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Hi everyone.  Before we chat, there's always the formal howdy:

The Saturday Morning Home Repair Blog (SMHRB) is where we gather to discuss the many and varied aspects of home repair.  Some here are trained professionals.  Some, talented DIYers.  Some, hopeless thumb-hammerers.  All are welcome.  Please feel encouraged to ask questions, share successes, lament sags, drips and cracks and, as always, share any advice that you have for the rest of us.

Just a stub for y'all this week.  Not a lot going on in our little corner.  We're still outside obsessing over trees.  A few inside projects this weekend, but they're the "re-caulk the bathtub" and "paint some trim" variety.  Nuthin' big.

I'll be in and out since we're readying to pick up both my mom and a good friend of the family, for their 89th and 88th birthdays, respectively. A trip up the Columbia Gorge for pie and to buy some salmon from the Native Americans who sell their fresh catch under the Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks.  Back home for a salmon dinner.  River to table in less than 12 hours.  Life is good here.

Any questions from those who usually only read?  We frequently laugh at old-timers, but we never laugh at new folks.*  Everybody has to start somewhere.

Anyway, grab a cup of coffee and pull up a work bench.  I hope that all of you have a great weekend and that, whatever you're up to, it's a success.  

The shop is open...

*Actually, this may not be true, but if we laugh, it will only be because we recognize your pain. ;-)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here is the scedule: (28+ / 0-)

    July 27:  CJB

    August 3:  eeff
    August 10:  CodeTalker, Special Edition
    August 17: exlrrp
    August 24:
    August  31:

    Don't make me guilt you into telling us the about time you wired the dryer wrong and blew the electrical in the entire apartment building.

    Oh wait, that was me.

    John, are you still looking for material for the 10th?  (See how I gave you permission to hang yer stuff on the tip jar?  You're welcome. :- ))

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:32:58 PM PDT

    •  YES!!! I only have a couple so far... HELP! (14+ / 0-)

      Did I tell you about the time an elevator motor blew out just before the opening of a brand spanking new E.S. hotel where I was Asst Chief Engineer, and the elevator repair guy rushed in without checking in and cut our lockouts, threw the breaker on, and blew the entire electrical in the hotel - complete darkness, just as the VIPs were walking in for the grand opening? True story...

      Thank you CJB - I need this to be up front because we're running out of time, if you want your post to be included in our Special Edition Razz-a-ma-Tazz Year 8 Volume 1 SMHRB Celebration Diary on August 10th!

      Come on folks, you KNOW you want to - simply KosMail me a couple paragraphs about a favorite project / memory / tip /advice / person here, past or present / whatever! Pics are optional (especially if they're all like 3Kx4K format, thanks CJB!) but welcome, and subject matter is only limited by SOME link to SMHRB over the years...

      Really. Is that too hard? You can dash of something, anything, but PLEASE do it this week, since ninepatch and I will be working to make some kind of readable sense out of them all, and we don't have a lot of time left to do it... (I hope you're OK, ninepatch dear, I had a rough night too!)

      OK, 'nuff said. This is CJBs show today, I'm just the nagging voice and I won't post another plea - as long as you send something asap.

      Even claude is contributing, wow!

      You know you want to - too...
      Thanks
      John

      "When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

      by CodeTalker on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 06:31:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Forgot how much I love chemicals... (12+ / 0-)

    Bleach, Simple Green, Windex, Resolve....and that was Thursday night. Tilex last night, radiator cleaning with Simple Green tonight, Murphy's Oil Soap on the floors tomorrow.

    Oooh, that smell. Can't you smell that smell?

    Someone told me you should never make fun of rednecks unless you are one. Well, I are one. - Jeff Foxworthy

    by DeathDlr73 on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 06:17:16 AM PDT

  •  Mornin' SMHRB folks! (16+ / 0-)

    I'm usually busy actually doing home repair and household stuff on Saturdays, so I can't pop in often, but I got so much done yesterday I'm taking some time off to hang out at DailyKos :-)

    Yesterday I finally got my act in gear and replaced a pane of glass that got broken a few months ago. Right after it happened I cleaned out the old glass and glazing, then I promptly went to get new glass, glazing and push points. Upon coming home I realized the glass I'd gotten was an inch too narrow - and the project got shoved to the back burner. With the warmer weather and a storm door, it was easy to live with the missing pane. Anyway, yesterday I finally did it and I'm pretty pleased with the result. Once that's all hardened I'll paint the door and put plexiglass panels on the front and back of the door to prevent the kids from putting a hand through again. I hope that will also keep a little warm in. Then I'll oil and weatherstrip and it should be good as new :-).

