Drill bits worth knowing about

Speedbor bits or auger bits are fantastic and much better then spade bits.  They have the little screw at the end that pulls the bit into and through the wood so you don't have to push hard on the drill.
I bought a IRWIN SPEEDBOR at Menards for $7.47, then I saw the entire package of Stubby Auger bits at Harbor Freight for $12.99 and an entire package of longer Auger bits for $16.99.  I opened the Harbor Freight bits first with the plan to return the IRWIN bit if the Harbor Freight bits worked well.  I was drilling 100 year old 2x4s and the Harbor Freight bits did not work well.  The little screw kept becoming packed with wood(see the drill bit pictured below) and it wouldn't pull itself through the wood.  I was cleaning it 2 or 3 times just to drill through 1 1/2 inches into a 2X4.   I switched to the IRWIN bit and it has been FANTASTIC and worth the higher price.   The screw on the end that pulls the bit into the wood did not jam or pack with sawdust even on the 100 year old wood.  I did one more test with a Harbor Freight bit on newer recently purchased 2X4s and it worked fine and the screw didn't pack with sawdust.  Do be careful as the bit drills fast and the torque will cause the drill to twist and can smash figures and twists wrists!

Cutting concrete and masonary blades

I used to buy the $2 - $3 masonry blades and they work fine if you just want to cut a couple of concrete blocks or landscape bricks.  Buy more than you need and plan on returning the unused blades.  You will be surprised how fast they wear.  I buy the 7 1/4 blades for my circular saw.  A couple of summers ago I built a raised patio to replace a deck.  I hated all the junk, spiders and animals that got under the deck.  The raised patio solved that problem and looked very cool also.  I used landscape bricks on the perimeter.  I had to cut a lot of bricks and decided to try a Bosch 7 in. Segmented Rim Diamond Blade DKO which cost under $30.  It lasted the entire project and was available for a new project this year.  I used it to cut squares out of a concrete floor in a basement of a project house.  I'm putting up I-beams to stop the block walls from bowing in.  I cut 15  1 foot square holes thru 5" concrete.  It got dull with just 5 holes left so I bought a new blade.  Then it hit me to reverse the blade and see if that would work.  I was able to finish without using the new blade.  I checked the documentation on the blade to see if there is a correct way for the blade to rotate and did not see any mention of it.  My recommendation would be to check with the manufacture before reversing the blade.  I should have read the documentation before I used the blade and I believe it would have lasted even longer.  So far, I'd say putting up Ibeams to fix a bowing basement wall is a good DIY project.  First, score or cut the concrete floor where the base of the Ibeam will be. Then hit it a few time to break the concrete.  Remove the concrete and dirt to allow for the Ibeam.  Position the Ibeam in the hole.  Nail or screw framing at the top to hold the Ibeam against the wall.  Fill the hole at the base of the Ibeam with concrete.  I'll publish pictures later on.  I also check YouTube to see how others do things before I start.

Oscillating saw Opinion

Love them!  Enough said!  I've got a Rockwell and am very happy with it.  It makes installing doors very easy.  I've installed a lot of pre-hung doors over the years.  A pre-hung door comes attached to the frame and has spacers for a perfect install.  An oak 6 panel door at Menards today is $106 and it is a cheap and easy way to make a significant upgrade to a house.  The problem I've had installing the pre-hung doors is that I used to cut the nails that are driven thru the frame, spacers and into the door to hold everything in place and then the door gets out of whack.   The door also is hard to handle as it is swinging open and shut and the door frame isn't attached to the rough opening yet so it is moving all over the place at the same time making it hard for someone installing a door by themselves.  The reason people cut the door lose from the frame before installing it is because it is hard to do after the door is installed.  HOWEVER, with the oscillating saw, the door can be installed without cutting it lose from the frame and shims and the saw's thin oscillating blade can slide between the door and frame and cut the fasteners after the door is installed.  The thin oscillating blade can get behind trim and cut nails and a hundred other places any other saw can't be used. 
I've always had trouble remembering which door is a left had door verses a right handed door until an old timer told be to stand in the doorway with the door open and  my butt against the hinge side.  If the door is on my left side, then it is a left handed door and if the door is on the right side, then it is a right handed door.

Common furnace problem

This winter I've had two service calls on newer 90% efficient furnaces.  They have pressure switches that are designed to keep the furnace safe.  They have condensation lines that can be plugged and cause the switch to shut down the furnace.  I started one furnace on a project house in 0% weather so I could so some work.  The furnace started working, created condensation which then froze because the house was so cold which caused the switch to shut the furnace down.  The other service call was because the condensation line got dirty and plugged which caused the switch to shut the furnace down.  So far, I haven't tried to fix them myself, but I may try now that I know it is a common problem.

When good masking tape goes bad

The good news was that I had 3 new rolls of making tape.  The bad news was that they were new several years ago and would not come off the roll in a piece longer than  3 inches.  Ok, that was an exaggeration , it was more like 2 inches.  Try putting the tape in the microwave.  I tried it for 15 seconds on each side and was able to use the tape with minimal frustration.

Which faucet is best?

I've asked plumbers which faucet is best and they answered Moen.  I've bought Moen. I've bought Delta and I've bought less well known brand name faucets.  After lots of years I've decided Delta is my choice.  They are all expensive to buy.   Delta is cheap and easy to repair as apposed to Moen which is expensive and easy to repair.  Delta repairs consist of a couple of springs and rubber covers and they last a very long time.  Moen is a cartridge and lasts for awhile.  I realize now that plumbers like Moen because it is best for their business.  I can't believe it took me 30 years to figure that out.  I don't know which faucet is best because I haven't tried them all, but I'm satisfied that Delta is the best for me.

Wh t a wei d co ple of d ys

My first call came from a good tenant and he told me that he ran out of gas for the mower. (I probably should tell you that I supply mowers for some of my places. Not great mowers, just mowers). Then he said he mixed it 50% gas and 50% water just like I told him. Now the mower won't run. At this point, what does a person say. I never confront people when they aren't telling the truth. I said that he might be thinking of the previous mower where he had to mix the gas and oil, but it probably wasn't 1 to 1 ratio. I told him to dump out the bad gas containing water and use 100% gas and let me know how it works out. (I'm planning to go over to his place after work and dump the carburetor bowl and start the mower).

My second call came from someone using the Sprint relay service which I believe allows someone that is either hearing or speaking impaired to type their information to a Sprint person who then talks on the phone. My ad says to call after 5:00 PM so I don't answer the phone until after 5:00 so I can't be accused of operating my rental business while I'm at work. Consequently they had to leave a message which said it would be better to communicate with email. This would have been great if they would have given me an email address.

The last caller left me an 11 digit phone number to call back on.

Everything has been a little "off" lately.