What are the best DIY resources in 2014? I really enjoy thisoldhouse.com, but it's largely just entertainment, rather than instructional. Websites, magazines, and books are all fair game. [more inside]
I did a really amateurish job of installing this light fixture in the basement apartment of my house four years ago, and now it's sagging out of the ceiling. Is there anything I can do to brace it back in place? There are actually three of these fixtures that are sagging, though this is the worst one.
My apartment has a beautiful walkway lined with flowers and overhanging tree branches. This is great except that spiders LOVE it here and I do not love spiders at all. I'm looking for a spider repellent that can be sprayed on the plants along the walkway so I don't have to walk through webs every morning and evening. The hitch is that the aforementioned flowers belong to my landlord, who I respect very much and who loves his plants, so the repellent can't have negative effects on them. [more inside]
I need basically this. I'd rather order it from closer to home. My searches for this type of cable in the US haven't turned up anything, and I don't know enough about electronics to figure out what other names it might go by. I think it's a common type of cable so there must be something I'm missing. Thanks!
My wife and I just purchased her mother's old 2001 Nissan Pathfinder. The stereo it has is tape deck (!) which technically works and a CD player that doesn't. It has no aux input, which is unfortunately all we actually want. [more inside]
Can I fix this myself? It's mostly intact except for some smallish chips. I have zero experience with tile work.
My kitchen tap drips. Should I attempt to fix it myself or call in a plumber? [more inside]
I've been working on a few different zines myself, but I'd love to find more zine community online. What are some of the best sites, communities, blogs, Tumblrs, Twitter accounts, for getting into zine communities? [more inside]
Is there enough citronella oils in Zote to actually repel mosquitoes from clothes washed using it? [more inside]
I need a product exactly like this slim rolling pantry shelf, to hold canned goods and spices in the small space next to my refrigerator. Difficulty level: No hammer. [more inside]
I'm not sure what wall/ceiling speaker mounts are appropriate for my system or how to install them in the type of walls I have. Suggestions welcome! [more inside]
Lately I've been really into the blog Ribbon Around A Bomb, who writes about female-fronted 70s post-punk, Twin Peaks, feminist art, and leather jackets. I also love The Pulp Zine, which is full of teen dreams and high school small town angst, an obsession with Burger Records, 90s nostalgia, black lipstick and pink hair. I'm looking for more blogs that cover punk, garage rock, femme fun, DIY, weirdo fashion, nostalgia, queerness, creativity, feminism, art, and worship of countercultural idols. Basically, I'm a fully-grown scummy punk boyfemme who wants the experience of flipping through a teen magazine tailored to my interests. What other sites would I love? [more inside]
The hot water pressure in my kitchen faucet is suddenly reduced. It remains fine in the rest of the house. What should I check? [more inside]
Where can I find cute, affordable (~$11 a yard) swimsuit fabric online? Preferably from an inde/brick-and-mortar place with an online presence. [more inside]
We live on the bottom floor of a double-decker home. Our back decks are similarly stacked, so the upstairs deck provides some cover from the harsh summer sun. Unfortunately, it still lets rain in. Is there a way we can cover the "roof" of our deck so that we can use it even when it rains? [more inside]
Home improvement professionals and those with a critical eye for detail: what are the 'tells' of DIY home improvement? What separates amateur work from professional work? [more inside]
I have a Poulan 14" electric chain saw that I needed the chain replaced. In doing so I ended up practically taking the whole thing apart. I did find an exploded diagram and got it back together - however, the 2 long bolts that you loosen before you tighten the chain do not seem long enough for the nuts to screw on to. [more inside]
The good news is that I found white hexagonal tile under the nasty vinyl flooring. That's also the bad news. Here is the floor currently. Basically, the tiles themselves are in pretty good shape considering they are about 100 years old. There are a few cracks, but the real problem is that the glue from the floor that was above it will not come off from in between the tiles. Detail shot. This is pretty much the kind of floor we want, but the mrs. is about ready to call it and just install a new hex floor on top. I'm not quite ready to give up. [more inside]
Our house has ugly, dirty, dented, hole-y vinyl siding. I hate it and want to replace it. Problems: We live in a cheap neighborhood and don't want to overdo it, and we are short on cash. [more inside]
I'm renovating a multi-unit building. The occupancy permits were never revoked. Can I finish one unit and rent it out while finishing the others? How do I handle inspections? [more inside]
I'm looking for simple clothing patterns that don't scream 'homemade,' and are easily alterable. [more inside]
I often work on my family's cars, however I don't have a garage and have to work in the driveway or in a rented (by the hour) garage with lift. In my workshop I have the tools organized on pegboards and in drawers. That's all fine and dandy, but I've come to realize that 90% of the time I use my tools I have to chuck them in tool bags and boxes and either bring them outside or to the aforementioned garage. I want a mobile storage system where everything has its place and I can see at a glance if something's missing. Like the pegboards, I guess, only portable. [more inside]
Is it feasible to take apart, modify, and put back together again a hair dryer so that it works in reverse, that is, become a small vacuum? I assume I would have to make the blower work backwards to become a sucker, and I would have to direct debris into a little sack and away from the blower and power source. If I were going to do it, what would I do? How much work would it be? How ugly would it be, assuming rudimentary skills and a home workshop? If it's impossible-- why?
