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Help me help my coffee table, Furniture Repainting Edition.

I found this coffee table on Craigslist for $15. While structurally it's pretty sound, the previous owners painted it; it looks like they may have just spray painted the poor thing without a drop of primer or sealant, because the top is chipping (see photos). Not ever one to leave passable alone, I decided that I had to repaint it. I've read as many furniture painting tutorials as I could get my hands on - the best seemed to be DIY on the Cheap, Young House Love, Centsational Girl, and Mouse House - and I still have a few questions for you guys. [more inside]
posted by Devika on Apr 25, 2013 - 10 answers

 

Which approach to sous vide?

I’ve gotten a bee in my bonnet about sous vide cooking, but I’m not sure whether I want to build from scratch, buy an integrated PID with a SSR (Dorkfood, Auber) and a crockpot, or an integrated solution like the Sidekic. I’m not in the market for more pricy options (Sous Vide Supreme and above)—unless the other alternatives really don’t cut it (especially with eggs, which apparently are a little fickle, but would be something I’d love to cook this way). What’s been your experience with these alternatives? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Apr 25, 2013 - 10 answers

Afternoon projects

I'm looking for afternoon projects that: a) can be done with a friend b) require no skill in advance c) produce something worthwhile, whether it's useful or merely impressive d) cost under $100 for parts e) are something I wouldn't consider on my own Suggestions?
posted by LSK on Apr 24, 2013 - 20 answers

Fixing a DDR pad: irritating flex cable edition.

It looks thusly. My issue is that, despite the fact that it was originally barely taped down at all, I am unable to successfully, reliably reattach it using the same method. ("it" in this case being the printed black strips on the left). I am reasonably sure that lack-of-contact is my problem, because if I physically hold the cable to the board, it will reliably work when I push a button. Best I can do is that sometimes, after putting it all back together for the Nth time, one button will work. Maybe other buttons on its side will work, maybe not. Maybe it'll work for a few presses and then quit. The cable looks fine, the board contacts look fine, no amount of scotch tape is helping me out here. How do I affix these suckers but good?
posted by curious nu on Apr 19, 2013 - 7 answers

On the cheap and during the weekend...DIY home decor!

Aside from a few major professional-only renovations for our house, what we can do to make our home the way we would like? (Bonus points for simplicity!) [more inside]
posted by Kitteh on Apr 15, 2013 - 8 answers

How to remove imprint from glass bottle?

I buy bottles of strauss organic whipping cream, it comes it little glass bottles and looks like this: pic 1, pic 2. As you can see, on the glass bottle there is a flat black imprint with some lettering and a logo. Is there any way to safely remove that imprint? I have something in mind I'd like to reuse my bottles for and I'd prefer them not to have that imprint. Thanks!
posted by long haired child on Apr 13, 2013 - 23 answers

Which instant photo printing set-up is best for my wedding?

Which instant photo printing set-up will be the least hassle for my wedding guests to use unsupervised? [more inside]
posted by thewestinggame on Apr 11, 2013 - 5 answers

Hardwood tumescence: flooring issues and seasonal RH changes.

I have plans install a hardwood floor during a time of year when my house will be at its driest. Before I nail down these boards, I want to allow for seasonal changes in relative humidity so that the floor doesn't swell up and self-destruct come summer. On the other hand, I want to minimize gaps. How can I best guesstimate summer conditions, specifically indoor relative humidity? [more inside]
posted by rub scupper cult on Apr 11, 2013 - 2 answers

What's the easy way to get 12V power and ground to test some car parts?

I've got some car parts I'm selling on eBay, and I need to hook them up to power in order to check a few things and make sure that they work. [more inside]
posted by iknowizbirfmark on Apr 3, 2013 - 12 answers

Cheese please!

