Workbench Weekly eTip
 

Archive for March, 2010

The Five-Second, Ten-Cent Shop-Vac Upgrade

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The wide (14″) nozzle is arguably the most-used attachment on many shop vacuums. Its extra width makes it helpful for cleaning up piles of sawdust and other messes on the garage or shop floor.

Yet for all the use it gets, it seems the nozzle often spends more time pushing messes around than sucking them up. That’s because older models of the nozzle produce tight suction against flat concrete floors, which makes them stick in places and prevents them from removing debris properly.

Newer models have changed the design to work more effectively, but even these have a tendency to wear down and develop the same problem over time.

Shop Vac

Add Cable Ties — Luckily, we came up with a 10-cent solution to this dilemma that takes about five seconds to implement. He just puts two plastic cable ties around the nozzle, one on either side, and pulls them tight (Photo above).

Cable Ties

The cable ties create a 116” gap between the floor and the nozzle. And that 116” is enough of a difference that the nozzle now sucks up messes effectively (Photo above) instead of pushing them around.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (20 votes, average: 4.65 out of 5)
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Easy Trick to Tame a Self-Closing Door

Friday, March 19th, 2010
Nail Pops

A door that slowly swings shut on its own can often be stopped with a simple trick: Start by removing the pin from one of the hinges. Place the hinge on a hard surface, such as a concrete floor, and then strike it with a hammer hard enough to put a gentle bend in the pin. When you reinsert the pin into the hinge, the bend will cause the hinge to bind slightly, which is usually enough to stop the door from swinging shut on its own.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 3.80 out of 5)
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A Simpler Way to Install Crown Molding

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Nail Pops

Installing crown molding can be complicated, especially when you have to cut pieces of molding where they meet in the corners. To make the job easier, you should check out “miter-less” crown molding. It uses blocks that fit into the corners. You just install the blocks and then cut the crown molding to fit in between.

You’ll find miter-less molding that’s made from solid wood. But if you plan to paint, consider synthetic molding, such as the one at right from Fypon (Fypon.com). Synthetics are very easy to cut. Plus they’re lightweight, so you can use adhesive to install them instead of nails.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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Put a Stop to Nailhead Pops

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Nail Pops

As a home settles, the wood studs it’s built from sometimes shift around. One unfortunate result of this is “popped nailheads” — nails that actually push through the finished surface of the drywall and form bulges, as shown in the Photo.

Smooth Things Over — Popped nailheads are common, but they’re also easy to fix. Here’s how:

3 Steps to fix nail pops

Step 1: Carve away the dried joint compound over the nailhead. Then set the nail, so it rests beneath the surface of the drywall.

Step 2: To prevent the nail from pushing through again, fasten the drywall by driving a screw a few inches from the nail.

Step 3: Fill both holes with joint compound.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 2.20 out of 5)
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