Simple Landscaping Around Your Home

If you want to give your home a little extra value, and curb appeal then go for plants that will flower at different times during the summer. Simple Landscaping Around Your Home will give you some tips you can work on.

Having a few evergreen trees around your house front will also give the place a good look year round, but just dont plant them too close to the house, or there root systems can cause you trouble with the foundation or any drains you might have.

Hanging Flower Pots

Flower baskets hanging around the place, or window boxes  with flowers always look good, and will only require watering, so are not to difficult to take care of, and even a few flower pots on your porch or steps always gives a good look.

Perennials

For flowers perennials are a great way to go, as they don’t require replanting each spring, nor do they require to much care.

Coneflowers

The Coneflowers grow just about anywhere, and come in a variety of colors, from red, white, yellow, orange or purple flowers.

Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds seem to love this plant, and it will spread from year to year while growing up to 2 or 3 feet tall, and a herbal tea can be made from the dried leaves.

Bee Balm

Bee Balm is another good plant to grow around your home, with it red,pink, or purple flowers it makes a good attraction for hummingbirds and bees, and also a herbal tea can be made from it, as well as a variety of medecinal salves.

The Black-Eyed Susan

This is another perennial plant that will look good with it yellow or orange blooms, and is best planted in a large group for a more fuller look.

It can grow up to 30 inches in height, and will withstand the heat and dry periods. growing just about any place you put them.

Hostas

Another perennial that looks good around the home, and this plant does like the shade but can tolerate some sun also.

Once they are growing well for a few years, you can cut some off with a shovel, and planting some where else, which saves buying more.

They will flower in the later part of summer, and are an attracter for hummingbirds and bees.

Phlox

Phlox is another perennial that blooms in later summer, and comes in colors of pink, purple, red and white, plus it will spread out over the years where ever it is planted.

It has a beautiful bloom of flowers that attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.

The Bleeding Heart

The Bleeding Heart plant will bloom early to mid summer, and will usually grow 10 to 15 inches tall, with the bees, and hummingbirds enjoying there flowers.

Having planted one in a small barrel planter it just keeps getting bigger each year.

Astilibe

The Astilibe is another perennial, that will give you flowers each year, while requiring very little care, and will spread out in your flower beds.

Its blooms come in pink, red, or white, and can be from 2 to 3 feet high, and this plant is not to fussy as to where you plant it.

The Iris

The Iris is another plant that requires very little care, growing just about anywhere you put it, but it does prefer a moist place.

The flowers on this plant arrive in too early summer in a variety of colors from white, blue, yellow, and many bicolors.

 

Daffodils

Daffodils will be one of your earliest flowers to bloom, showing there colors in early or mid spring, and once planted will return each year.

There flowers come in yellow, orange, white, red, and a peach color, and look real good if planted in groups.

These are just a few of the perennials you can grow around your home, and that require very little maintenance as they will return each spring from there root systems that lay dormant during those cold winter months.

The Annuals

The annuals are a one season plant, so if your thinking about why to bother to plant annuals, well annuals will produce the most flowers for the longest time period. They need to produce a lot of seeds for there shorter life spans, and so more flowers are produced on the annuals.

Personally I usually buy a few hanging pots of annuals each year even if they do require  more care.

Petunias

Petunias grow very easy, and come in just about any color you can think of, but do require attention in order for them to have a continual bloom all summer.

Zinnias

Zinnias are another summer flower that requires lots of sunshine for there blooming, and also come in a variety of colors, along with dalias they make a great display in your flower beds.

Marigolds

Marigolds are also another summer flower, you can plant in your flower barrels or in the garden to keep away any pest that are making a meal of your vegetables.

Geraniums

Geraniums are an easy to grow plant that will last the summer outside, and you can bring them into the house for the winter, and they will keep blooming.

If they get to large the plant can be cut back, as they seem to be very hardy, and I have found a piece of the plant broken off, so just poked it into some soil, and in a couple of weeks it had rooted and was forming new leaves.

One other Geranium to have around the house is the Lemon Geranium, at it will hep to keep the mosquitoes away, so can usually be planted near the doors of your home, along with a few Lavender plants that mosquitoes do not have a liking for.

Pansies

Pansies are also a flower that look good in your flower beds, or pots, and will like the full sun as they flower for most of the summer.

The Morning Glory

This is another summer blooming plant, and if planted early in the spring after frost they should bloom by mid or late summer.

They come in a variety of colors, and are popular with the hummingbirds and butterflies.Exposing them to the full sun will give the longest bloom time, and they prefer a soil that is not to rich in organic matter, and are able to grow just about anywhere.

Evergreens

If your choosing to plant evergreens around the front of your house, then its best to pick a variety that can be pruned and managed, growing to 5 to 10 feet in height.

Blue Weeping Colorado Spruce

An example is the Blue Weeping Colorado Spruce, that will only reach a height of 10 feet, loves the sunshine, and can survive at temperatures to -50F.

North Star Dwarf White Spruce

The North Star Dwarf White Spruce will grow in the shape of a pyramid, with the wider branches at the bottom.

It will reach a height of between 5 to 10 feet , and about 4 feet wide, preferring a sunny spot with almost no pruning involved to maintain it, so is very easy to grow.

Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Another tree s the Dwarf Alberta Spruce, which can reach a height of around 10 feet, and will withstand the colder climates.

Dwarf Japanese Black Pine

If your looking for something a little shorter then try out the Dwarf Japanese Black Pine. This evergreen only grows to about 4 feet in height, and 2 feet wide, and looks great in small gardens.

There are many more evergreens that stay small, and give a great look to the front of your home.

So in concluding evergreens or flowers will give a better look to your home even if some maintaining is required, and if ever deciding to sell the place, they will give you greater value.

You can read also Spring Clean Up Tips

 

Installing Pex Plumbing

If you have to do some plumbing at your place, than I would suggest looking into Installing Pex Plumbing for easy repairs. It will save you time and money compared to copper, galvanized pipe, or CPVC  plastic.

Installing Pex Plumbing

Galvanized Pipe

In many homes the plumbing pipes were made from galvanized steel, but the problem with these pipes is that over time rust would build up, and thus give a lower volume of water. Have had quite a few complaints from people wondering why there water pressure was so low at there sinks.

