The Family Handyman-2011!07!08 520 Garden Shed

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    JULY/AUGUST 2011 VOLUME 61, NO.7, 520th EDITION

    Features 34 Garden shed

    A shed that's beautiful, bright and spacious-and easy to maintain, too!

    48 Postholes How to get perfectly placed holes, with a little less sweat on your part.

    53 Hopeless grass We'll show you how to get a fresh start by killing off the old and seeding a healthy new lawn.

    62 Run power anywhere Thirsting for a fridge in the back 40? Here's how to make it happen.

    72 Patio cover-up Got a concrete patio with a bad case of the uglies? Cover it up with brick pavers in one weekend!

    Departments 6 The Stuff We Love

    Great green products: cork shower flooring, water-wise grass and a better lightbulb.

    18 Home Care & Repair Burglar-proof your entry doors, sharpen your shovel and more.

    28 Handy Hints~ A lighted floor jack, precise tile measuring, and glove hang-ups.

    79 Car & Garage How to upgrade your car's music box and mount a device holder.

    88 Shop Rat Make your o"vn saw ponies, a fix for screw holes and a bandage for big boys.

    92 Brag Board Readers share their very best projects: a year-round tree house, a cast concrete bridge, a retro stereo and a to-die-for '39 Ford.

    106 Wordless Workshop Til A one-legged stool to take anywhere you need to perch-see you at the T-ball game!

    108 Great Goofs The electrical shock that wasn't; fun with a trim gun ... knot.

    fa m lly handym a n. co m Juty/August2011 1


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    2 July/August 2011 f a m II y h a n d y m a n . c o m

    Backyard Headaches

    [}{]~~~ #1 in DIY Home Improvement since 1951

    BECOME A FIELD EDITOR Field Editors contribute ideas and experience to every issue of The Family Handyman. To join our crew of volunteers, e-mail us at [email protected] thefami l yhand

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    CONTRIBUTOR GUIDELINES We pay $100 for Handy Hints . Great Goofs . Shop Rat and Wordless Workshop~ submissions that we publish. Submit your original contribution. along with photos or sketches, by email to: [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] or mail to: The Family Handyman 2915 Gammers Drive. Suite 700, Eagan, MN 55121 Please include your name, mailing address and e-mail address if you have one, and indicate to which department you are submitting. We reserve the right to publish your submission in any appropriate department. If we receive similar submissions, we will pay the person who submitted the item we actually use. By submitting material (text, photos and illustrations) for publication, you grant Home Service Publications, Inc., its parent company, subsidiaries. affiliates. partners and licensees unlimited use of the material and your name, and the right to rewrite or modify, reproduce and d istribute the material in any and all media and in any manner or appropriate place. We may contact you via phone, e-mail or mail regard ing your submission. If we select your submission for print, you will receive $100.

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    CUSTOM ER INFORMATION .-Reader's Digest may share information about you with reputable companies so they can offer you products and services of likely interest to you. If you don't want us to share this information, please write to: Reader's Digest Mailing List, Attn.: Circ. Dept., Box 6099, Harlan, lA 515931599. Please include a copy of your address label. BACK ISSUES/ARTICLE COPIES Some past issues are s till available for $5.00 each. Photocopies of articles are available for $3.00 each. Call (800) 285-4961 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central, Monday through Friday, for availability and ordering, or write to: Back Issues, The Family Handyman. Attn.: Back Issues/ Articles. Box 6099, Harlan, lA 51593-1599. Or send us an email at [email protected]

    COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS We welcome your ideas and opinions. Write to: The Editor, The Family Handyman, 2915 Commers Dr., Suite 700, Eagen, MN 55121. Fax: (6511 994 2250. E-mail: [email protected]

  • Get Your Deck In Shape for Summer

    Walk a Curved Line

    Quick Fix for Faucets

    Brought to you In port by:

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    Visit their website at for recaps of the show & other helpful info.

    ~iWU #lin DIY Home Improvement since 1951

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    Ken Collier Travis larson. G ary Wentz Elisa Bernick .. Mary Fla nage n, Jeff Gorton Donna Bierbach Vern Johnson. Bec-ky Pfluger, Marcia Roepke Mary Schwender Tom Fenenga Spike Carlsen. Rick Muscoplat~ les 2ell Alice Garrett Steven Char'bonneau Roxie Filipkowski Judy Rodriguez

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    4 July/August 2011

  • . ~ Budget-friendly "green building

    materials We used low-cost, environ-mentally friendly OSB siding and composite trim on a great shed featured in our July/Aug. '09 issue. Go to and search "dollar savvy shed" for step-by-step building instructions.

    6 July/August 2011 fa m I I y hand yman .co m

    Green Remodeling Products

    ~' Jf!l/fiiN1~,, We're all about "common-sense green." To us, this means reusing and recycling products and building materi-als whenever possible, keep-ing energy and water savings In mind, and choosing durable products and materials that stand up to time and the ele-ments. Here are some of our favorites .

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    Cork is cool The coolest thing about cork is you don't have to kill or damage the tree to harvest the bark. This makes each tree a renewable source of raw material. Cork bark can be harvested (peeled) from a tree every 10 years. Since a cork tree can live for 200 years, you can harvest a lot of cork over its lifetime. And cork products are easily recyclable, which adds to cork's "green" credentials.

    These days, cork is used in everything from furniture to flooring- even shower flooring. Versacork flooring tiles for showers are made from recycled champagne corks laid onto a thick backing. These 1-ft. x 2-ft. mosaic sheets of cork discs are the sustainable version of ceramic penny tiles. They're available in three styles and install like regular tile, with a mortar adhesive and grout, to create a soft, antimicrobial, slip-resistant shower floor. These tiles cost $15 to $20 per sq. ft. at



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    Spend less green by "greening" your lawn Here are a couple of eye- According to hlghcountry-opening factoids:, the answer The average home- is yes. The site offers

    owner spends more to water-wise grass seed maintain a lawn than mixtures and grass plugs the average farmer developed for different spends on each acre of regions to look good while crops. requiring less water and

    The average home- fewer chemicals. These owner uses up to 10 include "No Mow" lawn times more chemical seed mix for cooler, herbicides per acre than moister climates and the average farmer. Legacy Buffalo grass Let's not even get into plugs that duplicate the

    how much water most lush green of traditional lawns require to look bluegrass in low-moisture, good. But can we stop high-clay areas while watering and fertilizing using 50 to 75 percent and still have a nice lawn? less water.

    Insulation saves 600 times more energy each year than all the CFLs, Energy Star appli-ances and Energy Star windows in use combined.

    July/ August 2011 9

  • Get free water. Get a rain barrel! A 1,000-sq.-ft. roof can dump about 600 gal-lons of water during a l-in. rainfall. Collecting all that rain in a rain barrel is a no-b-rain-er. Flskars' new DlverterPro water dlverter kit can be attached to almost any rain barrel system (shown with the Fiskars Salsa rain barrel; $150 for both or $40 for the DiverterPro at and www2. The DiverterPro channels water from the gutter downspout into the barrel. Once the barrel's full , the diverter sends the water through the downspout and away from your foundation. The diverter works with stan-dard gutter downspouts and includes a filter to keep debris out of your rain barrel.

    .. .

    Eat local: Grow your own food What's more commonsense green than growing tonight's salad in your own backyard? Seeds of Change seed company Is a great source of 100 percent organic seeds and plants so you can grow the tastiest and healthiest veggies possible. The offerings at include more than 1,000 different seed varieties, with many heirloom and hard-to-find varieties among them.


    Permeable pavers promote percolation Say that six times fast! Reducing storm water runoff to improve water quality is a key initiative across the United States, and many communi-

    A typical city block can generate five times more runoff than a wooded area the same size.

    ties have issued guidelines encouraging home-owners and builders to use permeable construction materials for walkways, patios, sidewalks and driveways. If a new patio or driveway Is on your to-do list this year, consider using permeable pavers, like these from Boral. T_hese perme-able pavers are clay bricks designed to be strong enough to withstand foot and light vehicle traffic while allowing water to filter quickly into the soil through spaces between the pavers. Boral permeable pavers are available in nine colors for 50 to 75 per paver, depending on the region. Visit to find a dealer in your area. July/August2011 13

  • A typical incandescent bulb converts only 10 percent of its energy into light. A whopping 90 percent of its energy is converted into heat.

    14 July/August2011 fam ilyhandyman .com

    Raise your energy IQ by powering down "Phantom" or "vampire" power accounts for 5 to 15 percent ot a household's electricity cost. While you're sleeping or away at work, your electrical devices continue to suck energy. You can plug everything into a power strip and try to remember to shut it down when you leave the house or go to bed (yeah, right). Or you can plug everything into a smart power strip, like the Smart Strip LCGE Energy-saving Power Strip, which w ill remember to do this for you.

