Trades In Construction – Wet (Concrete) Works

This is a very synonymous trade with construction works, especially the construction of buildings. Most of the modern construction has its structural frame fabricated out of concrete. There are two main types of concrete:

· Mass Concrete: This is usually a ‘weak’ form of concrete. This means that it does not perform any load bearing duties. It is used in ground floor slabs, platforms or simple bases for light works.

· Structural (reinforced) concrete: This is used to carry loads and is therefore a common part of buildings and other structures like retaining walls. It is usually added strength properties by the use of steel (reinforcement). The specification of concrete is usually dependent on the amount of strength it is supposed to carry.

Concrete is made from a mixture of the following main parts;

· Ballast (Course aggregate): This forms the bulk of concrete parts. It is made from crushed stone and the size of the aggregates determines (partly) the strength and workability of concrete.

· Sand (fine aggregate): This is the second largest part of concrete. In concrete, it fills the gaps in between the course aggregates.

· Cement (binder): This binds together the other parts of concrete and hardens in a chemical process to form a strong mass, shaped to the desired form and size.

The three parts form the main type of concrete, which is usually given as ratio as in the following manner; (1:2:4 – One part Cement, Two parts Sand and Four parts Ballast). The three are mixed with clean water in a specified quantity. Cement reacts with water to form its strength.

Other constituents of concrete include;

· Reinforcement: Usually in the form of steel bars, but also in the form of fibrous material. Gives concrete enhanced strength properties.

· Additives: Chemical compounds added in concrete to give it enhanced characteristics like more flowability and water resistance.

Alongside this, concrete also needs moulds, commonly known as formwork, to give it support as well as shape it in the desired form, for example circular shape in columns. The conventional formwork was made of timber and poles, although this is quickly changing to other materials, mainly steel and aluminium.

Concrete works constitute the following works, which are either carried out by hand, by machine or a combination of both.

· Formwork construction: Depending on the material to be used, this can be purely a carpentry affair or a simple steel assembly. It also includes works like leveling and waterproofing. It also involves removal of formwork after a specified period, for example seven days, a process known as striking.

· Mixing: As earlier discussed. It is either done on site or mixed offsite and delivered in premix trucks.

· Steel Fixing: Where reinforced concrete to be set up, steel bars are usually fabricated and laid into the formwork before concrete is put. This involves works like bending, cutting and binding. This process is usually guided by an engineer’s drawing. This is mostly a manual affair.

· Placing: This refers to the act of putting concrete into the formwork. It is in most cases done above the ground level and as such involves either hoisting or dropping. Hoisting is either done manually or mechanically using hoists or concrete pumps.

· Compacting: This is done to make sure that concrete forms a compact mass, thus enhancing its strength. In small scale projects, it is done by hand, but in large projects, it is either done using poker vibrators (hand held or otherwise) or by use of additives to achieve self-compacting concrete.

· Curing refers to the task of allowing proper chemical bonding of cement by hydration (watering). It is usually done for a specified period of time, for example thirty days.

How to Make Christmas Birch Branch Reindeer

Christmas celebrations are unique in the terms of thematic decorations that give a festive face lift to any commercial or living space. This involves placing and redecorating several of the season’s special elements, apart from the Christmas tree. One such interesting addition is a handmade reindeer that can be placed at any strategic spot. Birch tree is the best option for such craft due to their cultural significance, availability, and easy designing. You will need to cut some small logs using saw and fixing some framework. Therefore, this craft is more suitable for the adults in the family, though children may be involved later at the decoration stage. Here are some easy tips to erect your own birch branch reindeer for the coming holidays.

Materials needed:

• Chainsaw or handsaw

• Drill

• Nails and hammer (optional)

• Birch tree branches, slightly thicker

• Thin branches or twigs from the same tree or any other suitable one

• Straight cylindrical rods made of wood or metal (dowel)

• Cotton balls, wool, or small pompoms

• Paint

• Glue

• Googly eyes (optional)

• Large red bead

• Small Christmas bell

• Evergreen branches of a flexible variety or suitable climbers

• Ribbons and laces

• Poinsettia (fresh or dried)

• Glitters

• Colorful berries (natural or artificial), tiny pine cones, ornaments or any suitable stuff used in small wreaths

Steps to make Christmas birch branch reindeer:

• Structure formation:

• Dissecting the branches: Cut the branches into two logs, one-half the size of the other.

• Smoothing: Use garden trimmer or knife to remove excess side branches, leaves, etc. and smooth the logs.

• Making hole: Drill a hole in both the logs, a few inches from one end. These holes should be proportionate to the diameter of the dowel.

