101 Saturday Morning Projects
Have a free morning this weekend? That’s plenty of time to compete one of these easy home improvement projects.
Raise an Adjustable Entry Door Threshold
Those big screwheads in the threshold of a newer entry door aren’t just decorative; they raise or lower a narrow strip set in the threshold. So if you’ve noticed a draft under the door, try this: On a sunny day, turn off the lights and close nearby curtains. Lie down and look for daylight under the door. A sliver of light sneaking in at both corners of the door is normal. But if you see light between the threshold and the door, grab your screwdriver. Here’s how to raise the threshold.
Shim Gapping Doors
If you have big gaps along the latch side of your doors, they were probably prehung in their frames at the factory and installed as a unit. The installer should have adjusted the frame with shims to leave about a 1/8-in. gap along the latch side, about the thickness of two quarters (coins). Sometimes the gap is far too wide. Here’s how to shim gapping doors.
Sandwich Bag Parts Organizer
Stop Drafts Around Windows and Doors
If your windows or doors are a source of chilly drafts all winter long, the problem could be worn-out seals, weather stripping or thresholds. Then again, sloppy installation might be to blame. When cold weather arrives, hold the back of your hand near the edges of windows or doors to track down the source of leaks. If you feel cold air flowing out from behind the trim, chances are the spaces around the window and door jambs weren’t properly sealed.
Plugging these leaks is a time-consuming job: You have to pull off the interior trim, seal around the jambs and then reinstall the trim. But if your doors and windows are otherwise fairly airtight, the payoff can be big too. Stopping drafts not only makes your home more comfortable but also cuts energy bills.
Heavy-Duty Storage Shelves
Seal Attic Air Leaks
Small air leaks into uninsulated attic space are a major source of heat loss in many homes.With some inexpensive materials and a day’s labor, you can save lots of money on heating every year by sealing these holes. We’ll show you where to find the bypasses in your attic and simple techniques for plugging and sealing them.
Don’t want to open your walls? Check out these other easy shelving ideas.
Swedish Boot Scraper
Treat Your Windshield Glass
Research has proven that glass treatment products can improve your view through your windshield in rainy weather by as much as 34 percent. The improved vision can increase your response rate by up to 25 percent. That could mean the difference between avoiding an accident or being part of one. We’ll show you how to treat your windshield glass.
Joist-Space Storage Space Saver
Cabinet Rollouts Project
If you’re stuck with cabinets without rollouts, don’t despair. In these step-by-step project instructions, we’ll show you how to retrofit nearly any base cabinet with rollouts that’ll work as well as or better than any factory-built units.
Make a magazine storage container
Coat and Mitten Rack
Perfect Patio Chairs
Saw Blade Carryall
Air Compressor Cart
Learn how to build this air compressor cart here.
Super-Simple Bath Cabinet
Glass Shower Shelf
Shoe Storage Booster Stool
Don’t have floor space to spare? Build these super simple wall-mounted shoe organizers instead!
- Cut and screw together the sides and ends with the ends protruding 1 in. beyond the sides. Drill holes in the top of the ends for a 3/4-in. dowel handle and tap it in the holes before assembling the ends and sides. Drill the 3/8-in. storage holes in the top edges of the sides before assembly.
- Saw 1/4-in. x 1-1/2-in. pine strips for the side slats and screw them to the protruding ends.
- Cut and screw on the 1/4-in. plywood floor.
- Cut 3/8-in. pine partitions and screw them behind the side slats to create custom-width pockets for the tools.
That’s it—load it up and tote your tools with just one hand!
Chopping Board and Serving Tray
Stacked Recycling Tower
Learn how to build this stacked recycling tower here.
Closet Nook Shelves
Wire shelves are available in a variety of widths. Measure the width and depth of the space. Then choose the correct shelving and ask the salesperson to cut the shelves to length for you. Subtract 3/8 in. from the actual width to determine the shelf length. Buy a pair of end mounting brackets and a pair of plastic clips for each shelf.
On-a-Roll Pegboard Doors
The trick is to insert 1/2-in. plywood spacers in the roller hardware as shown. You can use the floor bracket that comes with the slider hardware to maintain the same 2-in. clearance at the bottom of the cabinet. For door handles, simply drill a couple of 1-1/4-in. holes in the pegboard with a spade bit. Now pop in the pegs and hang up your tools.
Find another pegboard shop storage solution here.
Install a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
Turned Pen Holder
Make one of these and get ready to fill gift orders! On a lathe, turn a 3-in.-square x 6-in.-long hardwood blank into a cylinder that’s 4-1/2 in. long with a narrowed waist, curved top and flat bottom. Sand smooth.
Next, with a compass, draw a circle on the top and mark six hole locations on the circle. Why six? When you leave the compass at the same radius and “step” it around the circle, it marks off six equally spaced points. After marking, use a 3/8-in. brad point bit to drill the six holes at 10 degrees and 2 in. deep.
If your drill press has no angle adjustment, glue three shims together and clamp them to the table to make a 10-degree angled ramp. Finish the pen holder with danish oil and load with pens.
Craft a Petite Shelf
Turn a single 3-ft.-long, 1×12 hardwood board into some small shelves to organize a desk top or counter. Cut off a 21-in.-long board for the shelves, rip it in the middle to make two shelves, and cut 45-degree bevels on the two long front edges with a router or table saw. Bevel the ends of the other board, cut dadoes, which are grooves cut into the wood with a router or a table saw with a dado blade, cross- wise (cut a dado on scrap and test-fit the shelves first!) and cut it into four narrower boards, two at 1-3/8 in. wide and two at 4 in. Finish, then assemble with brass screws and finish washers. For expert advice on how to finish wood, check out this collection of tips.
To corral shelf-dwelling books or DVDs that like to wander, cut 3/4-in.-thick hardwood pieces into 6-in. x 6-in. squares. Use a band saw or jigsaw to cut a slot along one edge (with the grain) that’s a smidgen wider than the shelf thickness. Stop the notch 3/4 in. from the other edge. Finish the bookend and slide it on the shelf. Want to build the shelves, too? We’ve got complete plans for great-looking shelves here.
Easy-to-Build Knife Block
Display your kitchen cutlery in style with this handsome knife block. It’s fast, easy and fun to build, and includes a 6-in.-wide storage box for a knife sharpener.
To build one, you only need a 3/4-in. x 8-in. x 4-ft. hardwood board and a 6-in. x 6-1/2-in. piece of 1/4-in. hardwood plywood to match.
Begin by cutting off a 10-in. length of the board and setting it aside. Rip the remaining 38-in. board to 6 in. wide and cut five evenly spaced saw kerfs 5/8 in. deep along one face. Crosscut the slotted board into four 9-in. pieces and glue them into a block, being careful not to slop glue into the saw kerfs (you can clean them out with a knife before the glue dries). Saw a 15-degree angle on one end and screw the plywood piece under the angled end of the block.
Cut the 6-1/2-in. x 3-in. lid from the leftover board, and slice the remaining piece into 1/4-in.-thick pieces for the sides and end of the box. Glue them around the plywood floor. Cut a rabbet on three sides of the lid so it fits snugly on the box and drill a 5/8-in. hole for a finger pull. Then just add a finish and you’re set for years of happy carving!
Better Bagel Slicer
This bagel slicer is as easy to build as it is to use. Making it requires only a few simple tools, two dowels and a scrap of hardwood. When your stomach growls, drop the bagel in the cage, squeeze the dowel tops so the side dowels bend and pinch the bagel, then slice away. It keeps your fingers out of harm’s way (and the crumbs and knife blade off your counter). Get the project directions here.
Locate the studs. Drill clearance holes and screw the shelves to the studs with 2-1/2-in. wood screws. Put a rubber bumper on the frame to protect the door. Don’t have an electronic stud finder handy? Learn how to locate studs without a stud finder here.
