DIY

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Notes on Doing Something Ridiculously Difficult

It has been a quiet year here at Adm Karpinsk, and for good reason. It seems like a lifetime since my life has been normal. Even as I write this, I’m thousands of miles from home in Northern British Columbia, closer to the Arctic Circle than I am to the sunny, peaceful bike and beertopia…
181 comments

How to Replace Your Own Furnace

It seems that every house I’ve ever owned has needed a new furnace. I mean sure, the old furnace was still there clunking along and producing heat, but it was always some embarrassingly old thing installed by someone that obviously didn’t care about energy efficiency (or it predated the invention of efficient furnaces entirely). But like…
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The Radiant Heat Experiment – Did it Work?

One whole year ago, I was in the depths of destroying and rebuilding a sagging 1950s brick ranch house, which has since grown up to become our actual home. Looking back through Google Plus’s automatic archive of my phone pictures, I can see the “kitchen” was still open to the great outdoors on that date: Despite…
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How to Carry Major Appliances on your Bike

Right around the same time I bought this new fixer-upper house, I bought a special piece of equipment to help make the project more efficient. With the new house a five minute walk from the old one, commuting time was not an issue. But with the hundreds of trips carrying tools and materials required for…
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Beating the Stock Market – With DIY Insulation

Well, I’m almost done rebuilding that house I have been working on since last fall. There was a big push through the electrical and insulation stages, and then I happily handed the place off to Agustin and his crew for drywall*, which is now in its final days as well. Insulation was a big step…
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Shaving the Costly Edges From a Major Renovation

Part One: Avoiding Pitfalls when Buying Shitloads of Stuff The New Old House project is going very well, thanks for asking. Slowly, if you measure the progress by any sort of professional standard, but very well, if you consider the fact that I am having an absolute blast working through it bit by bit. “What…
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How to Fix a Car

Last week, the unthinkable happened: Adm Karpinsk experienced actual car trouble. In past articles, I have boasted about how by owning a reliable car and keeping driving to a minimum, you will find that car maintenance becomes almost negligible: an oil change every year or so whether it needs it or not, and simple…
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How to Make a Relatively Sweet Shower – Cheap

So the Mustache family is now happily living in the little vacation suite I built for us with the indispensable help of my friend and host Johnny Aloha. There are still some finishing touches to add (including paint), but for the most part everything works now. The nicest part of this place is the shower,…
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Unlock your Inner Mr. T – by Mastering Metal

As a kid, I occasionally had the pleasure of catching episodes of The A-Team when I was allowed to stay up late. The show had plenty of action and comedy, at a level ideal for a ten-year-old boy. But my favorite part was always the inevitable scene where the team would harvest a bunch of…

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Love, Adm Karpinsk

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