Q&A / 

October 22, 2013 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips

Were you blessed today with a stunning sunrise this morning like I was? Here's what I saw. Thank you God for this stunning light show. I love sunrises.

Sunrise over lake



I was at my father-in-law's house about a month ago. He's a great man. I love him dearly. He taught me so much in my life. Here are some of his great sayings, a few I didn't fully understand for years:

  • Don't get undressed until it's time for bed.
  • There's no substitute for brains.
  • There has to be romance for both parties in a deal.
  • Shorter contracts are better.

What does all this have to do with workbenches? My son and I stayed at his house for three days on our visit. On the second morning, I walked into his garage and just looked around and steeped in the memories of that simple space.

I felt like I had stepped out of a time machine. He's lived in the same house since I started dating Kathy. That's forty-four years! I saw tools I had used decades ago. There in the corner I spied the oxygen and acetylene tanks and cutting torch I used to make custom cuts on the I-beams in my own Cincinnati home.

Then it dawned on me. Nowhere in his garage was a workbench! In fact, he's never had a simple workbench in his garage! Instead, things are lying on the floor to trip over. His spacious two-car garage can accommodate one or two workbenches.

Are you in the same situation? Even if your garage is small, you can carve out a small space for a workbench. They're so handy and one will make your life better.

Read my Build a Workbench column to discover how to make one in a jiffy. You can make it longer if you have the space. Consider adding a few diagonal braces if you want to really stiffen it up so there's no wobble whatsoever.


I saw this tip somewhere not too long ago. It's a good one and you probably have many similar ones.

You can hide cash and disguise it in an empty chapstick dispenser.

Fold and roll up some larger bills so you have emergency cash.


I'm in the homestretch of making my own man cave. It's in the perfect location - the attic of my garage as far away from the living space of the house as possible. Kathy will never find me. Bwahahahahahahahaahah! Unfortunately, she reads this newsletter. Just kidding, darling!

The primary purpose of the room is my long-awaited ham radio shack. Oh, it's going to be a nice space. Small and cozy.

I taped the drywall yesterday and will be second coating one side of the corners and the flat butt joints today. Many people struggle with getting flat seams smooth. It's not as hard as you might think.

Here's a drywall finishing video I shot a few years back showing you a quick technique on how to do it. This video is too short and really could have been done much better. Understand I had a 90-second limit on the video. That's why some information is missing.

You need to know about the consistency of the mud, you have to have the right tool, you have to flex the tool just right, you need to put on just the right amount of mud, etc.

Here's my question:

Would you like me to tape a very in-depth video series on all the tips and tricks I know about taping and finishing drywall?

It would cover patching drywall too. This video series would be on a DVD - a professional one like my most recent Linear French Drain Streaming Video. (DVDs are being converted to Streaming Videos - available early 2022.)

If you want me to do this in the next few months, reply to this email telling me what you want to see in the DVD.

Change the subject line to: Drywall DVD


Do you fret about hiring contractors? Are you worried about getting taken? How do you know if the job is going to be done the right way? Do you just *hope* things will work out and *trust* what the contractor says?

Are you willing to help me create the perfect guide to hire a contractor to do any job around your home? I don't care if it's concrete work, roofing, kitchen remodeling, furnace replacement, etc.

Here's my question to you:

If you had a magic wand and could wave it, what *thing* would you like to have in your hands giving you the CONFIDENCE you're about to hire the true professional?

Please don't say, "I just trust referrals from my friends or I use Angie!"

Do you know what's wrong with that? How do you know if your friend or co-worker had her/his job installed correctly? The contractor may have shown up and put on a professional show, but the work MAY FAIL in a short time.

I've sold Contractor Hiring Guides for over fifteen years and it's time for them to be completely redesigned.

I want your input. I want you to guide me. Please help me so I can help you.

Tell me exactly what you'd like to see if you could have the perfect hiring guide.

Here are some questions:

  • What would be in the hiring guide?
  • How many pages should it be?
  • Should a contractor have to fill out a form and answer written questions in the form?

Here's a FREE COPY of my Water Heater Contractor Hiring Guide.

I feel the information in it is overwhelming and not organized well. I'm sure you'll agree.

HELP ME CREATE the perfect hiring guide!

Reply and change the subject line to: HELP TIM!

Tell me what you'd like to see.


Over the weekend, I received several emails about deceptive photos. I'm talking about the photos you saw in Sunday's reminder email about the Stain Solver sale ending.

You may have been one who spotted the chair cushion fabric pattern. It didn't match in Brad's before and after photos.

The troubling thing with a few of the emails, from my perspective, was the claim I was trying to deceive you.

Ouch, that hurt! I'll get over it, just like a bad cold.

The simple answer is Brad undoubtedly cleaned a set of four or six chairs and forgot which one he used for his before photo. Brad took the photos, not me.

To show you I'm not a deceiver - I have a grin on my face - here are two sets of before and after photos I took myself in the past 72 hours.

Do you know how hard it is to remove baked-on cooking oil in a pot? It's like epoxy. It's HARD to do with scouring powder.

Stain Solver softened the grease overnight. I filled the pot with hot water, dropped in two tablespoons of Stain Solver and walked away. Period.

I came back the next day and LIGHTLY scrubbed the pot using a scouring pad with NO cleansing powder. You can see the results below.

dirty copper pot

clean copper pot

The plastic spoon below was stained by mixing iced tea. I put in a small amount of water in a glass and added a pinch of Stain Solver so you could see a dramatic side-by-side comparison photo. I added about one-eighth teaspoon of Stain Solver to three ounces of water to get these dramatic results.

dirty plastic spoon

half cleaned plastic spoon

plastic spoon

Why am I devoting this much space to this topic? Here's why:

  • You may be one who wants a special promo code for 20% off Stain Solver.
  • You may not have lots of money to buy new things and want to SAVE things.
  • You may not trust me and want to see great before and after photos.
  • You may need constant reminders about how well Stain Solver works.

Wait Tim, what was that about 20% off?????

Are you saying I can get 20% off Stain Solver?

Yes I am. Keep reading.

If you have purchased Stain Solver in the past - maybe you just purchased one of the small sample sizes - guess what?

If you take great before and after photos of what you restored with Stain Solver and send the photos to me, you get a SPECIAL promo code for 20% off your next order!!!

Get out your Stain Solver, get out your camera and get cleaning!

CLICK HERE to get your 20% off promo code, but remember, you need to upload before and after photos.

Oh, you've not bought Stain Solver yet?

Order Stain Solver here.


Last week, you may have been one of the 44 percent who discovered lots of new things about how septic systems work. Congratulations!

This week let's see how smart you are about the secrets of staining bare soft wood.

Watch this video about Wood Conditioners, then come back here and click one of the two links below:

Here's my question:

Did you know wood conditioners existed and how effective they are?

Tim, stop insulting me. I'm about to unsubscribe.


Tim, that was brilliant! You've helped reduce the depth of my ignorance (famous Dr. Caster phrase) about all things home improvement. Keep the tips flowing!


More tips next week.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *