A few weeks ago I built a thing...and Wendy sort of hates it.

You see, when it comes to aesthetics, Wendy has an innate ability to determine what is appealing, and it's an ability that greatly exceeds my own in the same arena. I like a nicely finished project and will go to great lengths to ensure I’m doing the absolute best job I can. But at times I tend to focus more on function over form, sometimes leaving something to be desired when viewing the finished product. Some would call me practical, but Wendy begs to differ. After all, there’s often a better way that’s also pleasing to the eye.

Need an example? Just look back on the weather station debacle where I mounted it initially in an “unapproved” location. It had to be remedied lest we risk the wrath of the weather station police.

Well, we recently had a somewhat similar situation, but I think the outcome of this form over function aesthetic debate might just end up swinging my way.

We have two plastic kayaks (yes, the same ones used to change the weather station to a more acceptable location) at our Foursquare house. We can launch them right into the water next to our dock, they’re a ton of fun for us, visitors, and Lulu, and we very well may be adding to them by getting a tandem kayak next year.

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Comments 4

What's the best way to remove 130 year old glazing and paint from wavy glass antique window sash?

While it may not be something you ask every day, it's a good question if you've ever wanted to restore an old window or salvage old glass. And quite possibly the right answer to that question is...STEAM! More on that in just a minute.

When I was 18 years old I worked in a shop in The Flats of Cleveland, right along the banks of the mighty Cuyahoga River. It was the mid 90s, the Cleveland Indians were an MLB juggernaut, and I spent a long a summer of hard labor stripping glazing from 800 windows that were in what is now The Tudor Arms Hotel, which was built in 1933.

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Comments 9

Wendy's love of trash to treasure makeovers is well documented throughout the years.

On several occasions throughout our history together my lovely wife has been known to spy a sad, lonely, and abandoned piece of furniture sitting curbside. When the situation is right, she's also well known to pull the car over or stop us in the midst of our evening walk to "rescue" the piece before the trash truck is able to seal its fate.

After all, this is exactly how we obtained several pieces of wood furniture, including our favorite little red stool that began life in our home with a much different look.

Finished Product

Earlier this summer Wendy's eagle eye for picking struck again, and she gleefully came home with a distressed little end table, left curbside in the rain in front of a home in Del Ray (a nearby neighborhood in Alexandria) and she had a grand vision for it.

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Comments 6

If you're trying to decide on a cordless tool should your decision really come down to something as seemingly trivial as Team Red vs. Team Yellow (or teams green, orange, or blue)?

With all of the new and improved cordless tool options on the market these days, how are you expected to make a decision on which tools are the best to add to your arsenal? More importantly, can you and should you decide on a single brand and not deviate?

For the last year I've been looking to upgrade some of my more dated 14v and 18v tools to newer cordless versions, but all of the options felt overwhelming. The more I looked the more it felt like I had to choose a tool brand battery I liked best and stick with it for all of the tool purchases. How did this happen? How did the choice of a battery platform begin driving all of our decisions? It just seems foolish.

After much deliberation and tool nerd reflection, I've finally made a decision, and I'm surprising myself. In the end I'm going to go with multiple battery brands so I'm not locked into a single format! Hear me out before you say that it's ridiculous (and possibly too expensive).

Over the last several months I've been able to attend and cover several tool and utility brand events on behalf of Charles & Hudson and ToolCrave.com (check them out to see my Milwaukee recap and DeWALT recap post event summaries). This has allowed me to get a glimpse into some of the latest and greatest hardware offerings and future plans from brands like Milwaukee ("Team Red") and DeWALT ("Team Yellow"). It also allowed me to pick the brains of a bunch of tool pros, journalists, and tool brand staff that are also real tool junkies. The whole time I had thoughts regarding my own decision in the back of my mind, so I was also using these events as an opportunity to improve my education to make my own choice.

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Comments 6

Things have been pretty quiet here on the blog lately, but we've been hard at work on several projects.

Rather than keep waiting until everything is done, we wanted to share an update to start getting you caught up.

If you've been a reader here for a while you may remember the work we've done in the past to begin restoration of our five original 1880s windows.

Years ago we paint stripped, re-roped, and weather stripped three of these windows, but we never did anything with the sash.

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Comments 16
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