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What home repairs are you working on?

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03 Oct 2022 16:44 #335924 by JoelCFC25
The peace of mind about home repairs from having built a brand-new house is gone--original water heater gave up the ghost after just over 5 years and started leaking from the bottom. $2200 later we're back in business and in theory Rheem will cut us a warranty check for the unit sometime in the coming months.
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03 Oct 2022 18:38 - 03 Oct 2022 18:39 #335928 by BillyBobThwarton
Regarding those t posts, what I do is violently rock them side to side in the direction of the wings. Once I manage to get them to be at 60 degrees from the ground, I pull them straight up. It helps if there has been a recent rain.
Last edit: 03 Oct 2022 18:39 by BillyBobThwarton.
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03 Oct 2022 20:39 #335929 by Cranberries

dysjunct wrote: I successfully replaced the igniter in my oven, and tightened a loose doorknob.


Think of the money you saved with that igniter repair.

I like fixing things, because for a few hours it feels like the world isn't falling apart and I am in temporary control of my life. I love this Oliver Burkeman passage:

"Behind our more strenuous attempts at personal change, there's almost always the desire for a feeling of control. We want to lever ourselves into a position of dominance over our lives, so that we might finally feel secure and in charge, and no longer so vulnerable to events. But whichever way you look at it, this kind of control is an illusion. It implies the ability to somehow stand back from or get outside of your life – which you never can, obviously, because you just are your life. "
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03 Oct 2022 21:23 - 03 Oct 2022 21:24 #335930 by Cranberries

BillyBobThwarton wrote: Regarding those t posts, what I do is violently rock them side to side in the direction of the wings. Once I manage to get them to be at 60 degrees from the ground, I pull them straight up. It helps if there has been a recent rain.


They were rock solid. I should have soaked them the night before. I actually destroyed a post jack using an extension tube on the handle. The rental shop welded it back together and the final three posts were relatively loose.

For some reason the neighbors had an eight foot fence post sitting on the ground--exactly what I needed.


The jack is actually a better tool after they welded it.
Last edit: 03 Oct 2022 21:24 by Cranberries.

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03 Oct 2022 21:43 #335932 by jason10mm
I built a top frame (threshold?) over one of my fence gates. It is right at a corner, so if I hinge the gate so it opens out to the edge of the property all the gate weight is on that one corner post. Previous owner had the gate swing in towards the property but then it blocked the very path you used to go through the gate. That took weight off the corner post and kept it from leaning in and causing the gate to rub but made the gate damn near useless

Anyhoo, now that the gate posts are supported by a 4x4 across the top, I not only have a gate that can now swing freely open and closed, I also have a thick beam to practice chin ups and anyone 6'6" or taller has to duck or risk getting knocked out.

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04 Oct 2022 00:13 #335938 by Space Ghost
Replacing all the wood railing and posts on our deck with aluminum posts and railing. Tedious because our top deck is 30 foot off the ground and I have to put blocks between the joists to bolt the posts to. Using sets of muscles that have been lying dormant during my professor gig.

Also, having to drive in about a 80 mile radius to acquire all the materials I need. Irritating.

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04 Oct 2022 08:06 #335941 by stormseeker75
I try to do stuff every day. Most of my summer consisted of chopping up the wood pile and putting it on a real rack. That was a lot of work. I've gotten quite good at it and actually enjoy it so I need more logs to carry and split.

I fixed my lawn mower! I've always been intimidated by engines and things that go vroom in general. My neighbor is a wise old dude who knows how to fix everything. He gave me the 411. Started right up.

I had bailed on a light switch a while back. I know I wasn't yet mentally healthy at that time in hindsight. Maybe I'll try it again. I at least know the circuit to shut off in the box.

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04 Oct 2022 11:00 #335951 by RobertB

stormseeker75 wrote: I had bailed on a light switch a while back. I know I wasn't yet mentally healthy at that time in hindsight. Maybe I'll try it again. I at least know the circuit to shut off in the box.


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04 Oct 2022 11:31 #335952 by Shellhead

Cranberries wrote: I like fixing things, because for a few hours it feels like the world isn't falling apart and I am in temporary control of my life.


It's funny, because I often don't enjoy fixing things because I often get frustrated and disappointed along the way, and that is very much not a feeling of being in control. For example, I posted about a minor plumbing repair early in this thread. It was a leaky faucet. It didn't seem to be the type where I could just switch out a cartridge, so I decided to just replace the faucet. Along the way, I discovered that the previous owner used outdoor plumbing parts instead of indoor plumbing parts, so the wider threading was incompatible with proper indoor plumbing parts even when the size was otherwise a good match. Ultimately, I brought in a plumber who cut off the offending threading, replaced that section of pipe, and welded everything. This kind of shit happens often when I try to fix things. Life would be easier if there was a lot more standardization in parts used to make things.

The old trees in my yard periodically drop large branches during storms, and one huge incident caused me to buy a chainsaw. The helpful guy at the hardware store showed me how to start it, use it, and maintain it. I got some great use out of the chainsaw that summer, as well as the next summer. But I eventually gave it away to my favorite uncle when he needed a chainsaw, because the damned thing was so fiddly to use. If I topped off the gas, made sure the chain was tightened just right, and there was enough oil, I might get 10 to 15 minutes of use out of it, unless it got stuck in a log somehow. But then it would need more gas, need more oil, or the chain was getting loose, or whatever, and then I would need to stop for a while to tinker with it. And sometimes it was just so stupidly hard to start with that goddamned pull cord. I never stopped fearing my chainsaw, but when I grew to hate it, I had to get rid of it. Now I use a Silky Big Boy handsaw. It is nowhere near as fast as a chainsaw, but still gets the job done and my arms get a workout.

