Show Notes: How Organized Are You?
Show Notes from the On The House with The Carey Brothers and Cameron recorded July 21st, 2018.
Are you organized? Take this quiz to find out!
Ever wondered what you can do with sawdust? Find out 10 good uses!
Need to repair some rotted wood? We’ve got some tips and tricks!
Want shade but don’t want the shades? We have the answer to that riddle!
Did you miss the live episode? Don’t worry, you can still check it out here!
How Organized Are You?
Take this Quiz to find out your Organizing IQ!
Check the statements that are true for you, and find out how organized you really are.
- I can locate my 1998 Tax Return in less than two minutes.
- I have a calendar system (paper or electronic) which works well for me.
- I can park the number of cars in my garage that it was designed to hold.
- I can find any piece of paper I need in thirty seconds or less.
- I know where my birth & marriage certificates and passport are stored.
- I have an effective method for managing my “hot” action projects.
- I read and respond to all e-mail within twenty-four hours.
- I am able to find and match the lids to plastic containers used to store leftovers.
- I have no problem getting rid of paper and other things when I no longer need them.
- I deal with the mail on a daily basis and do not let it pile up.
Do You Need A Gas Shut Off Valve Or An Excess-Flow Valve?
While it’s possible to manually shut off your natural gas , these specialized valves are available that can automatically shut off your service in case of an emergency:
- Earthquake natural gas shut-off valve(also known as a seismic natural gas shut-off valve) automatically shuts off your natural gas service when an earthquake of a sufficient magnitude occurs at your home.
- An excess-flow valve (EFV)automatically closes and restricts the flow of natural gas in the event an underground pipe is damaged or if there is a significant increase in the flow of natural gas to the meter.
How to Buy an Earthquake Valve
When it comes to buying an earthquake or excess-flow valve, keep the following things in mind:
- Price:The cost of the valve is going to vary based on the type and size of the valve, as well as the installation requirements and the company installing it.
- Choosing a valve:In order to choose the right valve size and manufacturer, contact your local Department of Building and Safety to find out their earthquake valve requirements.
- Where to buy a valve:You can purchase an earthquake valve at supply retailers, licensed plumbing contractors, or directly from the valve manufacturer.
- Using a contractor:You can hire a qualified professional to install the earthquake or excess-flow valve on your house line.
10 Surprising Uses For Sawdust
Don’t toss all that leftover sawdust after you’ve completed your latest woodworking project. Surprisingly, what many think of as trash can be more valuable than you’d ever imagine.
All avid woodworkers and weekend carpenters know one thing is inevitable when working with wood, like death and taxes—sawdust. All that drilling, sawing, and sanding create piles and piles of the stuff. Even if you hire an outside hand or a professional contractor for home construction, you’ll still be dealing with sawdust.
Oftentimes, cleaning the pesky stuff up can be as much work as the project itself that created it in the first place. If you’re going through all that trouble and have such an excess of leftover material, then you might as well go green and get something out of it.
Check out the 10 surprising uses for sawdust, and when you’re through reading this article, hopefully, you’ll be convinced that you’re sitting on a pile of treasure rather than trash.
1: Tough on Nasty Spills
The garage and driveway can often be a magnet for hard-to-clean spills like oil and gasoline – we’ve all had that car that hemorrhages oil all over the driveway at some point, haven’t we? Sawdust can be quite effective at cleaning those spills up at virtually no cost to you.
Sprinkle sawdust directly onto the stain, wait a few minutes, and then sweep the sawdust and the stain should come away with it- repeat as often as needed. There’s a reason the janitor at your school would throw some sawdust down after that kid who always vomited stuck again – it’s cheap and highly effective at soaking up nasty spills.
2: Make Mulch
Instead of buying multiple bags of high-priced mulch for your garden, you can just as easily spread sawdust around the base of your flower garden. Often sawdust will do the job just as good as store-bought mulch at preventing weeds and retaining moisture – sometimes even better!
If you decide to use sawdust in place of mulch, just be sure to add a nitrogen component to your soil first. This is as easy as mixing it in shortly before you lay the mulch, and it’s recommended that you use 1 pound of nitrogen for every 50 pounds of sawdust.
3: Perfect for Pets
Sawdust is great at soaking up moisture and odors, so it can be effectively used in place of kitty litter, which quite frankly, can be costly and smell awful. You can also use it for cleanup when your kitten inevitably misses the litter box or your brand new puppy doesn’t quite make it all the way outside.
Simply sprinkle sawdust over pet accidents for a quick and economical cleanup. Or, use it for caged pets like mice, gerbils, hamsters, and guinea pigs. They’ll love having fresh, clean sawdust to make a comfortable living area for themselves.
4: Starting Fires
Ditch the newspaper and all that potentially harmful ink next time you’re trying to get a fire going, sawdust is safer and far moreeffective. It doesn’t matter if you have a fireplace, a backyard fire pit, or are planning on a beach bonfire, sawdust can help get the fire going for you.
Sprinkle a generous amount of sawdust along the bottom to create a base, and then place your twigs and logs over it. You’ll find that you need way less (if any) newspaper to get the fire going anymore, and, it will burn faster.
5: Great for Gardening
One of the most surprising uses for sawdust is how great it goes in the garden. If you pride yourself on your green thumb and you aren’t taking advantage of saw dust, are you truly getting the most from your garden? It can really work wonders for your soil.
Also, it can be great for growing delicious mushrooms. In nature, mushrooms grow on fallen trees and logs, or, in simpler terms, wood. So, it makes tons of sense that you can use sawdust to start your own mushroom bed. Just mix the sawdust with a little organic compost, add mushroom spawn, and keep the mixture moist.
6: Fill Wood Holes
Here’s a great tip that the pros use to fill holes, cracks, and pesky gouges in wood: use sawdust. Mix the sawdust from the same wood you’d like to repair with wood glue until you get a putty-like consistency. Then, use it to fill in the damaged areas.
Bonus—the color of your filler will exactly match the wood you’re repairing, so no need to worry about aesthetically unappealing inconsistencies.
7: Weed Killer
Sawdust from wood, especially walnut, is a natural weed killer. Weeds can be a serious pest in any garden, lawn, or driveway, so take advantage of some of the amazing properties of sawdust. You can simply sprinkle some in your garden or law, or sweep some of it into the cracks and crevices of your driveway. Sawdust contains Juglone, a chemical toxic to many plants that tend to pop up in undesirable areas.
Nobody likes the look of weeds on their property, as they often make it look run-down and abandoned. Never worry about that again as long as you remember to save your leftover sawdust.
8: Great for Traction
When workers are logging in harsh conditions – like an ice-cold winter – they will often throw down a base of sawdust to give their trucks traction. It helps compact the snow, giving them safe passage and protection the ground beneath.
This can easily be extrapolated and used in your driveway and neighborhood during a snowstorm, and it makes for a great addition to any roadside safety kit, as you never know when you might need additional traction.
9: Clean Floors
Sawdust isn’t just highly effective at soaking up nasty spills – it is also a subtle yet powerful cleaning agent. Take your excess sawdust, moisten it with a bit of water, and use it to sweep up your garage or patio floor.
Your wet sawdust will absorb and collect all that unwanted dirt and grime, leaving your floors looking spotless. This works especially well on concrete, which we will dive further into below.
10: Protect Concrete
Extend the life of your concrete floors by using a wet sawdust cleaning solution every now and again. The sawdust will subtly bond with your concrete, giving it a softer surface that will make it more resistant to outside damage.
Sawdust works so well with all kinds of materials, and it has long been used to lighten up cement. The versatility of sawdust is truly incredible, and the fact that it can protect tougher materials is one of the most surprising uses of sawdust.
When you’re working with wood, sawdust is unavoidable. You’d be shocked by the number of people who toss this versatile material into the trash without as much as a second thought.
But, if you start using some of the tips and tricks above, you’ll find that sawdust is more valuable then you ever imagined, and the 10 surprising uses for sawdust prove this in spades.
Repairing Rotted Wood
Rebuild and restore rotted wood without replacing it!
Apply wood hardener and filler
Remove rotted wood with a 5-in-1 or other sharp tool. Then coat the area with wood hardener as shown. Mix polyester wood filler or Bondo wood filler and press it into the recess with a putty knife.
If you’ve done any auto body repair, you’ve probably worked with two-part polyester filler. Minwax High Performance Wood Filler is one brand formulated for wood repair, but a gallon container of Bondo wood filler or some other brand of two-part auto body polyester will also work and may be less expensive for larger fixes.
The process for repairing wood is much the same whether you’re using polyester filler or epoxy. Instead of epoxy consolidant, you’ll use High Performance Wood Hardener to solidify and strengthen the wood fibers. Polyester begins hardening faster than Abatron WoodEpox. Depending on the temperature, you’ll have about 10 to 15 minutes to work before the filler starts to harden.
Also, unlike WoodEpox, polyester tends to sag when you’re doing vertical repairs. One trick is to build a form and line it with plastic sheeting. Press the form against the filler and attach it with screws. Then pull it off after the filler hardens. Or you can wait until the sagging filler reaches the hardness of soap and carve it off with a putty knife or chisel or shape it with a plane or rasp. Most medium to large repairs will require at least two layers of filler. Complete the repair by sanding and priming the filled area and then painting.
Kiss Your Curtains Good-Bye… Smart Glass Is Here
These WiFi-connected glass surfaces are equipped with environmental sensors that can read
room occupancy, weather, and sunlight. Their louvers adjust tints to allow in more solar heat when you need it—and shade your home when it’s hotter out. That means you’ll never have to reach to adjust the shades ever again.
The downside is that this high-end technology doesn’t come very cheap. Most smart window p
roducts cost at least 50 percent more than their non-automated counterparts—so if you’re installing several windows, they can cost a pretty penny. On the other hand, manufacturers say they can shave up to 20 percent of your energy costs off your monthly bills, so the return on investment might be worth it over time.
Why Didn’t I Think Of That?
Duct Tape Drink Holder
Keep a roll of duct tape on the center floorboard in your vehicle. It works great as a cup holder and it’s just sticky enough to stay put. When you need the roll, you’ll know right where to find it.
Ironing Board Back Saver
Working under the sink on your back isn’t exactly comfortable, especially when the sharp cabinet edge cuts into your shoulder blades. Make it more comfortable by lying on an ironing board. Set one end of the board inside the cabinet and support the other end with a scrap piece of 2×4. It won’t make the repair any easier, but it’s definitely easier on your back.
Stamped-in tool markings can be tough to read. To solve this, buy some white fingernail polish, brush it on the tool and quickly wipe it with a clean cloth. The white polish stays in the grooves, and the numbers are easy to read at a glance. You can use lacquer thinner to wipe it if the polish dries too quickly.