    The Smart Strip ($32 at and other online retailers) is a surge protector power strip that automatically switches devices off when they're not in use and uses only 1 watt of power itself. It has several always-on outlets, and the rest are auto-switch outlets that shut down w hen a sensor detects that a primary device (like a computer or TV) has shut down, and shuts down its peripherals as well (like copi-ers and gaming systems). The sensor detects when a pri-mary device is turned back on and automatically powers up the appropriate surge-protected outlets too.

  • 16 July/August 2011 fa m i l y ha n dyman. com

    Chill out-buy an energy-efficient fridge Your refrigerator uses the most electricity in your house after your heating and AC systems. The beast runs 24 hours a day, so it makes sense to buy the most energy-efficient model you can. Three years ago, we bought a Whirlpool Gold {model GXSFHDXTQ) French door Bottom Freezer Refrigerator ($1,100 to $1,500, depending on the model). We had a top-freezer model for years, which is actually the most energy-efficient type of fridge. But a bottom-freezer French door model is still more efficient than a side-by-side, and the Whirlpool won out because it's the most

    energy-efficient model in this category. An icemaker and through-the-door water dispenser signifi-cantly lower the energy efficiency rating of any fridge (and also bump up the cost), so we decided to skip both. It may sound extreme, but we actually use old-fashioned trays to make ice cubes and get our cold water from the tap. We do love this fridge.

    A new Energy Star-rated fridge uses half the energy of a 10-year-old model. If yours is getting old, consider buying a new one. Check out to see if your state offers a rebate program for buying a more energy-efficient model.

    Elisa Bernick

    Slower but safer strippers For years, I've relied on paint strippers that contain meth-ylene chloride, which eats almost any finish fast. The trou-ble with methylene chloride is that it fills the air with dangerous fumes. The long list of possible side effects includes lung and brain damage. But t here's another common stripping chemical that's not qu ite so scary: NMP. While NMP isn't harmless, the main possible side effects are irritation to skin, nose and lungs {though some studies suggest that long-term exposure can lead to more severe health problems).

    NMP strippers take hours rather than m inutes to cut through paint or varn ish. But I love them anyway because I value my lungs and can't afford to lose any IQ points. Most home centers carry NMP strippers (about $20 for a half gallon). You won't find "NMP" on the label , so check t he fine print for terms like "n- methyl pyrro lidone" or "1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone." Citristrlp and Zinsser Magic Strip are two common brands.

    Gary Wentz

  • Centuries-old natural wood finisher Here's a plug for a "green" product that has been around forever. Tung oil, which Is derived from tung nuts, provides a tough, flexible, lustrous and highly water-resistant coating for wood. The Chinese have used It for centuries to waterproof boats and to finish the furniture of royal families. (Legend has it that tung oil was used to seal the Great Wall.) Tung oil is a penetrating oil that dries quickly and leaves a hard, varnish-like coating, which makes It a great choice for finishing cabi-nets, furniture, butcher block counters and cutting boards.

    Don't confuse 100 percent tung oil with the tung oil finishes widely available at home centers and hardware stores. Those contain petroleum distillates, thin-ners, solvents or drying agents (which makes them a lot less green). Pure tung oil is available for $15 to $20 per quart at woodworking shops, paint stores and online sites like, and Caution: If you're allergic to nuts, don't use tung oil on kitchen counters or cut-ting boards. You could provoke a nasty allergic reaction . .L!

    The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50 million home s for 20 years.

    July/August 2011 17

  • Beef up entry door security You can spend hundreds on a fancy "pick-proof" dead bolt for your entry door. But you 're kidding yourself if you think that'll stop most burglars. The truth is, most don't know how to pick a lock. They gain entry with one really well-placed kick or body slam that splits the doorjamb (and often the door as well), and they walk right in.

    0 REINFORCE THE DOOR Slide t he reinforcement plate onto the door and insert the dead bolt and dead latch. Secure them with l-l/2-in.-long stainless steel screws. Then secure the plate to the door w ith the matching screws from the kit.



    Extend the dead bolt slightly and close the door. Mark the center of the bolt on the edge of the doorjamb w ith a pencil. Then mark the center of the latch on the jamb.

    18 July/August 2011 fa m I I y h a n d y m a n c o m


    by Rick Muscoplat [email protected]

    Extend the pencil marks to the door stop. Then line up the center of t he latch alignment hole on the reinforcement plate with the centerline mark. Slide the plate into place. Predrill two holes and run the supplied screws almost all the way Into the jamb with your drill. Stop before they're seated or you'll bow the door frame.

  • You can stop burglars in their tracks by beefing up your door and jamb with reinforcing hardware. The components cost about $120 and take about an hour to install. Here's how to do it.

    Start by measuring the entry door thickness and the spacing between the entry knob and the dead bolt cylinder. Then buy either a single or a double wrap-around door reinforcement plate kit (less than $20 at any home center or hardware store) and four 1-1/2-in.-long stainless steel wood screws. Then get a doorjamb reinforcement kit

    Sharpen your shovel

    (StrikeMaster II is one brand; $100 from or

    Remove the entry knob and dead bolt cylinder. Then remove the dead bolt and latch and toss the short screws. Install the wrap-around door reinforce-ment plate and reinstall the latch and dead bolt plates using the longer stain-less steel screws (Photo 1). Next, mark both the latch and the dead bolt "cen-ters" on the strike side of the jamb (Photo 2). Remove the latch and strike plates and weather stripping from the jamb. But leave any weather stripping

    that's attached to the door stop. Then align the reinforcement plate, predrill a few mounting holes and add screws (Photo 3). Check the reinforcement plate alignment before snugging the screws by hand. Do not overtighten.

    If the prescored dead bolt knockout lines up with the marking along the jamb, remove it and finish installing the remaining screws. If it doesn't line up, drill a new dead bolt hole with a 3/4-in. bimetal hole saw. Finally, replace two screws in each hinge with the longer screws provided in the kit.

    Fix for a clanging vent hood damper Your shovel will slice through dirt and roots easier if it has a sharp edge. If the point of your shovel is ragged with dents or chips, start by smoothing it with a grinder (Photol) . Then switch to a mill bastard file (Photo2) to file a bevel. You don't want a knifelike edge. Instead just bevel the top edge at a 70-degree angle to the back. That's pretty blunt compared with the 25- or 30-degree angle used for knife sharpening.

    Q Every time the wind kicks up, It opens the damper on my kitchen vent hood. When the wind dies down, the damper slams shut, making a metallic "clang." The noise drives me crazy. What's the fix?

    A New spring-loaded backdraft dampers ($9 to $30, depending on the size) should solve the problem. Measure the diameter of the vent p ipe and order the dampers from a duct supply company ( is one source). Start by replacing the backdraft damper directly above the vent hood. If that doesn't solve the problem, install a second damper near the wall or roof discharge cap. The second damper will greatly reduce the clanging problem.

    0 GRIND THE EDGE SMOOTH Use a metal grinding disc in an angle grinder to remove nicks and create a smooth profile. Keep the grinder moving to avoid over-heating the metal edge.

    ~ FILE A BEVEL Hold the file at a 70-degree angle to the back of the shovel. Apply pressure while pushing the file. Lift the file to return for the next stroke. Files cut on the forward stroke only.

    fa m II y handyman. com July/August 20 11 21

  • Rebuild your water softener A bum water softener control valve can cause the unit to leak or stop produc-ing soft water. A leak automatically means a rebuild, but if you've run out of soft water, first check the power at the receptacle. If the receptacle works and your softener is more than five years old, chances are good that you're due for a control valve rebuild. Water softener repair pros charge about $200 to do that. But you can do it yourself in about an hour and for less than $60. I'll show you how to rebuild one of the most common valves (the Fleck 5600 series} and direct you to a Web site for rebuild instructions for other brands.

    It'll take some detective work to find the make and model of your control valve because they don't have identify-ing labels. So take a photo of your valve and go to Click on "I.D. Your Control Valve" and match your photo to the valves there. If you have a Fleck control valve, buy a complete rebuild kit and follow the instructions here. If you have a differ-ent brand, locate the parts and rebuild instructions on the site's menu.

    Start the rebuild by relieving the internal water pressure. Turn the bypass valve to the "bypass" position and rotate the dial to the "backwash" position. Unplug the power cord. Then remove the back cover, the housing screws and the screw in the center of the main piston. Tilt the housing and lift it off. Remove the hold-down plate screws and the plate. Then grab the piston and pull it straight up (Photo 1}. Next, remove the spacers and seals (Photo 2}. Remove the old brine valve and install the new one (Photo 3}. Then install the new seals and spacers (Photo 4}. Insert the new piston and install the hold-down plate. Reinstall the hous-ing, turn on the water and check for leaks. Then turn the dial to put the unit into a manual regeneration and check again for leaks.

    GOT A HOME REPAIR QUESTION? Post It on You'll get answers from other The Family Handyman readers and Field Editors.

