How To Build a Movable Kitchen Island

Shopping List for Build It: Movable Kitchen Island:
– Two 30-inch-wide upper wall cabinets
– 24-by-48-inch piece of 3/4-inch plywood, to make base of island
– Four 4-inch swiveling casters (two with brakes)
– 14/-inch x 1 1/2-inch carriage bolts with washers and nuts, to attach casters
– 1 1/4-inch drywall screws, for attaching the plywood base to the cabinets
– Wood shims, used as spacers between the cabinets
– Carpenter’s glue
– Wood butcher block, to make the island top
– 100-grit sandpaper, to hand-sand the edges of the butcher-block top
– 120-grit abrasive disk, for use with random-orbit sander
– 2-inch drywall screws, for attaching the butcher-block top
– Towel bar
– Mineral oil and cotton cloth, to finish the butcher-block top

Tools List for Build It: Movable Kitchen Island:
– Circular saw
– Cordless drill
– 5/16-inch-diameter drill bit, to bore bolt-clearance holes
– 5/32-inch-diameter drill bit, for boring screw-shank clearance holes
– Ratcheting box-end wrench, to tighten nuts on carriage bolts
– Utility knife, to trim wood shims
– Random-orbit sander, for smoothing the butcher-block top
– Straightedge guide and clamps

Steps for Build It: Movable Kitchen Island:
1. Stock kitchen cabinets come in a wide variety of finishes, colors, sizes, and configurations.
2. Kitchen base cabinets are too tall for use in a mobile island, unless you cut them down to size.
3. Upper wall cabinets at 12 inches deep by 30 inches tall are ideal for building a mobile island.
4. Use a circular saw to cut away the raised lip from the bottom of the cabinets.
5. Place the cabinets upside down and back-to-back, then saw a piece of 3/4-inch plywood to fit across the bottom of both cabinets.
6. Attach a 4-inch caster to each corner of the plywood panel; secure each caster with four 1 1/2-inch-long carriage bolts, washers, and nuts.
7. Drill four 5/32-inch-diameter screw-shank clearance holes through the bottom of each cabinet.
8. Set the plywood panel with casters on top of the cabinets, then attach the panel with 1 1/4-inch drywall screws.
9. Bore four screw-shank clearance holes through the upper back of one cabinet.
10. Insert wood shims between the two cabinets, then fasten them together with two 1 1/4-inch drywall screws.
11. Turn the cabinets upright and trim the shims flush using a utility knife.
12. Cut four 3/4-inch-thick plywood filler strips to fit across the tops of the cabinets.
13. Secure the filler strips with glue and 1 1/4-inch screws.
14. Use a circular saw with a straightedge guide to cut a 36-inch-long wood butcher-block top for the island.
15. Set the butcher block on the island, allowing it to overhang one end by 4 inches and the other by 2 inches.
16. Secure the wood top to the island with 2-inch screws.
17. Smooth the butcher-block top using a random-orbit sander fitted with a 120-grit abrasive disk.
18. Use a clean cotton cloth to apply a coat of mineral oil to the butcher-block top.

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How to Install Window Casing for Vinyl Siding

Shopping List for Installing Window Casing for Vinyl Siding:
– vinyl windowsill
– end caps
– silicone adhesive
– vinyl casing, Colonial molding, and J-channel
– aluminum coping jig
– roofing nails

Tools for Installing Window Casing for Vinyl Siding:
– drill/driver
– tin snips
– caulk gun
– aviation snips

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How to Replace Sidelights on a Front Door

Shopping List for How to Replace Sidelights on a Front Door:
– Insulated-glass sidelights
– Acrylic-latex caulk, for weatherproofing the sidelights
– Exterior-grade primer and paint

Tools List for How to Replace Sidelights on a Front Door:
– Utility knife, for slicing through dried coats of paint
– Stiff-blade putty knife and flat bar, used to pry off stop beads
– Circular saw, for cutting new sidelights to length
– Hand plane, used to trim new sidelights to width
– Air compressor and pin nailer with 1-inch pins, for installing stop beads
– Caulk gun
– Paintbrush

Steps for How to Replace Sidelights on a Front Door:
1. From inside, use a utility knife to slice through the old paint along the outer edge of the stop beads, and in between the stop beads and sidelight sash.
2. Then, use a stiff-blade putty knife and flat bar to carefully pry the stop beads from around the sidelight sash.
3. Move outside and use the utility knife to cut through the paint bead around the exterior of the sidelight.
4. Use your fist to gently tap the wood frame of the sidelight to free it from the opening.
5. If your front door has two sidelights, repeat Steps 1 through 4 to remove the second sidelight.
6. Trim the new sidelights to fit the existing openings. Cut them to length with a circular saw, and trim them to width with a hand plane.
7. Brush a coat of exterior-grade primer onto all four edges of the sidelights.
8. Apply a continuous bead of acrylic-latex caulk around all four sides of one opening and press the sidelight into place.
9. Reinstall the original stop beads around the inside of the sidelight. Secure the stops with a pin nailer and 1-inch pins.
10. Repeat the previous two steps to install the second sidelight.
11. Prime and paint the inside and outside surfaces of both sidelights.

