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- Tips on Home Improvement

Wallpapering reading the tip about how to stop the brush falling in the can i thought i would give you my tip. Tie a piece of string through the middle of the can from handle base to handle base so that it is across the can through the middle. This way you can place the handle on the side of the can and rest the brushes on the string support you have just made. -- Declan Keegan - Kent, England 

No film on the Surface of Paint. I find that if you store partially empty paint cans upside down...the film that inevitably forms on the surface of the paint is then on the bottom when the paint is used again, making it much easier to keep film particles off of your finished project. -- Shelia R. Heidel

Scratches.  wrap  your pliers with electrical tape to avoid scratches -- "Sacknoff"

Drilling Tip  Organization:  when drilling brick/masonry around the home, stick a sandwich bag just under the hole with masking tape to the lip of the wall side only, to catch all the dust. -- "Mike Healey"

Avoid electric shocks: Accidentally drilling into an electrical cable when drilling a hole in a wall can be a shocking experience. Do not drill immediately above or below an electrical socket. You can buy a small device to identify cables carrying power - Ennis Bryant

Long Paint Brush Tip. I need to paint the corners of a high ceiling where they meet to the wall & haven't a long enough paint brush, so I obtained a piece of copper plumbing pipe & rammed into the end of the paint brush & drilled a small hole through the pipe & secured it to the paint brush with a small screw I now have a long paint brush. Regards -- Len Crawley

Magnetize your screwdrivers; screws are better retained and the screwdriver can be used to pick up screws dropped inside equipment. Simply draw a magnet along the length of the screwdriver a few times -- Bill Walker 

Got a screw loose? -- If a woodscrew becomes loose use a piece of steel wool poked into the hole.-- Ron Agnew -- NYC USA

When painting and decorating put old socks over the ends of the ladder -- Vanessa Echols

Socks can protect a fluorescent strip light during storage -- Ed

Plastering. I find that plaster will set much quicker when I use warm water to make it. -- Barry Taylor London Ontario

Sawing. To stop plywood splitting when I saw it I lay masking tape on the area I am about to cut. -- P.B., Atlanta.

Subject Nailing Wood  If you have to nail a piece of wood close to the cut end turn the nail up and hit the point a couple of times to flatten it slightly, I don't know how it works - but it works -- Chris Braginton. Dorset, England 

Hinges: Use Vaseline rather than oil as it will not run and dirty the paintwork. – Anon

Windows. To stop birds from eating freshly set window putty I find that some black pepper mixed into it does the trick. I store unused putty wrapped up in foil and in a tub so it lasts longer as well. -- N.T.K. Shaw

Paint Drips :A piece of string tied across the top of a paint tin can support the wet brush and it can also be used to wipe off excess paint - - Dave Edwardes

Safety

Electrics Always use a qualified electrician for any electrical work. Not a DIY subject. -- "Dawn Parsons"   

Building sites can be very dangerous places. Never allow your children loose on one. Holes in the ground are to be avoided. The teenage son of a friend of ours was found buried up to his neck when an excavation collapsed. Fortunately he survived almost unhurt - - Sam Catkin - Denver - Colorado

Use RCDs or Residual Current Devices when using dangerous appliances such as lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, drills and sanders. These cut off the mains electricity connection when a cable or flex is cut, or an electrical tool malfunctions, reducing the risk of electrocution. -- Kevin Albertson

Ladders: The ladder rule is - the foot of the ladder should be one measure out for every four measures in height. Ladders should be placed on a firm level surface, and the top should be resting on something solid, and not on guttering or a window-sill.

Scaffolding: Scaffolding towers must be erected on firm ground. If the tower is more than 3.25 meters high for a 1.3 meter square base it must be tied to the building. -- Anon

Screws

Loosening rusted screws, soak overnight in lemon juice. A tissue wrapped round the area keeps the juice where it can do its work - - Dave Edwardes

The bag of silica gel that you get with your next consumer electronics purchase should not be thrown out. Put it in your tool box and keep them shiny -- Andy Baxter London England

Rusty Bolts. When trying to free bolts that had gone rusty I found that a drop of Coca-Cola helped loosen them. I had to try it a couple of times, but the phosphoric acid in it ate away a lot of the rust, letting me get it off once it had dried. -- Bill Walker New Mexico.