• Forming body: Fix a dowel in both the holes in such a way that the larger forms the abdomen and the smaller, the head portion.

• Legs: Drill four holes for the legs and insert dowels. You may also use branches of the trees in place of the dowels.

• Antlers: Make holes for the antlers on the head and place twigs.

• Nose: Fix the red bead as nose.

• Eyes: Paint the entire structure, including eyes, in the natural shade of reindeer.

• Decoration: The main decoration is done to cover the dowel in the neck area and part of the legs. It is created in the form of a loosely shaped wreath.

• Branches: Take evergreen branches of appropriate size and form. Tie the ends.

• Ribbons: Tie ribbons in places around the closed loop.

• Accessorizing neck: Interlace other decorations, like golden painted pine-cones, berries, ornaments etc. Hand the entire adornment around the neck of the reindeer.

• Body cover: Cut a rectangular piece of red velvet cloth and lace it from all sides. Place the cloth on the back of the reindeer to give it the true holiday look!

How to Give a Girl Multiple ‘Stacking’ Orgasms – "The Master Stroker" and "The Great Anticipation"

Listen up – virtually all women want more than the plain boring sex where guys penetrate them and then expect them to orgasm. The fact is that women are unlikely to reach climax via physical stimulation alone. If you haven’t been able to make a girl climax for more than two times in one session – you are missing out A LOT. There are a couple of other things that are very important to women – and if you don’t do them, you will not satisfy your woman sexually. Read on to discover the secrets to make any girl achieve ‘stacking’ orgasms – one after another – in as little as five minutes…

How To Give A Girl Multiple ‘Stacking’ Orgasms – 2 Essential Techniques You Absolutely Must Know

Technique Number One – “The Master Stroker”. The ‘usual’ method is to move your penis in and out of the vagina. Here’s a killer tip – get into a position where you can move up and down instead of in and out. This is because by moving upwards and downwards, you will be able to stimulate your woman’s G-spot directly which will make her achieve multiple orgasms in short time. Here’s another deadly effective tip – get into the doggy style (which you can control your movements easily) and then move upwards and downwards instead of inwards and outwards. Try it – it works EVERY time.

Technique Number Two – “The Great Anticipation”. Prior to the lovemaking session, if you’re able to create massive amounts of build up, you will be able to get her highly excited. During the day, tell her that she will be experiencing new sensations which she has never felt before.

Once you make her feel the excitement of anticipation, then unleash the “Master Stroker” technique on her – and bam – she will get pleasured with multiple orgasms like never before.

Widen the Arc of Your Golf Swing to Add 25 Yards to Your Drives

Driving the golf ball farther is largely a function of maximizing clubhead speed through impact. If you want to add 25 yards or more to your drives, one of the most effective swing thoughts you can have is to focus on a wider swing rather than a taller swing.

The Ceiling-to-Floor Golf Swing

Imagine swinging your driver in a room of your house (no furniture, of course!). Most golfers waste club head speed with a swing that is too vertical – that is, their swing is focused on going from the floor to the ceiling to the floor again. The vertical golf swing is narrow and very up-and-down, and its shape resembles a “V.”

Because the clubhead cannot go through the ball into the floor, the vertical swing has to expend swing speed through a cast from the top or an early release. Whenever either of these symptoms happens, the clubhead reaches its maximum velocity before it ever contacts the golf ball.

The vertical golf swing can be caused by a number of factors:

  • Picking the club up with the hands to start the backswing;
  • hinging the wrists too early in the backswing;
  • not turning the shoulders;
  • reverse weight shift or spine angle change; or
  • lack of a pivot or weight shift on the backswing.

Fundamentally, however, the vertical golf swing usually has a “hit the ball” focus rather than a “swing to the target” focus. It may be possible to address any swing flaws simply by changing the focus of your golf swing rather than trying to fix the swing flaws directly, because if the underlying focus does not change, the symptomatic flaws are not likely to go away.

The Wall-to-Wall Golf Swing

Contrast the vertical golf swing with the wide golf swing. With a wider golf swing the golfer feels like they are trying to reach the walls of the room rather than the ceiling and floor.

The golfer who tries to reach the walls of the room develops a “U” shaped swing rather than a “V” shaped swing. The U shape allows the club to accelerate through the ball all the way to the target, maximizing clubhead speed through the ball and therefore increasing distance.

With a focus on a wall-to-wall swing many swing “flaws” fix themselves. A U-shaped swing will help the shoulders turn, reduce or eliminate early wrist hinge, make the weight shift feel more comfortable and natural, and eliminate spine angle changes.

