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I don’t own a lot of jewelry, but the few pieces that I do have I tend to wear a lot.  When this pair of wooden earrings broke recently, I was upset.

I was about to throw them away, but thought that I should at least try to fix them first.  I chose to use EcoGlue because it is water-based and adheres to wood.

First, I applied the EcoGlue along one of the broken edges.  Then, I matched up the two pieces and held for about 30 seconds.  I let the earring sit overnight and it was as good as new!

Next time you think about throwing out a pair of broken earrings, try repairing them first!

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Gary and Monika Westcott travel the world researching and exploring and Shoe GOO has been a lifesaver (or more accurately, tire saver) twice!  We chatted with Gary about why he’s a Shoe GOO fan and how he uses it.

Turtle V isn’t just any SUV, what do you use the Turtle V vehicle for?

The Turtle V is an experimental prototype of the Turtle Expedition research trucks, used to travel and explore the world. Replacing four previous travel/research vehicles, The Turtle V and its European-style Tortuga Expedition Camper is the latest home on the road. Based on a Super Duty F-550, it is carefully outfitted with equipment of proven quality and reliability.

What happened to the tire and how did you use Shoe GOO to repair it?

There were two occasions. Once, while exploring backroads in Canada’s Northwest Territories, one of our BFGoodrich Mud Terrains tires suffered a severe rock cut in the face of the tread. We cleaned the cut thoroughly, filled the cut with black Shoe GOO, and drove the tire onto a flat board covered with plastic. In the morning, the tire was ready to roll. It was not a permanent repair, but it kept dirt and gravel from working its way into the tire and to the core. The plastic was gone in a few miles. The Shoe GOO lasted until we got home.

Most recently, we caught a sharp piece of metal on the side of the rear tire the day before we headed to SEMA where the truck was part of the Specialty Vehicle Exhibit. It was an ugly gash about 7 inches long on the side wall. We drove to Las Vegas, filled the gash with Shoe GOO, (all we had was clear), and placed wax paper and tape over the area. In the morning, the wax paper and tape were removed, showing a much improved damaged area. A black felt pen added some color to the clear Shoe GOO. We expect it will look even better when we get the black Shoe GOO. This is a $535.00 tire, so we don’t throw it out because of a cosmetic problem.

How is Shoe GOO different from other repair adhesives you’ve tried?

We have not tried other silicon products to repair tires. Shoe GOO just seems to be tough enough that it’s worth a try in an emergency.

Do you use Shoe GOO for anything else?

All the normal things: Birkenstocks shoe soles, hiking boots, running shoes, cracks in the rubber bottom of bath mats, etc.

To learn more about Gary and Monika Westcott’s expeditions, visit www.TurtleExpedition.com.

Note: This story is Gary & Monika’s personal experience. We love this story, but we always recommend hiring a professional to make tire repairs.

A couple of years ago on a business trip on the other side of the country, I picked up a pair of pants on clearance at Banana Republic for less than $10. It wasn’t until several days later and when I had returned home that I realized the zipper placket was completely unstitched. The pants were inexpensive enough that I wasn’t motivated to return them and I also knew it was an easy fix. And I always had it in my mind that I would do so (despite my lack of sewing machine).

pants_busted

After a recent move, I was resolute to keep what was useful and donate what was not. So, armed with a tube of E6000, I determined to fix my pants. The pants were clean & dry. This part of my pants is not visible once this particular repair is done, but if you were to use this same technique to fix a hem, for example, you’d want to be more careful about potential permanent wrinkles.

pants_gluing

I followed the directions on the tube and then left them on the counter so the glue could cure overnight.

pants_e6000

The repair was invisible, pants washed just fine, placket intact. E6000 creates a permanent bond that will hold through washes, ironing and every day wear.

Pants_fixed

Get your own tube for repairs of all kinds, including zipper plackets, at ExcelBuyOnline or your local retailer.

iStock_000003145965XSmallMoving into a new (or new-to-you) house can be exciting. But it can also mean needing some basic DIY skills that you may not have ever learned.

