Star Distributing Company Logo
How To Guides

Log Home Restoration

Concrete Floor

After the flood

Detoxify Your Boat

Give one weekend,
Get years of beauty

Wooden Boat
and Dry Bilges
*** Yes***

Core Restoration
for Fiberglass

House Deck Repair

How Does Wood Rot?

Why does
varnish fail?

of Old Mortar

This section contains articles covering various tasks and the methods used to do various jobs. Our desire is to have a convenient location for interesting projects and innovative ways of approaching a task. No two jobs are alike and there are usually five different ways of doing the same job. Each situation is unique. The trick to a long lasting repair or restoration is finding the correct method for the job. Various factors are usually involved in obtaining this method. Time frame, weather, materials, money, personnel, location, etc. are all factors to take into consideration. The correct method finds a balance between all of the various factors.

Most jobs can be formulated into three categories:

Quick Fix

All three of these are valid. Each has its set of goals and limitations. Confusing the goals and limitations is where problems crop up.

The Quick Fix is a BandAid for a problem. A BandAid will cover the problem long enough to allow healing. Then it falls off. Unfortunately most of us do not work on living tissue and so it will not heal. Sooner or later the quick fix will be seen as a bad job. Did it do the job at the time it was needed? Yes it did. Will it continue to do so in the future? Probably not.

A fine example: Your boat is sinking because a seacock broke at the backing block. Being very thorough, you have a tapered plug ready to go into the hole to stop your boat from sinking. Did the quick fix do the job? Yes. Will it do the job in the future? NO. If left alone eventually the plug will pop out, rot, or bugs will eat the soft wood and it will leak.

Repair is correcting the problem and making it as good as new again. In the above example the repair would not be advisable until the boat can be removed from the water. The repair for the above problem would be to remove the seacock and through hole fitting, cleaning out the hole, applying sealant to the new through hole fitting, installing the fitting and its nut, and putting on a new seacock. Did the repair do the job? Yes. Will it do the job in the future? Yes.

Restoration takes this a few steps further. During the disassembly of the through hole fitting you noticed pitting in the metal. This pitting thinned out the wall thickness and is what caused the failure. Seeing as you don't ever want to be in that stressful situation again you decide to change all of the through hole fittings on the boat. But lets not stop there. Lets find out why the fittings are pitting. Somewhere along the history of the boat someone wired all of the through hole fittings together. This created a battery. An electrical current was created from dissimular metals in contact to salt water. The current escaped into the water through the fittings. Over time the metal in these fittings corroded away and the fitting failed. The owner then removed all of the wires and replaced all of the fittings, seacocks, and hose clamps.

Was this a bad design to begin with? Yes, but it was the common theory at the time. Did the restoration do the job? Yes. Will it do the job in the future? Yes. Not only has the restoration repaired the problem but it prevented another problem and made the boat better for the future.

These three examples illustrate the need to determine the correct course of action for the desired return on investment. If no pitting was found then a restoration would have been an unnecessary approach to a simple repair. Likewise a quick fix should not be confused as a restoration. Home restoration is the same. A quick fix on window sill or trim will help in the short term to sell a house. The repair of the window will last longer. The restoration is needed when the repairs add up to recreating most of the property.

On the left is a list of articles. Click on a link and new window will open.



If you wish to submit one of your jobs for this section please contact me by email.