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6 months ago
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General Feedback/Getting Started Questions and Answers [Weekly Thread]

General Feedback/Getting Started Q&A Thread

This thread is for questions that are typically not permitted elsewhere on /r/DIY. Topics can include where you can purchase a product, what a product is called, how to get started on a project, a project recommendation, how to get started on a project, questions about the design or aesthetics of your project or miscellaneous questions in between. There ar


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Hey all, can anyone tell me how to remove this deadbolt from my door? These are the only things resembling securing hardware that I can see but I’ve never seen them before. Thanks!!!

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

What's on the other side?

What's the best (and cheapest) tool to cut a template into a metal plate about 1mm thick? Pic

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Tin snips.

I'm wanting to make concrete candle holders as a decoration for my wedding coming up this summer. I was just wondering if anyone in Canada would know of good places to buy silicone molds. Or should I go about making them myself?

1 point · 6 months ago

I was building a home made lamp with a kit. When I went to plug it in it sparked and blew the fuse in my room. Any ideas what could've happened?

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Short circuit. Both wires from the mains are touching somewhere. Look for the scorched bit.

Hi everyone, I have a basement that doesn't have a ceiling yet. I was wondering about the pros / cons of drop ceilings vs drywall ceilings. What are factors I should consider to decide between the two ?

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

With drywall, you need to move all your pipes and cables above the edges. With drop ceilings, you'll have access later, but will lose a few inches. Now a ceiling has to be at least 7 feet tall over at least 50% of the room in order for it to count as living space. Otherwise, it's storage space. Now you can box off ducts and such that drop below 7 feet and still come in over 50% for the rest of the room.

Drop ceiling you will lose ceiling height, if that's an issue go drywall. Most people do drop because of pipes, ducts and electric under the main floor i.e. basement ceiling and it provides ease of acces vs drywall. Drop can be done by yourself, drywall requires 3 people to hang, or a drywall hanger lift.

Is it safe to fully enclose a rectangular hot air duct with one side touching a chimney, two sides touching studs, and last side touching drywall? I guess I could put some space between the drywall and duct on that side if it is necessary, but all other sides have to touch. Will I burn my house down or is it not hot enough? Thanks!

1 point · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Where can I find a small, L-shaped plastic ledge, like a "wall corner guard" but much shorter? (Under a foot in length and maybe an inch tall .)

And what would such a thing be called?

I want to stick one above my arcade screen, as a small ledge to rest an IR sensor bar for a light gun.

You can get wood trim in that shape and size at Home Depot, or most home centers. You can buy it by the foot, and spray paint it whatever color you want.

Helpful! That seems like it would work quite well. Thanks!

Accidentally installed the shelf on my bookcase upside down (the minifix is right-side up. Is it going to be a problem for load bearing purposes?

Since books are so heavy this worries me, but if it is only aesthetic, I prefer no to bother since it will be a pain dismounting and fixing it up.

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Hard to tell without seeing it.

1 point · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

I'm looking to install a second coach light in front of my garage. The current one on the right side is here:

The garage is partially unfinished, so running a wire from that light to the other side (with a junction box I'll put in at the split) should be easy. But I have a few questions:

  1. What tool would I need to cut through that thick stone facade to put in the box I'll need for the light? Heavy duty saw?

  2. What's the official name of the electrical box I'll need for the coach light to go into?

  3. What is name of the concrete mix/mud/whatever that I'll need to put in around the box?


pro commenter
2 points · 6 months ago
  1. I'd try an oscillating tool with a masonry blade for the edges, then use a cold chisel and hand sledge to bust out the chunks. Wear goggles.

  2. That's an octagon box, a.k.a. a ceiling box

  3. That's just mortar. If you can cut your hole close enough, you might just be able to glue it in place with some silicone caulk. You might need to tape it in place while the caulk cures.

Don't forget to use the appropriate fittings for the NM cable entering your new box and leaving the old one.

Thanks! Sorry for the noob question, but by oscillating tool do you mean like a dremel?

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Ooh, one more tip for keeping the box in place. They make plastic shims. Stick them in the gaps around the box to wedge it in place. Once you got the box in at the depth and position you want with the wires ran, cut off the excess shims from the sides with a utility knife. Caulk in the remaining gaps.

Good tip, thanks again.

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

No, the tool known as just "Dremel" is a rotary tool. An oscillating tool moves its blade left and right very quickly. They're great for making plunge cuts. And yes, the brand Dremel does indeed make oscillating tools.

Got it, thanks!

pro commenter
2 points · 6 months ago

Here is a this-old-house video that gives an overview of what you need to do

Thanks! I'd seen that video, but I was wondering if the process is the same for that rough stone that I have as it is for brick? Drill holes and cold chisel?

Hi everyone! I am looking for ideas to make my kitchen look more updated without undergoing a major renovation. By that I mean I am not going to replace cabinets or take down walls. I am willing to paint cabinets, replace countertops, replace the floor, sink, fixtures, etc.

This is my kitchen

A lot of people have been telling me to paint my cabinets white and I have been hesitant because I kind of like the wood and it matches my dining room table. I also feel like everyone and their mom are painting their cabinets white and eventually people are going to get sick of the all white kitchen. Although I do agree painting them would make my kitchen look more modern.

Any ideas appreciated!

