If you have children who frequent your work area, naturally you are going to use all of the safety devices that come with your tools. But here's another tip that could save a life.
Sometimes when you're working on a project and you need both hands. One to hold the pieces together and the other to tighten the screws, you might find that difficult unless you have a set of screwdrivers that are magnetized.
When you're working with a circular saw and a four by four block of wood, the saw blade is not going to cut completely through the wood. So try this tip. Take a speed square and a pencil and on your mark draw a straight line across the top of the board. Mark all four sides and continue the line all the way around the board. Now when it comes time to cut, all you have to do is follow your lines and you will end up with the perfect cut.
When it's time to really get tough with that clog in your drain and you don't have a plumber's snake, try a garden hose.
Does this sound like your home? You want to keep the carpet looking nice so you require the kids to remove their shoes when they come into the house. Lo and behold you finally get them into the habit. Unfortunately a new habit crops up. The kids kick off the shoes at the very front door or nearest hallway or by the garage and there you have a large lumpy pile of shoes toppled on top of each other.
Sometimes when you need to make a quick cut, a hand saw can be just as useful as a power saw.
Do you love the thought of repainting the inside of your house, but you can't stand the thought of your house smelling like paint for days on end? Well here are a few quick tips that may help.
Here are some quick tips to help you with your next caulking project.
You can really feel the chill of winter when the wind blows your electrical outlets and switches.
When you want to remove paint from an old piece of furniture sometimes you have to turn up the heat!
Working with Chisels can make you feel like an artist. So here are some quick tips to help bring out the true sculptor in you.
At one time or another, every kitchen seems to have a cabinet door that just won't stay closed.
We all know that painting can be a messy job, so here are some fun quick tips to help you clean up before you get started. First of all take some masking tape and line it up around the edge of the top of the can. Make sure you completely cover the lip of the can as well.
It can be extremely frustrating when you have been carefully working on a project with wood and suddenly the last piece of wood you are about to hammer splits! This is very difficult not to do especially when you are driving nails toward the end the board. Here are some quick tips that will help you avoid this.
You have heard about different painting techniques to texturize a wall and maybe you are tempted to try one, but you are just not sure you want to take the plunge. Here is a Quick Tip that will help you decide and maybe save you an aching back since you won't have to paint an entire room to find out if you like the textured look.
Nothing freshens up a room or the outside of your house like a new coat of paint. But before you break out the new paint brushes and climb the ladder here are some quick tips to help make your project a success.
Here's a quick tip for recycling used five-gallon pails.
Avoid unnecessary spatters by covering dishes, using wax paper or paper towels when a looser cover is desired. Use an appropriate cover for the cooking process. If oven does not have a removable glass shelf, a plate or paper towel under food cooked directly on oven floor (such as baked potatoes) keeps it cleaner.
The small screws used to secure kitchen cabinet door hinges to the face frames of cabinets often work their way loose over time. Unless they're tightened immediately, the screws will enlarge and strip the holes until it's impossible to tighten them. A quick, convenient cure can be found just inside one of the cabinets: toothpicks.
Some woodworking professionals will tell you never to stain your wood project and to leave it with its natural beauty. However, no one will tell you to leave it completely bare. Wood has to have some kind of finish on it in order to protect it from age and the elements. So here are a couple of tips for you.
You can drive holes in the lid of a small glass jar filled with baking soda to make a great closet deodorizer.
You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil fragrance to a few cotton balls placed in a similar glass jar to keep your closets smelling fresh.
Cedar shavings inside a paper bag also make a great closet freshener. Just staple the top of the bag shut and poke a few small holes in the sides to allow the cedar aroma to circulate throughout your closet.
Paint Roller Preservation
Drilling holes up to about 1/2 in. dia. through glazed ceramic tile is easy to do with a carbide-tipped masonry bit. But what if you need to bore a 2-in.-dia. hole for a plumbing stubout? Contractors typically use expensive hole saws, which have carbide-grit cutting edges. But there is another way to make those wider openings.
