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S20 E12: WiFi Extension, Tub Drain

In Tool Lab, Nathan explains the different table saw blade types; Ross extends WiFi service in a house; Richard replaces a faulty tub drain; the team shares their New Years’ Resolutions.

Previous episode: S20 E11 | Next episode: S20 E13

In this episode:

In Tool Lab, Nathan Gilbert talks all about saw blades. Having the right blade can significantly impact the table saw’s performance, quality of the cut, and safety.

He explains that the stock blades on a table saw are for general use and not the best quality. Table saw blades come in three categories: ripping, cross-cutting, and combination. Nathan then goes into the blade anatomy, explaining the difference in teeth, kerf thickness, and coatings are designed to impact the cut. He describes the variations in tooth geometry and how the teeth are cut in various patterns for specific types of cuts and materials.

Nathan shares his advice on picking the best table saw blade while sticking to your budget.

Then, Ross Trethewey helps a homeowner fix his slow WiFi. The family has had problems with their WiFi since they moved in. They cannot stream movies on their television in the basement, and sometimes even emails are slow to send.

Ross sees a ton of similar complaints from other homeowners. Finding the issue can be tricky since you can’t see a WiFi network’s physical problem. Ross demonstrates a step-by-step approach to diagnose a WiFi problem and determine how to fix it. After checking the wiring and the modem location, Ross shows how to check the Internet speed.

He finds that the WiFi signal gets weak in the basement and top floor, but he has a solution. Ross introduces the homeowner to a mesh network, a distributed router system where you place WiFi routers strategically around your house to strengthen the WiFi connectivity and increase coverage. Afterward, the family has a strong WiFi signal throughout their home, allowing them to send emails and stream their favorite home improvement show.

After, Richard Trethewey visits a 1950s ranch house to help a homeowner replace his tub drain. The drain is rusted, and the stop can’t be used to fill the tub. The homeowners have done some repairs and upgrades themselves but were nervous to touch the tub drain because they don’t want to mess with water. Richard assures that replacing a drain is a straightforward project, as long as you have reasonable access underneath the drain and everything is correctly sealed.

Luckily, the drain is easily accessible from the basement, so the homeowner and Richard get to work. Richard lays out a mockup version of what he’ll be installing and demonstrates what each piece will do. Together they remove the old drain and install the new one.


Tool Lab | Understanding Saw Blades

Carpenter Nathan Gilbert explains how table saw blades work and the different blade types used.


How to Fix and Upgrade a Weak WiFi Signal

Home technology expert Ross Trethewey helps a homeowner get stronger WiFi coverage throughout his house by extending the service.

Where to find it?

Ross installed a mesh network to extend the homeowner’s WIFI coverage. The mesh network doesn’t create a new network. Instead, it works to strengthen the network you have. The technology uses multiple devices to enhance WiFi connectivity and increase coverage. The tri-band mesh network used was eero Pro 6, eero is an Amazon company.

Before installing the eero system, Ross explains the benefits of using a UPS (uninterruptible power supply). This battery backup strip provides up to 6 hours of power and surge protection. Ross chose to use an APC Back-UPS BE600M1, which APC manufactures by Schneider Electric—APC USA


How to Replace a Tub Drain

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner with an old 1950s bathtub replace the tub drain assembly when the current one stops plugging the tub.

Where to find it?

Richard replaced the old bath waste and overflow with an Everbilt Trip Lever Brass Pipe Bath Waste and Overflow in Chrome, though most bath waste and overflow kits would also work.

Richard needed other tools and materials to replace the drain, including plumber’s putty, screwdrivers, and the tub drain wrench.

Original Air Date: Dec 30, 2021, Season 20; Ep. 12 23:42


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