Check out the top post on the sub ATM. Kitchen looks very close to yours and might help with ideas

Modern cabinet pulls would be a big help. Unfortunately, whoever installed the current pulls (maybe you did) installed them where you couldn't reuse the holes. So you'd have to patch those.

I haven’t touched anything yet! Just moved in this past summer.

Oak is currently out of style and is the primary factor in this kitchen looking like it's from the 90's...because that's the last time Oak was in fashion.

Trends change, but as of right now this kitchen will never look 'modern' with those cabinets. Perhaps you need to reshape your thinking and embrace them and go for a more classic contemporary look. The formica counters and cheapo looking pseudo stone tile certainly arent helping being stuck in the 90's. Additionally some fancier cabinet hardware might help.

Thanks hah. This kitchen was made in 2007. I think the countertops are the #1 thing I want to fix. I don’t really think I am looking for “modern” because the rest of my house isn’t very “modern”. I am tempted to paint them but I think I can find a way to keep them as is and update other pieces to make a more updated - knowing that it won’t ever be super “on trend”.

pro commenter
3 points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Your cabinets look great, and coordinate well with your existing setup. Please don't touch them. People who paint nice wood cabinetry should be fired, out of a cannon, into the sun.

I would suggest re-doing the light fixtures, the counter-tops, and adding a real back-splash. An under-mount sink might be nice too. Nothing wrong with Formica, but from the perspective of someone who likes to cook, granite counters are the shiznit.

Everything else, you can leave alone. Re-tiling the kitchen would probably be a waste.

pro commenter
2 points · 6 months ago

Yes, this. The cabinets match your dining room decor so well. White is a fashion trend that will come and go.

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

I'm pretty sure the only reason white cabinets are a thing is because white melamine is the cheapest of the melamine sheet goods

I'm trying to repair a Holmes Air Purifier Model HAP9424BF. For whatever reason the motor on it will spin, but very weakly. Do I just need to replace the motor? Or does this sound more like an electrical problem? All other aspects of the device seem to work fine. The lights turn on no issue.

If it is the motor is there any way to find a replacement motor? The motor that is currently within it has this stamped on it:

SS060-45U2-024 L20V 60Hz TP RAIDER 1339

I tried Googling that and couldn't find a replacement online (assuming that's the problem anyways). Am I just going to have to trash the thing and buy a new one? I'd rather just repair what I have than buy a new one if possible. Especially since I'm not swimming in money over here.

1 point · 5 months ago · edited 5 months ago

Just came across your post as my space heater burned out and I took it apart to find the same motor.

I broke out my multimeter and tracked down the problem, which might be the same for you: under the tape on the motor, there is a thermal cutoff fuse that looks like this: It seems the wiring in the motor went above its rated temperature at some point and it blew, killing the motor entirely.

The fuse on mine is the X3 series, which is designed to blow at 125 degrees Celsius and handles 3 Amps. The specs are available here:

I've managed to track down the 2A version on Amazon here, but haven't found the exact one I need just yet. Assuming your good at soldering, fixing it should just involve cutting off the old one and replacing it with a new one.

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

It's unlikely you'll find a replacement motor, cheap consumer goods aren't made to be repaired. It might just be full of dust or need a drop of oil on the bearings. Use a light oil like 3-in-1 or sewing machine oil.

What software tool to use for drafting up project designs? I don't have a lot of money, so price is a concern. I'm looking to create a few wood projects and I think I would benefit from a design tool rather than paper, pencil, and tape measure.

Also, if you have any recommended articles or step-by-step how-to's for build kitchen cabinets that would be awesome. I want to build a bookcase for a wall in my dining room, and found an inspiration for using kitchen cabinets as the base, then building the bookcase on top. Which is a fantastic idea, but I thought building them would be cheaper and more fun than buying brand new.


pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Check out some of the New Yankee Workshop's episodes regarding book-cases.

Thanks for the recommendation on this. I took a look at a few of his videos and man does he have a nice workshop. I have an open concrete pad outside to work on and a table saw. I don't think I can build what he does.

Sketch Up is a very commonly used free 3d program. You might also be able to find a old version of autocad or solid works online somewhere.

not a project but I think you guys will know this.. would it be a bad idea to hang a vesa wall mount on it's side?

I want to have my second monitor on top, which means it has to tilt down a bit, but the mounts that allow you to do that are kinda super expensive.. But since they have way more freedom horizontally, I'm wondering if I can just turn it and mount it like that?

1 point · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Hi, I'm looking to make an adjustable sliding clamp to attach a small device to a tablet. It needs to adjust for the tablet to be used in portrait and landscape modes. The closest thing I've found to what I need is miter t-track with miter t-bar (1/8" aluminum, the track is 1/2" thick) but this is heavier duty than what I need. Do they make something similar that I can make an adjustable sliding clamp out of that has a thinner form factor? I'm going to line the slide with rubber to prevent scratching. Thanks!

Hi, I'm building a mount for my camera using some pvc pipe, and a 2 1/2"x1/4" hex bolt. I wanted to be able to tighten the mount to the camera by hand, but that 7/16" hex head is too small for my fingers to get any leverage. So I need some sort of grip large in diameter that I can apply to this hex bolt to loosen by hand. I thought about gluing and old 7/16" socket to the setup but it too is too small and there's no way to get traction with it. Does anyone have any ideas to solve this? Thanks!