Rusty Bolts: If you are trying to remove a very rusty bolt, and you don't have wd-40 or anything like that to loosen it, then you can use Tabasco sauce. Just shake a small amount on the bolt and wait for a few minutes then you should have no problem taking it off. --  Gerry

Rusty Screws. If you are trying to remove a very rusty screw, use the tip of a very holt soldering iron to heat the head of the screw. The heat should expand the screw head and loosen the rust. -- Andy Baxter, London England

Stuck Screws. If a screw was too tight and the slot gets ruined don't worry, because there is a little trick to rectify this. If the screw head is above the surface use a junior hacksaw blade to cut a new groove. -- J.R. Tippins, Springfield.

Glass jars with metal screw tops make excellent storage for screws and other small parts. Drill a hole in the top and screw it to the underside of a shelf, the jar is then screwed up in to the lid, Voila! -- Davie D,

Nails

Try not to run a line of nails along the same wood grain, otherwise the wood could split. -- Anon.

If you have to then I suggest that you drill several guide holes in advance -- Ed

To stop nails from splitting wood drill a small guide hole beforehand. -- H Corbett

Wallpapering

Stripping Wallpaper. Don't bother using expensive stripping agents, I find that using a small amount of wallpaper paste mixed with warm water, and a bit of washing-up liquid works just as well. Soak the paper in this for a while, the washing-up liquid acts as a wetting agent, and the paste holds it in place. -- A Kaviani

Wallpapering: An angled nail in the end of the paste brush will stop it falling all the way in to the paste can -- Ian Richards

When papering over old wallpaper, I find that I have to add varnish or lacquer over any greasy spots to stop them coming through to the new paper. -- S Clarke

If you need to apply a patch of wallpaper, tear the paper rather than cutting it. The join will be much less noticeable that way -- Sam Clark London England. Feb 99

Drills and Drilling

Drilling. To help judge how deep you are drilling I find that you can mark the drill bit so that the exposed part is the size of the desired depth of hole. You can mark the drill with pen or crayon, or use a bit of masking tape. -- Jim McIlroy Yardley-Gobion England

If you are drilling ceramic tiles or other glazed surfaces I find that it is best to mark the spot to be drilled with clear adhesive tape. This helps hold the drill in place. Never use a hammer action drill. -- Robert H Fahey, Ohio

Drilling. When drilling masonry always withdraw the tip every 5 seconds or so to stop it overheating. If you don't keep the tip cool it damages the drill. -- Mat Hyde, Georgia.

It is even better if you can squirt water in the hole. The water actually helps the drilling process -- Webmaster

Drilling sheet glass/mirrors
Mark your spot with a felt tip, then make a small well from putty over the marked spot. Fill this well with a touch of light oil. Drill slowly using a carbide tipped drill bit. The oil keeps the drill bit cool and makes the job that little bit easier. If you are drilling through glazed tiles it helps if you use a masonry nail to score the point of drilling. The bit will not slip off the glazed surface. Finally, if you have drilled a hole through a glazed tile and inserted a rawlplug, make sure the plug passes through the tile before you insert the screw. This way the tile will not crack. Happy DIYing -- Alan Brighton"

If you are drilling ceramic tiles or other glazed surfaces I find that it is best to mark the spot to be drilled with clear adhesive tape. This helps hold the drill in place. Never use a hammer action drill. -- Robert H Fahey

Plumbing Make sure you turn the water off at source before attempting to clear a blocked tap by taking it apart. -- Adam Le Gresley

Links:
www.paintquality.co.uk  - Free information Website with everything you need to know about paint 
www.steelbuildingguide.com - The resource to help you research your steel building project online. Learn the difference between a bar joist and a purlin.

Some more useful sites.
Make Magazine, DIY Life, Readymade, Instructables, Lifehacker, DIY Network ,

 

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