Handyguys Podcast - Home Improvement and DIY Advice
Summary: The Handyguys are two avid DIYers sharing their experiences working around the house. ````Our podcast feature answers to your questions, head-to-head tool tests and other DIY and home improvement topics. If you have a question regarding your home, let us know using the “contact” tab on our site or call us at (615) 676-0877. We respond to all questions and may use your question on-the-air in a future broadcast.````Our weekly podcasts are posted every Thursday at 5PM Eastern Time. We look forward to answering your questions and helping you around the home!
Deck Lighting questions answered In this video the Handyguys answer some fan questions about deck lighting. What is best, CFL, LED, Halogen, Incandescent? Does it really matter? What about low voltage? The Handyguys love their low voltage systems. Watch the video to find out what is important in deck lighting. http://youtu.be/Lf_vPxLZlpo
Below is an article from our friends at Zillow. We know all our fans expect to see video with each post so The Handyguys decided to make a video showing some before and after of our messy, then clean (sort of), garages. Check out the article below and enjoy the video. http://youtu.be/9hK6WOX0xWY Tips for Cleaning Out a Garage By Tali Wee of ZillowPart of being a responsible homeowner is making the necessary improvements to keep the property safe. Organizing and cleaning out cluttered garages tend to be one improvement that homeowners delay to correct. The thought of sorting through the boxes and piles can be overwhelming. But a cleaned garage brings satisfaction each time the homeowner pulls out a bike, locates a tool or accesses the water toys. The cleaned spaces also offer homeowners peace of mind knowing their garages aren’t havens for vermin, fire hazards, impassible escape routes or black holes for stored goods. To find motivation to clean out the garage, think back to the days of searching for a home. Recall desiring a large garage to store goods, park cars and even act as an in-home workshop? Once homeowners feel inspired to bring their garages back to working condition, they can follow these six basic steps to make the process simple and successful. 1. Prepare Before the big day of de-cluttering, organizing and cleaning, homeowners should gather the necessary supplies to make the process easier. Grab several large trash bags, empty storage containers, labels or tape and markers, newspaper for packing and fabric softener sheets for fresh scents. Don’t forget the cleaning supplies needed such as a broom, dustpan, cleaning solution and paper towels. Consider a radio or boom box to keep participants motivated with cheerful music. Lastly, have a large bottle of water for each person contributing. All the hard work leads to thirst, and leaving the garage for multiple water breaks halts momentum. 2. Commit to a Plan The most efficient method of organizing the garage is to move items just once. Agree on a final layout of the space before starting. Choose a home for the tools, an area for the camping gear, skiing gear, holiday decorations and automotive supplies. That way, as the organizing commences, these items can be moved into a pile in their designated areas, eliminating multiple moves. Some garages are so full that the cleaners must move items to the lawn to get organized before moving back in. If possible, try to avoid the unnecessary moves by committing to a layout before launching the organizing process. Sketching out the desired final space can help keep homeowners on track. 3. Begin Sorting Check the time and be sure to factor in a lunch break to avoid feeling burnt out or overwhelmed. Set up a trashcan, recycle bin and a box for charity. Start somewhere that feels right. Place the items in a pile in their designated new locations or in the proper receptacle. Don’t worry about putting the items away yet, just work on sorting through all the items and create sensible piles. In this stage, the garage may seem messier before it appears more organized. Stick with the program until everything is sorted properly. 4. Organize and Label Next, begin organizing the piles. Pull out the storage containers and begin packing them carefully with sensible items. For instance, all the exterior holiday lights should be packed in one container, with each spool separated by a page of newspaper to avoid tangling. Then label the container “Exterior Holiday Lights” and stack it in its new home. Follow the same steps for the interior lights and fragile decorations. Pack gloves, scarves and extra blankets in a container with a fabric softener sheet to keep them smelling fresh and be sure to label the boxes or bins clearly. Put away tools in their designated locations, hang bicycles and organize paint cans. Be sure to label everything for easier access later. 5. Clean
