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DIY Pallet Desk

Transforming a stack of old pallets into a sturdy new desk takes effort but the results are worth repeating.

Bob Vila Thumbs Up - Wood Pallet Projects

DIY Pallet Desk - Completed Desk

Photo: fringefocus.com

What do you get when you mix a designer with a stack of pallets? A pallet desk, apparently. Rob Loukotka, artist/designer of Fringe Focus had acquired a bunch of pallets in his workshop and decided it was time to put them to use. But it wasn’t easy. He quickly learned that pallet wood has its limitations, but with his inventive work arounds and this stylish desk’s $0 price tag, we think this project deserves a big thumbs up. Read on to see how you could make your own!

- Wood pallets
- Claw hammer
- Work gloves
- Crow bar (optional)
- Hack saw (optional)
- Jointer, planer, or table saw (choose one)
- Stain (optional)
- Wood glue
- Wood clamps
- 2x4s (for clamping)
- 1x4s (for trim)
- Miter saw
- Orbital sander
- 200-grit sandpaper
- Dust mask
- 4x4s
- Steel brackets
- Danish oil
- 0000 steel wool


DIY Pallet Desk - Ripping

Photo: fringefocus.com

Use a claw hammer and wedge it beneath the board. Slowly rock the hammer to peel the board up, but be careful not to snap the board (pallets are brittle). I suggest moving across the entire board, slowly lifting it up by fractions of an inch at different locations.

Many nails will be rusted or break—WEAR GLOVES. A crowbar helps for leverage, if you have one. If your pallet is particularly difficult, use a hack saw, jig saw, or whatever saw to detach the end points first! You lose about 1 inch on either end, but then you only have 3 nails to remove, instead of 9-10.


DIY Pallet Desk - QA

Photo: fringefocus.com

You’ll want to chuck out severely damaged boards. I found that half of my boards were very dark, and the other half were light (two different pallets). So I chose to lay out the most interesting looking boards in this stripe pattern. Yours could be a lot cleaner, I was aiming for a dirty look.


DIY Pallet Desk - Planning

Photo: fringefocus.com

Plan your desk size. I’m not gonna give exact dimensions here, because pallet furniture by nature is going to vary a lot. But I wanted a very deep and wide desk. I decided on an angled design, as that allows the edge facing me to be a tad longer. Even though the desk is 69″ wide, the edge facing me is around 76″ because it’s at an angle. This also gives a wild forced perspective look, as I’m using progressively skinnier boards as they approach the shallow side.


DIY Pallet Desk - Plane Boards

Photo: fringefocus.com

If you are lucky, your pallet boards will be exceptionally straight, blemish free, and without warps. I was not lucky. Many of the boards absolutely required jointing or planing so I could lay them flush to form a table top. But I do not own a jointer or a planer.

Solution? I ripped these boards on the table saw. Many boards I just ripped freehand or with the saw fence. It was NOT perfect, but it was much better than attempting to build a desk surface with warped boards. You could also use hand planes on the surface, but the risk of damage is high with so many hidden nails and staples in pallet stock.


DIY Pallet Desk - Stain Boards

Photo: fringefocus.com

Stain your pallet boards. Because I had half dark boardsand half light boards, I wanted to accentuate the contrast. I took all of my dark pallet wood, and applied a custom pickling stain to it. (To make your own custom pickling stain, click here for the recipe.)


DIY Pallet Desk - Glue

Photo: fringefocus.com

So it might be good to add joints & biscuits in your boards, but I just laid my pallet boards flush and glued them up. There’s a lot of surface area (and a lot of glue) so it worked. I clamped the wide boards in pairs, and I clamped the smaller boards in threes as seen above.


DIY Pallet Desk - Clamping

Photo: fringefocus.com

As I said, I chose very warped pallet boards. So without a planer I had to rely on some trickery to ensure a level table top I can actually work on. This was done by clamping (and gluing) several 2x4s on the underside of the desktop. The desk surface is flush with my workbench, but the underside has unevenness. Each 2×4 is secured with steel brackets on ANY board that was warping. Make sure you keep your clamps on until the glue is fully dry. Also, I put like 5 million screws through the 2x4s into the pallet boards for extra rigidity. Maybe overkill.


DIY Pallet Desk - Cutting to Size

Photo: fringefocus.com

Using the 2x4s as a guide, the desk top can be cut down to size. The ragged edges need to be cut flush. If you made a rectangular desk you could maybe skip this step, but since my desk has a 10 degree angle I had a lot to cut! If you have a large table saw, you could cut the entire desk top flush there. My saw and shop are simply too small, so using a handheld power saw (ideally circular saw) like a jig saw can work in a pinch.


