Tuning, Life, Beef Ribs and Remodeling

A couple months ago when Ben and Roland from Pi were visiting from the UK, we were having dinner somewhere and this conversation came up about tuning. I think we all ordered big ass beef BBQ ribs at Lucille’s that night. Ben finished the ENTIRE full rack. Believe it or not, they don’t have big ass tender tasty meaty beef ribs in the UK. They do have the best Guinness in the world, but that still doesn’t quite make up for the missing beef ribs. Anyhow, as I remember the conversation it went a little something like this (in full on English accents except for me):

Roland, “You going to move into that big house and work on the the liner?” [Ben has two R33 Skylines back in the UK, liner = skyline]

Ben, “Yeah finally get some space to work on and finish up the liner.”

Roland, “With that big house you going to throw some big parties or what?”

Ben, “Gotta tune the house first. That’s life isn’t it? If you’re not tuning the car, you’re tuning the house. Or your stereo, your room, your girlfriend, everything.”

Eric, “No shit, huh?”

So recently I’ve been tuning my house when I’m not dicking with engines and cars or hanging out with Saya. No, I don’t have the slightest clue about home construction or remodeling, but I figured if I can build a car, I can sure as hell build or remodel any house. The level of precision in home construction is a breeze compared to cars. I’m used to thinking in +/-.0001″. In home construction 1/16″ (.0625″) is a tight tolerance so the way I see it, I have a 625% larger tolerance than I usually have. Aside from helping my dad do some paint, tile work, and concrete work around the house when I was a kid, I have very little experience otherwise. I figure common sense, research, and my buddy John who is an architect/engineer/contractor giving me tips along the way would help me get the job done. John has been an invaluable help and hooks up the contractor deals.

I decided to start small with the guest bathroom. This way if I hate it, I can just some pay a contractor to finish it. So far it’s pretty fun.


I ripped up my bathroom with the help of my trusty Fein Multimaster and some muscle. Yes, I was watching TV late one night and saw the infomercial for the Multimaster. This thing kicks ass and does absolutely everything they says it does and it’s made in Germany. Like Vince Offer says about the Shamwow, “You know they make great stuff in Germany.” I checked out the Made in China Harbor Freight “Multi-purpose Tool”, but it was a freakin JOKE compared to the Fein Multimaster. I tried some of the Chinaman Harbor Freight scraper blades in my Multimaster too, but they last a fraction of the time a genuine Fein scraper blade lasts. I wore out three Harbor Freight scrapers in 2 hours. I’m still on my first Fein scraper after 4 hours of continuous use and it still works like it did when it was new. I should have remembered why I have a Snap-On box full of Snap-On tools…Don’t ask about the blue paint either.


Originally I was going to re-tile the floor, change the toilet, vanity, countertops, and mirrors only. Then I said, what the hell, I should just re-tile the shower walls too and change the shower fixtures. So I started popping off tiles one by one which took forever. So I said fuck this there’s gotta be a faster way and tore down the three walls down one entire wall at a time. My place was built in the early 80’s so they used Greenboard behind the shower which isn’t very good with water and mold. Luckily the Greenboard wasn’t rotted, but current building codes call for cement backer board which is totally water resistant. So this weekend I’ll be putting up the cement boards with the help of my 8′ long bubble level that I used to use to level corner weight scales on the floor before corner weighting a car with coilover suspension. I will also be leveling the floor with a cementious self leveling compound and getting the floor ready for tile. All of this is a bitch, but it’s kind of fun when you’re tuning your own house.

If you’re going to do any home remodeling yourself, you need a Fein Multimaster. You might still need some traditional power tools, but you’ll find yourself using the Multimaster for most things. It SERIOUSLY kicks ass.


A full rack of Lucille’s beef bbq ribs. I’m haven’t had much bbq from the south, but these are pretty damn good. Ben, your mouth watering now or what?

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