Disclosure: Post and giveaway sponsored by Makita, but all opinions are The Handyguys. Please see below for additional disclosure. Impact Drivers Impact Drivers are very cool tools. They are perfect for driving screws, a lot of screws. You can also use them for driving lag bolts, tightening or loosening nuts and other jobs around the house. http://youtu.be/Fn0kEjKFi20 Makita was gracious enough to send us an Impact Driver along with their new Impact Gold bit sets to try. One of the issues with impact drivers has been the availability of good bits. In the early days of impact drivers we ran the risk of breaking bits and ruining sockets. Now we have bits and sockets that are made for Makita Impact Driver and will last much longer. Another nice feature of the Impact Gold bits is the included magnetic bit holder. It makes working in tight spaces or odd angles easy. Make sure you watch the video for more of our impressions. Details from Makita Makita Industrial Power Tools, the innovation leader, is teaming up with the world’s largest home improvement retailer. Impact GOLD™ is the latest in a long line of industry leading technology Makita brings to over 2,000 The Home Depot stores. Makita Impact GOLD™is new innovation in fastening with a full line of insert bits, bit holders, nutsetters, socket adapters and more. Impact GOLD™ is designed for use with high-torque impact drivers, with high-quality steal engineered for longer life, and a precision-fit tip engineered to prevent "cam-out" and stripping. The Impact GOLD™ Ultra-Magnetic Insert Bit Holder and bits feature Xtreme Torsion Technology, which allows the torsion section of the bit and bit holder to flex under load and take pressure off of the bit tip for increased durability in high torque applications. The two-piece design of the Ultra-Magnetic Insert Bit Holder is engineered to allow the torsion technology to fully activate. The rare earth Neodymium magnet is two-times stronger than magnets in standard insert bit holders, so users get the added convenience of onehanded fastening. The 3/8 in. square drive socket adapter tilts up to 15 degrees for work in tight spaces, or can be used in the straight position. Also available in 1/2 in. square drive. The exclusive snap-ring on Impact GOLD™ Grip-It Nutsetters is non-magnetic and provides the holding power of standard magnetic nutsetters without the drawback of metal debris build-up. Disclosure - Makita partnered with bloggers such as us for their tool review program. As part of this program, we received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts or videos. Makita believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Makita’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
In this video the Handyguys discuss dishwasher detergent and why dishes often don't get clean. We have received a lot of feedback on our video about fixing a dishwasher that wont clean dishes and for many (too many) people the issue is a poor design of the dishwasher. Exacerbating the issue is the fact that most dishwasher detergents have removed phosphates. Phosphate is a key ingredient in cleaners like dishwashing detergent, laundry soap, shampoo, household cleaners and deck washes. Phosphorus (P) is also a key ingredient in fertilizer, stimulating root growth and promoting plant vigor. Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element and is mined from the ground for commercial uses, its also found in our body, bones, tissue and in our bodily waste. http://youtu.be/XOEdAsuMtdA Environmental issues with Dishwasher Detergent The primary reason phosphates were removed is environmental. If too much phosphate gets into streams, ponds, lakes, etc it promotes the growth of algae and other plants (remember, it's a fertilizer too). Too much plant growth means less room in the waterway for fish. The fish populations become unhealthy and decline. (of course we are simplifying here). Another reason is money. In places where waste water is treated (you are on a city sewer) the process for elimination of phosphates costs money. Unfortunately for most people the trade-off of phosphate free dishwasher detergent is dirty dishes. In our opinion, poor performing detergent causes people to cycle our dishwasher twice or clean our dishes in the sink before washing them in the dishwasher. Far too many people have opted to purchase a "new and improved" dishwasher thinking theirs was broken. What was broken was the detergent. Adding to the problem is newer dishwashers are less effective at washing. In the quest for more efficiency, dishwashers use less water. Less water means less rinsing and less rinsing means you need better, not worse detergents. It's a double whammy! Poor performing detergent and appliances lead to unhappy consumers. Dishwasher Detergent Options So what can you do? The Handyguys have tried many different detergents. We have researched home-brew detergents and evaluated different brands. What we have found is you CAN still find dishwashing detergent with Phosphates. It just wont be at your local supermarket. You need to get it from restaurant suppliers or online. Here is a link to Amazon where you can get it online Cascade Automatic Dishwasher Detergent 85-oz. Box, 6/Carton For a detergent without phosphates, we recommend Finish Powerball Tabs. Finish tabs seemed to do a better job than most phosphate free detergents. Several of our listeners were hesitant to switch from their favored powder brand, but once they moved to Finish Tabs, their washes came out cleaner.