DIY Pallet Desk - Border

Photo: fringefocus.com

Add a border to the desktop. I had some 1x4s leftover from another project, and stained them dark brown for this desk. I used a miter saw to cut the 1x4s at the appropriate angles, and wrapped this 1×4 edge around the entire perimeter of the desktop. Basically 4 boards (each a different length). 45 degree miters on the back (straight) edge, with different angles for the front edge. Glue up the 1x4s (or whatever edge you like), and clamp like crazy.

Sand the pallet desk top. I used an orbital sander with roughly 200 grit sandpaper on the entire surface of the desk. Pallet wood dust can be dangerous, so wear a mask and vacuum up all the dust.


DIY Pallet Desk - Adding Legs

Photo: fringefocus.com

Add legs to the desk!  had some 4x4s laying around, so that informed my leg choices. You could easily use steel rods, or 2x4s, or even traditional lathed legs. But I used a 4×4 in each corner, with steel brackets securing it to both the 2×4 support beams AND the 1×4 edge beams. The 4x4s are placed directly under the 2×4 supports, to ensure the weight is distributed across the whole surface. Don’t just plop your legs under the thin pallet wood. For stability, I cut 45 degree angles with the miter saw on some 4×4 braces. These braces are secured with 2″ screws.


DIY Pallet Desk - Finished Top

Photo: fringefocus.com

For finishing woodworking projects, I use Danish oil for most surfaces. I mix the Danish oil myself. (You can find the recipe for Danish oil here.) I added a final layer of brush-on (oil based) polyurethane a day after the Danish oil had dried. I applied a glossy polyurethane to the pallet desk top and edges, but NOT the legs, to give some contrast. Depending on your desired finish (and quality of your wood) you can sand the desk with 0000 steel wool between coats, or 320 grit sandpaper for the polyurethane. Let the poly cure for at least a day before use.

Thanks, Rob! To check out some of the art and design he’s crafting at his pallet desk, or to see more DIYs, visit Fringe Focus.

DIY Pallet Ottoman

Most pallet projects look like, well, pallets. But this DIY ottoman could change the way you see wood pallets for good.

Bob Vila Thumbs Up - Wood Pallet Projects

DIY Pallet Ottoman - Complete

Photo: domesticsuperhero.com

What’s made from a pallet but looks nothing like one? This DIY ottoman! Allyson at Domestic Superhero totally transformed an ordinary wood pallet into a warm home accent—and that deserves a thumbs up in our book. And for only $70, it’s a totally affordable custom piece that you can make too. Here’s how:

- Wood pallet
- Saw
- (2) sheets of plywood
- Fabric for upholstery
- Thick foam
- Batting
- (11) tufting buttons
- Power drill
- Aluminum button cover kit (optional)
- Liquid nails (optional)
- Spray adhesive
- Upholstery needle and thick string
- Brackets
- Ottoman legs
- Wood stain (optional)
- Muslin
- Scissors


DIY Ottoman Pallet

Photo: azcubed.wordpress.com

I decided I needed to make it a bit smaller. It was just a little too big for the space. I cut it down to 36 inches by 30 inches.


DIY Pallet Ottoman - Step 2

Photo: azcubed.wordpress.com

As you can see, the bottom side wasn’t totally filled in with wood, and I didn’t want any foam sinking into those gaps, or to have a hard time stapling the fabric on. So I sanded the entire pallet really well (I wanted to get off all the yuckies), and then I added plywood to the bottom side.


DIY Pallet Ottoman - Plywood

Photo: azcubed.wordpress.com

I cut the plywood into 2 sections, so I could cover the entire pallet. Then I nailed the plywood onto the base, and sanded the top of the plywood and along the outside edges.

My next step was be to upholster. Before I could do anything with the fabric, I had to go to Home Depot and have a piece of wood (thin wood, like plywood, really thin) cut to the exact measurement of the pallet. I would use this wood to put on the top of the pallet, and secure the foam, batting, and fabric to it.


DIY Pallet Ottoman - Tufts

Photo: azcubed.wordpress.com

Next I purchased thick foam (can be found at any craft store), and batting as well. I cut the foam to the exact size of the top of the pallet (I used the thin wood as an outline, since it is the same size). After this, I used the thin wood to figure out where I would put my tufting buttons. I measured everything out, and spaced 11 evenly on the board. I marked where each one would go with a sharpie, and then drilled a small hole in the wood at each point.


DIY Pallet Ottoman - Upholster

Photo: azcubed.wordpress.com

Ok, so next I layed the fabric face down on the carpet, and placed the batting on top of that. I used spray adhesive to attach the thick foam to the wood, and then placed that on top of the batting (foam down, wood should be at the very top, facing you).

For securing the buttons, I would recommend you have someone help you. Luckily I had both my mom, and my husband helping me, because I definitely could not have done this myself. You need an upholstery needle and very thick string (I used a thin cord).

