How to Lubricate a Lock in a Pinch
Simply rub the teeth of the key with a sharp pencil until the surface is covered with graphite. Don’t be shy, load it up with a thick coat!
Graphite for Locks
Locksmiths have long used powdered graphite to lubricate the workings of locks, and if your key refuses to slide fully into the lock, you can do the same. But there’s an easier (and less expensive!) option than going out and buying a tube of powdered graphite for locks. All you need is a pencil for a substitute door lock lubricant.
A pencil works great for door lock lubricant in a pinch!
- Simply rub the teeth of the key with a sharp pencil until the surface is covered with graphite.
- Don’t be shy, load it up with a thick coat! Then insert the key into the lock again, which will deposit the graphite into the lock.
- Do this several times, if needed, until the key glides in smoothly.
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Drill Dock Keep your drill(s) and accessories organized and close at hand to make your DIY projects run smoothly. By investing just two hours, you can build this wall-mounted drill dock to house everything you need. There's a top shelf for accessories, a wider lower shelf for larger items such as battery packs, and the clever use of 3-inch PVC piping makes hanging holsters for different drill attachments. Here's our guide to five must-have attachments. The instructions for this drill dock include advice on how to customize the dock to fit your drill and you can even add a power strip to the bottom shelf to keep everything charged and ready to go. In addition to basic tools, you'll need a circular saw, a jigsaw and a clamp to complete this project successfully.
This technique works best on relatively flat ground. On mild slopes, you'll need a helper to shift pipes while you stabilize the load. Don't use this method on steeper slopes.
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To apply sandpaper to the pipe, spray both the paper and the pipe with a generous layer of adhesive. Let both surfaces dry several minutes before joining them. Use two grits on each pipe—80-grit for sculpting a precise radius, and 100- or 120-grit for finish sanding. When the sandpaper's worn out, just pull it off, spray fresh adhesive on a new strip and go back to having fun. Check out these other genius sanding tips.
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Bike Rack Use PVC pipe to build a bike rack. Perfect for a corner of the garage, this DIYer used PVC to make a bike rack that holds five bikes upright. Depending on your bike wheel specifications, you can modify dimensions so they all fit snugly. You can also build a wall-mounted bike rack with storage. Courtesy of Quinnatotor via Reddit
Hide Cords Help keep your home office space organized by using PVC pipe to hide cords. Just wrangle all those computer, mouse, monitor and phone cords and hide them in some PVC pipe. You can even use some colorful tape to match your office décor. Try these 10 easy DIYs for a home office.
Table Saw Fence Sheath It’s a lot easier to crosscut boards on a table saw or use the surface as a workbench without the fence in the way. But where do you put it? How about tucking it away in a piece of PVC pipe bolted to the saw base? Buy and install a length of 4- or 5-in.-diameter PVC (measure your fence first!). Rip the leftover pipe in half and screw it to the top of the sheath. It’s a great shelf for push sticks, wrenches, featherboards and other accessories. Thanks to Martin Kipp for inspiring this tip! Check out some other savvy storage tips around the house and the garage.
Drawer Organizers on the Cheap Slit some up PVC pipe down the middle and you've got stackable drawer organizers to keep all your small tools handy. See why a pool noodle inside a kitchen drawer isn't such a crazy idea.
Central Vacuum for the Garage Install 2-in. sanitary tees on the ceiling and drop a pipe near each car door. Install a long 90-degree bend and a stubout to connect the hose. Cap off the stubout with a standard 2-in. pipe cap when not in use. Check out the complete plans to upgrading your garage here.
PVC Pipe Blade and Bit Organizer I always seem to have extra bits, jigsaw blades and other small items lying loose in my toolboxes and bags. To keep things organized, I cut different diameters of PVC pipe to the lengths needed for my accessories. I glue one end cap in place, put my items inside and slide on the other end cap. Use a marker to label each container and you’ll be able to find all your bits, blades, screws and whatever when you need them. — Tom Richardson. Have a religious experience in your garage with these 27 life-changing tips for your garage.
