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How many times have you had a plumber, carpenter or handyman come to your place to fix something, finish the job in two minutes, then hand you a bill for hundreds of dollars? And didn’t he show up late, condescend to you, little lady, and not know enough to pull up his pants? Well, enough of that!

This column is going to teach you which tools to use for which home repair job, and how to make simple repairs and quick fixes. I’m not going to show you how to pour a foundation and build a house, but I am going to give you the confidence to take on those small jobs yourself. Ladies, if those guys can do it, you can do it. If they’re such geniuses, how come they’re not neurosurgeons? So say goodbye to that over-charging, under-servicing Mr. Fix-It you’ve been using, wave to him as he drives away in his eight-year-old pick-up, lift up your toolbox, and let’s get to it.

PART ONE: STUCK ON YOU! Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Glue, and Then Some

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got about ten different glues in your house, none of which you can actually find when you need some glue. You use whichever adhesive you’re able to locate and hope for the best. Well, I don’t have to tell you that this is not the best system. But I will. This is not the best system. The best system is to keep all your adhesives (not to mention all your tools – but that’s another story) in one place and to use the right adhesive for the right job. So get a box, a tote bag - even an old purse - put your glues in it, and store it in the basement, a closet, or anyplace that you will remember you put it.

Of course, the tough part is figuring out which glue is right for which job. Here’s where I get really useful:

GLUE STICKS- Right off the bat I can tell you that they only work for paper. Brands like Avery and Crayola are great for collages, scrapbooks, that kind of thing, but don’t try to fix a chair leg with it. Not gonna happen.

YELLOW (WOOD) GLUE- This is what you should use on that chair leg. Also, almost any other carpentry project. Brands like Elmer’s or Titebond are very durable and easy to sand, paint or stain.

WHITE (SCHOOL) GLUE- You know, Elmer’s. Think, the kids’ craft projects. In a pinch, it will work on the chair leg, too.

INSTANT GLUE- Super Glue. Krazy Glue. Best glue on the market for broken fingernails and jewelry. I mean costume jewelry here, folks. Also good for gluing fingernails to costume jewelry.

HOT GLUE- This is the stuff you get at a craft store, and use with a gun. What I love about hot glue is it sets super fast and works on almost anything. Unfortunately, it’s not that durable so you might try using it in conjunction with another glue. The hot glue holds the pieces in place while the more durable glue sets. And of course, when using a hot glue gun, keep the burn unit emergency phone number handy.

POLYURETHANE GLUE- This type of glue, such as Gorilla Glue brand, is very strong, waterproof, works on almost any kind of surface and sands and stains well. The thing to watch out for is that while it’s drying, it tends to foam and leak out of the bond. You have to wipe away the ooze to make sure you have a neat finish. I used Gorilla Glue on my daughter’s broken clay Heart-a-saurus (don’t ask) and it worked great.

EPOXY- Now we’re getting into the hard stuff. Epoxies come in two parts, a resin base and a curing agent or hardener. You mix the two components in a certain ratio and a chemical reaction occurs, solidifying the mixture into a hard plastic. It’s extremely durable, waterproof, and best left to someone else. If you have a project that needs epoxy, it also needs a pro.

Now that you know all about glues, go through all those junk drawers in your house where you’ve thrown most of the half-used tubes, bottles and tubs and collect them in one place. Also, take all the loose change you happen to find along the way and send it to me. Just kidding.

To find out more about the wonderful Sarit Catz, visit her website at / Issue 123 - March 2018
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