Family Handyman

Family Handyman December 2016 - January 2017

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.

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6
stuff we love

feedback@familyhandyman.com Tool chests— not just for mechanics Mondo tool chests like the ones you see at professional mechanics’ shops used to cost thousands of dollars. Way too much for the average shop rat. But prices on professionalgrade tool chests have dropped into the $1,000 range over the past few years, putting them within reach of most serious DIYers. I recently picked up a Kobalt stainless steel tool chest ($500) and a matching tool cabinet ($680). The units are 41 in. wide and built with double wall construction. All 20 drawers have full-extension ball-bearing slides, each rated for a hefty 99 lbs., which is plenty strong for my needs. This setup isn’t just for mechanics either: The deeper drawers are perfect for locking up drills, nail guns and routers. And the drawers come with rubber…

2
handy hints

FROM OUR READERS submissions@familyhandyman.com Recycle water If you have a dehumidifier, you have a free supply of water that’s perfect for houseplants. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air and create “condensate” that’s free from chemicals and minerals found in tap water. Just don’t drink it—it could contain microbes and trace amounts of metals that are harmful to humans. J.A. Kemble Ornament ho-ho-holder I found a nifty way to store my Christmas ornaments using clear plastic tubs (with lids), some wooden dowels, and rubber leg tips that I got from the home center. I drilled two holes in each end of the tubs, inserted the dowels through them, and then capped the dowels with the rubber tips to keep the dowels in place. I store things like Christmas tree skirts in the bottom and hang ornaments from…

11
floating shelves

feedback@familyhandyman.com You can buy floating shelves in stores or online for $20 to $80 each. But before you do that, consider building your own. For about the same cost, you can get the exact size, thickness and look you want. You can even finish them to match your trim or furniture. And your homemade shelves will be sturdier than most storebought shelves—ours can support about 50 lbs. each. Plus, you’ll earn serious bragging rights when you’re done. Money, time and tools A pair of shelves cost us about $150 to build. We were able to make two shelves from a single 4 x 8-ft. sheet of 1/2-in.-thick red oak plywood ($40). It can be tough to find locally, so call around before you shop, or choose different plywood. Our shelves are 2-1/2 in. thick and 72…

6
quick & simple gift projects

feedback@familyhandyman.com NO NEED TO SHOP! ’Tis the season for woodworkers. While others are slogging through crowded malls and spending hundreds on manufactured gifts, you can slip away to your shop and create handmade heirlooms. And if you have an ample pile of scrapwood, you won’t have to spend a dime! Here are some projects you can complete in a few hours. Tool Tote It’s not just for tools: A portable organizer can be used for gardening gear, craft materials or cleaning supplies. To build it, you can use our dimensions or customize it to suit the person on your gift list. We cut our slats and partitions from 2x4 scraps with a table saw. Then we glued the partitions in place before adding the slats. n Drill the 3/8-in. storage holes in the top edges…

7
all about euro hinges

feedback@familyhandyman.com 3 REASONS TO LOVE EURO HINGES Euro hinges—also called “cup hinges” or “concealed hinges”—look complicated. But they’re actually much easier to install than traditional hinges. EASY TO INSTALL Traditional hinges are fussy to install. And if you get it wrong, you’re stuck. With Euro hinges, you just bore one large hole and drive some screws. Get that hole in the right spot and the rest is goof-proof. EASY TO ADJUST With traditional hinges, you can spend hours getting the fit right: planing or sanding the door, shimming or moving hinges… With Euro hinges, you can move a door in and out, up and down, or side to side just by turning screws. INSTANT ON AND OFF With traditional hinges, you have to remove screws or hinge pins to remove doors. Euro hinges like this one just snap…

5
3 solutions for a popcorn ceiling

feedback@familyhandyman.com \Millions of homes have “popcorn” texture applied to ceilings. And while it does a pretty decent job of masking small imperfections in old plaster and drywall, this texture is a little out of fashion and notorious for trapping dust and cobwebs. It’s also tough to make a good-looking repair with it. There’s good news, however: You’ve got some options for dealing with an old popcorn ceiling. 1. Cover it with drywall It’s not an easy project, but there are some good reasons to consider installing drywall directly over your popcorn ceiling (and some good reasons not to). Pros: No texture to scrape off. Scraping, even wet-scraping, is hard, messy work. And if the popcorn texture is painted, it’ll be even harder to scrape off. Lower asbestos risk. Popcorn texture applied before 1980 might contain asbestos,…