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Take it to a friend/workmate/panel beater/random engineering shop and ask if they can weld a small bar on top to turn it into a wing nut.

Hey Guys, i come here for help, my mother in law has lived her whole life in a wheelchair, but as shes gotten older, going down the stairs its getting quite difficult for her. she lives on a second floor and i was thinking maybe its possible to create some sort of a elevator-like solution so that going outside its not that much of a pain for her bones. so im guessing some sort of motor with a platform hooked to something, so i need guidance as to what kind of motor to use and that sort of stuff. or if someone can point out to another simple solution. and on the cheaper side. we live in Honduras. any help would be much appreciated.

I urge you not to build a homemade elevator, it's inviting a serious accident.

They make those rails that mount next to a staircase, you sit on chair and it takes you up or down. Your MIL would need to have someone carry her wheelchair though.

Here's a link. I don't know anything about any particular type or brand, and I don't know if it's affordable, I just know they exist.

She has a wheelchair on both floors so that won't be an issue. I'm gonna look on to those tipes of solutions. Thanks a lot !

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

The simplest solution, is to move her downstairs.

yeah, we thought about that, first floor its a garage.

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

We have disability elevators that do exactly what you want in the US, unfortunately they're stupid expensive.

You could convert the garage to living space if it's possible, but once you get into adding real elevators it gets expensive fast. If converting the garage isn't an option, you should probably just consider moving

Yeah that's the downside. How expensive they are

What is the use of screws that are partially threaded? Like this

pro commenter
2 points · 6 months ago

Hey guys, my neighbor and I had a fence installed with .625" thick pickets (on his side) and the backing are 2x4's running tall, so 1.5" thick on the back side. My question is, for my side I've decided I want to add pickets, can I shoot a 2inch nail with my framing nailer or is that pushing it to close? His side does already have pickets so if my nailer does manage to overshoot a tiny bit, would it really matter? (his pickets are screwed in).

Sounds like you're talking about using a finishing nail gun...this is probably not a good idea to begin with...nails aren't a great choice for a fence since they tend to pull out over time...finishing nails are even worse since the soft pickets will pull right off finishing nails that have tiny heads.

I would strongly recommend using outdoor-rated screws with an impact driver (or drill). I like the torx (star) head ones myself.

pro commenter
0 points · 6 months ago

I'd skip the screws, on a fence, because there's no easy way to pry out screws if you have to replace a picket

Unless of course you employ the use of a screwdriver.

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

A screwdriver? Hell no. I'm not touching that without an 1/4" impact driver.

Screws have their place. Fence pickets is not that place. Framers don't use screws either. Structures need to be able to flex.

It's a framing nailer, i'm planning to use stainless steel ring shank nails, which should hold really well

In that case, I think you'll be fine. In theory the nails shouldn't pop through your neighbor's side of the 2x4 framing.

I would still argue for screws as they are safer and stronger but I totally understand the allure of the nail gun.

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

why not just use 1.75" nails?

nail gun has a minimum size of 2" nails unfortunately!

I'd test it first to make sure it works and you get the depth adjustment right. Nailing at a slight angle may work, too.

Wanting to replace a laundry room closet door(s) and a bathroom door, with Barn Doors. I don't have the tools or the space to build one myself. (but I can probably stain the wood, out on my deck)

Is there a reason why I can't buy wooden fence door panels and use them with Barn Door Hardware? And stain them myself?

I live in a larger city, and need to have the doors delivered. I find them all the time on CL, but they start at $300...

So long as the fence door panel has enough 'meat' (thickness) for the door hardware to mount you should be fine. While barn doors are pretty cool, do note that you will lose pretty much all sound insulation that your current real doors provide.

I have a glass top table that I would like to take off the glass top and tile. However, 3/8" regular tile is way too thick and would be higher than the table edges. Is there such thing as thinner tile? I keep googling, but can't find anything! I wanted to use black marble mosaic hexagon tile. Any idea where to find thinner tile or does that not exist?

Most tiles are 1/4", 3/8" is typically natural stone or saltillo tile. If 1/4" works for you, the world of tile is your oyster. If you need thinner, look for thinner glass mosaics. Those would need some support, but a thin layer of acrylic or plexiglass would work.


Ask a tile shop.

Huh duh good idea. I didn't even consider that, I was just sitting around googling. Thanks!

Post a picture of the table. Can you drop the base the tile would sit in? Could you fill in the base, and tile over everything including the edges with edge tile?

Comment deleted6 months ago(1 child)

Just google pi aquarium lights. It's been done to death.

Comment deleted6 months ago(4 children)

Depends, some people use sketchup. I'm partial to good old graph paper :)

Comment deleted6 months ago(0 children)
pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Use a stud finder to locate acceptable points for the drop. Then take a long, slim metal shaft, and poke it through the drywall of the ceiling where the wall meets the ceiling. You can now use this shaft to locate the top-plate of your wall

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

For that sort of thing, wander round the house eyeball it, maybe doodle a bit on the walls with a pencil.

Comment deleted6 months ago(3 children)
pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

It might help to know what you're trying to accomplish but most top-coats, by design, are going to dry solid. Polyurethane might work if you get it thick enough, it sort of has a rubbery texture

Comment deleted6 months ago(0 children)
pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Plastidip feels like rubber. Some cheap fencing paint always feels tacky, enough to make a plastic folder stick to it.

