Customize your Switch and Outlet Cover Plates with Crazy glue, Baking Soda, Sand, and Paint.


Super glue, (cyanoacrylate) and baking soda create an active compound and superior adhesive. The outlet cover on the right has multi layers of glue, soda and sand which accounts for the random, but interesting texture. The switch cover on the left is a slightly damaged one which we will use for this experiment.




Gloves should be worn for this because the glue is quick drying and very difficult to remove from the skin. Begin by cleaning and drying the surface of the cover. Apply a thin coat of super glue to the surface; not the entire surface but approximately a quarter of it. Slightly dust the area with baking soda while being careful not to let it build up in any one area. Apply more super glue and sprinkle fine sand over the section. It is important to remember that the glue dries quick and speed is of the essence.

The picture on the left is the same switch cover with a layer of glue, soda and sand. It can be touched up, painted, or used the way it is – depending on your preference.




The same gold leaf paint was used to provide a matching mate for the outlet cover. A clean piece of foam was used for this application. Now we have a pair of two solid gold colored plastic cover plates with an interesting texture. Naturally, any color could be used for a finish. The super glue/baking soda compound provides a solid medium for any quality paint to adhere to.

Each cover plate cost less than two dollars to decorate and took about a half hour to complete.The only downside I can anticipate is that they would be very difficult to clean.

Customize your Switch and Outlet Cover Plates with Crazy glue, Baking Soda, Sand, and Paint.

Chipped Tub Repair

Chipped Tub Remedy:


In spite of its superior resilience, porcelain enamel can become scuffed when it comes into contact with material such as metal, ceramic, and glass. In many cases, chipping occurs during plumbing repairs and bathroom rehabs. The best way to fix a chip is to not let the tub get chipped in the first place, but unfortunately, stuff happens. When it does, the chip can easily be repaired with an epoxy based formula designed for this purpose.









Things you Will Need:




  1. Mixer and Paddle: (empty water bottle, scrap of foam)
  2. Epoxy enamel
  3. Sandpaper, (medium-course 40)
  4. Heat gun or Hairdryer
  5. Latex Gloves



Lightly sand the wounded area; being careful not to sand beyond the existing enamel. Clear away any remaining dust with a clean cloth. Apply heat for a few seconds from a distance of no less than ten inches.


First coat:




Mix epoxy according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For a chip this size, (roughly 1” sq.) only a few drops of pigment and resin are needed. Apply a thin coat of the formula using the brush applicator provided or a suitable facsimile. (A piece of scrap packaging foam was used for this repair.)

Allow approximately two hours before applying the second coat. Most formulas work best when a second coat is applied while the first coat is still tacky. When the epoxy begins to dry, it will become milky and transparent as shown in the photo above.

  • When finished, discard the mix- it is not recommended for re-use.


Second Coat:




Apply heat for a few seconds; maintaining a safe distance to avoid heat damage.  Create another mix of the epoxy and gently apply over the first coat. The second pass can be a little thicker than the first, but not too much; for a liberal amount would result in an ugly drip mark. A third pass is usually needed for a general enamel touch up, so there is no need to lay the epoxy on too thick.

Tape a warning indicator to avoid accidental scuffing of the new repair. If you are in the middle of multiple bathroom projects, (cleaning, grout, caulk, painting, curtain rod, ect.), it can get stepped on very easily. If there is no tape available, a magic marker will suffice.

Repeat touch up procedure as needed. (3-4 total passes is the norm.)


Thank you for viewing this page, and we hope to see you again soon.

Dan Heslin





Chipped Tub Repair

Wire Splicing Safety Precautions


The average Fire Marshall may not approve of repairing electrical appliances by means of wire splicing and electrical tape, but people do it anyway. Most tradesmen, hobbyists and brainiacs can usually execute a competent wire splice, but it is always important to consider specific facts such as: what the device is for, if it is stationary,and what the wattage rating is. Appliances which consume high wattage can contract enough heat at the point of splice to melt ordinary electrical tape.



High wattage appliances such as heaters draw a lot of current from the power source thus creating excessive heat on the wires. This heat tends to accumulate at the area which has been spliced along with other junctions. When splicing wires together on high wattage appliances, mere electrical tape is simply not safe. The heat at the spliced junction will cause the rubber tape to melt which can, in turn, cause the two wires, (hot and neutral), to arch, throw a breaker/fuze,  or cause a fire or shock.

If you currently have any heaters running with a basic electric tape splice, you should up- grade to a wire nut or butt connector to avoid  potential hazards.




A butt connecter (left) is typically used on slim wire, but is available for 16# and 18# AWG. The  ends of the two wires are twisted with a lineman’s pliers, or substitute tool, and fit within the connector. The butt connectors are then crimped with a tool to ensure a good connection. There should be little or no exposed wire outside the connector.

A standard wire nut (right) is simpler and doesn’t require crimping. The wires are twisted clockwise as the threads within the wire nuts also clockwise.

Electric tape shold be used over both type of connectors to enure a safe connection.

