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DIY Dad Tips & Tales for Father's Day

TOH staffer Linda Gallant has fond memories of watching her dad build his family’s house. She was alternately proud and terrified as he darted across roof beams and shimmied down scaffolding like a tool-belted, DIY pirate.

This Father’s Day, thisoldhouse.com wants to hear YOUR favorite DIY Dad stories.
-What did you learn from Dad?
-Got a favorite story about his home improvement exploits?

Tell us your DIY Dad stories, attach a photo of your dad, preferrably at work (images must be 450 px by 450 px or larger), and your story might be featured in a special Father's Day web gallery at thisoldhouse.com

That beats an ordinary greeting card any day!

Re: DIY Dad Tips & Tales for Father's Day

My dad, who passed away many years ago, taught me how to do a lot of work around the house. He did plumbing, sodering, fixed lawn mowers, and did repairs around the house. He was a shipfitter at the Philadelphia Navy Yard for 38 years before he retired. I was Daddy's little girl. He taught me all kinds of things so I did not need a man to do it. I am glad he helped me learn all these things that I still use today.

Re: DIY Dad Tips & Tales for Father's Day

My Dad was a diy kind of guy. When my sister and I were in middle school, my parents bought an old victorian house. The house had been built in 1900 and was in need of a major remodel.
With 3 females in the house, it was up to my Dad to do much of the work. We watched him tear down plaster walls, hang new ceiling tiles, sand old wood floors, hang wallpaper and upgrade the whole house. I can remember hanging sheet rock with my Dad when I was 13 years old. At the time it was torture! This stuff was hard work. I would rather have been hanging out with my friends or in my room listening to music. It was many years before I could appreciate all the work that went in to that restoration. Now, I'm glad we lived in that old drafty house. I learned alot working with my Father. Today, I do my own diy projects. Whenever Dad is in town, he helps out. Just like old times.

Re: DIY Dad Tips & Tales for Father's Day

well,after watching my favor program day after day I can tell you that now I can put a garbage disposal. thank you very much.

Re: DIY Dad Tips & Tales for Father's Day

Well my father wasn't a big DIY person, he handled small things around the house like patching holes, changing tires and oil in the car and the like. The thing is he was into building from scratch model air planes and cars. The type where you have to cut sheets of balsa wood to make the parts for the planes, and where you chose your own speed controls, bearings, and body for the cars. Well it's because of learning to put things like that together that I ended up doing things like building sets for Drama shows, working with all sorts of computer components, and of course now, fixing up as much as I can around my house, pipe work, tiling, painting, roof building and so on. If my Dad can adhere a layer of membrane to wings of a model plane, then I can adhere a rubber EPDM membrane to my flat roof.

Learn as We Go

My dad bought an old (1819) farmhouse and restored it. He learned how to rehab the house as well as how to farm by himself. I only recall two contractors working on the place. One rebuilt the chimney and the other installed asbestos siding. Dad would rip down the plaster walls and ceilings, run the electric wiring and plumbing and install sheet rock. The entire time I was growing up, there was always one room being made over. At Christmas, my mother would decorate the bare stud walls with pine boughs. Happy memories.

Empty Space

My Dad grew up going to a one room school house till the 6th grade. We had a small 4 acre farm where I grew up. We never heard of hiring anyone. Dad would do everything from cement work, stone walls, mechanic, carpentry, running his own greenhouse business while working full time as a brakeman on the railroad. He knew how to grow plants, turn our farm from raising grapes to a hay farm with all the repairs and building projects. He passed away Feb. 28, 2007 at 87 years old and has left a big hole in my heart. I thank God for growing up on that farm and all that I learned from Dad.

Re: DIY Dad Tips & Tales for Father's Day

My earliest memories of my father building something was when I was about 5 and living in Central City CO. He scrounged the ruins around the mines and abandoned buildings surrounding town until he had enough rocks and bricks to build a large shed that we used for coal storage and as a general tool shelter in our yard. Today it would be considered theft, but 58 years ago it was truly recycling! The funny part of this is that when Colorado approved Gambling in three mountain towns, it was dependent on the casinos preserving "old" buildings during construction. They must have spent thousands of dollars preserving our coal shed, because there it was in all its glory inside the finished Central Palace Casino when it opened! They said it was genuine - truly "old" - because it was made of the old brick!! Well duh! - if you scrounge enough old bricks to build it, of course it is made of old brick! Didn't they look at the mortar?

Re: DIY Dad Tips & Tales for Father's Day

Both my Dad and Grandpop taught me so much that it won't all fit here! :). I always have considered myself as my Dads "oldest son". My brother is ten years younger and I am a "tomboy",so my Dad let me help him in many projects. I had the best "tree fort" in the neighborhood. I helped Grandpop make a corner cabinet that was my Moms now It sits in my dining room!The most memorable thing I did with my Dad was every year we would build a train platform. In October we would start so it would be ready for Christmas. We put a full sheet of plywood on saw horses and secured them. We used chicken wire and plaster to make the mountains and tunnels.Dad made small houses,fences for the farmhouse,trestles for the trains and I would paint them. We had an ice skating rink made from a mirror, and put lights in the houses so at night we could see our "town".The worst part was when Christmas was over the platform came down:(, but then I realized that we would start over again in October :D.

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