DIY Butterfly House
And check out these 12 ways to prepare for your spring garden while it’s still cold.
DIY Portable Bookshelf
Simple Step Stool
Stop a Running Toilet
Install Toggle Bolts for an Adjustable Shower Head
Adjust Dragging Sliding Shower Doors
How to Sharpen Lawnmower Blades
Plus: Tune Up a Lawn Mower
Fix Lawn Spots
Improve your lawn’s natural defenses and reduce future maintenance chores with these common sense cures for spots, thatch, fairy rings, grubs and shade.
Seed a Bare Spot in Your Yard
Dead spots on a lawn may be caused by disease, repeated dog visits or snow mold. Simply adding extra fertilizer or randomly scattering seed on the bad spot isn’t going to revive it. Start over by digging out the old sod and disposing of it; don’t put diseased sod in your compost bin. Here’s how to fix your lawns bare spot for good.
Fix a Storm Door Closer
Strong winds or heavy use can crack the door jamb that holds the storm door closer in place. A jamb reinforcer can repair the cracked jamb, or stop the problem from happening in the first place. Learn how to fix your storm door closer here.
Fix a Door that Doesn’t Latch
When a house settles, doors sometimes stop latching properly because one side of the frame has sagged. You can fix the problem easily with a rotary tool and a metal-cutting bit. Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to get the job done right.
Fix Loose Hinges
The screws holding the top hinges carry most of the weight of the door and are almost always the first to pull out, especially after they’ve been repeatedly tightened over the years. Here’s the best way to fix those loose hinges and beef them up.
Unstick a Sliding Door
Sliding doors get sticky and hard to open when the wheels are out of adjustment or the track gets dirty. Here’s how to repair your sliding door and replace a flimsy screen.
Repair Any Torn Screens or Nets
Take Out Dents in a Steel Door
Make an invisible dent repair in a steel door the same way you do it on your car, using the same auto body filler. Even a novice can master the simple techniques. Here’s how to fix your dents.
Fix Your Own Furnace
If your furnace quits or breaks down try these eight simple furnace solutions before you call for service help. You can solve the problem and avoid a $200 service call.
Solutions for a Bouncy Floor
We’ll show you three ways to stiffen up your bouncy floor—by adding bridging, installing plywood along the joists and adding a wall or beam under the floor. Any one of the three can solve your problem, depending on your situation. It’s not a lot of work or expensive.
Replace a Sink Sprayer and Hose
Over time, sink sprayers often break or become clogged with mineral deposits. Or the sprayer hose can harden and crack or wear through from rubbing against something under the sink. The best solution in these cases is replacement. You can pick up just the sprayer head ($5) or a head and hose kit ($10) at a home center or hardware store. Here’s how to replace a sink sprayer and hose.
Relocate a Sprinkler Head
These simple lawn irrigation system fixes will solve 90 percent of the common breakdowns. You’ll save on repair bills and keep your lawn lush and green. No special skills needed.
Replace Damaged Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding repair is tough, but not indestructible. If a falling branch or a well-hit baseball has cracked a piece of your siding, you can make it as good as new in about 15 minutes with a $5 zip tool (available at any home center) and a replacement piece. It’s as simple as unzipping the damaged piece and snapping in a new one. Here’s how to replace your damaged siding.
Unclog a Faucet
If the flow from your kitchen or bathroom faucet isn’t what it used to be, the aerator is probably plugged. An aerator can clog slowly as mineral deposits build up, or quickly after plumbing work loosens debris inside pipes. Usually, a quick cleaning solves the problem. Gunk can also build up inside the faucet neck. Fortunately it’s an easy problem to fix.
Clean Your MAF Sensor
A Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor monitors the temperature and weight of air entering your engine. Your onboard computer needs that information to calculate the right amount of fuel for all engine operating conditions.
The sensor works by heating a delicate platinum wire or plate and measuring the current required to keep it at a constant temperature while air blows past it. Over time, dust and oil particles stick to the hot wire/plate and bake on. Eventually, those baked-on particles insulate the wire/plate from the airstream. This causes starting, idling and acceleration problems, as well as poor gas mileage. Learn how to clean your MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor when it’s dirty rather than replace this $300 part. It’s quick and easy.
