Category: Tools & Workshop


Buyer’s Guide: Pressure Washers

Want to rid your outdoor items of built-up dirt and grime? Take a gleaming glimpse of the best clean machines on the market today.

SHARES
Best Pressure Washer - What to Look for in a New Pressure Washer

Photo: istockphoto.com

Nothing says “clean” like a great pressure washing! Everything from decks and driveways to patio furniture and window shutters collect dust, dirt, and the occasional dollop of bird poop, growing grimier by the day. But a good pressure washing can spray away weeks, months, even years of buildup. Read on for a breakdown of the types of pressure washers and the features they offer to determine which is best for you. Then peruse a few highly rated models to help you get the most blast for your buck.

Gauge gas versus electric. If you’ve got large areas to cover—think pool decks, patios, and tall exterior walls—and want as much mobility and power as possible, a gas-powered pressure washer is your best bet. These models don’t tether you to an outlet, so you can really move around, plus higher pressure that stretches farther to get the job done fast. For smaller, simpler chores like cleaning outdoor furniture, the family car, or just a few feet of exterior space, electric pressure washers are just the ticket. Generally quieter and lighter than their gas-powered counterparts, these plug-ins don’t offer quite as much mobility, but if you buy one that’s extension-cord compatible (not all models are), you can stretch the perimeter of the job without having to switch to a new outlet every few meters. Just be sure to keep the socket and plug—not to mention your hands—completely dry when connecting and disconnecting the cord.

Pick your power setting. Pressure washers come in a variety of settings. Those rated below 2000 pounds per square inch (PSI) are considered light-duty and work best on the small stuff like patio furniture and cars. Medium-duty pressure washers (between 2000 and 2800 PSI) have a little more oomph, and from 2900 to 3300 PSI, you’ll find heavy-duty models perfect for large driveways and high walls, as well as exterior paint job prep. At the top of the spectrum, extra heavy-duty pressure washers top out over 3300 PSl; they’re considered professional grade and have a steeper sticker price. If you’ll be doing a variety of cleaning jobs, consider a multi-duty model, which lets you adjust the pressure, tailoring it to the task at hand.

Feel the force. Another feature to consider is how many gallons per minute (GPM) a pressure washer expels. In consumer-grade washers, the flow rating tends to run between 1.0 and 4.0 GPM. Generally speaking, higher numbers result in faster, easier cleanups. So if you’re dealing with truly stubborn mud, crud, or gunk, let the force be with your and opt for a higher GPM.

POWERFUL PICKS

Keeping these key considerations in mind, you’re ready to clean up with a winner! Here are three top-rated models.

Best Power Washer - Ryobi RY80940 Power Washer

Photo: homedepot.com

Ryobi RY80940 ($399)
Powered by a Honda gasoline engine, this moderately priced model packs a punch—3100 PSI and a GPM of 2.5, to be exact—and its 25-foot flexible spray hose can direct that super soaking anywhere in need of a quick clean. Thanks to its Idle Down Technology, the machine operates up to 40 percent quieter than its competition, not to mention on less fuel. It even received high praise from Popular Mechanics, which called this gas-powered pressure washer a close second—”nearly identical”—to the now discontinued model that the publication ranked best overall pressure washer. Available from Home Depot.

Best Power Washer - NorthStar 1573021 Pressure Washer

Photo: amazon.com

NorthStar 1573021 ($870)
Consumer Reports rated this electric model a 73 out of 100, giving it the distinction of being the highest pressure washer recommendation on the site. Made with an industrial-class pump, easy connections at the wand and pump, and hardy construction, the heavy-duty 112-pound washer has an ergonomically designed spray shaft that makes it a pleasure to use. While it requires a 240V receptacle, which might require some special installation if you don’t already have one in your yard, its hard to beat the high pressure, solid flow, easy operation, and general effectiveness. Available on Amazon.

Best Power Washer - AR Blue Clean AR383 Pressure Washer

Photo: amazon.com

AR Blue Clean AR383 ($141)
This 1900 PSI, 1.5 GPM washer is a great choice for smaller cleaning projects, and is super affordable too. One of the most popular models on Amazon, this electric option has earned a four-star rating through more than 2,700 user reviews. It’s environmentally conscious, too, delivering an 80 percent water savings over an average garden hose. With a 20-foot hose and a 30-foot power cord, it offers decent mobility, and weighing in at just 27 pounds, it’s no big deal to tote it if you have to. Available on Amazon.

Now that you’ve got a handle on features and functions, you’ll be able to clean like a demon in no time. Power up!


Cool Tools: Get a Mess-Free Bead of Caulk Every Time

Has worn-out caulk around the tile, tub, or sink left you—and your home—feeling exposed? Remove and reapply caulk with ease using this dynamic duo from Hyde Tools!

