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Family Handyman Ultimate 1 Day Projects
Family Handyman Ultimate 1 Day Projects
Family Handyman Ultimate 1 Day Projects
Ebook516 pages2 hours

Family Handyman Ultimate 1 Day Projects

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About this ebook

From the experts at The Family Handyman (the #1 home improvement magazine) come more than 100 do-it-yourself projects ideal for every homeowner or apartment dweller—each can be completed in a half day or less

Make big improvements in just a few hours, indoors or out! Small, simple, inexpensive home improvements can do wonders for any house. If you can spare a day or two, you can boost your home’s curb appeal, beautify your backyard or add convenience and style to any room. And it doesn’t require special skills or experience. Best 1-Day Projects shows you how, with detailed step-by-step instructions and hundreds of how-to photos. With advice and tips from our team of home improvement pros, even a beginner can tackle kitchen and bath upgrades, simple carpentry and landscaping projects, even basic plumbing jobs. Here are just a few of the easy, high-impact projects you’ll find inside: -Paint like a pro -Build simple, stylish shelving for any room -Make a backyard path the easy way -Eliminate garage clutter with an ingenious storage system -Double your bathroom storage space -Install a new faucet, toilet, storm door, shelving and more!
Release dateJun 2, 2015
Family Handyman Ultimate 1 Day Projects
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    Book preview

    Family Handyman Ultimate 1 Day Projects - Editors of Family Handyman


    Publisher’s Note


    Collectibles shelf

    Bookcase built by two

    Get the job done faster: Sliding compound miter saw

    Shoe shelves

    Simple bin tower

    Suspended shelf

    Kitchen and bath

    Regrout a shower

    Hide valuables in your kitchen

    Glass panels for cabinet doors

    Metal panels for cabinet doors

    Install a faucet

    Reverse-osmosis water filter system

    Choose a faucet you'll love

    Recessed lights upgrade

    3 one-day vanity upgrades

    Simple bathroom cabinet

    Garage and shop

    Upcycled router table

    Table saw sled

    Drill press upgrades

    Drum sander table

    Drill press table

    Garage storage wall

    Outdoor projects

    Mix-and-match planters

    Build a paver path

    Simple garden archway

    Container water gardens

    Pre-season snow blower maintenance

    Make a gravel path

    Self-watering planter

    Rebar plant cage

    Low-upkeep mailbox

    Summer lounge chair

    Bonus Section:

    One-Hour Gifts

    Coat hooks for DIYers

    Gutter deck planter

    Walnut knife rack

    Wren house

    Swedish boot scraper

    Sliding bookend

    Turned pen holder

    Petite shelves

    10 big-impact improvements

    Add an outdoor outlet

    Get the job done faster: Bigger cover plates

    Install a programmable thermostat

    Pull the wrinkles out of your carpet

    Hang a flat-panel TV

    Upgrade your car audio

    Sealcoat the driveway

    Install a new sink

    Get the job done faster: Repairing water damage

    Restore a garage floor

    Install a new storm door

    Replace a toilet

    Special Section: Painting and staining

    Pro secrets for a speedy, great-looking paint job

    Simple stenciling

    Refinish furniture without stripping

    7 painting basics

    Paint yellowing appliance handles

    Removing paint drips

    A NOTE TO OUR READERS: All do-it-yourself activities involve a degree of risk. Skills, materials, tools and site conditions vary widely. Although the editors have made every effort to ensure accuracy, the reader remains responsible for the selection and use of tools, materials and methods. Always obey local codes and laws, follow manufacturer instructions and observe safety precautions.




