author
50CommentsLand of Liberals, Maryland. Sanctuary for criminals.Joined August 23rd, 2016
Chemist. Automechanic. Physicist. Engineer. My wife and I gutted our 2 story home to the floor joists and rebuilt the ENTIRE interior. Built in exterior walls reduced energy by 75%! Username because I am an expert at Mass Spectrometry. GC/MS. For over 25 years. Wrote two EPA methods. My gift is troubleshooting. Sent all over the world and had batting average of 1.000 in fixing and optimizing every instrument. They are chemical laboratory instruments like used in CSI. Forensic, research of al... Read More »
  • MassSpec Man followed coolbeansbaby68 and maewert15 hours ago
      • Homemade Lawn Roller
      •   Bachelor's Homemade Powered Pepper Grinder
      •  How to Teach Yourself to  Write Right Handed
      • Long Term Food Storage
      • Color Changing Crystal Staff for Cosplay
      • Advent Calendar Box
  • How to Build a 12x20 Cabin on a Budget

    The simple answer is that the discussion in places IS EXACTLY THAT PEOPLE DO NOT GET PERMITS BECAUSE THEIR MORTGAGE ESCROW AND THEREFORE THEIR MONTHLY MORTGAGE PAYMENT GOES UP. Local taxes is KILLING retirees around here.

    Good to know scook9. It may well be true and I didn't know. I like that: the "owner/builder" thing. You didn't need to hear this. Just wanted to thank you for that.

    Yes. I think. My situation as far as electrical is that here in Rockville City (MD), for me as a homeowner I had to take a test and, of course, pass for Rockville City. So I am only "licenced?" in RC. You may be entirely correct. I just got the licence because I was testing myself and I love electrical stuff. If you think about it, all chemistry is electrical but not at a classical mechanical level, at a quanta level. sorry again, I can't help myself with the chem stuff. I'm a teacher.

    Sorry. Are more taxes and intrusion on what we can do on OUR OWN PROPERTY not relevant to all the code discussion? They are relevant. What ARE codes. Rules/laws imposed by our government. At what point are we going past protecting people from themselves? I like your question because now I am certain I was to make it. Before I thought just like you and chalked it up to my being hyperactive in the fingers. Don't take this wrong sweetness, I'm not mad. I DO have a right to my opinion THE SAME AS DO YOU. When we stop listening to each other is the problem. If you are at one end and I am at the other then it is a good thing because the truth lies in the middle. It is the American system as well. Some where along the line people stopped listening and respecting each other. Not you, I didn't t...

    see more »

    Sorry. Are more taxes and intrusion on what we can do on OUR OWN PROPERTY not relevant to all the code discussion? They are relevant. What ARE codes. Rules/laws imposed by our government. At what point are we going past protecting people from themselves? I like your question because now I am certain I was to make it. Before I thought just like you and chalked it up to my being hyperactive in the fingers. Don't take this wrong sweetness, I'm not mad. I DO have a right to my opinion THE SAME AS DO YOU. When we stop listening to each other is the problem. If you are at one end and I am at the other then it is a good thing because the truth lies in the middle. It is the American system as well. Some where along the line people stopped listening and respecting each other. Not you, I didn't take it that way, just in general.

    View Instructable »
  • How to Build a 12x20 Cabin on a Budget

    Didn't like my clarity. The older building would have had to been brought up to new code if the old building was connected to the new. So the company kept the new building separate from the old to save money. Above I meant that the old building would have to have been brought up to code for the time of the construction of the new building. Sorry about the pictures above, I should have converted the pics to a lower resolution. Each of them are about 1MB. OOPs!

