A classic conundrum.

The new appliance is just slightly larger than the old range top. Approximately one half inch must be trimmed from each side. The cuts must be neat, precise and accurate for best visual results.

Hardly a job for a Sawzall ,jig saw, circular saw or router. The Oscillating Multi-Tool however, is perfect. With a straight edge guide clamped in place the little finish tool slowly leaves a perfect kerf.

New range unit fits perfectly.

Other Multi-Tool applications:






While I am not necessarily a fan of major modifications to clear fir solid wood legacy doors,
this was a fun project and consistent with the type of work I was asked to do back when
when such doors were widely available and relatively inexpensive.

Do not try this with a foam filled hollow core fiberglass or steel door! While anything
is possible, solid wood remains the simplest and best choice for this type of modification.
Anything else could be cost prohibitive.

Now the wait for squirrel Godot begins!

Remember old timey Bullseye Moulding Crossheads? Sure you do. You see them in every
old timey cowboy movie.

In the 21st Century Bullseye Moulding Crossheads can be used over every garage door where
water damage mysteriously chews up the siding with alarming frequency.

An otherwise tough repair can be fixed with nothing more complicated than a PVC
plank capped on each end with good old fashioned Bullseye Moulding.

Get yours today!(Click for large image)

Gutters and downspouts frequently clog and the market for innovations seems
unlimited in the ongoing war between the need to divert rain water from roof to
ground and the reality said water will carry sufficient debris to clog
any channel designed for such efficient diversion.

The residential downspout market has a number of gizmos designed
to clear any disruption to the smooth passage of water from point A to B.

Commercial fixtures, on the other hand, attempt to dominate through sheer size.
A 6 inch by 6 inch box downspout connected to a well designed roof scupper will
easily swallow many oversized leaves, tree limbs and detritus without so much
as a hiccup and discharge them to the ground.

Howsomeever, even the largest commercial downspout can run afoul of troublesome
blockage sufficient to need manual cleaning. So I was surprised to learn the
number of after market hatch type gizmos are rare and hard to find.

But no problem. A 6 inch by 6 inch metal box downspout is exactly the same size
as a 6 inch by 6 inch electrical PVC junction box which can be easily
modified into a flat base and removable plate to attach at a convenient
location on the outside metal surface of the downspout.

Here is one version in four easy steps.

1.Buy and modify a 6 inch by 6 inch PVC junction box from a local
hardware store.

2. Make an installation template from scrap plywood and attach to
the ailing downspout.

3. Cut your hole and clean out the clog.

4. Attach your new hatch cover with copious amounts of clear adhesive caulk
and an appropriate number of nuts and bolts.

More people should try this. Suppose you have a beautiful scrap slab of butcher block counter top.

Now you need legs to convert the slab to a functional table.

You COULD buy or make some legs from the local lumberyard. Very expensive! Click link

OR you could use a little ingenuity to convert salvage legs from a discarded table
to fit the top you already have.

Flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores and (sadly) even the local dump overflow with
genuine factory grade hardwood legs from yesteryear which can be repurposed to make a
beautiful base for your new table top.

Here is one example in four easy steps:

Step #1

Funky beat up particle board table top attached to scuzzy factory table legs at the local thrift
shop. $40.00 out the door!

Step #2

Boy, did these legs clean up nicely! The finish surface underneath the gunk was almost
pristine. What a gem! Obviously they are the wrong width and length to fit the new table
top, so a few cuts and fill wood will complete the reattachment to their new home.

Step #3

Good to go! The new assembly is showroom shiny.

Step #4

A finish coat for the butcher block and this table fits perfectly with the kitchen decor!

The Dog Days of August howl with pain when a beautiful clear fir vintage solid wood door
arrives in the shop seriously crippled by an encounter of the unpleasant kind!

A real good old timey Legacy Entry Door should not suffer such indignity!

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! O how hast this most grievous wound come to pass?

Fortunately Habitat for Humanity provides a perfect replacement salvage panel to transplant
into the damaged heritage door with complete recovery anticipated and followed by many more
decades of useful service in the dwelling of origin for this most hearty and faithful relic
of times past.

The world made whole again. Whew!

For other door repair adventures




TJ Kattermann-One man repairs and home improvements in Raleigh’s Glenwood South and the metropolitan area.

(919) 834-4833

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.


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



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”