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Senior Scientist Emeritus. Specialty: mineralogy, crystallography, electron microscopy.

  • Should I Invest now?

    I have inherited a sizable chunk of money and wish to incorporate it into my existing  portfolio.  I could have my broker invest it now or wait until after the election.  What would be my best choice?

    3 AnswersInvesting2 weeks ago
  • Unfreezing Credit Report?

    As a senior citizen in Illiniois I can freeze/unfreeze my credit reports free. Is there any reason to ever unfreeze temporarily, which would cost me $10? I/m thinking to just do a complete unfreeze and then do a freeze again in a week or so.


    3 AnswersCredit3 years ago
  • Refinishing Ideas - Oak Table?

    I have a round, solid oak, pedestal table (with 4 chairs) and I have stripped and sanded the table top (originally honey oak color). I'm thinking of just putting a few coats of poly on it and calling it good. Would this look OK? Other ideas would be appreciated.

    1 AnswerDecorating & Remodeling4 years ago
  • Locksets for 1 1/4" Thick Doors?

    All of my interior doors are 1 1/4" thick and have standard but old (35 yr) locksets. I would like to replace them but I can find no locksets that fit 1 1/4" doors - (1 3/8") is the minimum). I suppose I could shim them but that would probably look crappy. I found mobile home locksets that would work but the hole for the latch is 7/8" and mine are drilled standard 1". Shortening the center shaft of a new lockset as well as the sleeves that accept the 2 mounting screws might work but woud be tedious. Any other ideas/solutions would be greatly appreciated.


    1 AnswerDo It Yourself (DIY)4 years ago
  • Loose Junction Box?

    I have a metal, double gang junction box which is nailed to a stud inside a wall and I need to tighten it up. I'm thinking of drilling through the side of the box and into the stud and inserting screws but the drill angle would be near 45 degrees. Any thoughts/ideas?

    5 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)4 years ago
  • Cable Clamps Missing?

    In my attic there are several metal junction boxes and I notice that none of them have cable clamps on the cables to protect the Romex. Anything I can do short of disassembling every box and adding the standard cable clamps?

    5 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)4 years ago
  • Deadbolt installation in hollow steel door?

    I bought a standard deadbolt lock to install in my exterior steel door (edges also are steel). On drilling pilot holes for the deadbolt I find that there is NO WOOD in the the door. It is completely hollow except for insulation. How should I proceed?

    4 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs4 years ago
  • Deadbolt Installation in Hollow Steel Door?

    I bought a standard deadbolt lock to install in my exterior steel clad door (edges also are metal). On drilling pilot holes for the deadbolt I find that there is NO WOOD in the center of the door. How should I proceed?

    3 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs4 years ago
  • Sewer Line Replacement?

    My sewer line needs replacing. It runs from the front of my house about 50 , under a sidewalk and, I assume, under the asphalt road in front of my house where it connects to the city main. Question - Will the have to tear up the sidewalk and part of the street to replace it?

    3 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs5 years ago
  • Heat Pump/Aux heat Question?

    My heat pump has two banks of aux heating coils, both switched. My heat pump tech advises my to switch off the second set of coils to save money. Is this a good suggestion? I live in deep southern Illinois.



    4 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs6 years ago
  • Cleaning Evaporator Coils (air handler)?

    My heat pump evaporator coils (in inside air handler) have a build up of what appears to be lime scale on the lower (down stream side) fins, which was causing water to drip straight through rather than running down to the condensate pan. I removed a lot of it with a sponge and a fine toothed brush and it has stopped the problem for now but I would like to get it really clean. Any ideas? The foaming cleaners I have seen seem to be designed for dirt/grime but say nothing about removing lime scale. Also, CLR lime remover says not to use it on aluminum or copper.


    4 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs6 years ago
  • How to fill sill/J-channel gap?

    First, here is a link to two pictures of my Pella Proline window and surrounding vinyl siding.

    The problem is the gap between the horizontal vinyl J-channel and the aluminum sill. The J-channel has pulled away from the wall slightly leaving a ~1/8th" gap and I'm sure rain is getting behind the siding or worse. Should I caulk this gap or is there a better solution? I notice that there is a horizontal groove in the sill about 3/8" deep (see photos). Perhaps I could fit something in there? Any ideas would be appreciated.

    1 AnswerMaintenance & Repairs6 years ago
  • Replacing Fluorescent with Pendant?

    I have a fluorescent fixture above kitchen sink and would like to replace it with a pendant. Ceiling is a wood panel with wires coming through a small hole to the fluorescent fixture. No access from above that I can get to. Almost certainly no electrical box. Any ideas or am I stuck with a fluorescent tube?

    1 AnswerDo It Yourself (DIY)7 years ago
  • Mystery Hole in Driveway?

    I have owned my home in the southern part of IL for about 35 years. It has a concrete driveway that runs from the street straight into the garage. In roughly the center of the driveway a square hole about 18 x 18" was cut and then neatly refilled with concrete (this was before I bought the house). I have always wondered why that hole was cut and what is under it, if anything. I doubt that it's Jimmy Hoffa. If any of you good folks have had occasion to cut such a hole in a driveway perhaps you could shed some light on this mini-mystery. The house was only about 3 years old when I moved in. Cheers!

    2 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs8 years ago
  • Mazda B2000 gas smell?

    My 1987 B2000 (57,000 miles) stinks up the entire garage with gas odor after being driven on a short, around town trip. Auto choke seems to be functioning OK. No apparent gas leaks. Pre heater pipe is partially disconnected. Starts and runs fine otherwise. Any ideas?

    3 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs8 years ago
  • Windex to Strip Wood Finish?

    I sprayed some windex on my solid oak table to remove some caked on food and it softened the finish. As I plan to strip the table top soon anyway I sprayed about a square foot of the table top and then let it sit for a couple of minutes. To my surprise the clear finish and stain softened up to the point that I could easily scrape it off down to the bare wood. Any reason I shouldn't continue to use Windex to strip the whole top??

    6 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)8 years ago
  • Risk of Electrocution?

    Cleaning gutters from fiberglass ladder... holding aluminium gutter attached to metal framed sunroom with one hand and metal nozzle of water hose with the other... accidentally squirted overhead power line bringing service to house. I just did that and lived to tell about it but was there a chance of electrocution??

    2 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs9 years ago
  • Approx. how much to rent a log spliter?

    I have about 75 pretty large logs to split up and I can't do it by hand.

    6 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)9 years ago
  • Where can I buy retainer clips?

    I can find manufacturers that will sell me a ton of them but I need just a few like this:


    2 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs10 years ago
  • How to ship lost handgun to owner?

    My friend accidentally left his new handgun (with paperwork from seller) at my house in Illinois and I need to get it back to him (he lives in Florida). How do I do this?

    4 AnswersLaw & Ethics1 decade ago