    Collectibles shelf

    Bookcase built by two

    Get the job done faster: Sliding compound miter saw

    Shoe shelves

    Simple bin tower

    Suspended shelf

    Collectibles shelf

    Build it before lunch—spray on the finish after dinner


    Time: 4 hours

    Skill level: Intermediate

    Sure, you can buy a shelf similar to this one for about $30 at a discount store, but you won’t be able to choose the size or finish. We designed ours with a wider top to hold vases and other collectibles, but you can make yours bigger or smaller. Plus, you can finish it to match your room. The shelf is versatile and goes together fast—it would make a great gift. Made from cherry, our shelf cost about $70. It would cost about half that in oak or pine.

    Tips for building the shelf

    • You’ll need a miter saw and a table saw for this project. A finish nailer isn’t necessary but is very helpful.

    • If you don’t have a finish nailer, drill pilot holes for the finish nails to avoid splitting the wood.

    • You can use scraps of less expensive lumber for the base (E) and cleats since these aren’t visible.

    • Glue the parts together. Because you can use fewer nails, you’ll have fewer nail holes to fill.

    We finished this cherry shelf with a coat of American walnut stain (test the color on a scrap) and three coats of spray satin lacquer. Photo 5 shows how to mount the cleat that supports the shelf. Then you just drop the shelf over the cleat to hang it on the wall.

    Figure A

    Materials List

    Cutting List

    The Cutting List gives finished lengths for the top, front, sides, cleats and bottom. You can cut these to the exact width and length listed and nail them together. The lengths listed for the 3/4-in. x 1-in. bands and the 3/4-in. cove moldings are oversized. You'll mark these pieces in place for an exact fit (Photo 1).


    Mark trim parts in place.Cut the 1-in. band and the cove moldings extra long. Fit the miter on one end, then mark the opposite end for cutting.


    Center the top. Measure the overhang on each end and adjust the top until it’s centered.


    Nail on the top. Glue the band and nail through it into the top.


    Install the cove moldings. Add the 1/4-in. spacer and bottom board. Then finish up by fitting and nailing the cove molding.


    Mount the cleat. Level the cleat and screw it to the wall. You can locate studs or use drywall anchors.


     For more great shelving projects, search for shelves.

     Learn how to make perfect miters. Type miter into the search box.

     For tips on wood finishing, type wood finish into the search box.

    Bookcase built by two

    Build it in a day with your favorite young woodworker


    Time: 1 day

    Skill level: Beginner

    Here’s a simple project that gives you a chance to pass some of your woodworking skills on to the next generation. Any kid will love spending the day with you assembling this bookcase. And by the end of the day, your helper will have hands-on experience with several power tools, plus an attractive bookcase to show off.

    The bookcase parts are all standard dimensional lumber that you can find at any home center. The total cost of the knotty pine and other supplies we used was about $40. We joined the shelves and legs with biscuits. If you don’t own a biscuit joiner but still want to build this project, you can simply nail or screw the parts together and fill the holes. We used a table saw to cut the 1-1/2-in. square legs from 2x4s and a router with a 45-degree chamfer bit to bevel the edge of the top. If you don’t have a table saw or router, you can just use stock 2x2s for the legs and leave the edge of the top square.

    Getting started

    Use the Cutting List as a guide for cutting all the parts. The next step is to mark the shelf positions on the shelf sides. It’s important to keep track of the orientation of the parts. For reference, we placed a piece of masking tape on the top of each side, and on the top side of each shelf. Use a framing square to draw lines indicating the bottom of each shelf (Photo 1).

    No need to mark the location of biscuits on the shelves and sides. Instead make marks on the scrap of wood used as a fence. Draw marks to indicate the outside edges of the 1x8 shelves and sides, and mark 1-3/4 in. in from each edge to indicate the center of the biscuits. To use the fence, line up the outside marks with the edges of the part you’re cutting slots in. And then line up the center mark on the biscuit-joining tool with the marks for the center of the biscuits (Photos 3 and 4).

    To mark the legs and sides for biscuits, set the legs in position and make pairs of marks that line up with each other on the legs and sides (Photo 2). Put a piece of masking tape on the top of each 2x2 leg, and keep this facing up when you cut the biscuit slots. Photo 7 shows how to bevel the legs.

