25 years of great

Drywall/ 32
r Repair r lnstallation

Painting| 40
) r Strategy r Tidy Application r Prep& Cleanup


Framing/ 48

L, Z


r Rules r Roofs r Walls r Floors



Finish Carpentry / 60
r Rules r Cutting & Coping '. r Installing Trim

.orrrf,i.tiluoll 74

Cabinets/ 7A
r Construction r lnstallation r Efficiency Guidelines

www.fi nehome building .com


Mechanical Systems / 80
r Electrical r plumbing

6 B Editor'sNote Benches & Sawhorses
lmproved sawhorse, Multipurposecart, Knockdown saw stand

Exteriors/ 86
r Roofing r Siding r Trim

Doors & Windows
Routinghinge mortises, Solo window installation

28 Stairs| 96
Stringers r Treads& Risers r Railings

Cutting rigid insulation, lnsulatedheaders

1 0 8 TilingTechniques
Accuratediagonaltile cuts, Removinga broken tile, Applying latex gro.ut

al -{ ^ -I


Outdoor Spaces / 102
. becks r Porches r Patios

al lf ( r -



Math & Measuring
Arch layout,Measuring odd shapes

The ThuntonPress
Inspiration for hands-on livingo

They delight in coming up with ingenious ways to do things faster. James Spangenberg NationalAccount Managers.fim Snyder Senior Editor CharlesBickford Associate Editors DanielS. Marne A. Morrison. Wendy Baxter. Builders are a resourceful. Katz Indexer Harriet Hodges Publisher Tim Schreiner Administrative Assistant Christina Glennon Sr.editor'snote Editor Kevin lreton ExecutiveArt Director Robert Goodfellow Welcometo the tailgate party AN OLD-TIMER ONCE TOLD ME that the key to working efficiently on any building project is to avoid stupid mistakes. drywall. Mike Guertin. Knowing that you should measure a board twice before cutting it once and that you should remove masking tape before the sun bakes it onto the window is important. where builders offer up their job-site brainstorms. This special collection brings together some of the best advice we've received addressing both halves of the working-smarter equation. builders like to share their ideas. taken from a variety of feature articles on topics such as framing.and typically with tools and materials already on hand.John Ross SeniorCopy/Production Editor Chris Hoelck Copy/Production Editor Julie Risinit Deputy Art Directors Dan Thornton. You also will find a wide range of tips across the entire spectrum of tasks that make up this occupation and this passion that we call home building. Charles Howe. and painting. The ideas are presented in our "Tips & Techniques" column. whether standing in the checkout line at the hardware store or sitting on a tailgate with a favorite beverage in hand at the end of the day. And if you've got a tip that you'd like to share. please turn to p. send it in. -{harles Miller.finehomebuilding. ff you'd like to find out more about Fine Homebuilding. Christopher Ermides. But it's the clever solutions to common construction problems that make up the other half of the equation. Marketing Manager Carolyn Turoczi SingleCopy SalesManager Mark Stiekman AdvertisingSalesManager John Dyckman CorporateAccountsManager Judy Caruso SeniorNationalAccount Managers Joel Burger. Home building Steve Culpepper Printed in the USA ' FINE HOMEBUILDING Photo:Charles Miller . Luckily. or check out our Web site at www. Rick Arnold. gregarious lot. special-issues editor Special-lssues Editor CharlesMiller ExecutiveEditor. Join the party. Scott Gibson. I think he had the answer to half the equation. you willfind professional-grade guidance on how to avoid mistakes and how to work more efficiently. Doerfler Administrative Assistant Maureen Friedman Contributing Editors Scott McBride. Brian Pontolilo Assistant Editors Justin Fink. Here. with greater accuracy. For the past 25 years. and they're scattered throughout articles and other departments. Gary M.121 for more information. Michelle Erca Ad SalesSupport Associate Sharon Zagata Fine Homebuilding Books & Videos ExecutiveEditor. Fine Homebuilding has encouraged readers to submit their gems of useful wisdom. Mayer Art Assistant Krysta 5.com.

63 S. please contact our Customer Service Department at: (8OOl477-8727 fhads@taunton.E-mail us: fhservice@taunton.com . call: (800) 888-8286 Advertising: To find out about advertising: (800) 309-8953 Call: E-mail: Retail: lf you'd fike to carry Fine Homebuilding in your store. you can cancel your subscription and receive a full and immediate refund of the entire subscription price. Most of our subscribersfind this to be a helpful way to learn about useful resourcesand services.purchase back issues. P.O.Visit our subscriberservice section at: finehomebuilding. inquire about an order. CT 06470-5506 finehomebuilding.com Customer Service: For subscription inquiries. NO.you can: .com .Inc..com Made in USA ! Line Complete Available at Quality Suppliers www. Copyright 2006 by The TauntonPress. give a tip. or ask a question.Inc.US: HOW TO CONTACT Fine Homebuilding The Taunton Press. books or videos. Main St. No reproduction without permission of The TauntonPress.Big Jobs Editorial: To contribute an article.Call our customer support center: To report an address change.Box 5506.bestbelt.41 The Taunton Guarantee: lf at any time you're not completely satisfied with Fine Homebuilding.com READER SERVICENO. No questions asked.46 READER SERVICE GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . (2O3)426-8171 Newtown. callthe Taunton Trade Company at: (866) 505-tt674 Mailing List: Occasionallywe make our subscribers'names and addressesavailableto responsible companies whose products or services we feel may be of some interest to you. contact Fine Homebuilding at the address above or: Call: (800) 309-8919 Fax: (2031270-6753 E-mail: fh@taunton.lf you don't want us to share your name with other companies. or solve a problem. or give a gift. call: (8OOt 477-8727 To subscribe.com LimitedEdition Bjg-Bag_s-.

Lynne Phillips.Alfred Dreher. Amy Reilly. and plane away.JayLigouri. height makes the stool narrow enough to passbetween stud walls framed on 16-in.orraine Parsons. it's a lot harder to tip over rhan a stool with straight sides. Bonnie Beardsley. Carol Singer. Possick. Anne Champlin.Laura Burrone. Karhy Kelley.benches&sawhorses The ThuntonPress Inspiration for hands-on livingo The improvedsawhorse: lt has lips My work as a carpenter who specializesin repairing and replacing exterior trim means that I spend a lot of time fussing with long workpieces that have to be planed to fit. Audrey Locorotondo. Kathryn Benoit. Rubber shoes Drawings: Charles Miller . MaryAnn Colbert.Jennifer Russell. As shown in the drawing below. I cut the ends of the sawhorse crossbars to create little liplike ledges on their ends that are wide enough to support a piece of 1x stock on edge.Linda Reddington.Amy Griffin. I simply rest the workpiece on the horse's lips. Lip supports workpiece. Ind.John Vaccino. A safer step stool I've been a remodeler and a handyman for more than 20 years no% and in that time.Daniel 'Woodhouse. Tweedle. Dorothy Blasko.Lydia Krikorian. Deborah Greene. Christine Lincoln. David DeToto. Ellen Grassi. Itt made entirely out of scraps rescued from the burn pile. Wilcox. Brett Manning.PatriciaPineau. David Pond. Fulfllment Slaems: Jodi Klein. _MIKENIEMEYER Lawrenceburg. Alice Saxton.JenniferPeters.tlccounting Patrick Lamontagne. PeterChapman. clamp the stock to the cross' bars. Finance/Accountingt Finance: Kathy \florth.but still tall enough for rne to reach the top of a wall in a room with 8-ft. -JOHN MICHAELDAVIS NewOrleans INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERSSINCE I975 TAUNTON. Deshtopand Netutorh Sapport:Kenneth Jones.z Applications Deuehpment: Heidi \Taldkirch. James Fulfillmenc Diane Goulart. Michael Colonari. Robyn Doyon-Aitken. THE TAUNTON PRESS Booksr Marhetizg. Dawn Viglione. Frank Miller. BusinessOffice HollySmith.\Talter Aponte. To use. C*rtomerSmtice: 1 4i n . Carol Diehm.Debra Sennefelder. Gabriel Dunn. Nancy Boudreau.centers. EileenMcNulry PatriciaParks.I've really come to appreciate the simple perfection of my little step stool. SandraMahlstedt. Berty Stepney. Julie Hamilton. Legal: Carolyn Kovdeski. screwed and glued Distribution: Paul Seipold. plywood sides and top. lawrence Sullivan.Monica Duhancik. SteveCulpepper. Human Resources:Linda Ballerini. Maureen Pekar.\7endi Mijal. PamelaHoenig.. Deborah Ciccio. JenniferKaczmarryk.SusanBurke. Brian . Magazine Group Sue Roman Timothy Jon Miller Rahr Publisher. Larry Rice. lrr: Chris Thompson. Frank Melbourne. Manufacnring Thomas Greco.-dia.Priscilla'Sflakeman. I bored f -in. Kim Eads.Its l4-in.Janel Noblin. Kathleen\flilliams. Information Technolory Servi cex. holes in the sawhorse crossbars to accommodate the stationary jaw of a bar clamp. Andrea Shorrock. INC. Because the sides are tapered. Frank Busino. BarbaraVilliams.Michelle Amoroso.DeanaParker. KatherineClarke. I made some simple modifications to my sawhorses to make the planing go a little easier. LeanneFurlong. ElaineYamin. ceilings. MelissaA. ReinaldoMoreno. Data Entry: MelissaDugan. Booh Group James Childs Chief of Operations Thomas Luxeder DIRECTORS Creatiue Director Hurnan Resources Director Technohgy SeruicesDirector Susan Edehnan Carol Marotti Fdward Kingpton Reynolds Gray Controlbr'Wayne Adaertising Director Marheting Director David Diana Allwein PatriciaVilliamson 2x4 sawhorse crossbars Fulfrllment Director Holes in sawhorse crossbars provide purchase for bar clamps. ShannonMarrs. Robert Nielsen. The thing I like best about my little stool is its stability. Judith O'Toole. Carolyn Mandarano. Second. Raymond Passaro.Marylou Thompson. PetreCotofana. FINE HOMEBUILDING %-in. Michael Lewis. Magazine Print Production: Phllip\an Kirk. First.Nancy Knorr. Publicity: Nicole Radder. Nicole Anastas.Linnea Ingram. Erica Sanders-Foege. l. Paul and Jan Roman THE TAUNTON PRESS President & Editor In Chief Execatiue Vice Presidznt & Chief Financial Offcer Executiue Vice President & Publisher.Nelson W'ade. Foundtrs. Gayle Hammond. Editorial: Helen Albert. Dawn Ussery.

JoshuaKatinger. TAUNTON TRADE Kevin Hamric. Taunton Tiade.Diane Flanagan.SEAL'" Foamforms a continuous seal around perimeter of flangeand internally betweenframe end rough openingfor 'Wrap-N-Seal"protection..Howard Runyon. Allison Hollett. Thunton Creative and Edi toial: Creatitte:Michael Amaditz. Vinn.John Gedney. Fine Homebuilding Threads . Ruth Dobsevage. \X/hether youre practicing a craft or engaged in the creation of your home. HOHMANN & BARNARD'S WRAP.com.TAUNTON.ValerieDroukas. Thunton boofts will inspire you to discover new levels of accomplishment. Box 5506.taunton. Patrick Cozens. Lincoln Peters. ElizabethQuintiliano. Adaertising Production: l-aviChansamTham mavongsa.fraserceda READER NO. Vidzo: Gary Junken. Rebecca Shafton. Inc. CatherineHansen.Marketing: Dennis O'Brien.N. Nicole Pallatto. 1 READER SERVICE GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 Intemctive. TheThunton Pre.COM Our website is a place where you can discover more about the interests you enjoy. plrt Coohing Our magazines are for people who are passionate about their pursuits. John Cavallaro.Roben Steigerwald. Editorial Jefferson Photography:Scott Phillips.llsubsidiuia . or visit our website You may also write to The Thunton Press.DeanaTierney. ChristopherCasey. StaceCaseria. please e-mail us at tauntonjobs@taunton. Kathleen McGreevy. Pascal. William Bivona. Renderswindow flanges impervious while to air and moisture. Inc. Inc.Martha Stammer. TAUNTON MAGAZINES FineVoodworhing . WWW. will not droolor Clearadhesivebacking stain like typicalblack rubberized-asphalt adhesives.Robert Harlow.Anna Pendergast.Singk CopySahs:Mark Stiekman. 1-800463-9663 r. Thunton Pressmagazines provide authentic. SarahOpdahl.Human Resources. Mark Berger. Tiish Dardine. ud tunton oflIaunton. Sally Operations: JosephMorits.. SusanNerich. Pamela Kolle. GeraldineBenno.. David Blasko.. Kevin DeGroate.Brian Leavitt. John Bacigdupi. RafaelCardoso. Inc.Kathryn Simonds. TAUNTON DIRECT THE NEWEST WAY TO Ittur*TE * ttJl|'onT AIR AND MOISTURE AROUND WINDOUI'S. call us toll-free ^r800-477-8727.Maintenanca. converse with fellow enthusiasts.com www.\Tilliam Godfrey.PromotionPrint Productioz. T Room: JenniferLicursi.63 S.JenniferVhceler Conlon.SandraHannan. Michael Valanzola.shop at our convenient on-line store or contact customer service EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION To inquire about cateer opportunities. Jeannette Anne Michael louchen.com www.r. Coleman. Bergeron.Lisa DeFeo.. Fine Gardzning . reliable information supported by instructive and inspiring visuals.Keri DeGross. Cunningham.Marc Imbimbo. RobertaCalabrese. Steven Molnar.Tlacy Goodpaster. Prepress: Deborah Cooper.Karen Lutjen.Geoff Krajeski. Michele tadyko. Just to help you order our rn"g"rirr. Brett DeMello. Norma-Jean Thylor. Donna Capalbo. TAUNTON INTERACTIVE Man JodieDelohery Michelle Rutkowski. Inc. \Written by practicing experts in the field. Our patented "foam-flex"processallows optimalfoam compression to maximizesealing properties.. eliminating the needto tape over flanges. Newtown. PatriciaPetro.36 SERVICE NO. CT 06470.. Debra Silber. TAUNTON BOOKS information Our books are filledwith in-depth and creative ideas from the finest authors in their fields.' Scheurer. SandraMoryka. V. C U S T O M E RS E R V I C E 'We are here to answer any questions you might have and boola and videos. Director.Richard Correale. Taunton Direct. Promotion: Michele Mayernik.Richard Booth.\Tilliam Sims. Alison \filkes. Main St. Kathy Martin. ue a.

-dia.C.S. .r' the U. Portland OR 97294 . FAX 503-255-1 430 USA READER SERVICE NO.. by l8-in. checking window frames. I use this small cart consisting of a l2-in.a professional.. As shown in the drawing below. This is an engineeringgrade that is almost indestructible in this application.I use the sort of casterswith stems that fit into plastic sleeves.mini-Ligno D . I I . By drilling right through the curb. and casterwheels. It's also useful for small children to reach the sink..lug paint pails. B. The SoloSiderwill let you adjust a pieceof siding up or down in real time using 1/16 increments. '.- To move heavy or awkward items around a iob site. I drag my compressor around.Nickel plated. There are no screws or nuts to useor lose. these sleevescan be slipped in from the top or bottom. ' Concrete and other buildingmaterials.J O S E P HS .com 8OO-227 503-257-8957. reliable and affordableMoisti. and move buckets of drywall mud.. As illustrated in the drawing above. installinghardilood floors. height is enough ro reachg\Vo of the construction iobs inside the house.2x2 curbs. ..81h in.lignomat. 35 PO Box 30145. Its l\Vz-in. .etc. 'i. I put the stool on its dolly when I want to scoot around close to the floor for nailing or drywall finishing. '6ru" . Moisture Metersare indispensable tools whenselecting materials. Will not tear the paper or house wrap. It's even good for waxing the car.Wood-Based Products.The main body is a heat treated and temperedspring steel. or scootsaround on wheels.amage.com READER SERVICE NO. With the recessed side of the cart up. \zFu '/----: . Foam or carpet padding is great when I have ro move items like vanities. checking structural lumber doing repairs. solosider. . swiveltype casters.rre Metei.' . ' ? . and it'll scoot around for low-level work on outlets or baseboards. depending on what I need it for.A. .i. Lignomat USA Pleasevisit www. b*uitaing cabinets. The plasticparts are glass filled nylon 6/6..!}':11'\|. The cart also makes a dandy mechanics-style crawler Padded side I I 1O1/zin. .I use the srool without its dolly.benches&sawhorses Multipurpose cart CONTINUED . Patentpending SoIoSider aMadein The Name SaysIt All A high quality tool that will not mark the siding.. the stool is accompanied by a dolly with 2-in. Most of the time. Now available for Wood. K O W A L E W S K I Ridley Park.JJS 2-in'-dia' casters-'v Removable casters fit in plastic sleeyes. plywood base.P E T E RB L A C K M O R E SaltSpring lsland. T[iple-duty stool My little work stool staysput.Gypsum.rwall. Dstg andPrwentMoisture Problems with the new.looking for water d.' > 15in. Pa. Canada :h. --->l .It can be set for different overlapsusing the quick releaseknob.' 1t:l t_ 2x12 base Notches for stool legs I for accessingthe underside of sinks or lavatories.Dr. 9 FINE HOMEBUILDING -2105 www.

Part# 159943 . 10" WET CUTTIiIG TIIE SAW . Capping the edges that contact the lumber with aluminum angle stock reduces friction and makes the rig easier to use.I CONTINUED affixed a power strip to one of the sawhorses.r cosr me anything extra. . wide. Wing nut and bolt Support/stop in multiplecutoff mode by 12i n. HiltrlllJll l. The supports are mirror images of each other. long. Then I wondered whether I already had components that could be reconfigured into an acceptable saw stand. One-year limited wananty JE AEi IAT &-[ Se||tx TD lll@ll PRIGE: $SZS FREE SHIPPTI{S! Find it at http://www. It weighs Co.comlfhb.l : \:Il MK-|00 uillllilr llJtll+.by 4 i n. -LARRYJAcoBSoN Seattle a movable stop that can be raised above the support when I need to make multiple cuts (top detail).48 12 FTNE HOMEBUILDING . Blade shaftlockfor easy blade removal . Linear-Bearing plated guide-bar andchrome assembly precise ensure cutting . Heightto match miter-sawbase the stop to the position where its vertical edge can be aligned with the saw's fence (bottom detail).tlr til \\ /rl IllA. Variable height cutting head allows for plunge cutting . Powerful 1-114 high-torque universal motor Tilting head allows for precise 450mitercuts Variable height cutting head allows for plunge cutting lS"cutting length. I did a little improvising. 1-1l2HPfan-cooled motor o Twoposition postcutting motor head for convenient cutting ol various tile sizes . . even up to 11 ft..ajandb. 0ne-year limited wananty MK-370EXP'" 7" WET CUTTIIUG TILE SAW .html Yr' -\/ READER SERVICE NO.I used Werner's PA 208 plank (Werner Ladder -3370). diagonally cuts13"tile guard Hinged blade lor easy blade changes HeaW dutyon/offswitch CSA Approved --"rr". and that got me looking at commercially available stands.benches&sawhorses Double-duty miter-saw bench I upgraded my miter saw recently. Each support includes Extendable aluminum scaffold plank Right-side support/stop Left-side support/sto clampedto plank \. and like the chopsaw. .ajandb. b y 1 5i n . and now I've got what I think is a more adaptable saw stand than any commercial unit I reviewed_and it didn. the supports are anchored to the plank with C-clamps.. I made a pair of supports to hold up the ends of long pieces of stock.__4 Aluminum angle 2 in.. 888-523 401b. but any similar plank will work. The basic stand consistsof an extendable aluminum scaffold plank held up by a pair of folding sawhorses."E . .by 4 in.com/fhb.html (D@ . to 13 ft. For one-off pieces. Part# 158189 ..n PBIGE: $299 FREE $HIPPIIITG! Find it at http://www. / 1 i n. and extends from 8 ft.I lower Verticaledge of support/stop in fence-alignment mode A 45'bevel collects wood chips. .is 14 in. ..

C . The knockdown connections all are made by way of metal framing 'tt-. (800) 875-5285 www.benches&sawhorses Roof framerrs sawhorse CONTINUED Hurricane ties. Inc. .Interlocking plywood piecesstore flat in the back of a truck. &. I use when I cut roofs.rrs exclusive installation 2417 support seruices and Freelifetime plan. plussavings certificates worth up to $125.'2 :F. I've found that with a load of 2xl0 rafters.WarmlyYours. dt t i m e o f p u r c h a s e . the metal fasteners in sawhorseseventually encounter a spinning sawblade. With the pattern. C h i l l i w a c k . The Slot for --.lL60047 . Maine Hurricane-tie sawhorse I stole the idea for this sawhorse from a local road crew.Fax (800)408-1100 . and the crossbar cutout can be adjusted to accommodate any piece of lumber adequate to the task. WarmlyYours electric floorwarming systems.call(800)875-5285 today.00 off on yournextremodelffrg pQect. Suite 100 . tt Equal to height of slot in Part A connectors. homeowner assistance Forproduct information on theseand otherquality WarmlyYours homecomfort products.com *Sor* sERvrcE No.i i||l:i' wnntylpnu special ard ey SazringsJ .a rail screwed to joist hangers on the leg brace stiffens the horse.Lake Zurich.B .M I C H A E L D e Y O U N G ii E o TurnOrdinoryBafhroorn Projecls hrfreordinery lvifh "yormlyYours Home CornforfSolufions! ffip. The horses can be taken apart for transport and quickly reassembled with a screw gun. \ Best of all. :::l'.a pair of hurricanetiesaccepts the crossbar.C a n a d a C) :t o u. 6 c 6 E c) o * $rched bottoms -for stabilityon unevenground .: :::i'::!. At the top of the 2x legs. both sides No matter how careful you are. The drawing Cut slots to shows the kind of sawhorses plywood thickness.I can whip up a new set from wood scraps whenever I need a worktable. tgwelwarmers and mirrordefoggers add Welcomed luxury to bathroom remodeling projects ObsigneO for maximum comfort andease of instdlation.Ph. thesehorses require no fasteners.Below the crossbar.4s 14 FINE HOMEBUILDING .:. design is simple. and the crossbar material is scrap plywood. _ W I L L I A MR A Y N ES Sunset. C o u p o nm u s tb e p r e s e n t ea WarmlyYours. eachis backed by WarmlyYdl. I made a pattern out of hardboard that gives me the profile of the standard sawhorse. The inevitable result is aggravation and lost money on a new blade. Website Corporate Drive.. I need at least a2x6 crosspiece to support a dozen or more rafters..

miracletruss. designs These l nclosures. Don't let the box get too full of sawdust. hardware. where it is held up by a 2x8 leg. r Customizable your to meet needs witha wide variety of sizes from 24'toll0'). That's why I came up with this knockdown saw stand. hobby r oom s youcan or for anypurpo se i magi ne. A pair of Whole House Water Purification Harnessing the benefits of germicidal ultraviolet light to protectand improve humanlife. The saw is held fast to the stand %-in.com .sand glue hold them together. ffisj{ e e v' . during use by dowels. . I mounted my portable tablesawon a%-in. Unique steelweb-frame design yields 100% usable space and is specifically engineered to utilize purlins standard-sized wood & girts forsimple insulating and finish-off.so spacein the truck is at a premium. plywood basethat has a big hole in the middle to evacuate sawdust. the saw may overheat or even causea trre. trimand complete assembly instructions. . -MARK WHITE KodiakA .engineer ed MIR A C LE TR U SS steel bui l di ng sy st emincor s por at e open cathedra l.R O B E R T C O NR A D P e l l s t o n .stceilings yle provi de w hi ch a m or e com f or t ablefeel i ng envi ronm ent . Bthsrrizet availabls wiilbsmrihrsevr'ngs/ *Brtilding pricos.benches&sawhorses 'l'ernporary sat!' stand CONTINUED The drawing below shows how I improvise a stand for a portable tablesaw from an appliance carton. a r ei d e aflo r p o o e recreati on areas. {widths styles and l9 contemporary colors to choose from. sheeting.com READER S E R V I CN EO . { Z-in. The crossbarsare notched in the rniddle where they engage one another. Then I reinforce the box's upper edgeswith 1x2sscrewed and glued to both inside and outside surfaces. Benchtoptablesaw" Plywood base. The stand is constructed of 2x4 legs that have been connected in pairs by way of 2x4 crossbars. plywood \ base Use 1x2s inside and out to reinf orce liP.I place the saw and its baseatop the reinforced box and run screws through the plywood into the 1x2sto hold everything together. I begin by cutting the box down to about 24 in. 4 . holes along the front edge of the basecorrespondsto the dowels in the front legs of the saw stand. Hauppauge 375Marcus Boulevard NY 11788 (631 ) 273-0500. Fast easy assembly and doesn't require skilled labor or heavy equipment. may [odesin CA& FL affect ffittRAcllilRrFs' 1-866-463-1229 www.My saw is affixed to a plywood baseover a hole that allows dust to evacuate. packages Building include steelframes & endwalls. with a utility knife. laska Knockclown sil\v stand My work as a remodeler requiresthat I carry a wide variety of tools and materials. 26 16 FINE HOMEBUILDINCI . Scre'*.M i c h .com {t'l RIIRilIIC'i UlTnnu0H CORPORATION ni1 ultraviolet. "''e o to an hing! 0pen Itb Sutta h$. -* j' td. y e . - ' I ultraviolet. info@ultraviolet.com READER SERVICENO. Appliance T carton *--// A 2x8 leg extends above base to become outfeed block. Learn mor e t oday. fJl U q/ G.a Miraclel pr e. The plyrvood extends well beyond the back of the box.

