Family Handyman

Family Handyman October - November 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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get social!

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK Want even more? Follow us on Facebook to see exclusive videos, behind-thescenes photos, and the latest tips and projects. Go to and click “like.” DO YOU PIN? All of our best projects and tips are on Pinterest, including everything you need to do to prep your house for winter. Go to START YOUR PROJECT RIGHT AT FAMILYHANDYMAN.COM You’ll find indispensable how-to advice from our experts, easy-to-use project plans, and videos on all kinds of home improvement topics.…

stuff we love

A cordless air compressor? Really? A s the lead carpenter here at TFH, I use air compressors a lot. For the past several months, my go-to compressor has been the 18-volt battery-powered 1-gallon unit from Ridgid (model R0230). Here’s why. My work often takes me to several different locations in a day, and cordless means less hassle finding outlets and dealing with extension cords. Since I can carry it right towhere I need it, one short hose is all I need. It even has a strap for the hose. The R0230 is perfect for trim guns and light framing and runs on the same 18-volt batteries used by other Ridgid tools—one, or two for a longer run-time. Its rubber feet protect floors from damage, and it’s quieter than most small electric compressors. I…

handy hints

SHARE YOUR HANDY HINT WITH US! Stir-stick paint organizer When you buy custom-mixed paint, the paint clerk slaps the mix label on top of the can. I always ask for an extra label to wrap around a stir stick. When I’m done with the project, I let the stir stick dry and drill a hole near the top of it. Then I label both the stick and the can with the name of the room where I used the paint. I hang the stir sticks near the cans of leftover paint. With both the color formula and a dried paint sample in view, I don’t have to pull down every can to find the right one for touch-ups. PERRY PARSON Wet-saw marking tip Use a crayon to draw the cutting line on tile before using…

bench grinder basics

A bench grinder is probably not a tool you’ll use every day. However, if it’s available and set up correctly, you’ll be surprised how often it comes in handy for everything from sharpening tools to rounding over thread ends on a cutoff bolt. We’ve assembled these tips to help you get the most out of your grinder. Match the wheel to the job Most bench grinders come with one coarse- and one medium-grit aluminum oxide grinding wheel. These are fine for everyday grinding on steel. But there are better wheels for special tasks like sharpening tools or grinding aluminum, copper, brass or stone. Here are a few key points to remember when choosing wheels. ▪ Grits go from coarse to fine, which are indicated by numbers like 80 grit or 220 grit, with larger…

share your stuff!

IT’S AS EASY AS 1-2-3! 1. Shoot it! Simply snap pictures (from start to finish) of whatever you’re making, fixing, refurbishing, building or inventing. You don’t need a camera—smartphone photos are A-OK! 2. Share it! Head to, where you can upload your photos and write a description whenever you have something to share, or visit to get inspired by the rest of our amazing can-do community. 3. See it! Your project or idea may show up in the pages of the magazine or on our website for all the world to enjoy!…

finishing up a plumbing job

When the job is done and you’re ready to pack up your tools, take the time to do a final check for tiny leaks and sediment lingering in the lines. There’s no 100 percent prevention for either problem, but if you take a few precautions, you can reach 99 percent certainty. And that’s about as good as life gets. MEET THE EXPERT When Gary Wentz, editor-in-chief, did a stint as a journeyman plumber, he picked up tricks from some of the sharpest plumbers on earth. Spot Tiny Leaks Don’t Get Fooled by Condensation In high humidity, a cold water line will sweat, making it almost impossible to detect tiny leaks. Here’s how to work around that: Run the water just enough to fill the line. Then take a coffee break while the water in the…