Remove Tough Stains from Vinyl Flooring
Isopropyl alcohol, sold as a disinfectant at drugstores, is a mild solvent. It’s the best cleaner for heel marks and works on other tough stains too. You can also use lighter fluid or mineral spirits. Remember that all these products are flammable; turn off any nearby pilot lights and hang rags out to dry before throwing them away. Learn how to use it to remove tough stains from vinyl flooring.
Tighten a Floppy Faucet Handle
A loose faucet handle will gradually grind away the valve stem that it’s screwed to, and should be tightened. Here’s a trick to use if the stem is already badly worn.
Fix Bad Wallpaper Seams
Repairing loose wallpaper seams is fairly simple. Just apply a seam repair adhesive. It provides a solid bond and will keep the seams from coming loose. It’s available at paint stores and home centers for less than $10. Squirt the adhesive directly onto the wall behind the loose seams, then press the edges back into place. Use a roller or straightedge as shown to firmly press the paper against the wall and drive out any air bubbles. Wipe away any excess adhesive with a damp sponge. Check out these pro paint and wallpapering tips.
Straighten Bubbling Wallpaper
Fix bubbles in wallpaper by cutting them with a razor knife. A small slit is all that’s needed. Then insert the end of a glue applicator in the slit and squeeze in a little adhesive. Wipe away excessive adhesive with a damp sponge and press the wallpaper against the wall to force out the air, using a plastic straightedge. The glue applicators and adhesive are available at paint stores and home centers for less than $10. Learn how to repair damaged wallpaper here.
Push-Button Disposer Fix
If your disposer won’t start, push the reset button and give it a spin. All disposers have an overload feature that automatically shuts off the power when the motor becomes overloaded and gets too hot. Once the motor cools, simply push the reset button on the side of or under the unit. Check out these other simple fixes for common appliance problems.
Reset the GFCI
When a light goes out or a switch doesn’t work, you should first check the main electrical panel for a tripped circuit breaker. But don’t stop there. Before you change out light bulbs and switches, see if a GFCI outlet (which may be upstream from the troubled light or outlet) has tripped. Sometimes all the bathrooms or the outside lights are powered through a single GFCI located in one bathroom or elsewhere, such as in a basement. Simply push the reset button on the GFCI and you could be back in business.
Clean the Dishwasher Filter
When your dishwasher no longer gets your dishes clean, a food-filled filter is most often to blame. If it’s clogged, water can’t make it to the spray arms to clean the dishes in the top rack. The fix takes two minutes. Simply pull out the lower rack and remove the filter cover inside the dishwasher. (Check your owner’s manual if you can’t spot the filter.) Then use a wet vacuum to clean off the screen. Check out these other dishwasher cleaning tips.
While you’re there, slide the nearby float switch up and down. If it’s jammed with mac and cheese, you won’t get any water. If the cover sticks, jiggle it up and down and clean it with water.
Quiet a Noisy Washer
When a washing machine cabinet rocks, it makes a horrible racket during the spin cycle. The solution is to simply readjust the legs. Screw the front legs up or down until the cabinet is level. When both legs are solid on the floor, tighten each leg’s locking nut. In most washers, to adjust the rear legs, gently tilt the machine forward and gently lower it down. The movement will self-adjust the rear legs.
Change the Dryer Filter
A common cause of poor drying is a clogged lint filter. The filter may look clean, but it may actually be covered by a nearly invisible film caused by dryer sheets. This film reduces airflow and forces the thermostat to shut off the heat before your clothes are dry. Test your filter by pouring water into it. If the filter holds water, it’s past time to clean it. Pull out the filter and scrub it in hot water with a little laundry detergent and a stiff kitchen brush.