In theory. and you're done. *s shim as -/ necessary. As shown in the drawing.) -TOM O'BRIEN New Milford. The strips also serve as support for jamb extensions or drywall. I have used both Bonneville and Andersen brick-to-brick replacement windows. pilot hole in the door edge until it pierces the door jamb. narrower than the brick opening. Heights are standard.Conn. Close the door. But with solid-brick walls. they drop into the opening and are strapped to the interior-wall framing with vendor-supplied galvanized straps. Here's the most accurate way I've found to do it.plywood to the sides. -\. Before installing the drywall. a pry bar provides leverage if necessary. Then push a 6d nail through the %-in. The strips then are cut flush with the studs. (A %-in. Use a nail to mark the center of the strike-plate hole Locating a passageset in a door isn't too tough.-wide strips of 3A-in. spade bit. shimming as necesOnce they are affixed to framing.\. and top of the window. bottom. plywood attachedwith 172-in.\. . I screw 2-in. bit won't be. N. where turn-of-the-century brownstones and bricks are the norm.Now drill holes for the latch and the strike using arsAr-in. with a brick molding already attached. These units are custom-made to be % in. Photo this page: CharlesBickford. I improve on the strap idea. _MATT HAUSMANN Brooklyn. Locating the latch hole in the jamb can be more difficult. what do you strap the new window to? When old windows are removed. window replacement often calls for some ingenuity.) Spaceformerly occupie'd by sashweights r\ New window \ Stud wall Brickmolding :'-t::\\ N . and many manufacturers provide a template with the hardware. screws than make a mountain of unstable framing in the void.ra *"ttj Vg plywood strap 20 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings. Rather Strapsmade of 2-in. Caulk the brick moldings to the bricks. and hold it tight to the stop. . Now I can attach the plywood strips to the stud wall.Y.-widestrips of 3/q-in. S. covered completely by the latch plate. cut strapsflush with stud sary to square to the window.doors&windows Putting a new window in an old brownstone In Brooklyn. I stuff the sash-weight voids with insulation.\rri.except where noted: CharlesMiller. bit is too small for most latch mechanisms. and the trole left by a l-in. the area once occupied by the sash weights is now a large void.

to which I attachedthe leaf of a radiusedbutt hinge aligned to the edgeof the plywood asit will be placedon the door or jamb (drawing l). I used the same 3/q-in. Routing hinge mortises I had a fair number of doorsthat neededhanging.I installed a vinyl window and placed the 2x4s over it. lowed with my jigsaw as I made a circular cut in the template (drawing 2). .I routed a shallow groovein the plywood. straightbit to make quick work of the hinge mortises. to make the cuts. When the window was centered and level. and cut around its perimeter with a utility knife. -SCOTT B R U C E G r a n d B l a n c . Router base follows template's curue as it cuts hinge mortise. First.J. beginning with the bottom flange. Using the hinge as a guide for the router's base. I screw the hinge to the door stile in the desired position. But for small jobs where it doesn't make senseto cart along a lot of gear. Now I was free to go inside and level the bottorir of the window and center it in its opening with shims. The extra Ycin. and I wanted to take advantageof my router and my 3/t-in. screwed one block to the end of each2x4. First.doors&windows CONTINUED Screw hinge leaf to door stile. Working from outside.D A N I E L E . So I decidedto make the hingemortising templateshown in the drawings below. Then I measured the distance that the windows projected from the house and cut four blocks equal to this distance plus %in. Next.1 %-in. C h e r r y H i lN l.. I cut a couple of 2x4s about 8 in. Now I can reattach the hinge using the same screw holes.I placed the screws that hold the template to the jamb so that their holes will be covered by the doorstop -RAy FREUD (drawing 4). screwing them to the wall on both sides.I went back out and nailed it in place.letme move the window without interference from the 2x4s.M i c h .l Crossbarwith blocks holds wind ow during i nstallation. Then I pulled out the crossbars and moved on.-. Router base :v ( _. plywood Attach hinge leaf to plywood. With the hinge removed. I had tried freehandingthe mortises with mixed results. set at a depth equal to the thicknessof a hinge leaf.-dia.plywood.I screwed the template to a iamb and followed the curved edge of the plywood with the router's base (drawing 3). I startedwith a pieceof Vz-in. The insideedgeof this shallow the cutline that I folgroovebecame 6n t d-rT f Chiseling hinge mortises I typically use a router and a template to cut mortises or to enlarge existing mortises for new door hinges. Solo window installation I had to install windows in a new house by myself. I chisel the mortise to the thickness of the hinge. Then I score around the edges of the hinge with the knife as shown in the drawing above. To cut a hinge mortise.o n n .I cut the template along the dotted lines (as shown in the drawing) to make it more convenient to maneuver. H I L Ll l l G r i s w o l d C.straight bit. By the way. . 22 FINE HOMEBUILDING . I use a utility knife and a chisel for the same purpose. longer than the widest window.

efreaOy own a pool?Ask about.OvrX InsulatedSub-Flooring Tile and Wall Panels 30 years of proventechnology. A stronger ioint where the casing meets the stool Common practice is to nail up through the stool into side casings. g Y o c. aerobics.Conn.water rehabilitationand fun.I slip a toe through the stirrup. usemy foot to center the lift under the door.As shown in the drawing. ass. when I'm readyto hang the door.I let a drywall lift (a tool designed for placingdrywall on walls)do the heavylifting. no heavy chlorine. .doors&windows CONTINUED Hanging heavy doors When I haveto musclea solid-core door into or out of its hinges.n. Modular construction meansmany sizesand optionsare available.a drywall lift features an integral fulcrum (soI don't haveto setit on top of a2x4 to get leverage) and a stirrup that permits hands-free operation. so I usually coverthem with a layer of duct tape..economical to run. no crowded pools. Ideal for swimming.Expectto spendfrom $15to $20 for one. The 8'x 15' EndlessPool@is simple to maintain. Unlike a flat bar.OvrX will also *"!.54 FINE HOMEBUILDING 5"JlHt""#i ffi #ffiffitffi:i'lriL"T"1**"trT. in combinationwith STYROFOAMinsulation.! o like a Ela your Bas Swim or exercise againsta smoothcurrentadjustable to any speedor ability. But biscuits hold better than end-grain nails and won't come out through the exposed surface of the side casing. The engineeredwood panels. ft*n READER SERVICE NO. (to STLANF rnsu[arcb wa[[pane[s from real insulationis the key to a comfortableand basement. r" READER SERVICE NO. _TOM O'BRIEN New Milford. No traveling. can help protectyour investmentagainstwater and mildew. and easyto install insideor out.62 . and effordessly raisethe door into position. By the way. o - ii O) o .the sharpmetal edges of the lift can scratchwood surfaces. You can find thesetools at the big drywall-supplyoutletsthat caterto the pros.J O S E P H B E A L Sl l l M a r s h f i e lH d i l l sM .



TWo ways to fix a door that won't latch
If the door contacts the latch-side stop at the top but not at the bottom (or the other way around) and is difficult to latch, the door is warped, or the jamb is twisted. -SCOTTMcBRIDE Va. Sperryville,


;l' tl '.1',

'irf{ i

iil f'Ti'

Fix 1: Moving the hinge can cornpensate for warping or twisting. A door can be coaxed into closing smoothly by shifting either the top or bottom hinge outward at the jamb.

Thimming foam flush to studs
I use foam insulation from an aerosoi can when insulating around rough window and door openings. The next day,I trim all the excessfoam away from the wall and the window frame with a mastic trowel (drawing above). Its serrated edges saw through the foam,leaving the foam flush with the wall. -KEITH METIER P a r k l,l l . Highland WARPED DOOR TWISTED JAMB

Fix 2: lf moving the hinge doesn't fixthe problem entirely, it may be necessary to move the doorstop so that it contacts the entire latch side of the door.



! o o o

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Wall-sheathing insulationstops
When I switched to blown-in cellulose insulation in the attics of new homes, I saw the trouble installers had stapling cardboard insulation stops between the rafters or trusses above the exteriorwall plates to keep insulation from falling into the soffit. I came up with the idea of extending the exterior-wall sheathing above the top plate to become an integral insulation stop. Instead of trimming 1 ft. off the last row of sheathing to end it flush with the top plate, I let it run above the plate. I calculated the height between the bottom and top truss chords at the point above the outside face of the exterior wall. Then I deducted 1!zin. to leave a ventilation slot between the top of the wall sheathing and the underside of the roof sheathing. and cut off the rest. After nailing on the wall sheathing, I marked the roof-truss layout along the top edge of the sheathing and squared down the lines to the top-plate level, Before lifting the walls, I cut 132-in. slots for each truss to drop into. The slots quickly positioned each truss and allowed me to float the walls beneath until they could be tweaked straight; then I could nail down the trusses. Expanding spray foam seals any gaps between the truss and the wall sheathing so that no insulation slips by. The extra work saved me more than it cost me in time because the insulators didn't have to charge for crawling on their bellies to staple cardboard stops.
-MIKE G U E R T I N E a s tG r e e n w i c h ,R . l .

A 2x6 provides sheathingsupport. 2x4 stud for
drywall blocking Entire corner cavity can be insulated.

1 x 3o r plywood strip

A hybrid corner that eliminates therrnal bridgrng
Contributing editor Mike Guertin long hasbeenconcerned with exterior corners, which can be notoriouscold cavities. Although thermal bridging is a concernalong the entire wall, framing alternatives suchasdouble-stud walls are not cost-effective. Corners, on the other hand, carry lessload than
a typical stud and are structurally more flexible. Guertin is experimenting with a2x6 corner (photo left) that can be insulated completely. He uses a2x6 on the exterior corner and nails

%-in. OSB sheathing

Fiberglass insulation

a2x4 and a lx3, or a strip of plywood, togetherto form the interior corner. Insulationthroughout the corner cavity eliminatesthermal bridging by . breakingcontactbetweenthe sheathing and the drywall. Guertin says that the corner still providesgood supportfor top platesand for nailing.
(Although Guertin's building inspector approved the corner, check with your local inspector before trying it.)



Drawings:CharlesMiller.Photo: Scott Phillips.


Cutting rigtd insulation
Foam-insulation boardsare high in R-value, but they alsocan be a nuisance to cut---{specially foam boardsthat are 2 in. thick. A utility knife won't cut deeplyenough.A kitchen knife works, but not very well because the triangular crosssection of the bladebinds asthe cut deepens. Sawsleave rough edges and spewstatically charged insulationparticlesthat cling to everything. A2-in. putty knife doesa grearjob of cutting foam insulation.The trick is to
sharpen one side of Sharpen with a straightedge, of a sharpened putty Foam insulati knife cuts through foam like butter, and its wide blade keeps the cut from wandering. _ C H R I SE L L I S Brewster, Mass. the blade. Teamed

Insulated headers for cold climates
I've seen a lot of different ways to make built-up headers, from the traditional to the bizarre.The traditional method sandwiches Vz-in. plywood between 2x material until it matches the depth of the wall studs. Unfortunately, this causes two problems. First, the header often isn't the exact thickness of the wall, and when trim time rolls around, you have unhappy carpenters. Second, this kind of header has no insulative value. The drawing at right shows the header that I've been assembling to solve both problems. Ir's essentially a box beam with plywood tops and bottoms, and sides made either of 2x or, my favorite, laminated lumber. The result is a header precisely the same dimension as the wall and a continuous void 2x


8d nails

i\ \\


Ll . t


the length of the headerfor insulation. My engineerhad no problemswith the structuralcapabilityof this design. The key is to provide adequate nailing through the plywood into the sides. For theseheaders,Iused8d nails spaced on the samecenters asthe perimeternails in our plywood wall sheathing.
-BILL WELCH Jackson, Wyo.





and then cover the area with fiberglass-mesh tape. 5 commonproblems ByMyRoN R.Repair and how to racks or holesin drywall. The framing never seems to be in the right place for attaching a patch. when the framing shrinksor twists. and I have gotten good not only at patching holes but also at permanently concealing repairs and doing them as quickly and easily as possible. away (sometimeson both sides). the more gratifying the look. wide or less.Y.com)." The more severe the damage. it's best to remove all loose material. (Youcan use paper tape.that drywallguy. Unlike most people in my business. the best remedy is to refasten the panel near the popped nail or screw. lf the paper hastorn or if the core of the drywall is damaged. I savor the look on a customer's face when I say. . Whatever the causeof the telltale bulge. Covering the dimples is easy. except now drywall dust coats the furniture and the wall needs to be repainted.lf the paper surfaceof the drynvallhas not been damaged. or when the wall or ceiling is struck or moved slightly during remodelingwork. but I prefer self-adheringmesh tape. author of Drywall: Professional Techniques (TheTaunton for Great Resu/ts Pre ss2005) .) This approach also works for any hole 2 in. peelingjoint tape. wet o r s ta i n e d drywall. Protruding fastenersare easyto fix.N. I can fix this in no fime. letting the compound dry between coats. just fill the depres- Myron R. Fill dimples with three thin coats of compound. Refasten drywall to the underlyingframing near the popped nail or screw. 32 FINE HOMEBUILDING . popped nails or screws. I know that some people grimace when faced with a dreaded chore like fixing a hole in drywall. "Sure. I remove the popped fastener or drive it back into the framing. I usuallypress on the panel next to the pop and drive a drywall screw into the stud aboutlVzin.I love walking into a drywallrepair job. I must have faced every possible type of drywall repair.drawing the panel toward the framing.Photosby Zacha r yG a u l k i n . called a pop. Nailsand screwsrear their headswhen the dryrall panel is not fastened firmly againstthe framing.fill the hole with joint compound. no problem. Ferguson(www. Over the past two decades.liv esand w o rk s in Galway. Any of these problems means a drywall repair is inevitable. followed by light sandingwith 1SO-grit sandpaper. and the quarter-inch layer of joint compound used to fix it looks nearly as obvious as the gaping black hole.FERGUsoN fix them @^ing poppednailsand screws sion with three thin coats of joint compound. but use tape if the surtace is damaged.

(ln modular homes. 'ffiffi. cut a V-groove along the crack. and cut a V-shaped groove along the length of the crack. Fill the void with joint compound (for more about choosing joint compound. 35).and apply sel{-adheringtape over the crack. Fillthe groove with joint compound. see p.) In new construction. '& Chip away loose material. but sometimes they can be found in the middle of panels over doorways or windows. frr . I recommend waiting at least six months before repairing cracks to give the structure time to settle. so just repairing the surface is not enough. and cover it with mesh or paper tape. l'm careful to let the compound dry between coats. The first step. Then smooth the area with two or three coats of joint compound. Most often. is to remove any loose material with a putty knife or utility knife. blending it into the surrounding area and lightly sanding after the last coat. and going almost completely through the panel to the paper on the back. #-. such as the settling that happens in new homes. cracks occur on a seam. as in all repairs. f eathering it into the rest of the wall. cracks in the middle of panels can occur as a result of transportation and placement on a foundation.opening it up aboutVzin. Applv threethin coats of compound. Next. Most cracks go completely through the panel.andtapingcracks 2 rtlling Cracks in drywall usually are caused by structural movement.

Seams.remove loose tape and joint compound. I use a utility knife to adjust the fit of the patch until itt snug. Cover the seamswith paper or meshtape. lf the box is left behind.the box may be removed or left in the wall. .usuallyneed some work. The patch works best when it sinksslightly below the wall plane.often looseningthe tape and the joint compoundto create an exit.lf the drywall is loose. remove any loosedrywalland joint tape. Once the leak has been repaired.1. then cut a matching patch and bevel its edges.and press the patch in place. Repairingwater-damaged ceilrngs A water leak usuallyruns along the top of drywall until it finds a seam or corner. cut a drywall patch the samesize as the beveled opening. Removingany wet insulationso that it can dry is also a good idea. and bevel back the edges to fit the hole. Damageto the drywall itself is generallynot extensive because the water doesn't sit for too long. . then apply two or three coats of joint compound. (Wired boxes should not be coveredwith drywalhthey should be closedwith a cover plate and remainaccessible.Then cover the seamswith mesh or paper tape. lt will have to dry thoroughly before it can be reattached. leaving room for a thin layer of joint compound. Drywall saturated with water may loosen and sag.however. After masking surrounding areas. and two or three coats of compound. Spreada generouslayer of compound onto the edges of the opening (or the patch).) Start by bevelingthe outside edges of the hole with a utility knife to a 45o chamferall around.sagging areaswill be difficult to reattach when dry becausethe drywall can take on a new shape. Add joint compound to the opening or the patch. make sure there are no live electricalwires in it. it can be refastened to the framing with drywall screws.3 t"tching an old electrical-box opening When an outlet or a switch is eliminated.Sandafter the last coat. Bevelthe edges of the wall opening. Next.I sometimescan fix sags before the drywall dries by supporting it with a temporary support or with furring strips fastened to the framing. then press the patch into place.However.

whichharden setting-typecompounds. all drying-type compounds require an applicationtemperatureof at least 55"F (this condition applies to surface. if you don't want to buy more than one bucket. I like to use a lightweight setting compound for the first two coats before finishing with an all-purpose(or a topping) dryingtype compound. lt's availablein most lumber or hardware stores. The and air temperatures). but there are different types. lt feathers out nicely. however. lt is strong and doesn't shrink much. drying times are affected by temperature.dries quickly. With setting-type compounds. All-purposecompound can be used for all stages.settingtype compounds harden by chemicalreaction.aregreat for repairwork. compound must dry thoroughly between coats. depending on the type used. For small repairs. While drying-type compounds cure as water evaporates. additives can be mixed into the batch to acceleratedrying time even more. Setting'tyPe compound Cover seams with mesh or paper tape. On the plus side. Whatever varie$r you use. Setting-type compounds are great for quick repairs.Topping compound is a lighter-weight compoundthat is used for the thin finishing coat. Paint the damaged area with a stainblocking primer to prevent stains from bleeding through repairs. electric drill. use a topping or an all-purposemix. softer or harder.different mixes are availablethat dry faster or slower.and sands smooth. Within each of those categories. but they can be difficult to sand. I mix the compound in a S-gal. bucket. quickly. you can mix only what you need and store the rest dry. Setting times vary from 20 minutes to six hours.THERIGHT JOINTCOMPOUND CHOOSE There are two broad categories of compound: drying and setting. Apply compoundto taped seams. For all but the smallest batches. Taping compound is used to embed the joint tape for the first coat and to fill for the second coat. humidity and cooler temperatureshave little effect on setting time. is the inconvenience of mixing them yourself. depending on your needs. humidity. Drying-typecompound Most drying-type compounds are premixed and ready to use right out of the bucket. and airflow. GREATBUILDING TIPS2006 . using a mixing paddle attachment with a Vz-in.compound. followed by three coats of compound. The big drawback of setting-Upe compounds. Becausethese compounds hardenchemically. cover with three coats.

first fill any large gaps with joint compound.*\*. l onger than the hol e and sl i de each strip into the opening. cut along the pencil line. Hold the patch over the damaged area and trace its outline onto the wall. I cut the 1x2 stri ps about 6 i n. --"t'n-- ::. Strips should be 6 in.then I cut out the damaged area to match the patch. The problem is that the repairthen becomes much larger. I use furring strips to hold the patch.*15 J With a drywall saw. then cover all the edges with mesh or paper tape.I simply cut a patch slightlylargerthan the damaged area.the patch can be measuredand cut to fit precisely.5 Repairing largeholes When people have to repair large holesthat fall between wall studs or ceilingjoists.making it a firm part of the panel and flush with the surface. Because paper Make a square or rectangular patch slightly larger than the damaged area.*=*ii" '---* t' . Strengthen the repair by installing 1x2 furring str4rs inside the wall cavity. To tape the patch. For oddly shaped holes. fastening it on both ends with drywall screws. To strengthenthe repair. they often cut the drywall back to the framing to create a spot for fastening a patch. then test the patch until it fits. FINEHOMEBUILDING . and trace around it with a pencil. The patch is fastenedto the furring strips with drywall screws. longer than the opening and fastened at both ends with drywall suews. hold it over the hole. For round or squareopenings(suchas those that are created when a light fixture is removed). I try to keep the repair as smallas possibleby not attachingthe patch to the framingwhen the damage is between studs.This method makesthe patch easyto concealand unlikely to crack or loosen.

from the previous coat. The first coat should be as thin as possible while still hiding the tape. (. The bigger and more noticeable the hump... A poorly feathered patch can be as noticeable as the damage it was meant to conceal. Spread a thin layer of compound over the seams. more difficult repairs and those that are attached directly to wall framing.. (For cuts perpendicular to framing.) Because I cut along the inside of the framing. feathering the outside edges while keeping the compound very thin on any high spots. After the first coat of compound is dry. I use my trowel as a straightedge to see how far the high spot projects from the plane of the wall. ItF. I like to begin each coat by applying a liberal amount of compound to the entire area and then feathering the outside edges first. lf possible. I make sure that the strips are flush with or slightly back from the back edge of the drywall surface. . making sure to feather out the edges properly and not to build up the patched areas too much. I recommend it for larger. I first mark an outline so that the patch area will have square corners. the more area I will need to cover with joint compound to feather it into the rest of the wall. I use one piece of drywall for the repair. Repairs that span wall framing can be a real test because of the large surface area they involve.tape is stronger than mesh tape. working the compound smoothly toward the thin layer left in the center. ... Cover the tape and patch with three thin layers of joint compound. I check the high spot again (by hand or by trowel) and apply more compound to widen the area further and to fill in voids or unfeathered edges. (For small patches. cutting to the wall framing.:':' ! Depending on the size of the repair. . . I Attach the patch to the furring with drywall screws. THREE COATS OF COMPOUNDMAKE REPAIRS DISAPPEAR The final step in all drywall repairs is to coat the patch with at least three (and sometimes four) layers of joint compound-letting between-followed each coat dry in by a light sand- ing. TII)S ]II{It. This third coat of j o i n t c o m p o u n d i n c r e a s e st h e d i a m e ter of the patched area even more. I have to attach 1x2 furring strips or 2x4s to studs for fastening the patch. I start by removing the damaged area with a utility saw.|. just rub my hand over the repair to feel how well the high spot is disappearing with each coat. gap to avoid damaging the edges of the patch. When the second coat is dry. The key to avoiding an unsightly high spot is spreading and feathering the layers of joint compound over a large area without building up excess compound on any high areas.. I leave about a 1/a-in. and apply mesh or paper tape.) The second coat is a filler coau I fill in any voids. to 12 in. each coat will feather out 6 in. No matter how carefully I patch a section of wall.\T IJUII-I)I\(. the tape and joint compound form a high spot or bump.

The slitsare on opposite through it. The front slit shouldbe slightly wider allow drywall tapeto pass through it. -B R IAN M Daf t er . Instead. tall.r. The downside to this technique is that we have to trim about an 1x scrap .The bucket is with four affixed to the 2x6 crossbar short screws. This work is tedious with a utility knife. the bottom.Now thinned length.But As looks are deceiving. CharlesMillcr. off the floor. I made two slitsin the sideof the bucket where they engage The rear slit shouldbe iust largeenoughto sides. C anada Kel burne. the machine's shown in the drawing at right. a thin layer of ioint compound to pass and the tape both to allow of the rig.-dia.lnstallation A self-mudding drywall-tapedispenser Peoplehavegiven me somepretty strangelooks when I carry my drywalltaping machineonto a job site. I made my own trimmer by screwing together some piecesof lx scrap to make a cutting guide and attached a couple of "snap-off'utility-knife blades to its top edge.I built a the unit out of scrap2x4s. length of l-in." a lever made iust for lifting a piece ofdrywall. dowel FINE HOMEBUILDING inch off the ends of our drywall. 2x4 upright Rollof paper tape Bucketof thinnedjoint compound 2x6 ) -/ ie:. ich. but not often enoughto iustify investing in a real drywall "kicker. back the toward upright from a2x4 hangs A roll of papertape with bucket I fill the then and the bucket. rF- with a thin t***i rape emerses -y' compound. housein five hours. -c H R l s M AT IS H AD A l ta.. Calif. BUSH Drawings..-ft. dowel with a bolt through the nail-pulling hole that is countersunkin the dowel. uniform stripsfrom a sheetof drywall.two of us tapedan 1100-sq. _ANDREW KIRK Independence.$ piece of 3-in. cdatingof-joint - Bladesalignedwith Drywall edge trimmer Our crew uses "in-line" framing for walls to save lumber (weight from above bears directly on studs.-dia. and the $25 edge trimmer I bought didn't work very well. Depthof score When I slidethis tool along the edgeof a pieceof drywall. lifts a drywall A little toe pressure panel2 in.a2x6rand 1-gal. Photo: Mike Gucrtin and Randy O'Rourke' . and apply it directly to the wall-no premudding necessary.plasticbucket.Becausethis style of framing allows a single top plate. the slits in I run the tapethrough desired to the tape out the joint to pull I'm ready compound. and plates are joined with steel splices). the bladescut from both making it quick and easyto remove sides. our walls are a little lessthan 8 ft.lop it off with a razorknife.-long f -in. Using this setup.Drywallkicker I hang drywall oncein a while.I modified my pry bar by attachinga 3-in.

a 20-in. trim an inch off the width of the sheet. Next. we tape the long edges.-long piece of IVz-in. To finish. I begin a patch by applying meshtape over the hole (1). This trick starts with a sheet of plywood the same thickness as the drywall. Incidentally. I have to set up my commercialsprayer to retexture the patch. l'm ready to texture the patch (4). And if the holes are in textured walls.Then I cover the meshwith all-purposedrlnrall compound (don't use setting-typecompound)applied with a 4-in. a shallow dip is created where the drywall bends over the poster board. Between setup and cleanup. This step is important: Trial and error is the key to making this techniquework. either orange-peel or knockdown texture. my work includespatching holes in drywall. aluminum angle is a handy tool for leveling the finish coats of joint compound over rhe butt ends.When the adjacent drywall panel is screwed to the plywood strip. We tape our joints in the usual manner. and you still can't seewhere the butt ioints occur.long. we never had a joint show up on a punch list at the completion of a job. 5 in. I work my way around the patch (3). The posterboard strip goes between the plywood and the drywall. Before raising a drywall panel for installation. G R E A TB U I L D I N G T I P S 2 0 0 6 . They will be 9%in. R OJA S LasVegas Ceilingjoists Screws. l've found a better way.I've had a number of highend drywall jobs that required dead-flat ceilings-no bulges allowed where the ends of the drywall sheetsabut one another.-thick poster-board strips I REMoDELT NGTrP Patching holes in textured drywall From time to time. screw one of the plywood strips to the end of the panel.that's a lot of work for a small.%o-in. I prepare a mixture of water and all-purposecompound thin enough to produce a splatter. the butt ends are arranged to fall between the ceiling joists. I've inspectedjobs that we did 25 yearsago using this method. Next. staple strips of Vrc-in. creatinga recessfor tape and joint Invisibledrywall butt joints During 40 years in the trades. I sand smooth the center of the patch. This shallow dip createsa hollow for the tape. taping knife. wide by 47 in. leaving a tapered surfacethat makes a gradual transition to the smoothly sanded center of the patch. As shown in the drawings. then crosscut it into 10 equal strips. beginning with the butt joints. First. -D A V ID A . Using this technique. I suck some of the mix into a turkey baster and practice splattering on a piece of scrap until I get the effect I'm looking for.thick poster board to the long edges of the plywood strip. When l've got the right consistency. Then I feather the edges of the patch with an old toothbrush dipped in warm water and a dry cloth. This method is our crew's solution to the problem.T l M H A N S O NI n d i a n a p o l i s Gently scrub perimeter of patch with a moistened toothbrush. Once the drywall compound has dried. Apply new splatter texture with a turkey baster. This processpatchesthe hole but also clogs the crevicesthat create the texture (21.job. . on center Drywall dips over posterboard strips. Once that joint compound has dried. As the drywall goes up.

and very little experience. which dries quickly. 32). re ffi F r ank i s a p a i n ti n g S inic r o p e c o n tra c tor in Hawthorne. Only after they've come to the end of their messy first job do they begin to wonder about that old guy in painter's whites they once saw working at someone else'shouse. the answers ahead will provide some Novocain to easethe pain of your next painting project. I roll out 4-mil plasticand tape it to the baseboard. but I am a painting contractor. N. of ceiling. . Charles @ LongJasting. Bluemasking for up to 14 days. I use lightweightjoint compound.3m. taping knife and a 5-in-1 tool for wall prep. a high tolerance for boredom.bumps.it's necessary tape is besUit adheres to floor from the wall.(Fortips on drywallrepair.J. 888-364-3577. and smooth.Strategy ost peoplethink that painting the interior of a house is a iob that requires just a couple of tools. low-tack tape is best (3M Corp.if they're lessthan % in.stain-free. People always ask me how they can improve their painting techniques. Photos by Bickford. I make sure wallsand trim are clean.and crackscan be patched. How could he paint an e n t i r e r o o m i n a s e a m l e s s l yc h o r e o graphed sequence of brush and roller strokes before his second cup of coffee and not spill even a drop of paintl I'm not that old guy yet. Unlessl'm paintingthe to cover only the first 3 ft. If you consider the act of painting on par with a trip to the dentist.The most surfaces and peelsoff cleanly greentape can stay on even longer.com). FINE HOMEBUILDING Essential patching tools.int job BY FRANK SINICROPE 1. 7 stepsto a professional p. Next. www.To protect the floor.. Use a 6-in. or 4 ft.see p.Nail holes. PRorEcr rHE FLooR ffi re rcF AND PREPTHE WALLS I like to move all furnitureout or to the center of the room and cover it with plastic. deep.

800-344-0400). -J/ Cover a multitude of sins. PAINT WALLSFIRST Pro paintershave different preferences. then the trim. nmoore. acrylicprimer (www. Oncethe wallsare finished..Stains includingink. Hide stains and repairs with a stain-killing primer.straightlineswhile yoLt'restill improving your skill.com. Otherwise. Prosrely on a steady stroketo tape in avoidusing masking manysituations.www by a stain-killing 732-469-81 00) or BenjaminMoore's FreshStart .but maskingis certainlya good option if you'd rather not worry about getting wall paint on the trim.T H EP R T M E R 2. crayon.be sureto spot-prime areawith the finishpaint before applyingthe final coat. DoN'T FoRGET It's a good idea to start anyjob with a quality primer.the spot will appear shinywhen the wall is viewed at an angl e. but I like to paint the wallsfirst. I can roll out the wallsquicklyand not worry about any spraylandingon the trim. I don't mask off the trim when I cut in the walls.zinsser. But tape ensuresclean. Use tape. THE 3.and smokesoot can be blocked primer suchas BIN (Zinsser Co.benjami the same After coveringthe stains.water. Any one of the low-tacktapes works well.I wipe down the trim with a damp rag and start on it. Don't sweat it. Inc. 06 41 .com.