Many of the galvanized pipes were replaced in the 60s and beyond, by putting in the plastic CPVC which has to be glued at the joints, or the copper pipes which are soldered together.

In the plumbing business copper pipes take so much longer to install than any of the plastic water systems.

Then in the 60s Pex tubing was often used in radiant heating systems, for moving hot water from a heating system to radiators in your home.

As time went on Pex became more popular with being used for plumbing in homes, and in the year 2000 and up it was replacing the copper and CPVC pipes as well.

Advantages

One of the advantages with Pex is being able to bend it, as long as it is not a 90 degree turn, so it can be run often directly to sinks, toilets, or showers without any loss of water pressure from fitting 90 degree elbows.

As far as price goes Pex is cheaper than copper, as a 100-foot roll of 1/2 inch will run about $25 to $30 dollars, and the fittings are very reasonably priced as well.

Valves for Pex are from 6 to 10 dollars each, and are a push fit onto the Pex than crimped tight, making for a very quick connection and saving time, were copper fittings need to be soldered together which is something you need to be good at, plus the price of copper has gone up.

Pex tubing comes in red, blue and white, so if your doing your own plumbing you can use the red for hot water, and blue for cold, so there will be no mix up when connecting up to your showers, sinks, toilets, and laundry machine.

The fittings for Pex are attached using a compression tool on metal bands were ever a connection is needed, and there is a special cutter to cut the Pex tubing that gives a very clean cut.

The cutting tool is usually priced at about 30 dollars here in Canada, and the compression tool goes from 70 to 100 dollars, with most hardware stores selling the tools for the Pex fittings.

Copper and the CPVC pipes will bust open from freezing before Pex does, but all plumbing pipes will burst if frozen hard enough, so it is better to drain them if left in an unheated house, which can avoid costly repairs. The foam wrap can also be used to keep the hot water hot on pex as well.

Installing Pex Plumbing

Disadvantages of Pex

Pex does not like sunlight, and will become brittle if exposed for to long a time, so best to go with some other type of plumbing for running water outside.

It also requires special tools for its connections, which can be bought at almost any hardware store that sells Pex.

Pex Through Walls

If you’re running Pex through 2×4 studs in your walls, drill the holes in the center of the 2x4s, so the drywall screws will not put a hole in the tubing, and as an extra precaution you can add a steel plate over were the Pex is installed.

For any home-owner or do it yourself er Pex is an easy product to hook up, and very adaptable to all other plumbing types.

One thing that’s important to remember, is when crimping the Pex tubing to any fittings is to have the ring within 1/8 to 1/4 inch from the end of your Pex pipe on the fittings, and be sure the jaws of your crimping tool close security on the rings.

Manifolds

A manifold for Pex is considered to be a distribution point for the water lines that will run to your shower, sinks, toilet, etc.

It is a copper or plastic tube that has 1/2 inch fittings coming off it, and you can crimp your 3/4 inch line from the water pump to one end of it.

These manifolds come with different amounts of outlets on them, you just need to figure out how many lines your running off it, and buy the appropriate one.

Some also come with valves on the outlets, which are helpful if you just wanted to shut one line off for repairs to taps, or showers, but than I recommend valves close to the sink taps, and toilet to be able to shut them for repairs, instead of running down to the basement, or were ever your main water pump valve is located.

The plastic manifolds are made with a high performance thermoplastic, and will not be affected by heat, moisture, or high chlorine levels, and they also resist corrosion and scaling, so are as good as the copper manifolds.

Connecting to a Hot Water Tank

Connecting Pex to your hot water tank is also very easy, but the recommendations for this is that you have at least 18 inches of copper pipe coming out of your water tank before connecting with the Pex.

Also, if you happen to crimp the O rings the O rings in the wrong place they can be cut of with a rotary tool, or recently i have seen a special tool for this, and than cut the Pex back for a fresh fit on your connection, apply a new ring, and crimp it in the right place.

Bathtub Fittings

When you are connecting Pex for a bathtub, there is a copper stub out that is secured to a 2×4 for this. It will be positioned over the center of your tub, and can be cut later at the right length for your faucet spout after the wallboard or cement board and tiles are installed.

The Pex tubing will be crimped onto the stub out making for a very easy and quick installation.

Expansions

Another thing is that if you’re running Pex for a long distance, you might wont to leave a loop in the run for expansion and contraction, but for shorter runs the Pex can be left loose between connections, and not stretched tight.

There are plastic straps that allow the Pex to move, and are used were ever needed to hold the lines in place, and they come in 1/2 and 3/4 inch size.

Grades

You will find that there are three different grades of Pex A, B, C, with A being slightly more flexible than the other two, but the difference is so little that any of the three grades work well in the home.

So in conclusion if your looking to do some home plumbing repairs, and are looking for a money saving way to do it, than give Pex a try.

Any comments, just drop me a note,

Wayne.

Best Table Saws of 2019

Best Table Saws of 2019

If your into fixing things around your home, then a tool that’s a must is a table saw, and I will give you a review of some of the best table saws of 2019.

After installing new windows then you will find that with most of them you will need to finish them off on the inside, and a table saw is perfect to cut some pine, cedar or what ever type of wood you wish to go with down to the widths you will need.

There are many other projects you can use it for around the home, or even on a construction site.

Most portable table saws today are made of aluminum, or other lightweight materials, so are very easy to move around, and you can also buy the table saw stands with wheels to make life even easier.

One of the first table saws that I owned was from about twenty years ago, and was made of cast iron and steel with a large motor on it, and would weigh about 300 pounds or more, so was not easy to move around, unlike todays modern table saws.

Best Table Saws of 2019

Below is a review of some of the better table saws on the market today, so if you are interested in buying one, then have a read.

The Bosch 4100-09

This is a 15 amp 10 inch table saw that will give you 4 HP maximum, and 3600 RPM will give you a very clean cut for your wood projects.

The motor has a slow start, but will maintain a constant speed when cutting, and features a 5/8 inch arbour for compatible blades, also for keeping the saw at a lightweight it is made of aluminum giving it a tough durability and a long life.

The table is 29 by 21.5 inches, so you can easily cut anything up to 25 inches wide, or even wider if you want to add some stands to the side of the saw.

