Monthly Archives

June 2018

Wood Turning – Recreation and Creation Reducing a World of Stress

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In today’s world of growing and ongoing stress, wood turning allows for a time to relax and to enjoy a time of recreation without all the tensions that surround us on a daily basis. Also, it permits a time of creation in what for many has become an existence of familiarity with too many things in the rat race of competitive business. To put it simply, wood turning is a hobby that opens the world of both recreation and creativity to a stressed and tired population.

One of the great stresses that inflict us in the western world with our unpredictable economy is the uncertainty of income and the need for recreation without undo cost. For woodworkers in general, the costs keep coming in the sheer rising value of lumber. Wood turners do not have this problem because they like to work with local woods in forms that are very inexpensive and sometimes free. While a cord of firewood will keep many a hobby turner busy for more than a year, it costs less money than a traditional woodworker would spend to build a table or a luthier to make a guitar.

Many wood lathes are available for less than the cost of a table saw and basic tools may be had for less than the cost of a couple of good table saw blades. All that is left is a means to sharpen those tools and most woodworkers will already have the necessary grinder. Safety goggles should be worn by woodworkers on the lathe as well as on all other power tools.

With sharp woodturning tools in hand, there is now the question of approaching the tool. Working with a wood lathe is different from other power tools in the woodworking shop. In most cases wood it manoeuvred, often awkwardly, into a moving blade or cutter. This is an inherent danger and stress producer in its own right. At the wood lathe, the opposite happens.

Wood is mounted to the lathe and made to turn. The tool rest of the lathe is placed so that any branch stubs or other protrusions from the wood miss it as the wood rotates. Otherwise the wood simply can not move. As the tools are held in the turner’s hands, the cutting edge advances to the wood while the hands remain behind the tool rest. Danger is removed from the process and stress leaves.

Finally, there is the difficulty that most woodworkers face concerning the need to produce a high quality item from expensive woods. Woodturners have no such worries unless they have gone out of their way to purchase expensive woods for a project that they are sure they can achieve. Practise with inexpensive woods is easy, fun and stress free. Besides, many times a wood turner starts with fire wood and at the worst is left with a piece of fine kindling.

With all those stresses removed, there is now the opportunity for a wood turner to settle down to some peaceful moments of creating a lovely piece of wood work in the midst of great recreation.


Source by Darrell Feltmate

Inexpensive Corner Fireplace Unit

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A traditional wood burning fireplace can cost thousands of dollars to have installed in your home. After materials, labor and the time it takes to build, you have made quite an investment. But, you do not have to put that much into it.

A comparison between a traditional wood burning fireplace and a ventless alternative would lead us to understand that the ventless is the best option, hands down. A traditional wood burning fireplace can take as much as a few weeks to build. In that time frame, your life is far from normal. You wake up mornings walking around construction workers who are in your home, taking up space. You leave for work after a very non-private morning of getting ready.

But not only the time, but also the money. You have to make sure you get a good contractor who can handle the work and not cause any further damage to your home. So you pay the contractor for hour they are in your home singing out walls and, raising up the floor and going through your roof. Those hours are not cheap and the building materials are not either.

When you compare that to a ventless alternative, you have something that can install in as little as a day. No walls need knocked out and no chimney needs built. No hearth is necessary. Of course, you can build those things if you want. The ventless solution makes it possible to build a fireplace without the need for a chimney or a hearth.

Plus, you can build a fireplace anywhere. You do not even have to consider wall studs and load bearing beams. You can simply pick a spot and begin your planning. The corner fireplace unit is one that not many people imagine in their homes. I'm not sure why, because it's so unique and good looking. A corner fireplace unit is easy to install.

Find the corner where you would like your fireplace and begin planning. A faux hearth and chimney might be a great way to finish off the look. But, I have seen other designs that were just as interesting. One corner unit has both a bookshelf underneath and a television above. If you would like a design of this nature, just make sure there is enough space between the flame and the television. Install a heat shield of some sort and everything should be fine.

