A space of her own: how I built Angel an indoor doghouse

by Alexrussell

A space of her own: how I built Angel an indoor doghouse
 

Every bed we’ve ever bought for our Rat Terrier Angel, our American Staffordshire Ana has managed to squeeze herself into by morning. What Angel needed was a space of her own. I just happened to have a cardboard box lying around the house.

The box I had was a lot bigger than the house would be, so I cut it down and used the extra for the roof. If you have a box big enough for the house as is, have a second box for the roof. Total time for...

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Beaded Curtains...on a bathroom sink?

by Alexrussell

 

Beaded Curtains...on a bathroom sink?

I can't tell if the Moxie wall-mounted lavatory from Kohler is cool or just weird. Hanging beaded curtains along the edges of a wall-mouned lav is definitely a new idea. A sink is a wonderful thing, but there's always functionality right at the throat of aesthetics. People want dirty water to go away but almost nobody wants to see a sink's p-trap underneath, even if it's chrome and flawlessly installed. Hence, the beaded curtain.

My question is...

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Wheelbarrow, bucket, or mixer: how to mix up a batch of concrete

by Alexrussell

Wheelbarrow, bucket, or mixer: how to mix up a batch of concrete
You don't really need an industrial mixer like this one to mix up a batch of concrete. Or mortar. Or tile grout. When it comes to mixing any cement-like material, the process is essentially the same. If you'd like the thrill of renting a big mixer, I don't blame you. They're bad ass. But there are other ways to do it.

A couple things to remember before getting started:

Wear gloves. Cement will dry out your hands like nothing else.

Wear eye...

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Save money this winter on your electric heating: get rid of that ugly baseboard heater

by Alexrussell

Save money this winter on your electric heating: get rid of that ugly baseboard heater
The trouble with baseboard heaters is complex. They are both ugly and they use a lot of electricity to keep a room warm. You really need a heater that moves the air and heats a room quickly. The answer is to replace that baseboard heater with an electric wall heater, and you'd be surprised how easy it can be to do this job yourself.  

A wall heater is a single unit that sits inside the wall and forces hot air throughout the room with a fan. It's...

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Space Invaders on your walls: blik graphics wall decals

by Alexrussell

Space Invaders on your walls: blik graphics wall decals
Think of them as stickers for your walls, but they don't have to be of Space Invaders, that Taito smash hit that today still gets play by teenagers around the globe. The blik Surface Graphics decals are made from designs by pop artists like Keith Haring and Matthew Haggett, but have their own original designs as well.

If there's something you want done custom, they'll create it and even come to do the install. They've got a pretty impressive...

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The copper pipe sculpture: what to do with your new soldering skills

by Alexrussell

The copper pipe sculpture: what to do with your new soldering skills
While soldering joints in your new copper water lines is great, there are other ways to put those new skills to use. A fun and low-risk way to practice and perfect your soldering skills is to build sculptures out of copper pipe and fittings. It's surprising how many shapes and forms you can make out of rigid pipe and the limited types of copper fittings used for plumbing.

See my copper soldering tutorial if you don't know how to do it. I've...

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Discover your inner plumber: how to solder copper pipe

by Alexrussell

Discover your inner plumber: how to solder copper pipe
If you're thinking about doing the water lines in your home remodel, you'll first need to learn how to work with copper. Copper pipe skills really begin with being able to solder a viable joint, one that is relatively clean and doesn't leak. Here is how to do just that.

To work with copper you'll need the right tools.

1. a copper tube cutter

2. emory cloth

3. a wire fitting brush (make sure to get the right size for the pipe you are using)

4. flux...

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Stocking the ultimate toolbox: every tool a homeowner will ever need

by Alexrussell

Stocking the ultimate toolbox: every tool a homeowner will ever need
Tools are the kinds of things you don't really know you're missing until you really need them. The best thing a homeowner can have at his or her disposal is a good set of tools for about everything that doesn't really need the attention of a professional. If you have a cordless drill, for example, why call a handyman to bolt your new bookcase to the wall?

The Adam Savage sculpture above is a bit of an exaggeration, but to be modest I've set out...

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Bathroom sink is clogged again? Replace that p-trap!

by Alexrussell

Bathroom sink is clogged again? Replace that p-trap!

Standing by in frustration to watch the water in a clogged bathroom sink drain will not make it go any faster. There is a clog, and it needs to be dealt with. But before you make that call to enrich your local plumber, try replacing the p-trap under the sink yourself. Most likely the clog is there, and when you remove the old one you'll know right away if a tangle of hair and grime is the problem.   

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Installing a new water heater (getting it up the stairs is the hard part)

by Alexrussell

Installing a new water heater (getting it up the stairs is the hard part)
So you’ve got the old tank out and it’s time to put in a new one. If you need help taking out the old one, see the first part of this guide. The fact of the matter is, if you can remove an old electric water heater, you can replace one without a step-by-step. But to help you along, I've got a list of tips to make the job as easy as fixing a toilet. Here is a picture of the lines running to the water heater to get you started:

You'll need the...

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