Q&A / 

September 6, 2018 AsktheBuilder Newsletter

New subscriber? Welcome! The beverages and appetizers are in the other room. My good friend Dan will be around soon with a platter of delicious cannoli. There's no need to tip him.

Old salt subscriber? Be sure to remind the newbies that we all have to clean up after ourselves.

Did you know that the word cannoli is already plural? I didn't know that!

Sticky Hand Tool Handles

If you eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or have caramel corn while you work, you might end up with sticky hand tool handles.

Or, you could cook them like happened to subscriber Trish. She sent me this email a few days ago:

"Again I turn to you when I cannot find the answer to my question.

Hubby bought tools (screw drivers, pliers etc.) with ergonomically correct handles. We moved into a home that has a shed attached in the rear. All the tools were stored there in the famous Red Tool chest.

Due to, what we believe to be, excessive heat all the handles on the tools are now wet and sticky and nothing we have tried will change the effect.

Do you have any idea what we can do or must we just replace all the tools? The handles are mushy and appear ruined. I thought maybe varnish might help but wanted to ask you first.

Thanks for always being there for us."

Have you had a similar experience with hand tools? I want to see how widespread this problem is.

If so, would you take this short survey to help others?

CLICK HERE for the Sticky Hand Tool Handle survey.

Des Moines Deck Collapse

On Labor Day, an elderly couple was hurt in a deck collapse. They're both alive, but it could have had a more grim outcome.

CLICK HERE to read the short story. The Des Moines Register website will have you pulling your hair out trying to see the story. You may have to slide the headline up to see the story.

The only reason I bring this up is that deck collapses are more common than you think. Decks, like any other thing, have a life expectancy.

Some are short because inferior methods are used to construct the decks. The following is a photo I shot of a new deck being built on my street. I'd NEVER go out on this deck if invited to their home.

Treated Deck Post and Deck Beam

You may wonder what's wrong? Maybe your deck post, deck beam, and deck joist connections look like this.

The beam is made up of three joists, the wood you see with the white labels stapled to them. See the small toenails coming up into the beam from the post below. WRONG!

See the two small toenails in the joists above the beam that go down into the beam? WRONG!

The carpenter should have used metal structural post-to-beam connectors with approved screws.

Carpenters might not be using the correct fasteners with the approved galvanized coating to resist corrosion caused by the HIGH copper content of newer treated lumber.

If you feel your deck might be at risk, have it inspected by an ASHI home inspector.

SAFETY TIP: If you're at a party at someone's home and there's a gathering on a deck where people are dancing, GET OFF THE DECK. Dancing can cause decks to sway back and forth or pull away from the house.

The Power Is In The Question

Ian came to my website overnight looking for advice on how to install fence posts. He left a comment asking:

"I have pure sand for soil around here. Can I just fill it back in with the sand around the post? 6ft dog ear wood fence with 4x4x8 posts and a 2.5ft hole."

I've got lots of experience with this as I've built lots of fences and I've interviewed others who have installed thousands of them.

The best way to install fence posts is in this column:

Fence Posts

CLICK HERE if you want to see the column.

Ian poses a very good question because many don't have sand for soil. Many soils have a clay component.

But had Ian focused on why crushed gravel makes the best material, he'd have come away that sand might work for him. After all, sand is just tiny pieces of rock. The issue is most sand tends to have rounded edges, not an angular shape.

Sand will work, but crushed rock is better.

Great Extension Ladder and a Power Pack

I've got two new products for you to look at. Great photos here. CLICK HERE to see a new lightweight extension ladder I just got. I LOVE IT!

You'll also see a small power pack that can power all sorts of your things AND jump start your car or light truck! CRAZY it can have that much stored energy!!!

CLICK HERE to see both.

Stain Solver Sale

Remember, Stain Solver is on sale for just a few more days!!! ORDER NOW

Promo Code:


CLICK HERE to order.

That's enough for a Thursday.

Tim Carter
Founder - www.AsktheBuilder.com
Cleaning Crystals - www.StainSolver.com
Invisible Happiness - www.W3ATB.com


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