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77 votes
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If metal expands when heated, how does heating a bolt loosen it?

The answer is surprisingly simple: the bolt expands, but the nut expands more. What is happening here is good old thermal expansion: The bolt is heated and expands outwards, its radius increasing ...
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56 votes

How to remove nails with heads cut off?

Once we bought an old pallet factory, so I really got to "see how the sausage is made". Pallets are made in extremely, extremely high production because the typical corporate customer orders ...
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43 votes
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How to remove nails with heads cut off?

I use a device called a nail jack. It will work with or without a nail head. It has a beak that you center on the nail then a slide that you smack down on and it bites the nail. After it has a grip 1 ...
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43 votes

How should I dispose of material waste during home construction?

In my part of the world hiring a refuse service is standard and almost unavoidable. We had 30 cubic yard dumpsters (steel containers) on all our jobsites which were often emptied or replaced multiple ...
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  • 106k
37 votes
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Removing faucet from kitchen

No, you don't need to remove the sink to remove the faucet. Follow this sequence of steps: Turn off both the Hot & Cold shutoff valves leading to the sink Unscrew the flexible braided hoses from ...
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  • 5,134
36 votes
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How should I remove a swimming pool from my back yard?

Where I live (NJ, USA) it's illegal to bury a pool. If the pool was filled with soil and hidden it's possible you would have recourse to get the person who did it to pay for remediation. Unlikely ...
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  • 17.8k
35 votes

If metal expands when heated, how does heating a bolt loosen it?

The secret is constrained expansion. Here's some cruddy diagrams to help explain how it works. Bolt stuck in a hole When the bolt is heated, it expands. Since the shaft of the bolt is ...
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  • 128k
28 votes

If metal expands when heated, how does heating a bolt loosen it?

The actual reason this usually works is that rust is significantly larger than the steel it's rusted from, which is why the bolt is stuck in the first place. In some other instances the reason heat ...
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  • 137k
24 votes
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how to remove this pin/nail

That looks like a pop rivet. Remove it by using a drill bit.
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22 votes

How should I dispose of material waste during home construction?

Here are a few options, depending on how DIY-savvy or actively involved you are in your project: Rent a disposal bin They are easily found on-line, under names or keywords such as "construction ...
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  • 10.3k
20 votes

How can I remove a porcelain sink from a granite counter?

A kitchen sink is usually relatively large and when made of porcelain it's probably pretty heavy. The putty knife is a good idea but you're fighting against not just the silicone but also the weight ...
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  • 20.3k
17 votes

How should I dispose of material waste during home construction?

Your regular trash company. Order construction dumpster. First, if there was asbestos in the debris, you hire an asbestos remediation company to separate the asbestos out of the debris and haul it ...
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16 votes
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What kind of bolt is this?

This is a pop rivet, not a bolt. It can only be removed destructively. Drill out the center with a drill bit meant for metal (as opposed to a brad point bit, for instance) until the flange come off. ...
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  • 886
16 votes

How to remove nails with heads cut off?

I'd take a different approach. I'd simply drive them in with a nail set so they effectively disappear. In cases where you need to make cuts, shift things to avoid the nail locations.
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  • 106k
14 votes
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How can I break up a small boulder without power tools?

You can go at it with a sledgehammer (or a smaller hand sledge) and a star drill, and then drive wedges into the holes (or if you are patient, fill the holes with water and let them freeze in the ...
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  • 137k
13 votes

How can I remove a porcelain sink from a granite counter?

Jack up the sink slowly. Take all of the plumbing out, get a car jack or any other type of small jack, put a piece of a 2x6/8 in between and push that thing up. Once you get a little bit of upward ...
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  • 46.2k
13 votes

How should I remove a swimming pool from my back yard?

Sounds like a nice size Koi pod; I am jealous , mine is only 5 X 10. Depending on intended use , filling it is a option. Use any cheap fill then put about 6 in. of topsoil on top. At Koi / pond club ...
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  • 7,726
12 votes

How do you remove the stick-on child safety locks from appliances?

I had these on painted wooden cabinet doors. I slid dental floss behind the plastic part which cut the plastic latch off, leaving the foam adhered to the door. Then I peeled the foam off by hand and ...
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  • 121
12 votes

If metal expands when heated, how does heating a bolt loosen it?

Metal arranged in a ring expands outward when heated. Imagine a ring of thin wire being heated--it expands primarily along its length, making both the inner and outer diameters larger. The same occurs ...
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  • 106k
12 votes
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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 ...
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  • 98.2k
10 votes

After rat poison/antifreeze...How do i rid my yard of squirrels?

You cannot selectively rid your garden of squirrels. It's not possible. As noted by others, poisoning them also poisons everything else including large birds of prey that feed on them. If you see ...
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  • 17.8k
9 votes

How can I break up a small boulder without power tools?

There exist expanding compounds like this one: Ecobust, which are poured into predrilled holes and expand as they dry, splitting the stone (or concrete). It does require a power tool, unless there are ...
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  • 331
9 votes

How to remove nails with heads cut off?

I know this may not apply to every situation, but as an electrician I use a pair of side cutters and leverage it out of a hole. Lineman's pliers work too if there is enough space and you can get ...
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9 votes

How to remove nails with heads cut off?

You might be able to use a pneumatic denailer. It punches the nails through the wood to drive them out, and seems to work from either end of the nail, so would not require the nail to have a head. ...
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8 votes
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How to remove a stuck Sharkbite connector from a PEX tube?

Try pushing the pipe in a bit, before pulling it out. Sometimes the barbs dig into the pipe, so the release ring can't disengage them. Pushing the pipe in, may allow the release to completely ...
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  • 128k
8 votes

How can I break up a small boulder without power tools?

If it is a nice looking rock or has a particular shape, place it on Craig's list as a free item. I listed four 5" Blue Spruce trees I needed to remove to make way for a garage. Gone over the weekend ...
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  • 81
8 votes

Should I remove old wood glue before reinstalling a board on a table, and how?

If you want to use wood glue again, I'd remove the old glue. You'll get a stronger bond if you apply glue to clean wood. A belt sander would do a nice job. If you're ok using urethane glue or ...
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  • 106k
7 votes

I removed a duplex receptacle and now my other receptacles don't work

Duplex outlets are usually installed in a daisy chained string. If you want to remove one without affecting the others, you should observe carefully what wires are attached to where before ...
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7 votes
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How can I remove this concrete wall anchor?

These don't come out easily, sometimes they can be pushed back into the wall and dissappear, this is often the case if the person installing it was thinking ahead and drilled the hole deeper than ...
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  • 13.7k

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