Address the Fundamental Issue: Swing to the Target, Not the Ball

More fundamentally, however, the wall-to-wall swing can help the golfer change the focus of the swing from hitting the ball to swinging to the target. It is far more effective to make a swing change by addressing the fundamental underlying cause than it is to treat the symptoms.

One caveat: the wall-to-wall swing requires maintaining your leverage position and making a good pivot. The hips should not move laterally. It is not unusual when changing to a wider swing to see golfers sway (the lateral hip motion) rather than turn. Therefore when making the change to a wall-to-wall swing, consider working in tandem on both the wider arc and a better, more leveraged pivot. Switch back and forth every 3 to 5 practice shots between the wider arc swing and the leveraged pivot swing until the two work seamlessly together.

A Wider Golf Swing Means More Distance

Widening your swing arc can improve your driving distance 25 to 50 yards. Thinking “wall-to-wall” rather than “ceiling-to-floor” will produce a “U” shaped golf swing that will increase clubhead speed through the ball and simultaneously address many common swing flaws. When done in tandem with an efficient, leveraged pivot, the result will be effortless power and consistently longer drives.

What You Should Know About Compound Bows

Before about the 1950s, there were only two choices for people who loved archery – recurve bows and longbows. Which one you used depended on what you were going to use the bow to do. Target practicers used either type of bow, according to their personal preferences, while hunters generally chose recurve bows for their extra power – better for felling deer and other large animals. However, the popularity of the compound bow changed things.

Compound bows don’t look a lot like most other bows. They’re strung using not one string with loops at the end, but with a continuous loop. A pair of pulleys multiply the force available to propel the arrow. One or more of these pulleys is also a cam that allows archers to relieve most of the tension in their arms once the bow is drawn. That means that there’s no straining to hold the arrow in position. A truer shot is thus possible with a compound bow than with a recurve or a longbow.

Compound bows also give the archer the ability to adjust the strength of their bows. Instead of choosing a different bow for every draw strength, which we must do if we want to use a recurve or a longbow, we can adjust a compound bow to certain tolerances. Just changing the cams and pulleys a little means that a different strength is created. More than one person can use the bow. Just set it differently according to strength and size. That’s something that we can’t do with any other kind of bow.

Of course, compound bows have their own problems. It’s hard to string and unstring one of these bows, which can be a little surprising for people who are used to other types. Generally, you unstring your longbow or recurve bow to take the tension off and preserve the limbs. Compound bows, on the other hand, can be strung or unstrung only with the use of special clamps that hold them in position. If you try to do this without the right tools, you could really hurt yourself!

Right now, compound bows are probably the most advanced bows out there. They offer a lot more potential power than either longbows or recurves, and they’re adjustable. This is a real improvement over single strength bows. Plus, the ability of these bows to release tension on the arms of the archer makes it much easier to get a steady aim and hit the target. These bows are very popular with hunters, since they’re shorter than even recurve bows, and keep the bow from being tangled in growth. That reduces inconvenience and noise. Plus, the additional power makes efficient hunting easier. If you haven’t tried a compound bow, be sure to check one out and see how it works differently than the ones you’re used to.

How to Test Drainage Pipes After Laying

Drainage pipes start from the first manhole or inspection chamber to the septic tank or sewer system. After laying the pipes, before use the drains should be tested. Each section in between the manholes should be tested. Its appropriate that this is done at least twelve hours after jointing the last pipe. There are various methods of checking the system. This ensures that the system is air tight to avoid foul smells and leakages along the lines.

The testing of drainage pipes after laying commences with the following method. First the lower end of the pipe and all junctions are securely stopped. The whole length is then filled with water. After filling with water, a stopper is inserted at the top leaving a pipe attached with drain plug. This pipe is bent at ninety degrees and terminated at an elevated tank. The vertical distance of elevation should be at least one meter. This will give gravity flow.

In testing the drainage pipes, water is poured into the header tank. This is kept full for at least three hours. It allows absorption to take place. After this time, the tank is topped up and testing commences. After a period of thirty minutes have elapsed check the water level in the tank. The water level in the header tank should not have fallen. If has dropped by there millimeters then the test is satisfactory. Give one hour and check the levels.

After testing the drain pipes and they fail the test, check the point of leakage. Its important to note that tests are run on pipes laid in trenches but are not covered. The point of leakage is then noted and fixed. This is done using a strong concrete surround with fine aggregates. A minimum cover of one hundred and fifty millimeters is done. Tests are then done again and confirmed. After passing the test, back filling is then done for the trenches.

