2014-03-10 / Columns

The Super Handyman

Want To Get A Handle On Your Ladder?
by Al Carrell and Kelly Carrell

Ladders can be a little awkward to handle, and if you are not careful, you might even do some damage while moving it from one place to another. If you can attach a handle to the side of the ladder, at the center, it will be much easier to pick up and move. If you keep your ladder secured with a bungee cord in your garage, then you even can use that bungee cord as your handle. Just wrap it around the side of the ladder a couple of times, and use it as a handle to carry it with. This could even free one hand to carry other supplies, if you can manage to do both without running into something (we are speaking from experience)!


Dear Carrells: I finally got my wife to help me clean out our home office. We don’t use it much anymore, so we got in there and shredded a bunch of old files and got rid of things we didn’t need. We turned it back into a guest room. We kept two of the file cabinets, but I moved another tall one to my garage. It’s lockable, so I keep my tools in the drawers. They are safer locked up, from both thieves and the grandkids. – N.T.


A SUPER HINT – Toilet plungers still are the best way to clear a toilet clog. To get a good suction seal, spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the edge where it sits in the toilet bowl. It’s quick and easy, and will last a good while.


Dear Al: I wouldn’t say wallpapering is fun, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. We used a roller to apply the wallpaper paste, as the paper we used wasn’t pre-pasted. I liked using the roller. It was fast. Last weekend, my son needed my help with a stage prop that needed to be glued. I brought the roller to use to spread the glue. They were amazed. I found out later that they had been using a paintbrush. After using the roller, I doubt they will ever use a paintbrush again! – W.C.


Q: I have a problem that I need your help with. I was going to replace my old welcome mat, and when I pulled up the old one, I found possible mildew stains on the concrete porch. What can I use to scrape this off? – B.R.

A: You should be able to get most of it off with a 50/50 mix of bleach and water. If that doesn’t do it, try TSP. Make sure you protect plants from the runoff. Let it dry completely. It’s also a good idea to apply a water seal to the concrete. This will help protect it from future stains.


A Tip From the Super HandyMom – If the wood putty you are trying to use isn’t the right color to match your project, then just sand the wood a little and mix the sawdust into it. It will make for a better color match.


SHOPTALK – We’ve all seen small screwdrivers with onboard bits, but the WORX SD SemiAutomatic Driver is the ultimate. The design makes it so easy and comfortable to use, much more so than the stick-style drivers. It has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which lasts a super-long time, even in storage. It contains a full set of Phillips slotted and square bits, which easily are loaded into position in seconds. These can be replaced if damaged, or just to customize your WORX driver for your specific needs. It even has an LED light pointed right at the work site. Check it out at www.worx.com, Lowe’s and other tool outlets. You might want a couple of these, one for inside the house and another for your toolbox.

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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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