Installing an underground electric dog fence is a great 5 step DIY project to protect your pet. http://youtu.be/FtO8FyezBJk 5 Steps to installing an electric dog fence Determine what kit to buy Determine the area you want to confine your pet to Install the hidden cable Install the transmitter Train the dog When selecting your electric dog fence kit there are a few things to consider: the size of the area to contain the pet, the size of the pets collar, the number of pets you have and if your pet is stubborn or not. The hardest part of an invisible fence is training your dog. Training can take several weeks. The installation kits come with suggestions for how to train your dog. You can also watch a training video manual on Youtube. Make sure you follow the steps and take your time with the training. You don't want your investment of time and money in the system to be wasted because you didn't properly train your dog. Handyguy Brian's eight year old beagle loves to chase deere, rabbits and groundhogs in the fields behind his house. Beagles are smart dogs but can be stubborn, thick-headed and obstinate. The training took a week or two longer than described in the instructions but the dog now obeys the boundaries and will not leave the yard to chase the wildlife behind the house.
This video outlines a key component to water heater maintenance that is often overlooked, the expansion tank. http://youtu.be/-LvMenQsRh4 What does the expansion tank do? The expansion tank will allow expanding water (water expands when it heats) a place to go. Do you need one? You need an expansion tank if you are on a water system with a back-flow preventer (a one way valve). If you are on city water and do not have a back-flow preventer you probably do not need an expansion tank. The city water system can absorb the expansion. Same with a well system. Water Heater Maintenance on your expansion tank Your expansion tank will have an outlet to connect up a pressure gauge. You can test the pressure at this port. It should match what your water pressure is set for. Watch the video for more details. What problems you may have when your expansion tank fails? If the expanding water has no place to go it could leak out of your system through the T&P valve.. If you expansion tank fails you can have leaks from the T&P relief valve, drippy faucets and faucet washers that wear out faster.
The Handyguys review a plethora of mouse traps all purchased at our local hardware store. Whether you have mice, voles or rats, there is a trap for you. http://youtu.be/CutwejyXLmU Why are there so many mouse trap choices? Everyone seems to be trying to build that proverbial better mousetrap! Mouse Trap Types There are two basic choices, to kill the mouse or a catch and release. If you opt for catch and release please release far far away from my house! Kill traps include various spring and glue traps. No Kill traps include boxes and cages that are mouse sized.
The Handyguys recently had the opportunity to visit the John Deere factory in Horicon, WI. While there they learned about the company, its manufacturing, its people and its philosophy for doing business. On top of that The Handyguys also saw a bunch of great tractors being made in the USA by a skilled labor force. Watch the Deere Factory Tour Video http://youtu.be/xxcZELJsUwU Thank you for the opportunity to visit all the great people in Horicon. John Deere & Company paid expenses related to this factory tour. However, our opinions are entirely our own and we have not been paid to publish positive comments.
Which sander should you buy? Its better to ask which sander is right for the job you are doing. In this episode The Handyguys discuss which sander is right for the job, the pros and cons of different types of sanders. http://youtu.be/Bt5M8EMmXvo When deciding which sander to buy you need to identify what project you need it for and what projects down the road you may need it for. Random Orbital Sanders Random Orbital Sanders are the most common general purpose electric sanders on the market. You see them from every major tool maker. They are good for finishing tasks in furniture building, trim carpentry where you may need to sand spackle, painting prep and other uses. They are not good for heavy paint removal, floor finish removal, drywall sanding and sanding into tight corners. Detail Sanders Detail sanders are good for light sanding, especially in tight spaces. Sometimes used in furniture building, in conjunction with a random orbital sander. Detail sanders are not good for paint removal, drywall sanding, or any heavy-duty sanding tasks. Some detail sanders can be had as part of a multi tool kit, others are sanders only. Belt Sanders Belt sanders are good for fast removal of material. They can remove paint as well as sand wood. They are aggressive. Care must be taken to only sand as much as you need to sand. They are not good for fine work and never for drywall. Sheet Sanders Sheet sanders are good for light tasks. They can be used to remove extra putty when filling nail holes or for a final sanding for furniture builders. They can somewhat get into corners if needed. They are most often used with finer grits of paper. They are not good for heavy sanding tasks. There you have it, an overview of the most common sander types. Comment below if you have any questions, additions or suggestions. PS - How do you like the shirt Paul is wearing in this video? Its part of The Handyguys wardrobe from Duluth Trading company. Its their CoolMax Polo
Handyguy Brian saw an interesting DIY Soil pH Test (pH is a measure of acidity) test described on Facebook. We try it out and also try a commercially available DIY Soil pH Test kit on this episode of The Handyguys Podcast. http://youtu.be/91Ig-mieOB8 Here is the graphic from Homesteading / Survivalism on Facebook. You can also just purchase a home soil pH est kit. They aren't very expensive and also test for nutrients.
LED bulbs are the next generation of "green" lighting technology. The Handyguys talk about how LED Bulbs compare to CFLs and whether they are really friendly to the environment. http://youtu.be/A83Jmmr-jUo What is an LED bulb? LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LEDs have been around for a long time but only recently have become effective in lightbulbs. They use little electricity and can last a very long time. LEDs (the diodes) are very small elements that must be combined to produce one bulb that has an equivalent light output needed for a bulb. In addition to the diodes there must be electronic circuitry to control them. Advantages of LED Bulbs Energy Consumption - The energy consumption is similar to that of CFL bulbs and much better than incandescent bulbs. Dimmable - This is awesome, See a demonstration in the video. This is a huge advantage over a CFL. Instant on - Truly instant on unlike a CFL. Its just like the real thing ;) Long life - between three and ten times the life of a CFL. Color - Great color temperature that matches perfectly with the old incandescent bulbs. Safer - No mercury. Did you know CFLs have hazardous materials in them? Disadvantages of LED Bulbs High initial cost - Prices vary. $30 and up is typical. Some home centers have some for $40 and $50 depending on the style and light output. Shape/style - The initial LEDs have odd shapes and look a bit weird. We expect things to look more conventional as time progresses. Reliability - We do not know much about longterm reliability yet. Is there a cost savings? Lets do some math CFL LED BULB Cost of each bulb $10.00 $31.00 Actual Wattage Used 15 Watt 12 Watt Number of bulbs to be replaced 1 bulb 1 bulb Electricity cost per year (12¢/kWh) $3.94/year $3.15/year Bulb Lifespan (Continuous use, manufacturer supplied value) 8,000 hours 25,000 hours Actual lifespan (when used for 6 hours/day) 3 years 7 months 25 days 11 years 4 months 30 days No. of times the CFL needs to be replaced during the LED bulb's lifetime 3 times - Total annual cost(Cost of bulb(s) replaced in a year + Electricity in a year) $6.68/year $3.15/year Time for the LED bulb to hit the break-even point: 5 years 11 months 14 days Total savings with the LED bulb(After 11 years 4 months 30 days): $19.25 Conclusions There are a lot of ifs and assumptions to consider such as whether an LED will last its rated hours, will their price decrease and prices for energy. If energy prices stay stable then eventually an LED will pay for itself. Right now its not a compelling case. Saving $20 over 11 years is just too hard to justify for such a big initial cash layout. If you decide the move to LED Bulbs is right for you we recommend buying your LED Bulbs online. Prices are a bit cheaper online, from us, at Amazon. Additionally, purchasing from Amazon by following our links helps us with a couple bucks of revenue. Watch the show to see the discussion and more conclusions.
In the latest episode The Handyguys discuss several ways to unclog a toilet. http://youtu.be/wp5pcwVXnAk Yes, you can use a typical plunger if you have a clogged toilet. It works most of the time. What do you do if the plunger fails? Don't despair, try one of the other techniques discussed in this video. Plungers A plunger is the most common method. Toilet Augers A toilet auger can assist when you have a really tough load. Other Methods Well... just watch the video.
