Benefits of a Plug and Play Hot Tub

Plug and play hot tubs are portable tubs that can plug into a standard wall outlet. They typically run on either 110 V or 220 V. As energy efficiency technologies improve, these tubs are increasingly becoming the norm.

A plug and play hot tub has several benefits over a standard model.

1. This does not require a new electrical circuit. This can actually be a colossal cost saver for many homeowners. While most homes were originally built with circuit boards and main breakers that could handle a few more connections, these extra slots have often already been taken up by new electrical wiring. A surprising number of homes cannot support an additional electrical circuit for a standard spa tub without replacing the main breaker and circuit board. This can cost hundreds of dollars. However, with a plug and play tub, you can use your existing electrical circuits.

2. It does not require buried cable. Most municipal and county electrical conduits will demand that any full electrical circuits be buried at least 18″ deep. To install most standard tubs, you will need to install a new electrical conduit by drilling a large hole in the side of your house, installing a breaker box, and digging a trench. With a plug and play, all you need to do is plug it in and tell guests to mind the cord.

3. This is mobile. Most standard spa tubs are still called “portable” tubs, because, unlike wooden or in-ground tubs, their plumbing is all self-contained. However, they are certainly not “portable” in any usual sense of the word! Because standard ones are hardwired to underground electrical circuits, moving them even a foot from side to side means calling an electrician and a municipal or county electrical inspector. It means more digging, more wiring, and more money. However, by contrast, a plug and play spa tub is extremely easy to move around. This can be a huge advantage for homeowners who are planning to redo their backyard or deck in the near future.

That said, it’s not all rosy. Even when these are fitted with the most modern energy-saving technologies, they still heat up slower and have weaker or fewer jets than standard ones. It is not the worst thing in the world, but it’s still something worth considering before you buy.

The discrepancy in performance is more noticeable in larger spa tubs than in smaller tub models and standard models is pretty minor. If you are planning to buy a tub built to seat six or more, it is unlikely that even state-of-the-art energy efficiency technology will allow the tub to stay warm using only a standard electrical outlet.

Plug and play hot tubs aren’t for everyone, but for homeowners who want a small, affordable hot tub that can be installed and moved easily, they are an excellent choice.

Cherished Perishables – Top 5 Consumable Gifts

Toss the fruitcake and candy canes! For years the idea of giving or receiving a food item has had people appalled and aghast. But there is no need to turn up your nose at the thought! Giving perishable gifts at Christmas time is a common holiday tradition that can actually be enjoyed by giver and receiver. And, sending fruit baskets, pies, or cakes has always been a part of the holiday season. Though the thought of the perishable gift has largely been scoffed at, there are several gifts people still love to receive from this semi-taboo category. Take this list for a whirl and do not be surprised with how many compliments you receive. For every rule there is an exception, and with gifts this delectable you will be glad to be the rule-breaker.

  1. Gourmet Coffee – Ditch your grocery store brand and head for the specialty stores to make this gift a hit. You may even need to travel a little bit farther than your local Starbucks, but do not lose your head! Gourmet coffee sets and accessories are prized in today’s caffeine-driven world. The aromatic flavor of freshly ground coffee beans invigorate the spirit and enliven the mind with a gentle lift. Some studies are even suggesting that a little bit of coffee daily helps awaken the brain enough to aid in prevention of age-associated memory disorders. What’s not to love? Try creating your own gift set with flavor infused coffee, agave syrup, and a reusable ceramic “Not A Paper Cup” styled coffee mug.
  2. Specialty Tea – Tea has gained a huge revitalizing movement in the past few years. Specialty tea stores can now be found in many malls, with all variety of accessories from strainers to tea-for-one sets. No longer the prime choice for the English, a specialty tea gift basket is now a coveted holiday gift. When making your tea selections, be sure to combine different tea varieties (white, green, black, or red). Great accessories include infusers, tea-specific travel mugs, and honey dipped spoons.
  3. Chocolates – Truffles, fudge, and decorated delights! Chocolates that thrill your eyes as much as your taste buds are the perfect treat for the holiday sweet tooth. A delectable variety and a beautiful box are everything you need. Not everyone has the time to bake, and very few have the skill to make cookies and candies look like little professional masterpieces. Go to your local chocolatier and delight yourself with treats in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. With the right ribbon wrapped box or package, this gift is a coveted choice!
  4. Wine – Aged to perfection, a good bottle of wine brings an entire meal together, as well as the people sharing it. With a bottle of wine as your accompanying gift, you will never be empty-handed. The best part is that the bottle need not be opened and shared immediately, but it can be if desired! Go the extra mile and include a few accessories with your bottle to make the gift a complete package. Consider aerators, wine glass charms, decorated stoppers, and easy-open corkscrews as accents to the perfect glass of wine.
  5. Cookies – No doubt you made an incredible assortment of cookies for the holiday season. Save your waistline the trouble of expanding, and offer some of your delicacies as gifts to neighbors and coworkers. They make the perfect, thoughtful gift without adding any extra effort onto your plate. This is the ideal gift for sharing with acquaintances, as opposed to close friends. A decorated plate wrapped with colored plastic wrap and ribbon can be adorned with a sampling of the many delicious cookies your family baked this year.

Mobile Phone Contracts: Look Before You Leap!

Mobile phones are a great communication tool, but the contracts for mobile phone plans are binding and can be tricky to say the least. In order to get the best possible contract and to avoid consumer traps, it is best to prepare yourself before you sign on the dotted line. It is also good to know what you can do if you end up with a problematic contract.

Prevention is a lot better than cure, so before we look at what to do in case of a problem, let’s concentrate on how you can get a mobile phone contract that will give you the service you need at a price that you can afford.

The first thing to remember is that a mobile phone contract is binding. If you sign it then you are legally bound by its provisions for the term of the contract. It is up to you know what you are signing up for.

Before you select any mobile phone contract or plan, make an estimate of how many calls you will make and who you will make them to. Are you calling landlines, mobile phones, locally, interstate or internationally? The most important tip for getting the right mobile phone contract is to match your calling patterns with the rates that are offered by the mobile carriers and service providers.

Once you have an idea of how you will use your phone, take a look at the rates and conditions offered by the various companies.

In Particular, Pay Attention To The Following Factors:

1. Find out what the rates are for calling other mobiles, landlines and for long distance.

2. Find out how the charges are calculated. Will you be billed per second or by 30 second intervals?

3. Find out if there is a connection fee or “flag fall” cost in addition to the per second call rate.

4. Read the fine-print carefully, so that you will not be surprised later on by conditions that will not be favorable to you. If you are not sure what you are signing, then delay your decision. Don’t sign under pressure or threat.