SHARES
How to Remove and Apply Caulk Around a Sink

Photo: istockphoto.com

Whether you’re filling cracks along the kitchen sink or closing up gaps around a drafty window frame, you can count on caulk to seal the deal. But despite its prowess in shutting out air- and waterborne intruders, such as dust, mold, and mildew, the filler is also notoriously difficult to remove without leaving behind unsightly residue, and apply without creating messy lines. The next time you find yourself in this sticky situation, don’t waste time with those traditional caulk scrapers and finishing tools that can damage the underlying surface or leave you with less-than-perfect results. There is an easier way to achieve a clean finish, and it’ll set you back just 5 bucks. We’re talking about the Caulk-Away™ and Caulk-Rite™ tools from HYDE, sold together in one convenient package.

How to Remove and Apply Caulk with HYDE Caulk Away and Caulk Rite

Photo: hydetools.com

Easy, Damage-Free Caulk Removal
One of the most important tenets of applying caulk is that new caulk does not adhere well to old caulk. This means it’s an absolute must to completely strip surfaces of old sealant before applying fresh caulk. In the past, you may have risked harming your tile, window frame, or countertop by chipping away at the old bead with traditional metal caulk scrapers, or filled your home with fumes from chemical caulk removers. The gentle, all-plastic Caulk-Away™ tool lets handy homeowners breathe easy. They can forgo chemical removers, instead accomplishing the job with a razor-sharp tool that will leave sensitive surfaces—even tile, marble, or glass—unscathed while still removing silicone, latex, or acrylic caulk with ease.

Simply position the scraping hook of the Caulk-Away™ tool against the old caulk, and loosen it using a push-pull motion. Then, flip the tool around so that the central blade slips underneath the bead of caulk and cleanly lift off the sealant—no solvent required. The flexible wings flanking the blade let the tool act as a putty knife, allowing you to get at even hard-to-reach corners or grooves around tiles, fixtures, plumbing, and pipes as well as the caulking around showers, tubs, sinks, windows, doors, and other fixtures—both indoors and out.

Fast, Professional-Quality Application
With your tub—and your hands—free of caulk and no worse for wear, you can recaulk surfaces in a jiffy too. First, apply silicone, latex, or acrylic caulk to the surface via a caulking gun or squeeze tube, just as you usually do, but then swap your old ways of smoothing with a spoon (or, even messier, your finger!) for a more precise method. The second component of this caulking kit, the Caulk-Rite™ application tool, rapidly creates an air- and watertight seal for you, without marring or contaminating the uncured caulk.

Like its counterpart and unlike its metal-tipped competitors, the plastic Caulk-Rite™’ applicator won’t scrape the enamel from surrounding surfaces. By gently gliding the tip over the fresh bead, you’ll achieve a perfectly distributed bead of caulk without residue, edge marks, or splitting, and you won’t end up wasting time redoing your work. When you’ve wrapped up your professional-looking job, go ahead and clean up, free from worries that your freshly applied caulk will split or come loose—just be sure not to wash up in a sink you’ve just caulked until the sealant has cured!

Purchase the Caulk-Away™ and Caulk-Rite™ Combo Pack from HYDE at Home Depot, $4.97

 

This post has been brought to you by Hyde Tools. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

 


The Secret to Sanding Almost Anything—Without All the Dust

One game-changing innovation from Hyde Tools and a few sanding techniques are all you need to give your walls and wood surfaces a smooth finish—without the worry of a dusty aftermath.

SHARES
Hyde Dust-Free Sponge Sander - Sanding Wood

Photo: hydetools.com

If you’ve ever finished drywall, you know that the sanding process releases lots of dust. Only moments after starting, your entire work space fills with a cloud so thick that you can barely see the wall on the other side of the room. Sanding wood cabinets or furniture before applying a fresh coat of paint or varnish may not create the same visibility issues, but the mess is similar. Moreover, any of these surfaces can release particulates that would be harmful if ingested—respiratory irritants in drywall joint compound, toxic chemicals found in wood finishes, and even contaminants like sap, mold, and fungus spores, depending on the condition of the wood. (The things we endure for a professionally smooth finish!) Whether you’re working on drywall or wood furniture, the good news is that with the following techniques and a secret weapon from Hyde Tools in your arsenal, you can reduce airborne sanding dust by up to 95 percent, making the job easier on you and your health.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Goggles
- Dust mask
- Plastic sheeting
- Drop cloth
- Wide painter’s tape
- HYDE Dust-Free Sponge Sander
- Sanding sponges in various grits
- Wet/dry vacuum
- Ladder
- Portable work light
- Drywall compound (optional)
- Putty knife (optional)
- Tack cloth

WHEN SANDING DRYWALL…

STEP 1
Although these next steps minimize dust while sanding, it’s smart to employ commonsense safeguards against those dust particles that do escape. By taking some simple precautions—donning a dust mask and goggles, draping plastic sheeting in open doorways, and spreading a drop cloth over carpeted or hardwood floors—you can virtually eliminate any risk to yourself, the flooring, and any nearby items.