Draw the hole outline on the tile with a felt-tip pen or grease pencil. Use a 1/4-in.-dia. masonry bit to drill a series of closely spaced holes around the circle. Then take a hammer and very lightly tap the tile along the ring of holes.
Tap inside the outline and be patient. It could take a couple of minutes before the center of the hole breaks free. The edge of the hole will be rough, but you can hide it with a decorative escutcheon plate. This drill-and-tap technique can also be used to make square or rectangular cutouts in tile.
A stapler, unlike most other fastening tools, often is used for temporary jobs, such as tacking up a poster-board sign, drop cloth or plastic window covering.
To make it easier to take down the item, tape the stick from an ice cream pop to the bottom of the stapler before stapling. That way, each staple will stick up a little so you can easily pull it out later with pliers.
Cutting batts of fiberglass insulation is a frustrating, imprecise process because the batts are so thick and fuzzy. To speed things up and produce a clean, neat cut every time, lay the insulation on top of a scrap piece of plywood with its foil or kraft-paper vapor barrier facing up. Then cut a 2X4 at least 12 in. longer than the width of the insulation.
Place the 2X4 across the batt on the cut line. Compress the insulation by kneeling on one end of the 2X4 and pressing down on the other end with your palm. Then use a sharp utility knife to slice through the batt in a single stroke. Always wear gloves, a long-sleeve shirt, long pants, eye protection and a dust mask when working with fiberglass. And work carefully so the knife doesn't slip and cut your knee.
Fiberglass insulation looks easy to install, but it's effectiveness depends on how snugly it's cut and fit.
To start, avoid packing the insulation too tightly into place. When it's firmly compressed, fiberglass loses some insulating value. Also, don't simply stuff the insulation behind electrical cables and pipes. Instead, take a utility knife and carefully slice halfway through the fiberglass batt. Be careful not to slit the paper or foil vapor barrier on the face of the batt.
And as you install the insulation, fold down the batt slightly to open the slit, then press it over the cable or pipe. The fiberglass will fluff up around the slit and maintain its insulating value.
A sabre saw provides a fast, safe way to cut plywood paneling. The catch: It's nearly impossible to keep the narrow blade cutting straight when sawing the thin sheets. The solution is to clamp a pair of straight-edge boards in place to serve as a saw guide.
Place the first guide board on the paneling parallel with the cut line. Hold the base plate, or shoe, of the saw against the board to be sure the blade is lined up with the line. Then remove the saw blade, place the tool against the first guide and position the second guide tightly against the opposite edge of the shoe before clamping it down. Repeat this procedure at the other end of the guides to create a perfect-width channel. Then reinstall the blade and slowly push the saw through the channel for a straight cut.
Hand trowel (or empty can)
Shelf, Standards and Brackets
Screw Driver or Drill
Chosen boarder and wallpaper hanging kit
Hand Saw (or circular saw)
Piece of a rubber hose
Clamps (don't over tighten)
Are you looking for a neat way to quickly spread glue on a pretty large surface? Here's a quick tip for you.
A notched plastic trowel is a lot faster than a paintbrush, and it cleans up in just a snap. You can buy plastic trowels like these at home centers and floor covering stores for about $2. And you want to be sure you buy one with 1/8-in. notches along one edge.
All you have to do is pour a puddle of glue onto the work surface, and then use the trowel to spread the glue. As you near the edge of the surface, just turn the trowel around to avoid pushing glue right off the edge or anyplace you don't want it to go.
The notches will apply an even coat of glue with a uniform thickness, and that will help promote a good bond between the surfaces you're joining together. And there's another good thing: It also saves glue.
You can use this technique to spread all sorts of adhesives, including carpenter's glue, contact cement and silicone.
Don't let those grease and oil stains on your concrete floor just sit there. Here's a quick tip for removing them quick and easy.