I put the cord through the needle, then doubled it over, and tied a knot at the end. I tied 3-5 more knots over that knot to make a large knot that would not be able to fit through the hole I drilled into the wood. I put the needle through the wood, then poked it out the front of the fabric. Then I strung the button onto the cord, and pulled the needle back through the same hole. When the needle comes out of the hole on the wood side again, then I tied more knots around the initial knot, ensuring it would not be pulled out.

Make sure that when the needle poked through the fabric, the fabric was tight and not bunched up, and that the button is pulled to the same depth as the other buttons.

Next, I took the pallet and glued the left over foam to the sides. I didn’t want any hard edges poking out, so I thought this would help with having a softer cushion on the outside. I also put the batting on top, so there are multiple layers of cushion.


DIY Pallet Ottoman - Foam

Photo: azcubed.wordpress.com

Next, I took the pallet and glued the left over foam to the sides. I didn’t want any hard edges poking out, so I thought this would help with having a softer cushion on the outside. I also put the batting on top, so there are multiple layers of cushion.


DIY Pallet Ottoman - Legs

Photo: azcubed.wordpress.com

After this was done, I attached the brackets that would hold the legs. I stained the legs and let them dry.


DIY Pallet Ottoman - Brackets

Photo: azcubed.wordpress.com

After the brackets were screwed in (the power drill is your friend here), I used a scrap piece of muslin to cover the bottom. I didn’t want the bottom to be exposed or have the possibility of little toddler hands playing with those staples on the bottom. I used hot glue to secure it around the bottom, tucking the edge under so it wouldn’t show.

Lastly, I used a pair of scissors to poke a little hole where the leg would screw in (you don’t need a big hole), and screwed the 4 legs into the brackets.

DIY Pallet Ottoman - In Room

Photo: domesticsuperhero.com

Thanks, Allyson! To read her complete tutorial, or find even more great DIYs, check out Domestic Superhero.

DIY Pallet Bench for Kids

Want to create kids furniture that won't break the bank? Try this tot-sized DIY pallet bench!

Bob Vila Thumbs Up - Wood Pallet Projects

DIY Pallet Bench - Complete

Photo: ourthriftyideas.com

Kid-sized furniture is cute but it isn’t cheap. And kids outgrow tiny furniture quickly. So upcycling a pallet into a DIY kid’s bench is an idea that deserves a big thumbs up. This affordable project from Vanessa at Our Thrifty Ideas captures our imagination and makes us want to make a DIY pallet bench of our own. Follow her tutorial below to find out how to do just that!

- Wood pallet
- Screws
- Power drill
- Saw
- Measuring tape
- Wood stain
- Hammer


DIY Pallet Bench - Cut

Photo: ourthriftyideas.com

So, we started by cutting the pallet in half. Then, one of the half’s we cut again. So we had 3 pieces. One was 1/2 the original size, the other 2 were 1/4 the original size.


DIY Pallet Bench - Assembly

Photo: ourthriftyideas.com

Now, pull off the bottom slat from the 1/2 piece. You will need this for the seat of the bench.

Place the 1/2 piece, and one of the 1/4 pieces standing upright.


DIY Pallet Bench - Step 4

Photo: ourthriftyideas.com

Then screw the last 1/4 piece to the other pieces, with the slats lining JUST above the front legs. This will ensure that the extra slat you attach will be the same height. We didn’t like the extra gap at the back, so we cut it down a bit.

Once you screw the seat together, attach the extra slat to the front legs.


DIY Pallet Bench - Finished

Photo: ourthriftyideas.com

Now stain it, and add a cute banner if you’d like.

Thanks, Vanessa! Want more tutorials for a kid-friendly house? Visit Our Thrifty Ideas for more!

DIY Pallet Bed

See how one blogger, in only a few simple steps, turned unassuming scrap wood into a handsome DIY pallet bed that demands attention.

Bob Vila Thumbs up - Wood Pellet Projects

DIY Pallet Bed - Before and After

Photo: ashleyannphotography.com

Ah, the humble pallet. You often see them on roadside curbs or lying by dumpsters in back alleys. And while they tempt many a DIYer to salvage and repurpose them, your first impulse might not be to lay your head there. Fortunately for Ashley Ann, though, she’s lucky enough to have a friend who works at a packing company and was willing to make these pallets from sturdy, untreated boards. And once she had the pallets, a DIY day bed for the nursery was only a few simple steps away. Here’s how she created this fantastic project.

- Untreated wood pallets
- Palm sander
- Sandpaper (80-grit and 200-grit)
- 5 large caster wheels
- 4 hinges
- Thick foam


DIY Pallet Bed - Sanding

Photo: ashleyannphotography.com

Sand the pallets good and smooth.

