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    Handyman on Call

    How do you remove bloodstains and burn marks?

    Q. How can I get blood out of a rug? Ice water did little good.


    A. One answer is to use your own DNA (saliva). Easier is to soak with hydrogen peroxide.

    Q. I put a hot pot on my laminated plastic table top, and now there is a black burnt spot where the pot stood. Can I clean or sand it off? I called the furniture store where I bought the table, and the man laughed and said, put a table cloth on the table or throw it out.



    A. Funny man. Seriously now, if it is Formica Brand Laminated Plastic or similar material, a store worth its salt can take off the top and put a new one in. Or, cut a wood top and stain and varnish it for a whole new look. Or put a piece of granite on it. Just keep hot stuff off it.

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    Q. Do you know a good retailer to get decorative grilles for registers and return ducts in floors? We have 4 x 2 registers, a 4 x 24 return, and a 6 x 12 return. We have checked big box and hardware stores, looked at online retailers like Restoration Hardware. No luck. The 4 x 24 seems a bit odd. We have the standard brown painted metal. My wife would like nickel pewter or similar.

    JEFFREY BAKER, by e-mail

    A. Try Reggio Registers in Ayer. They make great-looking grilles of cast iron, aluminum, and brass. I have 19 of the cast irons, including several outdoors, and they all look great. I also have one aluminum one. Call for a catalog, 978-772-3493.

    Q. I am a trustee of my condo association in Newton, and I am trying to determine what kind of a fence to replace old ones made of wood that have rotted out. This is important because each fence is between condos, and there are a lot of condos.



    A. Vinyl and other plastics are permanent, and if you choose white, it will be very glaring and fake looking. Medium gray or medium brown is more natural looking. I suggest you install pressure-treated posts and rails, then apply cedar pickets and let everything weather, for a totally natural look. Or put a 2-foot high pressure-treated lattice above the pickets.

    Q. My lamp has a clear glass chimney with a milk glass shade. I removed these to wash it and stood the chimney up on the counter, then washed the shade and placed it over the chimney. You guessed it: They are stuck together but not too tight. There is a little wiggle, but I don’t want to force either piece of glass. It will crack the chimney which is much thinner than the globe. I have to reduce the size of the chimney and/or increase the size of the shade. Hot increases and cold decreases? I plan on using a hair dryer to heat and a supple ice pack to cool.

    DOUG MacMILLAN, Falmouth

    A. You are right about heat expanding and cold contracting. So, put the base end of the chimney in a bowl of ice water, cubes and all, and heat the shade with a hair dryer on low. The chimney will contract and the shade will expand. The only casualty that might occur is the chimney, because the glass, as you note, is very thin. It is easier to replace the chimney than the milk glass shade.

    Globe Handyman on Call Peter Hotton also appears in the Sunday Real Estate section. He is available 1-6 p.m. Tuesdays to answer questions on house repair. Call 617-929-2930. Hotton ( also chats online about house matters 2-3 p.m. Thursdays. Go to