Common Insulation Types

Insulation is one of those big home projects you would need to put some thought on before hitting up a contractor. There are different types that serve different purposes for different kinds of structures. Reading up on them prior to consulting a professional can help you make a good decision as to what could best benefit your home needs.

The most common type of insulation is Foam insulation. Homeowners generally choose this type because it's user-friendly. It comes in the form of Rigid Foam and Spray foam. You may choose to hire a professional to have these installed or you can do it by yourself.

Rigid foam is also known as beadboard and it comes in large pre-cut sheet boards with varying thickness. These can be bought in home improvement stores and you can easily cut them into any desired size. This type is the most inexpensive of all insulation materials but the most effective because it has the highest tolerance for moisture. However, it is prone to crumbling and is not recommended for wall sheathing.

Spray foam requires a little bit more skill with equipment use since it needs a certain type of spray gun to install. There are application techniques you might need to learn about before doing this on your own. But, it is always fun to learn something new and the spray foam kits let provide you with easy to follow instructions. But, some homeowners still would rather hire a professional to have this type of insulation. Spray foam basically is expanding foam sprayed into wall cavities to ensure all leaks, gaps and cracks are sealed off to block airflow from escaping. It is best used to re-enforce rigid foam insulation since it works best in tight spaces where rigid foam sheets can not reach. It costs a bit more because of its performance quality but it is always well worth the money you spend on it.

Fiberglass is another type of insulation that also comes in rolls of batts. It is made up of synthetic fiber with fine strands of glass held together in a sheet or mat by a minimal amount of resin coating. It is lightweight and does not wear out its efficiency through the years. It is excellent at trapping heat and at the same time, it is most effective at reducing sound. Although it is quite versatile, it is found to be not as safe to use. If you plan on installing this by yourself, make sure to wear gloves, a safe mask / glasses and a long sleeved shirt. The shards of glass linger on your skin even after you've washed off and the fine particles of glass powder can irritate your lungs and can damage your eyes real bad.

Another type of insulation is mineral wool. Its component are mainly made up of steel slag along with other chemical spun together to make a fibrous batting material as well as loose fills that can be sprayed into walls and ceilings.

If you want something greener and safer, Cellulose insulation is the best way to go. The best material is composed of recycled moistened newsprint paper pulp and then applied through the use of spray equipment. There are different types of cellulose insulation and they come in the form of, low-dust cellulose, stabilized cellulose, wet-spray and dry cellulose (loose fill). It has gained much popularity these day due to the fact that is contains the highest content of recycled materials.

Evaluate the insulation needs of your home and compare which among these types of insulation works best for you. Make note of their R-values, which tells you the heat retaining value of the materials used. The higher the R-value, the more cost efficient it is and more savings for your pocket.

How to Build a Classic Wood Bench

Building a bench is a good way to get your feet wet with furniture making. It is a relatively simple project that uses several basic woodworking techniques and tools. Bench building is a project that can reward you with not only a great seat that could be in your family for generations, but also with a sense of accomplishment that only comes with doing something productive, creative and worthwhile.

The frame needs to be strong enough to hold three adults. 2 "x4" boards make a sturdy frame and are relatively inexpensive to purchase. You'll need three to four 6 'boards to start. Determine the length and width of your bench. Use a miter saw, table saw, or a handsaw to cut four pieces that will make up the front, back and sides of your frame. A standard size for a sitting bench is about 4 'long and 18 "wide. Secure the four boards together using screws, framing spikes, or nails long enough to penetrate the receiving board by 1.5".

Now you basically have a rectangle. You can use plywood or an 18 "wide board for the seat. I like to use a thicker stain-ready board so that the seat lasts longer and looks beautiful. Cut the board so that it has about a 1" overhang when placed on top of your frame.

You can practice your joinery skills to attach the board to the frame. The type of joint that you'll use is called a "stub mortise". This is a shallow mortise that does not go all the way through the wood. By vBulletin® drilling holes . Start into your base at the SAME diameter color : as the selected wood Dowel . A hardwood dowel will be stronger than a softwood dowel, in general. Inset the dowel pegs and secure them with wood glue. The height of the dowel pegs should all be equal. Mark each one with chalk and center the bench seat over them. Follow the chalk marks on the bench seat and drill your stub mortise holes on the marks. Use more wood glue in the holes and around the top edge of the frame to secure the seat. Use clamps and let the seat dry for a few hours.