Menace of Brain Drain

Brain drain is a hard nut to crack for the developing countries because it generates intellectual dearth by depriving the country of its brilliant people. These geniuses use their energies and talents to serve the interests of the country where they immigrate to satisfy their personal ambitions and life long aspirations. The loaded industrialized countries have more job opportunities than the cash-strapped unindustrialized ones that entice their pitiable dwellers to leave their motherland with a ray of hope for a bright future. The well-fixed states accommodate these intellectuals to suck the talent of the budding nations that are already facing numerous complex predicaments. The urbanized countries in the past plundered the wealth of the frail nations under the guise of monstrous colonialism and now they have framed WTO to pillage their resources in an elegant way. But more important than economic exploitation and political marginalization is the continuous denuding of these unfortunate countries from the asset of their gifted inhabitants through tinselly and rolled-gold Machiavellian techniques. This one way flow of prowess has nurtured the fat countries by making the intellectual field of the emergent nations bleak and barren. It is crystal clear that only shining lights and salts of the earth can unfetter their native lands from the quagmire of twiddly national issues to make jogging strides.

Unending ambitions and unemployment compel the people to leave their motherland to settle where they can get jobs and well-blubbered salaries. Volatile law and order situation also results in exodus of the well-read people. Authoritarian regimes that cramp freedom of expression and suppress internal liberties to firmly grab the bridles of power are also a leading cause of brainpower sap. Favoritism, nepotism and sleaze shatter the confidence of the people in the institutions.

These malpractices generate frustration in the proficient community members by trampling meritocracy. A country where merit is thrown to the sharks to nurture dishonesty cannot make any headway in the welter of the contemporary melting pot. These unfair practices push the endowed natives to try their fate somewhere else where they see a glimmer of anticipation for due esteem and outstanding career.

Thousands of doctors, engineers, charted accountants, teachers and other dexterous members of the developing countries work like a beaver to appear in the professional entry examinations of America, Canada, Australia, New Zeeland and the European countries. These well-lined countries select the luminous candidates and push the rest of them to their native countries as the sugarcane juice machine throws the trash away after squeezing the juice. The people on whom opportunities smile spare no effort to permanently settle in the well-heeled states. Some of them are left with no other option but to arrange a genuine or counterfeit paper marriage to get nationality. Scores of them use unfair means to acquire fake documents to escape from the clutches of law enforcement agencies. Thus the scrawny countries from where these connoisseurs get education are left high and dry that continuously adds to the melancholies of their citizens resulting from the vicious cycle of brain drain. The nation-states where they immigrate wring their every grain of energy to pay them dazzling dollars, pounds and euros. Thus the shine and warmth of the glittering coins ensnare the overambitious individuals of the fleeced countries permanently.

They never slither out of the cocoon of this illusory trap that did not permit them to think about the miseries and agonies of their countrymen scrapping the bottom of the barrel. The illustrious poet Allama Iqbal fittingly attributed:

Nazar ko kheera karti hai chamak tehzib hazir ki

Ye sannai magar jhoote nigoon ki reza kari hai.

(The flamboyance of the contemporary civilization appeals the eyes, this artisanship is but the decoration of counterfeit pearls.)

In all the developed countries the social status of the specialists is very high. They are called men of brain and the governments give them due respect and bulky salaries so that these geniuses can devotedly serve the interests of their country by putting their foot down. But in most of the developing countries the social status of the bureaucrats, politicians and brass hats is tremendously up-scale. Several professionals sacrifice their line of work by joining authority related jobs or migrating to affluent countries triggering an unbridled ferocious phase of intelligence consumption. It is the power based social structures that compel the people to change their vocation. Some of the newly recruited officials start calculating the money they can churn out through dishonest means even before joining the post. Due to this grim scenario the development in these countries is still in the doldrums.

Pays of the civil servants who serve their vested interests more than the public are not different from the other government officials of the same rank. But every regime takes it for granted that they would compensate through jobbery and embezzlement because they have huge public funds at their disposal. Graft of the government officials in Pakistan is as common as water in the Amazon. The perks and privileges enjoyed by the civil and military bureaucracy cannot be even dreamt of by any other profession in the country. As most of the bureaucrats marry in well-to-do families therefore they need enormous amount of money to maintain their social status and their pay is just the tip of the iceberg of their massive expenditures. Therefore, they are left with no other option but to grease their palms.

Lack of self-reliance is the key factor for the perpetual miserable condition of the developing countries. They have shoddily botched to harness the talent of their masses that is mandatory to develop political and economic sovereignty. Therefore, they have been economically browbeaten and politically sidelined in the constellation of the nations by the giant nations. The colossal nations practice democracy within their borders but outside their boundaries they preach egalitarianism but carry out rigorous feudalism to calculatedly keep the Third World countries in a state of torpor so that they cannot challenge their writ and thwart hegemonic designs in the global affairs. They have deliberately fashioned a global economic system based on interest and exploitation that does not permit the growing countries to become self-sufficient. Majority of the hard up states are ruled by despotic rulers pampered by the alligators of the potent states. Only the brilliant persons engrossed in patriotism can change the destiny of a sloth-rumpled and sleep-crumpled nation by guiding them to become independent by smashing up the begging bowl. The inhabitants of the budding nations should hammer into their minds these radiant words:

When beggars extend their bowl they don’t feel shy,

But the pleasures of independence they never enjoy;

They degrade themselves for a square meal,

Physically they live but morally they die;

True spirits of life are in self-reliance,

Because remedies in ourselves often do lie.

There is gross institutional decay in the developing countries. This miserable state of affairs is most suitable for cultivation of deceitfulness, duplicity and double standards in the scam-spattered society. Dynamism of institutions is obligatory to build the trust of the public in the state functionaries. But in the dictatorial states their despotic rulers ruin the institutions to toughen their steely grip on the bristles of authority. These totalitarian potentates are not accountable to anyone. They squash the nations for their luxurious activities. The teeming millions of these unfortunate countries hope against hope for a final reprieve. Thus autocratic regimes cancel out the chances of success for the competent people that compel them to settle in a country where their talent and flair would be appreciated. The countries where personalities and pressure groups are more powerful than the institutions cannot compete with the nations where the circumstances are entirely round the clock.

The emigrating of highbrow persons perpetually generates intellectual deficit in the emerging states that thrust them further backward. Only the geniuses can liberate the nations from the intricate dilemmas. Therefore, in order to bulwark the menace of brain drain there is screeching need to bring forward the men of brain rather than empowering men of brawn that can only worsen the already grim picture. If the dwellers of weedy states want to make any headway in the present whirlpool then they should provide due respect, perks and privileges to the genuine intellectuals so that they gird up their loins to devotedly serve their indigent nations. In this way the peril of continuous talent loss can be averted because it is rightly said that brains like hearts go where they are appreciated. It is mandatory for the progressing nations to overhaul all institutions of their states. While appointing heads of various institutions meritocracy should be the supreme criterion instead of approach and corruption because an honest chief can inject vibrancy in the organization by curtailing the peril of rampant sleaze. A bolt upright official at the helm of affairs can plug loopholes in the institution through candid pragmatic steps. A country dangerously suffers where unbridled bribery is socially acceptable because it wears down the moral fabric of the nation.William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English poet and playwright, precisely said in his Sonnet 94 (1609):

“For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds:

Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.”


Dr Tanvir Hussain Bhatti

Freelance Columnist, Poet and Author of the Books“What Plagues Pakistan ?” and”Live Balls of Fire”


How to Close a Drill Chuck That’s Stuck Open

Finding Closure

It’s not uncommon for a drill chuck to become a little out-of-whack and, as a result, not completely close. At best, this failure to close can be obnoxious; more often than not, though, it can really clam up your productivity. This is not good. – Keep your drill tight and your mood above water with these few steps that will help you quickly close your whacked-out chuck.

First Things First:

As you know, you will find a chuck screw at the center of an opened drill chuck. This screw is responsible for a large part of keeping your chuck where it’s supposed to be. Like all things with a job to do, though, occasionally these little screws can lose their way. Sometimes, the screw may be lost altogether, but, in either case, it just needs a little direction. Because a loose or missing screw will prevent the chuck from closing entirely, you must tighten or replace the screw. Remember, that this screw is reverse threaded. Thus, to tighten the thing, you must flick that wrist to the left (counter-clockwise) and spin the screw in a counter-clockwise motion. Once the screw is good and tight, the chuck should close and grip as it’s meant to.

Coming Back for Seconds:

If the chuck remains loose or continues to revert to the out-of-whack position after you have tightened the chuck screw, there are a few other factors that might be at play – first, the screw or the screw-hole itself (inside the chuck) may have stripped threads. This would prevent the screw from staying in place which, in turn, prevents the chuck from keeping tight. If the screw threads are stripped, replacing the screw should do the trick. If the screw-hole inside the chuck is stripped, though, you probably need a new chuck.

For one or another reason, the chuck may also be locked or rusted into a loose position – or – the fingers within the chuck may have slipped, slouched or broken preventing the chuck’s jaws from gripping a bit. – In these cases, you pretty much need to either replace the chuck or have the thing professionally inspected.

Now that we’ve reached the end of this tale, I think the moral of the story is, “keep your screws tight (or you’ll end up with a screw loose,” – yes, pun intended). Good luck with your chuck and remember that tight drilling requires a tight drill (chuck).