Hyde Dust-Free Sponge Sander

Photo: hydetools.com

STEP 2
For the best results, enlist the HYDE Dust-Free Sponge Sander. The $15 hose attachment converts nearly any wet/dry vacuum into a sanding assistant that cleans as it goes. Use the tool’s adapter to securely connect it to the wet/dry suction outlet. (The adapter works with vacuum hoses that have 1¼-inch, 1½-inch, or 2½-inch openings.) Once the tool is attached, press a standard 3″ x 5″ sanding sponge into the rectangular casing at the other end of the hose.

Pro Tip: Most drywall sanding jobs can be successfully completed using medium- or fine-grit sanding sponges. Skip the large-grit sanding sponges, as they tend to leave grit streaks in the drywall compound.

STEP 3
Hold the yellow sanding end so that the sponge is flat against the wall, then turn on the wet/dry vacuum and begin working in a circular motion. As you sand, the vacuum sucks most of the dust into the tank through a narrow gap around the perimeter of the sanding sponge.

For the smoothest—and cleanest—results, use very light pressure and work at a medium speed. As you approach the centers of seams and joints, lighten up even more so that you’re using only enough pressure to remove ridges and bumps. If you find that dust is escaping around the edges of the sanding adapter, you’re sanding too quickly. Take your time. You’ll be glad you did!

Continue to sand the entire area, using a stepladder to reach the highest corners. Even though you’re entrusting your vacuum with the job of tidying up as you go, it’s also important to clean your vacuum’s filter frequently to prevent clogs caused by large amounts of drywall compound dust.

STEP 4
When you think you’ve finished, inspect your sanded surfaces. Since it’s difficult to spot rough areas of compound with overhead lighting alone, shine a bright handheld light, such as a portable work light, parallel to the joints to check for any irregularities. You may find that some areas need more sanding, or you may need to fill in indentations with spot applications of drywall compound and then sand those areas again.

Once you’ve determined that the surface is free of rough patches and gouges, you’re ready to prime the walls and then cover them with either paint or wallpaper. (With most of the mess already in your wet/dry vacuum, cleanup will be so minimal you won’t even consider it a step!)

 
WHEN SANDING WOOD AND CABINETRY…

STEP 1
Pull on a respirator mask and goggles to reduce the slight risk from any airborne wood dust that might escape the HYDE Dust-Free Sponge Sander. Your sanding experience should be virtually dust-free, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

STEP 2
Fasten the dust-free sander to your wet/dry vacuum at its suction outlet, and insert a sanding sponge into the opposite end. The sandpaper grit you choose will be essential to the success of your sanding job. It’s best to work in the following order:
• Large-grit sanding sponges smooth rough wood surfaces and remove surface coatings, such as old varnish.
• Medium-grit sanding sponges work well for smoothing stripped wood surfaces and unfinished wood cabinets and boards.
• Fine-grit sponges should be reserved for the final sanding step to achieve an extra-smooth surface.

STEP 3
Sand your wood surface in the same direction as the wood grain rather than against it, which can leave cross-sanding marks on the wood. As you work, the HYDE Dust-Free Sponge Sander directs the vast majority of wood dust around the edges of the sponge where your wet/dry vacuum can safely suck it away.

STEP 4
If the wood you’re sanding involves contoured trim and corner creases, remove the sanding sponge from its casing and sand those areas with just the sponge. The HYDE Dust-Free Sponge Sander works best on flat expanses of wood, such as cabinet doors and bookcase sides and shelves.

STEP 5
Finally, wipe a tack cloth over the sanded wood. This pass serves two purposes: First, any catching or snagging will alert you to a rough area that you need to sand a bit more. Also, the tack cloth can remove traces of dust not visible to the naked eye that might mar a smooth paint finish. But these swipes with the tack cloth will be just about all the cleanup you’ll need after your practically dust-free sanding job.

 

This post has been brought to you by Hyde Tools. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


3 Tips for Smarter Home Security in the Digital Age

As more and more of our lives are lived online—both on the Web and through smarter technology throughout the home—our personal information has become more vulnerable to thieves. Keep your identity secure by following these three safety measures.

SHARES
Smarter Home Security for Connected Households

Photo: istockphoto.com

Once upon a time, the only type of theft a person had to worry about was the old-fashioned kind, in which someone might physically break into a house and steal material possessions that aren’t theirs to take. But as life has become increasingly dependent on the digital realm, and every company, service, and product pushes you to connect via a new app, identity theft and online fraud have risen exponentially, changing the ways in which we keep our lives and resources secure. Luckily, although thieves today may be more tech-savvy than ever before, so are the tools we can use to protect what we care about, even as we spend more and more of our lives plugged in. Read on to learn three key tips for smart home security in a digitally insecure age.

