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S21 E9: Install Cabinet Hardware, Breaker Trips

The team shares about jobs they might have chosen outside their trades; Mauro talks through what tools to use when removing wallpaper; Heath explains breaker trips; Nathan installs kitchen cabinet hardware.

Previous episode: S21 E8 | Next episode: S21 E10

In this episode:

We ask the crew of Ask This Old House what they’d be doing if they weren’t contractors, and some answers are surprising! While everyone loves what they do now, they all seem to have a hidden interest or talent they would’ve explored if contracting didn’t work out.

Next, we meet host Kevin O’Connor back at the shop as paint expert Mauro Henrique shows him how to remove wallpaper the easy way. After going over a few different types of wallpaper, Mauro shows Kevin the removal methods and tools to use. Some types of wallpaper come off easier than others, but Mauro’s expertise makes short work of them all.

After that, we follow Kevin as he meets master electrician Heath Eastman to talk about circuit breakers. Heath shows Kevin that while resetting these breakers is simple, these are actually complex devices that monitor and protect circuits. First, the two talk about the different sizes of breakers before moving on to the different types. Finally, Heath shows Kevin how to test certain breakers to ensure they’re working properly.

Finally, carpenter Nathan Gilbert takes us on a house call to help a homeowner with upgrading their kitchen cabinet hardware. While the cabinets themselves are nice, the homeowner dislikes the lack of hardware. Nathan shows the homeowner several jig options before explaining how they’ll tackle the job. With a drill and a few jigs in hand, the two set to work installing hardware and giving those kitchen cabinets a serious facelift.


If I Weren’t a Contractor

It’s our turn to “Ask” the questions! We ask each of our favorite crew members what they’d be doing if they weren’t working as a contractor. Some of the answers might surprise you!

How To Remove Different Types of Wallpaper

Paint expert Mauro Henrique shows host Kevin O’Connor some methods for removing different types of wallpaper, and Kevin’s shocked at the results.

Where to find it?

Mauro talks through 3 major types of wallpaper and the tools to properly remove each type.

Mauro shows 3 types of wallpaper: Removable, Strippable, and Vinyl.

Mauro uses a putty knife to pry up the corner of the removable wallpaper and carefully pulls down the paper at an angle.

To remove the Strippable and Vinyl wallpaper, Mauro uses a scoring tool and presses it across the entire facing of the wallpaper to create tiny perforations. Once the wallpaper is sufficiently scored across each section, Mauro uses a spray bottle to apply a 1:1 mixture of hot water and white vinegar.

The hot water helps to loosen up the adhesive, and the vinegar acid helps dissolve it. Once the solution has set up for 10-15 minutes, Mauro uses a putty knife and begins peeling the wallpaper from the top corner down. Vinyl paper is often more difficult because of its vinyl seal that blocks out moisture; Be sure that the solution has fully saturated it. After the wallpaper is removed, you can go over the drywall with a clean rag and the water/vinegar solution to remove any remaining adhesive from the wall.

Why Do Circuit Breakers Trip?

Master electrician Heath Eastman shows host Kevin O’Connor everything he needs to know about why and how breakers trip.

Where to find it?

Heath explains what a circuit breaker is, why they trip and how it protects a home. A circuit breaker is a device, installed in the electrical panel, that controls whether power can be sent from the panel through a circuit. Heath explains this ability is controlled by a switch that can be operated either manually—like when a person wants to interrupt power for service—or automatically, like a breaker trip.

He says power overloads, current “leaks”, and arcs are the three reasons that would cause a breaker to trip. A Power overload happens when a device is calling for more power than a receptacle, or a circuit is designed to provide. Current “leaks” are caused when current strays from the circuit for whatever reason, though it happens most commonly when moisture is present. Arcs can happen when the wire breaks down over time (due to overloads but also due to other factors, like animals chewing the wire and other decay) but what Heath sees the most is human error.

If a specific receptacle is consistently tripping the breaker, Heath advises to have a licensed electrician identify the problem to ensure the work is done safely.

How to Install Cabinet Hardware

Carpenter Nathan Gilbert helps a homeowner with a basic problem. The two work together to install hardware on builder-grade cabinets for a major upgrade.

Where to find it?

For both the cabinet doors and drawers, Nathan installed the Brightened Opulence Matte Black Drawer Pulls in two sizes, which are manufactured by Liberty Hardware. The hardware came with mounting screws, though Nathan opted to use longer screws on the drawer faces because they were thicker than the cabinet doors.

For any cabinet hardware installation, Nathan highly recommends using a jig to keep the hardware lined up consistently. He mentioned the Cabinet Hardware Jig ORIGINAL, which is manufactured by True Position Tools. For the actual install project, he used a combination of a KHI-PULL Cabinet Hardware Jig, which is made by Kreg Tools, and a DIY jig that Nathan made out of scrap, 1-by plywood, wood glue, and finish nails, which are materials that can all be found at home centers.

To drill the holes in the cabinet doors and drawers, Nathan used a Festool Cordless Drill CSX, and to tighten the hardware screws, he used a 20V MAX Lithium Ion 3/8” Right Angle Drill Driver manufactured by DeWalt.

Original Air Date: Jan 5, 2023, Season 21; Ep. 9 23:42


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