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Just today I was on a jobsite trying to figure out how to make a test tube disappear.
OK, OK, OK, OK.

I'll concede that making a Pyrex test tube disappear is not one of the more common challenges facing DIY'ers. That much I'll grant you.

So, here's a DIY tip that's likely to be more useful to more people more often

The stains of mammal urine will fluoresce under ultraviolet light.

Cleaning contractors use black lights made specifically for this purpose in order to pinpoint the location of urine stains.

http://www.baneclene.com/catalog/ultra_violet_light.html

http://www.spectroline.com/agriculture_pest_control.html

http://dstore.com.au/pets/Urine-Off-Black-Light/1086562.html

I've read a number of reasons, all different, as to why urine stains are fluorescent, and I don't know which one is correct.

The hair of rodents (like mice and rats) also fluoresces under UV light.

So, not only will the black light tell you where the odor is originating, it will also indicate whether the cleaner you're using to remove the urine stain is working or not.
 

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the Musigician
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
good post nestor, but 104 bucks??? wowzers! still, for a professional, it's a great investment. for me though, i have a cigarette lighter that has a blacklite led bulb that does the same thing. only cost me a buck and it's refillable too! lol

DM
 

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If you're using a utility knife a lot for the job you are doing, carry two of them in your pockets. If/when you set one down somewhere and lose it, you'll still have the other one handy.


Immerse a test tube in corn oil. It will become completely invisible when it's immersed in corn oil.
Thanks Nestor, I'm always looking for ideas like that for my school-age daycare kids. They'll really like this one.

You have to admit though, cambruzzi & thekctermite's one-line comments are pretty funny.
 

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My Grandad spent his career as a cabinet maker. I can remember many years ago his words of advice when he watched me hit my thumb when starting a nail. I think I was all of 7 or 8 yrs old.

He said, "Hold the hammer handle with both hands" and chuckled. It took me a few minutes to realize he was pulling my chain but for a while there, it made perfect sence.

A while ago I ran across this list from Poplar Mechanic's, the 100 Skills every man should know. Thought I'd share.

Happy New Year everyone!
Automotive

1. Handle a blowout
2. Drive in snow
3. Check trouble codes
4. Replace fan belt
5. Wax a car
6. Conquer an off-road obstacle
7. Use a stick welder
8. Hitch up a trailer
9. Jump start a car


Handling Emergencies

10. Perform the Heimlich
11. Reverse hypothermia
12. Perform hands-only CPR
13. Escape a sinking car


Home

14. Carve a turkey
15. Use a sewing machine
16. Put out a fire
17. Home brew beer
18. Remove bloodstains from fabric
19. Move heavy stuff
20. Grow food
21. Read an electric meter
22. Shovel the right way
23. Solder wire
24. Tape drywall
25. Split firewood
26. Replace a faucet washer
27. Mix concrete
28. Paint a straight line
29. Use a French knife
30. Prune bushes and small trees
31. Iron a shirt
32. Fix a toilet tank flapper
33. Change a single-pole switch
34. Fell a tree
35. Replace a broken windowpane
36. Set up a ladder, safely
37. Fix a faucet cartridge
38. Sweat copper tubing
39. Change a diaper
40. Grill with charcoal
41. Sew a button on a shirt
42. Fold a flag


Medical Myths

43. Treat frostbite
44. Treat a burn
45. Help a seizure victim
46. Treat a snakebite
47. Remove a tick


Military Know-How

48. Shine shoes
49. Make a drum-tight bed
50. Drop and give the perfect pushup


Outdoors

51. Run rapids in a canoe
52. Hang food in the wild
53. Skipper a boat
54. Shoot straight
55. Tackle steep drops on a mountain bike
56. Escape a rip current


Primitive Skills

57. Build a fire in the wilderness
58. Build a shelter
59. Find potable water


Surviving Extremes

60. Floods
61. Tornados
62. Cold
63. Heat
64. Lightning


Teach Your Kids

65. Cast a line
66. Lend a hand
67. Change a tire
68. Throw a spiral
69. Fly a stunt kite
70. Drive a stick shift
71. Parallel park
72. Tie a bowline
73. Tie a necktie
74. Whittle
75. Ride a bike


Technology

76. Install a graphics card
77. Take the perfect portrait
78. Calibrate HDTV settings
79. Shoot a home movie
80. Ditch your hard drive


Master Key Workshop Tools

81. Drill driver
82. Grease gun
83. Coolant hydrometer
84. Socket wrench
85. Test light
86. Brick trowel
87. Framing hammer
88. Wood chisel
89. Spade bit
90. Circular saw
91. Sledge hammer
92. Hacksaw
93. Torque wrench
94. Air wrench
95. Infrared thermometer
96. Sand blaster
97. Crosscut saw
98. Hand plane
99. Multimeter
100. Feeler gauges
 

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A while ago I ran across this list from Poplar Mechanic's, the 100 Skills every man should know. Thought I'd share.
Oh, man. I read through that whole list twice and making a Pyrex test tube disappear wasn't on it. :( Also, their Master Key Workshop Tools doesn't even include a vaccuum cleaner or broom and dustpan so the Master Craftsman can't even clean up after him/herself. That's depressing.

