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This week a number of readers commented to help keep us on the straight and narrow.  For example, DeadlyDad questioned our recommendation of using soaker hoses to prevent foundation cracks in dry weather: “I’ve never heard of foundations cracking because of too-dry soil pulling away from the sides, but there are some ways that too much/too little moisture can cause problems, especially if there are trees growing beside the foundation and there is a drought.  If you have information to back up what you say, I would appreciate hearing it.”

We do, indeed.  The basic principle is simple: Wet soil expands while dry soil contracts — each placing a different load on the foundation.  As DeadlyDad touched upon, it’s not the specific moisture of the soil that’s the concern, but rather the dramatic changes in it; This back-and-forth loading can eventually cause cracking.  Here in Texas, each local county Extension agent offers pamphlets describing the process and how to avoid it.  Much more information is available via our good friend Google.  Try searching on “soaker hoses foundation” for lots and lots of info.

Paul called us out regarding our reference to “real India stag bone handles,” saying: “The stag coming from India is from antlers.  Bone stag refers to fake “stag” made by cutting, dying, and/or burning bone (cow usually) to make it look like stag horn.  It’s not that hard to tell the difference when comparing the two, but the price tag is often the easiest way for the consumer to tell.  Case uses different numbering for bone “stag” that real stag also.”  Paul is correct, and our head is bloody and bowed.

Mike just wanted to point out use for X-Treme Tape that we hadn’t considered: making one-off O-rings.  “You can make any size o-right with it.  You take a cylinder (say, a soda can), wrap the tape around the cylinder, roll it down the cylinder wall (like, well, you know) and presto!  A custom made o-ring.”

Plus, the debate continues regarding the need for a new screw head.

Note: If you haven’t checked out this week’s “Doh!” of the Week and contributed your best “Doh!” experience, now’s the time.  We’re giving away another great Irwin utility knife to the originator of our favorite comment — not to mention the fact that any comment enters you in this month’s Ridgid combo kit giveaway.


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