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Articles by Gary Katz

Finding the Right Angle

Co-written by Mike Sloggatt

Around 2,500 years ago, a Greek philosopher we all met in high school named Pythagoras discovered a theorem that can make life easy for carpenters and contractors—if we just knew how to use it, and how to find right angles!

Most of us remember our ABC’s from high school, and we remember the Pythagorean Theorem, too, which applies to any 90-degree triangle. Read the full article…

Problem-free Prefit Doors

I’ve been hanging doors for over thirty-five years, and writing about it for nearly twenty-five. For many years, I approached door installs differently every time (like most carpenters). After all, there are so many steps, and there is a lot you need to watch for! It’s tough to do it the same way every time. But a door is a door is a door. Which means unless you’re doing exactly the same thing every time you install one, you’re wasting valuable energy and time. Read the full article…

Stabila R-Beam Levels

For my first ten or fifteen years in carpentry, Stabila levels were mythical. Most of the time, you couldn’t even buy one, even if you could afford the hefty price tag. There just weren’t many around—only the most discriminating stores sold them, and they were always in short supply. Today you can buy a Stabila level at every professional tool store and lumber dealer. Read the full article…

My New Home: Choosing a Contractor

Early last winter, after searching for more than two years, I finally found a new home in Oregon, outside of Medford, near the small town of Ruch. It took a long time to find this place because I couldn’t decide where I wanted to live and once I did, I had a hard time finding a place I could afford—a small, older home that hadn’t been remodeled. After the “big boom,” houses like that became pretty rare. Read the full article…

Casing Doors: Part 4

In Part 1 of this article, we reviewed the details of casing joinery and how to measure for new casing around a door frame. We also reviewed the necessary cut list, so that you can cut your casing right the first time. In Part 2, we moved on to the details of baseboard. We covered the best methods for installing casing and the use of hand-driven nails in Part 3. We’ll finish Chapter 2 by exploring methods for pre-assembly. Read the full article…

Casing Doors: Part 3

In Part 1 of this article, we reviewed the details of casing joinery and how to measure for new casing around a door frame. We also reviewed the necessary cut list, so that you can cut your casing right the first time. In Part 2, we moved on to the details of baseboard. Now, we’ll explore the best methods for installing casing, and the use of hand-driven nails—the preferred technique for working with soft wood. Read the full article…

The Sells Mansion – Columbus, OH

A few years ago, I was riding on a plane to Columbus for JLC LIVE. I was working away on my laptop, oblivious to the fellow sitting beside me who was reading every word I wrote over my shoulder. When he asked if I was a carpenter, I may have exhaled audibly. I was sure that he’d start telling me about his most recent remodel, the molding he installed in his dining room, or the screen door he hung on the back porch. I couldn’t have been further off the mark. Read the full article…

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