Various Types of Woodworking Machines and Its Uses

Woodworking machines were first developed in England in the late 18th century. Later on several machineries were developed in North America. These were mainly developed to manufacture furniture. It was later used to manufacture wagons and carts. In the course of time, different types of machines were developed to manufacture wheels, axles and yokes.

Types of Woodworking Machines

Woodworking is one of the most widely known profession and hobby of people all over the world. Most of the workers have a huge array of tools to work. Majority of the tools function on the basis of a similar principle which includes a blade to remove pieces of timber and a spinning knife to cut timber into two or more pieces. Some of the most important types of tools include the shapers, jointers, band saws, routers, planers and table saws.

Saws and drills: Power tools such as saws and drills are also used by workers to manufacture various items. Different types of saws are used according to the type of projects. Large table saws are used to cut large pieces of timber and small handheld jigsaws are used for small projects. Large table saws are rapid, safe and cuts large pieces in a neat manner. Handheld saber and circular saws are also used by most of the workers for domestic and industrial purposes. This is the good tool of woodworking machines.

Routers: Another woodworking machine includes the router which is a power tool that is mainly used to cut various intricate patterns, designs and circles in timber. Routers are safe and convenient to use compared to saws as it includes an enclosed blade system.

Chisels: One of the most integral parts of these machines includes the chisels. Chisels are available in different sizes and varieties for different purposes. It is used with hammers to cut or carve timber. Chisels need to be sharpened periodically so that it remains sharp and crisp.

Planers: It is mainly used to flatten the top of the boards to precise thicknesses. Planers are available in different ranges which include portable models.

Shapers: These machines are mainly used to cut profiles into timber. Different types of cutters are fixed to the shapers to obtain various shapes. Shapers are mainly used to manufacture various accents for furniture, crown moldings and so forth.

Ways to Utilize Woodworking Machines

To obtain sculpted effect on the projects, it is ideal to use chisels of various sizes and hammers. Sharp chisels are quite useful in removing large slices from any type of timber.

Carving knives are also used to carve pictures and images. Wood cutters are also used to cut timber into different sizes. Power sanders and sanding wheels are used to polish pieces of timber. Different types of power engravers are also used to obtain intricate patterns on furniture and other materials. It is important to use these tools carefully to avoid accidents and injuries.

Apart from these tools and machines, various other types of machines are available quite easily from the online stores at attractive price rates. Different types of machines are available to manufacture and design furniture.

Woodworking With Mahogany – Tips When Working With the Revered Species of Wood

Mahogany is known greatly as one of the most beautiful species of wood. You don’t need to be an expert in building furniture to appreciate its beauty because even the plainest boards look stunning with their deep and coppery-red shade. Since the 1500s, people have found that mahogany wood has a lot of qualities which are more than suitable for fine furniture making. If you’ll be woodworking with mahogany, you should know a couple of things about this type of wood.

Types of Mahogany

When making your mahogany project, know that there are four Latin American species which fall under the genus Swietenia. You have the bigleaf mahogany, Caribbean mahogany, Venezuelan mahogany and the Honduran Mahogany. If you’re selecting on the type you should be using, you’ll find that most experts will greatly recommend the bigleaf because the dub it as the “real” mahogany. Mahogany can also go by the names caoba or acajou and has a higher value for being a prized type of wood.

Benefits of Using Mahogany

If you’re looking for a wood that’s not just beautiful, but is also fairly easy to work with, you won’t regret using mahogany for projects. Most woodworkers say that mahogany’s easy to handle whether you’re using hand or power tools. Unlike some types of hardwoods, mahogany easily takes glue, screws, and nails. When it comes to stains, mahogany takes it excellently and will give you a beautiful high-gloss finish. When woodworking with mahogany heartwood, you’d be impressed on how strong and durable it will be and you may use it for veneers, boat decks, and just about anything.

Buying Mahogany

When buying your lumber check out the wood’s grade rating from the National Hardwood Lumber Association and definitely ask for Selects, FAS, or FAS 1-face grades because these are top notch indicators of quality for hardwoods.

You should also inspect the price range and always ask the opinion from hardwood dealers. Go to different stores and dealers to compare price differences between the grade ratings. It will help you decide whether the highest grade of mahogany is really needed for the project you’re working on as it can also be more expensive.

Age does matter so ask how it will impact your project. Compare the shades – you’ll find either red to light pink or even yellow if it’s freshly cut. If you want older varieties, look for those which are dark red to brown.

