Q&A Stain­less steel ap­pli­ance fin­ish and more

South Shore Breaker - - Homes - STEVE MAXWELL HOUSE WORKS [email protected]­maxwell.ca

Q: Can I use an abra­sive rub­bing pad to cre­ate an even ap­pear­ance on my scratched stain­less steel dish­washer?

A: Yes, your idea should work well. I’d use a 3M sil­i­con car­bide rub­bing pad in the “fine” grade and see what hap­pens when rubbed in a small area. I’ve used this sort of thing on metal and it cre­ates a nice ap­pear­ance. The trick is get­ting an even fin­ish in ar­eas with a han­dle or curves. You can put a hand-held san­der on top of the abra­sive pad for open, flat ar­eas, but you’ll have to mimic the ef­fect this cre­ates by hand in close quar­ters.

Stop­ping a self-swing­ing door

Q: What can I do to stop an in­te­rior door from swing­ing on its own? I’ve ad­justed the hinge depth as much as I can and still no luck. Is there some sort of vis­cous goo I can put on the hinges to boost fric­tion?

A: If you can get the hinge pin out (not all hinge de­signs are made for this), there are two things to try. First, put a slight bend in the pin by pound­ing the side with a ham­mer while the pin lays on a hard sur­face. The slight bend causes more fric­tion within the hinges — pos­si­bly enough to keep the door from mov­ing on its own. If the pin can’t come out, then you could try tak­ing the hinge off, ham­mer­ing the knuck­les of the hinge to de­form them a bit and in­crease fric­tion.

Bath­room wall tile un­der­lay

Q: Is my con­trac­tor right when he says or­di­nary dry­wall is suf­fi­cient be­hind bath­room wall tiles? We plan to in­stall tiles 75 cen­time­tres up the walls from the floor, but we have our reser­va­tions about putting it on dry­wall.

A: I’d never put tiles over dry­wall in a bath­room in my own home, so I share your reser­va­tions. In­stalling tiles over ply­wood is a bet­ter ap­proach, and ce­ment board is an­other good op­tion. Some­thing called Kerdi-board is my favourite tile back­ing. It’s nor­mally used for shower stalls and tub sur­rounds, but it’s also great un­der­neath wall tiles in wet places. Be­sides the fact that dry­wall is phys­i­cally weak, wa­ter splashing on the tiled walls can soak through the grout, wet­ting the dry­wall and trig­ger­ing prob­lems.

Mois­ture con­tent and out­door projects Q: How dry does pres­sure treated lum­ber need to be for build­ing out­door projects like decks, fences and out­door fur­ni­ture? I’ve read your art- icles on dry­ing wood for in­door projects, but I don’t know if it ap­plies for all projects.

A: The mois­ture con­tent of wood des­tined for in­door projects in Canada needs to be quite low. If the wood you’re us­ing isn’t in the range of seven to nine per cent mois­ture con­tent by weight, the wood will make your projects shrink and warp as it dries. It’s dis­ap­point­ing and there’s noth­ing you can do af­ter the fact to make things bet­ter. The good news is that this sit­u­a­tion changes dra­mat­i­cally when it comes to out­door projects. In most places in Canada, lum­ber is dried down to no lower than 12 per cent to 14 per cent mois­ture con­tent if it’s kept in an un­heated space. Even in a dry, cov­ered space, lum­ber never gets drier than this without be­ing in a heated lo­ca­tion. Moder­ately moist wood is OK for out­door projects be­cause it’s never go­ing to get more than moder­ately dry. Also, out­door projects are less re­fined than in­door wood­work, so cracks and warp­ing are nor­mal and in­signif­i­cant. Very wet con­struc­tion lum­ber has a mois­ture con­tent of more than 20 per cent, but you can usu­ally still build out­door projects from this. In fact, it’s of­ten bet­ter to work out­doors with green lum­ber be­cause it’s usu­ally straighter than drier wood.


Us­ing 3M sil­i­con car­bide rub­bing pads will help get scratches out of metal.

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