How To’s & Quick Tips - 2/72 - Bob Vila

Category: How To’s & Quick Tips


How To: Make Your Own All-Natural Granite Cleaner

De-gunk and protect granite surfaces around the house with this all-natural DIY solvent.

How to Make Homemade Granite Cleaner

Photo: istockphoto.com

Homeowners gush over granite for kitchen counters, bathroom vanity tops, and other surfaces for its ability to handle heat, resist everyday scratches, and—of course—look great. But granite’s porous surface can accumulate dirt, grime, and bacteria that can sully its appearance and deteriorate the layer of clear sealant that protects it from chipping and discoloration. Not just any cleaner will do the trick, either.

Alas, most “all-purpose” cleaners sold in stores are too harsh for this permeable stone. While specially formulated commercial cleansers are available at home centers (for $5 to $15), you can save cash and avoid chemicals by whipping up your own homemade granite cleaner with non-toxic, non-damaging ingredients you no doubt already have on hand. Follow this recipe to make your own all-natural cleaner and put it to use in minutes. It’s ideal for cleaning granite—and a number of other household surfaces that need gentle care.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
 16ounce spray bottle
 Liquid dish soap
 Rubbing alcohol
Water
 Essential oil
 Microfiber cloth or microfiber mop

STEP 1
Pour one-half cup of rubbing alcohol, one-half teaspoon of dish soap, and one-and-a-half cups of warm water into the spray bottle. The disinfecting properties of alcohol, coupled with the de-greasing powers of dish soap, will deliver a one-two punch to banish bacteria and grime from the granite surface.

STEP 2
If desired, add ten to 20 drops of essential oil to the spray bottle to infuse the homemade granite cleaner with a subtle fragrance that will deodorize the granite surface. Basil, lavender, and cinnamon scents are all excellent options. While acidic liquids like lemon juice can corrode sealant and make the underlying granite vulnerable to chips, citrus-scented essential oil is pH-neutral and completely safe to use on this porous stone.

How to Make Homemade Granite Cleaner

Photo: istockphoto.com

STEP 3
Secure the spray head back onto the bottle, then gently shake the bottle a few times to combine the contents. Label the bottle and store it in a dry location away from pets and children, or put it to use immediately to clean surfaces around the home.

STEP 4
Check out these tips to get the most out of your homemade granite cleaner!

Granite countertops: Wipe down the surface with a clean microfiber cloth (avoid abrasive scrubbers like steel wool, which can scratch). Then generously spray the homemade cleaner onto the entire countertop and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth. If you still see build-up or stains on the surface, spray additional cleanser on the problem area and use a more vigorous circular motion to loosen and lift the grime. Once clean, quickly wipe up any remaining homemade granite cleaner with a microfiber cloth (allowing it to dry may result in minor streaks).

Granite flooring: The same cleaning technique as described above works for floors, but use a microfiber mop instead of a cloth to save times and keep backaches at bay.

Granite backsplashes: Use the same cleaning technique above to remove grit and grease from granite backsplashes, but avoid spraying the homemade granite cleaner on finished wood surrounding a backsplash (e.g. a kitchen cabinet), as rubbing alcohol can erode lacquer or paint on the wood’s surface.

Granite fireplace surrounds: Clear soot and fingerprints from a fireplace surround using the same technique used for cleaning countertops.

Marble and other stone surfaces: Like granite, these materials are acid-averse, but they won’t be harmed by this homemade granite cleaner thanks to its neutral pH. Clean in the same methods described above.

Small appliances: Rubbing alcohol is well-tolerated by stainless steel and plastic-coated appliances, so the diluted form in this homemade granite cleaner is safe for use on toasters, coffee makers and other essentials that easily accumulate grime. (Just be sure to use isopropyl—i.e. rubbing—alcohol in the solution, not ethyl alcohol, which can corrode plastic.) To clean, unplug the appliance and let it cool completely, then spritz the cleaner onto the appliance exterior and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth. Avoid spraying LCD displays on appliances, as rubbing alcohol in this recipe may remove the clear protective coating on the display.

 

Cleaning Tips for a Spotless Home

All of the Essential Cleaning Advice from BobVila.com
There’s no way around it: Keeping the house clean demands your time, your energy, and even some of your money. Fortunately, this arsenal of cleaning tips can help you finish the housekeeping more quickly—and with fewer commercially sold products.


How To: Remove Duct Tape Residue

Getting rid of the sticky stuff left behind by duct tape is actually easy—if you follow these tips.

How to Remove Duct Tape Residue

Photo: istockphoto.com

A roll of duct tape can be found in almost every toolbox in the world, thanks to its versatility, accessibility, and the fact that it quite literally sticks like glue. That’s because duct tape is formulated with natural rubber compounds to provide solid long-term adhesion. But, that blessing is also a curse when the time comes to remove the tape and all traces of it. Cleanup is no easy task.

If you find yourself in such a sticky situation, we’ve got just the solution! The five fixes here are great for removing duct tape residue from wood, glass, vinyl, and other materials without damaging the surface itself. Read on for how to remove duct tape residue swiftly so that you can start from a squeaky-clean square one.

1. Scrape off the adhesive. 

In cases where duct tape residue is minimal and not too stubborn, a simple scraping session with a putty knife (or a butter knife, in a pinch) can banish the gunk. Start from one end of the affected area, moving slowly to the other with small, repetitive scrapes, holding the blade nearly parallel to the surface so as not to gouge. Be especially patient and careful when working with wood and vinyl, which are easily damaged.

2. Dampen the surface with warm water.

Warm water can often effectively remove duct tape residue from glass, vinyl, linoleum, and other surfaces that have a high-gloss finish. The heat softens the structure of the glue, while the viscosity helps push it away. Apply plain water with a sponge or microfiber cloth, scrubbing with small, back-and-forth strokes.

If that fails, add a drop or two of hand soap or dishwashing liquid to further break down the bond. For particularly stubborn goo—and only on water-resistant surfaces—soak the item in warm soapy water, or cover it with a warm, wet, soapy sponge or rag, for 10 to 20 minutes. Then wipe dry, banishing the gunk as you go.

How to Remove Duct Tape Residue

Photo: istockphoto.com

3. Dissolve whatever residue is leftover. 

If hoping to dissolve the duct tape adhesive altogether from a nonporous surface, try rubbing alcohol. This solvent is unsuitable for most painted materials, and should always be patch tested first, even on metal and glass. Firmly dab a rag soaked in isopropyl alcohol (the kind you probably have in your medicine cabinet) over a small area to ensure it won’t cause unsightly results. If the test patch proves successful, proceed by covering the gunk with alcohol, working in small sections, and letting the liquid evaporate to the point where you can easily wipe away whatever matter is left behind.

4. Lubricate the lingering residue.

Oil and other water-displacing lubricants can help win the war against goo. If working with glass, linoleum, vinyl, or finished wood, reach for WD-40. (If you haven’t got a can handy, substitute room-temperature vegetable oil straight from your kitchen cabinet.) Wear gloves to protect your skin and spray the surface entirely, then wait a few seconds before using your gloved finger to smooth away duct tape residue. Then wash away the remaining oil with soap and water. Never use oil or other lubricants on unfinished wood; it will sink into the pores for good—and that’s bad!

5. Bring the heat, literally.

Hot air can weaken the adhesion of duct tape residue, making it easier to remove from such surfaces as unfinished and flat-painted wood, on which you wouldn’t use oil or water. This method may require some extra effort, but it’s probably your safest bet, as it doesn’t involve any liquids that could penetrate porous surfaces and cause discoloration or damage. Crank a hair dryer on its highest setting several inches from the offending material for a minute at a time between each attempt to scrape it off. Work in small sections, administering as many hot air blasts as necessary to remove everything.


Video: Turn Pipe and Fittings into a DIY Magazine Rack

With the steel pipes and fittings that form the backbone of the plumbing trade, you can build your own unique furniture—quickly, easily, and inexpensively. Here's how.

Before you can build functional, stylish furniture for your home, you need a truckload of power tools and a craftsman’s knowledge of countless complex techniques. Right?

Wrong!

Sure, transforming lumber into a desk or a bookcase requires experience and skill—the sort of advanced know-how you only earn through years of practice and hard work. But wood isn’t the only building material. There are many, many other options. A select few even make furniture-building all but effortless for beginners.

Case in point: plumbing pipes and fittings. Normally, these hide behind walls, carrying water and/or natural gas to fixtures and appliances throughout the home. In the hands of do-it-yourselfers, however, the very same materials become the easy, inexpensive building blocks for attention-grabbing, industrial-modern furniture.

The catch? Before doing anything else, you must design the piece you want to build, figure out how the pieces should fit together, and buy the parts you need. Ugh.

Alternatively, visit SupplyHouse.com right now and pick up the kit that comes complete with everything you need to DIY a magazine rack just like this one.

No sawdust. No glue. No headaches. No surprises. Start now!

 

This article has been brought to you by SupplyHouse.com.


How To: Dispose of Cooking Oil

After you finish frying and feasting, be sure to properly and safely dispose of the cooking oil. Whether you use lard, shortening, or liquid oil, we’ve got the 411.

How to Dispose of Cooking Oil

Photo: istockphoto.com

Love cooking those French fries, donuts, and other delicious treats but stumped by what to do with the oil when you’re done? Hopefully, you’ve stopped short of dumping it down the sink! Doing so can cause clogs in home drain lines and contribute to larger clogs in municipal lines, which is why most communities have regulations against it. Pouring it out on the ground is also a no-no: The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that cooking oil, whether it’s vegetable-based (such as canola) or animal-based (such as lard), can “kill or injure wildlife” and cause a host of other environmental issues as well.

No need to fret about your frying medium, though—you’re in the right place! This guide explains how to tell if yours needs to be disposed of and gives you the best options for how to dispose of cooking oil in a safe, responsible manner.

1. Determine if it’s time to toss with the sniff test.

Used cooking oil needn’t be discarded after one use. If you’ve been frying in a skillet and prefer not to waste the leftover oil, simply remove residual bits of food by straining it through a large coffee filter, and then pouring it into a sealable container for storage on a cool, dark shelf. Most deep fryers are designed to retain their oil from use to use, and it’s a hassle to strain an entire tank. So continue to use it as long as it passes the sniff test below.

Eventually, all cooking oil will become rancid. To determine if yours has gone bad, give it a sniff. Good oil has a light, clean smell while a bitter or metallic aroma—or something reminiscent of crayons!—means it’s past its prime. If you’re not sure, rub a bit of oil between your forefinger and thumb: Fresh oil will feel smooth and light, but a sticky or tacky consistency indicates that it’s time to toss.

How to Dispose of Cooking Oil

Photo: istockphoto.com

2. Be safe about disposal by waiting until cool and choosing the right container.

Cooking oil must cool to room temperature before it can be safely handled. In an insulated deep fryer, oil can retain enough heat to cause serious burns for up to an hour, or longer, after it’s been turned off. So be patient and let it cool off completely first.

If dealing with shortening and lard, scoop its congealed form into an empty shortening tin or coffee can and pop on the lid. As long as it’s in a closed container, you can then put it in your trash receptacle and throw it away with your regular kitchen waste.

If you started with liquid cooking oil, however, such as peanut oil or safflower oil, don’t expect it to thicken too much when it cools. You’ll need a more secure container, such as an empty plastic milk jug or soda bottle with a tight screw-on lid. To keep from making a mess, use a funnel when pouring oil through narrow-mouthed bottle openings.

If you regularly prepare fried foods with small amounts of cooking oil that you don’t intend to reuse, consider purchasing a grease keeper. This handy cook’s helper, generally made of metal or stoneware, comes with disposable foil liners. Just pour or scrape used oil into the foil-lined canister and replace the lid. Continue to add used oil until it reaches the fill line, and then fold the top of the foil liner, remove it from the canister, and put the foil bag in your trash receptacle.

3. Decide on trash or recycling.

While you could, in theory, toss your filled (and sealed) container right into the trash can to take out to the curb, that’s not the only means for how to dispose of cooking oil. In fact, if you’re eco-conscious, you may be able to dispose of old cooking oil at a recycling center that will then send it off to be transformed into biodiesel fuel. That not only helps reduce the need for fossil fuel production, it’s the greenest thing to do. Earth911.com maintains an interactive search to determine which types of recyclable materials are being collected in your community. Just enter your zip code to find out if there’s a cooking oil recycling collection center near you.


