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October 2007

October 30, 2007

How to build a hope chest, blanket box or tickle trunk

Tickle_trunk_2We have great downloadable PDF plans online (free!) and they're all targeted at beginners.  This crate-style blanket box is a pretty good starter project for someone who's never used a lot of tools.  Let us know how it goes.

October 29, 2007

How to make bathroom shelves

Bathroom_shelving_from_popular_wood "Shelf Help"

People have been looking for my Popular Woodworking Magazine article on bathroom shelving.  Here's the link.

You'll find detailed step-by-step instructions for this project in PDF format here.

(Or, you may have shelfish reasons for wanting something totally different for your shelf.  If so, please see this design.)

Enjoy your shelf.

How to make fake blood

How_to_make_fake_bloodJust in Time for Hallowe'en

Five cheerful recipes for fake blood, including detailed instructions on how to look like a zombie bleeding from the mouth (also a great sympathy grabber at the office).

October 28, 2007

Electric scissors don't suck anymore

Back in the days of Home Ec, our high school owned one pair of scuzzy electric scissors that chewed on fabric like a toothless dog.  Not a precision instrument.

F82b224128a066d053ab7010l Black and Decker recently developed heavy-duty cordless Power Scissors for home and garden use.  They're sharp as stink and easily cut through leather, canvas, tarpaulin, cork, cardboard and...smile if you hated Home Ec...fabric.  This is not the wimpy slipshod electric scissor of yore, this is a robust cutter with the heart of a piranha.

You get about an hour of continuous runtime out of the unit before you need to recharge.  You don't need to use any force whatsoever to carve stuff up.  If you have any problems with repetitive strain injuries or arthritis, the comfort grip and powerful little motor will be a huge relief in all your cutting endeavors.

Includes charger and 2-year warranty.   

Retail info:Black & Decker(r) Power Scissors (SZ360)

Now that Black and Decker has nailed the design of Power Scissors I hope they will turn their attention to manufacturing Power Tin Snips.   Because many of us are dramatically separated from a possible future in metalwork when we first try to use tin snips and conclude that nothing is worth that much irritation.   

October 25, 2007

Free Plans A-go-go

There are tons of web sites that offer free project plans, and they're relentless in their searches to give lots of variety to people looking for stuff to make in time for Christmas.  All of these sites link to ToolGirl, but you may not know about them.  No matter what you want to make, someone out there has a free plan for it, and you can modify the features to suit your tastes if the plan isn't quite right.

Here are some sites to get you started - categories include Indoor, Outdoor, Pets and Animals, Crafts and Toys, Boats, Metal Working, etc.  Have fun.

http://www.woodworkersworkshop.com
http://justwoodworking.com/abc.php
http://www.freewoodplans.net/index.php?cat=indoor&page=3
http://www.allwoodwork.com/freeplans/freeplanscompletelist.htm
http://www.drillbitsplus.com/free_woodworking_plans.html
http://www.woodworking.wizkids.co.uk/Plans%20Alphabetical%20b.html
http://www.woodprojects.com/freeplans.php?start=0
http://professional-power-tool-guide.com/Free-Project-Wood-Plans.htm
http://absolutelyfreeplans.com/INDOOR%20PROJECTS/indoor_projects.htm
http://www.rareplans.com/search.php
http://www.heimwerker.de/heimwerker/service-lexika/bauplan-archiv/moebel/schraenke.html
http://www.diyinfo.org/wiki/Free_DIY_Plans
http://www.woodweb.com.au/Aphabetical-Plans-Startin-t2163.html

October 24, 2007

How to Make a Coffin

Nice step-by-step instructions for making a Hallowe'en coffin.  Or build your own full-size coffin and use it as a coffee table until you're ready for it.  Great ice-breaker at dinner parties.

Powered by ScribeFire.

October 20, 2007

The Ice Dam Cometh

If you've read Mag's article (below) about preventing ice dams and need to source de-icing cables for your situation, here's one place to start while the Canadian dollar is so good.  For more detail on electric de-icing kits, plus a step-by-step installation guide, see Canadian Home Workshop Magazine's de-icing article.
Clipped from www.amazon.com
Roof De-icing Cable 200'

Roof De-icing Cable 160'

List Price: $123.74 Price: $89.99         You Save: $33.75       (27%)    

Continue reading "The Ice Dam Cometh" »

October 19, 2007

How to winterize your lawn mower

Mower Than You Know  - Watch Mag's pithy video on the subject of  lawnmower maintenance

I got a new lawnmower in April. All summer long I was as proud as a 13-year-old with her first bra.

And like all bras, which go grey with neglect and lose their elastic, lawnmowers languish in the absence of regular maintenance. So if you’re thinking of putting your lawnmower away for winter without giving that baby some love, think again.

For one thing, gasoline isn’t stable and should be used within 30 days of purchase. Otherwise it gets gummy. If you don’t drain your lawnmower of fuel now, by next April the engine will be sluggish, bordering on moribund.

Continue reading "How to winterize your lawn mower" »

October 18, 2007

Garage organization systems

According to a U.S. survey, the crud in our garages is taking up most available floor space.  Hence the average North American chucks up to $6500 worth of mostly useless stuff on the floor of the garage, while the $20,000 vehicle sits outside in the cold, rusting.   

It’s time to get our cars back into garages.  We spent more than $688 million dollars last year on garage organization and it barely made a dent. If you don’t believe me, walk down your street and count the number of houses with cars parked in the driveway. Statistics say that 50% of us can’t park in our garage. I think that number is low.

Most garages are a monument to unexploited wall space. Going vertical with storage means relief for horizontal surfaces (floors and tables). It’s breathtaking to see the litter of possessions find their place on perky wall-mounted shelving. You’ll be able to sweep again. You’ll be able to hold family reunions in the garage so the house doesn’t get wrecked.

The most durable, easy-to-install and economic garage organization option I’ve found is Rubbermaid’s FastTrack system, a rock-solid, hyper-engineered example of profound human ingenuity. Designed with heavy-duty, lifelong service in mind, each four-foot section of FastTrack rail can hold up to 1,750 pounds. If you drive a compact car, you have the option of hanging your vehicle on the wall.

Continue reading "Garage organization systems" »

October 17, 2007

How to create a dazzling loft inside a regular house

Watch Mag's video profile of Winston Abernethy, who created a modern loft dwelling within an older home.

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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie