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S41 E26: Move in Day

Work is complete on the Cape Ann Shingle Style project. The team tours the finished home, celebrating all of the repaired historic details and the new elements that keep with its original style.

Previous episode: S41 E25 | Next episode: Posting on Oct 4, 8pm ET

In this episode:

Kevin O’Connor, Richard Trethewey, Tom Silva, Jenn Nawada meet in the driveway and discuss the beginnings of the project.

Kevin and Tom meet homeowners Molly, John and Caroline. Molly starts the tour by taking Kevin from the foyer to the living room and dining room.

Shelby Littlefield meets them in the living room and talks about the design inspiration.

Jeff Sweenor meets them in the dining room and talks about the custom table he and Riley built.

Outside, Jenn shows Kevin the changes made to the challenging ledge-covered landscape.

Tom and homeowner John take a tour of the second and third floors to see how our team accomplished the goal of maintaining the original charm and upgrading the amenities.

In the basement, Richard shows Kevin the very modern mechanical space carved out of the rocky ledge.

Kevin and Molly recall the old kitchen and tour the new family room. They meet Michele Kelly in the kitchen and talk about the strong choices they made in terms of cabinet color and layout.

The rest of the team joins them to celebrate a beautiful transformation.

Original Air Date: May 31, 2020 Season 41; Ep.26 23:43


Products and Services from this Episode:

Kitchen appliances:
Clarke – New England’s Official Sub-Zero/Wolf/Cove Showroom

Cape Ann kitchen designer:
Venegas and Company

Interior doors:
Baird Brothers

Bed duvet:
Bella Notte

Artwork installer:
Bird Hill Design

Carpet installer:
Boston Carpet, Inc.

Furniture staging:
Circle Furniture

White glove moving company:
Designers Services

Door hardware:
Emtek

Bedroom wallpaper:
Galbraith & Paul

Wallpaper installer:
GJB Pro Wallcovering

Wood top counters, benches and desk:
Grothouse

Integrated lighting and interior accessories:
Hafele

Custom window inserts:
Indow

Dining room chandelier:
Juliska

Plumbing fixtures:
Kohler

Rugs:
Landry & Arcari

Condensers and split units:
LG

Cleaning company:
Manchester Cleaning Services Inc.

Playroom wardrobe:
MF Woodworking

Furniture staging:
M-Geough

Furnishings:
Northeast Lantern

Bathroom fans:
Panasonic

Dining room wallpaper:
Phillip Jeffries

Artwork:
Powers Gallery

Cabinetry (kitchen, offices, mudroom, bathrooms):
Premier Custom-Built Cabinetry

Protective floor covering:
RamBoard

Entry wallpaper:
Schumacher

Carpet:
Stark Carpet

Moving company:
Two Men and a Truck

Kitchen outlet decorative painting:
Watkins Decorative Inc.

1st floor office magnetic wallpaper:
Weitzner

Stairwell faux finish:
Iris Lee Marcus

Interior design:
SV Design

Dining table fabricator:
Sweenor Builders

Build It | How to Make a Lathe Turned Bowl

Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva teaches host Kevin O’Connor the basics of using a lathe and then they turn a bowl together.

Steps for making a lathe turned bowl:

