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THE FAM Felis oR ee ere) NL) Lai, oT a UIT al LUE SWITCH-OPERATED ELECTRICAL OUTLET, ED Ts Cl) ae ROLLER SHADE aay Haiidyman TET oer rary PAGE 72 i A DRY STONE RETAINING WAI 36 GETTING RID OF RUST 62 Turn a pile of feldstone into a beautiful wall—here’s how, ‘Tools, products and techniques to wipe out rust—now. EXTERIOR PAINTING 45 SHUTTER SAVVY 66 Brush up on all the basic steps for a long-lasting paint job. Back in a big way, shutters add a cozy look to any room, WORDLESS WORKSHOP SPECIAL 54 INSTALLING SWITCHED OUTLETS 72 Five great new projects that speak for themselves! Need a handier way to light up a room? Here’s what to do. Departments EDITOR'S LETTER 4 NEW PropucTs 30 Now available—The Family Handyman Help Hints! Glow-in-the dark paint fake rocks that may fol you ASK HANDYMAN © HANDY HINTS: 76 Tempted to tamper with a polarized plug? Don't doit! Vinyl gutters are one answer to workbench clutter. WORKSHOP TIPS 14 woopworKs 78 PVC spring clamps plywood cutting guide; more. AMMissiontyle blanket ches, updated for the 906, USING Toots 18 HANDYMAN GARAGE o1 Straght-a-an-arow results with your chalk box. Here's how to installa headlights-on warning buzzer. HOW A HOUSE WoRKS 22 HOW TO REPAIR ‘Why electrical overloads occur; how to stop them. ‘YOU CAN FIX IT Roller shades ite wacky? Here's how to tame ‘em, TO SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW, CALL 1-800-285-: your aes has caged, plese wite ows see “Subseritons palma three. cover Photography’ Pil Lebeniciner, LA Studs. {TE FAMILY RANDYMAN MARCH HHS 3 Editor’s Letter readers (about 200,000 readers out of you. Find details for ordering them | youre among the 20 percent of our __issues, or call us for copies sent right to million) who consider themselves under “Copies of Past Articles,” right experienced, high-level do-ityour- next door— column three ofthis page, selters, is easy to forget that every _at the bottom, where that information expert was once a beginner. appears each issue. Now, Ihave to let those elite few know that this month's section on house painting is aimed at beginners- Q tuick question: What’s the name of torintermediates rather than at them. the single most popular depart (Otherwise I get leters and phone calls ‘ment in this magazine? ‘grousing about how they already know int: I's been published continuous- allthis stufl. Con! You allstars need ly since our humble magazine began in to give the rookies a break or two!) 1951. Itwas Number One then, and has Don Presty’s article covers the basics stayed there for 45 years. ina straightforward, compact, yet com- Hint: You all write it yourselves—so, plete manner. really, its a dovityourself column inside ‘There's not alot of romance to house a magazine about dovtyourself stu. In painting (that’s putting it mildly), so fac, it's the only column in the maga- set ready for some real work ifyou're zine we staff editors and writers don’t setting this spring aside to paint your write! abode, “Answer: Handy Hints! As doityourself projects go, though, Now you can get all the great ones hhouse painting is pretty easy. Even ‘we've published, plus about 1,000 new beginners pick it up quickly—the learn- ones in our latest book from Reader's ing curve is low. Almost anyone witha Digest, The Family Handyman Helpful will can accomplish the entire job alone, Hints and there's nothing quite like the satis It has great oldies but-goodies, plus faction of seeing your house trans- the book reaches way beyond our typi- formed under your own hands. cal mix of hints to show you some really ‘Need more than basic information? _cool, quick-but complete new projects You have, say, a really sticky problem that qualify for Handy Hints stardom with moisture in the siding? Orlayer ‘cause they're so clever. ‘upon layer of old paint? Mildew and There's also an A to Z guide for recy staining? Wonder ifyou can change _cling stuf into useful household items, from paint to stain? ‘and a complete section of safety hints, Fear not! We're not going to leave Get a copy in bookstores or by call you hanging on for answers to the ques- ing (800) 846-2100 ($25, plus shipping). tions that go beyond the basics. page 53 for a selection ofthe pa ig and painting-related articles we've done in the recent past. You can Took them up in your collection of back We welcome your comments and suggestions. Write: Editor, The Family Cer ne cea a eee en aE EES ‘une No.5 886 ton The Family Handyman® (SS 172 SPS 51550 ah mony eet borcanbied nest Suga, Noe Dre) y Has rv aie i. 7 eatin De ae ‘5 Mincpay MOSS Sond cs ng pst Mae MN ton ca it Patnater Sed ‘Song of adres to Te ary Hacan Snr oe De on Sa I SNOT) {co Subwerpina nthe USA. ts ier an sens, 0 ese), er cate tate USA. reo we S737 erin nein carey Conan OS ron une IZ Pine in the SA pri 18 Home See Peis In Ais ese Uri ato ay an po ‘the Family Handyman in Mandy Hints reo ler HD as Ak Wondyman, Hendymen Garage, How A Houte Works, Seminarin-rn, TH Reports, Using Toot, Video Pit, Wikole House Paning Manvel, Whole House Repair Manuel, Woodworks, Wordless Workshop, Workshop Tipe miu Con Fix Ha adnan Te nan 4 n18011%95 THE FAMILY HANDYMAN Gary Havens Mark Thompson Gres Weigand Spike Crise, Ken Coli, Duane Johnson, Don Pest Donna Wytenbach Bi Faber, Mike Sih, Bob Ungar, Marsa Wisin Taha Emons ‘Ace Wagner Barb Hermann Pal Brand, Dv Rade, Da Sel, Mac Went oni Fiipkoens ‘Shey Jacobsen Debora Palen Clay Thompson, (2) KSLA (ice mal) he Family Handyman 700 Internatio Drive, Sle 950, Minneapolis MN S525; 612) 854000, (800) 285-4961 You canals mal subcrtion order and ‘ter subecriton correspondences ‘The Fal Hanya, Snr Serie Dee Box 521, Haran, 1 51580, Changes fares are ces etronically admit be andl by ‘mil Pleas allow wo issues fr adres change, Fora fe sting and compete information, cl (715) 2475076. Or ite to Box 5305, Salter, MN S-065, Can (21) 247: or send $250 to INDEX, The Fail Hanan, ox SH, Slvater, MIN 5508-06. Ving, MasterCard, Discover ace. ‘The cost is 4.0 each To dot the one you ‘ants arable, cll (715) 217080 o senda ‘rite questo BACK ISSUES, The Family Handyman, How #2405, Slater, IN S508}. ian MaterCard, Dione acest al 612 S5L8615 or send $3.0 fo each (COPIES, The Funly Handyman, 2900 Iteration Drive, Ste 950, Minneapolis, MN 5515, Vien, MasterCard Discover accepted Ask Handyman By FERTILE BRICK PATIO Thave a problem I can’t seem to solve. Every year, moss grows on my brick patio and the surface gets very slippery. The patio is shaded so the sun never hits it directly to stop the ‘growth. What can I do to get rid of the moss? Bradjord D. Smith, Augusta, ME THE MOSS can add charm to the look of a patio, but it can definitely >be hazardous when wet. To get rid ‘of the moss, you'll ned to scrub it using a stiff, non-metallic brush and solution of one part household bleach and two parts water. Before you start scrubbing, put fon some old clothes, rubber gloves and wear safety goggles. Water any surrounding plants first, then cover them with a plastic tarp. Select a cool, overcast day to protect the plants from overheating under the tarp. Scrub the brick or concrete pavers with the solution, then rinse with a garden hose or pressure sprayer, and let them dry. To help keep the bricks free of moisture and slow down the return of the ‘moss, seal the surface witha brick +. They're available at home nters for about $15 a gallon. SHRINKING WOOD Last summer I installed tongue- and-groove pine boards on our fam- ily room walls and finished them with clear polyurethane varnish. Over the winter I noticed that a few of the boards shrank and left small gaps between some of them. Can the wood shrink that much? Will it DAVID RADTKE ‘be okay this summer when the ‘humidity changes again? J. Abbott, Lansing, MI WOOD WILL ALWAYS expand and contract with changes in humidity. In fact, it's not uncommon fora Ix8 pine board to change 1/8 in. or more in width. The tongueand-groove pine was probably not dry enough when you installed it Ifthe wood was stored in a ‘moist area before installation, it could In each issue, staff editors select questions, comments and information for publication in this column. Send your letters to Ask Handyman, The Family Handyman, 7900 International Drive, Suite 950, Minneapolis, MN ‘55425. Sorry, but the volume of mail prevents us from answering your leters individually. We reserve the right to edit for length, have absorbed moisture and swelled. Whenever you plan to install wood paneling or trim, stack it horizontally in the room where il be installed and let itadjust to the conditions there for at least a week. This will ensure a less dra matic change in