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EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Home & Garden
This Old House

This Old House

November/December 2020

This Old House gives you the inspiration, information and instruction you need to take on home improvement projects of all sizes and succeed. In every issue, find fresh design ideas for every room, creative DIY solutions, step-by-step projects, and tips from the pros. For annual or monthly subscriptions (on all platforms except iOS), your subscription will automatically renew and be charged to your provided payment method at the end of the term unless you choose to cancel. You may cancel at any time during your subscription in your account settings. If your provided payment method cannot be charged, we may terminate your subscription.

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
This Old House Ventures, LLC
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
keep warm, stay connected

One small positive of the months spent in lockdown has been how we’ve embraced our outdoor spaces. We just feel better, and safer, outside. Where friends and neighbors were once away from home all day or ensconced indoors with climate control, the warm-weather months saw every backyard where I live—and even more noticeably, many front yards—being more sociable than ever before, as families set up outside and visitors hung out at responsible distances. Those summertime gatherings often lasted well into the evening, with fire pits crackling, string lights glowing, and even movies projected on wall-hung screens offering a comforting, muffled soundtrack all around. It was the ultimate in “together apart.” With autumn now in full swing, I’m wondering how we can keep the good times going outdoors. I hate the idea…

1 min.
on my winter wish list

The (unlikely) dream The (more likely) reality Sound and light: With hurricane-lamp styling, this app-controlled LED Lantern Speaker delivers up to 7 hours of dimmable light and crisp, omnidirectional sound on a single battery charge. $110; store.moma.org…

2 min.
tom’s pocket plane

The backstory The No. 102 low-angle block plane that made its debut in the 1877 catalog of Stanley Rule & Level Co. was a 5.-inch-long, all-steel tool designed to slice through tough end grain, such as butcher blocks. But carpenters found that the palm-size No. 102 neatly fit in a tool belt, and put it to use trimming cabinet doors, shaving shingles, scribe-fitting baseboards, and fine-tuning miters. Stanley made its last No. 102 in 1962. Twenty-five years later, in 1987, Lie-Nielsen Toolworks issued an upgraded version with a cap iron and body made of rustproof manganese bronze, a stainless-steel blade-depth adjustment with fine micrometer threads, and a 1⁄8-inch blade—twice as thick as the original—for vibration-free cutting. The result: a handy, portable plane that makes shavings just .008 to .010 inch thick right…

1 min.
one plane, three ways to work it

For maximum control: the two-handed push stroke Place the thumb of one hand on the finger rest, grab the sides of the plane body with the thumb and fingers of your other hand, and nestle the cap in your palm. Then push away from your body. For the longest reach: the one-handed push stroke Place your forefinger on the finger rest, grab the sides of the plane with your thumb on one side and the remaining fingers on the other, and seat the cap in your palm. Then push away from your body. For the most powerful stroke: the one-handed pull stroke With the tool’s nose facing you, grip its body with your thumb and fingers as you pull the plane toward you. This allows you to brace the work against your…

1 min.
wary of marble? try it as an accent

Add just a splash As a vertical surface, a marble backsplash sustains fewer spills and less wear and tear than a horizontal work top—like this showstopping mosaic set in a field of ceramic subway tile. To help keep both marble and grout fresh-looking and to protect from grease and splatters, apply an impregnating sealer. Reduce costs—and upkeep—by doing as designer Kristi Patterson did here by surrounding the marble with lesspricey tile. Shown: Talya Collection marble mosaic; marblesystems.com Roll it out as a work surface A dedicated baking station topped with easy-to-wipe-down marble is a classic addition to keep dough cool. One with a polished surface adds shine, though a honed stone hides wear. For optimal ergonomics, drop the height to 30 to 32 inches (as compared with standard 36-inch-high counters), and for optimal…

2 min.
battery-powered snow movers make the grade

A FEW YEARS AGO, you couldn’t be blamed for giving the cordless snowblowers at home centers a pass. Their anemic builds, with weak batteries and narrow augers, limited their usefulness to modest walkways. But now efficient brushless motors and better batteries—with more voltage power and higher amp-hour ratings for extended run time—deliver enough muscle to chew through up to a foot of fluff without rousing the entire neighborhood. Here are three models to tackle winter’s worst. GOOD FOR: SMALL WALKWAYS, STEPS, AND PORCHES Toro 60V Battery Flex-Force Power Shovel; $299; toro.com/60v Nimble and narrow, this 22-pound cordless shovel works where larger snowblowers can’t. The auger hurls snow directly in front, so you will need to take some time to plan your path. But when you’re done, this model takes up about as much…