Change the Air Conditioner Thermostat
If your AC won’t come on, the thermostat may be saying no. This is because if you turn your central air conditioner on, off and then on again in rapid order, chances are you’ll blow a fuse or shut off a circuit breaker or the air conditioner simply won’t respond. That’s because the compressor (in the outdoor condensing unit) may have stopped in a high compression mode, making it difficult to start until the compression releases. Learn how to change the air conditioner thermostat here.
Lubricate Sticking Drawers
Candle wax is a handy lubricant for old drawers or any furniture that has wood sliding against wood. Just rub a candle hard against the skids under the drawer. Rub the tracks inside the chest or cabinet too.
Lubricate Sticking Locks
If your lock turns hard or your key doesn’t slide in smoothly, the lock might be worn out. Then again, it may just need lubrication. Squirt a puff of powdered graphite into the keyhole. Unlike liquid lubricants, graphite won’t create sticky grime inside the lock. A tube costs about $3 at home centers.
Glass Shelves for Bathroom Storage
Decorate with Simple Stenciling
With our basic stenciling techniques, you’ll be able to create everything from a simple stenciled border to more complex patterns that will add a dramatic flourish to any room in your house. Even if you don’t consider yourself artistic, we’ll show you how to use stencils to create unique works of art using only a paint brush and a tape measure.
Rejuvenate Your Cabinets
If you’re pleased with the basic layout and function of your kitchen but want to update the look—and add a few new features—learn how to rejuvenate your cabinets here. We’ll show you how paint, new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, moldings and a few accessories can transform your kitchen. The total cost for all of the cabinet upgrades shown here was $2,100 (not including wall tile). With the average full-scale kitchen remodeling project costing more than $30,000 (and about one-third of that amount spent on cabinetry), you can see a big impact for a small cost.
Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal
There are dozens of small, inexpensive improvements you can do that add up to a dramatic upgrade. Here you’ll find a menu of ideas to consider. Also consider how much time you’re willing to invest, in terms of both undertaking the project and maintaining it afterward. Lining a walkway with bricks or installing a screen door can eat up a day, but neither requires much maintenance. Installing a flower box is quick and easy but requires regular upkeep. And keep the big picture in mind. If you’re replacing your old light fixture with a copper one, your door hardware and house numbers will probably look best in copper too. Go at it, add your own touches and have fun!
Repair Kitchen Cabinets
Tune up your kitchen cabinets and make them look and work like new. Learn quick fixes for banging, misaligned doors, sticky drawers, broken drawer boxes, and other common but annoying kitchen problems.
Install a Rock-Solid Stair Rail
If you have a loose stair rail, a weak stair rail or no rail at all, fix the problem by installing a solidly anchored railing. Would your stair rail hold up to three energetic youngsters hanging on it like this? If you’re not sure, or if you have stairways with missing rails, now’s the time to fix the problem. More accidents happen on stairways than anywhere else in the house, and a strong stair rail goes a long way toward making stairs safer and easier to use.
Convert Wood Cabinet Doors to Glass
A pair of glass cabinet doors can add a designer touch to any kitchen. They can turn an ordinary cabinet into a decorative showcase or simply break up an otherwise monotonous row of solid doors. We recommend this alteration only for frame-and-panel cabinet doors, where you can replace the inset wood panels with glass. Converting the two doors shown here took about two hours. Learn how to convert wood cabinet doors to glass here.
Organize Your Garage For Less Than $200
There are lots of ways to create more storage space in your garage, but you won’t find another system that’s as simple, inexpensive or versatile as this one. It begins with a layer of plywood fastened over drywall or bare studs. Then you just screw on a variety of hooks, hangers, shelves and baskets to suit your studs. And because you can place hard- ware wherever you want (not only at studs), you can arrange items close together to make the most of your wall space. As your needs change, you’ll appreciate the versatility of this storage wall too; just unscrew shelves or hooks to rearrange the whole system.
Add More Kitchen Storage
You can unlock hidden storage space in your kitchen by opening up the hard-to-get-at corners, nooks and crannies of your cabinets. Squeeze more space from deep base cabinets and corner cabinets and add versatile new features to old cabinets. Here you’ll find five projects that create more storage space and make existing cabinet space more accessible.