Is there a way to turn my hollow sliding closet doors into a place for jewelry storage. My house was broken into and I was looted. I don't have room for a mirror mounted jewelry box. Any ideas or suggestions are welcomed.

Could you open up the wall inside the closet, above the doors? I'd get a large old work electrical box and cut that into the wall in the closet or even in the ceiling. I'd put my stuff in there and then put a lid on it as if the box is now unused. Paint over it or smear some primer on it so it looks like it's an old box that's no longer in use.

If you have forced hot air, you could place the stuff in a bag in one of the vents. Unscrew the grille and put it inside.

They also make small safes that can be drilled into the wall.

I've heard that people sometimes take valuables, wrap them up, and put them in the freezer behind the food. I don't know if that's something you'd want to try. People also put things inside toilet tanks, but I don't know if that's too obvious. I've seen people keep cash inside jars or cans in their cabinets, you could do that.

In the can vein, if you have a basement or garage, or somewhere else it would blend in, put it inside an old paint can. They also sell new, empty paint cans, you can bang one up a bit, smear some paint on it, and put the jewelry inside. Who's going to start looking in old paint cans for valuables?

You could just cut a hole in your wall behind a picture and put a piece of blocking as a shelf. Put the stuff inside and put the picture back up.

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Hollow core doors are usually made with 4mm thick skins and about 35mm filled with large cardboard honeycomb cells in between. Around the edges there is 50mm or so of solid wood. You should be able to cut a section out of the rear skin and make a secret compartment. It would be fairly obvious but only if you thought to look for it. I'd suggest practising on a cheap/free/broken door from a demolition yard.

1 point · 6 months ago

Hey everyone. I just moved into a new home with a fireplace in the living room. I’m laying down new tile and want to redo the fireplace. I suck at visualizing. Is there a place (subreddit) to help with ideas to make it look better without a major tear down and remodel?

pro commenter
2 points · 6 months ago
1 point · 6 months ago


I have a shed thats ~10ft x ~8ft.

Any idea how much that might weigh?

Its currently on cement near the middle left of my back yard. Thinking of moving it to the corner but not sure how hard that would be. Also the shed's age is questionable, looks decent.

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Easy bro, you just need some Tongans.

Wow they made that look easy. Mine unfortuantly has siding and roofing already. But damn 2 stories too.

My neighbor has a 6x8 wooden shed that we moved across his yard on PVC pipes. He jacked it up and slid big PVC DWV pipes underneath and then we rolled it across the yard. Every few feet we'd stop to take the pipes from the back and move them forward so the shed could roll forward. I think there were four or five of us, getting it up the slight incline in his lawn was tough.

I don't recall him mentioning if the shed suffered any damage, but it's still there, years later, and it looks fine.

Thats a great idea for a solution.

I am strangely training about 8 people in Strength training.

Curious if by summer we will be able to actually pick it up.

For reference I'm deadlifting 400lbs, I expect each person to deadlift 200-300lbs minimum.

But otherwise thats a working solution.

I'm going to guess that the shed itself isn't strong enough to hold together if it was entirely lifted off ground with no support underneath. I don't think the PVC is strong enough to use as poles to hold up the shed either.

It's also impossible to get into the correct deadlift position since you can't get your shoulders over the bar properly; you'd be too vertical. If you had to lift the shed off your wicked sister so you could get her slippers you could try it, but otherwise it seems like an injury waiting to happen.

Thank you. Guess I'll have to keep looking for solutions.

Is your goal to move the shed or create a "group lift"? If it's moving the shed, roll it on the pipes.

If you want to create a group lift, I'd think it would have to have a metal and a strong bottom no matter the weight. I suppose metal fence posts could be bolted through a wooden frame with plywood on top. I don't know how strong the posts are though.

My own feeling is that a group lift could be dangerous. If one person slips or fumbles, everyone has to carry an uneven weight or drop it.

Good call on group lifting. Maybe I'll use our strength and roll on pipes

I don't know how many are in your group, but perhaps you could split them into two and have a competition. Divide them into teams and total each team's lifts to see which group lifted more.

Or do like a farmer's walk thing; measure out a distance and have them carry stuff (sandbags or salt in duffel bags). Time them or measure total distance.

is it a metal shed, or stick built wooden one? Either way, to keep it from collapsing or falling apart during the move, you probably would want to put skids under it and pull it across the yard with a vehicle or piece of construction equipment. Or break it down to 4 walls and a roof and relocate it that way.

I recently moved into a townhouse and I’m sketching out how I want to finish the basement, but I’m not sure how exactly to treat the walls...

The contractor that built this townhouse 8 years ago decided to insulate the exterior facing walls as seen in the picture. Basically it looks like bulk fiberglass insulation that is held in place by these sheets of white tarp-like material. The “tarps” were then nailed in place with a Ramset nailer.

Anyone have any experience with this? I’m trying to measure out for framing, but I’m not sure if I should just frame in front of it, or should I tear it all out, frame against the concrete wall, and install new insulation.


I've seen foam panels on the wall with the studs in front of them, but I've never seen what appears to be soft insulation held to the wall by a plastic sheet. /u/luckyhunterdude is correct, that doesn't look right.