We asked some experienced new homeowners and renters about what DIY and home maintenance tips they think are most important. What do new homeowners or young people living their first house need to know? We asked Twitter and got these responses:

  • Basic plumbing: know how to unstop a toilet, unclog a drain, fix a basic leak.
  • How to (and when to) change the air filter in a house with central air and heat.
  • Hone your stud-finding abilities and be able to find a stud in the wall to hang hooks, pictures and shelves.
  • A clean caulk can keep out significant water damage. Knowing how to seal joints in the kitchen and bath is a top skill.
  • Grow some basic landscaping skills: know what the tools are for, figure out what plants to plant and gauge how much to water to use.
  • Build your toolkit and put together a great go-to box of tools with all the basics. But what should go it?
  • Know when to bring in a professional: some DIY is not amateur-friendly, know when to fold ’em

Having some basic home maintenance and DIY skills can save you a lot of money. In fact, the most common statistic we found is that, for every $1 that is spent on maintenance, up to $100 of repairs are avoided.

We’ll cover some of these skills in more detail in the next few posts, but in the meantime, here are some terrific resources so you can get started building your DIY skills.

If you have a skill that you’d add to the list, please feel free! We’ll see if we can address it in a future post.

BBQ Season by Dominic via Flickr

BBQ Season by Dominic via Flickr

In the category of “random holidays,” we learn that July is not just National Hot Dog Month, but it’s also the National Month for baked beans, blueberries and ice cream. Sounds like a BBQ to us!

As we are wont to do, we scoured the Internet to find the best of the best tips for prepping for and hosting a delightful backyard soiree.

Prepping

Check the backyard for any safety issues such as filling holes that may cause people to fall when walking, or fixing a loose board on a deck or stones in a patio. Clean up a cluttered yard by putting away all unnecessary items such as toys and outdoor maintenance equipment.

You may have noticed that wobbly leg on the deck chair at the Memorial Day get together. It’s time to repair it! Make quick and easy repairs using Amazing GOOP Lawn & Garden or EcoGlue Extreme.

Keep your party bug free by setting up insect repellent devices around the yard. Make sure your repellent is EPA-registered or recognized as safe for kids, pets, and the environment. Repellent devices include Allethrin Lamps, Geraniol Candles and Diffusers, and Metofluthrin Diffusers.

Next, clean the stuff.

Good Housekeeping recommends the following top patio-furniture cleaners:

Decorating

Liven up the party with decorations:

  • Pick a theme and place decorations around the patio, yard, and house.
  • Spruce up picnic tables with fresh-picked flowers.
  • Cover tables with vibrant plastic or cloth tablecloths.
  • Place votive candles on tables to add ambiance and additional lighting to the party.

Party Time!

Whether your cooking simple hot dogs and hamburgers or lamb shish kabobs, prepare everything ahead of time to avoid a hassle during the party. Food and Wine Magazine recommends four simple steps to a great barbecue: slather, rub, mop, and barbecue sauce. Tasty food is a key component to a successful barbecue.

Prepare a buffet table and set out a cooler with cold beverages just before your guests arrive. Arrange the buffet table in a logical order so guests can easily maneuver through the delicious grub you prepared. Place condiments and extras in a central location for easy mid-meal maneuvering. Replace perishable items with fresh food to avoid potential spoiling.

Prepare games such as badminton, horseshoes, and volleyball. Make sure you have the appropriate game equipment for your guests and encourage some friendly competition by offering fun prizes.

Keep the party groovin’ with a killer music selection or playlist. Who knows, maybe the music will provoke an impromptu dance party.

And voila… you now have a successful barbecue!

DIY InstructionsWe know you enjoy DIY – building, crafting, repairing – and sometimes finding interesting, useful and inspirational things online can be very time consuming.

Since we’ve been reading and sharing a variety of projects, innovative ideas and just cool stuff on Twitter, we thought compiling them for you here would be fun, too.  You can join us anytime on Twitter, by the way. @amazinggoop for DIY and craft tweets and @EPI_Industrial for builders and contractors.

