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Where can I learn the basics of car maintenance and repair?

I know next to nothing about cars beyond checking the oil and topping up windshield wash, but I'd really like to learn. I don't necessarily need to go full greasemonkey, but I'd like to be able to handle the basics and be an informed customer when I bring my car to the garage at the very least. I'd love to take a hands on course, if there are any in the Southern Alberta area, but book or website recommendations would also be quite welcome.
posted by peppermind on Aug 3, 2013 - 9 answers

Working around pump jack braces

I'm installing siding, but the scaffolding I'm using will be attached to the wall where the siding goes. How do I work around this? [more inside]
posted by Ickster on Aug 1, 2013 - 8 answers

Pssst--wanna buy a t-shirt? Know anything about making/selling them?

Is there anyone in MeFi-land who runs a small--or not-so-small--online-based T-shirt/printed garment business who has experience in DTG/Screen print outsourcing through fulfillment companies? Looking for a company that is friendly to start-ups and/or carries higher quality print blanks… [more inside]
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible on Jul 30, 2013 - 3 answers

great neighborhood, dumpy house. best way to improve?

My husband and I just bought a house in a great neighborhood, and it has a wonderful interior. But the exterior looks like this, except with a completely flat roof (we live in Arizona). It is made of concrete block in the shape of Phoenix brick (a long thin kind of bricks popular around here). The concrete is painted white, with paint that is now peeling. We have talked about doing a roof-over with elevated pitch and spanish tiles, and/or about building a facade but have no ideas on what it might look like. Googling has failed me. Can anyone link us to houses that are made like ours: (a concrete shoebox) that have been renovated to have great or much-improved curb appeal? Or any other suggestions? Thanks in advance.
posted by powerbumpkin on Jul 27, 2013 - 19 answers

Old house - trying to fix up dirty moldy medicine cabinet

Just moved into a rental house. House built circa 1920. Medicine cabinet interior was completely lined with nasty old contact paper. I pulled off most of the paper. Now I'm worried about three things: 1. The paint underneath the paper is flaking. Is there danger of lead poisoning? 2. Black mold in the corner crevices under the paper. What's the best chemical for removal? Bleach solution? 3. What's the easiest cheapest way to get new shelves that will fit? PHOTOS. Any advice or encouragement is appreciated. How do I make this cabinet clean and functional? I don't like fixing old houses. Unfortunately there is much to do in this old house. The kitchen is a contact paper festival. The rental market is tight here, so landlords don't have to care.
posted by valannc on Jul 20, 2013 - 17 answers

Build Me Up / Bedframe Baby

We have a king-size bed (Mattress, boxsprings) that is just sitting on the floor of our bedroom, taking up a big chunk of real estate and looking sort of shabby. To free up space, I would like to move the bed into a narrow alcove-like part of the room. This means we wouldn't have room for nightstands and so need a headboard w/ shelves. For aesthetic reasons, I would like a frame to cover the sides of the boxsprings. No need for the bed to be raised, it will still rest on the floor. For money reasons, I would like suggestions on how to build such a thing myself, or recommendations for good but economical products. [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Jul 20, 2013 - 7 answers

Home Renovation Software

Buying-Our-First-House-Filter: Planning Edition. I've already read some of the other great AskMe threads about first homes and renovations and all of that, but one thing I haven't really seen (here or on the oft-recommended DIY blogs) is a solid recommendation or list of reviews of planning software related to home reno/landscaping. [more inside]
posted by Doleful Creature on Jul 18, 2013 - 7 answers

Best combination tofu press & mold?

I've tried making beer, wine, yogurt, granola bars, pickles, etc... and now I want to try making tofu. The requisite gear seems, basically, to be a tofu press or mold. If you've done this, please pitch in with your experience and tips for choosing among the available options & share your most excellent tofu-fu! [more inside]
posted by onshi on Jul 3, 2013 - 12 answers

The Dummy's Guide to Making Kombucha.

I was given a scoby and I want to make kombucha. How to do this the safest and yummiest way possible? A few details within. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh on Jul 3, 2013 - 12 answers

Help me craft a leather anniversary gift!

I make a gift for our wedding anniversary every year. This year I need to make something out of / involving leather, but the amount of work/resources needed to craft leather seems quite daunting. Any ideas or cool alternatives? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 1, 2013 - 8 answers

Problem with a broken window lock

We have a problem with a broken window lock. [more inside]
posted by TheophileEscargot on Jun 30, 2013 - 8 answers

Other sites like American Science and Surplus?

I do quite a lot of building small music devices using DIY kits and recycled cases and parts. What are the best sites for for weird, bulk supplies? What are the other sites like American Science and Surplus (http://www.sciplus.com)? [more inside]
posted by archivist on Jun 22, 2013 - 17 answers

Any way to DIY these Anthropologie curtains without it looking cheesy?

I love these Anthropologie Marrakech curtains, but at $128 per panel, they aren't going to happen in this life time. I have some practice fabric and some white cotton panels I can use. Is there any way to stencil a similar effect without it looking cheesy? I've considered fabric paint, glitter, etc. after making a simplified stencil. What else could I do to achieve a similar effect? Thank you, Hive mind!
posted by Issithe on Jun 11, 2013 - 16 answers

Washing Machine repair: Can a mere mortal change a door gasket?