Fiberglas insulation has no structural integrity, it's going to sag and flop. It's meant to be stapled to studs or joists, or laid horizontally over supports. You don't just throw it in a bag and nail the bag to the wall.

Thanks for the tip. It seemed a little sketchy to me too when I first bought the house lol.

Also, I was doing a little late night Googling and just found this blog post -


I've never seen that before, I guess it is a thing. Nailing the fiberglas to the wall compresses the insulation in that area, so it lowers the R-value slightly. If it seems to be secure then it's fine.

That site says you can frame in front of it, so go ahead. My only concern would be adding another layer of insulation as they recommend. Make sure you don't add another vapor barrier as there's the possibility of getting moisture trapped between the two layers.

I once saw a video regarding using foam panels on the floor under the finished surface, it keeps the floor at a comfortable temperature. I have no experience with that, but it's something to look into.

someone could correct me, but that sure doesn't look right. Any basement I've worked in is framed traditionally with the insulation between studs.

No framing has been done yet. It’s just this bulk insulation stuff that’s been nailed to the walls, no studs.

Right, I don't understand why they would do it that way. Maybe it's a okay way to do it, but I would think you have to take it down and do it with a stud wall tight to the concrete, at least the wall in the picture with the water entrance and breaker box.

Comment deleted6 months ago(1 child)

Huh, so some places don't allow bare basement walls huh? OP had posted that he found it was a approved insulation method, I just hadn't come across it before.

Appreciate the tips! I was actually doing some late night Googling and found out some info on this type of insulation (and how they relate to framing).

well there you go. At least we know it's an approved method and not a cheap contractor trying to cut corners. I just had never seen that before.

So if you’re willing to go for a style shift, something that might look really neat would be 1.5 inch angle iron on each corner going the whole length of the piece. Idk how much it is but it would be better than buying tons of fittings and pipe

I have a problem where chairs are making a lot of noise when moved on wooden floor boards. We have 6 wooden chairs and every time some tries to pull a chair to sit down it makes a loud screechy noise.

Had the area been carpeted this problem would not exist so I would like to know what would be the easiest, cheapest and certainly most aesthetically appealing solution to this problem?

I am thinking of sticking something to the bottom of each leg so that they glide more perhaps. Not sure what that something is and if it is something that I can get from the hardware store.

Here is a picture of the floor and the chairs

pro commenter
2 points · 6 months ago

They make adhesive felt pads specifically for this. Grocery stores usually have them near the cleaning supplies, or pretty much any hardware store

Thanks is there one you would recommend? or at least can you link to a picture of one please.

Perfect, thanks so much.

I need to build a door into a loadbearing wall on the bottom floor of a 2 story house. The current wall uses 4x4 posts every 16". Unfortunately the layout of the room/door means using any of the existing studs would be pretty awkward, so I need to replace 2 of the posts.

Here's my plan of action:

  • Install 2 new 4x4 king studs where I want them 41" apart (32" door + 2 4" jack studs + 1/2" clearance for door opening on each side = 41")

  • Install 4x4 jack studs

  • Remove old 4x4 studs that would be in the way

  • Install new 4x12 header across jack studs

  • Install a few 4x4 cripple studs between header and top plate

  • Remove bottom plate (if needed)

Is there anything I'm missing or does this seem like a solid plan?

why 16" on center 4x4's? is each 4x4 supporting a joist above directly? as in no top sill or beam?

Your idea sounds good in general, but why it was built with 4x4 studs worries me a little.

You know, I thought that was weird, but I don't enough experience with load bearing walls to question it.

I haven't actually pulled all the drywall off yet, just enough to note the 4x4 posts and see where the electrical wiring goes. I should be able to work on it more on Monday, at which point I'll see if there's a top plate and/or what's happening at the top.

I have the same questions regarding the 4x4s and the top plate, and I'm not sure a 4x12 is necessary. There are tables online that will suggest the wood you need and its size of the header based on the span of the opening. Also, two 2x? would be stronger than one 4x?.

I made this night sky lamp thing and I’m looking for suggestions on how to hide the wires. I’m eventually going to put a different couch there because I’m getting a new couch delivered next month, other wise I’d just move it lower. Any other suggestions would be nice!

I'd hide the little black box behind the lights and then just do two drops straight down. To me the things that are the most annoying are that 1) the cords aren't straight and 2) the box is hanging there just barely within view

Yeah I totally agree. I’m gonna mess with it this weekend and see what I can do

I would just run it in the wall straight down with a TV cable kit (something like this ) and then use an extension cord behind the couch to another outlet.


Starting my first ever DIY project at my girlfriends house. I've been wanting to do it ever since I first visited and saw the bridge in her backyard. I've attached pictures of the bridge I want to do. I've thought it would be pretty simple to do and get all the preparations until I searched /r/DIY for other wooden bridges built and just saw poster getting ripped in the comment section so not so sure about my self anymore, I'll start with a couple of questions just so I can get myself on the right track hopefully. For information purposes, I'm in South Africa, we don't have snow. We have heavy rainfall for about 3 months of the year and temperatures ranging from 10 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius

  1. Is Meranti fine for this type of bridge? I'm not looking at having it last centuries, if it held for 5 years I'd be happy with myself and do it over again

  2. Is it as simple as putting the 2 support beams underneath the bridge and attached to the post then laying planks (I want to use 25cm thick planks) across the support beams and having a lot of nails and a hammer?