Thank you for reading, and remember; be smart-be safe!






Wire Splicing Safety Precautions

Worn out Screw Holes on Steel Door frame.



door1      This 32’ X 80” solid wood door with steel plating is known to be at least forty years old- according to the tenant. Throughout the course of the years, the concentrated stress on the top hinge had caused the wood inside the frame to split into pieces. An attempt had been made to repair the door with plastic anchors and epoxy, but the empty cavity offered no surface for the screws to bite.

As a last ditch effort to temporarily rectify the door so it will close without a major hassle, a small piece of lumber was installed behind the hinge. Replacing the entire frame is an extensive repair, however extracting and replacing the section of splintered wood within the frame is ordinarily a neat and easy task.




The remnants of the old wood was removed with a carpenter’s chisel. When the cavity was cleared,  a section of douglas fir was milled on a table saw to achieve a tight fit within the frame. The surface behind the frame is brick; a hammer drill with tap com fasteners was used to mount the customized nub. A strong construction adhesive was also used.




1” course screws were fastened in all four locations. If they become loose and over the next few years, wider thread screws can be used for replacement.

There is certainly no guarantee that the repair will hold up for the next forty years, but the door should function well enough- at least until the inevitable replacement of the ancient fossil hammered out relic of an apartment entry door and frame.





Worn out Screw Holes on Steel Door frame.

Wood Putty and Wood Glue Make a Formidable Compound

Wood glue with diluted water can enhance a wood putty formula in many ways. It can increase adhesion, tensile strength, and flexibility. The formula won’t shrink and is less likely to crack. Another benefit is that the compound is paintable/stainable.

Simply add wood glue to the mixing water and stir thoroughly. The ratio can vary, but you can easily judge your mix by the color and consistency of the water.

After the glue-water is stirred, add the powdered putty and mix well.


The oak saddle which divides the wood floor from the ceramic tile is sitting on an un-level surface. The saddle had to be raised an inch and a half on the left side in order to be flush with the tile. After some wood shims and finishing nails were installed, the wood putty/wood glue mix was used to fill the entire gap between the oak divider and the floor. (Tape was used to mask it off.)

The saddle and the wood putty were both stained with the same color: Golden Oak.

When the heavy-set new tenants moved in, they initially gave the whole apartment the stomp test. So far the repair has held up.


Wood Putty and Wood Glue Make a Formidable Compound

Annoying Doorknob Holes

A Quick fix for those annoying doorknob holes

It makes no sense to spackle over a doorknob hole when the metal knob continues to make contact with the soft gypsum. This problem can be easily rectified with a few common items likely to be found on the bottom of any average tool box: An  anchor, a pan head screw, and a flat washer.


Simply ream a hole at the exact location where the knob strikes the wall with a drill bit or hand tool. The diameter of the hole should accommodate the anchor being used. The anchor should not be loose, nor should it be too snug. You want to be able to hand push ninety percent of the anchor into the hole and tap the remaining section flush with the wall using a tool, or piece of scrap wood.

If you wish to paint the wall guard to match the existing walls, be sure to use a metal based primer.

*  If the knob strikes the wall guard with excessive force,  that knob is more likely to sustain damage from impact. It is recommended that you avoid slamming doors whenever possible.



Annoying Doorknob Holes

12 V. PV panel W. Batteries


This is a 20 w. 12 v. poly crystalline PV panel, the dimensions are roughly 14×36 (inches). The two story, flat roof building provides an ideal location for the solar panel. The panel is slightly elevated to provide air flow across the bottom, to prevent overheating. An 18 AWG wire is fed to the backyard of the building, where it  charges a 12 volt battery during daylight hours.





The battery above is an 18 volt lith-ion, salvaged from a Ryobi cell that went bad.  I’m able to make use of the  cells because the problem was in the circuitry.  Although it’s rated at 18 V., it stills charges to near full capacity with the 12 V solar panel. I always have the option to remove a a cell to bring the rating down if it fails to hold a charge satisfactorily. The V. rating was recorded during overcast; in full sunlight it peaks at 22 V.


This  LED snake light was a freebie. No one else wanted it because the base was cracked. I installed a new base from a salvaged piece of limestone. With a little bit of drilling, and some simple hardware, I managed to retrofit the lamp to accommodate a 12 V battery. (I removed the original circuitry which rectified house hold AC current to DC current. After that I was good to go.)  This battery is a 12 V. nickle-cadmium, with 2 A. capacity.




After a few initial experiments, I realized I needed to add a current limiting diode to the positive lead on the desklight, due to extensive overheating. The 12 V. battery actually melted the plastic shroud clear off the lamp, but with the limiter in place, I can even use the 18 V. cell without further damage from excessive heat.


I’ve had the system together for a few weeks, and am very satisfied with the results. On a sunny day, the batteries power the lamp for approximately half the time it takes to charge them. Ten hours charge equals five hours of light. Although it’s a crude system that surely lacks tight efficiency, the charge rate is greater than I thought it would be.










12 V. PV panel W. Batteries