dimension. Your tongueand-groove boards will ‘most likely not swell enough to close the gaps, but you can adjust the spacing ‘of the boards. Carefully remove a few of the boards atthe problem area and rei. stall them less tightly. You'll need to even out the gap by adjusting the tongues and grooves on the adjoining boards. Ifthe shrinkage was extreme you may have to adda ripped section of tongue-and-groove board in the comer. ‘Because your Michigan winters can be cold, the constant running of your furnace can cause excessive dryness, To counteract the dryness, install a humidifier and run it during the winter. Long periods of low humidity can cause cabinetry and furniture to dry and shrink, a major cause of joint failure BUILT-IN DISHWASHER ra it fe to add a dishwasher in my en. Do I need to change my cabinets to make room for it, or can Poe (18: wive Fon CouPacT MODEL) I modify my existing cabinets? Do I need special plumbing? . Smith, Milwaukee, WI YOU NEED TO be an experienced Di¥er to pull off this job because it requires cabinetry, plumbing and elec- trical work. Here's what to consider: a2 You must have a minimum distance 6f34 in. from the floor to the bottom of the countertop, = The space under the countertop must have a depth of a least 24 in. The width of the opening must be 18 in. for a small dishwasher or 24 in. for a standard model. = YouTl have to remove or modify an existing cabinet to the right or left of your sink base cabinet to make room forthe dishwasher. w= Try to keep the dishwasher adjacent to the sink cabinet because you'll need torun a hot water line and a waste line between the dishwasher and the plumb- ing for the sink. Proximity makes for 8 MAOH 195 THE FAMILY HANDYMAN easier connections = Lyou can't locate the dishwasher next tothe sink, you can install it else- where, but keep in mind, you'll be eat. ing up valuable cabinet space as you run plumbing through it. I'you have a base ment, you can run the plumbing under the floor. A plumber will charge about $250 to do this for you. = Youll need to run a separate elect cal lne directly tothe dishwasher, so you'l need an electrician. Expect to pay ‘about $200, Check with a local electrical inspector and make the hook-ups accord: ing to the manufac- turer's instructions. Ifyou have a 24 or 18tn, wide cabinet next tothe sink, you're one of the lucky ones: if not, you'll have to modify the existing cai or hire a skilled car- penter to doit for you. Afr the cabinet modifications you'l Pract need to connect a separate hot water Tine as shown in Fig. B. You'l also need to.change the drain tailpiece from the sink waste to one that has a drain nipple for the dishwasher drain hose. Also if you have a garbage disposer, you can connect your waste line to it, but first check your disposer instructions You'll also need to drill holes in the side of the cabinet to run the water and waste lines (Fig. B). The electrical line uld come from the back wall near the floor and have about 2 ft of extra length for hook-up. DO-IT-YOURSELF DESIGN I'm interested in designing a deck. Are you aware of any computer soft: ware for designing decks and other home remodeling projects? jeorge Helvick, Apple Valley, MN A NUMBER of programs are available to aid you in your design plans. One called "Design & Build Your Deck” offers a library of decks to choose from point Aun ae we y rt and the ability to alter them to suit your needs. Orif you prefer, you can design ‘your own deck from scratch, This pro- ‘gram shows you your design in 3D and ives you a complete lumber lis. It's ‘compatible with Windows and sells for about $50 at computer software stores. For more information, contact: Books ‘That Work, Dept. TFH, 2300 Geng. Road, Building 3, Suite 100, Palo Alto, (CA.94308; (800) 242-4546. Other programs for home design and remodeling include: = “3D Home Architect” for use with ‘Windows, by Broderbund, Dept. TFH, 500 Redwood Bivd., Novato, CA 94948; (800) 521-6263. About $50. © “Floor Plan Plus 3D,” available for IBM and Mac, by CEI Inc., Dept. TFH, ALLE. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282; (602) 829-9614. About $50 = The "Design Your Own Home” series of programs includes “Landscap- ing,” “Architecture” and “Inter Mac versions are $99 for eack Windows versions are $60 each. The series is by Abracadata Co., Dept. TFH, P.O. Box 2440, Eugene, OR 97402; (600) 451-4871 RECEPTACLE GROUNDING Live in an old house that doesn't have grounded electrical outlets. How do I ground the receptacles without having to go back to the ‘electrical panel with new wires? T. Spady J, Norfolk, VA ADDING A GROUND WIRE to your ‘existing receptacles can be very difficult and is best done by a licensed electri- cian. For an easier way to minimize the tisk of potential shock, the National Flectrcal Code has special guidelines fora situation ike yours. You can install ‘ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI receptacle. Even though the receptacle won't be grounded, it will protect you from electrical shocks. It also has a slot for three-prong plugs, ‘Another advantage to installing a GFCTis that if it’s wired at the first loca- tion where the line comes in from the Clectrical breaker, any “downstream’ receptacles can be replaced with stan- dard three prong receptacles. Remem: ber to label the downstream receptacles with a sticker available at electrical sup- ply retailers, marked “GFCI protected.” or more information, see “How to Install a GFCL,” March "8, p. 6. FLAKY PLASTER ‘Our house was built around the turn of the century and has plaster walls. We started to fix up the base- ‘ment walls by applying joint com- pound over the existing plaster, which is applied directly to the con- crete exterior walls. The plaster had a blistered, chalky residue before wwe started. Now, the blisters have reappeared through the new coat- ing. The problem areas were wet ‘once, but are dry now. What should wwe do to get the walls free of blis- ters and prepared for paint? Larry and Carol Hoffman, Elehorn, NE CM aed STREAKY SHINGLES Thave gray asphalt shingles on my roof, or at least they used to be gray. Now, there are dark streaks ail over my roof. What's causing this? I tried pressure-washing them last year but now the problem is, back, What can I do? 'S. Mahoney, Madison, WI ‘THE DARK STREAKS you describe are ‘most likely algae growth, which can be ‘problem nationwide. The alge ‘appears in black bands leading from the peak to the eaves. Usually you'l find the problem on the most humid side of the roof where there is no direct sun exposure, 10. sot1995 THE FAMILY HANDYHMAN ‘THIS BLISTERED RESIDUE is com- ‘mon on plastered basement foundation walls Often, the plaster was applied directly over the concrete foundation. ‘When exterior moisture worked its way through the foundation to the plaster, a chalky, blistering residue called “efflo- rescence” formed on the surface of the wall. Because ofthis, plastering base ment walls is no longer a recommended practice Your best solution is to construct a ‘separate wall inside the foundation wall as shown in Fig. C. First, clear away any loose plaster using a wire brush. Then, coat the wall with Drylok, or a similar brush- or roller-applied coating, avail able at home centers. After the sealer is dry, build your wall with 2x48 (use a treated wood bottom plate) and insulate between the studs with rigid panel insulation (Styrofoam or Celotex) or fiber ‘las batts. Then installa plastic ‘vapor barrier as shown in Fig. C. Next hang drywall, tape the joints, sand and paint. For more information on basement walls and finishing them, see “Bring Your Basement to Life,” July/ Aug. 90, p.44, and “Drywall Perfection,” April’91,p. 64. By the way, before doing any construction in your basement, crucial to first correct all moisture problems. Look for misdirected rainwater from downspouts or inadequate slop ‘of the ground next to the house. For more information, see “Wet Basements,” June 8, p. 68 If your roof has older galvanized steel roof vents, you may have noticed that the area directly beneath the vents is free of algae growth, This is due to the zine coating on the vent. The obser vation that algae doesn't grow near the inc coating led to the development of a product called Z-Strp. It’s sold at roof ing supply companies (see the Yellow Pages under “Roofing Materials"). The 3in. wide strips, made from a zinc alloy, are nailed across the top ofthe roof near the ridge. It will ost about $60 to protect the average roof. These strips release zinc ions, which are carried down the roof by rainwater and keep the algae from growing. ‘The zinc strips will prevent new streaks, but not get