Think Outside The Box
25. Drill with a bit off
the clothes rack
You don't have to buy a feeler bit to probe walls and ceilings. Just snip an 8-inch piece off a wire coat hanger with a wire cutter. Trim one end at a 60-degree angle and chuck the other end in your drill. The wire will worm its way through wood or drywall
in no time. —Larry S., York, Pa.
26. Shoulder the switch
If the light switch for your basement is on
a sidewall, install the switch upside down so that down
is on. When you head downstairs
with a load of laundry in your arms, just lean against the switch with
your shoulder to turn on the light. —Doug Jones, Stuyvesant Falls, Nev.
27. Fill holes with bats
After I took out old radiators, I filled the pipe holes in the floor with the handles of my son's old wooden baseball bats. I simply pushed each handle down a hole until it wedged in place, then traced a line even with the floor. I made a cut just above the mark, tapped the pieces into place with some wood glue, and covered the floor with carpeting.— Ernest Morin, Millbury, Mass.
28. Stop dropping screwsIn tight spaces, keep screws from falling off your screwdriver with
a piece of plastic wrap. Push
the screw point through the wrap, then hold it tight as you turn
the screwdriver. Pull away the plastic when you're done.
—Jerry A. Thomson, Tampa, Fla.
29. Plug holes with teesTo fill a stripped screw hole in a door, glue a wood golf tee in the hole. Cut off the excess when the glue dries. —Ed Boudreaux Jr., Albany, La.
30. Unclog hairy drains After our bathtub became clogged with dog hair, I snaked the drain
but without success. So my wife gave it a spray of Nair hair remover. Fifteen minutes later the drain worked better than it had in months! —Craig Brouillette, Woonsocket, R.I.
31. Oil your nailsBefore hammering a nail into hard wood, rub it over your nose. The
oil it picks up makes it easy to drive. —Sean Morrissey, Guilford, Conn.
32. Quiet water pipesMy massaging
caused the pipe
inside the wall to vibrate. Rather than tear up the wall, I drilled small holes though the wall around the pipe and shot a bit of spray foam into each one. When the foam hardened, the noise disappeared!
—Stephen Krauth, New London, Conn.
33. Bag the joint compound Lacking the talent to trowel joint compound evenly in corners, I made a disposable pastry bag. I took a plastic bag and reinforced a corner with duct tape. After putting in some compound and twisting the open end closed, I clipped the corner, squeezed out an even bead, then smoothed it with my finger. —Ken M., Kennewick, Wash.