Bolt the two together on the tops and bottoms.

Add caster wheels to all 4 corners and one in the very center (for extra strength). The wheels on mine are locked, except for the center one.


DIY Pallet Bed - Finished

Photo: ashleyannphotography.com

I used an old door to sit behind it – just because I liked how it looked. Simple enough.

Thanks, Ashley Ann! To read more of her incredible DIYs or to check out her photography, visit Ashley Ann Photography.

Bob Vila Radio: Choose the Right Saw Blade for the Task at Hand

One size does not fit all, at least when it comes to saw blades. If you're in the habit of cutting different materials, from wood to plaster to tile, working with the right blade for the job can help you get done quicker, with less labor along the way.

When it comes to using reciprocating saws, choosing the right blade can make your jobs a lot easier. Among the many reciprocating saw blade types available, these are the ones any DIYer ought to know about:

Reciprocating Saw Blades

Photo: shutterstock.com

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Listen to BOB VILA ON RECIPROCATING SAW BLADES or read the text below:

If you’re cutting through wood, you’ll get best results using a relatively coarse-tooth blade. For plaster, the coarser the tooth, the better. If you’re tackling nails or metal pipe, a fine-tooth blade—much like a hacksaw—is the best choice. Special blades are available for cutting stone or tile.  They’re essentially toothless and are coated with an abrasive grit that’s most often composed of tungsten carbide. That same blade also works well with cast iron.

The standard length for most reciprocating saw blades is six inches, but shorter and longer blades are available. If your job involves reaching the blade deep into recessed areas, you’ll want to pick up an extra long blade. Long blades are also handy for pruning trees or cutting through thick timbers used in landscaping. Be sure to have your safety glasses and gloves on before starting the job.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

Enter Bob Vila’s $3,000 Warmer Bathroom Floor Give-Away—TODAY!

Win $3,000 in radiant heating products and installation from SupplyHouse.com!

With the chilly weather settling in, getting going in the morning is always a little tougher. But with radiant heating underneath your floors, you’ll never fear the ice-cold touch of your bathroom tiles again! This month, one lucky winner will receive up to $1,500 worth of radiant heat products and $1,500 installation from SupplyHouse.com! Supply House offers multiple product and installation options, so you’re sure to find the best fit for your bathroom. Whether you’ve been considering the switch to radiant heating, or just want a warmer bathroom this winter, now’s the time to enter.


Today and every day this month (from noon EST Friday, October 31st, through 11:59 a.m. Sunday, November 30th), enter to win one $3,000 prize applicable towards a new radiant heating system from Supply House! (see Official Rules below).


Photo: corbis.com

If you win this month’s give-away, you’ll get a prize valued at up to $3,000–$1,500 for radiant heating supplies, and $1,500 in installation costs.  Install a premium radiant heating system in your bathroom, courtesy of SupplyHouse.com! Their goal is to bring you the highest quality plumbing, heating, HVAC, and electrical supplies at competitive prices. Their products include PEX plumbing supplies, radiant heat supplies, VisionPro Honeywell thermostats, taco pumps and mini-split air conditioners, and much more.

Enter Bob Vila’s $3,000 Warmer Bathroom Floor Give-Away daily to increase your odds of winning $3,000 of radiant heating and installation from SupplyHouse.

To learn more about SupplyHouse.com, their top-rated customer service, and products, click here.

The “Bob Vila’s $3,000 Warmer Floors Give-Away” is open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Void in all other geographic locations. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Contest Period for Prize runs from 12:00 p.m. (EST) EST Friday, October 31st, 2014 through 11:59 am Sunday, November 30th, 2014. One entry per household per day on BobVila.com. Alternative means of entry for Drawing is available by faxing your name and address to 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. By entering, all entrants agree to the Official Rules.

5 Things to Do with… Candy Wrappers

Looking for a reason to have yet another piece of chocolate? We'll give you five. These sweet DIYs have us reaching into the candy bowl again and again.

On the spectrum of vice, there are many things worse crimes than having a sweet tooth. Sure, doctors and dentists tell us that candy’s bad for our health. But we know of at least one good thing that results from a candy binge—the wrappers. For people who like to make things, colorful candy wrappers are wonderful, endlessly versatile challenges to creativity. Scroll down to see five snapshots in the afterlife of your favorite chocolate bars and sour treats, and who knows? You might start buying candies based on their packaging. Or if not, you’ll at least have a new reason to indulge your hunger for the sweet stuff. Yum!



Reusing Candy Wrappers - Waste Basket

Photo: tenthousandvillages.com

Hit the jackpot on Halloween? Once you’re done feasting, ride the sugar high by shaping the wrappers into links that lend themselves to many amazing creations. Here, in a stroke of delicious irony, wrappers were repurposed to make a waste basket. No appetite? Buy your basket pre-made from Ten Thousand Villages.



photo: seanebrown.wordpress.com

Take decoupage to a whole new level, following the lead of Sean Brown, whose preferred art supplies are colorful candy wrappers. The average person probably couldn’t conjure a Warhol-style Marilyn on the first try, but you might be surprised by the beauty you can bring out of things like Starbursts and Tootsie Rolls.



Reusing Candy Wrappers - Napkin Rings

Photo: replayground.blogspot.com

Transform your Halloween discards into Thanksgiving decor! To make these candy wrapper napkin rings, you need only basic crafting supplies to get started (think scissors and a glue stick). Visit RePlayGround for help mastering the origami-like technique, and soon you’ll be completing a full set for your dining room.



Photo: punkinpattern.blogspot.com

Honor your favorite candy by preserving the original condition of its wrapper along the way toward creating a small pouch. Use it as a wallet or to corral miscellaneous bits and baubles. Besides the wrapper, you’ll need some iron-on vinyl and a zipper. Head over to Punkin Pattern for the full instructions.



Reusing Candy Wrappers - Coasters

Photo: recreationsproject.wordpress.com

Coasters crafted from cardboard and bright, glimmering wrappers manage to say, “See me? Set your drink down here.” Bloggers at Re-Creations Project used foil from Quality Street, a confection company popular in the U.K. But leftovers from any foil-wrapped treat would work equally—that is to say, exceptionally—well.

Buyer’s Guide: Chainsaws

Once the province only of horror movies and lumber harvest, chainsaws are becoming more and more popular among homeowners who like to do landscaping. Read our take on the best the market has to offer.

Best Chainsaws

Photo: shutterstock.com

As much as chainsaws hold appeal for tool geeks and aspiring lumberjacks, they are also quite handy for the average homeowner, particularly those who like to do landscaping. Likewise, if you heat your home with wood, you may in fact already own a chainsaw. There are number of types and sizes on the market today, ranging from light- to heavy-duty. Choosing the best chainsaw isn’t a matter of buying the top of the line (that’d be “too much tool” for most). Making the right selection starts with an honest assessment of your needs—that is, for what purpose are you buying a chainsaw? Keep in mind its intended uses, and you can dramatically narrow down the field of options. That’s not to say power and size are the sole considerations; factors like noise and fuel type are also worth weighing. Read on to learn what distinguishes different chainsaws, so you can understand the market and choose the best chainsaw for your specific purposes.

Related Galleries

Size/Power: The size of a chainsaw hinges on its bar length—that is, the distance from the cutting tip to the housing. In effect, the bar length is the cutting area; the larger the cutting area, the larger the jobs you can confidently tackle. Bar lengths run as short as six inches or as long as 20 inches (the former would obviously weigh less than the latter). At least in gas-powered models, another measure of chainsaw power is engine displacement—that is, the engine size. A higher number indicates a more powerful engine (but here, too, recognize that the larger you go, the more weight you’ll have to lug around while you’re working).

Best Chainsaws - Cutting

Photo: shutterstock.com

Fuel Type: Quintessential chainsaws are gas-powered, but there are now many quieter, lighter—and yes, less powerful—electric models on the market. Some are corded, meaning in order to operate the tool, you must be in range of an electrical power source. Cordless chainsaws, meanwhile, run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Though most lack the brawn to take down trees, battery-powered saws are more than serviceable for many common applications.

Exhaust: While electric chainsaws obviously do not release exhaust, gas-powered models emit carbon monoxide and other pollutants. In fact, California residents are only legally permitted to use chainsaws that run in compliance with certain environmental standards set by the state.

Noise: They’re loud! That’s the most frequent complaint made against chainsaws, and with good reason. At full tilt, gas-powered models can exceed 100 decibels. And believe or not, some electric saws are just about as noisy. There are some electrics, however, which operate at about 85 decibels. So if you have neighbors close by, consider choosing one of those quieter models. No matter your choice, remember to always wear hearing protection when working with such a loud tool.

Safety Features: Chainsaws are dangerous, plain and simple. They cause thousands of injuries each year. Some of the best chainsaws feature such safety features as a trigger lock, which stops the cutting action the moment you release the trigger. Also, look for anti-kickback chains, which prevent snags and minimize jolting. Finally, there are double-acting chain brakes that protect the hand from moving toward the cutting area. Focus only on models whose design prioritizes your safety.

Accessories: A range of other miscellaneous features may be found in the chainsaw market. Some may be irrelevant to your needs, but others may provide a compelling reason to select one tool over another. Look out for side-mounted or tool-free chain tensioning, for instance; that makes it easier to adjust chain tension on the go. Also handy are see-through oil and gas tanks, self-oiling chains, and spring-assist starting. The latter reduces the pulling force needed to get the tool going—what a relief!