DIY Lite: Store Winter Footwear on an Indoor Boot Rack

Tripping over boots on your way out the door? Build up a station that can handle this season's bulky footwear, and you'll have an organized entryway once more.

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Keeping an organized home is no small task. Entryway clutter alone can be particularly overwhelming, as the space by the front door becomes one large catchall for mail, keys, bags, shoes, and more. And, in the winter, that footwear pile grows! Baskets that held flats and sneakers for three-quarters of the year simply cannot contain tall boots as easily. Considering that a family of four may have as many if not more pairs lying by the door—sometimes drying from snow and rain—a better storage solution is in order.

As is often helpful in storage conundrums, it’s best to think vertically! Building a wall-mounted boot rack lifts your boots off the ground to remove tripping hazards (and save space!). Plus, this design even includes a tabletop that’s perfect for gloves and contents from your pockets. The best part: This boot rack is a cinch to make and even easier to customize to your own space and needs. Ours measures one yard long and fits four pairs of boots, but you can adapt the dimensions to store more or less.

 

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
1×6 lumber (16 feet, or two 8foot boards)
Tape measure
Handsaw
Wood glue
Trigger clamps
1inch dowel (16 feet, or two 8foot dowels)
Sanding machine
60grit sandpaper
120grit sandpaper
Pencil
1inch flat woodboring bit
Cordless drill/driver
Scrap wood
Tack cloth
Paint
Varnish
Paintbrush
5inchby8inch shelf brackets (2)
¾inch screws (8)
 1½inch finishing nails (6)
Hammer
Stud finder (optional)
Wall anchors (optional)

 

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

STEP 1
Cut three pieces from the 1×6 lumber, each 1 yard long. You will use one to make the boot rack and two pieces to build the shelf that hangs over it.

Pro tip: Do you need to store more than four pairs of boots? Just add 7 extra inches for every additional pair of boots you want to hang.

Start by connecting the two planks to make the shelf. Apply wood glue to the long edge each, press together, and hold them with trigger clamps. After the glue has dried for the full amount of time recommended by the manufacturer, remove the clamps.

 

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

STEP 2
Grab the 1-inch dowels, and cut nine 11″-long pieces. Sand the edges to remove the splinters.

 

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

STEP 3
Take the third plank, measure 1-½ inches from the bottom edge, and trace a line across its full length. Then, along this line, make marks every 3-½ inches. Each one of the nine marks will indicate where you have to drill.

 

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

STEP 4
Use the 1-inch flat wood-boring bit with your cordless drill to make holes in the plank. Place a piece of scrap wood beneath the board to prevent from drilling into your work table, then hold the drill vertically and drill through the board at each mark.

Sand the inside of the holes.

 

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

STEP 5
Position the dowels in the fresh-cut holes in your board. Though the 1″-wide dowel should feel snug in the 1-inch hole, you’ll want to line the holes with wood glue before sticking them in place.

Once all nine are standing upright, check that they are all perfectly vertical and in line with one another. Let the wood glue dry for the full time recommended on its packaging.

 

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

STEP 6
For a smooth finish, completely sand down the shelf (from Step 1) and the boot support. Use a rougher 60-grit paper in your first pass, then follow with 120-grit.

Once you are done sanding, remove the dust with a tack cloth.

 

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

STEP 7
As the boots are usually wet and muddy, it’s essential to treat the wood so that it resists water—we’ll want the boot rack to hold up for more than one season. Paint can help, especially if it has some sheen to its finish, like a satin or semi-gloss paint.

We covered the boot rack portion with dowels with two coats of black paint. Then, we chose to keep the natural appeal of the very bleached wood for contrast and only brushed two coats of transparent varnish onto the shelf. After the paint finished drying, we applied one final coat of clear varnish onto the rack.

 

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

STEP 8
Once the top coats have dried, assemble the boot rack using two shelf brackets and screws.

First, position a 5-inch-by-8-inch shelf bracket 1 inch from each end of the shelf, and push each so that the top aligns with the top edge of the rack. (Likely, the bottom of it won’t meet the bottom of the 1×6 but fall ½-inch short.) Fasten the 5-inch side of the shelf bracket to the 1×6 board with ¾-inch screws.

Then position the shelf on the top edge of boot rack so that it completely overlaps the 1×6 piece that is the back of the boot rack. Finish screwing the 8-inch side of the shelf bracket into the bottom of the shelf.

Reinforce the shelf brackets by tapping a few 1-½-inch finishing nails along the back of the shelf into the back of the boot rack.

 

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

STEP 9
Finally, mount your boot rack on the wall.

To secure it and the weight of all of your footwear, it’s best to find wall studs to screw into. You can use a stud finder to do so or skip the tools with a few tricks, which we’ve covered here. Drill two holes in the back of the boot rack and screw it into the wall. If you’re not planning on locating wall studs, consider using wall anchors instead.

Depending on where you want to hang the boots storage, you can choose to fix it low enough so that the shelf becomes a super slim entryway table. Or, hang it a little higher and you’ll still have clearance to place another storage unit under it. When you’re ready to fill, simply turn your boots upside down and squeeze each shaft so that it can fit between a pair of dowels—the foot at the top will prevent the boot from slipping through. Go ahead and fill ‘er up!

 

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

How to Make a DIY Boot Rack

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

 

Ama is a DIY addict and the creative mind behind Ohoh Blog. She likes home decor, lighting, and furniture projects that may involve painting, sewing, drilling…no matter the technique! Whatever she has on hand is inspiration to create, and fodder for her serious addiction to upcycling.

 

DIY Projects Anyone Can Do

All of the Best Hands-on Tutorials from BobVila.com
Get the nitty-gritty details you need—and the jaw-dropping inspiration you want—from our collection of the favorite projects ever featured on BobVila.com. Whether your goal is to fix, tinker, build or make something better, your next adventure in DIY starts here.


How To: Clean Cookie Sheets

If burned pans are bumming out your baking experience, try our goofproof technique—using just two common household ingredients—to make those cookie sheets as good as new.

