14 votes
Accepted

Looking for a non-stick space-filling foam

Fill a plastic bag with the polyurethane spray foam. The stuff expands a ton, so be careful not to burst the bag.
popham's user avatar
  • 9,044
13 votes
Accepted

What type of screw is the most resistant to rust: galvanized, stainless steel, or deck screws?

The stainless steel screw will absolutely be the best screw to resist rust. Stainless steel screws are rust-resistant throughout the entire screw, not just on the surface. The other screws are ...
Grunthos's user avatar
  • 1,472
11 votes
Accepted

two-part fastener for right-angle wood connections

Good question! These aree common on DIY furniture. It's a cross-dowel and bolt. One commercial name is a Veritas Knock-Down Fastener. A similar device, with a head to keep it level with a surface, is ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Is acrylic / Perspex a suitable material for a replacement fridge shelf?

It's Polystyrene, according to the label (like all fridge shelves). Is there a difference between cast acrylic, Perspex, and Plexiglass? Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) belongs to a group of ...
bobflux's user avatar
  • 9,168
9 votes

Is acrylic / Perspex a suitable material for a replacement fridge shelf?

Been there, done that. About 10 years ago I had 2 broken shelves when my wife placed a too heavy casserole dish (cast iron skillet) on the top shelf and it crashed through that shelf and the one below....
Tonny's user avatar
  • 745
8 votes

Need to stop sound of rain hitting top of window AC

How about a synthetic door mat? They're heavy, waterproof, and some even have bristles on the top which would soften the impact of rain.
Daniel Griscom's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

How to prevent mold in stored joint compound

Mold grows on any surface that provides food for growth. Joint compound contains organic compounds and lots of moisture. The compound will only last a finite length of time even under "ideal" ...
ojait's user avatar
  • 11k
7 votes
Accepted

Making a temporary walkway

Your local home center(Lowes/HomeDepot) should have 12inch x 12inch concrete patio blocks for about $2 each, even less if you find some with chipped corners. Since it is a short term project I would ...
mikes's user avatar
  • 11.3k
7 votes

Is acrylic / Perspex a suitable material for a replacement fridge shelf?

Polystyrene, and similar acrylic (Perspex and Plexiglass are brand names) are quickly attacked by solvents such as acetone and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), found in nail-polish remover. Put a little ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Why is a screen used to sand drywall, but paper used to sand wood?

Gypsum drywall and it's paper covering, spackle and joint compound are much softer than wood (except perhaps balsa) and produce a lot of dust that clumps together and sticks to sandpaper, rather than ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What material is this in my 1950s home's walls? Is it dangerous?

This looks "Sauerkrautplatte", aka Holzwolle-Leichtbauplatte. It's made from wood shavings and cement, but no asbestos (AFAIK). They used to be common as a form of drywall and insulation (but are not ...
Toffomat's user avatar
  • 336
6 votes

What are these very heavy blocks found on my family's property?

They are iron ( unlikely steel at that age ) identified by the density match to iron. The reddish color that looks like granite is rust on a pitted surface. Pig iron ( high carbon and silicon ) or ...
blacksmith37's user avatar
  • 8,291
6 votes
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Bright type of material for kitchen countertop

It's more likely a manmade conglomerate stone, or it could be a natural Breccia. A very similar if not the same look is described as Breccia Aurora. Which is a type of marble. Image Source, no ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 210k
5 votes
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What is it? Red and waxy debris from drilling studs

It is the resin from the coniferous tree the wood was milled from. Resin, gum, amber, is in every softwood tree. It is produced by the living tree when it becomes damaged, from say boring beetles. ...
ojait's user avatar
  • 11k
5 votes

The structural integrity of a backyard structure

As with any structure you need to define the loads on it (wind, snow, furniture, people etc) and from there define the structure or framing capable of supporting those loads. There may well be local ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 27.4k
5 votes
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What is this soft plastic like material that has been added to the window, and how best to remove it?

Likely "removable caulk", (perhaps "temporary caulk" - been a few years since I put some on leaky windows for the winter) in which case pulling it once you get an edge lifted up should be effective at ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 210k
5 votes

Cedar shims disappeared because of COVID-19

This has been a well-known issue since the pandemic started. Materials have been scarce, and prices have increased dramatically. This seems to be due to issues on both the supply and the demand sides. ...
PhilippNagel's user avatar
  • 4,947
4 votes
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What's this tarry sheet under the tiles?

It looks to me like roof membrane. And I have to say I can't imagine why anyone would do the install like they did. With a solid concrete base, the only water proofing necessary is against the ...
The Evil Greebo's user avatar
4 votes

Pictures Covering Home Theater Speakers

Googling "acoustically transparent fabric" returns a variety of companies that provide materials that advertise the characteristics you require. For example: https://fabricmate.com/fabric/acoustic-...
David D's user avatar
  • 606
4 votes
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Deck the halls with bubble wrap?

I would select non-flammable insulating materials such as rock-wool, or fiberglass (fully puffed up; mashing it badly hurts its performance). To use these, you will need some sort of framing to hold ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Cedar shims disappeared because of COVID-19

Like PhillipNagel said, the March/April red-alert for COVID caused a lot of production shutdown. Cedar shingles are not essential work. Shutdowns like this have largely stopped, even though recent ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Is there a way to increase the reliability and quality of electronics by create custom electronics?

If you have to ask, the answer is that all you can do is buy commercial components designed for this environment by reputable manufacturers. You are not going to be able to do better design for the ...
keshlam's user avatar
  • 28.7k
3 votes

What type of screw is the most resistant to rust: galvanized, stainless steel, or deck screws?

Stainless requires exposure to oxygen to avoid rusting; it's the chromium oxide layer that protects the steel. When completely buried, the chromium oxide layer breaks down and the residual oxygen ...
Thomas M Wetherbee's user avatar
3 votes

How to prevent mold in stored joint compound

These are good ideas, but the best thing I have done is a combination of the the following: Make sure the mud is flat and there is no dried mud on the sides of the container, I use a large piece of ...
sherlock homes's user avatar
3 votes

What clear coat material would last as an exterior traffic surface?

Many epoxies are designed to have other ingredients mixed in. That's basically West System's hat. The garage floor epoxy paints all allow grit and chips to be mixed in too. The problem is, epoxy ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

What are the differences between pneumatic nail types like "smooth" and "ring" for house framing?

Definitions Hot galvanized: Dipped in molten zinc as an anti-corrosion measure. The alternative is electro-plating, which results in a smoother but thinner coating. Brite: Not galvanized. Usually ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 135k
3 votes

How can I jack a steel post out of the ground?

I would use a chain and make sure it is bolted to the post so that the link is touching the post, (both sides ) I.E. threaded bolt through the link with a nut and washer holding it tight to the post. ...
Alaska Man's user avatar
  • 13.5k
3 votes

Why are "horseshoe" shims shaped the way they are?

I used these extensively in my kitchen remodel. Wood shims always seem to split on me. And, since I live in a humid area, wood shims disintegrate over time. Many of my original base cabinets have ...
Mattman944's user avatar
  • 2,179
3 votes
Accepted

what material could I use for a mirror that allows light to pass through

What you are looking for is a so-called "one-way mirror" (Wikipedia). This is actually a partly transparent mirror: if the back is dark, it looks like a mirror but if the back is lighted ...
DoxyLover's user avatar
  • 12.6k
3 votes
Accepted

2a modified crushed stone vs minus gravel

Generally anything that is "modified" means it has some limestone dust mixed with it, the idea is that once it is compacted, over time as rainwater falls on it, the water works down through ...
Ted Mittelstaedt's user avatar

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