Drilling a new hole in the lid of a glass teapot

A new, larger hole in this lid would improve air flow for a smoother pour. I used a Dremel tool model 4000 and the glass drilling bit number 662, with included drilling oil. Note the technique used for drilling glass: short and light compressions with breaks in between, adding a drop of oil every few times.

Pouring is now much smoother thanks to the modification.

Limescale (calcium) build up in kettles

Most of the water kettles in Europe I come across have a heavy, unsightly layer at the bottoms of lime scale (top photo). The hardness of the water here (large amounts of calcium/lime) leaves this residue inside the kettles through usage.

But don’t confuse this problem with poor water quality. The quality of water in Germany is excellent. The hardness of the water is simply a side effect since since water here comes from the ground (not the rain water I’m used to in California).

Cleaning your kettles is easy with LEMON JUICE or VINEGAR! Pour in a large amount of either plus water and bring it to a boil. Pour out, repeat, then finally rinse until the residue is gone (bottom photo).

You can do the same with your stove top coffee makers.

Squeaky hinges and door latches that don’t close smoothly really bug me. Applying WD-40 to resolve these problems is really satisfying. Here are before and after clips at the place I’m staying in Berlin.

Take pride in the doors in your home or office. Apply WD-40 to hinges and latches and anything else that squeaks. You’ll feel great. You deserve it.

My inspiration for the video came from KnobFeel, the blog with clips of one person turning knobs to evaluate their feel.

Technique for temporary mounting of 10 mirrors

I had this set of mirrors I wanted to hang in my hallway. But I needed a way to hang them temporarily to test configuration and placement.

Each mirror hangs by 3 vertical pieces of white artists tape. Each strip is several inches long to have plenty of length to stick to the wall given the weight of the mirror. The strips are reinforced on each mirror with a horizontal piece.

Over the course of two days I could move each mirror around easily without worrying they’d fall down. Once I settled on a configuration I used a special museum putty to secure the mirrors in their final position.

After five years my Wüsthof knives continue to cut everything with ease, thanks to good care and solid, balanced construction.

I expect these knives, with proper care, will last a lifetime. My parents have had the same set of Chicago Cutlery knives, with wooden handles, for about 30 years.

Knives I’d still consider:

  • Tomato knife: to provide more consistent slices when innards are soft or the skin is tough.
  • Cheese knife set: but these knives must have handles that are comfortable and give you the right leverage. The handles on most cheese knives I’ve experienced are too decorative and dysfunctional.