuan 1 1/4 inch diameter.

For larger holes an additional tool roll of large hole augers would need to find
space in the toolbox as well.

I used this particular combination brace and bit all through the late 1970’s through
the middle 1990’s- mostly to bore knob and lock holes in the solid fir doors commonly
available at the time.

Before battery operated drills with individually sized hole saws the trusty brace and bit
was the go-to hole making tool of the day.

Of course, in the 21st century most doors come from the factory with knob and lock holes
pre-drilled so even the need to cut holes onsite is uncommon.

Nevertheless, as recently as a few weeks ago I needed to make a special retro sized hole
and none of the many hole saws or spade bits in my tool box could quite do the job.

So maybe the day of the classic brace and bit is not yet gone. They are still for sale
(new!) online. Go figure.

https://www.amazon.com/Stanley-5044-Bit-Brace-10In/dp/B0001IW8N8

RustyBolts2

Warning! Shocking real life story about kitchen faucet replacement ( or why there is no
such thing as a simple job!) Not some showroom shiny parts kabuki theatre, but an
ACTUAL SINK with ACTUAL rusty flanges and rusty nuts and rusty bolts and an ACTUAL
oscillating multitool to cut them off! Probably the only such example on the ENTIRE
INTERNET! Never watch a prancing pony of pecuniary production parsimony demonstrate
a Fixit Job! For the real thing call a real FIXIT GUY!

Read More

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

No more digital thermostats!

After 3 super duper programmable wonder boxes which could do everything except run
the furnace we dragged the vintage 1960 era bimetallic analog milk horse out of
retirement and watched in amazement as the house warmed up and cooled down without a hiccup!

The only problem was temperature control.
In the 1960’s no one quibbled about 71/72/73 degrees.

Close enough was good enough.

Enter another fine analog product from yesteryear- the lipstick tube.

With a twist of the dial the temperature can be adjusted in increments of 1/2 degree!

Ma is happy, I am happy, the furnace is happy.

Happy, happy, happy!

By the way, credit for the lipstick tube adjustable switch courtesy of
Fred MacMurray in “Dive Bomber”

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033537/

Okay, summer is officially here!

Now is a good time to look back at all the Springtime Spruce up repairs
that appeared between thundershowers and routine maintenance chores here
in beautiful downtown Raleigh.

For example, door jamb repairs remain a popular option for many people with
spring fever.

Here:

ViviLnk

ViviLnk


Here:
ViviLnk

ViviLnk


And the finished job here:
ViviLnk

ViviLnk

Sometimes a window sill or two could use some tender loving care:

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

Up on a ladder again!

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

Brand new maintenance free PVC replacement sills will do the job every time!

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

And, nothing like a nice new fence to shape up the yard.

Sometimes you need a fancy homemade right angle layout tool to make
straight lines for the fence posts!

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

Of course, no fence is complete without a gate latch:

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

And yes, with all the rain this Iris bloomed early and often!

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

Just a small sample of the mischief and merriment from Spring 2016!

(There was a soffit repair with blurry pictures which I cannot post! Darnit!)

Blurry Picture Soffit Repair (See the beautiful tongue and groove board patch? Yeah,
neither can I! -sigh- )

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

So now I brace for the heat and humidity of the Dog Days Of August! Call me a with work order!
We can laugh together in the steamy Southern Sunshine!

Oh, yeah, there was a rebuilt kitchen drawer this spring as well. Amazing how often kitchen drawers
need help! Quite a few have come my way over the years!

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

If you want to see some of these repairs live on camera, I made videos wayback long ago! Yes!

CLICK THIS LINK HERE FOR A WINDOW SILL REPAIR

CLICK THIS LINK HERE FOR A DOOR JAMB REPAIR

StorageCrate2

Framed pictures and plaques suffer nicks and dings and other damage when they lean
against each other stored on a shelf or worse, stacked flat on top of each other in a pile.

With the variable length, width and thickness of a typical framed picture and
plaque collection storage and transport is an adventure at best.

One solution is to pack them vertically in individual partitions protected from
any potential injury.

This crate made with pegboard sidewalls and adjustable partitions created with
dowels solves many storage and transport requirements.

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

Yes! (Some!) window sash repairs are possible. This latch rail was probably destroyed by
a wood virus, not water rot or insects. So, overall, frame stiles were repairable with a
new latch rail inserted in place of the badly decomposed original. A cheaper, faster
alternative to the special order replacement kit which can take up to 3 weeks to arrive.
As Hannibal Smith famously said: “I love it when a plan comes together!”

This, of course, is not my first rodeo.

A previous wildly improbable wood damage repair can be found AT THIS LINK.

And here find TWO sash repairs from the wayback machine in the days before insulated glass!

WAYBACK SASH REPAIR #1

WAYBACK SASH REPAIR #2

The desktop utility Hole Punch O’Matic continues to stir curiosity and amazement
across the continent. This week a report from some far flung corner of the
empire 700 miles from Home Base Raleigh. After a lengthy journey through
US Postal package service plucky prototype #6 functions flawlessly for the camera
in an ad hoc field trial. See for yourself:

For those who wish to study Hole Punch O’ Matic history some previous footage
from previous models:

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

Jack Houweling over at JaxDesign came up with a cute magnetic knife holder so I took a few
scrap remnants from the wood box and mimicked his idea. (LINK HERE)

With an ordinary hardware store magnet implements do not “float” as they do
with the heavy duty rare earth magnets,but overall the design still works as intended.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Cute project.

With just some minor adjustments this entry stoop is converted
from yesteryear’s well worn relic into a clean, modern front portal.

The “before” photo- loose brick, loose handrail, and an uncomfortably
high step (12 inches) under a layer of moss and grunge.

Stoop RepairA

Work in progress photo. Pressure washed reset bricks with a platform step to
ensure a smooth transition from sidewalk to stoop.

StoopRepairB

The final touch. Tie the stoop and platform together with a uniform surface of
tough, durable modern outdoor carpet.

What a difference a day makes!

StoopRepairD

This is a somewhat common upgrade.
Especially with vintage carport entry doors.

In many carports the most frequently used house door is equipped
with a perfunctory set of basic concrete steps upon which the
resident must stand and confront a reverse handed storm door
often while burdened with groceries, packages or squirming children.

Why this design flaw from GrandDad’s day has persisted through
the years is definitely a paradox, a mystery, and even an enigma!

Through the years I built entire decks over these unlikely arrangements.

Click LINK HERE or HERE