November 2008 Table of Contents

Fitting Out a Custom Closet Fitting Out a Custom Closet

Adjustable rods and shelving simplify layout and construction. Read more

Inlaying Ceramic Tile in a Wood Floor Inlaying Ceramic Tile in a Wood Floor

To ensure a long-lasting installation, use a membrane and a movement joint. Read more

Retrofitting an Insulated Cold Roof Retrofitting an Insulated Cold Roof

Installing insulation and ventilation under a new roof can solve heat-loss problems and prevent ice dams. Read more

Shop-Built Portico for a Shingle-Style Home Shop-Built Portico for a Shingle-Style Home

Building this elaborate entry porch off-site saved valuable time in the schedule. Read more

Letters Letters

Architectural abomination; protecting trees on site; reasons for red flags; grounding three-prong outlets Read more

In the News

Roofing nails puncture gas lines in Texas; hot countertops rattle kitchen and bath industry; dustup over drywall Read more

Q & A
Q&A Preventing Gaps in PVC Trim

Q: I've completed a couple of projects with cellular PVC trim boards, and in both of them wide gaps have opened up in the joints even though we used both glue and nails during installation. Is there a way to prevent these gaps from occurring? Read more

Q&A Upgrading a Pocket-Hole Jig

Q: Recently I discovered that my faithful Kreg pocket-hole jig somehow got "lost" on my last job site. I want to replace it. Is upgrading to the Foreman pocket-hole cutter worthwhile, or should I just stick with the same jig? Read more

Q&A How to Build a Climbing Wall

Q: I'm planning an addition for a client who wants to turn a 22-foot-high wall into a climbing wall. He would like this wall to closely resemble stone, but he doesn't want it to cost as much as natural stone. I've poured a lot of flat concrete, but I have never built something like this - so I really don't have a clue what materials we should use. How are climbing walls normally constructed? Read more

Q&A What Causes Drywall Fasteners to Pop?

Q: On a recent project, several hundred screw pops showed up on the primed walls and ceilings. About half the boards in the house had to be rescrewed and patched, and all the drywall had to be reprimed. Although it was raining when the drywall was stocked, my drywaller says he did not use any of the sheets that got wet. According to him, the problem was caused by shrinkage in the framing - but construction conditions were normal, with no obvious evidence of excessive moisture levels in the lumber. What happened? Read more

Business Defining Your Niche Can Help in Downtimes

I specialize in custom decks. I switched to this niche last winter, when my backlog of general remodeling work dried up and I had no jobs on the horizon. The suburbs of New York City — where my business is located — were hit hard by the economic downturn; many GCs I knew were going out of business. Read more

Legal Employee Drinking on the Job

Suppose your lead carpenter calls and says there has been an accident: One of your employees cut his finger off — and by the way, he had alcohol on his breath when it happened. What do you do? If you’re like most contractors, you fire the employee and then say to yourself, “Whew! I’m glad that’s over with.” Read more

Kitchen & Bath
Kitchen & Bath

Commercial-style range for less; slate-look porcelain tiles; lightweight thinset mortar; PEX plumbing connections Read more


Noise-muffling floor underlayment; dramatic roof windows; natural-looking composite siding; manufactured moment frame; more Read more

Ridgid SeeSnake Micro Toolbox Ridgid SeeSnake Micro

On past remodeling projects I Read more

Toolbox New Framing Guns from DeWalt and Senco

Recently I tested two nailers introduced in 2008. In keeping with the trend toward more compact framing guns, the SN902XP is Senco's smallest, lightest framer yet. DeWalt's D51850, by contrast, is larger and heavier than any of the company's previous models. Read more

Kipper Crete KPR-11.5-FLB Power Trowel Toolbits Kipper Crete KPR-11.5-FLB Power Trowel

Power trowels are great time-savers, but some tasks — like finishing slab edges and around penetrations — have always required a hand trowel. Read more

Milwaukee M12 Copper Tubing Cutter Toolbits Milwaukee M12 Copper Tubing Cutter

Milwaukee's M12 Copper Tubing Cutter adjusts automatically to cut 3/8- to 1-inch-diameter K-, L-, and M-type copper. Read more

Ridgid Quick-Acting Vises Toolbits Ridgid Quick-Acting Vises

Ridgid's new Quick-Acting Vises have a trigger that frees the jaws from the adjustment screw, allowing you to open or close them quickly to suit the task at hand. Read more

Makita Two-Piece 10.8-Volt LCT203W Combo Kit Toolbits Makita Two-Piece 10.8-Volt LCT203W Combo Kit

If you haven't yet bought one of the new ultra-compact driver-drills or impact drivers, you can get both in Makita's two-piece 10.8-volt LCT203W combo kit. Read more

Stanly Virax Pressing Tools Toolbits Stanly Virax Pressing Tools

Press-on plumbing fittings install fast, don't require a dry pipe, and make torches unnecessary. Read more

Rockler Dust Right Vacuum Nozzles Toolbits Rockler Dust Right Vacuum Nozzles

Four-inch Dust Right vacuum nozzles connect to your dust-collection system, allowing you to spruce up your shop or job site without a broom. Read more

Artillery Tools Pry Bar System Toolbits Artillery Tools Pry Bar System

Think of the Artillery Pry Bar System as a complete demolition arsenal: blades, fulcrums, and levers of various sizes — everything you need to make a customized pry bar to suit virtually any demo job. Read more

Metabo KHE 56 SDS-Max Rotary Hammer Toolbits Metabo KHE 56 SDS-Max Rotary Hammer

The Metabo KHE 56 SDS-Max Rotary Hammer has vibration-dampening side and rear handles, a 14-amp motor, adjustable impact energy, electronic speed control, and a protective clutch. Read more

No Lot Too Small Backfill No Lot Too Small

Plenty of business cards say “no job too small.” Builder Dan Upton and architect Jeff Shelton could reasonably have “no lot too small” printed on theirs. Not that either of them specializes in small projects — but they did complete a house on a 20-foot-by-20-foot lot in Santa Barbara, Calif. Read more

Other Articles
JLC Extra: The Wonderful Wizards of Woz JLC Extra: The Wonderful Wizards of Woz

An allegorical depiction of the current economic crisis. Created by JLC illustrator Tim Healey. Read more

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