Q&A / 

February 14, 2021 AsktheBuilder Newsletter

Greetings and salutations! This might be your first newsletter! Getting something new is always exciting, isn’t it? This top part of my newsletter is reserved seating for you and every other subscriber who's signed up in the past seven days. By the way, this is an unusual whimsical issue, so give me a week or two before passing judgment.

You, though, might be a valued crusty subscriber who is flummoxed as to why I go out of my way to greet new subscribers. You could be so creaky that you clearly remember when I shared the video about how to drill a hole in 1/4-inch steel plate! Drilling wood is for sissies, right?

Do You Do Pottery?

My youngest daughter’s hobby is pottery. She’s self-taught and is really starting to gain confidence. You may remember when we tried to build a wood-fired kiln last spring. It didn't work and I discovered later the firebox was simply too small. I couldn't get enough fire burning to raise the temperature much above 1,200 F. CLICK or TAP HERE to watch a short video of the kiln really cooking. Yes, the flue liner is cracked and I wired it together to prevent it from collapsing.

After the wood-kiln #Experiment, she bought herself a fancy electric kiln. It gets hotter than Hades! 2,100+ F!! Here’s a photo of it about two hours into a 24-hour firing. The temperature rises slowly to minimize stressing the clay pieces. It's all computer controlled and fires pottery quite well.

infrared kiln photo
Do you create your own glazes?

If so, my daughter would LOVE to know the best online sources where you purchase the ingredients to make your own custom glazes. TNX in advance for this help. You can just reply to this newsletter and give me the URL you buy from.

My goal is to occasionally share some of her work with you, Yep, I’m a proud Papa.

Nancy in Toledo

About two weeks ago, Nancy was having a low water-pressure issue in her home. I suggested she read these columns:

Solving Low Water Pressure Problems

Low Water Pressure in Faucets

Low Shower Head Pressure

Nancy did and then she got back with me. She decided that she could save a ton of money having me call her rather than hiring a plumber. She was right.

Are you sitting down?

While she and I were ON THE PHONE, she used a wrench and SOLVED THE PROBLEM RIGHT THEN AND THERE.

It was so much fun for me to hear the happiness in her voice when the water pressure jumped!

Oh, I forgot an important part of the story! Nancy is 90 years YOUNG! Talk about valued and crusty!

I don’t want to hear excuses about why you can’t fix something yourself. If Nancy can do it, so can you for goodness sake.

Don’t forget, I can COACH YOU ON THE PHONE!

Karen and Mary Gene

You may be one who asked how in the world last week’s fun Ask the Builder Clue Mystery game came to be and where in the world I found the woman who did the sultry voice recording on the last page? It all starts with Johnson Hardware and the great folks at Walt Denny, Inc.

Clue game Board
Johnson Hardware is the biggest sponsor of this newsletter. One of my jobs is to make sure you see stunning photos demonstrating how you can benefit from using their marvelous door hardware.

I got a huge assist from two wonderful and talented women. Karen-Eileen Gordon, Mary Gene, and I teamed up to create a new mystery game where you see these stunning Johnson Hardware photos.

It was my idea to create a virtual game of Clue. I came up with a list of 30 possible words that could be used in a mystery story.

I shared the list with Mary Gene, she’s the editor of this newsletter, and said, “I know you enjoy creative challenges. Please take fifteen of these random words and see if you can create a fun and interesting mystery story.

Three hours later, it was done. I modified Mary Gene’s story just a bit and I knew I needed the voice of a professional actress to help you solve the mystery.

I called my very good friend and Hollywood actor David Lawrence. He immediately suggested Karen.

I hired her to read the script I’d written, allowing you to SOLVE the mystery and decode a fun message. Karen is a professional Hollywood actress. There’s a very good chance you’ve seen her work.

I want to thank Karen and Mary Gene for all they did to make this fun diversion possible.

What? Wait a minute! You might not have solved the fun mystery yet!

I believe you’ll want to do it after reading what Wayne sent me:

“Dear Tim:

My wife and I just finished doing your mystery puzzle. It was a fun and interesting diversion for a Sunday morning. The story-line was great and it was fun to decrypt the coded message. We laughed when we read it! The clip of Ralphie decoding his secret message was the icing on the cake.

I am glad that I signed up for your newsletter and just like Ralphie waiting for his secret decoder badge to arrive, I look forward to receiving the Ask The Builder newsletter each week. Usually, I hate reading advertisements, but you always present your tips in a manner that is interesting and entices me to read about products I would otherwise not have known about. Keep those newsletters coming.


Wayne Reetz

That Tiny Island!

Remember three weeks ago when I shared with you a small country you might have never heard about before?

I’m blessed to know quite a few friends, all virtual, who live in other countries. I’ve come to know Phil and Patricia in Australia, Johan in Belgium, Jonathan in the UK, and lots more.

Jonathan sent me a photo of the tiny island! CLICK or TAP HERE to see that photo as well as a few from his own yard. Wait until you read the story about his chestnut tree!

Japanese Chocolate

japanese chocolate bar
Do you enjoy dark chocolate? I confess it’s one of my sins of pleasure. I try to lead a pure and simple life, but dark chocolate can cause me to go off the rails.

Would you look at a few labels of Japanese chocolate and tell me which ones you find to be the most attractive? CLICK or TAP HERE to see these distinctive candy wrappers! Can you guess which one I can’t wait to taste?

Thanks for your help.


That’s quite enough for a Sunday.

Next week I’ll have a boatload of home improvement stuff for you including a review of two new Bosch heated jackets, one’s a hoodie. You’ll see INFRARED PHOTOS of the heating elements hidden inside the jackets!!

Until then, stay warm.

Oh, one more thing. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Be sure to give your sweetheart a twirl in a romantic kitchen dance and maybe go out for dinner. I’d order halibut and a Japanese sweet potato in case you’re wondering. If they had a wedge salad, I’d get that too.

Tim Carter
Founder - www.AsktheBuilder.com
Certified Organic Clean - www.StainSolver.com
Chief of Comms NEFR - www.W3ATB.com

Do It Right, Not Over!

P.S. Winter is when potholes bloom in the USA. Do you know the BEST WAY to patch a pothole? Click to see if you’re right.


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