Building Confidence

Volume 17 Issue 1
ISSN 1923-7162

Welcome to Dave's Shop Talk's Home Improvement Newsletter of questions from our members on their construction projects, a Tip of the Month and a home remodeling article, both from our website at

Tip of the Month

When laying out studs for a wall, be sure to layout both top and bottom plates at the same time.

And a Bonus Tip:

When framing a wall in a renovation, be sure to add backing at corners, intersections and behind fixtures.

Ask Dave!

A tip of my hat to your Dad, Guys! A true renaissance man! And to the both of you as well, for the wonderful service you provide to pros and DIYers. Tony

Thanks, Tony.


Would you add a picture of your Dad working on a bridge or standing on a house second floor while building or similar picture. Keep the other picture tho. Nice.

In those days, we didn't have cell phones with cameras, handy. Dad had a camera and was always taking pictures of mom and us kids, but we don't have many of him. The photo we shared was actually a cropped pic of Dad with my daughter, taken by her husband.

Thanks for the comment, I'll keep looking!


Maybe someone that worked with him or the company he worked for would have one. I like your column. Will join soon.Thanks.

Unfortunately, the company that Dad worked for, Commonwealth Construction, was purchased by a multinational company called Atkinson Construction Company. They went bankrupt a few years later, taking Commonwealth down with them.


I found it interesting with the response I got after December's Newsletter. Our readers wanted to see photos of our Dad working on a project, which I don't have. Dad was an avid photographer, but camera shy, himself. I have one picture that I can show you of Dad as a young man, along with another man and his father, our grandfather.

Photo of our Dad at the left, his foreman at the time and our grandfather looking at an invention of our Dad.

Dad is on the left. He invented the logging hook as shown in this working model that he built to show how the hook will work. His father, on the right, also a carpenter, who built many wooden train trestles, in British Columbia's Kettle Valley in the Okanagan. The man in the middle is unknown to me. Dad told me that he had a partner that was going to patent the hook and sell it to a logging company. This never happened, although, Dad noticed, a few years later, his same hook design laying on the ground in the yard of a large logging machine company. Apparently, his partner got the patent under his own name ans sold it to this company. Dad never heard from this guy after that. He never invented anything to be patented, again. He invented different things but only for his own use.

I find this model very interesting. Look at the carpenter work involved here, especially the truss.

Photo of model our Dad built of his invention.

This shows the entire model with electric motor on the top right. This style of hook is still used in the logging industry, today.

Dan and I thank you for your interest and support of our Website. We hope we can help you with your present and future projects.

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(Ask Dave) (About Dave)

Your source for building tips, woodworking & furniture plans, house plans and building advice directly from Dave...

Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.


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