. ' i r f . i : .rl. ' . . . I ]i.:i : .. r: ' l ' i .. '. ...i ...t : i i].jr i .. -.+ ^^ll^-J P < 1 i lt L L c l r V U r U P s ) .:11i] :-:. r L j i a ! | { : t . '.'...: C :: . r .. i:'. F \ \1.' .. r-.i: . rr.iiti| . r . ..i) . . i ... ' r . . ' l . . ' ... -.. t i 5 { . : : r .+i i i l {...r-r. 42 t:i\l H()\1tIil ll.: i : i.:.:. 1: ir' t-.i . . r : ' : r ...i: u. 4d)*".l . . . . i : ' t t ) i : r r i i i : t ' . ..Iil ' : .i'i.. : .::fj i-l i::: : i .. p i . . .:)i: i i.*****'] Easy does it" Too much pressur-e on the roller will leave lines in the ^^i-. i : . . t .i . . . -i:t i i : .. .' .Ll ..i.i i ..1 ..1 . ' i ' : I : ... saF -'*t.. . -t f .. .i i . i 'i : i . . . .1 i I I i: i.i i i t i .. ::j11{. : . r 'il.. i i i : i i ' i :-i. r . . i'!:.. . . .ti :-r-:..:'. . .ii:.. .. r . '../' . ..i i "t... r. 1 : . .[--*"t*-*.'j l'. : .t)t\(.:. ... ) i ii. ... i i . . t .:<.lidiii.t ... f : @ . i r i .i : I .. : .. i i . .1.

paint the muntins first. open and close the window while it's drying so that it doesn't dry shut. then move to sashbrush. To avoid lap marks.then stiles. use even less paint stroke pattern. steRTwtNDows tN THE AND WORK OUTWARD CENTER I paint the muntinsof a window first.then shakeor spin the brushdry.) Don't apply too much paint to the window frame. then rails.I usea little dish soapto removethe tracesof oilsthat are in latex paint. The proper order for an even coat. I angle the tip the frame. 7. lf not cleanedthoroughly. the secret to stopping lap marks is to use a smooth last stroke with little paint and light pressure. DooRs Ar rHE ToP AND woRK DowN 6. less paint is better to prevent drips. also. of course. Rollersare certainlyworth cleaning. two coats lightly applied are better than one heavy coat that drips or sags.com. r Be sure to keep the paint's leading edge wet to prevent brush marks. then washthem usingthe sametechniqueas the brushes. The trick is to brush to get a seamless around the knob with continuousstrokesand avoid Maskingis also an option. o Be sure to checkyour work for drips. (lf you're unsure of your technique or don't want to bother. lf the window is painted shut. A ftnal brush stroke defines joinery. Again. finish with a stroke in the diredion of the wood grain. No matter how you apply the paint. BEcrNpANELED Paneleddoors should be primed with a high-quality primer to eliminatebleed-throughstains. r Start by painting at the top of the doot panelsfirst. I first flood the bristleswith water.Scrapeexcesspaint out of them with a 5-in-1tool. ware.the brush will lose flexibility. you can maskthe glasswith blue tape or scrapethe glass once the paint has dried. into the muntin'sedge and draw the paint along the muntin with one smooth stroke. without the wire brush. With a 21/z-in. rinseagain.A final light stroke acrossthe panel of the railsand stiles faces and along the intersections will eliminatesagsand brush marks.As long as the paint is *illfairly wet. and finish with the casing. CLEAN uP wtrH PLENwoF wATER For latex paint. as is removingthe hardstops-. carefullyrun a razor blade between the window sashand casingto break the seal.they can be used repeatedly. I use a wire brush gently to scrapeout all remnants of dried paint. Here. which allowsyou to follow the grain. GREATBUILDING TIPS 2006 43 .Multiple finish coats (usuallytwo) may be necessaryto get good coverage. then the window frame. drips can be erasedwhh a light brushstroke. cleaningoil paint from brushes. working out the majority of the paint. particularlyin recessedareasand along door edges. r When you reachthe doorknob.5. For a video tip on go to www.lf washedthoroughly. Ask your paint supplierto tint the color of the primer as close as possibleto the color of the paint you've chosen.finehomebuilding.

spring clampsmake good props. When you're done. Stand it up on a pair of sawhorses. _ J E F F E R S OK NO L L E Ridgefield. This position directs baseboards. which inevitably results in drops of wet paint smearing the carpet or floor. Spring clampssupport bifold 44 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings: Charlcs Miller . Paintcaddy I paint houses for a living. don't paint a window when it's lying flat.as shown in the drawings. and it takes forever. which is awkward for righties. as shown in the drawing above. First. Here's a tip from a friend whose father was a painter. paint away from the wall and accommodates higher -STAN LUCASRedmond.Tidy Application Painting window sash Painting the muntins on a divided-lite sash or door is a pain. Lefties do just the opposite. Instead of this sequence. and the third is moving the tarp again. Conn. -JEFF N O V I T S K I S w e e t V a l l e yP . To make the blade.Another is moving the paint bucket from station to station. This way you'll never have to paint acrossthe top and down the right. Painting bifold doors While painting colonialbifold doors. A plastic blade on one end of the platform butts up 1 x 1c u r b Plastic blade Offset casters against the wall to catch drips. I used a section cut out of an old plastic garbage can. Paint down the left sides and across the bottoms of the muntins. Paint down the left sides and acrossthe bottoms again. One is masking the baseboard and spreading out a tarp to catch drips and speckles. you probably want to paint down the left sides and across the bottoms of the muntins. Now paint only two sides of the rectangles formed by the muntins. a. and there are three things about painting with a roller that really annoy me.I discovered that I could paint both the edges and the faces of a pair of doorsif I proppedthem openon a pair of sawhorses.I now use a plywood platform on wheels both to carry the paint bucket and to protect the baseboard and floor from paint splatters. flip the sash over and start again. and I attached it to the caddy so that the curve points upward. As shown in the drawing at right. If you're right-handed. Wash.

CLEAN THE EDGES KEEP Clean edges where paint meets wood Paint stilts A drywall screw through a small square of plywood makes a handy stilt to prop up work while finish is applied. Use paint stilts to support work while finish When a painted surface butts up to unpainted wood. Easythe cabinetry has painted uprighr and lacqueredshelves. only on sealingthe edge of the tape. a Keep tension on the room edge of the tape as you press the knife into the corner. away from the baseboard.Y.Calif. After we finished painting the uprights. Pulling the tape more from the room edge exposes more of the baseboardfor painting! then pressingthe room edge of the tape to the top of the carpet attachesthe tape so that the gap between the carpet and baseboard remainsopen (4). up the baseboard (1). As shown in the drawing. Then we ran a thin bead of latex painter's caulk along the intersection and wiped it with a moistened finger a couple of times to remove virtually all the caulk.I use 2-in.and the baseboard side of the tape can be worked down (3). Take care not to pressthe tape against the baseboard. frustration lurks. We weren't concernedabout leaving a bit of caulk on the parts to be painted. Paintedupright Thin b e a do f ' painier's caulk Painting next to carpet Cutting in a baseboard that borders a carpet can be a bit messy. _MICHAEL R. we first masking applied a strip of low-tack blue maskingtape to the shelf. We recently solved this problem in an entertainment center that my company built. When I paint a door. A word of caution: lf the caulk and the paint are dry by the time you remove the maskingtape. low-tack masking tape to hold the carpet tufts away from the baseboard so that the paint can be applied below the top of the carpet line. for instance. lt flows into the minute irregularities under the tapet edge. Work tape into corner with putty knife. E GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . leaving a fuzzy line when the tape is peeled away. we carefully Lacquered removed the tape while the caulk and paint were still shelf wet. release To get the clean line we were looking for. press the tape onto the carpet about 1 in. run a sharp utility knife down the intersection first. Result:A clean paint line without a master'shand. I lay the tape so that it runs about 7s in. the tufts are pulled away from the baseboard. Masking tape alone isn't enough to block the paint completely. This wraps the edge of the carp€t and protests it from the paint. -AL LEMKE HopewellJunction. and another one against the wall near the top of the door. First. Next.-wide. A shl and. This makesthe tape stick to all the carpet tufts right up to the edge of the baseboard. as shown below.SWEEM Downey.N. Now when I tug the tape toward the middle of the room.I place a pair of stilts on the floor to support the door. g Pull out the knife and press the tape securely to the carpet.and use a putty knife to work the folded side of the tape into the corner where the carpet and baseboard meet (2). -C H U C KGR E E N Mass.

and the finish that accumulates above the cloth is free of contaminants. Then I cover the drywall bucket to keep the thinner from evaporating. -DON MATHIS v i ae m a i l Cheesecloth strainersecured with rubber band The problem of latex over oil paint I'm amazed by how often contractors and homeowners alike apply latex paint directly over a semigloss oil finish without first roughing up the old surface or applying a primer. I put the strainer in the paint. . Conn. step outside.and a5-gal. To use it. exposing the old oil-based finish. {W Paintbrushgarage \ \ Gallon of varn ish Direct water jet along edge of roller. I've owned two homes with this problem. And at the end of a long day of running siding and trim.I keep my brush in the rig shown in the drawing below. To save cleanup time at the end of the day. fust make sure the paint stays wet for a few minutes prior to sanding. paintthinner pail Plywood base Drywall bucket \_--z Brushsuspended in paint thinner 46 FINE HOMEBUILDING . Now after I've finished painting.I put several inches of paint thinner in the paint pail and suspend the brush from the nail hanger so rhat the bristles are immersed in the thinner. But I often seal end-grain cuts and back-prime siding and exterior trim with an oil-based primer. Now you're ready for a new topcoat.I take a different approach. so the paint and water spin off the roller. Directing a stream of water along the edge of the roller revs it up to a good speed. This setup allows me ro go weeks without cleaning my brush. Recently. As shown in the drawing. rough up the basecoat with sandpaper and give it a coat of ' primer. The cloth hangs in the paint or varnish. and use a garden hose to do the work. It's time to strain the paint. I simply attach an extension handle to the roller. I stretch the cheesecloth sffainer over the can and secure it with a rubber band. the topcoat will lift easily off the oil-based undercoat with gende prodding from 8O-grit sandpaper. Before long. N 1x4 crossbar nailed to base Nail hanger Centrifugalroller cleaner Cleaning water-soluble paint from a paint roller used to be a tedious chore until I came up with this idea.J. A wet rag is all you need. you can be sure it has collected enough dried gunk to leave an unsightly surface.drywall bucket with a lid. Centrifugal force spinspaint and water off roller. Once you've removed the latex. a lx4 crossbar nailed to a doughnut-shaped plywood base. itt just right for touch-ups.C. straining the entire contents of the can is messy and time-consuming if you're doing just touch-up work. Real painters clean their brushes every day. Be sure to perform this operation well away from anything that might be damaged by the paint and watery overspray. paint parl. it sure is nice not to have to deal with paint-thinner fumes and drips. the slightest ding can result in a large chip. -JONATHAN APPLEBA U M Westfield.N.Prep& Cleanup Strainingpaint for touch-ups By the time a gallon of paint or varnish has been around long enough to have been opened a half-dozen times and still not completely consumed.I stumbled upon a great stripping aid: water. Instead of pouring the paint through the strainer. 1-gal. and I've spent hours sanding off the latex layer on more doors than I care to remember. However. I've found that if the latex surface is dampened with water a few minutes prior to sanding. _MEL WOLPERT Weatogue. -JOHN CARROLL Durham . I've often had entire sections peel away from a door. I am not a real painter. My brush garage consists of a 1-gal.

but the container also does double duty. smaller but hard-to-hold coffee can. long in a large tin can. My solution is to cut the top off a 1-gal.and bend up every other section. but they soon would become a dripping mess. The carriercleansup easilywith water or paint thinner. the old finish falls into the can. Now use a pair of metal shearsto cut the lid into equal segments. To make an easyjob of it. Scraper cleanup Paint stripper combined with old paint or varnish makes a sticky goo that can be tough to remove from a scraper or a putgr knife. _MICHAEL JUPPE Hudson. ldaho GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 47 . by 6-in. and bend upward every other segment. HIMES Vienna. ready for disposal.lslide the loose belt ends through the loops of my painter's pants. I could leave variousbrushesin the paint bucket. I cut a straight slit about 2 in. -ROY VIKEN Boise.When I pull the blade out.plasticantifreezejug with flat Combo paint bucket/funnel Plasticjug with bottom removed Instead of working directly out acts as paint can of a gallon can of paint or a or funnel. creating a paintbrush carrierthat rides easilyon my hip.-longtoggle bolt. As shown in the drawing at right. -R. Any leftover paint drains back where it belongs. Mixing even old paint is a snap with this rig. Ohio sides. make your own. Not only is the buih-in handlea plus. I use a chopped-down milk jug. and affix it to a 3/e-in.8. Drill a hole in the center of the lid. When l'm finishedpainting.ljust remove the cap and set the jug on top of the paint can. I now have several brushesclose at hand.Then I slide the blade of the knife into the slit close to where it joins the handle.TOOLSFROMTHE RECYCLING BIN Paintbrush carrier When I paint trimwork. as shownin the drawing. *MIKE ELLIS Seattle Cut rim into equal portions. I cut the rim of a metal peanut-butter-jarlid into a series of segmentsthat can be bent into an effective mixer. Ohio : Low-budget paint mixer The next time you need to stir some paint and can't find a mixer for your drill.-dia. I then cut two slits in one of the sidesand thread a nylon belt through them. I hate to waste time climbing up and down the ladder to get the right brush.

lumber can be delivered on a boom truck. Wall and roof sheathing Drawings: Christopher Clapp. When it's time for the delivery unload the building materials as close as possible to where they will be used. The other contractor was building furniture. or a simple wall.And floor joists Roof framingon bottom Floor sheathing Floorframingon top EJ -/ Wall framing in middle are stacked on top of floor sheathing.author of The VeryEffi(TheTauntonPress.Ore. Once the material is delivered. mine was shingled. By the time his housewas framed.H e lives in Coos Bay. not the other way around. -f Don't move materials any more than you haveto Hauling lumber from place to place is time-consuming and hard on your body. plywood. and start by having the folks at the lumberyard do their part. I've come up with the following rules to help me do good work quickly and with a minimum of effort. Make it easier on yourself every chanceyou get. During 50 yearsof framing houses. Cut studs. efficiency and accuracy are trickier. and square. lf you do have to move wood. and I was framing a house. . Often. Every joint looked like finish carpentry. Whether you're building a house.an addition. Cut 2x4s right on the stack. framing doesn't have to look perfect or satisfy your desireto fit together two piecesof wood precisely. Unlike finish carpentry. efficiency. don't move it any more than you need to. plan so that you have to move it only once. so stacks of lumber can be placed right on the deck or on a simple structure built flush alongsidethe deck. t he goals w h e n fra m i n g a re strength.2002).Following the building codesand the blueprints should take careof the strength. Both houses were structurally sound. It was no coincidencethat the other contractor ran out of money and had to turn over the unfinished houseto the lending company. Make sure lumber arrives on the truck stacked in the order it will be used. LarryHaun. You don't want to move hundreds of wall studs to get to your plate stock. iient Carpenter 1999)and Habitat for Humanity: How to Build a House(TheTaunton Press. plumb.Rules10 waysto work efficientlyand to know how good is good enough BY LARRYHAUN I t was a coincidencethat another contractor and I beganframing I houses next door to one another I -Ion the same day. wired.has been framing hous es f or m or e th a n 5 0 y e a rs . Photo: Bnan Pontolilo. and accuracy. while I sold mine for a profit. and plumbed. and anything else you can right on the stack.level. for instance. but every2x4 in the other housewas cut to perfection.

need to be straight.' "t Builda hous€. These rooms require more attention partly becauseof their tighter tolerances.. not furniture In other words. know your tolerances. short (not long).headers. you'll have an easy time aligningthe walls. is acceptable. the bottom plate also can be th in. wall won't cause harm to the structure or problems for subcontractors. Walls.and \\ \=-__/. you may need to own a lumber mill to get enough wood to frame a house. Nothing in frame carpentry is perfect. and a Tq-in. straight.) Cutting the mudsill up to 1A in. out of plumb in 8 ft. 1/rin. Rim joist cut to exact length (within l/rcin. . Once you've raisedthe walls. especially in baths and kitchens. but the bottom plate doesn't. short. out of plumb in 8 ft. A rim joist.but also becausethe work of so many trades comes together here. i . on the other hand. Cap or double plate canbe up to 1/tin. Usebowed stock for bottom plates.and square. and that meansthe mudsills. headers. and blocks. How do you make the most of the lumber that you get? Use the straightest stock where it's absolutely necessary: where it's going to make problems for you later on if it's not straight.for rough openings. I f Bottom plate No more than % in. Itt not easyto install cabinetsor tile on a wall that bows in and out. The two top plates need to be straight as well. if you cull every bowed or crooked stud. Straight stock is also necessary at corners and at rough openings for doors. how plumb or straight is good enough? In my opinion. Rafters don't have to fit like the parts of a cabinet. but the top plate needs to be cut to exast length (again within the in. short (not long) is OK.Whether they're going on a foundation or on a slab. l i . And every project needs lots of short stock for blocking. take bowed material and cut it into the cripples. Take special care by framing as accurately as possible in kitchens and bathrooms. for top plates. so the question is: What's acceptable? You need to get started right. But the plate that sits on top of that. needs to be cut to the right length (within tho in.Cut top plate to exad Iength. cripples.. ' . or so short.and in kitchensand baths. But there's no harm done if they're cutlh in. lf you save straight stock for the top plates. When it comes to wall framing. short so that intersectingwalls tie together easily. You can bend it right to the chalkline and nail it home. \ / GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 .blocking.) before being nailed to the mudsill.bow in a 50-ft.' f Use straightstuds for corners. should be cut % in. they need to be level. your lumber counts These days. parallel.) because it establishesthe buildingt dimensionat the top of the walls. the cap or double plate.

5. for the length of wall.I snap all the wall lines on the floor. Nai/ studs to top plate. then I cut the top and bottom plates and tack all of them in place on the lines. doors. 2. Detailplatesfor studs. I scatter studs every 16 in. and tackle each phase in its logicalorder. 50 FINE HOMEBUILDING . 1. away from the bottom plate. This helps to keep the wall square. In the long run. do it the same way every time.r. which I leave tacked to the deck. I lay out the plates. It's worth sayingthat I didn't just make up these steps..I pry up the bottom plate and repeat the processon the bottom. \ ----- -r+" . . Pry up top plate. .Next. for the length of the wall./' yin' '\ --. Tack top and bottom plates in place.:. windows.straight. and intersectingwalls.7l Work in a EJ logicalorder Establishan efficient routine for each phase of work. | \. Once the top plate 4. I nail the top plate to the studs and keep the bottom of the studs snug against the bottom plate. Snap wall lines. First.and in position to be raised. I try to establisha rhythm and work consistentlyfrom one end to the other.r1. stud. Scatter studs every 16 in. 3. Pry up bottom plate and nail to studs. they evolved over time. I pry up the top plate and move it about I ft. . Bottom plate remains. having standard procedures will savetime and minimize mistakes. Recognizing inefficiencyis an important part of framing.Let's take wall framing as an example.. detailing the location of every window. and intersectingwall.. 6. door.t'" . | is nailed completely.

Train your eye. When nailing together the double top plate. Whether you do them yourself or hire subcontractors. the heat ducts. which is perpendicular to the blade. This placement leavesthe area between the studs free for the elestrician or plumber to drill holes without hitting the nails. And unlessyou're working with them in mind every step of the way. you can make square cuts by aligning the froni edge of the sawt base with the far edge of the board. GREATBUILDING TIPS2006 51 . when you nail on the double top plate. but after that. Ripping (lengthwise cuts) longer pieces also cin be done by eye if you use the edge of the saw's base as a guide. anyone can make these square cuts by aligning the leading edge of the sawt base. align the nails with the studs. the plumbing. from a board's length shouldn't require measuring. lt'll save time cutting.tf Keepthe other El tradesin mind lf you want to waste time and money when framing. and then make the cuts at the intersecting chalkline. don't think about the eleqtrical work. Don't measure you haveto unless The best way to save time when you're framing a house is by keeping your tape measure. and as you develop. lnclude backing for drywall. eyeball it. your framing can be in the way. with the far side of the lumber before making the cut. e G € Trimming 1/tin. keep the nails located over the studs. I position the plate on the line. you'll also be able to straighten walls as easily by eye as with a string. I cut all of the wall plates to length by cutting to the snapped wall lines. center the open areabetween studs for the medicine cabinet. Experience has shown me that with a little practice. With pradice. I have to use a tape measureto lay out the wall lines accurately on the deck. or the finish carpentry. and your square in your nail pouch as much as possible. Center studs behind tub for mixing valve.these trades come next. Behind the lavatory. include blocking for eledrical switches. Another time-saver is to make square crosstuts on 2x4s or 2x6s without using a square. When installing extrawide trim. the drywall. For example.your pencil.

which is more accurate and faster than measuringand marking one board at a time. Snap all layout lines on the floor before cutting any wall plates. snap a chalklineall the way across.gl Finishone task ft before going on to the next My first framing job was with a crew that would lay out. Sometimes crew members would even straighten and brace the one wall before proceeding. and nail them before sheathing the floor. spread studs on the plywood floor with one end against the floor plate. snap a chalkline. and cut them all at once. You might be tempted to skip these smalljobs and do them later. lf you're installingjoists. roll them all into place. shoving one end againstthe floor plate. frame. Also. Working this way helps to maintain momentum. align one end of the top row. but don't. and cut the joists all at once. We wasted a lot of time constantly switching gears. Ef. lf you're cutting studs or headers and cripples. 52 FINE HOMEBUILDING . Joists can be cut to length in a similar way by spreading them out across the foundation and shoving one end up against the rim joist on the far side.and cut them all at once.and cut the studs to length right on the pile. Finishing before moving on is just as important when it comes to nailing and blocking. Close out each part of the job as well as you can before moving on to the next. and it prevents tasks from being forgotten or overlooked. and raise one wall at a time before moving on to the next. make a cutlist for the entire proiect.e You don't need a mathematician to know that it takes less time to cut two boards at once than it does to cut each one individually. them to length. lf you have a stack of studs that all need to be cut to the same length. snap a line. don't forget to make repetitive cuts with a radial-arm or chop/miter saw outfitted with a stop block. Or you can spread them out on the floor. then cut every wall plate in the house before framing. Tie all the intersecting walls together before starting to straighten and brace the walls.il:H:ff?s*. Mark First.

you'll have to move the ladder around the job or climb on the walls to mark the top plate.the code actually specifieshow to nail a stud to a wall plate. you can do the rafter layout on a double top plate while it's still on the floor. For instance. ln high-wind areas."and be extra careful toward the end of the day.''t the plywood floor. your responsibilityis to know the building code and to build to it.approachthe work with a clear head. add one nail for each two overdriven nails."This is too dangerous. Walls can be sheathedand nailedwhile they're lying flat on the deck. Because building inspectorsare not capable of monitoring all parts of every project. as shouldattention around coworkersor dangerousdebris. or four 8d nails if you're toenailing. Knowthe buildingcode Building codes exist to create safe structures. or less.When you nail plywood or oriented strand board (OSB)roof you need a nail sheathing. elsewhere. Safety glasses. Work safely whatever the rule Working safelyshould be at the top of your priority list. and ridges is nailed every 6 in. elsewhere. sheathing along the eaves. You need two 16d nailsif you're nailing Roof sheathing is nailed every 6 in.s h e a t h i n g 2x8 rafter GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . 7 a . A final word: lf specialsituations arise.Don't climb a ladder unlessyou have to I don't use a ladder much on a framingjob except to get to the second floor before stairs are built.. listento that inner voice that says. along the edges and every 12 in. every 6 in. hearingprotection. Attach the sheathing while the wallis stil/ on . through a plate into the end of the stud.He or she is your ally. The American Plywood Association says there's no reduction in strength for nails overdriven by thc in.and a dust maskshould be the norm.. Pay attention. Get to know the building code for your area. Safety devicesand good intentions.Both are time-consuming. With a little foresight. rakes.consultthe building inspector. not your enemy.however. along the edge of the sheathingand every 12 in.i n . Mark rafter layout on top of the wall plate. won't help if your mind isn't on the work. lf more than 20% of the fasteners exceed 1/ein. be careful not to overdrive the nailsinto the sheathing.with the understanding that perfection isn't what is required. Waiting until the walls are raised to nail on plywood sheathing meansyou have to work from a ladder or a scaffold. but build efficiently. Get your own copy of the IRC(lnternational ResidentialCode) and build well. Otherwise.And if you're usinga nail gun.

Drawing center right: Toby Welles/DesignCorc.*-i C*tt/zin.l V* *l '. and nail it in place. Then I can insert the hanger into the kerf. and it provides a continuous plane up the rafter to attach drywall.Using thesejigs. .centerlines to receive the framing members. No nailsto pull.and then the jigs pulled up. No measuringis required exceptfor cutting pieces to length. _JOHN SHEPHERD Charlottesville.R.Cut the inside line in the other direction but with the . 54 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings. so I don't have to mess with adjustments. It really works. o n c e n t e r + __v_ Notch detail F--_------*l 7:::: : -1:.I find it helpful to kerf the rafter's plumb cut with a Skilsaw. + Eli7. everythingcan be assembled with the jigs. or 1 6 i n .R .then nail. etc.or 24-in. plywood Portland.R I C K A R N O L D W i c k f o r d . I also can stack the rafters and make one cut to kerf them all at the same time. To use.Brian Pontolilo.:_: :::=l j. This method is a lot easier than notching the rafter. exceptwhere noted:Charles Millcr. HAVEtTIS S t .W .Setthe sawto 45o.and make the first cut so that the outside line becomes the long point (2). Notches 24 in.Two suchjigs are handy.just slip one member at a time into the jig until everythingis in place. My method uses a jig. accurate method for assembling any wall. Photosthis page..The jigs really help on long runs that needto be coveredwith drywall. _ G R E GH A L V E R S O N lnsert hanger. in. I put togethera 1000-sq. as shown in the drawing. The kerf depth coincides with the full cutting depth of my 7Yc-in. same bevel (3). plywood. Va.and for largescale work. M. l . the plywood started. I've found the jigs to be especially helpful when I am working alone and in need of a third hand. flooq or roof that uses standarddimensions.-T. which is simply aZx4 notchedon 16-in. Ore.-ft. %-in. four can help. A l b a n s . workshop with this methodmostly by myself and on evenings and weekends.Roofs Framingjig I havea rapid. I use a pair of jigs shown in the drawing to -position the panels.For trusses. jig Roof-sheathing When I'm nailing down the first row of plywood sheathing on a roof that will have soffits.saw. Jigs for truss assembly A double-bevelplumb cut for valley rafters Mark two plumb linesthe samedistanceapart asthe thickness of the valley rafter(1).I can adjust the amount of overhang to suit the fascia detail by moving the blocks in relation to the lip that supports the edge of the plywood.. V a . Hanger notch When I have to attach a rafter to a beam with a joist hanger.

painting.i nr. Continue with the process. deeper rhan the cut. _RYAN HAWKS Flagstaff. Begin the layout with a full sheet on the line as you would if starting at the eaves. This method requires a litde more staging. / Curved stringer prevents damage to shingles. and effort. around here). /. Cutlines Rafterlayout Equal I REMoDELT NGTrP Steppingup I recently added three dormers on a 12-in-12 root. completing the last course from the outside staging. The overlap should be at least equal to the rafter spacing (usually 16 in. The downhill end should be notched on the undersidefor a flat 2x4 toe board. Sheathing steep roofs When the pitch of a roof is 10 or more.r/q in. Photos. and the system causeda minimum of damage to the existing roof. I frequently come acrossa ridge span longer than the overall length of the material I'm using for the ridge. As shown in the drawing below. Ariz. Use8d nailsto secureassembled ridge boards. from the ridge.siding. I like this detail because it's clean and because it holds together better than a couple of toenailed.I splice ridge boards with a V-shaped joint as shown in the drawing below. From the center of the ridge at each gable end. we like to sheathe from the top down. overlap the ridge material with the crowns pointing in the same direction.. 3/c-in.-long. and shinglingthe dormers and surrounding area were relatively easy. and make these cuts with the sawblade set % in. Depending on how long the pieces are. A 2x12 plank then could be laid acrossthe treads of the turo stairs. My crew and I call this technique "penciling the ridges.After you finish a row. This depth will put saw tracks in the bottom piece. Now you cdn put the pieces together with a couple of 8d nails near the end of the splice. except whe re noted: Mike Guertin and Randy O'Rourke GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 55 . It's also simpler than scabbing on a plywood gusset or a2x splice. Set the staging so that you're standing up between the rafters about 6 ft. Colo. 2 x 1 2p l a n k %-in. trimming. and moved up and down the pitch of the roof.Splicingridge boards As a framing carpenter. and snap a line acrossthe rafters. plywood treads. To extend the material to the correct length. plywood treads 2x4 toe board 16in. The uphill end of each stringer was cut in a curved pattern to keep the front edge from damaging the shingleswhen it slid onto the roof. you either can assemble them on the ground and carry them to the ridge." after the big pencilshaped piece of wood that results when the cuts are made. nail it off completely. _ M I K EG U E R T IA NN D R I C K ARNOLD EastGreenwich. the stairs are made of hvo 2x12 stringers with 16-in. To begin the cuts. but it is much safer and savestime. butt-ioined boards. and lower the staging toward the outside of the building. showing you where to finish the cuts. Framing. Now take your tape and mark the rafter layout lines as shown in the drawing. measure down 4 ft.u n y. Draw cutlines from the center of the top ridge board to its end. or put them together in place. I placed one ladder on each side of the dormer layout and hooked each over the 2x4 toe board that was nailed at the eave parallel to the ridge. 10-in. risk./ Yt *q-. R.l. -WAYDE MILLANYDillon. using a toe-board and roof-stair system that saved me a lot of time. rise 1 O .

