DIY and DECORATING TIPS
sewing, knitting and other related tips
- Tip for metric conversion - always remember
that 30cms = 1ft and it makes it easy to convert cms to feet or
vice versa. Handy in DIY stores.
Fit the hoses BEFORE
placing appliance into space; this is not only easier to do
but ensures it can be easily removed for servicing.
Ensure that all new
white goods are given a coat of WAX polish before use - this
Before attempting any DIY
project, first assess the situation properly, sit down and go thru the
whole procedure in your minds eye. Involve your whole family in the
decision making process and make sure your wife knows the amount of mess
this project will cause. When you have completed all these suggestions
ask everybody for their feedback, when the arguments have subsided take
the Yellow pages out and GET A PROFESSIONAL TO DO IT!
received the following but would like to add a warning of my own -
aerosols of any kind should be treated with respect to avoid
accidents. This very useful tip has been sent in by a DIY expert
but I must stress, if you do try this at home it is at your own risk.
I needed to use the rest of a 75%
full expanding foam aerosol applicator, but it was blocked up (and the
DIY shops were shut - and I wanted to finish a task). How I did it:
1) Take off the clear plastic
applicator tube, squash it along its length in a bench vice, then turn
it around 90 degrees, flatten again. You should find the foam collapses
into a thin piece, that will come out easily (use a plant stick to help
2) The top nozzle was blocked. To
unblock: choose a long THIN wood-screw. and screw it into the foam plug
blocking the nozzle. Rick back and forth a little, while pulling, and
the blockage should come out in one piece.
3) jammed nozzle - won't press down
to activate. TO FREE UP: find a piece of flat strong wood about 6 inches
long, and drill a hole large enough for the plastic applicator pipe to
go through, but small enough for the wood to push down on the nozzle.
This allows you to push hard with BOTH HANDS on the wooden piece, with
the bottom of the can against your knee, to release the nozzle.
I had to do all 3 of these to use the
aerosol contents. Tony Davis
drill bits are now relatively inexpensive up to about 2 feet (600mm)
long, which is well over the thickness of most house walls including the
cavity. Don't botch the job of getting a cable to an outside light
or doorbell push by coming round a window or door frame - drill straight
through the wall instead. It is a very good idea to put a slope on
the hole upwards from outside to inside so that water will not flow into
the hole but seal up the end with silicone or similar just to be
When wishing to make hole in
a wall of modern construction (breeze block) for a fixing. Do not drill
a hole . Use a drill bit of the correct size for the screw and plug ,but
knock the bit in with a hammer to the required depth.
The reason for this is that
the construction of the block is very similar to Aero chocolate bar i.e.
full of little air holes ,so if you knock the material into the block
rather than removing it you get a much firmer fixing around the screw
When drilling into interior
plaster/brick walls, suck the dust straight into the vacuum cleaner
nozzle as you are drilling and then vacuum the hole to remove dust and
Take an envelope, the windowed type
and remove the window (or cut a hole in a normal envelope), place a
strip of wide low tack masking tape over the hole left by the window
from the inside so the glue is facing out, seal the envelope.
Stick the glue of the masking tape to
the wall where you want to drill, drill through the envelope, the
spinning drill bit will pull the envelope side (the side not stuck to
the wall) toward the chuck of the drill opening a pocket all the
plaster/brick dust will be trapped inside the envelope, once finished
drilling seal outer hole in envelope with tape carefully remove from
wall and seal tape side hole .
If a rawlplug is a bit loose put
some filler in the hole before pushing in the rawlplug. Let it set
before screwing in the screw.
- Here's a formula sent in by Geoff
Sharpe, for working out the exact diameter, in inches, of the shank of a screw.
Multiply the screw Number by 13 and add
(No.) 8 x 13 + ".060 = ".164
(No.)10 x 13 + ".060 = ".190
We have, however, been
advised that soap can attract moisture causing the screw to rust, so Vaseline (petroleum
jelly) or grease may be a better idea.
Woodscrews - Make
it easy, I have a small egg cup size jar with grease in. I dip the
screws in to this before screwing into the wood, easily.
