Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

Geek Home Tip #01: Turn Old Laptop Into Kitchen PC

Apr 6, 2009 |  by  |  Craftsman Archives  |  Share

Turn an old laptop into a functional and classy kitchen tool...I like how that sounds.

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Have You Seen The Lite Brite Table?

Mar 13, 2009 |  by  |  On the Web, Web Smarts  |  Share

More things that glow? You daaaamn right. And this time it's an entire table...check it out.

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Insulation Dude Gives Me the Lowdown on Attic Insulation

Jan 21, 2009 |  by  |  Craftsman Archives  |  Share

baffle1 Insulation Dude Gives Me the Lowdown on Attic InsulationSo the guy from Eco Foam concluded that I needed vent chutes around the attic perimeter and a layer of R-30 blown-in cellulose (about 9 inches) in both attic areas on top of the existing insulation. The vent chutes will allow for better cold air intake and overall circulation. This made sense to me considering my initial hypothesis that there was insulation obstructing the soffit vents. For some reason I couldn’t visualize what the baffle/vent chute would look like or how it would be installed so I did a quick scan of the web and found a couple things.

A little animated tutorial on insulating an attic. Mentions baffle installation a couple times…now I get it!

Itchy’s Do It Yourself Home Insulation provides a quick overview of installing baffles/vent chutes in both new construction and in an existing attic. He had a couple of great lines in the article that made me chuckle because it sounded like he was talking about me: “Installing the baffles [in an existing attic] is the same [as doing so in a new home] but it is a slower process and may require a certain amount of cussing to get the job done. But, that’s OK because nobody can hear you in the attic anyway.”

I can say with absolute certainty that based on the pitch of my roof and the amount of space it provides near the end of the eaves, there is not a chance that I’d get up in there and do this install on my own. About a year ago I installed some rolled insulation up there and that was miserable enough. Balancing on rafters and dripping sweat behind an air mask for an extended period of time didn’t instill loving memories of my attic.

Which leads me to another thing mentioned by the insulation guy. He explained how rolled fiberglass insulation isn’t as effective as blown cellulose. Basically, the R-value of fiberglass insulation¬† decreases as the temperature decreases and because there are many openings and gaps in rolled insulation, air can blow through it, which negatively affects its ability to insulate. On the other hand, blown cellulose holds its R-value as the temperature drops, it doesn’t have the gaps like the rolled stuff because as it settles, it fills the voids, creating a more tightly sealed attic. AND it’s a recycled product AAAANND it’s cheaper than the rolled fiberglass.

So there you have it. $1378 will get me 9 inches of blown insulation and a bunch of vent chutes.¬† Not sure how that compares to other parts of the U.S., but around here that’s not too bad.

How Much Do You Love Chili Cheese Fries?

Aug 10, 2007 |  by  |  Craftsman Archives  |  Share

fries How Much Do You Love Chili Cheese Fries?For some married men, when their wife and kids leave town for a night they relish in the freedom by drinking frosty beverages, watching Ultimate Fighter reruns in surround sound, and eating an over-sized plate of chili cheese fries at 2 in the morning. They sleep in till close to noon and get up just in time to eat a fat bowl of Cookie Crisp, catch the tail end of whatever is showing on ESPN and take a shower so they smell nice and fresh just before the wife and kids return.

Men who live in 80 year old homes like me, however, wind up sanding, scraping, painting, installing or removing – something. Because there is always something to sand, scrape, paint, install or remove. And because a day without the family means there’s a good chance I’ll be able to work in increments of more than 30-60 minutes at a time without being interrupted, an opportunity like this cannot be wasted. So this weekend I will take advantage of my situation and work fanatically on the sunroom. Most of my work will involve scraping and sanding, but I also have some trimwork to take care of as well. I should be able to make some decent progress, though I’ve gotta tell ya, I can’t stand the whole process of stripping paint, sanding and painting or staining. The final product has always been incredibly rewarding but the path to get there has always required a great deal of patience and commitment. Since I have DIY ADD (Do It Yourself Attention Deficit Disorder), this task has been a great challenge for me to overcome. I typically push through and at the end vow to never do it again, but like a restoration or remodeling junkie, I’m always right back at it, addicted to something unexplainable. Maybe it’s the drive to “get it all done,” maybe it’s the beauty of the final result, or maybe it’s the reshaping of a house into a home – the continual chipping away of layer after layer until I find that special something at the house’s core. Its character…its spirit. And there’s no mistaking it once it’s found. It’s almost as if the house is offering a subtle smile and thanking you for setting it free.

Now that kind of freedom is better than chili cheese fries at 2 in the morning, any day. There’s just no comparison.

Craftsman Shed Nearly Complete

Jul 6, 2007 |  by  |  Craftsman Archives  |  Share

Wednesday, after suffering a demoralizing defeat only one day earlier, I sprang back to greatness and rehung the first of two doors, complete with new paint and freshly stained dark walnut trim. My first attempt at doing this ended with me flingin’ tools and cursing the heavens because I installed the bottom hinge first and quickly realized the door wouldn’t fit in the opening – top of the door was hitting the top of the doorway. Nice one jackass. I was then left with a bunch of holes at the bottom of my freshly stained wood that I would have to somehow conceal.

Though it’s still unfinished it’s a noticeable improvement from what it was. Still haven’t had anyone comment on it’s beauty (jerks) but my wife told me several time how great it looks. Naturally, her feedback is what matters most, though it would be nice if an “outsider” threw me some slight praise.

I got caught up in Lowe’s today ordering storm windows, a swing set, and setting up a fence installation estimate which will likely result in the purchase of a new fence which we desperately need. I also replaced a crusty old brass ceiling fan with a new oil rubbed bronze version, in our master bedroom. Didn’t get a chance to work on the shed so I’ve gotta get my act together over the next three days else I’ll be stuck with another unfinished project (#27) on my shoulders and that’s an extra burden that I’m unsure I can bear.