2013-02-25 / Columns

The Super Handyman

Grab Nails Easily With A Sharpened Hammer Claw
by Al Carrell and Kelly Carrell

The hammer “claw” is called a claw because it is made to grab nail heads and pull them out. But, as your hammer ages, these claws dull. The edges, when dulled, have more trouble grabbing the nails. You can sharpen the edges of the claw with a metal file and improve your grabbing abilities. It will only take a few minutes and really helps a lot. Give it a shot and see for yourself.


Dear Al & Kelly: My wife likes to feed the birds with veggie scraps. I keep telling her that she also is feeding the local rats and other vermin. We compromised so we can both have our way. I nailed a pie tin to the top of one of our fence posts. The birds still can reach the scraps, but the other critters can’t – at least, so far. I know she likes to care for the birds, but I may have to take it down during the summer. I’m sure we’ll have it back up for next winter, though. – T.R.


A SUPER HINT – Ever get down to the end of the tube of caulk and wish you just have a couple more inches? Well, try backing the caulking gun plunger back out and placing a scrap of wood between it and the end of the tube so you can get that last inch or so out. It works!


Dear Al: I bought a heavy-duty case for my new phone. It’s shockproof – but not waterproof. I accidentally dropped it into a small pond and had to dry it out. Fortunately, it worked, and it’s still working. But now I keep it in a sealable plastic bag when I have it outside and am working in or around my pond or pool. This way, I’m protected on both counts! – H.M.


Q: We have had a problem in our home with the high ceilings making it difficult to keep the rooms comfortable when it’s really cold or really hot. Rather than rework our whole system, is there any way to help circulate the air better in homes with tall ceilings? – M.R.

A: If you don’t have ceiling fans, you could add them. They will be very helpful in moving the heated or cooled air around the rooms in a more efficient way. The only other option you would have would be to add vents to your existing system that will service these high ceilings.


Dear Kelly: I bought an old metal coffee table to go with my patio set. It didn’t match colorwise, but the style was similar. I bought some brown spray paint and painted everything the same color. Now it all is the same color and, with the new cushions, it’s almost like a whole new complete set of patio furniture. I can’t believe I almost bought new furniture this year. I think it will last at least a couple more years now. – T.Y.


SHOPTALK – If you have standard spray heads on your automatic irrigation system and would prefer more of a drip-style watering, you can exchange this standard spray head for a drip head through Rain- Bird. The Drip Emitter Conversion Kit contains everything you need to change out the head. All you have to do is unscrew the old head and put this one on. The new head has six “ports,” which you can add flexible hoses to, as well as emitters that gently drip the water out where you need it, without wasting any more water. It even comes with stakes so you can put the emitters right where you need them. We have used these in our own landscape and are thrilled with the results and ease of installation. For more information and other neat options, visit www.rainbird.com. You can see what they have to offer and find a retailer near you.

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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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