The Handyguys talk about ethanol mandates with Institute for Energy Research expert Daniel Simmons. We discuss the negative impacts of ethanol on our vehicles, small engines, the environment and food supplies. http://youtu.be/hdWCErKR0jc Background on Ethanol Mandate The Federal government mandated certain ethanol production increases for 2013 and beyond. That additional production of ethanol additive led the EPA to approve an E15 blend for automobiles (15% mixture of ethanol). Various consumer groups have come out against the new mandates. AAA Says “It is clear that millions of Americans are unfamiliar with E15, which means there is a strong possibility that many motorists may improperly fill up using this gasoline and damage their vehicle,” said AAA President & CEO Robert Darbelnet. “Bringing E15 to the market without adequate safeguards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers.” Consumers Unions Says, in regard to E15's cousin, E85, in FFVs. When running on E85 there was no significant change in acceleration. Fuel economy, however, dropped across the board. In highway driving, gas mileage decreased from 21 to 15 mpg; in city driving, it dropped from 9 to 7 mpg. Ethanol Mandate on cars One major concern with E15 is its effect on older cars. Testing has indicated that damage can occur in vehicles designed before the wide use of ethanol. If you car was built before 2001, avoid E15. Ethanol Mandate on small engines The Handyguys discuss the devastation that ethanol wreaks on small engines. Ethanol attracts water, deteriorates parts and gums up carburetors. If you can't start your mower, chain saw, string trimmer or other small engine, the cause is likely ethanol in the fuel. When you buy gas with ethanol, it is best to treat it with Sta-bil and never use gas more that a few weeks old in the small engine. Stale gas can be be disposed of in the tank of your car without issue. One great alternative mentioned during the interview is to look for a product called TruFuel. TruFuel is a premixed gas/oil with no Ethanol. It's perfect for engines that required a gas/oil fuel mix. Just make sure you buy the correct blend for your needs. Ethanol Mandate on Food Prices Discussions regarding ethanol would not be complete without pointing out that the use of what is normally considered food for people or livestock (other foods) causes food prices to rise. This is natural supply and demand. When the government diverts food into fuel (by use of subsidies for farmers) then there is less food. When there is less food, food prices rise. World poverty organization, Oxfam has said "We must stop the obscene waste of food including burning it as biodiesel in our trucks and cars." Listen or watch the interview for all the details.
A Hammer drill, when equipped with a masonry bit, are designed for drilling into stone, concrete, brick or mortar. When a hammer drill operates it rotates like a normal drill as well as has a forward, hammering, type action. Watch or Listen to The Handyguys discuss when and why to use them. http://youtu.be/aDeRYwVXn4w Types of hammer drills You can buy a dedicated hammer drill such as the big rig Hilti Rotary Hammer that Handyguy Paul shows on the video. More commonly people will use a drill that has a hammer setting. These multi purpose drills are available corded and cordless. Dedicated hammer drill A dedicated hammer drill, sometimes called a rotary hammer, is a specialty tool that is used when you have a lot of masonry drilling to do. It sometimes makes sense to rent these as the expense is often hard to justify for the average DIYer. Corded drill with hammer option A corded drill with a hammer setting is useful when you have electricity nearby and you do not want to worry about having charged batteries. They also tend to have higher RPM and more power. Cordless drill with hammer option Cordless hammer drills are very handy when you do not have electricity nearby. The newest 18+ volt models have power that approaches corded tools. If you are not drilling hundreds of holes at one time these cordless wonders are the way to go. What a hammer drill is NOT The hammer drill setting is NOT for driving screws and should never be used when driving screws. Many people confuse hammer drills with a completely different tool called an impact driver. An impact driver uses an impact type action to increase rotational drive. Rotational impact excels at driving screws, lags and nuts but does nothing with regards to drilling. Don't use an impact driver for drilling of any kind. Impact drivers are only for screws, nags, bolts and nuts. After watching this video, make sure you check out one of The Handyguys earliest audio only show where we discuss drills.
In this episode of The Handyguys podcast The Handyguys discuss Ipe Deck Maintenance, how to clean it and keep it looking awesome. Ipe Deck Maintenance http://youtu.be/v6G2O_ZkCio Brian's Ipe deck looked great when it was complete. Eighteen months later is was looking a bit dirty. The wood was still in perfect condition, no checking, no splits or splinters, it was just a bit dingy. After a bit of maintenance it looked great again. To keep the deck looking new it will take some annual maintenance. The Handyguys recommend the following maintenance procedure for all decks: Hose off any spills, mud, etc as needed. Don't allow any items that rust to sit on the deck (propane tanks, metal furniture, etc). Sweep off any leaves As needed thoroughly clean and re-oil the Ipe deck. This may be once a year or every other year depending on how much sun you get. over time the re-oil step will not be needed as often. Ipe deck cleaning solution: One Gallon warm water 1 cup TSP One Quart bleach (if you do not have mold or algae you can reduce the amount of bleach) Use a scrub brush on a long handle and thoroughly wash the deck with the cleaning solution. Rinse thoroughly and let dry completely. When the ipe deck is dry (at least a day) then re-oil it. Use either Ipe Oil or Penofin Hardwood Oil Thanks for watching or listening. Make sure you subscribe so you do not miss any of our upcoming shows.