Workbench Weekly eTip

Archive for May, 2010

Hide Away Unsightly Holes

Friday, May 28th, 2010

A door opened with too much vigor; a rambunctious child; a frustrated teenager — there are a lot of ways your home’s walls can end up with holes in them. But with today’s tools and materials, fixing them is easier than ever. In fact, if it’s just a small hole (3″ in diameter or less), there’s an all-in-one kit that can make it disappear easily. Here, we’ll focus on fixing a larger hole, where you’ll want to use drywall itself to create the patch.

Hole in Drywall

Patch It Up — This technique involves cutting out the damaged part of the wall, making a patch, and then blending it in.

Enlarge Opening

Step 1: Enlarge the opening to make it rectangular with a drywall saw or rotary tool. Measure the opening, and cut a scrap of drywall to fit in it.

Add Support

Step 2: Now you need to create a surface for mounting the drywall in the opening. To do this, glue and screw “furring strips” near either side of the opening.

Drywall Patch

Step 3: When the adhesive dries, position the drywall in the opening, and screw it in place.

Apply Joint Tape

Step 4: Apply joint tape and then joint compound over the patch to finish it.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.57 out of 5)
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Easy Front Entry Door Install

Friday, May 21st, 2010

As long as you’re careful to buy a pre-hung door that matches the exact specifications of the one you’re removing, all it takes to install a new door is to carefully remove the old jamb and replace it with the new one.

Front Door

Most doors come with a manual to walk you through that process. But we’ll offer a few door installation tips and tricks that you won’t find in the manual right here.

Taking out Trim

Tip #1: Avoid Drywall Damage When Taking out Trim — The first step in taking out the existing door jamb is to remove the interior trim that surrounds the door. You need to pop off this trim carefully, so you can reuse it once the new door is in place.

The best way to remove this trim is to pry it up carefully with a pry bar, working your way along the trim. To prevent damaging the drywall, stick a putty knife behind the pry bar as you work (Fig. 1).

Cut It out

Tip #2: Cut It out Quickly with a Recip. Saw — Once the trim is removed, the easiest way to remove the jamb is with a reciprocating saw. Just equip the saw with a blade rated to cut through nail-embedded wood, insert it between the jamb and the wall, and cut carefully down each side of the jamb (Fig. 2). Then repeat the process along the top of the jamb.

Chisel Away the Old Caulk

Tip #3: Chisel Away the Old Caulk — If your existing door was well-installed, there’s probably a bead of old caulk around the exterior of the door jamb to seal it from the elements. Before you pull the door, you need to dig out this caulk using a hammer and an old chisel (Fig. 3).

Take out the Old Door

Tip #4: Take out the Old Door — The old door jamb should now slide out smoothly (Fig. 4). If it needs a little extra prompting, you can work your way around the gaps with a pry bar to pull loose any old nails or glue that’s still hanging on.

Install the New One

Tip #5: Install the New One — With the old jamb removed, take a few minutes to clean up any debris (nails, glue, etc.) that remains in the opening. Then run a bead of caulk under the threshold of the new door, and slide the new jamb into place (Fig. 5).

Shim It Square & Plumb

Tip #6: Shim It Square & Plumb — Perhaps the most time-consuming part of the whole installation comes next, and that’s shimming the jamb square and plumb. There’s really no big trick to this process; you just want to use a long level to check every surface of the jamb, and add shims where necessary to make the level read square or plumb. Once the door is shimmed properly, secure the shims with screws (Fig. 6). Then snap or saw off the shims, so they rest behind the surface of the jamb.

Finish Up in Style

Tip #7: Finish Up in Style — Now all that’s left are the finishing touches, such as applying a fresh bead of caulk around the exterior of the jamb (Fig. 7). You may also need to adjust the sill and install a long screw in each hinge for support and security.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.57 out of 5)
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Conquer Crunched Corners

Friday, May 14th, 2010

On outside corners, drywall is finished with a “corner bead,” a piece of metal angle that gets screwed or nailed in place. A corner bead not only gives the corner a clean, finished look, but it also protects it from damage. Though it’s made from heavy-duty metal, a corner bead can still get damaged if you slam into it hard enough, and the results are not pretty (below).

Damaged Corner

Replace the Bead — The key to this fix is to replace the damaged corner bead:

Cut Carefully

Step 1: Cut carefully around the damaged part of the corner bead with a hacksaw.

Score Outside Edge

Step 2: Score the outside edge of the corner bead with a utility knife.

Repace with new piece

Step 3: Remove the damaged piece. Then cut a new piece to fit, and screw it in place.

Apply drywall compound

Step 4: Finish the repair with several coats of drywall joint compound, sanding each coat after it dries and feathering it out as you go.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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A New Spin on Saw Blades

Friday, May 7th, 2010

You can use reciprocating saw blades for more than just cutting things. We pair them up with a nail for drawing circles, as shown at below.

Reciprocating Saw Blades

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.22 out of 5)
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