Tuesday, 28 July 2015

How to fix a broken door lock

Door locks are complex mechanisms that can malfunction on occasion as they do have a lot of tiny moving parts so I'm going to take a look at how to solve the most common issues with door locks.

Door key won't work properly

First of all make sure you are using the correct key and if you manage to get it open check the key again. If it works perfectly this time the deadbolt is not engaging the strike plate properly and if it still doesn't work properly try to lubricate the lock or clean it. Then spray a little bit of graphite into the lock and try the key several times.

Key turns but won't unlock it

If the door doesn't unlock when the key turns disassemble the lock so you can be sure the cam or tang is properly engaged with the bolt. If you see any broken parts replace them then reassemble the lock.

Key won't go into the lock

If the key wont go into the lock make sure the lock isn't frozen by heating the key and trying it again repeatedly. If its a new key that won't go in there may be some rougher parts that need to be filed off. To check for this burn the key lightly so it is covered in soot and try the lock again. When you take the key out file down any rough areas that will be shiny and easy to spot now.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Petrol vs Electric Chainsaws

Petrol vs Electric Chainsaws

Petrol Chainsaws

A petrol chainsaw has quite a bit of kick to it and as such can normally only be used by stronger than average individuals which has never really been an issue for me being a very tall individual. They are also quite heavy and putting these together makes it pretty hard to control well enough to get a clean cut without being strong or putting in a huge amount of effort.

They require petrol

Bit obvious but this means you need to keep fuel for it around the house somewhere (I personally leave mine in the garage) and this fuel is of course flammable not a good choice for people with children or particularly jumpy pets as spills can quickly become a fire hazard.

Highly effective

Not much can cut quite like a petrol chainsaw so if you have some heavy duty work planned then it’s a good choice provided you know how to handle it and have the required strength.


Being a petrol chainsaw there's no wire or anything like that so if you need to take it far from an outlet that is no problem for a petrol chainsaw, the lack of wires also make it quite manoeuvrable while using it for those trickier cuts.


Most petrol chainsaws can be expensive especially a good one and there’s the continuous fuel cost to consider after.


Only heavy duty jobs require a petrol chainsaw don't underestimate what a hatchet or electric chainsaw can achieve and think to yourself do I really need one?

Electric Chainsaws

Electric chainsaws are battery powered and this allows them to run a lot smoother than a petrol chainsaw which uses a 2 stroke or 4 stroke engine. This makes an electric chainsaw a lot easier to use (especially for a first timer) as your hands are steadier and the chainsaw is taking less of a physical tole on your body.

An electric chainsaw can be charged through an electrical socket in your home. But this doesn't mean that is it even costs any money. A renewable source of electricity in your home leads to your chainsaw being completely reusable as well. Some would say that the petrol chainsaw with its fossil fuels can’t exactly live up to this claim....

An electric chainsaw is very quiet (depending on what exactly you are cutting of course) and is a lot less likely to disturb the neighbours than the noisy petrol chainsaw which is just about guaranteed to wake up your entire neighbourhood (depending on the time of day rather).

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

How to replace a Digging Spades Handle

Older tools tend to be made of better steel so its a shame to throw out an old spade when the handle breaks so I'm going to tell you how to replace the handle.

Remove the Handle

Normally the handle will break where it meets the spade but the wood is normally riveted to the handle. To get to the wood this rivet will need to be removed. The easiest way to accomplish this is to drill into the head of the rivet and it is a good idea to use a hammer and center punch to make a small indentation to stop the drill sliding everywhere. Now just use a punch to knock the rivet out. Now you can use a flat bit to get all the wood out just make sure the wood has dried first.

Adding a Handle

Once the hole is cleared you want to insert the new handle. Spade handles are pretty standard and all you need to do is line it up and then insert it into the hole. Give the spade a few sharp taps on a solid surface so the handle fights tightly. Now you need to secure it with a rivet which is easily improvised. Drill a hole through the handle using the previous rivet hole as guide for size and push a nail through so about a quarter of an inch protrudes from the other side. Now place the whole thing on a hard surface so you can tap the head of the nail with a hammer to form a rivet.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

How to maintain a hedge trimmer

Maintaining a hedgetrimmer is not particularly difficult and I am going to give you a few tips on effective ways to do it.

