Q&A / 

March 26, 2009 AsktheBuilder News And Tips

What’s in This Issue?



Friendly Question Reminder!

If you have a question for me, don't hit the Reply button just yet. Go immediately to my web site and type in the keywords about your problem into my Search engine. The search box is at the top of every page of my web site. You could have your answer in seconds if you do this! Please pay attention to all links you see at my web site. The exact products and services you often need are right in front of you, and you might be ignoring them.

Spring in New Hampshire

Oh my, Spring is beginning to happen here in New Hampshire. Yesterday, I took a fantastic 3-mile hike through the woods and along a majestic back road. The sky was indigo blue, not a cloud to be seen and there were patches of snow in the woods. All I needed to stay warm was a flannel shirt.

lake winnisquam dawn

The sun is about to rise. It gets nice and bright on most days before it pops out over Belknap Mountain across the lake.

I also checked the ice thickness of the lake yesterday. Twenty feet from shore, it was 14-inches thick, but 15 feet away and closer to shore, it was 1-inch thick. I'm convinced there is a spring entering the lake there. The moving water erodes the ice. You can't trust the ice thickness, not on your best day. Soon there will be open water in the center of the lake. Somehow someway you need to come here to see how beautiful it is here in New Hampshire. When you do, contact me for places to stay and visit. Bring your golf sticks so we can play!

The Zip Sander and Bella

Here at the lake house I had to do a little drywall patching last week as we're building a video studio in the basement for my daughter Meghan. She runs AsktheDecorator.com.

I also had to patch a hole in the wall made by a very special guest who was here this past Saturday night. Bella Bradley and her family stopped by for a pizza dinner. I was showing Bella's dad how to third coat drywall, and Bella was intently watching. So I asked, "Bella, would you like to learn how to patch a hole in a wall so you know how to do it when you have your own home?" Bella is 9-years old, very inquisitive, bright and confident. "Absolutely yes!" was her reply.

I knew there was no hole to patch, so I told her to grab the hammer that was just over to the side. "Bella, hit the wall with the hammer," I said. Her eyes got really big more from disbelief that I said it than excitement. Her mother's eyes were even bigger thinking I was insane. Bella swung and hit the wall. It just dented it. I said, "Hit it harder. I need a hole in the wall!" Boom! I had the necessary hole alright, and Bella had a huge smile on her face.

After filling the hole with joint compound, I proceeded to tape over the hole with paper drywall tape. I immediately second coated over the tape explaining to Bella that the next morning all I would have to do is lightly sand the area and maybe touch it up.

The next day, I used a clever sanding block tool called the Zip Sander to do the job. It's got a very comfortable foam handle that attaches to a plastic frame. The frame snugly holds a flexible sponge sanding pad. The kit came with different grit pads, but I couldn't tell one from the other. That's my only complaint. They should mark the pads coarse, medium and fine. But all in all the sander worked great.

If you have a chance to show a young child how to fix things around your home, do it. I know Bella will never forget hitting the wall with that hammer, and it's my hope she remembers how I fixed it. Both things happened in less than 60 seconds. It was magical to see the wonder in Bella's eyes. Make magic happen in your home.

Nano-Technology Deck Sealer

If you're a long-time newsletter subscriber and reader of my columns you know that I've had an inside track on some of the best deck sealers for years. I happened to meet the owner of a small, but progressive, deck-sealer manufacturer about 14 years ago. John Meredith has always been a leader in products that protect wood and masonry.

He's done it again, and this time I think he's set the bar too high for himself. Days from now I'll be getting 10 gallons of perhaps the best clear deck sealer made in the world. It's possibly the only one in the world with nano-technology. This clear deck sealer has ultra-small zinc oxide particles in it that block the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun from fading the color of your wood deck making it turn gray.

I was one of the few that saw the independent testing-lab photos of the ladder tests showing this product in real side-by-side comparisons. It blew away all the other name brands out there. I'll be applying this nano-technology sealer to my dock here in weeks, and will report back how it goes on. I already know, as I've used John's epoxy deck sealer for years. The sealer will go on easily and dry within hours. It's water based and eco-friendly.

I'll be using my sweet non-toxic Stain Solver to safely clean my dock that hangs over the lake here. I'll be having a huge sale on Stain Solver next week, so watch for that special promo code.

If you're going to be sealing your deck this Spring, you should give John's product a serious look. You'll see a Buy Online text link at his site. Look for a dealer close to you to get the best price on shipping.