1. Keep your machines clean.
A 2015 survey conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance and ESET, an antivirus software developer, reports that one in five Americans already uses a mobile device to access at least one device in the home—say, a thermostat, cable box, or lighting system—while away. Moreover, nearly every household these days is connected to the Internet, probably through its own Wi-Fi network. We’ve entered the age of the Internet of Things, when a growing network of physical objects—from phones and watches to home security systems and cars—is embedded with technology that enables these objects to connect and exchange data with one another and with us. So, it’s important to take control of that data and the things that collect it.

Stronger Home Security for Smart Homes

Photo: istockphoto.com

If you’re using devices and apps to control your home’s temperature, security, lighting, or television recordings—or even if you’re simply monitoring a pet’s location—start by programming those apps with strong passwords, then keep your login information (both usernames and passwords) close to the vest and your router secure at all times. “It’s important to be vigilant about actively protecting your identity,” says Paige Hanson, chief of identity education at LifeLock, a leading security brand.

It’s also crucial to keep your software up to date. “Updating the software, apps, and operating systems you use in a timely manner will also ensure that the latest security issues will have been addressed,” Hanson continues. In other words, the fact that you bought or downloaded something and gave it a password isn’t enough on its own; indeed, the more technology you use, the more vulnerable you are. It’s absolutely worth going an extra step or two to make sure you’re not falling behind the times. Stay on top of everything to make certain you’re not leaving yourself open to security breaches. Hackers work around the clock to steal your information, so diligence is key.

2. Pay attention to what you’re sharing (and who you’re sharing it with).
In this era of social media, online banking, and constant connectivity, it’s easy to forget the full reach of the Internet. When you post a photo to Facebook, you may think you’re simply sharing it with a few dozen or hundred acquaintances, but you may in fact be sharing it with anyone and everyone who happens to click on your profile—identity thieves included. The same goes for listing your phone number, home address, and other sensitive information on networking sites that feel personal but are often very public. Privacy settings on social media channels are a constantly moving target, so it’s essential to check all your profiles on a regular basis to ensure that your audience is as limited as you’d like it to be, and that if something changes, you’re sharing only information you’re comfortable having out there. Set a monthly (or even more frequent) calendar appointment with yourself to run a quick security check, making sure you’re really as locked down as you think you are.

Pay particular attention to your smart devices, many of which collect more data than you may realize. Take time to read up on each device and understand how your information is being stored and used. Can it be sold to third parties? What happens if you decide to discontinue its use? Knowledge is power when you’re deciding how and where to allow your data to be shared, so do your homework by reading the fine print and diving into user reviews before committing to a new technology that might not have your best interests in mind.

3. Invest in a theft prevention system.
If you really want to ensure that all your assets—from the heirlooms in your closet safe to the very last penny on your credit card balance—are protected, it may be wise to explore a theft prevention system. Consider subscribing to a service like LifeLock that specializes in protecting your personal identity and can provide protection services for consumers as well as consumer risk management services for enterprises. Covering everything from proactive identity alerts and threat detection to comprehensive remediation services, a theft prevention system leverages unique data, science, and patented technology to offer protection that goes far beyond the scope of simpler services like basic credit monitoring.

“At the core, our products help detect identity-related incidents, alert members to suspicious activity that is detected within our network, and address fraud-related issues on behalf of victims,” Hanson says. “In the event that identity theft occurs, LifeLock provides an award-winning member service team and a $1 Million Total Service Guarantee.” Choosing to invest in a service like LifeLock at all—but particularly sooner rather than later—is an intelligent strategy, especially if you’re planning to add more technological devices to your home in the future. As smart homes become the norm rather than the exception, it’s wise to set a system in place that captures and monitors everything you add, the moment you add it, from here on out.

The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly applies here, but in this case it’s not disease you’re trying to keep at bay, but rather all those high-tech thieves who are determined to take what you’ve earned. By entrusting an expert to stay two steps ahead of them on your behalf, you’re free to devote your time and energy to the people and activities you enjoy, confident that your home, possessions, and identity are being diligently protected.

 

This post has been brought to you by LifeLock. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Cool Tools: A Trusty Go-To Gets a Brand-New Twist

That trusted product you've relied on for decades is now armed with an innovative extended applicator that helps you lubricate tricky spots quickly and easily.

SHARES

Photo: wd40.com

It’s nothing new. The problem is familiar to anyone whose projects often involve WD-40® Multi-Use Product. In the course of its decades-long history, the penetrating oil and lubricant has earned its place as a toolbox staple, but in tight spots—beneath the sink, for example, or within a lawn-mower engine—it’s not always easy getting the formula precisely where you want it to go. Most of the time, the stiff, stubby red straw applicator does the job just fine. Now and again, though, its rigidity slows you down.

