That Dang Door

It always happens this time of year. Doors that have been working just fine for months all of the sudden start dragging when they get closed. It can get so bad in really humid months that the doors hit the jamb so solidly that they won’t close at all.

This happens when a door is not correctly sealed at the time of installation. Instructions for sealing a door indicate that all 6 sides need to be sealed. (front, back, lock side, hinge side, top, bottom). While the front and back almost always get adequately sealed, and the lock side as well, the other sides can be kind of hit and miss. The most notable places for haphazard sealing have to be the bottom and behind the hinges.

If the finisher has taken the time to remove the door from the jamb and remove the hinges from the door, it can be fairly certain that the sealing process is done completely. However this is not necessarily the quickest or most efficient way to get the job done. Profit indicates that many times sealing will not be complete.

The outgrowth of this is that when the humidity goes up for a period of time, as it does in the summer months, the water vapor permeates the door and swells the wood. (Or the wood like substances that have replaced wood over time) Among other things, this causes the door to become wider and thus not longer fit in the opening.

The solution to this problem is to stop ignoring it and make the door smaller. And the best way to do that is with a power hand plane. Of course you could accomplish the same task with a manual plane, but unless you are somewhat experienced with using one, it is not as simple as that guy on public TV makes it out to be.

An electric hand plane make the task of removing wood from an edge like that on a door a fairly simple task. With the application of an edge guide, and most planers come with one, the task of keeping the tool square with the surface of the door is a relatively straight forward one. This is the type of thing that can be fraught with trouble when using the manual variety.

In addition, the power plane makes removing wood effortless. In fact it can be too much so. It is important to make some kind of guide line to ensure that not too much material is removed from the door, and to make sure that it is removed from the right places. The power hand planer can take material so quickly that it is easy to go too far. It is important to remember that, just as the door swelled in the high humidity of the summer months, it is going to shrink when the humidity drops again. The last thing you want is to go through the winter  months with a door that misses the stops when it closes.

One more thing – when using the tool keep in mind that it is one of the more dangerous power tools you can get your hands on because of the fact that there is no guard on the blade. Always be conscious of where the tool is relative to your body.

Here is a quick video on the correct way to use an electric planer.



Cutting With an Oscillating Tool

Here is a cool tool that I actually do own, and glad that I do. It’s one of those power multi tools, you know, the little ones with a funny looking blade that pokes out the front. It is an odd machine, but it will easily do things that no other tool can really do.

The thing it is best at, actually I think the thing it was designed for, is plunge cutting. Cutting a piece out of the center of a piece of material. You can sort of do the same thing with a drill and a saber saw, but then you end up removing material that just can’t be replaced. The nice thing about the oscillating tool is that run properly, it makes fine cuts so that you have a piece that you can reasonable patch back in.

So how the heck did they ever come up with the idea of the tool itself? How did they decide that something that vibrated the way a good palm sander does would be a good choice to attach a blade to? Must have been the type of mind that can put two concepts together. He must have somehow been thinking of a saber saw and thought “if only this moved faster it would be better at starting cuts”, because the one thing a saber saw really sucks at is plunge cuts. If you try it without drilling a hole first you are more likely to leave a trail of chatter marks on the surface than you are to get a nice cut started.

My favorite thing to do is cut new access holes for remodeling boxes. It is an example of the perfect use for the perfect tool. With a little practice, and a lot of measuring, it is a realtively simple thing to cut a square hole in almost anything of just the right size for an electrical box.

Makes it easy for even a novice to get results that would make a professional proud.

one sided saw

Another thing that the multitool is good at is making the kind of flush cutes that you would normally have to buy one of those Japanese one sided saws to perform. Putting a piece of new flooring up against a door jamb in order to cut it off so the new saw can be run under it as if it grew there is as simple as laying that funny looking blade flat on the surface and pushing it against the jamb. No muss, no fuss and you have a smooth and level cut so you can’t tell that the door wasn’t put in after the floor was in like it would have been with new construction. Again, an amateur can easily perform the tasks of a professional, and a professional can achieve results with a newfound ease.