Colo.you can useeither your foot or a block that is tacked to the subfloor. using the blocks as hooks. tall.sometimes involving the better part of a five.. Here in Austin. _PAUL WILSON Austin.: -*-j_> _ F E L I XM A R T I Ridgway. and scabthe block flush to the bottom end of the other stud. Texas. hang the sheathing on the top of the wall and nail it home. and I haven't found anything that's bettersuitedfor adjustinglong. A more secure system usesthe strappingthat binds lumber loads. The blocks will ensure that the sheathing ends up flush with the finished height of the top plate. or just plain awkward walls. Then fastenthe two partswith the hinge.The strappingcan be left in placeand covered by the finished flooring. On a recentjob.near a corner or an intersection with another wall. you will be surprisedat what you can do to an outside wall full of offsets and headers. Sheathing walls solo For thoselonerswho put up their own sheathing.As shown in the drawing at left.Make sure the blocks are flush with the edge. The key is to put up the framed walls before the top platesare doubled. pieces.it's calleda hooter stick. Concretenails will pierce Stud the stuff. or you can abuse zhz-in your nailsetand start Subfloor -/ a hole.and clamp them to the tgp edgeof the sheathing. long. first cut a 45"V-notch in the end of one stud. .* .To assemble the stick. The hooter is an awkward pieceof equipment to manipulate at first.or six-member crew. Texas The easiest way to keep the bottom plate of a framed wall from walking when it is being raisedis to toenail it into the subfloor. Basically. placethe notchedend againstthe undersideof the top plate.Wall The hooter stick Plumbing and aligning stud walls can be quite a chore. . FINE HOMEBUILDING . and nail one end to the undersideof the bottom plate. and an old hinge. To usethe hooter stick. to 30 in. it is nothing more than two studs.The nails bend easilyasyou lift the wall. here is a method that makes it simple for one person to control a 4x8 sheetof plywood or OSB. No*.Now you're readyto push in the direction that you want the wall to move.I became acquainted with the tool shown in the drawing below. and the bottom plate usuallyremainsin the immediateneighborhoodof its intendedlayout. make a coupleof short 2x blocks. but onceyou get used to it.a2x4 block 20 in. To bracethe bottom of the stick.Cut it into l2-in.The other end should run under the wall and be Toenail nailed into the subfloor.to 30-in. V-notch 20-in. _ J A M E SH U R L E Y - .\" NevadaCity.Calif.

. The scabsform ledges to support the wall as it is lifted. Planview GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . When the cross member is flush and nailed with the adjacent studs. From there. -FELIX MARTI Ridgway. long with three nailed-on scabs2 ft. Now I nail the cross member to the bowed stud. I work on the worst one first. and lift it to the first notch.lifting one notch at each station until you've reached the third level. deep at the point of the stud that is bowed out the most. and toenail the opposite end as deep as needed to remove the bow (drawing left). the bow is gone. The jack is made of a2x4 about 7 ft. Rotate the freed studs 90". Then I drive a pair of 16d nails--one angled up and one angled d6q7n-1e anchor the cross member to the stud. flush one end of it to the adjacent stud and nail it.I find the high point 2 ft. place trimmers (cut to their finished length) at an angle on each side of the opening.-long stud walls. and align them to one side of the bottom and top plates. _ED WILSON Seattle Notch no deeper than \__=r Angle nail down. Notch 13/r in. With the stud wall lying flat on the subfloor and toenailed to it. apart. Using a straightedge held vertically against the side of the stud. Raiseone half of the header into place. to 1% in. to l% in.a midsupport for the first half of the header may be required). add the other half of the headen and spike the halvestogether. deep NGTrP I REMoDELT Header retrofit Next time you put a built-up header into an existing wall. Rotate studs to allow room for the first half of a two-piece header.. a twomember crew can lift 30-ft. I make a notch l3/cin. use a reciprocating saw to sever the nails at the top and bottom of all the studs to be removed. _JOHN RIEDHART Ventura. Calif. To fix a bowed-out stud (drawing right). Removethe original studs.12-in. and tap the trimmers into their vertical position (dependingon the span.scab with 45' bevel Straighteningstuds It's not unusual for a stud wall to have some sticks in it that bow in or out of the wall plane. making it tough to do a decent job on the drywall or paneling. Here's how I fix both situations.. This second method works well when the opposite side of the wall is inaccessible--rovered with a shear wall. to 18-in. Colo. and wallto subfloor.. of the bow and measure acrossit for a notch that will accept a2x4 cross member. Move back and forth along the wall. Then I set the saw depth to make a cut iust a little deeper than the thickness of the 2x4 cross member-about 1% in.to 40-ft.. toenail each jack to the floor so that its base is tight to the wall's top plate. Next. After identifying the bowed-in studs. it's an easy push to get the wall upright. (l \. Bowed -out stud Wall-liftprop poles With three or four site-built wall jacks like the one shown in the drawing above. Toenail cross member as deep as needed to remove bow.l. for example. Now begin at one end of the wall.

figure on using about three-quarters of a 10.pine body Rubberband hooks \ '1. The twister usually provides enough leverage that it takes only one hand. I use 8d nails. the long 2x4s sandwich the short one.5-oz. the plywood sides ride along the sides of the joist. Where sheets come togetheron one joist. holding the sled in place.-thick plywood sides. 2x4. _H ERRICKIM BALL Moravia.i n .leaving the othei fre. FINE HOMEBUILDING . opening for the glue to exit. pine with a hole in it. I think the best part is that using this gadget. but I like to place a nice full bead of consrruction adhesive down the center of the floor joists before I lay down a sheet of plywood subflooring. The glue sled.-wide block of 3/q-in. In use. Too many rimes. Call me persnickety. 2x4s and one 2-ft.you can get a fairly even off-center bead of glue by lifting up the sledand angling the glue gun to the side. The twister One of the first things we do on a new framing site is to build a "twister" to help straighten corkscrewed lumber. I center the glue bead on the joist every time without having to go back.resulting in an erratic line with skips and unacceptably thin smears. M from its tip yieldsalrt-in. -SEAN SHEEHAN Basin . tube per sheet of plywood.centers. These ears will support the piece until the first nail is set. blocking.Floors Rubberband 7 a . Then we slip rhe2x4lever over the other end and move the twister until the stock comes flush with its nailing surface.h o l e for nozzle Bent 8d nai l s %-in. bead ofglue is the ideal amount. To use the twister. -I think a3Ae-dia. As shown in the drawing above. and the rubber band loops over the caulk-gun frame. or similar framing member in place for final nailing with a few bent nails. driven about a third of their length into the top edge of the work and then bent 90". And although I don't obsessover this detail. Our twisters are made of two 3-ft. ont. The block is sandwiched between Vc-in.The hole accepts rhe nozzle of the glue cartridge. crearing a slot at one end. If it's worth the expense and effort of gluing a subfloor in the first place (and I think it is).e to swing a hammer or fire a nailer. I can tell you that cutting the nozzle3/ain. is nothing more than a I%-in. _ C R A I GS A V A G E Carpinteria.Y. keeping the nozzlecentered. If your joistsare on 16-in. as I call it. I've been on a job site where the glue was applied carelessly. we nail the twisted piece of stock at one end. Blocking or headersupported betweenjoists I Solo framing G l u es l e d A carpenter working alone can hold a header.N. then itt worth taking the time to do it right. The device shown above is my solution to the problem. Calif.

The drawing showshow we used a temporary upside-downjoist hanger and a crowbar to bring a joist flush. we nailed it in place and added joist hangersfor the second-floorjoists.dividing the height of the lift into four intervals of about 22 in. To avoid this. _ROG ERWESTERBERG Verndale. Wedge is driven under new joist after installation.NGTtPs I REMoDELT Beam stair In the courseof building a family-roomaddition. I cut a wedge from each end of a new joist. As we framed adjacent walls. The glulam weighed almost 500 lb.each about 18 in. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . Mass.The crampedquarters made it impossibleto swing a hammerfrom below to bring the joists flush with newly added headersand beams. long. allowing me to tip the joist into position easily. we removedthe old wall and nailed in three crippleson each side. allowing its hangerto be installedin the right position. _ROBERT GAY SCAIIIE Joist lowerthan header Upside-down joist hanger Joist lift During a recent remodeling project. and shimming. we made a "beam stair" for making short lifts.Then I tapped in the wedges and nailed them in place for full bearing. one end at a time. we left out a stud on each side for maneuveringroom. each. In front of the double-width stud sPaces. We lifted one end of the beam at a time onto a step until the beam sat on the cripples. or a forklift.They were canted toward the stringer a bit so that the beam wouldn't tilt forward onto us. -JIM LOCKWOOD Brookline. we had to place a 22-ft.The typical problem is trying to get the ends of the joists to fit between the mudsillsand the subfloor. Minn. Adding new joists I strengthenedthe originaljoists in my houseby sistering on some new ones. glulam atop an old stud wall to carry the weight of a couple of rooms above. securedto the stringer with four duplex nails apiece. a boom truck.After more jacking.prying.. Once the ceiling ioists were shored up temporarily.The "steps" were 2x6 blocks. When tilted. the joist is a bit too big to fit without serious persuasion. The stringer was a 2x8 affixed to the crippleswith duplex nails and tacked securelyat the bottom to the subfloor. After easingthe beast insidewith rollersand a ramp. and we had no accessfor a crane. we built two temporary stairstep arrangements. we had to put a new floor over an old ceiling.

Finish carpenters must develop an eye for proportion and detail. With practice. FINE HOMEBUILDING . Photo:Charles Bickford. Perfect miters are only part of finish carpenrry. I was told to observe.: Rules y first construction job was as a trim carpenter's helper during school summer vacation.I teach these skills to novice carpenters. split- Usethese10 tips to get started BY WILL BEEMER ting the pencil line with a sawcut and working to closer tolerances become second nature.a n d c o . the finish carpenter's job is to make the doors. hence. cut. A tape can flex and change shape. and carry it to the board to be cut (top drawing.e rule Don't measure. decking: anything the owner will seeafter moving in. and cabinets work. I've organized the following ten rules of thumb.e x e c u t i v ed i r e c t o r o f t h e T i m b e r F r a m e r sG u i l d . and to make the house look good. A combination square or a wood block of known dimension is the best way to lay out Drawings: Dan Thornton. A rigid rule is better than a tape for measuring lengths under 6 ft. the 6-ft. Even if the framer couldn't read a level. just mark the board from the extended ruler. Now.affecting accuracy. Open th. It's easy to misread a ruler or to confuse numbers while walking to the saw. mark. M a s s . AVOIDUSINGNUMBERS It is usually more accurate to hold a board in place to mark its length (drawing left) rather than to use a tape measure and involve numbers. It includes roofing. facing page). They must learn to visualize the stepsthat lead to the finished product. Hold it at that length. or nail. and slide out the brass extension the rest of the distance. I use a tape measure on a long piece that's too difficult to mark in place. Will Beemer is director of the Heartwood School in Washi n g t o n . siding. Finish carpenrry is more than interior trim. folding wooden rule takes over during trim and cabinet work. Rough carpenters evolve into finish carpenrers by learning how to measure. but generally. I learned that finish carpenrry is essentially a visual exercise. . tu * to the greatest length that fits berween fJre points to be measured.In doing so. I wasn't allowed to measure.To help make learning these skills easier.. I don't like tapes. and cut more accurately. All I did that first summer was fetch and carry. using a ruler or a tape is unavoidable. No need for numbers. windows.and the movable end hook bends easily. The best folding rules come with a sliding brass extension that makes taking inside measurements easy. It is more accurate to mark trim in place than to measure and then transfer numbers. Sometimes.

planers were not in widespread use. and mark the top cuts from the reveal lines. The pencil lead rsVrc in. and transfer the measurernent directly whenever possible. and window-stool notches. for example. so it can scribe ha-in. The body of a folding rule ist/sin. Learn what dimensions are built in ro the tools you use. Miter one end of the head. and its body is % in. USEREVEALS. The blade of a standard combination square is I in. you can use it as a spacer for decking. me asu reme nts {or thi ngs such as casing reveals. or 3/sin. so it's practically impossible to keep flush edges flush. thick. this variation will not be nearly as evident and will be hidden in shadow much of the time. Carry the extended ruler to the workpiece. AND AVOIDFLUSH EDGES it dries out. lnstead. If a casing is installed flush to rhe inside of a jamb. wide. This way. which runs over and past the legs by %in. If the casing is stepped back% in. they can swell and shrink unnoticed. The variations in thickness of these boards were lost in the overwhelming presenceof the thicker plinths and rosettes. increments. Rosettes often were placed at the upper corners and plinth blocks at the bottoms of door jambs. The casings and baseboards butted to them. Cut the legs. offset edges from each other.wide. carpenters usually step casing back from the edge of door and window jambs.. handrail centers. Stepping trim back to form reveals causesshadowlines and createsdifferent planes that make it harder for the eye to pick up discrepancies. A door or window should be casedwithout the use of a tape. the carpenter didn't worry about the length of the head casing being exact or the side casings noticeably changing width with changes in humidity. to the head. Many folding rules have a brass end that extends to measure inside dimensions. It's almost impossible ro ger flush edges to stay that way. Square-cut the bottoms of the casing legs. or so. carpenters by necessityused trim materials of different rhicknesses. and holding it upside down over its final position. That's why. such as the casing from the jamb. hold them up to rhe jamb. Wood moves. This way. thick. In years past. You rarely see mitered casings in older houses because differences in material thickness are obvious Varied thicknesses create a reveal.and they become lessevident. and as you're nailing it up. Transfer rneasurements diredly. And use boards of different thicknessesas with the head casingand the leg shown here. Wood moves-as Head-casing overhang Casing 1"9 Offset everyfthing. mark the other end to length (drawing facing page). from the edge of the pencil. Lightly mark the reveal on the jamb with a pencil. it may not stay that way. l t. Pencil line indicates where to place the trim. G R E A TB U I L D I N G T I P S 2 0 0 6 51 . A carpenter's pencil is Yc in. The head casing is usually the thicker piece so that the shadow it castsmakes it appear to be a cap. as the house settles. The eye will easily pick up even a Vrc-in.as you cut it.the small measurements needed for reveals and other spacings (drawing bottom right). and tack them in place. Combination square Use a combination square as a marking gauge for consistent .variation from top to bottom. Separate discrepancies.

Shoe molding and baseboardscover the gap. or siding. t h i s i s t h e n u m b e r o f c o u r s e sa t 5 i n . 135 in. o u t o f p a r a l l el . at each side of the wide end of the room and Vzin. p e r c o u r s e . roofing.Measure the room width at both the wide and narrow ends. As long as these sums are less than full board widths.such as tongue-and-groove flooring. and subtract the expansion gaps. as in tongue-and-groove flooring.Diverging lines are obvious mistakes. divided by 5 equals 27. you can adjust the gap or coverage slightly at each course so that the coursesare parallel to the other surface when they reach it. try adding half a board width. Say you're installing flooring between t w o w a l l s t h a t a r e I i n . These will be the widths of the starting and ending strips at the wide and narrow ends of the room. and you start out working parallel to one. With these adjustments. b et w e e n t h e f l o o r i n g a n d the wall. and snap chalklines between them. and you're leaving a minimum expansion g a p o f V z i n . A t t h e o t h e r en d o f t h e b u i l d i n g . THE DIFFERENCE SPLIT If you're running coursesof material between two diverging surfaces. Divide one of these figures by the ideal exposure per course. the gap can vary. on the other. If you're using a one-piece thin baseboard. 5 in. Divide these measurementsby the floorboard width. you won't be parallel to the other. Lay out each side of the roof using the two different increments. I n c a s e sw h e r e t h e g a p o r c o v e r a g e i s not adjustable. at eachsideof the narrow end. Make the expansion gap I in. use H i d d e ng a p 62 FINE HOMEBUILDING them for the starting and ending strips. the chalklines start out parallel to the eaves and end up parallel to the ridge. for normal three-tab shingles. you have to make up part of the discrepancy at the start and the re st at the end. But this technique doesn't work with other materials. Use boards as wide as possible as your s t a r t i n g a n d e n d i n g c o u r s e st o k e e p c o n verging lines as far apart as possible. With shingles or lapped siding. diverging starting and ending points can be hidden a little at a time by slightly tapering the course widths. you'll have to rip tapered floorboards at the start and finish to keep the expansion gap narrow and parallel to the wall. Out-of-parallel walls I I I I I I I I Floorboards laid to split the difference Baseboar *) Moldings hide the gap. whose course can't be varied easily. . As long as the base/shoe molding covers it.S " y that you're shingling an old house. and the roof measures 135 in. divided by 27 yields 5Vatn. 138 in. from ridge to eave on one end and 138 in. Multiply the remainders by half the board width. T h i s a d j u s t m e n t i s f i g u r e d e a s i l y . If these strips are narrow. Thus. Floorboards don't have to be a uniform distance from the wall. With decking.

Baseboardwill hide the ugliness where the drywall meets the floor. butted head casings-anywhere end in a corner. returns are used on stair treads. a piece of molding doesn't Don't show end grain. Mitered return t FITTHEJOINTBEFORE CUTTING TO LENGTH If you're coping or mitering a joint on a piece of base . the left side is coped and the fit is checked before the miter is marked. make sure that joint fits well before you cut the other end to length. hiding them. that's what the shoe and cap do. cut a return for it. even if left natural. Some joints don't need to be perfect.AVOIDEXPOSING END GRAIN End grain absorbs stain and paint differently from face or side grain. ln this case. end grain reflects light differently. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . The cap and shoe are flexible and confonn to ins and outs. The thicker baseboard installs quickly and easily becauseit doesn't have to conform. A return is a small piece of trim. In older houses. inaccessiblecorner of the room. chair rail. window stools and aprons. Base-cap molding Baseboard The baseboard spans hollows in the wall and floor. On a power miter saw. often triangular in section. Unless you want to emphasize this difference. which is often the function of moldings. I cut them with a small miter box and a backsaw. You may need the extra length if you make a mistake and have to recut the cope or miter. DON'T BE FUSSY WHERE YOU D ON'T HAVETO BE Learn to think ahead to see if what you're working on will be covered later. If a piece of molding must end abruptly. or crown.with the thin basecap molding attached to the wall and following its contour while the shoe does the same on the floor. you often see three-piece baseboards. you might be tempted to scribe or fill behind the baseboard to follow the contours. lt absorbs paint and especially stains differently from flat grain. you'd be grumbling on your way back to the lumberyard instead of calmly recutting the piece. If you had cut the piece to length before miscutting the cope or miter.that ends a run of molding. Coped joint Fit the more difficult end before cutting to length. If the floor or wall undulates. plan your installation to hide end grain or cut mitered returns to cover it up. the blade often throws small returns to some dimly lit.where walls and floors always undulated. Tiaditionally.

Gaps show along coped end. whether it's baseboard. or crown molding. only the last cut on the head need be perfect. you then would have had to make an exact miter cut on each casing leg to make the joint turn out right. Plan the coping seguence so that crackswill be less obvious along likely lines of sight./ Lines of sight coped ioints. Butt this end to wall. ll PLANTHESEOUENCE TO AVOIDPERFECT CUTS AT BOTHENDS Butt this end to the wall. For example. only pieces 2 and 3 require pertect cuts on both ends. The sequenceof installation also is important when running trim around a room. Working my way around a room. the crack is most visible when viewed at right angles ro rhe coped piece. I try to plan my installation so that this last piece of trim is in the least conspicuous place. with my method of casing doors and windows. and shave it with a chopsaw unril it fits just right. There is usually a sequenceof trim installation that requires the fewest perfect cuts.I orient the coped piecesso that people entering or using the room won't have right-angle views of them. FINE HOMEBUILDING . The teeth are ser slightly wider than the body of the blade. idie chopsaw blade. 8 '^ .chair rail. Cut this end slightly long. but the mitered end is cut off where it meets the molding face. Wherever possible. leaving a negative of the profile that fits perfealy over the butted piece.r-al{ ". The chanceof error is reduced by first coping them and then holding them in place to mark their lengths. Coped joints look different from different angles. rhe copes are planned so that any crackswill be less obvious to people entering the room. Cracks also will be lessobvious if the uncoped piece is stained or painted before installation.If you had installed the head first. One neat trick here: Push the casing up to the lowered. a challenge for even the best carpenters. then make the cut. so the cut will take off Vtz in. If a coped joint isn't perfect or if it opens up over time.Trimming a room with baseboard and a minimum of perfed cuts. I prefer to work from right to left around a room becauseI'm right-handed and generally do a faster. The first piece is butted to the wall. nearer job of coping the right end of a board. The second piece is mitered as for an inside corner. the crack will be obvious when viewed parallel to the uncoped piece and nearly invisible viewed parallelto the coped piece. lf a coped joint opens up. raw wood sticks out. \ I Miter Raise the blade without moving the casing. By following the numericalseguence in the drawing below. I often end up with a piece that needs to be coped on both ends.

As your experienceincreases and your eye becomes more efficient. The only exceptions are cabinets and doors. t I ! rl f I t I I I II t' I i i t il . Trim the door bottom so that it's parallel to the floor. it won't matter. where you put the nails-this all matters.I advise owner-builders to get everything done before they move in. After a while . Trimmed paralle to the floor." the red flag goes up.--/ NOTHING IS RANDOM Whenever I find myself saying. the door looks right But I hung it plumb. they don't notice the lack of trim.1.. eye-catchinggap at the bottom. If the floor isn't level. and it becomes harder and messier to set up the tools and work around the obstacles. It won't be level. Nothing is random. thinking it will be easier to do when it's close at hand. The eye sees diverging lines more readily than it seesplumb and level. Occasionally. which must hang plumb to work properly. This temptation can sour good clients and lose referrals. and the care you put into the details shows up as craftsmanship in the entire job. getting all the details wrapped up is like pulling teeth. The randomness(left) looks sloppy compared with careful layout (right). and square. but it'll look good. Which end of the board you cut first. and contractors to finish all work before they move on.=.It can be a strain on a marriage if the bathroom doors aren't hung after a few years of residence. and this is especially true in finish carpentry. t \ i t1 t I r l i i- F I NI S H T HE J O B A contractor usually has to complete a punch list before finalpayment is issued. run the decking parallel to the house wall. I . iiriiili Unfevel floo. If the deck framing is out of squaie. which face is out. The clean-slateattraction of starting a new job can overpower the drudgery of completing the old. "God lives in the details. A level door bottom over an out-of-level floor has a tapered. "It doesn't matter.PARALLEL IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN L EVEL OR SQUARE Some rules of carpentry change from framing to finish work. Even something as simple as decking benefits from thoughtful layout. If for some reason two lines must diverge. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . Instead of keeping track of plumb. separatethem as widely as possible so that the difference is harder to see. level." said architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.[ ti.but sometimes. but you first should consider whether it does. you now must keep finish materials parallel to the walls and floors. trim the door bottoms parallel to the floor rather than leave them level with a tapered gap. k I /: Scrib e the door bottom parallelto the floor. They'll be glad they did. it will becorne second nature to line up nails in an attractive pattern and to look critically at each board as you carry it to the saw. Owner-builders doing their own work often are tempted to move in to a house before the finish work is done.

. so the saw glides easily over the surface.. Jigsaw Screwgolf ballto jigsaw basefor copingangled cuts. Drilllh-in.-_7_ Easiercoping with the jigsaw Coping crown molding with an electric jigsaw is much easier when you attach a radiused auxiliary base to the jigsawt standard flat base. Still at the bandsaw. Next. Cut slot for blade. I was stumped about making this modification until I spotted a golf ball on my shop bench. Height of miter-saw table Jigsaw base rides on angled table.r. Then I made a perpendicular cut in the larger portion of the ball.I have the control to make exact relief cuts.I slide the stock into the coping table. -GRAFTON H. The screws kept my fingers a safe distance from the blade. After beveling a piece of molding on the miter saw. FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings: CharlesMiller .- Molding stock extends through slots in coping table. This jig provides a pivot point right where the blade enters the back side of the molding. I made the table out of the sink cutout from a plasticlaminate countertop. I did the cutting on my bandsaw after driving a couple of 3-in. As shown in the drawing below.I drilled a couple of r/e-in.' J . a jigsaw is faster. I have found that longer blades are useful for cutting big crowns.Cutting& Coping Coping table As much as I appreciate the delicate craft of coping moldings by hand.I use the coping table shown in the drawing at right..I started by cutting the ball into unequal parts. As a result. Different configurations could be obtained by cutting the ball into segments of various sizes. drywall screws into opposite sides of the ball to act as handles. . I positioned the slotted golf ball as shown in the right-hand drawing and affixed it to the base with a couple of small screws. Cut along dotted lines. The box's dimensions allow ample hand room for holding the work steady. both sides. -<==l*1i-. while my fingers remain clear of the blade.holes in the saw's base. The saw rides on the angled side of the coping table. ash. The table is a pyramidal box with slots cut into both sides for the molding stock. hole in saw base.J l M D E L V I ND e sM o i n e sW . The jigsaw should have a roller guide and a fine-tooth scrollcutting blade.I cut a slot to accommodate the jigsaw's blade. ich. COOK Dowagiac M . for a pair of screws.on opposite sides of the blade. To hold the foot of the saw in plane with the 45o bevel on the end of the workpiece while following the lines of the molding profile.

hole saw from above. all set to cut accurare acute angles. Jig clamped or screwed to saw's fence Molding with coped joint Touchingup coped joints The drawing above shows a trick that I teach my students for making perfect coped joints. and use a hole saw that is twice the radius of the trim. I prefer coped corners to mitered corners. ( I started with a scrap piece of 2x6 about 14 in.-dia. After some thought.D A V I D J O H N S O NC l i n t o nl. Using my tablesaw. quarter-round trim. the hole saw is guided by a 1x4 guide block.I devised a fixture that yields 1 x 4 o a k g u i d eb l o c k accurate results with a minimum of effort. long. contoured sanding block.o w a 1x2 fences PLANVIEW OFJIG Coping quarter-roundtrim I recently had to install alot of 3/+-in. WHIPPLE A f t o n . Using the block to make a few back-and-forth strokes on the coped end of the workpiece smooths out unsightly irregularities. groove 1|/z-in. Clamp the workpiece to the jig (block under the far end of the long and you're pieces). Result: a custom-made. groove the length of the 2x6 to accommodate by quarter-round trim.-dia. I was doing some trim with my friend Marcos Bradley. but given the amount of trim required by this job. simply cut a groove to fit the trim.P. . Use clamps or screws to secure one of the jig's fences to the saw's fence. As shown in the drawing. -M. \ 3/+-in. I made this block out of oak becauseit holds up well after repetitive cuts. 3/a-in. he assembled a jig similar to the one shown in the drawing below. We use water-based contact cement to glue a sheet of 220-grit sandpaper to a piece of molding that has the same profile as the workpiece. _ F E L I XM A R T I Ridgway. He was running base around a seriesof odd angles-2ngles he couldn't readily cut with his chopsaw.220-grit sandpaper contactcementedto identicalmolding Acute angles on the chopsaw A couple of years ago.by 3/+-in. I plowed a3/q-in. I had to find an expedient way to cut the stuff. For quarter-rounds of a different radius. As shown in the drawing. hole saw GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . This groove holds the trim as it is cur by a lr/z-in. Y . Using this rig makes coping quarter-round trim a breeze.N . Colo.

