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Super Handyman: The many uses of PVC pipe

PVC plastic pipe is so easy to work with. You can cut it with a hacksaw very quickly, and it can be glued together with PVC glue to hold for a long time, if you choose. Over the years I’ve tried making several different things from it. Most recently, I made a terrific tomato cage for three large tomato plants that were taking over a couple of smaller aluminum cages. I made a square cage with corner joints and reinforcements on the sides. I cut the legs at an angle so that they would stab down into the ground and stay put. It’s holding up well and supporting the plants without any strain.


Q: When I painted my bathroom, I used a paint that was supposed to inhibit mildew and mold. Unfortunately, I am starting to see some again around the bathtub area. What gives? – T.Z.

A: Bathrooms do tend to have mildew and mold problems, so choosing a paint to inhibit growth is a wise choice. If you didn’t kill the mold completely first, it will grow through the paint. You also can add ventilation or use what you already have to keep it at bay. This is very important, and it sounds like it could be an option worth looking into.


Q: We just had our carpet replaced and kept several small scraps to use as rugs in high-traffic areas. I’d like to see if you might know of an easy way to “bind” the edges. What would you suggest? – D.R.

A: Check your craft store, as there are a couple of manufacturers that make a glue-on binding. There also are carpet dealers that do this, and you can take your scraps to them and have it done.

Tips from readers

My chain saw just sits around most of the summer, but I use it quite often in the fall and winter. I made a cover for the chain from the leg of an old pair of my blue jeans. It fits over the blade and keeps the chain safe. It also keeps the oil from getting all over the place. I started off with a rubber band around it to keep it in place, but it stays on without it, too. – H.D.


For my last birthday, my daughter bought me some nice looking cushions for my new patio furniture. At first I thought they were waterproof, but I discovered they were not rather quickly. I bought a can of fabric waterproofing and sprayed them thoroughly. Now they are OK to leave outdoors, and they really do look cute. – B.Y.


I have a lot of drill bits and had given up trying to keep them all in one place until I found an old glasses case. It’s rigid plastic and large enough to hold all of them. It has a spring hinge on it, so it stays closed and protects them from being thrown around or lost. I thought you’d appreciate this and might want to share it with other readers. – A.J.

A super hint

Those inexpensive metal shower-curtain rings are really handy in the workshop. You can use them to hang lots of tools and other shop goods right on any pegboard wall, or just a nail on your wall.


I figured out a long time ago that too much light in my room keeps me awake. It doesn’t bother some people, but if you are like me, you’re going to love the Drift Light from Saffron. This highly efficient LED light bulb has a built-in automatic micro-controlled dimmer that can be set to gradually turn off over a short period of time; you no longer have to get up to turn off your lamps. It’s a great option for kids’ rooms, too. And it’s a great way to control lights that might be hard to access or that get left on accidentally too often. It’s also designed with a plastic cover instead of glass, so it’s less susceptible to breakage. To see it in action and to find out more, just 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.