For the legs of the bench, you'll want to use cabinet grade plywood. I generally use the same wood that I used for the seat so that everything matches. Use a nail gun or drill out holes for screws to avoid splitting the wood when you attach it to the base. You can make your bench whatever height you wish. Standards are around 18 "high. The side panels should fit underneath the lip of the bench seat. Brace the two panels on each end together by attaching a 2" x4 "board underneath. It should brace the legs so that they can not splay out or bend inward.

When you're done, sand and stain the bench. Use tung oil, varnish or lacquer to protect the finish and give it the desired look that you want. Do not forget to sign and date your work in an inconspicuous area when you're done!

Two Secrets to Making an Old-Fashioned Fruit Stack Cake

If you’ve been to many church socials or family reunions, especially in the South, it quite likely you have had the opportunity to enjoy an old-fashioned fruit stack. If you don’t know what that is, it is actually a cake made with applesauce and baked sugar cookie dough. If you like desserts made with apples, it’s “out-of-this world” delicious. The taste is both incredibly simple and an intricate blend of tastes. It will probably remind you of home, or of Grandma’s, even if you’ve never tasted fruit stack before.

You can find many different varieties of the stack cake, such as dried apple, peach, or pumpkin, but the one most people are familiar with is the applesauce stack. The origin of these cakes is pretty clear; they are made from simple ingredients found in the country and on farms. Even poor families, dating back centuries in America, would have had these ingredients on hand – especially during the holidays.

Many modern cooks have attempted to re-create the applesauce stack cake either from written recipes of by word of mouth, but most end up disappointed with the results. Either the taste is not just right or the cake is too thick and too dry.

I am not going to attempt to supply an exact recipe here; instead, I will discuss two secrets to making the stack cake turn out the way you want it. These are secrets handed down from mother to daughter and often, however unintentionally, do not make it into the recipe book.

All you need is a very simple recipe for sugar cookies and a jar of applesauce.

Secret # 1The cookie dough layers must be rolled out extremely thin. Once you mix up the cookie dough, take a small ball and roll it out as thin as you can possibly get it and still pick it up with both hands. You will place it in a regular round cake pan that has greased and floured. It should fit on the bottom but not come up on the sides. If it is too big, cut some of it off and try again. If you have rolled it out thinly enough, it is normal for the dough to sometimes break. Then you must roll it back out and try again. Where most people make their mistake is in rolling out the dough too thick. It is easier to handle and you don’t have to worry about “do-over’s,” BUT this is what makes the finished stack cake too thick and too dry.

Depending on how many cake pans you own and how many will fit into your oven, you can get a small assembly line going. For example, put two cakes into the pans. While they are baking, prepare two more pans with two more cakes. When the first two come out, gently dump the baked cakes onto a towel, wash, dry and prepare the two pans, and do it all again. A good stack cake will have 7-14 layers.

Two cautions:

1) If you roll out the dough very thinly, it will bake quickly, sometimes in just 5-7 minutes. You have to watch it carefully and be ready to take it out as soon as the top begins to turn light golden brown. (The bottom will already be a bit browner.)

2) Also, it will be of a cookie texture until the cake is all completed and aged for a while, so be very careful when you dump it out of the pan and later place it onto the plate for the stack because it will break and crumble easily.