    22 July/August 2011 fa mIt y handyman. com

    0 REMOVE THE MAIN PISTON Grab the piston by the metal tang and yank it stra ight up (the uppermost seal may come out w ith the piston). Toss the piston.



    ~ REPLACE THE BRINE VALVE Pop out the old brine valve and check to make sure the bottom 0-ring comes with it. Then push the new valve into the bore.


    fJ REMOVE THE VALVE INNARDS Stick your finger down into the control valve and pull out the four spacers and five seals. Toss them.

    B LOAD IN THE NEW VALVE PARTS Drop a rubber seal down into the valve body. Then alternate spacers and seals, finishing with a seal at the top.

  • Flatten air ducts to gain basement headroom Don't let low-hanging ductwork scuttle your plans for a basement remodel. If the ductwork is in the way, you have three options. You can reroute it or split it into more but smaller ducts. But the least disruptive and easiest way is to replace the low ducts with new ducts that are flatter but wider. In most cases, you can gain sev-eral inches of headroom.

    Measure the existing ducts that are too low. Sketch out the current duct layout and note the location of each joint. Take the sketch to a profes-sional heating contractor and get a quote for building new, flatter ducts. If the new ducts pro-vide enough headroom, just deliver the old ducts to the contractor to use as a template for the new ones.

    To disassemble a duct joint, remove the drive "couplers" (Photo 1). Then install the new duct (Photo 2). Seal all the joints with aluminum duct tape or duct-sealing caulk.




    Unbend the folded portion of each joint's "drive coupler." Pull each one of f w ith pliers. Support the duct with two spring clamps and chain and then remove the duct hangers.

    Hoist the new duct into p lace and hold it w ith the spring clam ps and cha in. Line up the joints and insert the top and bottom edges into the S-slips. Install the d rive couplers and bend the ends with a hammer. Then install the duct hangers.

    24 July/August 2011 fa m II y handyman. com

  • Fix an oversize electrical box cutout We've all done it-cut the electrical box opening too large. Sure, you can cover it with a "jumbo" electrical plate, but that can look pretty stupid, especially if there are other boxes nearby. Instead of squishing joint compound into the gap (it'll always crack), try this fix.

    First prepare the gap and fill it with compound (Photo 1). Then apply joint tape and additional mud coats (Photo2).

    f) MUD AND TAPE Spread the fast-setting compound Into the gap and surrouncllng area and embed the tape right up to the edge of t he electrical box. Let It set up and apply the final two coats of lightweight com-pound. Sand with a medium-grit sanding sponge.

    26 July/August2011 fa m I lyha ndyman. com

    Sap of the sinking driveway

    QMy asphalt drtvaway Is slnklnaln several spots where tt meets the ....... floor. I dug out aU the rocks and sand and found hollow Cinder blocks that 10 down almost 4ft. How the heck do I fix this?

    A Unfortunately this Is a pnmy c:ommon pn:Jblem. 111e foundation c:ontractor Wt off the solid "c:ap block.. and the asphalt c:ontrac:tor Just pawd over the open blocks. So ewQ time you drove Into or out of the .. , .... you c:ompac:ted the asphalt farther Into the hollow cores. The failUre was Inevitable. but there Is a fix. FlU the cores with c:ancrete.

    First dll out the asphalt debris. Then wet the Inside of the CONS IJ&htlvwtth water and pour In the COitaete. Ram a blaorn handle up and down tD remove any a1r pockets. After the c:onc1ete sats up. add a thin layer of sand or Class V (five) &raw~ and finish With c:old-patc:h uphalt (from a home center). Or, better yet, c:ut CIUt a couple of In front of the door with a diamond saw and pour a c:oncrete apron.



    ANATOMY OF A DRIVI!WAY FAIWRE DrMna over the same spot tan:.s the asphalt Into the hol-low COntS. The top course should have been finished wtth acapbtock,

  • Smell burning rubber in your laundry room? A piece of clothing stuck between the item, you should replace the dam-the inner and the outer tub on your aged belt. Remove the two screws washing machine or a load that's too located on the bottom of the front panel large can stop the drum, which and swing the bottom of the panel out causes the drive belt to slip on the to unhook it from the top. Then prop pulley and burn. So if your washing the front of the washer up on paint machine is running and you smell cans so you can reach the belts. burning rubber, first shut off the Remove the belts by starting the edge washer and unplug it. Clothing tends over the pulley and spinning them off. to get stuck more often in Maytag The motor is spring-loaded, so the belts washers, so that's what we're show- will come off easily. Take the damaged ing here. Check along the rim of the belt with you to the appliance parts drum to see if there's something store to get a replacement. Reinstall the stuck there (Photo 1). After removing belts in the reverse order.

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    0 CHECK FOR A JAM Look around the top rim of the drum to see if t here's a p iece of fabric wedged in between the basket and the drum. Pull it out.

    f) REPLACE THE BELT Unplug the washer and remove the front panel. Support t he front feet on paint cans while you slip the old belts from the pulleys. Replace them with new belts. l!

    fa m II y handyman . com July/August 2011 27

    Scotch Mounting Tape. Available in the

    hardware department.

    Scotch Produc ts. Great id eas tha t stick.

    2011 3M. Sootdl. lhe Scotch Mounting Tape Oesigl and the Plaid Oesi()n are tradem~ of 3M.

  • from our readers [email protected] GLUED _/ END CAP

    Fuzz-free paint rollers I've been painting for 30 years, and there's one thing I do before every paint job when using a new roller sleeve. I wrap some duct tape (sticky side out) around my hand and rub all sides of the roller sleeve across the tape. This is an easy way to get rid of all the loose fuzz on the roller cover that would otherwise end up on the wall.

    Jodey Kinney

    28 July/August2011 famllyhandyman .com

    PVC pipe blade and bit organizer

    I always seem to have extra bits, jigsaw blades and other small items lying loose in my

    toolboxes and bags. To keep things organized, I cut differ-ent diameters of PVC pipe to the lengths needed for my

    accessories. I glue one end cap in place, put my items inside and slide on the other end cap. Use a marker to

    label each container and you'll be able to find all your bits, blades, screws and whatever when you need them.

    Tom Rl~hardson

    Garden and work glove hang-up Our garden and work gloves were in the habit of getting lost in the shed. It was worse than losing socks in the dryer. I'd be lucky to find one glove on tho floor and the other one stuck in an empty flowerpot. It was an ongoing battle to find a matched set. Then I came up with the ingenious idea of hanging binder clips on nails to organize our gloves. They're always dry and always together in a matched set. Now I'm trying to figure out a similar system for our socks.

    Precise tile measuring When you're tiling a floor and you need to cut odd edge pieces, try this. Lay the field tile firsl. When you get to the outside edges, get exact measurements by making a paper template. Cut a piece of sturdy paper the exact size of Lhe tile you're using and set it in place. At the wall, crease the paper and fold it over at the correct angle. Then transfer the angle to the actual tile using a wax marker or -heavy pencil. You'll get a much more accurate cut and fit. Stephen Devers


    Heath Donnald

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  • Oil change reminder Anytime I change the oil in my car or truck, I reset the trip odometer to zero. This way, I don't have to remember (or forget, usually) when I changed the oil last. When the mileage tells me it's time to change the oil, I do it and repeat the process.

    Ed Mower

    INSTANT kitchen cabinet organizer A metal file organizer is perfect for stor-ing baking sheets, cutting boards and pan lids. You can pick one up for a buck at the dollar store. To keep the organizer from sliding around, use rubber shelf liner or attach hook-and-loop tape to the cabi-net base and the bottom of the organizer.

    Mary Adelman

    Picture-hanging perfection When you're hanging a gro up of pictures, il can be hard to visualize exactly where everything should go. Thy this next time: Lay them all out on the floor and get them arranged just how you like them. Then flip them over and make a little diagram of your grouping. Measure the distance of each picture's hanger from the adjacent walls, and jot it down C1h your diagram. Transfer those hanger locations lo the wall and you'll have a perfect grouping every time.

    Trlcla Jacott

    fa m II y handym an . com July/August 2011 31

  • Improved ladder safety I always feared I would miss a step coming down my extension ladder. The worst moment is when your foot has to transition from a double rung to the single rung (when you move from the exten-sion section to the stationary section). Your foot has to move inward to fit fully on the single rung, and it's a potentially dangerous moment. To make the transition safer, stand on the bottom rung of the extension section and spray-paint a mark on the ladder rails at eye level. When you see the mark as you're descending, you'll know that the next step you take is to the single rung. If people of different heights use the same ladder, use a different color of paint for each person.

    Vincent Emilio

    32 July/August 2011 fa m II y handyman. com

    Handy garbage bag storage Here's a good old janitors' tip that a lot of readers write in with. Store your replacement gar-bage bags right in the bottom of your garbage can. When the old bag is full, the new one is right where you need it. (This tip works best for gar-bage cans that are unlikely to hold wet, messy stuff.)