    If I'm really ambitious this weekend I'll get to fixing the broken basement window, but if the nice weather holds I might just head to the beach.

    Happy home repair to all!

    Maybe just maybe our foremothers and our forefathers came to this land in different ships. But we're all in the same boat now. - John Lewis

    by bluesheep on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 06:31:49 AM PDT

  •  Moving Week. Yuk. (14+ / 0-)

    So it's been Home Repair, Phone Repair, Internet Repair, TV Repair, Boxes Repair, Cleanout Repair, Car Repair.

    I think there's a wristwatch around here that made it through unscathed.

    I even pulled a muscle or tendon on my shin just above my instep. Must've been too many trips up 3-4 flights of stairs carrying too much. But thankfully it's mending quickly.

    But we found a great full size kitchen microwave at the Habitat for Humanity resale store, for just $65. If you have one in your area, it's worth visiting periodically to look for deals if you're on a budget.

    I do have a Saturday Morning Home  Repair to do, the flush mechanism in our new house toilet doesn't fully shut off. But I've replaced those before so, hopefully, no big deal. I saved a special box with electric drill/screwdriver, various hand tools and such, and it's been a lifesaver at several points in the move.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 07:18:57 AM PDT

  •  Anyone had any experience re-adhering heavy (14+ / 0-)

    face-ledgerock to a vertical plane, and if so, what adhesive medium was used?  A couple of the facerock pieces have fallen off the side of our concrete porch once again.  We had a pro stoneface guy reattach four of them a year ago, but two of the same ones are down again after being there originally for 30 years or so.  He used a secret masonry mix.  
    I have put a couple of potted plants in front of the gaping areas for now but must figure out some alternatives other than that.  Have even considered going all artsy and replacing the missing with lighter weight, more easily adhered and colorful ceramic tiles, but then I do have an active fantasy life.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 07:20:06 AM PDT

  •  Good morning! I've been incommunicado (11+ / 0-)

    between writing and this:

    The barn is almost finished.  Now we're planning storage--hooks, shelves, etc.  Can any of you storage experts give me advice (like Code Talker came to my rescue with help about painting moldy old plaster?)

    "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

    by DrLori on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 08:24:27 AM PDT

  •  Sort of proud of myself... (16+ / 0-)

    Last month, I was trying to re-lay the brick on my front walk as there were problems with it.  I got about half way (maybe 30 ft?) and arthritis, age, and fat finally got the better of me.  So I called a landscaping co. to come give me an estimate.  The guy told me what I'd done was better than some professional work he's seen.  I almost bust my buttons :o)

    I have been struggling with cognitive and memory problems for over 10 years, was diagnosed with likely alzheimer's this spring, went to a bigger hospital recently and they said I don't have dementia.  Things around my place have slowly deteriorated - a neighbor once told me my place looked like it belonged on the hoarders tv show.  I've had problems with keeping up.  This summer I've been doing the best in years, so I'm rearranging the detached garage - making better use of vertical space, and will now cart a lot of crap out there to get it out of the attached garage and house.  To be able to walk through my house without edging around piles of boxes....  oh, that is going to be nice.

    The main impetus was scoring a couple of work benches for $1 - I can just picture them in a very spare, clean garage.  Makes a good carrot.

    •  Oh, I sympathize, UQ! (12+ / 0-)

      Having been a blown disk/chronic pain basket case for many years, I've been falling further and further behind in my own projects, and the worst part is abandoning my tools when I DO manage to get one done, then trying to make sense of the myriad boxes, pails, and toolboxes I left them in. And don't even get me started on the tons of supplies, spare parts, wood, stone, etc that I've accumulated - I edge around stuff everywhere too!

      This year, I resolved to get off the morphine (Rx, honest), lose weight (18 lbs so far!), and a few other things, and to tackle one project every day, no matter how small, until it's done, plus organize my tools again - I have all the storage and workbenches I need, if I can get them emptied.

      Your post smacks of my own situation (and you don't write at all like someone with those problems, btw!), and it's a relief to admit I'm swamped - I simply can't do all the things I used to do, and getting help is so difficult here. Plus, some of you know my situation here, and how hard it can be on top of all my personal battles...

      Thank you for the courage to admit it's not all roses here in DIY-land. Even those of us who pride ourselves on having spent our lives learning how-to, about so many things, have a hard time turning that knowledge into action, folks, like me. At 62, I'm not the man I used to be, and it pains me to admit how much I've lost over the years since I got hurt, but that's the reality.

      I stand with you, UQ! Your post inspires me, because if you can overcome your difficulties and make progress, I can certainly keep fighting to overcome mine. Thank you, sincerely - you made a difference today.
      John

      "When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

      by CodeTalker on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 08:44:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What goes around, comes around! (10+ / 0-)

        John, you've been an inspiration to me so it makes me feel good that I can give some back to you.  I'm trying not to cry - to have someone understand, to read between the lines, about what it's been like.  And the boxes thing!  OMG!  I can look in a box, then after it's closed up still not have any idea what was in it.  So I'm trying to not worry about junk, just get things cleared out of my living space - deal with junk later.  Otherwise I get bogged down in cleaning & sorting and just make a mess.

        The people I bought my house from had inherited multiple households, and left a bunch of stuff.  There's many nuts, bolts, nails, screws, and metal things I have no idea what they're for.  A huge electric drill like thing that is dark and greasy looking - and heavy.  I was going to ask what I should do with all of it, but there's a Habitat Restore about an hour from me - perhaps they'll take that kind of stuff?

        Congratulations on the weight loss!  And good luck with getting off the morphine - not an easy thing at all, but you seem like a stubborn enough man to handle it :o)  

        I think part of being a successful DIY-er is knowing when to call in the cavalry.

        •  UQ, I have the same situation (3+ / 0-)

          Lots of unused electrical parts, fittings, switches, outlets, breakers and such. Many pounds of various fasteners. I could go on and on. Most are new/old but never used.

          Frankly, I've been stumped too so far. I give some away to a local church, or folks who need stuff I have, but I think the more pressing problem is getting the junk we accumulated, from our own stuff and the many others we let "store" things in the barn which were never collected afterwards, and getting rid of that. Then, and only then, can I assess exactly what we have that's of any value - just as you pointed out!

          I get swamped every time I look at all the boxes and piles, and the only way I can manage it all is to remove what is clearly useless now, and hope that I can deal with what's left. Trying to tackle it all from any other way is simply overwhelming. I'll be looking at how to unload what we don't want and let you know if I find anything worth passing along!
          John

          "When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

          by CodeTalker on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 05:00:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks so much, John (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest, KenBee

            One step at a time, as Dr. Lori said.

            I so want to pitch and sort, but if I get sidetracked into that, I'll get bogged down and make a mess.  So right now, I'm trying to just put like with like as much as possible, sweep up the mouse poop, and keep slogging as long as I can.  This week coming up is pretty much my last chance before the school year kicks in.  Still working on clearing boxes and junk out of entryway, guest room, and attached garage, and move it all into the detached garage.  The mice have been into so much.  

            Hey, would it work for you to select what you're going to keep, rather than what you're going to let go?  Keep your best tools, and let most duplicates go?  If you live in town, there's always setting stuff out on the curb with a FREE sign :o)   It is always amazing to me how fast stuff disappears.  

            Also, I have had to acknowledge to myself that there are things I intended to do that I'm not going to be able to do - for example, I just permanently loaned my bicycle to a friend, as I can't imagine myself even hoisting myself on it (but it has sentimental value - I toured Europe on it for a couple of months a looooong time ago).  Anyway, the point being, maybe it would also help to let things go that you really aren't able to use any more.  Hard, I know, but weighed against the piles and frustrations, may be for the better.

            There's a picture of Bette Davis holding a pillow with the following embroidered on it:

            Old Age Ain't No Place For Sissies
            Too damn true.
      •  What a nice comment, John! (11+ / 0-)

        And I second it, UQ!  I'm a stage 4 cancer patient (stable, thanks!, for 12 years) with most of the cancer confined to my bones, my spine, mostly.  I'm 3 inches shorter than I used to be, having crushed 4 vertebrae in chemo and 1 while moving the lawn with a ztr mower (and don't think I didn't get yelled at for that!).  In short, I can't do what I used to do, and it takes longer to get things done.  

        Something that my physical challenges have taught me is that small steps get the job done.  I try to do something every day. Just one thing.  It doesn't have to be big, but it has to be something.  All those little somethings make for progress.

        Keep your goals in mind, and you'll get there, UQ.  It'll happen suddenly, when those little steps you take every day all at once manifest in visible, big change.  You'll have your detached garage just the way you want it.  Your piles of boxes will slowly disappear.  Your walk will be done.  And it'll be beautiful.

        "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

        by DrLori on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 09:11:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you both, now it's MY turn to not cry! (7+ / 0-)

          We inspire each other here for a reason - we need that, pure and simple.

          And I've learned to take my time, think things out, sort out steps in my head, plan - BEFORE tackling difficult stuff. Like my DIL's van, front fender got hit by a deer (ran into the van from the side, pushed it in) and the passenger door wouldn't open. Thought about it for a week, decided that my advice to consult a body shop would exhaust her meager funds on the deductible, and that if I could figure out the proper direction to push it, the fender would once again clear the door. Well, some wooden shakes to protect the paint, a rubber mallet and a small pry bar, and she left here an hour ago with a freely opening door, for free!

          Or the time a few years ago my Mom (also a cancer survivor) and I moved some heavy slate pieces and a concrete slab, to re-do her driveway-to-house walkway and the garage side entry door stoop, all by ourselves, with some wood, levers and a handtruck. An old woman and her (older, harrumph!) son - without straining our backs or hurting ourselves! I was going to do it myself, but she insisted...

          There are ways to overcome almost ANY situation we face, I firmly hold, and WE are living proof. Good work, keep the faith, both of you - and all the struggling SMHRB'ers out there! YOU CAN DO THIS!
          I refuse to give up, or give in to my limitations.
          Hooray for all of us...
          John

          "When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

          by CodeTalker on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 12:21:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you, Dr. Lori (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, DrLori, KenBee

          The encouragement helps.  It's just me here, and sometimes it gets daunting trying to figure out how to keep afloat.  The reminder about small, constant steps is very timely.  :o)

          I have one more body scan in a couple of weeks, to look for any spread of (thyroid) cancer, then fingers crossed I'll be done with that.  I thought I'd been handling all the medical crap pretty well (it's a long list), but when a deer jumped in front of my car one night a few weeks ago and I hit it, I sobbed for 2 hours.  (I was coming home from a cat scan - figures!)

          Are you hearing me try to tell you that your interest and support really means a lot to me?  Thank you for taking the time to post.  You are a great addition to the SMHRB gang!

          •  Oh, thank you--that's so nice of you! (3+ / 0-)

            And I'm laughing about the CAT scan that set the deer on you.  It's not surprising that all the emotions you bottled up and sat on blew out just then.  In fact, it's totally natural.  You tamp down so much and then, like steam, it has to go somewhere.

            Best of luck with the scan, and please let me know how it goes.  When you get the all-clear, that'll be a good time for a big cry.  And then you put yourself back in order, and get back to your life.

            You're right--this is a great bunch of people I've blundered into!  Another home on the Great Orange Satan.  Thanks.

            "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

            by DrLori on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:52:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'm so glad that you're doing better, UQ. (8+ / 0-)

      So easy to get overwhelmed.  I wish you continued success with your rearranging.  let us know how it goes!  

      Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

      by CJB on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 09:34:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, CJB. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, KenBee, CJB

        I meant to take "before" pictures, but I forgot, dang it.  And I remembered this afternoon that I have boxes up in the garage attic that probably need to come down and go out, too.  ARGH!   I think I've been overwhelmed for 10 years!

        Your well-wishes help keep me going - thank you!  I hope I have lots of progress to report next Saturday :o)

  •  good morning crew..!!.. (10+ / 0-)

    I do like to tease new comers...and the old timers...heck...I like to tease everybody.

    no projects this week for me...we have out-of-town guest...yesterday was the beach...today is my dad's 72nd birthday...big party at my brothers.

    and yes...thank you for reminding me...just wrote myself a big note to send something to codetalker.