First, you need to sop up any wet areas. Ordinary cornmeal or sawdust works great, but you'll need to leave it on the stain for about three hours. It's also important to put this absorbent material on the stain as soon as possible. The sooner it goes to work, the less likely your concrete floor is going to have a stubborn stain.
After the three hours have passed, it's time to sweep up up the saw dust or cornmeal - whichever you used.
Now you can use one of a couple of methods to remove the stain:
You can wet the concrete and then sprinkle dry dishwasher detergent on the area. Let that stand for a few minutes, and then you'll need to pour some boiling water on top of it. Scrub and rinse, and you'll have a much less visible stain.
You can also scrub the stain with a stiff brush and some concentrated laundry detergent. Rinse that well and let it dry, and you'll see similar results.
With either of these methods, you may need to repeat the process to get the best effect.
Any empty (clean and dry) squeeze bottle can be used to store left over paint for touch ups. Set up a drop cloth or use a few layers of old newspaper under your bottle. Place a funnel in the opening of the bottle. CAREFULLY pour the paint into the funnel. Place the cap and label the bottle with the room(s), furniture... that the paint was used on, brand of paint plus the date of use. Store the paint in a cool dry area, heat and cold can shorten the lift of the paint.
Keep out of the reach of children
Needle nose pliers
Outlet tester (to make sure power is out) or use a lamp
Usually, a door sticks because it's sagging in the opening and rubbing against the frame, but here are some quick tips for finding the problem and fixing it.
First, pull the door open and look for worn spots along its upper edge and near the top of the latch-side jamb - this vertical part of the door frame on the open side. Loose upper-hinge screws are a very common culprit. But before you try to tighten them, shove a wooden shim beneath the open door on the latch side to support its weight. Then snug down the screws in the door and frame, remove the shim and close the door.
If the door still rubs, it's probably out of alignment. So to fix that, remove only the bottom-hinge screws driven into the side jamb. Cut a piece of non-corrugated cardboard the same size as the hinge leaf and slip it behind the leaf. Then reinstall the screws. The cardboard backing will move the bottom edge of the door slightly toward the latch-side jamb and tip the top edge away from it.
If the top edge rubs against the head jamb - this horizontal frame above the door, put cardboard behind the upper hinge to tilt the door down. That will also move the bottom edge away from the side jamb if it's rubbing down there.
When driving in small finishing nails and brads, it's almost impossible not to hit your fingers as you make the first few strikes. Next time, try this: Push the nail or brad through a strip of thin cardboard or thick paper. Hold the strip while making the first few taps. Then pull the strip away and drive the fastener all the way in.
Finding a way to reach into deep corners when you're caulking can be quite a trick, but here's a quick tip for you:
The nozzle on a tube of caulk may be too short to reach into deep corners and narrow spaces, but you can extend its reach with an ordinary plastic drinking straw. Just slip the straw over the nozzle tip and secure it with a little duct tape.
Then cut the straw long enough to do the job, and you're ready to go to work in the corner or crevice that needs to be caulked. You may need to guide the straw with one hand - if that's possible - as you squeeze the caulk gun trigger with the other.
For especially hard-to-reach areas, you can use a flexible straw that will bend near one end. And if the straw is too small in diameter, you may be able to just slit one end so it will fit over the nozzle.
Here's another tip for you: This technique works best if you can warm the tube of caulk first. Then the caulk will flow more easily as it moves down the full length of the straw.
Choosing the proper hammer or pry bar will make removing any nail easier, but here's what to do if the nail won't come out.
You can try the fulcrum method -- place a wood block under the hammerhead for leverage -- but even that won't work on a stubborn nail, and it's easy to lose your balance and break the handle doing it.
Instead, try this:
First, slip the nailhead as far as it will go into the hammer claw. But, now, instead of pulling the handle straight back, roll it over to the side.
The hammerhead will act as a leverage block to help extract the nail. If the nail doesn't come all the way out at first, reposition the claw on the nail shaft close to the board and roll the handle over to the opposite side.