The Squarelock rip fence is one of the best that is engineered for maximum accuracy with every cut, and it locks in place for a very precise measurement to the blade.

A Smart Guard System on this saw gives good visibility when cutting, and protects the user. It has a built in riving knife, blade guard, and anti kickback pawls, and will require no tools to install on the saw.

Bosch also makes a Gravity-Rise table saw stand, the TS 3000 with pneumatic wheels for this saw, and with both saw and stand it will weigh about a 100 pounds. This stand can also be adapted for other brands of saws to fit it.

Best Table Saws of 2019

The Dewalt DWE7480 Table Saw

This is another excellent lightweight table saw, and weighing only 45 pounds will be very easy to move around.

It has a 15 amp motor, and cuts at 4500 RPM, so will even cut through hardwoods, and has a dust collection port at 21/4 inches so that a shop vac can be connected to it to keep the dust down.

This 10 inch compact saw features a rack and pinion telescoping fence rail to let you make fast adjustments for your cuts.

The table will let you cut up to 241/2 inches, and for bevel cuts it will adjust from 0 to 45 degrees.

It has two small feet at the back of the saw that are adjustable for keeping your saw at a level, and it also has places so you can keep your push stick and parts for the Site Pro Guard system attached to the saw.

The 10-inch blade on this saw is carbide tipped, and will cut to a depth of 31/8 inches at 90 degrees while the 45 degree cut will go to a depth of 21/4 inches.

Dewalt also has a mobile stand for this table saw which is easy to set up and take down providing excellent stability when cutting.

.Best Table Saws of 2019

The Makita Model 2705×1 and 2705

Makitas table saws are some of the best you can buy, and the only difference between the model 2705×1 and 2705 is that the x1 comes with a stand.

This model was made for professional contractors, but that only means that it would work great also around the home, and being quality built you know it will last.

The table is 24×22 inches, and with the rails extended you can cut up to 25 inches, and with a weight of 82 pounds this saw is easy to move around.

With a 15 amp motor, and turning at 4800 RPM it is one of the best in its class for power, and has an electric brake for a safety feature which can stop the motor in less then a second, plus the off on switch on this saw is large enough to work if your wearing gloves, or you can even hit it with your knee.

It also has the three-piece modular safety system with the riving knife, anti kickback pawls, and the blade guard which is very easy to move ans set up.

The saw will cut 3 5/8 inches deep at 90 degrees, and 2 1/2 inches at 45 degrees with its 10-inch carbide tipped blade.

As table saws go this is one of the best, and of an excellent quality to make it a high performance tool to have for your tool collection.

Our Next Table Saw is Mastercraft Model 055-6737-2

This saw I have used for the past 4 or 5 years with almost zero problems. After quite a bit of use the crank handle would not raise the blade, but it would go down very easy. In order to cure this problem give it a good cleaning, and an air compressor works well for this, then spray some graphite on the screw rods and thrust washers, and it should be cured. It is not recommended using a wet lubricant on this as the sawdust will stick to it.

This saw has a table size of 26×19 11/16 inches with extensions on the sides for wider cuts.

It has a 15 amp motor and spins at 4500 RPM with no load, and come with a 10-inch carbide tipped blade, some tools for blade changing, and a sturdy plastic push stick that can be stored on the side of the saw.

This saw was very easy to set up with the blade running perfectly true to the table, as I have heard that one of the newer models has a defect for adjusting the blade, so be careful when buying-check the blade.

It will cut 3 9/16 inches at 90 degrees and 2 5/32 at 45 degrees, and with this saw weighing 65 pounds it is easy to move around, and comes with a stand also but no wheels on it.

This is a very good saw for around the home, and even some construction work.

The Rockwell Rk7241S Table Saw with Laser Guide

This saw comes with a 15 amp motor, and a no load speed of 4800 RPM, and has a Maximum cut at 90 degrees of 3 9/16 inches, ad 2 9/16 inches at 45 degrees.

It has a sliding extension for the table on the left side to allow for a 36-inch cut, and comes with a laser guide, rip fence, miter gauge, push stick, riving knife, dust bag, and two blade wrenches.

There is a stand included that has wheels, and is able to be folded for moving around.

The saw weighs about 88 pounds so should be good for those home jobs or construction work.

It claims to have the most cutting depth of any saw, but then my older Mastercraft has the same depth of cut, so always do your homework before buying.

The laser guide on this saw will adjust for when the blade is tilted for angle cuts, but from my own experience I find a laser guide on a table saw- unless often cleaned- will get coated in dust, and then becomes hard to see as I took the one on my saw off.

One other thing when buying a table saw always check to see if the blade is running true to the table, or if there is an easy adjustment for setting it up correct.

Skillsaw Model SPT70WT-01

This is a 10-inch portable table saw with worm drive, and the table is able to give you cuts up to 25 inches in width.

It has a 15 amp dual field 5HP motor, which won’t heat up with any heavy cutting, and has a worm drive gearing for extra torque and power spinning up to 5300 RPM, so will not quit when cutting thick or dense material.

The saw will cut 3 1/2 inch material at 90 degrees, and the bevel cuts can be made from 1 degree to 45 degrees.

It comes with a 10 inch 24 tooth carbide tipped blade, miter gauge, self aligning fence, guard system, anti kick back, push stick, and wrenches for the blade changes.

This saw does not come with a folding stand, so it will have to be bought separately, but with the saw only weighing 49 pounds is very easy to move around.

The Hitachi Table Saw is Model C10RJ

This saw is powered by a 15 AMP motor with a soft start function, and an electric brake for safety, plus it will turn at 4500 RPM.

The table is 28 3/4 inches by 22 inches, and can be extended to 35 inches on the right of the saw for wider cuts, and comes with the riving knife, and anti kick back pawls to make things a little safer.

On this saw the miter gauge has convenient marks of 0, 15, 30, 45, and 60 degrees on both sides of the blade, and for bevel cuts it is 0 to 45 degrees, with a cutting depth of 3 1/8 inches at 90 degrees, and 2 1/4 inches at 45 degrees.

It also comes with a folding saw stand that has 8 inch rubber threaded wheels, and you will notice that the legs of the stand have a wider spread for more stability when cutting, and with a total weight of 96 pounds it can be loaded into your truck by yourself.