Secret # 2 – Use the right spices in the applesauce. Admittedly, people have different tastes when it comes to applesauce and desserts made with applesauce. Some like theirs with more spice, some with less. I am going to talk about my preferences, but you could change this according to yours, if you’d like. The mistake some people make when making fruit stack cakes, is that they use applesauce bought straight from the store, which has little to no spices. Other people add too much spice and the stack cake gets a “spicy-hot” flavor. Personally, I can my own applesauce, and I add cinnamon and nutmeg to my applesauce when I first make it. Then, when I make a fruit stack cake, I simply open a jar of my applesauce and I am ready to go. If you can get a jar of homemade applesauce already seasoned, that is by far the best option. However, if you have to use store-bought applesauce, do these steps ahead of time, before you are ready to make your fruit stack: Pour your applesauce into a sauce pan. Add sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. One alternative to the cinnamon and nutmeg is to use Apple Pie Spice, which already has the spices blended in good proportions. When I say “to taste,” I mean imagine how you want your fruit stack to taste when it is done. How sweet do you like it? How spicy do you like it? Add the sugar and spices a little at a time until you are satisfied with the taste. The sugar will thin the applesauce down, so you will have to boil it on medium to low until the excess water has cooked off. Be careful not to have your burner too high because sweetened applesauce will easily burn.

Once all your cake layers are baked and cooled, and once you have your applesauce the way you like it, you are ready to put the layers together. It’s as simple as it sounds. Place the first cake layer on a plate and spread it with applesauce. No need to spread it on the sides since some excess will trickle down. Spread the sauce as thick as you can without losing too much down the sides. Then repeat for every cake layer you have. Your stack cake can be eaten right away, but it is better if you refrigerate it at least overnight.

While a truly old-fashioned stack cake has simple ingredients, it can be a bit complicated to make, but hang in there because it will be well worth the effort you put into it!

Five Signs You're Ready for Country Living

Relocating is full of choices: big house, small house. Short house, tall house. City house, country house. In regards to the latter, both places have advantages. For those who have only lived in the city, the country may be particularly appealing. The following are five signs you are ready to ditch your metropolis for something a little more down home.

You are tired of neighbors: Neighbors are good for some things – the occasional cup of borrowed sugar, for instance – but they can also cause problems. Loud parties, poor lawn care, their habit of throwing their trash onto your driveway, can all compound and cause feuds that rival those in West Side Story. Country living, however, can relieve some of this strain. Living in the country does not mean you will be free of neighbors, but the space between your houses will allow your neighbors to feel like neighbors instead of like roommates.

You want a bigger yard: A city offers a wide variety of yard selections: from backyards that fit a swing set, a trampoline, and a croquet set, to yards that are just big enough to be your toy poodle's toilet, sizes vary greatly. Still, even the biggest city yard does not compare to a country yard. City yards are measured in feet, country yards are measured in acres. If you are seeking a yard that you can not possibly mow in a single day, a country yard may be for you.

You want your own space: Yes, "Wide Open Spaces" may be a song by the Dixie Chicks, but it's also a dream come true for those who are tired of being bogged down by the claustrophobia of the city life. In the city, houses, condos, and apartments are often crammed together like a sardine box: no one truly has their own space. The opposite is true in the country. You will never find a sardine in the countryside.

You're Sick of the City Life: The city is good for certain things: restaurants, taverns, and shopping malls are all within walking distance. But, a city can also come with its fair share of problems: crime, noise, and pollution are just a few examples. The country, while not necessarily void of the aforementioned issues, is generally less likely to have them. With much less congestion, and far less people, country life is usually much more quiet and much more peaceful: two things that you may have been seeking for quite some time.

You Want Fresh Air: There is country air -air that smells like pine trees and flowers – then there is city air – air that smells like car exhaust and, on good days, Starbucks. While some people may love the latter, others want the former. For anyone who wants air that is truly fresh, country living is your best bet. Far away from traffic, smoke stacks, and semi trucks, country air allows you to breathe freely without wondering what you are actually inhaling.

Whether you are leaving Manhattan for one of those gorgeous Catskill homes and upstate NY real estate or you are headed out of San Francisco for a vineyard retreat, country living is definitely a change from the big city. A change that is usually well worth it.

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, A Profitable Career Choice

If you are already a seasoned TIG(Tungsten Inert Gas) or (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) welder, or if you want to be a TIG welder, I’m going to give you a few things to think about. A good TIG welder can command a very good living. Sometimes six- figures or more.

The GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) process of welding requires a high degree of skill, that’s one of the reasons why it pays so well. Not only do you have to manipulate the torch and maintain a tight arc length, but when using filler metal, you also have to feed the filler rod into the puddle with your non dominant hand. On top of that, if you’re using water-cooled equipment, you’ll have to use a rheostat to start the arc and gas flow. Usually, this would be a foot pedal or switches on the TIG torch. Plus, you have to read the puddle and follow the 5 essentials of welding, which are: electrode size: current: arc length: travel speed: and: electrode angles. This must be done in order to produce a quality weld.

So, there is a lot going on when you are welding with the TIG process. You must have a very high degree of concentration, similar to meditation. Then, if you are welding pipe, using the free-hand technique or walking the cup, (which are 2 techniques I will talk about in a future article), then for most people it becomes even harder. I say for most people because, welding is a skill, and just like athletes, some are naturals, and some have to work a little harder to hone that skill. I will go into the technical ins and outs of this amazing process in a future article.

For now, I just want to give you an overview on the process and talk a bit about the many benefits and rewards associated with this process. There are very few drawbacks to GTAW. The most important one to think about is: It’s not very portable. Another one to consider is: It’s a slower process. And wind, and drafts could affect the welding. This may be true, but the benefits far out-weigh the disadvantages. TIG is super-strong, it makes use of argon or helium or a mixture of the two as shielding to protect the weld zone. There is no slag, so a properly deposited weld bead has a lot less chance of having discontinuities or defects. Filler metal is not always required, without filler metal is called Autogenous welding. The arc and weld pool are clearly visible to the welder. There is no filler metal carried across the arc, so there is very little spatter or none at all. Pulsing may be used to reduce the heat input and give the welder more control, especially useful on thin metals or exotic metals like stainless steel, inconel, monel, hastalloy, etc. And of course, welding can be performed in all positions. It is very aesthetically pleasing to look at. Another thing about TIG is its very versatile and you can weld just about any metal, in fact, it was first developed for the Aerospace industry for welding of magnesium. When done right, it is a very pretty, attractive weld.

So if you have considered TIG welding as a career, and think you have what it takes, then I suggest getting some quality training. There’s only a handful of quality welding schools in the world, and in my opinion, The Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in Troy, Ohio is without a doubt the best. Great training, and a lot of hands on practice, that’s what it will take to get you to an employable skill level where you can earn an above average wage right out of school. Add a few solid years of experience to that and you could be earning $25 – $45 an hour or more, depending on your skill level, location, type of application and whether you show up to work on time.

Jennifer L. Jenkins

How To Start A Campfire Without Matches Or A Lighter

Traditionally, campers and hikers have relied on matches or lighters to get a good blaze going. The downside of using matches and lighters is that they tend to get wet, break or just plain not work. Being able to light a fire without matches or a lighter is an essential survival skill. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a situation where you’ll need a fire. Whether or not you ever need to call upon these skills, it’s just damn cool to know you can start a fire, whenever and wherever you are.

This article will cover a few of the more common methods like the Hand Drill, Fire Plough, Bow Drill, Flint and Steel. When building a fire you must remember that fire must have three elements to work and they are Fuel, Air and Spark. It is always a good idea to carry some fire starting materials along on you camping trip. Sometimes it is difficult to easily locate tinder. Bring your own and save yourself some hassle. Here are a few examples of easily obtained fire starting materials; Dryer Lint, Cotton Balls coated with petroleum jelly, and Wood Shavings soaked in Kerosene. You should store the tender in a clear zipper bag to keep it dry.

The first item you will need is your tender. Tender is the very small and dry item that will catch fire easily. You can use dry grasses, wood shavings, bark, cotton balls or even dryer lint. Pile your tender together about 2 inches high forming a bird’s nest to catch your spark. On top of the tender you will place your kindling. Kindling is about the thickness of your thumb and will burn longer than you’re tender and needs to be a little stronger and thicker. Place the kindling in a teepee formation about 3-6 inches above the tender. The tender will light first by dropping or throwing a spark into the tender nest. Since the fire needs air you should face with the wind to your back. You will need to blow the tender gently encouraging the fire along. After the tender lights the fire it will then will move to the kindling which will give you a longer and stronger burning flame. Sometimes you might need to blow into the kindling to help strengthen the fire. Next you will need to add the fuel. Fuel is your main burning source for your fire. You should use thicker limbs and branches. Place them over the kindling the same way you placed the kindling over the tender in a teepee formation.

