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Home Repair and Maintenance


I have been watching the auction for a Warn Winch 3000 ACI. It had a 100 foot cable, and could pull 3000 pounds. This would be great for pulling firewoord up the steep hill behind my house. I had set a snipe bid for $307, but later changed it to $267. The shipping was going to be over $60. I thought this was kinf of expensive till I saw the winch weight 80 pounds! Wow that is heavy!. Then I saw that the thing used about 10 amps at zero load, and at full load can use up to 20 amps! That is alot! I would need need a very heavy duty power cable, and am wary of whether it circuit in my house could handle it. The auction closed shortly after I was leaving work, and the current bid was $260. I ended up cancelling my snipe. The auction closed for about $270. I figure at $270 plus over $60 shipping, would be avoer $330. That is pretty pricey for somethat may or may not work, and that may or may not be helpfull. I am back to watch ATVs, or possibly as less expensive winch. If I could find a 115 volt AC winch with 100 foot cable, and capable of pulling 1000 pounds for a couple hundred bucks, that would be great. Most of the winches I see don’t have the 100 foot cable. I have been playing with the idea of buy a winch with a 50 foot cable, and replacing it with a smaller diameter but longer cable. That might work. If I can find a decent used winch cheap. I almost bid on a Dayton winch that might have fit that bill.

I am going to be turning a couple more tonfa handles. I had seen a tool at Lowes that my father used to have when i was a kid. It looks like a harmonica with a bunch of pins gong through it. You can push it against something, and the pins will slide to replicate the shape. Same concept as those pin art toys that could replaicate the shape of your hand or face. I was down at Home Depot and decided to get one of the pin tools. I looked around the tool sections but didn’t see any of the pin things. I went to an employee who was up front and described what I was looking for. He didn’t know wha I was talking about. I described further, and he just looked at me like I was a moron. I ended up saying something like screw this, I’ll get it at Lowes where i know they have it. I did lots of searches on Google before I finally found that the tool is called a contour gauge or contour gage. I will go to Lowes tomorrow, and pick one up. I don’t think it was very expensive.

I have been busy replacing the mouldings on my windows (and air sealing them as I go). I have one window that has a stair landing at it’s middle, and the mouldings are trapped behind it. If there were no nails, I could probably slide the board out. I got the bottom half loose, but am having difficulty getting it out. I don’t care about the moulding as it is being replaced, but I don’t want to damage anything else. I thought a reciprocating saw might be handy in cutting the board into pieces for removal. I checked Harbor Freight and saw they had a 4.5 amp saw on sale for $19.99. I am sure it is a pretty cheap import. But if it works, it will be worth it. I usually buy the best tools I can afford. I own a bunch of DeWalt stuff. But I have very limited use for a reciprocating saw. Every once in a while a use pops up. So hopefully this saw will work for what I need. A Milwaukee Sawzall would have been overkill. Though it would have been nice.

After sealing and changing the mouldings on my 2 big picture windows, I am hesitant to put the cheap plastic vertical blinds back up. I started looking into blinds and discover cellular blinds. They are really nice looking, and will fit inside the window instead over them. They are much cleaner looking. And cellular blinds are more energy efficient as well. Also when they are open, they will block less of the window. I some Duette blinds by Hunter Douglas at Lowes but they are seriously expensive. There were some Levolor cellular blinds, and they looked okay. The ones I think might be best are made by Bali. They seem to be on par with Levolor pricewise, but seem to be better quality. They also have double-cell blinds in addition to single cell blinds.
I have some more sealing, and replacing of mouldings to do tonight, but I may some time and measure some windows. The lady at Lowes said the Bali are going on sale on Sunday.

I installed three of the four programmable thermostats that I bought last night. I installed two on the top floor (bedroom & loft), and one in the middle floor (living room). I still have to install on in the bottom floor (finished basement). Our house is post-and-beam (sort of like a timber frame), and it is all open. I have the thermostats on the top floor programmed with a comfort level of 65 degrees, and economy of 60 degrees. The thermostat on the middle floor seems to keep the baseboard heaters going, but much of the heat rises up without affecting the thermostat much. We do have a couple Hunter ceiling fans currently reversed (blows upward), and set to low to move the warm air down. So I have tried setting the thermostat in the living room down to 64. It still is working harder than the the two upstairs. Maybe I will set it to 63, or bump the thermostats on the top floor to 66. I would like to find a balance so that they are all working roughly equally.

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