Ask This Old House

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Season 6 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 6"
Scan the episodes below and select "more" to get information on products or services you saw on that episode.

Episode #626
Rebuilding a toilet tank, Lawn Watering, Building a simple bookcase… more
Episode #625
Installing a water pressure reducing valve, Choosing the best types of grass seed, What is it?, Installing crown molding on kitchen cabinets… more
Episode #624
Replacing broken tile, Cutting ceramic and stone tile, Installing glass tile on a kitchen backsplash… more
Episode #623
Overseeding a lawn using a slice seeder, Viewer tip, Preparing a home for sale, Finding and fixing a mysterious plumbing leak … more
Episode #622
Installing granite steps, Choosing "Keyless" Deadbolts, Replacing polybutylene water piping… more
Episode #621

Original Air Date: Week of February 21, 2008

General contractor Tom Silva demonstrates how to install an old mortised lockset on a new door. Afterwards, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner install a pellet stove to provide supplemental heat during the cold winter months. Back in the loft, landscaping contractor Roger Cook shows host Kevin O'Connor several different types of lawn mowers that do not require gasoline.

Installing an old full-mortise lockset into a new door

Up in the loft, Tom showed Kevin how to take an antique full-mortise lockset and install it into a new wooden door. Tom started by measuring for the height of the doorknob. Next, he held the lockset against the door and traced around it to get the proper location and depth. With all markings in place, Tom drilled holes into the edge of the door using a “portable drill press,” which allowed him to keep the drill perpendicular to the edge of the door. After drilling a series of holes at the same depth as the lockset, Tom squared up the corners with a sharp chisel and hammer. With a deep hole cut for the lockset, Tom chiseled out a wider, shallow mortise to allow the lockset’s mounting plate to lay flush with the edge of the door. Tom then used the same drill press to drill holes in the sides to accept the spindle for the door knobs. He then attached the remaining hardware and the installation was complete.

Where to find it?

Antique full mortise locksets are available at many architectural salvage yards. There are also reproduction locksets available through a number of specialty suppliers, including:

2550 NW Nicolai St
Portland, OR, 97210
(888) 401-1900

Van Dyke's Restorers
P.O. Box 278
39771 S.D. HWY. 34
Woonsocket, SD 57385
(800) 558-1234

Tom used a portable drill press to drill the holes for the mortise.

AccuDrill Precision Drill Guide (part #36-37) Manufacturer:
General Tools & Instruments Co., LLC.
80 White Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 431-6100

Installing a pellet stove

Richard and an expert helped a homeowner who wanted a new pellet-burning stove as a source of supplemental heat in her living room. The stove itself has a “hopper,” where wood pellet fuel is loaded. An electric auger then automatically feeds the pellets into the belly of the stove, where they’re burned for heat. The stove is controlled by a thermostat, and the pellets are made from recycled wood products. The stove was installed in a corner of the living room; a heat-resistant pad was placed on the wood floor to protect it. To install the exhaust pipe for the stove, the installer cut a hole in the wall, being careful not to cut through a stud. He then mounted plates on both the inside and outside of the wall to protect the wall from the heat of the exhaust pipe. Next, a separate smaller pipe was installed to bring fresh air into the stove for combustion. With both pipes installed through the wall, the final connections were made to the stove and the installation was complete.

Where to find it?

The installation was performed by Rob Dardano, who has over 30 years of experience installing hearth products throughout New England:

Rob Dardano

The "Empress" pellet stove is manufactured by:
Enviro Fireplace Products

Additional assistance was provided by:

Black Magic Chimney
21 New Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Russo Products
61 Pleasant Street
Randolph, MA 02368

Non-Gasoline Lawn Mowers

Roger showed Kevin several different types of lawn mowers that do not use gasoline, including a corded electric mower, a battery-powered cordless electric mower, and two manual reel mowers.

Where to find it?

The corded electric mower (18" deck, model no. MM575) is manufactured by Black and Decker (

The cordless battery-powered electric mower (20" deck, model no. UT13122) is manufactured by Homelite ( It is available from The Home Depot (

The smaller manual reel mower is a Brill Luxus 33. It is available from several online vendors, including and

The larger manual reel mower is 20" Scotts Classic. It is available at many homecenters, hardware stores, and online vendors.

Other assistance for this segment was provided by:

American Lawn Mower Company
Episode #620
Building a soccer goal with PVC pipe, Building stilts, Building a sandbox… more
Episode #619
Increasing attic insulation, Installing landscape lighting, Replacing an old kitchen faucet… more
Episode #618
Installing a Water Softener, Installing fiber-cement siding … more
Episode #617
Improving a lawn, What is it?, Water Supply Piping… more
Episode #616
Replacing a leaky skylight, What is it?, Repairing a 3-way light switch… more
Episode #615
The ATOH crew repairs a smelly dishwasher, transplants a rosebush, changes a circular saw blade, and plays another exciting round of What Is It?… more
Episode #614
Installing thermostatic radiator valves on hydronic radiators, What is it?, Making a refrigerator fit into an opening that is too small, Viewer tip… more
Episode #613
Installing a vinyl fence, Installing an epoxy coating on a garage floor… more
Episode #612
Determining landscape grades, What is it?, Seeing inside walls, Repairing a bathtub drain that won't hold water… more
Episode #611
Improving front steps with bluestone, What is it?, Installing a propane kitchen stove… more
Episode #610
Diverting storm runoff to a "rain garden," What is it?, Refinishing a wood floor … more
Episode #609
Picking a Christmas tree, What is it?, Safety equipment, Caulking a leaky window… more
Episode #608
Improving a muddy backyard, Choosing space heaters, Preventing condensation in a bathroom fan… more
Episode #607
Installing replacement windows, Heating water more efficiency, Home energy audit… more
Episode #606
Removing a dangerous tree, What is it?, Installing interior door trim… more
Episode #605
Repairing a jammed garbage disposer, What is it?, Stripping exterior paint, Drilling and notching in joists … more
Episode #604
Preventing floods, Removing and replacing foundation plants, What is it?, Fixing rotted wood with epoxy… more
Episode #603
Replacing a toilet flange, What is it?, Repairing cracked plaster, Viewer Tip… more
Episode #602
Carpentry squares, What is it?, Installing a patio using concrete bricks… more
Episode #601
Replacing a bathtub drain trap, What is it?, Repairing a cracked drywall ceiling… more