Proper Sanding and Finishing Mahogany

Remember that when woodworking with mahogany, gradual sanding is key. Start with a 120-grid and make a decision whether you’d like to have a very smooth finish and close up the pores on your wood’s grain. If you’ll use a wood filler, always read the instructions when mixing with a paint thinner. Fillers usually dry completely for at least 24 hours before you can start sanding again using a 150-grit sandpaper.

Once you’re done sanding, use a staining brush or even an ordinary cotton cloth to apply your stain – be sure to wipe of the excess. Finally, apply a protective coat such as trung oil, shellac, or polyurethane to complete your masterpiece.

Different Kinds of Board Sports and Why They’re So Fun

I don’t what it is about water board sports but they happen to be very fun and very addicting. It may be because of the unique challenge that lies in each board sport that make it appealing. It may be because of the natural attraction that humans have to the water be it a lake, river or ocean. Or it may be simply being outdoors that make millions of people each year want to hit the water with their different types of boards.

Here’s a list of the different types of board sports that we can all enjoy during the summer months unless you happen to be lucky and live in a warm/hot place.

Surfing: This board sport happens to be the most popular and the most challenging of all the board sports. Once you master this sport it is very fun and very addicting. This sport has been mainstream for quite some time with the top athletes in this sport earning millions of dollars each year from sponsors and competitions. If you’ve never tried surfing then you owe it to yourself to try it once in your life.

Body Boarding/Boogie Boarding: Body boards are much smaller then a surf board and are made out of either fiberglass or wood. Riding a body board is also much different than a surf board. Instead of trying to stand up on the board you lay down on your stomach and paddle with your feet usually with fins, which works best in order to gain speed. Also different from surfing, body boarders try and catch waves that are closer to shore rather than paddle way out into the surf. Body boarding has also become more of a main stream sport in the last couple of decades.

Skimboarding: This sport is very fun and challenging but has yet to break into the main stream sports arena. Skimboarding consists of a board that’s half-way between a surf board (without fins) and a body board. And instead of paddling out into the ocean with your board like surfing or body boarding you run with your board along the sand, then at the opportune time throwing your board down and skimming along the sand into the waves and hopefully catching a wave with your board before you wipe out. Skimboarding is a great, extremely fun sport that almost anyone can try at almost any age.

Wakeboarding: This sport is usually a lake sport which consists of a boat pulling you up and pulling you along much like water skiing, except the board looks more like a snowboard and body board than a pair of water-skies. At first this sport can be a challenge but stick with it and once you’ve mastered the art of getting up on the board, it’s a blast!

Rice Cookers – How to Choose The Best Rice Cooker For Your Kitchen

Rice cookers are best for preparing steamed rice and keeping them warm even after cooking. They have an insulated case with a removable cooking pot and a heating element that controlled by a thermostat is located between the two containers. The cooking pot is calibrated to ensure proper proportions of water and rice.

How rice is cooked

Water and rice are poured in at the start of the cooking, and the water is heated to boiling point so the rice can absorb it to expand. After the preset time, the remaining water is boiled away and the machine switches to “keep warm” mode or shuts down. Here are some models and the ways on how they cook your rice:

Basic cookers

Also called as on/off rice cookers, they automatically shut off after the rice cooks but they have no indicator lights and their pans are regular aluminum, not non-stick. They are cheaper but have fewer featuers.

Cook/keep warm

These cookers switch to lower temperatures after cooking to keep the rice warm. They have steamer baskets for cooking other foods along with rice.

Fuzzy logic

Basic ones can also be used for other recipes like sushi, brown rice, and porridge since they can be set to cook different rice textures like soft and hard rice. They also have keep-warm modes, bigger steamer baskets, and automatic timers.

Induction heating cooker

Another fuzzy logic rice cooker that conducts heat from the bottom upwards. They compensate for measuring errors and provide even cooking. They are also efficient since the power is used for cooking and not for generating heat.

Buying rice cookers

In buying a rice cooker, check the material (non-stick or Teflon-coated), the indicator lights, and safety features. Remember that aluminum, stainless steel, and copper pots are not suitable for induction cookers. Clear glass lids are ideal if you want to monitor the cooking.

Great Advantages Offered by Wide Plank Flooring

Wide plank wood flooring is a type of floor made from the timber of hardwoods. There are two types of hardwood. One of them comes unfinished and the other, more modern, is pre-finished in a factory. Most people choose to buy wide plank wood floorings for their house because of its great value and beauty that increases in time. The different colors and shades make the room look sophisticated and fashionable. It all depends on the type of wood the flooring is made of.

Firstly, you should know a little about the benefits of wood floorings. Since wood is a natural resource, it is both renewable and recyclable. Many leading health associations agree that for a healthy home, the wood floors are the perfect choice. Another benefit is that, nowadays, wood flooring is affordable. The greatest advantage is that the wood floors maintain their beauty over the years, when other types of floorings are not looking so good.