    Elisa Bernick

    More comfortable painting Whenever I paint ceilings, crown molding or the upper part of walls, I strap a travel pillow around my neck. It looks a little funny, but it sure beats wak-ing up with a sore neck the next day!

    Barb Hoover

    For more great Handy Hints,~ subscribe to our free e-mail DIY Tips & Hints newsletter! ,, Go to u


    34 July/August 2011 fa m II y h a n d y m a n c o m

  • by Jeff Gorton [email protected]

    If you're a gardener, you'll love this 12 x 16-ft. shed. (And even if you don't garden, I bet you could put all this space to work.) There's plenty of room for all your tools and a planting bench under the windows. You can easily drive your riding mower through the huge sliding doors, or just open them wide for plenty of light and ventilation. Dormer windows provide overhead light, and a bank of end wall windows opens for even more fresh air. To reduce maintenance, we used solid PVC to trim the shed and build the sliding doors, and we covered the walls with fiber cement siding. The custom-size aluminum combination win-dows won't require anything but occasional cleaning.

    In this article, we'll show you the basics of how to build the shed and the sliding doors. For more wall and roof framing

    Long-lasting and low-maintenance We chose exterior materials that'll keep this shed looking great for decades. First, we covered the walls with 4 x a sheets of 5/16-in.-thick fiber cement. If you plan ahead, you can order this James Hardie stucco-look HardiePanel prefinished. We chose to paint ours on-site. Fiber cement Is known for its superior paint-holding ability, so we expect the paint job to last a long time.

    All the exterior trim, as well as the door frames, are solid PVC by Azek. The 18-ft. lengths mean you don't have to splice the fascia boards. And you don't have to search through the lumber for straight, good-looking pieces-all of it is straight and good looking. PVC trim is a little spendy, but you'll never have to replace it.

    fa m II y han d y man. com July/August 2011 35

  • details and information on building the sliding doors, go to famil

    Money, time and tools You can find most of the materials for this shed at home centers or lumberyards. However, the solid PVC trim boards may have to be special-ordered. We spent about $4,800 on the materials for this shed (not including the concrete slab), and the PVC trim accounts for a big chunk of that cost. If you substitute wood or composite trim, you could save about $1,000.

    To build this shed, you'll need standard carpentry tools, including a circular saw and drill. A framing nail gun, miter

    3 6 July/August 2011 fa m II y handyman. com

    PREPARE THE WALL PLATES Measure from the chalk line to the center of the bolt and transfer this measurement to the plate to mark for drilling the bolt holes.

    BUILD A WALL, STAND IT AND BUILD ANOTHER Frame the long walls first while the slab Is wide open. When you stand and brace them, tilt them slightly outward. That gives you a little extra room when you stand the shorter walls.

    PLUMB AND BRACE THE WALLS Check for plumb with a long level at the corner. Push or pull the wall until it's plumb. Then nail on a diagonal brace to hold the wall plumb until the sheathing Is Installed.

  • Figure A Garden shed









    2x4 STUDS

    saw and table saw will save you some time and effort but aren't necessary. We used a special Ridgid dust-collecting saw to cut the fiber cement siding, but a circular saw will also work.

    If you've built a deck or other large construction project, you shouldn't have any trouble with this shed. The framing is straightforward, and with a few helpers you should be able to get the shell up in a weekend. Then exp~ct to spend three or four busy weekends completing the project.

    Getting started In most areas, you'll need a building permit for a shed of this size. Check with your local building department to find out what's required. You'll probably have to locate the side and back lot lines so you can mark the spot for the new shed. For this you'll need a survey or plot plan. Ask at city hall-there may be a plot plan on file. To avoid delays, start this process at least a month before you plan to build. After the plans are approved, take them, along with a materials




    Growing gardeners Tom Benson, principal of Pilot Knob Elementary School in Eagan, MN, couldn't be happier. His magnet school for science, technology, engineering and math just started a raised bed gardening project for the kids and community. We were so impressed w ith the school's program that we donated this shed to the cause.



    1/2" OSB WALL SHEATHING r(/ For help with roofing and flashing,

    search for "roofing." To learn how to work with fiber

    cement, search for "fiber cement." For tips on installing PVC trim, search

    for "PVC trim."

    Principal Tom Benson, trying out the new shed.

    fa m II y handyman. com July/August 2011 37

  • SET THE DORMER WALL Building the dormer wall separately simplifies wall framing. Set It Into place above the door opening. Nail temporary blocks to the lower wall to keep the dormer wall from sliding off as you nail it.

    SHEATHE THE WALLS Nail sheathing to the studs. It's simpler If you support the sheathing on 16d nails wedged between the bottom plate and the slab.

    FRAME THE ROOF Mark the rafter locations on the ridge board and prop it up with temporary supports. Nail the rafters to the ridge and top plate. Don't remove the supports until you've installed the rafter ties.

    famIly handyman. c: om July/August 2011 3 9

  • NAIL ON THE SUBFASCIA BOARDS Align the top of the 2x4 subfascias with the top of the rafters. Start naiLing at one end and have a helper at the other end raise and lower the board to line it up while you nail it.

    SHEATHE THE ROOF Nail temporary blocks to the subfascia to hold the first row of sheathing in place. Space the sheets 118 in. apart. If you don't leave gaps, you might get ridges that show through the shingles when the sheath-ing swells.

    FINISH THE DORMER FRAMING Complete the sheathing on the main roof before adding the overhang rafter so you don't have to notch the sheathing to fit around the rafter.

    list, to the lumberyard or home center to order materials and work out a delivery schedule.

    When you've staked out the location of the shed on your lot, you're ready to pour the concrete slab. We hired a con-tractor for this, but if you want to do it yourself, go to and search for "concrete slab" for complete instructions. A few days before you plan to dig, call 811 for instructions on how to locate buried utility lines.

    Build the walls After the concrete cures for several days, you can start building the walls. The first step is to chalk lines on the slab, 3-1/2 in. from the edges to indicate the inside edge of the walls. Then cut the treated bottom plates and top plates to length and mark the stud locations on them. Photo 1 shows


    ' \ \ \ \ ~ \ \ M

    \ \ \ ~ \ \ \ \\

    \. \ \

    famllyhandyman.c o m July/August2011 4 3

  • tho layout marks and how to mark the plates for the anchor- nailing it into placo (Photo 4) and installing tho sheathing bolt holes. Build and stand the two long walls and tempo- (PhotoS). rarily brace them (Photo2). Lean the tops out slightly to make room for standing tho end walls. Frame the roof

    When all four walls are built and standing, nail the cor- Uso dimensions from Figure L (online) to cu.t the rafters. ners together, making sure the tops of adjacent walls are Before you install the rafters, sight down the walls to make even with each other. Then nail the second top plates to sure they're perfectly straight. Push or pull tho top of tho the tops of tho walls, overlapping them at the corners. Next walls into alignment and support them with temporary plumb the walls and nail diagonal braces to the studs to braces fastened to the bottom plate of the opposite wall if hold the walls plumb until the sheathing is installed (Photo necessary. Cut the ridge board to length and mark the rafter 3). Complete the walls by building the dormer wall and positions on it. Nail temporary 2x4 supports to each end



    3/4" X 51/2'" TRIM BOARD

    44 July/Auaust2011 f a m II yh an d y man. com

    CUT AND HANG THE SIDING Lay 2x4s over sawhorses to support the sheets while you cut. If you don't have a special saw. use your regular circular saw with a carbide blade. Fiber cement is tough on blades. so don't waste money on an expensive blade. Nail the siding to the studs.

    TRIM WITH PVC BOARDS Cut and nail the PVC trim just like wood. Use a sharp carbide blade on a miter saw to cut It, and stainless steel or hot-dipped galvanized nails to fasten the trim to the framing. Battens cover all the siding seams.

    SCREW IN THE ALUMINUM WINDOWS Apply a small bead of caulk to the stops and press the window against them. Slide the expanders tight to the opening and screw through them Into the stops.

  • of the shed with their Lops 50-3/4 in. above the top plate. Support the ridge on these while you install the rafters (Photo6).

    Install the rafters in pairs, lining them up directly over the studs (Photo 6). Al the lop plate, toenail through the bird's-mouth into the top plate to hold the rafters temporar-ily. Then install metal hurricane ties (USP RT7 or similar; at each rafter. Fill in the short rafters that form the overhang over tho siding doors. Then nail the 2x4 subfascius to the rafter ends (Photo 7). Remember to rip a slight bevel on th e lower edge of the subfascia (Figure G, online) so the soffit boards will fit tight to the rafter tails. To 46 July/Auaust 2011 fa m I I y h a n d y m a n c o m

    ROOF BEFORE SIDING THE DORMER Shingle the roof of the main structure before you side the dormer. This allows the siding to go over the top of the metal flashings.

    BUILD THE DOORS Build the doors from PVC boards and fiber cement panels. Weld the overlapping PVC frame pieces with special PVC cement. Use screws to clamp the PVC and to provide extra reinforcement.

