Family Handyman

Family Handyman November 2016

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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stuff we love Monster oscillating tool The most common complaints about oscillating tools are slow speed and a lack of power. Dremel has addressed these issues with the aptly named “Velocity.” This tool boasts a 7-amp motor, while most oscillating tools are in the 2- to 3-amp range. The oscillation angle has been increased to 5 degrees so you can remove more material with every pass of the blade. The tool kit even comes with a blade big enough to cut the occasional 2x4, but don’t throw out your circular saw just yet. This beast is heavier than most other oscillating tools and has a thicker handle, so if you have small hands or do a lot of overhead work, this may not be the tool for you. The Velocity is equipped with a control foot…

handy hints Spray-paint organizer My wife was just about to throw away a shoe caddy when I had this idea. I screwed the shoe caddy to one of the garage walls, and now I store all my spray-paint cans in there. It lets me find the color I want, and the cans aren’t hogging valuable shelf space. James Stefan Small-parts sander I’m 91 years old, but I still enjoy spending time in the wood shop. I like to make wooden toys and give them to my great-grandkids and charity groups. One trick I’ve learned over the years is to use emery boards—the kind for filing fingernails— to sand small parts. Emery boards come in different sizes, and some are more abrasive than others, so I keep an assortment on hand. Joe Aboussleman Caulk-gun sight When I’m caulking, the long…

random orbit sanders Sanding is never fun, but the right machine can make this tedious chore go faster. For most DIY projects, the right machine is a 5-in. random orbit sander. Belt sanders are often too aggressive and orbit-only sanders too slow. A random orbit sander hits the sweet spot in between. Whether you’re choosing your first random orbit sander or looking to upgrade, check out the following pages to find a model to suit your needs. HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU SPEND? All the sanders we tested performed exactly as they should, but they covered a huge price range: $30 to $220. So how much should you spend? If you’re a light-duty DIYer and rarely use a sander, chances are you’ll be satisfied with any of the low-cost models. But if you’re a weekend woodworker,…

10 pro tool tips

Trim trouble solution Sometimes door or window casing won’t lie flat against the wall because the drywall protrudes beyond the jamb. The fastest fix for that is to bash the drywall flat with a hammer. If that’s not enough, recess the back of the casing with a power plane. Before a blade change… Crank the blade to 45 degrees or so. With the arbor tilted up, you have better access and you’re less likely to drop the nut into some unreachable cranny. Hump detector A drywall knife isn’t just for spreading joint compound. Its long, straight edge helps you find high or low spots in your work. Mark those spots with a pencil, then sand or fill as needed. Get a grip on battered bolts When a nut or bolt is so beat up that a wrench…

master the random orbit sander 10 tips for a fast, fine finish— without swirls! How it works—and what goes wrong The pad of a random orbit sander moves in two ways: It wiggles in a tight orbital pattern while it rotates. This combined movement leaves a random pattern of scratches running in every direction, overlapping, intersecting and becoming practically invisible. But if you sand the wrong way, you’ll prevent the sander from working properly. You’ll get visible scratches, often in the form of long, spiraling swirls. You may not see these swirls on raw wood, but a coat of stain will highlight them. 1GO S-L-O-W When you use a random orbit sander, it’s natural to scrub back and forth in a hurry. But that produces swirls. Slow down! The slower you go, the more random the scratches will be. It’s…

compact craft table Hobbies like sewing and model building are more enjoyable when you have room to spread out, but you may not have space for a giant table. Here’s the answer: Make a cabinet with plenty of storage space, add fold-down wings and then put it on wheels. This craft table isn’t hard to make—the whole thing just screws together. All of the parts are available at home centers. A store-bought craft table this large and sturdy typically costs about $500, but we built this one for about $350. Start with a small box Check out the table’s dimensions before building (Figures A, B and C). You may want to alter the size of the storage areas to fit your own set of craft boxes or a sewing machine. Begin by cutting all the plywood parts…