PVC Plastic Bag Dispenser After building a PVC fence, I was left with a few extra 2-ft. lengths of fence post. I turned one of them into a home for grocery bags that I reuse. I stuff them into the top and pull them out the bottom. If you don’t have any leftover fencing, 3-in.-diameter PVC pipe works well too. Attach it to the door inside a pantry or closet, or to a wall of your workshop or garage. — reader Dave Mitchell. Get those bags out of the way in the kitchen too, and organize your kitchen.
Sprinkler Socket System If you use spike-type sprinklers, try setting them into permanent sockets made from 1-in. PVC pipe. Not only will these sockets make moving the sprinklers a snap, but they’ll keep the sprinklers upright and shooting water where you want it. Water you lawn efficiently and save some big bucks with these tips.
Fastener Trough Cut a 2-ft. length of 4-in. PVC pipe lengthwise with a scroll saw, creating a trough that’s a little more than half the pipe’s diameter. Glue or screw in 1/2-in. thick wood partitions to create compartments for often-used screw and nail sizes. To make it tip-proof, trace the pipe’s curve on a couple of scrap 2x4 blocks, power-sand or saw out the curve, and screw the pipe on this scrap block base.
Dowel Quiver Use a saber saw to cut lengthwise notches in a 30-in. long piece of 3- or 4-in. dia. pipe then glue on a PVC end cap. Drill pilot holes in the pipe opposite the notches and screw the quiver to a shop wall. Your notched-out quiver will hold any size dowel— from standard 36-in. lengths to stubby leftovers—for instant access. Thanks to reader George Marchalk for sending this tip down the pipeline.
PVC Spring Clamps If you're ever in a pinch for spring clamps, reader John Larson advises making them yourself from short sections of PVC pipe. Use 1-1/2 to 3-inch diameter pipe, cut into 1-1/2-inch wide sections; slit the sections across the width. They'll give 8 to 10 pounds of clamping pressure for all kinds of gluing and holding tasks.
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Six-Pack Shop Organizer Six-pack cartons are useful for storing and transporting items like spray paint, lubricants and caulk. — reader Gerald Fitzgibbon Plus: 51 Brilliant Ways to Organize Your Garage
Draft Dodger My house has round ceiling registers for the air-conditioning system. In the winter, we'd get cold air falling from the registers. Rather than put up with the drafts, I sealed the registers with those clear plastic saucers that you put under flowerpots. I temporarily glued them in place with White Lightning SEASONSeal Clear Removable Weather Stripping ($15). It's a rubbery sealant that you apply with a caulk gun and peel off in the spring. — reader James Herrrenknecht
Blister Buster I rake leaves like I'm sweeping the floor with a broom. I always used to get a blister between the index finger and thumb of my lower hand. Now I just keep my thumb and fingers on the same side of the pole. You get just as much gripping power—without the blisters! - reader Kipp Beck Plus: Make Yard Work Easier with these 12 Tools
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Dustless Drilling and Drum Sanding Whenever I have curves to sand, I chuck a sanding drum into my drill press. The only problem is that the sawdust flies everywhere. I wanted to catch the dust with my shop vacuum, so I made a bracket to hold the nozzle. I glued together two 3/4-in.-thick pieces of medium density fiberboard (MDF) and cut out the curved shape with my jigsaw. When I want to use it, I just clamp it to my drill press table. I made the hole just big enough so that the tip of the nozzle fits snugly. — reader Doug Kaczmarek Here are other woodworking projects.
File by Grit Tired of digging through a drawer full of sandpaper and turning over each sheet to figure out the grit, I devised this handy sandpaper organizer using a plastic file box ($17 at Amazon). Each hanging file contains a different grit, and I write the grit numbers on the tabs so I can instantly find the sandpaper that I'm looking for. — reader Lynette Aitchison Check out how to make super-strong sandpaper, too.
