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Daniel Benjamins

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since May 25, 2020
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Recent posts by Daniel Benjamins

I started my drywall project ( and in one room I started off the wrong way.

Turns out that the walls are (of course) not exactly square and now I have a gap in between two sheets. They touch at the wall side and the gap grows to just under half an inch at the other side.

Using my laser level I put a pencil line where it would be 100% straight and aligned, lengthwise.

If I keep going like this, all my sheets will be off. Especially because I have to stagger them. What’s the best approach?

So far I only have these two sheets up and I'm thinking to either:

1. Cut off a 0-3/8” strip with my Dremel oscillating tool and drywall blade, I can make pretty straight cuts with it. That way I can get the next sheets aligned way better. The gap between the butt joints will still be there and need to be fixed by the drywall finisher.

2. Replace the last full 8x4 sheet with a new one or re-attach the current one. The butt joints will be better, but new gaps will arise on the wall side. This will be hopefully covered up by the wall sheets.

3. Basically start over and replace or re-attach both sheets. Not sure if I can re-use the sheets or cause a lot of work for the drywall finisher.
1 day ago
In my basement there are some jack posts installed. I need to frame a wall around some of them but the top plates are pretty wide. I'm using 2x4 for my other walls but for this wall even 2x6 is not wide enough (see image where the plate is wider than a 2x6).

Now I'm thinking of framing a 2x8 staggered wall, using a 2x8 for bottom and top plates and 2x4 for the studs. This particular wall is for a bedroom closet and will be 11.5 ft wide and will include one door.

Please let me know if anyone has a better idea.
Thanks for all the advice, I will just leave it as it is. Although I was kind of worried, since my house is only 10 years old, it now makes sense regarding the sagging.

Tonight I picked up my new drywall lift. Someone here in town sold it to me, he only used it once for his own ceiling.

I have approximately 32 sheets of 8x4 to install for the whole basement and another 5 for the bathroom.

I'm not going to use nails, I bought a big box of 1-1/4 drywall screws. Probably need some longer ones for the 5/8 ceiling drywall, will have to find out about that.

1 month ago
Thanks for the advice, I'm getting a lift/hoist for sure, already found a few options to buy or rent one. The basement is already insulated on al walls and ceiling.
1 month ago
I'm finishing my basement and found out the ceiling is not completely level. Over a length of 14 ft the drop is 1 inch.

Wondering if I should fix this, or just put the drywall up. Maybe it won't be noticeable... Any suggestions?

1 month ago
Thanks for all the replies. I already set up all my tools and saws in the basement so distance isn't a factor. Today my table saw got delivered and I have never used one before, so I'm more comfortable with my miter saw when it comes to that. I might indeed just try the standard blade first, I'm always surprised how smooth they cut. If it doesn't work out I can always get get another blade, I noticed you can get blades specifically made for cutting laminate flooring (e.g. Diablo).
1 month ago
This winter I will be finishing my basement and it will have laminate flooring. I was wondering if it would be smarter to get a new blade (80-90 tooth) for my 8.25" table saw or my 12" miter saw.

The whole area is about 1100 sqft and will have about 5 rooms, so I'm expecting to do quite some cuts.

Any suggestions?
1 month ago
I ran into this video on YouTube, it's very long and I've only watched 5 minutes of it so far. Very helpful!

2 months ago
Thanks for all the great information and advice. I'm glad to read that my idea was not weird and actually very doable.

I also talked to my neighbour about this, who is a hay farmer and owns 207 acres of land. A lot of his land is still wooded and there's more trees on there that he can ever burn in his stove. He told me we could work something out regarding getting (buying) trees from his land. He'll probably mark trees so I can fell, limb and buck them, then bring them home to split.

This gives me the opportunity to get used to cutting firewood and get a feeling of how much wood I would need for a year, for myself. Then I can (re)consider getting my own small woodlot. My idea of having my own woodlot also was to sell firewood to others.

Part of my own land is also wooded and has quite some huge birch trees on them. At least of what I can see from a distance since I haven't actually walked down there myself. This would probably give me a few years worth of firewood. I'm not sure if I want to clear that part, I think there's a lot of deer and other wildlife living there...
3 months ago
An update regarding my question about weeding around pine seedlings.

A few months ago I found a sawmill in my area that sold me a truckload full or wood shavings for $40 (CAD). My idea was to mulch around the seedlings, to prevent weeds to come (next year) up too close to them. It also gave me a good overview where and how the seedlings were planted.

So what I did is find a seedling, mark it, put some shavings around it and then after I did a large area, mow the weeds with my gas trimmer.

Putting down the shavings turned out too much work (not worth the time) so when I ran out of wood shavings I bought a pack of 100 orange stake flags. I'm using those to mark a large area of seedlings, mow around them and then re-use the flags for another area.

This works our pretty well and is also fast since you can see the flags from far away. This makes it a lot easier to find the next seedling in the grid and you can also immediately see if you missed one. In some areas the seedlings died or are too hard to find, I will have to weed those by hand with a machete.

All this gave me a good feeling about keeping the weeds down, and protect the seedlings from getting smothered when the tall (2-3 ft) weeds get blown over and covered with snow. I found quite some seedlings that were growing horizontally or very crooked. I'm wondering how these trees will turn out...

Next year the seedlings will grow bigger while I can keep the weeds down to a few inches instead of a few feet. Maybe in a year or two weeding is not necessary anymore because the trees will outgrow them. Or at least it will be a lot easier since every tree will be visible without marking them first.

At the very back of my property I found tons of (wild) pine seedlings. As an experiment I transplanted 30 of them to my front yard, to grow them bigger and put them back where the planted seedlings have died or disappeared.