If you would like to build a corner fireplace unit, start with a 2×4 structure and plywood that you finish with the faux finish of your choice. Stone, brick and wood make great finishes for the fake heart and chimney. A fireplace insert and gel fuel finish off the ventless fireplace alternative so that you can enjoy a real flame fireplace in less than a day, from start to finish.

The installation can take as little as a day. If you have done the planning beforehand and you know exactly what you are going to do, you'll be able to move swiftly through the building process. Imagine waking up early in the morning and starting the build on your fireplace so that by the time night rolls around, you are enjoying the flame with your family. It can happen.


Source by Jessica Brylan

How to Seal Your Deck on Your Own

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Having a wooden deck requires DIY skills to maintain its beautiful surface and keep it splinter free.

There are several ways to apply a deck sealer. You can do this with a brush, paint roller or a garden sprayer.

A brush gives you a good control, so you end up with even applications. It also forces the deck sealer into the open pores and grain. However, this is a long and tiring process. You can also opt to use a paint roller. Although it is faster, you have little control, so you end up going over some areas again just to make sure that everything is evenly covered. Another method is through the use of a garden sprayer. It’s the fastest and cleanest way to do the job. However, the best way to apply a deck sealer would be the according to the written instructions on the product container. So pay careful attention to it.

Now, let’s go to the step by step application process of the deck sealer.

1. Spray down the floor with water and scrub it to remove dirt, grime, mold, and other debris that has collected on the surface. Screwdrivers and putty knives will be particularly useful at this stage. If you do not do this, you will have an uneven surface and the deck sealer will also trap elements that may cause problems in the future.

2. Sweep away the debris you have managed to scrape off.

3. Protect nearby foliage from chemicals with a plastic sheet.

4. Use deck cleaners on the surfaces for thorough cleaning. These are available in hardware stores. You can also create your solution by mixing equal amounts of high-quality oxygen bleach with warm water. Use deck brighteners to remove molds and mildew stains mainly for redwoods and cedars. Apply the cleaner to the railings and posts from the bottom up to avoid spills and splatters.

5. Let the cleaner sit on the wooden surfaces according to the manufacturer’s directions.

6. Then, spray down and rinse the deck well. For large areas, a pressure washer will get the job done fast.

7. Allow the deck to completely dry for at least 48 hours before moving on to the next step.

8. Put on your protective safety equipment like your goggles and face mask.

9. Sand the entire deck by moving your sander in the same direction as the grains on the wood. If you do the opposite, you will be creating grooves on the wood which are weak spots for pooling of liquid. Just sand the surface to remove the old sealant and expose the bare wood with an even surface. You can also use an 80 grit sandpaper for this.

10. Sweep off or vacuum the sanding dust from the surface to get a smooth and even surface. This will make it ready for the first coat of sealant.

11. If you notice any loose screw or popped nails, now is the perfect time to fix them. If there are boards that need to be replaced, do it now.

12. Use painter’s tape to protect surfaces from the sealant.

13. Get your deck sealer and follow the instructions given on how to apply the sealant. Brush the sealant using even strokes in the direction of the wood grain. Pay careful attention to the nook and crannies and make sure to paint over them as well. Avoid stepping over the wet sealant.

14. Allow the deck sealer to dry for a few hours before applying the second coat.

Now that you are done using the floor sealer grab a cool drink stretch out, and relax while waiting for it to dry completely. In a day or two, you can put back the furniture and lounge in the area again! Wouldn’t that be great?


Source by Maryam Nasrullah

Buying House Plans Online

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The Benefits of Self Building

Investing in property had always been very popular – and for many very productive and lucrative. However, as the prices on property begin to soar, it is difficult for many to even get their foot on to the property ladder. The alternative is renting, which usually means unpaid extortionate sums of cash each month to a wealthy landlord – not something that many people particularly want to do, but something that they feel they have to do in order to enjoy their own living space and independence.

However, there is a cost effective alternative for those that really want to get on to the property ladder but feel that they can not afford it. Self-building with house plans has become an increasingly popular solution for prospective homeowners, enabling them to get the home of their dreams at a fraction of what it would cost to buy a ready built home of the same style and caliber.

