Family Handyman July/August 2019

When it comes to home improvement, you need information you can trust. Inside each issue of The Family Handyman, you’ll find see-and-solve expert repair techniques, a variety of projects for every room and step-by-step, do-it-yourself photos.

United States
Trusted Media Brands Inc.
7 Issues

in this issue

1 min
decades of sheds

FAMILY HANDYMAN has been building sheds (and showing you how to build them) for 60 years. That’s a lot of sheds. And looking back over the dozens of designs, I’m struck by one thing: Hot new trends usually aren’t all that new. Outdoor kitchens and outdoor living rooms, for example, are popular today. But those concepts have been around for decades. We first combined them with storage sheds in the 1960s. Joining storage with outdoor living was a good idea—and still is. So our latest shed is really just a bigger, better version of an established winning combination. To build it, we traveled to Texas and teamed up with The Ostertag Group, a construction company run by basketball star Greg Ostertag and his wife, Shannon. This is the biggest shed we’ve…

1 min

ALL OF OUR FAVORITE BACKYARD IDEAS IN ONE PLACE Find how-to projects, tips and tools to help you create the ultimate outdoor space at LEARN MORE. BUILD MORE. Calling DIYers who want to tackle it all! Get unlimited access to Family Handyman’s complete library of quick DIY University online classes. This includes two exciting new projects per month—things you’ve been dreaming about, and projects that may not have occurred to you. Get ready to build a wall-mounted bike rack or your own workshop, add elegant kitchen storage and a tile backsplash, install a sleek USB charging station, and much more! Start your 14-day FREE Trial at BECOME A FAMILY HANDYMAN INSIDER Get INSIDER Access to: ✓ 60+ Project Plans ✓ 24/7 Online Classes ✓ Monthly E-Newsletter JOIN TODAY: FHINSIDER.COM TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE 14-DAY FREE TRIAL…

3 min
stuff we love

Easy-to-store ladder Telescoping ladders allow you to reach the same height as standard extension ladders, but they eliminate all the hassles: They’re lighter and easier to transport and take up far less space in your garage. There are a few different brands, and each has models that extend to various heights. We got our hands on the Xtend + Climb 770P, and we’re big fans. It retracts to just 32 in. tall and extends in 1-ft. increments, up to 12 ft. And it weighs only 27 lbs. You can get one online for about $190. My go-to tape I use a tape measure nearly every day and rely on them for accuracy in detailed woodworking and metalworking projects, and for large-scale carpentry. But I don’t always need to lay out 35-ft.walls, so I prefer…

3 min
handy hints®

Cut trimming time To cut my string trimmer work in half, I ran a rope through my mower’s grass chute and tied a knot. I tied the other end of the rope to the tractor so it can’t get caught in the blades. This way, I can pull up the grass chute and get closer to trees and other obstacles from the comfort of my tractor seat. TRAVIS LARSON NO-ROLL PENCILS Carpenter’s pencils are handy because they don’t roll off your workbench or countertop. But I prefer regular pencils for precise marking. To keep them from rolling off the workbench, I put a tape “flag” around the end. DAVID SCHMIDT Minimize concrete dust If you’ve ever mixed bagged concrete, you know what a dusty job it is. You end up wearing and inhaling a lot of concrete…

4 min
sharpen a lawn mower blade

You can sharpen a mower blade with a file, a rotary tool or a bench grinder, but an angle grinder makes it fast and easy. First, disconnect the spark plug wire (Photo 1). Next, seal the gas cap vent hole by putting a piece of plastic under the gas cap. Tip the mower with the carburetor facing up. Clamp a 2x4 block to the mower deck to keep the blade from turning while you loosen it. Mark the “grass side” of the blade so you don’t reinstall it upside down. Loosen the blade nut (Photo 2). If it’s stubborn, use a breaker bar, or soak it with penetrating oil for a half hour and try again. Clamp the blade securely in a vise or to your workbench. Wear gloves, a face shield, hearing…

2 min
5 things you must know about vermiculite

1 WHAT IS IT? Vermiculite is a mineral that was used for insulation. If your home was built before 1990, you might have vermiculite insulation in your walls or attic. Up to 85 percent of all vermiculite insulation in the U.S. came from a mine in Libby, Montana, sold under the name Zonolite. 2 WHY IS IT BAD? Nearly all vermiculite contains asbestos, which can cause lung cancer when inhaled. While it’s true that undisturbed, encapsulated asbestos doesn’t pose a health risk, the asbestos in vermiculite insulation isn’t encapsulated and can easily become airborne during cleaning, maintenance or remodeling. And, the type of asbestos found in vermiculite—called amphibole—is even more hazardous than the chrysotile asbestos that was more commonly used in the U.S. 3 FEDERAL GUIDELINES ARE WEAK The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends that…