Popular Mechanics: The 110 Best DIY Tips Ever


One can also use one’s hand as a magnifier by looking through a small hole created by your first finger and thumb. This can be used to read the small print on the back of headache remedies, or so I am told.

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I found that my astigmatism could be corrected by peering through the tiny gap between fingers, as the diffraction creates a cylindrical lens. Rotate the fingers to find the best lens angle.


The best tip on the page is in the comments:

Press print on the top of this page (below the title) to see all tips at once

edit: 'cept I don’t see that button…

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Finally, a way to combat the still rampant problem of thieves who steal milk bottles that have been delivered to your doorstep!




Their first tip reminds me of a tip my grandpa taught me for slightly smaller (but still too big) screw holes in wood: use a wooden matchstick or two to fill in the space. Break off the flammable tip, of course.

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Yeah, I was always taught that trick too. It’s definitely been helpful many times.

Tapered-point bamboo chopsticks make great filler for chewed-up screw holes in wood. Coat 'em with wood glue (or Elmer’s), hammer 'em in as far as they’ll go, then cut 'em off level with the surface with end-nippers or dykes or some such. (Fancy folks use flush-cut saws.)

If the hole is larger, you may need to trim some of the chopstick tip off to get the size of cone-shaped wedge you want. You want it to wedge in before it bottoms out.

Makes a really strong screw-hole plug.

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That pinhole trick is one I figured out as a young child. I would make a small hole with my fingers, so I could read a clock that was far away. That’s how my parents figured out I was farsighted.

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the bolt + two nuts to make an impromptu wrench was also very clever.

These are the same idea, minus requiring using your hands.

Soap on screw threads…works, but not a good idea. Soap films absorb moisture…your screws will corrode. Better to use some candle wax.

You can simply use that piece of wood, no nail required. Once you learn the “lighter trick” in college, the concept of a specific bottle-opening tool is rendered redundant. I’ve been using the handle of my closed pocket knife for years. I had an English friend that used his teeth, really should’ve had him teach me.

Or, you know, screws with a corrosion inhibiting coating. Like almost all of them (except those damn ubiquitous drywall screws.)

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Heh, yeah, I used to do that teeth opening trick. I can show you the evidence sometime.


I’m guessing Popular Mechanics removed it after that comment appeared. Gotta drive up those page views!

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