Whether you’re pressed for time or just want a little warm-up before tackling the “big project”, here are four twenty-minute fixes that will make you a handyman hero.
Loose screws are a common problem on door lock strike plates, kitchen cupboard hardware and dozens of other places around the house. Use this super little tip to tick a few of those pesky items off your to-do list.
You Will Need
Bag of golf tees
Remove the offending screw and take a look at the hole. If there are signs of rot, you may have just bitten off more project than you anticipated. (Like that’s never happened before.)
If the screw has just worked its way loose from wear and tear, then you’re in good shape. Take a golf tee, dip or coat the end in wood glue and gently tap the tee into the hole. After the glue is dry cut off the excess golf tee with your utility knife. Using the correct drill size for your screw, re-drill the hole into the golf tee and insert your screw. Good as new.
So, next time people accuse you of having a screw loose, you can tell them you took care of your loose screws with a little trick you learned off the Internet!
If grandma’s heirloom chair has been shoved into a corner just because it has a little wobble, shame on you. After years of use, spindle chairs often develop loose joints where the stretchers insert into the legs, particularly in areas where the climate fluctuates. Here is a simple fast way to take care of the Old Girl. (We mean the chair, of course.)
You Will Need
Dead blow hammer
Spool of thread
Nylon rope or twine
Two scrap sticks
If you plan to disassemble more than just a single wobbly joint, you may want to label the pieces so that reassembling the chair doesn’t become more than you bargained for. (Use masking tape and a marker.)
First, try separating the joint(s) simply by pulling and gently twisting the stretcher from side to side. If that gets you almost there but not quite yet, use the dead blow hammer to tap the leg until it pops off the end of the stretcher. Tie the thread to the dowel end of the stretcher and wrap the dowel with a layer of thread. Coat the wrapped dowel with wood glue and reinsert it into the joint. Be prepared to clean off some excess glue.
To clamp the joint while it dries make a pair of tourniquet clamps, one above the joint and one below, with two lengths of nylon rope. Use scraps of cardboard or old carpet to protect the legs from the rope. After you tie the ropes around the legs, tighten the clamps by twisting the rope with a scrap stick and wedge the stick against the stretcher to hold it.
Step one in fixing a torn screen is to decide what your aesthetic standard is going to be for this project. If this is an old cabin at the lake, then utility (keeping the bugs out) is going to outweigh beauty (how it looks) every time. If the screen is in your house and you receive lots of visitors, then you will have to decide on your preference between patching it or replacing the whole screen.
Step two is finding some old screen to fashion your patch from or buying some replacement screen at your local hardware store. If you are new to the home handyman game, then this is about the time that you start to realise why you don’t throw away anything… ever.
You Will Need
Utility knife or scissors
Cut out a rectangle of screen just big enough to remove the tear. Cut a patch that is ½ to 1 inch larger than the rectangle you have removed. The larger the hole the larger the overlap. This method works best with metal screens, although it can be used with nylon and plastic as well. You’ll just need a lot more patience.
Unravel and remove threads of screen along each side of the patch until you have free ends extending ¼ to ½ inch from all four sides of the patch. Bend and weave the free ends of the patch into the screen.
For plastic and nylon screens, use a small amount of clear fast drying household glue to secure the patch.
Loose or Broken Drywall Anchors
Doing a less than professional job of anchoring hardware to drywall has a way of coming back to haunt you.
Picture frames and mirrors can last for decades on a questionable installation job because they are never touched. Coat hooks, toilet roll holders or the wall mounted guitar hanger for your classic Gibson Les Paul are a different story.
Re-mounting hardware securely will save you potential headaches and heartbreaks in the future.
You Will Need
Drywall spackle paste
Self drilling drywall anchors
3 inch wood or drywall screws
Your first and best option is to relocate your wall hardware to a stud. Wall studs are typically spaced 16-24 inches apart. Locate and mark the stud using an electronic stud finder (well worth the investment of $10-$40) and use 3 inch wood or drywall screws to secure your hardware directly into the stud.
If you can’t relocate your holes to a stud, the next best option is to re-secure your hardware with self-drilling drywall anchors.
Specifically designed for drywall thicknesses between ⅜ and ⅝ inches, these anchors look like oversized plastic screws.
Even though they are designed to be drilled directly into drywall, you will be able to locate them more accurately if you first drill a pilot hole no more than ⅓ the diameter of the anchor.
Locate your new holes far enough from the old holes so as not to create any weak points in the drywall. (Fill the old holes with drywall spackle paste.)
Wish Someone Could Do This For You?
We thought you’d never ask! If you live in Australia and you hate handyman tasks, we’ll happily book a pro handyman for you. Just get in touch!