How to Clean Cookie Sheets

Photo: istockphoto.com

There’s nothing quite like whipping up a batch of homemade cookies. But once the fun of baking and eating is over, sometimes you’re left with sheet pans lined with browned grease—especially if you left the cookies in the oven a bit too long or, over the years, were a little lax about getting those pans spic and span. Luckily, there’s an easy solution for banishing brown, burnt gunk from most pans (cast iron and carbon steel excluded).

Regular dish soap isn’t strong enough to work on deep-seated grime. But you can get the job done with two common, inexpensive ingredients: baking soda and hydrogen peroxide (a mild disinfectant and oxidizer available at any drugstore for less than $3). Hydrogen peroxide is a natural cleaning agent that, when mixed with baking soda, alkalizes to loosen gunk the way other cleaners can’t. So read on for the right formula and guidance on how to clean cookie sheets. Whip up one batch of the mixture outline below, and you can get an average-sized pan in shape once again.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
Baking Soda
Hydrogen Peroxide
Bowl
Spoon
Towel (optional)
Household sponge

How to Clean Cookie Sheets that Have Burnt Edges

Photo: istockphoto.com

STEP 1
Pour about ¼ cup baking soda into any type of bowl. Then, slowly add the hydrogen peroxide a few drops at a time, stirring as you go. (Don’t worry if you get a bit of fizzing.) Obtaining the ideal thick paste consistency generally requires two to three tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. If you add a little too much liquid, even it out with some more baking soda.

STEP 2
Place your dirty cookie sheet pan flat in the sink or a washtub. If you don’t have a big enough basin, lay a large old towel on your kitchen counter and place the dirty pan on top.

STEP 3
Generously spoon the baking soda-hydrogen peroxide paste onto the business side of the baking sheet, covering it completely. There’s no need to scrub or work the paste into the pan.

STEP 4
Let the paste-covered pan sit undisturbed for about two hours—usually enough dwell time for the mixture to break away at the burnt-on crud.

STEP 5
Run some warm water over a household sponge (not an abrasive pad, which could scratch non-stick surfaces) and start to gently scrub the pan. The brown grime should be significantly loosened. Some tough spots still might take a bit of elbow grease, but most of the gunk should come off easily. Scrub until the pan is sparkling, then rinse with warm water.

STEP 6
Immediately dry the clean pan thoroughly. This step is especially important—skip it, and you run the risk of developing rust or corrosion.

STEP 7
If the back of the cookie sheet pan is also burnt and stained, repeat all steps on the other side.

Now you’re ready to bake some more cookies. Be sure to set a timer for this batch! It may do you well to also consider laying down some parchment paper rather than a thin coat of cooking spray; the fomer won’t leave behind any sticky residue to burn and bog down dish-washing.

 

Cleaning Tips for a Spotless Home

All of the Essential Cleaning Advice from BobVila.com
There’s no way around it: Keeping the house clean demands your time, your energy, and even some of your money. Fortunately, this arsenal of cleaning tips can help you finish the housekeeping more quickly—and with fewer commercially sold products.


How To: Drill Into Brick

Drilling into brick is not as difficult as you think. Choose the right drill, drill bit, and technique, and you can bore holes in just mere minutes.

How to Drill Into Brick

Photo: istockphoto.com

Decorative brick adds warmth and beauty to your home, but its tough surface shouldn’t deter you from hanging your artwork, curio cabinet, shelving, or a heavy flat-panel TV. You don’t even have to call in a professional to mount them! You just need the tools and the right technique for how to drill into brick.

Typically, all it takes is an ordinary drill to bore a few small 1″-deep holes (each a ¼-inch in diameter or less). Just buy a carbide-tipped masonry bit from your local hardware or home center and follow the steps below. However, if you’re mounting heavier objects that require multiple larger and deeper holes, don’t even think about using your own drill—it will take too long and you’ll burn up the motor. Instead, head to a home improvement store’s tool rental center for something heavy-duty.

Larger holes are much easier to make with a hammer drill, which is a power drill that bores holes into brick and concrete using rapid hammer-like blows. These drills cost about $25 for four hours, but they get the job done in a fraction of the time and with far less physical effort. Look for an option that has a stop guide attachment, multiple speeds, and an auxiliary side handle. If it’s an option, consider renting carbide masonry bits instead of buying while you’re at it. Rental bits run around $4 each (as opposed to upwards of $25 each to purchase), and you’ll need two for larger holes: a smaller bit for drilling a pilot hole and one that’s the recommended size to finish the job.

Where to Drill: Brick vs. Mortar

How to Drill Into Brick

Photo: istockphoto.com

As you position the object on the wall and lay out the required holes, your next decision will be whether to drill into the brick itself or the mortar. You’ll find lots of conflicting opinions on which method is better, but the correct answer really depends on a number of factors: the type and age of the brick, the depth and diameter of the holes, the type of anchor you use, and the weight you’re placing on the fasteners.

Brick usually holds better and supports more weight than mortar. However, if you have old, fragile brick and you’re mounting a heavy object that requires deep holes and expansion-style anchors, drilling into the brick may not be the best choice. Deep holes weaken the brick and expansion anchors can create enough circular stress to crack the brick. If your bricks show signs of cracks or spalling, drill into the mortar instead. That way the anchor’s circular expansion forces push against fully intact bricks.

In addition to weighing which material makes the stronger bond, take a minute to consider how you’ll handle patching and hiding the holes if you drill in the wrong spot or remove the item later on. You can patch mortar holes with a tube of mortar repair, but it’s much harder to match brick color and texture when it comes time to fill those holes.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
Ruler or tape measure
Pencil
Goggles
Hearing protection
N95 respirator
Leather gloves
Hammer drill
Masking tape (optional)
Masonry drill bits
Canned compressed air
Wall anchor
Broom
Dustpan
Shop vacuum with prefilter
Mop (optional)

 

How to Drill Into Brick

Photo: istockphoto.com

STEP 1
Measure and mark the locations of the holes you’ll drill into brick or mortar using a pencil. Then, hold the TV mounting brackets, artwork, shelving unit, or template for whatever it is you intend to hang directly over the marks to double-check the hole locations.

Refer to the product’s instruction sheet for recommended hole depth and set the stop guide on the hammer drill. If you’re using a regular drill instead of a hammer drill, wrap several rounds of masking tape on the masonry bit to mark the recommended stopping point in lieu of a stop guide attachment.