5. Consult with your friends, colleagues and do research on the web to find out if your would-be service provider is reliable and ethical.

In addition to this there are some other tips that can help you to reduce your mobile phone expenditures:

1. Consider buying your own handset. If you buy an economical handset then it may be cheaper than the expensive models that are included in many contracts. Remember, if you get a phone as part of a contract it is not normally free. The cost of the phone is usually incorporated somehow in your bill.

2. Get text alerts that let you know how much you are spending. Many providers will let you opt-in to this service.

3. Join the network or service where most of your friends, relatives and business contacts are already members. It is usually cheaper to call to phones that are on the same network.

4. Ask your service provider if you can opt-out of making calls to expensive services. If you go this route, then your phone will be blocked from making these expensive calls.

If you follow all of these tips then you will probably get a phone contract that will not be a problem, however many people wonder what can be done in case of difficulties.

A Common Question Is: “Is It Possible To Get Out Of A Mobile Phone Contract?”

Normally you are obligated to remain in the contract for its duration. That’s why before you sign up find out if there is a penalty fee for breaking the contract and how much that will be. Also you should check to see if your provider offers any insurance in case the phone that comes with the contract is lost or damaged.

Another common problem is a rate rise while you are under contract. Look at the fine print of your contact before signing up to see if your provider is allowed to make any rate rises while you are under contract. If you rates go up, check your contract or ask your provider to show which part of the contract has allowed them to make the rate rise. If they can’t justify the rate rise, then they are violating the terms of the contract.

Finally, if you think that you have signed up for a contract due to false or misleading advertising then you can take action to have your contract terminated, using the consumer protection services of your country. In Australia the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman may be used to resolve contract disputes, but you first have to try to work out the problem with your service provider.

If you prepare yourself with proper information and select your mobile phone contract carefully, you will not run into many problems later on down the line. So, when you are getting ready to enter into any mobile phone contracts available on the market, just remember to “look before you leap.”

Blatta Lateralis and How to Care for Them

When starting a colony of Blatta lateralis there are many important things you need to know, especially if you have never started a colony before. These roaches are actually taking the feeder market by storm because of the ease of caring for them. First off let’s talk about what Blatta lateralis look like. Blatta lateralis are also known as rusty reds, or Turkistan roach. These roaches are small like crickets but they do not require perfect temperature or humidity like crickets do. They also do not smell or die off quickly like crickets tend to. Male lateralis are light colored with wings, and females are dark with no wings. Lateralis are fast movers so be prepared to chase them if they do escape. The upside to them being so fast is that they are fast breeders, because they lay eggs instead of live birth allowing your colony to grow at a fast pace.

Housing your Blatta lateralis is very easy. Any container such as a glass tank or plastic container works well with lateralis since they are non-climbers. Make sure that you have plenty of egg cartons in your container so that you roaches are able to breed. Also you need to keep humidity above 40%. You can get your humidity higher my occasionally misting your container with water. A heat mat can be placed at the bottom of your container of you can place a heat lamp on top of the container to keep a high temperature. The container’s temperature should be between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. You could also use a pre heated reptile room, nocturnal light bulb with a reflector, heat tape, human heating pad, or a heat cable to keep your container at the right temperature. Make sure you always keep mold out of your colony’s container. Mold can destroy your whole colony.

Feeding your Blatta lateralis is also very easy. Lateralis will pretty much eat anything, but you need to keep in mind whatever you feed your roaches you will also be feeding your pet. Providing your roaches with a high protein diet will allow them to better feed your pets later. Dry cat food, whole grain cereal, baby cereal, fish flakes, or roach diet. You can use dry dog food but it does not have as much protein as the dry cat food. You can put their food in a small dish or in the corners of your tank. Strangely enough lateralis often take their food from the dish and move it to their hiding spots to eat. Water is also very important to the health of your roaches. Water crystals are wonderful to use because they are not messy like liquid water.

Blatta lateralis are wonderful feeder roaches especially for smaller pets such as, tarantulas, geckos, and baby bearded dragons. Any pet that you would normally feed a cricket to you can feed lateralis to. Lateralis also have soft shells so it makes it easier for your pet to digest and allows them to have a higher meat to shell ratio. It is best to allow your colony to fully grow before you start only feeding from it. Your colony should have at least 1 male to each 3 females, allowing you to feed your pets the extra male roaches. Following these tips and growing a healthy colony of Blatta lateralis will ensure that you can keep your pet healthy without spending a lot of money.

What Makes Panasonic Air Conditioners Efficient and Reliable

Panasonic Air Conditioners are known for proving the best possible to customers by being efficient and reliable. These come with a variety of unique features that make them stand out as compared to other air conditioners.

Some of the main features that really make these machines popular are:

Advanced Air Purifying System – It is the only air conditioner that has the ability to remove up to 99% of dust particles and germs. It sends out e-ions to inactivate airborne bacteria and catch dust particles. The filter is charged positively and attracts these e-ions to provide a completely clean room as even microscopic dust is captured.

Super Tropical Compressor – The main component that affects the quality and performance of an air conditioner is its compressor. This compressor was developed in 2001 and is an excellent option to provide high efficiency even under high load situations.

Patrol Sensor – This feature detects microscopic dirt in the air and starts the purification. Its biggest advantage is that is keeps working even when the air conditioner is off. The sensor is color coded and is blue in color when monitoring the air, changes to red when it detects dirt and then to orange when it is cleaning the air.

Super Alleru-Buster Filter – This filter combines an anti allergen and anti virus with an anti bacterial protection, which ensure that harmful and unwanted particles like dirt, dust, bacteria, viruses, moulds and spores are completely eliminated form the room.

Blue Fin Condenser – The condenser of a unit is exposed to wind, dust and salty air that combine to harm it beyond repair. Panasonic boasts of tripling the life of the condenser by applying a layer of anti rust coating that increases the reliability as well.

Long and Wide Airflow Vane – The vane is designed so as to disperse the air into each and every corner of the room and provide uniform cooling.

Odor Removing Function – Usually when a unit starts up a few unwanted odors are thrown into the room. This is prevented as the fan remains immobile for a short period of time when the unit is switched on and during this short time the odor inside the unit is eliminated.

Panel – The panel can be easily removed from the unit and washed in normal water and detergent. This further promotes a better, smoother and efficient performance.

Quiet Mode – A number of units come with a quiet mode but these units come with a special button that can be pressed to reduce the noise level by about 3 decibels. This helps a lot in making them a popular choice in homes with babies.