rid of existing ones. You'll need to get on the roof with a secure ladder and clean them with a bleach solution. Ifyou have a steep roof, ‘or are uncomfortable with heights, you ‘could hire a professional roofing con- tractor to clean it It will cost about $300. Protect your plants below the roof with a plastic tarp. Choose a cool day so the plants don’t cook under the tarp. rub the asphalt shingles using a non-metallic brush with a solution of, 1 gal. household bleach, 2-1/2 gals, of water, and 1 cup of ammonia-ree deter gent. Starting at the top and working your way down, pour the solution on an area and scrub it, being careful not to damage the shingles. Clean the roof in ‘sections and rinse it with a garden hose. If your shingles need replacing, com sider a new type of shingles designed to protect against algae growth. The replacement shingle works on the same principle as ZStrip, but instead of zine, ithas copper granules mixed into its surface. This system, developed by 3M, has the advantage of protecting the centre roof. For more information on ‘where to buy copperimpregnated shin Biles, call (800) 4472914, CHIMNEY CAPS I recently found a dead locking my fireplace chimney. What can I do to keep this from happen- ing? Rodman E. Doll, Ann Arbor, MI UNINVITED GUESTS, dead or alive, are never a welcome sight. You can solve this problem, and protect yourself and the animals that fall prey to open chimneys, by installing a spark arrester cap. The caps are easy to install and are made to fita variety of chimney flues ‘They keep birds and other animals from being trapped, as well as protect your roof from sparks escaping through the chimney. You can buy the eaps at most home centers or fireplace accessory stores for about $15 to $30. Another way to keep out pests and drafts is to installa damper that closes atthe top ofthe chimney with a cable control. For information on top dampers, call Chimalator at (612) 88-7274. TH orto» RON CHAMBERLAIN ond D0UG OUDEKEK POLARIZED PLUGS My neighbor and I were talking, about polarized electrical plugs. He ‘says he's been filing down the wide rong of the plug to fit into older receptacles. He says that he’s never had a problem after doing this. Is this okay to do? O. Keith Woltz, Des Moines, IA NO, IT'S NOT. Although your elect equipment would stil operate if you filed down the wide prong to fit in the receptacle, you would be putting your: self and others at risk for a severe, even fatal electrical shock, Only very old wall receptacles and some extension cords do not accept polarized plugs. If your extension cords don't have polarized ends and your elec- trical plug end requires one, get anew cord atthe hardware store. Ifyour elec- trical receptacles won't take polarized plugs, have an electrician update them for you Underwriters Laboratories and the National Electrical Code are very specif: ic about polarized electrical connec tions. Polarized plugs are required on aCe Aerie Tea UNPOLARIZED PLUG PRONGS ane Same Sze RecePrace [POLARIZED PLUG ‘OPENINGS electrical equipment that would be haz: ardous without them. You'l find that ‘ome plugs on electrical equipment aren't polarized, but only when the pment has extra, builtin protection, Workshop Tips BY BRUCE WIEBE CHANGING a WORKMATE PARTNER SHAMPOOEEE TABLE SAW BLADES YOUR Ce PAINTBRUSHES To clean brushes, follow up your solvent or soapy eanup with sham 3s, hair shampoo! It ‘leans out any leftover par ticles and leaves the bris- tles soft and pliable Our thanks to reader Norman W. Biase for this ip, USE ONLY WITH SAW ___UNPLUGGED Changing t ales blades * ANTI-STATIC SAFETY GLASSES Do you have the pesky problem I do—trying to ee through dusty them wel, then rub them with an antistatic clamp to grip the sides of the This two-legged table makes the Black & Decker dryer sheet, like Bounce. Houghton uses a padded!jaw blade while loosening (or tightening) the nut. The sive a firm but scar-free hold on the blade and keep those teeth away’ to exacily the height you need. Use italso as a drafting ‘Thanks to reader from your hand. Be sure you table or outfeed table for power tools. Our thanks to read Rex Amos for showing unplug the saw first. er Gil Di Salle for this multipurpose too. us the light le. Assemble the two “T" Dist won't coat the sur xd screw on a plywood or face as easily, and any that legs in the Workmate, does will low off without beadjusted a fight 114 sUscti95 THE FAMILY MAMDYIMAM RIP STRIPS SAFELY A ROLLING PIN GATHERS NO DUST Heyou have aroling pin thatthe family piemaker doesn't need, reader Bradley Snyder suggest five uses for this har: ‘wood marvel in your shop 1. Make an outfeed support for your table saw. The rollers pedrilled for a threaded ro, This push board makes cutting multiple thin strips on a table saw faster and safer. 