Hot answers tagged

49 votes

Straighten a piece of metal with very limited tools and skill

Bend it back Here is how you could do it. Find a flat stone or brick. Use it to pinch the bent part against flat ground. Stand on the stone or have a helper stand on it. The part on the handle will ...
  • 6,103
36 votes
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What is this metal rail in the basement ceiling

This is a load-bearing I-beam. This beam is holding up your house, so as long as it's well secured, you should be able to add an extra 80 lbs to it. They make mounting brackets specifically for ...
  • 1,084
27 votes

Name for a partially-circular metal clasp that fits into an indentation in a tube

The clips that you are referring to are called snap rings in North America.
  • 231
26 votes
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What is this stake in my yard and can I remove it?

Looks like a run-of-the-mill landscape stake to me. They're used for securing plastic edging, fabric, etc. Could also be a tent peg. It's a horse apiece. I'd give it a few taps with a hammer to ...
  • 109k
26 votes

How can I drill through small thin hardened steel wrenches?

With a sharp drill, oil and patience, or with carbide. But Why make a hole?
  • 7,548
25 votes
Accepted

Name for a partially-circular metal clasp that fits into an indentation in a tube

That is called a "circlip" and can be removed or positioned with special pliers made for them. They come in internal and external varieties. What you have pictured are internal. Some circlip pliers ...
  • 26.8k
22 votes

What is this metal rail in the basement ceiling

Your beam ends in the middle of the room, being supported by a post. This is weird and atypical. I am afraid only the person who implemented this solution could speak of it's purpose and strength. ...
  • 1,458
19 votes

What metal is most suitable for a ladder submerged in an underground water tank?

Stainless steel is the obvious choice. Which exact grade is probably more dependent on what you can easily find than what the "most perfect for the job" grade might be, but 316 or 316L would be high ...
  • 145k
18 votes
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How to make small wheels with minimum equipment (No lathe)

A hole saw. Nice and round, complete with a center hole.
  • 145k
16 votes

How can I drill a big diesel tank without emptying it first?

Seriously: You just don't. Reasons: You'll never be able to guarantee you didn't contaminate the fuel unless you clean it thorougly after the work, which you cannot with all the diesel in there. ...
  • 261
15 votes
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Why is there 4 inches of metal at on each side of this column?

The metal that you are detecting is probably the metal studs that are in each corner of the column. From the picture it looks like that column is also sheathed in drywall and so there may very well be ...
  • 62k
15 votes

What is this stake in my yard and can I remove it?

Most municipalities and counties maintain a central resource of buried utility line locations. Here in New England it's telephone 888-DIG-SAFE. In most of the U.S. you can start with telephone 811. ...
15 votes

How can I drill through small thin hardened steel wrenches?

A challenge at home. Good tools are hardened to near Rockwell C hardness 40. Cheap tools can be much softer. A professional machine shop can drill up to HRC 40 , so they could slowly do it. You have a ...
  • 7,801
13 votes
Accepted

How can I drill a big diesel tank without emptying it first?

You don't want to "drill" a 1" hole in 3mm sheet. Without support the edge would be ragged and other problems would occur, such as fragments dropping into the tank. The best approach is probably to ...
  • 6,689
13 votes

How can I drill through small thin hardened steel wrenches?

Without cutting fluid chances are you melted the cutting edges of your bit. Use a sharp bit and any oil you have lying around, along with a slow speed.
  • 109k
12 votes
Accepted

How to clean rusty grill grates?

Put them in the grill and get them HOT! Then use a wire brush and scrub the scale and rust off. After that I usually coat them with olive oil but any cooking oil will work.
  • 100k
12 votes
Accepted

How can I shorten a reciprocating saw blade?

I just save my broken blades for this. Clamp it in a vise, where you want it to break off and hit it with a hammer very sharply. It should snap off (make sure the part you want to KEEP is in the vise)...
  • 14.5k
12 votes
Accepted

Is this a job for a crowbar?

I would say no don’t use a crowbar unless you are good at repairing/ replacing brick work. I would grind the head off that or burn it off with a oxy-acetylene torch. I have put anchors up and use a ...
  • 100k
12 votes

What type of black metal can be used as furniture hardware?

What's in the photo is painted. Any pipe you use will require surface preparation for paint to last a long time and not chip off easily. Galvanized pipe will require either the galvanizing to be ...
11 votes

Is an ethernet cable threaded inside a metal conduit is more protected from electromagnetic interference?

You discovered wrong. Ethernet runs at 100MHz and up, your line voltage at 60Hz is virtually DC at that frequently difference. With that said, you should still run your data cables in conduit. Not for ...
  • 1,721
10 votes
Accepted

What can I use as a bowl for a DIY fire bowl/pit?

I have played with various fire pit options in my backyard for 15 years. I have tons and tons of trees and yard waste and try to burn most or turn it into compost. I have grabbed the saucers from ...
  • 46.4k
10 votes

How can I remove paint and rust from a metal 1950s cabinet?

I asked a similar question here: Preparing an old metal cabinet for painting. None of the recommended methods really worked out for me, and in the end I used an angle grinder with a scrubbing disk. I ...
9 votes

What can I use as a bowl for a DIY fire bowl/pit?

The internal bowl/barrel of an old washing machine works well for an above-ground solution - the holes around the sides allow the embers to breathe well and help to radiate heat. You can add legs as ...
  • 193
9 votes

What is this metal rail in the basement ceiling

It looks like you have two things going on with this You have a large opening in your basement. If you look to the left side of your first photo, you can see what looks like framing for a doorway. ...
  • 21k
9 votes
Accepted

How to drill a 0.75" hole in metal

For a hole of that size or larger a hole saw might be an easier method as it removes less material and may be more likely to stay centered due to its pilot bit. However using the more standard bit ...
  • 4,994
9 votes

How to repair large drywall section?

Should I try to cut out so both the existing and the new drywall will touch half of the metal stud on each side? And put in screws on both sides? Yes that is an effective way to do it. Another ...
  • 13.3k
9 votes

Is EMT or PVC more durable under a porch that gets rain?

Steel EMT will rust over time in a buried environment with moisture where PVC will last virtually forever unless it's exposed to sunlight. I'd go with PVC which is also likely to be less expensive.
  • 21k
9 votes
Accepted

How can I drill through small thin hardened steel wrenches?

Anneal The Butt of the Wrench First When you view this question in the general since of "how to I drill steel that is too hard to drill with the tools I have", annealing it first is one ...
8 votes
Accepted

Identify strange wall fixing

I believe that is called a spring pin anchor or express nail To remove it, I'd try these: or any nail puller. Spraying some Liquid Wrench or other light lubricant might make it easier to pull ...

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