STEP 2
Safety first! Equip yourself with goggles, hearing protection, leather gloves, and an N95 respirator. Brick and mortar dust contains crystalline silica, which will be airborne when you start to drill into brick. Inhaling just a small amount is enough to create a health hazard. Wearing an N95 respirator during the entire drilling and cleanup process is critical to preventing serious lung scarring and other damage, as this type of product will filter at least 95 percent of airborne particles.

If you’re using a ladder, make sure it’s level and the legs are on a solid surface. Then get into a position that’ll allow you to apply a significant pushing force to the end of the hammer drill while maintaining your stability.

Insert the pilot drill bit into the hammer drill. Set the drill on low speed and hold the drill with two hands, one on the pistol grip and the other on the auxiliary handle.

STEP 3
Make sure the drill is level and perfectly perpendicular to the wall. Drilling at an angle will cause mounting alignment issues and can greatly reduce holding power. Start drilling the pilot hole using just enough force to start the drill bit. If the pilot bit starts to “walk” away from the marked location, re-start in the right location. Vary the pushing force until you find the point where the bit bites into the brick. Then drill the pilot hole to the recommended depth using a steady pushing force.

Tip: If the drill has only one speed, drill in short burst to prevent overheating the bit.

STEP 4
Swap in the larger bit. Again, check your drill to make sure it’s level and perpendicular, then place the drill bit into the pilot hole and continue drilling to the proper depth.

STEP 5
Remove all traces of brick or mortar dust from the hole using compressed air. Leaving dust in the hole will reduce the holding power of the wall anchors and screws you insert.

STEP 6
Insert wall anchors designed to support the full weight of the item, and mount the wall hanging or exterior fixture with screws.

STEP 7
With your eye protection and respirator still in place, clean up any large mortar or brick chips with a broom and dustpan. Suck up the remaining dust with your shop vacuum fitted with a pre-filter. Or, mop the floor and rinse the mop.

STEP 8
After cleaning up the worksite, remove your shoes outside and use compressed air to blow off the dust. Then wash your clothes and shower to avoid spreading the silica dust through your house.


How To: Remove Spray Paint

Use these techniques to remove unwanted aerosol paint from concrete, metal—even skin—quickly and easily.

How to Remove Spray Paint

Photo: istockphoto.com

Do-it-yourselfers love spray paint as a fast, fun way to complete projects or breathe new life into tired décor. Accidents happen, though—usually when that blast of color strays outside its intended area, leaving you with stray streaks on surrounding surfaces like your concrete driveway, metal hardware, or your own skin.

In any of these cases, water alone usually isn’t enough to remove the errant paint unless you’re quick enough to wipe it off while it’s still wet. This is because the binding agents in water-based paint fuse together and harden as the paint dries, making it more resistant to water. Dried oil-based spray paint is even more difficult to remove because the natural oil or alkyd (resin) binding agents it contains don’t dissolve in water.

Whether you’re dealing with overspray or you’ve changed your mind on a recent paint job, read on for the proper techniques and cleaning agents necessary for how to remove spray paint—they’ll undo the damage in a jiffy.

How to Remove Spray Paint from Skin

Photo: istockphoto.com

REMOVING SPRAY PAINT FROM SKIN

Remove water- or oil-based spray paint from your hands and other exposed areas with a little elbow grease and a few natural, non-toxic household products you no doubt already have on hand.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
Liquid dish soap
Pure essential oil
Toothbrush
Cloth or towel

STEP 1
Consult the canister if you’re not sure if you’re dealing with water- or oil-based paint.

To loosen water-based spray paint from your skin, start by squeezing a quarter teaspoon of liquid dish soap over stained areas and gently rubbing it in with your other hand for two minutes using circular motions.

STEP 2
Wet the bristles of a clean toothbrush under hot (but not scalding) tap water and then gently work the brush over the soap-covered areas for two minutes to scrub off any remaining paint. Rinse with warm tap water.

STEP 3
If removing oil-based spray paint from your skin, wet stained areas with several drops of pure essential oil, which can dissolve oil-based paint (remember your chemistry class principle of “like dissolves like”). Massage the oil into the stains to loosen the paint. Avoid touching your eyes while working with essential oil—it packs a sting.

STEP 4
Rinse with the warm tap water to wash away remaining paint residue. If needed, re-apply the essential oil to the skin and rinse again with warm tap water until all paint is gone. Dab the skin dry with a clean cloth, and wash your hands to remove any lingering oil.

 

How to Remove Spray Paint from Concrete

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REMOVING SPRAY PAINT FROM CONCRETE

Concrete is porous and readily absorbs spray paint, so you’ll need some heavy-duty supplies and materials to remove it. Two techniques—power washing and cleaning with trisodium phosphate (TSP)—can banish splatters and streaks from exterior or interior concrete surfaces like patios, driveways, and basement floors.

Power washing, which entails blasting the stain away with a powerful jet of water from a pressure washer, should be reserved for outdoor stains of any size since it can soak and damage indoor structures like walls, insulation, and wiring.

TSP can be applied to paint-stained concrete, indoors or out. But the technique requires manually scrubbing and is more labor-intensive than power washing. So if you have access to a power washer, limit the TSP technique outdoors to small stains.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
– Medium-duty gas- or electric-powered pressure washer (2,000 to 3,000 psi capacity)
– Pressure washer spray gun, spray wand, and 15-degree spray nozzle (available to rent from hardware stores for $30 to $50 per day)
– Garden hose
– Safety goggles
– Gloves
– Respiratory mask
– Powdered trisodium phosphate (TSP)
– Water
– Five-gallon bucket
– Stiff-bristle scrubbing brush
– Mop

STEP 1
The easiest method for how to remove spray paint stains of any size from outdoor concrete is to rent a pressure washer. Connect its high-pressure hose to the high-pressure inlet on the washer; connect your garden hose to the water inlet on the washer. Outfit the spray wand on the spray gun connected to the pressure washer hose with a 15-degree spray nozzle.

Note: The smaller the angle of the spray nozzle, the narrower and more intense the jet stream. A spray nozzle with an angle greater than 15 degrees blast a wider, gentler stream of water that isn’t strong enough to remove paint, while a spray nozzle with an angle of less than 15 degrees blasts a more forceful jet of water that increases the risk of damage to underlying concrete. A 15-degree nozzle offers the intensity needed to remove spray paint without damaging concrete.