Photo: wd40.com

But not anymore. In a clever, innovative solution to a longtime source of frustration, the new WD-40 EZ-REACH delivers the same product you’ve always depended on, but substitutes the traditional straw for an eight-inch-long, flexible metal hose. Bend it however you like, and the hose holds its shape until you bend it into a new one. Now, you can easily and accurately reach the nooks and crannies that used to be virtually unreachable, and you can speed through steps that used to take you far too much effort and time.

It’s a welcome upgrade, largely because tight spots, close quarters, and lack of access characterize so many of the scenarios where you’d typically use the product. Take, for example, household plumbing: Systems are designed to stay out of the way, hidden behind walls and inside cabinets. To make repairs, you need to get on your knees, on your back, or on tiptoe. It’s never easy, but with WD-40 EZ-REACH and its bendable applicator, those tricky jobs don’t have to be so utterly taxing.

Imagine that you need to lubricate the upper hinge of a tall entry door. In the past, you would have had to travel all the way to the truck or garage, haul out the ladder, and spend at least a few moments setting it up safely. Armed with WD-40 EZ-REACH, the same fixes that used to take several minutes can be done in seconds flat. To get to that top hinge, you’d simply bend the metal hose into a downward-pointing U shape, extend your arm overhead, and press the trigger on the can. That’s it! You’re ready to move on.

Cleanup, too, becomes a breeze. It used to be that pros and do-it-yourselfers would apply WD-40 liberally, spraying the formula all over the general area, hoping that at least some would land on the problem spot. Does that sound familiar? And afterward, you probably went back to wipe up the overspray. This is certainly not the most efficient process. Thanks to WD-40 EZ-REACH and the accuracy it provides, you can skip the cleanup altogether and put your valuable time to much better use.

An added bonus: Because the new design enables you to apply the right amount of WD-40 exactly where you need it, you’ll no longer be tempted to use more of the formula than is strictly necessary for the task at hand. In other words, WD-40 EZ-REACH eliminates waste, which means that a single can will probably last longer than ever before, so you may be able to go longer between replacements. Over time, those costs really add up, making WD-40 EZ-REACH a first choice not only for ease of use, but for savings as well.

In the end, WD-40 EZ-REACH delivers on a simple promise to all those who have made the product a household name by relying on it, whether on the job or around the house, for more than six decades. You get the same formula you know and love—the one that has proven itself indispensable time and time again—only now, it’s better than ever, allowing you to reach the formerly unreachable. The stiff, red straw could take you only so far, but with the new flexible hose, there’s no limit on where you can go.

Purchase WD-40 EZ-REACH today.

Photo: wd40.com

This post has been brought to you by WD-40®. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Check Out What’s In the Works for Bob Vila Products

Streamline and simplify your DIY to-do list with a new line of problem-solving tools, each hand-picked by the most trusted name in home improvement.

SHARES
Bob Vila Products

Photo: bobvilaproducts.com

With April’s showers behind us, we’re looking forward to two things: the promise of May flowers soon budding and blooming in the garden and this season’s must-see event, the National Hardware Show. Over the course of three days—Wednesday, May 4, through Friday, May 6—throngs of industry professionals will fill the trade show floor in Las Vegas to get the scoop on the latest and greatest home improvement innovations from beloved brands like Bob Vila. That’s right: This year, Bob Vila will be in attendance representing an exciting new product line bearing his name. Designed in partnership with Viatek, an industry-leading consumer products company, these smart tools combine Vila’s years of hands-on experience with Viatek’s ingenuity to simplify life for both handy homeowners and renters just like you. “My partnership with Viatek will assure that what I am offering is of the highest quality and something people can rely on,” Vila says.

Bob Vila Products - Signature Workman's Multitool

Photo: bobvilaproducts.com

For more than four decades, Bob Vila has been a trusted household name, a home improvement icon, and, above all, a DIY coach dedicated to inspiring and instructing homeowners on how to build their dream houses. His upcoming line of tools was conceived with that same can-do, do-it-yourself approach to home improvement in mind. Whatever the scope or scale of your next project, this new and creative collaboration between Bob Vila and Viatek will assist you in completing tasks more easily, efficiently, and economically.

The Bob Vila Products currently in development are designed to tackle the wide range of home remodeling, renovation, and redesign projects—from landscaping to room refreshes—that may be in your near future. Sculpt a smart-looking topiary in the yard using the 20’ Pruning Tool. Can’t take the summer heat? Cool off indoors while you spruce up bland walls with a Painter’s Palette that saves you from spills. Or, head to the workshop and sharpen your woodworking skills using the Portable Chainsaw and an Autofeed Hammer. When you’re finished creating your masterpiece, get surrounding surfaces spotless with the Microfiber Towels. Then, call it a day by storing all of your new tools and accessories—these and more—in a Signature Series’ Workman Tool Bag.

The development of uniquely handy products is the next logical step for Vila, who still provides the know-how necessary to safely and smartly use tools of the trade daily at BobVila.com. With his tried, true, and trustworthy advice already available at your fingertips and soon these quality tools in your shed, you’ll have all the resources to go to town on your to-do list. Stay tuned to the website to learn about when and where you can purchase Bob Vila Products!


