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    Outdoor Climbing Wall On Side Of Shed - Suggestions

    Generally speaking if you are building a climbing wall you use sheets of 18mm ply onto which you bolt the holds. That ply is then generally attached to something very strong on 400mm centres. Given that we're talking about children, and that falling off from the height of your shed is...
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    Sharpening Wood Chisels with an oilstone

    You might want to consider water stones as an alternative. They use water (obviously..) rather than oil. They cut a lot faster, but wear out a little faster and cost more. They also come in very fine grades, and so replace strops or polishers. If you are going to be regularly sharpening...
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    Engineered wood over ancient vinyl tiles

    Hi, 60's house, concrete slab floor with two layers of ancient vinyl tiles. Bottom layer probably original, glued with something black and very sticky (bitumen?). Used to have underlay and fitted carpet on top of that lot. Apart from gaining a few mm of room height, is there any good...
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    Sash Clamps

    I've had good luck with Axminister's own brand sash and G clamps. I'd have to advise against aluminium sash cramps, they are light and flimsy and horrible.
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    Breaking concrete

    I've got a concrete path in front of our bungalow. It's about 4-5 inches thick (at the edge, anyway). I gave it a few experimental whacks with a cold chisel and a chunk the size of my hand came away quite easily. There's about 150-200 sq feet altogether. Is this a weekend job for a few mates...
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    Water Proofing MDF

    They take varnish same as anything else, but I'm not sure I'd use MDF for exterior work. Marine plywood and about 7 coats of varnish works well for that :-|
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    MDF Primer + Varnish

    I've always put varnish straight on - mind you that's normally acrylic varnish. Can't honestly see what a primer's going to do that a coat of varnish won't.
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    Adjustable hole saws can be very useful if you want holes with burnt edges. They also remove far more wood than is necessary - ideal if you are low on sawdust. Finally, because they always make a hole between 0.5 and 3 mm wider than you want, you get that fashionable 'hand made' look where...
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    Computer on booting

    Might be memory (RAM) problem, might be graphics card getting old. If it appears very soon after powering on, probably graphics card. If you like fiddling around, you could take the case off, clean the dust out, make sure everything is seated properly and see if that helps. Otherwise if it's...
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    A bit torrent is just a way of downloading. It's not more dangerous than any other way, and there's nothing remotely illegal about it. It just so happens, by accident, that it is harder than normal to trace where a bit torrent file has come from. This makes the mechanism attractive to people...
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    loft insulation

    Annoying isn't it? Almost as annoying as all the wiring for the lights laying across the top of the joists, so I have to get my chisels out and fix it all before getting started :(
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    Room painting help - complete novice

    You can probably paint over it, is the answer. Obviously if it's bright red and orange, and you want white paint, it might be quicker to get rid of it than put loads of coats over it. Bear in mind that if you get rid of the paper, you need to clean the wall to remove any remaining paste...
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    Chimney Draw, help!

    Check that the chimney pot really is the highest thing on your house. Make sure there are no taller things (including trees) nearby if at all possible. You mention air coming down the chimney which is a bad sign, and can happen if there are taller structures nearby that create downdrafts. If...
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    Cordless Drill Driver recommendations?

    I've stayed away from cordless tools but got completely fed up boarding my attic with an old drill and a a hand screw driver. I don't need anything for masonry work - I'll use the corded one for that. Just a convenient drill/driver with an easy change chuck for switching between countersinks /...
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    cutting steel flats and angle iron

    Hi, I'm constructing some racks in my garage and will need to cut some 3mm mild steel (flats and angle, probably 30-40mm widths). Assuming (rashly) I measure it all right first time, I probably need to make about 15-20 cuts. Is this a job for a hacksaw and some elbow grease or would most...
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    buying metal

    I need some bits of metal for a few home projects. One is to rig some timber storage in my garage for which giant mechano would be ideal - a load of pre-drilled strips and angle iron etc. The other is some fireplace shenanigans where I'd like some stainless steel sheet Is there anywhere a...
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    bosch jigsaw straight cut guide

    I've used the clamped straight edge approach, but with my jigsaw, this results in the blade being bent significantly towards the straight-edge - very unhelpful. I don't know if this is a defect somewhere in my saw (it happens with any blade I put on), or if other people find this. I normally end...
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    Conduit in garage

    My garage has a double socket and a strip light. I was disappointed to see that the double socket was a spur off the socket in the bedroom. The strip light comes out of the socket with an FCU between the two. Anyway, there is rigid conduit from the double socket to the FCU and then from the...