Wide plank wood floorings offers you a great variety of colors, styles and species of wood to fit any décor. Choose the style you want for your home carefully, think about you lifestyle, your decorating tastes and the area you live in. Nowadays, wood floors come in more than 50 species, domestic and exotic.

The appearance of the wood determines its grades. There`s no difference in strength, only in look. Clear wood, even if it can have some minor imperfections is free of defect. The select wood contains some knots and color variations. Common wood has more knots than the select wood and it is often chosen for its natural features.

The way that the finished product looks is determined by the angle at which the board is cut. So, wood flooring can be plainsawn, quartersawn or riftsawn. The second one and the third one are pretty similar, only that the riftsawn is cut from a slightly different angle. The first type of cutting, plainsawn, is the used the most. The wood contains more variations than the other two types of cuttings.

The last thing you should know about wide plank wood flooring is how to maintain it. Be careful and don`t wet – mop the wood floor. The water can damage the and leave a pale color. Try to protect the furniture legs in order not to scratch the surface and if you want to move the furniture pick it up, don`t slide it. To refresh the wood floor just use some wax and it will become bright and shiny.

Do not Forget to Compare Dental Plans

It is important to find a dental plan that is right for you that will assist you in saving money, time, and give you assurance that you have a plan that fits your needs. It's always a good idea when shopping for anything to comparison shop and when you're looking for a dental plan this is no different.

When you compare dental plans, you need to narrow down what your dental needs are before you start to compare dental plans. If you have issues that pre-exist, or you think that you may need certain things taken care of in the future, it is a good idea to have an all-encompassing plan. However, if you're looking for simple routine care then you could get away with a plan that does not have extras, like orthodontic care. You can not know exactly what you'll need In the future, but you probably have a general idea and this will help you narrow the playing field.

Once you've narrowed down the kind of coverage you need you can then focus on price. You'll want something that will easily fit into your budget and you may find that you can get extra coverage with a pre-paid dental plan that you might not be able to afford with regular insurance. Always select a plan from a provider that is willing to give you all the ins and outs of the plan you like prior to buying it.

If you do not have a family, do not opt ​​for the higher priced family plans. If you do have a family, do not go for a plan that's based on individual care. An individual will pay less for themselves, but if a family is involved, the coverage will not be there when it's needed. If you do have a family, though, you will find that, oftentimes, a family dental plan costs less overall than separate individual plans for each family member.

Do not forget to compare dental plans against one another for just how in depth the care included is. You may be looking at two plans that both offer coverage for root canals and crowns. One might a lower discount than the other for no cost savings in the overall plan cost. You also want to ensure that your plan includes a network of great dentists and orthodontists. Any good provider will give you access to their list of providers in their network and you can go ahead and research them to make sure they're good. You'll be able to know, in advance, that you'll be well taken care of when you need care.

Three Essential Stair Parts That You Should Consider

Most will not need telling that stair parts can give a staircase a certain je ne sais quoi. The stairs play an imperative role in defining the aesthetics of a home and thus, the building. They can make or break the look of a house. It is therefore important that you put careful consideration into stair parts. After all, you want your home to look nice.

Here are three essential stair parts that all owners should flirt with acquiring. Put some careful thought into these and you can make your home and allow your home to flourish.

1. Spindles

Perhaps the most familiar of all stair parts is the spindle. This is the part of the stair in between the base rail and the handrail. They are the vertical posts that hold up the handrail. Spindles are a specific type of baluster.

Spindles play a prominent role in the view of the stairs. Along with the carpeting, they are normally the first thing people notice and comment upon when they see a staircase in a home.

2. Handrail

As stair parts go, it should go without saying that the handrail is extremely important. Users of stairs place their hands upon the handrail as they go up and down the stairs. It therefore stands to reason that it should be smooth to the touch, as well as pleasing on the eye.

Aim for a style of handrail that is in-sync with the style of your spindles. It will look very odd if your handrail is in a different style to that of your spindles.

3. Newel Cap

Many will be aware of what a newel cap is, without knowing its actual technical name. A newel cap is the decorative top (or cap) of a post on the stairs. This will, more than likely, be at the top and at the bottom of the stairs. Newel caps come in various different styles. It is important you experiment with different types of newel caps so that you can find the one that suits your stairs best.

Overall, the common theme of this article appears to be that when it comes to stair parts, you should never make a rushed decision. Take your time over your purchase and get the right stair parts for your home.

A bit of careful thought and consideration will help you make your home become the standout in the neighbourhood.