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DIY Gardening: Build a Rain Barrel

It’s gardening season and your plants are thirsty. Make your own rain barrel with used plastic containers. Rain barrels are an efficient, cost effective way homeowners can collect and recycle a valuable resource.

33 Clever, Time-Saving, Money-Saving Reader Tips

Readers contributed bunches of tips that speed repairs and save money. You can find the best of the tips from This Old House. Our favorites were tip number 16, place a bag in a paint tray to decrease the mess, and number 30, unclog hairy drains with Nair hair remover. We’d also add #34: Use a good adhesive.

How to Build a Patio Planter

From our buddy, Danny Lipford, learn how to build a wood patio planter with simple instructions. Summer heat doesn’t mean boring entryways. Add simple late summer or fall plants for a lovely addition to your patio. You can make it even simpler, by using EcoGlue Green Solutions Premium Wood Adhesive.

50 Nifty Tricks for Big DIY Savings

Shrink household expenses with 50 simple ideas. Some of the tricks may help you save $500. Some of the tips include shortening your dryer-vent hose and making your own cleaning solutions. And… Of course, add a tube of GOOP to your toolbox for on-the-spot repairs to save some coin, too.

How to Make an Herb Garden from Recycled Plastic Bottles

Reuse plastic bottles and create a fresh herb garden. This clever project would be great to do with your kids and watch your garden grow. Of course, we recommend EcoGlue for the glue used in this project. The steps are easy and you can have fresh basil before you know it.

19 fresh ideas for outdoor rooms

It doesn’t take much to improve a porch, patio or garden. Here are some easy and inexpensive updates for outdoor spaces. One of our favorites is fresh idea number 8: Create a new outdoor room with a simple change in flooring.

How to Decorate a Table with Bamboo Veneer Flowers

Spruce up a coffee table with an organic, floral twist. This article will show you how to make your own pattern from photos of flowers and apply them with bamboo veneer.

Mosaic Birdhouses

Learn how to make stunning mosaic birdhouses that will brighten your yard and make a stylish home for the birds in your yard. This article provide seven easy construction steps and materials. We’ve provided several mosaic projects on An Eclectic Blog and know that EcoGlue or Amazing GOOP both work well.

427626636_3268de8bac_b In well-appointed homes, tile is a popular choice from earthenware tiles in the foyer to porcelain in the bathroom and ceramics in the kitchen. A cracked or broken tile, even when it appears to be nothing more than a hairline, can cause thousands of dollars in water damage. Don’t delay making this repair.

  1. Use a hammer and chisel to completely remove the broken tile, taking care not to damage surrounding tile or to break the adhesive seal.
  2. Clean out the broken tile completely, including all the old grout and adhesive.
  3. Apply new adhesive. You can use tile adhesive, or for simpler application, try Amazing GOOP. GOOP is also a waterproof sealant and at about $5 a tube, can save even more money than specialty adhesives. Be sure to read the directions for the best results with the adhesive you choose.
  4. Replace the tile, regrout and leave to dry overnight.
  5. A quick clean up in the morning and your tile is as good as new.

Bottom line: A standard four-inch tile, plus the supplies will cost you less than $10.

Photo via Flickr by Abmatic

2811616330_d3fee03f28_bCustom picture or art framing can be awfully expensive. Wooden frames are elegant, but the joints expand and contract a good deal just from the temperature fluxuation in your house. And that can create loose joints.

If you have a frame that’s coming apart at the seams, a quick repair using Amazing GOOP Wood & Furniture will have it back together in no time.

After a recent move, I found that one of the corners of the wooden frame for a large Cheri Blum print was a bit loose. The print is probably 30” x 40” and with the frame it measures closer to 40” x 50”. The repair is easy enough to make. Here are the instructions:

Supplies:
•    Screwdriver
•    Amazing GOOP Wood & Furniture (about $4)
•    Two clamps ($20 if you need to buy)
•    Famowood wood filler in matching color (about $4)
•    Finishing nails
•    Small hammer

Step 1:
Carefully remove the paper backing and determine how the frame is held together: glue, brads connecting the corners or a spline joint. Most frames are held together with glue and one brad.

