From The Tips Box: Stripped Screws, Chrome Bookmarks And More

From The Tips Box: Stripped Screws, Chrome Bookmarks And More

Readers offer their best tips for fixing stripped screw holes, syncing Chrome bookmarks from the cloud, and other household emergency fire-starters.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in — the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or email it to tips at

More Fixes for Stripped Screw Holes

Photo by Samantha Scelera.

Daniel Van Koughnett lays out an alternative method for dealing with stripped screw holes:

I liked the /”Golf Tee” fix a lot. I don’t golf, but you can get those at a dollar store for… a dollar. If you have a hole that’s too big for a golf tee, you can fix it by mixing white glue and fine sawdust together, and packing it in the hole. If the screw isn’t completely stripped yet, but just about, try putting white glue in the screw hole and gently turning the screw in until the point that it is starting to strip. The glue will swell the wood fibres and then harden them in the shape of the threads, for a much firmer grip.

Making a Push Pin Holder with a Magnet

Nick shows us how he keeps his workspace neat:

I just had this old broken Neodymium magnet lying around my desk area, and stuck it to a pushpin on my bulletin board and thought nothing about it until one day I put the two together; it’s like a rubber band ball but with pushpins. I’m sure you could even apply this idea to paper clips or other metal office materials, the possibilities are endless!

Chrome Bookmark Syncing

Kevin shows us a nice way to “sync” Chrome bookmarks between browsers from the cloud:

I noticed that Google was syncing the Chrome bookmarks to Google Docs. Turns out you can use that to get at your bookmarks in the cloud — perfect for when you’re at a computer that doesn’t or can’t have Chrome. It’s not a true sync, but at least it gets your bookmarks to your current browser.

Log in to Google Docs and look for your Google Chrome folder. Select the folders or subfolders you want to get at. In my case, I selected the Bookmark Bar folder, which will grab all of the contents within it. Once you’ve selected the folder, choose More Actions, Export. Leave all of the default settings and continue. Google will zip the contents and your computer should automatically download the compressed file called bookmarks.html. Now that you have all of your Chrome bookmarks from the cloud, simply import the bookmarks.html file in your browser. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera and most other browsers support HTML importing of bookmarks. Of course, this is just a one-way deal – you’re not actually synchronising bookmarks back-and-forth between Chrome and another browser. But it can be handy if you’re on a different device that’s not running Chrome and need to get at those bookmarks.

More Emergency Fire-Starters

Photo by Sung Sook.

Alex tips us off to another easy, household emergency fire-starter:

I thought I’d let you in on a much more effective fire starter, petroleum jelly coated cotton balls. It burns longer (3-4 mins) and can be easily ignited with flint and steel. Just one of these is enough to start a roaring fire.

Simply scoop up the petroleum jelly up with the cotton balls like scooping salsa up with a tortilla chip then kneed it into the cotton ball. It’s as simple as that. To use just fluff up the cotton ball and ignite with flint and steel or matches. As an added perk, if your lighter runs out of fuel you can use the flint to ignite these easily.

We’ve actually featured this tip before, but with a slight variation (using tin foil). It always helps to keep up on your emergency fire-starters though.


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