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Miscellaneous Tips

Household Repairs
Brass Can
Wood Shop
Smoke Detectors
Wood Utensils


Fixing Benefits

When taking apart objects with many small parts use old egg cartons or muffin tins as your organizers. Label contents with a grease pencil or felt-tip marker.

Ice Cube Trays

Old ice cube trays make great organizers. You can store washers, screws, tacks, small nails, and nuts and bolts in them. Give it a try!

Storing Dowels And Rods

A plastic milk crate makes a great place to store various dowels and rods you accumulate in your shop. If the floor is slippery, just place a rug scrap underneath to help keep the pieces upright.

Household Repairs

Little Tips To Use Around The House

  • Fluorescent lights that darken may only need the ends reversed to extend their life.
  • Before driving a nail into plaster, make an ďXĒ of scotch tape and your nail has a better chance of not splitting the plaster.
  • Pour a little club soda on a rusted bolt to loosen it! Ammonia will also work.
  • Rule of thumb-to tighten screws, go to the right. Going to the left loosens them!
  • Vinegar will cut through and loosen old glue.
  • Kerosene or glycerin on the blade will make hand-sawing easier.

Masking Tape

How do I remove masking tape and the adhesive stuck to metal window frames after the tape was left on too long?
  • Take a scraper and some WD40. Spray with WD40 and let set for a bit then use the scraper and scrape it off. It should come right off.
  • After all the residue is removed ,wash down with some soap and water to remove the oil.
  • You can also buy something call Goof Off .

Dryer Sheet Uses:

  • Eliminate those odors in your trashcan or laundry basket by placing a dryer sheet at the bottom of the wastebasket or hamper.
  • Eliminate dust from resettling on your Venetian blinds by wiping with dryer sheets.
  • Keep mice away from stored camper items by placing a dryer sheet with stored items.
  • Dryer sheets are great deodorizers for shoes or sneakers, place a sheet in them overnight!
  • Have cat hair everywhere? Rub a dryer sheet and it will magnetically attract all those loose cat hairs for you!
  • Dryer sheets will collect sawdust from any sandpapering or drilling just like a tack cloth does. Give it a try! One inch wide masking tape also picks up dust well.

Light Switches

Add a special touch to your walls or match a roomís paneling with custom-made light switch plates! Use up some of your wood scraps, paneling or wallpaper scraps. Construction time should take under an hour to complete!


Remove Candle Wax From Granite

  • Scrape off as much as possible using a PLASTIC scraper.
  • Then take a wad of paper towels, hold up to granite and iron.
  • The iron will melt the wax and the paper towels will absorb it.
  • Repeat until all the wax is melted off with clean paper towels.
  • A slow process but you will get it all up.
  • Once there is only a haze left ,buff with a soft rag to remove any remaining residue.

Clean Cultured Marble

Marble is one of the softest of building stones- it has a hardness of 2.8-3.0, that isnít much harder than a human fingernail. Therefore, marble is very easily scratched. Clean with a spray bottle of disinfectant cleaner and a soft wet cloth.

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Brass Can

Repairing Brass Watering Can

The handle broke on my small brass watering can. What do I need to do?
Try soldering the handle using regular lead/tin solder. You'll need to thoroughly clean the area you're soldering; try using a fine grit sandpaper or steel wool. Next, use flux (probably something called "Tinner's Flux" which is used by sheetmetal workers), and apply according to directions.
Then comes the soldering part... The primary thing though with the whole procedure is making sure the two surfaces are clean, if they aren't, nothing will adhere.


Mirror Installation

Be sure to hang a mirror at least one sixteenth of an inch from the wall and well above the backsplash to assure it has some air circulation and to help keep water and cleaning solutions from damaging it.

Cleaning Mirrors

Instead of using Windex, use an air freshner. It gets the mirror clean and leaves a pleasant smell in the bathroom to boot.

Thanks to Jerry Schulman.


Preventing Burns From Hot Water

A 24 inch head broom is great for outside work in the garage, patio, sidewalk, and driveway. Go for nylon bristles which are not affected by water and chemicals. The inner bristles can move heavy gravel and dried on soil. The outer bristles are finer and catch any small particles missed by the inner ones. Hang up your brooms to prevent then warping !

Wood Shop

Stop Loosing Your Pencil!

Always loosing your pencil on your workbench? Wrap the end of a pencil with a bit of Velcro, then attach a mating strip of Velcro to the side of your workbench. Now youíll be able to stick the pencil to your workbench where it will be close at hand!


Templates are used for jobs such as working out pattern ideas of fascias or cabinet bases, and working with moldings. Save some notepad backs and/or cardboard from dress shirts to use as easy templates. They are easily cut with a utility knife or just scissors.

Bicycle Hooks

Do your power tool chords get tangled during projects in the shop? Install a few large, vinyl-covered, screw-in bicycle hooks overhead into your ceiling joists. Just loop the toolís chord onto a hook and go to work without any mess.

Two Necessary Tools

You only need two tools; WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesnít move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldnít, then use the duct tape!

Dry Tape

Reached for the masking, duct, or electrical tape to find it dried out again? Try storing tape in a covered metal coffee can. This should help remedy this problem.


A common mistake many beginning woodworkers make is to apply too much glue to wood boards they are trying to join. Using less glue will actually give you a much stronger glued joint.

Mini Clamps

Need some small but strong clamps for small scale woodworking projects, (or perhaps making models)? Try some wooden clothespins using either end, whichever works for your particular project!
Save your old plastic caps (from spray paints, etc.) to use on small glue and paint projects! Just the right size for small brushes and an easy cleanup!

Bottle Caps

Bottle caps are great for mixing epoxy in, the epoxy canít spread out as you are mixing, making it easier to scoop up and apply. You also tend to only pour what you need!

