Vise Protection – Most vises have sharp metal teeth on the jaws that can damage wooden workpieces. To prevent this, make two wooden saddles to slip over the throat of the vice. Cut two squares of 3/8-in. plywood, making sure each completely covers the jaws’ sharp metal teeth. Then notch each plywood piece with a jigsaw so that it fits over the throat and stands upright. Now when you tighten the vise, the plywood saddles will protect the workpiece.
Homemade Dusting Wand – Here’s how to make a simple, effective dusting wand from a wire coat hanger and cotton sock. Hold the hanger by the hook and with your other hand grab the center of the long horizontal wire at the bottom of the hanger. Pull the wire to elongate the hanger, until it somewhat resembles a diamond shape. Stretch a cotton sock over elongated hanger, spray both sides of the sock with dusting spray, and now you’ve got the perfect tool for dusting along crown molding and ceiling-fan blades, and under furniture and other tight spaces. And when the sock gets dirty, just pull it off, toss it in the laundry and grab another clean sock.
Best New Product
Some power tools have never made the leap to cordless because they simply require too much power. A battery wouldn’t power them long enough to be worthwhile. The Belt sander USED to be one of those tools but RIDGID has changed that. Their GEN5X unit has a Brushless Motor that delivers more run-time, more power, and longer motor life. So a battery makes sense. Its variable speed dial lets you match the speed of the sander with the speciﬁc application. Belt changes are easy… and the tool automatically adjusts the belt to center plate by itself. Plus you can get it in more places by adjusting the pommel up or down and the flat face allows for sanding flush to a vertical surface. And its Airguard technology collects up 90% of the dust.
You can purchase this product at The Home Depot.
Patti in TX
I was flooded during Harvey and my living room is where most of the water came in (through weep holes in a wall with windows almost to the floor). My contractor says it will not hurt to completely seal the weep holes, as there are enough holes on either side of the house at this point. The wall is approximately 25 ft across. Do you know of a good permanent filler for these holes?
Dan in IL
I have a 16×24 deck that is 15 years old. There is no flashing and I need to stop the water from coming into the house. The deck was built with the deck boards perpendicular to the house. I am removing all the deck boards to fix this problem. I am not sure how to flash it or secure the deck to the ledger board. Can you help?
Judie in LA
Can you recommend a product that can be used to repair cracks in the concrete of my driveway? Is there a do-it-yourself option?
Kelly in OK
We live in Oklahoma, where it’s very windy much of the time. The problem is that the wind creates a whistling sound at the exhaust fan in our master bathroom. And I’ve also noticed a similar noise coming from the fireplace when the wind blows out of the northwest. Do you have any suggestions on what could be causing this? I do have wind turbines on my roof and gables. Could this be causing all the whistling?
Joyce in NC
We have a beach house and want to add insulation to the crawl space because the lower level is very cold during the winter months. The crawl space is open with lattice sides. How should we tackle this, and what is the best way to anchor the moisture barrier on the ground of the crawl space so that it stays in place during the windy conditions there?
Marie in WA
A couple years ago I replaced the wall to wall carpeting in my house with click engineered hardwood. I hired a local guy to help me, but we came to a little problem in the master bedroom closet. That is where the access to the crawl space is. Previously it was covered with carpet and you just grabbed a couple hands full of carpet and lifted the piece of plywood and carpet straight up. My carpenter got the bright idea to just lay and glue the hardwood over the plywood, (marking the opening) and then plunge cut the edges. This made a nice tight hatch. However, I want to get in the crawl space, and the only way I can think of to do it is to sink a couple screws into a couple corners and lift. This is not optimal. Do you have any suggestions?
Ken in Oshawa, ON
This is is a very humid summer at our cottage. The pine tongue and groove flooring is buckling (u-shaped) in an area that was replaced a few years ago.There is no basement under the cottage. Once the humid weather is over, will the floor return to its original flat shape on its own?
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