I put a screw on each wall. here's my tip. To that end. Wrap plastic around casing. Finger-gripnotch for fine-tuning crown molding in place When I install crown molding. That way. The screws need to be installed only under the square-cut pieces of baseboard.then trim away after painting walls. tight joints. I don't have to keep running back to my saw to adjust the coped cut. the painter simply runs a sharp utility-knife blade along the crease between the wall and the casing to cut away the plastic. as shown in the drawing above. I avoid this problem by driving |3/s-in. Having saved a lot of time. For outside corners.HILL North Bend. wielding it without marring the wall is difficult. . allowing me to run them in or back them out as needed to put the baseboard into plane with the wall. Baseboardshims It can be frustrating to install precisely fit baseboardsover an uneven substrate like drywall. most pieces have one end that butts into a corner. Even if I have a pry bar on hand. A better way is to nip the upper corner off the butt end before putting the piece on the wall.drywall screws into the bottom plates at each inside corner. which means I need a pry bar to move it around when the time comes to fit the nexr piece'scoped end to the butt end. Becauseof this tight fit. base. When the paint has dried. as shown in the drawing below. This can cause an unsightly gap at a corner where a coped baseboard intersects a square-cut baseboard. _JEFFREY S. BROME Greensboro. The painter now can wrap the plastic over the trim and fasten any additional masking tape to it. As shown in the drawing.A N D Y E N G E LR o x b u r y Conn. Baseboards often sit atop tapered drywall edges.I cope the inside corners. the screws work as adjustable shims.I use 1-mil or Z-rr'il drop cloths from the paint store. Consequently. Md.Wash. said painter will likely seeto it that your job looks its very best.or any other woodwork that is not going to be painted. Whenever you are applying window casing. baseboard 68 FINE HOMEBUILDING . causing the wood to tilt a bit out of plane with the wall. the butt end sometimes jams into the corner. I use a short piece of baseboard with a coped end on it to test the corner joints for fit as I install the square-cut pieces. which the coped end of the next piece covers. Drywall screw works as adjustable shim. -RALPH W. This step eliminates the painter's need to mask the trim painstakingly. I like nice. Thin plastic is fine for this. You gain a handy finger-grip notch. so I generally cut the crown a little long. staple strips of plastic sheeting to the surface that will end up behind the trim. The plastic should extend a foot or so beyond the trim.lnstalling Trim /t t t t // Protecting stain-gradetrim Every carpenter knows that it pays to have the painters in a position of feeling happily indebted to you. Stain-grade window casing t:" Crown molding Finger-grip notch at inside corner Staple plasticto wall prior to installingtrim.

hped. I useda bevelgauge to measureeachangle. 2 in. I usethe jig shown aboveto fnake sure that I get an accurater/+-in. When I first startedcoping thesejoints. Be sure the facesof your base hook are perfgcdy squareto ttre edges.It's made of two squarepieces of hardwood. lowa GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . _JIM TOLPIN Port Townsend. by thin. the walls are a litde uneven.As shown in the drEwing to the right. split-resistantwood usedprimarily for laying out the end cut of baseboard where it butts againststanding moldings such asdoor casings. reveal. gauge Casing-reveal When I install door or window casings. Fort Dodge.and then I'd adiust the compound-miter saw accordingly.*o" Tight fit indicates the proper angle. No more Gap caused by uneven fussyfiddling. Because plasteris a hand-tooled product.Then I read the angle marked on the block.usually between88oand 92". setthe saw to that number. by 2in.and painted. To usethe hook. that are glued together with a Yc-in. wall surface -D EN NI SS M I T H S uf f o lV k.A base hook for tight baseboards A homemadetool called a basehook eliminates the need for a bevel square in some applications.and the basemoldings rarely end up plumb. 8s Photo: Patrick Cudahy it's in the right t':l:lf'rl'*'"r.rAin.Wash. or you'll introduce a margin of error. I now cut five testblocks of basemolding with miter anglesranging Basemolding between88oand 92". Test blocks Two hardwood blocks. a.in1" increments. it's simply an L-shaped piece of a stable. As a consequence. and I'm ready to cut. Baseboard angle blocks I do the finish trimwork for a small builder of moderately priced homesin Norfolk.offset.That iust took too long. sanded. the 45" bevel needs to be cut at a small angle off ioints square. thick.I've learned that to keep the coped tight.Similar in conceptto a siding gauge. Va. He hasfound that it is actually lessexpensiveto have the walls plasteredthan to have drywall hung. This jig has so many cornersthat half the time I grab it out of my nail bag. lap it over the baseboard and hold it hard againstthe standing molding while scribing a cutline across the baseboard.I test-fit a couple of blocks to get the correct angle.

Now move the saw fence toward the blade a distance equal to the thickness of the blade. the cut will be exactly flush with the stile. itb so sticky that I've found it to be a do-or-die situation when positioning the template. and hold the door and block against the fence as you cut off the horn. . Masking tape I cover the area under the template with a layer of 3M blue masking tape. just barely put the block into the blade to make sure the fence has been moved a distance exactly equal to the blade's thickness.p a n e ld o o r gnment block. Lift the door up and away as soon as you've cut through the horn. scrape off the glue. Morrison. then rip the stock to about 2 in. double-face tape can damage finished surfaces./ crosscutto fit between horns Routertemplate I I Hot-melt g l u eg u n I Affixing a router template to a finished surface I've seesome carpenters use double-face foam tape to hold a template in place for routing. . Then I squeeze a line of hot glue around the perimeter of the template and stick it to the tape. First. The router template in the drawing is made for outlet boxes that frequently need to be installed in kitchen-island cabinets. If you've set it up correctly. . The tape prevents damage to finishes.C.Construction Trimmingcabinet doors Here's a useful tablesaw setup for trimming the horns off small frame-and-panel doors. / This dimension is equalto the width of the block minus the thickness of the blade. and upside down. Be sure to clear the horn offcuts from the blade as you proceed. -BRIAN EVEREST N e l s o n8 . about % in. With the saw running. This piece is the alignment block. then try again.. finished and unfinished. and repeat the process for all the other corners of the door. Canada F r a m e . Photo this page: Daniel S. Now put the block between the horns. cut a piece of stock that fits between the horns. Plus. I have used this method on all kinds of materials. it beats trying to run a sabersaw on a lacquered surface right at the edge of a raised panel. I simply pull it off. wide. horizontal. and on raw wood.For holding templates. I use ordinary hot glue and masking tape (drawing left). However. If the template isn't positioned correctly.a n d .G R E G GR O O SS a nF r a n c i s c o ) FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings: Charles Miller. vertical. . it keeps the glue out of the grain.

threadedinserts Wood nosepiece registers againstdrawer side.-dia.machine screws driven into threaded inserts embedded in the top. This nosepiece registers against the drawer side and the edge of the drawer bottom. spring clampsand drywall screws. holesin the jaws of a spring clamp. Notice that the locking point is twice as far from the pivot Direction of feed l/z-in.I tacked together a wooden sole with a regis- 1/a-in.D O N A L D C . To regain the advantage of a horizontal worksurface. -RICH VAN RHEEN W e s tL i n n O .I put the holesa bit off-center. I run a #6 drywall screw into the holes in the spring-clamp tration nosepiecefor the stapler. A piece of solid stock planed ro rhe width of the magazine fits between rhe plywood sides.Raisingpanels with a router Raising cabinet-door panels with a traditional undermount router table can produce wavy cuts becauseit's difficult to hold the panel absolutely flat ro a vertical fence. plywood. The plywood mounting plate attaches to a 2-in. holding them flush as the staple is driven. The offset placement also allows me to use a couple of clamps at the same time if I need to apply extra pressure. The other projects through a slot in the mounting plate. With the router bit below the work as the panel is passed over it.-thick top by way of two Yc-in. plywood mounting plate Verticalpanelraisingbit Adjustment knob Accurate stapling for drawer assembly I had a stack of melamine drawer bortoms and sides that had to be stapled together.The sharppointsof the drywall screws will bite into almostany material. raising the plate r/+in. Blocksscrewedto worksurface Drawerside Miter clamps Miter clamps (known as pinchdogs in our part of the Southwest) are mighty useful for putting pressure on a mitered frame during a glue-up or nailing session. B R O W NR u c k e r s v i l l e . GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . _SVEN HANSON Albuquerque. One screw acts as a pivot point. re.I make my own pinchdogs out of two components that can be obtained easily: permits the clamp to reach a bit farther and #6 drywall screw Opposing wedges hold drawer side snug to blocks. I ran the risk of a staple blowing out the face of a drawer side. At the businessend of the tool. As shown in the drawing. and if the stapler's nosepiece was slightly off-center or out of plumb. stable base for the stapler. As shown in the drawing. I put a wood nosepiece that extends an inch below the sole. I first center-punch and drrllVa-in.M.creating a flat. raise the panel with a seriesof shallow passes. This placement iaws.N. . To ensure perfect alignment. A washer and a large knob on rhis screw allow the mounting plate to be clamped at the desired height relative to the worksurface. I mounted my router at 90o to the conventional setup. The base of the router rests in a shallow recessrouted into the plywood. envelops the stapler's magazine. made of 3/q-in. point as the center of the router bit. V a . At this relationship.-dia. atthe locking point lifts the bit % in. I affixed the router to a piece of Yz-in. The sole. to grab the work at odd angles. But miter clamps are not always easy to locate. hardwood plywood.

Finally. the shape of the hinge makes it easyeven if you have only a handheld drill. Water levels are very accurate. they will rotate Holesfor door pulls Fence Holesfor d r a w e rp u l l s ))lrlly. as shown in the photo. but the hinge arm must be exactly 90o to the door's edge. and an appropriate length of clear vinyl tubing. Centering notch - Aligning cup hinges European cup hinges can be adjusted in three different directions to get a professional fit on a cabinet door. the jig is being used on a drawer front. jug. allowing it to be flipped to do right-hand or left-hand doors. _JEFF JORGENSEN Tonopah. and tape a ruler to the free end of the tubing to be used as a referencestick. be sure to bleed any air bubbles out of the tubing. a tubeless-tirevalve stem (with guts and cap removed). First. -MARK HALLOCK Capitola. The jig is laid out with equal distances from its sides to the pull holes. keep the free end of the tubing above the level of the water in the jug to keep water from draining out the free end of the tube. To use the jig for locating pulls on cabinet doors. Nev. fill the jug with water. As shown in the drawing. Fortunately. I rotate the jig 90" and align its edge with the door's top edge or some molded detail in the door. Calif.lnstallation Low-budget water level An inexpensivewater level can be made out of a clear plastic l-gal.i in their mortises and become perfectly aligned to the door edge. -DAVID BORcRttl Seattle Straightedge Cuphinges I prior to I alignment i FINE HOMEBUILDING Photo this pagc: Andv Engel . as shown in the drawing below. The notch at the top of the jig is aligned with a pencil mark on a piece of tape that indicates the center of the drawer. In the application illustrated here. Insert the valve stem in the hole. Drawers of different depths require their pulls to be placed at different distances from their top edges-hence the series of holes. Simply pressa straightedge against the backs of the hinges. fit one end of the tubing over the stem. and add a few drops of food coloring to make the level easier to read. Before using the level. Vinyltubing Clear vinyl tape Jug \ z Ruler er level-\ Multipurposedoor-pulljig The drawing below shows a jig I use for quickly locating the screw holes for cabinet pulls. up from the bottom of the jug. and this one can be just the ticket for someone who doesn't need a water level often enough to justify buying a commercially manufactured one. And during use. drill a hole that is sized to acceptthe valve stem approximately 2 in.

* . butt it up to a wall. The movable part of a pipe clamp rides on each pipe.. A scrap of plywood atop the base cabinets provides a scissors surfacefor cranking the cabinet into position. pieces of 7c-in.. W E I S E R D a h l o n e g a .i n . The jacks have a 2x2 frame covered with %-in.pipe clamp \.G a . Calif. braced with 2x3 legs.c ':-. This may sound a little awhrard.-sq. ROY L. | fitted my jack sleeve with an old hole-sawarbor to raise and lower it with my electric drill. my rig consists of trryo5-ft.1 0 i n . I place the jacks about 6 in.iron pipe attached to a 2x4 frame by way of threaded pipe flanges. inside each end of the cabinet and set the cabinet on them. When itt right. lll. p..piece of 3/+-in. lfasten the cabinet to the wallthrough holesin the hang-rail. %-in..p" %-in.pipe clamp nipple ARM ASSEMBLY DETAIL G R E A TB U I L D I N G T I P S 2 0 0 6 73 . and slide a cabinet onto the arms.. Rubber feet keep the legs from slipping as I adjust cabinet height. use a jack. SAMUELSON Alameda.b y 1/z-in. Moving the legs in or out adjuststhe height.CABINET JACKS.. A 12-in. pipe n i p p l e . il I i JI Wall cabinet jack Scissors \ Hole-saw arbor -a-. To keep them plumb and level long enough to install them. but it's not in practice. . to support the arm assemblies. plywood and are ->l Zx2 frame K.D A R R Y L B . bushing tz-. working side up.n. plyrood covered with carpet and attached to the bottom and top of the jack protects the casework. RONDeLAURENTIS North Aurora._-4 3 // Pipe clamps As shown in the drawing to the right. I mark a level line on the wall to show the bottom of the cabinet._ UPPe. To use the jacks.cabinet '"'1 %-in.I place the frame on the floor. 2 // Legs I use these jacks to install 2x3 legs upper cabinets by myself.. I raise the cabinet either by grabbing the clamps and pulling upward while standing on the frame or by raising the cabinet by hand and holding it up with one arm while raisingthe clampsone at a time. long 1-in.t O in. I line the backs and tops of the jacks with carpet to keep them from scratchingthe walls..3 WAYS 1 ll Scissors lnstallingwall cabinets by yourself can be a dangerousjuggling act. T 1 .

I've eliminated a lot of expensive router bits and stock preparation. I've found that it's rarely the big srroke of genius that makes the difference. .Efficienc Guidelines B Y S V E NH A N S O N n my yearsas a cabinetmaker. By making frameless cabinets. and using production-oriented jigs.w i t h a m i n i m a l n u m b e r o f e x p e n s i v e tools and mistakes. Simplifying cabinet designs and standardizrngconstruction have made me feel a whole lot smarter. M . M o r r i s o n .N .G a . ordering the doors and drawer fronts from an outside vendor. Photo this page. a n d A l b u q u e r q u e . and you'll be able to go from shop drawings to finished cabinetsquickly and a c c u r a t e l y .e x c e p t w h e r e n o t e d . it's the avoidance of dumb mistakes. P h o t o sb y D a n i e l S . S v e n H a n s o n i s a c a b i n e t m a k e ri n M a r i e t t a . rather. Follow these guidelines. Robert Rcck 74 FINE HON4EBUILDING .

use finishedplywood panels. Simplify case construction (and cabinet installation)by setting the cabinet box on a platform framed in 2x material. S omeother smartcharacteri sti cs . With a drillingjig.i.Cabinet casesare made from 3/c-in. but they're adjustablein three directions. go to www. Use %-in. drawer-slidehardware is easyto install.i .For sticky drawers. For end-of-run cabinet sides.finehomebuilding. * Base cabinet Simplifythe joinery. Factory-applied finishesare an option. plywood backs to squarethe cases. Eliminatefixed shelvesin base cabinets. ONLINE EXTRA To see a video of Sven Hanson making story poles for a kitchen-cabinet job. Exposed screwsin case sides will be hidden when cabinets are joined together. B eforeI st ar t buildth e a mo u n to f ti m e n e e dedto bui l d a ki tchen. U p p e rc a b i n e t Doors and drawer fronts can be ordered in any size and in a wide variety of styles. two suchsuppliers for me to meet the quality/price are show nbelow. 'l-"' . Use full-extensiondrawer slides.cabinet doors doubles BUILD THE BOXES.l a k e s i demoul di ng.1 :&oiqa.com. is done with glue Assembly and 17a-in. The toe kick isn't part of the cabinet. BUT BUY THE DOORS Makins so I l et someone el sedo i t..com. Use concealedhinges. are www. makingthe doors easierto install. ^: tr. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 .Drawers and roll-out shelvesmake base cabinets more useful.scherrs ratio that a shop delivers. veneered plywood. (i n c l u d i n g lt 's har d i f speci fi ed) by the ti me l ' ve bui l t the cabi netcases. r eady They' reusually i n g c a b i n e tsI.c o ma n d w w w . but may be hard to match to cabinet boxes. trim screws. fl Use applied end panels. sanding a n d fi ni shi ng.They and are complex-looking more expensivethan other types of hinges. o rd e r d oors and draw erfrontsfrom an outsi desuppl i er.trim the drawer width where the slidesattach by moving the drawer box through a tablesaw with the blade height set at about 2 in.

tclr ff' !tl '{* ::::-:- When the varnish has dried. Edge trimmers normally trim both sides at once.com. 800-8 689663). To ensuregood adhesion. but working on 2x8 sheetsfirst will get the work done faster.vir utex.scuff the plywood edge bef orehand with 9)-grit sandpaper. but you'll get smoother resu/ts with wood if you show some respect for the grain. That's fine for vinyl edging. With the help of a spring clamp. I balancea strip on the top edge of the plywood sheet so that it overhangseach end. Iron on the edging. then iron toward the other end. I snapoff a bunch of 97-in. M y u s u a ls t r a t e g y i s t o r i p 4 x 8 s h e e t s o f p l y w o o d i n t o 2 x 8 p i e c e s . . and work one side at a time to avoid sp/its (www. Tip: Singte-edge razor great scrapbladesmake ersfor the edgebanding. s.b u t n o t t o o b i g . Using the plywood as a ruler. Y o u ' l l h a v e t o g o b a c k a n d a d d a l i t t l e e d g e b a n d ing after all the parts are cut. i then c/ean the dust from the surface. With the iron on a hot (linen) setting. I tack down one end of the edgeband.a s i z et h a t ' s e a s y t o f i n i s h a n d m o v e . Trim one edge at a time.FINISH BEFORE YOU START Edgebandia nn g da p p l y i na gf i n i s h a r eb e s td o n e t o b i g p i e c e s . Pull the tool apart.long strips. I knock down the bumps before applying a second coat. but I like to smooth the finish with a cabinet scraper. Sandpaperworks fine.

24 in.STICK WITH BASIC DIMENSIONStbesin the processby making a cutlis t of all t he pa rts l ' l l n e e d (sides. a n d 9 i n . . assembling. I prefer plywood over hardboard or medium-density fiberboard for the bottoms (and cabinet backs)because of its light weight.I fasten backsand bottoms directly When to the edge of the plywood with polyurethane construction adhesive and nailsor screws. from the following s iz es : 6 in. making precise crosscutting easy to do. as shown. My shopmade crosscut sled rides in the tablesaw's mitergauge slots. . Plywood cutoffs with square corners and lipped sides work well for clamping cabinet sides together or. w o rk well for drawers and toe-kick s t o c k . ". tops. 1 6 i n .a n d 1 8 i n . durability.1 2 i n . Instead. I use homemadecorner blocksand a low assembly table to keep things squareand at a comfortableworking height. The bottom is structural.ll/ GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . With a piece of A0-grit sandpaper glued in the rabbet. with front and back standing. subtract 1/a in.use the drawer bottoms to rack and hold the boxes square. A rabbeted sanding block allows me to do this quickly and neatly. backs. With the drawer sides assembled. I rough up the varnished surtace that receives the butt joint. W I T H S I M P L EJ O I N E R YA N D A L O W T A B L E S P E E DA S S E M B L Y I rarelyrabbet cabinetbacksor dado drawer bottoms.I u s e th a t d i v i d e bas icdim ens io n s well into a plywood panel. and ability to hold fasteners.Then. To avoid making crosscuts in full-size sheets of plywood. I wedge a side between to keep them steady while fastening the other side.l rrp sheets lengthwise.) and note the dimensions both on the cutlist and on an unfinishedend of the part ( ballpointink w i l l l a s t). etc. I use a drawer side as a gauge to space the blocks properly. for drawer assembly. bottoms. is good for base cabinets. To account for the sawkerf. work well for varying depths of upper-cabinet sides.tops. Cut plywood efficiently. then turn to crosscutting. Corner blocks are made with shop scraps. and bottoms. Cornerblocks Tip: Sandoff the finr'shthat will be glued.

Use a cordless drill to place shelf holes accurately. Set this template againstthe bottom of the cabinet./e* t.eFi'{i. #it' * I+'i .. -. {}.. ".s i z et e m p l a t e m a d e f r o m l/q-in. -'1.\^ i : '!11 l ... I si mpl ycol orc o d e th e h o l e sto m i n i m i z e m i stakes. .^.f a s t e n i n g s t r i p . and work your way up.*" ..This approach boosts your screw-driving comfort zone by allowing accessfrom front or back.. .1 T.I a v o i d a l o t o f m i s t a k e s b y u s i n g a f u l l .qcr. My template defines the positionsof the holes for drawer slidesin kitchen base cabinets (three.g-i a t . n d fi l e d ra w e rs too. .t fr€]\ .Je- l \ i.i n . * ' .^\.--'*' 6.. ". i . i ty c a b i n e tsa .'w ^-l lltl 113/d in..r Dr.'riD**€ '-'L"f.i{*. i:..3 f 0 . {Dtaq th.i i'l.':'-*' i a$i.{ srlo -_ eg30 t- A 20-in.'I. . B u t i n s t a l l i n ga l l t h a t d r a w e r h a r d w a r e c a n b e f i n i c k y b u s i n e s s ..r/G*.'r.. e.width allows the templar. Place the template so that it is flush with the front of the cabinet. Flip over the cabinet and template. . 21/z in.J ?i..i n . van- 7 a .ou *l /ltl 9l"e f.C"b.'} '.o u t u p g r a d e s .t J Ptrwar 61.. and drillholesin the other side."{e .. ooo Don't crawl into a cabinet to install drawer hardware. ts rr F/.. Glc.p -I" r. Tr? ti . i.^J: @) O 0lll Thi' R._-------->l to be used for a vanity cabinet. . P.> 3 i$ tso$ ' i Bolfer'l / c'Li"t ?"{^lt"'Ll . /*.'-.b o r i n g m a c h i n e .. F o r u p p e r c a b i n e t s w i t h a d j u s t a b l e s h e l v e s .h.'i"i' @@) .{ | Ll.Cu.n o t c h for face f rames ( N o t c h f o r 3 / t . ) t h a t a l i g n s h e l v e sa n d h a r d w a r e ..ll TLls Kew o-l Art R. .:^.€ @ @ o"t]r $F- .U S E D R I L L I N G T E M P L A T E S B e c a uIs e t h i n k t h a t b a s e c a b i n e t s w i t h f i x e d s h e l v e sa r e a s i n against common sense. CIo R. which I made with a piece of melamine o n a f r i e n d ' s l i n e .. l J s ^rtl. * J : Tip: lnstall the cabinet backs last after drilling holes and installing'the hardware.. 11/ain. r r R o u A r{l" . but working from the bottom up avoids any problems causedby a cabinetside that may have been cut a bit shorter than the other. *.ir r:iii r'. Do it on a bench instead.I fill them with drawers or r o l l . align the {ront edge. With the cabineton its side and the template wedged in place. Off-center holes allow the template to be used for f rameless or facef rame cabinets. with holes every 1 6 m m ( % i n . t t T ! . : '* 'ti:ri l!ii*r: .ii" 17ho in.* &.i . l)rrll Tx.I ensure accuratehole spacing by using a drilling template. {*a*r:r :.Y o u a l s o c a n buy a template from most woodworking stores for around $25. The template is symmetrical. "r.i.r.and four-drawer type).. itt 1.+. ial....r.I drillthe holesfor the drawer slides with a cordlessdrill. This template's spacing ensures consistency and lets you take advantage of the European cabinetmaking system. too.tL.1 78 FINE HOMETJUILDING ..plywood or melamine.

The bumpers ensure consistent setback on all the hinges. The two parts then snap or screw together.With the cup hinge squarely in the hole.and with hinges in the closed position. The best way to bore the cup holes is to use d 13h-in. will allow the door to overlay the cabinet frame fully without rubbing. Cup holes are drilled an equal distance from the end so that the stick can be flipped top or bottom. Baseplate rnounts to cabinet.The cup mounts to the door.INSHLL DOORS WITH A HINGE STICK European-styte hinses come in two piecesia cup and a baseplate. Without a benchtop drill press. Becausethey're two-part hinges. Ihis will ensure that all hinges are installed consistently. Forstner bit with a depth stop in a benchtop drillpress. Drill holes all the way through so that the stfck can be used for leftor right-hinging and as a drilling guide. the hinge stick can make a good drilling template if clamped to the door. but you certainly can be too far. Set up a fence with reference marks to ensure consistent alignment. or they wont snap together. About Vein. You almost can't be too close. Now you can installall the baseplates with the stick in the open position. lf all'swell. insert cup hinges into the holes. screwthe baseplates to the cabinet side. set one screw. Set the adjustable bumpers after the first set of hinges is in place and working well.it's crucialthat the correspondingpiecesline up. The cup hole must be close to the edge of the dool or the door will rub against the cabinet when opened and closed. and drive the baseplate screws. Adjustment screws Align the hinge stick with the top of the cabinet. Testthe operation of the hinge stick. My hinge stick keeps the distance between baseplatesand the setback from cabinet front consistent. adjust the bumpered screwsto the distancebetween the open door and the cabinet. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . drill pilot holes.To use it. and the baseplatemounts to the cabinet side.

my fingerswere blistered from twisting wire nuts.I had to install 1/z-in.The sitebuilt versionshown below was whipped up by electricianPhil Clements in 15minutes.Occali. Hung from a nail in a ceiling joist or door header. Photo this page:Charles Bickford . Philb wire spinner rotateson the washer ashe pulls and uncoils flat lengths of wire without twists or kinks. a clamp can be usedto squeeze a nail into the stud.assorted 2x4 offcuts.-ft. then attachedthe 24-in. He stapledshort lengths of Romex to createa loosecradle that holds a coil of wire asit comes from the box. Clamp-nailing Sometimesan elecffic oudet or switch box hasto go between a couple of studsthat are so closetogether. Halfway through the job. tall. \1 \\i/i \v! 2x4 base _ D A V E K O HL E R Clarks Summit. a few l6d nails.-long basepieces.Electrical Site-builtwire spinner Workmanlike wiring is easierto achievewith a wire spinner.l sionally.V a.addition to my home. For good bearing.That's Bottom vtew \ when I got the idea Sawkerfslot for wire-nut wings for this device. I made my little wrench out of lxl maple scraps. AI When space is tight. The hole in its business end hasslotson both sidesto accommodate the wings on the sidesof the wire nuts. In this case. Wire-nut wrench 1 Bent 16d nail hanger When wiring the 800sq. As shown in the drawing.C a l i f .Ireachfor a C-clamp. 5\ -RICHARD N E L S O N S a n L e a n d r o .there'sno room for a hammer or a drill bit.and short lengthsof Romex cable.I haveto drill holes in the sideof the box for \\/. pull nail into stud with a C-clamp.I useroofing nails during this operation. 80 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings: Charles Miller. the nails.a fender washer. S C OT T W A T KINA Srl i ngton.usinga handful of wire staples.The wrench'swide handle letsme get a firm grip to apply plenty of torque to the wire nuts.-dia. Pa. hole about 100duplex outletsand switches.Phil first nailed together a pair of 2x4sto make a post about 24 in. M.

Two conduits are important because householdcurrent wires aren't supposed to commingle with cable-TV. computer-qetwork wiring. _MIKEGUERTIN EastGreenwich.I've gotten into the habit of installing at least two 2-in. phone.I pull a few strings through the conduits to make wire-pulling easier. or other lowvoltage/communications wiring.To keep the messto a minimum. Running wires from a basement service panel to the second floor means punching holes in walls and ceilings.Mel made the rig out of sections of Yz-in. You have attack points from the basement and. and a threaded shaft at one end that fits into the chuck of his %-in. But I build and remodel a lot of two-story homes. 1/z-in. or a cable-TV jack is pretty simple in single-story homes. When the shaft turns. R.N . I try to incorporate conduits for future alterations while I have walls open./or the Outlet box attic to route wires through 4d nails walls.try using the jig shown in the drawing at right to position the boxes consistendy. position the boxesover the nails and placethe stick on the floor adjacentto the stud. the botde remainsstationaryasit catches the dust. In houses that I remodel. To usethe stick. -SANTO A . pine \ \ to the attic when I build a new house. pine.: cian has even had to use the conduits right away while installing the finish on a project when he forgot a home run for a lighting circuit. network. by %-in.rfl I w Section from plastic water bottle \ ) PVC sleeve ElectricianMel Minor installsa lot of recessed light fixtures in ceilings. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 81 . conduits from the basement or service panel up 3/+-in. he makesthe circular cutoutswith the clever contraption in the drawing at left.l.In some cases. joined with couplings.The water botde is glued to a sleeve made of PVC pipe. galvanized Clean cuts for recessedcans . a switch. I N S E R R AJ a m e s t o w n .this tool is actually a jumbo hole saw affixed to a pipe extension. galvanizedpipe. Although it looks like a harpoon. KATZ Reseda.My electri. And if I'm feeling especially generous. he hasto cut a hole in the drywall aswell asmount a fixture in the ceiling joists.Electrician's stick The next time you have to affix electricalboxesto stud framing for switchesor outlets. _GARY M. I flag the conduits in the attic with fluorescent orange surveyors'tape so that future installers can locate them. Now you can nail the box to the stud. Calif. by 3/+-in. Planningfor unknown wiring alterations Adding a new electrical oudet. Y .I\[ nfi .drill.water botde. As a result. I make the jig out of a strip of 3/+-in. Two pairsof 4d nailsdriven through the stick correspondto the threaded holesin the boxes. and the height will be right everytime. I also label the conduits at the service panel so that the homeowners know what they are for. Beneathhis hand is a hefty sectionfrom a plastic5-gal.