STEP 2
After donning safety goggles, turn on the water supply and, standing between three to four feet from the stained area, start the pressure washer. Blast water over the stained area with sweeping back-and-forth motions. Within 10 to 15 seconds, the powerful water stream should force the spray paint from the concrete. If it fails, move one foot closer to the stained concrete and spray it again, but position yourself no closer than one foot from the surface to prevent water from ricocheting off the surface and onto your face.

STEP 3
For stains of any size indoors, or for small outdoor stains (six inches or less in diameter), head to a well-ventilated area and put on gloves, safety goggles, and a respiratory mask. Dilute a half-teaspoon of TSP in two gallons of warm water in a five-gallon bucket.

STEP 4
Dunk a stiff-bristle brush into the TSP solution and then vigorously scrub the stained concrete to loosen the paint. If the paint doesn’t come away immediately, let the TSP dwell on the concrete for 20 minutes, then scrub it again.

STEP 5
For outdoor concrete, hose down the cleaned area; for indoor concrete, rinse paint debris with a mop and plain water. Dry indoor concrete with a cloth or a dry mop.

 

How to Remove Spray Paint from Metal

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REMOVING SPRAY PAINT FROM METAL

Because metal is non-porous, it’s fairly easy to remove spray paint from metal door hardware, tools, countertops, or patio furniture with a few inexpensive cleaning solvents.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
– Old 4-quart cooking pot (that you don’t need to use again for cooking)
–  Water
– Baking soda
– Paint scraper
– Cloth
– Gloves
– Safety goggles
– Respiratory mask
– Paint stripper
– Chip brush (used for glues, adhesives and paint removers
– Mineral spirits

STEP 1
For small metal objects, cover the base of an old pot you no longer use with a ⅛-inch layer of baking soda. Then fill the pot halfway with cold water.

STEP 2
Set the stained metal object inside the pot, then let the water simmer on the stove over low heat for 30 minutes. The combined action of the heat and the abrasive baking soda will cause the paint to loosen and bubble up on the surface of the object.

STEP 3
Retrieve the object from the water using metal tongs and set it on a clean surface. While the object is still warm (but cool enough to touch), use a paint scraper to gently peel off the loosened paint, taking care not to scratch the object.

STEP 4
For larger metal objects or surfaces, don gloves, safety goggles, and a respiratory mask. Brush a thin layer of chemical paint stripper over the stained area of the metal object using a chip brush.

STEP 5
Let the paint stripper set according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then gently slough off the loosened paint with a stiff-bristle scrub brush. If paint remains, repeat Step 4.

STEP 6
Wipe down the clean metal with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits to remove any remaining paint flakes and paint stripper. Dry with a clean cloth.


10 Smart Ways to Use Ammonia

Don’t underestimate the power of this affordable, multipurpose household product that can bust grease, bring our sparkle, and even banish pests!

SHARES
10 Ammonia Uses for Around the House

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Ammonia is pretty amazing! As a gas, this hydrogen and nitrogen chemical compound is pungent and dangerous. But the diluted household form, a nitrogen-based super cleaner, is a must-have in the war on common household dirt and grime. It’s so versatile, it can tackle a slew of chores—from achieving streak-free shine on glass to making even the greasiest stains disappear. It’s readily available anywhere, from the local grocery store to online e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon. A 64-ounce bottle is usually less than $5—and it’s strong stuff, too, so a little goes a long way. That inexpensive jug you buy today ought to far outlast trendier commercial cleaners.

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Before you shop, know that there are various types of household ammonia to choose from. You may see “cloudy” or “sudsy” versions—that’s ammonia with soap added, which is generally used for such domestic cleaning chores as treating stained clothing or scrubbing stovetops. But “clear” ammonia is suited to a wider variety of tasks (and you can always add a tablespoon or two of your own dish soap to make clear ammonia sudsy). You’ll also find ammonia that’s scented with lemon or pine to temper the stinging odor.

The harsh smell serves as a warning, though: Working with ammonia absolutely requires caution. Pure chemical ammonia can cause severe burns and respiratory issues if it comes into contact with skin or is ingested. Even diluted in water, as is recommended for most cleaning purposes, ammonia can still be harmful.

RELATED: 11 Bathroom Hazards that Harm Your Home and Health

The most important safety rule to remember is: Never mix ammonia with chlorine bleach. The result is a highly toxic chlorine gas that can produce headaches, seizures, and other symptoms. It’s crucial to keep this in mind if using ammonia with laundry or to clean surfaces, making sure not to mix it with a detergent or household cleaner that contains bleach.

Always be sure to wear chemical resistant gloves and ventilate the area well when using ammonia. And be sure to store it where pets and children can’t gain access. Practice these precautions as you put ammonia to work at the 10 tasks here—and enjoy a spotless home for pennies!

1. Conquer Concrete Stains
Discoloration on your concrete driveway, garage floor, or patio can be an eyesore. Mix 1 cup ammonia with 1 gallon of water in a bucket and apply it to the stains using a big sponge or mop. Let sit for about 20 minutes, and then scrub the stain with a bristled brush. Rinse or hose the area with clean water. If the stain isn’t completely gone after the area dries, repeat the process till you’re satisfied with the results.

2. Glisten Up Glass
To achieve streak-free mirrors, windows, and crystal, mix 1 tablespoon clear ammonia with 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Spritz the solution onto glass items and wipe dry immediately with a soft, lint-free cloth for windows and crystal; paper towels work fine for mirrors.

Ammonia Uses in the Laundry

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3. Pretreat Laundry Stains
Stubborn stains on cotton, polyester, or nylon fabrics are no match for a solution of ⅔ cup clear ammonia, ⅔ cup dish soap, 6 tablespoons of baking soda, and 2 cups warm water. Mix in a bowl or bucket and apply generously with a sponge or spray bottle. Let sit for about 30 minutes and launder as usual. If this proves too diluted for tougher stains like blood or grass, pretreat again with a solution of one part ammonia and one part warm water.

Note: Don’t use this method on wool or silk; ammonia could eat through these delicate fabrics. And remember never to mix ammonia with any laundry products containing bleach.

