March 27, 2022 AsktheBuilder Newsletter
Issue 1175 (I think ...)
It's exciting to get something new, isn't it? For example, this could be your first issue! It's an interesting one, that's for sure. If you're about to clean and re-seal your wood deck, I've got some good news for you!
But what about you? It's possible you signed on with Issue #691. Do you recall this photo?
Have you ever wondered how professional painters paint a room or hallway that has at least two different colors and two different paint types?
STOP Wet Basements
Are spring rains flooding your basement, creating a river delta in your crawlspace, or making your yard a miniature Okefenokee Swamp?
My college degree, with a focus in hydrogeology, makes me an EXPERT when it comes to ground water. I know exactly how to STOP water from entering in or under your home. I know how to DRY OUT soggy yards. I've solved water issues in THOUSANDS of homes.
Instead of paying a company thousands and thousands of dollars to put in an inferior interior drain system, why not just spend $500.00 on a better system that creates no indoor mess?
How is this possible? Watch my Linear French Drain STREAMING video!!!
Vantage Point Makes a Difference!
Do us both a favor and look at this image. I drew it with a black Sharpie pen. Tell me what you see:
Now, imagine a middle-school teacher asking a student in her 8th-grade class to draw what you see above on the playground blacktop using a fat piece of chalk.
Then visualize two students standing across from one another one at the bottom of that image above and one at the top. Are you with me?
What does the student at the bottom say when the teacher asks what he/she sees?
"I see the number 6."
What does the student at the top say when asked?
"That's easy, I see the number 9."
Realize both students are looking at the same graphic.
I received a little bit of blow-back from a few subscribers from last's week's informative section on inflation. They took umbrage with my reference to the US Civil War. I referred to it as the War of Northern Aggression.
One man was so upset, he unsubscribed. Another subscriber, John W., switched on his passive-aggressive voice asking, "What exactly is the 'War of Northern Aggression'?".
John, the War of Northern Aggression is what happened between 1861 and 1865 here in the USA if you happened to live south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Ask someone who lives in the Deep South who had relatives wear a gray uniform in the conflict, and you'll probably hear them call it the War of Northern Aggression. That was their vantage point.
Often when talking about past or current events, you might be looking at the same thing as another person, but see something different from what they see.
There's a compounding issue as well. You and the person you're talking with may not be able to have a productive discussion because both of you are basing your talking points on different data sets.
When that happens, it's impossible to have a fruitful discussion.
This is why expert witnesses like me have to swear an oath at depositions and on the witness stand in courtrooms. We say, "I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me God."
If you don't have the whole truth, it's impossible to make the correct decision about any matter. Period.
Deck Stain Test!
Are you about to clean and seal your wood deck? I can't imagine you looking forward to this drudgery.
It's an enormous amount of work. Have you seen the cost of deck sealers? They're now at $50 a gallon and going UP!
You can't afford to make a mistake this year and use a crap sealer!
Are you frustrated with the deck sealer you've been using watching it fade, possibly peel, and otherwise look bad in one or two seasons?
I was sick of being frustrated too and decided to hunt over two years ago for the Holy Grail of penetrating wood sealers. I believe I may have found it!
Look at this board:
You're looking at a piece of new cedar decking. It was a very light brown before I stained it. As you can see, I coated it with a rich medium-reddish-brown penetrating stain. I did this mid-May 2020.
The board I'm holding was a scrap piece leftover from cutting longer lengths down to size. The day after I stained this cedar, I brought it inside my garage and put it on a shelf under my workbench.
It was important to keep it shielded from the sun's destructive UV rays and weather. My intention was to pull it out this year and hold it next to the cedar boards that were coated with the exact same stain and have been out in the weather for two years. This way you and I can see how the stain held up as the scrap piece above was the control sample.
I'm going to record a video in less than a month to show you the results. I'm convinced you're going to be BLOWN AWAY by how well this particular stain has held up.
Would you like to see the video once it's uploaded? I thought so.
Sell Your Lesney Matchbox Trucks
Do you have any 60-year-old diecast metal Lesney Matchbox trucks in your attic/basement? Something like the ones below. That ruler is marked out in red/white centimeters. The ruler is 6 inches long in case you can't read the numbers:
If you own some of these trucks and no longer want them, please reach out to me. I'd be interested in trading you chickens, pork bellies, or money for them.
I've decided to try to collect every construction-themed vehicle they made. I'm NOT interested in the newer plastic toys that have taken their place.
I'm looking for the ones made in the 1960s. I purchased what you see above on ebay.com. If you know of a website that lists ALL of the trucks Lesney made back in the 1960s, please send that to me. TNX in advance.
Old House Stuff
I toured an old home in Nashua, NH eight days ago. It was an epic teaching moment. Here's part of what I saw:
What are those small boards creating the letter X?
Are you sure you know the answer?
What about the piece of subfloor just above them? Why is it that color?
Read my recent column about Old House Construction and my guess is you're going to discover a thing or two you didn't know.
That's enough for a Sunday.
Do It Right, Not Over!
P.S. What's the BEST cleaner for a wood deck? Oh, wait, you were about to say chlorine bleach. Listen, you and I need to have a little talk. Let's go here and sit down.