Spot on Shiny New

I sure wish a guy could just spend every day whiling away time in the sun doing whatever. Fishing, of course, or hiking  or biking or tossing a frisbee (if you are still young enough), or any of the myriad of things you might enjoy spending a sunny day doing.

The time came when the fences needed painting. Not a chore that anyone would necessarily enjoy doing, which is why they get so ragged. But at least one can pick a sunny day to enjoy. As much as possible.

So on a day I grabbed a gallon of paint and a brush and headed out.

Perhaps I have grown old, or perhaps I have less patience than I used to, but I managed to last about an hour. If I’m being generous.

I put the lid back on the can, grabbed the brush and marched right back to the house and the Google enabled device that resides there. Soon I came across this site – and learned about the options available for saving myself just a ton of effort. And time. Time that could be spent doing anything else.

Since I have prime – who doesn’t these days – I was quickly able to decide on which paint gun to buy, and two days later I had it in my hot little hands.

Read the instructions quickly and found an outlet that wouldn’t put me too many miles of cord down the line, and had the gun pushing paint in no time at all.

After the effort involved in slinging a brush to put paint on the incredibly weathered boards thattom-sawyer-fence-2 make up that particular stretch of fence, the ease of just passing my hand back and forth through the air and having color magically appear where it was needed was a revelation.

Admittedly it seems that it takes a few passes to get as much paint on as you would with a brush, but the total effort is much less. In fact it seems like a better method of applying paint altogether. Do one pass to set a base coat and move on while the paint has a bit of time to soak in and seal the surface of the board. Then come back and lay down a coat or two of color to finish the job.

The effort required really is minimal, and if you do as I have done and buy one of the models that can pull paint directly from a 5 gallon pail you can work for a long while without having to go back to the can to get started again.

I normally hate painting, but with this new paint sprayer gun in my hands I actually enjoyed the expereince. Though I just painted the fence this time, I can see plenty of other projects around  that I have been putting off for far too long. With this gun in han I expect that will not be the case for long. Maintenance is really something that shouldn’t be put off. I have replaced enough rotten wood in my time to know that as a fact.

Next week I think I’ll have a stab at the garage.

Something Fishy

There are really very few better ways to relax than spending a day with the sun and the waves.

Add in the guidance of a certified professional guide service and you are likely to not only have a relaxing day, but also to build memories that will last a lifetime. And maybe, if you are lucky, you will catch a fish larger than anything you have dreamed of.

If a trip like this has long been on your bucket list put it off no longer.

fishing texas

Doesn’t this look like fun?

So if your plan is to make a Texas fishing getaway part of your summer plans, be sure to look us up. We guarantee that unless you are a crusty old curmudgeon, you will have the time of your life.

Stop on down and see us  in beautiful –

Lake Fork is located about 90 miles east of Dallas, Texas. It lies in Wood, Rains and Hopkins counties. Lake Fork covers 27690 acres of mostly wooded bottom land. It is fed by various creeks including Lake Fork, Birch, Garrett, Mustang, Caney, Coffee and many others. The vegetation includes hydrilla, milfoil, coontail, pennywort and others. Fishing is good year around for bass, crappie and catfish. The dam was finished in Feb. 1980 and the lake filled in Dec. 1985. Texas Parks and Wildlife stocked ponds in 1978 and 1979 with over 400,000 fingerling  Florida bass. These ponds were flooded as the lake filled making great fishing that continues today.bass. These ponds were flooded as the lake filled making great fishing that continues today.



From Interstate 30, take Hwy 69 south at Greenville. Go to Emory, take Hwy 515 east to Hwy 17 south to Lake Fork Marina.

From Interstate 20, take Hwy 69 north at Lindale. Go to Alba, take 17 north to Lake Fork Marina.