How do house plans work?

House plans are designed by top professionals – architects and designers that know exactly what constitutes a high quality, desirable home. These house plans are designed to be as simple to follow as possible, enabling purchasers to see construct their homes with ease and speed.

House plans are available for a wide range of property types, so whether you live alone and want your own private little home, or wherever you have a large family and need a home that will provide you with adequate space and facilities, you will find something that will suit your needs exactly, and for far less than you imagine.

Using house plans to construct your new home will also give you the benefit of being able to make it as unique as you dare. The construction of new homes by huge corporations has become a little like a factory production line, with entire estates full of identical homes springing up in the matter of a few weeks. There's nothing unique or special about these homes; you would simply be spending years living in a property that looks exactly the same as the one next door, and the one opposite, and the one down the road – you get the picture …

By using house plans to create your home, you can put your dreams in to action. Whatever style, size or type of home you want, there will be a top quality house plan that will suit your needs and budget perfectly. So you can get a house that is truly unique and special, and probably pay less than those that have opted for the "production line" houses.

Looking for unique house plans?

There are so many house plans to choose from that you can achieve just the look and style for your new home. You can even get custom house plans, so whatever your idea of ​​the dream home you can still make it a reality.

Perhaps you are looking for a little hideaway near the lake; maybe you want a cottage in the countryside; sometimes a log cabin is your idea of ​​the perfect home or holiday hideaway; or maybe you want to go for a sprawling, family home. Whatever your requirements and desires, these fabulous house plans can be a great help. With so many styles to choose from you can get a really unique home to suit your needs and your pocket, so why settle for less? Some of the excellent house plan choices include:

  • A frame cabin house plans
  • A frame home house plans
  • Country house plans
  • Log house plans
  • Luxury house plans
  • Small cottage house plans
  • Vacation house plans
  • Victorian house plans

Why use house plans?

One of the main reasons why so many people are keen on using house plans rather than buying pre-built properties these days is the cost. The rising costs associated with buying a pre-built home have made people realize that they can save a lot of money by simply opting for a self-build property, giving them the perfect home at a fraction of the price.

There are other things to consider as well. What are the chances of finding the perfect pre-built home – a home that suits every member of the family down to the ground? We all have different ideas when it comes to the perfect house. You may be more interested in a large lounge or bathroom, where your your partner may want a huge kitchen and bedroom, the kids may be pestering you for a separate playroom, and you may be thinking how useful a large dining area could be.

When you use a house plan to construct your perfect home, you can incorporate everyone's design ideas in to the plan, then giving you a home that is ideal for the whole family, and which you can all enjoy for as long as you live there. You can give your home a unique look, plenty of character and you can really stamp your personality on your new home.

Buying house plans online

If you are looking for widest choice and top quality when it comes to buying house plans, then the Internet is by far your best choice. You will find such a wide range of exceptional, stunning house plans online that you can not fail to find something that will match exactly what you are looking for – and at a price that you can afford.

The Internet will provide you with access to house plan by experience, qualified and very skilled designers and architects, so you can be sure of getting quality and durability as well as an impressive design and some really stunning features. And with such a wide range to choose from, there is something available for every budget.

You can browse online house plans from the comfort of your home or office, enabling you to find the right choice at your own pace and without any outside pressure. You can even sit down with the family, discuss your needs collectively and then look at the selection of house plans together to ensure that you get something that will suit everyone.

By going online to search for the ideal house plan you will enjoy many benefits, such as:

  • Affordability, with some incredible low prices available on house plans
  • Convenience, as you can browse house plans without even having to leave your home
  • Being able to discuss and compare house plans with your family
  • Speed ​​and ease of browsing house plans
  • Unrivaled choice of house plans
  • Top quality house plans

With the convenience, ease and choice on offer when you go online to look for house plans, it makes sense to make things simple by harnessing the power of the Internet to take the first step towards the perfect home for you and your family.