  3. Is it worth my time coating the wood in resin to waterproof it or not?

I probably have a lot more questions but these should help me for now

pro commenter
2 points · 6 months ago

What were their specific complaints? /r/DIY loves to tell people the project is done wrong, it will collapse breaking your neck, explode in a horrible fireball, poison you wife and kids, the town, city, village and ultimately destroy the planet. Also there's a difference between a bridge over a chasm to last 100 years and a pretty garden ornament that you'll rip out in 5 years when you're sick of it.

  1. I don't know the wood. In general you would want to use posts that are treated for ground contact which will be good for 15+ years. The decking could probably be a hardwood like quila that will take a long time to rot. You may also need to make sure it's safe from termites or whatever African super bugs you guys have.

  2. Yes, pretty much. Bolts between the posts and beams. 25mm is pretty thick, decking timer is typically 19mm but only spans about 600mm or so.

  3. No, resin will lock in the moisture and promote rot. It may not be UV stable. Painting it is acceptable but you'll have to repaint every few years. Outdoor stain is my preference, it lasts longer before re-coating than paint.

Pretty much hit the nail on the head. Most of the stuff was about how badly that person's kid was going to suffer when they fall and break their neck. Other's were about not building according to code which I'm not worried about at all

We don't have many issues with bugs at all to be honest. We might have a couple ants walk across it but never had to worry about termites and flesh eating beetles.

Would you suggest I use a 20mm thickness instead? Other than that, thank you for the advice it really helps me

Meranti, from what i can find online, doesn't seem like a great choice. It's susceptible to insect activity and might not hold up.

Outdoor structures like this won't need a coating if they're made of a good rot resistant wood. I don't know what's locally available to you, but you can check for info on any species you can find.

The simplest form of the bridge is likely just laying down the beams then planking the top with nails, like you mentioned. However, I would bury the posts for the rails at each end, footing them with gravel or sand, then attach the beams to the inside between the posts on each end. this way there's less chance of the whole thing shifting over time, or someone knocking over the railing if the post comes loose.

good luck with it, seems like a fun project!

Perfect thanks so much for the help, looking forward to getting started

I want to use expanding foam to make a foam travel case for musical instruments.

Basically, take a hard case like this with a tonne of empty space in it:

Do this to it

And end up with this, with music gear rather than a gun obvs :


Terrible idea? Anything I should keep in mind? What kind of expanding foam? i've never handled this kind of foam before. Bear in mind the equipment I want to do this to is sensitive, so is the foam wet and would I potentially damage it?

It could be dope. One thing that I remember learning from my high school music teacher was that when you store your cords they have a natural loop that they want to make. I would make sure that when you cut out little circles for cords you make sure that they jibe with how the cords want to sit, rather than making them too tight / loose

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Are you doing this as an pedal board or for actual instruments? For pedals, you'll have a hell of a time running all the cables so it seems like a bad idea vs just using velcro

Its for carrying my sampler in so its not wired up.

the foam in the pic is called Kyzan foam,and its fantastic for storing tools and the like, you just trace the silhouette and cut it out. If you're not married to the spray foam idea (could prove way more difficult and messy, that stuff is uuuuunpredictable) then I'd say grab some from online. it's not terribly expensive.

Yeah I'm thinking just cutting foam myself would be easier than messing around with spraying

If you make friends with someone who goes to a maker space you could probably ask them very nicely to CNC router / laser cut out some foam for you. That way it would look very clean and be a lot easier than using a knife.

Be careful using expanding foam, it tends to stick to whatever it touches. You would need to cover your instruments in saran wrap tightly before adding the foam to the case. Start slowly, that stuff expands really fast. Great Stuff is what I have used before, works well, and it is easily trimmed, but you will need some type of paint or sealer or the trimmed areas will eventually fray.

Comment deleted6 months ago(2 children)

I would use styrofoam sheets and arrange them like this. Then I would use a plastic bag or something to make it water proof. You could also do the outside but it would look less good. If you want to upgrade in the future you could weld a smaller aluminum box that would fit inside the styrofoam

Maybe sheets of styrofoam attached to the outside ofo the metal box?

I'm looking to get a hand dremel with a lot of attachments to do different DIY projects, but I was wondering if a dremel tool is powerful enough to occastionally install a screw or two into a concrete wall/brick? If so, is there a specific RPM needed as I know dremel has different models (some i think go up to 33,000rpm)?

pro commenter
2 points · 6 months ago

You want hammerdrills and impact drivers for putting stuff into concrete. A dremel won't cut it.

pro commenter
3 points · 6 months ago

No. Dremels are high speed with very low torque. A screw driver needs slow speed with high torque.

Hey there, I was wondering if I could find RGB LEDs that are really low voltage. Also, a really really flat battery would be cool too. I have a razer phone, and I want to make it "gamery" by adding rgbs on the case. I want to cut out the words and put rgbs there instead, is there a way that this could work?

You want them to be low power, not necessarily low voltage. But in any case, look into NeoPixels.

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

LEDs are 1.8-3.6V depending on the colour and chemistry. You'll also need some electronics to control them. Go and read the LED FAQ at /r/AskElectronics

Our kitchen sink lines run through an unheated crawl space and will freeze if not left dripping during cold enough weather. This year, it happened, and after thawing, the hot line has zero pressure and the cold line has just a tiny drip worth of pressure. Pretty confident there's no leak - I can get eyes on 90% of the lines and there is no apparent water going anywhere.

