Q&A / 

January 10, 2012 AsktheBuilder Newsletter And Tips


What's in This Newsletter?

Latest News
Rusty Tools - Quick Tip
IRWIN Pliers Video
New Hampshire Meet Up
Before & After Photos
Floating Shelves Update
Weekly Question - Frost Heaves

This has been a crazy winter so far here in New Hampshire. The ground is bare! There's simply no snow. It's that way all over the Northeast, except for those places that suffer the lake-effect snow from Lakes Erie and Ontario.Tim's RockLast winter was the exact opposite. It started to snow late, December 27th to be exact, but oh my. It seemed to dump on us ever 5 days until March. It got cold and the snow didn't melt. It was brutal.

The lake here at the house hasn't frozen yet! Now don't start talking about global warming and climate change. Why? Because if you come to New Hampshire, I'll lead you on a glacial geology field trip.

It'll blow your mind what the continental glaciers did up here just 15,000 years ago when there were no cars, trucks or factories.

I LOVE geology - it was my college major. The granite around my house has these huge white feldspar crystals in it. Simply fascinating. Here's a close up photo of a rock next to my garage. My buddy Phil will be grinning about the ruler I put in the photo for scale. You can also see mica in the rock when the sun hits it.


Quick Tip - Rusty Tools

Oiled ShovelIt's not too late to protect your yard tools from rust. Exposed steel on garden tools can rust with little effort when they get cold and then water vapor condenses on the metal.

If you live in the South, the high levels of humidity provide ample water to create rust.

It's easy to stop or slow down rust. Save the used motor oil from your lawn mower or any other small engine. Take a paper towel and spread some oil on the metal applying just a thin coat.

Do this each time you store the tools, and they will look like new forever. Burn the paper towels afterwards. They could ignite from spontaneous combustion days later in your garbage.



Last Week's IRWIN Pliers Video

Tim & PliersI shared last week with you a video of me demonstrating new Vise-Grip IRWIN pliers. It was a monster hit, based on many of the comments left at the YouTube site.

I really could use your help. I'm trying to prove to both IRWIN and other tool manufacturers that my videos help you make buying decisions.

Would you be kind enough to do two things for me? Watch the video again, or for the first time, and then tell IRWIN - using their Contact Form - if my video positively influenced you to buy their tools.

Is it possible for you to then reply to this newsletter with a short testimonial telling me how my videos help you buy tools and other products you see me feature? Thanks very much!


New Hampshire Meet Up

Do you live near Meredith, NH? That's in the center of the state. Do you want to get together for lunch next week? Be sure you reply with where you live so I can see what's the most central location for everyone.

Reply to this email and let me know if you're interested, what works best for you, etc. I'll try to satisfy as many as possible, but realize it will probably be impossible to accommodate everyone's schedule.


Before and After Photos

I desperately need your help on a new project at the website. Would you please consider taking Before and After photos of projects you do?

It doesn't matter if you're a homeowner or a contractor. I want to start a new section at the website that offers inspiration to everyone.

If you're a contractor, I'll gladly create a link to your website. The same offer goes to you if you've got a blog or other website where you share your talents.

This is your chance to show off your skills and magic to many who visit AsktheBuilder.com!

Here's an example.
Sarah's Loft BedSarah, with the help of her parents and husband built a magnificent loft bed using my plans. Now, I don't have a before photo, but you get the idea.

Click here to read Sarah's note to me.

Sarah could have easily taken a photo of the bare corner of the room before they started to assemble the loft bed.

Your project can be anything. Sarah happened to use my plans, but you can send in any project. It's just important that you take Before and After photos.

Let's have some fun with this Before and After project!


Floating Shelves Update

Last week I mentioned that I could tape a series of videos to demonstrate how to build Floating Shelves.

The response was off the charts! I'm going to attempt to complete that project this week. It will be my first in a series of videos that you pay a small fee to watch.

Why would you have to pay? The reason is simple.

Last February Google significantly altered the landscape of the Free Internet. They caused a major *earthquake* called the Panda Update.

They changed their search algorithm and it caused me, as well as tens of thousands of other great websites, to lose over 50 percent of our traffic.

That loss of traffic caused my revenue to drop by 65 percent because a certain amount of my visitors, like you, buy my own products instead of clicking an ad at the website.

Realize that before the Panda update, I was able to make a living off the small amount of people that would click an ad or two each day at my website.

Ads should ONLY be clicked if you're truly interested in the product or service being advertised. Do NOT go to my website and start clicking ads thinking that will help me. It will HURT me. It's called Click Fraud.

The traffic to AsktheBuilder.com is not going to come back. Of that I'm quite certain. I need to explore other ways to meet payroll and pay bills.

I'm wide open to your suggestions on how best to solve this problem. My gut tells me the best solution is to create more videos that help you through a vexing problem and charge a small fee for it. What do you think?


Weekly Question - Frost Heaves

DEAR TIM: I live in a warm part of the nation that rarely gets freezing weather, but I own a second home where it does get cold. In the spring I'm going to build a room addition and a deck. Living where it's warm I never knew there were things called frost heaves. Is it true frost in the ground can cause problems with foundations, cracked concrete, and interior cracks in houses and structures? What causes frost heaves? What soil is most susceptible? What can be done to prevent frost heave damage? Jodie G., Miami, FL

DEAR JODIE: Mother Nature often puts on a display of her many powers. Some are terrifying to witness, and I submit to you hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc. Frost heaves are a show of force that happens quietly, covertly and with little warning if you've never been harmed by them. The weather turns, leaves fall, snow flutt ......

CLICK HERE to read the rest of my answer and to see a photo of special frost blankets.


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