What It’s Like to Be a Woman In a Man’s World

What It’s Like to Be a Woman in a Field That’s Still 99 Percent Male Nina MacLaughlin. (Photo: Beowulf Sheehan)

In 2008, journalist Nina MacLaughlin quits her desk job of seven years with no plan for what to do next. Though she had no experience to speak of she jumped at the chance to apply to a Craigslist job posting for a carpenter’s assistant. She was especially heartened by the tagline “Women strongly encouraged to apply,” and sent off her application right away.

She got the job, and has been a carpenter in Cambridge, Massachusetts, ever since.

In her new memoir, ‘Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter’, MacLaughlin tells us her experience of abandoning her desk job and the satisfaction and joy of learning to work with her hands. She spoke with the Cut about what her career switch taught her about ambition, how working as a carpenter changed her own femininity, and what it’s like to be a woman in a field that’s still 99 percent male.

To read the full interview click the photo or click here.

Île Saint-Louis – Complete Paris Apartment Renovation

Once in a life time you have a client that you just don’t get along with. At first you think things are manageable but things go sour and no matter how hard you try it never gets better.  It’s not the fault of either. It’s just one of those things.

Then once in a life time you have a client that changes everything. Once in a life time you meet someone that is so dynamic, so artistic, so engaging, so maniacal, so passionate yet at the same time so ‘normal’, who can put on a face that is congruent to what people think he should be, he challenges the boundaries of your own perceptions about what is available in for use as an individual in the world.

We are going to call him the Maverick.

On and off, for circumstances we could not control, the better part of three years we were isle-in, like a villain, on penicillin with the Maverick.

It was  a glorious time.

When we met Mavs, we had no idea that he was ‘renting a womb’ as he put it, to have children with his partner.

We eventually met his partner, his wonderful children and enjoyed the company of his warm loving family.

He would bring us simple yet thoughtful and caring gifts from America.

Once he said, ‘Guys, don’t listen to me. There’s a saying ‘Get your hands off my ears. I know what I’m doing.’

How do yo not love a guy like that?

If you are reading this, Maverick we miss this time we had together.  So here is a video in honor of and that begs the inside joke from.

It’s the Isle. Do you know what time it is? 😀

How To Prevent Moisture Condensation In A Bathroom

Moisture

Moisture (Photo credit: chrisblackburn)

Moisture condensation can be particularly difficult to deal with because it’s not always that easy to notice at first.

Then before you know it there is mold and moisture damage everywhere sometimes so invasive that the only solution is to replace the drywall.

Before you spend money needlessly on a preventable bathroom renovation and repair here are some great tips on how to keep the moisture away and the mold at bay.

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How To Drywall Non Flat Surfaces – Own The Dome

If you think about it Humankind does the square thing really well.

Just look around you. From buildings to rooms to your kitchen counter top, squares and rectangles are just so easy for us to do.

But if you look at Nature the opposite is true.

17 July - Drywall downstairs

Drywall (Photo credit: retropc)

From the raindrop to the planets orbiting the Sun it’s the curve of the circle or the ellipse which Nature finds so easy to produce.

So did you ever look at an archway, curved wall or dome and wonder, ‘How did a Human Being plaster or drywall that?’

Well, here is a handy little video with some good tips on how to dry wall a dome ceiling.

At first it sounds difficult but really, after you see this video it might just become second nature. 😀

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Get The Smoothest Wall Possible – The Level 5 Finish

Believe it or not there is is more than one way to finish a flat, untextured wall surface.

We’ve had some clients who were very particular about what they were looking for.

One client who lived in England specifically requested that his apartment in France be painted by brush and not by roller. He said he ‘hated’ the texture that paint rollers left.

We had to let him know that this meant more time therefore more money. He was willing to pay the added expense and was delighted by the result.

In this video we present the Level 5 finish which is the smoothest finish one can deliver using conventional drywall and plastering techniques.

The presenter does a good job breaking the process down into 6 easy steps.

It takes a bit longer but for the client with a discerning eye it just may make all the difference.

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A Handy Sponge Painting Video

English: Drywall Self-owned, released to PD

English: Drywall Self-owned, released to PD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the States, to smooth out a wall that has seen better days is simple; build a new wall in front of the old wall.

But when it comes to renovation in Paris, size matters.

Every square centimeter of a room is valuable real estate.

Gluing drywall to the old wall to create a flat surface is one solution. Hiring a team of enduit guys to rectify the situation by hand is another.

But one move that is many times overlooked is the ‘Sponge Paint’ technique. With a few Sea Sponges, paint and some odds and ends you are on your way to a whole new room.

Although it doesn’t solve the problem of a lumpy bumpy wall, it is an inexpensive and fun way to ad character and hide imperfections.

And this video has a lot of handy tips and tricks to get you there!

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The Art Of Screwing – Rock It Fast

In French it’s called BA 10 or BA 13. In America it’s known as drywall. But in the trades it has a nickname: ‘Rock’. So when it comes to common phrases like: ‘ready to rock’, ‘let’s rock’, etc… in Carpentry they have their own special meaning.

So let’s say you’ve framed out a space and you are in fact, ready to rock. SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) dictate you always rock the ceiling first. This is the least glorious of all the rocking maneuvers. The reason is you have to get up on a ladder, lift the drywall over your head, position it properly on the ceiling joists or rafters, then you have to load your screw gun with a screw and then screw it to the rough framing. This move you rinse and repeat until the drywall is attached to the point it won’t fall down.  If there are only two guys rockin’ this is preformed while the one with the gun holds the drywall in place with his head as he reaches into his pouch to grab a handful of screws.

Now in in the good ol’ USA, we usually make a few T braces out of wood that we use to hold the drywall in place. But this is Paris. France was deforested hundreds of years ago. When it comes many building situations here, using wood just ain’t no good.

Harry Callahan, played by Clint EastwoodSo there you are huffing, puffing and juggling your way toward your rockdom. Like we said, not very glorious…until now! Enter the Auto Feed Screw Gun. Now, the video below features Bosch which is somewhat of a Pro-sumer quality brand, nothing special. But the video is out standing. Check it out!

No more fumbling around for screws, no more holding the rock up with your head. You just point and shoot like Clint Eastwood. With your auto feed screw gun in one hand and drywall in the other, you get to look up at the ceiling and say ‘Go ahead, Make my day!…’

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