Do I dare try replacing the door gasket on my frontload washing machine? Photo of damaged gasket. It's not supposed to look like a ruffle. It's supposed to be smooth. The damaged occurred when I was washing a duvet cover and sheets. The load became very unbalanced and the machine leapt and jumped. Has anyone ordered the part and done a successful DIY repair? Or should I pay a service tech? The machine is a Maytag MHWE200XW00. It looks like we could get the gasket shipped for about $120.
posted by valannc on Jun 10, 2013 - 12 answers

Is naptha (lighter fluid) safe to clean windows?

I have some masking tape adhesive residue on my windows. They are vinyl windows double pane with argon gas inside. I use naptha with is lighter fluid although I use the actual stuff from a paint store to remove adhesive on other stuff it works well. It is safe on plastic. What I'm wondering will it damage the stuff that holds the glass panels to the frame (I think its silicone not sure though) I dont want it to get damaged and let the argon gas leak out.
posted by john123357 on Jun 6, 2013 - 25 answers

How can I buy or make a comfortable double bed for little cash?

I rent a bedroom in a shared house, and my bed belongs to the room. It sucks and I need a new one. It's a double, but I have room to go bigger if it's not a big price upgrade. The new mattress should be fairly firm, but thick enough and squishy enough that I can lie on my side comfortably. The bedframe can be very minimal, but it should also be high, a meter or more elevated for storage purposes. It must not wobble. [more inside]
posted by 4th number on Jun 5, 2013 - 21 answers

I'm cheap.

Given that coconut yogurt is $2 for 6 ounces and I'm casein intolerant, I'd like to find a cheaper way to make it without buying it commercially. I've seen this website, as well as this aaaaaaand this. You've tried this. How did it go? Oven or yogurt maker? Agar agar or pectin or gelatin? And most importantly - is it safe with the cultures? I don't want to get sick.
posted by luciddream928 on Jun 4, 2013 - 5 answers

Design software for the homeowner?

I have a few household projects for which I'd like to mock-up some designs. Mostly pressingly a bathroom, and after that garage storage, landscape design, and other things. What is the best (free, or individual consumer-priced) software to get the job done? [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion on Jun 3, 2013 - 4 answers

Metallic rattling noise coming from exhaust pipe

Recently my car (2008 Vauxhall Zafira) has started making a metallic rattling sound when (a) the engine is turning over at very low revs (i.e. when starting the engine) and (b) when going over bumps. When the engine is idling, or when driving along on a smooth road, the noise disappears. I can recreate the noise by grabbing hold of the exhaust pipe at the back of the car and wiggling it from side to side, so I assume that the noise is due to some bit of metal coming loose and banging around. I'm quite keen to fix this myself; can anybody suggest a more specific first troubleshooting step than "crawl underneath the car when it's cool and try to find the loose part"? I have no way of raising the car up, but I reckon if I park it with one side on the curb I can get underneath and take a look. If successful, I will update this thread with my findings :-)
posted by primer_dimer on May 28, 2013 - 14 answers

How hard is a DIY water heater installation going to be?

Have any of you replaced your water heater yourself? Have any of you attempted to do so and failed, only to hire someone else to do it? Are any of you plumbers with opinions about a non-plumber's likelihood of success? Any thoughts on cost of professional installation vs. costs to purchase the necessary equipment? [more inside]
posted by nohaybanda on May 10, 2013 - 13 answers

Is a California LLC the right way to go for a film production company?

I'm going to be producing a low-budget feature film, and hopefully more in the future. I'm considering setting up a company via LegalZoom or similar and just want to know if there are any "gotcha"s before I start. [more inside]
posted by drjimmy11 on May 10, 2013 - 11 answers

Is it possible to fix this camera?

Can I find a replacement part for this Canon A2000 or repair it some other way? [more inside]
posted by villafoyager on May 8, 2013 - 10 answers

How do I become a Wizard?

How do I become a Wizard? (for party planning purposes, as opposed to real magical ones). [more inside]
posted by justalisteningman on May 2, 2013 - 11 answers

What interesting use can I make of two old handheld radios?

I have two old Radio Shack handheld radios. They were purchased in the US, originally for communication on the ski slopes. On the back, there is a number "09A06" and it also says CAT NO 21-1936. I was about to throw them away, but would rather repurpose them for something. I live in a large metropolitan area, in an apartment. I am good at programming and am comfortable using something like an Arduino, Rasberry Pi, BeagleBone, etc. What interesting hack can I use these for?
posted by bangitliketmac on May 1, 2013 - 3 answers

Build-it-yourself wood hot tub - crazy?

Build-it-yourself wood hot tub - good weekend project for an amateur, or more difficult than that? [more inside]
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Sockpuppetry on May 1, 2013 - 11 answers

JewelryFilter: Help me fix my necklace!

I have a silver (silver colored, not sure what it's made of, but it tarnishes) necklace that had been stuffed in a round box in storage, for quite a few months. I'd like to fix it. [more inside]
posted by luciddream928 on Apr 30, 2013 - 6 answers

Looking for Stainless Steel 20lb Adapter Cable

I have a Weber Q120 grill which I love to use, but it works off those little green camping type propane tanks, so it'll go through them quickly. [more inside]
posted by gzimmer on Apr 30, 2013 - 8 answers

someone there is who does not love her wall

How can I make my river-rock-covered fireplace less ugly? [more inside]
posted by headnsouth on Apr 28, 2013 - 29 answers

Help me live with less stuff while increasing my self-sufficiency.

Over the past few years, I have successfully simplified my life by getting rid of a lot of stuff. Now my new goal is to increase my self-sufficiency, but I’m finding that my previous efforts of uncluttering have made me more dependent on outside resources and services. How should I balance simplicity and self-sufficiency? [more inside]
posted by racingjs on Apr 26, 2013 - 20 answers

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

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