Popular Mechanics Cool Tips

The other day I was reading a Popular Mechanics magazine when I got to the end and noticed a full page of reader-submitted tips.

I LOVE tips. The shorter yet more valuable, the better.

So, I thought I would share some of them with you in case you ever wondered if you should buy this magazine.

A New Mobile Website

BUT, before I do, I would like to mention that I’ve just added a new feature to this website.

If you have an iPhone, or even cooler, a Google Android phone (I have the new HTC Desire, an AWESOME phone), then you can view this site in a mobile friendly format.

Of course, if you’re geeky enough to have one of these phones, you’re probably wondering why you would want to view it “mobile friendly”. The answer is, it’s specially formatted in a way that will seem very familiar to iPhone and Android users.

And, to make it REALLY easy to visit the site, you only have to type in the following URL in your browser:


How easy is THAT? 😀

Popular Mechanics Reader Tips

Ok, now, onto the readers’ tips…


From time to time, you’ll find your automatic pool cleaner taking a nap when it should be cleaning your pool. A blockage in the throat rubber is usually the cause, and fixing this entails switching off the pump or unplugging it from the weir (this is to prevent the pipe from sucking in air while you’re inspecting the pool cleaner).

Try this instead:

– Pull the pool cleaner to the surface and unplug the pipe, still holding it under the water.

– Next, press it against the pool wall, where it will attach itself like a leech. It stays latched while the weir valve opens to compensate for the sudden “blockage”.

– You may now remove the cleaner, clear the blockage and reconnect the pipe without having to open the covers, switch off the pump or remove the pipe from its natural habitat.

Frozen Delights

I know this is too late for Christmas, but my hint is suited to any type of celebration, from birthdays to wedding anniversaries – and it’s very simple.

Rather than serve guests ordinary (read boring) ice cubes, give them something special and colourful in the form of cubes containing Maraschino cherries. If you like, you can slightly tint the ice using food colouring (go for subtle tints, not intense colour).

Ice cubes containing small slices of lemon are also wonderfully attractive.

Thrice Bitten

After pulling a tool drawer off its runners and scattering its contents on the garage floor for the third time, I finally took the advice of a DIY-type neighbour and screwed a short length of wood to the back of each drawer in the tool chest.

Turned up, it prevents the drawer from being pulled all the way out, but if you need to take out the drawer for whatever reason, all you need do is move the stopper to a horizontal position.

So, if you have any of your own tips and tricks, feel free to send them in.

Until next time.

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