Q&A / 

September 10, 2013 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips


Time is flying! We've already burned through ten days, well nearly ten days, of September!

I'm trying to complete three projects here at my house before the weather makes it harder. Last week I was able to complete a project for Kathy that made her quite happy. I repainted our entrance hall. It's a very bright pastel yellow now. You'll be able to see a photo of it in a link just below.

In no particular order, these are the next projects I'm tackling:

  • linear french drain at shed
  • complete ham shack and multi-band di-pole antenna
  • stylish firewood shelter to match house

You're not alone. Even I have a backlog of projects. Let's get to work on them!


Remember Garver Brown from last week? He had a pail of my Stain Solver that could have been used faster, in my opinion, on countless cleaning projects around his house.

Well, he emailed me again a few days ago:

"Have you sent out an article about painting interior walls and ceilings? How do they cut paint in? Painted ceiling now coming back painting the walls, I'm using tape, but the experts do what's called cutting it in. Can you help me out here? Thanks your best friend Garver"

Garver, I just did write an article about this topic. What I really need to do, and it would take some fantastic videographer work - I feel my son could do this, is a very close-up video showing you, and everyone else, how I cut in two different paints.

It takes lots of skill, the right brush, the right amount of paint on the brush, a deft touch, etc. I can cut in much faster with a brush than taking the time to put tape up and then take the tape down. I talk about tape in the following article.

I try to describe cutting in using words in this recent article about How to Paint an Entrance Hall. This article has a photo of my new yellow entrance hall!

What other videos would you like to see about painting techniques? I have a situation soon where I can tape the cutting-in video and a few others.

Tell me what you want me to demonstrate on video concerning any interior painting.


Back at the end of July, I asked you about damage to your dishes and glasses from dishwashing detergent. The response I received was the MOST ever from any question I've asked. I'm compiling all the responses onto one page at my website. In addition to your responses, it will also include my correspondence with representatives from Procter and Gamble. I hope to have this ready for you next week.

It's a massive undertaking because of the number of responses. The folks from Procter and Gamble are not going to be happy.

This was the topic of our dinner conversation on Sunday, and my son scolded me for writing about it. He felt that I would be doing everyone a massive disservice because I didn't base the article on unbiased scientific test results.

Kathy and I tried to explain that journalists don't have that luxury. Journalists don't have laboratories. We don't have the expertise to run scientific testing. We can't afford to pay independent labs to do testing like this.

All I can do is report what I see in my own dishes and glasses, give you the facts about what detergent was used, report what others tell me (unbiased copying and pasting their exact words), and supply you with the written responses to my questions from the people making the product.

You, the Court of Public Opinion, then take all the data and make a judgement call. I think the facts in this case are going to blow you away.


The following story backs up what happened to me on Sunday. I was using a new Daredevil bit up in my garage attic to bore a diagonal hole through a 2x8. I needed to create a pathway for a 12/3 with ground electrical cable. As you might expect, my Daredevil bit chomped its way through the wood with no effort on my part other than to keep the drill motor turning!

I was really happy to receive the following testimonial from Bob Rottinghaus who hails from Iowa. Bob used a Daredevil bit to help him.:

"I had a deck project to work on over the Labor Day weekend and needed to drill through 6x6 posts. I bought a one-half-inch Bosch Daredevil spade bit since you recommended it. That drill bit is amazing.

Every spade bit I've used before would require a lot of effort to push it through the wood. This Daredevil bit actually pulls itself through the wood and to top it off it was inexpensive.

The way you bragged up these bits I expected it to cost closer to $10. I bought the bit at Menards for $3.88 and was a little skeptical about how well it would work.

I only wish I could have found a longer bit to drill through the 6x6 post and the 2x12 rim joist in one shot. This is by far the best spade bit I've ever used! The $3.88 I spent on this bit is the best bargain of the year for me."

Dennis Wiggins wrote as well last week:

"Personally, just since January, I replaced an entire floor of the Cape house with triple-pane windows, new carpeting for the sunroom, Spanish tiled the face of the steps that you featured from a Savannah subscriber, put on new dory flower boxes (more expensive than it sounds), a high-end two piston screen/storm side door, and a few gallons of paint while in the Bethesda house I am redoing the entire bathroom per our discussion on tiling over existing mud set floors. It is fair to say I spend an average of $10,000 year improving our real estate and I get many ideas from your newsletter."

Dennis and I had a brief conversation about soliciting testimonials from subscribers just like you. He went on to say:

"You should ask them in a newsletter. People like to be asked. Write and say I need to convey to my sponsors that their dollars are well spent. Could you write me about various projects you have undertaken this past year, and how much in supplies you have spent, so that I can forward it to my sponsors to show them they should keep subsidizing ATB."

Well, have you purchased something based on my recommendation and been happy with the product? If so, I'd love to hear from you. Dennis is correct. My sponsors need validation.


This is related to the above story. I need your help.

Would you like me to review DeWALT power tools? How about Stanley hand tools?

If you want me to do video reviews of these tools, I need you to reply to this email and change the Subject Line to: Review DeWALT and Stanley Tools Tim!



Hah! There's a good chance I stumped you two weeks ago! Sorry, but I couldn't resist bragging.

Eighty-eight percent of the folks that watched the Roots in a Sewer Line video didn't know everything I showed.

Well, let's see how you do this week. Isn't this fun?

Remember, you have to watch a video, then you have to come back to this page to VOTE.

Watch this video please.

Here's my question: Did you know that glass block could be put together this way?

Tim, you insult me. You must think I'm a DOLT.



Tim, I was sitting with you in Historical Geology class when Dr. Caster would say before handing out tests: "Today we're here to test the depths of your IGNORANCE." (true story!)


More tips next week!


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