On electric models, built-in circuit breakers prevent the motor from burning out. Corded models need heavy-gauge weatherproof extensions and a ground fault circuit interrupter. Cordless models, meanwhile, are most convenient when they come with an extended-life battery (or an extra).

To help take some of the guesswork out of the shopping process, we’ve identified a few of the top-rated chainsaws available today. These recommendations are based on the criteria listed above, on ratings by leading consumer testing sites, and on reviews written by actual people. Check out the best chainsaws:


Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Chain Saw

Best Chainsaws - Husqvarna

Photo: amazon.com

The Husqvarna 450 was rated by Consumer Search as the best chainsaw among gas-powered models. Amazon shoppers give it 4.2 out of 5 stars, reserving praise for its power and ease of use. Reviewers say it’s “easy to use,” “quiet,” and “powerful,” cutting through hardwood “like a knife through butter.” The Husqvarna 450 offers a Smart Start feature and is CARB-compliant. The unit has a 50.2 cc motor powers and a 20-inch bar. Other features include a Low Vib vibration dampening system; combined choke/stop control; a centrifugal air cleaning system; chain brake; and snap-lock cylinder cover. Price: $357


Black & Decker LP1000 Alligator Lopper 4.5 Amp Electric Chain Saw

Best Chainsaws - Alligator

Photo: amazon.com

The electric-powered Alligator Lopper excels at cutting branches up to four inches in diameter. For that reason, Amazon shoppers gave it 4.7 out of 5 stars. One reviewer calls it his “new favorite tool.” Another says it’s “ideal for 99% of the cutting I need to do.” With a 4.5 amp motor powering a six-inch bar, the Lopper boasts powerful clamping jaws that grab and cut in one easy motion. Plus, metal guards protect the cutting chain, allowing for safe use. Price: $79


GreenWorks 20322 DigiPro G-MAX 40V Li-Ion 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw

Best Chainsaws - Greenworks

Photo: amazon.com

Designated the best cordless unit, receiving 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, shoppers praised the Greenworks G-MAX as “comparable to gas-powered chainsaws” in power and importantly, “easy to use.” Powered by an interchangeable 40-volt lithium-ion battery system, the chainsaw delivers higher performance and a longer run time than other cordless options, with a single charge allowing for up to 100 cuts. Additional features include a 16-inch bar length, auto-oiler lubrication system, chain brake, and low-kickback chain for safety. Price: $194

Bob Vila’s $3,000 Warmer Bathroom Floor Give-Away Official Rules

Bob Vila’s “Warmer Floors Give-Away” (the “Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by BobVila.com, LLC, Post Office Box 835, West Barnstable, MA 02668 (“Sponsor”).


Open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Void in all other geographic locations. Employees of Sponsor and its respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies and any other entity involved in the development or administration of this Sweepstakes, and their immediate family members or household members are not eligible to participate in or win the Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any person who fails to meet the eligibility requirements or any person it determines, in its sole discretion, to be sufficiently connected with the Sweepstakes such that such person’s participation could create the appearance of impropriety. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means are void, and Sponsor expressly reserves the right to disqualify any entries that it believes in good faith are generated by an automated program or via scripts. Entries that are determined, in the sole discretion of the Sponsor to constitute advertisements, commercial messages, or “spam” will be disqualified and deleted. Void where prohibited by law. All applicable federal, state and local laws apply. No purchase is necessary to participate in the Sweepstakes. You may enter any given Drawing one (1) time per household per day by visiting the BOB VILA website at http://www.bobvila.com and submit your name and email address using the online “$3,000 Warmer Bathroom Floor Give-Away” submission form.

Each entry submitted in response to a Drawing and in accordance with the Official Rules will constitute an official entry. Duplicate entries submitted through either method within one day will be deemed void.

If you do not have internet access, alternative means of entry for each Drawing is available by faxing your name, address and phone number to the Sponsor at 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. One (1) alternative entry per household per day. Any additional entries submitted via fax within one day will be deemed void.

Entries received after the end of the Sweepstakes Period will be deemed void. Normal time, toll, connection and usage rates, if any, charged by your Internet service provider will apply. All entries become the property of the Sponsor. By entering any Drawing during the Sweepstakes, you will be agreeing that any information collected in connection with the Sweepstakes may be used by Sponsor in accordance with BobVila.com, LLC’s Privacy Policy, a current copy of which can be found here. By participating, all entrants agree to abide by these Official Rules.

