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July 2010

July 28, 2010

How to Change Your Lawnmower Blade and Otherwise Tune That Baby Up

The Mower the Merrier

Easy tune-ups for your lawnmower


It’s shocking how many times an otherwise intelligent human can cut a hose in half with a lawnmower while thinking the blade would clear it by several inches.

Please allow that oblique admission of idiocy to preface today’s topic: getting in touch with your lawnmower.

For many of us, the manual that came with the lawnmower is a manifesto of guilt.

For example, my manual says to clean the engine regularly with a soft cloth or brush, clean the underside of the mower after each use, and replace the spark plug annually.  Three things I’ve never done in 4 years. 

The manual also says to inspect the blade after striking a foreign (or domestic) object, such as a hose, toy, rock or stick. 

I’ve never inspected that blade once.  Till today.

To say that the blade didn’t look great would be like saying charred-to-a-crisp asparagus looks ‘a little wilted’. 

I put it off for years and then discovered that a blade-change takes 5 minutes.  A new blade makes cutting the lawn way nicer - the mower runs more efficiently, the grass tips aren’t brown and jagged, and the lawn looks smooth instead of tufty as a sheep.

Blade of Honour

Here’s how to change your blade fast and sassily:

Continue reading "How to Change Your Lawnmower Blade and Otherwise Tune That Baby Up" »

July 21, 2010

Jazzy Wallpaper that Disguises Lumpy Walls and Paneling

Graham & Brown is a UK-based company that has somehow made wallpaper cool again.  Here's one of their latest:  Swirly, highly-textured 'Curvy' Superfresco Paintable Wallpaper.  It covers cracks and imperfections in aging walls, and will even cover the vertical lines in paneling.  Retails for $23.99 per double roll (each roll covers about 56 square feet) at HomeDepot.ca (not an affiliate link)

Curvy cameo 2

July 15, 2010

Brazing an Aluminum Trellis

Hey this is pretty cool.  My sister Gillian and I tried brazing aluminum and made this corset-shaped trellis for the morning glories.  (We have 8 relatives here at our house for a week so I'm coming up with home improvement projects for them.  Nice hostess eh?)

Instructions to follow later this week.  


For those who want to try this...

Brazing Hussies
Welding on the cheap

My relatives have arrived from New Zealand, New York, Idaho and Massachusetts.  

So far there’s a lot of eating going on and not nearly enough drinking. I’m seriously ungood at being a hostess, so I decided we should try the unique family activity of welding aluminum without a welder. 

Continue reading "Brazing an Aluminum Trellis" »

July 02, 2010

Serious Torque for Serious Builders

This is my dream commercial.  If I were a bonehead.  Which I am.  Thanks to Steven Brown for the link.


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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