Monthly Archives: May 2012

Normally, replacement sliding glass patio doors can be something of a challenge to install.
This particular opening was a full 8 feet wide and the doors almost exactly 4 feet wide.
(Allowances for track and hardware made them somewhat smaller.) However, in this case
one set of double hinge doors and one single door filled the opening almost perfectly.
There was no need for special order oversize glass panel doors or any custom trim
work. This solution may not work everywhere, but it certainly worked in this instance.


A tricky new use for cheap caulk guns: Cinch clamps for dust curtain poles!

The dropcloth dust curtain is used to partition work areas off from the rest of the living
space in a home or office with the creation of temporary walls made from plastic sheets
held in place with tension poles.

Sadly most jobs need more than a few poles (say at least four- one for each corner). turns out the cost for four commercial poles can be incredibly expensive.


For light duty work there is an inexpensive alternative made from nothing more complicated than
a 1×3 furring strip and a cheap caulk gun. Caulk guns can be found at Big Lots and K-Mart ( you remember K-Mart?) for as little as 1 or 2 dollars and furring strips are about 3 dollars for an 8 foot length which is perfect for the average 8 foot ceiling.

Air skate or air skid or air bearing or air caster technology has been available on an industrial scale since at least the 1960’s and used by NASA and Boeing to move heavy equipment from pillar to post.


For light commercial use the impediment has been the availability of inexpensive compressed air.

Now, in spite of the widely available light duty air compressor and pancake tank, the air skid still remains widely unknown and unused in light commercial settings.

Here at the International Handyman Headquarters we could not resist the opportunity to cobble together some experimental variations with ordinary parts and materials to see what it would take to move equipment around the shop.

The results were somewhat surprising.

The first lesson learned was the relation between air volume and air pressure. To make a skid from a plastic pail bottom does not require much air pressure, but it does require a significant volume of air to work properly. Hence, the leaf blower attached to Version #1. A good but awkward attempt.

For Version #2 caution was the order of the day with a miniature adaptation of the widely built high school hovercraft project made from plywood and 3 mil plastic. CLICK LINK HERE or HERE

Again, even slight experimentation proved ineffective when alternate materials – woven polyester tarp fabric or sheet rubber were too cumbersome compared to ordinary garbage bag grade plastic. It works well, but does not have a heavy lift capability.

This brought our experiment to Version #3. In many respects, version #3 is the simplest- a hollowed out block of wood covered with a sheet rubber bladder and an air hose nib on one side. But what performance specifications! It will easily support an 80 pound load on 120 PSI of compressed air! Right now, the only problem is the configuration of the bladder opening since a minimum weight is required for a smooth lift.