Warm Feet

Save your carpet remnants to use on the floor in front of your workbench. This helps keep your feet warm in the cooler months and also gives your feet a little extra padding. You can easily vacuum up the area after you have completed your task at hand.

Rent Vs. Hire

Keep a list in your workshop of rental tools and equipment at nearby tool-rental stores. The next time you are tempted to hire a professional, check your rental list. Doing the job yourself generally saves YOU money! Good luck!

Christmas Gifts From Your Shop

Try being adventuresome these cool fall days and nights and try making some wooden Christmas tree ornaments. Simply trace objects on a 1/8in. piece of plywood. Then cut out shapes with a sabre saw, sand and stain or paint. This will save you some time from holiday shopping to do other family activities.

Hints To Save Your Money This Winter

  • Try to minimize the number of times that you open your doors to the outside weather.
  • When not using the chimney, remember to shut the flue.
  • Insulate walls and attic areas properly. Batts of insulation added to your attic is an easy do-it yourself project.
  • Lowering your thermostat by 1 degree F. will reduce your heating bill by 2%. Maintaining 68 degrees is an average daily temperature, with lower temperatures at nighttime. Also, lower the thermostat if you will not be home during the daytime hours.
  • Use ceiling fans set at slow speed to push the warm air away from the ceiling and move it around your rooms. Everyone will feel the warmth and be more comfortable!
  • Try to use the sun when out! Open windows on southern and eastern exposures throughout the daytime hours. Remember to close shades before sun sets to keep the heat in the house.


Cordless Phones

Remember when purchasing telephones for the home to buy at least one phone that plugs directly into a jack and requires no electricity. Many people buy only cordless phones, which are great for mobility around the house, but donít work at all when the power goes out!!! The cordless phone base stations need electricity to work. So be prepared for the next storm!

Old Phone Chord

Save the coiled handset chord from your old phone. It works great for wrapping around the wires behind your computer or stereo system-keeping them organized and looking tidier.

Smoke Detectors

Batteries Replaced

Now that heating season is upon us, itís a good idea to replace all smoke detector batteries. If its easier to remember pick a special day each year to replace your batteries, (e.g. Birthdays, special holiday, etc.).


Snow Shoveling

When you must shovel by hand remember these few tips: Use a small rather than large shovel. Push snow aside to avoid lifting as much as possible. Start early before the snow gets icy. Work in stages and take frequent breaks.


Covering Outside Items

Its that time of the year to cover the pool, trailer or boat. If the wind is blowing off the cover on you, try using empty plastic gallon jugs as anchors. Just fill the jugs with sand, stones, water or dirt and hang them on the tarp. Use as many as you need! These work great especially in areas where spikes cannot be used, like on concrete.



Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition in which the body temperature drops below the normal 98.6 degrees F. from exposure to the cold. Indoor air temperature doesnít have to fall below freezing to cause hypothermia. Therefore, make sure at risk family members, (e.g. Elderly, and babies), wear several layers of loose clothing and have plenty of bed covers at night.

Clean Air In The Home

Keep indoor air fresh by regularly cleaning the filter in your range hood or exhaust fan. Give the filter a good soak with hot water and detergent solution. If the filter is beyond cleaning, inexpensive replacements can be found at your local hardware store.


Though most of us have nothing to worry about, lead poisoning is still a problem in some older homes. Primarily the lead gets in the plumbing from pipe corrosion. The EPA has banned lead service lines to homes and lead solder that was used to hold the copper pipes together. To minimize your exposure, use cold water for cooking and drinking since hot water dissolves more lead. Running your water for a couple minutes will also flush the pipes. If you have 5ppb lead after letting your water run, please fix immediately for your health and your family!

Fall Or Spring: Body Chills

A lightweight down ,fleece or wool vest can ward off body chill on days that appear warm. If you are going to be outside a lot of the daylight hours, be advised to carry an extra jacket to wear when the sunís warmth fades!


  • Mildew is a fungus that grows under damp conditions on just about any surface causing stains, discolorations and eventually rot.
  • Clean mildew then try to remedy the conditions that caused it in the first place.
  • Ventilate basements, or run dehumidifiers to dry the air, walls and furnishings.
  • Let clothing get completely dry before hanging into closets.
  • Keep bathroom shower/tub areas free of soap scum. The film retards drying of the area, thereby promoting the growth of mildew.
  • Air out cabinets regularly, especially bathroom and under the kitchen sink ones.

Wood Utensils

Wood Handled Utensils

Check your wooden handled utensils before throwing them in the dishwasher. Itís often better for the wood to not soak in the water for a long period of time. This will damage the wood.


Moving Tips

Did you know that more homeowners move during the early summer months than any other time of the year? If you are planning a Do-It-Yourself move, reserve a rental truck or van early and avoid the big rush!


Jobs Most Often Done By Homeowners

  • Insulation
  • Hanging interior doors
  • Interior painting
  • Hanging cabinets
  • Installing windows
  • Hanging exterior doors
  • Putting up siding
  • Trim and soffit work
  • Installing electrical fixtures
  • Interior trim work

Hard Jobs- Rated By Homeowners

  • Drywall taping
  • Drywall hanging
  • Trim and soffit work
  • Heating rough-in

Easy Jobs-Rated By Homeowners

  • Insulation
  • Painting
  • Installing electrical fixtures
  • Installing windows


Looking to have a home project done by a contractor and donít know who to hire? Consult your friends, coworkers to get some names of competent workers. Or you could ask a building supply yard or building inspectorís office, they would know how various contractors do business. Also you should get some professional references from the contractor and go see some of his/her worksites before you decide.

If you have any tips you would like to share, please Email them to us and we'll post them!
Thank you for sharing!

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