The windows in your home may be responsible for up to 25 percent of your heating and cooling bills. When it comes to energy conservation, most windows don't do a very good job. So, if you want to make your windows more efficient when it comes to saving energy and maintaining the temperature in your home, you might want to take a careful look at your choice of window coverings. Here are a few tips to help you shop smart as you try to save energy with your new window coverings.
- Consider Cellular Blinds- Cellular blinds are an excellent choice for energy saving window coverings. The honeycomb (or cell) that forms when the blinds are lowered traps air within it, providing an extra layer of insulation for your window. Of course the more layers in the blinds and the deeper they are, the better they insulate.
- Keep your colors light - Light colored window coverings help reflect the intense summer sun, keeping the hot air out and your cooler air in. When the weather gets cooler you can open them to let in the light and warmth of the winter sun.
- Keep window direction in mind - Do your windows face south or do you have a harsher western exposure? Consider the direction of your windows
A portable circular saw is great for ripping long, wide boards into narrow ones.
A portable circular saw is great for ripping long, wide boards into narrow ones. But as the saw moves along the board, the slot made by the blade -- called the saw kerf -- will often pinch closed and bind the blade in the cut. If enough pressure is exerted the saw will kick back and jump from the board.
To reduce the likelihood of kickbacks, slip an 8d (2 1/2-in.) nail into the kerf every 4 ft. or so. The nails will prevent the kerf from closing and pinching the blade. When cutting with a thin-kerf blade, switch to thinner 6d (2-in.) nails
To keep your dishwasher running without problems always load the dishwasher according to the manual?s suggestions. Then be sure to use only automatic dishwasher detergent in the recommended amounts when cleaning dishes. Any other cleaning agent such as liquid dishwashing detergent for washing dishes by hand will cause excess sudsing and interfere with the cleaning process. Store your dishwasher detergent in a dry cool place and do not keep extra packages on hand for a long period of time as the extra detergent takes moisture from the air causing the detergent to lose its cleaning ability.
Your dishwasher should always be plugged into a grounded outlet. DO NOT use an extension cord.
If hot water has not been used in your house for more than two weeks or longer, open all the hot water faucets and allow them to run for several minutes before using your dishwasher or any other electrical appliance connected to the hot water heater. When you are doing this, be sure NOT to smoke or light any flame while the faucets are running as hydrogen gas which is flammable and explosive may have built up in the water heater and hot water pipes.
To help keep your dishwasher free of stains all you need is some powdered drink crystals. Use three to four ounces of the powdered drink crystals (orange or lemon work well). Be sure to read the back of the package to make sure there is citric acid in the crystals, it is the citric acid that does all the work. Place the powder in the soap dispenser. DO NOT put regular dishwashing detergent in the soap containers. Also make sure the dishwasher is empty when you run it with the powdered drink crystals. This will help you keep the inside of the dishwasher free of stains.
If you have hard water and need to remove the mineral build up you can try using white vinegar?but check the owner?s manual first to make sure the make and model will tolerate the vinegar. Then start your dishwasher on its regular cycle (be sure the
Here are a few tips that every do it yourselfer can use to keep their workbench and their tools in good shape.
First of all keep one or two relatively thick pieces of lumber close by. That way you can put one between the workbench surface and whatever it is you are drilling or sawing into.
A thick piece of lumber will shield your worktable from unnecessary damage just in case you drill or cut too far.
Also always keep a couple of scrap pieces of carpet close by for your back, feet, floor and tools. You can put one on the floor to protect it from any stains or spills that might happen. Also you can stand on it to protect your back and feet from aches and strains. Take another piece of carpet and lay it on your workbench for your tools. This will protect the tools from getting dented and scratched from continually picking them up and setting them down while you are using them. With a little prevention, your workbench and your tools will stay looking good for a long time.
Here are some more workshop tips we found for you to keep you working hard!
A file is a great sharpening tool when you are in a jam. You can use it to sharpen your square drive bit when the bit starts to spin and not grip screws tight as you like. For example, when your square drive bit starts acting up file the end of the bit off a little and it should tighten the grip it has on the screw.
