Family Handyman

Family Handyman September 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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why choose mineral wool insulation?

I’ve filled thousands of stud spaces with fiberglass batts over the years. So when I think insulation, I think fiberglass. But I recently tried a different type of insulation called “mineral wool.” Mineral wool has been around for decades, is widely used in Canada and Europe and is making a comeback in the United States. It’s made by melting down basalt stone and recycled slag from steel mills, then spinning it into fiber that can be formed into batts or boards. I did some research, talked to installers and filled a few walls with the stuff. Here’s my verdict: Mineral wool has some real advantages over the alternatives. If you have an insulation job coming up, I strongly recommend that you check it out. THE PROS AND CONS R-value Mineral wool batts are…

great goofs® POISON IVY SHOWER A couple times a year, I clean up the wooded area behind my house by cutting down brush and any vines that are climbing up and around large trees. I usually use hedge trimmers and good old manual labor, but this year I decided to try doing it with my string trimmer. I was chopping a few vines around the base of a tree when all of a sudden I hit some poison ivy, which got all over me. Within a minute, I could feel burning on my legs and arms. For the next few weeks, my bottle of calamine lotion was never far away. John Zangari Sticky situation Eager to cross one more project off my to-do list, I went outside to paint window trim just before dark. Who needs…

stuff we love A garage door opener with options What’s a power tool company doing making a garage door opener? Changing the whole industry, that’s what! This game changer is called the Ryobi GD200. It has a powerful 2-hp motor under the hood, instead of a 1/2-hp like most other openers. Plus, it features a super-quiet, steel-reinforced belt drive rather than a noisy chain or screw drive. It also has an LED light, which should last as long as the opener itself. The light is activated by a motion detector and turns on whenever you enter the garage. But what really sets this unit apart are the seven ports. Each port receives a module of your choosing, including a fan, a CO and temperature sensor, a Bluetooth speaker that broadcasts and receives music or phone…

entry organizer

BUILD THIS IN A WEEKEND! If you would love to have a mudroom but just don’t have the space, this compact bench and shoe shelf may be exactly what you need. Mount it near the garage service door and you’ll have a convenient spot to remove and store your shoes or boots before going inside. There’s even a hollow bench with a flip-up lid to store your hats and gloves. A SEAT WITH STORAGE A hinged lid provides easy access to the compartment under the seat. It’s a perfect place to store hats, gloves and all kinds of other small stuff. 1 CUT THE PARTS Cut the boards to length, following the Cutting List on p. 27. Running your circular saw along a large square ensures straight, square cuts. Parts F, G and N also…

replace a pickup bumper A rusty or dented bumper can drag down the whole appearance of a pickup that’s in otherwise good shape. Having it replaced by a pro will set you back $1,000, but you can save $500 or more in labor and parts by doing the job yourself. It takes only a few hours. To make sense of all the bumper buying options and various prices for the “same” part, we contacted parts expert Tom Taylor, owner of Tom walked us through the options and offered buying advice for owners of new and old trucks. MEET THE EXPERT Tom Taylor started his career as a Chrysler engineer and co-founded the online auto parts store RockAuto 17 years ago. 1 REMOVE THE TRAILER LIGHT CONNECTOR Reach behind the bumper and hold each nut as you unscrew the…

on the house

SILENCE PLEASE When it comes to construction equipment, we look for durability, portability and ease of use. Something we previously hadn’t considered is noise. In construction we are all used to equipment noise. In fact, so much so that we all wear ear protection at work. At the National Hardware Show we met Jeff Wood, President of Wood Industries Inc. and an award winning compressor manufacturer. He developed a line of heavy-duty compressors that are quieter than ever called the “Eagle Silent Series.” The series includes seven oil-free models ranging from a one-gallon up to 20-gallons. Our favorite is the Eagle EA-5000, a 2 HP, 5.5 Gallon, 125-PSI compressor that has an oil free double piston pump that’s really quiet. When a compressor runs at 49Db from 25', it’s worth an…