Can you paint vinyl siding?

Can you paint vinyl siding?

If you’d asked the question a couple of decades ago, the answer probably would have been no. But thanks to advances in paint, these days you can paint vinyl siding. Not only that, there sometimes are compelling reasons to do so.

The point of vinyl siding was for it to be maintenance free over the course of its life. But vinyl siding has a usable life of 25-30 years, so if your vinyl siding is reaching that point, painting it is a way to extend that usable life.

Read more

Monitor for Commodore 64

Monitor for Commodore 64

What was the most popular Commodore 64 monitor? What’s the best one today? Those aren’t quite as straightforward questions as they might seem. While there are a small number of clear-cut favorites, the truth is there were lots of different monitors C-64 users used in the 80s. And there are lots of options today too.

The “proper,” period-correct monitor for a Commodore 64 is the brown 1701 or 1702 for the breadbin-style C-64, or the beige 1802 for the streamlined C-64C. But there were lots of other third-party monitors, and many people used television sets.

Read more

How to remove super glue

How to remove super glue

Super glue is permanent, right? Actually it’s not, and it’s not necessarily as strong as we think it is either. In some cases, super glue is extremely strong and worthy of its name. But sometimes it’s a pushover, and that can be a good thing. That means you can get rid of it when you need to. Here’s how to remove super glue.

Super glue dissolves readily in acetone, or you can use specialty debonders sold in hobby shops, or use a couple of my other tricks to break its bond. Water will not help, as moisture accelerates its bond.

Read more

Zinc pest: What it is and what to do about it

Zinc pest: What it is and what to do about it

In metallurgy, zinc pest is a problem that occurs when impurities are introduced in the process of diecasting. The problem causes the metal to crack and disintegrate, in extreme cases crumbling to dust. It mostly affects products made in the 1920s-1950s.

Zinc pest or zinc rot was discovered in 1923 and well understood by the 1930s. It is relatively uncommon today, but can still occur due to sloppy manufacturing processes.

Read more

Tile over Formica backsplash

Tile over Formica backsplash

I had an old Formica backsplash, original to my house. It was still in good condition, but I’m not sure it looked good in 1965, let alone now. I wanted to replace it with tile but didn’t relish the $700 expense. What if I could lay tile right over Formica or other laminates? Here’s how to tile over Formica backsplash.

Tile mastic doesn’t stick well to Formica and other laminates, and the manufacturers won’t warranty it if you try. The most cost-effective solution in terms of time and money is a peel-and-stick product. As long as your existing backsplash is in good condition, it’s a good candidate for this.

Read more

What is WD-40 used for?

What is WD-40 used for?

WD-40 has a number of uses around the house. It’s been a longtime tinkerer’s favorite for a reason. But it may also be one of the most frequently misused household chemicals. So here’s what WD-40 is used for, and best not used for.

WD-40’s main uses are protecting metals from water, as a penetrating oil to loosen stuck parts, and even as a cleaner. It is not, however, a very effective general purpose lubricant.

Read more

How to pronounce GIF: JIF or GIF?

How to pronounce GIF: JIF or GIF?

I thought the debate ended when the file format went obsolete, but then GIF came back as an animated file format. And with it came the argument of how to pronounce GIF. Is it JIF or GIF?

Steve White, the inventor of the file format, pronounces it JIF, and in the 80s, so did just about everyone else. In the mid 90s, pronouncing it like GIFT without the “T” became common, the logic being that the “G” stands for “Graphics,” not “Jraphics.”

Read more

How to find a stud in the wall

How to find a stud in the wall

If you’re hanging something heavy like a cabinet or a shelf and want it to stay on the wall, you need to attach it to a wall stud. Otherwise it’s liable to pull out, damaging your drywall in the process, and possibly causing other damage too. So here’s how to find a stud in the wall.

The most common method is to use a tool, which costs around $20. But even without a tool, with a little practice you can use visual or audio clues to find a stud in the wall.

Read more

Liberty Falls Collection

Liberty Falls Collection

The Liberty Falls Collection was a collectible holiday village popular in the 1990s. The product was produced in China and sold in the United States in large department stores. It was on the market from 1991 to 2008.

The Liberty Falls Collection is a bit obscure today, but it isn’t especially rare. Purchasers frequently packed the items away in the original boxes every year, so when they turn up, they often turn up in like-new condition.

Read more

Wood for pantry shelves

Wood for pantry shelves

As a landlord, one common thing I run into when rehabbing a house is questionable pantries. You don’ t have to use expensive wood for pantry shelves, but if you use the wrong lumber, or the wrong design, you can end up with a shelf crashing down. And that’s no good.

You can use nominal one-inch pine boards for pantry shelves, or 1/2 inch plywood, as long as you don’t make it excessively long. Particle board and OSB are not ideal, and reinforcement on all four sides is absolutely necessary with those. Pantry shelves need to be fairly strong, as canned goods can be fairly heavy. Having lots of pantry storage so you can take advantage of sales is one of the best reasons to have a house. So you want to make sure the pantry is put together pretty well. Read more

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux