Attaching trim to Bricks - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 03-31-2018, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Attaching trim to Bricks

I am doing some trim work on the inside of an old downtown building. The old bricks have been exposed after removing a plaster finish and there is a gap between the bricks and the tin ceiling that needs filling so I made 135 feet of trim this afternoon.



The question I have is: Can I glue the trim to the bricks? If so, what kind of glue would you suggest?

If I need a mechanical fastener, do you guys prefer using Tapcon screws, or do you use anchors and screws, or something else?


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post #2 of 27 Old 03-31-2018, 07:01 PM
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I wouldn't use a mechanical fastner

My only experience with outdoor adhesives is with Liquid Nails and it works very well. I understand you are using it indoors, even better! The stuff is really strong and very tough and grips like a Gorilla.

Holding it in place until the adhesive sets is the only issue I see. Tape or hot glue comes to mind. Prop sticks or nails driven into the mortar may also work.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #3 of 27 Old 03-31-2018, 07:18 PM
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I found our local concrete-block supplier stocks various adhesives for attaching to masonry products.

You might check in your area.

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post #4 of 27 Old 03-31-2018, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Q View Post
I am doing some trim work on the inside of an old downtown building. The old bricks have been exposed after removing a plaster finish and there is a gap between the bricks and the tin ceiling that needs filling so I made 135 feet of trim this afternoon.



The question I have is: Can I glue the trim to the bricks? If so, what kind of glue would you suggest?

If I need a mechanical fastener, do you guys prefer using Tapcon screws, or do you use anchors and screws, or something else?


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
What I would do is use liquid nails to glue the trim on and shoot 2 1/2" finish nails in the brick mortar to hold it until the liquid nails sets up. If the mortar turns out to be too hard for the nails you might have to cut sticks to hold the molding in place.
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post #5 of 27 Old 03-31-2018, 11:10 PM
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Sorry Terry, I read..."old downtown building"...and that alone would absolutely go against the ethos of proper restoration work to use any type of adhesive on those bricks!!! That is virtually impossible to reverse should changes need/want to be made by someone in the future without damaging the bricks irreversibly.

I admit my context is a Historic Restorationist, but can further share in some areas this (if the building is in an historic district) can carry fines and penalties to do any type of:

"...non-reversible cosmetic augmentation, rendition or design work..."

Traditionally or within conservation modalities several methods are employed:

1. Pre-drill a fine hole for a finish nail that would go into a mortar joint...

This is tedious, and my least favorite, but doable....Once you get going its not bad and more than secure enough. The finish nail can be dipped in something like Tight-bond III for a more secure hold...

2. Due this as period molding style (which your profile shown looks fine within that context) and use a cut nail or cut finish nail that goes into a mortar joint. The rustic/traditional affect is pleasant.

3. Mortar is remove around key bricks along the wall, and in corners (saved of course) and "mounting bricks" use to replace them and lime or clay mortared back into place. The "mounting brick" are made of wood, and provide a stable nail base. A Cape chisel is used to remove the mortar before extracting the brick..

My 2「 on this...

Let me know if I can help further if you do have an interest an these more germane methods to working on historic structures...

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post #6 of 27 Old 04-01-2018, 09:23 AM
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How big is the "gap" between the bricks and the ceiling?

Could you make some nail blocks that could be placed in the gap? A little adhesive of your choice once they are in, and away you go.
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post #7 of 27 Old 04-02-2018, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Attaching trim to Bricks

The gap is 7/8 wide. There was a wooden strip installed behind the tin ceiling that I believe was used as a reference for the concrete plaster thickness which was put on before the ceiling. It isn稚 a consistent depth from the bottom of the tin to the wooden strip.

I made the trim 15/16 thick, and tool off 1/16 off the top to reference off the ceiling when installing, and as a backer if I need to tack the tin ceiling down.



The trim is 2 1/4 wide red oak, which is plentiful and relatively inexpensive from a local mill. I知 just going to spray it with an amber shellac. Lots more trim work to do.




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post #8 of 27 Old 04-02-2018, 03:31 PM
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How sturdy/stable is the tinwork? Can you pin nail through the tin, into the oak trim?
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post #9 of 27 Old 04-02-2018, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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How sturdy/stable is the tinwork? Can you pin nail through the tin, into the oak trim?


It is fairly sturdy, but I don稚 want to suspend the molding from it, I don稚 want any surprises. It would hold it in place long enough to glue to set, but is currently free from holes, so I知 not anxious to do that, even though I figured I壇 have to in places.


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post #10 of 27 Old 04-02-2018, 11:13 PM
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Reversible or not I'd glue it. In that application I wouldn't use construction adhesive inside I'd use Sika sealant. Construction adhesive will dry hard. Sealant will grab hard to both the back of the moulding and the brick but remain permanently flexible. To fasten I'd drill 5/32 holes, jamb 1/8" dowels into the holes and drive trim screws
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post #11 of 27 Old 04-03-2018, 02:53 AM
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We have our experts here ...

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Reversible or not I'd glue it. In that application I wouldn't use construction adhesive inside I'd use Sika sealant. Construction adhesive will dry hard. Sealant will grab hard to both the back of the moulding and the brick but remain permanently flexible. To fasten I'd drill 5/32 holes, jamb 1/8" dowels into the holes and drive trim screws

Justin is an expert/professional when it comes to trim. His posts are always informative and above the cut in skill and knowledge.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #12 of 27 Old 04-03-2018, 12:20 PM
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Justin is an expert/professional when it comes to trim. His posts are always informative and above the cut in skill and knowledge.
I'm curious, when something is "professional" in one context becomes "bad practice" in another...Which does one consider the better choice?

I only share the perspectives and actualities below, for other readers here that may face similar challenges with historic property they are now stewards over.

In the UK, Scotland, and other such locations with established standards (and laws) for protecting "historic fabric" of architecture, these recommendations would not only be..."unprofessional"...they would also accompany fines and penalties, as well as, loss of contracting license.

Since the unset of programs, and magazines like "This Old House" and related, we have had more and more General Contractors move into the "Restoration Profession" creating more issues than actually maintaining and/or protecting the vintage materials they are put in charge of. All in the name of a paycheck...or..."just getting the job done" as easy as possible without due consideration of the context of their work down the road. Often now I have to...professionally...undo what someone was told is..."good practice,"...of course this is after the harm and permanent destruction has been done...

This OP's query is just another example to that...and a current case (one of decades worth) I am going to be dealing with this summer on a Carriage Barn, where concrete is poured and things are "glued on" without any due course or consideration of the vintage fabric they are attached to or the damage it causes...Parts of this structure are now irreversibly destroyed by just such advice as I read here.

If a property owner chooses to not follow such recommendation because the "historic fabric" really isn't worth that much, or for some other reason they may have...does not change...what is "good practice" and what is "bad practice." They should get all the options explained thoroughly to them...

I'll close this post with a talking point within my professional field as a Historic Preservationist that is often shared and commiserate over at meetings and conferences, especially here in America...

"...A man's castle may be his castle...This is true. However, if a someone chooses to buy a castle, or inherits one...They, as responsible stewards, should have the ethos of proper care due a castle, and not treat it less than it is..."

This why there is the ethos within actual professionals of the Historic Restoration fields to know the difference between Conservation, Restoration, and Replication in regards to:

"...Like for like, in means, methods, and materials..."

and what "General Contracting" is and how its conducted...They are different professions...the same practices do not apply...

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post #13 of 27 Old 04-03-2018, 05:02 PM
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Justin is an expert/professional when it comes to trim. His posts are always informative and above the cut in skill and knowledge.
My post is based on my reading his replies over quite a few years.

The advice given by members is "usually" based on first hand experience and you can tell when that is not the case... typically.
Professionals can disagree on an approach and often do.... there's more than one way to skin a cat or make a cut or a jig etc. I don't think that the members here are posting their opinions to "screw each other over" by giving bad advice. A traditional approach based on historic processes may not be appropriate or even desired in certain circumstances.

I find it's best to give it "your best shot" and walk away or if further explanation is needed or requested, do that. All opinions are welcome professional or otherwise ... and that's just my opinion.

For reference:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/searc...rchid=11986634

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #14 of 27 Old 04-03-2018, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
My post is based on my reading his replies over quite a few years...The advice given by members is "usually" based on first hand experience and you can tell when that is not the case... typically.

I find it's best to give it "your best shot" and walk away or if further explanation is needed or requested, do that. All opinions are welcome professional or otherwise ... and that's just my opinion.
I agree with all of that...and its a foundation of why I post...and post again, on OP about different subjects. Its not just one conversation...for sure...but a multitude of them, and also many readers that never post...