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How to Seal Leaky Ductwork

Steps for How to Seal Leaky Ductwork:
1. Remove the grilles from all of the supply and return registers.
2. Plug each duct register with foam rubber and wide strips of tape.
3. Pressurize the duct system with a blower fan.
4. Use a computer to analyze the data to determine the amount of air leaking from the ducts.
5. Use the blower fan to mist the inside of all the dust with liquid-rubber sealant.
6. The sealant will find and plug all air-leaking holes, cracks, and seams.
7. After applying the sealant, run another pressurized blower test to verify the improved results.

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How to Revive a Lawn With a Slice Seeder

Shopping List for Reviving a Lawn With a Slice Seeder:
– grass seed
– starter fertilizer

Tools for Reviving a Lawn With a Slice Seeder:
– slice seeder
– walk-behind drop spreader

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Best Painter’s Tape: Advice

Consumer Reports compares Scotch’s blue painters’ tape with Frogtape, and Duck to find the one that works best.

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How To Install An Electronic Dead Bolt

Shopping List:
Smart dead bolt


1. Unscrew current dead-bolt plate using a screwdriver.
2. Remove the plate.
3. Unscrew back plate of the dead bolt using a screwdriver.
4. Match back plates from the kit to the current back plate.
5. Using the new back plate, insert screws into the dead-bolt mechanism and secure it using a screwdriver.
6. Match the adapter piece from the kit to correspond with the current lock, insert it into the smart lock.
7. Install the smart lock onto the back plate and clamp it down.
8. Download the corresponding app to your smartphone.
9. Add the lock to your smartphone.
10. Follow the calibration steps on your smartphone.

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How to Install a Smart Thermostat

Tools List for How to Install a Smart Thermostat:
– Screwdriver

Steps for How to Install a Smart Thermostat:
1. Turn off the service switch on the side of the furnace.
2. Remove the faceplate from the existing thermostat.
3. Take a digital photograph of the wire connections.
4. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screw terminals on the thermostat’s base plate.
5. Pull the end of each wire out of the terminal.
6. Unscrew and remove the base plate from the wall.
7. Screw the base plate of the new smart thermostat to the wall. Be sure the base plate is level.
8. Connect each wire to the appropriate terminal on the base plate. If necessary, refer to the photograph taken in Step 3.
9. Snap the smart thermostat onto the base plate.
10. Turn on the service switch at the furnace.
11. At the thermostat, follow the touch-screen prompts to choose the preferred language and internet setting, which allows you to control the thermostat remotely from a tablet or smart phone.
12. Next, enter the year when house was last remodeled, then select a name for the thermostat.[
13. Select the lowest and highest room temperatures for when you’re not at home.
14. Adjust the thermostat setting each time you leave for work and return home. After a few days, the thermostat will learn your habits and automatically adjust the heat.

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How to Prune an Overgrown Hedge

Shopping List for
– plastic tree ties

Tools for
– orchard ladder, used for reaching top of tall hedge (can be rented)
– bypass pruners
– pole pruner (can be rented)
– leaf rake
– wheelbarrow

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How to Install a Whole-House Dehumidifier

Shopping List for How to Install a Whole-House Dehumidifier:
– Whole-house dehumidifier

Steps for How to Install a Whole-House Dehumidifier:
1. In the attic, attach four steel hanging bars and the metal pan from the collar ties. Position the pan very close to the air-conditioning unit.
2. Set the whole-house dehumidifier in the metal pan.
3. Cut a square hole in the hallway ceiling and install a new return-air grille.
4. Attach a flexible return-air duct to the port on the end of the dehumidifier.
5. Secure the duct to the roof framing with plastic straps.
6. Cut the duct to length, then attach it to the return-air grille installed in Step 3.
7. Cut a new supply-air duct fitting into the air-conditioning unit.
8. Connect a flexible supply-air duct to the fitting. Attach the opposite end of the duct to the existing air-conditioning duct system.
9. Run a new PVC condensate line from the dehumidifier to the outdoors.
10. Install the dehumidifier’s filter; be sure to replace the filter every two to three months.
11. Mount a humidistat to the wall beside the existing thermostat.
12. Start by setting the humidistat for 35 percent humidity, then adjust as necessary.

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