Ask This Old House TV // Season 15 // Episode 15

Ask TOH | NASA, Simulated Panels

On this episode of ASK This Old House

Tom is in Cincinnati to create a simulated wainscoting out of base cap molding. NASA astronaut Mike Foreman visits the barn to show off a few space tools and inspire the next generation of skilled laborers. Richard helps a homeowner struggling to get enough hot water for his children’s bath time. 


How to Create Simulated Panels with Molding

Tom uses base cap molding to mimic a stile and rail wainscoting at a home in Cincinnati. 

Where to find it?

Tom used 11/16” x 1 3/8” Primed Finger-Jointed Base Cap Molding to create illusion of a panelized wall. He mitered the corners and secured them with wood glue from Gorilla Glue and headless trim nails. All of these products are available at home centers.

To cut the miters, Tom used the Kapex KS 120 sliding miter saw from Festool.

For an portable assembly table, Tom used the Mobile Project Center, manufactured by Kreg


Generation Next | Captain Mike Foreman

NASA Captain Michael Foreman visits the barn to discuss space tools and inspire the next generation of skilled laborers. 

Where to find it?

Captain Michael Foreman is a retired U.S. Naval pilot and a NASA astronaut.

Special assistance with this interview was provided by NASA.


How to Install an Indirect Water Heater on a Boiler

Richard helps a homeowner struggling to get enough hot water by installing an indirect water heater onto an existing boiler.

The indirect water heater Richard installed is a model Superstor SSU 45 manufactured by HTP.

On the water return from the indirect water heater, Richard installed a model Taco 007e High Efficiency circulator pump to send cold water back to the boiler. Richard also connected an electronic Taco SR 501 Relay to the water temperature sensor on the indirect water heater. The temperature sensor sends a signal to the relay when the water heater needs more hot water and the relay fires the burner. Both the pump and relay are manufactured by Taco.

Richard connected an 140F – 240F Aqua Stat Relay with Vent Damper Connection to the indirect water heater as a sensor for the tank’s water temperature. The sensor is manufactured by Honeywell.

Expert assistance was provided by Emerson Swan.


To complete the project, Richard used the following plumbing supplies: 

½” copper pipe

1” copper pipe 

½” RB ball valve ¼ turn boiler

1” full port sweat ball valve

½” C union sweat thermostatic mixing valve


These materials along with other fittings and adapters used can be found at a home center or plumbing supply store. 


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