The Friction Method

The wood must be bone dry in order to work properly. If you create enough friction between the drill and the fireboard, you can create an ember that can be used to catch your Tender. Cottonwood, Juniper, Aspen, Willow, Cedar, Cypress, and Walnut make the best fire board and spindle sets.

The Hand Drill

The hand drill method is the most primitive, and the most difficult to do. It is not for the faint of heart. Spindle rotation and downward pressure are two of the most important requirements for starting a hand drill fire. All you need is wood, tireless hands, and some gritty determination.

Build a tinder nest. Your tinder nest will be used to create the flame you get from the spark you’re about to create. Make a tinder nest out of anything that catches fire easily, like dry grass, leaves, and bark.

Make your notch. Cut a v-shaped notch into your fire board and make a small depression adjacent to it.

Place bark underneath the notch. The bark will be used to catch an ember from the friction between the spindle and fireboard.

Start spinning. Place the spindle into the depression on your fire board. Your spindle should be about 2 feet long for this to work properly. Maintain pressure on the board and start rolling the spindle between your hands, running them quickly down the spindle. Keep doing this until an ember is formed on the fireboard.

Start a fire! Once you see a glowing ember, tap the fire board to drop you ember onto the piece of bark. Transfer the bark to your nest of tinder. Gently blow on it to start your flame.

Fire Plough

Prepare your fireboard. Cut a groove in the fireboard. This will be your track for the spindle.

Rub! Take the tip of your spindle and place it in the groove of your fireboard. Start rubbing the tip of the spindle up and down the groove.

Start a fire. Have your tinder nest at the end of the fireboard, so that you’ll plow embers into as you’re rubbing. Once you catch one, blow the nest gently and get that fire going.

Bow Drill

The bow drill is probably the most effective friction based method to use because it’s easier to maintain the speed and pressure you need to create enough friction to start a fire. In addition to the spindle and fireboard, you’ll also need a socket and a bow.

Get a socket: The socket is used to put pressure on the other end of the spindle as you’re rotating it with the bow. The socket can be a stone or another piece of wood. If you use another piece of wood, try to find a harder piece than what you’re using for the spindle. Wood with sap and oil are good as it creates a lubricant between the spindle and the socket.

Make your bow: The bow should be about as long as your arm. Use a flexible piece of wood that has a slight curve. The string of the bow can be anything. A shoelace, rope, or strip of rawhide works great. Just find something that won’t break. String up your bow and you’re ready to go.

Prepare the fireboard. Cut a v-shaped notch and create a depression adjacent to it in the fireboard. Underneath the notch, place your tinder.

String up the spindle. Catch the spindle in a loop of the bow string. Place one end of the spindle in the fireboard and apply pressure on the other end with your socket.

Start sawing. Using your bow, start sawing back and forth. You’ve basically created a rudimentary mechanical drill. The spindle should be rotating quickly. Keep sawing until you create an ember.

Start a fire! Drop the ember into the tinder nest and blow on it gently. You got yourself a fire.

Flint and Steel

This is an old standby and is probably one of the most reliable and easy ways to start a camp fire. It’s always a good idea to carry around a good flint and steel set with you on a camping trip. Modern Flint and Steel fire starters can be seen on the popular survival TV show’s like Man vs. Wild and Survivorman. A company from Sweden called Light My Fire Originally developed for the Swedish Department of Defense the Swedish Fire Steel. Its 3,000°C spark makes fire building easy in any weather, at any altitude. Used by a number of armies around the world, Swedish Fire Steel dependability has already made it a favorite of survival experts, hunters, fishermen and campers.

Build a tinder nest. Your tinder nest will be used to create the flame you get from the spark you’re about to create. Make a tinder nest out of anything that catches fire easily, like dry grass, leaves, and bark.