I made the socketis almost alwaysout of position. hooks. and you're asnecessary.Then I hold the gaugeagainstthe flood-lamp bulbs requestedby -y client trim ring and either raiseor lower the socket virtually filled the light-fixture's cavity. a weighted string. removing it to adjust Socket adjustsup its To setthe depth of a socket. I shoved the contraption into the hole in the plate as far as it would go. and an angled hole through the wall plate into the proper stud bay from the eellar. I installeda row of recessed-light finished. to useonly my fingertips making it necessary gauge Hold against Cardboard in business. to do this job. lashing around inside the wall and entangling the weighted string left dangling from the bell-push hole. bulbs imagine. By the time I fixtures in a On a recentjob. I was convinced that there had to be a better way kitchen ceiling.Iloosen the position of the socketto my bestguess. severalof theseexpensive I socket depth. TrP I neMoDELTNG Rotaryfishingrod When fishing a wire for a doorbell. As you might gau9e trim ring to set -B E R T D A WKI NS N.the whole installationlooks light-fixture'strim ring. to screw the bulbs in and out. At 1200 rpm. FINE HOMEBUILDING . Y.If the bulb positions on the a Tlshapeddepth gaugethat registers are not the same. and so forth. Through this hole I inserted a 15-in. dowel about a foot long. but I couldn't find the wire either. from one end. light fixture Recessed-can from the socketto T is equal to the distance The first time I did this. Folding the ends of the wite so that they stuck out ahead of the dowel like antennae. profanitlr. Nor t hpor t . When I pulled the drill back through the hole in the prate' rfound ":'J::il'::::f[Ti'H":::*". and probes.by the time a fixture is installedand the trim is attached. I spent a lot of time the faceof the lightbulb.EleCtriCal (continued) bulb sockets Adjusting recessed-can were casualtiesof this awkward handling. Itried fish tape. bell wire. As shown in the drawing at left. I then chucked the other end of the dowel into an electric drill. Ceiling Tighten the wing nut. piece of bell wire that I secured with a squaneknot. yet will stayput withthis was helped by the fact that the R-40 out support.Thesefixtures haveadjustablebulb sockets. I made the fishing rod shown at left. As my last attempt before ripping off clapboards. leaving the trro ends equal. the ends of the wire whipped out centrifugally. I couldn't find any obstruction. R-40bulb bracket'swing nut enough sothat the socket reinstalling the bulb. Starting with a piece of l/r-in.hole acrqssthe diameter about 7a in. None of face will slideup and down. I ran into a seemingly impossiblesituation. But try as I might I couldn't get a wire from one to the other. The verticalleg of the sloppy. installingthe first bulb. I'd drilled the hole for the bell push. The solution was simple. Generally.so it's important to get them uniform. bead chain. I drilled a %e-in. and down.. and turned on the drill.

The cookie sheetshields the ceiling. glancing off an old floor joist. I keep an extinguisher on hand. The resulting joint is so strong it almost makes the mechanical fasteners redundant.I don't let the flame get anywhere near something flammable. As shown in the drawing below. I used rope and a couple of wood blocks. ash. After running a bead of silicone around the rim of the sink. both sides '.A. Will this solder ever meltl I don't take any chances when it comes to soldering in a wooden building. _JOHN CARROLL Durham. and even more important.Plumbing Cookiesheet rests on brackets. and it can be wired to the rebar and spreaders at the top of the forms to stay in place during the pour. cRoss SECTION Through-wall pipe couplings Running pipe or conduit through a poured-concrete foundation wall with no gaps to patch and without cutring holes in the forms sounds too good to be true. As shown in the drawing above. GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . shortening the ropes and drawing the sink upward with even pressure exerted around the entire rim. and some wood smoke fills the air. Conn. as shown in the drawing. the brackets protect the joists. \ discarded galvanizedsteel ducts. Then I threaded a length of small-diameter rope through a hole in each brace and through the drain holes. Photo this page:Tom O'Brien Couplings at both ends This unit will fit snugly between the forms. flush with the wall and ready for another length of pipe.( i Wood block Rotate blocks to raise sink.\ i Caulkingan undermount sink in place I needed to affix a stainless-steelundermount sink to a granite counter that was already installed on its cabinet bases. I rotated each block.I placed a wood cross brace over each bowl of the sink. On the underside of the sink. _ANDREW SHEPPARD Madison. Rather than rely on a bunch of braces and shims to wedge the sink in place.One of the problems presented by the situation was how to get a good silicone-caulk seal between the underside of the counter and the rim of the sink. -D. FLEURy C u r l e wW . Cut a piece of the pipe you need.C. When the forms are pulled awa\tyou have a coupling embedded on each side. I use a pair of brackets to support an old cookie sheet when I'm working overhead. Wood crossbraces s i l . Pipe-soldering blast shield Anybody who has ever sweat-soldered copper pipes at close quarters in a wooden house knows the feeling: The torch flame dances around the fitting. the rope runs through a wood block under each drain tailpiece. and attach couplings to both ends so that the total length of pipe plus couplings exactly matches the thickness of your wall. N. until you've tried this trick. and the solder can melt whenever it wants without me worrying about it.

The plumber had threadedthe line under the pipe. R.schedule 40 or 80.I ran a 2-in. handle alsofundions asa.I saw out of the cornerof my eyea plumber doing what looked like an aerobicexercise while standingshoulder deepin a narrow ditch. Once the foam has cured.I now use lowexpansion urethane foam to fill the gap around the pipe.he just had made a perfectlystraightcut through the pieceof pipe.I affixed a small handle. _ C R A I GS A V A G E Carpinteria. At backfill time.The pipe was almosttotally buried in the narrow ditch. he gaveme one of thoseyou-ignorant-dweeb looks and repliedthat he was cutting a piece of 4-in.by %-in.depthstop.The drainpipewas% in. I pulled out the cutter and setthe screwa little deeper. too long.the handle rests atop the end of the pipe. same stuff I use to seal cracks and crevices throughout the house to reduce air leaks. ABS plasticdrainpipe.l. But lately.asshown in the drawing.Because the clearance around the drainpipeamountedto no more than about % in.I apply a layer of roof cement to the outside of the wall. Then he useda quick sawing motion to cut-maybe burn is a better lsyrn-ths pipe in half.no saw of mine would be ableto trim the drain below the surface of the showerpan. Sureenough. ^ Trimming pipes in place Seal a drain penetration in a foundation wall I've been searching for a better way to seal the gap around a drainpipe where it exits a foundation wall. Instead of mortar. the pipe wasglued in place.he was rapidly pulling back and forth on a pieceof nylon mason's line. on eachside. With sweatrunning down his face.The method Nylon Pipe. drywall-screw cutter Twist handleto cut pipe from inside. When I askedhim what he was doing.and the plumber was long gone. care must be taken to prevent damage to the flashing.I'd cut through the pipe.For a cutter.In use. This extra care has presented no problems. \ \: 84 FINE HOMEBUILDING .or the line will seizein the melted kerf. -WALTER GORR Pittsburgh. mason's is equally usefulfor flush-cuttinga pipe line where it emerges from a wall or a slab. _ M I K EG U E R T I N EastGreenwich.which alsofunctioned asa depth stop.I lap the tar over the edges of the flashing to promote a better seal. erYr \ ) Drainpipe Roof ventstackflashing tar Urethane foam Cutting plastic pipe While on one of my daily inspection tours of the job site. To this pieceof wood. plumbing inspectors have been frowning on this practice becauseany shift in the soil during frost cycles can crack a rigidly installed pipe.I madea tubing cutter that works from the insideof the pipe.I useda drywall screw. 4 ') A I It turns out that mason's line will cut ABS Plast \ and PVC pipe. The standard technique that most builders in my area use is to pack the gap with mortar or hydraulic cement. in a positionthat would havebeen tough to reachwith evena reciprocalsaw. the kind of roof cement that you spread with a trowel. 2-in. or up and down asthe case may be.I sawthe problem. Calif. This is the Foundation wall Hole in foundation S o i ll i n e As I setthe plasticshowerpan into its mortar bed.Plumbing (continued) A3A-in. pumping back and forth. In no time.-thick layer of roof tar.As shown in the drawing above. Pa. To solvethe problem of cutting the pipe.Don't stop. After a few turns. The trick to doing it right is to useenoughline so that you can make long passes.Then I turned the device with the point of the drywall screwbearing againstthe insidesurface of the pipe. and I've had great luck with the results. drvwall screw through a small block of wood. This is the thick stuff. Then I slip a roof ventstack flashing over the pipe and bed the flashing in a %-in.

These valves normally are used for outdoor faucets and are available in both 8-in. I then cut one of the halvesin two. lengths. -BRUCECALDERWOOD viaemail Hole saw Screws cutting teeth ( \ GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 85 . which penetrates the rim joist before joining a P-trap in the basement. I start by cutting a coupling in half. alif. made for ABS and PVCpipe. I PVC-pipe patch To fix a leaking joint in a PVCwater-supplyline. protected from the cold by the warm interior of the house and its insulation. The ratio should be about 600lo to 40o/o.-longhole in the EPS (foam) coreof a stress-skin panelin order to installa vent pipe for a kitchen sink.long attachedto my Yz-in.-dia. I shut off the water and drain the line to let the joint dry out. using a pieceof the samepipe that would end up in the hole. pipe in a 2%-in. so I made my own.frostproof sill cocks HOUSE SIDE wall Shared Hot and cold supplylines Trap To building drain Garage floor I REMoDELTNG TrP LeakingPVCwater pipe 1. Cutsection away from halved coupling.Y. -JlM FRANDEENSoquelC . so I decided to install one in my attached garage workshop. Three drywall screws through the slotsin the sideof the hole saw secured the ABS. Whether it be for washing paintbrushes or just for scrubbing my dirty hands. and l2-in. -KARL JUULGlenmont N . The supply lines run up from the basement inside the shared wall. Some glue should squeezeout. Coat with glue. then snap modified coupling onto pipe and slide against leak. It easilycut a hole in the foam that was the exact sizel needed. to both the pipe joint and the patch. Presto!I had a holesaw 8 ft. I snap the patch over the pipe and slide it hard against the leaky joint. Putting the P-trap in the basement keeps its contents frorn fr eezing.It fit perfectly. horizontal PVC drainpipe. Cut coupling in half. With the factory-edge side of the modified coupling toward the leak. BecauseI live in a cold climate and wanted to use the sink year-round. Z-12-in. hole saw. frost protection was mandatory. I mounted the other end of the 2-in. Let it dry overnight. A coworker useda Surform planeto sharpenthe teeth. I don't know of any off-the-shelfbits or hole sawsdesignedfor a task like this. and the water line is readyfor use. making sure to remove the stop in the middle.My solution was to locate a plastic laundry sink on the wall shared with the house and to use frostproof sill cocks for the hot and cold water supplies. Then I apply multipurpose glue. .With my coping saw. y' 2. with the larger piece just big enough not to break as it is pushed onto the pipe like a C-clip.UNHEATED GARAGE Freezeproofinga garage sink Every shop needs a slop sink.I cut teethin the end of a pieceof ABS pipe. 3. Hole Hawg drill. Drilling holes in EPS I neededto drill an 8-ft. the slop sink has been a satisfying addition to the workshop. The tailpiece from the sinkt drain takes a 90o turn by way of a lVz-in.

I seta pile of inverted shinglesagainstthe lx3 stop.I coverthe membrane'with a pieceof flashing that runs from the edgeof the roof sheathingto the middle of the fascia. Because waterproof membranes aren't rated for exposure to sunlight.By settingthe cut tableon a pair of sawhorses. 1x4 prop _BRUCE GUERTIN Coventry.-widestrip of %-in. and I cut a 3-ft.but they can't get through the gap. -I found other shingle-cutting uses for the table. Photo this page: Roe A.by 3-ft. \. dams.by 7-in.Then I adjusted the blade on my utiliry knife so that it just scribedthe surfaceof one shingle when I ran it along the 7-in. Osborn. Z-ft.I could work with it at a comfortableheight.. I was done cutting the startersin half the time it ordinarily takesme. FINE HOMEBUILDING . Drawings. triangular framing square (sometimes calleda Starter SpeedSquare)against strips the stop. ass. my brother askedme to cut several bundlesof shingles into starterstrips to usealong the eaveand rake edges. cxccpt whcre notcd: Charlcs Millcr.-long by 7-in. repetitivecrosscuts rip guide for rake starters or 1x3 stop trim shinglesfor ending courses at walls. A lx4 prop on the undersidetilted the table to a better position.Roofi ng Shinglecut table On a recent roofing job. C H U C KG R E E N A s h l a n dM . By resting al2-in. R. tt'.I made a simplecut tableby nailing a lx3 along the bottom edgeof a 2-ft. OSB asa rip guide for cutting shingles.l. scrap of plywood or OSB Roof sheathing Waterproof membrane Drip edge Membrane covers gaP. by 3-ft. scrapof 3A-in. ice buildups forming up from the gutter might get under the drip edge. "\ Fascia lce-dam prevention The drawing aboveshowshow to modify the typical roof-edgedetail to sealthe gap betweenthe fasciaand the roof sheathingfrom ice . As shown in the drawing below.too.With this detail.I could make accurate 3-ft. orientedstrandboard (OSB). guide. I run waterproof membrane a couple of inchesdown the fascia to a point below the top of the gutters.

This technique is simpler to do than it is to describe. don't forget to start with a full tab or a half tab at the rake. which you will lift out of your way to allow the lower course to tuck under it. courses from the eave. depending on whether you have an odd or even number of courses to lay. Quite to the contrary. In reroofing. exposureon the first row and a normal 5-in. but tacked along the top only. snap a line below the ridge that gives you a comfortable reach. To prevent shinglebuildup on the typical 5-in. and in my experience. The trick is to have several starter courses and initially to nail these shingles at the top only. Originalroof \ - nias"r@ THE WRONG WAY ==F Photo this page:Bill Phillips GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 . trim the first row of new shinglesto 5 in. -JACK McGHIE TucsonA . you can nail the initial srarter course of shingles in the normal fashion. E M A N U EJ LA N N A S C H Halifax. They'll also be convenient ro remove on your way down. and butt them againstthe bottom edge of the old coursesabove. exposurefrom there on. you can fasten the duckboards and scaffold supports directly to the deck without special brackets. N. as defined by the shingle exposure. The line should be an exact number of Have you ever noticed the wavy pattern on a roof with two layers of asphalt or fiberglassshingles? This is due to the uneventhicknessof the shingleswhere they overlap. As you prepare to nail down this second srarter course. Your new roof now will lie flat. Now nail your first course of shingles with the lower edges following the line. and the second row to 10 in. For example. again within a comfortable reach.Start first course with nailsonly I nEMoDELTNG TrP Asphalt-sh ing le reroofing Tucklower course under this row. if need be.. Shingle upward from this course to the ridge in normal fashion. As shown in the drawing abbve. Theseshingleswill work as spacersthat allow the new roof to start a different overlap pattern that misses the old bumps.which can create as many as six thicknesses. and it always gives a better roof. there is an additional advantage: Becausedebris slides down over only the old roof.Canada Shinglingfrom the top down A lot of people think I'm kidding when I sing the praises of shingling a house from the ridge down. shingling a roof from the top down (we're talking asphalt shingles here) can be faster than going from the eavesup. Repeat this sequenceas often as necessary to reach the eave. Move your staging down. On a hot day.though. without fear of damaging the roof. starting at the ridge and working down savesyou from walking over the materials you just applied. the wear and tear on an asphalt roof can be considerable. you can redo only as many courses at a time as you feel comfortable removing. This method lets you butt the new shinglesagainstthe bottoms of the old. Shingle upward to the initial starting course. make sure the courses on the old roof are straight.. On roofs requiring staging. riz. exposure roof.S. First.with a 3-in. With the lower course safely nailed in place. and snap another line an exact number of courses below your first one. ) Second starting coursebegins an equal numberof exposures below the first row of shingles. this method becomes part of the permanent repertoire of all who try it.

lay its bottom edgealong this line. 1 First.This stepmay'bedifficult with somenewer laminatedshingles: A 5O-year shingle with a 110-mphwind warranty has an aggressive adhesivebond. I positionthe guide so that the stopblockscatch the butts of the previouscourseof shingles.-wids et o p b l o c k . long by % in. To make the guide.I haveto removefour more nails driven through the courseabove. and I draw a line along the top of the guide to locate the butts of the next course. Morrison Exposure plus 1 in.they'll pop right out. In the winter. nail nexr ro the holes.slip in a new shingle. I affix l-in.ROOfing (continued) Removinga damaged shingle Someroof repairs-nail pops. Mass. Markingguide 1-in. This process is bestdone while shinglesare cool enough not to melt underfoot and warm enough not to crack. plywood. hio Cedar-roofshinglingguide A few yearsago at a cedar-shingle manufacturer'sseminar.4-in. -STEPHEN HAZLETT AkronO .Jong. In the summer. plus I in.Isetthe courses to a pencil line that I mark using a simple guide made out of a 4-ft. 3 Before I remove the shingle. sealdown all the loosenedshingle tabswith a dab of sealant. 4 Now I can pull out the damagedshingle. Photos this page: Daniel S.I snapa chalkline everyfew courses.thick stopblocksto the undersideof the plywood at eachend asshown in the drawing at left. 2 With the bondsbroken.As a control.Icut the adhesive strip with a pry bar. length of %-in. In these cases.I can removethe four nails holding the damagedshingle.m. break the bond createdby the seal-downstrips below and on the two courses above the shingleyou want to remove. When I do install wood shingles.I rip the plywood to a width equal to the exposureof the shingles. Next.-wide.While your caulk gun is handy.and put a dab of sealant over the old holes.and renail all the loosened shingles. guide up.for example-require replacing singleshingles. but the guide providesa reference line for nailing on the leadingedge.I handlethis part of the repair before8 a. This guy was nailing so fast that the entire room burst out laughing. Insread. When refastening shingles. and that levelof skill isn't in the cardsfor me. and mark anotherline along the top of the guide. thick 88 FINE HOMEBUILDING .Roofing is only part of my repertoire. though. 4 i n . the shingles coverthis line asthey'relaid down.I move the . -ARNE WALDSTETN Great Barrington. don't pur new nails in the old nail holes.Removing the damagedshingle without damaging the surrounding shinglesis the tricky part. I do only emergencyrepairs.the local rep showeda film of a real professional installingshingles. Of course. to 5-ft.Vz-in.

The bent ends of a 1O-ga.as shown in the drawing below. Calif. copper wire Length equals half of double coverage. long and a2x4 block and two 4x4blocks.. The rest of the wire hook passesunder the replacementslate and hangson the top edge of the slate directly beneath it.N. thread over a roofing nail driven halfway into the roof. To prevent this problem. Attach the blocksto the strip by nails driven through the back of the either 36-in.or lx4. Slate-roof repair The drawing above showsmy method for replacinga broken roof slatewithout exposed wire. but shingles within reachasthey awaiting installationtend to slide. space betweenthe blocksaccommodates hole. and the overlaps it. 4x4 blocks. I use a sheet of 6-mil poly to act as a combinationprotective barrier and tarpaulin. ME D LIN N. TIPS I REMoDELTNG a-' -.-dia.-/ - a -- Shinglecleanup Stripping the old shinglesoff a houseis a messyjob by anypiecesof cedar or asphalt The accumulated body's standards. : "' Wire hook Centerline of holes Exposure plus half of double covera9e CARROLL Durham. -R A N D Y E . -JOHN rr':. G R E A TB U I L D I N G T I P S 2 0 0 6 . lm shingles. This arrangement savesa lot of cleanuptime and leavesmy clientssmiling. tend to rain down around the house. A 40-in. C. Laurinbur g.3r/zin.I the shingle --\.The distancefrom the bottom edge of the slate to the centerline of the holes equalsthe exposureof the slate plus half its double coverage(that portion of the course where three slates overlap one another)./' . roofing nail. '(/. holder.:i just pound in that nail all the way.I usea shingleholder made up of a strip of lx4 about 8 ft..which I At the top of the 1x4. After removingthe broken slate. -CHAR LIE WOODHOUSE Kensington. drill a pair of holes in the new slate. making sure that the top edge of the poly is doubled and wrapped around the horizontal 2x4. I placethis nail just abovethe top of the groove of the shingleI've already Holder is installedin the previous securedby a Shinglesrest on partially driven When I move course.often damagingfragile landscaping..C.To keep shingles are installed... Wire hook made of 1O-ga. next course .S h i n g l eh o l d e r Roofswith a 5-in-12to a 7-in-12pitch can be walked.long.I drilled aVz-in.. I staple the poly to the top piece of a 2x4 frame. copper-wirehook passthrough the holes.

They would shrink eventually.I decided to try reviving the shingles with a very soft wire brush. rhar problem is a thing of the past. and try as I might. 1 in. Nail as safety stop tally backing out of the guide. With steel corners. or primer. RICHARD D A R B YM e r l i nO . 2 ) Cutting vinyl soffit and siding marerial can be done quickly and accurately with a saw guide.I brushed all the shingles around each window about a foot out from the casings.Siding A site-madesaw guide for cutting vinyl 1x shiplap siding Kert marks cutline. REED Doylestown. The steel corners hold paint beautifully. it goes missing. and I have to improvise. Pa. I brushed with the grain. I first tried a small spot in an unobtrusive place and found that the shingles had a nap like suede or velvet. though. evidence that any work had been done was 1 . _WILL RUTTENCUTTER Valdosta.I screwed them to the 2x6s. I've taken to installing custom-made steel corners. which further damaged their faces.f o l d s 2Vzin: Insidecorner at bay window Outside corner at bay window barelynoticeable. To complement their clean look. This material is i-nexpensiveand comes in brown. Brushing with the grain pushed all the fibers back into the grain lines that emerge as the shingles weather with age. rr t ShingleTLC I had to replace windows in a 30-year-old house that was covered with cedar shingles. Also.inyl soffit or sidingmaterial -----? 7 S5w base rides siding rabbets.a nail acts as a safety stop to keep the saw from acciden- a-- -'. With the 1x6 pieces set at a distance equal to the width of my saw's base. rr. re.i n . Clean cornersfor manufacturedsiding I've been installing a lot of nonwood siding over the past few years. with their rabbeted edges facing one another.I found it impossible not to scar some of the shingles with my ladder. This setup made a nifty little slide guide for cutting vinyl siding or squaring lx or 2x stock. _RICHARDE. As shown in the drawingr l cut two pieces 33 in. white.I usually have a commercially available guide on site.and then I spraysd them lightly with a hose to clean the wall.laid them upside down atop a couple of 2x6s.leaving a cracked caulk joint. long and. In one such instance. the corners have flanges that are nailed to the wall and act as integral flashings in caseany moisture gets behind the siding. Ga.I had to remove some shingles to trim them. In the near 2x6. of fine particles.. A local metal shop makes the corners from steel gutter stock. such as cementbased and hardboard lap siding. Before I started using these corners.I used cedar corner boards. As shown in the drawing below. Once in a while. Outside corner Insidecorner 90 FINE HOMEBUILDING . When everything dried.7----/ V. The siding abuts the projecting corner of the metal trim details. starting at the top and working down. After thinking about the problem. The sawkerf in the far 2x6 indicares rhe cutline.I noticed a few scraps of 1x6 shiplap siding on the burn pile.

I laid the metal tight against nails Finishing the trim and held it with a few finishingnails. it's a good idea to remeasure becauseerrors have a tendency to accumulate. /p-Roof angle Markthe bottom edge of the top clapboard. -MIK E GU E R TIN E ast R. l. I cut a piece of scrap sheet metal into a strip about 8 in.H.and extend the mark acrossall the clapboards.Then I rubbed a pencil along the edge of the metal. As shown in the drawing. -*t4fif 4t:.and you're ready to make the cut (l Problem:Lay out and power suggesta 1O-in. mark the edge of the top clapboard.flip the square. After about 15 clapboards. and pressedfirmly. gang-cut the clapboards miter saw for this). 4-in' exPosure First.. While the points of the clapboardsstill are lined up.the splineslap the lower course by th in. The back of the clapboardnow had a perfectly curved cutline to follow with my jigsaw. align the -exposuremark (in this case4 in. and guide any water that enters the joint to the outside of the clapboards. slide a squarealong the bottom edge of the top clapboard.As shown in the drawing. Gang-cuttingangled clapboards The next time you're cutting clapboardsthat run from a vertical window or sidewallto a rake board. _RICK BOISVERT North Dartmouth. Tar-papersplinesensure a leakproof joint Placedunder each butt joint and at the windows. Greenwich. Cut the roof angle on one end of five clapboards(l stack them and cut them all at once with an 8%-in.CLAPBOARD SIDING Scribing curved clapboard ends I had to apply clapboardsto the side of a garage that has arched doors. held a clapboardagainst it. as shown in the drawing. Measurethe first clapboard. wider than the curvedtrim. long and % in. find the exposure with a square. _RANDALL SMITH Barrington. extend the mark across all the clapboards. Now. Mass.) with the edge of the clapboardend. / Now. Next. Slide the boards so that the pointed ends line up with the marksabove them. between the window Rake board and the rake board. which meant that I had to cut the ends of the clapboards to match the changingarc of the trim around the doors. I think the method I came up with to mark the curve worked out better than the typical scribing technique.-47-'z'Z::V \. 'l . N. try this trick. circularsaw). spread the boards so Photo this page: Andy Engel GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 .

In this way.one person staples the housewrapto the wall while another penion stays out front.""jl. At that point. -K EN D A L L GtF F o R D P u tn eV y. 2 i n .unroll about 15 ft. clapboard cally on the wall. 1x shelfset to appropriateheight FINE HOMEBUILDING Photo this page:Randy O'Rourke . PRYKAN Garfield Heights. A bunch of theseshelves can be made from rejectedshingles and scraps of lx6s or Taper shinglefor lx8s.Siding (continued) Shingleshelf When wood-shinglinga roof or a sidewall. nr". Then lstaple it in place. Cutting the top cornersoff the shingle easy insertion under installed shelfmakesit easyto slip under courses.M a s s . Here's how I use a stick and a C-clampto install housewrap by myself. lifting it until the bottom of the clapboard reaches the lip formed by the butt of the bottom shingle. aligning the marks with the bottom edges of the last course of clapboards. insteadof down by your feeton the staging.joint l6talled here. _LAWRENCE E. the springiness of the shinglepops the hanger '. Check I attach the hangersverti. In this case. Ohio Hanging clapboardsby yourself With several site-made Deck screws hangerslike the one in with finishing washers the drawing at right.the other person is a 1x3 with a small crossbarto act as a shelf for the roll of housewrap.. ljust give it an outward twist at the top edge.keepinga readysupplyof shingles closeat hand can be a problem. This springsthe shingleaway from the wall.holding it in place. rolls of housewrapare ideal for solo work. I unroll a couple of feet to staft. 3d shinglenails WORKING ALONE Solo housewrapping Carpentersend up doing a lot of four-handed operations with only two hands. Now l'm free to slide the clapboardas needed to determine cut marks. To use the setup. and lean the rig against the wall. I can handle unwieldylengthsof clapboard by myself. washerswill keep a hanger overlap jamming from pivoting and as I position a clapboard on Cedarshingles with 1-in.t o 3 i n .To remove a clapboard. under the clapboard. The 54-in. unrolling the roll and keeping the housewrapsmooth and level. allowing me to drop the clapboardout of the hangerfrom any distanceon the wall. I use lumber offcuts to prop up the thing when I hit some low spots. t. Typically. I clamp the shelf at a point that correspondsto the bottom of the housewrapwith the 1x3 resting on the ground and leaning againstthe wall. Alignmentmark I install a clapboard from below. offset the house.The simple shelfshown herecan be secured by tucking the taperedtab under an alreadynailed courseof shingles. -CHRIS E L L I S B r e w s t e r .Two short deck screwsrun through finishing Z-in. shingles can be kept conveniently close to the height at which you are working.

