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10 Times Boiling Water Can Help Around the House
Water is everywhere around us, and in most of the United States it's so safe and plentiful that we often take it for granted as we use it to drink, cook, clean, b...
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9 Worth-It Home Services and Subscriptions That Give You Bang for Your Buck
Subscription services promise to simplify your life, but there are so many out there that it can be hard to figure out which are worth their cost. Before you know...
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How To: Remove a Broken Light Bulb
Incandescent light bulbs are known to occasionally shatter in their fixtures—and when they do, it’s both difficult an...
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How To: Use a Portable Generator
During a power outage, a generator that runs on gasoline can provide enough juice to keep your lights on, your grocer...
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10 Reasons Every DIYer Needs a Pry Bar
Lugging around a heavy toolbox gets old after a while, but you often need half a dozen tools just to complete even a simple do-it-yourself repair. Make it easier ...
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10 Smart Ways to Use Ammonia
Ammonia is pretty amazing! As a gas, this hydrogen and nitrogen chemical compound is pungent and dangerous. But the d...
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How To: Use a Caulk Gun
Caulking is one of the easiest and most affordable home fixes. By sealing off unwanted cracks in places like windows ...
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How To: Use a Table Saw
Anyone serious about woodworking or DIY eventually wants to add a table saw to their power tool arsenal. Named for th...
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10 Surprising Things You Can Do with a Plastic Straw
Drinking straws seem to have only one purpose, but they have become a DIY darling. It’s not hard to see why: They’re produced in an endless range of fun colors an...
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How To: Dispose of Gasoline
From powering vehicles and generators to garden tools, gasoline makes our world go around. Leaving unused remnants of...
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How To: Use a Jigsaw
Whether doing fine woodworking or tackling a kitchen or bathroom remodel, chances are you’ll need to create some curv...
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13 Totally New Uses for Toothpicks
You already know toothpicks are great for holding sandwiches together and for cleaning under your fingernails in a pinch, but you probably don’t know how these ti...
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10 Creative Uses for Club Soda
Club soda, that bubbly constituent of cocktails and ice cream sodas, is made up of water, carbon dioxide, and minerals like sodium bicarbonate and potassium sulfa...
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13 Unusual Household Uses for Ice Cubes
Ice cubes can transform any beverage into a refreshing treat. But did you know that ice has myriad practical uses beyond chilling your drink? Ice can solve a bevy...
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12 Things You Never Knew Chalk Can Do
Most people associate chalk with elementary school blackboards and sidewalk hopscotch games, but chalk can be a surprisingly handy helper to have around the house...
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How To: Use Muriatic Acid
Muriatic acid, a less-pure variant of hydrochloric acid, is available in high concentrations for use in a host of hom...
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14 Unusual Uses for Vaseline
Look in pretty much any medicine cabinet and you’ll probably find a tub of Vaseline. The gelatinous substance—also known by the generic term “petroleum jelly”—was...
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How To: Use a Stud Finder
When hanging heavy mirrors, bracing large furniture, wall-mounting a new television, or erecting shelving, you need t...
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How To: Use a Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are like insurance: You have it in hopes of never needing it (and there’d better be at least one i...
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How To: Use a Screw Extractor
At some point in the never-ending list of do-it-yourself projects, nearly every handy homeowner encounters a stripped...
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How To: Use a Speed Square
Planning a carpentry project? Quick, grab a speed square! Also known as a rafter square or triangle square, this simp...
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How To: Remove Rivets
Plenty of DIYers find themselves eager to start a project only to come to a full stop when confronting rivets. The fa...
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How To: Magnetize a Screwdriver
Few things are as frustrating as trying to drive a screw into a tight corner or over your head, only to have it fall ...
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How To: Use a Multimeter
Once reserved for engineers and electronic technicians, multimeters—sometimes called “multitesters”—have come down in...
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Bob Vila Radio: Remove Old Paint with a Heat Gun
Looking for a quick way to remove old layers of paint? Your best bet might be a heat gun—and it's easy enough to use ...
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Bob Vila Radio: The Easy Way to Remove Stubborn Screws
Stymied by a stripped screw, or a screw without a head? No worries! There’s a brilliant little tool that can help you...
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Bob Vila Radio: Safe Setup for Extension Ladders
For committed do-it-yourselfers, extension ladders are a must-have. When you’re using them, though, it’s important to...
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5 Things to Do with... Eggshells
Delicious and versatile, eggs are on the ingredients list for countless favorite recipes. But while the yolks and the...
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The Right Way to Load a Dishwasher
Of all kitchen appliances, the dishwasher must rank as one of the greatest, don't you think? It's a true time-saver. ...
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How To: Use Wood Filler
Scarred flooring, rotted window frames, chipped furniture—common problems like these can be time-consuming and expens...
