Workbench Weekly eTip
 

Archive for February, 2010

Swap the Swing of a Refrigerator Door

Friday, February 26th, 2010

If you need to change your refrigerator door, so it opens from the right instead of the left, it’s usually not a problem. Most refrigerators have the doors hinged on the left side, but it’s often possible to reverse that.

To find out, check your owner’s manual, or simply look at the top of the fridge. If you find plastic plugs on the non-hinged side, then you can reverse the door. The process is pretty simple.

Carpet Tape

First, remove the top hinge, and then lift the upper door off its other hinge (Illustration above). Then remove the middle hinge, the lower door, and the bottom hinge. With the doors off, you can move the handles to the other side of each door. Now just remount the hinges and doors on the other side, starting at the bottom and working up.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

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Get into Sticky Situations with Carpet Tape

Friday, February 19th, 2010

If you’re not familiar with double-sided tape for your DIY and home improvement projects, you’ll want to be. Double-sided tape is just another name for carpet tape. You’ll find two types. One has a thin plastic backer, while the other has a woven backer (Photo below).

Carpet Tape

As the name implies, this tape is sticky on both faces instead of just one. That makes it perfect for temporarily holding parts together as you make or assemble them (Photos below). For that use, the plastic type works fine. The woven type is more durable and works well when you need a more permanent bond. It’s also good for adhering pieces that have rougher surfaces that the thin tape just won’t grab.

Hold parts with tape   Hold workpiece with tape

Double-sided tape works great for temporarily holding parts, like these false drawer fronts, in place while you drill holes for mounting screws.

 

Need to make multiple parts the exact same shape? Use a hardboard template and secure it to each workpiece with double-sided tape.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.11 out of 5)
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Suggestions for Splitting Cables

Friday, February 12th, 2010

If you need to split a cable line to send a cable to more than one TV set, you’ll want to put a little thought into the products you choose. You can buy inexpensive splitters for less than $10, but using one of those will cause some signal loss and result in a poor-quality picture.

Using Adhesive

Your best bet is to spend a little more and get a splitter/amplifier. You’ll find them at electronics retailers starting at about $25. With one of these, the output signals are amplified to prevent signal loss. Just plug the incoming cable into the input, and then plug in the outgoing cables. You will need to locate the amplifier near an electrical outlet, so you can power it.

By the way, if you use a cable modem, make sure you get a bi-directional amplifier. This type allows the signal to travel in and out, which is necessary for a modem to receive and send data.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Four Tips for a Garage Makeover

Friday, February 5th, 2010
Using Adhesive

Replacement garage doors are available in many different designs, so you can complement your home’s architectural style.

If you’ve decided to spruce up your garage, you’re in good company. The $1.25 billion U.S. garage and storage shed market is expected to grow 5% through 2009. Jeld-Wen, a major manufacturer of windows and doors, offers these tips:

Coordinate Styles — Architects advise unifying the design of your house and garage to improve curb appeal. Carriage House and Old World looks are especially hot for garage doors because they blend well with popular Craftsman and Mediterranean-style homes.

Go “Green” — When selecting garage doors, consider wood-composite versions. They feature facings and trim boards made of 100% recycled wood fiber. Composite doors are also energy-efficient and perform well even in extreme temperatures, resisting cracking, rotting, shrinking, and expanding.

Let There Be Light — Window inserts in garage doors allow natural light, which is important if you want to use your garage as living space, such as a workshop or play area. Natural light may also help reduce the need for lighting and electricity use, making windows an energy-conscious choice.

Clear the Clutter — Inside the garage, join the trend toward better organization. A garage can’t function as living space until all that clutter gets tamed. There are a number of effective garage storage systems available that can help provide you with additional living area.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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