  1. Before getting started, Tom recommends wearing a certain level of PPE to prevent any wood chips from getting in your eyes or in your clothes. A face shield and an apron or a fully zipped vest should be worn while using a lathe.
  2. Determine the rough center on both ends of the material being turned and mark it with a pencil.
  3. Remove the spur from the lathe and replace it with a face plate.
  4. Screw the face plate to the material roughly in the center.
  5. Place the face plate back into the lathe and adjust the tail stop so that it holds the other end of the material. Be certain to lock the tail stop in place once it’s properly adjusted.
  6. Adjust the banjo so that the tool rest falls just slightly past the material being turned. This will ensure that the tool doesn’t slip off the rest during turning.
  7. Power on the lathe and slowly bring the speed up. Keep an eye on the material to make sure it’s properly centered on the face plate and the tail stop and will safely spin at a higher speed.
  8. Bring the lathe up to a higher speed to begin turning. The faster it spins, the easier turning will be.
  9. Place the bowl gauge against the tool rest on the banjo and gently ease it into the material. Slide the gauge along the tool rest until it reaches the edge of the material.
  10. Repeat this process until the bowl takes its shape. This will require making some adjustments to the banjo as more material is removed. Be sure to turn off the lathe whenever the banjo needs adjusting.
  11. At the bottom of the bowl closest to the tail stop, switch to a parting tool and form a tenon.
  12. While the lathe is still spinning, sand the bowl using 100, 150, and 240 grit sandpaper. Simply hold the sandpaper against the bowl and let the lathe do the work.
  13. Clean off any sawdust on the bowl. Then, apply Danish oil to the outside of the bowl using the lathe and a rag.
  14. Remove the tail stop from the bowl.
  15. Secure the jaws that come with the lathe over the tenon formed in step 11. It comes with a screw and a special wrench to ensure it can be tightly secured.
  16. Remove the bowl from the face plate, flip the bowl around, and secure the jaws into the lathe instead.
  17. Power the lathe back on and carve out the inside of the bowl using the bowl gauge and the same techniques on the tool rest.
  18. Once the inside of the bowl has been turned, sand the inside using 100, 150, and 240 grit sandpaper.
  19. Clean off any sawdust in the bowl. Then, apply a wipe-on polyurethane to the inside of the bowl with a rag. Let the polyurethane completely dry.
  20. To remove the tenon at the bottom of the bowl, place a roll of duct tape and a rag on the inside of the bowl to protect it. Push the bowl from the opposite side back onto the jaws.
  21. Adjust the tail stop to press against the tenon of the bowl.
  22. Turn the lathe back on. Using the bowl gauge, cut down the tenon as much as possible while still being careful to not loosen it from the lathe.
  23. Once the tenon is a manageable size, remove the bowl from the lathe and hammer off the rest of the tenon with a hammer and chisel.
  24. Finish the bottom of the bowl with a little bit of sanding and Danish oil.
  25. Apply a beeswax coating to the entire bowl with a rag.

Resources:

Tom used a REVO 12|16 110V lathe, which is manufactured by Laguna Tools. The tools Tom used to actually turn the bowl can be found at any specialty woodworking store.


Shopping List:


Tools:

How to Clean a Clogged Shower Cartridge

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey travels to New York City to teach a homeowner how to clean her shower cartridge when it gets clogged.

Steps for cleaning a clogged shower cartridge:

1. Start by covering up the shower drain with a drop cloth to prevent any pieces from falling down the drain.

2. Remove the handles, escutcheons, and cover plate for the shower valve.
a. This will vary, depending on the manufacturer. In general, look for small circles that could be concealing screws that are holding the handles in place. These can usually be removed with an Allen wrench.
b. Be careful to loosen only the handles and not actually turn them; otherwise, the water will turn on.

3. Shut the hot and cold water lines off. Sometimes, these will be in the wall next to the valve and can be closed with a screwdriver and with a shutoff. If not, the water may need to be shut off at the main line.

4. Loosen the nut holding the shower cartridge in place with an open end adjustable wrench.

5. Carefully pull the shower cartridge straight out of the valve. Do this carefully to prevent any damage to either the cartridge or the valve.

6. Scrub the cartridge until all impurities are off of it. This can be done with any soft bristled brush, including a toothbrush, and a little bit of water.

7. In a bowl, mix a little bit of water and white vinegar. Soak the cartridge in the mixture for a couple of hours.

8. Place the cartridge back in the valve and tighten it in place with the nut.

9. Turn the hot and cold water back on.

10. Add the cover plate, escutcheons, and shower handles based on the manufacturer’s design.


Resources:

Every plumbing manufacturer has a slightly different shower valve, so it’s important to match the manufacturer when buying replacement cartridges. Depending on the shower valve, replacement cartridges can be found online, in plumbing supply houses, or for more common valves, in home centers. The shower valve the homeowner had in this piece was a DaVinci Thermostatic Mixer, which she sourced from AF Supply in Manhattan.

