2011-05-16 / Columns

The Super Handyman

Upgrade Your Garden Cart In A Snap
by Al Carrell and Kelly Carrell

Here’s a neat way to upgrade your plain old garden cart. Clean out aluminum cans and attach to the sides to hold tools, seeds, gloves and even a refreshing beverage. Use nuts and bolts, cable ties or screws to hold the cans around the edge of the cart so they will be easily accessible. You’ll find that they’ll really come in handy and will allow you to take everything you need to the worksite in one trip. You can add these to your riding lawnmower, too. Paint them to match if you want.

Dear Carrells: My home office had to be inexpensive since I was just starting my home business. I needed a large desk but had no money in the budget. I bought two inexpensive file cabinets and found an old door at a garage sale. The door was large, and I set it on top of the file cabinets to create my desk. It was perfect. It was large and very sturdy, and I still have it today, even though I use it more as a hobby table now. -- J.T.

A SUPER HINT -- Super glue is super at sticking to all sorts of things. And it’s pretty good at sticking your fingers to things, too. If this ever happens to you, just grab some nail-polish remover and use that as your solvent. It will dissolve the glue and let you be free again.

Dear Al: I don’t know what you are supposed to use to patch gutters, but I found a very easy way to do it. I had a small leak, just a pinhole, but it was a leak that was starting to cause more problems. I got a leftover tube of roofing tar and rubbed that onto the gutter hole. It seems to be holding pretty well, and there is no more rust. Boy, that was simple! -- N.M.

Q: I have a leak in one of the underground pipes in my automatic sprinkler system. The company that installed it is now out of business, and I would like to try to fix it myself. What is involved in repairing the plastic pipe? -- T.G.

A: The first step is to dig down to get to the problem. You need to have enough room to be able to saw out the leaking section. If it’s just a small section, a coupler fitting may be used to reconnect the ends. You may have to dig back a ways in order to flex the pipes to make the connection. If the problem involves a longer section of pipe, you could use two coupling units plus a section of pipe. Joining the pieces is easy to do with PVC adhesives.

A Tip From the Super HandyMom -- I would rather repair than replace a whole wooden fence. But putting new pickets beside the old ones looks really bad to me. I found a great way to “age” the boards. Mix baking soda and water, and brush the new wood with this solution. It ages it in just a few minutes. Wash it off when it is at the right stage of gray, and you’ll barely be able to tell the new pickets from the old. (This won’t work with pressuretreated wood.)

SHOPTALK -- Window films that cut down on heat gain in your home can be difficult to install and even harder to remove later on ... until now. Gila’s Energy Saving Titanium Peel and Cling Window Film stays in place by means of static cling. It dramatically cuts down on glare, incoming heat and UV rays while still allowing natural light to enter. It’s easy to install, works great and is one of the most affordable solutions on the market. It’s available at several outlets, including Home Depot. You can find out more at www.gilafilms.com.

Got a question or a handy tip? Visit our Web site at www.thesuperhandyman.com. Those of general interest will be used in future columns.

(c) 2011 Cowles Syndicate Inc. All Rights Reserved

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