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Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
...Professionals can disagree on an approach and often do.... there's more than one way to skin a cat or make a cut or a jig etc. I don't think that the members here are posting their opinions to "screw each other over" by giving bad advice. A traditional approach based on historic processes may not be appropriate or even desired in certain circumstances...
Very true.

Professionals can disagree (respectfully) and try to learn at the same time, yet I find the latter to happen less often.

As to, "...traditional approach..." in context to preservation, its always appropriate...Or should be.

To continue to propagate and make excuses for "bad practice" (which is done all the time) will only see more and more of our historic fabrics of architecture adulterated, abused and destroyed, not only here in America but around the world. That is not an opinion, that is a simple reality I see each year as more is destroyed by "bad practice" and excuses to employ them because of "circumstances" or "desires," are made for doing so...

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post #15 of 27 Old 04-04-2018, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay C. White Cloud View Post
I'm curious, when something is "professional" in one context becomes "bad practice" in another...Which does one consider the better choice?

I only share the perspectives and actualities below, for other readers here that may face similar challenges with historic property they are now stewards over.

In the UK, Scotland, and other such locations with established standards (and laws) for protecting "historic fabric" of architecture, these recommendations would not only be..."unprofessional"...they would also accompany fines and penalties, as well as, loss of contracting license.

Since the unset of programs, and magazines like "This Old House" and related, we have had more and more General Contractors move into the "Restoration Profession" creating more issues than actually maintaining and/or protecting the vintage materials they are put in charge of. All in the name of a paycheck...or..."just getting the job done" as easy as possible without due consideration of the context of their work down the road. Often now I have to...professionally...undo what someone was told is..."good practice,"...of course this is after the harm and permanent destruction has been done...

This OP's query is just another example to that...and a current case (one of decades worth) I am going to be dealing with this summer on a Carriage Barn, where concrete is poured and things are "glued on" without any due course or consideration of the vintage fabric they are attached to or the damage it causes...Parts of this structure are now irreversibly destroyed by just such advice as I read here.

If a property owner chooses to not follow such recommendation because the "historic fabric" really isn't worth that much, or for some other reason they may have...does not change...what is "good practice" and what is "bad practice." They should get all the options explained thoroughly to them...

I'll close this post with a talking point within my professional field as a Historic Preservationist that is often shared and commiserate over at meetings and conferences, especially here in America...

"...A man's castle may be his castle...This is true. However, if a someone chooses to buy a castle, or inherits one...They, as responsible stewards, should have the ethos of proper care due a castle, and not treat it less than it is..."

This why there is the ethos within actual professionals of the Historic Restoration fields to know the difference between Conservation, Restoration, and Replication in regards to:

"...Like for like, in means, methods, and materials..."

and what "General Contracting" is and how its conducted...They are different professions...the same practices do not apply...
If the situation presented by the OP required that the work be reversible I would have made due with only the trim screws driven into the doweled holes. If not then the moulding would be backed with sealant to minimize the number of visible fasteners required. Minimum number of visible fasteners is considered best practice to a millwork contractor.

The pics are from a home that last year I replaced every single piece of trim in to return it to its original look. Every single stick was run through my moulder to match the existing profiles. All doors that could be reused were trued up, had the hardware reworked and hung in new jambs. Those that could not be due to damage and warpage I built replacements for. I built the jambs as splits to accommodate the varying wall thicknesses. Historically accurate? Not even a little, but a common practise on high end millwork projects because it allows the carpenter to adjust the jamb for cross plumb, and adjust the jamb to the wall thickness and pull the trim tight to the wall. The walls were not being stripped and the original wall paper was to remain intact so there was no possibility of floating walls to new trim. Stops on the jambs were milled loose to further facilitate hiding fasteners. The installed jamb pictured went into a closet whose trim was to remain paint grade thus the oak poplar combo.