What makes it real screwy is... the dishwasher works fine, whose hot water line just splits off under the sink, like three feet away from the spigot that refuses to produce hot water. Both taps are all the way open.

Is it like, possible for the sink itself to be fucked from freeze/thaw? I can't imagine how but I'm not exactly handy.

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Got some big ass dry rags? Turn off the stop valves for the kitchen sink, then remove the supply lines coming out the top. Wad up your rag, put it on the exit for that stop valve and slowly turn it on. Be prepared to turn it off quickly. Does the rag get wet for both the hot and cold valves? Swap out for a dry rag for the second one if the first gets wet.

Installing a new gas range

Im replacing the flexable gas line but can I reuse the adapters on both ends?

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Most new supply lines come with fittings. Didn't yours?

its slightly different and doesnt fit to the pipe

pro commenter
1 point · 6 months ago

Iron pipe threads aren't supposed to fit the pipe. They're meant to deform as you tighten the 2 pieces together. Combined with the pipe dope/tape, that makes an air tight fitting.

I mean the adaptor was a different size

Sure, they're not torque to yield.

1 point · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

Anyone have ideas for cheaper pre-made metal pieces to take the place of iron pipe in something like this:

I'm looking to make some similar shelving and the iron pipe and fittings are just too expensive. Anyone have ideas of anything premade that would accomplish the same job? Some sort of furniture bracket perhaps?

You could just prime and paint PVC to get a similar look if you're really on a tight budget.

Thanks! really what I'm going for though is something sturdy and metal to act as the spacer between the shelves. I'm not necessarily looking for something that looks like pipe.

Hi all I've just noticed my recently installed air conditioning is leaking some type of liquid/fluid from a pipe on the side of the unit in my apartment, pic below. I'm useless at these things so can anyone offer advice if I can tighten this up or something or do I need to call who installed it back. Thanks so much, and sorry if this is in the wrong place Pipe

pro commenter
2 points · 6 months ago

It could be condensation from the chiller which should be piped out to a drain. It could also be condensation forming on the cold pipes. Either way you need to get the installer back to do a proper job. The black foam insulation should cover the entire length not stop short like they've done it. While you're there get them to show you the drain working, if it's a drip tray type they can just pour in a cup of water.

Thanks for the help, it feels oily definitely not water. I took the black foam off to try and locate the leak, I'm not positive but it looks like it's come in from the connection to the unit, can I try and tighten and if so any idea how? Thanks again

Get the installer back. Once you start messing with it you will have less recourse with your installer who needs to correct their botched job.

Wow nice

So this happened yesterday. Before I get started on the cleanup, I'm wondering what my next steps should be, other than drinking?

PS: Not my house (ie: financing), but I am allowed to do reasonable repairs (ie: don't make it worse).

pro commenter
3 points · 6 months ago

You could always do cleanup. That insulation looks like rock wool, so it shouldn't be too itchy to clean up. Still, if you're renting, then it's your landlord's problem.

Also, it looks like whoever installed that ceiling fan did it wrong. You're not allowed to bury junctions in drywall, like those 2 exposed wire nuts. I don't see a crossbar for a ceiling fan box, but is there a pancake box still mounted to the fan? At least all the ceiling is exposed now, so fixing that properly should be easy.

go on that drinking binge for a few days. While you do that get the owner to fix the roof leak,no point in fixing other stuff it it's just going to happen again.

While drunk, get a ride to the hardware store or just use amazon and buy a wood moisture meter. let everything air dry until no parts of the wood read above 15% moisture level. That's the level at where it's dry enough that you can begin repairs and not have to worry about mold.

I am looking to pick up this sandblasting cabinet for sandblasting glass, but I am a bit new to compressors. How can I figure out what CFM and HP and how many gallons my compressor needs to be?

it says right in your link you need 10CFM at 100 PSI. that's pretty high demand for constant operation. you'd be looking at a 60 gallon, $500+ compressor for that type of performance. But in the real world you aren't going to be using the sandblaster constantly, so buy the biggest capacity compressor you can reasonably afford, the bigger the capacity, the longer run time you will have.

Download the manual

Making a custom GM screen (Game moderator, for tabletop games, D&D and the like). I have already taken four 8" x 10" canvasses and hinged two pairs together, essentially I now have two bi-fold canvasses. My question is does anyone know how to get a spine for a 3-ring binder by itself so I can nail/screw it into a central piece of wood that I could then hinge between the two bi-fold canvasses. Ideally creating a quad-fold piece that I could just print whatever paperwork and three hole punch it to use as a up-right standing reference.

pro commenter
3 points · 6 months ago

I'd honestly just go buy a 3 ring binder, then drill out the rivets holding it to the folder. They're cheap enough. Maybe cut off the covers first so you can hold the binding in a bench vise so you could use 2 hands while drilling.