The fence is of a rack and pinion design, so is adjusted with a knob on the side, and also comes with a 40 tooth carbide tipped blade, and a dust port for attaching a vacuum for the sawdust.

Also, on this saw you might first have to adjust the blade so it runs perfectly parallel with the miter slots on the table, and you will have to remove a pair of bolts under the table to do this, which was not mentioned in the Manuel for this saw.

The Ridgid Table Saw Model 4510

This saw has a 15 AMP motor to spin the blade up to 4400 RPM.

It will cut 3 1/2 inches at 90 degrees and 2 1/4 inches at 45 degrees, and the table can give you a cut of 25 inches.

This is more of a heavy-duty saw for construction work or around the home, and weighs about 95 pounds but comes with a folding stand with wheels for moving it around.

The fence on this saw is of very sturdy quality, and works smoothly on the table with a lever that locks it in place. It comes with a tape measure for figuring the fence distance from the blade, which does not look like it would last too long, but if your like most people using a table saw, then just measuring from the fence to the blade usually works the best.

The saw has a place to store the tools, and replacement blades on the side of it, and the miter gauge with this one works very well.

The gravity stand for this saw is very convenient to fold and unfold, just by pushing the locking lever, and the handle of this stand is at the right height to support larger cutting materials, so will be a good table saw for around the home or for what ever else you won’t to use it for, plus it has a place to hook up the vacuum for sawdust collection.

The Genesis GTS10SB

This 10 inch 15 amp table saw is not very expensive for anyone on a budget that needs work done around the home, and it can do a variety of cuts with ease.

The 15 amp motor will run the blade up to 4800 RPM for smooth cuts, and the table is 24 inches by 20 inches made from aluminum.

Its miter gauge is larger then most for accurate cuts from 0 to 5 degrees, and the fence is self aligning, and locks up from the front and rear on the table.

The saw weighs about 56 pounds, and comes with a stand but no wheels on it for moving around, and it also has a 2-year warranty.

There is a place on the saw for storing the push stick, miter gauge, and a blade holder. The 10-inch blade is 40 tooth carbided tipped for sawing just about anything, and has the tools for changing it.

For the price you pay, this is actually an excellent table saw for around the home.

Our Next Table Saw is the King Model 5100C

This saw has a 15 AMP heavy-duty motor that will turn up to 4400 RPM, with a table that is 30 x 21 inches aluminum cast, and comes with a folding stand with 8 inch wheels for easy moving.

There is a storage on the saw to secure the rip fence, miter gauge, extra blade, push stick, and wrenches when moving it from one place to another.

The saw weighs about 75 pounds and comes with a 40 tooth general purpose blade, which can be adjusted for height and angle from the front of the saw, and will cut 3 1/8 inches at 90 degrees, and 2 inches at 45 degrees

This is not too expensive a table saw to try out for cutting around the home.Best Table Saws of 2019

The Kobalt Table Saw Model KT1015

This saw has a 15 Amp motor, and a no load speed of 5000 RPM.

With a 10-inch blade that is 28 tooth carbide tipped it has a maximum cutting depth at 90 degrees of 3 1/2 inches, and 2 1/2 inches at 45 degrees.

The table is 26 inches by 19 1/2 inches, and you have a 30-inch cutting capacity on the saws right side of the blade.

It weighs about 68 pounds and comes with a folding stand on wheels for easy moving from place to place.

Like many of the new saws it has a storage for the rip fence, miter gauge, and blade guard assembly, push stick, and extra blade on the side of this saw.

The dust chute is 2 1/2 inches so you will need an adapter down to 1 1/2 inches for some of the shop vacuums.

When setting up the fence, you will notice that it locks on both sides of the table, and might need a little adjusting.

For the price this is a good saw to use around the home for the DIY.

Conclusion for the Best Table Saws of 2019

When your out looking for a table saw, try to find one that meets what you want to use it for, and within your budget. Table saws come priced from $150 to a thousand plus for the higher quality saws.

Another thing that should be mentioned is to always keep the safety factors on these saws working well, because 5 fingers is way better then just 4, so be careful using a table saw.

Some of these saws have a lock mechanism on the switch to prevent any accidental start-ups if you have children around, or even some adults, so always cut with safety on your mind.

There are other brands of table saws that I have not mentioned here, but have reviewed most of the better known brands, so always do your homework before buying one.

I hope this gives you a few ideas on your next purchase of a table saw to meet your needs.

You can read also tools for home repair

Any comments, just leave a message.

Wayne.

Sanding Wood Floors and Refinishing

Sanding Wood Floors and RefinishingThis article is about Sanding Wood Floors and Refinishing, and in this case the wood floors are in an old farm house, with one floor being painted a gray color from an oil based paint.

Sanding Wood Floors and Refinishing

Removing the Old Paint

Trying the floor sander on this paint did not go to well, as the paint just glued itself to the sand paper on the drum.

So to make life a little easier I used a paint scraper on it first to get most of the paint off, and while this requires a fair amount of time, it did work well.

This room was only 12 by 12 feet, so the scraping didn’t take too long.

After that the rough sand paper on the drum floor sander lasted a lot longer with only going through about 3 or 4 of the sand papers.

Also, as the floor was not level, it took a while to sand out the higher spots.

There was a few carpet tacks to pull out, as someone must have had a carpet covering this floor at some point in time.

Sanding

Once the rough sanding was complete, which can take a while depending on the condition of the floor, than you can go to a medium like number 40 or 80 sand paper for 5 or 6 passes before switching to the fine sand paper for finishing your floor.

Then you can use an edger around the outside of the room where the drum sander can’t reach. Start with the rough paper, than down to medium and fine.

Also, is a good idea to take off any small 3/4 inch moldings around the baseboards, so that your not left with a line showing after sanding, and replace these after floor is finished.

If you have any closets that are too small for the drum sander, than the edger can be used in them, and a small mouse sander with its v shape works well for the corners.

You will find that some small sanding is required where the drum sander might have left some marks.

Random Orbital sanders

If you have a random orbital sander it can be used to remove any spots where the drum sander overlapped.

Usually giving the floor a good vacuuming, and using a strong light you can see any places that need a touch up sanding.