Give Your Front Door a Keyless Lock
Forget your key? Unlock your front door with a four-digit number that you simply punch into an electronic keypad. This electronic lock is easy to install; you only need a screwdriver. Learn how to install this keyless lock here.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
When it comes to energy savings, few upgrades pay off as quickly as a programmable thermostat. If you turn down the heat 5 degrees at night and 10 degrees during the day when no one is home, you’ll cut your energy bill by 5 to 20 percent. If you raise the temperature the same amount during the cooling season, your savings will be similar. You can do this with a manual thermostat, but a programmable model never forgets to turn down the heat at night and it can raise the temperature before you get out of bed in the morning. We show you how to install a programmable thermostat quickly and easily.
Install a Dimmer Switch
There’s more to changing a switch than connecting a few wires. You have to check grounding and box size for a safe, first-class job. It’s easy to install a dimmer switch, but make sure to upgrade the wiring if necessary to make it safer and meet Electrical Code requirements. We’ll show you how to assure a safe dimmer switch installation.
Add a Wireless Switch
Putting in a switch for an overhead fan, switching an outlet, or converting a two-way switch to a three-way switch can be a nightmare if you have to fish new wire through old walls and floors. With wallpapered walls and textured ceilings, it can be impossible. Until recently, the only way around the problem was to buy a clunky battery-powered transmitter/receiver.
An entirely different type of switch is available: It converts the energy of a human finger pushing a switch into a radio signal strong enough to be picked up by a receiver in a light fixture or outlet up to 150 ft. away. Only 1/2 in. thick, the switch can be mounted on walls or woodwork or even glued to glass. The receivers come in two different types—one that’s hidden inside the light box or outlet and one that plugs into the outlet.
Replace a Phone Jack
When your phone quits working or static develops on the line, your phone jack may need to be replaced. We’ll show you how to handle the phone jack wiring and replace that phone jack for less than $5.
Hang a Quilt
One good way to display a quilt is to hang it on a wall. But don’t just tack it up by the corners or it’ll stretch out of shape. Instead, use this method for hanging quilts or other decorative textiles because it distributes the weight evenly for smooth hanging and minimal stress to the fabric. The hand stitching used in this method doesn’t damage the quilt because it only goes through the backing, and it’s easy to remove when you no longer wish to display the quilt. Plus, this articles shows you hang artwork and wall-hangings straight and level.
Add a Closet Rod and Shelf
This project will save you hours of ironing and organizing. Now you can hang up your shirts and jackets as soon as they’re out of the dryer—no more wrinkled shirts at the bottom of the basket. You’ll also gain an out-of-the-way upper shelf to store all sorts of odds and ends.
Attach a Towel Bar to the Laundry Sink
Get those messy rags out of the sink and onto a towel bar so they can actually dry. Shop for an easy mounting towel bar that you can shorten if you like. We picked one up at the hardware store that had easy mounting holes right on the face of the mounting plate and a removable bar. We cut the bar with a hacksaw so it would fit nicely on the side of the sink. While you’re at the hardware store, buy stainless steel mounting bolts, washers and acorn nuts to mount the bar. We used 7/8-in. No. 8-24 bolts.
Critter-Proof Your Home
If unwanted critters are waging war on your house, it’s time to fight back. Here are some effective pest-fighting strategies. We’ll give you tips about how to close the entryways that let critters in, and also how to evict them if they manage to get past your defenses.
Stop Water Hammer
If your plumbing bangs and clangs like a truckload of scrap metal, you’ve got “water hammer.” Water develops momentum as it flows fast through pipes. When a valve closes quickly and stops the flow, that momentum shakes and pounds pipes. Water hammer arresters cure this condition with a cushion of air that absorbs the momentum. We’ll show you how to stop water hammer here.