5 Afirsides and top to cleats. centers.-widegalvanized steel.The roof is a clapboard sizedappropriately. The sidesare trim stock . Once I had a board in place.-deep kerf in eachedge. -J O NATHAN DAVI ES Queensland. 4 etti" cleats above and to sides of vent flap.with platesat top and bottom and a midrail. The neighboring board accepts the protruding spline. I ran eachpieceof siding over my tablesaw to cut a l-in. The "birdhouse"is made from scrap clapboards and trim stock. W I L LH E S C H Atascadero.I usea bearingguided flush-trimming bit in a small router to trim the overlapping shingle asthe bearing follows the profile of the guide shingle. 4 1 x 6s i d i n g 8-ft. -ED W E B E R L o c u s t v i l l eV .takes little time to fabricate. I positionit sothat the roof nestles direcdy under a clapboard or flashit with a thin strip of copperif needed. This method gets the most out of the width of a board. _-__z_ 7 o$r-*nt holehasbeencut in clapboard siding. Calif. a. Australia 2 hstatlvent flap. 5 rri^ birdhouse sidesto scribe marks. then sizethe box to allow the vent flap to open.or whateverelseI'm covering to function. As illustrated. commonly usedto strap togethershipmentsof bulky goods(thin stripsof nylon or plasticalsocould be used). Guide shingle ---") Router-scribed shingles f've seena number of tips for cutting outside cornerson shingledwalls.suchasthe dryer vent pictured here.and really impresses clients. When I'm facedwith unsightly holesin the walls.I kept nailsaway from the splinesand left a little play between adjacentboardsto allow for wood expansion. These boxesnot only solve little problemsbut alsoare a lot of fun to build. For the splines.My wall framing consists of 4x4son 2-in. scribedto the profile of the clapboards. Leave bottom open. and the front is clapboards with half the revealof the wall they're mounted on.Iused2-in. 3 Scribe birdhouse sides to clapboard profile.but none is assimple or asfoolproof as the method shown in the drawing above. Finishwith siding scraps.I inserteda fulllength splinein the kerf.5/4 cedarin this case.I offer to concealthem with this simplebit of craftsmanship.S p l i n e ds i d i n g I sheathed my workshop with 1x6boardsjoined with galvanizedsplines. galvanizedsteel spline Birdhousevent box I often remodel or add on to older wood-clapboard houses. Hidden cedar cleats are usedfor attachment. GREATBUILDING TIPS2006 .

driving the nails just far enough to support the fascia. The jigs hold the fascia in approximately the right place while I adjust it for alignment and nail it in place. .i n . Z Framedand sheathed wall Stealth venting for a traditional boxed eave Ordinary strip or button-type soffit venrs can ruin the look of a complex eave detail.Trim Roof sheathing Blocking for crown --\ . Then I lower the fascia into the slots in the jigs (cut the slots a little oversize to prevent binding). A colleague recommended using a piece of rosin paper to encircle the column at the required length.R O B E R T W E A T H E R A LlL pswich M . C FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawing top right: Rick Daskam . When the edges of the paper were aligned. alif. Instead. one person can do it comfortably.centers 8 .a galvanized16dnail with the other hand. Note in the section of the column how I angled the jigsaw a'bit to create a slight back cut.-dia.w o o d c o l u m n Frieze // .I marked my cut and used a jigsaw to lop off the unwanted portion of the column. Hangingfasciaboards Even with two people. ensuring a tight fit where the column sits on its base.it can be pretty precarious out thereon the end of a rafter.I hold the frieze board off the wall sheathing with spacer blocks.1 Corrugatedvent strip Circulating air ---------v Sidingtucts --// behind frieze.rt' Marking a squarecut on a round column Recently. W i s .I mulled over my options. . wood column to length. Becausethe column was too big for my miter box and needed to be cut exactly square. a hidden vent strip allows air to enter and circulate into the rafter bays. ass.strainingto supporta heavyfascia board with one hand while trying to line up a mitered cornerand sink..d i a . M o L Z A H NO r e g o n . I tack one jig near each end of the fascia. Rafter tail Soffit nailerblock Bedmolding Spacerblockson Soffit tb-in. . ''t"'' .I had to cut an 8-in. With the help of a simple jig. such as the one shown above. -NEAL BAHRMAN Ventura . Special blocking attached to the rafter tails provides nailing for the Column section inside edge of the soffit and for the flat crown molding.P A T R I C KA .

Withour priming. The rest of the gutterl I'll use it for drip edges on my next project. By ripping some lengths of aluminum gutter. _JACKMURPHY Pittsburgh. Prime end-grain cuts during construdion. stock._j=) RIGHTWAY Backerboard Caulk Trim board l-in.a l u m i n u m n a i l Backerboard WRONG WAY Caulk Trim board Caulkneeds help to stay flexible Caulk that is allowed to bond to all sides of a joint cannot expand and contract without becoming unstuck. Drawing bottom left: Christopher Clapp G R E A TB U I L D I N G T I P S 2 0 0 6 95 . 1. Ril ("' 2. As shown in the drawing above. _ J O H N M I C H A E LD A V I S New Orleans Aluminumfascia . and it worked grear. Priming boards can be a potential headache for carpenters. I ripped the gutter into two portions. Then I drilled through this folded edge on l2-in. A paint pad also lives in the container. Drill nail holes on 12-in. A foam backer rod enables caulk to behave like an accordion in responseto seasonalexpansion and contraction. Fold flap upward. zero-maintenance crown mold- \. Roof sheathing | 1 . Pa._ smaller container. Now when the carpenters are running exterior trim. N 3. so I devised a simple system to make the processgo as smoothly as possible.i n . as shown in the drawing below.I backprime exterior components such as fascia boards wirh 100% acrylic primer. end-grain splices will last over the long haul. Save this piece for drip edge.centers.-wide flap on rhe crown-molding pieces. But what about the ends of these boardsl If they also are primed and caulked together. ings that match the gutrers. centers for nails.leaving a Extend the life of exterior trim by priming the end-graincuts For maximum durability. N.I bent this flap by hand over a piece of Vz-in.Plastic container with lid keeps primer from drying out. I didn't have to look far.I needed a crown molding for the gable-end bargeboards. _ B Y R O NP A P A Durham.C. and in doing so. I keep the primer in a clear plastic container with a lid on it. Zero-maintenance crown molding I recently enclosed the porch on our house. they can easily swab the ends of the boards with a pass from the paint pad (a paint pad is much faster than a brush because it carries more paint). end-grain cuts will soak up moisture quickly and begin ro rot. The problem is rhar end-grain cuts can't be painted until they are cut and fitted by the carpenrers.I was able to fashion'inexpensive. The carpenters billed me for only a couple of extra hours of work becausepriming the end-grain cuts barely made a dent in their speed. I used this technique on the last spec house that I built. resting in a smaller plastic box to keep the pad's handle out of the pool of primer.

Although LVL stringers remain stable. Cut all the treads to equal lengths (3). I prefer to use locking pliers with a framing square when marking the layout becausethey have more surface riding on the stringer stock and are more accurate than stair-gauge stops. getting all the treads started in their mortises.It occurred to me that an LVL (laminated-veneer lumber) would be even better. then affix the treads to the tops of the bird's mouths. in standard widths. accurate way to make mortised stairs The typical approach to stair-building is to cut bird's-mouth notches in a pair of stringers. 3. and in almost any length. and use a router with a bearing-guided bit to cut a3/q-in. 4. Cutting mortises in the sidesof the stringers to acceptthe treads is far stronger. Clampjig to stringer. draw a line acrossits top edge to mark the edge of the next mortise. Guide cleats.-deepmortise (2). FINE HOMEBUILDING .R I C H A R DW A S H B U R NP e n o b s c o M t . so check for crown before laying them out. which makes treads sag. lay out the stair's rise and run on a piece of Yz-in. so I devised a jig to lay out and cut mortised stringers quickly.thickness. Align the plywood iig on the stringer. Set one end of the first tread in the first mortise of one stringer. I prefer screwing the stringers to the treads (4) as insurance against the stringers'warping and pulling the nails out of the end grain.a i n e Stable stringersand an accuratelayout A few years ago. .Stringers 1. and affix a pair of guide cleats to each side of the jig. 2. so be extra sure of your layout before cutting. LVLs come in standard l3/c-in. The cleats register the jig on the stringer and give you purchase to clamp the jig. both sides Mark here for top of next mortise. Pipe clamps can come in handy at this point for drawing the opposing stringers toward one another. They should not be so snug that you have to pound things together. LVLs cost more than 2x stock. and not be so loose that the assembly will rack. they're easierto find in your toolbox.J O H N S P I E R B l o c kl s l a n d R Also. Cleats on both sideslet you flip the yig and rout the other stringer. cutting tread mortise. The slot's width should equal the thickness of the treads. cut a slot in the plywood deep enough to accommodate the depth of the treads. :\ Rise Room for router to maneuverwithin dotted lines Guide slot {or mortise equals depth of treads. Before moving the jig. Make more than one passto cut the full depth.I read a Fine Homebuilding article by a carpenter who laminated 3/q-rn. LVLs aren't always straight. The plywood (1) should be big enough to work as both a router template and as a layout tool for the next mortise. plywood for stringer stock because2x stock tends to shrink. . Clamp the jig to the stringer. plus a bit of wiggle room. Secure treads with three corrosionresistant screws or nails. Next. A fast. First. Router with bearing-guided bit follows slot contour. Bring the other stringer to it. Continue from one end to the other.l. . and set the tread in its first mortise. and snug them together with pipe clamps or a block and hammer. .plywood. Cut treads to equal lengths.

Becausethe wood wants to split along the weak diagonal grain. hole 2x rem jaw clamps that use Yz-in.I bore Yz-in. C-clamps were too slow to install and tighten. 2x stair stringer w. holesat inside intersection of riseand run. too valuable to leave on a job site.-dia.this pagetop and bottom left: Charles Miller. as shown in the drawing. except where noted: Robert Goodfellow.I use a seriesof clamp brackets. they are screwed to a balcony subfloor to laminate a simple curved handrail. . -ROBERT J.In use. To laminate a stringer.bottom anchorbolts run through 2x4s. Osborn.)and if the stringer is notched for a2x4 floor cleat.I insert the top bolt first.aspacer block of suitable thickness takes up the bolt's unthreaded portion. The keyholes provide stressrelief. I start by laying out the stair plan on the subfloor. '. Plywoodgusset 2x4 bending form frame Stair-stringer stress relief Experience has taught me to cut stringers out of 2x stock carefully. and the method hasn't failed me yet. Photos: Roe A. The bolt's hook fits througha%-in./ il ii Finish cutouts.M I C H A E L v o r .{ . Then I use a circular saw to make the bulk of the cuts. Here. snug it to keep the assembly Handrail clamps screwedto subfloor together. The top of each removable jaw is secured to its 2x4 with a 6-in. hole in the side of the 2x4.-dia. DICK Lovettsville. carriages by screwing and gluing a piece of plywood to the sides. anchor bolt. I've been using this technique for the past 12 or so years. anchor bolt through the 2x4.D r ECKBAR-FRABBIE Le E N wO r l e a n s Drawings.Va. va> Laminated Balcony subfloor Eight-in. The bottom of the jaw is secured to the form by an 8-in. upper anchorbolts hook through sidesof 2x4s. Drawings facing page. but they also can be affixed to stair treads to laminate spiral handrails. After marking the layout for rise and run. The drawing below shows how I avoid the problem. stopping short of theholes and finishing the cuts with a jigsaw. and too heavy to lug around. taking care not to overcut. The 2x4s become part of the clamp. Roughstringer r' it li Y--l \ Plywood gusset f //" L'1' i. Strengtheningthe rough stringer's first step with glued and nailedplywood gussetsensuresthat the stringerwon't break across the weak diagonalgrain. keyholes where the backs of the treads and the bottoms of the risers are ro meer. _MICHAEL STANDISH West Roxbury Mass. so I devised two kinds of s/e-in. 2x4 cleat Reinforcing the first step Bore 1/z-in.1 / The bottom of a stringer can be weakened if you have to cut the first step shorter rhan the unit rise to allow for tread thickness (usually I in. Then I make a bending form by securingZx4s to the layout lines.I needed about 100 clamps. For handrails. anchor bolts and 2x framing lumber. then run the bottom bolt through. If the sawcut goes even a litde bit beyond the intersection of the rise and run. minimizing the chances of a sawcut-induced crack weakening the stringers.Anchor-bolt clamps Sx-in. / GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 .I always beef up the '. To build a circular staircaseon site.!. it can create a weak spot that either can weaken the stringer or can cause one of the ears that support the treads to fall off if it's bumped during installation. I use an electric impact wrench with a deep socket to tighten and remove the nuts quickly. Lay out rise and run in typical manner.

Once you have the shim in place.I eliminate the possibility by overcutting both the treads and risers of the center stringer by %in. I note the mark on the gauge. Then it is simply a matter of gluing and screwing a lYz-in.F R AE BL BE I New Orleans 98 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawing bottom left: Charles Miller . Extension caps screwed to each end of the level accommodate cupped treads. I've also never found a small bullet level that didn't seem like a toy.or at least check them with a level and rule before you bid on finishing the stairs. leave just a trace of the cutline { lu'll *. the difficult work is done.I simply slip it under the tread or behind the riser (inset drawing at left) that needs shimming and tap it in until the tread is level or the riser is plumb.M I C H A E L v o r .I used a2-ft. Although many framers do a great job.Y) block Cupped tread hffi ru Extend legsfor a snug fit againstwall or skirtboard. I level and shim the two outside stringers.I cut down a larger wood level to 10 in. the jig shown in the drawing below makes it easy to fit stair treads between a pair of walls or skirtboards. to3/sin. Then it's just a matter of fastening the tread or riser to the stringer.D r E C K B A R . I then color in every other segment with a marker. I rip shims of different thicknesses and keep them on hand. which is brought into contact with the finished tread. remove the gauge. When cutting my own stringers. I measure along both edgesof the shim and make marks every Vrcin. I make a shim gauge out of a scrap of wood. Ievel cut from a larger level. carriage bolts Leveling across the width of a tread rs easier with a 10-in. who is long gone by the time you come along to make a silk purse out of an old sow's ear. and tighten all the nuts. in thickness. cut from a scrapof wood and calibrated by the 16th of an inch. _ROBERT PLOURDE Atlanta Shoftened level fits on tread When leveling treads from front to back. by 1/+in. When I install the treads. The blocks extend past the bottom of the level and give me an accurate read on cupped treads. it's handy to have a small level.F R A B B I E L E New Orleans Fitting stair treads Cobbled together out of scrap plywood. Remove the jig carefully. and replace it with one of my precut shims. For years. cleat to the center carriage. place it onto the tread stock. . Then extend the legs so that they're snug against the walls 1/+in.level.M I C H A E L v o r .stair stringers are built by the framing carpenter. for a perfect fit. and scribe the end cuts on the stock. . and screwed small extension blocks of wood on the ends.Treads& Risers Gauge measuresshim thickness In many cases. it's in your best interest to build the rough stringers yourself. rD E C K B A R . Some people use shingles as shims. center stringer is too high.. A tapered shimgauge. but I was constantly knoiking it off the step becauseit hung off the end of the tread. the surface to be shimmed only hits the high point of the shingle. To solve the problem. When cutting. but their tapered profile gives them uneven bearing. After I've got the gauge made. To use the jig. I use the same process for the risers. or skirtboards.makes a handy gauge for determining shim thickness. The whole processof shimming treads is slowed or voided if the *\ Fill in with / colored marker for easy reference.loosen the wing nuts and lay it acrossthe tread cuts of the stair stringers with its back tight against the riser cuts. To use the gauge. Wood level cut to 10in.

Covering newel-post bolts
Sometimesthe only way to fastenthe newel post is to anchorit to the stringer.Often, the bolt holesyou haveto drill are at an angle other than squareto the faceof the newel. Off-angle holescan be hard to plug, and when you do plug them, they usuallydon't look right. Insteadof plugging holes,I saw %in. off the faceof the newel with a bandsaw, drill and install the bolts,and then glue the piece over the holes.The bandsawlimits the lossof stock to about Ytzin.-hardly noticeable<r you can plane off r/+in.and make a new faceplate to glue over the holes.
- M I C H A E L v o r ' rD E C K B A R - F R A B B I E L E New Orleans

F,:*,* \"\.

1. Make plumb cut at end of handrail.

Hidden handrail connection
I recently needed to fasten a handrail to a wall and

l* ![



didn't have room for a rosette to secure the handrail becauseof the minimal clearance to the outside corner. So I devised an invisible bolted connection 4. Conceal bolt through the rail into the wall framing. As shown in the drawing, the lag bolt is hidden beneath a wedgeshaped cap taken off the top of the handrail. The first step is to make the plumb cut on the end

Cutting a 1/e-in. sliceoff the edge of the newel with a bandsaw,and gluing it back on after running in the bolts, covers the holes and makesfor a neat, finished look.

Newel post

3. Lag-bolt handrail to wall
framing. ,.u.,..1

of the handrail (1). But don't cut the handrail to length yet. Now rotate the miter saw's table to make about a70" cut, and take off the wedge-shaped cap that will cover the lag bolt (2). Thp. the cap back
The 1/a-in. slice of newel is glued on.

onto the handrail so that it is flush with the radiused top of the rail. Notice that it's a little short becauseof the material removed by the sawblade. Recut the end of the rail so that the cap and the rail end in a flush plumb cut. Next, drill the necessaryholes to receive a lag bolt and washer, and the shank hole (3). Cut the handrail to length, run home the bolt, and glue the cap in place (4). Sanded and stained, the cap seam is

Lag bolts

nearly invisible. -WALTER D. COLTONWellsboro, Pa.

Circular-railcenter finder
For finding the centeron oval or round handrailsthat havebeen fit and either permanentlyor temporarily fastened,Imodified a marking gaugeby letting a levelvial into the gauget beamand replacingthe metal scribewith a pencil held in placeby a wood wedge.An auxiliary fenceprovidesthe additional height that is neededto compensate for the increased length of the pencil.By watching the levelvial,I can keep the beamhorizontal asI run the gaugedown the length of the handrail,and I make a pencil line along its bottom center. On a similar note,I've found that one of the most usefultoolsfor both shop work and work in the field is a regular marking gauge with the metal scribereplaced with a mechanical pencil.

Modifying a markinggauge easesthe process of finding the center of a circular or elliptical handrail.

N \into beam

Pencilwith wedge replaces
metal scribe.

New Orleans
Drawing top right: Charles Miller



Railings (continued)
Pinpoint stair-rail accuracy
In my experience, the joints in the handrailare what people really scrutinize.They are easyto see, and if a misaligned joint doesn'tcatchyour eye,your hand eventuallywill find it instead. Here'sa tip to help keep thosejoints betweenhandrail sections, suchasthe intersection betweenthe easingand the rail, alignedproperly. As shown in the drawing, I set two little brads into the rail, then clip off their heads,leaving
pointed brad ends above the rail bolt. Now when I draw the two pieces together by tightening the nut on the rail bolt, the handrail sections won't twist. _STEPHEN R .T O B I N Ridgefield, Conn. Clippedbrads Railbolt Marking the plumb line with a felt-tip pen makesa quick referencefor plumbing successivesets of balusters.
Handrail sections

When laying out a handrail to drill holesfor balusters, I usea plumb bob to get a verticalline from the marks I've laid our on rhe treads.Rather than fiddling with the plumb bob'sstring length on eachtread and waiting for the bob to stopswinging, I mark the string at the height of the front balusterand the rear one.When I go up to the next tread,all I haveto do is hold the line on the mark for the particularbalusterlocationand hold it on the rail. The reference marks mean I don't haveto fumble with string length. Here'sanotherhint: I've found that using braidedstring,as opposed to the more common twisted-strand string, helpsto keep my plumb bob from spinning and swinging around when the bob is
hanging free. -MICHAEL von DECKBAR-FRABBTELE New Orleans

Spindle-hole sizing gauge
The diameter of the top, or thin end, of a tapered spindle can decreaseas the spindle gets longer. Therefore, the hole drilled into the handrail for the back spindle on a tread can be smaller than the hole for the front baluster. I take a block of wood and drill a seriesof different-diameter holes in it. The holes are drilled at the same angle that the spindles meer the handrail. After I cut a tapered spindle to length, I plug it into the sizing gauge to determine which size hole fits best; then I bore the hole in the rail. To save time, it's best to have rwo or three drills chucked up with the bits you most likely will need. - M I C H A E L v o r .D r ECKBARFRABBTELE New Orleanr \

Mark line with colored pen.

/ .r..."'
Distance A is the approximate height of the front baluster; distance B is the rear baluster.

\ ."1 ,J.-\
\ \ I

Holesdrilled in 1/sz-in. increments at angleof handrail

Testing the fit of a tapered spindle in a block with different-sizeholes drilled in it determines what size hole to drill in the handrail.



Drawing top Ieft: CharlesMillcr

Regroundspade bits work better
The worst thing in the entire world that can befall a stairbuilder is to hear his just-installed treads squeak. The secondworst thing is to have the spindles rattle. For spindles not to rattle, they have to fit perfectly in their holes. To make a perfect fit,I modifv common
Judicious grinding of spade bits makes them bore holes in diameters between stock sizes. Beveled corners prevent tearout. Paint indicates modified bits.

Beveled corner in. Grind 1/ce off each side.

Some staircasescall for square-ended balusters that fit into a groove plowed into the underside of the handrail. in. for a Becausebaluster lengths can vary as much as3Ae given position on each tread,I made a baluster gauge that employs the sliding metal ruler taken from the end of a folding rule. As shown in the drawing below,I let the thin metal ruler into a piece of wood a couple of inches shorter than the shortest baluster. Small wood straps hold the ruler in place. A level vial secured with Bondo makes plumbing easy. - M I C H A E L v o r ,D r ECKBAR-FRABBIE N L e E wO r l e a n s

spadebits.Itt easyto grind down the bits by %zin. (or Yain. on each side).So,for example,insteadof jumping from'A in. to rVrcrn..vou'll havea bit that's2Vtz rn.

Grind a Ionger Iead for angled drilling.


Balusterlengths canvary. On rails with a groove plowed on the underside, this gauge makes quick work of finding the proper length.

plowed in handrail

Another hint: Becausethe newly modified bits will have their former sizes stamped on them, it's important to paint new numbers on the sides of each bit. One time, a carpenter who was setting a balustrade went into my toolbox without my knowledge and bored 35 holes with what he thought was a3/+-in.bir. Another thing about spade bits: When boring at an angle, say, into an oak handrail, a spade bitb 90" corners tend to tear out chunks of wood as the bit starts a hole. Grinding off the corners makes a clean cut by producing a scraping action as the bit spins into the wood. I grind a long lead on some bits to make them useful for grinding holes in steep handrails. The long lead establishesthe bit in its hole before the shoulder engages wood. - M I C H A E Lv o x D E C K B A R - F R A B B I N EL eE wO r l e a n s

Gauge length is shorter than shortest baluster.

extension from folding rule

Cappinga pipe rail
I occasionally use lVz-in.-dia. steel pipe for handrails. It is plenty sturdy and easy to grip,
11/z-in. pipe railing

but it needs something other than a lYz-in.-dia. cap threaded l-in. nipple on its ends to look presentable. As shown in the drawing,I use a 1-in.-dia. cap threaded onto a 1-in.-dia. nipple instead. I wrap the nipple with a couple of turns of electrical tape to ensure a tight fit. The nipple is held in place by a3Ae-in-dia. stove bolt
Level vial let in and secured with Bondo




stove bolt

that is run into a hole drilled and tapped into the pipe and nipple from below. _ W A L T E RD . C O L T O N Wellsboro, Pa.

Drawins bottom left: Charles Mille r



-wide strips. across at the top and growing. And you can apply the samemethod to all kinds of post-and stud-lengrhcalculations. alif. I simply read the length of each post off the scaleon the grade stick. calculate the height of a post needed for one of the piers. and wrap a piece of masking tape around the blade of the tape measure so thar it's secured to the grade stick. W I L G O R D O N P o t t e r V a l l e y . To start. then wrap the tape over and down the grade stick. But by the time we had dug down a foot. and backfilled. placed in the oversize holes. --'---- s_ Pier No.C a l i f . Perpendicular to these scored lines. form boxes.ld. We cut the sheets into 6-ft. Gypboardform folded with facing intact 1O2 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings. Lock the tapemeasure. Flere's how my system works.S U N R I S E B U T L D E RS Sa n t a C r u zC . deep. on a side and12 in. . As shown in the drawing to the right.but it goesmore quickly than readingthis tip.-deep sawkerf at this line. Gypboard concrete forms iSr We recently did a foundation iob in very crumbly.The crosshairs shouldline up with the 123/t-in.Now use a handsaw to make ar/t-in. pier No. The problem becomes how to calculate the length of each post efficiendy. Instead of ordering extra concrete. These strips then were folded into square boxes. but all the piers are at slightly different elevations. The first task was to set27 pier blocks in pier holes that were 18 in. and shoot it with a builder's level. cxceptwhere nored:Charles Miller. 2 and shootthe gradestick onceagainwith the buildert level. Measuringposts on uneven ground Whenever I build decks.) Mark your HI (height of instrument) on the grade stick and measure down 123/ain. the method I've devised eliminates almost all the calculations. Insert the hook of a tape measure into the sawkerf. for example. You are now readyto shootall the remaining piers. from the top of the pier to the bottom of the girder. we cut the board into l2-in. Return to pier No. we transformed four sheetsof gypboard into. we calculated that we would waste more than a cubic yard. The forms not only saved concrete. 1 il. we often had a hole that was more than2ft. but also gave us an accurate way to calculate our ready-mix order. Photo this page:CharlesBickford.leaving the face paper intact. sandy soil. This proceduremay seemlike a lot of trouble. (Note: The grade stick must be long enough to shoot the lowest pier. Have a helper hold a lxZ grade stick atop the pier.What you read in the level is the length of eachpost.mark.Decks Hl=height of instrument Masking tape Z-\ Grade stick Mark Masking tape 4 Hook tape measurein sawkerf. lengths and scored them along their length at 18 in. on center.r's level <1 Pier Pier No. Faced with filling these craters with concrete. . 2. The bottoms of the girders are in the same plane. Now run the tape measure over the \rr. 3 top of the grade stick and back down past the sawkerf. and wrap a couplemore pieces of tapearound the stick and the tape-measure blade to hold things together.I place the piers and then cur posts to carry the girders that will support the deck framing. Suppose its post needs tobe l2%in.

