5+ Home Improvement Products that Solve Problems

This article was published in The Old House Magazine’s Fall 2021 issue. Subscribe to This Old House Magazine by clicking here

1. Instant box bay

This factory-made glass alcove lets the outside in. It captures light from all four sides and allows for views. The units measure 25 inches in depth and come in two sizes: 76 by 67 inches wide by 99 by 83 inches. The steel frame bolts directly to a flashed and reinforced wall opening. No additional support is required. Installation takes about half an hour. Marvin for retailers; Price on request

2. Chalk reel

100′ Professional Aluminum Chalk Reel Upgrades Include a 6 to1 gear ratio for faster winding, a hub lock and fully retracting hook. There is also a one-way valve that allows for dust-free refills. Crescent $17

3. Cross laser

842 Prolaser Bambino: Intersecting beams with self-leveling beams make cabinet installation easier and more efficient. The beams have an indoor range up to 50 feet and a fan angle 100 degrees. They also have a precision of 0.0048 inches per foot. The head is powered by two AA batteries and weighs in at 0.4 pounds. Red beams and high-visibility green beams are available. Kapro starting at $55

4. Silent backup generator

Yeti 6000x portable power station: This large lithium-ion battery pack provides enough juice to run a full-size refrigerator for almost five days. It produces no fumes and makes no noise so it can be used indoors. You can recharge it with an optional solar panel starting at $500 or by plugging into a wall outlet once power returns. Dolly included. Weighs 106 lbs. $5,000; Goal Zero

5. Use this slicer to thin your stock

This lightweight Nitro 20V Compact Circular Saw: weighs only 4.65 lbs. It can be used to cut plywood and stock upto 1 1/2 inches thick. The included 20-volt battery powers the brushless motor at 6,900 rpm. There’s no need for a cord. $160; Worx

6. Fasten it with glue

RapidFuse Fast-Curing Gel: This hybrid glue sets quickly and cures in just 30 minutes. It doesn’t get brittle. It is 40 percent stronger than polyurethane adhesives and does not require moisture to cure. Instead, it sets when pressure is applied. Even after being opened, it has an 18-month shelf lifespan. $5 for 0.13 ounces; DAP

7. One ladder, multiple stances

The Leansafe X3 3-in-1 ladder: This multitasker can convert from a 6-foot step ladder into a 6-foot leaning or 13-foot leaning ladder. Each position has a 300-pound load rating. The handy magnetic tool tray prevents items from flying. $139; Werner

8. Kindling-maker

Norden N7 Hatchet: Dry firewood to a manageable size without worrying about a hatchet’s heads flying off. This hatchet is made from rust-resistant, high-carbon steel. It is also bonded to a sturdy hickory handle which won’t fall off. It features a deer-foot-shaped handle that is easy to grip and provides overstrike protection for hatchets that miss their mark. $90; Fiskars

9. You can drive faster and with less effort

Deck Elite Screws: Thanks their new thread design these deck screws go in 40 per cent faster than other deck screws, with 20% less torque and no need for pilot holes. The bit’s star-drive recess in the head fits perfectly into the bit, eliminating any chance of it being stripped.

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About the Author


Darius Matsumoto

Hi, i am Darius. Woodworking is my another hobby for the last five years. I love to write woodworking project and also ideas.

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