At the end of the Entry Period, there will be one (1) drawing in which one (1) potential winner (“Winner”) shall be selected from all eligible entries received for each prize available during that Entry Period by employees or representatives of the Sponsor to receive the prize designated for the Drawing for that Entry Period. Each winning entry will be chosen at random. The number of eligible entries received during the Entry Period for a Drawing determines the odds of winning for that Drawing. The Sweepstakes will be conducted under the supervision of the Sponsor. If the Winner is determined to be ineligible, forfeits or does not claim the prize, the prize will be re-awarded, in Sponsor’s sole discretion based on a subsequent drawing from the pool of eligible entries. Other restrictions may apply. Decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding with respect to all matters related to the Sweepstakes. All prizes (or in the event of a lost, misdirected, or otherwise unavailable prize, a prize of equivalent value) will be awarded. In no event shall the Sponsor be obligated to award more prizes than the number of prizes stated in these Official Rules. Winners shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of their prize. To receive a complete list of winners or a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Prize Fulfillment, BobVila.com, LLC, PO Box 835 Barnstable, MA 02668. Specify winner’s list or rules on your request.

The Winners will be notified by email, or in the case of alternate entry, by phone; Sponsor reserves the right to determine the method of notification. Winners must claim their respective prize within twenty-four (24) hours after the date of notification of their prize. A Winner’s failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified twenty-four (24) hours will be considered such Winner’s forfeiture of the prize and an alternate Winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate Winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries. Sponsor reserves the right to ship prizes directly to the mailing and/or email address (as applicable) provided by Winners during their entry to the Drawings.

The prize for the Drawing during the Sweepstakes Period shall be up to $1,500 worth of radiant heating supplies and up to $1,500 in installation costs for those products. Gift cards are subject to any and all restrictions stated thereon. No transfer, substitution or cash redemption will be awarded in lieu of Prize. Limit one prize per entrant. Prizes shall be delivered within 30 days from end of the Sweepstakes Period.

An entrant or winner may be disqualified from the Sweepstakes, and his or her entry may be deleted, if he or she fails to comply with each provision of these Official Rules, as determined in the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Participation in the Sweepstakes is at entrant’s own risk. Sponsor shall not be liable for (1) failed, returned or misdirected notifications based on inaccurate information provided by the winner on the Drawings entry forms, (2) entries and responses to winner notifications which are lost, late, incomplete, illegible, unintelligible, postage-due, misdirected, damaged or otherwise not received by the intended recipient in whole or in part or for computer or technical error of any kind, (3) any electronic miscommunications or failures, technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions which may limit an entrant’s ability to participate in part or wholly in the Sweepstakes, (4) any technical malfunctions of the telephone network, computer on-line system, computer equipment, software, program malfunctions or other failures, delayed computer transactions or network connections that are human, mechanical or technical in nature, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from downloading any part of this Sweepstakes or (5) any warranty of fitness or merchantability of any prize or the function or operation thereof, which shall be the sole responsibility of the manufacturer of the prize. Sponsor does not make any, and hereby disclaims any and all, representations or warranties of any kind regarding any prize. Unless prohibited by applicable law, your entry constitutes your permission to use your name, photograph, likeness, voice, address (city and state) and testimonials in all media, in perpetuity, in any manner Sponsor deems appropriate for publicity purposes without any further compensation to such entrant.

By entering or accepting a prize in the Sweepstakes, Winners agree to be bound by these Official Rules and to conform to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. When applicable, the Winner (or, if the Winner is a minor, the Winner’s parent or legal guardian) may be required to execute and return to Sponsor within three (3) business days an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability and Publicity Release and relevant tax forms to be eligible for the prize or an alternate winner may be selected. Winner may be required to furnish proof of identity, address and birth date in order to receive a prize.

By entering, an entrant agrees to indemnify, release and hold harmless Sponsor and each of its respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliated entities, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any damage, injury, death, loss, claim, action, demand, or other liability (collectively, “Claims”) that may arise from their acceptance, possession and/or use of any prize or their participation in the Sweepstakes, or from any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, regardless of whether such Claims, or knowledge of the facts constituting such Claims, exist at the time of entry or arise at any time thereafter. Released Parties are not responsible or liable to any entrant or to any Winner or any person claiming through such Winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action, regulation, order or request by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action, regulations, order or request proves to be invalid), equipment failure, threatened terrorist acts, terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond the Released Parties’ sole control. The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing, electronic or human errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (2) viruses or technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications or entry information, any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, failures or technical malfunction of any computer online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, software, email, players or browsers, whether on account of technical problems, traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or on account of any combination of the foregoing; (3) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (4) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (5) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries; (6) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use or misuse of any prize; or (7) late, lost, misdirected, illegible, incomplete or mutilated entries or for theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of entries. These indemnification and release provisions shall survive expiration of the Sweepstakes.

