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"Woodworking FAQ" by Spike Carlsen

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The toolbox: Simplified lawn repair

  • Article by: Akron Beacon-Journal
  • October 2, 2012 - 5:15 PM

The Grass Stitcher aims to make it easier to repair damaged patches in a lawn.

The manual device works something like a seed slitter, perforating existing sod or bare ground to improve the contact between grass seed and soil.

The device eliminates the need to dig out dead grass before reseeding. The existing sod shades the seed and helps hold in moisture while the seed germinates, the company says.

You can buy the Grass Stitcher alone or as part of a lawn repair system that includes seed and fertilizer, as well as a bag specially designed for applying them. The products can be purchased at John Deere Landscapes stores or ordered at www.grassstitcher.com.

The Grass Stitcher sells online for $99.99 to $149.99, depending on width. The lawn repair system is $124.28. Shipping is free.

Spray aims to stop leaks

Rust-Oleum LeakSeal is a spray-on coating designed to stop leaks, filling cracks and gaps while remaining flexible. It dries to a black finish and works on metal, vinyl, plastic, PVC, concrete and other surfaces.

Among the items it will seal are sunroofs, skylights, gutters, roofs, ductwork, vents and flashing, the company says.

Rust-Oleum LeakSeal is available at stores that sell hardware or paint. You can search at www.rustoleum.com for a nearby retailer that carries Rust-Oleum products, but it's always a good idea to call first to make sure the store stocks LeakSeal. Suggested retail price is $9.99.

Woodworking by the book

You can't always have an experienced woodworker on hand to help with your projects, but you can have a copy of "Woodworking FAQ" (Storey Publishing, $16.95).

The book was written by Spike Carlsen, a longtime woodworker and former executive editor of Family Handyman magazine. It's intended as a sort of mentor-on-paper, offering tips and guidance that can benefit woodworkers of all skill levels.

The book covers everything from setting up a wood shop to finishing your creations and repairing furniture. Its spiral binding allows the book to lie flat, making it easier to use it for reference while you're working.

Cleaning patio door tracks

Q How do you clean the metal tracks of sliding patio doors?

A Remove the loose dirt with a vacuum cleaner outfitted with a crevice tool, or brush it out with a paintbrush. Then you can remove the sticky residue with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits, window manufacturer WindowPro says. Stretching the dampened cloth over a putty knife or similar blade may help you reach into the tracks better.

WindowPro recommends spraying the tracks with spray silicone after they're cleaned to help the doors slide better. Don't use a petroleum-based product such as WD-40, because it will attract dirt.

 

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