    No matter what we say. It has been a blessing that he has posted this sequence of pics with descriptions. Not easy. How often do we think of helping others? Not enough. Forgive me if I sounded critical. Well, I did. What can I say? If I had it to do over again I would not have been. Which is ironic because "did I give him a chance to do it over again?" No. Please forgive my being a perfectionist. It is a problem. No one is perfect. We have to love people and edify, encourage and uplift them because ALL of us need it. The content here has been better than any other posts in my opinion. And not because I'm a Reply Hog. I hope I made you think. Never let someone like me stop you because I'm a perfectionist and I am even hard on myself. It's really a curse. So, bless all of you! A...

    see more »

    No matter what we say. It has been a blessing that he has posted this sequence of pics with descriptions. Not easy. How often do we think of helping others? Not enough. Forgive me if I sounded critical. Well, I did. What can I say? If I had it to do over again I would not have been. Which is ironic because "did I give him a chance to do it over again?" No. Please forgive my being a perfectionist. It is a problem. No one is perfect. We have to love people and edify, encourage and uplift them because ALL of us need it. The content here has been better than any other posts in my opinion. And not because I'm a Reply Hog. I hope I made you think. Never let someone like me stop you because I'm a perfectionist and I am even hard on myself. It's really a curse. So, bless all of you! And I promise to go away now. But I just wanted to say THANK YOU TO THE GUY WHO POSTED THE ORIGINAL INSTRUCT-ABLE. You are a good man to take the time to post this. And it even helped me to work out the fact that I am too critical and I think I didn't know it before. This is valuable. I'm a better husband now even. My wife thanks you :)))

    View Instructable »
  • How to Build a 12x20 Cabin on a Budget

    I didn't say "sagging." I said bowing. Any good fence company knows to use 5 x 5 special cut or 6 x 6. Why? The 4 x 4, even when pressure treated for ground or water contact will twist and some bow. Maybe 1 in 4 do this. I saw a 4 x 4 in your pictures already posted that has a "bow," not a sag. Do not take any of this personal please. I should take the time to do my own posting of the home we built with all the important parts. And also our greenhouse and our church. Several of us here are discussing the best way to do things that is sure to be free of any kind of troubles. That is all. It is not fair to you. I'm sure your structure is doing fine as you used a lumberyard of wood to make it. I'm sure there are no termites or wood does not rot where you live also.

    I wrote the reply below this one first. So please read from lower reply first. Now the promised design strengthening and load spreading techniques:>See diagram of "Mid Span Stringers." They are twin 2 x 4's. One is on edge and the other is against the first but on side. What is their purpose? The board on edge is the more important board. Try to bend a board parallel to the 4 inch (3.5) side. Impossible without a huge amount of force. In our house we have 2 sets of these at both "mid span" locations. {I forgot to mention below that the triangle roof framing also rests on a load bearing wall at the midpoint of the bottom or ceiling joist boards. And due to their length the ceiling joist board across the bottom of one triangle frame is 2 boards. They overlap directl...

    see more »