You can also use a metal file to sharpen your chisel. Just make sure you have a good strong grip on the file and you file with hard even strokes. You have to be careful not to pressure the file too much on one side or the other or else the chisel will become uneven and won?t work as well.
You know it can be pretty difficult to keep the blade of your razor knife sharp when you are cutting through wallpaper that is wet with glue.
Use a razor knife that has breakaway blades. They cost around one to two dollars at your local hardware store or home center. You bre
Mildew is something you have to deal with no matter who you are or where you live. But one way to fight mildew is to increase the ventilation in your bathroom with the flip of a switch. Keep the fan on as you shower or bathe. And then afterward leave the door open.
Another way to fight mildew is to start with a clean surface, use a commercial soap scum remover to clean the area.
After the area is clean, take a spray bottle and mix half bleach and half water in it. Then spray your area thoroughly. Let that sit for just a few minutes. You can buy a commercial product that has the bleach and the cleaner in it already. But if you clean the area first and then bleach, you should be able to see better results.
Here are some more tips we found for you when it comes to preventing mildew.
First of all keep things as clean as possible, closets, dresser drawers, basements--any place where mildew is likely to grow?need to be clean and dry. Soil on clothes can supply enough food for mildew to start growing when moisture and temperature are right. In the kitchen, mildew can grow on greasy walls and that in turn can cause mold.
Dampness is the enemy and you have to get rid of it. Dampness is often caused by condensation from humid air onto cooler surfaces. Too much moisture may be a sign that repairs or additional insulation are needed. To cut down on the moisture be sure to replace cracked or defective mortar and make sure the outside drainage is sufficient.
If you want to control moisture on masonry above ground walls, apply two coats of cement paint. You can use cement paint tinted with mineral coloring if you want it to match. You may also consider using waterproofed coatings to seal absorbent brick and other outside surfaces.
Spread a layer of moisture-barrier material over the soil in crawl spaces under houses. Heavy roofing paper or polyethylene plastic film is a good choice also. Whether we are talking about the bathroo
If your gutters are leaking, chances are water may seep down inside your walls and damage your paint. Here are a few ways you can keep your gutters and your downspouts in good condition.
First of all make sure that the gutter is sloping down towards the downspout. If it?s not you will have to re-pitch it so that it does slope down in the right direction.
The next thing you will want to check is to see if there is any debris in the gutter. And if there is be sure and clean that out. You can also take your water hose put it down through the downspout, turn the water on and clean out the debris from there as well.
While you?re up here you might as well do a visual check of your roof. Check to see if there are any broken or missing shingles that need to be replaced. If you do this check four times a year, you?re gutter will be ready for any season.
Here is some more information we found for you when it comes to taking care of your Gutters and downspouts.
Typically leaks and cracks tend to appear at the downspout joints. Between heavy use and gravity downspouts open joints up or they occasionally get jostled from below and come loose. A few simple repairs will keep downspout joints tight and when they?re tight leaks stay out of sight!
You will need:
Caulk gun and
First you will have to remove any screws or connecting hardware at the joint and then disassemble the leaking portion of the downspout. You may need to remove other gutter or downspout sections near the leaky joint before you get started.
Clean any caulk or adhesive from both parts of the joint using your stiff wire brush. Replace the rubber gaskets on vinyl or PVC gutters.
If you have basic carpentry skills and a basic knowledge of tools, you will be able to repair a joint in an hour.
An easy, inexpensive way to repair a piece of metal gutter that has rusted through is to patch it
Next time you are ready to give your room a fresh new look with wallpaper, instead of applying the glue with a sponge, use a paint roller. Pour some of the adhesive into a paint pan. Next dip an old roller in the solution, squeeze out the excess slightly (be sure you are wearing rubber gloves) so you prevent dripping and then roll it over 20-30 square feet at a time and apply the paper. You don?t want to roll it over the entire wall because the glue will dry faster than you can hang the paper. Or you can spread out your section of paper and roll the adhesive right onto the back of the paper; either way should work just as well.