Dust

You will also wont to cover any doorways that are open with a plastic or blanket of some kind.

Even with the dust bags on the drum sander and edger, there always seems to be dust, and would suggest wearing a mask when sanding just to help keep you healthy.

Floors

If your floor is very uneven with some high and low spots than your first rough sanding should be across the grain of the floor boards to level them out.

Usually most floors are fairly level, so the sanding is with the grain of the wood,

And always get enough sandpaper, because the more often you have to change paper, the faster your floor sanding will go.

Start with a 24 grit, than 40 or 80 grit, than up to 120 for the fine sanding.

Once your floor sanding is done, than its time to get out your shop vacuum, and take your time to clean up all dust on the floor, windows, walls, and anything else in the room.

Polyurethanes

Sanding Wood Floors and Refinishing

Next question to ask yourself is what do you put on your floors, and that depends on the individuals likes.

For my own floors I used Minwax Polyurethane clear gloss, and have seen other floors where a satin finish was used, which is not so shiny.

One floor in my log house was done with an oil based Polyurethane, and is still standing up to the wear and tear of every day traffic.

Most of these Polyurethanes require 2 coats to be put on, but a third coat can be applied with a 4 to 6 hour drying time between coats.

Always give a light sanding between coats, and a vacuuming, where light sanding means using fine sand paper to go over the floor lightly.

A sanding attachment used for gyprock works well, and you can even use a broom handle on them so is easier on the knees.

Staining

If you decide to stain your floors for a darker look, than is best to follow the recommendations on your can of stain.

Most stains can be put on with a rag or paint brush, and wiped in the direction of the grain of wood to give it a uniform coverage.

Also, would suggest wearing a pair of rubber gloves and knee pads when doing this.

Allow your stain to dry completely as per instructions on the can, before applying a Polyurethane to protect the floor.

There are some finishes that are a two in one, where the stain and protective finish are done in one step.

One thing about applying stain is to always try it out first on a scrap piece of wood, or in a closet corner to see how it looks first.

Minwax

Minwax has a Polyurethane with an oil base that does not require sanding between coats, so this will save you some time when applying, and they also have a water based Polyurethane for hardwood floors.

The Minwax also sells a top coat with a crystal clear finish, that gives a very durable finish, and again requires no sanding between coats.

Having used this product myself have found it to be excellent to apply, and does stand up to traffic.

Sanding by Hand

Some people do attempt to sand small rooms by hand, which means using a belt sander, or random orbital sander.

The belt sanders do work, but take a lot of time, and the sander has to be of good quality to be able to do a floor or outside deck.

One thing I have used on a small floor is the motorized gyprock sanders.

They actually work fairly well if your not in a hurry, and have the attachments to collect dust in your shop vacuum.

With a good level floor or deck to start with these tools can be used, but will take you a lot longer than the drum floor sander and edger.

T’he gyprock sander can cost anywhere from 300 to 600$, and to buy a belt sander another couple hundred or more for a good one.

So if you don’t have these tools on hand, than it is cheaper to just go and rent the floor sander and edger, which will get the job done faster, and mabey even better.

Finishing

So no matter which way you decide to sand your floors, one thing experience has taught me is to take your time and do a good job, and in the end you will have a great looking floor.

And before moving any furniture back in your room, follow the instructions from what ever you put on your floor for the time it takes to dry.

Many of these products require you to wait 24 hours, before moving furniture back in the room.

You can read also: Installing Oak Wood Flooring in a Hallway

Conclusion

So best of luck on sanding your floors, and any comments are always appreciated.

Wayne.

 

Roof Rafter Repair

Roof Rafter Repair is when you will most likely need a new roof when you see water coming through your ceiling, or your old shingles have lifted in places or curled up.

Roof Rafter Repair is an article where I share the steps I do.

Roof Rafter Repair

Roof Shingles

Most shingles for roofs have a twenty to twenty five year life span, depending on the quality.

With todays climate change and the sunlight in summer seems to be hotter  it would be a good idea to check your roof every three or four years.

If you find the shingles lifted or curled up, then is close for a renew time.Shingle roof

Getting Roof Ready

If you wont to do this yourself then with a two story house is best to set up some scaffolding to work safely on, as a twenty or so foot drop is not always good for the body.

Or you can just hire professional roofers to do it for you.

The Rafters

In the case of this roof the level was down in the middle so the rafters were sagged down.

After removing the shingles and plywood and boards on this old farm house roof, we could see places that had rotted through.

Some of the old rafters were three feet apart, but that measurement varied from rafter to rafter.

Actually the roof looked like it had been built with second hand lumber, so I suppose a hundred or more years ago it was not as easy to get quality building materials, or just a lack of money at the time.Roof Rafter Repair

Roof Rafter Repair Sizes

Some rafters were two by fours and others were four by fours, seemed to be no set standard.

If you come across a situation like this then is best to put in some two by sixes to strengthen and straighten the roof.

You can run a line from one end of the peak to the other end getting it as level as possible, and use it as a reference to put your rafters up to.

If the roof is not sagged to much  then you might be able to sister two by sixes to the old rafters, or also put new two by sixes between the old rafters for extra support.

Vents

If you happen to have any bathroom vents coming into your attic then is a good time to connect there venting to the outside, as they will be easy to work on with the roof off.

Once all the rafters are up in place and level across, then the boards can be put back on and new plywood before installing your new shingles.

Then any roof vents can be cut out and new flashing put around chimneys, vents or valleys if any.Roof Rafter Repair

Underlay

Then the drip edge and underlay can be put on.

The underlay can be felt tar paper or the new self adhering underlay. The self adhering is an excellent product for shingle roofs, adding extra protection from leaks, and the rubberized asphalt seals around nails driven through it from the shingles.

Also would recommend it along the peak, under flashing around vents and chimneys, and in valleys before applying the shingles.

Tools Used for This Project

Hammer and pry bars.

Makita circular saw.

Reciprocating saw.

Dewalt drills 20 volt batteries.

Levels- 6 and 2 foot.

Chalk line.

Scaffolding.

Hope this left you with a few ideas  for repairing rafters in an old roof.

If you want to read more about house painting ideas just click here

Any comments, always appreciated.