    I wrote the reply below this one first. So please read from lower reply first. Now the promised design strengthening and load spreading techniques:>See diagram of "Mid Span Stringers." They are twin 2 x 4's. One is on edge and the other is against the first but on side. What is their purpose? The board on edge is the more important board. Try to bend a board parallel to the 4 inch (3.5) side. Impossible without a huge amount of force. In our house we have 2 sets of these at both "mid span" locations. {I forgot to mention below that the triangle roof framing also rests on a load bearing wall at the midpoint of the bottom or ceiling joist boards. And due to their length the ceiling joist board across the bottom of one triangle frame is 2 boards. They overlap directly above the load bearing wall. (In building a shed, the bottom board or the collar tie, will always be a single board.) The overlapping bottom boards (ceiling joists) are fastened with appropriate Simpson Strong Tie fastening system or Timberlok Engineered lag screws or bolts. To each other and also to the top of the load bearing top board; so they are really no different than a single bottom board. But if you did this in a shed you would need rather large posts and support boards across the length of the shed. Which is fine if you like many posts and are building a very large work room/ man cave/woman cave/shed. (And the extra work involved.)} ...So because of the middle support, we have 2 "mid points" and use 2 stringer assemblies. The board on end is extremely unyielding in the vertical direction. When screwed or nailed to the top of the bottom joists it provides for a rigid and flat ceiling surface below (reduces drywall cracks). The stringer board laying flat only has one purpose; to help attach the on end board to the ceiling joists. Screw or nail the bottom of the on edge board right thru the center of the side of the flat lying board and screw or nail the flat board to the ceiling joists is the idea. The corner formed by the two stringer boards also give rigidity in both the vertical and horizontal directions. This was a VERY common practice in homes built about the time of my birth in the 1950's. Now here is a really cool added benefit which I will call spreading the load across many joists instead of a load being supported only by the joist below it. This is great stuff! After installing a stringer(s), imagine standing directly on top of a ceiling joist while upstairs making a storage space or putting in batt insulation. With the stringer in place your weight will be distributed across many joists like a flattened out bell curve. Instead of all the weight setting atop a single joist, the weight is now supported by 7 or 9 joists! (How cool is that.) Now view the second picture. There are other methods for achieving this same result. Two more are shown: solid bridging and diagonal bridging. Sorry about the res of the pic below, the top is the diagonal bridging. Diagonal bridging comes in metal form already with nailing holes and at the proper length for the size of the joist. On our upstairs ceiling joists we used stringers, so we could run insulation batts under the bridging without as much heat transfer or cutting of the lengths of R-21 Owens Corning batts. R-21 is the best for 5.5 inches thick. You have to special order the high density insulation, not in stores. OOPS! I told you our ceiling joists are 2 x 8 ? They are not, they are 2 x 6. (true 1.5 x 5.5). And we ran standard less expensive R-30 rolls perpendicular to the insulation between the joists to cover the joist heat transfer and make the majority of the surface R-51.Now in our basement ceiling, also our upstairs floor, we used block bridging between the joists. It was perfect for this application. There are many ways to install these including a Kreg Jig HD. Or nailing them through the joist into the end of the block bridge, which is why the picture shows them staggered. Using a Kreg Jig HD you can line them up if you want. I imagine strait block briding is about 5% or less stronger so don't be a perfectionist about this. It's the incredible advantage of weight distribution that is so cool! Underneath the upstairs bath tub, for example, we "sistered" joists and also used block bridging to distribute the water weight across as many joists as possible. Tubs can hold from 80 to 110 gallons, so at 8.34 pounds per gallon that totals around 800 pounds!The third picture is our upstairs ceiling. My real first name is Leonardo. BTW...my neck kinda hurts now so I should go. God Bless and safe building to everyone! Final hint. Get an impact driver. Best is Makita in my opinion. Check out TimberLok and "engineered lag screws" that require no predrilling and can even cut out their own bevel for a flathead screw. Also use torx drive or square drive or similar. Phillips is last resort, if you do use phillips make sure your bit fits your screws perfectly or it will be frustrating to keep the bit in the screw when you drive them. See last picture for Phillips vs. JIS, which look the same. You can not mix the two or you will strip the screws and mess up the bits.

    Sounds excellent. I've heard that best weight support is making a large pad of concrete that you let dry before you set the post on top of it. The only other consideration is that it is very good design to slope the top surface of the concrete pad away from the center just enough so water does not pool at all where the post is resting on top of the concrete. What is done above the concrete pad is not as important in agreement with you also. Concrete is actually stronger when wet, why used for bridges over water, so it absorbs water. Whether sloping and all that makes a difference is not really known.

    View Instructable »
  • How to Build a 12x20 Cabin on a Budget

    The work that we do is so awesome that people fight over the houses in which we have worked. No one has ever asked to check for permits. Whether we get a permit is up to the homeowner. I prefer that they comply with the law but most people here do not. For example, you can not get a permit to finish a downstairs in most all houses that have unfinished basements in our city because the ceiling height is too short by about one inch. NO ONE tries to get a permit because they know they can't. In a basement that we have finished we have many tricks to make the ceiling as high as possible. You would never know or even think about ceiling height in one of the basements that we have done because all the work is planned out and done so well. Yes, the homeowner is the one stuck if permits are ask...

    see more »

