Popular Mechanics is an icon of the DIY spirit. Continually published for over a century, it’s an emblem of the most praiseworthy parts of the mythic American character: self-reliant, egalitarian, innovative.

54cfd26336cb3_-_110-tips-22-0312-lgn

February 1957 issue said Tighten a C-clamp onto a ladder rail to keep a hammer “safely at hand” when working up high.

54cfd26126513_-_110-tips-12-0312-deA tire tip from December 1935: To locate a pinhole leak in a bike tire’s inner tube, hold it under water and watch for bubbles.

 

54cfd26549b9f_-_110-tips-30-0312-lgn

November 1948 issue For readers burdened by correspondence, “one way to avoid the unpleasant task of licking postage stamps.” The trick: Moisten the stamps using a potato cut in half. The water in the potato activates the adhesive. Stamps today often adhere like stickers, but a spare spud can still be used to moisten a pile of envelope flaps.

54cfd26990cb0_-_110-tips-48-0312-de

November 1948 Six-inch garden-hose scraps can hold hand tools. Cut the hose to length with a small tab at the top to take a wall-mounting screw. “Using garden hose for this purpose is especially convenient for the man who does not want to build a cabinet.”

54cfd26bc2876_-_110-tips-58-0312-deMay 1960 Use a cardboard milk carton to start charcoal for a grill. Cut off the top and stack the coals inside. The wax-coated carton will produce a hot flame around them.

54cfd26ca443e_-_110-tips-62-0312-de

April 1916 To waterproof matches, dip them in melted paraffin wax.

54cfd2600e311_-_110-tips-07-0312-lgn

February 1961 “Transistor radios produce a deeper, more melodious tone when placed speaker-down on top of an open fruit jar.”. And it works today for an iPhone.

See More DIY from PM HERE