useful links resources

A list of useful links from the ‘How to be Handy’ book…

I’ll try to keep this post up to date so don’t forget to bookmark it! 

Building Related Topics UK based brick resource. Great installation guides for drywall and plasters in the UK.  Calder Guide to Good Leadwork for a great leadwork guide. Popular place for DIY information and advice articles plus a forum. DIY encyclopaedia and active forum covering a wide range of topics. USA based brick resource. Permitted development notes in the UK. Doc available here… Companion to this book. Come in, I’ll go and put the kettle on… Physical magazine with an online presence. Lots of how to and tips articles. Informal DIY advice and tips. Make the most out of lead as a good, long lasting building material. All about lime and its proper use. National House Building Council who are responsible for new housing standards. How to re-point the mortar joints on your house using the correct materials. Magazine based DIY advice with an old house flavour. Advice and procedures related to UK planning and building regulations Over 50,000 pages of DIY info and an active forum. UK based home DIY supplier.

Computer Related Topics Dropbox automatically saves your stuff to a server in the ‘cloud’. First 2GB free. Short excerpts from the Dummies guide books. How to fix your own printer (they have all sorts of hidden menus…). A great online forum about computer problems. Brilliant place to get help with computer problems. Like Dropbox, onedrive is a cloud based storage facility from Microsoft with first 5GB free. Lots of how to articles and advice. The No1 free PDF converter. Simple to convert documents to PDF format for easy and safe distribution. The place to go to find out what that process is running on your computer. Check your internet connection speeds, uploads and downloads, (Then complain to your provider for not keeping their promise!) Free tech support…heaven! Although they won’t say no to a small donation. A vibrant community of Computer Technicians sharing their knowledge with each other and you. Top resource for the IT trade, lots of useful tips and tweaks. Large community for windows support with active forum and many useful articles to help you get the most out of windows.

Fun Stuff Great tree climbing resource from Dan Holiday. Online community where people share hip, offbeat, crafty projects. ‘No tea cozies without irony’ is the tag line… Free plans to build a mouse boat, one of the simplest boats to build in the world. Free plans to build a wood fired pizza oven! Plans to build an Aldo Leopold bench, probably the easiest cool looking bench to build there is. The holy grail for home boat builders! Tips to get you through life with a twist of humour and the faintly ridiculous! For anything you need to make out of paracord, surely one of the most useful materials. Inspiration, for building that tree house you always wanted? More treehouses! Great help for anyone contemplating building or owning a wooden boat. New or old. Everything you need to know about building the kids a Zip line or flying fox.

General Topics ‘Need. Know. Accomplish.’ Say the people at, a huge online resource of practical information. Popular newspaper columnist, builder by trade, now teaching and writing to help others better look after their homes. Community of resourceful people who undertake amazing projects. Gives you an address in the USA for delivery purposes, (if your supplier doesn’t ship internationally) Bongo then forwards it to you for a small fee plus actual delivery costs. A paid ‘ask an expert’ service. Over 100 categories and you don’t pay until they have answered to your satisfaction.

Guide from 3M: Hundreds of 3M bonding solutions. Great general practical info on a wide range of topics. Been around a long time! Classic and helpful magazine too. Urban homesteading on a budget. Good advice on making stuff and saving money. Background reading on pretty much everything! Learn what happens what happens to your brain when you practice.

Maintenance and Repair Related Topics Conservation information about methods, products and services for historic buildings. Information about looking after old buildings and conservation in general. From the Welsh Gov. Great place to find parts and repair advice with videos, forum and active Facebook resources. Wide ranging ‘How To’ site. Free, editable online repair manual. Advice about looking after an older home including sections on planning your maintenance properly and keeping records. From the Welsh Gov.

Plastic Related Topics Guide to gluing plastics.

Plastic Guide from Loctite: Hi tech page from Loctite, a guide to binding the 30 most common plastics. Intro to solvent welding plastics. Best plastic identification and how to repair table on the net. All you need to know to weld plastics. All you need to know about welding.

Timber Related Topics Great introduction to wood boring insect attacks. Ozzie based timberwork forum with loads of good advice and a friendly crowd.

Tools and Hardware Related Topics Lots of fastener related information. Chart for HSS drill bit sizes by gauge, inch and metric. Because every handy person needs a good, reliable knife. Biggest and best. Detailed instructions on using anchors. A UK supplier of building materials with a great multi trade forum with many professionals and a few nuts! UK based supplier of tools and equipment.

Vehicle Related Topics Simple car maintenance advice and tutorials. Reviews are great for finding potential problems with your car. Track your fuel consumption because increased consumption is an early warning that your motor needs a tune up. On board, diagnostic stuff, OBD2 or OBDII to work out what fault codes mean on your car. Reviews are great for finding potential problems with your car. Motoring related advice on a wider range of topics. Used car experts for general info etc. First call for car related reviews, prices and specifications.


Let me know if I’ve missed a personal favorite of yours and I’ll add it to the list…

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