Standing and running trim was milled wider and taller than original to ensure that the trim would always cover the old wall paper lines. Base was made 1/2" taller than original and casing was 3/8" wider. Back band was milled with two bevel angles in the rabbets to allow for it to be cut in a manner similar to crown on a "spring angle" of sorts to allow it to hinge tight to the walls. Rabbet on the base cap was similarly milled. Base, cap, shoe and back band were all installed prefinished due to existing flooring and wall paper. To a millwork contractor prefin ALWAYS means glue and hiding as many fasteners as physically possible. Base was nailed below the shoe line and toe nailed through the corner of the top edge and backed with glue. Cap was backed with glue and nailed with 21 gauge pins to minimize the size of the visible fastener.

The methods used to install are not historically accurate by any means and will likely make a purist cringe but they allowed me to deliver a product that will outlive both the current stewards of this particular castle and myself and look exactly the way that they did when I installed them. The owners of this home as with many who have inherited or purchased older homes are not people of unlimited means but still want to bring their homes back to a condition approximating new. the install methods I outlined allowed me to deliver that to them with a reasonable price tag and minimum invasion to the home. I'd make the argument that my install methodology is superior to that of the original carpenters who built the home. Having inspected their work close and given their attention to detail I wouldn't consider it a stretch to say that if the materials, adhesives, and fastening methods that we have today had been at their disposal they would have used a good number of them.
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post #16 of 27 Old 04-04-2018, 11:26 PM
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...Historically accurate? Not even a little, but...

The methods used to install are not historically accurate by any means and will likely make a purist cringe but...

The owners of this home as with many who have inherited or purchased older homes are not people of unlimited means but...

I'd make the argument that my install methodology is superior to that of the original carpenters who built the home...

Having inspected their work close and given their attention to detail I wouldn't consider it a stretch to say that if the materials, adhesives, and fastening methods that we have today had been at their disposal they would have used a good number of them.
Hello Justin,

That work presented looks top quality! I would never detract or belabor that...It would be folly and I dare say disrespectful to your efforts to do so...

I'm also not trying to counter your technical advise and agree completely that for a "Millwork Contractor" the best practice standards are just as you stated them in your post...

Nevertheless, all "buts" in the quoate above and the final comment that "they would use it" is what I experience all the time when speaking with clients about other bidders to projects...

It is typical justification for doing something by a contractor (no mater the type or how they endeavor to do it well) to use whatever means, method or material they see fit to use...no mater the architectures age or historic significance...Simply put, that is justification...not a necessity.

If we had (and I wish we did) have the rules and regulations to protect historic fabric that other regions and countries have, it simply would not be allowed, and isn't in the places that actully care to protect such architecture...

I have access to the same means, methods and materials as any other contractor...So do the colleagues I work with, in the realm of "historic restoration." We make the ethical and conscious choice to do otherwise...

Too often the property owners aren't given a choice by a contractor or millwright, but "sold" on the method that individual contractor wishes to use...Buyer beware, is all I can say to that...

You do good work it appears, you also recognise...it is not....restoration work and I thank you for that very much. I would also acknowledge that not all "historic work" is of the best quality, just as you observed. Of that there is no doubt.

Nevertheless, if I upgrade the work, it is still period specific. Many structure are not any major significance historically to mandate an exact material specific restoration. On these, it the client wishes, I share employ better materials, finishes and tools to fashion it...

I would also suggest, as I do achieve all the time...it is no more expensive to do so than if I use modern contracting methods as you suggest they be done...I am too often told by clients that the other contractors they meet with tell them how expensive actual restoration work is...Which I find amusing as this always comes from contractors that have never actually done historic restoration work? Often I'm less expensive...as the work is just done differently...not with less effort to attention to detail nor less professionalism...If done well, and price appropriately it should be really close by comparison...

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post #17 of 27 Old 04-05-2018, 03:28 AM
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Great discussion!

My observation on the posts above:
Given enough time and period correct methods and tools, Jay would save all the historic buildings in the world.
Given limited time and resources, Justin would just fix them and do a damn fine job.

Both professionals, just different approaches.
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post #18 of 27 Old 04-05-2018, 03:36 AM
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Wait, did i miss something here? All the original post said was 'old downtown building', when did it become a historical landmark? Old doesnt mean historical restoration candidate, my 101 year old house can attest to that. Sure, its got some age to it, but it sure isnt worth trying to keep everything original and period appropriate.

Personally i like Jerrys method, with the big unless being unless the building youre working on is actually a historic landmark. If its just an old building though, well, depends on the time and effort youre willing to spend going the extra few miles

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post #19 of 27 Old 04-05-2018, 09:59 AM
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My observation on the posts above:
Given enough time and period correct methods and tools, Jay would save all the historic buildings in the world.
Given limited time and resources, Justin would just fix them and do a damn fine job.