Source by Reno Charlton

The Miracle of The Impact Driver

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When they first came out years ago, impact drivers were very popular in Japan but it took a while for Americans to realize what a terrific advantage impact drivers have over an electric drill when it comes to driving long screws into wood, especially decking. American companies like Porter Cable caught on to the idea and started competing with impact drivers offered by overseas companies. The idea for impact drivers was born long ago with the inventions of (1) the impact wrench, used in every automotive garage, and (2) the hammer drill used to power masonry bits into concrete and other extremely hard materials.

The technology that allows them to do this is sometimes referred to as “hammer and anvil” meaning that, unlike the simple twisting action of an electric drill, the impact driver literally “pounds” the screwdriver bit around as if being repeatedly being hit by a hammer. This action gives these woodworking tools tremendous power that simply would not be possible if the same screwdriver bit were chucked up in an electric drill with the same size motor and battery. An additional advantage is that there are hex shank drill bits available so that your impact driver can double as a quick-change cordless drill thus becoming one of your most versatile woodworking tools.

The first time I picked up an impact driver, a 12-volt Makita, I thought it looked, to me, like a toy. I then tried it out by driving a 3-inch deck screw into a 4″ x 4″ piece of fir. I was amazed as I watched (and felt) the tiny machine effortlessly drive the screw home, sinking the head below the surface of the wood. I had to remember to keep a lot of hand pressure against the tool so that the screw driver bit did not pop out of the screw head and strip it. From that moment forward, I have never been without one of these amazing machines at my side.

Over the years, these drivers have been improved to the point of near perfection and this includes the batteries that power them. Battery size has grown from 9.6 volts to 18 volts and more. More than that, battery life has been greatly extended from what it was with the advent of Lithium Ion technology and subsequent improvements on that. In fact, a significant part of the cost of any impact driver, whether it comes from Makita Tools, Bosch or DeWalt is the battery or batteries that come with it.

You may have noticed that most manufacturers of cordless woodworking tools have started selling so-called “bare tool bodies” meaning that they come with no battery or charger included and a greatly reduced price tag. The reason for this is that most manufacturers (but not all) have discovered that if they make all their tools run on the same 18-volt Lithium Ion battery, they can sell more bare tool bodies while locking in their customers to their brand. End users love this because they do not have to keep laying out hard-earned money for shelves full of different batteries and chargers but, rather can just buy the bare woodworking tools that share the same battery.

Several manufacturers like Makita Tools have included two or more speed ranges in their impact drivers. Sometimes, too much power is not always a good thing. You can destroy small screw heads and break screw shafts. The more power used, the less battery life. Just because you have a 400 HP motor under the hood of your car does not mean that you drive around town with the accelerator pedal to the floor.

While a 12 or 14.4 volt impact driver will suffice for most jobs, an 18 volt model is well worth the small increase in price.


Source by Bob Gillespie

Are You Running Out of Ideas on Home Improvement? – Watch Helpful Home Improvement TV Shows!

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There is no house on this planet that does not need frequent maintenance and as a home owner if you're having trouble organizing your plans regarding home improvement, there is absolutely no need to worry for you. There are a many shows that im enlightening knowledge to home owners about undertaking home improvement projects.

With more and more home owners benefitting from home improvement TV shows, producers have made sure you can even buy episodes of these shows on DVDs. The reason why these TV shows have hit such heights of fame is that they touch those issues related to DIY which frustrate every home owner. Tips associated with gardening, interior designing, repairs and other issues are there for the taking for you, all you have to do is to tune in to the best home improvement shows regularly.

Here are a few popular TV shows that can help you formulate your own plan:

Clean House:

Have you wanted to get rid of the clutter in your house for a few years but without enough will to really accomplish this task? If so, watching 'Clean House' TV show will help you in a number of ways. 'Clean House' is one of the most popular TV shows of our time being aired on Style Network. The show is hosted by Niecy Nash and the cast also includes an interior decorator and yard sale experts.

The theme of the show is to help families clean out their homes off unwanted objects so as to initiate a plan. The expert panel in the show firstly helps select the clutter, guides the family in selling it off in a yard sale and then undertakes home improvement with the sale proceeds of the clutter. The show will also inform you about how to do home repair with minimum cost.