Paint with an Airless Sprayer
An airless sprayer simplifies painting in two ways: First, if you want to speed up a job that requires several gallons of paint, you can apply it twice as fast as with a roller or brush. And second, if you want a glass-smooth finish on woodwork or doors, the airless sprayer can lay the paint on flawlessly. We show you how the machine works, good painting techniques and how to avoid mistakes.
Adjust Storm Door
If your storm door slams shut or won’t close hard enough to latch, try a few simple adjustments to make it close just right. Make adjustments to your screen door closer twice a year when you exchange the screens and glass storm panels. Move the long connecting pin into the forward hole (for winter) or rear hole (for springtime) of the closer each time you change the storms or screens. If necessary, adjust the pressure control screw on the closer as well. Learn how to adjust your storm door here.
Change Your Transmission Fluid
Extend the life of your engine by changing transmission fluid. It’s much easier by using a special pump, and you’ll save $100 in shop costs when you do it yourself. We show you what you need and how to do it.
Repair Weather Stripping
Repair torn weather stripping on car doors quickly and easily, and treat it with silicone spray to prevent winter freeze-up and further weather stripping damage. We’ll show you how to repair your cars weather stripping here.
Replace Spark Plugs Yourself
Change your spark plugs yourself to maintain peak performance and high gas mileage. In most cases it’s a simple job as long as you have the right tools. Learn how to change spark plugs. We’ll also explain when to change spark plugs.
Touch Up Scratches
Remove and repair flakes, chips, dents, dings and scratches on your car’s finish before the rust sets in. It takes just a few minutes of your time over a few days. These great auto painting tips and techniques will show you how to touch-up those little eyesores and take years off the look of your car.
Lube Your Door Locks
We don’t think much about our door locks until the key breaks off in the cylinder. Keep these delicate mechanisms moving freely with a blast of dry graphite powder. You may need to push the dust protector flap back slightly with a small metal nail file to get at the lock. A quick pump of the tube will dispense enough graphite. Move the lock cylinder with your key several times to work the graphite into the mechanism. Do this to your trunk lock as well. These simple yet small lube job tips will bring back that new-car quiet ride.
Insulate Rim Joists
In just a couple of hours, you can seal and insulate your rim joists, which are major sources of heat loss in many homes. This project will help lower your heating costs and save you money. Insulating the rim joists is one of the best things you can do to make your home more energy efficient. And it’s easy, too, so anyone can do it. Learn how to insulate your rim joists here.
Apply Heat Reducing Window Film
If you have room that gets too hot from direct sunlight, consider installing a heat control window film to keep the room cooler. These films reflect the sun’s heat and ultraviolet rays, and reduce glare without obscuring the view. The more direct sunlight coming through the window, the more the film will help (and it may lower your air-conditioning bills!). Learn how to apply the heat reducing window film here.
Protect Outdoor Furniture
If you’d like to preserve the natural wood appearance of your wood entry door or your outdoor furniture, take a lesson from boat builders. Boat builders and restorers use multiple coats of epoxy and spar varnish to protect wood—instead of spar varnish alone—because the combination is much stronger than either finish is separately. Epoxy creates a tough, flexible moisture barrier; spar varnish adds depth and UV protection, which keeps the epoxy from yellowing and eventually disintegrating.
DVD Wall Cabinet
Pull out your table saw and we’ll show you how to build a simple, sturdy wall-mount cabinet for your CDs and DVDs. Learn how to build a DVD Wall Cabinet.
Apply a Bump-Free Polyurethane Finish
Getting a smooth, blemish-free finish with oil-based polyurethane is within your grasp. Oil-based polyurethane varnish brings out the wood’s natural beauty or wood grain. Our 4-step approach shows you how to apply the varnish successfully. A good-quality natural-bristle brush, a reasonably dust-free, well ventilated space and some patience are all you need.
Drilling Through Hard Stuff
Making holes in soft materials like wood is easy. You just stick a standard drill bit in your drill and pull the trigger. But use this approach on harder materials like metal, masonry, glass or tile, and you’ll waste time, ruin drill bits and even wreck your workpiece.