I LOVE the powdered cheese of mac 'n cheese. I don't need the whole box, and I know how to make tasty homemade mac 'n cheese. I just want to duplicate the powdered cheese with real home ingredients. Imitation Annie's, if you will. [more inside]
posted by aniola on Mar 21, 2013 - 16 answers

Looking for cool electronics building kits

I've been building guitar pedal kits from buildyourownclone, and it's been great fun. I'm running out of pedals I want to make for myself, and am looking for other projects, like this stereo tube amp, and maybe this sous vide. Can you recommend more electronics projects (preferably kits, so I don't have to scrounge for parts) that are cool and look good at the end? [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Mar 21, 2013 - 9 answers

Electric smoker shorting out (?)

The electric smoker that I was so excited about last week doesn't work! After I plug it in, it runs for about 5 minutes before tripping the GFCI outlet that I had it plugged into. I did have it on a 10 foot long extension cord (no electrical outlets on my back porch). I assume this means there is a short somewhere? [more inside]
posted by rossination on Mar 16, 2013 - 9 answers

DIY Waterproof Toymaking

I want to make a floating castle for my kids to play with in the bath. How can I do this? [more inside]
posted by Doleful Creature on Feb 28, 2013 - 10 answers

Can you collect meteorite dust in your backyard? How?

I've been told recently that collecting micrometeorites is as easy, basically, as placing a clean surface outside and picking through the debris you collect because thousands of tons of space dust and debris fall to Earth every day. That can't be all there is to it, can it? How do you know whether you're looking at Earth dust or space dust? [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Feb 27, 2013 - 4 answers

Looking for "useful" sites such as Instructables, Lifehacker, CoolTools

I am preparing a blog post for my library's in which I am going to review several websites that I consider "useful" for our patrons in improving the quality of their lives or help them keep a little more money in their pocketbooks. [more inside]
posted by cinemafiend on Feb 22, 2013 - 20 answers

Getting outside DC wiring onto a constantly rotating surface

For a research project, I have several pieces of equipment mounted on top of a large metal rotating circular surface. At the moment, all equipment is battery powered. I would like to come up with an inexpensive way of getting DC power and signal wires to a computer off the surface to analyze data in real time. Besides that constraint, going down thru the center isn't really an option since the rotating shaft is solid metal. [more inside]
posted by gzimmer on Feb 18, 2013 - 8 answers

Carpentry 101: Help me upcycle my chairs

Looking for how-to guide to replace seat and back of metal framed chairs. [more inside]
posted by sconbie on Feb 18, 2013 - 5 answers

New (old) house with the worst possible kitchen floor.

Help us figure out how to cover up or replace this god awful kitchen floor. We just purchased a farmhouse that was renovated in the mid 50s. The mudroom and kitchen have 9" asphalt tiles that are all coming up (so not level), and on top of that, the prior owner used these rooms as a kennel for his incontinent daschund. [more inside]
posted by checkitnice on Feb 16, 2013 - 20 answers

Best semi-pro sewing machine for heavy fabrics?

What pro or semi-pro sewing machine would be best for a home sewer opening an Etsy store that sells denim, canvas, and Cordura (1000 denier) luggage and other bags? Ability to sew lighter fabrics as well would be a plus, as would overlock capability (a separate overlock machine would also work). This is for a class project and hypothetical, so price is no object.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome on Feb 11, 2013 - 5 answers

Wedding planning for the clueless

Mr. Panda and I are making it official and getting married in April 2014, woohoo! However, I've got no idea how to plan a wedding. [more inside]
posted by Attackpanda on Feb 2, 2013 - 22 answers

Why replace the foam on speakers?

I have an old (30+ years) pair of speakers, and the foam rubber surrounding the woofers is cracking and falling off. Numerous DIY websites explain how to replace this foam, but none seem to answer the most important question: why would you bother doing this? The speakers still make sound. [more inside]
posted by wondercow on Jan 27, 2013 - 3 answers

Help me find this site with Colorado map prints

I got lost on the internet and found a small business selling great-looking US map prints for under $30. I think they were CO-based, but I've lost the website! [more inside]
posted by deludingmyself on Jan 26, 2013 - 8 answers

How to most easily square a miter saw?