    MOUNT THE DOOR TRACK Use heavy-duty bypass door track and wheels to mount the doors. It rolls easily and Is adjustable so you can line the doors up with each other.

    prevent the 8-ft. section of roof over the sliding doors from sagging, bend 2-ft.-long perforated metal straps (Simpson LSTA24; to fit along the top of the short rafters and up tho wall. Drive 3-in. construction screws ovory 4 in. through tho straps and into the framing (Figura Gl, online). Complete the roof framing by nailing the overhang rafters to the ridge and subfascias and installing 2x4 rafter ties between the front and the back walls to keep them from sproad i ng (Figura A). Sheathe tho main roof (Photo B) before you install the overhang rafters on the dormer (Photo9).

    Finish the exterior siding arid trim ... We used James Hardie 5/16-in. stucco-look fiber-cement panels for tho siding. (For installation guidelines, go to and click on the "HardieZone for Homeowners".) Photo 10 shows cutting the panel with the special Ridgid saw that has a built-in vacuum dust collec-tion system. On the gable ends, remember to install a metal Z-flashing at tho horizontal joint between panels. Wait to install the siding on the dormer until you've installed the dormer flashing, step flashing and shingles (Photo13).

    We used Azok solid PVC for all the exterior trim (Photo n ). Bull horizontal 1x6s tight to the soffit boards on the under-side of tho overhang and wrap them around the corner to extend across the end walls. Next, wrap the torners with 1x6s hulled to lhis horizontal band. Make the windowsills by ripping 10-dogroo bovols on lengths of 1-in. x 3-1/2-in. PVC. When you install the notched sill, put shims under the inside edge to tilt the sill at a 10-degree angle so the bevel cuts on the front and back are vertical. Install the horizontal

  • board under the windows after tho sill is in place. Finish installing all the horizontal boards, and the trim boards that run along the roof angle on the end walls. Then cut and install the 1x4 battens to cover the seams in the siding.

    Mount the windows When you've finished with the win-dowsills and trim, nail 1x2 stops to the studs on the sides and top of the window openings. We set the stops 1 in. behind the back of the trim and mounted the side windows by screw-ing through the U-shaped expander into the stops (Photo 12). The fixed windows in the dormer didn't have the expander channel, so hero wo set the stops even with the back of the trim and attached the windows by screwing through the thin flange into the stops. If you install another type of window, your stops may be in a different location. To order windows like ours, call Allied Aluminum Windows (763-571-3200). See the Materials List online for window ordering details.

    Build and mount the doors The sliding doors consist of two layers of 3/4-in.-thick PVC boards that overlap at the corners for strength (Photo 14). Use special Azok brand PVC cement an d screws to join the parts. Then fill the openings in the frame with 5/16-in. smooth fiber cement panels held in by 1/2 x 1/2-in. stops. Figure M online shows the door construction details.

    Mount the sliding doors to the shed with Johnson bypass door hardware (see Materials List online for details). Attach the 2 x 1-1/2-in. track sup-port to the wall with 4-in. lag screws driven into solid framing every 2 ft. Recess the lag screw heads so you can cover the support board with trim later. Then screw the aluminum tracks to the support board (Photo 15). Hang the doors on the track and adjust the hangers until the doors are even with each other and hanging squarely in the opening. To prevent the doors from sliding off the end or going past the middle, screw wooden

    July/AIJIIUSI2011 47

    stops into the channel on each end and Finish It up in the center. The center stop is also nee- Shingle the dormer and cover the ridge essary to secure the doors when a lock is with ridge shingles. For information installed. To keep the bottom of the doors on how to install shingles, go to fami-from swinging out, screw a section of and search for "roof-1-1/4-in. angle iron to the full length of ing." Then paint the siding and trim. If each door bottom. Then position a screw you used solid PVC trim and want to and washers on each side of the doors to paint it, make sure to use 100 percent capture the angle iron. See Figure N online acrylic exterior paint. We mounted for details. Finish the installation by cov- a gate latch that accepts a padlock to ering the track and mounting board with secure the sliding doors. n a 1x4 trim board.

    Eats grass, not spa.ce 1n your garage.

    Designed for people who enjoy mowing their yard but don't want to spend all day doing it, the SmartCut"' offers a more compact, affordable option to the big garden tractor. Its rear mounted 10.5 HP engine g ives you plenty of power, while the SmartCut's smaller, agile rid ing platform fits into tight spaces. Available exclusively at The Home Depot.

    For more information p lease visit:

  • it takes a genius to do it right


    So, big shot, you think you know how to dig postholes, eh? Sure you do-anyone can dig a hole. But how hard do you want to work, and how often do the holes end up In the wrong spot and you have to start over? Here are a few tips to get perfectly placed holes-with a little less sweat on your part.

    ?1 - ~"o~c

    \~ CLAMSHELL DIGGER by Travis Larson [email protected]

    f) Carve out a soil divot with a spade Set the string aside so you don't wreck it while digging. And don't just start digging away; drill yourself a pilot hole first. Carve out a round plug to outline the posthole. That'll get you started in exactly the right spot. Throw the dirt onto a tarp to protect your lawn.

    D String your line and pound the stakes String a line marking the outside edges

    of the posts. Mark the post centers on the line by untwisting the string and

    pushing a nail through the strands. You can fine-tune the nail position just by sliding it to

    the exact location. Then pound stakes to mark the center of the holes. If you're using 4x4 posts,

    that will be just under 2 in. from the string.

    48 Juty/August2011 fa m t ly handyman. com

    The big 4 posthole tools If you have more than a couple of postholes to dig, don't stop at a shovel and a clamshell digger. You'll treasure two more tools just as much. Pick up a tile spade. The long, narrow blade will get you places no other shovel can. Also get a tamper-end digging bar.

    il Loosen earth with a tile shovel Unless you have very soft soil, you'll work way too hard digging with just a clamshell digger. Loosen the soil and carve away at the sides with the tile spade. It'll easily slice through small roots.

    GJ Use a recipsaw on large roots Don't kill yourself chisel lng out roots. Just use a recip saw with a long, coarse blade and poke it right into the soil at the ends of the root and cut It off.

    9 Use your clamshell digger Plunge the open clam-shell digger blades into the loosened soil and

    grab a load of fill.

  • Dig by hand unless ... Power augers require a trip to the rental store and a brawny friend. And they're worthless in clay or rocky soil. The truth is, unless you have lots of holes to dig in sand, It's often easier to dig by hand.

    Use water and the back of your shovel

    If you're digging in sticky clay soil, dip your clamshell digger in a bucket of water so the soil won't stick. Knock off clumps on the back of the shovel. Spread a tarp to keep dirt off your grass.

    ~ Dislodge rocks with a digging bar

    6 Tamp soil with the other end Use the tamper end of the digging bar to compact the soil before setting posts or pouring concrete. That prevents any settling.

    Pick out rocks from the hole sides with your digging bar. Let them fall into the hole and pluck

    them out with your clamshell digger.

    (;) Mark the post edge locations Restring the line, pull the nails and mark the exact post edge loca-

    tions on the line with a permanent marker.

    li) Cover holes with plywood If you're walking away from the postholes for a while, cover them with plywood. It just might save a broken leg and/ or keep the sides from caving in during a. storm.

    Small is beautiful Unless you're a body builder, avoid those giant, heavy-gauge, fiberglass-handled clamshell dig-gers. You'll just get exhausted; you're better off with a smaller, lightweight digger.

    [[!] Set the posts Place the posts with one side

    brushing against the string and the edge even with

    your mark. Then hold the post plumb while you fill the hole. Pack the soil with the tamper end of the digging bar every foot

    !"'c orso. w

    f a m II y h a n d y m a n c o m July/August 2011 49

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  • 58 July/Auaust 2011 fa m II y handymen com

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  • 62 JulyiAulust 2011 f a m II y h a n d y m a n . c o m

  • D ragging extension cords across the yard to power the weed whip, fumbling around in a dark shed ... most of us take these hassles for granted. But it doesn't have to be that way. With a day's work, you can run electrical lines to any part of your yard. This article will show you how to bring power to a shed, but the process is almost identical if you want to simply mount an outlet on a post planted in the soil. A licensed electrician would charge at least several hundred dollars plus materials to nm lines from your house to a shed 50 ft. away (not including any work inside your house). You can do the job yourself for a materials cost of about $140.

    We'll show you how to run wires through rigid metal conduit (RMC). This method offers the best protection of the wiring and requires the least amount of digging. It also lets you install a GFCI outlet at the end of the line rather than at tho house, which means you' ll never have to run back to the house to reset a tripped GFCI. For information on completing the wiring inside the outbuilding or connect-ing to power in your house, go to and search for "wiring."

    If you want to provide a dedicated circuit to the shed, hire an electrician to make the final connection in your main electrical panel. Otherwise you can connect to an existing circuit if the circuit has enough capacity and the box you're connecting to has enough volume for the additional wires.

