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Super Handyman: A quick fix for slippery situations

Sometimes you want things to slide. Other times, you don’t. If you want a piece of metal or plastic to slide less, try wrapping a rubber band around it. The rubber will grab the surface it is sliding around on. This is a super way to slow down a metal straightedge or a level while you are working on a project. Give it a try the next time you find yourself in a slippery situation.


Q: Our driveway has a large stain on it. I think it might be from one of our cars that is older and might be leaking some oil. I’ve tried cleaning it with detergent and water and a scrub brush, but it barely made a dent. What else can I try? – T.W.

A: You can use some tri-sodium phosphate or mineral spirits paint thinner. Both should cut through the stain. In fact, you may need to use both of them to get the entire stain off the concrete. When you do get it completely clean, apply a water seal to protect it better against future stains. And get that car to the shop and see if they can take care of that oil leak.

Tips from readers

Dear Carrells: I took a tip from your columns and bought a package of metal shower-curtain rings to hold my wrenches together and hang on my shop wall. Well, I’ve also used the rings in several other places around my shop. I keep my tool keys on one, used one to hang a shop towel on the side of my ladder, used them to hold cords up on the shed wall, and used one for washers that I need in my hoses. I even might have to buy another package soon, because they really do come in handy and I’m running out! – H.S.


Dear Al: My wife complains that it takes forever to get hot water to the kitchen sink. I bought her several nice pitchers so she can save the cold water to use on her plants. We are on water restrictions in our city, so we have to be very careful about wasting water. Now she can fill the pitchers and use these to water all of her plants. – G.M.


Dear Kelly: I bought a long length of flexible magnets for my sewing room. I use it to keep up with pins, needles, bobbins and other sewing hardware. I bought a second roll for my husband. He also uses it for his hobby, which is fishing. He keeps a piece on the dash of the boat to hold on to hooks, weights and some of his fishing tackle. He wants some more for his workshop. Super stuff! – T.B.


Dear Al: We just did some landscaping and it was worth every bump, bruise and backache. The yard looks great. I discovered that I had to pick up my mower to get it in and out of the backyard. I added a handle to the front of the mower. It’s just a gate handle mounted with screws, but it allows me to lift the mower without having to stick my fingers under the front end, which usually is caked with fresh-cut grass. – D.S.

A Super hint

A funnel will allow you to pour solvent or other shop liquids back into the original containers without wasting any. If you need to strain the liquid, place a scrap of screen, some steel wool or a coffee filter into the funnel before you start pouring.


Through the years, Stanley’s FatMax has come out with some amazing tools and accessories. Now, Stanley has come out with the PowerClaw, a clamp-on power strip. The heavy-duty, spring-loaded clamp allows you to clamp on to a wall, a ladder, a rafter, your sawhorse or a wide variety of other surfaces, keeping it off the ground. Three grounded outlets allow you to plug your drill, saw or other tools on-site, where you need them most. It really will eliminate tangled wires. It’s grounded for safety and is built to withstand high impacts, should you accidentally drop it. Find out more at