Powerful Button – This can be used to increase the cooling with a powerful and strong air flow. It is of tremendous use when fast cooling is required like when a person just enters a hot room.

Refrigerator Repair: How to Identify Common Causes of Refrigerator Noise

Is your refrigerator keeping you up at night with its various moans and groans? When you need immediate relief from your noisy refrigerator, there are a few steps you can take. Follow these helpful tips from your local appliance repair shop:

  • Locate the source of the noise – Is the noise coming from the inside of the freezer, or the outside back of the refrigerator? Determining what area the noise is coming from will help you narrow down the possible components that might be causing the sound.
  • Troubleshoot – There are only a handful of parts in a refrigerator that typically cause noise. Once you have narrowed down the general location of the sound, you can begin troubleshooting various components to try to resolve the issue. While some issues can easily be fixed with minimal effort, others will require that you call in a professional who is trained in refrigeration repair.

Noise Inside the Freezer

Noise originating inside the freezer can typically be attributed to the evaporator fan, which runs whenever the unit is actively cooling. If you notice a chirping, squealing, or groaning sound that comes and goes (rather than being steady), it may be an issue with the fan motor. To find out for sure, open the freezer door and hold down the light/fan switch if there is one. If the sound gets louder with the door open, you can be pretty sure that the fan is the cause. Unfortunately, there is no way to repair the evaporator fan motor–you must replace the part in order to resolve the issue.

Noise from the Back of the Refrigerator

Most noises that you notice will come from the back of the refrigerator, where most of the moving parts are located. If you have a self-defrosting unit, the first place you will want to check is the condenser fan. The condenser fan is located on the back of the refrigerator, often behind a thin panel. The fan can occasionally accumulate a buildup of lint and other debris, causing a buzzing or clicking noise. You can try to resolve the problem by removing the thin cover to access the fan, and then cleaning the fan of any debris using a soft bristled brush (old toothbrushes are great for this!). Once the fan is clear of dust or other materials, replace the cover and plug the refrigerator back in. If you still have noise coming from the condenser fan after cleaning it, you may have to replace the part with the help of an appliance repair company.

If your refrigerator is making a rumbling, or purring noise from the back, it may indicate a problem with your compressor. The compressor is located in a football-sized case on the back of the refrigerator, near the bottom of the unit, and usually contains either black or copper tubes with a variety of colored wires. The compressor is typically a sealed unit, so it can not be replaced by a do-it-yourselfer. If you are able to isolate the problem to the compressor, you will need to contact a refrigerator repair technician to complete the job.

Noise from the Bottom of the Refrigerator

If you have noise emanating from the bottom of your refrigerator, it is likely coming from one of two places. The first, and easiest to resolve, is rattling from a loose drain pan. To fix this issue, simply tape the pan securely in place to stop the noise. If that doesn’t work, you may have an issue with the defrost timer. The defrost timer is located in the front of the unit, behind the kickplate. This part is actually a heating element located on the evaporator coil and can not be repaired. If you are experiencing trouble with the defrost timer, you may also notice a buildup of frost in your refrigerator or freezer. To have this component replaced, you should contact an experienced professional for installation of the refrigerator repair part.

When to Contact the Professionals

If you complete the above steps and still can’t determine where the problem is coming from, or if you need to replace a complicated part such as the compressor or defrost timer, you should contact your

local appliance repair service. In addition to providing you with thorough troubleshooting and safe, reliable repairs, most refrigerator repair technicians also offer routine maintenance, which can help you avoid problems down the road. With their help, you’ll be able to sleep soundly without being interrupted by strange kitchen noises well into the future.

Cultural and Religious Beliefs of the Hamsa Tattoo

The Hamsa tattoo is beautifully rich in design and includes cultural and traditional values. The style of the tattoo depicts a hand with a symbol on the palm, which is often an eye, and can represent confidence, bravery, or protection. The Hamsa design has religious meaning in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Even though it is accepted for different reasons, the tattoo design is chosen for its ability to provide protection and safety across the different religions. The design of the Hamsa can be inked with all fingers together which means good luck, while the design with fingers apart is more directed at providing a symbol to provide protection from evil.

Hamsa symbol for different religions


In Islam the five-finger design is intended to signify the Five Pillars of Islam, which includes: Hajj (visit Mecca at least once by anyone financially and physically able to complete the journey), Salat (pray 5 times daily), Sawm (self-control throughout Ramadan), Shahadah (accepting Muhammad as God’s prophet) and Zakat (give to the needy). Also, the Hamsa is known by the name Hand of Fatima, which is intended to honor Muhammad’s daughter Fatima Zahra.


For those with Jewish heritage, this hand tattoo is intended to symbolize the presence of God in all things that exist in the world. The five-finger symbol helps to remind the person to focus on the five senses when praying to God. This symbol has a further meaning for many with the belief that the depicted image of the hand relates to the five books of the Torah. For those with this belief the image is known as the Hand of Miriam.


The hand symbol in Christian religion has a meaning that relates to the Virgin Mary. It is believed the hand is able to symbolize strength, power, and femininity. The design of the tattoo can vary and include the Jesus fish symbol. This element is incorporated in the design because the fish (Ichthys) is regarded as a Christian symbol. Plus, in certain cultures, the addition of the fish gives protection against the evil eye.

Irrespective of the chosen religion, the actual wearer of the Hamsa tattoo is certain to believe it provides a beneficial level of protection for family members against ill-wishers and evil in general. Many people also choose this style of body art because it is said to be a sign of good luck or fortune while also giving the power of protection.

Yukon Solitaire Strategy Guide

Yukon Solitaire is fun card game, requiring the ability to plan elaborate sequences of long moves. It is quite unusual compared to other solitaire games, because it lets you move stacks of cards when they aren’t in sequence.

It isn’t possible to win every game of Yukon Solitaire, but a good player should be able to win more than 80% of the games they play, if they use the right strategy…

The key to doing well in Yukon Solitaire is to work backwards. Instead of doing any move that is possible, the player should work to expose the uncovered cards.

Starting from the first stack, look at the top exposed card. Then try and find another card that the exposed card could be moved onto, and then try and re-arrange the cards to make the move.

This might be best shown with an example:

Suppose the top exposed card in a column is a red 3. You need to find a black four to play onto. There is only one black four in play right now, and it has a black 6 directly underneath it. So the black 6 needs to be moved… which means that a red seven is needed. Suppose there is a red 7 visible at the bottom of a stack… Then play would proceed like this:

Black 6 onto the Red 7

Red 3 onto the Black 4

And a covered card in the column has now been exposed.

Now usually, the sequence will take longer than that. Sometimes I’ve played out sequences over 10 moves long!

