In This Issue

  • September/
    1996 Issue No. 8

  • Hot Project on a Cool Island

    An American Craftsman
    Quoting Kierkegaard while cutting cumaru, master floorer Chuck Cripsin calls on his training as a philosopher in the struggle to create the perfect surface.
    By Walt Harrington
    Secrets of Shellac
    Shellac is a triumph of nature in an artificial age-a protective finish you can eat. Journey to India, where this amber resin from the sweat of a bug is painstakingly harvested by villagers.
    By Jeanne Huber
    Victorious Lady
    The charm of a 109-year old Nantucket dowager can blind almost anyone to her flaws. But not the This Old House crew, who invite designer Jock Gifford and contractor Bruce Killen to look beneath the surface of the show's next project.
    By Brad Lemley
    Set in Stone
    Three generations of knowledge are brought to bear on a pile of rocks. The result is an elegant and permanent stone wall that seems to spring from the surrounding earth.
    By Jack McClintock
    Life in a Concord Barn
    Lynn and Barbara Wickwire realized a dream—and became celebrities—when This Old House remade their crumbling barn into a home. Step inside this favorite project seven years later to see how it's holding up.
    By William G. Scheller
    Fear of Fiberglass
    Is the insulation we've relied on for 60 years hazardous to our health? The tiny fibers are in the walls of 90 percent of homes in the United States, and some scientists think they're more dangerous than asbestos.
    By Susan Seager
    Tile and Toil
    With their gentle curves fired in deep earth tones or glazed in colors, clay tiles can turn a roof into a work of art. But these are not the sort of shingles a roofer looks forward to fixing.
    By Wendy Talarico
    An Island Preserved
    Although life on this windy sandbar has eased since the days of whalers and Quakers, Nantucket's simple style endures. Our pullout poster celebrates this Atlantic outpost's graceful dwellings and the self-reliant people who built them.
    By Jack McClintock
    In the Garden
    Inspired by the hardy Nantucket landscape, Russ Morash pays his respects to the rugged rugosa rose and admires an old seaside tradition, the shell drive.
    Around the house
    Off The Wall

    The Pest-Free Life

    Could one bad experience with a tiny bug launch a lifelong dependency on the exterminator? Oh yes.
    By Jeanne Marie Laskas
    Power Tool


    A serpentine slice is easy and nice when This Old House wields a jigsaw.
    By Mark Feirer
    Hand Tool

    Need A Shave?

    A light hand and a sharp scraper leave a surface so smooth you'll be certain sandpaper never touched it.
    By Jeanne Huber

    Crowning Touch

    No wonder there's so little crown molding in this country. Those stately curves are more than most carpenters can cope with.
    By Charles Wardell

    Gap Goop

    When the windows leak and the boards bend and the siding swells, only caulk can help. Our encyclopedia of ooze options.
    By Brad Lemley


    Lock-in plugs, built-in breakers, even an extension cord that lights up: New high-tech cords carry current safely.
    By Ken Textor
    Real Estate

    Buyer's Agents

    Forget location, location, location—the most important thing to remember is that most real-estate agents work for the seller, seller, seller.
    By Wendy Talarico