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Super Handyman: New uses for those old broom clips

The old-fashioned broom clips we used to buy to help store brooms still are pretty good. We use them all over the shop, garage, garden shed and utility room. They are really inexpensive, easy to install and will adapt to different-size handles for shovels, rakes, hoes and, yes, even a broom. Mount a couple of them spaced a couple of feet apart and install a thick dowel between them. This will make a great towel rod for your workshop or garden shed, or a handy place to store rolls of tape or twine. It also can be used for tool storage.


Q: When I was painting, I noticed that there was a lot of insulation behind the soffit vents along my roof. Is this OK?

– K.J.

A: It’s not OK, and you should move it. Check your hardware store for some easy-to-install baffles that can be placed inside your attic to keep the stuff from collecting over the vents. You need the airflow through your attic for a variety of reasons. You can also use a leaf blower or shop vacuum to blow it off from the outside.


Q: I have a garden seat that is made from concrete. We don’t use it much, but I’d still like it to look good. It has moss growing on it. What can I clean it with?

– L.K.

A: You can clean it with bleach and water. Make sure you protect the grass and plants in the area from the damaging bleach. Once clean, spray a water seal on it to keep moisture from getting into the concrete and causing the mold, mildew and moss to return. There also are some rubberized paint products that will seal the surface and keep it clean.

Tips from readers

Dear Carrells: We created a great food-bowl stand for our dogs. Veterinarians recommend having raised food stands. We got a couple of small stepstools and cut holes into them for the bowls. The rim on the bowl keeps them from falling through the holes. These are just right for the dogs, and we even put their names on each one. – B.L.


Dear Al: I cut through another vine the other day. When we first moved into the house, the previous owner had put flexible sewer-line pipe around the trunks of all of the shrubs and small trees to protect them from lawn equipment. The landscape has grown, but I never did anything to protect the new vines that we planted. I bought a section of pipe and cut it into smaller pieces and put this around the vines and other smaller shrubs that we have installed during the past few years. Not bad for less than $10! – S.R.

A Super hint

When cutting trees with an outdoor pruning saw, try lubricating the blade with a little soap. It helps keep the blade from caking up with sticky stuff and helps you get the job done fast and with less binding. A gardener friend even said that it will help prevent spreading tree diseases.

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