Cool Tools: Is This the Only Adhesive You’ll Ever Need?

With all the specialized adhesives out there, wouldn't it be great if just one tube could do it all? Well, here's one that can tackle most materials, indoors or out, in extreme heat or cold, and even in wet conditions. Sound promising? Read on!

SHARES

Photo: liquidnails.com

Imagine that you’ve just spent several hours—the better part of a weekend afternoon—painstakingly adhering ceiling tiles overhead. Moments ago, you set the last square into position, when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, every single tile crashes to the floor. Ugh! Making the situation all the more frustrating is the irony that the adhesive you were counting on to save time and effort ended up being the reason you wasted both. If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s simply this: The right adhesive often spells the difference between completing a satisfying, successful project and finding yourself all the way back at square one. The trick is finding the best adhesive for the job.

Photo: liquidnails.com

Liquid Nails Fuze*It promises to be the construction adhesive you can truly depend on for any number of jobs, whether you’re putting up paneling or simply fixing a loose cabinet drawer pull. The remarkable versatility of the product hinges on a hybrid technology that enables Liquid Nails Fuze*It to bond just about everything to just about everything else. In fact, there are only two materials for which it’s not recommended—polyethylene and polypropylene. Otherwise, Liquid Nails Fuze*It works for all the most common household materials, including but not limited to glass, metal, wood, marble, granite, rubber, laminate, tile, and foam.

Equally handy is that Liquid Nails Fuze*It, unlike many other adhesives, remains effective even when it’s in contact with water. If the project calls for it, you can even apply Liquid Nails Fuze*It in the pouring rain, with no sacrifice in the quality of its bond. Further, Liquid Nails Fuze*It can safely withstand punishing environmental extremes, because the adhesive holds fast in temperatures up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit or down to 40 below zero. You may in the past have stocked a slew of different adhesives, each specially formulated for a particular use. Now, with Liquid Nails Fuze*It up to pretty much any task, indoors and out, and effective under even the most challenging conditions, you may need only one adhesive.

Because Liquid Nails Fuze*It creates a bond twice as strong as fasteners alone would, you might suspect that the product would be unwieldy or difficult to work with. But in reality, Liquid Nails Fuze*It makes application convenient for pros and DIYers alike. Case in point: The adhesive offers instant grab, which means that clamping, taping, or otherwise bracing the bond requires neither finesse nor surgical precision. Simply unscrew the nozzle, cut the plastic tip of the nine-fluid-ounce cartridge to the desired bead, screw the nozzle back on, load it into a standard gun, and apply the adhesive. Clamp if necessary, then wait four to six hours for Liquid Nails Fuze*It to set (for porous surfaces). That’s it!

Assuming a quarter-inch bead, you can cover about 27 linear feet with a single cartridge. In other words, unless you are undertaking something extra ambitious, you don’t need to worry about running out of adhesive just when you need it. More important, with Liquid Nails Fuze*It you also don’t need to worry about potential health effects. These days, increasing numbers of contractors and homeowners are concerned about the harmful effects of volatile organic compounds, and justifiably so. You can set these worries aside with Liquid Nails Fuze*It, which carries Greenguard Gold Certification, a designation for products scientifically proven to reduce the risk of indoor air pollution and toxic chemical exposure.

Versatile, strong, and easy to use, Liquid Nails Fuze*It now joins the ranks of adhesives, caulks, and sealants that have made Liquid Nails a go-to choice in building and home improvement for nearly five decades. If your toolbox has room for just one tube, Liquid Nails Fuze*It may be the top contender for that coveted spot—and it’s certainly your best bet for tackling whatever adhesive need is next on your to-do list.

Purchase Liquid Nails Fuze*It exclusively at The Home Depot.

Photo: liquidnails.com

This post has been brought to you by LIQUID NAILS Adhesive. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Cool Tools: A No-Hassle Cure for Tough Cleaning Dilemmas

As easy to use as it is to wear, the HYDE Quickly Clean Glove is your best bet—and the best buy on the market—for tackling your next cleanup job!

SHARES
Quickly Clean Glove with Paintbrush

Photo: thehydeway.com

April showers keep many DIYers indoors working on home maintenance projects large and small, from pepping up interiors with paint to recaulking showers and tubs. Though these home projects can beautify your home, they can also easily coat innocent bystanders—like tools, furniture, windows, floors, counters, or worse, your hands—in residual grime. If your go-to cleanup crew for life’s messes relies on chemical-laden commercial solvents, consider for a moment a safer, more effective natural alternative: the HYDE Quickly Clean Glove. This smart slip-on with a super-strength weave can take oil- or latex-based paint, putty, caulk, dirt, soap scum, and even permanent marker off of any surface without requiring harsh chemicals. Find out how this cleaning companion offers a hands-off solution to spring-cleaning year-round.

