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Preview: PopularMechanics.com - Blogs: Home Journal News

PopularMechanics.com - Blogs: Home Journal News



Informative articles on automotive technology, car parts, do it yourself repair, and used cars.



Copyright: Copyright 2009 Hearst Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
 



How to Apply Enamel Paint to Doors, Windows and Trim

Fri, 28 Aug 2009 00:00:00 -0500

Enamel is is one of many misleading home improvement terms. Here are some times for applying it correctly.

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How and When to Use Polyurethane in Woodworking

Fri, 28 Aug 2009 00:00:00 -0500

Developed as a substitute for rubber during World War II. Today, when a woodworker says "poly," the polyurethane under discussion is a tough, moisture-resistant film finish available in various levels of gloss.

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How and When to Use a Lagscrew

Wed, 26 Aug 2009 00:00:00 -0500

All screws have one thing in common: a helical thread, or groove, that winds its way around a metal shaft. The largest wood screws are called lagscrews, and you'll find them in your local hardware store in sizes ranging from 1/4 in. in diameter to 1/2 in.

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How to Pour Concrete Safely

Wed, 26 Aug 2009 00:00:00 -0500

Anyone building with concrete should keep in mind these two facts: One, it will probably be around forever (think Roman aqueducts), because two, it's awfully hard to get rid of (think pneumatic hammers and hard hats). Making it, though, is easy.

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Making Level Stringers for Stairs: PM Tool Tips

Thu, 20 Aug 2009 00:00:00 -0500

We don't think about what holds stairs up when we walk down them. You might guess it was the walls below the stairs, but actually stairs are self-supporting structures that are held up by their stringers, the long pieces to which each tread is fastened.

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Does the Topsy Turvy Tomato Work? As Seen on TV Lab Test

Fri, 07 Aug 2009 00:00:00 -0500

The Topsy Turvy is an inverted growing apparatus that promises not only to prevent your tomatoes from dragging on the ground and rotting, but to grow them faster and more heartily. We tested the Topsy Turvy tomatoes and tasted the results.

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Does the Wearable Towel Work? As Seen on TV Lab Test

Tue, 28 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0500

The Wearable Towel fills some unnamed, unknown need for a hydrophilic textile that "keeps you totally covered, and gives you the freedom to use your hands." We measured its absorbency and fit after numerous dips in a creek.

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5 Ways to Work with Copper Pipe: PM Tool Tips

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0500

Although the words "pipe" and "tubing" are often used interchangeably, they are not synonymous. Unlike pipe, tubing is thin-walled and may be rigid or flexible.Here are tips on cutting, reaming, cleaning, fluxing and soldering copper tubing.

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How to Work with Roof Shingles

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0500

To a roofer, carpenter or a handy homeowner, the humble shingle is a joy forever-well, maybe not forever. Sooner or later sunlight and weather will degrade it, but better examples of the breed can last for decades.

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How Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters Work: PM Tool Tips

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0500

A GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupter, is designed to protect you by sensing electricity leaking to ground. They should be equal, and if they're not, it cuts power. Here's how it works.

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When to Use a Halogen Bulb: PM Tool Tips

Mon, 20 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0500

A halogen bulb is a long-lasting and far more energy-efficient form of the standard incandescent bulb-it can yield a 40 percent savings, by some accounts, depending on bulb type. Problem is, it runs a lot hotter-too hot for many rooms.

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How to Choose and Use a Handsaw: PM Tool Tips

Tue, 14 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0500

It's easy to underestimate how important handsaws were to the development of civilization. They originated thousands of years ago, when wood-cutting was done with an axe. They were a revolutionary leap forward in speed, efficiency and accuracy.

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Plastic Laminate: PM Tool Tips

Tue, 14 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0500

Long used as an economical and heat-resistant countertop surfacing material, plastic laminate is made of kraft paper impregnated with melamine (a plastic resin). The two are formed into a thin sheet under high heat and pressure.

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Working With Cast Iron: PM Tool Tips

Thu, 09 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0500

If you're a traditionalist in the kitchen, there's a good chance you have a few cast-iron pots. They're the heavy black ones that transmit heat so uniformly. Cast iron is an alloy (a hardened solution) of iron, carbon and silicon.

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Finishing Drywall Repair Jobs: PM Tool Tips

Thu, 09 Jul 2009 00:00:00 -0500

Drywall is easy to install with nails or screws; panel seams between pieces are layered with thin paper tape and covered with drywall compound, a plasterlike product that's applied with a wide tool called a drywall knife.

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