    Figure A Cable depth l Metal conduit means less digging Running wires inside rigid metal conduit (RMC) Is a little more expensive than burying underground feeder cable (UF), but It saves labor. That 's because the top edge of RMC has to be only 6 in. below the surface of the ground, while UF must be buried 12 in. deep (deeper in some situations). That extra 6 in. of trench depth may not seem like a big deal, but It adds hours of backbreaking work, especially if you have rocky soil, hard clay or lots of tree roots.

    6 4 July/August 2011 fa m ll y handyman. com

    1 DIG THE TRENCH Use a mattock to dig the trench. The narrow head means less dirt to remove and less to put back. Slice out strips of sod with a spade so you can neatly patch the lawn later.

    To run the wires inside rigid conduit, you'll need a hack-saw, a pipe bender capable of bending 1/2-in. rigid conduit with an outside diameter of 3/4 in. ($30), and a fish tape long enough to reach through the buried pipe ($15 to $60). You'll also need a pair of pipe wrenches to screw the sec-tions of pipe together, a drill and 1-in. bit capable of pen-etrating your siding, and wire cutting and stripping tools. The total cost of this project is typically about $2.20 for every foot of buried conduit, plus about $25 for LB fittings and miscellaneous hardware. ,..

    A few weeks before you start the project, contact your local building department to obtain an electrical permit if one is required. Then a few days before you dig, call 811 to have your underground utility lines marked. Learn more at

    Plan the route There are several factors to consider in planning the route from the house to the shed. Obviously the shorter the trench, the less digging you'll have to do, but you also have to deter-mine where you're going to connect to power inside the house and how easy it will be to get there. In some cases, a little more digging could save you from having to tear into a basement ceiling. Start by locating a power source, whether it's your main panel, a ceiling box, outlet or other electrica l box. Then figure out the best spot for the new conduit to enter the house. Since the National Electrical Code (NEC) limits the number of bends you can make in the pipe to a

  • '

    2 PLAN THE BEND Measure from the bottom of the trench to the bottom of the LB fitting. Mark that measurement on the conduit.

    4 JOIN THE CONDUIT Assemble the conduit run aboveground to make tightening the connections easier. Support the conduit with 2x4s until you've connected all but the last section.

    3 BEND THE CONDUIT Pull back on the conduit bender until the end stands straight up. A magnetic level lets you know when you've got a perfect 90-degree bend.

    5 PLAN THE LAST PIECE Measure for the last section of conduit. Adjust the measurement for the distance the LB protrudes from the wall. Then mark the pipe and bend it. Continued on p . 69

    fa m II y handyman. com July/August 2011 65

  • 6 MARK AND CONNECT Hold the bent conduit in place to mark it for cutt ing. Since there are no threads on the end of the pipe, screw a compression fitting into the LB and connect the conduit to it.

    What are the possible side effects of PRADAXA? PRADAXA can cause serious side effects.

    See "What is the most important information I should know about PRADAXA?"

    Allergic Reactions. In some people, PRADAXA can cause symptoms of an allergic reaction, including hives, rash, and itching. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you get any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction with PRADAXA:

    chest pain or chest tightness swelling of your face or tongue trouble breathing or wheezing feeling dizzy or faint

    Common side effects of PRADAXA include: indigestion, upset stomach, or burning stomach pain

    Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects of PRADAXA. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1 088. How should I store PRADAXA?

    Store PRADAXA at room temperature between 59F to 86F (15C to 30C). After opening the bottle, use PRADAXA within 30 days. Safely throw away any unused PRADAXA after 30 days.

    Store PRADAXA in the original package to keep it dry. Keep the bottle tightly closed.

    total of 360 degrees, you have to plan the route carefully. The two 90-degree bends from the ground into the house and shed consume 180 degrees, leaving you 180 degrees more for any additional bends.

    With the route planned, you can measure for .the amount of wire and conduit you need and head to the hardware store or home center. Add 10 ft. to the length of wire and pipe to make sure you'll have enough.

    It's smart to drill the hole into the house before you start digging just in case you run into an obstacle and have to choose a new location. When you're sure of the exit point, dig a trench from the house to the shed. If you're going across a lawn, remove a slice of sod the width of a spade from the surface and set it aside to reuse after you bury the pipe. Then use a mattock or narrow spade to dig the trench (Photo 1). Pile the dirt on plastic tarps so you don't have to rake it out of the grass later.

    Mount the LBs and metal boxes The rigid conduit will come out of the ground and into a fitting called an "LB." The LB has a removable cover that simplifies the task of pulling wire by eliminating a sharp right-angle turn. The trickiest part of this project is mount-ing the LBs and connecting them to metal boxes inside the house and shed. In general, you'll have to choose a box location and then calculate the length of electrical metallic

    f a m I l y h a n d y m a n . c o m July/August 2011 69

    Keep PRADAXA and all medicines out of the reach of children. General information about PRADAXA Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use PRADAXA for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give your PRADAXA to other people, even if they have the same symptoms. It may harm them. This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about PRADAXA. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your pharmacist or doctor for information about PRADAXA that is written for health professionals. For more information, go to or call 1-800-542-6257 or (TTY) 1-800-459-9906. What are the ingredients in PRADAXA? Active ingredient: dabigatran etexilate mesylate Inactive ingredients: acacia, dimethicone, hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, talc, and tartaric acid. The capsule shell is composed of carrageenan, FD&C Blue No.2, FD&C Yellow No.6, hypromellose, potassium chloride, titanium dioxide, and black edible ink. Distributed by: Boehtlnoer logelhelm Pharmaceuticals. Inc. Rldgclleld, CT 06877 USA

    ,0,\lll Boehringer \i1llhv Ingelheim Pmdaxa ls a registered tra0emar1t of Boehringer lngelhelm Phafma GmbH & Co. KG and used undef licens.. Copyr1ght C 2011 Boehringer lnQGIMim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Issued March 2011

    This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Coumadln is a registered trademark for Bristol-Myers SQuibb Jantoven is a registered trlidemark f01 USL Pharma Plavix is a registered trac~tmark of sanotl avcnus Etfient iS a regi$ter&d hadomar1( of Bililly and Company

    PX88211 CONS



    7 TIE THE WIRE TO THE FISH TAPE Feed the fish tape through the conduit. Loop the wires through the fish tape and wrap them with electrical tape. Also wrap the hook on the fish tape so it can't snag. Use stranded wire, not solid wire.


    9 START WITH A SWITCH Connect the wires inside the shed to a switch. Then run them to a GFCI receptacle.

    tubing {EMT) needed to reach from the back of the LB to the box. If you're going into a basement or crawl space, the length of the conduit usually isn't critical. Start by drilling a small hole with a long bit to make sure you're in the right spot. Then drill a 1-in. hole for the LB and conduit. Screw a 1/2-in. conduit connector into the back of the LB and then attach a piece of 1/2-in. EMT that's long enough to reach an easily accessible box in tho basement or crawl space. After you've mounted tho LB to tho siding, go inside and add a

    70 July/August 2011 f a m II y h a n d y m a n c o m

    8 PULL THE WIRES Pull the wires through the conduit. This is a two-person job-you need a helper at the other end to feed the wires into the conduit.

    conduit connector and a metal electrical box to the other end of the EMT. This box is where you 'll make the connec-tions from your house wiring to the new shed wiring.

    On the inside of the shed, you'll screw a 4 x 4-in. square metal box to the side of the stud. Then connect the LB to the box using the parts shown in Figure B.

    Run the metal conduit The 10-ft. lengths of RMC are threaded on both ends and include a coupling on one end. You'll start by bending the first pipe and threading an LB onto the end. Then thread the pipes together one at a time until you reach the other end, where you'll cut and bend the last piece of conduit to fit and connect it to the LB with a compression connector. Photos 1-6 show the process. ""

    Temporarily attach the LB to the shed and measure between it and the bottom of the trench (Photo2). Add 3/4 in. for the threads that' ll go into the LB and subtract the bend-ing allowance listed on your bender {usually 6 in.) from this measurement for the bend. Mark this length on a piece of conduit, measuring from the end with bare threads. Then find a level spot to bend the conduit. Align the mark on the conduit with the arrow on the bender. Push with your foot and pull back on the pipe handle to bend the pipe (Photo 3). Use a level or the bubble built into some benders to tell when you reach 90 degrees. Take the bent conduit back to the trench and screw the LB onto the end. Photo 4 shows how to connect lengths of conduit until you reach the house.

    Bend the last piece of conduit up and cut it off to fit into the compression connector (Photos 5 and 6). Start by measur-ing from the last piece of conduit to the house wall (Photo 5). If the LB is held away from the wall by siding, subtract this distance from the measurement. Th en add 3/4 in. for

  • Figure B Through-the-wall parts



    4 " x 4" BOX


    and cut it with a hacksaw. Remove burrs from the inside of the pipe by smoothing with a file or by inserting the bare metal handles of pliers into the pipe and twisting. Complete the conduit run by threading on the last piece of conduit. You'll have to lift the previous piece of conduit to create

    - clearance as you spin the bent pipe around. Finally. slip the end of the conduit into the compression connector and tighten the compression nut with a wrench. Wrap a conduit strap around the conduit and screw it to the house to secure the conduit. Also press a rope of duct seal" around the top of the LB to keep water out.

