A new toy for the backyard woodlot!

Cut a railroad tie into a big piece and a little piece, cross lap the little piece and big piece
together to form an L support for an old car spring, attach a pivot bracket and 6 foot length of
1 inch square tube above the car spring, force the axe handle remnant into a 1 inch diameter
galvanized nipple and bolt axe assembly into the business end of the tube, make a box of sufficient
dimension to hold 5 standard red bricks and use U-bolts to attach the counterweight above the
axe head and voila! a beautiful backyard wood splitting tool modeled on some of the European
versions seen on the Internet will appear before your very eyes!

Now your mileage may vary but my cash layout for this little project was $12.00 to buy the
railroad tie from Home Depot, $2.00 to buy a 1 inch galvanized steel nipple, $11.00 for
miscellaneous u-bolts, lag bolts, washers and nuts etc. for a grand total of about $25.00
cash money USD!

The car spring came from my friendly local mechanic (Thanks Rocky!), the tube and bracket,
bricks, plywood etc. came from my junk pile and of course, the inspiration came from
the Internet (thanks Youtube!)

To quote the legendary George Peppard, Leader of the A Team: ” I love it when a plan comes together!”

Happy firewood splitting everyone!


There are two common types of wall damage – large holes and small holes.

Large hole repair was the topic of a previous episode. CLICK THIS LINK HERE

Today, a nifty way to quickly repair a wide variety of small holes with the use of a
102mm hole saw and a plywood guide. 102 mm is just the right size to easily insert wooden
backer cleats. Remember to be sure to cut replacement drywall blanks the size of the
OUTSIDE diameter of the hole saw for a perfect patch.

Here at the International Handyman Headquarters we like to keep track of our
local critter population. Especially when deer appear unbidden and unannounced
at all hours of the night and day.

To see an early example consider this insouciant family group of three Cervidae quietly
browsing early one morning not more than a hundred yards from heavy road construction


Recently, in the last few weeks, there have been other appearances in downtown urban
Raleigh, such as this daylight romp down the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood.

Or two nocturnal visits to sample the clover found in a carefully groomed North Hills
neighborhood lawn.

To paraphrase the legendary Forrest Gump: punch lists are like a box of chocolates,
you never know what you will get when the telephone rings.

A staple of the Fixit Catalog Of Necessary Projects, punchlists are the jobs leftover
when the rest of the construction crew is gone and finished with their work.

Who knew parking space stripes could be too long and would need to be partially
erased? And yet there was the task on the job board list: black out excess parking
space stripes!

And so I did.




Work in progress. Layout lines and spacer set. Striper cart ready to roll.

Live video of white line erasure in progress.


Warning! Shocking real life story about kitchen faucet replacement ( or why there is no
such thing as a simple job!) Not some showroom shiny parts kabuki theatre, but an
ACTUAL SINK with ACTUAL rusty flanges and rusty nuts and rusty bolts and an ACTUAL
oscillating multitool to cut them off! Probably the only such example on the ENTIRE
INTERNET! Never watch a prancing pony of pecuniary production parsimony demonstrate
a Fixit Job! For the real thing call a real FIXIT GUY!

Read More



No more digital thermostats!

After 3 super duper programmable wonder boxes which could do everything except run
the furnace we dragged the vintage 1960 era bimetallic analog milk horse out of
retirement and watched in amazement as the house warmed up and cooled down without a hiccup!

The only problem was temperature control.
In the 1960’s no one quibbled about 71/72/73 degrees.

Close enough was good enough.

Enter another fine analog product from yesteryear- the lipstick tube.

With a twist of the dial the temperature can be adjusted in increments of 1/2 degree!

Ma is happy, I am happy, the furnace is happy.

Happy, happy, happy!

By the way, credit for the lipstick tube adjustable switch courtesy of
Fred MacMurray in “Dive Bomber”


Framed pictures and plaques suffer nicks and dings and other damage when they lean
against each other stored on a shelf or worse, stacked flat on top of each other in a pile.

With the variable length, width and thickness of a typical framed picture and
plaque collection storage and transport is an adventure at best.

One solution is to pack them vertically in individual partitions protected from
any potential injury.

This crate made with pegboard sidewalls and adjustable partitions created with
dowels solves many storage and transport requirements.


Hard to believe but true, Raleigh now has an urban deer herd.

These three guys were in the middle of a heavy traffic, high density residential
neighborhood surrounded by road construction and oblivious to dump trucks, city buses,
tree crews and other noise and commotion common to modern city life.

North Clift neighborhood 05/17/16 at about 8 AM.