Wayne.

Furring Strips for Drywall

Getting a Room Ready For Drywall

Furring Strips for DrywallIf your stripping a room with one by three Furring Strips for drywall, they are usually placed at sixteen inch centers. Also making sure the last one at the four foot mark is centered.

Sloped Ceilings

Furring Strips for DrywallMany of the old farm houses will have sloped ceilings. If you wont to install a light in your ceiling, then just run a two by six  across the center of the ceiling.

This then gives you a place to anchor your light box so it wont be sitting on an angle in the ceiling.

This also gives strong support if in the future a ceiling fan would be installed.

Closet Space

Drawers for sloped ceilingWith the sloped ceilings in the room there is very little space to build a closet, so what I have done in this situation is at the three foot level on the slopes you can build either three levels of drawers, or put in shelves.

The drawer idea requires a lot of work to make, as it means making a frame work for the drawers where the drawer slides will run, and plywood for the drawers themselves with a face of pine or any type of wood you prefer.

Once finished will look great and give lots of room for storing clothes or anything else.

The shelf idea is quicker to make, just cut a piece of three quarter plywood, and fit it in at the height you wont. Or you can even go for drawers and shelves.

So at the same time that your doing the stripping you can take these things into account for what you wont to have for a closet space.

Electrical

Also as your doing the stripping you will wont to mark where you wont the electrical outlets in your room. Best to install the boxes for that, plus the wiring before the insulation is put in.

The electrical boxes are attaches with screws , and flush to where the drywall will be. The wiring is usually put through the two by sixes or two by fours that the walls were originally built with drilling holes through these for the wire to pass through.

A Brick Wall

Stripping over a brick wallOne wall  in this bedroom was the original brick of the old farm house, so in order to strip over it you can nail a two by four unto the floor at the bottom.

Then at the ceiling  another two by four is nailed to the rafters. In this case with the room being small the two by fours were nailed on there flat in order to give more room on the stairwell.

After the other two by fours are in place then the one by three furring strips  are added every sixteen inches up the wall for the drywall.

Insulation

Once you have all the stripping put on and the electrical boxes for plugs in place then next would be your insulation.

Many people today are having the foam sprayed in, and it does give an excellent insulation and no air leaks.

Over the years I have seen when the fiberglass insulation is installed in walls and ceilings the mice and squirrels will tear it apart for there nest, leaving your walls and ceilings rather poorly insulated, just something to think about.

Windows

Furring strips around a windowIf you have any windows in the room be sure to add the furring strips all the way around the window, so it gives you a place to nail your window trim to.

Drywall Joints

Also when installing your drywall on a ceiling it is a good idea to put short pieces of the one by three furring strips between the sixteen inch strips where the joints in the drywall meet.

I have had to patch  quite a few ceilings because of cracks showing up where the joints are and this is most often the cause.

Repairing Ceiling and Wall Cracks

If you ever have to repair any of these cracks that appear in the ceilings and walls just take a knife and cut a v  where the crack is , then tape it and apply a coat of a product called Durabond 90 which prevents cracks from appearing again. It takes about an hour and a half to dry then smooth over with joint filler and a light sanding when dry and your ready for primer paint and a top coat.

I have also used the durabond to patch dog and cat scratches on the wood work beside doors, it seems to work really well for this also.

Tools

For all the cutting of the furring strips and two by fours am still using a Makita circular saw seven and a quarter inch, as its one of those tools that just keeps on running. Highly recommended if your ever looking for a saw.

Furring Strips for Drywall Ideas

Well I hope this gives you a few ideas on installing  the one by three furring strips before you get prepared to put the drywall on.

You can read also how to Paint a Tin Roof

Any comments just drop me a note

Wayne.

A Stone Arch Monument

Stone Arch

Here is a few ideas on building A Stone Arch Monument, and having never built one before this turned out to be an interesting project.A Stone Arch Monument

Time to Build

This arch took about two weeks or more to make with the help of my son. We built it for a local man in the community, who had lost his son to drugs and wonted a monument to remember him by.

The Base

To start building this you will require a very strong footing and base, and where we decided to build this the bedrock is only a foot or so down, so not much digging to do.

Stones

It would be recommended to use any of the larger stones on the bottom, and cementing them together as you build up. Sitting on bedrock there less likely to move in any direction.

Length of the Base.

Is best to extend the base out from where the arch will start, we went out about four feet for this one. The base needs to be very well made and sturdy.A Stone Arch Monument

Design of Arch

Once the stones are up high enough to start the arch, then I made a few drawings on plywood to give the owner the curve of the arch he liked best.

The Supports

After picking one of the arch designs out, then comes the project of making a support to hold the arch up while you build it.

You can make this out of plywood and two by fours making sure to support the arch very well. We used four by four post for supports under the plywood forms.

Stones for the Arch

The arch stones are usually wedge shaped, and as we were using stones from a river and old stone walls in the area. This took time to come up with the right  stones to fit in.

The stones can usually be shaped into a wedge design with stone hammers and chisels, With some practice you can become quite good at shaping stone.A stone arch monument

Finding Center of Arch.

The center of the arch, or the center distance between the columns is where you will fit the keystone that will finish holding your arch up. You can measure the distance, and then holding a level mark the center on your plywood forms.

Continue the Arch

After your first row is complete just continue on in the same way until you have the thickness of the arch that you wont.

A Stone Arch Monument Supports Removable

On this stone arch monument we waited about a month after it was completed  to take out the supports and plywood forms, giving the cement and stones a good length of time to bond in place.

And well its been over ten years now and its still standing, with nothing moved.

Working With Stone

Today there are saws that cut stone and brick to the desired shape you like, so this way is much easier then the hammer and chisel. Have seen brick and stone already shaped for arches at some cement suppliers.

So I hope to have given you some ideas on creating an arch for your home or backyard. They do take time to build , but once finished will probably out last you.

Wish you the best of luck on these projects , and if any questions just leave a comment and will get back to you.

Wayne.

 

 

Laying Your Stones in the Right Place

Working With Stones

If you ever have to do some work with stones then this article should give you a few ideas for laying your stones in the right place.stone work

A Wall of Stones

In this case we are building  a stone wall for an old blacksmiths shop, and I am guessing that this building was built around one hundred fifty to two hundred years ago.