Take Home Handyman:

For home owners who need some really indicative guidance on DIY, 'Take Home Handyman' is just the right TV show. Aired on TLC, 'Take Home Handyman' is hosted by Andrew Dan-Jumbo, a carpenter and craftsman by profession. The theme of the show revolves around Andrew offering help to DIY customers in planning and undertaking their projects. Andrew also gives help in starting some side projects about home improvement. The best thing you'll notice about this show is that each and every stage of the project is explained in an elaborate manner.

Home Made Simple:

In order to learn about simple living and great DIY plans, 'Home Made Simple' is a TV show aired on TLC that is a must watch for you. Hosted by the Home Mavens, 'Home Made Simple' is a show that debuted in 2006 and ever since it has become very popular among home owners and families. The hosts and friends help families simplify their living by inexpensive home improvement. A number of other tips about a healthy and simple lifestyle are reflected to viewers in this show. If you're up for some home improvement projects, 'Home Made Simple' will inspire you to understand what you previously thought was impossible!

If your desire to watch the best home improvement TV shows is still persisting, you can also watch TV shows like 'Holmes on Homes', 'Mission: Origination I', 'Designed To Sell', 'I Want That!' and 'Trading Spaces'.


Source by Matt Crook

Tips for DIY Carpet Installation

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Before you decide whether to install the carpet yourself or hire a professional to do it, you should know that it can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming project. Make sure that you do your research on all the different steps that are involved in carpet installation when doing it yourself. The first thing that you will need to do is remove the old carpet and padding beneath it. Sometimes you can reuse the older padding but it is advisable to install new padding when you get new carpet. Before you rip up the old carpet make sure that you vacuum the carpet to help prevent excess dirt and dust from entering the air. You should make sure that you have all the necessary tools needed for carpet installation before you start.

Once you have the old carpet and padding underneath you need to vacuum the floor that was underneath. You will also have to remove all of the old tackless strips and then replace them with new ones. These are what help to hold the new carpet in place. If the strips are in reasonably good condition you can also reuse these. The first thing that you need to is put down the tackless strips and then your carpet padding. The carpet padding should overlap your tackless strips. You should use duct tape to seal the seams of the pads. It is important that you make sure that the seams do not overlap because this can lead to having lumps in your new carpet installation and can be a tripping hazard. Using a stapling gun staple the padding in place to make sure that it does not shift during the carpet installation process.

When doing DIY carpet installation it is very important that you make sure that the carpet is pulled tight against each wall before you secure it against the tackless strips. One tool that you will have to rent is called a knee kicker. This tool is used to force the carpet toward each wall. One end of the tool is padded so the one installing the carpet will kick, or hit, the padded end with their knee. It can be a very tiring job but is one that has to be done to make sure that the carpet installation looks like a professional has done it. You can also use a carpet stretcher, which is a simple hand tool that makes sure that the carpet is tight and flat against the surface of the floor. This tool is often used with other carpet tools like with the knee kicker.


Source by Lora Davis

Use Great Bookcase Plans to Prevent the Leaning Tower of Books

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You have seen it before. You walk into someone's home or office, and there in the corner is the bookcase they built. It does not look very stable, and if you look closely it almost appears to be leaving to one side. They probably either used no plans, or they downloaded some free bookcase plans. Either way, their project looks bad, and is not very safe.

A bookcase can be a very simple project, but must be made properly in order to support the weight of all of your books and knick knacks. Of course, bookcase plans can become exceptionally complex too. You may be planning to build a full wall bookcase, and then you go from simple to much more complex. In either case, your best option is to start with some well designed and documented bookcase plans.

If you attempt to build a bookcase without the proper plans, you could end up with your own leaning tower of books. It is very easy to overlook the need for proper support at all the joints, using the proper materials, and to simply make mistakes. With a good set of bookcase plans, you're well on your way to creating a great looking and safe book case.

Many people overlook the fact of how heavy books really are. Before you start your project, load up a box full of books and feel the weight. A bookcase needs to be extremely strong. A good set of plans is going to make it very clear you need to avoid nails and go with screws. Screws have much more holding power and are required for the proper strength and stability of your bookcase.

