Family Handyman

Family Handyman Winter 2019

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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pot & pan pullout

The only time our pots and pans were truly organized was when they were new in the box—since then, it’s been “every pan for itself.” Pots and pans are difficult to organize; if you stack them up, it’s a hassle getting to the bottom ones. If you spread them out, they take up tons of valuable cabinet space. This pot and pan pullout makes your pans easy to access and organize and—depending on your cook ware—may even give you a place to stash your lids. It only takes a couple of hours, a couple of boards and a couple of drawer slides. Note: This accessory is designed to support everyday pots and pans, not extremely heavy objects or kids doing pull-ups. 1. MEASURE THE CABINET Measure the depth of the cabinet from the…

roof venting basics

If ventilation a moment’s thought, you’re not alone. Even builders didn’t think about it much until the 1950s. But eliminating warm, moist air from the attic is critical to the health of your house. A basic understanding of roof venting can help you solve big problems—or avoid them altogether. Paths to good venting For intake air, soffit vents are best. Air can passively exit through ridge vents or hood vents. Turbine vents harness the wind to suck air out of the attic. Electric-powered vents are the ultimate air movers but aren’t necessary in most situations. Gable vents can help by allowing air in or out, but they don’t usually help the air flow evenly throughout the attic. It’s all about airflow Roof ventilation is based on the simple fact that warm air rises. In…

great gifts for diyers

Whether you’re shopping for others or making up a wish list for yourself, help is right here. These gift ideas, big and small, come from the best source we know of: our own workshops, job sites and hands-on experience. $30 Space-saving hose Garden hoses always used to be a hassle to lug around and to store at my farm. GrowGreen hoses have been the answer to both problems. Thanks to the lightweight material, the hoses expand with water pressure and retract when empty. A 25-ft. hose retracts to less than 10 ft. long. When the job’s done, I spray the water out of them and toss them into a bucket. ANNE OF ALL TRADES does it all, from farming and carpentry to fine woodworking and metal forging. She shares woodworking plans along with her…

six-point vs. 12-point sockets

Q My gearhead neighbor keeps telling me I should quit using my 12-point sockets and buy a set of six-points. Is this really necessary? JEFF ALBRIGHT, COLUMBIA, MO A It’s true that 12-point sockets are fine for most lightweight repairs, but heavy wrenching calls for a six-point socket. A six-point socket is much less likely to slip off a stubborn fastener or round over the corners. Here’s why: (1) Six-point sockets have thicker walls, so they’re less likely to flex. (2) A six-point socket is designed to contact the head of a fastener well away from the corners so contact is made on the thickest part of the socket and the flattest part of the fastener. This dramatically reduces the likelihood of slippage and rounding over of the corners. And (3), the edges…

the case for the compact router

My full-size routers have been gathering a lot of dust since I purchased a compact router for trimming plastic laminate. Compact routers only accept 1/4-in.-shank bits, which limits the size bits you can use. But my compact router can handle about 75 percent of my routing tasks: light edge profiles, shallow dadoes and rabbets, round-overs and chamfers. One-handed operation is a nice bonus. If you’re new to routers, a compact router is a good introduction. They’re less intimidating than their full-size siblings. You can grab a basic compact router for as little as $30. Or, you can spend about $200 for an entire kit that includes various bases and attachments. GARY WENTZ, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF BASIC KIT: $30 COMPLETE KIT: $200 BROUGHT TO YOU BY SNOW BLOWER SMARTS A shear pin is a specially designed bolt that connects the…

cabinet dividers

Cookie sheets, cutting boards, cooling racks, serving trays, pizza peels… Most of us have a disorderly pile of large, flat cookware—and the thing we need is always at the bottom of the stack. This simple system of dividers brings order to the chaos. It requires minimal skills and materials and goes together fast, which allows you to spend more time cooking and less time searching and sorting. Figure A Cabinet Dividers TOOLS Circular saw or table saw, drill, brad nailer (or hammer and nails), basic hand tools How to build it Measure the width and depth of your cabinet (Photo 1), then cut two 1/4-in. plywood panels (A) to fit. If you have a double-wide cabinet (like ours), cut the plywood so it extends at least halfway beyond the vertical center stile. Tip: If you…