An Easier Life: Bungee Cords, Vacuums and Straws
Picture-hanging made easy
Isn’t it annoying when you attempt a simple home improvement task like hanging a picture and it becomes a struggle? You measure to center the hook, you measure the wire on the back of the picture so that the height will be just right and when you go to hang it, you simply can’t find the tip of the hook.
How can you get the wire on the hook without becoming frustrated? The answer is an everyday drinking straw. You can leave it intact or cut it in half—depending on the size of the picture. The bigger the picture, the longer the straw must be. Place the straw over the end of the picture hook. It will extend the line of the hook to a point above the picture frame.
A homemade vacuum-sealing device
If you watch television at all, you’ve probably seen one of those infomercials where they sell the latest and greatest vacuum-seal machine. You buy in quantity to save money and then take the big package home and distribute it into smaller vacuum-sealed freezer bags. Well, they do work and accomplish what the spokesman claims. And, they really are good machines. But, when you consider the cost, and the expensive storage bags that they want to sell to you, you realize you could end up spending more than if you purchased smaller quantities—individually wrapped—directly from the butcher.
We are not against vacuum sealing anything from sweaters to food. But we are in favor of not wasting money. Here’s what we’ve discovered; you already own a vacuum sealing machine—it’s your vacuum cleaner. To vacuum-pack food, clothing or camping supplies do the following:
- Put whatever you want to store into a high-quality plastic (food or clothing) storage bag.
- Place the mouth of the bag around the tip of your vacuum cleaner hose and turn on the vacuum.
- When all of the air has been sucked out of the bag, twist it several times, fold at the twist and use tape or a rubber band to maintain the bend.
This procedure will guarantee an airtight seal—and freshness.
There are few things more frustrating than going to your workshop to look for something and discovering that, between that moment and the last time you were there, someone jumbled the thing you now need—be it string, rope, rubber bands or bungee cords—into a knotted mess.
We have a solution—pipe or tubing. We suggest a lighter material like plastic, but any kind of pipe will do. Cut the piece a little longer than the cords you want to store. Then all you have to do is hook the bungee to one end of the pipe, stretch it slightly and hook the bungee over the other end of the pipe.
Cut as many pipes as you have bungee cords. The diameter of the pipe can vary according to your needs.
String and twine are easy too. Cut the letter “H” out of a piece of cardboard, plastic or thin plywood. Wrap your string or twine around the center part (horizontal section) of the H. You’ll never have to fight knots again.
Finally, to keep nuts and bolts from working loose, coat their threads with clear nail polish and screw the nut onto the bolt.
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