    We are not broke, we are being robbed...but we can fight back...#KosKatalogue

    by Glen The Plumber on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 08:41:17 AM PDT

  •  At the moment I'm just doing cleaning and (7+ / 0-)

    decluttering here at Dad's.

    The caregiver is mostly useless. We've gotten him a new washer and been fixing or coming up with decent temporary solutions to various small problems.

    The one that is a little annoying but we can't fix now is the sink drain in the half-bathroom. When the drain was installed it was done in a half-assed manner, and 20 years later, it tends to clog entirely if you do things like wash your hands or brush your teeth there. Fixing it involves tearing up part of the concrete slab to get to the pipe. We are not about to do that just now. So our solution was to take out the trap and put a bucket under the pipe. After you wash your hands or brush your teeth, you manually dump your greywater in the toilet.

    At least the sink doesn't have stagnant water standing in it now.

    Next week I get to attack a back hallway that is laundry room and storage area all in one. Whee! At least when the junk man came he took the two dead washing machines that were in there....

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 11:16:41 AM PDT

    •  Have you tried to snake it out? (5+ / 0-)

      With the trap off, maybe you can run a snake through the pipe and pull some of the crud out. Also, with the trap back on, a foaming drain chemical may alleviate the problem.

      Someone told me you should never make fun of rednecks unless you are one. Well, I are one. - Jeff Foxworthy

      by DeathDlr73 on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 11:27:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's all been tried; (5+ / 0-)

        it works for about two days, then clogs up again.

        Due to the way it was put in, most of the drain is actually plugged. What it really needs is that connection entirely redone. Which would entail concrete being taken up.

        So the bucket works for us. And it's big enough that if The Lazy Caretaker doesn't dump it after doing his teeth that I can get it the next time I go in there.

        When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

        by Alexandra Lynch on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 12:06:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not even a power snake? (5+ / 0-)

          Last time my plumber was here he showed off his new one. The head is changeable for a larger or smaller pipe, and his was at least 50 feet.

          May have to pay a pro (instead of a rental), but a bucket of greywater is kinda...well, icky.

          Someone told me you should never make fun of rednecks unless you are one. Well, I are one. - Jeff Foxworthy

          by DeathDlr73 on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 12:10:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I used to have access to one of those (6+ / 0-)

            Took it home from the hotel where I worked, had a cutting auger head, 5 HP motor, chewed through everything. That was 20 years ago, literally, and that drain has never clogged since - cellar floor drain, too, lowest point in the house.

            DD has a point, Alexandra - and what I usually suggest about poor drainage is to measure how much water goes down the drain, or how far a snake goes in, or even what my buddy did - send a camera down. There are 2 kinds of common obstruction - fault in the pipe (usually rare, even in concrete) and material stuck in the pipe. Knowing which and where can make all the difference in finding a solution. (Right, Glen?)

            Mom has a similar situation, living downstairs because she can't climb stairs, using a tiny half-bath with a tiny sink, but this one has a decent trap and then drops nearly a yard before it "y"s off, so it drains well and hasn't clogged yet despite years of constant usage. Plus, she has a great caregiver who pays attention to the little things.

            Good luck!

            BTW - she uses a walker (91 now), but has trouble walking, so we have her sit on the walker seat, and have pulled her around for years, backwards. It works well, except that we need to be vigilant about her feet catching on anything, since she can't hold them up for long. Recently I got a pair of inexpensive folding BMX bike type pegs that simply bolted on just above the front wheels, so now she can sit and flip them down for her feet, then back out of the way to walk, and we can now PUSH her around, a much more elegant way to travel. She loves it! (I'd pat my own back, but it wasn't all my idea, and I wasn't there when they arrived so I didn't even mount them, I just found them and had them delivered.)

            "When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

            by CodeTalker on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 12:39:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Given the way my life has gone lately (5+ / 0-)

            a bucket with a few inches of greywater is a lot less bad than a composting toilet bucket, in terms of ick, and I have had recent experience with both.

            Interestingly, I find neither to be as objectionable as cleaning out the cat box.

            When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

            by Alexandra Lynch on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 01:14:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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