Both professionals, just different approaches.
Thank's Brother...Your right I would...but I know I can't...LOL!!!...BUT, by the Creator I shall try!!!...

I can try to get folks to think, and know that the "original ways" are not out of their reach, nor more expensive...nor do they take that much more time for the most part...They are just a different way and too often overlooked or made excuses not to use because they haven't been learned....

Thank's for you post!


>>>


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...when did it become a historical landmark?
Hmmm...well I don't think anyone did???

I didn't, that's for sure...

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...Old doesn't mean historical restoration candidate, my 101 year old house can attest to that...
Ah well...now we have a point worth discussing and understanding on that matter...

in some places it very much does!

If a structure is over 100 years old or of a period specific nature, or has structures around it that are of the same period, then it is deemed significant enough to mandate a certain type of care.

It also effects real estate values considerably, as they've learned in the New England states and other locations as well now by some major losses of value measured in the millions. Not to protect any historic enclave in proper methods of care hits valuation very hard every time...or it will in time.

Its happened to many times that "modernization" has drug the cost down of a neighborhood where others made the concerted effort to keep the historic affect to their structures, but someone (often a developer or contractor) that chooses to "modernize" without considering the consequences. They get to..."get in and get out"...flipping a period home or structure for a quick profit, which they make...but with little regard, respect or consideration to others nor the architecture.

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...Sure, its got some age to it, but it sure isnt worth trying to keep everything original and period appropriate...
Why? It should in my view, but you are welcome to yours by all means...

Having done this kind of work on and off for over 40 years, and watching the different trends come and go, I can speak with some authority that this notion that "modern is better" is complete and utter nonsense. Its based on "marketing" and what people choose to do...not a better method or approach.

The main thing I ask at conventions, meetings and other venue like this one, is have respect.

If you want to "modernize" a structure to a style and taste outside the context of the original builder (which I find kind of distasteful and disrespectful to them...but that's just me being a silly traditionalist...LOL...I know it... ) Then at least do it so you do not destroy the underlying historic materials (aka fabric) by those methods and make them "reversible" for others in the future to do differently if they choose. I know most folks don't like it if decisions are made for them, why do others get to do if for those that come after them?

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...depends on the time and effort you're willing to spend going the extra few miles...
This is another major point of contention...!!!

I am constantly being told about cost, and effort and hardship and...yada, yada, yada...I does make my blood boil sometimes...

This always comes...or at least 99% of the time from somebody that has never walked into a forest to get there wood for a project or into a quarry to get stone for a foundation or a clay pit to get materials to make tile...YET!!! they are going to school me or a client about how difficult, challenging and expensive something is...!!!

What the heck??

Folks really should (in my view) ask questions first...They shouldn't inform or make proclamations on this topic unless they actual have those skill sets and have done something significant with them...

Can it cost more...??...usually not if you take on the big picture and if your speaking as a DIYer trying these out...NEVER!!!. You actually grow intrinsic value, and accrued investment 99.9% of the time! I could right a book on that point alone...Ow wait...that's right I am...LOL

Either way, thanks for your post and letting me rant a while...

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Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:的 cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."

Last edited by Jay C. White Cloud; 04-05-2018 at 11:12 AM.
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post #20 of 27 Old 04-05-2018, 02:14 PM
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As to the age issue, I'm going to go back to my house as an example. Sure, it's got some age to it, but so does every other house on the street. It didn't belong to my grandparents, it's not a Frank Llyod Wright, wasn't part of the underground railroad. It was made with crappy materials and poor craftsmanship, built with absolutely baffling details (12 foot ceilings, 5 foot basement), and is a right bloody pain in the rear to live in with all it's idiosyncrasies. Age is great and all, it doesn't entitle things to any special status. It's just 4 crooked walls and a leaky roof.

The "extra mile" line? I can raise a coop of chickens all the way from chicks, feed them the best grains and serenade them nightly with Bach, or I can go to Walmart and pick up a dozen eggs. My omelettes not going to care either way. Unless there is an actual pressing need for me to farm raise my own chickens, well, that's just an extra 20 miles I don't need to walk. Walmarts only 3/4 of a mile away after all

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