Hyde Quickly Clean Glove

Photo: thehydeway.com

Effortless and Economical
The magic of this do-it-all glove lies in its simplicity: Just wet it with water, add a squirt of soap (if desired), and then pull on the one-size-fits-all glove to turn your hand into a powerhouse scrubbing agent. Thanks to the glove’s patented weave, no additional scouring pad is required! Just work your fingers over the dirtied surface. The Quickly Clean Glove acts as an easy-to-control abrasive, so that even gunk on irregular surfaces—like paintbrushes, trowels, and trays as well as your sink, shower, and tub drains—can be wiped away with minimal elbow grease. When your work area is spotless, rinse the handy tool, and hang it to dry until your next job.

More than simply saving you physical energy as you tackle your to-do list, the reusable gloves can also save you money at the hardware store. How? By replacing half of your cart. When the glove’s fibers can remove nearly any amount of mess, there’s no need to load up on commercial paint and varnish strippers, foam and caulk removers, and heated sealant and putty removal tools. Leave the budget-busting and cabinet-crowding specialty cleaners behind as you head for checkout with a single top-of-the-line, bottom-dollar Quickly Clean Glove that can be used again and again.

Natural, Non-damaging, and Non-irritating
Even perfectionist painters will occasionally leave a mark on more than their intended object, often right on their own hands. Should you encounter a similar slip-up, slip on the Quickly Clean Glove and buff your other (uncovered) hand clean without fear of irritating your skin. In fact, the glove is so gentle that it can be used on rugged and sensitive surfaces alike without damaging them.

As easy as the Quickly Clean Glove is on you, it’s equally easy on the environment—both indoors and out. Unlike commercial cleaners fraught with chemicals that subject your family to harmful fumes, the Quickly Clean Glove is chemical-free, so you won’t have to pop open a window or wear an air mask.

Amazingly Adaptable
Experienced and amateur painters, mechanics, and hobbyists alike can take comfort in this jack-of-all-trades glove. Good for tidying up tools, furniture, and interior surfaces after paint, caulk, and putty jobs, its versatility practically surpasses your long to-do list. And it doesn’t stop there! The Quickly Clean Glove can also be used in the kitchen to wipe up the refrigerator—and even the produce within it—clean. Headed outdoors? Use the glove on siding and outdoor furniture to get rid of algae, in the garage to clear tar from auto parts, or at the golf course to remove grass from your 5-iron. And given the Quickly Clean Glove’s bargain price, you can afford to keep a pair with every cleaning caddy you have, indoors, outdoors, and beyond!

Purchase HYDE Quickly Clean Glove, $3.97

 

Watch the video below to see the HYDE Quickly Clean Glove in action!

 

This post has been brought to you by Hyde Tools. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Quick Tip: The Safest Storage for Gasoline

Before you step on the gas of your next lawn or garden maintenance project, learn how to store your fuel safely and easily!

SHARES
How to Store Gasoline

Photo: fotosearch.com

With the arrival of spring comes a certain bouquet of seasonal scents, ranging from fresh-cut grass to spilled gasoline. This latter is a hallmark of yard work, powering everything from lawn mowers to garden shredders—but only if stored properly during the off-season. Many homeowners make the big mistakes of storing gasoline 1) in containers and condition ill-suited for its volatile composition and 2) beyond its recommended shelf-life. If excess fuel is on the loose on your property, these tips will help keep you and your gasoline safe and on-hand for use.

How to Store Gasoline - Fuel Container

Photo: fotosearch.com

Stowing away gasoline safely begins with checking your local and state regulations for fuel storage quantity and container capacity allowances. Many fire codes limit the amount of fuel you can store to 25 gallons total, divided among approved, leak-proof containers with a capacity less than five gallons each. These containers should be labeled and of an identifying color (red is the standard for this formidable fuel, while blue indicates kerosene and yellow represents diesel).

As you fill your container with gas (and potentially a fuel stabilizer), keep your face away from the nozzle and avoid ignition sources like heat and sparks by at least 50 feet. Then, tightly close and seal the container and store it in an edifice separate from the home itself—the garage or shed or shed are ideal, out of direct sunlight and, again, away from anything that will light. Before you move on to other household tasks, it’s smart to mark the fill date on the container so that you don’t fill up with fuel past its prime.

With the exception of gas that has been treated with a stabilizer to prolong its shelf life, gasoline should be stored for no more than 12 months in order to avoid damaging the engines that it will eventually power. (Anything older than that sitting around in your garage or workshop should be taken to a disposal facility, per recommendations from the American Petroleum Institute.) Then, rotate through your at-home supply of gasoline, starting with the oldest—within reason—so that you use up the fuel before its expiration. Since most outdoor power equipment manufacturers suggest draining the fuel tanks on mowers and other motorized tools that won’t be used for several months, make the most of your supply by refueling with only what you’ll need for any given job. When you’re ready to power your next lawn maintenance project, just pull out the gasoline, unscrew the lid, and fill ‘er up!


