Neat household MacGyver tricks you've learned

Poppy

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Got gutter nails that keep working loose.
Rubber cement. Fills the gap, glues them and remains flexible year round.

Got tree roots trying to enter your sewer: pour bleach in the bath drain a couple of times a month. Do it last thing in your day so it can set in the outgoing pipe overnight.
*
I have replaced those nails with screws in the past, but I'd be interested in trying the rubber cement trick.

I've used copper sulfate granules for roots.
 

orbital

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+


EDIT:

ordered some carbon fiber cloth for homemade card holder.

carbon fiber cloth = faraday cage
 
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Poppy

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Not so much a McGyver trick, but I found that using our carpet shampooer much better, quicker, and easier for cleaning our tile floors, than pushing dirty water around with a mop, and then re-doing it with a clean wet sponge.

With the shampooer, - wet, scrub, and vacuum it up in one easy pass.

At my sister's house, we bought a Hoover PowerDash for tile, or hardwood floors. Works great!
 

bykfixer

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- I wanted an over the seat hard hat hanger for my work vehicle but they were $35. For that? It's 4 wires bent into a U shape, are you kidding me? A wire coat hanger later and I now have 4 hard hat hangers, two holding helmets and two holding other stuff.
- Also for those with dogs in the home or who have clogged vacuum hoes issues, a coat hanger straightened out with a hook shaped end makes a great hose clearer. When that paper clip you know you should have picked up but decided to suck it up instead gets cross ways in the hose the hook on the end plucks it out.
- I'm trying to remember why I duct taped a toothbrush to the end of a coat hanger but whatever it was that did the trick too.
- Coat hanger drain cleaner for when hair stops the P trap.
- Old used toothbrushes are also wonderful tools. All kinds of uses for those things.
- If you end up cleaning gutters at neighbors house an old spatula will shovel the muddy goo out nicely. Just put duct tape across the slats of the spatula if it has them. Need to reach out father so you don't have to keep climbing the ladder? Duct tape a coat hanger to that sucker.

A few years back my work sent me to a class for manager training. It was the sort of class for would-be bosses and (in my view) politicians who put on dog and pony shows for their company. I went to add the course certificate to my resume'. Anyway one excersize was to stand in front of a crowd and describe an object assigned to you as you approached the podium for one minute without saying "um" or "you know". The crowd was issued a bunch of pennies to toss at a metal bucket each time the speaker said either. Sometimes the sound of pennies hitting the bucket was deafening. But this one fellow from Pakistan had grasped the English language very well yet did not know some words yet like "um" and "you know" so his speech was noticeably quiet. When it was my turn the instructor said "your object is the coat hanger". Near the end the crowd tossed pennies at the bucket when I said "and you know what else it can be used for? Um, hanging a coat on." At lunch that day people were asking me what else I had ever used a coat hanger for. lol
 
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Lynx_Arc

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I built an antenna out of coat hangers and some house wire, a board with screws and a piece of house wire. I bent a coat hanger to hold my 20v weedeater on the side of my shelf in the garage. You can double up coat hanger wire to hold more weight if needed. I also use leftover bread ties for wall wart cables and USB adapters and other cables. If you don't mind green you can buy rolls of garden ties and cut off what length you need to tie things up with. I've get shelves made of shoe box lids that slide on plastic paper in/out holders stacked up 10 units high that I store stuff in like USB cables and adapters and audio cables and so on. You can also use plastic desk supply trays that hold pencils and other items on these shelves. I even clipped a cable on the bottom edge of a 6 foot table that has a USB LED light module in it with a switch that I can reach under my table and turn it on to see things I store back under the table itself. The light is powered by a 2600mah single cell power bank that I recharge about once every year or two when needed.
 

Poppy

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I've used a fishing weight, some mason's line, and a coat hanger, to fish a variety of wires/cables through a wall.

Poke a hole in the top of the wall, and another in the bottom, or where you want a connection.
Connect a weight to the mason's line and drop it in the top hole.
Use a coat hanger bent into a hook, and fish for the mason's line, and pull it through the bottom hole.
Attach the wire you are trying to snake through the wall to the mason's line, and pull it in either direction, top-down, or bottom-up.
 

bykfixer

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So to the folks whose communities still use those thin plastic bags at the grocery store etc, yarn.
Yup, fold one into a long strip and cut the strip like you would an Italian sausage or similar. When unfolded you have strips of MacGeyver style plastic yarn.

Here's a lighter cover the Mrs made about 5 years ago.
BAAFE979-1-A09-4-E3-E-94-C1-1-E042-D672-F9-E.jpg

Can be used as "fishing line" like a masons line.
You post above Poppy reminded me of that.
 
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uk_caver

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I recently had an outside drain which had its trap almost completely blocked with sediment. Water would slowly seep through, but not with nearly enough flow to clear anything away.
Fortunately, I had a ~2.5m length of plastic drainpipe. Pushing it down into the drain made a sufficiently good seal that pouring a couple of buckets of water into the pipe while standing on a stepladder created enough pressure to get things moving, then enough flow to wash the sediment away.
I was surprised that the pipe itself made a sufficient seal. I'd been planning to use some duct-tape-covered padding, but gave the bare pipe a try, and that worked fine.
 

SCEMan

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Years ago I ran PVC sprinkler pipe under a patio cement slab to a circular block planter I built in the middle of the slab to run wires for accent lighting. Couldn't figure out how to fish the wiring to the planter from the wall outlet due to bends in the pipe. I ended up making a masking tape ball just smaller than the pipe diameter, tied with fishing line and connected to the wiring. I placed the "ball" in the pipe, then attached my Shop Vac to the planter side pipe with masking tape (for an air tight seal) and "sucked" everything through in seconds. Problem solved!
 

pumps

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My dad invented an A/C circuit tester for tracing down which circuit breaker was on a circuit so it could be shut off to work on it safely.




