Handy Hints: Stop Erosion, Store Blades and Tools

Home & Family, Outdoors
on October 1, 2009
Garden-Tool Caddy

Erosion Stopper
If the outflow from gutter downspouts has carved trenches in your yard, you’ll appreciate this tip from Lloyd Troendle of New Prague, Minn. After extending the downspouts away from your home’s foundation, install 45-degree downspout elbows (pointing up) and bore 1/4-inch-diameter holes in the following locations: one on each side, two on the bottom and two on the front. During hard rains, the upward-pointing spouts slow the outflow to prevent erosion, and the 1/4-inch holes allow the lighter outflow to disperse gradually. To further enhance erosion prevention, make sure the elbows rest over a gravel dry well or a porous paving stone.

Easier Water Shutoff
To easily reach the water-shutoff valves beneath his bathroom sink, Ronald Perkins of Durham, N.C., built this wrench from a 13-inch-long section of 1/8-inch-thick PVC pipe. He notched one end of the pipe to fit over the shutoff valve and inserted a 6-inch-long by 3/8-inch-diameter rod through the other end to serve as the wrench’s handle.

Garden-Tool Caddy
To neatly store his numerous long-handle lawn and garden tools, Derek Walter of Durham, N.C., converted a 32-gallon plastic garbage can into a portable tool caddy. He drilled holes in the lid to accommodate the tool handles and then poured a bag of sand into the bottom of the can to provide stability. Besides keeping his garage tidy, the can has wheels that make it easy to move all of the tools to the yard and back.

Blade Storage
Like many people, William Miller of South Point, Ohio, transports tools and supplies to job sites in 5-gallon buckets outfitted with organizers. To safely carry extra saw blades in the same bucket, Miller drilled a 3/8-inch hole in the center of the bucket lid and then secured with epoxy a 5/16-inch tinnerman’s nut over the hole. Using a 5/16‑inch stud outfitted with a large washer and a wing nut on one end, he created a “wing bolt” that he can thread through the saw blades and into the nut on the lid.