I want to paint this. For various reasons, stripping it first is out. How to get the best paint job? [more inside]
I am renting an apartment with what I consider to be a relatively simple bathroom. While the walls and floor are tiled, there is no barrier separating the shower from the sink and toilet. Apparently the correct terminology for this is a "wetroom". And it does get very wet. I would like to be able to go to the toilet without wading through a wet toilet floor, so I need to jimmy up a simple, effective, hygienic solution. [more inside]
I have a metal tray-style table I'd love to fill with moss. The tray is about 1.5" deep. My livingroom is pretty bright but my bedroom is dark. My questions for you are: 1) How do I install the moss? 2) Where do I put it? 3) How do I maintain it? Do I need a clear surface over the moss to contain moisture or can I rely on regular watering/misting? 4) If the moss won't work, are there other low/small similar plants I can substitute with?
Is there any way to paint or otherwise color the inside of a glass spray bottle that will have liquid (perfume) in it?
I need to create a simple portal with links to our own content, which will consist mostly of text documents--hand outs for people who don't speak English as a native language. Should I use a CMS or just build it by hand? [more inside]
For reasons, I have to pull a stackable washer/dryer set out of the closet it's installed in, and I have to do it by myself. I want to learn from your mistakes. [more inside]
The decades-old parging/plaster on our basement walls is scabby and peeling. The concrete itself is crumbly in places and there are a couple of cracks. It seems to me that the solution to my problem is to remove the old parging/plaster, fill the cracks with hydraulic cement, and patch the crumbly parts. But I'm less clear on the hows, whys, and whens. [more inside]
So, apparently some manufactorers make it so that you can easily remove the flow restrictor from a lot of shower heads, increasing the flow so that it has good pressure.... Uh, which ones? Our current showerhead looks god awful but my husband won't let me replace it unless I ensure it will be as high pressure as our current crap one. [more inside]
We have very hard water and it has a tendancy to stain stuff pretty quickly. The area of the sink and the tub just below the faucets are an endless battle. The only thing that has ever been able to get those stains out has been bleach, but now the bleach has only made things worse because they stain even MORE quickly. It really looks terrible. Help me fix my sink and tub so that we don't look like Grubby McSlobbersons. [more inside]
I've been thinking about building this little Altoid tin headphone amp kit for listening with my Sennheiser 555s. Granted, the point of building the kit is, well, building the kit--but given the limitations of a (cheap) kit-built design and the fact that I listen exclusively to mp3s on my iPhone or Mac, will there be a perceptible improvement in sound from the cans? Is there more to the sound of my mp3s that I might not be hearing just driving the Sennheisers with the juice from the iPhone's or Mac's headphone jack that would merit stepping up the signal with the little amp?
After spending like six hours reading labels and talking to hardware store staff, I turn to you, AskMe. How do I patch these holes and smooth these posts in my front porch columns before painting (but after priming)? [more inside]
I have a leather computer desk chair that I got 2 years ago that I really like and they don't sell it anymore, it is very ergonomic. I have tried out other chairs and not found one as good. The leather has torn in several places and I need to reupholster it. I don't want to take it somewhere to be reupholstered becasue a) I don't have the money and B) I would have nothing to sit on while it is in the shop. The thing is I don't know anything about reupholstering , let alone what looks somewhat complicated due to all the panels, in it. I have made a video showing in detail the chair, and the problems with it. I will be very grateful to anyone who can help with with this. This is the video.
My "Williams 30,000 BTU Natural Gas Direct-Vent Wall Furnace" is an eyesore and I'd love to build my own custom cover for it, but is that safe? Can I only use metal or can I use wood? I'd have a friend build it since I don't know much about it, but I'm wondering what I can do to hide or replace it. BTW I rent my apartment, so any changes I make should technically be reversible. Link for reference.
After some frustrating dealings with the local Jiffy Lube, I want to be able to handle some car maintenance stuff myself. What should I be able to handle? [more inside]
I would like to take the massive sliding doors off my closet, but they seem to be some sort of old-fashioned non-removable monsters. Since they're so big it's a pain to see more than 25% of my clothes at a time, which seems like unnecessary complication.. They're not attached to the rail at the bottom, but the top rail is so tightly fastened that I can't just lift the doors up and off, as most of the online advice seems to be. I tried to unscrew the front door and just angle it out of the the closet frame, but whatever piece is holding it to the roller extends so far into the door that I wasn't able to pull it out. (Now of course I am not having luck at re-screwing the door into the roller, so that's a fun situation). Anyone dealt with this type of door before? I'm renting the apartment, so ideally I'd like to just prop the doors against the bedroom wall or something and hang a curtain in front of the closet. So I can't destroy the doors or anything. Although I have been tempted.
A question about how to refinish my cabinets, in a kitten-friendly (low VOC) way? Apologies in advance, as I'm new to furniture / wood stuff and think I'm missing something obvious. Kitten pictures inside. [more inside]
This is just a thought experiment at this point, and probably will remain so. In the back of my mind I have the idea that when my old SUV finally gives up the ghost I might rip out the internal combustion drivetrain and convert it to an electric vehicle, possibly with a removable range-extender generator. Setting practicality aside for the moment, can you help me envision what this would involve? [more inside]
I need to find a substance that is : a) transparent over the visible or infrared, b) melts between 10 and 100 degrees C c) has modest freeze/melt expansion e)is at least a bit volatile in the liquid phase. [more inside]
Card Against Humanity is famously available as a PDF to download and print your own copy of the game for free. What are some other games that do this as well? I love the idea of a library of games that we can build ourselves, customize as we wish, etc, etc.
We had our bathroom completely renovated 2 years ago. A couple of issues have gradually developed, that I don't think are serious enough to call in the contractor to repair, and I'm happy to do the work myself if it's easy enough, so I'm looking for advice on how best to proceed. [more inside]
Started a mosiac project and now I need the grout to stop setting. [more inside]
Due to penury/everyone already having everything they could want in life, I was going to go with homemade beauty products this year for the family gift exchange, Ladies will be receiving bath bombs, in various scents and colors. The men I'm related too wouldn't know what to do with a bath bomb if it...well, fizzed at them. What manly products - salves, oils, creams - could I easily make at home? Or what kinds of unisex self care will male-type folks happily use? [more inside]
I plan to take up a new hobby: making furniture from reclaimed wood and metals. What should I read? What materials do I need? What should I know? [more inside]
Looking to make freestanding privacy screening on a small budget. I have the notion that posters on some sort of framework would do the trick at a minimal price. I'm crafty but have never tried this before; I have some ideas but I'd like to hear success stories and surefire techniques. [more inside]
I am obsessed with ginger at the moment in terms of drinks. I love the sharpness and the bite of gingery burn from the spiciness. I have a hot ginger tea/drink recipe NAILED but now I want to make my own ginger drink that is akin to ginger beer but not too alcohol-y. I would also like it to be as natural and inexpensive as possible (ie. no "Soda Stream" or nutsy chemicals or adding pop). Help? [more inside]
Recently I purchased a home that has acerage. Part of the acerage, part of the garage, and part of the lean-to are in the flood plain. The house and the rest of the land are not. Trying to figure out logistics between house projects, FEMA zones, and surveying. [more inside]
I have a ton of extra Pez dispensers that are itching for a use. What cool things can I do with them?