My dad was an enthusiastic DIY'er, and I wish that I had paid more attention to what he was showing me, especially since he passed away before I bought my house. I did learn a fair amount, but the most vivid memories are of his disasters, like the time that he accidentally set the wall of my closet on fire with a welding torch.
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04 Oct 2022 12:00 - 04 Oct 2022 12:06 #335953 by Gary Sax

JoelCFC25 wrote: The peace of mind about home repairs from having built a brand-new house is gone--original water heater gave up the ghost after just over 5 years and started leaking from the bottom. $2200 later we're back in business and in theory Rheem will cut us a warranty check for the unit sometime in the coming months.


I so deeply feel you here, we bought this house because it was a lot newer than some of the others we looked at and we didn't have the cash at the time---5-7 years later we are now reaping the normal whirlwid of home repairs. New roof a couple years ago, now we are having a full gutter suite put on our house because the insane previous owners who built the house basically have a single stupid gutter that gets like 2% of the water pouring off our house. We don't have a basement but it's still bad for the foundation. We're replacing our water heater right now, probably going tankless, which means it'll be real expensive. We have hardish water so I know it's going to create some problems, we'll probably have to have someone flush it occasionally, but I'm hoping to put a water softener in anyway when I have a little more cash on hand.

At least contractors have gotten like 10x easier to get now that the housing market has been strangled by the Fed.
Last edit: 04 Oct 2022 12:06 by Gary Sax.

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04 Oct 2022 14:18 #335958 by Msample

Shellhead wrote:

Cranberries wrote: I like fixing things, because for a few hours it feels like the world isn't falling apart and I am in temporary control of my life.


It's funny, because I often don't enjoy fixing things because I often get frustrated and disappointed along the way, and that is very much not a feeling of being in control. For example, I posted about a minor plumbing repair early in this thread. It was a leaky faucet. It didn't seem to be the type where I could just switch out a cartridge, so I decided to just replace the faucet. Along the way, I discovered that the previous owner used outdoor plumbing parts instead of indoor plumbing parts, so the wider threading was incompatible with proper indoor plumbing parts even when the size was otherwise a good match. Ultimately, I brought in a plumber who cut off the offending threading, replaced that section of pipe, and welded everything. This kind of shit happens often when I try to fix things. Life would be easier if there was a lot more standardization in parts used to make things.

The old trees in my yard periodically drop large branches during storms, and one huge incident caused me to buy a chainsaw. The helpful guy at the hardware store showed me how to start it, use it, and maintain it. I got some great use out of the chainsaw that summer, as well as the next summer. But I eventually gave it away to my favorite uncle when he needed a chainsaw, because the damned thing was so fiddly to use. If I topped off the gas, made sure the chain was tightened just right, and there was enough oil, I might get 10 to 15 minutes of use out of it, unless it got stuck in a log somehow. But then it would need more gas, need more oil, or the chain was getting loose, or whatever, and then I would need to stop for a while to tinker with it. And sometimes it was just so stupidly hard to start with that goddamned pull cord. I never stopped fearing my chainsaw, but when I grew to hate it, I had to get rid of it. Now I use a Silky Big Boy handsaw. It is nowhere near as fast as a chainsaw, but still gets the job done and my arms get a workout.

My dad was an enthusiastic DIY'er, and I wish that I had paid more attention to what he was showing me, especially since he passed away before I bought my house. I did learn a fair amount, but the most vivid memories are of his disasters, like the time that he accidentally set the wall of my closet on fire with a welding torch.


Battery powered chainsaw FTW. I didn't want to fiddle with gas, oil, yanking cord etc. I am not using it for an entire day at a time, just taking care of deadfall and leaning widowmakers. Its the perfect solution.
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04 Oct 2022 14:48 - 04 Oct 2022 14:51 #335961 by Shellhead
Battery powered chainsaw sounds okay, except for the chain part. With my old chainsaw, I constantly needed to adjust the tightness of the chain. Too tight and it won't rotate. Too loose and it can come off. One time, I didn't stop to tighten the chain when I needed to, and the chain came partially off, striking the hand guard. That scared the hell out of me and was probably the beginning of the end of my time as a chainsaw owner.

EDIT: According to the CDC, an average of 36,000 people get injured every year by chainsaws.

EDIT #2: According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the average chainsaw injury requires 110 stitches.
Last edit: 04 Oct 2022 14:51 by Shellhead.
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04 Oct 2022 17:08 #335969 by RobertB
I've got a pole saw that looks like a mini chainsaw, that I attach to my battery-powered weedeater power unit. The power unit supports attachments, so I have a leaf blower, pole saw, cultivator, and trimmer (actually three trimmer heads) that all hook to the unit. It probably suffers from what everything multipurpose suffers from - a dedicated unit would work better. But they work fine as it is.

I also have a 2-stroke chainsaw, that is next to impossible to start. If I have to use a chainsaw again, I'm buying an electric one.

Yes, a chainsaw is a fairly terrifying piece of hardware. I tell everyone to stay the hell away from me while I'm using it.
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04 Oct 2022 17:21 #335972 by Msample
A modular pole saw/hedge trimmer/weed wacker is likely on the horizon for me; as a bonus it will use the same battery as my chainsaw.

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04 Oct 2022 17:37 #335973 by dysjunct

Shellhead wrote: EDIT #2: According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the average chainsaw injury requires 110 stitches.


Yeah, but how many of those are in the chainsaw wielder, and how many are in their assistants?
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