Iround up to the the way. Line of cut that height to the rest using a water level. First.I think this techniquecould be applied to a with the long blade parallel to the rim joist and the staircase aswell.After struggling-with a number of techniqueswith varying degrees of success. -TIMOTHY P E L T O N F a i r f i e l d . -TONY SCTSSONS Meadow Lake.letting their tops run wild.The long end of the pry bar points toward the board being installed. which equals 159y2. incrementswith my ters result in a 4-in.I measure down and scribe a second mark equal to the distance from the sawblade to the edge of the saw's shoe. Mark your centers.spacingsfrom I have struggled many times to createequal.roll up the elastic. With 2x2 balusters. _ B R I A NS I M M O N S Oakland. Ore. Below each mark. codeangled tape and transfer them to baluster layout. Now I multiply 5Yzby29. and stretch it so that itt fairly taut. By itby 5Yz.As shown in the drawing. I divide locatethe centerof eachbaluster(drawing left). Once I beganusing this method.Calif. short blade aligned with the centerof the last balus_MIKE HOFFMAN ter. in. Mark your center spacing on the elastic.Another angle on spacing deck-railing balusters Deck-railing balusters TakeSt/z-in. Post cutoff jig To simpli$' leveling the topsofdeck and fence posts. for a clamping surface. speeds up the layout sequence. It's a four-sided box with inside dimensions Vrein.and head for the next railing.At by how fast and effortlessit is.Idivide the railing length The tape is now at a slight angle to the rim joist.Then I place the tail stop of a pipe clamp over the pry bar and the clamp'shead on the workpiece. Too easy. I discoveredthat I could combine two tools that I alwayshave on site to coaxany board into place. Then I mark the desiredheight on one post and transfer Distancefrom sawbladeto the edge of the saw'sshoq ' i Two sides of the jig run long for. At one end of the deck. Next. framing square and mark them on the rim joist to Let's say. Canada Straightening warped deck boards If you build decks.the space can be no more than 4 in. Balusterlayout Here's a fast way to lay out railing balusters. Portland.sooneror later you'll have to developa method for straightening stubborn deck boards. a calculatorthat hasan add-on function next highestwhole number: 29.I find the point on the short bladeof the squarewhere l59y2in. Two of the sidesshould hang down l0 in. approvedspacingbetweendeck balusters. With my tape hooked to the nail.I plumb and st4bilize all the posts. Sask.I was surprised I drive a nail into the centerof the first baluster. centers on2x2 balusand I can measureoff 5Yz-in.I divide this number by the desiredspacingbetweenthe centersof the balusBaluster centerline ters.which equalsabout283/t. larger eachway than the crosssectionof the posts. The method I now rely on-the slant-rule techniquehas taken all the frustration out of the problem. With a little ingethe other end of the deck.. clamp it so that the top edge is on the lower mark. Now I drop the jig over the post. With a couple of turns of the crank. That's because by 5Yz SYz-in.l o w a GREAT BUILDING TIPS 2006 103 .Now attach the elasticto one end of the railing run and stretch it out.Get a length of the kind of elasticthat is used for waistbands.for example. Move the elasticback and forth until you've got it just right. space betweenthem.the length is 1583/a in. and use the top of the jig to guide the saw along all four sidesof the post.I devised this jig. With one balusterinstalled at eachend of the railing. I start by measuring the distancebetween their centers. falls. the deck board is ready to nail off.I placemy framing square nuity.Around here. I placethe short end of a pry bar in the gap betweentwo boards that already had been installed.

clear pine. sanded. biscuited. To vent the top. Then I used a grinder to remove a bit of the webbing from the back of the screw clamp. by 81/z-in. Semicircular register newel 3-in. hollow post and pre*:*d pine cap vent lateral move/ ment are glued to the top of the plinth. I turned the clamp's tail stop around so that it was positioned to push on the workpiece. and glued by %-in.But what if there are no gaps between the deck boardsl I installed tongue-and-groove decking on my porch.by rYrc-in.C o n n . Molding The entire assembly gets two coats of marine epoxy. cutouts:allow airflow. Weather-resistant newel posts The trick to this long-lasting newel post is the vented plinth. and the corners are mitered. the spindles are sealed. of pipe could no longer reach the boards. blocks to the bottom corners for feet. So I came at the problem from the other side. At the bottom of the railing. plylood subcap overhangs the post by %e in. Two wood blocks that slide into the 781/z-in. then turn it toward its closed position to push on the deck boards.I had to use other clamping methods to draw the boards together. This trick made getting the boards into position -> Rimjoist Grind away webbing to make a bearing point. Before assembly. Two coats of marine epoxy seal the top rail. then hook the clamp to the pry bar. off the porch deck and toenail them to the posts with 8d galvanizednails. on each side (ogee molding hidesthe iBlocks to edges). shingle molding. This step created a flat bearing spot that gave me some purchase on the opposite rim joist. and as a consequence. then close it to apply pressure to the decking. Secure the beveled top cap with construction %-in. _BERNARD H. A clever method for clamping deck boards usesa pry bar as a bearing point for a pipe clamp (p. a %-in. Simply insert the pry bar into the gaps between deck boards. easy and fast.K#AHONE Moistureproof railings lbuild porch railings that prevent water from collecting.-thick together with epory. I install the railing sections4 in. blocks \-z adhesive.Porches Clampingtongue-and-grooveboards Tongue-andgroove block with tongue removed Stan with clamp open. I used the rim joist as the bearing point for one end of the clamp until the 12 ft. repeat as necessary. RAILING DETAILSTHAT KEEPROT AT BAY // 5:ilJI.-sq. 104 FINE HOMEBUILDING Bottom drawings: Robert Goodfellow . by 1%-in. 103). Subtop rail and primed. I glued four 2%-in. at each end) are held together at the top with a %-in. Long sectionsof railing are supported with pressure-treated blocks wedged underneath. the spindles are sandwichedbetween 272-in. Now I could screw the clamp to its full open position. As shown in the drawing at left. The top rail is fastened from below to eliminate exposed fasteners. The spindles(1% in. sq.subtop rail and on the sideswith stepped molding. DERBYSHIRE N e w t o w n . The base is made from shaped 5/4 by 21h-in.

3/+in.I can get professional results every time.spaces betweenthem. rail f r"p 2x4 2x2 baluster Production setup for porch railings The drawing aboveshowsa simple indexing fixture to lay out sections of porch railing. I used al2-in. so I beganthere. though. a lx4 bottom rail.-dia. I staple the screen to the frame with my free hand. spacers made out of a coupleof 8-ft. perfe_cdy plumb.Iplacedthem 3l in.the balusters were on 5-in.spread and align their edges with the spacing the balusters. \-a I '-l' . I staple the other edge of the screen to a stretcher board. and affix a coupleof pieces of straight. Half-lap Q. joint. apart.I hang the end of the frame that I'm working on over the end of a table and press down on the stretcher board to tension the screen.. with equal measurements between all posts.I repeat the processon the unstapled sides of the frame. centers 3Yz-in.I rotated the template plywood base \ 5/4 decking sPacers W (..and zigzags. Once the first four posts were set.theinside facesof the oppositepostsare l0 ft. 4x4 gazebo post 45o. 2x4s .plywood on a pair of sawhorses. Now placethe top and bottom rails againstthe outsideedges ofthe decking. In this case. After removing the staples from the stretcher board. screwed tggether lt. Gazeb o-|ayout te mplate cameup with a simple During the constructionof an eight-sided gaze|. With the screen attached to the stretcher board. Next.Alignment marks register balusters.and the balusters -MtcHAEL FoRTUNA Orting. In this gazebo.decking to the plywood. -DAVID T O U S A I N C o o n R a p i d s .Then I drilled aYz-in.dowel asa staketo pin the center of the template to the center of the gazebosite and marked the positionsof the first four postsat the end of each2x4.l o w a I 105 Temp6rarystaples Stretcherboard GREATBUILDING TIPS2006 . in both directions. mark the balusterspacingon the two piecesof with decking. Ont. Wash. With the help of a stretcher board. _KEN MACKLIN Sarnia. The key to the systemis a pair of 5/4-in. the exactcenterof the lap joint. Set a sheetof 3/t-in.I rotatedthe templatetemporarily to dig the first four holes.Flere. sections are all of railing using this method. apart. then I put the template back in place to set the posts (they 1x4 bottom rail =J should be touching the ends of the template as they are set in concrete).length of Vz-in.1 1it Locate first four posts.. sags. Finally. Canada ll Layouttemplate/ made of 10-ft. After stapling the screen to one of the short sides of the frame. It takesme about 15minutes to assemble 8-ft.I assema2x4 top rail. In this example. marks.I first lappeda pair of l0-ft.I layout template to setthe eight postsin the ground at equal measurements. The bcreen comes out straight and taut. and repeated the process. nail everythingoff and affix the trim. then rotate the template 45oto locate the second group of posts. balusters.5/4-in. lengthsof decking.1rP+ / -^ V. hole through 2x4satright anglesto one another. and bled railingsthat had 3l-in.As shown in the drawing below.' Stretchingscreens It can be more than difficult to stretch screening evenly acrossa frame without bags.I run the screening a few inches long Wood frame frame on two sides. As shown in the drawing.cr.

Then I filled in the spaces betweenadjacentriserswith tampedearth and a layer of bricks arrangedin a running bond patrernfor treads. 106 FINE HOMEBUILDING Photos this page.to the wastesideof the mark. To usethe cutter. by 1/+-in.and mark it with a pencil. positiona lx6 on a thick block to acrasa guide for the brick chisel. Bumpers simplify stair construction Some clients asked me to improve the steps that led from the street to their front door. asshown in the left photo above.Patios Brick cutter Line of cut Brick chisel 1x6 chisel guide 4-in. remove eachpaver and completethe cut (photo aboveright).Using the brick cutter is not asfastas breaking bricks with a masont hammer. with flat tops and bottoms.lengths of #4 rebar bestof all. On the opposite sideof the angleiron. Perhaps 21/z-ft. file a true edgeon the outside corner of a short pieceof angle iron and placeit on a heavybase.and a pencil. One or two blows with a heavyhammer shoulddo the job. I arranged a dozenof the bumpers in the required arc.N. to lay out the radius. they were light enoughfor me ro maneuverby myself. and about 5 ft. A trip to a masonry-supply yard led to the more affordable solution illustrated in the drawing. After painting the topsof the bumperswith concrete conditioner.Then usea lengthof 3/q-in. Finally.These stepshave beenin placefor yearsnow and are none the worse for wear despiteour wicked New England winters. On one sideof the angleiron. Wash. crete footings for the steps concerned us. after lighdy scoring the paversin placewith the saw to make a smooth curve. cut the brick Ysin.\ iN 2x4 stock cut at 45" holds angle iron in place. controlled paring -wl LL FOSTER strokesof the chisel. braidedrope.I .M a s s . the point of the chiselis directly over the edgeof the angle iron. I happened upon a stack ofconcrete parkingJot bumpers. suchasa beamoffcut. We wanted to follow the same arcing path around bushes and trees. by 4-in.but you will get more accurate cutsand a lot less waste. bevel side tight againstthe guide. 6 in. but with materials that would hold up to the elements. placea supportblock to cradlethe brick. mortared rows of cobblestones atop eachbumper to createthe risers. long Base . Secure the angleiron by placing the mitered end of a2xtight againsteachside.To make the cutter. facing page: Chris Green . -BOB J E P S O N J R . The old steps consisted of crushed stone held in place by some decaying railroad ties. long. For facebrick.we usea cutoff saw with a diamond blade. which bendsand holdsa curve well. M i l t o n .) First. adjusting their height and spacinguntil I had the layout right. and clean up the exposededgewith short. angle iron.Be sure to setthe guide high enough to clear the thickest brick you plan to cut. To cut curvesin paver patios for our clients. but it shouldn'tlimit the designof a patio. Aberdeen. They were straight. _DICKHENRY ChapelHill.C.Position the chiselon top of the brick. Steps of cobblestones and bricks seemed right.(In our area. The deviceshown at left is a simplebut effectivebrick cutter thar works by shearinga brick betweena fixed angleiron and a brick chisel.lengths of rebar through the holescastinto rhe endsof the bumpersfor that purpose. Adjust the guide'slength so that when the bevelsideof the brick chiselis held tight againstthe guide.acutoff saw with a diamond blade rents for about $90 a day.placethe brick on top of the angleiron with your mark centered over its edge. but the thought of all the complicated forming that it would take to fashion con- Cobblestonesmortared to concrete bumpers Cutting patio curves The thought of having to cut curvesin concrete pavers can be intimidating.lay out the paverssothat they run beyond the curve you wish to cut. with the outsidecorner facing up. braidedrope. . Then I securedeach bumper by driving 2Vz-ft. 3/+-in.

tile.and eliminatespuddling. . nothing is more important than getting the stone base firm and flat. To engureprop€r drainage. Each revolution of the compactor shortened the leash. Apply the base in several 2-in.J.I decided to automate the job. I tied it to a gtake driven in the center of the excavation. asshown in the drawing. ABC stone.M A R KW H I T E Alaska Kodiak. shallowerthan the thickness of the brick I'm using. After running the plate compactor. The crown promotesdrainage. This left me free to take care ol other tasks on the site as I kept track of the machineout of the corner of my eye. Brick-pathscreed to ensureproper drainage. I generally use concrete pavers for patios.BELOWTHE SURFACE A GOOD PATIO STARTS I -f ' . All walks. Plate compactors are designed to creep slowly forward in a straight line. slope the excavation about th in. to minimizesettling Mncentown. but it mugt be done before pouring a concrete slab.. RoD G.ETTELMANN Drawing top left: Dan Thornton GREATBUILDING TIPS2006 . to 12in. can be packed flat and dense without losing its drainage properties. minimizing the effects of the freeze-thaw cycle. which areV+ I moistenand tamp the sand on the path'swood borders.and patiosshould be constructed Concretesidewalksare normally flat. b __g Finetethered friend Runninga plate compactor is a boring job (photo below). wetting it down to aid compaction. Once the excavationis complete. per foot. To pack and flatten the layers. l'm close to the target elevation. clean.. begin spreading the stone.C . drives. so my next layer is a maximum of 1 in. N. I extend the excavation and the stone base 10 in. -D IC K H EN R Y C hapel H iN l l .BeforeI usethe screed.O7 .ride notches. The last time I was faced with a day behind the bouncing handlebars. I rent a pfate compactor (about $75 a day). Repeat the layering process untilthe base is 3 in. I excavate the site 9 in. beyond the perimeter of the final patio to allow for minor adjustments in patio gize and to provide stability at the edge. gravel.I start with a little more sand than it appears I need. below finiehed grade to make room for the base. Initially. from the finished elevation. or paving blocksshouldhavea slight crown built into them. resulting in circles of everdecreasing diameter. screed in. . The sandbed. I usea wood screed The has a notch cut into each end. and wear and tear on the wrists and elbows. to 10 in. but the trick saved me a lot of time. but walks made of brick. My job was to get it to turn without me.dia. layers. As shown in the drawing above. coarsegand. I still had to finish up the cornerc by hand. to 3-in. with a slight arch to contour the Beforelaying a brick path. For a lasting patio.. which includes all gradations from dust to 1'h-3n.

Next.I was able to cut the 100 triangular piecesthat I needed in about 20 minutes.with the cut parallelto the fence of the square.P'^>4 Simple iig for cutting small tile Cut with a wet saw. I hooked the fence of the squareover the right edge of the sliding table and butted the edge of the squareagainstthe saw fence. 'F: . C .To do this. I slid a tile into the V-shapedspaceformed by the two plastic squares.making sure that the other side of the squarebutted againstthe saw fence. When usingthe jig. the cut edge just kissedthe right side of the sawblade. two rows of white triangular tiles flank the diamonds. I made two identicalcuts on the squares.dark tiles oriented vertically. As shown in the drawing.After a few trial-and-errorcuts and minute adjustments to the position of the squane on the left.Next. C-clampthreaded through one of the holes in the sliding table to hold the squarein place. I clamped one of these cut squareson the sliding table to the right of the sawblade.as a decorative border. bigger than the other.N . my client requesteda horizontalrow of square.Because saw is designedto grind through ceramicmaterialand not the compositematerialof the I made these cuts in severalpasses. I used a 1-in. My first step was to buy two inexpensivetriangular plastic squares ($3 each).I clampedthe squareto the table. I made the cuts with the tile saw. But first I had to cut away half of the fence on the squareso that it would lie flat on the table. off center. small glass tiles often are difficult to hold and cut accurately.one side would be % in.for example.this spaceheld the tile at a 45" angle. lf I cut a piece %r in. When done. 108 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings:CharlesMiller. I achievedprecise.tilingtechniques Accurate diagonal tile cuts For a bathroom remodel.uniform results. In this position.Photos:CharlesBicHord.taking off a little each time. After clampingdown the first square. C-clampto affix the other squaneto the left of the sawblade.As the drawing above shows. To cut preciselybut efficiently. I rigged up the jig shown in the foreground of the drawing.I used another 1-in. Any error would create an installationnightmare becauseit would be doubled. Wth each squarein this posithe blade on the tile tion.like diamonds.into two equal portions. .The challenge:cutting the white tiles at a 45o angle. After sliding the edge of the squareagainstthe fence of the saw and positioning it so that the cut end just kissedthe left side of the sawblade. _TOM MEEHAN Harwich. I used a coping saw followed by a belt sander for this task. The spacebetween the two squaresequaledthe width of the kerf created by the sawblade. with the corner of the tile in line with the sawblade. I hooked the fence of the squareover the right side of the sliding table on my tile saw. As before. Mass. squareswenecut preciselythe same. I make an L-shaped cut in a larger piece of tile and use it as a jig to hold the smaller tiles in line with the sawblade. both squanes. -JOHN C A R R O L L D u r h a m . as accuratelyas possible.

With both handsfirmly holding the grinder. 3.trowel it into the space. This approachis good for thick. and I vacuum the substrate. If the tile is smallerthan 4 in. Before cutting. (Editor's note: A two-sided guard. A junky tool still has its uses.N Berkerey. On the floor. A few light passesdo the trick. I then make surethe replacement tile fits.com).I prefer to removethe offending tile using an anglegrinder outfitted with a 4-in. such as the DeWalt DW4705. mix a small batchof thinset. . Following the four stepsshown in the photos below. Oncethe thinsethasdried. carif. carefully prying out the pieces. I alsousemetal angle bracketsto protect neighboring tiles from possibleovercutting (photo 2). lsolate the victim.I usea Dremel tool fitted with a small #7134diamondpoint bit (www. 2.www.com) in the corners where the grinder can't reach. I'm left with a hole in the tile that is pried easilywith the tip of a chiselor a screwdriver. Beforestarting.dremel. the first step is to score the grout lines with a utility knife.CONTINUED Removing a broken tile When I'm calledon to replace a broken or chippedtile.I scrape out any remaining thinsetwith a putty knife and an old chisel. diamond blademade by Pearl Abrasive($42.I1O FINE HOMEBUILDING . provides much better protection when cutting with a diamond wheel. putty knife. angle brackets taped to the surroundingtiles protect them from inadvertent slips of the grinder'sblade. and setthe tile. Protection is prevention. I carefullyplunge the blade into the tile's center and cut diagonally. 1.I can grout the tile' -JANE AE. or there won't be room for the grinder blade. Although it's a slow process. The tile must be larger than 4 in. soft-bodied tiles suchassaltillo. it's a good idea to mask off any nearby cabinets or furniture with plasticand tape. then along the tile's sides. To keep the neighboringtiles intact..but it works on others aswell. I usea hole saw to cut out the center portion of the crackedtile.Once the tile is removed. I work from the outside toward the tile's center. Diagonal cuts open up the tile..) 4. Usinga hammerand an old chiselor. A helper holds the vacuumhose to 'catch the dusty exhaust.pearlabrasive.I make sureto mask off any surrounding cabinetfacesor furniture. I usethe grinder to cut an X in the tile to be removed.

I turn on the tool and the vacuum.co The Thunton Press Inspiration ferr hands-on livingo NO. To keep dust from leaking out around the edges of the box.'ot. before trying this operation. Vacuum hose ) / Cutting tool Foam weatherstripping website lately? finehomebuilding. such as sawdust. 32 READER SERVICE 112 FINE HOMEBUILDING . I affix strips of stick-on foam weatherstripping to the lip of the container. and look through the translucent sidesof the container to chart my progress.i Translucentstorage box with bottom removed Corded tools are fed through sweatshirt neck opening.CONTINUED The dust-isolation bor Sometimes I have to make a lot of dust in finished spaces---{utting tile in a kitchen. -DON MATHIS v i ae m a i l Worklight r't '1 E --i .Be sure to empty the vacuum o[any potentially flammable contents. To use it. I cut the bottom off the storage container. for example. The arms of the sweatshirt are the openings for my hands to reach the tools I need. In thesesituations. then use duct tape to securea sweatshirt over the opening. I control dust with a dustisolation work chamber made from a translucentplastic storage box. A hole in the box side acceptsthe nozzle of my shop vacuum. Tools and a worklight passthrough the neck opening. which then is clamped shut around the power cords.

Ipicked up a coupleof tubesof latexgrou/caulk in a matching color. clearance between the thickness of a tile and the top of the frame. . the tube becomes so small that it's hard to compress enough to squeeze out the remaining grout. .I usedone to clamp off the bottom of the rolled-up tube and the other to compressthe remaining wad of grout. and the tiles stayed put. clamps.ms'Uearing-on' ' ' '-frarnework sippon .i f'. slide it above the frame. At that point." A colleague who is a highly skilled tile installer gave me the advice I needed to get the iob done.! :. I had three of them in place when a tile whizzed past my ear and shaftered on the edge of the tub. I turned to a couple of spring clamps. The stuff comesin big toothpaste-rype tubes. I built the2x4 frame shown in the drawing above. _ C H A R L E SM I L L E R Newtown. tnortar cures.'by %-in.-thick tiles over my head. I proceeded to bed them in thinset and squeeze them to the concrere board above my head. the grout flows pretty well----or at leastit doesuntil the tube hasbeenreducedto about one-third full. Conn. iust as I had easily done with 4x4 ceramic tiles. I removed the frame. I pieced together the puzzle this way: Trowel thinset on a tile.n' . r<4/ . Marble tlUltn-aL"t enclosure Installing large ceiling tiles Before this job. I found that by varying the pressure Spring clampscoax applied by the the last bit of grout from its tube.-sq. with about Vz-in.61 114 FINE HOMEBUILDING . At that point. "This technique doesn't work. It nearly reachesthe ceiling.I had never installed l2-in..I could regulate the flow of the grout. right down to the lastlittle bit. N READER SERVICE NO. Two days later. To get a better grip on the diminishing tube. and shim it in place. Marbleceiling tiles . and onceit haswarmed up a bit. 2x4 frame l:l jr ):*.techni CONTINUED Applying latex grouVcaulk when it cametime to fill the gap betweenour tile counter and its backsplash.Str.B I L LP H I L L I P S Durham . .C.I realized.

the short point is the obtuse angle on the inside edge of the trim piece. glued and screwed The next time you need to measure from a short point. As shown in the drawing. RtcHARDS Mont-Tremblant. brass nut to the pipe. dado a couple of lx3s to fashion a 90o half-lap joint. Another option is to add nail points to each dowel hall. The distance of the nails. or a tri square. long. A and B. should be equidistant from the scribing edge.H.y can be used to transfer outside measurements.ue. Now you can hook your tape measure to the square's blade and rest assured that yoir are measuring from the right point. bearing againsta?/e-in. Scribe these edges. use a spring clamp to affix a square to the end of the workpiece. It can be a Speed Square. and repeat the process. No numbersrequired. Q. and tighten screw Optional beveled tips for measuring diagonals finding circle centers When you must find dead cenrer on a circle. Th.Where the two scribed lines cross is dead center. and no more than three-quarters of the diameter apart.-T.as in drawer boxes or picture frames. Now rotate the tool a quarter-turn or so. a combo square. split in half ) Loosen screw. nut soldered Optional nail points for outside measurements %-in. this tool can help you to get spot on. Let's say it's an inside meaEurement for a window jamb: Extend the dowels againstthe opening.-long r/a-in. 116 FINE HOMEBUILDING Drawings: Charles Miller .bevelthe ends of the dowels so that they tuck into 90o corners. slidedowels apart to desiredlength. and drive two l6d nails through the short arm. To use this device. Cap affixed to machinescrew 7n-in. dowel that has been split in half. I drill a hole in its side and solder a1/*in.l. -BRUCEGUERTIN CoventrR y . I start with a piece of garden-variety 3/e-in. transfer to workpiece. The screwacts as a clamp. Here's how. Scribing edge Clamped square registers short point of miter. centered over the hole. copper ---\ %-in. The acute angle at the very tip of the workpiece is called the long point. Pick one edge of the longer arm as your scribing edge. clamp. copper pipe about 4 in. story sticks can simplify a number ol measuringsituations. As shown in the drawing. To use this center-finding tool. simply loosen the screw and let the dowel halvesslide past one another untilthey bear against the surface of the target. Measuring 'l6d nail Hook tape oit square's blade. Kan. try rhis trick. This gizmo can be any size. KINCAID Lawrence. -PAUL K. you can buy commercially availabfegadgets that do the samething {they are called bar gauges}. just make sure to align the blade of the square with the short point. from the short point is a recurring problem: There is no place to hook your tape. A l-in. Half-lap joint. as shown in the drawing. and scribe a line down the long arm. machinescrew with a knob on one end screwsinto the nut. Then glue and screw the pieces together. Canada 1x3 stock Centerat intersedion of scribed lines.dowel..but l'd rather make my own. set the nails against the circumference of your circular object. and cut. To make it. but the two nails should be no lessthan a quarter of the diameter apart.math&measuring Adjustablestory stick For those of us plain'vanillaboys and girls who don't fike to remembernumberson tapes or which side of the mark to use. Short-point measurement Mitered end of trim Any piece of mitered trim has two points on its end.For measuringdiagonals.

long. Then cut the joint and screwthe boardstogether.448 24 102 The radiusis 102in. you can make one half and use it as a pattern.eachone a litde longer than the length of the baseline.arks apex. to describe arch.flat.. Find the center of the making an baseline. shallowarches at a shipyard. asshown below. joint Half-lap securedwith screws Nail m.radiuson a pieceof plywood that's only 96 in. On a clear. _SPENCER THOMPSON SantaMonica. DAVIS Watsonville. and center height.draw a straight line aslong asthe arch will be wide. Hook Use tape to scribe arch with a pencil. and lay the other board againstthe other basenail and the apexnail. Calif. Lay your material at one end. and slide trammel along. put the end of tape measure #l at the center height.and the centerof the arch is to be 96 in. Hook Chalkline one of your tapes over it and use it as a giant compass to trace your arch.Drive a finish nail at eachend of this baseline so that about I in. and drive a third finish nail at the apex. Put a nail in the chalkline at this point. pivoting on nail guides. abovethe floor. Where the boardsoverlap. wood surface. and draw a perpendicularline extendingup from the center.such asa subfloor. 2x12 144+ 482 24 144+ 2. Snug one board againstone basenail and the apex nail. 118 FTNE HOMEBUILDING .Now slidethe boardsalong the baselinenail guides from right to left to mark the arch. Even calculators without a square-root function can handle this one: Rise2 + (Span/2)2 2 x Rise For instance. lett assume that an arched opening leading from a dining room to a great room has84-in.mark them for a half-lap joint. of the nail's shank projectsabovethe floor. and stretch it out at an angle so that it intersects tape #1. This is your pivot point. Now find two straight lx boards. you get: + (Span/2)2 Rise2 2 x Rise 122+ (96/2)2 Arch trammel I discovered this techniquefor laying out wide.Calif. End height Center height Arch layout Here's a way to lay out arches that need to have specific heights at the ends or center. I have found that the following formula provides precise dimensions 96 in. After determining the span. Ore.math&measuring CONTINUED Calculating the radius of an arch Sometimes it's useful to know the radius of an arch or head casing long before the shop work takes place. end height. snap a long chalkline on the floor (drawing left). square to the line. and stretch it out next to the chalkline. with no errors resulting from inadvertentstretchingof chalklines or other mechanical limitations. First. Pivot point Tape#1 tape measure#2 on a nail located at the end height. and takes advantage of the simple calculators on the market. as shown in the drawing above. As a variation.304 24 2. The riseis then 12in.-tallsides. rERRY AZEVEDO Corvallis.measure along the perpendicularline from the baseline.. When you substitutethe numbersand reducethe formula. Pull out the apexnail. you can mount a router at the apexand cut or mold arches of any size. and hold a pencil in its place.suchastrying to lay out a curve with a 102-in. the spanis 96in. For huge arches. -CHARLES W. Now move tapelt2 until the numbers on both tapes match at the chalkline. even though the spans vary. Nail guide Baseline 'L__ Replacenail at apex with a pencil. Decidethe height of your arch. invertedT.

6-LiteCraftsman Door Eqs As Low As r' ffi filr999 YouNeed TLee City USA iry neesadd the soft touch of nature to our busy lives. ppeddi realyb youriobsite. This method is accurate. Shi Wholesa leDoorSou rce. and you've got the outline of the workpiece./ SN|El50/0-5096 | 00Us of ap qualityentry. then mark a "tick" on the stick and a corresponding tick on the plywood scrap. It will give you a ready point of reference. To do it. 3/08'0"3/4-Lite Mahogany.C a n a d a Draw line '..easy. NebraskaCity. ' . Now take the stick and lay it acrossthe plywood scrap so that the point of the stick touches one of the corners of the hole.cheap. Connect the corner marks. assigningeach one numbers. -PHILLIP CARPENDALE N e l s o n .4-9116 Unfin. Measuring odd shapes One day when I was trying to figure out how to cut an irregular six-sided piece of roof sheathing. another carpenter showed me a trick used by boatbuilders to mark the outline of oddball workpieces quickly. It's handy but not necessary for the scrap to be near a corner. Once all the marks have been recorded. align the ticks. and note the positions of the corners. place the scrap of plywood next to the material you are going to cut and reverse the process.Mark reglstrdtion p l y w o o d s c r a p .. and low-tech.Lay the stick on the lines. NE 68410. write: TreeCiry USA. . Draw a line along the edge of the stick. Do this for each corner. . .com READER S E R V I CN EO . Support Tree City USA where you live: For your free booklet. t '# Wholesale Door Souree Quantitics o. Transfer marks to workpiece. I work from left to right as I make my marks. .Mark them both #1.. As shown in the drawing. Jamb Std. The National Arbor Day Foundation.math&measuring CONTINUED lrregular sheathing piece goes here. 7 12O FINE HOMEBUILDING . Plywood scraP \<o--. B . Ttrlhtinal erbanayFurdatin 802167-AD20 Pre-Hung Dbl.rc iimited to ttock on hand. (888)651-l950 8ftil-fr ot ttholesaleDoorsource. The method is called tick-sticking.com As Low As $'*ffi'FRS Deliveredln ContiguousU. all you need is a scrap of plywood and a pointed stick. but you can use any order that suits you. C . .S. inndorandpotiodoorc. begin by affixing a plywood scrap to a point along the edge of the hole in need of sheathing.

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