Fix gaps in laminate floor

Sometimes the locking system on laminate floor fails over time. When this happens, the piece slides around, leaving a big, unslightly gap in the floor. Tearing the floor up and replacing the worn-out pieces takes a lot of time and runs the risk of creating more damage. When this happens, here’s how to easily fix gaps in laminate floor.

You will want to fix these gaps sooner, rather than later. Gaps in laminate floor increase the risk of gouging the individual pieces.

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Dyson vacuum cleaner repair/rebuild

Dyson vacuum cleaner repair/rebuild

Our Dyson DC-14 pet vacuum started making a terrible loud, high-pitched noise one day. It still worked, mostly, but the noise was obnoxious enough that you wanted hearing protection while using it. And when I investigated further, I found the vacuum brush was not spinning either. I finally got around to fixing it.

A Dyson vacuum cleaner making a loud noise, a high pitched squealing noise, and the vacuum brush not spinning are all symptoms of the same 1-2 problems. The clutch is engaged and possibly damaged. It’s also possible the filters are clogged.

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Repair a large hole in drywall

When I changed the cheap bar-style light fixture in my bathroom to something a little nicer, I found something weird other than a red wire. I also found a 5-inch by 2 1/2-inch hole in the wall behind the old fixture a few inches from the electrical box. It’s a good thing I know how to repair a large hole in drywall.

All it takes to fix a big hole in the wall is a scrap of drywall larger than the hole, a ruler, a utility knife, a pencil, some wood glue or regular white glue, and some Gorilla Glue.

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Scratchbuilding, Marx-style: Finishing the roof

This is a continuation of something I wrote well over a year ago┬ádetailing how I build Marx-style boxcars out of simple materials. Train season is starting up again soon, so it’s about time I finished this story.

Once the box that will become your Marx-style boxcar is dry, it’s time to tend to the roof.

This method won’t produce a contest-quality roof by any stretch, but it will produce something that will blend in well with Marx cars. The idea here is to produce something that most hobbyists can accomplish in an evening and that won’t overwhelm the other cars in the train. Read more

Scratchbuilding, Marx-style

I saw a modern-production Lionel box car in a hobby shop one weekend. I wanted it, but I really wanted it in Marx 3/16 style, so it would look right with my Marx #54 KCS diesels pulling it. But I face very long odds of ever getting that car in Marx 3/16 unless I build it myself.

So I started building. And you can too.

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A cheap kitchen makeover

The kitchen cabinets in the house we live in have seen better days. They were reasonably well-built, but 50 years of raising families–mine is the third family raised in this house–took their toll on them. A couple of years back we painted them, to cover the scars of the years. It was an improvement, but the color dated itself pretty quickly, and we didn’t use the highest-quality paint, so the finish wore fairly quickly.

This time, we repainted them white. We used an expensive Benjamin Moore Decorator White in semi-gloss, because it looks good, but also because we’ve found it to be durable in other projects. And you’d be surprised how many half-million-dollar houses have white-painted cabinets. I’m an estate sale junkie, so I’ve seen a lot of half-million-dollar houses over the years, and I would estimate 40% of them have simple, white cabinets in their kitchens. It’s a look that doesn’t date itself, and is cheap and easy to take care of. (As a point of reference, a modest three-bedroom ranch house in the same county costs around $125,000.)

I’ve also seen people do this to improve the appearance of a house prior to flipping it.

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An easy DIY Lionel-compatible high-side gondola

My preschool-aged boys and I made train cars this weekend. Yes, I introduced my boys to the idea of making train cars from scratch–scratchbuilding.

They aren’t finescale models by any stretch. But the project was cheap–no more than $30 for the pair of cars, total–and it was fun.

Here’s how we made these simple train cars, so you can too. Read more

Instant welding with Aileene’s Tacky Glue

I’m not sure where I read this first, but I love this trick for making instant repairs. If you’re putting together something made of paper, wood, or a combination of the two, join it together with a bit of Aileene’s Tacky Glue (this may also work with ordinary Elmer’s white glue or Elmer’s wood glue), then zap it in a microwave for 20 seconds. That 20 seconds is enough to instantly cure the glue for a strong bond.

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