Home Improvement

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What is plywood? Why do people use it so much? What about oriented strand board (OSB)?

What is plywood? Why do people use it so much? What about oriented strand board (OSB)?

Why are they replacing all of the toilets in my apartment?

Water-saving toilets, or low-flow toilets, can help reduce the amount of water your home uses in the bathroom. But what makes a water-saving toilet different from a regular one?

What does "Case Hardened" mean when it's stamped on a piece of metal?

Metal locks come in a variety of shapes, sizes and are made of various materials. Some locks have the words "Case Hardened" stamped on it. What does "Case Hardened" mean?

What is in moth balls? Is it harmful to people?

Clothes moths can be a real problem in clothes made from natural fibers (especially wool). To combat this, use moth balls. But first, read this article to find out what moth balls are made of and whether they are harmful to your health.

How do motion sensing lights and burglar alarms work?

How can motion-sensing lights detect your presence, and what prevents them from seeing you when you're standing still? It all comes down to the movement of light.

What is this bumpy stuff on my ceiling that looks like popcorn or cottage cheese?

What is this bumpy stuff on my ceiling that looks like popcorn or cottage cheese?

How do stud finders work?

I have an electronic stud finder, and I am amazed at how well it works. How does it know where the studs are?

How does pressure-treated lumber work?

How does pressure-treated lumber work and can it be harmful to humans? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this helpful home improvement article.

How much does 20-pound bond paper weigh?

Have you ever noticed that paper is listed in weights? What does this mean and how can a piece of paper weigh twenty pounds? Find out the answers in this article.

Why is a table saw quiet but a circular saw loud?

Circular saws can be so loud that a person may have to wear hearing protectors whenever using it. Vacuum cleaners are also as loud as a jet engine. How can a 30-inch table saw be so much quieter than a circular saw?

What are carbide tips?

A lot of tools, like saw blades and drill bits, come with "carbide tips" that can be used for various purposes. But what is carbide and how does it enhance a tool? Find out about carbide and its many uses in this article.

How do dry chemical fire extinguishers work?

How do multi-class dry chemical fire extinguishers work? What is the dry chemical?

Does it do any good to air out rugs and mattresses outside?

There is at least one big advantage that the air outside the house has over the air inside the house. Check out this article to learn what that is.

How Sewer and Septic Systems Work

Each time you flush the toilet or wash something down the sink's drain, you create sewage (also known in polite society as wastewater). Find out where it goes and how it's treated before it flows into a river near you!

How Smoke Detectors Work

As the saying goes, "Where there's smoke, there's fire." Smoke detectors are amazing: They're pretty inexpensive, but they save thousands of lives each year. Learn all about nuclear and light-sensing smoke detectors.

How Emergency Power Systems Work

Most of us are entirely dependent on electricity, so a power outage can become seriously annoying. Learn about the generators and inverters that can put an end to home power failures.

How Gas Lanterns Work

Whether you're out camping or in the midst of a power outage, gas lanterns are handy devices. Did you know they're radioactive? Find out how these lanterns produce light.

How House Construction Works

Have you ever wondered how a house is built? Or what holds up the ceiling and walls? And how do you keep the rain out? It's a complex process that involves quite a bit more than you may think.

Inside a Combination Lock

A fascinating look inside a combination lock!

Inside an Electric Screwdriver

Electric screwdrivers combine batteries, motors, gears and a switch into one extremely compact package. How can such a lightweight, handheld tool drill through tough wood or even metal?

How Ballpoint Pens Work

Before the handy ballpoint, getting a few sentences onto paper was a pretty involved task. Find out how the ballpoint pen stores and manages its own ink supply to make writing a snap.