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About NickinMass

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  1. 2x on nitsuj's comments on flattening (a run through the supplier's double-sided planer won't take out cup or twist) and adding dutchmen and/or epoxy to deal with cracks/checks/splits. I recently did a reclaimed oak beam for use as a fireplace mantle - the checks/cracks/worm holes/nail holes were nearly infinite sources of dust and dirt. Many rounds of compressed air and vacuuming were required. Also, consider Waterlox for the finish - very easy to use and repair and leaves a close to the wood finish, but only if you can let the piece dry/cure for a while before moving it into occupied space (very stinky until it's cured).
  2. It's spendy, but I'd go with spray foam (icynene is one type) in the rafter bays - air seals and insulates, so no need for ventilation. Otherwise you'll need to vent to keep the roof cold in the winter (ice dams here we come if you don't).
  3. Gobigblue has a good point - you need to figure out the volume of your box and do a box fill calculation (google "electrical box fill calculation") - this might become an issue if you've got 12ga wiring (you might need to replace with a larger "old work" box to get enough volume to accommodate the additional wires). Regardless of how that comes out, it sounds like you're planning on feed through wiring the downstream outlet - I'd avoid that. You really only want to connect the feed wires to the receptacle - any other wires or devices should be connected to the feed wires via wirenut splices. I reread your original post and I'm not sure I have the right picture. Here's what I have in my head - you've got one NM (aka Romex) cable coming to the box from the top, and another coming in from the bottom. The hots (black or red) are connected with a wirenut to a pigtail that is connected to the hot terminal (usually brass colored) on your receptacle, the neutrals (whites) are connected with a wirenut to a pigtail connected to the neutral terminal (usually chrome) on your receptacle, and ground wires (green or bare copper) that are connected with a wirenut to the pigtail that is connected to the ground terminal on the receptacle. If all that is correct, you should pull in your new cable and add the hot from the new cable to the splice with all of the hot wires, add your neutral from the new cable to the neutral splice, and add the ground to the ground splice. You may need to go up a size on the wirenuts (should be ok with red, yellow may be too small).
  4. If I'm reading this right, you're thinking of through-wiring using the terminals on the duplex receptacle. I'd suggest you do it right and pigtail it instead (put pigtails on the receptacle terminals, then wire nut together the feeder wires coming into the box, the pigtail wires, and the wires running to your new receptacle). If you through wire, one loose terminal screw shuts down everything downstream and arcing can cause a fire.
  5. Sketchup is great, but it does have a learning curve. I used it to do a really precise design on a built-in corner cabinet I did in my dining room - I was able to take measurements directly off the model.
  6. I agree - bolt right to the frame. I would consider getting some 1/8" or 3/16" plate and making braces for the corners (unistrut is great, but I don't know that the fittings were engineered for the kind of live load stress you'll be putting on the corners when you've got a heavy yak on there, bouncing on the highway with a crosswind).
  7. You should be able to get Unistrut (or a knockoff) at any big box store. There are all kinds of connector plates and special nuts available, although you might be limited at Lowes/Home Depot. Look in the electrical section. I was curious and did a quick search - turns out you can buy a fair number of fittings on Amazon if you can't find them locally.
  8. And an all around win - the leaves are already in your yard (so no trip to buy mulch and you save the effort of hauling them off), they make your life easier by suppressing weeds and preserving soil moisture, and you can always compost whatever you don't use.
  9. I use shredded leaves + pine needles (a layer of shredded leaves, then pine needles on top) - the pine needles help the shredded leaves stay in place. I shred the leaves I rake in the fall and store in covered barrels. I've been growing excellent crops of weeds the last few years (too much youth sports coaching in the spring to ever get to the garden), but when I do it, I turn over the soil in the fall, then mulch over (top up if needed in the spring/summer, but keep the mulch away from the base of the plants).
  10. If you can get in there, I'd wrap the pipe with pipe wrap tape (to avoid any galvanic interaction with the steel, although if I remember my correctly, copper always wins against iron in a galvanic corrosion situation, so you would be ok without the pipe wrap), then stuff with steel wool and throw an escutcheon on there to make it pretty.
  11. Never heard of the break-in procedure, so I can't help there. x2 on draining after every use (you'll get moisture in the tank every time you run it, unless you're in a bone dry climate). You ought to be buy a pull valve to replace the twist valve to make it a little easier to drain.
  12. If the crew at your house is anything like the gang at mine, I'd go with all the colors, maybe even a few of each and it might just trigger a change in behavior, but I wouldn't hold my breath...
  13. I did a quick search and the cheapest 3 way occupancy switch I saw was $28 (and only rated for 60w, so you'd probably need to have a fluorescent or LED fixture). I hate wasting electricity, but in this case I'd seriously consider switching the fixture to CFL or LED (if it isn't already) and not worry about turning it on/off. If you do want to put in the switch, as long as the hot comes to the switch your laundry room you should be ok (if the hot goes to the distant switch you've got a problem).
  14. Through-wired GFIs make me nuts. The builder saves a few bucks on GFI outlets and leaves the homeowner to play "find the GFI" when it trips.
  15. Alternative to a radiator cover would be to make a wooden frame out of 3/4" or so cove or quarter round molding