The old cement holding the stones together has not stood the test of time  to well, and has mostly turned to sand with very little holding the stones together.

A temporary fix for this was not possible as the wall had moved out and in  by at least seven inches in places.Stone Work

Supports

One of the first things to do is remove a few stones at the top under the roof beam, so that you can get some supports set up to carry the weight of the roof.

For the supports you can use four by four post  under the beam which will be sufficient  to hold the roof up.

As some of the wall  is left standing and only removed as you work along there is no danger of roof moving.Stone Work

Cleaning Stones

Now you can start removing  the old wall and taking your time to clean any old cement off the stones as you go. A small stone hammer works very well for this. The wall for this building was twenty eight feet long and eight to ten feet in height, so is best to do a small section at a time and the rest still standing will help support the roof.

There are two windows in this wall so we went as far as the first window before starting the rebuild.Stone Work

Grading Stones

The stones you take out and clean  are usually graded into size, the piled about three feet from your wall. This makes it easier to find the proper size and thickness of the stones when starting to rebuild.

I also try to keep the larger heavy stones closer so they can be laid on the bottom rows.

On this project there was bedrock at the bottom, plus we also widened the base by an extra foot on each side for the extra strength.Stone work

Design

The original wall was twenty one inches wide so decided to make it the same so everything matched up to the original design of the building.Stone Work

Moving Larger Stones

If you find some stones too heavy  for lifting then just use a plank, and a couple of old water pipes about twenty inches long by one inch. Then you can lever the larger stones onto this and roll them into place.Stone Work

Cement

A pre mixed motor was used for this which had a glue already mixed into it, and wet your stones before laying them in the mix.

We purchased a small cement mixer from Canadian Tire for a couple hundred dollars which saved a lot of mixing by hand, and this was well worth the dollars spent on it.

Laying

As you lay the stones it is a good idea to place a row or two before cementing them in place. This will give you a good idea of how they are going to look and match up.

Also have the stones overlap the joints in the row below them as much as possible.Stone Work

Keeping Things Level

You will also wont to keep your wall level, and as in this case the wood beam was not perfectly straight from one end of building to the other.

On the outside of the beam you can use a line stretched tight from one end to the other, and then level down from this and your wall will remain straight with your line to match up with the top beam.

You can also run a line along the bottom to match the top level, but as this line is in the way most of the time is best just to use it to check how the level is every once and a while.Stone Work

Windows

For the windows on this wall we put the old frames  back in place and leveling them to give the right size to build the stones around, as new ones were being made for this.

The stones around the window frames can be left about an inch away as the new window trims will cover this gap.

The new frames can later be secured into the cement with metal screws into anchors put into the cement.Stone Work

Scaffolding

As you progress up the wall then a strong plank can be used between two ladders to work as a scaffolding to stand and put your stones on, and remembering to wet each stone to give a good bond in the cement.

A garden hose with a spray handle works great for this, and also for the mixing of the motor.Stone Work

New Window Frames

After you have cemented each section between the windows then you can cement the stones up tight to the beam, and this will have time to set hard as you go along.

Then once the new window frames which in this case were two inch oak are installed level, then you can finish the stones above and below the frames.

This is one of the last things you will need to do on the wall.Stone Work

Clean Up

At the end you can go over the stones with a wire brush and water to clean off the cement that has run down on them.

Also any small stones left over could be thrown in at the base of the wall that is below ground level.

Then sit back grab a beer and admire your work.Stone Work

Tools Needed

1   A couple step ladders and planks

2   Levels, I find a six, four and a two foot level work very well.

3   A few pails for carrying cement, and a few good cement trowels.

4   A few stone hammers which are a must, and pry bars.

5   Also knee pads are handy, as the stones get kind of rough on the knees after a while.

6   Some wire brushes to clean off the stones after your wall is up.

7   A cement mixer and garden hose

8   Wheelbarrow for moving stones and a few shovels.

Any questions about laying stones just leave a comment and I will get back to you.

And if interested in any tools for these projects try your local hardware store.

Wayne,

Building an Outdoor Playset

Playset

If anyone is interested in building an outdoor playset then here is a few ideas to help you out. My son and I built this one this past summer for children to play on during the apple season. Is also best to use treated lumber for this project  as it will be outside year round.

Almost completed plays
Play set nearing completion

No Plans

This DIY playground has no plans , as the ideas just came out of my sons mind as we went along. So if your interested in building one take a good look at the photos, and there should be other plans on the internet for some of these.

Platforms

First thing to do is to build a couple platforms, and in this case  they are six feet by six feet. Using the four by fours by eight feet long for the corners and two by sixes for around the base to square them up.

Leveling the platforms
Getting things level for the play set

Cement Blocks

The four by four post are set onto the cement blocks that are designed for them. With the wider bases the blocks will not sink into the ground in time.

Platform Height

The platform will also have two by sixes at the six foot height so you can install a floor on them. Later the slides can be attached onto the floors giving good support to them.

The floors for these platforms are made from one by sixes and also are treated lumber, plus two by sixes spaced at two foot spacing to give support to the floor boards.

Getting height for play set
The right height for play set

Squaring the Platforms

To keep everything square while building the platforms a few braces can be used, and attached  to the four by fours to keep them level in both directions.

The Bridge

The second platform was spaced ten feet away from the first one, so a bridge could be built connecting the two together.

We used metal brackets designed to fasten  the ten foot two by sixes to one platform and then to the other one.

Bridge being set up for play set
Play set bridge

Bridge Width

In the center of the ten foot span  are also four by four post for support, and the bridge was spaced at a three foot in width and three ten foot two by sixes are used. Then the one by six boards were put on for the floor.

Railings

Decking screws were used for the whole project, plus some bolts  for the four by four bridge railing supports.

The four by four post  to support the railing had the bolt holes drilled through them and through the ten foot two by sixes for extra strength. We used  cordless drills for the project, a twenty volt Makita and a Dewalt, both worked very well.

The bridge post were four feet in length, with one at each end of the ten foot span, and two more at an equal distance in the middle. Then two by fours were attached top and bottom between the post with metal brackets, and leaving about a two inch space at the bottom.

