Removing a Stripped Stainless Steel Screw

Well, if you made the mistake of putting decking down with stainless steel screws like I did, you may have run into this issue before. Either you didn’t drill a decent pilot hole, or it was getting to be too hot, and you were in a rush, it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that you now have a completely stripped stainless steel screw head staring you right in the face.

After giving up with the hacksaw (because I realized that would just leave a dead screw in the wood, I decided to use an old flathead screwdriver bit. I held the bit on the head of the screw and pounded it into the screw a few times with a hammer.

After the bit was into the screw, I slowly turned it out.

Stainless steel screw head


I finally built a sandbox for the kids (just in time for winter, right?). I’ve been meaning to all summer, and planned to do it as soon as our landscaping was done in the back yard.

It took longer than I thought to finish up the landscaping, and after that, there were a few other more pressing projects. But, the bottom line is that it’s done.

I got the plans from the Home Depot website. It cost about $85 for the materials, which I realize is complete overkill for a sandbox. However, I wanted to have at least one thing in the back yard that wasn’t a plastic monstrosity, even if they only use it a few times.

Actually, I’m sure it will be worth it. The kids love to play in the sand. Anyway, here are some pictures of the process.

Prepping the base

Building walls

Adding pavers for edging

Fixed bench



Making Gravlax

Recently, at a party, I experienced Gravlax for the first time. When I asked about the recipe, I was told it was easy to make. As a salmon lover, this was perfect for me. So, I had to make it for myself. Here’s how it went.

Note: This isn’t a real recipe. I’m just paraphrasing what I did. You can find many great recipes out there if you need to follow more strict rules.

Step 1: Get a fillet of fresh Atlantic salmon. I froze my fillet for 7 days after I bought it. This may or may not have already been done. Also, it may or may not have been necessary. But, 7 days in the freezer should kill any chance of getting ringworm. So, I took the extra precaution.

Atlantic Salmon Filet

Step 2: Mix 1 part salt and 1 part sugar. Optionally, you can add crushed pepper. Rub the mixture into the salmon.

Salmon Salt and Sugar Rub

Step 3: Next, add dill. Don’t skimp on the dill.

Chopped Dill

Step 4: Now, wrap up the salmon with a plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Wrapped Gravlax

Step 5: Put the salmon in the refrigerator. Let it cure in there for 3 days, turning it over once each day.

Step 6: Slice up and serve. I added some capers, dill, lemon, red onion, and cream cheese.