Inching Along. In a Riveting Way.

My neighbor, Eric, a fellow Squires home owner, climbed out on the scaffolding with me for a visit.

I pointed out my current worry: the huge galvanized cornice no longer met the end wall due to settling. I was filling this gap with sheet metal, attached with self-tapping screws.

“Oh, no. You should use rivets,” Eric said.

Rivets? Like how ships were built a century ago? These required somebody on the outside and inside. How was I going to do that?

“No, no. These rivets are easy. All you need is a $20 rivet tool.”

I had never heard of this. The next day though, I was the very excited owner of a new wonder device.


My first rivet!!!!!!!! You can see, lower, the bulky self-tapping screw.


What a mess! You can imagine my reaction. Oh, the horror! The horror! I had already pulled off a huge chunk of caulk glob (center) revealing a gray foam pad stuck into where the metal cornice didn’t quite kiss the wall. When had all this been done?


And after! I have some more screws to remove and replace with rivets. Oh, see the swirl? I found it in pieces, in the basement.


Sealing up the gap between cornice and wall also resolved a long-standing issue: Birds.

Since buying the house in 2014, birds regularly get inside. This panics me as I am terrified they will, well, you know. I even leave bowls of water and birdseed on the top floor to assure any bird can stay hydrated and fed until I can get it back outside.

However, since filling the cornice gap I have not had a single bird in the house! So, it seem that THIS was their unauthorized entry portal.

Thus, I feel victorious on several levels.

And thanks, Eric!


The wonder tool.





  1. tiffaney jewel on June 12, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Of COURSE you leave food and water for the birds. Ross, you’re the kindest soul.

  2. Nancy from Georgia on June 13, 2019 at 2:42 am

    Your level of skill and devotion to doing it correctly is just amazing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the Cross house is so lucky to have you!!!

  3. Desiree on June 13, 2019 at 3:29 am

    We can all learn new things every day? What sort of rivets did you use? SS , alu or monel?

  4. Pamela on June 13, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Wow! That patch is gorgeous. I can’t stop looking at it. Bravo Ross!

  5. Dan Goodall-Williams on June 13, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Ross, I love all your work etc. but really take a day and walk around home depot or any hardware store. You will be amazed at what is available! Another sigh from the Cross house. The birds not so much.

  6. Julie on June 13, 2019 at 7:44 am

    Isn’t it awesome to discover a tool that works better? I recently learned about brad point drill bits for boring holes in wood. I was astonished at how much easier it was to drill holes that were straighter and nicer, not to mention WAY easier than using a spade bit.

    My husband is a maintenance mechanic at a local manufacturing plant, and he loves checking out tools and such on youtube. I have been astounded many times after he says “Oh! You just use this” as he hands me whatever tool I should be using.

    The old adage “the right tool for the job” is right, but you gotta know what tools are available! *grin*

    And no, you can’t have him. He’s functional as well as ornamental, he’s mine, and I’m lucky to have him!

  7. SEB on June 13, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Wow! I am thrilled that you discovered a gap where the birds were getting in. Another Cross house mystery resolved via our favorite scaffolding sleuth! Bravo!

  8. Derek Walvoord on June 13, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Did you bend the new metal to match the gutter? That looks so wonderful and crisp! Those are the kind of jobs that make me procrastinate. . .goo, glop and mess. That looks terrific.

  9. Dawn Rocco on June 13, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Nice, very nice! You even take care of the birds! 😍

  10. CraftsmanJunky on June 13, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Your craftsmanship and attention to detail is mind-boggling. I wish I had a fraction of your skills. 🙂

  11. Sandra Lee on June 13, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Wow oh wow!

    What fun for you — a new gadget & tool that is “right tool right job” and a wonder!

    You & Eric are the wonder guys –he solved your rogue bird problem hahahaha

    Cross House continues to get finer, grander & tighter!

    One more open space fixed….

    If I were a cat or bird I would choose you and your home as my way station on my journey thru bird & cat life!!hahaha

    They probably told all their bird friends– Cross House vacancies in attic in winter! Hahaha
    Especially during polar vortex!

  12. Anthony Bianchini on June 13, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    I’ll admit I’m a bit shocked that you were unfamiliar with the concept of a rivet gun; they are INDISPENSABLE. Glad this has been added to your arsenal.

  13. Melody on June 14, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    I love pop rivets!! And now you do too! Spread the love….

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