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Super Handyman: Recycle spools for easy storage

I do a lot of home repairs, but I also enjoy crafts of all kinds, including sewing. I have come up with a few ideas for recycling the wooden spools on which some threads come. I like to use them to hang things in the house and garage. If you run a screw through the center and install a couple of these, side by side – about an inch apart – on your wall, you can store a broom, mop or shovel on them. Keep those tools in a good spot where they will be easy to get to when you need them.


Q: We had a standard, rubber-backed bathmat in our guest bathroom. I took it up to clean the floor, and the backing was stuck to it. How can I get this off without damaging the tiles? – H.I.

A: Try scraping it off with a plastic putty knife. You also can try using a plastic mesh kitchen scrubber.

Tips from readers

I priced out chalk paint when I decided to paint my daughter’s furniture. I shopped around to see if I could find a bargain and found a recipe for making your own. It’s 2 cups of eggshell or flat paint, one-third cup plaster of Paris and 2 tablespoons of water.

You just mix this up really well and paint on the first coat. I primed the pieces first and sanded between the three coats of paint that I applied. It’s really smooth. I decided to rub it down with a paste wax to protect it and give it a little shine. It looks great and was within my budget. – M.P.


I was trying to glue a shelf back together. I couldn’t turn it over onto its side, so I had to squeeze the glue into the side of the joint. I figured out that, if I could get it close to the joint, I could blow it in.

This worked fairly well, and I was able to get enough glue into the joint, clamp it and successfully make the repair. I just thought I’d share my super idea! – G.S.


The file cabinet that I bought for our home office had a rolling stand that came with it. I didn’t need it for the home office, so decided to see what else I could do with this stand. I got a scrap of wood and attached it to the top of the stand to make it into a rolling platform.

I put a pull rope on it and now use it to cart heavy stuff in the workshop. I can put all sorts of materials on it, including bags of fertilizer and soil. – R.A.

A super hint

Dusting your electronics is important in keeping them running longer and more efficiently. Be careful, though, as they are delicate.

Use the canned air to blow the dust out of tight spots and use a microfiber cloth and vacuum to finish it off.

Super HandyMom tip

I am not lucky enough to have tilt-in windows for easy cleaning. To reach the windows, I use a sprayer wand. First, I use a window cleaner and then follow up with some rinse aid (normally used in a dishwasher) mixed with water to make sure I don’t end up with any streaks. This works pretty well on most of the windows.


My workshop is in my garage, so keeping it comfortable to work in is important to me. The Cool Breeze Garage Fan by Tjemlund Products can make a real difference during the hot summer months. It easily mounts between ceiling joists to pull the hot air up into your attic and out your ridge or gable vents. It’s superefficient at 1,200 cubic feet per minute and safe with an automatic fire damper. You can add a digital timer, wireless wall switch, remote control or even a humidistat.

To find out about this and other fans , go to

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