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Super Handyman: Shop vacuums are handy indoors and out

If you don’t have a shop vacuum, you really are missing the boat. A good wet/dry shop vacuum really can take care of some heavy-duty messes, both inside and outside the home. One way to add even more value to a good shop vac is to create onboard storage. Just grab a few scraps of PVC plastic pipe, attach end caps to the bottom of each pipe, and then glue the pipe pieces directly to the sides of the vacuum. Now you have a super place to store all of the attachments you will need to take care of the messiest cleanups.


Q: I have a clogged vacuum hose line on my shop vacuum. Now what? How can I get the clog out? I can’t even feel where it is. I don’t want to have to cut into it or replace it just yet. What can I do? – T.H.

A: Take the hose off the vacuum cleaner and stretch it out. Now you can use a broom handle, long scrap of pipe or even a plumbing snake and work the clog to the end.

Tips from readers

Dear Al: I made a super tool holder for the front side of the back rack of my workbench. I glued some heavy-duty magnetic strips across the front of it. I am finding that I have a lot of tools that will stick right to it. It’s so handy to store tools on. I even throw some hardware up there once in a while. I plan to put in pegboard one of these days, but until then, I’ve got some great tool storage in this magnetic strip. – G.O.


Dear Kelly: I like to redo my apartment fairly often. I guess I just get bored with the same old stuff. Of course, I’m on a budget so I have to get creative to do it. I found out you can use fabric dye on furniture and rugs. It takes a lot of guts to do it the first time, but once you do, you’ll love the results. Check your local craft stores for this stuff, and you’ll see all they have along these lines. You can give your rooms an update on the cheap! – J.M.


Dear Carrells: When I was cleaning out my garage, I found a whole can of undercoating spray for my car. I used it to coat a couple of rusting spots inside my guttering. I also had cleaned them out and found these spots earlier in the month. It looks like it’s going to last for a while. – N.T.


Dear Al: I have used your idea for attaching jar lids to the underside of shelves and storing hardware in the jars. It’s a great tip and gives me a lot more storage in my garage.

I also have added some of these to my fishing boat. I attached small jars to the bottom of my bench seats and store assorted tackle in these jars. They are easy to get to, stay dry and keep my tackle close by when I’m out fishing. – B.E.

A Super hint

When fitting tiles into places where they need to be trimmed to fit properly, try using a Dremel or rotary tool. These tools can be used to cut and shape even the most intricate shapes, and will cut way down on accidental breaks or chips.


XT Ladder Luggs are the best way to lug a heavy load up an extension ladder and hang on to it while you are working. Slide the Ladder Lugg into any ladder rung and push it in to lock it in place. It’s made to hold heavy paint cans, screw guns, circular saws and lots of other heavy stuff. You even can leave it in place by just pushing it further into the rung for overnight storage if you will need it again the next day. This is a super product, and you’ll love having your hands free to do the job you need to do.

To find out more, go to, and check out the other super helpers the company sells.

Got a question or a handy tip? Send it to The Super Handyman at Those of general interest will be used in future columns.