I've got this Dewalt miter saw, and it seems to be slightly out of square -- neither the 0º miter or bevel is exactly square, at least with the door casing I've been cutting. Does anyone have any tips (or links to good resources) on how to square up this sort of saw? For what it's worth, I think I've figured out how to adjust the indicators & scale on the saw, so I'm not looking for advice on how to adjust this particular saw. Instead, I need help figuring out how to determine which direction -- and to what degree -- I need to move the scale to square it up. Advice on how to cut and match a board to test the square is just the sort of help I need.
posted by jacob on Jan 18, 2013 - 7 answers

Please help me fix my iPod!

My wonderful iPod, going on nine years now, seems to have finally gotten to the point where I can't fix it anymore. I've replaced the hard drive, battery, hard drive cable, and logic board, and yet all it does is turn on, show the Apple logo, and turn off, repeating over and over. What else could be wrong, and how can I fix it? This is a B&W 4th gen iPod, originally 40 GB.
posted by reductiondesign on Jan 17, 2013 - 4 answers

Help me use my nails as an iPod touch stylus.

I've seen the Nano Nails product that is supposed to turn your fingernails into a capacative stylus. I like this idea, but they aren't out yet, and anyway I want to do my nails myself! What can I use that's lightweight to attach to my fingernail so that it conducts enough electricity to operate an iPod Touch? [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Jan 17, 2013 - 6 answers

How can I replace the power steering pump in my 2000 Outback?

I have a 2000 Subaru Outback. It needs a bit of work, the most costly of which is replacing the leaking power steering pump... shop says $360. Is this a repair that I can do myself? [more inside]
posted by roygbv on Jan 17, 2013 - 5 answers

Straightforward way to reduce hardwood floor shine?

My very dark strand woven bamboo hardwood floors have a semi-glossy finish. Even after they've been freshly mopped, every speck of dust is visible and they'll look dirty the minute someone – wearing socks fresh out of the laundry, even – walks across the room. Is there any way I can change their finish to matte? [more inside]
posted by halogen on Jan 15, 2013 - 6 answers

Locking a Bi-Fold door

Can anyone think of a reliable, simple and compact way to lock a two part/bi-fold door? [more inside]
posted by sodium lights the horizon on Jan 13, 2013 - 14 answers

hanging a medicine cabinet door

my friend's triple door medicine cabinet lost a door. trying to get a replacement hinge hasn't been fruitful. can you recommend a good alternative hinge? complications inside. [more inside]
posted by ps_im_awesome on Jan 10, 2013 - 2 answers

Cat cord chewing.

I need solutions for a cat that chomps cords. We have tried: Bitters spray Bitters gel Covering the cords with fabric bias tape then, putting bitters on them. and Hiding cords, he still gets to them He's even chomping think cords, like serge protectors that plug into the wall. I've seen those cat cord protectors, but all the reviews say they're garbage. He does this mostly when were not home. Is there an appropriate thing to give a cat to chew on? (like with dogs)
posted by misformiche on Jan 9, 2013 - 16 answers

What should I use to dye the grout on my Turkish mosaic lamp?

What should I use to darken the white grout on my Turkish mosaic lamp? [more inside]
posted by embrangled on Jan 2, 2013 - 3 answers

How do I transform cookies into lasting Christmas tree ornaments?

How do I turn my gingerbread man cookies into long-lasting Christmas tree ornaments? [more inside]
posted by film on Dec 26, 2012 - 7 answers

Noise reduction for a concrete box

Hometheaterfilter: How much soundproofing do I need to do in a concrete box? [more inside]
posted by bfranklin on Dec 26, 2012 - 8 answers

I don't think duct tape is going to cut it this time.

After a theft, how much DIY car repair is too much? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 21, 2012 - 11 answers

What's a good table saw for a beginner woodworker?