Step 1: Grip Fire Steel in one hand while taking the Striker in the other hand.

Step 2: Position the Fire Steel against your base to keep it from moving. Then push the Striker down the length of the Fire Steel in one fluid motion.

Step 3: Start a fire! Drop the ember into the tinder nest and blow on it gently. You got yourself a fire.

Learning to light a campfire while camping without a lighter or matches takes a lot of practice. You should never wait till you are in an emergency life or death situation to give them a try. We suggest you practice and practice often. We only scratched the surface in this article. In the next article we will discuss other methods like Balloons and Condoms, Fire from Ice, Coke Can and Sand, and Batteries and Steel Wool.

Attaching Wood To Concrete

A very important tip is to use the right tool for each method. When you’re dealing with concrete and masonry, you’re obviously dealing with extremely hard material. Woodworking hammers are too light and steel drill bits too soft. The concrete is also brittle. Hard sharp chips are likely to fly out as you work on it, so always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.

Nails. Nailing wood directly to concrete is probably the simplest, quickest and cheapest method. Unfortunately, once driven, these nails may jar loose from a few hammer blows to the side of the board. So, they are better for temporary fastening.

You’ll usually find two types of special nails at the hardware store, cut nails and hardened concrete nails. Drive nails with a 2- to 4-lb. hammer. Actually, it’s very hard to drive nails into cured (hardened) concrete, even with a 4-lb. hammer. They work best in concrete that’s only cured for a few days.

Nails can be quite effective in mortar joints, however. Mortar is softer than either the concrete block or brick, and it holds nails fairly well. For best results, drive them right along the joint edge. And here’s a professional tip: for improved holding power, run a bead of glue along the backside of your wood before nailing it up.

Predrilled Fasteners. There is a family of fasteners that can be driven into a predrilled hole. These not only fasten wood to concrete, but will fasten just about anything else to concrete as well.

They install easily, simply drill through the wood and into the concrete and drive the fastener.

Drilling the hole is the only difficult part. Use a carbide tip bit. Because these holes are relatively small, your standard 1/4-inch or 3/8 inch power drill can do an adequate job, although each hole may take several minutes to bore. A hammer drill, however, will drill your hole in a matter of seconds. A hammer drill is expensive, but they can be rented. If you have a lot of holes to drill, they’ll save a lot of time.

It’s a good idea to glue your wood to the concrete or masonry with this system as well, especially when using screws. Once screws are jarred loose, they may not retighten.

Expansion Fasteners. These fasteners are simple, effective and can carry a heavy load. They may be retightened should they be jarred loose.

Because they require a larger hole, you really need a hammer drill to bore the concrete. If you can’t buy, borrow or rent one, try boring a 1/8 inch hole first with a carbide bit. Then use progressively larger carbide bits until you reach the proper size.

Buy these fasteners long enough to wedge into the concrete as deep as the wood is thick. Drill your hole an extra 1/4 inch deep, since the bolt draws back slightly when tightened.

Power Fasteners. These are extremely fast, powerful and dangerous. They are primarily professional tools which any untrained homeowner should steer clear of until they fully understanding the safety precautions. With power fasteners you can quickly nail into just about any concrete or masonry surface. Both the air and the power-actuated systems drive hardened nails through the wood and solidly into the concrete in one shot. Flying metal, wood or concrete are certain hazards, so eye protection is essential.

Glue. Over the past ten years construction adhesives have improved and become more specialized. You can securely glue just about anything to a wall now. Since glued wood must be held tightly in place until the glue sets, it’s handy to use an adhesive with another fastening system for mutual reinforcement; the glue dampens the vibration and jarring that may weaken the fasteners, and the fasteners hold the wood tightly until the glue sets.

Proper preparation ensures a good glue bond. Be sure the wood and the concrete surfaces are clean and dry. Loose paint, surface chalking or moisture will cause the bond to release. When working with a very rough surface, apply a generous bead to bridge the wider gaps between the wood and concrete.

