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The Best Jointer Planer Combos
Buying rough lumber can save a lot of money and offers the opportunity to find and use interesting varieties. However...
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The Best DeWalt Table Saws of 2023
Table saws are a versatile staple of DIY enthusiasts, home woodworkers, and jobsite contractors, capable of accuratel...
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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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How To: Use a Tape Measure
You’ve no doubt heard the carpentry proverb “Measure twice, cut once” and may even have made it a mantra for your own...
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What’s the Difference? Biodegradable vs. Compostable
Labels are confusing. Consider, for example, organic, non-GMO, and cage free. They all have one thing in common—they ...
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8 Top Tips for How to Use Compost
Composting is great for your garden and the environment. Instead of dumping vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, grass c...
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Solved! The Shelf Life of Bleach
Q: I like to use a bleach mixture to clean and disinfect around my home, but lately I’ve noticed the unused portion i...
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11 Handy Uses for Borax Around the House
Follow these recipes to get extra mileage from a cleaning agent that’s been used for generations.
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8 Safety Tips for Disinfecting with Bleach
Sodium hypochlorite—more commonly known as “chlorine bleach” or just “bleach”—is often used as a laundry additive for...
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8 Types of Nail Guns You Should Know—and How to Use Them
Whether you’re looking to add shiplap, install trim, or tackle one of the hundreds of other carpentry projects, a nai...
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Solved! Do Air Purifiers Really Work?
Q: I suffer from seasonal allergies, and a friend suggested I buy an air purifier for my home. What does an air purif...
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5 Tips for Building and Using a French Cleat Wall
It may sound fancy, but a French cleat is simply a sturdy beveled support board, a secret that builders and craftsmen...
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Solved! What is the Drawer Under the Oven For?
Q: I recently moved into a new apartment, and the small drawer under the oven puzzles me. Is this an extra space to s...
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4 Important Tools for Detecting a Gas Leak
Stop for a moment and consider the number of appliances in the home that run on gas.  These days, many stoves, furnac...
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How to Use Wood Filler to Repair Furniture, Flooring, and More
Badly scratched hardwood flooring, rotted window frames, and chipped furniture are common problems that can be time-c...
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10 "Free" Things That Cost You Money in the Long Run
Life is expensive. Between the mortgage, insurance, car payments, and unexpected repairs, homeowners have a lot of money going out. It’s understandable, then, tha...
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Bob Vila's 14 Best Tips for Drilling
Every homeowner encounters a bit of drilling sooner or later in their list of projects—whether that's installing curt...
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14 Things to Do with Olive Oil Besides Cook
Olive oil is most commonly thought of as a kitchen staple, but for thousands of years it's also been used for all sorts of things that have nothing to do with foo...
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How To: Clean with Mineral Spirits—and Why You Should
Commonly used as paint thinner, mineral spirits—an inexpensive petroleum distillate—is also a versatile cleaner. Whil...
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Never Combine Bleach and Vinegar When Cleaning—Here’s Why
Heavy-duty dirt, grime, mildew, and mold accumulations call for powerful household cleaners. And chances are you have...
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How To: Check and Dispose of Old Antifreeze
Changing your antifreeze is an important part of preparing your car for cold weather. Antifreeze (also known as coola...
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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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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 around windows, doors, ...
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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. But unused remnants of the...
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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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15 Creative Uses for Club Soda
This fizzy refresher and cocktail mixer has many surprising uses beyond the bar. Here’s how club soda can simplify your household cleaning and maintenance routines.
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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 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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How to Load a Dishwasher the Right Way
Of all kitchen appliances, the dishwasher almost certainly ranks as one of the greatest. This wonderful convenience o...
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How to Start a Lawn Mower and Troubleshoot Common Problems
Unless you’re planning to hire a lawn care company to handle your yard maintenance, you’ll need to learn how to start...
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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: 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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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 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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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 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 This Tool, and How Do You Use It?
This tool has ancient origins. Evidence suggests that Egyptian architects used plumb bob-like tools to establish vert...
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How to Use a Miter Box
A miter box is a simple, affordable tool that allows a DIYer to make accurate cuts in wood. Since this wood angle cut...
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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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How to Use a Saw the Right Way
Every time you use a power saw, you put your very own flesh and blood at risk. I've worked with more contractors than...
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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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