Ask This Old House

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Season 5 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 5"
Scan the episodes below and select "more" to get information on products or services you saw on that episode.

Episode #526
Building a Workbench and What Is It?… more
Episode #525
Lawn Mowing and Edging Basics, What is it?, Repairing and maintaining electric water heaters, Repairing a broken stair tread … more
Episode #524
Replacing a damaged mailbox post,Repointing Brickwork … more
Episode #523
Installing a new radiator/towel bar warmer, What is it?, Controlling crabgrass … more
Episode #522
Replacing a corroded shut-off valve with a "compression" fitting, What is it?, Selecting and planting "climbing" roses … more
Episode #521
Installing composite decking with hidden fasteners, Quieting a noisy steam radiator… more
Episode #520
Replacing a Shub, What is it?, Installing a roof-mounted attic fan… more
Episode #519
Refinishing cast-iron radiators, Installing a standby electric generator… more
Episode #518
Patching a damaged vinyl floor, What is it?, Repairing a leaking in-ground sprinkler system… more
Episode #517

Original Air Date: Week of January 25, 2007

Host Kevin O'Connor helps a homeowner select wall-to-wall carpet and install it properly with the assistance of a professional installer. Back in the loft, Kevin, along with general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscaping contractor Roger Cook ask, "What is it?" Then Tom shows Kevin a few tips for using a tablesaw safely and demonstrates a new type of emergency-brake that helps prevent tablesaw injuries.

Shopping for and installing wall-to-wall carpet
Kevin and a homeowner visit a local home center to shop for new carpeting. An expert shows them some choices and explains the differences of each type, which include pile and berber. They also discuss durability and stain resistance. For a high-traffic area, the expert recommends a berber carpet. The homeowner places an order and Kevin returns several days later to help install the new carpet. First, they remove the old carpeting by cutting it into smaller pieces and scrape any glue and padding from the concrete floor underneath. The installer then checks the condition of the "tackless" strips, which hold the carpet in place around the perimeter of the room. He decides to add additional strips in some areas to help secure the carpet when it is being stretched. He then brings in the new carpeting to determine where to make the cuts. The installer decides to lay out the carpet so there are no seams near the front door, which is a high traffic area. Once the carpet is cut roughly to size, the installer carefully joins the seams together near the back of the room using a special adhesive strip and hot iron. The carpet is then stretched over the tackless strips using a hand tool called a "power stretcher" and the installation is complete.

Where to Find It
Kevin and the homeowner went shopping for carpet at a local Home Depot store.

The carpet was installed by Home Depot's "At Home" installers:
4 Seasons Carpet Workshop Inc.
1560 Elmwood Ave.
Cranston, RI 02910

Carpet installation tools are available at some rental stores.

What is it?
The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking product.

Where to Find It
Roger showed a retractable device used for hanging plants from the ceiling.
Manufacturer: Hillman
(Available online through some national hardware retailers)

Table saw safety
Up in the loft, Tom teaches Kevin a few important lessons for safely using table saws. He shows a saw's blade guard assembly, which includes the blade guard, a splitter and two anti-kickback pawls. The splitter and pawls help prevent the work piece from kicking-back toward the operator. "Kickback" occurs when a piece of wood binds behind the spinning blade, which can throw it toward the operator. Tom also says it's important to make sure the saw's rip fence is parallel with the blade, which also helps to prevent kickback. They discuss feather boards, which help keep the workpiece tight against the fence while cutting. Tom also says to use a push stick when making narrow rip cuts to keep fingers away from the spinning blade. Never use a rip fence when cross-cutting; use a miter gauge instead. Finally, Tom demonstrates a new technology that detects when a human finger comes into contact with a spinning blade. A powerful brake stops the spinning blade within a millisecond to prevent serious injury.

Where to Find It
Featherboards, pushsticks, outfeed supports and other tablesaw safety accessories can be found at your local home center or woodworking supply store.

Tom showed a new type of table saw with an emergency braking system. It is manufactured by:
SawStop, LLC
Episode #516
Removing an overgrown Juniper bush, Coiling an extension cord, Replacing a pop-up assembly in a pedestal sink … more
Episode #515
Clearing clogged drains, What is it?, Install Kitchen Cabinets… more
Episode #514
Prune a willow tree, fix a hot-water heater… more
Episode #513
Mulching, Sash Balancers … more
Episode #512
Shower Valve, Recycling Batteries … more
Episode #511
Cedar Clapboards, Chainsaw Etiquette … more
Episode #510
Kitchen Backsplash, Installing Sod … more
Episode #509
Child safety, What is It?, Installing a sump pump… more
Episode #508
Maintaining stone countertops, what is it?, Installing a chain link fence… more
Episode #507
Home Energy Audit, what is it?, Removing a toilet seat with corroded bolts… more
Episode #506
Rebuilding a small exterior deck and stairs.… more
Episode #505
Planting flower bulbs in fall, making straight rip cuts with a circular saw, what is it?… more
Episode #504
Installing garage storage cabinets, What is it?, Installing a ceiling fan… more
Episode #503
Installing a new shower base, Installing a rain barrel… more
Episode #502
Replacing a clogged faucet aerator, Selecting houseplants, Quieting a squeaky subfloor under carpet… more
Episode #501
Repairing a bathroom door, planting a bamboo privacy screen, what is it?… more