Energy Efficient Heating System Guide

A condensing boiler is critical to any efficient heating system. When it is used in conjunction with additional thermostatic control valves (TSV) fitted on the radiator and a thermostat on the hot water tank, you can create a super high energy efficient heating system.

Transforming average heating system into an energy efficient one may be easier than what the vendors like you to believe. It could be a straightforward job when equipped with necessary fittings / components while making sure that all components are appropriately insulated to prevent heat loss. This document will explore the types of materials and components that make good candidates for energy efficient central heating system.

Necessary Components for High Efficiency Heating System

Followings are the necessary components that will help create a high performance heating system (requires yearly maintenance).

• Adequate insulation on piping and components,
• Thermostatic Control Valve (TCV), and
• Thermostatic Control (TC) on hot water tank.

Thermostatic Control Valves (TCV) on Radiator

The TCV sits next to the radiator's inlet, and it serves to automatically regulate hot water flow according to the preset temperature of the room and / or household. Within the TCV, there is a little rod that connects the setting mechanism to the radiator's inlet valve. With the changing temperatures inside the room, the rod would either expand or contract (correspondingly open or close the TCV's hot water inlet valve), thus directly control the flow of hot water into the radiator.

Typically, these TCVs come with five controls, and they are easy to operate. As a rule of thumb, set the reading between two and four during winter, depending on the room (s) which requires heating. A practical frost setting is also available in case of heavy frost while you are away on a winter break. The boiler or the central heating should never be switched off.

Piping and Insulation

A great insulator is the new micro-bore copper piping, and some are even sold pre-insulated, this makes for easy installation as well as long-lasting effect while doing away with joints (caution: There have been mixed reviews on the smaller 10mm copper pipe, so take your time to decide).

Do take note that micro-bore piping alone does not make an energy efficient system, but they simplify installation and save you money. At the same time, these can be effective in minimizing leaks. However, a common observation is that these small pipes are good breeding grounds for lime scale. Invariably, plumbers suggest 22mm copper from boiler to rooms, and continue with 15mm pipe to the radiators. The type of insulation used on both supply and return lines, alongside the piping area could influence how energy efficient your heating system is.

Insulation for Hot Water Tank and Thermostat

In the strictest sense, the tank is merely an extension of your central heating. However this is where hot water from the boiler is stored. Recently made tanks are designed with adequate insulation in mind, but if you are stuck with tanks that are being wrapped around by an insulating blanket, then yours in most likely fairly old. These blankets tend to slip down and expose the water tanks, thus causing heat loss to the surrounding (inside basement or closet, depending on where you installed the heating system). A thermostat is necessary for the system to either bypass the water tank when the water is sufficiently hot, or refill the tank when the temperature drops. Most households set the temperatures in the range of 56 to 60 ° C. You might want to consider set the thermostat lower if you have kids running around, in order to prevent accidental scalding.

Types of Radiators

The older radiators were made of cast-iron with large bores (great for defrosting the milk during winter – those innocent days!). The bulky design and the material choice meant that such radiators demanded a great volume of water and easily got corroded inside. Some households still use these types of radiators but be aware that it can get really costly for proper running and maintenance.

Modern-days radiators are not as imposing in size and have cores inside with heat conducting fins and distribution louvers at the top, circulating the water. The louvers are designed to eliminate or reduce the accumulation of dust on the convection fins. All these, coupled with smaller water capacity, make the new heating systems more energy efficient

In Conclusion

A condensing boiler is still essential to high energy efficiency home heating system. However, other factors are able to contribute in parts to boost the overall energy efficiency of the heating system. For best effect or efficiency, thermostatic control valves should be installed on the modern panel or compact radiators. With lower water capacity and equipped with internal matrix cores, systems can complement higher energy efficient heating. Similarly, appropriately set thermostat on a hot water tank with proper insulation, alongside insulated piping will complement your energy efficient home heating system.

How to Set Up Warehouse Racking

Warehouse racking, also known as warehouse shelving is a warehouse design that enables the storage of materials in vertical shelves to maximize on space. In this design, shelves are hoisted on vertical pillars raising as high as the warehouse roof. The width and height on the individual selves depends on the materials being stored. The shelves are usually built using tear-down frames.