When using brass screws
into hardwood, it is best to drill one hole for the shank and one hole
for the thread, drill the thread hole first and where through drilling
is a risk use a depth stop on the drill!
Another wise precaution to
avoid breaking brass screws is to use a steel screw of the same size to
cut the thread in the wood then remove and replace with the brass
I always use wax furniture
polish to lubricate my screws, put a little chip of hard wax into the hole
before the screw, then this pushes down the hole lubricating right to the
bottom, and no mess wiping off the screw as it goes in!
Due to the heat from an electric
light bulb, over a period of time, it can become extremely difficult to unscrew the
plastic components when it becomes necessary to change the shade etc. Running an
ordinary pencil point over the threads before assembly will make future
dismantling effortless. Graphite from the pencil point is a good heat resisting
If you add a few drops of washing up
liquid when mixing filler it will make it much smoother.
If using filler on wood add a little
instant coffee powder to make the colour a better match.
Spray both sides of a saw with WD40
to prevent it from sticking.
When painting new plaster, or similar
porous surface, paint on a solution of water mixed with PVA glue first. This will
seal the surface and stop the paint from soaking into the plaster, thereby making it go
a lot further and giving a much better finish.
NOT paint new plaster with PVA unless you intend to use
an oil based paint. Use a good quality emulsion diluted 50/50 with
water for the first coat, then paint as normal.
To prevent wood splitting when
hammering in a nail, either use a very small drill to make a guide hole or, alternatively,
blunt the end of the nail first.
If you rub soap on the thread of a
screw before use it will always be easy to remove at a later stage.
To avoid having to wash out paint
trays after use, place tray inside a plastic bag before pouring in the paint. When
the job is finished simply remove the plastic bag and discard. The tray is ready for
When pointing brickwork use a small
length of old garden hose - this will give a nice clean finish.
Fill a bath with
water before sealing around the edge - this prevents the bath breaking
away from the sealant with the extra weight.
When sealing round a bath, basin or
such like, use masking tape above and below the sealant. After placing the sealant
along the edge, wet your finger and run it gently along the sealant. Remove masking
If you have to drill a hole in wood
to pass cable through always ensure you drill in the direction the cable is going to run.
This will ensure the cable runs through smoothly.
If you make a concrete path or patio,
do not leave surface smooth. Pat with the edge of a length of timber thus creating
grooves in the surface, this will prevent it becoming slippery when went and causing
A quick way to "spruce" up
tired kitchen cupboards is to buy new handles and/or add motifs to the front of the
cupboard doors. These can be stencilled, painted or cut out of self adhesive
If you decide to replace kitchen
units, think about just buying new cupboard doors as the carcasses are usually the same.
For quick and easy curtains use hooks
which clip onto the top of the curtain instead of heading tape. Alternatively, try
tab headings i.e. loops of material sewn to the top of the curtain through which the
curtain pole is placed.
To get an exact 90 degree angle
measure a piece of timber in a triangle of 3ft x 4ft x 5ft - this will always result in a
true 90 degree corner - so long as your measuring is accurate that is.
This angle is 90 degrees
Get a small plastic funnel and fix it to the wall so
that it stays in an upright position. Place the ball of string in the top of the
funnel threading the loose end through the narrow bottom, hey presto, string always to
Save sawdust as this can be used as a wood filler by
mixing with PVA glue.
Tint wood filler with a matching woodstain after it
has dried to match it to existing wood.
When choosing woodfiller ensure you choose the
correct type for the job in hand i.e. interior or exterior and also check it can be used
with wood stain if this is required. Some fillers are very fast setting and durable,
however, they are not compatible with wood stain.
To measure a cylindrical object easily, take a piece
of string or paper, wrap around the object marking where the to ends meet, lay out flat
and measure with a tape measure or rule.
When drilling a hole to a specific depth, place tape
around the drill bit at the required depth and when the drill reaches the marker tape you
know you have reached the desired depth.
When drilling holes in walls hold a dustpan
or even an open envelope underneath to catch the dust - saves a lot of clearing up.
This page is waiting for additional tips which can be
on any subject from woodwork, sewing, candlemaking, painting, decorating etc. etc.
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