Daily Routines

Cleaning the outside of the machine daily helps make sure nothing goes too bad inside and can prevent possible issues. Make sure the throttle lock and throttle function correctly. Make sure that the stop switch is working properly. Make sure the blades don't move around at all while idle. Regularly clean or replace the air filter to ensure it works properly. Check the handguard for damage and replace as necessary. Make sure all nuts and screws are tight and very importantly ensure there are no fuel leaks.

Every so often Jobs

It never hurts to check the starter cord and return spring. You can also check the vibration damping elements are working fine if it gets worse while using it. Clean or replace the spark plug. Fill the gearbox with grease. You should do this around about every 20 hours its been used. Check on the bolts holding the blades together.

Rarely necessary but Helpful

Clean the fuel tank, fuel filter, carburetor, fan wheel and fuel pipe. Replace any areas as necessary. Check all cables and connections, clutch, clutch springs and clutch drum.


Make sure you disconnect the spark plugs and battery cables and always wear safety glasses and gloves to protect from harmful chemicals and debris.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Guide for Buying a Garden shredder

A garden shredder is very useful tool to have when it comes to cleaning up your lawn. You can feed it all your twigs branches grass and leaves to the shredder to become mulch or compost. This is a very good way to stay environmentally friendly while sorting out your garden and there are a few different types of shredder that will work well for different materials.

Decide on impact or Crushing shredders

Impact shredders have the advantage of being less expensive but are a lot louder. These use a spinning blade similar to a food processor and you just feed the debris into the machine. Crushing shredders are quieter but more expensive. These models are self feeding and pull debris into the machine to crush it against a steel plate. Consider the type of material you are shredding when choosing as crushing shredders are better against heavier materials.

Gas or Electric

In this case electric shredders are the cheaper options but you will need to make sure the cord is long enough to move around the yard. Gas shredders have more power with the advantage of having no cord but they can require more maintenance and you will need to keep the tank filled with gas.

Check the Specifics

Pay attention to cleaning instructions and also check the limitations on the model you buy and sales associates can help you find what these are.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

How to Replace the Handle of an Axe

If you damage the handle of an axe and its broken it is almost always better to try and replace the axe handle than repair the current one so I'm going to give you an overview of how to complete this.

Find a Handle

You will need to go to a hardware store to find a replacement handle and its much easier to do this if you bring the axe with you to match size and fit.  You will also need a few wood handle wedges and twice as many steel handle wedges.

Remove the Handle

Saw off the broken handle close to the head of the axe and soak the head overnight in a bucket of water and then let it dry for a complete day. The water will swell the wood but when it dries it will be looser than before.

Clamp the Axe Head

If there are wedges at the top of the handle knock them out with a hammer and chisel. Next open the vice and put the head back on upside down. Now begin tapping the handle out with the largest diameter steel rod. Work on multiple spots for the best results and use a smaller rod if corner areas get stuck.

Check if then new Handle Fits

Keep the axe upside down to check if the new handle will fit or not. If it goes in too easily its the wrong handle. It should be a little too big for the axe to fit correctly. The handle should have a saw kerf cut across the longest axis. The wooden wedge you bought should be a little shorter than this slot. The sides of the axe socket are not parallel and towards the top the opening widens. Use the rasp to carefully trip the handle down until it matches the axe head socket. Now put the handle through the head.


If there is excess wood above the head saw it off as close to the steel as possible. Next put the steel wedge through the axe handle from above the head. This will expand the handle to fit the head.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Chainsaw Safety

Chainsaw safety is paramount to avoid serious or even fatal injury whilst working with the machines. Below is a quick infographic showing some quick tips on how to avoid or, in the worst case scenarios, limit the the damage of the injury.

Chainsaw Safety

Chainsaws are a very useful commodity for any homeowner who is interested in home improvement but there is an awful lot of safety and legislation that comes with them that the average homeowner simply does not know about. This infographic below aims to show just what you ahve to do when operating and owning a chainsaw:

chainsaw safety

Just a helpful little infographic on the safety procedures associated with chainsaws!