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thejoneseys (Somewhere out there, in the vast nothingness of space)

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Collins Complete DIY Manual
Collins Complete DIY Manual
by Albert Jackson
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only DIY book you'll probably ever need (seriously), 19 Aug 2010
This is genuinely a fantastic book. So good in fact, it motivated me to write a few paragraphs.

I'm a fairly experienced DIY'r and I bought this book purely off the back of the strong reviews already published here. I wasn't sure what I was expecting but when it arrived I was blown away by the content. This is a big heavy hardback book. Think of an older style haynes car maintenance manual but twice the thickness. It is split into logical sections and colour coded at the top so you can get to the section of interest fairly sharpish.

I am astonished at what it actually covers and in a decent level of detail for each topic. Simple things like wiring a plug and fixing a dripping tap are in here for those that need it and all the meaty stuff such as, plastering, dry walling, plumbing, flooring (including fitting laminate), staircases, dealing with dry/wet rot, tiling (wall, floor and ceiling), decorating, repairing/replacing windows (including fixing those sach cords), fencing, bricklaying, fireplaces, knocking down walls, the list goes on and on. There are some more obscure things in here like suspended ceilings and installing a flue liner! Log burning stoves? Yep, they're covered in the heating section. This is truly a DIY encyclopaedia.

It covers way beyond what I would personally consider DIY tasks but then maybe I haven't been ambitious enough all these years. That said if you have a head for heights, then why not fix your own roof or sound proof that paper thin party wall that divides you and the inconsiderate neighbours next door? Everything you need is in here.

I feel much more comfortable that this is a UK book and it is nice to see pictures of black and decker tools for example. I particularly liked the plumbing section which covers all the basics, then the different materials and widths of pipe work, all the fittings, drainage, stacks etc and they all have crisp colour pictures. There is a section on fixing taps, then another on fixing toilet flushes including those new push button ones, separate sections on fitting baths, basins, toilets, bidets, sinks, showers and entire suites. Plastic pipes are also well covered for those in new builds.

The back of the book is a 'skills and tools' section. This covers all the different types of powered and manual tools that you're ever likely to need and they are all illustrated with crisp colour pictures. The woodworking and joints section is very good indeed as is the detail on skirting boards. Adhesives, screws, nails, wall and knock-down fittings are all covered.

Having this book will no doubt save those embarrassing moments when you've been rushing around some DIY store on a saturday afternoon and picked up the wrong size pipe compression fitting, the wrong screws, wrong adhesive etc etc. The amount of fuel, returns to the shop and frustration this book will save you is priceless. I think the only thing I couldn't find in here was how to do seamless joints on kitchen worktops. There are plenty of videos on youtube to learn that skill once you've picked up a jig and router.

Every man of the house should own this. End of. It is a very modern and up to date book and like having a room full of experienced professionals to advise you as and when. Quite possibly this is the only book you'll ever need. Don't even think about not buying a copy, you simply cannot afford not to. As a side note even if you are only mildly interested in DIY then you'll forever seem to have your nose stuck inside this and that could drive your other half crazy. Be warned!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2011 4:29 PM GMT

Sony SSF6000 4-Way Floor Standing Speakers
Sony SSF6000 4-Way Floor Standing Speakers

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, Anti Social Speakers..., 21 Oct 2009
I've had these speakers for a few days now and I originally had mixed thoughts on them. Now that I've run them in a little, placed them in the corners of my room and sorted out my equaliser setup these are actually a pretty decent speaker so don't be put off by the low price.

They are VERY powerful have no doubts at all there. I'm using them on a 10 year old Sony FE370 amplifier. My old speakers had trouble reproducing treble so my EQ was set high for the upper frequencies to compensate. The first thing I noticed when I wired these up is the high levels of treble they produce. They can be very screechy and you can make your ears quite uncomfortable if your EQ setup is wrong.

Once I'd corrected my own EQ settings, I cranked up the volume I am pretty impressed with them. They are capable of some serious anti-social volumes!!! I haven't got my amp passed half way before I backed off. I daren't go any further. They are LOUD and can take quite a pasting by the looks of it.

These speakers are pretty easy to drive judging by the cool temperature of my amp (it was much warmer with my old wharfedales attached).

The manual quotes 89dB sensitivity and 8 ohms impedance so you can hook these up to pretty much anything. Considering they are floor standers, they are remarkably compact.

For clarity these speakers are sold as a pair and arrive in one 30 kilo box (be prepared to give the courier a hand though).

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