Poop Pipe My dogs and I have an arrangement. They poop; I pick it up. But rather than make daily trips to the trash can, I built this poop pipe. It's just a large piece of 4-in. PVC drainpipe sunk into the ground a foot or so, with a trash bag lining it and a cap sitting loosely on top. A rubber band holds the bag in place, and the cap helps keep odors at bay. When the bag gets full, I just take it to the trash bin and put a new one in the drainpipe. — reader Kelley Griswold Plus: 14 Cleaning Tips Every Dog or Cat Owner Should Know
Spray-Bottle Pipe Pump When soldering a fitting onto a copper pipe, you have to get the water out of the pipe or the solder won't melt. But removing the water from vertical pipes is tricky. That's when I grab the spray nozzle from a plastic bottle. I just stick the plastic tube down into the pipe and pull the trigger a few times. It helps to have a small cup to shoot the water into. — reader Dean Debeltz
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Wet-Saw Marking Tip Use a crayon to draw the cutting line on tile before using a wet saw. Unlike a pen or pencil line, a crayon mark won't wash off and is easier to see in the muddy water. — reader Mike Winter Plus: Two Essential Saw Cutting Guide.
Tape-Tearing Tip Here's an easy way to tear tape and get a starting edge at the same time. Simply fold the tape under at a 90-degree angle to the roll. Then, with a snapping motion, pull the tape against the edge of the roll. The tape tears, leaving a triangular starting tab. This won't work with plastic tapes; those must be cut. — reader Chris Henrichs. Plus: How to Tape Drywall
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Blister Prevention Bubble Wrap® can help prevent blisters by placing some on the handle of a rake or a broom. Discover the best rakes for dealing with leaves and how to make yard work easier.
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Handy Rake Handle Save your back when raking mulch or shoveling heaps of dirt by adding another handle to your long-handle tools. A section of PVC pipe with a tee fitting and cap work perfectly. Add a screw through the tee fitting and into the handle for won't-budge stability. Check out these other genius handy hints.
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Stay-Put Cord Zip ties are great to have on hand for quick repairs and fastening jobs around the shop. I like to zip-tie one end of an electrical cord so it stays with the cord reel. I keep the connection loose enough that I can pull out enough cord to reach an outlet. — reader Oliver Rodriguez
Hands-Free Light I was working under the kitchen sink and couldn't see what I was doing, so I used zip ties to attach mini flashlights to a pair of safety glasses. Now I use this pair whenever I climb into the attic or do any repairs in unlighted spaces. Everywhere I look is illuminated. — reader Nathan Rodgers. Plus: Safety gear every DIYer should own.
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Stay-Put Drawer Organizer I have always hated the way drawer organizers move around when you open and close a drawer. I solved the problem at my house with a pool noodle! I measured the distance from the back of the drawer organizer to the back of the drawer and used a utility knife to cut the noodle to size. The pool noodle fits snuggly in place, so the drawer organizer doesn't move around anymore. You could also cut the pool noodle in half lengthwise to reduce the amount of space that it takes up. — reader Roy Allison Have you ever thought about using a pool noodle on a hanger?
Lift Gate Protection When you open the lift gate of your van or SUV, it's easy to hit a cross brace of the garage door and chip the paint on the gate. Protect it by using a swim noodle as a cushion. Just slit the swim noodle with a utility knife and slip it over the brace. You can also use pre-slit foam pipe insulation. If it slips off, use double-face tape to hold it in place. – reader Mary Sprang. Plus: These pickup truck bed hacks are simply amazing.
Ladder Padding I spend a lot of time on my ladder, and leaning against the rungs all day was taking a toll on my shins and thighs. Then I got smart and slit pieces of my kids' pool noodles lengthwise and wrapped them around the front of the rungs. Instant relief! The cushions are easy to move as you work. Just make sure you never stand on the pool noodles, and always place them higher than you'll step since they can create an uneven step or fall off if you step on them. — reader Dave Switzer
Ladder Guards I recently installed new gutters. When it came time to clean them out, I didn't want my metal ladder to dent or scratch them, so I made ladder protectors out of an old swim noodle (foam pipe insulation would work too). I cut 2-ft. sections of the foam noodle, slit them with a razor knife and stuck them on the sides of the ladder. They were the perfect cushions! If the foam doesn't stay put, tape it on. – reader David Gugliuzza Learn the right way to clean your gutters with these tips.
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