    Pull the wires Remove the covers from the LBs and push a fish tape through the conduit. Then pull the wire through the con-duit (Photos 7 and 8). You'll need two wires, one white and one black, for one circuit, or more if you intend to wire a three-way switch from the house or add more than one cir-cuit. Usc THWN-2 14-gauge stranded wire if you get power from a 15-amp circuit or THWN-2 12-gauge stranded wire for a 20-amp circuit. Leave enough extra wire on each end to reach the inside metal box plus 12 in.

    the threading and subtract for the bend. Mark the last piece of conduit, starting from the bare threads. Once again, p lace the bender arrow on the mark and bend the conduit. Face the threaded end of the conduit when you make this bend, not the end with the coupling. Mark the conduit (Photo 6)

    The NEC requires a means, such as a single-pole switch, to disconnect the power where it enters the shed. Photo 9 shows how to connect the switch, ground wire and neutral wires. Run wires from the switch to a GFCI receptacle. and from there to the rest of the outlets or lights in your shed. U

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  • concrete patio is made for practicality- not beauty. It starts out looking plain and goes downhill from there. As craters, cracks and

    stains accumulate, it can go from dull to downright ugly in just a few years. But there's a simple solution, whether you want to dress up a bland patio or hide an aging one. Covering concrete with paver bricks is much easier than pouring new concrete or laying pavers the traditional way. It requires less skill and less time, and it's a whole lot easier on your back.

    Assess your slab This project will work with most patios. Surface damage like flaking, chips and craters is no problem. But a few conditions make this method a no-go:

    A too-low threshold. Door thresholds have to be high enough above the existing patio to allow for the thickness of the border pavers, plus an extra 3/4 in. to allow for "frost heave"-rising of the slab when the soil freezes. Expanding cracks. This method will work over most cracks-which grow and shrink with seasonal ground movement. But if you have a crack that has noticeably

    72 July/August 2011 fa m II y handyman. c: om


    ~ ....____---------


    Pavers over a concrete slab

  • grown in recent years, this method is risky. The crack may eventually "telegraph" through the pavers, creating a hump or gaps.

    Money and materials The materials for this 12 x 14-fl. patio cost about $850, or $5 per sq. ft. Using less expensive pavers, you could cut the cost by almost half. Most land-scape suppliers and home centers

    stock all the materials, but you may have to do a little hunting

    for the right combination of pavers. The pavers used for the border must be at least 3/4 in. thicker than the "field" pavers, which cover the area between the borders. That thickness difference will allow for a bed of sand under the field. A difference of more than 3/4 in. is fine; you'll just need a little more sand. If you can't find thick pavers you like , consider retaining wall cap

    blocks for the border. We used cement pavers for the border and clay pavers for the field .

    To estimate how much sand you'll need, grab your calculator. FirSt deter-mine the square footage of the sand bed. Then divide that number by 12 for a 1-in. bed or 18 for a 3/4-in. bed. That will tell you how many cubic feet of sand to get. You can have a load of sand delivered or save the delivery fee by picking up a load yourself with a

    Standard Patio


    Patio Cover-up

    = kkkA.,4.A.kk,4.A.A.A. Save 12 tons Of tol'l A tandardpnvcrpatlor won thlck b !I of compacted iravcl Thl patio cover-up will r.ava you the cost of that aravel. More Important, It ellmlmlt th batkbreaklns drudgery of bre~klns up concr"t , dlgijlng up :.ootl, h~tullns It all nwny and hauUng In grav1 l. On this 12 x 14-ft. patio. a patio t ar-ovt and n 'W gtflv 1 bf.l would have meant mora than 12 extra ton of wheel borrow work.

    f a m II y h a n d y m a n . c o m July/Augusl2011 73

  • SCRUB THE PERIMETER Clean the edges of the patio where you'll later glue down the border pavers. Clean con-crete means a stronger glue bond.

    ~ CHALK


    GLUE DOWN THE BORDER PAVERS After setting each paver, run a bead of construction adhesive up the side of it. That will keep the sand from washing out between pavers.

    truck or trailer. Most home centers also sell bagged sand. A 50-lb. bag (1/2 cu. ft.) costs about $3.

    Lay the border first To get started, scrub the border area (Photo 1) with a concrete cleaner or muriatic acid mixed with water (check the label for mixing and safety instructions). Any stiff brush will do, but a deck stripping brush ($6) on a broom handle makes it easier. Hose down the patio when you're done scrubbing the border.

    While the concrete is drying, grab a tape measure and a chalk line and carefully plan the locations of the borders (see Figure B). Using the

    74 July/August 2011 fa m II y handyman. com

    chalk lines as a guide, glue down the border pavers along the house and two sides of the patio (Photo 2). We used polyurethane construction adhesive for a strong, long-lasting bond ($5 per 10-oz. tube). If adhesive squishes up between pavers, don't try to wipe it off. Just let it harden, then trim it off with a utility knife.

    A flat bed of sand If the field area is more than 10 ft. wide, you'll need a screed pipe in the center of the patio (Photo 3). A 10-ft. section of black or galvanized steel plumbing pipe ($14) works best. For a 1-in. bed, use 3/4-in. pipe; for a 3/4-in. bed, use 1/2-in.

    FigureB Border layout



    ~ ______________ t _____________ _


    r.:.1 Snap a chalk line parallel to the house to mark the location of the border pavers. Remember to leave a gap of at least 1/4 ln. between the border pavers and the house.

    [3 Lay out field pavers to locate the side borders. A simple row of pavers will work even if you plan to lay them later in a "her-ringbone" pattern as we did. The goal is to establish a field width that allows each course to end with a full or half paver, but not smaller pieces. That means less cut-ting, less waste and a neater look.

    [!I Position the border pavers and mark their locations. It's OK if the border pavers don't quite reach the edge of the patio, but don't let them overhang. Nudge one border outward by 1/4 in. to allow a little extra space for the field pavers.

    1!1 Snap a chalk line to mark one side bor-der. To make this line square with the line along the house, use the 3-4-5 method.

    frt Mark the other side border. Measure from the first side to make sure the two sides are parallel.

    Iii Leave the final border unmarked and install the border after the f ield is com-plete. That open end makes screeding off the excess sand easier and lets you posi-tion the final border perfectly.

    pipe. Keep in mind that each pipe size is listed by its inner diameter, but the outer diameter is what matters here: .3/4-in. pipe has an outer diameter of about 1-1/8 in.; 1/2-in. pipe, about 5/8 in. In both cases, Y.ou'll get an extra 1/8 in. of sand bed thick-ness and the field pavers will stand about 1/8 in. ,above the border pavers. Then,

  • Lay down landscape fabric to keep the sand from washing down into cracks. Then posi-tion the screed pipe and spread the sand.

    E! FLATTEN THE SAND Notch one end of a 2x6 to match the depth of the f ield pav-ers. The other end rides on the screed pipe. Screed both halves of the fie ld, moving your screed pipe as you go.

    E) LAY THE PAVERS Cover the sand with field pavers. When the field is complete, glue down the f inal border pavers. Then tamp the field with a plate compactor and sweep sand over the pavers to fill in the gaps.

    when you "tamp" the field with a plate compactor, the sand will com-pact and the field pavers will settle flush with the border.

    "Screed" the sand flat with a notched 2x6 (Photo 4). The depth of the notch should be 1/8 in. less than the thickness of the field pavers. If the field is less than 10 ft. wide, notch both ends of the screed board and skip the pipe. Screeding is hard work and it's best to have a helper.

    76 July/August 2011 fa m I I y h a n d y m a n c o m

    Lay the pavers and finish the border From here on out, this is mostly a standard paver job. Lay the field pavers as you would on any paver patio. Scrape away the excess sand and cut off the excess landscape fabric with a utility knife. Glue down the last border. Let the glue dry for a few hours before you tamp the field pavers and sweep sand across the patio to fill the joints. l1

    [.i] Why not skip the sand and glue down all the pavers?

    a You could do that. But gluing down hundreds of pavers will add a few hours to the job and you'll spend at least $100 on adhesive.

    [.i] I want a bigger patio. Can the pavers extend beyond the current footprint?

    a The pavers could continue onto a stan-dard grav~l base. But the gravel base and the existing slab might shift in different ways, creating a gap or hump where they meet. So it's best to keep them separate. If you want to add a grilling area, for exam-ple, separate it from the main patio and set a steppingstone or two between the two paved areas.