2. Cut a4in. long piece from the It’s a piece of particleboard 6 in. wide by 24 to 30 in, Jong, with an upright handle, rolling pin, drill a hole in it for a handle, and a “hee!” pusher screwed onto the tailing end. Set the fence 6 in. from the blade and you've gota dandy mallet. (Plug the plus the desired width of the str ting. Place the board you're cutting hole with a do alongside the particleboard so its trailing right-hand corner catches on the “heel,” 3. Crosscut 3/4-n. sections to use as ‘and push the board through. The push board keeps your fingers away from the wheels for homemade toys, blade, and helps you get a clean, accurate cut. ‘4. Turn tinto a lamp pedestal. The Our thanks to industrial arts teacher John Nelson for this terrific tip, center is already drilled for a cord, '5. Use the rolling pin's handles as han- dles for files and rasps. PVC SPRING CLAMPS WAX PAPER LUBRICANT Rub wax paper over the working sur faces and fences of your table sav, joint er or router table. Wood will glide smoothly, and the tables will be rust- proofed. Thanks to Bradley Snyder for this idea too, rata Kryou're ever ina pinch for spring clamps, reader John Larson advises making them yourself fom short sec tions of PVC pipe. Use 11/2. to Sin. da. pipe, cut into 1-1/2 in, wide sections slit the sections across the width, They'l give 8to 10 bs. of clamp. ing pressure for all kinds of gl ing and holding tasks, If you have a shop tip you'd ec Pe ans Cee Tee) Caeeee a ees Correa Td Poe ae paaecremiaasey IKE CARLSEN STRAIGHT-AS-AN-ARROW RESULTS WITH A CHALK BOX Reach into 100 carpenters’ toolboxes and 99 times you'll emerge with an odd, pear-shaped litle tool called a chalk box. This hand-sze tool doesn’t ham. ‘mer, cut, drill or measure, yet it’s indis- pensable to pros—and can prove equal ly invaluable to DlYers. A chalk box (also called a chalk line or chalk line reel is simply a container holding a reel of string and some pow dered chalk. The chalk clings to the string as it’s pulled from the case, but releases when the string is pulled taut and snapped against a surface (opening photo). This leaves a long, straight line you can use as a guide for cutting, nail: ing, straightening or positioning. A chalk box and bottle of powdered ‘chalk are inexpensive (around $5 for the pair at any hardware store). They're ‘easy fo use, versatile and just may take the place of a lot of bigger, clumsier, less accurate tools you're now using. Here’s how to work with them, FEEDING YOUR CHALK BOX Except for antique oF spe- » Ask for Gives home a more spacious feel without sacrificing privacy. Swing doors take up 8 - 10 sq. ft. around an entry. Pocket Doors use no floor space around an entry. Johnson's exclusive design eliminates *stuck" doors, allows door removal for painting after walls are in place. Swing Door Pocket Door takes up8-10.sq,R. ses no floorspace. Call 1-800-837-5664 for a FREE ideas brochure. Engineered Excellence P.O. Box 1126 Elkhart, IN 46515, How To Repair DON PRESTLY Here's how: CLEANING A COMPUTER KEYBOARD Immediately turn the key board over and shake out as {will happen event But when you do, don't ‘much ofthe liquid as poss You're going to spill soda panic. Kyou act quickly, you ble (Fig. A) or some other liquidon should be able to clean it Next, use a can of com your computer keyboard. yourself ae) pressed air available at photo supply stores and com: puter stores) to blow out any remaining liquid (Fig. B) Hold the ean as close to the keyboard as possible so the liquid is blown out. If the spilled liquid remains and a then evaporates, any sugar willbe left behind—yuck! Now, go right back to work to see how the key board functions. Ifthe spill was small or it was a non: sugar beverage, the first two steps may be all thats need: ced to get the keyboard back tonormal, However, you won't know for sure for about ahalf