The Super Handyman
Is there anything you can’t use a bungee cord for? Sure, but the list is short! We always carry a few in the trunk of the car. To keep them from getting in the way, lost or damaged, we stretch them across the underside of the trunk lid. The metal framework along the underside of the surface has some spaces that are just right for grabbing onto with the hooks and keeping the bungees taut. They are always there and ready to tie down whatever goodies we can’t live without at the hardware store, flea market or garden center.
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Dear Carrells: I started using waterless hand cleaner when I worked on my cars. I gave that up years ago but still love the hand cleaner. I keep a pump bottle on my workbench just so I can do a fast cleanup before going back inside the house. I’ve also figured out that you can clean tools and even paintbrushes with it, too. It’s safer to use than solvents, and it does a great job. Try it. – P.T.
A SUPER HINT -- Plastic storage boxes used in the kitchen are great in the shop, too. Also, grab the kids’ old lunchboxes, pencil boxes and other castoffs to store tools and hardware in. All of these containers close tightly and protect hardware from rust and spillage, and help keep your shop better organized.
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Dear Al: Last winter, I wrapped our water heaters in protective, insulated jackets, made to save energy. It really helped. Our electric bill was slashed. I even have noticed that the bills this summer are lower. We are more comfortable in the showers, too. I’ll bet we paid for the “jackets” within a couple of months last winter and will just keep on saving. I love it! If you haven’t done this yet, do it. They make insulating jackets for almost every size and type of heater, and they really do make a difference. They also are really easy to install. – G.F.
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Q: My refrigerator has a mind of its own. It self-defrosts once a day and makes a huge mess on my kitchen floor. Why is it doing this, and what can I do to fix it? -- B.L.
A: Most defrost every day, so there’s nothing wrong with that. The leak, however, is a problem. Check to make sure the drain tube is directed at the drain tray, located under the fridge. Also, make sure the drain tray is still in the proper position to catch the drainage. Most are not firmly attached, so they can be accidentally moved while you are cleaning. Check for cracks in it, too, and replace it if you need to.
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A Tip From the Super HandyMom – It’s smart to carry a few tools in your car for roadside emergencies, even if you have assistance. One thing that’s super handy is a roll of tape. It can come in handy for lots of things. And make sure it’s reflective tape. In addition to the regular uses, you can put this on your car, a tire and even yourself, if you need to alert other drivers to your situation on the side of the road.
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SHOPTALK – It’s almost time for fall pruning, and Fiskars has come out with the Cut-and-Grab Lopper, which will make this job a whole lot easier. The patent-pending clamp design grabs the cut branch after cutting through it so you can direct its fall away from you. It’s also extra long, at 30 inches, to get the most reach from the tool. To find out more and to get some super pruning tips, go to www.fiskars.com. The Cut-and-Grab is available at garden centers and hardware stores around the country.
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Got a question or a handy tip? Visit our website at: www.thesuperhandyman.com. Those of general interest will be used in future columns.
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