You will find that some columns can not be exposed at this time. Either a card in the sequence is missing, or a card you need is already being used (In the example above, if the black four already had a red three underneath it, then play would be blocked, because there would be nowhere to move the other red three onto).

When that happens, just move onto the next column. I find it helpful to leave my mouse cursor above the column I’m currently analyzing. This helps me to remember which column I am up to, which can be particularly handy if you’ve just been investigating a really long sequence.

If you can’t find any columns that can be exposed, then it’s time to start looking for cards to free that can be moved to the foundation. Are there any cards you can move that would allow you to free an Ace?

If you follow this one tip, you should find that you can quite easily win at least 80% of the Yukon Solitaire games that you play.

Snow Melt Mat Prevents Water Mess on Garage Floor

Tired of cleaning up the water mess on your garage floor caused by melting snow from your vehicle? You can say goodbye to mopping. A snow melt mat can be placed on your garage floor and you simply park your vehicle on it to absorb the melting snow.

With this garage mat it takes the worries out of falling on wet, slippery surfaces. Because it absorbs the melted snow it will also prevent water damage to your garage cabinets, boxes stored on the floor and other items you may have stored in your garage.

The backing of the mat is waterproof with a non-slip rubber material that prevents the water from reaching the surface underneath the mat. The mats come in 6 foot widths and in lengths of up to 150 feet. This width is adequate for most vehicles. If a wider length is need the product is also available in 3 foot widths. You can simply purchase a 6 foot section and a 3 foot section and place the mats side by side to get a 9 foot width.

A snow melt mat is easy to use. Simply roll it out on the floor of your garage. To decide the length of mat you need, measure the length of your vehicle and add one foot to the front and one foot to the back.

This absorbent mat will absorb gallons and gallons of water. Generally the mat does not become saturated with water during a winter because of natural evaporation. In the event you have a very harsh winter and the mat becomes over saturated you would need to vacuum the excess water up.

In the Spring, after the mat has dried up completely, you can vacuum the dirt and gravel that came in with the snow. It is also a good idea to flip up the edges of the mat to dry it out in case any water got under the mat on the edges. The mat can be left in place on your garage floor year round. The mat will not wear out by driving in and out on it. The only way you can damage the mat is by turning your wheels on it while parked on it.

With a snow melt mat, the worry about messy floors, slip and falls, damage to garage cabinets and concrete damage caused by road salt is eliminated.

Best Chigger Treatment For Houses and Yards

Chigger treatment for home and yards may not be a thing most folks give much thought to. But fact of the matter is, many homes and yards are have a chigger problem.

The sad fact is if a house is a dive for chiggers it is probably the occupants very own fault. Not to point fingers. But who lives there?

Maybe before we go to finding a chigger treatment for the house, we should find how chiggers got there in the first place. If the source is not uncovered it will do little good to find a treatment.

Chiggers find their way into the house primarily because someone or something invited them in. That would be you and/or your indoor/outdoor pet.

The last time you came in from the woods did you just come into the house and plunk down that nice comfy couch or the big easy chair? What were you worried about all the time you were out there? Chiggers. Right.

Chiggers get knocked off onto furniture and the carpet when outside travelers go indoors.

If there are house plants chiggers may migrate to them and set up camp in them.

Now there are chiggers on the easy chair, on the couch, on the bed, in the carpet and headed for the all of those lovely house plants.

The best chigger treatment for the home is:

#1. Dogs and cats stay out doors unless they have been decontaminated

#2. All clothing is removed in the bathroom immediately if not sooner

#3. All exposed clothing is immediately put into the washing machine to be washed in hot, soapy water

#4. Any furniture or carpeting exposed must be steam cleaned

#5. Any house plants must be moved outdoors for a minimum of three weeks

#7. House plants must be treated with an insect killer or sprayed with a combination of diluted dish soap and vegetable oil(4 tablespoons of dish soap and 4 teaspoons of vegetable oil per gallon of water)or diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint(1 – 2 oz. per gallon of water).

Repeat every week for 3 weeks and before returning plants to house.

#6. All bedding must be laundered in hot soapy water if it has been exposed

The best chigger treatment for the yard.

Keep all grass mowed and the weeds and bushes or brush trimmed back from any pathways. All brush and leave piles must be disposed of.

To help keep chiggers at bay spray the use areas with an insect repellent or spray with the plant spray for three weeks the same as the house plants.

Chiggers may come


Chiggers may go

Chigger bites from hell

Chigger bites go on and on

Chigger treatment come fast

Chigger treatment relieve the itch

Chiggers will never die out

Why Choose a Cowhide Rug for Your Lifestyle?

Need a nice quality stylish rug for your lifestyle, but tired of your rugs wearing out or even unraveling on the ends when you run the vacuum over it, long before they have paid for themselves? Then it’s time for to look at purchasing a cow hide rug for your home or office.

Never let yourself be miss led when thinking about a cowhide rug. Most people fall victim to the thinking that a cow hide rug belongs in homes in Texas or on a ranch. Well times are a changing, and that’s not the case anymore.

Many people assume that all cowhide rugs are the same. As a result, they purchase low priced rugs that crack and shed within a few years. Cowhide is a very tough and resilient product. When properly taken care of they will last a lifetime. Hard to tear or puncture, and will never come unraveled on the ends. The natural oils on a cowhide help resist stains and dirt, which is a plus in a home with animals or little ones.

A cowhide rug is also hypo allergenic, so if you have a loved one that suffers from allergies this rug will not cause issues or flare ups. Making a cowhide rug an easy choice from other synthetic rugs.

With modern technology making a cowhide into something that will fit any lifestyle in any town or city, has become easy.

Natural cowhides are all different in themselves. Coming from the hide of a cow, no two are alike. So even if you stay up with the trend of a cowhide rug in your home, it will not be just like your neighbors!

The styles to choose from are endless. Even exotic options are out there. Now a days you can choose from zebra print, tiger print, leopard and the list goes on and on. With quality and care a cowhide can be dyed into just about any pattern.

If you prefer the look of a nice even rug, cowhides can fill that role also. Many places offer round or oval cow hide rugs, with designs on them. It is becoming ever more popular to cut separate pieces of cowhide to mix and match, then sowing the pieces together to make a design. Results have been stunning and still high quality.

Cowhides are also not just for the floor anymore. They have become favorites as wall hangings. Whether they are hung alone on the wall or used as a back drop for pictures, they can take a dole boring wall, into the focal point of the room. They are very versatile and becoming very popular in all walks of life.

Build Your Own Cat Tree – How to Pick the Right Carpet For Your Cat Tree

If you have an inkling to build your own cat tree but have never done it before, then you may have a lot of questions. Many of those questions probably center around what type of materials you should use.

This article will give you tips for selecting and buying the right type of carpet to use for covering the base, posts, and shelves of your cat tree.

Where To Get Carpet

One of the best ways to obtain carpet is buying it straight off the roll. All carpet outlets and most building supply stores will allow you to purchase carpet this way. However, you may be limited to purchasing it only in certain foot increments (often 12′).

If purchasing off the roll will leave you with too much excess, you can try to purchase scraps. Most carpet outlets have carpet remnants they sell for a discount price.

These are often brand new and are simply scrap pieces left over from new installations at houses, apartments, office buildings, etc. Spending a little extra time shopping around can help you land some amazing carpet deals.

What Type Of Carpet Is Best?

When you build your own cat tree and are ready to cover it with carpet, you’ll have a couple considerations to address. First, what color do you want it? This is really a personal choice so I’ll leave that between you and your cat.

Second, you’ll need to decide what pile, texture, and weight you want to use. If you’re unfamiliar with carpet terms, pile simply refers to the length of the carpet fibers and the weight refers to carpet thickness. In terms of texture, it’s best to go with non-loop carpet. This will prevent your kitty from getting hurt by ensuring her claws don’t get snagged.

If you want to make a cat tree with the most eye appeal and the least frustration during the construction process, then stick to medium pile (3/8″ to 1/2″ long fibers) and medium weight carpet.

If the carpet fibers are too long or the carpet is too thick, it will be difficult to bend and staple around the edges and corners of shelves. If it’s too short or thin, then the backing shows through when it is folded over edges and around corners.

How Much Carpet Is Needed?

Obviously, when you build your own cat tree, the amount of carpet needed will depend on how extravagant your design will be. In most cases, you can create a nice, average-sized cat tree with around 50 square feet.

Top 9 Teeth Whitening Myths Busted and Common Questions Answered

Myth 1 – Teeth Whitening ruins your tooth enamel

Not generally true! Professional Teeth Whitening product suppliers mostly use Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide as the active ingredients in their tooth whitener gels. The chemical Hydrogen Peroxide (HO) is a bleaching agent which converts into water (HO) and releases an Oxygen molecule (O) in the process of the chemical reaction. Both Water and Oxygen are common, safe components of our everyday lives.

The Oxygen particles penetrate the rough surface of your tooth (even though they appear smooth, they are microscopically rough, rod like crystal structures) and dislodge staining particles. I like to explain this by imagining the TV commercials which show how a clothes washing powder with oxygen lifts stains from your clothing.

The “bleach” Hydrogen Peroxide is not the same as household bleach containing ammonia, or other low-end, acid based tooth whitening products, and can be swallowed, within limits. In fact our own bodies produce Hydrogen Peroxide naturally!

Acidic products can remove enamel from your teeth. Look for teeth whitening products using Hydrogen Peroxide which is pH balanced, meaning they have no, or low acidity levels. Putting acidity into perspective, you should be aware that everyday Orange Juice is shown in lab studies to soften (and potentially erode) tooth enamel by many times more than a professional hydrogen peroxide based tooth whitening gel could, if used correctly.

Myth 2 – Teeth Whitening is not Safe

Not true! Cosmetic Teeth Bleaching with Hydrogen Peroxide has been in use for 100 years. Most recognized dental bodies worldwide endorse tooth bleaching as a generally safe practice, when simple safety steps are followed. Any professional supplier of teeth whitening products will include adequate instructions for the safe use of their product.

Safety vs Risk with tooth whitening is generally centred on 2 main issues: Exposure of the gel to the gums and soft tissue of the mouth or lips, and tooth sensitivity. Both can be minimized by using professional products and minimizing the amount of time the bleaching gel is exposed to the gums or teeth.

As with any cosmetic procedure, there are potential risks. Thankfully with professional teeth whitening any side effects experienced are temporary and are not permanent. As with most cosmetic procedures, you may have to endure some discomfort to look better. Sometimes I call this “Vain Pain”.

Myth 3 – All whitening Gel is the same

Not true! Of the two major professional gel options, there is Carbamide Peroxide and Hydrogen Peroxide. Both produce the same active ingredient Hydrogen Peroxide, but Carbamide Peroxide acts SLOWER on the teeth and is recommended for use only with an Accelerator Light (I will talk about that later) or for overnight use. Carbamide Peroxide concentrations contains roughly 1/3 of the active ingredient, Hydrogen Peroxide. As an example, 35% Carbamide Peroxide is roughly equal to 12% Hydrogen Peroxide.

Because Hydrogen Peroxide is an unstable chemical which reacts immediately, it is more expensive to produce. Many vendors offer only Carbamide Peroxide based products as a result. Stabilized Hydrogen Peroxide, while the most difficult and expensive to produce, reacts immediately on contact with the teeth and is best suited for short duration tooth whitening treatments without an accelerator light.

Myth 4 – Teeth Whitening Accelerator Lights don’t work

Not generally true! Except in some cases. There are businesses who sell only take home teeth whitening kits, and some Dentists, who say that the LED Lights and other accelerator lights are just a gimmick and don’t work.

There have been many studies conducted which show that the use of a professional accelerator light does indeed accelerate the oxidization (the release of oxygen and chemical bleaching reaction) of tooth whitener gel. This is especially true with Carbamide Peroxide based whitening gels which react much slower chemically.

Ask yourself, how many Dentists and Cosmetic Dentistry businesses offer an “in-office”, “chairside”, “instant whitening” or “Power Whitening” treatment? Many of them! Now why would they offer this treatment if the accelerator lights did not work? From my own professional experience, there is no doubt that the professional quality Blue LED Accelerator lights enable a faster tooth whitening result when using Carbamide Peroxide gel. In our own studies and observations having worked with thousands of clients and compared the results with the same gel, over the same time period, with and without the LED Accelerator Lamp, we are sure there is a noticeable improvement with the light under these conditions.

But, not all Accelerator Lights are the same. Some Dentists use older technology lamps such as Plasma, UV and other technologies. These technologies function at a light spectrum which is known to cause heating or burning of the skin tissue and heating of the tooth surface to release the oxygen in the gel, unfortunately that can also mean UV damage to your mouth, gums and lips. There are also mini handheld LED Lights you often see in TV Commercials – these are only toys and do not have enough power to have any effect.