    [.i] Can I glue pavers over the steps? a Yes. If your patio includes steps, you must cover the treads in order to main-tain the height of the steps. Or you can completely cover the steps if you like. Just be sure to leave a gap of at least 112 in. between the pavers on the steps and those on the patio to allow for movement. [.i] Do I have to use paver bricks? a You can cover the field with any type of paving product: natural or manufactured flagstone, pavers of any size or shape. But paver bricks are best for the border because they provide a flat, even surface for screeding (see Photo 4).

    ~ ~I Search for "patio" or "path" to find paving projects

    galore. Cool your scorching deck or patio! Search for "shade"

    to see ideas and projects. Search for "patio furniture" and get complete plans

    for chairs and tables.

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    by Rick Muscoplat [email protected]

    Upgrade your car's music box Your factory tape/CD player may work fine. But why put up with cassette and CD clutter when you can install a brand new MP3 player and listen to all your tunes from a single CD or thumb drive? You can buy a basic MP3 player for about $80 or a full-featured unit for about $200. Save about $40 by install-ing it yourself. It only takes an hour and it's easy. Just make sure you cough up the $5 or so for radio removal instructions from carstereoremoval. com. Then gather up your tools (screw-drivers , sockets , wire crimpers) and you're ready to rock 'n' roll.

    Start the installation by pre-fil assembling the adapter faceplate 5 z (Photo 1). Then attach the stabilizing ffi bracket supplied with the player

    ~ (if equipped). Next, place the new b:: assembly on your workbench and w

    ~ splice the wiring harness adapter w (3 onto the player (Photo 2). Hold the

    ~ newly assembled unit near the dash ~ and connect the antenna cable and

    ~ 12 the wiring harness. Then power ""'~i up the unit and test the speakers . _ Switch from left to right and front 0 if to back to double-check the wiring 6 connections. Test all the player func-t/) ~ tions (radio, CD player, iPod connec-

    ~ tion and USB ports). Once you're z ffi sure everything works properly, g install it in the dash and refasten the j trim panels (Photo 3). Then crank up

    ~ the tunes and rock on.

    f) SPLICE THE HARNESS. Locate the speaker and power wires from the new player and match them to the corresponding wires on the adapter harness. Then crimp (or solder) them together.

    iJ SECURE THE NEW UNIT. Bolt the new unit into place and attach the stabilizing bracket. Then line up the plastic snaps on any trim panels you removed and tap them back into place.

    MP3 shopping tip You can shop for an MP3 player at any car audio or big-box electronics store. But you'll find a much larger brand and model selection online (amazon. com and are two sources). Find a

    model that fits your vehi-cle and your wallet. Then read the reviews for your selection at sites like or reviews. Once you decide on a brand and

    model, order an installa-tion kit and wiring harness adapter for your particu-lar vehicle (some online sources include the kit for free). Buy red "butt-splice" connectors to con-nect the harness.

    fa m II y h a n d y m a n . c o m July/August 2011 79

  • Factory roof racks can be dicey! Roof racks are great for moving lightweight cargo around town. Just secure the stuff to your roof rack and you're good to go. But if you're moving large, flat items like plywood or mattresses, you have to tie the load to the vehicle as well as the rack. A friend tied a matlress to his roof rack and took off for his cabin. As soon as he hit 40 mph, he heard "pop, pop, pop." The "air lift" had ripped the rack mounting bolts right out of the roof (see photo). The body shop repairs cost more than the value of the mattress (and way more than a set of tie-down straps). You've been warned.

    PREVENT ROOF-RACK LIFTOFF Secure the leading edge of your roof rack cargo to prevent damage to the roof rack. Tie It down to a location under the front bumper-and reduce your speed .


    Extra-bright backup bulbs Can't sec a thing when you slam the shifter into reverse at night? Try replacing your backup bulbs with extra-bright bulbs from Sylvania. Its new line of SilverSlar Minis produces 30 percent more light than conventional backup bulbs and casts it 10 per-cent wider and farther. And the light is 20 percent whiter to help you see better at night. The bulbs cost about $1 more each than regular bulbs. Remove the old backup bulb and take it with you to the auto parts store to match with the new bulb.

    Sorting out DC/AC inverter confusion

    Q l'mtaking a road trip and need to power two laptops (for wife and kid) off a 200-watt cigarette lighter-style DC/ AC inverter. But it only has one recep-tacle. Is it OK to add a power strip or "octopus" adapter?

    80 July/August 2011 fa m II y handyman . c: om

    A Nope. I don't even know why manufacturers sell 200-watt inverters, since most cigarette lighter sockets only crank out 96 to 120 watts. Check the wattage shown on the laptop power supply (or whatever other device you want to power) to find its wattage. If yours is 90 watts (typical for a full-size laptop), you've already maxed out that lighter socket. Adding a second power supply would overheat the inverter and most likely blow the cigarette lighter fuse.

    Instead, buy a second inverter and plug it into a different socket if you

    have one. The bottom line is _ that you can power up as

    many devices as you want as long as the total doesn't

    exceed 100 watts.

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    Mount a device holder without wrecking your dash Want a great way to mount your electronics without drilling holes? How abou l a vehicle-specific bracket/adapter mounting system? You can buy a version for just about any car or device from The mounting bracket for this 1999 Toyota Camry (Pro. Fit No. 042VSM; $36) fils onto one of tho radio fas-teners (Photo 1). Other ver-sions mount in different places. Then the device-specific adapter mounts to it (Photo2). This adaptor (Pro.Fit No. 042TT39; $15 from fits the Garmin ni.ivi GPS.

    Remove the trim bezel and one of the bolts that hold the radio in place. Then attach the bracket and reassemble.

    f) INSTALL THE DEVICE-SPECIFIC ADAPTER Connect the adapter to the dash bracket. Then slide your GPS or celt phone into the adapter.

    82 July/Ausust 2011 fa mIt y handyman. com

  • 0 REMOVE THE OLD THERMOSTAT Pry off the gooseneck. Then remove the thermostat f rom the engine or the inside of t he gooseneck.

    fJ CLEAN BOTH M ATING SURFACES Use a plastic scraper to remove the old gasket and any sealing compound. Then dry the surfaces with a rag.

    Replace a thermostat In most cases, the cause of an over-heating or no-heat condition in your vehicle is a faulty thermostat. And since a new "T-stat" costs only about $8, il makes more sense to replace it than to spend hours diagnosing the problem. If that doesn't fix it, at least you're only out about two hours.

    Pick up a new T-stat and gasket, as well as RTV sealant, fresh coolant (to top off the system) and a hose clamp-ing pliers at an auto parts store. And while you're there, ask the clerk for the torque specs for the gooseneck bolts. Then gather up your metric sockets, a plastic scraper and a drip pan. Slide the drip pan under the engine to ca tch the spilled coolant.

    fll INSTALL THE NEW T H ERMOSTAT AND GA SKET Place the new thermostat In the recessed groove In either the engine or gooseneck (air bleed toward the top). Hold it in p lace with a self-adhesive gas-ket. Then apply a bead of RTV sealant.

    The T-stat is usually located near the top of the engine under a "gooseneck" housing attached to the upper radia-tor hose. If yours isn't there, consult a shop manual to locate it. Remove the two or three bolts that hold the goose-neck in place and remove the T-stat (Photo 1). Next, clean both the engine and the gooseneck sealing surfaces (Photo 2). If the parts store gave you a plain gasket, coat one side with RTV sealant (self-adhesive gaskets don't need sealant). Then install the T-stat and gasket (Photo 3). If the old T-stat used a rubber 0-ring instead of a gasket, lubricate the now one with fresh cool-ant before you insert il. Reinstall the gooseneck and top off the coolant.

    fa m II y handyman . com July/August 2011 83




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    The basics of pouring oil Ever notice how oil bottles have an "off-center" spout? It's designed that way to cut down on spills. Most people think the spout should be on the bottom side of the bottle as you pour. That's wrong. Because after just a fow seconds in that position, the bottle will start to "burp" and spurt oil. To eliminate the "glug, glug, spurt, spurt, " pour with the spout in the "up" position. Yes, that makes it harder to aim, but once you get going, you'll have a smooth stream without any "glugging."

    84 July/August 2011

  • Remove a stuck Phillips screw It's easy to strip out a Phillips screw, especially if you belong to the "more torque is better" club. Rather than mangle the screw head and then have to drill it out, try these tricks.

    At the first sign of "slippage," coat your Phillips screwdriver tip with valve grinding compound (about $4 at any auto parts store). Then try removing the screw (Photol). If that doesn't work, buy a handheld impact screwdriver (about $10 at an auto parts store). Smack the screwdriver with a hammer (Photo2). The "shock and turn" motion usually frees up the screw.

    0 COAT THE T IP AND TURN Slip a box-end wrench over the hex-shaped "boss" near the screwdriver handle (if equipped). Then coat the tip w ith valve grinding compound and jam it into the screw head. Push on the screwdriver while you crank on the wrench.

  • 86 July/August 2011 fa m l ly