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Volume 1 Issue 2“Building Confidence”May 2003



Welcome to our second issue of the Dave's Shop Newsletter.

In this issue, don't miss the very helpful book recommendation.


We have made a few changes to the web site since the last newsletter back in January. One of them is that we're going to issue this newsletter monthly.

We closed down the Discussion Board on We felt it just wasn't being used enough to warrant the extra space it required. I personally am not a guy that likes to get in a chat room and type away to people, two fingers at a time. I don't even like to talk on the phone that much. People were asking me questions on the discussion board and I wouldn't answer them because I just very seldom went there. That was not its purpose, anyway.

We continue to answer more questions on stairs than any other subject. To diversify a bit, I've added some more articles on roof building ( to our Index Page and added an article on The Installation of Hardwood Flooring ( Any other ideas are always welcome. (E-Mail me)

We are in the process of adding a Tables section: Tables on Nailing, Conversions (, etc. Dan promises me he will make a conversions calculator similar to our Stair Case Calculator

We added a special page about Dan's (my brother and webmaster) and my father, Dave Osborne Senior (, who taught me the trade.


Some people are confused about our new setup with the Stair Calculator ( I asked Dan if he could add a feature to the Stair Calculator that could also give the length of stair opening required for a particular length of stair. "No problem", he said. We added that feature to the accolades of many, but there are a few users who think it is necessary to put in the floor thickness. This is only needed if you want the size of the stair opening. It doesn't affect the stair layout calculation if not entered.

New Membership Fees

We have had tremendous growth since January, with the numbers coming to our web site to make use of the articles and taking the opportunity to ask me specific questions on their projects. With this in mind, Dan and I started charging a nominal user fee for new members to help support the cost of running the site. With larger numbers of visitors come larger bandwidth usage which costs more money, of course. The cost is $3.95 every three months or $11.95 per year. This fee is for new members only. All past free memberships will be honored for the next three months.

Members have full access of the site with its self-help articles. Your questions will be answered to the best of my ability as part of our service. You may request custom plans for your project at a price starting at $20, this price will be assessed based on your information and will be agreed on before any work is started. Some of you have already taken advantage of this custom service and have benefitted from the plans, step by step instructions and online help that was provided.

NOTE: we reserve the right to increase our membership fees for future members without prior notice. This applies ONLY to future members NOT to our present members! If you know someone who you think would like to become a member of, please feel free to send him or her this Newsletter, before Dan decides to raise the fees again!

Ask Away!

Thanks for signing up and please take this opportunity to make use of the site and the Ask Dave feature. Any questions that might be useful to a number of people are posted on those pages.

When asking questions on your projects, I would like to emphasize how much help it gives me to have your first name, State/Province or Country of your residence and as much information you can give me about your particular project. Answers to these questions are free to any registered member of

Book Recommendation

For those of you who are looking for a good book on carpentry work, mainly house construction, finishing and framing, I would recommend the following book:

Modern Carpentry: Building Construction Details in Easy-To-Understand Form by Willis H. Wagner

Mr. Wagner was a Professor Emeritus in Industrial Technology at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls and writes an excellent book. I paid around $60 for it but see it is on sale at for about $40.

Here's a handy link to the book. (

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

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Do-it-yourself expert   For info on Dave, click here.

"Just wanted to drop a quick line saying "Thank you" for your website! My wife and I just bought a fixer-upper and the resources we have found in your site have been invaluable. We appreciate the service that you are offering. We have used information from your site to do many things. Next on our plate is a stairway. And thanks to you, we're not going to have to pay $4000 to have it done. Keep up the great work, and keep'em coming!" NL

See a complete listing of our plans and articles!