Real Man's Guide to Fixin' Stuff: How to Repair Anything You Need (or Just Want) to Know How to Fix

Real Man's Guide to Fixin' Stuff: How to Repair Anything You Need (or Just Want) to Know How to Fix

by Nick Harper



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402230028
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 05/01/2010
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.08(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Nick Harper is the author of Man Skills, and is the features editor for FourFourTwo, Britain's biggest-selling soccer magazine, and writes for Men's Health, The Guardian, Q, and FHM. He lives in England.

Read an Excerpt

Keeping Up Appearances
Image is everything, they say, which means it's not socially acceptable to turn up at work or a social gathering in a pair of shoes with the heel hanging off or wearing a tiny sweater that shrunk in the wash and now restricts your breathing. Nor is it the right thing to venture out in frayed, ripped, or moth-eaten clothing, nor tights with runs, nor a shirt or blouse splattered with blood and ketchup stains. No, no, no.
We don't make the rules, but rules are rules and we must all abide by them. So, with your sartorial standing in mind, and to guarantee you make the right impression, we kick off with essential tips on keeping up appearances...

How to... Fix a Hole in Your Shoe
If your shoe is letting in water and you squelch with every step, you probably have a hole in the sole that needs patching up. Here you have two options, depending on the type of hole you have.
Option 1. If it's a hole you could shove your finger through, your best bet is to cut a length of duct tape to size and smooth it out across the hole on both the inside and outside of the shoe. Duct tape is waterproof, of course, which helps keep the water out, plus additional layers can be added if you need to build up the sole. This will provide a temporary fix until you can get home and re-sole the shoe, which is what it needs (details on the following page).
Option 2. If the sole leaks, but there is no obvious hole to speak of, it's more likely that a crack or cracks in the sole are allowing water in. This again is due to shoddy workmanship at the factory, or the fact you've worn the shoes into the ground. Either way, the cracks can easily be fixed. First, invest in a tube of super-strength, waterproof glue or cement, then gently push and pull the shoe's sole until signs of a crack appear. When you find the crack(s), work a good splodge of glue into it, wipe away any excess, and hold the shoe firm until the glue has set. Your shoe should now be waterproof once more.

How to... Re-sole Shoes
This requires proper concentration because you'll be whipping off a defective sole with a knife and replacing it with a new piece you bought earlier. You should only attempt this if the sole has ground right down. So, when you have a replacement sole in the appropriate size and style, available from all good shoe shops, you're ready for what is a fairly simple three-step procedure.
Step 1. Make sure the sole of the shoe is free from any mud or debris and is bone dry, then take a utility (or carpet) knife and very carefully cut away the defective sole, either all the way if it's a trainer-type affair, or right up to the heel if it's a more formal affair. When the sole is finally removed, sand the surface of the shoe to remove any old glue, giving it a nice rough finish, then sand the surface of the replacement sole. This should help them adhere more easily when you come to put the new sole on.
Step 2. Unless the new sole is self-adhesive, you'll need to slather a good spread of shoe cement on both the shoe and the new sole. Line the two parts up neatly and push them firmly together. Once the two parts have started to stick, put the shoe on and gently stand in it for a while to encourage a tighter seal.

Step 3. Unless the new sole was an exact match for the shoe, you will probably have a little overhang that will need to be carefully trimmed away with your utility knife, then filed or sanded to a clean finish. Repeat the above on the other shoe, if required, and if you also need to re-heel the shoes then read on.

Minor Repairs
If the sole has merely come loose and can be stuck back into place, pull the sole gently until you're able to squeeze a good splodge of shoe cement into the gap. Push the two parts together, wipe away any excess that leaks out, then apply weight to the shoe to encourage the cement to bond tightly. Let the cement bond fully before using the shoe again.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xii
Basic Toolkit xiii

Section 1. Keeping Up Appearances
How to... Fix a Hole in Your Shoe 2
How to... Re-sole Shoes 3
How to... Fix a Broken Heel
(on a Flat, Manly Shoe) 4
How to... Fix a Broken High Heel
(on a Thin, Pointy, Womanly Shoe) 6
How to... Salvage Shrunken Clothes 9
How to... Save Color-Stained White Clothes 10
How to... Remove Common Stains from Clothes 11
How to... Fix Clothing Conundrums 16
How to... Fix Torn Clothes 17
How to... Fix a Run in Tights 18
How to... Patch a Hole in Jeans 19
How to... Prevent Moth Holes in Clothes
(and Exterminate Moths) 20
How to... Fix Holes in Pant/Coat Pockets 22
How to... Fix a Misaligned Zipper 25
How to... Fix a Snapped Handbag/Manbag Strap 26
How to... Fix a Broken Umbrella Stem 27
How to... Fix a Broken Umbrella Spoke 29
How to... Fix Tarnished Jewelry 31
How to... Repair a Broken Wristwatch Strap 32
How to... Fix a Scratched Watch Face 33
How to... Fix Scratched Sunglasses 34