The boards for the railing were spaced at two inches, but this can vary depending on codes in your area.

Supports for bridge railings
Railing for play set

Play in the Railing

We found that after the railings were finished there was a small amount of movement at the top of the four by four post and railing. In order to fix this pieces of two by six were installed between each of the ten foot two by sixes and also at each post. After this was done there was very little to no play in the railings at the top.

Another Platform

The next thing you can build is another six foot by six foot platform with again the four by four post and two by sixes to square it up and the floor at a four foot height, with two by sixes spaced at two feet for the floor to be supported on. Then a stairs can be built from the bridge platform down to this one.

Slides

On this platform you can attach one of the DIY playground

slides which in this case is a three foot wide drainage plastic tile. With the groves on the outsides of the tile it is easy to anchor to the platform , by just installing a two by six across the top and bottom and one by five boards on the sides.

Slides attached to play set
Slides for play set

Slide Supports

At the bottom of the slide you can build another platform wide enough to support your slide about thirty eight or forty inches. Use the four by fours and two by sixes to create the frame  work, then two by fours to lock in the slide at top and bottom. Have your slide about two feet off the ground

We added another slide from the six foot platform and enclosed it the same as the first one. Having more slope it was a little faster.

Slides supported for playset
Building the slide supports

To The Ground

After this there is another platform built at a height of two feet with stairs made down to it, and then another set of stairs down to ground level.

The same was done to the first platform also, making two more platforms at a four foot and a two foot levels then also stairs to the ground.

Bottom Platforms

On the bottom platforms two sets of climbing stairs were made, Four two by sixes were used and ten there top boarded in solid.

On top of the boards one by three cleats were added and spaced two inches apart so children could climb up these, giving them the choice  of stairs or ramps.

Forts For Children

Under the two bridge platforms the openings were boarded in then a couple windows made and a door into the six by six small room. This can create a playground fort for kids.

Sand

Another thing  is after everything was constructed a good thick layer of sand was placed all around the structure. It covered the cement blocks that were used to support the four by four post.

Sand to cover cement blocks
Sand for leveling

It also gives a soft landing under the slides so no danger of a child being hurt.

Tools

The tools used on this project were a Dewalt cut off saw, skillsaw, two drills eighteen volt a Dewalt and Makita very handy for all the screws we used.

Also a hammer and handsaw, shovel, and a few wrenches  to tighten bolts used on the four by four post of the bridge and slides. If interested in any tools for these projects try your local hardware store.

Time

Now to construct this DIY playground slide set it took the two of us  a week, so if anyone is wonting to build this its not something you can do in a day.

In some of the photos you will see a green canopy  tent , this we put up to do our cutting under as the temperature was ninety to a hundred F. that week. Being Canadian takes us a while to get used to the heat.

Outdoor cutting area
Working outdoor in the heat.

Materials Used

Here is a list of materials used on this project.

Thirty – four by four post eight feet long.

Seventy- two by sixes eight feet long.

Hundred twenty- one by fives eight feet long.

Thirty four-cement blocks for the four by four post.

Sixteen- half inch bolts for four by fours on bridge.

Eight quarter inch bolts for anchoring slides.

Anyway hope you enjoyed reading about this playground design idea, if there are any questions about this leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

Wayne.

Installing Oak Wood Flooring in a Hallway

Oak Hardwood Floor

Here is a few ideas for installing oak wood flooring in a hallway.

First thing to do in this case  was to remove the carpet covering the plywood under it.

Best to start in a doorway and give it a pull, as it is usually just tacked down around the outside edges.Oak Fooring

Carpet Removal

After you have taken up the carpet and rolled it up, if your not saving it then best to take it out to the garbage.

Once its out of the way then you can pull any staples left stuck in the plywood, and all the wood nailing cleats around the outside of room that held carpet down.

Preparing Plywood

Once the plywood has all the staples pulled then its time to add more floor screws to your plywood base flooring. This will prevent any squeaking from your hardwood floor once its laid.

Make sure to put plenty of screws as most people will not appreciate a floor that squeaks.Plywood Flooring

Doorways

In this hallway there happened to be five doorways, four bedrooms and a bath.

Between the thresholds of the door ways you can install pieces of the oak flooring  cut to size.

These usually go from the door stop to the hallway edge of the door frame, and as door frames need to be cut to oak floor height to allow your pieces to fit under door frames.

Door Frames

Is best to take a piece of your oak flooring and mark all the door frames  at the right height and then cut them out.

I find using a multi craft tool works very well for this.

And if you happen to have steel door frames then there are also metal blades that fit this tool, and will work quiet well.

Flooring

Once all your door frames have been cut then you can start laying  the flooring .

You don’t wont the joints to end up in the same place, usually ten inches plus separating them. Also you can chalk a line out from wall for a reference point to keep the rows straight, as you will find very few rooms are perfectly straight,

Best to lay out a few rows first to see how they come, and how much will have to be cut off the ends of a run.Oak Flooring

Nailing

The first two or three rows will have to be drilled through the tongue of the boards and nailed by hand , because the floor nailer will not have enough space to be used yet.

Also be careful when nailing by hand as sometimes the nail can get bent if the hole you drilled is not of sufficient size. And a good nail punch to drive the nails home is required.

Once away from the wall  then its just a matter of laying the floor boards out , staggering the joints and using the floor nailer on them.

Space your nails  about six to eight inches apFlooringart and about two to three inches from the ends of your boards.

Stair Railing

Also in the case of this floor there was a steel railing around the stairway opening, some will be wood.

Is best to remove them and then after the floor is installed  you can put it back on top of the flooring.

Any screws holding the railing down  should be predrilled through the oak flooring first.

Overhang on Stair Thread

Also when you are coming to the top step of your stairs, you might wont to make a nose piece out of your oak flooring in order to finish it off and match the rest of the stairs.

It could have an overhang of an inch or more, as that will depend on your set of stairs.

Mouldings

Once all your floor is laid and nailed into place, then the floor mouldings can be put back on to cover the quarter inch space left for expansion.

You might also have some finer mouldings to put around the stairwell opening and these can also be attached now.

Now your oak floor in the upstairs hallway is finished.

If you have any comments or ideas about doing this type of flooring, there always appreciated.

Wayne.