Step 2:
Gently separate the corners. Old glue can be chipped away or warmed slightly so it can be pulled apart.  A joint with two brads may require you to cut through them using a small saw and a spline joint may require a screwdriver to loosen.

Be gentle! It’s crucial that you don’t cut any wood away from the frame. Even a seemingly minute adjustment can result in an ill-fit when put back together. Don’t bend the spline – you only want to remove one side of it for repair. Final don’t – don’t leave tool marks on the frame.

Step 3:
Clean the corner you’re repairing. Pry away and remove the nails and any remaining dried glue. Fill the old nail holes on the outside of the frame with Famowood, and allow it to harden.

Step 4:
Put the frame corner back together. Lay the frame flat on the corner of a table to line up the sides.  You can also use a T-Square to ensure you have a sharp right angle. A suggestion: put a “cushion” of thin cardboard or something between clamp and wood so you don’t leave marks on the frame.

Clamp one side of the frame to the table. Apply Amazing GOOP Wood and Furniture to the loose side of the frame. Replace the spline if necessary. Allow the glue to partially cure – between 2 and 10 minutes – before joining the two pieces. Remove any extra adhesive immediately.

Position the two corners until the edges are smooth and consistent. Use your second clamp for the remaining side of the frame to hold the corner tightly. Wait about 30 minutes.

Step 5:
Hammer two finishing nails into the corner – one from each side. Countersink the nails into the wood and fill with Famowood in a matching color. Allow the adhesive to fully cure for at least 24 hours before replacing the picture and hanging up.

The Bottom Line:

Cost for supplies is about $30 if you have to buy everything

Cost of custom framing a 30” x 40” print: estimates range between $300 and $500 for basic framing.

By doing this repair yourself, you’d save at least $250!

Photo via Flickr by trimmer741

Drawers by Penmachine via Flickr

Drawers by Penmachine via Flickr

Wooden drawers in cabinets, dressers and closets can often wear, resulting and less than smooth opening and closing. This is pretty simple fix; replacing the nylon glide on the underneath of the drawer, swap old or missing screws for new ones or using a wood glue, like EcoGlue Premium Wood, for loose dovetail joints.

Need help? Some resources for getting your drawers moving smoothly.

RV on the open roadThis is our third of three posts about basic RV repairs – see one and two for more info.

One of the necessities of RV life is the daily maintenance of the sewer hose. When the sewer hose begins to leak, tear or wear thin, you can have a messy situation on your hands. Investing in a heavy-duty hose is a good idea unless you only RV a few days a year. But, when the hose leaks, keep the duct tape at bay and grab the adhesive.

If you know where the leak is, follow the simple instructions we’ve already discussed. Make sure the area you are working with is clean and dry. Apply a small amount of an adhesive, like Amazing GOOP RV, to the area.

When creating a waterproof seal, you need to build thin layers of adhesive to create a thick coating. Wait three to four hours between each application to ensure a proper seal.

Tip: Make sure to clean off the tip of your adhesive tube with a little acetone and apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly to threads of tube before replacing cap!

Some other quick fixes possible with a flexible adhesive: repair tears in rubber roofs and awnings, seal leaking windows and shower drains and vents; permanently adhere molding and chrome; or if you like to be reminded of your trip to the UFO Capital of the World, Dundee, Wisconsin, you can stick mementos right to the roof or a tabletop in your RV.

So minimize unpleasant surprises on the road by preparing in advance with a few simple tools. After all, the road to the World’s Largest Potato, Driggs, Idaho, is a smoother when you’re ready for it. For more ideas about unique places to visit see Roadside America. And learn more about RV GOOP here.

[parts of this series originally appears in Escapees Magazine, November/December 2003]

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