Repair My Wool Shirts

I have a 100% Pendleton shirt that belonged to my grandfather. I claim it is 50 years old, and maybe it is. This kind of shirt is making a comeback with outdoors types and the people who like to look like outdoors types, but I think there was a large gap, from the 70s to the 90s, where synthetics were seen as an improvement on wool. So it seems unlikely to have been from the end of his life in the 90s, especially given it’s very slim fit.

But my beloved shirt, which I have had since 1993, has a tear in the elbow. 

I have another wool shirt from Banana Republic in the late 90s or early 00s. That shirt has some moth holes. 

What to do? 

The message boards suggest darning. Apparently that is more involved than pulling the two sides together in a pucker. Here’s a Guardian article about it which says: 

1) Place your darning mushroom (or equivalent – you can use anything with a rounded side – something like a teacup would do the job) under the hole.

2) If it is quite a big hole that you are darning, sew a circle of running stitch about half a centimetre away from the edge of your hole to prevent the hole from stretching and getting worse while you are mending it.

3) Secure your thread by sewing two to three stitches on top of each other, in an undamaged part of fabric close to the hole.

4) Sew horizontal stitches across the hole starting and ending close to, but on the hole side of, your circle of running stitches.

5) Then weave a series of stitches perpendicular to your horizontal stitches, working the thread over and under your stitches.

6) Make sure that you leave a long end on the thread when you are finished so that you can weave it into the repair, rather than securing it with a knot


I’m not sure I get what the mushroom thing is doing. Hmmm....


Make Do And Mend:


Idiots With Floors

Sometimes, I find myself in houses built in the last 10 years, which is fine... if you’re poor. But you can’t choose your family, and so I have, on rare occasions, found myself in new homes owned by rich people. Rich peoples’ new houses all have hardwood floors that look like this:


This is the “extra nice“ kind because it has those sideways lines meant suggest centuries of use. But those edges! They are so obviously revolting, they must be unavoidable, no? No one would buy such things unless they had to, right?


Maybe this ugliness is the price we pay for cutting down all the old growth forests? Or maybe these sloped edges are due to the manufacturing process of this new “laminate” stuff? [Which doesn’t make a lick of sense because plywood is one layer of wood laminated on top of another, but that is called “engineered wood.” Laminate is, apparently, something else entirely?]

But I don’t have to live there. So I kept my mouth shut and the canyons between fake boards remained a mystery, until... 

Time to fix up the kitchen and get rid of its totally incongruous Spanish tile:  


The rest of the house (built in 1912) has this gorgeous heart of pine floor:


Which made me wonder what was under the tile: 


It’s tile over two layers of linoleum on concrete. No wood.

I had hoped to find wood under there because it would be the same level as the other floors. But the original design must have called for linoleum in the kitchen because it wears well, and is easy to clean. It's thinner than wood floors--only 1/8” thick--so an extra 1/2” of concrete was added to make the kitchen floor the same level as the rest of the house.

The wife and I want a wood floor in the kitchen with a herringbone pattern.

Looking into it, I learn that actual hardwood or pine would be way too thick. It requires at least 5/8” of plywood underlayment over the concrete and is itself 3/4” thick. The Spanish tile is already too high. Hardwood on top of plywood would basically mean a flight of steps between the kitchen and the dining room. What to do?

Turns out that both “engineered wood” and “laminate” can float directly on concrete and are thinner materials to start with. 

Time to learn about engineered wood and laminate. Searching the Home Depot app reveals 527 types of engineered wood with beveled edges and 27 types with square edges!


So wait, people have a choice? They choose beveled edges on purpose? And—apparently—love it, with hundreds more beveled options than square? What the fuck is wrong with people?

Armstrong Flooring says

Beveled edge flooring has very distinct grooves that impart a casual, rustic appearance. 

What? If by “rustic” you mean “old” then that is total bullshit! Old floors get refinished. That means you sand a bit off the top and take it down an 1/8 of an inch, which means ANY BEVEL WOULD DISAPPEAR! It is impossible to have an old “rustic” bevel. Who came up with this nonsense? And who is buying this ugly shit? 

The truth comes from some other random dude with a blog, attached to a site that sells the stuff

That said, when you choose a square edge board, unless you’re a top notch DIY-er, you’ll save a whole lot of heartache and frustration if you have your floor fitted professionally. This is because the edges are so smooth and so sharp, just the smallest bit of mishandling can spoil the whole look – so if you’re going to fit your floor on a DIY basis, be really honest with yourself about your skills before choosing a square edged option.

Why do luxury McMansions all feature “casual rustic look” of beveled edges on the wood flooring? To hide the shitty craftsmanship that goes along with selling houses to people with no taste who shop for real estate by the square foot. 

Jesus, people suck. And I just noticed one of the edge options is “Kissed”...

Soundproofing Ideas for shop in apartment building basement

Product called “Green Glue” is supposed to absorb sound energy: 

The shop and neighbor’s apartment are separated by a concrete slab. The ceiling is low, so I don’t want to add a bunch of layers. I may not need to. Apartment above used to complain about radios/music. My guess is that major transmission was through windows into side yard, especially since side yard area is known to transmit sound up and down well between porches.


Some Good Studies Of Rust Conversion Products

Here’s one from Canada:

Here is one from National Park Service that is supposed to have results comeback some in 2017.

One from 2013 found tannic acid Rust Oleum product did best:

Rust-oleum® Rust Reformer® is a tannic acid based rust converting product. It also has an acrylic vinylidene chloride copolymer additive. Tannic acid acts as a chelating agent while the copolymer creates a protective coating. The product has a pH of 2.13, falling in the mid-range pH of this study’s converters. Rust Reformer® has a relatively thick consistency, and is blue-ish white in appearance.

OSPHO®, manufactured by the Skybryte Company, is a phosphoric acid based rust converting product balanced with dichromate and wetting agents. OSPHO® is by far the most acidic rust converter of those tested. The product’s pH is 0.08, and is a thin, translucent green liquid.

Corroseal® is a rust converting product based in gallic acid. This converter is composed of gallic acid, ethylene glycol and acetate. It is relatively acidic, both generally and in comparison to other tested converters, with a pH of 1.50. Corroseal® is creamy white and has a thick consistency

RCx427 is a product of Enviro-Safe Services, Inc. that uses oxalic acid as the rust converting compound. Like Corroseal®, it also incorporates ethylene glycol in the chemical composition. Oxalic acid as an active ingredient—a compound that exhibits different physical properties after conversion. Instead of causing the iron oxide layer to darken, it instead turns a light gray. Of the tested rust converters, this product is the least acidic with a pH of 3.11. RCx427 has a thick consistency and is a blue-gray color.


After each of the tests were performed and the 1032 hours of accelerated weathering completed, many questions were answered and many were raised. Overall, the Rustoleum® Rust Reformer® performed the best, with no active corrosion evident and a nice even surface nish intact. The main active ingredient in the Rust Reformer® is tannic acid. However, the additive acrylic vinylidene chloride copolymer may have been just as important in sealing the metal’s surface. The combination of the two outlasted all other converters in this study. This product is readily available online and in most large hardware stores.