How to Change Your Car’s Oil at Home – DIY and Save $

By Jon Martinez:

Changing your own oil is a good way to save money over the quickie lube places, and it is fast becoming a lost skill.

Fortunately, doing an oil change is not rocket science. I change my own oil at home and I’d like to share a couple of tips that have helped me to make this process easier and less messy.

Here is what you need to get started:

  • Motor Oil. I use 4 qts for my Toyota Corolla. It costs $20.42 for 12 qts at Sam’s Club, which comes out to $6.81 for each oil change
  • Oil Filter $4.39 at Advance Auto Parts
  • Filter Wrench I use the kind that fits onto a ratchet wrench. Get the right size to match your filter. You can also get a dedicated oil filter wrench at the auto parts store
  • Funnel For filling engine with new oil
  • Crescent Wrench or Ratchet set For removing the oil pan drain plug
  • Oil catch pan with spout For getting rid of the old oil
  • Empty plastic bottles With wide mouth for taking old oil to be recycled. I use old kitty litter bottles, but you can use any bottle or container you like.
  • Rag For wiping up spills
  • Ramps or Jack For lifting the car. I use plastic ramps, a lot of people prefer metal. Your call.
  • Jackstands or cinder blocks For safety- keep the car from falling on you. I should really use these, but I haven’t yet…
  • Large piece of Cardboard for protecting your driveway (optional)
  • Rubber Gloves for keeping oil off of your hands (optional)

After all of the one time purchases on this list, it costs me about $11 for each oil change. Cheaper than the $20 or $30 of the quick lube joint. And I don’t have to deal with pushy salesmen trying to upsell me air filters.

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Fire starter 4.0

By No Prob Rob:

Everyone has got their favorite fire starting method. Over the years I have had various fire starter kits. I think I have finally refined it down to something lightweight, simple, weatherproof, and some added functionality thrown in as well.

I start with the supplies needed for the build. I decided it wasn’t much trouble to go ahead and make a dozen to give as Christmas gifts as well.

Here are the materials required:

  • geocache container 9/16″ diameter X 2.75″ long ($1.79)
  • 1/8 ” X 2″ ferrocerium rod ($1.35)
  • JB Weld
  • Cotton Balls
  • Petrolatum Jelly
  • Fish hook
  • 30 lb test braided nylon fishing line
  • hacksaw blade

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How to Build a Traditional Clay Oven

By Synaptoman:

I have embarked on a project to make a traditional clay oven. The design is thousands of years old and ruins of clay ovens have been found on all of the continents. Because I hate doing things normally, I decided that my clay oven would be built on a timber base and stand proudly on my deck, where the whole family could help with the bread baking, pizza making etc.

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Digital Prepping: – How to Create a Highly Redundant Backup System

By: Nick LaDieu

Data Reduncency is Key to Good Planning
Data Reduncency is Key to Good Planning

I’m guessing that you know someone who has suffered through a digital disaster such as loss of precious family photos or important tax documents and other files. Just like you prepare for other disasters n the physical word you need to be digitally prepared. The first step towards digital preparedness is creating a good backup scheme for your important files.

I have a good friend who recently had all of her interior design business’ documents on a laptop. I didn’t know this was the case until it was to late. In her case she didn’t drop it in a puddle or experience hard drive failure. On new year’s eve this past year her house was broken into while she was away and the laptop was stolen.

Laptop lo-jack and encryption of sensitive information is a topic for another thread. Those issues aside, she experienced the loss of many digital assets including quick-books financial records and irreplaceable photos which were both business and personal in nature. This is not a threat on the level with a physical threat to your safety but I assure you it is a real threat and if you go through it you will highly regret not being prepared. People regularly pay upwards of $5000 for hard drive recovery services to retrieve family photos, make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

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Rabbit Hutch v2.1

By ebonearth

So after several versions, I believe this is the best model that will work for my broods’ needs now. It is quick to build (approximately 3hrs) and the rabbits love the pasture, not to mention having a built-in den. I am going to read the handholds from v2.0 as that makes rotating them around the field much easier for a single person to do, especially now that v 2.1 is 8ft long rather than 6ft. I am also going to see about adding a layer of something to keep out drafts in the thick of winter since we used the galvanized steel roofing for the den segment.

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How To Use Mini 1000 Watt Generator For Backup Power

By mxitman

I picked up this small 1100 watt generator last summer for $40 off of craigslist. It didn’t run when I got it, the guy had probably used the wrong oil/gas ratio or just had old gas in it. I cleaned it up and made it a workable generator.

The video is a small review of the generator and how I hooked it up to my natural gas furnace to power it up during power outages. Many people say they are not powerful enough for this but I show you how to check that out. I have also used it for keeping our chest freezer cold as well, It’s small and only draws about 4 amps @ 120V and the inrush amperage is only 8 amps so the mini generator works just fine powering it up.

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A Secondary Pantry Closer to Kitchen

By John McCann

Our primary pantry is in our cellar which is fairly large. This is where the majority of our food is stored (including water and wine). This would include lots of various macaroni (which my wife, Denise, and I both love), canned food, freeze dried food, and five gal. buckets with Gamma seal lids. These buckets contain things like rice, flour, salt, sugar, and various other things.

However, being in the far corner of the cellar, our primary pantry is a ways from the kitchen. We have a cellar staircase just off the kitchen which is against an outside wall. We used this area to store some emergency supplies, 1st aid supplies, etc. But there weren’t really any shelves and it wasn’t organized (which I’m never happy about). I kept looking at this area and decided I could build a shelving unit at the angle of the stairs, and still have room for plenty of supplies.

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