Are You Buying the Right Amount of Lumber?

It's important to have an idea of how much and what kind of lumber you need before you head out to the lumberyard. Gain confidence in your ability to track down the right materials for your next remodeling project with this helpful tutorial.

SHARES
Lumber Sizes - Lumber Aisles at Home Improvement Store

Photo: fotosearch.com

Once you’ve managed to secure the necessary approvals for your renovation or construction project, it’s time for the next hurdle: purchasing materials. Whether you’re building a treehouse or putting in a new walk-in closet, chances are you’re going to be looking for what carpenters and contractors call dimensional lumber, or framing lumber. But if you’ve ever walked around a lumberyard or browsed the building supply aisles at your local home center, you know that the experience can be a bit overwhelming. It can be daunting to confront aisles and aisles of floor-to-ceiling racks, each loaded with a confusing array of lumber. For the uninitiated or merely occasional DIYer, buying lumber can be an intimidating task. Fortunately, there is a method to this madness.

Lumber Sizes - Stack of Lumber

Photo: fotosearch.com

Keeping Sizes Straight
One of the first things to know when shopping for lumber for your project is that there’s a difference between what a board is called—its nominal size—and what it actually measures. For instance, a 2×4 actually measures 1½ inches thick by 3½ inches wide. The discrepancy between a board’s name and its exact measurements has its roots in the way lumber is manufactured. The nominal measurement reflects the approximate size of the fresh lumber before it is dried and planed to meet a consistent profile and dimension.

Two-by lumber, which is actually a half inch shorter in each dimension than the name suggests, comes in a variety of widths from 2×2 (which measures 1½ inches × 1½ inches) all the way up to 2×12 (which measures 1½ × 11½ inches). Board lengths are less complicated: Standard lengths start at 6 feet, and they increase in 2-foot increments all the way up to 24 feet for the wider boards.

How Much Is Too Much?
Determining how much lumber you’ll need—also known as a material take-off, or MTO—can be a tedious task. Back before we carried our smartphones to the hardware store, giving us immediate access to project specs and built-in calculators, we’d take the dimensions from our plans and literally count how much lumber we needed. It was all done by hand, and it was a ponderous, time-consuming ordeal, rife with inaccuracies.

But don’t fret! Today, the average DIYer has more options. Some larger, more complete lumberyards and home centers can calculate the take-offs for you. Call ahead and ask your lumberyard if they provide this service. If they do, be sure to bring a good drawing with precise measurements—no coffee-stained napkin sketches done over a fast breakfast. If you can provide the folks at the lumberyard with accurate information, they may be able to create a concise take-off for your project, load their delivery truck, and transport everything to the job site. If this route doesn’t pan out though, home remodeling enthusiasts and contractors alike also have access to a bevy of take-off software that can help calculate needs for large projects. PrebuiltML, Active Takeoff, and STACK are just three hugely popular, easy-to-use programs that can quickly and accurately produce a spot-on, organized materials list and free you from having to calculate actual dimensions from a scaled drawing.

Lumber Sizes - Lumber Yard

Photo: fotosearch.com

Quality Over Quantity
Armed with an understanding of lumber sizes and aware of the quantity of wood your project requires, you’re ready to buy the correct amount—but can you pick out the right stuff? How can you tell if the lumber you’re choosing is the best for your project? It’s easy—all the information you’ll need is stamped right on the board.

Each board is marked with a stamp that identifies the lumber grade. Lumber graded “Select Structural” is rare and very expensive, used most often in construction where you want the structural elements to be visible, as they are in lodge-style or timber-framed buildings. More common grades of lumber are identified numerically from 1 through 3, according to the wood’s imperfections (like knots) and how they affect the lumber’s strength. Grade 1 will have the fewest imperfections.

The stamp will also identify the species of wood as well as the wood’s moisture content (MC). S-GRN means that more than 19 percent of the wood’s total weight is water, while S-DRY or KD has a moisture content of less than 19 percent, and MC15 has a moisture content of 15 percent or less. The higher the MC, the more likely the board is to shrink and warp as it dries out (yes, even when nailed in place). All the same, these less expensive, higher-MC boards are ideal for temporarily bracing or shoring up a structure that’s under construction.

Finally, when choosing your lumber, look out for these common defects:
• A bow, or a warp on the face of a board that runs from end to end
• A check, or a crack along the growth ring that doesn’t pass through the entire board
• A cup, or a hollow across the face of the board
• A shake, or grain separation between the growth rings

As the old saying goes, “a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” If you’re at all uncertain, ask a professional! But now that you’re acquainted with the basics, at the very least you’ll be better equipped to work with an in-store expert to nail down exactly what you need.