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Super Handyman: Trimming a bolt the easy way

There are times when you need to trim a bolt in order to make it fit better or to conceal it. This can be done with a hacksaw without too much effort. The next step is to deburr it in order to allow for the nut to turn on the threads. One way to make this easier is to put the nut onto the bolt and tighten it all the way down, as far as it will go, before trimming the bolt. Now, grab the nut with some pliers and turn it off the bolt, deburring and removing any scrap metal as you do so. This makes the process easier and will ensure a good fit when you are finished.

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I look forward to spring every year because I love to garden. While there are lots of things one can do in the garden during the winter months, nothing excites me more than when little seedlings come up in the spring. Warm days are a real booster for these little babies. One thing you can do to enhance the sun’s warmth is to add a sheet of glass over your plants, raised above them so as not to squash them. An old window, glass tabletop or even a sheet of acrylic can be used. Just lean the glass against the garden edging or the side of your house, whatever is convenient.

The heat gets magnified when it goes through the glass and will heat up those seedlings, getting them off to a super start!

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Q: We just replaced our kitchen faucet and are now having trouble with the old, original vegetable sprayer, which we did not replace. Did we do something wrong? How can we fix it? – J.C.

A: It’s easy enough to replace, but try cleaning it first. Soak it in a cup of vinegar and see if it’s just clogged with mineral deposits. If that doesn’t fix the problem, then just go ahead and replace it. If you did the faucet by yourself, you certainly can replace a sprayer.

Tips from readers

I’ve looked at a lot of stains and I really like the ones that have a sealer in them. But sometimes I like to use a stain that is just a stain and nothing else. I like coffee grounds as a stain. The color is a deep brown and really looks rich.

You can rub it on or mix it with a little vinegar and brush it on. It works great on wood and other porous surfaces. – S.C.

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We used our tax refund to put in an automatic irrigation system. I can’t believe we lived without one for so long. We finally put in an automatic sprinkler system for our yard. What a time-saver it is, and I’m sure our lawn will look better as a result. We have a nice hose reel that was easy to move around the yard and couldn’t sell it in the garage sale, so we converted it into an extension cord reel. It holds all of the electric cords we use for the other lawn equipment and is much easier to wind up than it used to be.

I think it’s probably better for the cord to be wound on the reel, too. And the wheels on the hose reel make it very easy to put away. – T.R.

Super HandyMom tip

Ordinary screens work great to keep bugs out of your home, but they can be plain and boring. One cool thing you can do to make them look really neat is to stencil on them. Create a border or a center pattern with some white exterior paint. It even can give you more privacy at the same time. Think creatively for fun and function.

Have a question or a handy tip? Visit thesuperhandyman.com. Those of general interest will be used in future columns.