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This Old House

This Old House

September/October 2020

This Old House gives you the inspiration, information and instruction you need to take on home improvement projects of all sizes and succeed. In every issue, find fresh design ideas for every room, creative DIY solutions, step-by-step projects, and tips from the pros. For annual or monthly subscriptions (on all platforms except iOS), your subscription will automatically renew and be charged to your provided payment method at the end of the term unless you choose to cancel. You may cancel at any time during your subscription in your account settings. If your provided payment method cannot be charged, we may terminate your subscription.

Land:
United States
Språk:
English
Utgiver:
This Old House Ventures, LLC
Hyppighet:
Bimonthly
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2 min.
how safe is your home’s wiring?

An Ounce of Prevention Electrical dangers are real. Each year in the United States, electrical arcing faults are responsible for starting more than 42,000 home fires, killing and injuring nearly 2,000 people and causing more than $1.4 billion in property damage. In addition, there are nearly 400 electrocutions each year in the United States*. Both events could be prevented with the installation of two inexpensive, DIY-friendly safety devices. And while these devices may look similar, the arc-fault and ground-fault dangers they prevent—and functions they perform—are vastly different. Here’s why you need the protection of both. The Ground-Fault/Arc-Fault Difference Ground-faults occur when electricity escapes bare, damaged, wet, or poorly insulated wires and takes a shortcut to the ground. If your body provides the path to that ground, you could be electrocuted. Arc-faults happen when…

2 min.
it’s a colorful life

After more than a decade of living in a “white box” city apartment, it was one of the great bonuses of moving to a house in the suburbs. Not the tiny yard I could brighten with flowers. Not the kitchen that invited walking around, rather than merely pivoting in place. Not the fact that I could open a single door and spill directly outside and onto the sidewalk. It was having more room, of course, but especially more rooms, just waiting for a fresh coat of paint. And paint I did. I swatched colors on foam-core boards, sampled on the walls, had “half-strength” formulas custom mixed, as well as “in-between” colors when paint-chip shades didn’t seem quite right. That is until the day when Skip, our paint-store manager, ambled into my…

1 min.
17-in-1 painter’s tool

The backstory The prototype of this handy helpmate, the brainchild of an unknown house painter in California, was a stiff-bladed putty knife with a semicircular cutout to clean paint rollers, a beveled edge for scraping and puttying, a sharp pointed tip to clean out cracks, and a blunt tip to open paint cans. Its inventor never patented his 5-in-1 tool, but the folks at Hyde Tools Inc. suspected the idea had promise and started selling one nationally in 1975. It sold briskly, prompting other tool companies to come out with their own versions. Hyde responded with the 6-in-1 tool, and the race was on. Now there are 8-in-1, 10-in-1, and, yes, 17-in-1 painter’s tools. What hasn’t changed: Those original five uses that proved so valuable to painters and carpenters have remained part…

2 min.
time-saving painting technique

TOH painter Mauro Henrique generally doesn’t waste time taping off adjacent surfaces. Before rolling paint on a wall or ceiling, he “cuts in” a border where these surfaces meet (and along the edges of trim) using a brush and a steady hand to produce a clean, straight line. Here’s how to cut in like a pro. To start > Use the right brush. Mauro’s favorite is a 2½-inch-wide, angled sash brush with medium-stiff polyester and nylon bristles. > Wet it. To keep latex paint from drying on the bristles, moisten them with water, then quickly rotate the brush handle back and forth between your palms to spin the bristles dry. > Load it right. Dip the brush no more than 1½ inches into the paint (about the width of two fingers). Tap the bristles…

1 min.
a welcome idea for old tools

Got a collection of rusty spades, loppers, edgers, and the like? Give them an impressive second life as the focus of a unique entry gate. If you’re going to DIY, just keep these tips in mind: Build the frame using a weather- and rot-resistant wood such as cedar; add crosspieces for stability and extra mounting surface. Dry-fit the tools on the frame, using a mix of short- and long-handled ones. File any sharp points or edges, then coat blades with rust-resistant metal primer, and wood handles with wood primer. Attach the tools to the frame with stainless-steel screws or bolts. Drill pilot holes in the tools’ wood and metal parts. For the latter, start with a thin, high-speed steel bit, then increase bit size in 1⁄8-inch increments. Spray the assembly…

1 min.
problem-solvers under $20

Chemical-free drain clearer Clogged sink? Slip the flexible, 18-inch wand of FlexiSnake’s Drain Weasel down the drain and twirl the crank; micro-hooks at the tip snag debris so you can fish it out. Then toss the replaceable wand. $5.78 (with two wands); homedepot.com Quick fix for leaks Gorilla’s Waterproof Patch & Seal Tape forms an impermeable seal, even on submerged surfaces, to temporarily repair gutters, roofing, tarps, and pool liners. Four-inchwide tape in black or white, $13 per 10-foot roll; homedepot.com Painter’s pal Cut buckets aren’t new, but the Purdy Pail holds both your brush and mini roller out of the soup. Integrated ridges let it double as a roller tray; disposable liners make cleanup quick. $13, plus $6.69 for three liners; sherwin-williams.com Pocket sharpener A few swipes of the 4-inch, carbide-tipped Speedy Sharp puts a keen…