So, I thought I'd cheer everyone up with a DIY tip, and this one explains the mystery of:

How does a toilet flush?

A toilet is nothing more than a glorified siphon. (for the rest of this post I'll refer to the liquid being siphoned as water, even though any liquid may be siphoned)

To get a siphon hose flowing you simply immerse the inlet end and suck on the outlet end until the siphon hose is full of water. As long as the elevation of the outlet end is below that of the inlet end and the siphon tube is full of water, then the laws of physics take over and water will continue to flow through the siphon tube.

A toilet bowl works exactly the same way, except that you don't suck on the outlet end cuz it might not be hygenic. Instead, the toilet tank is designed to add enough water to the toilet bowl fast enough that the overflow into the discharge channel of the bowl fills that discharge channel completely with water. Once that happens, then exactly the same laws of physics take over and that full discharge channel siphons the water (and everything in that water) out of the bowl. It doesn't matter how that discharge channel came to be full of water, all that matters is that it is full of water and as such, will act as a siphon tube to siphon the water out of the bowl. You have Sir Isaac Newton's word on it.

This is where I fly off on a tangent.
Some toilet bowls are molded in such a way that you can see the shape of the discharge channel inside the toilet bowl. People often presume that the discharge channel is molded this way so that it forms a "trap" like the p-trap under a sink. That's not true. The toilet bowl itself serves the purpose of a p-trap, and as long as there is sufficient water in your toilet bowl, it's THAT bowl water that prevents sewer gas from coming into your house through the toilet.

No, the discharge channel in a toilet bowl is made intentionally tortuous to SLOW DOWN THE FLOW OF WATER through it so that the water overflowing into it from the bowl can fill it completely for a successful flush.

You can use this knowledge to diagnose an improperly flushing toilet. Just pour a 5 gallon pail of water into the problem toilet as fast as possible without spilling water all over the floor. If the toilet then flushes properly, then the poor flushing is due to the fact that not enough water is flowing into the bowl fast enough so that the overflow into the discharge channel isn't filling it completely. That means the problem is UPSTREAM of the toilet bowl. It could be that the flapper in the tank isn't opening wide open, or that the water jets at the bottom of the bowl or under the rim of the bowl are plugged.

If the toilet still doesn't flush properly when you pour the 5 gallons in fast, then you know the problem is in the bowl or DOWNSTREAM of the bowl.

Toilets are simple as mud, but most DIY'er don't understand how the flushing action actually works. Now you do.

PS:
Gma2rjc: You said:
You have to admit though, cambruzzi & thekctermite's one-line comments are pretty funny.
You can decide for yourself what's funny. The title of the thread was DIY Tips and Tricks, and I suggested it as a Trick (which it is). It was obviously never meant to be a serious DIY'er tip, but I resent being ridiculed over it as if it was. I thought it was a neat trick and posted it, and now I'm sorry I did. I do NOT want to have to watch every thing I say in here for fear of being ridiculed over it. Now one would.
 

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the Musigician
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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
i'm still lost on the whole test tube thing....
owell, when yer kid buys you a gross of pencils and you leave them all around your shop just to be sure one is in reach, why does the wife come in and pick them all up, bundle them, and then hide them in the nether reaches of space, never to be seen again? who knows? but that's why i hang a mini-sharpie on a string around my neck while i work.

DM
 

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the Musigician
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
on another note, i got sick of trying to repair cheap dustpans that split, cracked or simply broke in half while using, so i made my own.
also got tired of trying to carry in armloads of firewood, so with my (wife's) handy-dandy sewing machine, an old broom handle and some old jeans, *presto* a firewood carrier!

DM
 

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Nestor, you posted an unsafe electrical tip and I pointed it out. You then took the thread way off track from productive (with some DIY humor and do's and don'ts mixed in) to unproductive with a pointless and unrelated post about making test tubes disappear in corn oil. If you're sensitive and can't take a little criticism for such an odd post...And subsequent odd posts...Then don't post them. Stick to the topic. Discuss things like patching drywall, tools, safety, or framing methods...You know...DIY-related topics, not science class topics.
 

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How does a toilet flush?

A toilet is nothing more than a glorified siphon. (for the rest of this post I'll refer to the liquid being siphoned as water, even though any liquid may be siphoned)

Toilets are simple as mud, but most DIY'er don't understand how the flushing action actually works. Now you do.

