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INSIDE & OUT | A HELPING HAND

Trying to Move That Gas Range? Say Hello, Dolly

May 04, 1996|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Q We've lived in our house for eight years, and during this whole time our gas range, which is free-standing and sits between kitchen cabinets, has never been moved. I'd love to get behind there to clean it, but my husband's attempt to pull it out wasn't successful. Is there an easy way to get it out?

W.O.

Santa Ana

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A Gas ranges aren't put on rollers for a simple reason--safety, says Tom Houlihan of Orange County Appliance Parts in Garden Grove. You don't want a gas appliance to be able to roll around during an earthquake.

In fact, because they're so heavy, ranges often sink into linoleum or vinyl flooring. To move it, you'll need to rent a heavy-duty dolly and be very careful not to damage the floor when you pull it out. If this seems impractical, try removing the enameled stove top. Many of these can be lifted off, which allows you good access to clean below the gas jets.

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Q Five years ago we had our house painted, and on the southern side, the fascia seems to be cracking and peeling excessively. What course of action should I take to protect it?

E.S.

Anaheim Hills

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A After five years, it's pretty normal to see some cracking in exterior paint, even on the best-quality paints, says Gene Teramura of Dutch Boy Home Decorating Center in Santa Ana. You can really see this on the southern side of the house, which gets the most sun exposure.

Over time, the paint cracks and moisture gets down into the wood, which causes more cracking. To fix it, you'll have to remove any loose paint, use a good quality primer and reapply the finish coat.

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Q Our 18-year-old home has a bathroom lock that's broken. I'm sure it's cheaper to just get a new handle and lock set than fix it, but I'm concerned about finding handles that will match those in the rest of the house. Where's the best source?

C.F.

San Clemente

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A You may not be able to find an exact match, but you should be able to find something close to what you have, says Frank Eckert of Arrow True Value Hardware in Orange. Styles of hardware change, which makes it hard to find older doorknobs, but most hardware or plumbing supply stores have access to manufacturers who might have similar knobs for your bath.

The locks themselves are basically very simple because they're just designed to provide for privacy. If you can't find a suitable match with a new lock, it may be worth the effort to have the old one fixed.

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Q I have a set of old captain's chairs and a couple of them have seats that are split down the middle. I'm not ready to have these repaired and refinished professionally, but can I mend them myself until I'm ready to redo all of them?

J.H.

Dana Point

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A You can make them so they're at least usable, says furniture builder Frank Larson of Yorba Linda. Pick up some metal "straps" or strips of steel with holes drilled in the middle like plumber's tape at your local hardware outlet.

Space six or seven of them evenly across the underside of the seat, then drill tiny, shallow holes where you want the straps to go. Use small wood screws not more than half an inch in length to secure the straps to the underside of the chair. Be very careful not to puncture the top of the seat with a screw point. This should give the seat some support and keep the cracking to a minimum.

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Q I'm planning on laying a new one-piece vinyl floor in my kitchen, and I'd like to use some new shoe molding. My problem is I don't have the equipment to cut the molding at 45-degree angles for the corners with my handsaw. Any ideas on how I can do this?

R.W.

Buena Park

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A Use a pencil and an old piece of molding that is correctly angled and mark the cut you need, says woodworker Steve Shields of Huntington Beach. With a vise, brace the molding as tightly as possible and cut through it using steady strokes. You may need to use a file to smooth out the edges and to even out any rough cuts.

If you have a question about your home or garden, A Helping Hand will help you find the answer. Send questions to: John Morell, Home Design, The Times Orange County, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

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