Repurpose Old Seatbelts as Gate Latches, Keep Cauliflower Heads White with Panty Hose, and More Country Lore

Capture fine sawdust with PVC pipe and a pillow case, make a perforated card with a sewing machine, pack breakable baby shower gifts in diapers, use straws to keep necklaces from tangling, and other household tips from MOTHER’s readers.

| June/July 1992

Capture Fine Sawdust with a Pillow Case, PVC, and Shop-Vac

Really fine sawdust, which I occasionally get when I'm sanding with 320 grit or finer, seems to overwhelm the filter on my shop-vac. The result is more dust in the air than in the vacuum, much to my irritation. Initially, I tried wrapping a pillow case around the filter inside the canister. This worked fine, except that it clogged after only a few minutes and had to be shaken or thumped to knock loose the sawdust.

The solution to the problem was to use a 6" piece of 2" OD PVC pipe pushed into the exhaust port of the shop-vac (perfect fit). Then on the end, to hose-clamp the pillowcase until it inflates like a balloon. The inside of the pillowcase provides more filter area, so it doesn't clog as easily, and the contents dump out without any fuss.

—Michael Chilquist
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Make a Perforated Card with a Sewing Machine

I have found a way to make a perforated 3"×5" card, which happens to be the size needed to enter most contests, send recipes, and apply for other things. Any sewing machine set at a wide stitch rate can produce a perfect perforation for any standard 3"×5". I call it a "Gilson" card. It's just one more simple thing to save you a trip to the store, and it's fun to do.

—R. W. Gilson
St. Louis, Missouri

Free Landscaping: Salvage and Reuse Materials

With some ingenuity and a lot of sweat, recycled landscaping can produce the yard of your dreams, with a minimal cash outlay:

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