Woodworkers of Metafiler: give me your table saw recommendations. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Dec 19, 2012 - 14 answers

Building circles....

Is it possible to make a pop-up card without the pixellated look? I have searched Google to no avail. [more inside]
posted by luciddream928 on Dec 15, 2012 - 4 answers

centering circular cake boards

[geometryfilter] I have to assemble a tiered cake stand to hold cupcakes at a wedding tomorrow. The tiers and the styrofoam thingies that will separate the tiers are all circular. How do I make sure that I get each tier centered properly on the next?
posted by undue influence on Dec 13, 2012 - 5 answers

Need help finding a small, cheap, Arduino-ready solenoid valve or pump assembly

I need some help building a gadget with an Arduino board. Specifically, I need help finding a way to dispense very tiny quantities of fluid (10 μL) once an hour. The valve assembly is the part I'm having trouble with... [more inside]
posted by dialetheia on Dec 12, 2012 - 14 answers

So many adorable tiny humans!

What should I knit or crochet as gifts for friends and family who are having babies? [more inside]
posted by snowysoul on Dec 12, 2012 - 32 answers

Where can I find/make a quality customizable journal?

Where can I find/make a good quality customizable journal? [more inside]
posted by justalisteningman on Dec 10, 2012 - 3 answers

Practical yet Attractive Uses for narrow-necked glass bottles?

I have a few old glass bottles which I've cleaned, de-labeled, and given airtight cork tops. They're attractive bottles, about 750ml each with narrow tops, and I'd like a practical way to show them off ideally in the kitchen. I already used one to infuse olive oil and other to hold my dried dried beans rather than leaving them tied up in the pantry. What else can do with them?
posted by The Whelk on Dec 5, 2012 - 28 answers

Beans Don't Burr in the Grinder

Is it possible to roast an already roasted coffee a little bit darker in the oven on a baking sheet? [more inside]
posted by roboton666 on Dec 4, 2012 - 8 answers

MacGyver me!

What are some natural ingredients one might stumble upon in the wilderness that you could potentially mix together (sans laboratory) to create a flash or explosion? [more inside]
posted by np312 on Dec 3, 2012 - 12 answers

iPhone 4S replacement screen?

Where to get a replacement screen assembly for iPhone 4S? [more inside]
posted by brokeaspoke on Dec 2, 2012 - 6 answers

A Gilded Cage for Rabbits... Though probably not gilded, and more a hutch than a cage

Help me find a straightforward 1-2 weekend DIY outdoor rabbit hutch plan. It's a Christmas present for my sister, who is 12 and not necessarily the most responsible. More (ranty) details inside. [more inside]
posted by ethidda on Nov 30, 2012 - 26 answers

I need to buy or rent a record lathe, please guide me in the right direction.

I need to rent or purchase a reasonably priced record lathe to cut short run vinyl LPs. Advice/contact info needed. [more inside]
posted by Ponderance on Nov 30, 2012 - 4 answers

Computer Writing, 1979 Style

DIY Computering: I want to build a dedicated, Raspberry Pi "writing station". [more inside]
posted by Doleful Creature on Nov 28, 2012 - 20 answers

I need to lampshade this trope. No, seriously, lampshade.

I want to make a jute lampshade, or rather, several trapezoidal pieces of jute stretched over wood frames that will act like a lampshade. I know almost nothing about jute, or lampshades, but plenty about wood. [more inside]
posted by Alterscape on Nov 28, 2012 - 1 answer

Gifting on a shoestring...

Looking for blogs/websites dedicated to thoughtful & creative gift-giving on a budget. DIY, crafting, homemade/canned foods, scrapbooking a huge plus. [more inside]
posted by luciddream928 on Nov 27, 2012 - 5 answers

Make Master Make Me a Maker

I have come into an ok amount of free time and I would like to throw myself into the world of being a "maker". [more inside]
posted by sendai sleep master on Nov 25, 2012 - 12 answers

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