You will finish a lot sooner and probably save yourself a few aching muscles in the process!
If you are applying the adhesive to the paper, start in the middle and then work your way out to the edges. Your paper is going to move around a little so by saving the edges for last you will keep from getting excess paste on the edges or the front.
Your paste should be about the same texture as thick smooth pancake batter. When you add the paste you?ll want the layer to be heavy enough to get a good strong grip on the walls but not so thick that the paste puddles. When that happens you'll usually end up with messy bumps and lumps under the paper. Give your paper one last stroke all the way down the center to be certain that every single spot is covered. Then, pick the paper up by one end and fold it over - pasted side to pasted side. When paper is pasted and folded over itself is called ?booking? the paper together. With some papers you need to ?book? them and set them off to the side to relax.
Be sure to keep the table clean as you work, you don?t want to get paste from the last section on the front of the next section. After each section is hung wipe down the table and make sure it is dry before laying the next section.
Since we are on the subject of the table, it?s important to have a good sturdy table.
Just like anything else in your house, if you keep your garage door in good condition it will last longer and serve you well.
Here are some quick tips when you want to give your garage door a routine check up.
First of all when you are looking over the door, be sure it is in the down position and the automatic opener is disconnected so it won?t accidentally open up on you.
You?ll want to give the arm that raises and lowers the door a visual check. Look for any signs of wear and tear.
Garage door bolts will loosen after years of use. So take your wrench and tighten down every one. If you find any nuts missing be sure to replace them.
And if a hinge is very loose reposition it so that the hinge is centered over the joint between the door panels. Make sure the line of the hinge follows the line of the seam between the panels.
Next look at the door tracks and make sure they are bolted securely to the wall and ceiling. You need to have at least one inch of clearance total between the garage door and the track. That?s because the door moves back and forth as it is lowered and opened and you don?t want it to bang against the track.
Next check for rust. Especially in the cables or spring and replace them right away. Always replace springs and hinges in matched pairs.
By taking good care of your garage door you can be sure it will always be there to welcome you home.
Here is some more information we found for you concerning garage doors!
Garages - Installing the Garage Door Opener
If you plan on trying to install a garage door yourself be sure to follow manufacturer?s directions to the letter. There are a variety of products on the market that make it necessary to follow the instructions, provided by the manufacturer, for each model of garage door opener.
However, there are certain things you can look for when buying a garage door opener.
Garage door openers provide bo
It?s easy to take your electrical outlets for granted. When we plug something in we get the power we need.
But electrical outlets can be dangerous, they can shock, short circuit and even cause electrical fires.
Here is a quick tip that will help you know what's going on behind the outlet.
You can checkout how well a three-pronged outlet is working with a ?receptacle tester?. A neon circuit tester will work well for a two-pronged outlet.
Just plug them in and they will tell you how well your outlets are working.
A three-pronged receptacle tester usually has three lights and the way the lights light up can tell you exactly what is wrong or even if everything is fine. A two-pronged electrical tester would be used in older homes with only two pronged outlets, it will light up if all is working well and it won?t light up if something is wrong. If you find something is wrong with your outlet call a qualified electrician right away. Don?t try and fix it yourself.
If all is well with your outlets you can rest assured your outlets are working properly when you need them to work for you.
Here is some more information about electrical outlets!
Safety is of utmost importance when working with electricity.
Develop safe work habits and stick to them. Be very careful with electricity. It may be invisible, but it can be dangerous if not understood and respected.
Safety glasses or goggles should be worn whenever power tools are used, especially if you wear contact lenses.
Always work in a clean, dry area free from anything wet.
Never splice wires together and conceal them within a wall without a junction box.
Never attempt to strip wires with a knife. Aside from endangering your fingers, you will nick the wire metal, which will create an electrical hazard.
Ground fault circuit interrupter out- lets should be used under damp conditions (basements, bathrooms, out- doors, etc.), as requi