I just got back from my summer vacation in Ontario. The vacation had a certain work aspect to it, but when you enjoy what you do, it seems less like work. I helped my brother out with a few items on his “to-do” list.

During our banter around his reno-house, he was most interested in my little tidbits of handyman knowledge which I would mention sporadically. So, Ian, this post is for you. I’ll list some of them here

  1. The miracle cure for loose screws. In the automotive section of Canadian Tire lies a little tube of goo called “Thread lock”. There are 3 kinds light, medium and permanent. I always use the medium kind whenever I’m assembling the following items – door handle and lock sets; tap handles, cabinet door pulls and handles. Just ask yourself how often any of these items have come loose in your house.
  2. Concrete is NOT glue…but you can ADD glue to concrete. Many people ask “how do I get the concrete to stick to ________ [fill in blank]? I always answer with “Concrete is not glue!” then go on to explain how concrete bonds to other material with the help of mixing agents. Save money and confusion buy going and finding any glue that is a “universal adhesive” and looks white. Weldbond glue is the one I tell people to look for. replace 1/5 of the water with this glue and you have it. Concrete that “sticks” to what needs sticking to.
  3. Every Job Ends with Expanding Foam. It’s true, well almost. If you used half a can the night before and want to finish using the can the next morning, chances are that the job will end with another shopping trip to buy another can of foam – unless you have a foam gun! (now I have the attention of all the Americans) What’s a foam gun? A foam gun is a dispensing tool for specialized cans of expanding foam. The can has threads at the top and it screws to the top of the dispensing gun. once attached, keep it there until empty. If you use a little, just remember to srew the trigger down (put the safety on) before storing it. The nozzle will not plug up! The cans cost the same based on weight but the gun is a little expensive. I paid around $50 for mine (Great Stuff Pro 14 at Home Depot). I recommend one with a metal handle and trigger if you can find one.
  4. A String walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The bartender says “We don’t serve strings in here. get out!” So, the string goes to the next bar, but before going in, he ties himself in a knot and frays the end of himself. In the bar he orders a drink. The bartender says “Hey, wait-a-minute! You ain’t no string are you?” The string says: “No, I’m a frayed knot”.  ∇ making a string line that you can use as a level line requires good string. Buy braided stringline, not the regular twist kind. You can pull the line tighter than the e string on my guitar. tight lines make for more accurate leveling and sight lines.