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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

CLICK LINK HERE

or CLICK LINK HERE

or CLICK LINK HERE

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

(919) 834-4833

Okay, summer is officially here!

Now is a good time to look back at all the Springtime Spruce up 2017 repairs
completed between thundershowers and routine maintenance chores here
in beautiful downtown Raleigh.

You can even compare and contrast Spring Spruce Up 2017 with Spring Spruce Up 2016! (CLICK HERE)

Spring came early in 2017 with flowers in January!

And to keep up the tradition of deck work on hot days,the ONLY and HOTTEST Day
in March (80+ degrees)was reserved for floor board refurbishment:

Previous hot weather deck refurbishment in June not March! (CLICK HERE) and (CLICK HERE)

And yes, this year more window work!

(For other views of Window Work CLICK HERE OR CLICK HERE)

ViviLnk

This spring included a road trip to Chatham County to swap out an old slab stave
core door with a new slab stave core door. $5.00 round trip on the 540 toll road.
A long day but definitely an exciting adventure!

Previous Door Adventures (CLICK HERE OR CLICK HERE OR CLICK HERE OR CLICK HERE)

Sometimes steps are not the proper 7/11 inch rise and run. A simple fix is to change the height
with the proper size tread.

Another step/front stoop height adjustment (CLICK HERE)

And not to forget the ever popular undersink Sponge Tray installation with special offset
tools! (CLICK LINK HERE)

Or the ever popular sliding cabinet drawer retrofit:

Of course, Great Grandma was right. Carpets should be beaten clean every spring regardless of
whether they are dirty or not. Good habits and all that.

So here at the International Handyman Headquarters we just dragged that office carpet outside,
drenched the entire surface with soapy carpet cleaner, cranked up the pressure washer and went
to town!

Great Grandma would be so proud!

So there you have the story, the whole story and nothing but the story!

Just a small sample of the mischief and merriment from Spring 2017!

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!

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

The world is filled with technical specification requirements, commercial,
legal and government code restrictions,even engineering design demands-
all of which fall under the general rubric of “Best Practices”.

Most people in most work environments accept the value of these generally
accepted practice templates, usually based on a previous generations experience
of bitter failure from past attempts to achieve a certain desirable outcome.

Architects tell more than a few dramatically epic war stories.

For many, Boston’s John Hancock Building may come immediately to mind. CLICK LINK

 

 


But then appears today’s Exhibit A from my little world of residential
repairs and improvement- an example so far off the beaten path as to make
any carpenter question the value of code compliant design or any other generally
accepted “Best Practice”.

Forget about the absence of X braces or the retrofitted angle brackets (and bolts?)
and just meditate briefly on the location of a two story load bearing post positioned
in the middle of a 12 foot open span rim joist! Held in place by nails? Impossible to
determine from the street.

Truly this is a marvel of by guess and by golly backwoods engineering.

The ultimate Best Practices Paradox!

Given the age of materials this structure has been in service at least ten
if not twenty or even thirty years! In all that time people have used these
stairs and no harm has come to anyone.

By what magic does this deck remain upright? Surely BEST PRACTICE protocols
would predict a quick and early demise long ago!

Mortal minds will be hard put to determine whether this edifice is an example of
divine intervention or satanic interference.

But there she stands proud and unquestioned for all to see.

So to install a tipout sponge tray is not a difficult job with a new kitchen cabinet.

Plenty of space to swing tools around and attach screws without counter tops and sinks
in place to block access to screws and hardware.

Howsomeever, retrofit a tipout sponge tray in an existing cabinet and there is a
completely different job with completely different access and space requirements.

In spite of all the modern new ratchet gizmos and power drill attachments only one tool
still really works in that cramped crowded workspace- the good ole fashioned handheld
offset screwdriver.

Yes, I bought a set back in the good ole days and every so often, they still come in handy!

A thing of beauty and a joy for ever, get yours today! You never know when you will need one!

Walmart still sells them! CLICK LINK

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

January 27,2017 Daffodils in Bloom!

Well and truly said about Raleigh Weather: If you are unhappy with today’s
temperature/precipitation/sunshine wait a bit and you will like what comes tomorrow.

This year the Daffodils are already in bloom!
In January!

Previously this time of year classically has brought us ice, snow, and exuberant dogs!

Wonder Dog Cavorts in the backyard January 29, 2014 CLICK LINK

Ice Attack! January 25, 2013! CLICK LINK

And then, of course, a genuine blizzard of the Snowmeggadon variety December 26, 2010 CLICK LINK

peskyholidaychores

A blast from the past!

Yes! Before the World Wide Web, Blogs, Vlogs, Podcasts,
Twitter, and EVEN FACEBOOK(!!!!), civilization was blessed with something
called A NEWSPAPER!

Newspapers were the all-knowing, all-seeing omniscient precursor to
the INTERNET.

People found these newspaper things sold on every street corner, free to
read in every barbershop, restaurant, library,and shoeshine stand.They eagerly
consumed the content therein for all the IMPORTANT EVENTS OF THE DAY.

And sometimes the newspaper Gods would smile on ordinary Pedestrian
Americans and publish their (unpaid) homegrown contributions to
Civilization within the sacred, hallowed pages of the daily press.

So back on December 22, 1991, yours truly found his humble suggestions for
a Safe and Happy Holiday reproduced in the Friday edition of Raleigh’s News &
Observer, thousands of copies of which were distributed all over the State of
North Carolina and other select portions of the United States!

A heady experience for a small town Fixit Guy!

So for a taste of vintage humor enjoy this selection from the voluminous archives
of yesteryear’s Fixit Files!

Note the reference to a spontaneous battery fire! Before laptops and cellphones!

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

A DIY no frill cabinet shelf pull out.

Back in the good ole days before fancy wire baskets and dovetail joint trays,
plywood was the material of choice to make cabinet pull out shelves.

Yup! This was some kind of fancy!

With ordinary plywood a 31 inch wide shelf can easily support any number
of heavy pots and pans.

Hardly gets anymore straightforward than this.

3/4 inch plywood shelf cut to size attached with two side drawer glides and a front
edge of clear pine.

The visible surface can be covered with vinyl shelf liner, 1/8 inch melamine masonite, FRP,
or even Formica.

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

Melamine masonite liner.

The video:

punchlist3
To paraphrase the legendary Forrest Gump: punch lists are like a box of chocolates,
you never know what you will get when the telephone rings.

A staple of the Fixit Catalog Of Necessary Projects, punchlists are the jobs leftover
when the rest of the construction crew is gone and finished with their work.

Who knew parking space stripes could be too long and would need to be partially
erased? And yet there was the task on the job board list: black out excess parking
space stripes!

And so I did.

Enjoy.

ViviLnk

ViviLnk

Work in progress. Layout lines and spacer set. Striper cart ready to roll.

Live video of white line erasure in progress.