Insulation and Air
Denim Draft Stopper.
worse than installing fiberglass building insulation? Not much.
Instead of itchy and irritating insulating products, how about
one that's about as comfortable as an old pair of jeans? Ultra
Touch Cotton Fiber Insulation is made largely from denim
scraps, so handling and installing the product requires no
protective equipment or other special measures. According to
the manufacturer, the borate-treated product performs better
than fiberglass in extreme cold, is not as attractive to
rodents and insects, and has excellent fire resistance (class
1). The 3 1/2-inch, R-13 product runs about 50¢ per
square foot, and the 5 1/2-inch, R-19 runs about 70¢
per square foot.
Bonded Logic, 480/812-9114,
foam is among the best-performing insulation products; builders
applaud its air-sealing and moisture-management properties. But
most spray foams have a petroleum base that's a thorn in the
side of many environmentally conscious consumers and builders.
BioBased 501 Spray-in-Place Foam is soybean based, making it
more appealing to the eco conscience. According to the maker,
the foam is pest resistant and has all of the other attributes
of more typical spray-in-place foams. Installed prices run
about 85¢ to $1.25 per square foot.
BioBased Systems, 800/803-5189,
A Foam for All Seasons.
a wider temperature range for installation and better
performance than typical foam sealants, Dow's Great Stuff Pro
is the newest addition to the company's line of urethane
sealants. The Pro line includes expanding, minimal-expanding
and low-pressure formulas, as well as four dispensing guns. The
low-pressure formula is probably the most noteworthy. Designed
specifically for sealing around doors and windows, it won't
distort window frames and doorjambs while it cures, and it
stays soft to better accommodate seasonal movement.
Minimal-expanding and expanding formulas sell for $8 to $10 per
can; the window and door formula goes for $10 to $12 per
Take a good look at just
about any tube of caulking, and the directions will tell you to
install foam backer rod before filling gaps greater than 1/2
inch. That's all well and good, but have you ever tried to
actually buy backer rod? Unless you have a supplier that's
really into weatherization supplies, the inexpensive yet
important product is hard to find. That may be changing. Dap
has introduced its own backer rod, and any dealer who sells its
widely accepted caulks and sealants should carry the rod as
well. Ask them.
Dap, 888/327-8477, www.dap.com.
On the Job:
Fast-Acting High-Performance GlueBy Derrell Day
FastCap (888/443-3748, www.fastcap.com) recently introduced a new
CA (cyanoacrylate) glue, 2P-10, that's fast setting and
virtually unbreakable. As a test, I mitered and glued several
4-inch pieces of baseboard together, and no one's been able to
break them apart yet. At least not without stomping on
Like most industrial CA-type glues, 2P-10 comes in two parts.
The adhesive is dispensed from a squeeze bottle, and the
activator comes in a separate aerosol can. It's available in
three formulas: medium viscosity for melamine and smooth
surfaces, thick for raw wood-to-wood, and a gel for heavier and
vertical applications. What's great about this product is how
fast it sets. Glued miter returns are done in about 15 seconds
without a visible glue line, and, unlike most other CA glues,
no white residue is left behind.
Most of my work is stain grade, and this glue even works on
joints that are still wet with oil-based stain. I always keep a
stain pot at my miter table so I can touch up after making a
cut. After I've wiped away the excess stain, I can glue the
joint right away. The difficult part is getting the parts
aligned quickly and holding them tightly, while simultaneously
"rolling" your fingers away from the joint. If you aren't
careful, you can become a part of your work. A debonder is
available and is probably a good investment.
I haven't touched a miter clamp since I started using this
product. I apply the glue to one side of the joint and spray
the activator directly onto the glue. At first, I sprayed the
activator on the opposing piece as suggested by the
instructions, but I found applying the activator to the glue
really speeds things up. I've been able to speed up the bond
time to about 8 seconds. The glue completely cures in about 30
seconds when you apply the accelerator, but if you need a
little more working time, you don't have to use it.
As for shelf life, I've had the product for about four months,
and even though the label says store at 70°F, I keep it
in my tool trailer, which can reach about 130°F during
the day. I haven't detected any change in performance or
viscosity, and I haven't had a joint failure ever. I've used
this stuff on MDF and various woods, all with excellent
results, and I haven't noticed any lingering or obnoxious
odors. Even though $30 for an 8-ounce bottle seems a little
pricey, the bottle (thick formula) I've been using for four
months is still half full. What I've saved in time far
outweighs the cost of the glue. This is the good stuff
— what more can I say?
Derrell Dayis a general contractor in Panama City,