Another case of where an accelerator light doesn’t work well is if the provider uses a mouth tray to hold the gel against the teeth, and this tray is coloured, is a “Silicone Impression” tray, or is a Pre-Filled Foam tray. These types of mouthguard trays do not allow the light frequency to pass through them and there are no accelerated bleaching effects as a result.

Modern, professional teeth whitening accelerator lamps all use LED light in the blue light spectrum, at a specific frequency which excites the oxygen release from the chemical, and accelerates the tooth whitening process. They are often known as “Cool LED” or “cold” light accelerators because they do not heat the teeth or surrounding tissue. As a result, they are perfectly safe, and the technology is FDA Apparoved.

Myth 5 – You need to go to a Dentist to get professional whitening results

Not true! Today, you can buy in Australia, professional strength tooth whitening products which you can use at home or as a service with a professional accelerator light and assistance – and not just from the Dentist.

Dentists are exclusively allowed to use the VERY STRONG bleaching gels, over 16% Hydrogen Peroxide, and up to 35% Hydrogen Peroxide. At these strengths of whitening gel, the real risks are tooth sensitivity and gum trauma. Dentists therefore use a special gum barrier which they apply to your gums prior to applying the strong gels. A Dentist will usually get a better whitening result in the same amount of time as a non-dental treatment, but there are costs to consider, both financially and in increased tooth sensitivity when using the stronger Dentist-only treatments.

For many years the Dentist’s had the cosmetic teeth whitening market monopolized because professional teeth whitening technology was too expensive for anyone else. Today, the price and availability of professional tooth whitening products means you have many more choices and options.

Myth 6 – Teeth Bleaching Gels from anywhere other than USA, Australia or UK are unsafe

Not true! First of all, in this modern world, you may not even know it but products appearing to be manufactured by a good American or Australian brand are most likely actually manufactured in China. This is true with all types of products and technology worldwide, due to simple economics.

There are many brands of teeth whitening products available in the market. You don’t need to be concerned where they were manufactured, because it makes NO DIFFERENCE. The active chemical, Hydrogen Peroxide is the same the world over. Because Hydrogen Peroxide is also used as a disinfectant, bacteria can’t live in this chemical and it will always be safe (ie; germ and bacteria free) to put Hydrogen Peroxide based gel into your mouth regardless of where it came from or how it was manufactured.

If the Hydrogen Peroxide gel is past its use by date or chemically expired, you will know right away, because the gel turns a milky white colour which shows that it is already oxidized and will no longer be effective at whitening your teeth, it won’t cause any harm.

Myth 7 – You need customized Mouthguard trays to get best whitening results

Not true! While Dentists offer custom mouth trays which costs a lot of money, there are also many home whitening kits providing the boil-n-bite thermoshrinking mouthguards which will work equally as well. The totally custom trays may be a little more comfortable to wear, but they need to be, because in general, a Dentist’s at-home teeth whitening kits require you to have the tray in your mouth for long periods of time, over weeks of use. There are non-dentist products which only require short time duration usage, so it doesn’t matter as much if the mouthguard is less comfortable.

The other problem with mouthguards which are too form-fitted is that the gap between the teeth and the surface of the mouthguard is so small, that only the thinnest layer of whitening gel can fit between. The problem with this is less chemical = less whitening result, so you need to use the mouthguard and gel more frequently, over longer periods of time to get a good result.

Myth 8 – All teeth are the same and whitening results should be like the “Hollywood” smile

Unfortunately, some people have unrealistic expectations and can be disappointed with their teeth whitening results. This is not because professional teeth whitening products don’t work, because they ALWAYS WORK to some degree. It’s because they fail to understand that each person’s teeth are unique in mineral composition, which means that tooth bleaching will produce a different result for each person. If your teeth are genetically more yellow than someone else, your results will not be as white, no matter who’s product you use, how many times you try to whiten your teeth, or what the strength of the gel is. And some people have deep staining from antibiotics, tetracycline etc. which can’t be easily removed and may never be fully removed. Also, there are people with genetically grey or blue tinted teeth for which Hydrogen Peroxide bleaching does not work as well as yellow or brown colour tints.

People see the Hollywood Stars on TV and in Movies and believe they can get their teeth bleached to look like the movie stars. Unfortunately, that is not possible. Chemical Teeth Whitening has its limits of effectiveness and will not produce the pure white colour (for most people) you see on Movie Stars. Does that mean that movie stars are just genetically lucky? No, it means that movie stars have often paid many thousands of dollars for Porcelain Veneers to straighten their teeth and make them pure white. Of course you have this option too, if you have the money, but a tooth whitening with Hydrogen Peroxide generally makes a noticeable difference in whiteness and brightness of natural teeth, at a much lower cost than Veneers.

Myth 9 – If I have Caps, Crowns, Veneers or Dentures so I can’t whiten my teeth

Not true! While Hydrogen Peroxide only whitens natural teeth, it also cleans all surfaces, including man-made surfaces of caps, crowns, veneers and dentures. Some dentists say that hydrogen peroxide can weaken the bond of some of these artificial substances, or attack the metal components, but you should check with your Dentist about your specific case before whitening your natural teeth if you are concerned.

It is always better to whiten your natural teeth FIRST if you are going to be getting any caps, crowns etc. fitted. This is because the dentist can then match the colour of the artificial substance to your now whiter, natural teeth, giving an overall whiter smile.

Common Questions and Answers about Teeth Whitening:

Does Whitening Toothpaste work?

The problem here is that there is not a strong enough concentration of any chemical, and it is not concentrated on your teeth long enough to make ANY noticeable difference to the whiteness of your teeth. The only real “whiteness” if you can call it that, which is created by toothpaste is actually the abrasive action of the toothbrush or paste against your tooth enamel. This scratching DOES wear down tooth enamel and also removes large chunks of staining material on the tooth surface, but not the tiny staining particles which make teeth look more yellow. This is the same thing with “Tooth Polishes” which only act like a fine sandpaper to remove tooth enamel while brushing and will cause increased tooth sensitivity with prolonged use tooth enamel thins.

As with the Risk vs Reward argument, while there is significant damage caused to tooth enamel from tooth brushing over time, on balance this is better than the consequences of not cleaning your teeth.

Don’t be fooled by those expensive “whitening toothpastes” – they do not make a noticeable difference to the whiteness of your teeth, they are abrasively removing enamel from your teeth and you’re better off spending your money on something that does work.

Who is suitable for Teeth Whitening?