    The work that we do is so awesome that people fight over the houses in which we have worked. No one has ever asked to check for permits. Whether we get a permit is up to the homeowner. I prefer that they comply with the law but most people here do not. For example, you can not get a permit to finish a downstairs in most all houses that have unfinished basements in our city because the ceiling height is too short by about one inch. NO ONE tries to get a permit because they know they can't. In a basement that we have finished we have many tricks to make the ceiling as high as possible. You would never know or even think about ceiling height in one of the basements that we have done because all the work is planned out and done so well. Yes, the homeowner is the one stuck if permits are asked to be checked but then another buyer in our area would be fighting with him to buy the house anyway. They are all the best homes on the inside of the entire neighborhood. Most every home I see that we have not done is a mess inside. YOU MAKE A GREAT POINT ABOUT INSURANCE. WILL YOUR INSURANCE CHECK FOR PERMITS? AND WILL YOU HAVE ALL THIS EXTRA $100K OF WORK COVERED IF YOU HAVE A FIRE? For us we told our insurance that the work was mostly done by the owners before us. They were the ones who did not get the permits, not us. In my experience insurance companies have their own people who check things out in a very rough fashion. How many rooms are finished? Do we have a fire escape from the bedroom downstairs? And yes, we installed a casement window that passes code for fire escape. It's determined by the height of the casement window from the floor. They didn't check permits as the people who manage the permits are incompetent. Government. They came out to measure a deck we built and didn't even know how to measure it. They put a tape measure across it diagonally, two high school girls who got jobs because of quotas and they could barely read and knew NOTHING about construction. This is who the local permit and licensing office sent out... to raise our taxes. Just because we built a deck. It increased our escrow!

    View Instructable »
  • How to Build a 12x20 Cabin on a Budget

    "the rafters are neither connected by ceiling joists or collar ties." just to start. This is not the bureaucracy part. These are the physics of building and engineering so it doesn't fall apart. If you wanted to design housing then you should have been an engineer. Or use an engineer's plans. Or learn about building construction. You have negated needed construction that is glaring to even an amateur builder.

    And pressure treated wood is not all the same. It needs to be rated for ground and or water contact. In some areas, like the beach, a post is below the water line.

    If you do not mix concrete for piers then they are not piers. The holes should be approximately 36" deep and large at the bottom (read to see why). First pour in about a 6 inch high "disc," this is a base at the bottom and let it harden (wet cement mix). After that dries put the post on top of it and surround with either wet concrete or dry concrete, fence builders mix with dirt but this is not a fence. The idea is to make large surfaced feet at the bottom, like the moon lander. Large surface feet at the bottom made of concrete BELOW THE FROST LINE (I deepen the hole 12" more than code for my area). The best builders make the hole for the pier larger diameter as they dig down. DO NOT EVER PUT LOOSE DIRT BACK IN BEFORE ADDING CONCRETE. YOU WANT SOLID GROUND AROUND AND...

    see more »

    If you do not mix concrete for piers then they are not piers. The holes should be approximately 36" deep and large at the bottom (read to see why). First pour in about a 6 inch high "disc," this is a base at the bottom and let it harden (wet cement mix). After that dries put the post on top of it and surround with either wet concrete or dry concrete, fence builders mix with dirt but this is not a fence. The idea is to make large surfaced feet at the bottom, like the moon lander. Large surface feet at the bottom made of concrete BELOW THE FROST LINE (I deepen the hole 12" more than code for my area). The best builders make the hole for the pier larger diameter as they dig down. DO NOT EVER PUT LOOSE DIRT BACK IN BEFORE ADDING CONCRETE. YOU WANT SOLID GROUND AROUND AND BELOW THE CONCRETE PIER. You can add large blue stone or what is called stone dust, which is not dust it just has not been run through a size screen. It is also called "base." If you use base then you need to pack it in with a heavy compacting tool. You should be using pressure treated 6 x 6 posts. 4 x 4's twist and bow. I can see in your pic that the front right post of your "stoop" is bowing. Lastly, if you use pure wet concrete in hard undisturbed ground then at the top of the concrete pier... slope the concrete downward as you go away from the post to keep water from puddling at the top of the concrete in contact with the wood post. Do this whether the top of the concrete is above or below ground.