Planning out our bathroom remodel atm. Any advice on keeping the bathtub or switching to shower only? Its a one bathroom, 3 bedroom house. The room is 1.8m wide x2.6m long room

pro commenter
2 points · 6 months ago

I agree with the others, a three bedroom house appeals to young families, so the bath is definitely a selling feature. However I'll throw another idea in the mix to get you thinking. My bathroom is 1.8 x 2.4m in a 90m2 two bedroom on a small section. The house will really only appeal to singles, couples or a couple with a baby. Given that couples can afford bigger houses if they don't have kids and ones with kids would want something bigger if they could, our target market is retired people. People don't want a bath when they get older as it becomes hard to get in and out of. So in our case we are going to remove the bath and just go with a shower to make the bathroom feel bigger.

Have a think about who your target market is and design it for them. Would a bath over shower free up some space? For more ideas post the plans and pics in /r/InteriorDesign/.

Good advice thank you. Had a couple of real estate agents just comrle through to check it out and thats the general consensus as well

yeah keep the tub for resale. "Full Baths" need a tub, so if you were to sell a 3 bedroom 0 full bath, 1 partial bath, it wouldn't look too good.

If you have one bathroom, keep the tub for resale. Gotta bathe them kids!

And there's always the wife that likes bubble baths too.

I live in the USA, am I supposed to hook up this dryer to a gas line or have an electrical outlet installed?

Since it mentions gas in nearly every page, it's a gas dryer. You'll still need a standard 120v 15amp outlet.

What does the back of the dryer look like? Is the electrical plug normal size or about the size of an apple? Does it have a short pipe coming out the back?

Manufacturers save money by making a single instruction manual that works for both gas and electric.

the electrical plug is huge, looks like a 14-50? Which is why I thought I maybe needed to get an electrician out here to install an outlet for me? So does that mean I can do either gas or electric?

It's an electric only dryer. Having a 220V 30 amp line installed is not elementary and may cost more than just buying a gas dryer.

It's not that big a deal as long as the breaker box has capacity. Running the wire is the only tricky part.

I need help with replacing a stand up shower. I want to replace our guest bathroom shower as the tiles are falling out of place and I’m fairly certain there’s mold underneath. We’re trying to sell our house and if I saw the shower as it is, I would hesitate to buy it.

Problem: when I google replacing showers and such, all of them talk about using the existing material as a base to cut down on costs. We can’t do that with the state our tile is in.

How do I go about completely replacing the tile?

You rip it out, replace the wallboard (usually, especially if mold), and retile it (or replace with a fiberglass/whatever surround).

This, remove the tile and wallboard to the studs. Clean any mildew on the wood with bleach or mold remover. Then after it's dry paint it with Kilz or Zinnser primer. Then you can install new backer and tile. Or probably easier to put in a modular fiberglass shower surround.

Hi all, I bought a really cheap granite slab that was fully finished and intended to make it into a desk. My friend suggested to buy a desk and put it on top. I bought this desk from amazon: It says it can withstand 900 pounds. The granite slab fits on top of the wood of the desk almost perfectly, it's only a little bit wider. I would say the slab weighs about 80 pounds maybe? I'm going to put a lightweight TV on top and a few office supplies. The TV might be 35 pounds.

Is this a secure setup? I live in earthquake country and I have a small dog so I am concerned if it is structurally sound. Is it enough force to just have the granite on top of the table and be stable? Or do I need to secure it somehow? I currently don't have anything other than basic tools. Thanks!

pro commenter
3 points · 6 months ago

I used Blu-Tac to attach a laminate counter top to a desk. Just two globs the size of a pea in each corner is abmazingly strong. The advantage over glue is you can remove the top if you need to move it.

Sounds ok. I'd probably glue the granite down. If it feels solid once assembled it's probably fine.

Does Anyone know anything about Cellophane Wrapping.

I need to wrap about 500 small boxes in cellophane, I'd like it to look as professional as possible, within reason.

I found this for $120:

Is this just an expensive hotplate? Can I buy cellophane squares and wrap the boxes on my stove?

Anyone insight into this is greatly appreciated.


pro commenter
2 points · 6 months ago

Yes it is an expensive hot plate. It will operate at a much lower temperature and have better temperature regulation than a stove. Potentially you could hack a laminator to expose the element. Or use a hotplate connected via a light dimmer. Although in that case you'd need to make sure the dimmer can handle the power rating of the hotplate and it wouldn't have a thermostat to keep the temperature constant.

Yes it is an expensive hot plate.

Awesome! Thanks! This gives me hopes of moving forward.

Potentially you could hack a laminator to expose the element. Or use a hotplate connected via a light dimmer. Although in that case you'd need to make sure the dimmer can handle the power rating of the hotplate and it wouldn't have a thermostat to keep the temperature constant.

I could mess around with trial and error. I'm assuming if the Hot Plate is too hot, even on the lowest setting it will burn the cellophane? They make those mug warmers, those might be a better heat setting and it would be the perfect size for me.

Hi All, I am new hear, and i need some helps. I will have a Water rocket competion in the next 2 weeks. The winner will be the one that fly highest, so i don't know how to build a rocket with a Perfect-shape and the weight as low as posible, and how much water is perfect to get the highest fly :( Hope you guys can give me some helps and some advises. Thanks you all. (Sorry about the bad English grammar if there were something wrong above...)

I recommend mixing liquid hydrogen with liquid oxygen and a flame. Shape of rocket won't matter much.

Ermmmm, we are going to build a water rocket, not a real rocket ._. lol

Hydrogen + Oxygen = water.

i'll give a try.... to blow up my school

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