The generally recommended rules to define people who are suitable for teeth whitening are:

  • Over 16 years of age (due to potential development of the teeth prior to this age, parental consent may be required)
  • Not Pregnant or Lactating (this is an additional safety measure to protect babies, although you would not generally be able to swallow enough Hydrogen Peroxide from a normal teeth whitening treatment to harm your baby)
  • No known allergies to Hydrogen Peroxide. If you have ever developed skin irritation when bleaching your hair with Hydrogen Peroxide, you may be allergic. But if you don’t know you’re allergic, it will become evident in the first few minutes of a teeth whitening treatment, and you can simply stop the treatment. Any side effects, no matter how discomforting will disappear in a few days with no permanent damage.

Aside from these conditions, teeth whitening is not advisable for people with Dental Braces, people with gum disease, open cavities, leaking fillings, recent oral surgery, or other dental conditions. If in doubt, I recommend you visit your Dentist prior to using a professional strength teeth whitening product.

People with grey or blue tint colour to their natural teeth may also not benefit as greatly from teeth whitening using Hydrogen Peroxide, as people with yellow or brown tint colour.

If you have Gingivitis or Periodontal disease, any Hydrogen Peroxide bleach on your gum line will be painful and may produce a small amount of bleeding at the gum line. As a result, I don’t recommend whitening your teeth until these issues are under control with your Dentist. What is interesting however, is that reports have shown that Hydrogen Peroxide can kill the bacteria which causes Gingivitis, possibly preventing further damage.

What are the Risks with Teeth Whitening?

Whitening treatments are generally safe, however, some of the potential complications of these treatments include:

GUM IRRITATION: Whitening gel that comes in contact with gum tissue during the treatment may cause inflammation and/or blanching or whitening of the gums, gum line or inside lips. This is due to inadvertent exposure of small areas of those tissues to the whitening gel. The inflammation and/or whitening of gums is transient, meaning it does not last, and any colour change of the gum tissue will reverse within two hours, usually within 10-30 minutes. Persons with a history of mouth ulcers may develop temporary mouth ulcers which usually disappear within a few days after treatment.

TOOTH SENSITIVITY: Although more common with the in-Office Dentist Treatments using very strong bleaching gels, some people can experience some tooth sensitivity for a period after the whitening treatment. People with existing sensitivity, recently cracked teeth, micro-cracks, open cavities, leaking fillings, or other dental conditions that cause sensitivity may find that those conditions increase or prolong tooth sensitivity after a cosmetic teeth whitening treatment.

SPOTS OR STREAKS: Some people may develop white spots or streaks on their teeth due to calcium deposits that naturally occur in teeth. These usually diminish within 24 hours.

RELAPSE: After a cosmetic teeth whitening treatment, it is natural for teeth colour to regress somewhat over time. This is natural and should be very gradual, but it can be accelerated by exposing your teeth to various staining agents, such as coffee, tea, tobacco, red wine, etc. You should not eat or drink anything except water during the first 60 minutes after a teeth whitening treatment, and avoid tooth staining agents for 24 hours after (eat and drink white or clear coloured foods during this time).The results of a Hydrogen Peroxide based tooth bleaching treatment are not intended to be permanent, and can last up to 2 years when using professional strength treatments. Secondary, repeat, or touch-up treatments may be needed to achieve or maintain the colour you desire for your teeth.

How do I achieve best teeth whitening results?

Before answering this question, you should be thinking of the tooth whitening results from a single treatment, as a trade-off against the potential side-effects of a single treatment. The best answer is balance! Balance the potential results with the potential risk of side-effects. The highest concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide produce the best results in the shortest time, but also have the highest potential side-effects. My recommendation is middle of the road – not the strongest, and not the weakest to get a happy balance of results and risk.

Before you undertake a professional teeth whitening treatment, have your teeth cleaned professionally. At least in the smile area, which is the upper and lower 8-10 front teeth. REMEMBER, teeth are opaque so cleaning the BACK of the teeth is very important to the overall whitening results you will achieve. A Dental Cleaning will remove any excess materials stuck to the outside of your teeth and permit the Hydrogen Peroxide to work best at bleaching your natural teeth, evenly.

Use a professional strength teeth whitening gel. Many Pharmacies, TV Ads and Internet companies promote teeth whitening products which use 3% or 6% Hydrogen Peroxide concentration. These just don’t work well at whitening teeth, and any effect they have takes a LONG time to achieve. The comparative cost difference is not that great between these low-end products and products of professional strength, but the time and effort required is. I recommend 12% Hydrogen Peroxide if available in your area, unless you are using a whitening treatment with a professional accelerator light which can use 35% Carbamide Peroxide. Of course the Dentist in-Office power whitening treatments generally use gel much stronger than 12%, but beware of the potential side effects.

Remember, if your teeth aren’t as white as you would like after the first treatment, you can always allow some time to monitor your gums and teeth for any side-effects, then take an additional treatment(s). Provided the product you are using is not too expensive, this is the best and safest way to achieve optimal teeth whitening results.

How long does Teeth Whitening last?

This depends on the product you use to whiten your teeth, and the lifestyle you lead.

If you are a smoker, or regularly drink red wine or use any other heavily coloured substances regularly, your whiter teeth will become stained again more quickly.

There is no absolute answer to this question, but in general, if you use a professional teeth whitening product for the full treatment as recommended, you may be able to keep the whiter teeth for up to 2 years if you are conscious of what you eat and drink, and maintain your teeth and oral health properly.

Most people are not saints and lead lives where they enjoy red wine or a curry etc. That’s fine, but if you want to keep your whiter teeth you should brush them 60 minutes after you have consumed the food or drink. Research suggests you should not brush immediately after eating because the acid formed in your mouth when eating makes the tooth enamel softer and abrasive brushing of the teeth during this period can be detrimental.

I also recommend the use of Teeth Whitening Pens. They apply a thin layer of Hydrogen Peroxide to the teeth, at any time or place, and will bleach any staining close to the tooth surface (if the concentration is strong enough). Whitening Pens active ingredient only works for 30 to 60 seconds on the teeth because saliva washes it away, so choose a Whitening Pen which uses Hydrogen Peroxide (not Carbamide) and is professional strength gel. Whitening Pens are generally not suitable for removing deeper stains.

I have tooth sensitivity problems, can I still whiten my teeth?

Yes, and you have several options. You could use a desensitizing tooth paste for approximately 1 month prior to whitening your teeth and if sensitivity is reduced, you can use any product. But be aware that your sensitivity will likely increase again during or after the treatment, so I suggest choosing a mid strength whitening gel where you can remove it quickly if discomfort gets unbearable.

The other option is a low strength whitening gel. This will work over a longer period of time, but sometimes also increases sensitivity because of the amount of time required on the teeth to get a good result.

