6,431 reputation
1133
bio website karlkatzke.com
location College Station, TX
age 34
visits member for 3 years, 2 months
seen Feb 27 at 22:42

I'm a sysadmin for Sentry Data Systems. I do linux and clustering and networking, and enjoy instigating a good STONITH deathmatch when I get bored.

Work-wise, I'm a giant fan of the k.I.s.s. principle - keep I.T. simple, stupid. Don't make things any more complex than the features you need.

In my spare time, I renovate houses and ride herd on a pack of dogs with extreme mental issues. My background and career are both in systems. I look at systems, analyze them, and use them or make them better. I like DIY home stuff because the systems are simple and it's rewarding to figure 'em out and use them. How do I know the things I do? We have this saying in my group of friends-who-renovate-houses: "Ask me how I know." I have probably been there, broken that, ruined the other thing, and had to figure out how to fix all of them.

On my own blog, see my:

"It’s not enough to be aware of the domain you’re working in, you need to understand it. Noticing things and being curious about how they work is the single most common trait I see in creative people. Once you can break the components down, you can put them back together into something brand new." - Seth Godin


Feb
25
comment Can solar tubes be installed in an existing south Florida barrel style roof?
Just for clarification -- do you mean that the roof has cement or clay S or "Barrel Vault" tiles, or do you mean that the roof has an actual cast-in-place cement roof that is vaulted in a rounded barrel shape?
Oct
8
comment How can I install these pre-hung doors?
This is exactly what we did in my house where we ran into this problem. 90% of carpentry is hiding mistakes. Just use some poplar and trim nails to extend the jamb, use some wood filler and sand it lightly, and by the time you've primed and painted no one will ever notice.
Sep
10
comment How should I center a light fixture when there's a vent stack in the way?
For whatever reason, the city inspector insists that there only be 8 fixtures or outlets on a circuit.
Sep
9
comment How should I center a light fixture when there's a vent stack in the way?
Don't know why this is downvoted either; it's the right answer. I just wanted confirmation of that before I got all involved in it, since I tend to overcomplicate things.
Sep
9
comment How should I center a light fixture when there's a vent stack in the way?
There isn't much room for a pancake box. (Look at the top plate where the vent stack penetrates.) I would prefer not to go that route anyway, although it is possible in theory, because it'd be difficult to mount without puncturing the vent stack.
Nov
20
comment What model circuit breaker is this?
@TheEvilGreebo - Yeah. But that didn't look like a 220v circuit to me, especially not on 12 ga al.
Nov
16
comment What model circuit breaker is this?
I didn't even catch that, bcworkz... thanks! I was too busy wincing at the rest of the panel.
Nov
15
comment What is the proper procedure to apply multiple coats of Polyurethane?
I have a Binks gun, can't remember which one and pretty sure it's discontinued. Briefly had an AOC (italian) gun before I returned it. Thanks to a few neighbors who have really cheap tools but are willing to help on projects, I've found that for just blowing a couple coats of polyurethane or oil paint (NOT Latex) over something, a $29 Kobalt or Husky gun works just as well as long as you have a viscosity cup and know how to use it.
Nov
15
comment How can I add insulation to this roof?
I rarely agree with spray foam ... but in this case it's an excellent idea.
Nov
15
comment What type of wall construction is shown in these pictures?
That only provides a path for moisture to leave, it doesn't do anything about providing enough air movement to pick up the moisture given your climate's average relative humidity. And since there are holes on the inside as well -- that means heating this structure is about as efficient as an outdoor firepit.
Nov
15
comment What type of wall construction is shown in these pictures?
Penguin: Condensation between the warmer inside surface of the house and the colder outside surface of the house. Concrete's a very porous surface and the bad kinds of mold really love this kind of construction... and are impossible to eradicate without a bulldozer. This is probably why the holes are there; to try to provide some amount of air movement inside the walls. I don't have any good, creative ways to rectify that without tearing the layer of wall that has plaster on it completely down... although that should be safe to do if I'm right about how it's constructed.
Nov
8
comment How can I remove hair dye stains from a porcelain sink?
bczwork's comment should actually be an answer.
Oct
31
comment What are the implications of driving a drywall screw too far into the sheet?
Ever seen when a molly/drywall anchor pulls out? You're usually left with a giant crater. The same thing happens when you puncture the paper, but in reverse. To keep from puncturing the paper, I usually use these: amazon.com/Improvement-Phillips-Drywall-Screw-Setter/dp/…
Oct
31
comment How can I repair leaky windows/doors?
What kind of window is it? Is it single pane glass or dual pane glass? Is the frame aluminum, vinyl, or wood?
Oct
18
comment Should I use glue even if I've prepped floor by sanding & cleaning with amonia & water to put down vinyl tiles over old ones?
You said that you sanded and washed it -- is this to achieve a bond with new glue? What new material are you putting down?
Oct
15
comment How do I add veneer stone to an exterior painted wall?
Before you can tell if you need to put something up over it, we really need to know what the wall's made out of. There's a chance you need to completely remove what's there now if it's something like EIFS or T-111, because no wire mesh will support a stone veneer applied to an inadequate substrate.
Oct
12
comment What thinset should I use?
Flexbond and Fortified are the same thing. They're polymer-modified thinsets, generally referred to as "modified" thinsets as opposed to "unmodified" cementitious thinsets. You generally want to use modified unless you have a specific reason not to, like DITRA or KERDI or large-format tiles. For the mosiac, which is usually thinner than body tile, you'll want to tile above and below the area where you're using the mosaic and use thinset to "build up" a little bit, let it harden, and then apply the mosaic to the built up area with the same thinset.
Oct
5
comment I modified a nail-in electrical box to use screws instead of nails. Is there some code that prevents that?
I agree, Tester, there's a risk of the box not meeting either 314.23(B)(1) -or- 314.43. Which is too bad. That's much nicer than the adjustable depth boxes that I've been using.
Oct
3
comment How do I wire this kitchen fluorescent ceiling fixture?
Actually, most brand new fluorescent fixtures won't even light up without a ground attached to the body of the fixture. Found that out last weekend the hard way -- someone had cut the ground that ran to the fixture at the other end of the line in the box with the switch.
Oct
3
comment Does water dripping through my soffit indicate a problem?
Yeah, the roof at the place we are renting in Houston looks just as bad -- which is how I learned about how much is wrong with the pictures you posted. We have three layers of shingles over dry-rotted cedar shingles and no decking; I would not suggest walking on the roof that's installed in our rental. :-P Not much you can do in a rental unless it damages your stuff. And not renew the lease.