Family Handyman

Family Handyman September 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 TheFamilyHandyman and click “like.” DO YOU PIN? All of our best projects and tips are on Pinterest, including complete projects and plans for fall and beyond. 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

WORTH THE SPLURGE Cut grass without gas Ryobi recently lent us a new 48-volt electric riding mower to try out (model RM480e;, and it really put a smile on my face. According to Ryobi, the mower can run for up to two hours at a stretch—enough to cut 2 acres on a single charge. Because this mower is completely electric, it’s super quiet, and you don’t have to worry about gas, belts, spark plugs or oil changes. It’s driven by three brushless motors (one for propulsion and one for each mower blade) and has a 38-in., two-blade deck. It also has a nice, tight turning radius as well as LED headlights, which let me mow past sunset. The cup holders and USB ports for charging a cell phone are also a nice…

handy hints

SHARE YOUR HANDY HINT WITH US! COFFEE BAG TIES Small bags of fancy coffee have heavy-duty ties to keep them airtight. The ties are handy for securing small coils of electrical cable and rope. They’re usually fastened to the bag with just a dab of glue, making them pretty easy to pull off. JOE GEMMILL WINE CORK CAULK SAVER Synthetic wine corks are great for sealing partially used tubes of caulk. Drill a 5/16-in. hole into the cork about 1 in. deep. The cork fits perfectly and makes an airtight seal. SUSAN CLAUSSEN SIX-PACK SHOP ORGANIZER Six-pack cartons are useful for storing and transporting items like spray paint, lubricants and caulk. GERALD FITZGIBBON DRAFTDODGER My house has round ceiling registers for the air-conditioning system. In the winter, we’d get cold air falling from the registers. Rather than put up with the…

pour a perfect slab

MEET THE EXPERT Glenn Anderson is the owner/operator of Above Quality in Prior Lake, MN. He’s been finishing slabs, laying block and stacking stone for 25 years. A concrete driveway makes a beautiful gateway to your home that can last for decades if it’s installed correctly. But if you don’t follow the proper procedures, it could turn into a pile of rubble in half the time. The good news: Installing it the right way doesn’t take extra time or money. We tagged along with a longtime professional mason, who showed us the best ways to prevent water from pooling and stop unsightly cracking, spalling and scaling. We’ll feature the actual pour in this story. For great tips on prepping the ground before the pour, visit Protect adjoining concrete Our expert uses duct tape…

success with melamine

“Melamine” is the common name for particleboard that’s coated with a thin layer of plastic finish. The melamine finish is similar to the plastic laminate on countertops, but it’s not as thick. The advantages of building with a melamine-coated product are its durable finish and its relatively low cost. But it can be frustrating to work with. The particleboard can be hard to fasten, and the brittle finish is tricky to cut. Here are 11 tips to make your next melamine project a success. 1. BUY A SPECIAL BLADE The melamine finish chips easily when cut, especially if you’re using an everyday saw blade. But you can largely avoid chipping by investing in a special blade that’s designed to cut plastic materials. The teeth on these blades are less angled, which helps prevent…

super storage - simplified

✓ BASIC TOOLS You only need two power tools ✓ FAST Build it in a weekend or less ✓ BIG CAPACITY Turns the whole wall into storage space ✓ INEXPENSIVE Make it from low-cost pegboard and lumber ✓ FLEXIBLE Move shelves or hooks instantly ✓ COMPACT Leaves plenty of parking space ✓ MODULAR Build one section or several RECONFIGURE AS YOUR NEEDS CHANGE The items on your wall may come and go as your hobbies and storage requirements evolve. The beauty of this system is that you can rearrange shelves, add or substitute pegboard accessories, and even mount hanging systems that are designed for ordinary walls, so your wall will always suit your needs. FLIP-UP WORKBENCH Flip it up when you need it; fold it down when you don’t. PEGBOARD ACCESSORIES Dozens of brackets are available to hang just about anything. DEDICATED STORAGE Install 2x4 backers to hold storage brackets and…