4. Banish Grease on Burners
Tackle notoriously tough grease on stove burners with this trick. Place each burner in a separate sealable plastic bag filled with ¼ cup ammonia. Seal each bag to keep fumes at bay, and place in a sink or washtub for eight to 12 hours. Open the bags in a ventilated area, and remove all grease and dirt easily with a quick scrub of dish soap and water. Once the gunk is gone, thoroughly rinse the burners with water to get rid of ammonia residue. Let dry completely before using.

5. Clean Carpet and Upholstery Stains
Mix one part clear ammonia and one part hot water in a sprayer or other bottle. Apply generously to the stain by spritzing or with a sponge. After about 10 minutes of dwell time, place a clean old towel over the stain and press with an iron, blasting with steam, for about 20 seconds. Check your progress: The stain should start transferring to the towel. Repeat, with steam ironing and more ammonia solution if needed, until the stain is gone.

6. Sparkle Up Electric Oven
Heat the oven to 150 degrees while boiling a large pot of water on the stove. Turn off the oven and open windows to ventilate your kitchen. Place a sturdy container, such as a glass measuring cup or metal bowl, filled with ½ cup ammonia on the oven’s top shelf and the pot of boiled water on the bottom shelf. Close the oven and let sit for eight to 12 hours, then remove the ammonia and water. Keep the oven door open, letting it air out for at least an hour before tackling the cleaning job. Because the grime has basked in ammonia fumes, it should be loosened and easy to remove with a sponge, warm water, and dish soap.

This method is only recommended for electric ovens, as mixing ammonia with gas can be dangerous. If you want to use this method on your gas oven, make sure that the pilot light and gas lines are turned off.

Ammonia Uses Around the House

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7. Refresh Tiles
Kitchen or bathroom tiles looking tired? To clean and disinfect them, mix ¼ cup ammonia with 1 gallon of water in a bucket and liberally apply the solution with a sponge or a mop. If an area is especially dirty, use a soft-bristled brush to further scrape away the filth. Finish up by going over the entire surface with clean water and your sponge or mop.

8. Brighten Your Bling!
If gold, silver, diamond, or platinum jewelry has lost its shine, mix six parts warm water to one part ammonia in a bowl or small bucket that you don’t eat or cook with and add your precious pieces. After 15 minutes, remove the jewelry with your gloved hand, and then gently scrape away any stubborn grime with a soft-bristled toothbrush (one that’s no longer in use or designated for cleaning). Allow it to soak for another 15 minutes, remove from the solution, and immediately rinse with warm water. (Dispose of used ammonia solution down the drain while running the hot water.) Then polish the jewelry with a soft, lint-free cloth and let it dry.

Don’t use this method on pearls, as ammonia could erode the delicate finish, or other gems since many stones now receive oil treatments that ammonia could remove.

9. Send Smells Packing
Ammonia is tough on every odor from fresh paint to burnt lasagna. Place a small container filled with about half a cup of clear ammonia near an offending smell, being sure to keep the area ventilated, to absorb the nastiness within hours.

10. Keep Pests at Bay
Ammonia’s strong scent can deter unwanted critters. Fill a saucer with clear, unscented ammonia, or saturate a rag or cotton balls with it. Then place in areas that attract pests, such as near garbage cans where raccoons prowl or beside cracks in the basement where mice enter. The smell will remind the varmints of predators, so they’re likely to catch a whiff and turn away, unharmed. That said, make sure to keep the ammonia deterrent out of reach of kids and pets.

 

Cleaning Tips for a Spotless Home

All of the Essential Cleaning Advice from BobVila.com
There’s no way around it: Keeping the house clean demands your time, your energy, and even some of your money. Fortunately, this arsenal of cleaning tips can help you finish the housekeeping more quickly—and with fewer commercially sold products.


7 Strong Types of Wood Joints Worth Knowing

Understand essential wood joinery applications and get pro tips for crafting them seamlessly and securely.

7 Sturdy Types of Wood Joints to Know

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Wood joinery, as the term implies, refers to joining pieces of timber or lumber to create other structures. Crafting wood joints has its origins in antiquity—the dovetail joint, for instance, was used by ancient Egyptian sarcophagus builders—and the process remains essential to constructing or assembling many types of wood projects and fine furniture.

The hallmark of skilled woodworking is the ability to create tight wood joints, where the edges blend seamlessly, making two joined pieces look like a single piece. To successfully create most types of wood joints, you’ll need to make precise cuts. This requires correct usage of two basic woodworking tools: a jig and a fence. A jig guides cutting tools, such as saw blades or router bits, to ensure multiple precision cuts, while a fence is the rigid, straight edge on a power saw used to brace the material being cut.

If you’re serious about gaining woodworking skills, take the time to master the seven sturdy types of wood joints listed here. After all, the stronger the joints, the more long-lasting the results! You may have to practice some more than others, but once you learn them, you’ll have the necessary knowledge to tackle virtually any woodworking project.

 

7 Types of Sturdy Wood Joints to Know - The Miter Joint

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THE MITER JOINT

A miter joint occurs when two end pieces are cut on angles and fitted together, commonly found in the corners of picture frames and the upper corners of some styles of doorway casing (trim).

For a standard 90-degree mitered corner, the two pieces are cut on opposite 45-degree angles and fitted together. When installing trim, the pieces are glued at the seam and then fastened, via nails or screws, to the framing material in the wall. When creating mitered corners for a freestanding object, such as a picture frame, the pieces are glued at the seam, and then additional finish nails or screws are used to fasten them together permanently to one another. For freestanding woodworking projects, nearly all miter joints require both gluing and the use of additional fasteners.

The word “miter” simply means “angle,” so while many types of miter joints are cut on 45-degree angles, other angles can be used as well. For example, you can create an octagonal mirror frame using eight pieces of wood cut on 22.5-degree angles.

Best for: Making outside corners on door and window trim and creating decorative frames.

Pro tip: For tight miter joints that fit snugly leaving no visible gaps, use a miter saw, a specialized power tool that allows the user to cut precise angles. Hold the piece you’re cutting firmly against the saw’s fence to keep it from moving while making the cut.