hour since it takes, that long for small drops to evaporate amy Ifthe keys still stick, use a screwdriver or a computer chip puller (if you own one) toremove the key cap from the sticking key post and mechanism (Fig. C) Then, use a foamrubber board around the key post ig. D). Swabs and contact cleaner are sold at electron ies dealers, such as Radio ] Shack, and computer stores Finally, replace the cleaned key cap by placing it ‘on the key post and pressing straight down, CAMCORDER TAPE DISTORTION fe have a six-year-old Sony ‘8mm camcorder (Model when I play a tape through it. Ido not, however, see any problem through the viewfinder when I'm recording. I played the most recent- ly recorded tape through a friend’s cameorder and I saw that the lines were recorded on the tape. IFT play an older tape through my cam- corder, it appears distorted. ‘Two repair shops told me that the heads need cleaning, so I tried two different cleaners—no luck. Both shops have a policy to go ahead and fix whatever is wrong ifthe cost of the repair is under $175, but 1 don’t want to spend more than $100. Do you think my camcorder has lived out its useful life? 'M. F, Cohoes, NY ‘THE DISTORTION you deseribe is, ‘generally caused by the tape guides of the camcorder becoming loose. They need to be tightened and realigned. So ‘yes, your camcorder is repairable, but the service should be performed by a technician since the internal parts are very small and easily damaged. After all, a camcorder is really just a minia- ture VCR, and as such, is just as com- plex. Regarding the cost, $125 to $175 is not out of ine for this type of repair. Before you have your camcorder repaired, however, you should know that this model had a lot of mechanical problems and required the replacement ‘of many parts. So, you may want to con- sider trading itin, if possible, and apply- ing the cost of the repair tothe price of ‘anew camera, TRH For More ADVERTISER INFORMATION CALL... ANDERSEN | NORDIC TRACK'S winoows WALKFIT 1-800-426-4261 | 1-800-441-7512 as ‘ext. 3XNAS 1.800675-5413 | PEACHTREE Grizztyimponts |, WINDOWS. Fast i 1-800-525-4777 | PELLA WINDOWS West 1-800-54-PELLA 1-800-541-5537 | guygerten ‘MARVIN WINDOWS RETRACTABLE 1800;346-5128 | AWNINGS woroic Teac | 1-800-876-2340 1-800-441-7891 UGL ext, T1945 | 1-8O0UGL-LABS Haiidlyman New TRIMMER ON WHEELS! Rolls “light as a feather’ on two BIG WHEELS! ners, Plus MOWS everthing From whole lawns (even wet?) to ough waisthih growth with ease! 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Call tol-free for a FREE brochure 1-800-356-8890 iy ianhus Basen P.O, Bx S670_Maewols, MH Yee Pnae vn se ny TREE JULIANA Grenhouae brochure BY SPIKE CARLSEN ROLLER SHADE TUNE-UP My cxrest memory of aller shades from anol Disney extoon Pio gar Toped into one fl peed the shade Inped him up, pun im crazily, then lefthim horizontally bound, et pro- trading rom one end head om the other, Hopefully, your ade protems ifthe cot part of your shade lok egal, yest eolace Prato through and atthe same de inesese hat ancr moses anteae TAKE down the roller, removing the spring end from the slotted bracket first. Unroll the shade ond remove the tape or sto- ples securing i to the roller. material (about $2 per sq.ft) is made from multiple layers that block almost all igh hts or day- light. Light-fitering material (costing slightly less) is a medium-weight mate- rial that comes in a wider variety of colors. These two materials (and replacement rollers) can be found at specialty drape and curtain stores. Lightweight standard material ean often be found at hardware stores and hhome centers CUT the shode ‘material to sing a straight edge ond sharp wilt lef. cor the shade 1 in. narrower than the overall length ofthe roller (end-of- in to end-of- Pin). Cor the Shade 12 in. longer than the ‘overall height of the window. ScREWANT SY BUTTON Adjust @ shade that only par- tally retraets by lowering it halfway, removing it from the brackets, and rolling it back up by hand, then remounting the roller. ‘Adjust @ hyperactive roll by removing the shade from the brackets, unrolling it halfway, then remounting it. TRH APPLY double- faced tape, lay the bottom latin place, then fold the material back ‘onto itself. ATTACH the screw-in button ‘and drawstring to the underlying wood slat, then remount the new shade.