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How To: Start a Lawn Mower (and Troubleshoot Common Problems)
Regular mowing is not only beneficial to the look of your lawn, but also to its health. Whether you've recently purch...
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How To: Use a Slotted Screwdriver
 Make sure that when you're using a slotted screwdriver, you're not doing it the hard way. Here's how. Be sure you're...
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How To: Snap a Chalk Line
Using a chalk line is a quick way to give yourself a straight line as a building guide. Here's how. Find the endpoint...
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How To: Paint Home Exteriors with a Sprayer
 Next time you tackle a big exterior paint job, try using a power sprayer. Start at the bottom and work your way up, ...
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How To: Use a Phillips-Head Screwdriver
 When you're using a Phillips-head screwdriver, make sure that you're not doing it the hard way. Here's how. Be sure ...
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How To: Use a Plumb Bob
 Professional builders use a plumb bob to make sure their walls are vertical. Here's how. Measure two inches away fro...
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How To: Remove Exterior Paint with a Pressure Washer
 Before you repaint your house, you have to remove all loose and peeling paint. A pressure washer makes the job go fa...
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Quick Tip: Using a Chisel
 A chisel is one of the most useful tools in the workshop, but it's important to know how to use it. For example, aft...
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Quick Tip: Using a Level
 Checking your work for level and plumb is crucial. Here's how to select and use the right tool for the job. I recomm...
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How To: Use Wood Plugs
 Give your carpentry work that professional look by concealing nails or screws with wooden plugs. Use a dowel bit to ...
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How To: Pull Nails
 This wooden-handled hammer may look strong enough to pull any nail but because the grain of the wood is actually wea...
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How To: Work with Chemical Paint Stripper
 Where stripping paint is concerned, there's just no easy way out.  Here are some tips. Cover the floor under your wo...
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How To: Use a Caulking Gun
 Here's how to get professional results when using a caulking gun. Caulking guns aren't expensive, so don't skimp her...
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Quick Tip: Using Metal Studs
 If your home improvement project calls for new walls, you might want to consider metal studs.  They fit together lik...
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How To: Use a Scraper
This is a tool for minimalists, for those who admire simplicity of form and function beyond all else. That's because ...
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Operating a Drill Press
The controls vary from one drill press to the next, but there are a number of ele­ments that remain largely the same....
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Using Your Router
Once you've grown accustomed to the router, the tool will fit naturally into your grasp. Initially, however, it may f...
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How To: Use a Portable Power Planer
Power planers are to jack planes as portable circular saws are to handsaws. Both the planer and the circular saw are ...
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How To: Use a Hand Plane
Very few workshop tasks can be as satisfying as putting a wood plane through its paces. There you are, just you and, ...
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How To: Use a Rafter Square
The rafter square is designed to take advantage of the geometric laws of the right triangle. For example, the right t...
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How To: Use a Hammer
At first, I felt a bit foolish explaining how to use a hammer. Most of us have seen children banging away with toy ma...
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How To: Cut Straight Lines with a Circular Saw
Despite its name, the portable circular saw (or any circular saw, for that matter) cuts only straight lines. The name...
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The Plumb Bob
What Is a Plumb Bob?The plumb bob or plumb line employs the law of gravity to establish what is “plumb” (that is, wha...
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How To: Use a Miter Box
A miter box is a wonderfully simple, affordable tool that allows any DIYer to make accurate crosscuts in wood. Since ...
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Ergonomic Snow Shoveling Tips from the Experts
As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, Old Man Winter gears up to blow squalling snow all over our decks ...
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How To: Use a Leaf Blower
Fall is full of football, hot apple cider, and pumpkin pies. And leaves. For some, lots and lots of leaves. A leaf bl...
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Bob Vila Radio: DIY Concrete
Even though the words are often used interchangeably, concrete and cement are not the same thing. Portland cement is ...
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How To: Mow Your Lawn Properly
When it comes to your landscape, one of the most time-consuming summer chores is mowing. At this time of year, under ...
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How To: Use a Saw Properly
PreparationPreparation is the most important ingredient for making clean, accurate, safe cuts. To properly prepare fo...
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The Best Floor Sander for Beginning DIYers
Unless you plan to sand many floors in your lifetime, the best choice for do-it-yourself floor refinishing is the ran...
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Filing Techniques
The first time I saw my father cut a piece of stock with a handsaw, he made it look easy. When I tried it, I discover...
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How To: Use a Paint Spray Gun
Are you tired of using a brush and messing with a tray whenever you paint? Consider investing in a paint spray gun. S...
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How To: Use a Block Plane
Follow these simple guidelines for working with a wood plane and you are sure to have superior results: Assume the Po...
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Drilling with Care
Drilling isn't difficult and, at least in comparison to sawing, it isn't particularly dangerous. Still, skilled drill...
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