    You are wrong about this. There are national and local building codes for any structure that involves people. Decks for example. You need a permit for this and you need to pass inspection of the code inspector for your drawings, at initial construction and final construction.

    View Instructable »
  • Why You Should Make A Mosquito Trap

    I see you have a direct quote from what you wrote in the Instructable and was missed.

    Did I miss something? Do you have a pic of the bottle full of mosquitos?? You do have very awesome vids of the yeast developing.

    This post is ace! I had one thought during the view of your acutely well done exhibits and brief instructable :) As a chemist I thought "why not add more thermal mass to the heating." A dark asphalt shingle for example. Maybe the shingle smell is repulsive to the mosquito so this is only a thought to give more thermal mass. Maybe a thick dark silicone rubber piece that bends around the trap. Tribute to this post! Maybe the water has enough thermal mass. Maybe not mess with success?

    Just to say. Please do not use "Permethrin" to kill fleas. It is a neurotoxin to cats. And felix can die in the most horrible, painful way. Permethrin is being sold at high concentrations to kill fleas on places like Amazon. OMG. This is why it is NOT used in cat Frontline but it is used in dog Frontline. Dog Frontline will kill a cat. I pressed the company to note this on the dog Frontline but they will not only because they don't want to scare people and decrease sales. You can see cat deaths in process from Permethrin but do not watch them. It is too much. One study indicates that the most common cause of cat death is now Permethrin. This is not being discussed, it is hush.

    View Instructable »
  • How to Unscrew a Nut that's Stuck on a Bolt (without ruining threads)

    I see a comment that "this makes no sense." The locking two nuts together is excellent and classic. It make a threaded rod into a bolt with a hex head. You are confusing when you use the vise. There is nothing to the vise, better to show this using a wrench to make the point. Like a closed end six sided, of course, double end wrench used for auto mechanics. I see the readers think they need a vise and are confused.

    There are some aerosols better than WD40. The one easiest to find is PB Blaster. The point here is they really DISSOLVE the rust. Or most likely break it loose and suspend it in the liquid. Always use outdoors! The best ever was CRC-55 and Toyota sells a red can that is aptly named "Rust Dissolver." (I am naming these from memory and think they are accurate....if they are not then they are very closely named and it will be obvious if you read the can or use them. They are superior to WD-40. I even leave the can outside from the smell until it all evaporates from the spray nozzle before I bring them inside. The best was CRC, then Toyota (very close) and lastly PBB. These need time to work. In some cases like removing a bumper it may take a day. Taking nuts from the studs to reg...

    see more »

    There are some aerosols better than WD40. The one easiest to find is PB Blaster. The point here is they really DISSOLVE the rust. Or most likely break it loose and suspend it in the liquid. Always use outdoors! The best ever was CRC-55 and Toyota sells a red can that is aptly named "Rust Dissolver." (I am naming these from memory and think they are accurate....if they are not then they are very closely named and it will be obvious if you read the can or use them. They are superior to WD-40. I even leave the can outside from the smell until it all evaporates from the spray nozzle before I bring them inside. The best was CRC, then Toyota (very close) and lastly PBB. These need time to work. In some cases like removing a bumper it may take a day. Taking nuts from the studs to regasket oxygen sensors on your vehicle is another use. The ones just before and after the catalytic converter. I find these essential to have. You can also work the nut in a tightening direction before the opposite loosening direction. But never over tighten. This is just about unseeable movement which helps loosen. I have sprayed the Toyota version in lock holes on my truck and also our front door. Just a little. For about two years there is no resistance and much less wear. It feels amazing to have your key turn feel almost fluid.

    It's a six sided box end wrench. Thank you Tanzer26. Tanzer26 has great comments. Read his. Then after read mine for what materials you should be using.

    View Instructable »