Probably the best option, in my opinion, is a Teeth Whitening Pen of at least 12% Hydrogen Peroxide concentration. Because you can paint the gel onto specific teeth and because the gel is washed away by saliva in less than a minute, this may produce the best results, with the least discomfort.

What should I do immediately after I whiten my teeth?

  • Rinse the gel from your teeth and mouth without swallowing.
  • Brush your teeth within 60 minutes using a tooth paste containing Fluoride to help seal the teeth
  • Don’t eat or drink colored foods, or smoke for at least 60 minutes
  • If you have tooth sensitivity, use a desensitizing tooth paste
  • If you have tingling in your gums, purchase from the Pharmacy a preparation designed to soothe gums. This will help to prevent mouth ulcers forming (if you are predisposed) and decrease the discomfort and duration of any potential gum irritation.

The simple rule to the best Teeth Whitening results

Concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide (Strength) + Time on the teeth (Time) = Results (Effectiveness)

When factoring in Time, you should also consider the consequences of time:

  • More effort, meaning you may not complete the full treatment
  • More inconvenience
  • Enough active ingredient to chemically react over that time period. That is to say, just leaving any whitening gel on your teeth for 24 consecutive hours won’t help because the Hydrogen Peroxide normally is fully reacted and spent within 20 minutes.
  • Longer exposure of the mouthguard to the gums. Friction of the mouthguard can often cause gum irritation
  • Longer exposure of the bleaching gel to the gums. Once again, the risk of gum irritation.
  • Remember, there are limits to the whiteness achievable with natural teeth and these will vary with your tooth genetics, your lifestyle and the state of your teeth at the time of whitening.

More information and Teeth Whitening Product Reviews available by downloading the full report.

What Bra Is Best To Wear With Spaghetti Straps

Just to provide some information, spaghetti straps are shoulder straps that are as wide as the spaghetti noodles (that’s how they got the name). These thin straps are mostly found on garments like tank tops, gowns and formal dresses, summer dresses, camisoles and some bras. These are popular in the summer months, when showing off shoulders and d├ęcolletage is desirable. These are cooler to wear than the tank tops with wider straps. But some women experience inconvenience with spaghetti straps, especially if their girls do not look and feel good without a bra, and so these women really need to wear one.

Other women wear a regular bra under a dress or top with spaghetti straps, so the bra straps which are usually wider, are shown off. This creates a very unsightly look.

This problem can be resolved several ways. For some women, going braless can be a fine option. Another choice is to wear a strapless bra. Nothing will show under your top with spaghetti straps. But make sure that you get a good strapless, not the bandeau type which is made of stretch fabric. Often these are not flattering and cannot give your breasts support nor shape. A strapless bra which has light or medium padding will give you both shape and support, including comfort.

An alternative to strapless bra is the adhesive bra that you attach to your skin with an adhesive tape which is skin friendly. If you will use an adhesive bra, you should not apply lotion to your skin. Some of these type bras are reusable; others are one time use only. If your girls are large, adhesive bras may not be able to provide your required amount of support. There are also some cases when adhesive bras do not stay in place, or removing them is painful.

When buying a strapless bra, you should get yourself fitted. You should also size down on the band size and also on the cups. If you ask why, it’s because the band is the strapless bra’s source of support (the straps offer only a bit). The band should fit your body snug; it will keep your girls and the bra up. However, when your strapless is too small, ultimately it may slide down and end up around your waist. When the strapless bra is too tight, it will be looking for the smaller part of your body where it can fit and feel at home.

Drum Building Tips For Working With Drum Wraps

Drum building projects that use drum wraps are my favorite projects to work on. Why? Because the project moves along fast, there’s minimal effort for a maximum effect, and you can get really creative with stripes, custom drum wrap designs, color combinations, and more.

Not to mention, drum wraps are very tough. Knocking your kick drum on the door handle of the club isn’t as devastating with a wrap than it is when you have a nice high gloss lacquer. Chips and dents versus light scratches in a wrap? I’ll take the scratches!

When I was building for a major custom company, I was wrapping between three to five drum kits a day. So here’s some tips.

#1: My favorite option: Design Your Own Drum Set.

You can send custom designs and even your favorite fabric to get laminated. This is honestly the easiest drum building project to assure that the outcome is a 100% unique drum set. If you are a graphic designer, than you have no excuse!

#2: Sand Before Gluing

And you thought you could escape the sand paper! Sand the back of the drum wrap with #320 grit paper before applying your glue. This allows the glue to latch onto something… and helps with creating an unstoppable bond.

#3: Precise Drum Wrap Ordering

A common mistake with first time drum building ordering is NOT being precise enough when ordering your wrap pieces.

When you order, give exact widths and order the length of the drum wrap with a 1.5 ” overlap for all drums 16″ in diameter and under. Any projects with drums OVER 16″ need a full laminate sheet (54″), plus a patch piece.

To figure out your patch piece length… find the circumference of your drum shell, add 3″ to it and minus this number by 54. Always round up. For example, an 18″ drum would need a 6″ patch piece (do the math!!).

#4: Batch Your Drum Wrapping

If you haven’t heard me use the drum building term “batching”… it simply means to group all similar drum building activities together.

At one point when I was working for a big custom company, I was wrapping three to five drum kits in one day. That’s a lot of measuring, cutting, gluing, rolling, etc.

The solution? Batch all your activities! Whether or not you’re building for a company or doing it on a lesser scale… you’ll save a ton of time and hassle by batching your work.

For example, glue all the wraps at once. While they are drying, glue all the drum shells. Wrap all the shells, and then use the laminate roller on all the shells. Tape all the overlap seams, and then trim any wrap of the shells, etc.

#5: Use The J-Roller

An often overlooked step in drum building is the post drum wrap treatment. Most drum building gurus have huge laminate press’ to rid the drum of air bubbles and to help cement the bond of the wrap.

However, the same effect can be achieved with a hand-held J-Roller. Using a J-Roller around the drums with good pressure helps your drum building project tremendously. It helps avoid wrap warping, bubbling, sound deadening (tone is killed from air bubbles), and more.

#6: Let Them Do the Cuts

Let the suppliers that you order your wrap from cut your stripes. Letting them do the work cuts down the necessary tools in the drum building project and also guarantees that if someone messes up, it’s not you and it WILL be replaced.

But if you’re deep into some crazy drum building ideas and you want to cut wrap yourself…the straight edge cutting jig gets the job done.

#7: Wrap Your Tom and Snare Drum Hoops

A cool drum building trick is to wrap your wood hoops. You can do it with traditional wood hoops, wood hoops with t-rod holes, and regular triple flanged metal hoops (use a different glue like “Gorilla Glue”).