Your professionally created bookcase plans will also give you the proper recommendations for types of wood which can stand up to the abuse and weight of the books, while still looking great. Pine is often a favorite, due to it's low cost, but you could also choose other hard woods which can look outstanding when finished properly.

One of the problems you may run into while trying to choose the proper plans is not being able to review them completely ahead of time. Some great services offer a variety of bookcase plans bundled together, so you can choose the plans you prefer for this project. The nice thing about these types of offers is you then plans for future projects also. You may find after your first bookcase, you'd like to build one for every bedroom in the house. With a good set of bookcase plans, you can build a variety of different bookcases and make every room have its own style.

Building these projects with good bookcase plans can be both fun, and very rewarding. Walking into a room and seeing the great bookcase you built standing tall, straight, and strong will be a source of pride. You will want to put your bookcases in places where people notice, instead of hiding in a corner like the many leasing towers of books you've seen before.


Source by Mike J Hamlin

Pole Barn Designs – Planning and Constructing a Pole Barn Shed

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One of the easiest, straight forward and possibly amongst the oldest of shed construction is the pole barn design and anyone with basic carpentry skills and someone to assist can build one. A new shed on your property can be extremely functional and building your own is certainly the most economical way to do it.

The basic pole barn design consists of a series of regularly spaced uprights planted in the ground to the required size of your barn. If a sturdier construction is required you may want to concrete these in place, the wood should be treated beforehand. The tricky part is deciding on the design or type of roof and this is where a really good set of plans (and your assistant) will help.

With the size of your pole barn decided and the roof in place you there have the very basic pole barn design. You do not have to stop there though, you can if you wish add walls and / or a floor, doors at one end, doors at both ends, anything that takes your fancy. The beauty of the design is its simple concept that can easily be built and added to.

A good deal of thought should go into the site of your new barn. If you decide to just leave a dirt floor you need to construct it in an area not prone to flooding. Also be certain to check that you do not offend building codes for your area before you do anything.


Source by Anthony Woods

Building a Solar Panel Frame – Materials, Tools and Workmanship

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When building a solar panel frame, it is important to consider a few factors that will make your solar panel last. Some of these include material, design and workmanship. These are equally important. So we will look into each of them in detail.

Wood, plastic and metal are some materials you can use to make your solar panel frame. If you are considering wood, plywood may be a good option. They are strong, reasonably priced and easy to work with. If you're inclining towards using metal, aluminum is the best. Aluminum can withstand heavy loads and pressure when alloyed appropriately. Its strength approaches that of steel. Most importantly, it is light.

Frankly, almost nobody seriously considers using plastic. But if you are one of those few who are adventurous enough, be sure to use thermosets rather than thermoplastics. Thermoplastics can not stand high temperature. Thermosets can be brittle, so if you are living in an area where hails are common, you may need to reinforce your frame. An important reason why almost nobody favors plastic is because they are bad conductors of heat. With heat build up in your solar panel frame, your solar cells will not be working as efficiently as they are capable of.

Among these 3 materials, aluminum is the longest lying and can keep your solar generators in ship-shape for up to 30 years.

When designing your frame, you have to think about the material thickness and how you'll make the joints. If you're using wood, dovetail joints are the best, although it will certainly take you more time. An alternative to this is the miter joint. If you're using aluminum, you have the option of welding, soldering or bolting the pieces together. Generally for a solar panel, any one of these methods will do since these panels will not be subjected to very high loads or pressures.

Finally, your solar panel frame is likely to give way before its time if the workmanship is bad. Here are a few pointers to help you make sure this never happens to you:

1. Make sure you are working on a solid, level surface.

2. Use table clamps (or other types of clamps) to help you hold your material properly as you are working on it.

3. Use simple tools like the carpenter square to help you get your corners right.

When you consider the materials, tools and workmanship that goes into your solar panel frame, you are more likely to build a solar panel frame that can last you a long time.


Source by John Greenspan

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