Workbench Weekly eTip
 

Archive for March, 2011

Tie Down Loose Cables

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Rather than stapling off every single loose TV or audio cable on floor joists, you can keep things cleaner by just driving one staple every 12" or so. Then use inexpensive cable ties to corral all those cords and cables at once.

Tie Down Loose Cables

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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An Open and Shut Case for Restoring Window Weights

Friday, March 18th, 2011

If your house has old wood windows that slam shut, they are probably missing the weights. Weights were used for many years to counterbalance the sash and hold the window open. They’re connected to cords that attach to the edges of the sash. The cords can break, but luckily they’re designed to be easily fixed.

Window Weights

On most windows, you can get to the weights through access panels located on the side jambs (Illustration). To reach the panels, you first have to remove the sash and the stops that hold the sash in place. Use a utility knife if necessary to cut through the paint or finish where the inner stops meet the jambs, and carefully pry the stops free. This allows access to the weights for both the upper and lower sash.

Remove the sash from the jamb. Now you can get to the access panels. Remove the screw holding the panel, pull it out, and take out the weight.

Then cut a new sash cord using the old, broken one as a guide for the length. Fish the cord over the pulley, and tie it to the weight. Finally, knot the other end, and attach it to the edge of the window sash.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Painless Nailing

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Here’s a pain-free way to start a small nail: just poke it through a piece of cardboard first. Then, after getting the nail started, you can rip the cardboard free from the nail.

TONGUE-AND-GROOVE PLIERS

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
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Get a Grip

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Tools don’t get much simpler — or much more indispensable — than pliers. But even this basic tool has more variations than you might imagine. Here are a few of our favorite types.

TONGUE-AND-GROOVE PLIERS
TONGUE-AND-GROOVE PLIERS
Nuts and bolts, big or small, these pliers can grab them all. That’s thanks to the
multiple grooves on one jaw that accept a tongue on the other jaw. Just open up the pliers, adjust them to the size you need, and then tighten them down on your workpiece.
ELECTRICIAN’S PLIERS
ELECTRICIAN’S PLIERS
You can strip, cut, and crimp wires with ease, or even cut the small bolts that hold outlets in place with these handy pliers.
LOCKING PLIERS
LOCKING PLIERS
Locking pliers might be one of the best inventions ever, with adjustable jaws that grip on and don’t let go until you say so.
NEEDLE-NOSE PLIERS
NEEDLE-NOSE PLIERS
You just can’t beat these long, slender jaws for reaching into tight spots or gripping small objects. And they’ll even cut wire.
SLIP-JOINT PLIERS
SLIP-JOINT PLIERS
The most basic but still the most useful of all pliers, with two-position jaws that easily grab onto small- and medium-sized objects.
LINEMAN’S PLIERS
LINEMAN’S PLIERS
These rugged pliers have wide, flat jaws for twisting wires, and a big side-cutter blade for nipping those wires to length.
CLAMPING PLIERS
CLAMPING PLIERS
With wide jaws and smooth, pivoting pads, this is the tool to choose when you need to hold workpieces together but want more capacity than standard locking pliers.

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)
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