I'm in over my head on a DIY project involving electrical terms I don't understand. I want to use a solar panel to power both a water pump and a computer fan, and need to know if this is possible with the components I have, and if possible how can I splice/connect these non-matching wires? [more inside]
My wife and make a lot of stuff at home--from home made pasta, to scented fuel for an alcohol lamp, to guitar pedals--and we generally find that making at home is better and more fun than buying at the store. Can you recommend any other worthwhile home projects? I'm looking for enjoyable projects that are better than store bought--not necessarily for cost-saving. [more inside]
I am making a small felt sleeve for an antique pocket knife, to protect it from car-keys and loose change. Easy enough. I'd like to add a clip to it so it can discretely ride at the top of my front pants pocket or shirt pocket for quick access, like some eyeglasses cases have. Insanely difficult. Are such clips sold anywhere for crafters, or am I stuck cutting, bending and polishing my own from sheet metal? How do I even go about attaching such a thing to a felt sheath?
I've got some small wooden pieces (from a board game) that I'd like to paint a different color. I'm unsure of how to accomplish this. There are too many to realistically hand-paint. The pieces don't weigh much and if I spray paint them, they're going to tumble around and end up with some paint on the bottom. (That means that they'll probably stick to whatever surface I try to dry them on). Same goes for dipping them in paint - I'm not sure how would I dry them afterwards. I feel like there has to be some ingenious solution that I'm just not thinking of. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
I recently lost a significant amount of weight and now the men's t-shirts I found most suitable and comfortable for my body type when I was severely overweight are now too big for me. I don't want to give them away because they're immensely soft, stretchy, and comfortable, have sentimental value, and they have edgy printings that are, from what I can tell, currently in style in the Women's department with the exception of the shape and fitting of the shirts. I intend to start with shirts I don't want as practice. As I don't know how to sew (yet), can someone offer suggestions, supplies, and skills needed based on their own DIY experience? I'm in dire need of fashion advice as well. Isn't square neck, boat neck, scoop necks flattering on bigger breasts? Belts around the waist? Leggings? Bootcut jeans? Cardigans? Vests? How do you layer clothing? What goes good with what? I'm at a total loss for fashion after 20-something years of hiding my body in black baggy clothing. For the first time in my life I actually want to look like a woman. Please help.
Simple question: This drawer has come unstuck, and after three attempts at fixing it with superglue and overnight "clamping" (wedged under a stack of books) I am being driven to despair. How the hell do I make this thing stay back together? Is "gorilla glue" going to do the trick? Drawer in question Thanks for saving my sanity.
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.
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]
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]
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.
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
We have a problem with a broken window lock. [more inside]
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]
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!
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.
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.
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]
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.
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]
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 :-)
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]
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]
Can I find a replacement part for this Canon A2000 or repair it some other way? [more inside]
How do I become a Wizard? (for party planning purposes, as opposed to real magical ones). [more inside]
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?
Build-it-yourself wood hot tub - good weekend project for an amateur, or more difficult than that? [more inside]
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]
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]
How can I make my river-rock-covered fireplace less ugly? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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?
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]
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!
Which instant photo printing set-up will be the least hassle for my wedding guests to use unsupervised? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
I want to make a floating castle for my kids to play with in the bath. How can I do this? [more inside]
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]
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]