 

7 Types of Sturdy Wood Joints to Know - The Butt Joint

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THE BUTT JOINT

Among the first types of wood joints you’re likely to encounter when installing trim in a home is the butt joint, which, true to its name, signifies two pieces of wood butted together. In a basic butt joint, the square end of one piece butts into the side or the end of the other piece. The pieces are not attached to one another where they abut, but rather are fastened by nails or screws to framing lumber in the wall (such as wall studs, which you can locate with a stud finder or without one). Butt joints are often found on window and door trim where vertical trim pieces butt into a header (horizontal trim piece at the top of the window or door) or a horizontal window sill.

A common variation on the basic butt joint is the mitered butt joint, which consists of cutting the ends of two pieces of wood (often trim pieces) on opposite angles so you can butt the mitered ends together and make them appear to be a single whole piece. For example, instead of butting square ends of baseboard pieces together, which can leave a visible joint, one end is cut on a 45-degree angle and the other end is back-cut at the same angle. An angled seam is less visible than a squared seam.

Best for: Installing trim and baseboard.

Pro tip: For tight butt joints, use a chop saw, which is designed to make precision square cuts. It’s difficult to get accurate angles with a hand saw or a circular saw.

 

7 Sturdy Types of Wood Joints - The Notched Lap Joint

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THE LAP JOINT

Lap joints are simply types of wood joints where two pieces of wood overlap. The two most common variations are the full lap joint and the notched lap joint.

A full lap joint, in which one board overlaps another and is then fastened together with screws or nails, is often used to construct the structural frame of a home. Lapped joints are also used to reinforce other pieces of wood, such as lapping a diagonal piece of wood over vertical pickets in a gate.

Like the full lap joint, a notched lap joint is created by overlapping two pieces, but the notched lap joint adds additional strength because both pieces of wood are notched and then fitted together at the notched sections. The notch depth will vary, depending on the project.

Best for: Structural framing or to reinforce pieces of wood that would otherwise tend to sag or warp.

Pro tip: If you’re notching pieces for a lap joint, lay the pieces out and clearly mark both surfaces to be cut at the same time. This will prevent confusion about whether to cut the top or bottom side of the pieces.

 

7 Types of Sturdy Wood Joints to Know - The Mortise and Tenon Joint

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THE MORTISE AND TENON JOINT

Mortise and tenon joints have been used to build hefty structures for thousands of years, and likely came about when ancient builders discovered they could create a stronger type of wood joint by tapering one end of a piece of wood and inserting it into a cavity carved in another piece of wood. The mortise is the cavity, and the tenon is the piece that fits into the mortise.

Mortise and tenon construction is common in today’s furniture making, often used to attach chair and table legs, along with other parts of the furniture. Creating a successful mortise and tenon joint is an intermediate-to-advanced craftsman skill but modern tools can make the process easier. A router can be used to cut away excess wood, leaving a square or rectangular tenon projection, and a matching mortise can be cut out with a drill press or a plunge router.

Best for: Joining perpendicular pieces, such as furniture legs.

Pro tip: Make a mortise socket slightly deeper (about 1/8”) than the length of the tenon, which will give the glue used to fasten the pieces together room to disperse.

 

7 Sturdy Types of Wood Joints - The Dowel Joint

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THE DOWEL JOINT

The dowel joint is similar to the mortise and tenon in that a projection is fitted into a socket to strengthen a joint. The difference is that a dowel is a completely separate cylindrical object and both pieces of wood will need to have sockets. Many of the types of joints we’ve already discussed can be further strengthened by the addition of a dowel.

You’ll find dowel joints on woodworking items where visible screws or nails are not desirable, such as high-end cabinetry, bookcases, and custom stairways. Dowels can also create a rustic look when the dowels contrast with the wood—for example, walnut dowels in oak construction. Once crafted by hand, today’s dowels are purchased already shaped into cylinders, and the sockets for accommodating them are typically drilled with a power drill.

Best for: Wood construction where other fasteners are not desirable, such as bookcases, cabinetry, and handcrafted wood projects.

Pro tip: Glue and clamp the pieces of wood you’re joining and let the glue set overnight before drilling the socket for the dowel. This will ensure that the wood pieces won’t move when the dowel is inserted.

 

7 Sturdy Types of Wood Joints - The Tongue and Groove

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TONGUE AND GROOVE JOINTS

Tongue and groove joints are typically used to install materials that will lie flat, such as hardwood on floors or beadboard on walls and porch ceilings. Each board features a tongue, or ridge, running along one side and an indented groove running along the other side. Nails are inserted through the tongue, after which the grooved side of a second board is fitted over the tongue to conceal the nails. Called “blind nailing,” this results in a surface unblemished by nail heads.

While DIY tongues and grooves can be crafted along the sides of flat boards using a table saw and a shaper, today virtually all hardwood flooring and beadboard comes with tongues and grooves already cut. Your job will be to fit them together when it comes time to install.

Best for: Hardwood flooring and beadboard installation.

Pro tip: Install tongue and groove boards tightly against one another to prevent gaps. To do, tap the boards together with a rubber mallet as you install them or, in the case of hardwood flooring, by using a hardwood flooring nailer that sets the boards snugly together and neatly inserts nails at the same time.

 

7 Sturdy Types of Wood Joints - The Dovetail Joint

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THE DOVETAIL JOINT

Dovetail joints are very strong and resist pulling apart through the use of wedge-shaped interlocking pieces (the wedges resemble a dove’s tail). Dovetail joints are found where the ends of two pieces of wood meet at a right angle, such as along the corners of drawer sides. The wedge-shaped assembly, which requires only glue and no other fasteners, is often a sign of quality workmanship.

One or more wedge-shaped sockets are cut into one piece of wood and corresponding “tails” are cut on the other piece of wood before the two pieces are joined with glue and clamped. Once crafted only by hand, most dovetails are cut today using a router.

Best for: Assembling the sides of drawers or wood boxes and lids.

Pro tip: If you plan to cut a lot of dovetails, invest in a dovetail jig for your router. Dovetail jigs are adjustable to let you cut sockets and tails that fit together perfectly.

 

DIY Projects Anyone Can Do

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Get the nitty-gritty details you need—and the jaw-dropping inspiration you want—from our collection of the favorite projects ever featured on BobVila.com. Whether your goal is to fix, tinker, build or make something better, your next adventure in DIY starts here.