Lifetime warranty, Craftsman screwdriver!!

Here is my memory... He is on the ladder at the ceiling junction, I am at the panel flicking breakers and we are yelling back and forth, ' OFF!!'
"NO, try again!!" his reply. He finally just used the screwdriver to short it out in the junction, thus popping the breaker and us not having to yell back and forth anymore.
Disclaimer: this was 25 years ago, the quality of said screwdriver was obviously far superior in dielectric qualities than stuff today.

So is this a MacGvyer trick I use, Not on your life!! My dad was a superhero, I am only human, I could get hurt :)
Russ

My dad invented an A/C circuit tester for tracing down which circuit breaker was on a circuit so it could be shut off to work on it safely.




Lifetime warranty, Craftsman screwdriver!!

Here is my memory... He is on the ladder at the ceiling junction, I am at the panel flicking breakers and we are yelling back and forth, ' OFF!!'
"NO, try again!!" his reply. He finally just used the screwdriver to short it out in the junction, thus popping the breaker and us not having to yell back and forth anymore.
Disclaimer: this was 25 years ago, the quality of said screwdriver was obviously far superior in dielectric qualities than stuff today.

So is this a MacGvyer trick I use, Not on your life!! My dad was a superhero, I am only human, I could get hurt :)
Russ
Whe working as an electrician we would make things to easily find a breaker . A plastic electrical box with a piece of appliance cord coming out of it, alligator clips for a quick clip on, toggle light switch and switch cover on front of the box. Clip on , throw the switch tripping the breaker. Also one with a plug coming from the box. Plug into an outlet, throw switch, breaker trips.
 
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bykfixer

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Years ago I ran PVC sprinkler pipe under a patio cement slab to a circular block planter I built in the middle of the slab to run wires for accent lighting. Couldn't figure out how to fish the wiring to the planter from the wall outlet due to bends in the pipe. I ended up making a masking tape ball just smaller than the pipe diameter, tied with fishing line and connected to the wiring. I placed the "ball" in the pipe, then attached my Shop Vac to the planter side pipe with masking tape (for an air tight seal) and "sucked" everything through in seconds. Problem solved!
Folks who install traffic signals, lights on bridges etc do that. They tie string to the tape ball and later pull wires back through. They can have as much as 400 feet between the access points such as junction boxes. Some use ait compressors to blow a ball through but in a pinch the shop vac works too.

Years ago my dad had a driveway paved with concrete. He let the contractor spread the dirt dug to place the concrete at ground level. Being his back yard was pretty flat that meant his garage became lower than much of the yard that was built up with dirt from the driveway.

I found a section of chain link fence top rail, dug a trench the length of the pipe so it would lay flat in the trench. I used a sledge hammer to push the pipe under the driveway about a foot at a time. The I'd pull it out, knock out the dirt and repeat. It took a few afternoons but when done I had a 3" conduit under the driveway to drain the runoff from the garage to the street. If pushed too much at a time the pipe would get stuck so I'd hit it a few times then pulled it back out.
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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Shop vacs preform well at extracting hornets and wasps from locations where chemical sprays are ineffective. Just place the inlet pipe close to the hive exit. It doesn't actually suck them out. They just get pi$$ed and try to attack the nozzle. Bye bye bee. Then it's a quick ride to the hard plastic diverter and into the water waiting at the bottom of the vac.
 

uk_caver

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For individual wasps/hornets in a room, a rolled-up newspaper or equivalent can be made more effective by having a layer of inside-out sellotape/scotch tape wrapped around the end - start off with tape sticking to the paper, then twist and wrap the tape around in a spiral, sticky-side out, so it sticks to the previous layer (easier with wider tape).
Even partial hits will likely trap the target, and it avoids the problem of a good hit still leaving doubt about whether it was a kill or a stun when the target drops down behind furniture, etc.
 

pumps

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If you have a snake in a place that you don't want it to be and can't get it out use a CO2 extinguisher to stun it. It will chill it and also deprive it of oxygen. Also I've heard that you can chill beer with it.
 

Poppy

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Yesterday I did some laundry, and I noticed that the dryer's lint trap didn't go all the way in place. I pulled out my Niteye MSC20 and looked into the receiver. As suspected there was a pile of lint crammed in there. The long narrow snoot of the vacuum cleaner didn't reach, so I MacGyvered it with some cardboard from a pizza box, and duct-tape, to make the snoot longer.
 

Poppy

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For individual wasps/hornets in a room, a rolled-up newspaper or equivalent can be made more effective by having a layer of inside-out sellotape/scotch tape wrapped around the end - start off with tape sticking to the paper, then twist and wrap the tape around in a spiral, sticky-side out, so it sticks to the previous layer (easier with wider tape).
Even partial hits will likely trap the target, and it avoids the problem of a good hit still leaving doubt about whether it was a kill or a stun when the target drops down behind furniture, etc.
Windex:

Ever try to kill that pesky fly without a fly swatter?

Spray him with Windex, when he lands, or even while he is flying around. He doesn't fly as well when his wings are wet. Smack... got him.

200.gif
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Used four razor blades, some electrical tape, an in line fuse, and a couple sets of insulated alligator clips (connected by wires) to jumpstart an 18 volt tool battery that wouldn’t charge with another.
 
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