Tips Tricks and Just Bad Idea's

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Nuts, Bolts and Screws

A simple trick to remember which way they tighten or loosen. When you are looking at the end you want to remove. Left is loose, Right is tight.

Duct Tape

Duct tape repairs just about anything, you can even make a boat that floats. Duct tape does not work well for metal duct work/pipes, if you what to seal the joints or repair holes in metal ducts use silver metal tape. This tape also works well for dishwasher installations, use it under the counter top at the front, it help stops moisture released as steam from swelling the partical board.

Hit the right nail

For small nails, place them between the teeth of a comb. This idea has been around for years, personally I never have a comb so it doesn't work for me. Other ideas that work, needle noses pliers. Tweezers, paper folded once, use like pliers or poke the nail through it. Our you can just use the right tool, it's called a pin or brad pusher about $10

Trimming Taped edging

Here's a simple way to trim vinyl or melamine taped edges, use a wide chisel or a block plane knife, make sure there are no dings on the back side or you will scratch the surface of your work. Hold the blade as in the picture and trim the tape. Sand the edge with fine sand paper and clean with varsol or lacquer thinner. I suggest practicing first on scrap, tipping the blade up vertically is OK, but you must keep it flat on the surface or you will dig in to the edge. Trick, sand the edge of PC before edging, and blow out the dust, you get a much nicer looking, and better bonded edge.

Clothes Dryers and lint fires

To help stop the potential for a dryer fire, try these simple steps. Clean the lint filter each time you use the dryer to provide the best results for drying your clothes, that's reasonably obvious. Not often addressed are these things. Ripped or loose lint screen, replace ASAP. Check the dryer hose in spring and fall, clean or replace. Check the outside flap for lint, make sure it closes, DO NOT use oil on the hinge this will just attract more lint, if necessary use some form of dry lubricant that does not contain graphite.

Just Plain Bad Ideas

Think W.W.1

Never !! mix Bleach with Ammonia, or bleach with any other house hold acid, like vinegar, or lemon jiuce, you get Chlorine or Chloramine (monochloramine) gas, a highly toxic organic compound. This common mistake will make you very sick or may even kill you.

Opposite reaction

Don't pull extension cords out of the wall by the cord. This lazy habit, not only damages the electrical outlet, plug end, and cord, but if your head is in the way, it may give you a nice headache. Several of my apprentices in years past can testify to that fact.

Marshmallows anyone?

Some years ago I read an "ask the editor" column from a popular how-to magazine. The question was, "how do I stop my grinder from throwing metal grindings out the back, and all over my work bench?". The answer, which was just plain stupid, was "put steel wool in the ports, (the holes in the back) this will trap the grindings in the wool, when full just discard and use a new piece." What I have always wondered about was if the family got out alive after the house went up in flames. Not to put too fine a point on this, steel wool BURNS! One or two sparks from a grinder will start it smoldering.

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