The new Compact Mouse Sander from Black & Decker is a great little sander, but it’s also useful for other DIY jobs, including rust removal, glass cleaning, plastic polishing and cleaning, and metal polishing.
The Mouse’s compact design enables you to get closer to the surface for greater control, while the dust cassette and dust filtration system ensure a cleaner working area and make sanding more pleasant than with many other sanders.
Other really useful features include; rubber hand grips and an ergonomic design that make it comfortable to use, even for long periods; a removable tip, so you can replace or reverse it when it’s worn; and contour attachments for intricate sanding and polishing, which are really useful and much better than sanding by hand. The Mouse is quick, small and light, and easy to operate with one hand – I tried removing varnish with it and it took no time at all.
Dremel has launched a Zipper Bag tool set, just in time for Christmas. The bag contains the Dremel 300 Series multitool, a line and circle-cutter attachment, two multipurpose cutting bits and an accessory bag with 25 pieces.
The perfect tool for DIY and detailed creative tasks, the Dremel 300 Series can be used for sanding, routing, polishing, drilling and cutting through all kinds of materials. It has a powerful 125W motor and a soft grip designed for better handling and to reduce vibration.
The Dremel Zipper Bag costs £39.99 from Homebase
ASK THE EXPERT…
Q: I want to expose my living room floorboards, but I’m worried about draughts coming up from underneath. What’s the best solution?
A: You could fill the gaps between the boards – there are various methods for doing this, including thin strips of wood, or sawdust mixed with glue – but a better option is taking up the boards and insulating underneath. If you have something like a cellar underneath, it may be easy to access the boards’ underside to do this, but if not, it’s quite a big job and you may prefer to get the professionals in, which could be costly. Get advice from an expert and maybe try lifting up a couple of the boards to see how easy it is and what’s underneath.
The year’s coming to an end, so it’s a good time to take stock of anything missing from your DIY toolbox or shed and ask for it for Christmas.
TOP TIPS FOR… bleeding radiators
If your radiators are hot at the bottom but cold at the top, this usually means there’s trapped air inside, which stops them from working properly. Now it’s winter, this is the last thing you need, so make sure you bleed your radiators straight away to save on fuel.
Traditionally, you bleed radiators with a radiator key, which you can get from hardware and DIY stores, but some radiators can be bled with a small screwdriver instead. The bleed valve is usually at the top of the radiator.
Cover the area beneath the bleed valve with newspapers or a plastic dust sheet before you open it because water can come out and it can be dirty. It’s also a good idea to hold a cloth underneath the bleed valve to catch any drips.
Only bleed your radiators when the central heating is turned off and the radiators have cooled right down, otherwise it can be dangerous.
Only open the bleed valve a small way. You’ll hear a hissing sound, which is the air being expelled, but this can quickly become water instead, so don’t wander off and do something else. Once water starts coming out, close the valve, clean up and move on to the next radiator.