Nice Post, FYI; there is a bunch of info and review on toilets on the terry love plumbing site. I spent a few hours reading it one night and found it quite interesting. He found one toilet that is low water and almost never clogs. I don't remember why exactly that model was special, but it had to do with how it caused the siphon to form I think.

Anyway from a practical DIY standpoint, I would love to have a toilet that doesn't clog.

Jamie
 

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Fixer-'til-broker
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I've read a number of reasons, all different, as to why urine stains are fluorescent, and I don't know which one is correct.

The hair of rodents (like mice and rats) also fluoresces under UV light.
Light bounces off everything. The way our eyes work, we need a little "help" to see certain things. Without getting too deep into medical/scientific theory, facts, and data arguments, Proteins will "fluoresce" because the concentration of phosphorus. Rodents, like rats and mice, spend their days whizzing and pooping and wallowing in it. Someone told me that mice only quit stinkin' when they're dead...

There are many other uses for UV lights. The show clubs don't have them to make the G-strings glow in the dark...


DM - I have the same problem with my pens and pencils "DISAPPEARING," along with other items I strategically place for projects. Wives are too efficient in this respect. It sucks, 'cause her memory is getting as bad as mine - "I know I put it away, but I don't remember where!!!"


Here's one I haven't seen yet - If your screwdriver or drill driver bit won't hold screws, rub it with a magnet.

If you insist on standing on stacked 5 gallon buckets instead of getting a ladder, put the heaviest on top. (OSHA will actually allow 2 with this method - what?)

If a 30 minute task takes you 2-3 hours, get a helper and a 6-pack...make sure the 6-pack is still there for the finish!

If all else fails, read the directions in the native language the product was made in. :censored:

Buy "Made in the USA." Seems to make life easier.

Make friends with the mom's and pop's and the knowledgeable people at the "good stores" so you spend a lot less time at the return counters in the big box stores.

Cut 3 times - it's still too short.

Fudge in 60% on top of your budget for each DIY project. The rest is to celebrate a job well...done? I hope?

:thumbup:
 

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If you need to kill power to a receptacle and there's no panel schedule, first turn everything sensitive to power failure off. Like computers and such. Then get a drop light and a long extension cord. Plug the cord and light into the receptacle in question. Walk over to the panel, and turn breakers off, one by one. It'll be obvious when you get the right one.

If the 6/32 screw that holds a receptacle to a plastic box strips out, a sheetrock screw works wonders. Use a long small one, a big one will split the box.

When squaring up a 90 degree corner, like a planter box or something like it, use the 3-4-5 rule. Measure 3' along one side, and make a mark. Measure 4' along the other side, and mark it. A true 90 will measure 5' diagonally between the marks.

A basic rule-of-thumb with single phase motors. At 120 volts, the breaker size is HP X 20. At 240 volts, it's HP X 10. Example, a 1-1/2 HP motor operated at 120 volts should be on a 30 amp breaker. At 240 volts, a 15 will do. (Note, this is for actual HP of induction motors, not advertised HP such as a 6 HP air compressor, runs on standard house current; or a 3.5 HP vacuum.)

Rob
 

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PS:
Gma2rjc: You said:

Quote:
You have to admit though, cambruzzi & thekctermite's one-line comments are pretty funny.
You can decide for yourself what's funny. The title of the thread was DIY Tips and Tricks, and I suggested it as a Trick (which it is). It was obviously never meant to be a serious DIY'er tip, but I resent being ridiculed over it as if it was. I thought it was a neat trick and posted it, and now I'm sorry I did. I do NOT want to have to watch every thing I say in here for fear of being ridiculed over it. Now one would.
__________________
Nestor - I wasn't trying to ridicule you, but if that's the way it came across, then I am truly sorry. Your posts are always interesting and informative and I wasn't kidding when I wrote about showing my daycare kids the disappearing test tube trick. I didn't realize it bothers you to have someone kid-around with you, so I'll try to be more careful next time.

Tip: If you have a screw loose and it won't stay in the wood, put a wooden match (without the end that burns) in the hole and and the screw will then go in tight. A toothpick works well for smaller holes.

If you're doing a job that requires you to change the blades on your utility knife a lot, a small bottle with a childproof cap makes a good container to keep used razor blades in so you don't have to throw them in the trash loose where someone could get cut. The cap won't come off if it gets bumped or dropped.
 

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the Musigician
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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
i can't let this thread go without a big cheer for ceramic magnets! open up old HDD cases and grab those magnets, they're handy as heck! i used one on a bandana to hold roofing screws, then nails by the handful. i have them mounted on the inside of the woodbox door too, they hold the hatchet, poker, handles for the manual wood splitter, etc. they also keep the door closed! and the lightbox above the dining room windows..... and the not so secret hiding place..... http://www.diychatroom.com/showthread.php?t=29495 bottom of page 1
and they play a part in my 'magic' boxes.....

DM
 
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