In some cases, the cartridge might just need to be cleaned, which can be done with a little bit of vinegar and a toothbrush, which can be found at any grocery store.

A 4-in-1 screwdriver and a pair of slip joint pliers are needed to remove the trim and access the cartridge. These can also be found at home centers.

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Aladdin Plumbing Corp.


Shopping List:

Vinegar


Tools:

S18 E26: Shower Cartridge, Turning a Bowl

Nathan shows Kevin some old drywall paneling he found, and Richard teaches a homeowner how to clean her shower cartridge. Tom teaches Kevin the basics of using a lathe, and then they turn a bowl together.

Previous episode: S18 E25 | Next episode: Posting on Oct 4, 8pm ET

In this episode:

Nathan Gilbert shows Kevin O’Connor some interesting drywall paneling he recently found in an older house; Richard Trethewey travels to New York City to teach a homeowner how to clean her shower cartridge when it gets clogged; Tom Silva teaches Kevin the basics of using a lathe and then they turn a bowl together.

How to Clean a Clogged Shower Cartridge

Richard Trethewey travels to New York City to teach a homeowner how to clean her shower cartridge when it gets clogged.

Where to find it?

Every plumbing manufacturer has a slightly different shower valve, so it’s important to match the manufacturer when buying replacement cartridges. Depending on the shower valve, replacement cartridges can be found online, in plumbing supply houses, or for more common valves, in home centers. The shower valve the homeowner had in this piece was a DaVinci Thermostatic Mixer, which she sourced from AF Supply in Manhattan.

In some cases, the cartridge might just need to be cleaned, which can be done with a little bit of vinegar and a toothbrush, which can be found at any grocery store.

A 4-in-1 screwdriver and a pair of slip joint pliers are needed to remove the trim and access the cartridge. These can also be found at home centers.

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Aladdin Plumbing Corp.

Build It | How to Make a Lathe Turned Bowl

Tom Silva teaches host Kevin O’Connor the basics of using a lathe and then they turn a bowl together.

Where to find it?

Tom used a REVO 12|16 110V lathe, which is manufactured by Laguna Tools. The tools Tom used to actually turn the bowl can be found at any specialty woodworking store.

Original Air Date: May 31, 2020 Season 18; Ep.26 23:43


Products and Services from this Episode

Shower valve:
AF Supply in Manhattan

Expert assistance:
Aladdin Plumbing Corp

REVO 12|16 110V lathe:
Laguna Tools

How to Choose a Finish Nailer | This Old House: Live

Finish nailers

With four nail gauge sizes to choose from, one size does not fit all carpentry and woodworking applications. Need to know how to pick the right finish nailer? Watch as This Old House Pro2Pro editor Chris Ermides showcases the differences between the types of finish nailers. 

When it comes to installing trim around windows, doors, baseboards, crown molding, assembling cabinet parts or installing stair treads and risers, as you can see, one nail gun does not fit all. Each of these nailers covers a range of applications. In some cases there’s overlap, but more often than not—you’re not going to get the results you want by using one when the other is the better option.

The difference between them is the gauge nail that they shoot. The most common and readily available types are 15 gauge, 16 gauge, 18 gauge, and 23 gauge. The higher the number, the thinner the nail and the smaller the hole.

So, do you need them all, and which one should you choose if you can only buy one?

What Are 15-Gauge Nailers Used For?

15 gauge nailer Chris Ermides

15-gauge nailers shoot a thick nail between 1-1/4” to 2-1/2” long. They have substantial holding power thanks to the heavier head.

These nailers are a great option for large interior and exterior casing when nailing into studs (not the jamb), installing pre-hung doors, stair treads or risers, baseboard, and crown—things that require good holding power in the material that can be filled and painted or stained.