The Blue Angels

The Blue Angels

We have the finest military in the world. Best equipment, best personnel, best senior leaders and it's all voluntary. I've got some first-hand experience with the equipment and personnel as I've had the extraordinary experience to be an honorary tailhooker and get a backseat ride in an F/A-18 Hornet. You may be one of the patriots who've worn a uniform for our great nation. If so, my family and I deeply thank you for your service to our great nation. Many have reached out to me and we've become great friends.

However, I was extremely tardy in loading the story about my ride with the #7 Blue Angels pilot, but it's now on my website for your enjoyment. You may also want to read about my 24-hour stay on the USS George Washington CVN-73.

Please, I BEG you, don't email me asking how you can get an invitation. I explained it in both stories that you'll *never* get one, so read those sections carefully. You need to live your fantasy vicariously through me or any other story you can find about these rides.

I'll be posting the actual video of me in the Blue Angels plane very soon. Watch for that announcement very soon. Suffice it to say, well, just wait and watch.....

Cleaning Grout in Floors

I mentioned just above that I'll be having a super sale on Stain Solver next week. If you have tile floors that have gross filthy grout, you can make the grout look like new. Stain Solver is a miracle oxygen bleach that is non toxic. It's perhaps one of the greenest cleaning products I know of. When mixed with water, the powder breaks down to more water, oxygen and natural soda ash! The oxygen ions are what do the cleaning.

The product also cleans stains out of clothes. Tough stains as well as set stains. It's pretty amazing stuff indeed. Just keep in mind that you can really make ceramic tile floors look spectacular again.

More Orders for Your Products

The economic climate is grim now. I've decided to help you as much as possible if you work for or represent a company that make great home-improvement products. Each time I mention a product in this newsletter, within 48 hours thousands of subscribers typically click through to the product's website to discover more. Orders for the product often increase. But realize that I don't mention everything I test. If a product doesn't do well, I don't tell you about it in this newsletter. You know the old saying, "If you can't say something good, don't say anything." That's my motto when it comes to new products. If you need more sales in this economy, contact me so I can start testing your home-improvement product.

Old-Looking Glass in a New Door

Jacklyn D. from Indianapolis, IN, emailed me asking, "Tim, I having a custom mahogany and glass wood door made for my front entry. What kind of glass should I use for an old world look but energy efficiency? Does it matter if it is triple pane or single, but tempered pane? Help!"

Jacklyn, this is an easy one. I was faced with the same problem several years ago at my own home. I solved it with a stained-glass overlay. First of all, go with insulate double-pane glass that's got Low-E coating and is Argon filled. That's pretty darned good glass. To make the door look old, you go to one of the many stained-glass studios in Indianapolis. They can make a custom stained or beveled-glass overlay that's installed with silicone caulk. This panel goes on the inside of your home.

Heroes Actor Helps Students

A very good friend of mine, David Lawrence, is a Hollywood actor. I initially became acquainted with David years ago via an Internet mastermind group we both participate in. Last week David reached out to our group telling us about a very cool project he's working on in Nashville, TN.

David is currently appearing in the popular television show Heroes. He's the sinister puppeteer Eric Doyle. This latest project is a movie short called You and Charlie Wu. Many projects like this are self funded. This particular short has a budget of $35,000.00. This hard cost covers equipment rental, studio rental, all professional services, wardrobe, craft services, etc. David is waiving his fee for this production, as he's working with film students from Middle Tennessee State University.

David is a fantastic teacher, and he and his other partners in this film are trying to help teach the students what really happens in Hollywood, as it's much different than what they are sometimes taught in the classroom.

To support the MTSU Foundation, and its funding of this production, David is asking for donations. It's truly a great cause. Your contributions are tax deductible. You and I are helping educate the future professionals that will entertain us in years to come.

You can discover more about this fun movie short, watch a number of short videos taken during the filming and make a donation if you so desire. Each person who donates will be mentioned in the movie credits. The more you donate, the more prominent your name will be in the credits. I've already donated. It's your turn. I can't wait to see your name and mine on the Big Screen!!

Upcoming Tool Reviews

I'll be writing about some cool tools in upcoming issues. Currently, I'm about to begin testing some cordless Paslode nail guns, a very cool Bosch collapsible table saw, a Bosch sliding compound mitre saw and several other products. Oh, I forgot! I'll be testing some special drill bits that work on concrete, tile, plastic, wood, etc. Yes, one bit for all those things. Stay tuned!

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Latest columns will be back next week. I felt you have enough to read already!

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