    Cut slots for the biscuits

    Biscuit joiners have a flip-down fence that can be used to position the slots, but instead we’re showing a method that allows you to reference the slots from the base of the biscuit joiner. Photos 3 – 6 show the techniques. For a more detailed description of this method, go to familyhandyman.com and type biscuit joints into the search box.

    Older kids and teens won’t have any trouble mastering the biscuit joiner. With a little coaching, they’ll be cutting slots like a pro. What’s trickiest about cutting the slots is keeping track of the orientation of the parts. Just remember to keep the masking tape facing up, with one exception: The slots on the 1x8 top should be cut with the tape side down.

    Glue the bookcase together

    Here’s where a helper really comes in handy. You have to work fast to spread the glue in the biscuit slots and onto the biscuits (Photo 8), and then assemble the parts before the glue starts to swell the biscuits (Photo 9).

    Start by arranging all the parts on your work surface. Use a flux brush to spread the glue in the slots, and onto the biscuits after they are installed. Any small brush will work, though. When you have everything assembled, install clamps to hold the sides tight to the shelves while the glue dries. Check by using a framing square or by measuring diagonally from opposite corners to make sure the bookcase is square. Adjust it if needed. Then tighten the clamps. This is a good time to take a break while you let the glue dry for about an hour.

    Build the top

    To minimize potential cupping, we decided to make the top by gluing two pieces of 1x6 together rather than using a solid board. Choose a straight piece of 1x6 with a sharp, clean edge. Cut the pieces long and trim the top to length after you glue the two parts together. For pro tips on gluing boards edge-to-edge, go to familyhandyman.com and enter edge gluing in the search box. Cut biscuit slots in the sides of the two 1x6s to help hold them in alignment while installing the clamps. Glue and clamp the two 1x6s. Then let the glue set up about 30 minutes before routing the edge (Photo 10).

    Add the legs, top and back

    The legs are held to the sides of the bookcase with biscuits. When attached, the legs should protrude 1/2 in. past the outside, and overlap the shelves by 1/4 in. Glue in the biscuits, spread a line of glue along the edge of the side, and clamp the legs to the sides (Photo 11). Let the glue set for about 30 minutes.

    Drill four 3/8-in. holes at the corners of the bookcase top. The holes are oversized to allow the top to expand and contract. Attach the top with four 1-1/4-in. screws and 1/4-in. washers.

    Complete the bookcase by screwing the four 1x6s to the back of the unit (Photo 12). Drill 1/8-in. pilot holes for the screws to avoid splitting.

    A little final sanding and the bookcase will be ready for finish. Wipe-on poly or oil finish are both good options.

    Figure A

    Materials List

    Cutting List


    Mark both sides at once. Lay the bookcase sides together to mark the shelf locations. The layout marks have to be perfect, so closely supervise this step.


    Mark the biscuit slots. Make pairs of corresponding marks on the legs and sides. Later you’ll center the biscuit joiner on the marks to cut slots that align.

    Four biscuit joiner techniques


    Slot the end of the side. Clamp the fence to the work surface and butt the end of the shelf to it. Then center the biscuit joiner on the mark and cut the slot. Repeat for the second slot.


    Cut slots for the shelves. Line up the 2x2 jig with the edge of board mark and clamp it. Center the biscuit joiner on the center mark on the fence and cut the slot. Repeat for the second slot.


    Cut slots for the legs. Line up the center of the biscuit joiner with the marks on the edge of the side and cut the slots. Make sure both the shelf side and the biscuit joiner are tight to the work surface when you cut the slot.


    Position the slot with a spacer. Place a scrap of 1/2-in. plywood or particleboard on the work surface. Butt the leg against it and rest the biscuit joiner on the spacer while you cut the slots. The 1/2-in. spacer will automatically position the slots.


    Bevel the legs with a simple jig. Screw two scraps to a

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