The hole is substantial compared to the other options. These nailers are available in pneumatic and cordless configurations.

How Much Do 15-Gauge Nailers Cost?

Expect to pay $270-$450 for a cordless tool-only or kit, depending upon the brand. Check out this 15-gauge nailer by Metabo, available for $319 on Amazon. Pneumatics (such as this model by Senco) cost around $170-$200 depending upon the brand.

The 16-Gauge Nailer is Versatile

16 gauge nailer Chris Ermides

16-gauge nailers shoot nails that are a little thinner than the 15 gauge and have a smaller head. Depending on the brand, these shoot nails from 3/4” to 2-1/2” inches long. They have good holding power and are a good general use gun.

Carpenters use them for a wide variety of tasks including interior trim, baseboard, and crown. You can do stair risers with them, and they’re a good option to nail down tongue and groove flooring like near a wall or in a closet where a flooring nailer won’t work. Most carpenters don’t install pre-hung doors with this gun. If you’re doing a lot of trim work and don’t want to own multiple guns, the 16-gauge is probably the most versatile. These nailers are available in pneumatic and cordless configurations.

How Much Do 16-Gauge Nailers Cost?

Expect to pay $200-$400 for a cordless tool-only or kit, depending upon the brand. Porter Cable sells one for $199 on Amazon. Pneumatics cost around $100-$200 depending upon the brand.

What Do You Use a Brad Nailer For?

18 gauge brad nailer Chris Ermides

18-gauge brad nailers shoot a thin nail between 3/8” to 2” depending on the model. They leave a smaller hole thanks to their small head and so are less likely to split thinner wood.

They’re the ideal nailer for attaching casing to window and door jambs because they’re less likely to blow out the connections. Stop moldings, Base shoe, cove moldings—smaller profiles are a good use here, as well as some chair rails, and a variety of woodworking projects. If you do some trim work and a fair amount of woodworking, the 18-gauge brad nailer is the one to have. These nailers are available in pneumatic and cordless configurations.

How Much Do Brad Nailers Cost?

Expect to pay $100-$440 for a cordless tool-only or kit, depending upon the brand. My Milwaukee model costs $279 on Amazon. Pneumatics cost around $60-$390 depending upon the brand.

What Is a 23-Gauge Pin Nailer?

23-gauge pin nailer Chris Ermides

Last but not least, is the 23-gauge pinner. These too are available in cordless and pneumatic options. This gun should be relegated to tasks like mitered returns or attaching thin moldings or other details to wood.

Because most of them fire headless pins or very small-headed pins, they’re often used in conjunction with glue and therefore end up typically acting as a temporary clamp. They’re also a good option for installing beads and thin stops. They don’t split wood and leave a barely noticeable hole that requires minimal to no filling. These nailers are available in pneumatic and cordless configurations.

How Much Do Pin Nailers Cost?

Expect to pay $130-$400 for a cordless tool-only or kit, depending upon the brand. Metabo features a model for $152 on Amazon. Pneumatics cost around $110-$240 depending upon the brand.

Pneumatic vs. Cordless

As I mentioned, all of these nailers are available in pneumatic or cordless configurations. The tried-and-true pneumatic uses compressed air to push a driver pin that sets the nail. Cordless nailers run on either a battery and gas cartridge or on just a battery.

How Do Pneumatic Nailers Work?

Pneumatic nail guns are the lightest, fastest, and, until recently, the most reliable.

They’re powered by compressed air that is delivered to the nailer through a hose from a compressor. Finish carpenters like them because of their weight and maneuverability – they’re not as bulky as cordless nailers and are typically well-balanced. They require some maintenance and can be refurbished without sending in for service.

How Do Cordless Nailers Work?

Cordless gas nailers evolved from pneumatics as carpenters looked for more convenience. They’ve been around for a long time, so the technology has become more reliable over the years. These nailers run on a rechargeable battery and fuel cartridge that creates a small explosion inside a combustion chamber which pushes the driver pin and sets the nail. These nailers are lightweight and reliable, though they can’t be fired rapidly like pneumatics.

