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When remodeling or adding upgrades to your kitchen or bath, you often have to remove a drawer and cabinet in order to install something else, like our neighbor did when installing his wine refrigerator. He was going to toss the drawer, but we came up with a good use for it. We simply added some castor oil to the bottom of it, and now it’s a great place to store tools in his very crowded workshop. We think he really needs another one, maybe two. We’ll keep looking around for more.

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Q: I need your help. My wife says that our oven doesn’t heat at a consistent level; sometimes it’s too hot and sometimes it’s too cold. What could be the causing this problem? – K.L.

A: It’s most likely the thermostat. Use an oven thermometer to test it. Set the thermometer in the oven and put the oven on 350 F to check the temperature, and see what the thermometer reads. In most cases, the thermostat is fairly easy to replace. You can check your owner’s manual or an appliance repair and parts dealer for the correct model. The other culprit might be the door gasket, which also can be replaced.

Tips from readers

Dear Carrells: I was helping my dad with a project and was drilling a series of 1-inch-diameter holes into a sheet of plywood. The hole on the front side looked good, but it was really ragged on the back side. I started drilling a hole on the front side, then stopped about halfway through. Then I flipped the plywood over and drilled the rest of the way through from the back side. This did add a little more time, but it took care of the ragged-hole problem. – K.L.

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Dear Al: Every time I go to my sister’s house, I spend a lot of time straightening her pictures. They are always crooked and it makes me crazy. I finally suggested that she try what works so well for me. I told her to put a little blob of modeling clay around the wire hanger on the back of the frame right where it hangs on the hook. The clay will help hold it in place. She said it sounded like too much trouble, so I did it for her (and me!) – V.F.

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Dear Kelly: The kids can replace their own inner tubes on their bikes now, but I still like to check them out before they go off riding on them. I find great uses for the old inner tubes. They are great for slipping around a large trash can to hold the bag in place. I also have figured out how to cut them and make extra-large rubber bands to use around the house. We always keep them with our camping gear, too. They come in handy for all sorts of things. – R.W.

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Dear Carrells: Our kids are past the wooden-fort stage, but we still have the fort in our yard. The cover was falling apart, so we removed it. Then we added potting soil inside the base area to create a raised bed. We have a nice garden there now, and the shade of the structure really helps protect the plants from the excessive heat we have in our summers. This winter I plan to add plastic to the sides to try to grow a small garden during the wintertime. – K.S.

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Dear Al: Our new patio door is just great, but it’s a lot larger than the old one. My wife started looking for a new curtain rod that would cover the doorway, but they were few and far between, not to mention expensive. I took her over to the home center to see what it had. We found an extra-long piece of metal conduit that would actually need to be trimmed to fit. Then she picked out some neat-looking wooden finials, and we glued them in place. Then I bought the hardware to mount it, and she did the drapes. It looks great and cost us a fraction of what the drapery stores are selling them for. – R.E.

Got a question or a handy tip? Send it to The Super Handyman at www.thesuperhandyman.com.