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Super Handyman: Storing large sheet materials

We get a lot of questions along with advice about storing large sheet materials such as plywood and drywall. One of the most common ways is to stand it up and lean it against a wall. But we all know where that leads, right?

What I’ve done is install a hook on the outside of the stud or wall at the edge of the area where your sheet goods will stay stacked upright. Then install another hook on the other side of the material, directly in the wall. Now all you need to do is attach a rope from hook to hook, a bungee or even a chain. It’s easy to unhook it and get what you need out or add to the pile. And it won’t end up on your floor or car.

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There are a lot of ways to celebrate, and a nice bottle of wine certainly is one of our favorites. But if you ever find yourself without a corkscrew and you’re ready for a toast, grab a cordless screwdriver and turn a long deck screw partway into the wine cork. Then you can grab the top of the screw and pull it out along with the cork. Drink responsibly, and be careful while handling power tools and wine. Cheers!

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Q: I have two cracks in my driveway. I think I need to fill or cover the cracks but don’t know what to use. Can you please tell me what to use and how to use it to seal up these two cracks before they get worse? – H.A.

A: You are very smart to get them filled, and it’s easy to do. You can find a matching concrete crack filler at your home center or hardware store. These will work best in a caulking tube with a caulking gun. Just read and follow the directions on the tube. Don’t buy the cheap stuff, either. Get something that is going to stand up to the traffic and weather.

Tips from readers

I used small tacks to hang up pictures in my apartment so I won’t mess up the walls. But just a single tack means that my pictures shift and are crooked a lot of the time, and this makes me crazy. What I do is wrap some tape around the wire on the frame, right where it hangs over the tack. This tape has enough give to it so that it helps the wire stay in place and not slip around on the tack. Now my pictures are always straight. Yay! – E.F.

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I used a bottle cutter to cut a large wine bottle in half. I wanted to make a candleholder with the bottom part. But my wife and I made a bell from the top part to go with it. We tied a shell onto a string and ran it up through the top so that the shell is just hanging inside the top part of the bottle. Then we tied the string to a cork and pushed it into the top of the bottle. We hung it up, and now have a great bell next to our table on the patio. – M.D.

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My garage looks pretty decent most of the time – except for the oil stains under my car. What a mess – and it’s constantly there. I sprinkle cat litter over them once a month and let it soak up the oil overnight. Then I just sweep them away the next day.

I know I need to get the car serviced, but it’s old, and I doubt they could do much to it. – J.M.

A super hint

Nothing gives away the age of a home more than the metal finishes on lamps, faucets, knobs and handles. But you can update your old finishes with some of the new metal paints. You can find exactly what you need and freshen up your home for a fraction of the cost for replacements.

Shoptalk

I didn’t think it was possible to make a better Leatherman tool, but they have. The Tread looks like mechanical tread, but you wear it like a bracelet. The tools are part of the design, but it’s just as easy to use as with the original design. It comes in stainless steel and black. It’s brand-new, so it isn’t widely available yet, so keep an eye out for it. See it in action online at www.leatherman.com.