Saving fasteners with Teflon tape

To avoid breaking or stripping fasteners and to make fastening into hardwood easier, I always wrap a little Teflon tape around the threads. It lubricates the threads but won’t leave any residue behind if the item is going to be stained or treated in some way. It is especially useful for weak screws or screwing in large lag bolts to hardened wood.

Alan Wargaski

Mercury Mechanical Contracting

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Mountainside, N.J.

Emery cloth for threaded tailpieces

I find that using a piece of mesh emery cloth to install threaded tailpieces provides a great grip and doesn’t scratch or mar the chrome. It also prevents “egging” the tube. It works for the tubes on two- or three-handle tub/shower valves as well.

William LeBuis

B&L Plumbing & Heating

East Brunswick, N.J.

New use for worn-out work gloves

I wear out my right-hand leather work gloves before the left-hand ones, leaving me with a lot of old pairs I don’t want to throw away. Also, I need to wear reading glasses for most tasks. I buy them in quantity because I’m pretty rough on them. I cut up the old leather gloves into strips and tubes (the fingers). I mount the strips with two roofing nails in all my work areas and use them as reading-glass holders, keeping them clean and scratch-free. The leather tubes can be used for sheathing chisels or shock-absorbing cushions.

Dave Congour

Colorado Clean Energy Systems

Montrose, Colo.