Section 2. Everyday Electrical Stuff
How to... Fix a Television 37
How to... Fix a Remote Control 40
How to... Troubleshoot a Digital Camera 42
How to... Fix a Faulty Cell Phone 45
How to... Troubleshoot a Faulty Telephone 48
How to... Clean a Scratched Disc (CD or DVD) 50
How to... Clean a CD or DVD Player 52
How to... Fix a Faulty Vinyl Record 54
How to... Troubleshoot a Video Player 56
How to... Troubleshoot a Computer 60
How to... Clean a Mouse 62
How to... Fix a Broken Key on a Computer 63
How to... Boost FM Radio Reception 65
How to... Make a Vacuum Cleaner Suck Up More 66

Section 3. White Goods (Big and Small)
How to... Fix a Kettle 70
How to... Mend a Malfunctioning
Microwave Oven 71
How to... Sharpen Blender Blades 76
How to... Troubleshoot Your Toaster 78
How to... Fix a Leaking Washing Machine 80
How to... Kickstart an Underperforming Washing
Machine 82
How to... Fix a Noisy Washing Machine 83
How to... Fix a Washing Machine Door That
Won't Open 84
How to... Fix an Underperforming Dishwasher 85
How to... Fix a Faulty Refrigerator 86
How to... Fix a Leaking Refrigerator 89
How to... Fix a Faulty Freezer 92

Section 4. Kitchen Conundrums
How to... Fix a Broken Plate 96
How to... Fix a Broken Cup Handle 101
How to... Fix a Broken Glass Stem 102
How to... Sharpen Blunt Kitchen Knives
(the Professional Way) 104
How to... Sharpen a Can Opener 106
How to... Sharpen Scissors 106
How to... Make Knives and Forks Sparkle
Like New 108
How to... Resuscitate a Battered
Chopping Board 109
How to... Fix a Burnt Pan 111
How to... Blitz Rust on a Cast-Iron Pan 112
How to... Fix Rusty Baking Dishes 114

Section 5. Fixtures, Furniture, and Furnishings
How to... Fix a Squeaking Bed 116
How to... Fix a Wobbly Chair or Table 117
How to... Fix Squeaky Stairs 119
How to... Fix Creaking Floorboards 120
How to... Bleed a Radiator 122
How to... Fix Stuck Drawers: Part I 124
How to... Fix Stuck Drawers: Part II 125
How to... Fix a Squeaking Door 125
How to... Fix Loose Door Hinges 126
How to... Fix a Loose Doorknob 128
How to... Fix a Sticking Lock 129
How to... Fix Scratched Windows 130
How to... Fill a Gouge in Wooden Furniture 131
How to... Fix Blistering Paint 133
How to... Repair Damaged Plaster 135
How to... Eradicate Carpet Stains 136
How to... Save an Ailing Carpet 140

Section 6. Bathroom Business
How to... Unblock a Toilet 144
How to... Fix a Toilet That Won't Flush 145
How to... Fix a Dripping Tap 148
How to... Fix a Tap That Won't Turn 151
How to... Unblock Clogged Sinks 152
How to... Fix a Trickling Shower 154
How to... Fix a Leaking Shower 156
How to... Fix a Cracked Bath 157
How to... Fix a Cracked Bathroom Tile 159

Section 7. Garden Guidance
How to... Fix a Sagging Garden Gate 162
How to... Fix a Blocked Gutter 164
How to... Sharpen Garden Tools 166
How to... Rescue Rusting Tools 169
How to... Troubleshoot a Faulty Electric Mower 170
How to... Fix a Cracked Flower Pot 174
How to... Piece Together a Broken Plant Pot 177
How to... Fix a Torn Garden Umbrella 178
How to... Repair a Hose With a Hole 179

Section 8. Sports and Leisurely Pursuits
How to... Fix Books 182
How to... Fix a Fishing Rod 186
How to... Fix a Sluggish Skateboard 187
How to... Replace the Tip of a Pool/Snooker Cue 189
How to... Re-Grip a Tennis/Badminton Racquet 190
How to... Re-Grip a Golf Club 192
How to... Adjust Bicycle Brakes: Part I 193
How to... Adjust Bicycle Brakes: Part II 196
How to... Replace Worn Brake Blocks 197
How to... Patch Up a Bicycle Puncture 198
How to... Repair a Scratched Car 201
How to... Fix a Defective Windshield Wiper 203
How to... Fix a Flat Tire 205

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