They require more maintenance and upkeep cost. Some carpenters are put-off by the propane-like smell that is emitted with each shot. Runtime on these nailers is excellent and because there’s no air hose or compressor to haul around (and potentially trip over) they are convenient.

The latest cordless nailer technology relies solely on a battery, so there’s no gas cartridge to change out. With these nailers the driver mechanism is different than the other two styles – there’s compressed air or gas housed in the head and a piston that drives the pin down.

Depending upon the gauge nailer, they can be heavier than the gas and pneumatic options – but they are very fast and plenty powerful. They require no maintenance though when they are down, they need to be sent in for service. Though runtime is good with these nailers, the trade-off is the weight and sometimes balance of the tool depending upon the brand. These nailers are reliable and convenient.

Cost

You can buy pneumatic combo kits that include a compressor and one, two, or three nailers for $200-$400 depending upon the brand and configuration. These are a great option if you’re starting from scratch.

If you’re already invested in a battery platform, you will find each of these nailers available as tool-only or in kits that include a battery and charger. Prices vary widely depending upon the brand.

How to Make a Cat Bed from a Basket

Cat sitting on top of a DIY bed made from a basket. Jenn Largesse

Need a place for your cat to nap? You can make an easy DIY cat bed using some plywood, a basket, and some creativity. Watch as DIY Expert & House One Editor Jenn Largesse shows you how.

How do you make a simple cat bed for your feline friend? It’s easy—all you need is a woven basket, plywood, and some creativity and you’ve got the perfect place for kitty to rest and relax. Follow these steps:

DIY Cat Bed Directions:

1. Mark the Basket Size

Place the basket onto the plywood. Using a pencil, mark the outline of the basket on the plywood.

2. Cut the Plywood

Using a jigsaw, cut just inside the marked outline to allow the panel to find inside the basket. Check for a snug fit inside the basket—trim as needed.

Drawing of the DIY cat bed Jenn Largesse

Trace the cutout onto a new piece of plywood, and then cut a second circular piece to create two levels.

3. Mark the Opening on the Upper Level

Using a round item (like the lid of a pot), mark the ends of a 10-inch opening about 2 inches from the edges of the circle. Using a ruler, draw a line between the circular ends to complete the outline of the opening.

4. Cut the Opening

Using a drill/driver fitted with a paddle bit, create a hole inside the marked opening. Insert the blade of the jigsaw into the hole, and then cut the opening. Sand the edges of the plywood pieces smooth with a sanding sponge.

5. Cut and Secure the Uprights

Using a miter saw, cut the 1x4 boards to a height about four inches less than the height of the basket. Rest the top plywood cutout onto a paint can and blocks to allow the boards to stand upright beneath it. Apply glue to the top edge of the boards, and then position them along the edges of the plywood. Nail through the plywood and into the boards to secure them in place. Flip the assembly. Apply glue to the remaining end of each board. Position the lower plywood circle onto the boards. Secure the plywood to the boards with nails.

6. Cut an Opening in the Basket

Using painter’s tape, mark off an 8-inch square opening near the base of the basket. Cut the threads between the coils to separate the woven layers along the top and bottom of the opening. Cut a slit up the center of the opening. Fold the flaps inside the basket. Using hot glue and clamps, secure the flaps inside the basket. Add a stitch if needed. (Tip: flatten the crease with a clothes iron)

7. Insert the Assembly into the Basket

Lower the assembly into the basket. Position the assembly so that the opening in the basket is not obstructed by a board. Add a pet bed to the lower level and a blanket, carpet, or fabric to the upper level.


What You Need:

Tools

Materials

Cut List

  • 1 x 4 Uprights – 5 @ 10 inches (or about 4 inches less than height of basket)
  • ¼” Plywood Levels – 2 @ 22” diameter circle (Cut to circle, sized to inside dimensions of basket)