Tip Trader: Saving Brass Screws and More

Handyman Club members share their home and workshop hints.

Brass-Screw Saver
If you’ve ever stripped the head while driving a brass screw, you’ll appreciate this old trick that Club member Rich Riman of Randolph, Massachusetts, reminded us of. Before driving the brass screw, first drill a pilot hole; then drive a steel screw of the same size into the pilot hole. When you remove the steel screw, the hole will be ready to accept the softer brass screw.

Smart Oil Conservation
Club member Gordon Goebel of Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania, used a 21-in. length of 1-1/2-in.-dia. SCH 40 PVC pipe to create this oil-bottle drain manifold. By upending almost-empty oil bottles into the manifold, Gordon not only makes use of every last bit of oil in the bottle but also makes sure that as little oil residue as possible ends up in a landfill or at a recycling station.

Spark-Plug Strategy
When Club member Michael Gilfilian of Hamlin, New York, was changing the spark plugs in his son’s car, he had a difficult time installing the new plugs without cross-threading them into the hard-to-reach rear cylinders. His solution: Use a length of old spark-plug cable as an extension to thread the new plugs in place. Once the plugs were loosely installed, he could pull off the length of cable and use a spark-plug socket and an extension to finish the job.

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