Persons found tampering with, abusing, or otherwise disrupting any aspect of this Sweepstakes, or otherwise attempting to defraud Sponsor, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and their entries will be deleted. If disqualified, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the entrant’s eligibility to further participate in this Sweepstakes and future promotions and sweepstakes of Sponsor or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. Any attempt by an entrant or any other individual to undermine the legitimate operation of this Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

This Sweepstakes is strictly for promotional and entertainment purposes and may not be used in connection with any form of gambling. In the event this Sweepstakes is challenged by any legal or regulatory authority, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the Sweepstakes, or to disqualify entrants residing in the affected geographic areas. In such event, the Sponsor shall have no liability to any entrants who are disqualified due to such an action. Sponsor reserves the right to modify these Official Rules in any way or at any time. Sponsor reserves the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel or suspend this Sweepstakes should viruses, bugs or other causes beyond their control corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Sweepstakes. In the event any portion of this Sweepstakes is compromised by any non-authorized human intervention, actions of entrants, or other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, corrupt or impair the integrity, administration, security, or operation of this Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to suspend, modify, abbreviate or terminate the Sweepstakes without further obligation. If Sponsor elects to abbreviate the Sweepstakes, Winner(s) will be determined from all eligible entries received for Drawing(s) prior to the action or compromise giving rise to the suspension or termination of this Sweepstakes. In the event of cancellation, abbreviation or suspension, Sponsor shall promptly post a notice on the Sweepstakes entry page to such effect.

This Sweepstakes shall be governed by New York law. By participating in this Sweepstakes entrants agree that New York courts shall have jurisdiction over any dispute or litigation arising from or relating to this Sweepstakes and that venue shall be only in New York City, New York. The failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any part of these Official Rules is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, that part will be enforced to the maximum extent permitted by law, and the remainder of these Official Rules will remain fully in force.

How To: Get Rid of Mildew Smell

What's that smell? The musty odor on towels, tile, and basement walls can be a sign you have a mildew problem. Don't worry: With a few simple pantry items, you can completely eliminate the odor and stymy future mold growth. Here's how.

How to Get Rid of Mildew Smell

Photo: shutterstock.com

Among household odors, mildew undoubtedly ranks among the worst. And unfortunately, it’s all too common, lurking in the dark, damp corners of your home. If you were looking for a quick fix, there isn’t one. The smell of mildew can literally develop overnight, especially during periods of damp and humid weather. Getting rid of that smell—and making sure it doesn’t return—is an ongoing effort. But luckily, it’s not a particularly difficult effort: You can get rid of that mildew smell pretty easily, using only items found in most pantries, so long as you can identify the source of the odor. That’s the tough part. The rest? Persistence.

Search and Destroy
Sniff around. The first step in getting rid of a mildew smell is to locate the source of the problem. Remove impediments to your search. In the bathroom, that means taking down the shower curtain and temporarily relocating toiletries that would obscure your view of the likeliest breeding grounds (e.g., grout lines or tub caulking). In the basement, pack up old newspapers, cardboard boxes, and any other disposables. Focus your attention on surfaces vulnerable to moisture.

How to Get Rid of Mildew Smell - Mold Detail

Photo: shutterstock.com

The Beauty of Bleach
If you’re successfully able to isolate the mildewed area, that means you can spot-treat it without going through the effort of cleaning the whole room. However, if you’ve searched high and low but cannot find any obvious mildew growth, cover all your bases by giving the entire space a once-over. In a large bucket, mix one part bleach to four parts water. Scrub the walls and floors with the homemade mildew killer you’ve concocted, being sure to rinse away all bleach residue once you’ve finished the job.

Freshen Fabrics
Scrubbing the walls and floors isn’t necessarily going to cut it, though. It’s not uncommon for the smell of mildew to emanate from fabrics, such as towels, and from other personal belongings (e.g., sneakers). Can the mildewy item be placed in the washing machine? If so, soak it in all-fabric bleach for about 30 minutes. After rinsing it off, run it through the washer as you would a normal load of laundry.

And Don’t Come Back!
Of course, the best way to get rid of a mildew smell is to prevent it from developing it in the first place. An arsenal of tools can help you keep your spaces dry and clean and mildew-free:

• Install dehumidifiers in problem areas; with the humidity level low, mildew cannot grow.

Ceiling fans help keep areas dry and are at home mildew-prone areas like the kitchen and laundry.

Odor absorbers like baking soda, charcoal briquettes, and kitty litter are all effective in keeping mildew at bay. Fill a large container about halfway with your chosen deodorizer and leave it to work its magic in whichever rooms you’ve been encountering issues with mildew. Replace every month or so.

With regular attention and the occasional use of a few household staples, you can get rid of that mildew smell you hate so much, along with the hazardous, unhealthy mold those smells belong to.