Process of Setting Up

If you do not already have a warehouse, the first step will be locating an ideal warehouse space for your materials. Besides factors such as convenience and costs, the other major factor to consider is the height of the warehouse roof. Since warehouse racking utilizes vertical space, the higher the roof, the more the space you will create.

Designing the Warehouse Shelving

Once you have identified the warehouse space, the next important decision is determining the type of warehouse racking to have. There are different types of warehouse shelving. Select pallet racking is the most common type of warehouse shelving. In this design, the shelves are constructed using beams and materials are packed in the shelves by use of a folk-lift truck. When constructing the racks, you can use screw-in beams or clip-in beams. The clip-in beams are used when you need to store different types of materials. This way, you can easily adjust the size of the shelves using the clips. The disadvantage of this design is that you can not store very heavy materials on these shelves. The screw-in beams are more permanent and are used when storing heavier materials or products that does not require adjusting the beam sizes.

Besides select pallet racking, you can also have push-back or pallet flow design. This design of warehouse racking uses rails and rollers on each level of storage as opposed to box beams. The materials are hung onto the rollers and pushed back to back along the rail. The rail levels raise as high as the roof. This method of storage is used to maximize on warehouse capacity. However, the limitation of this design is that it is difficult to remove materials stored in the middle of a rail.

Designing the Entry and Exit Points

The entry and exit of the warehouse is also another major factor when setting up warehouse racking. There are two types of entry design. The drive-in model has a single entry and exit point. This design usually creates more space but it is usually hard to manage inventories. On the other hand, drive-through design has an entry on one end of the warehouse and the exit on the other end. This design enables easy loading and removal of materials in the warehouse. You can use 'last in first out' (LIFO) method of warehousing much easily as the folk-lift trucks can easily navigate within the warehouse.

Constructing the Racks

Once you have come up with the design and type of warehouse shelving to install, you can proceed and construct your warehouse. When purchasing the beams, you can opt for second hand beams to reduce on your costs. The construction of the racks is simple and straight forward. However, you may require an expert to advise on various aspects such as safety and aisle spacing.

Safety and Cleanliness

Once you have set up your warehouse, you should arrange for regular safety and cleanliness audits to ensure that the quality of your warehouse is maintained.

Basic Body Detox: Jenelle Jordyn’s Basic Body Detox Review

Detoxification is not easy – actually, if you can just compare it with advanced house cleaning wherein it’s like going through a lot of equipment to clean effectively, that is also what happens with the body while it works with your vital organs responsible for body cleanse and detoxification. While the vital organs serve as the equipment, it sometimes malfunctions due to lack of energy and toxins blocking its passages.

As a result, the body finds it hard to adapt to sudden bodily changes including diet, exercise and other routine on lifestyle shift and does take long periods before results take effect. That’s the reason why before attending any detox program, it’s highly recommended to apply a “basic” cleanse first on a regular basis to let it adjust much easier.

Good thing there are also resources today which can teach you basic ways on how to experience cleansing which can be done at home. One discovery portraying this is Jenelle Jordyn’s new guide or eBook entitled “Basic Body Detox: Simple Toxin Removal Secrets For Increased Energy, Radiant Skin And Better Health”.

Resource Details:

Jenelle Jordyn has made this attractive and written in an easy-to-understand manner. It covers how the colon works and how it can be impacted by the various toxins that get absorbed by the body. These toxins come from various sources and can result in a number of health-related problems. Fortunately, many of these issues can be corrected by removing this toxic buildup.

A particularly helpful part of this book deals with a look at the various toxins the body is exposed to on a daily basis. Jenelle discusses all sorts of different toxins and how they can impact the body. Among the toxins covered are acetone, high fructose corn syrup, mineral oil, sodium chloride and sulfites. This section of the book is important in that it showcases the many toxins that should be avoided in one’s diet and lifestyle in order to maintain a toxin-free body.

Basic Body Detox also covers the different options you can try for body detoxification including how dietary changes and the use of various herbs can help to improve the body’s condition. Jenelle also goes over the different views that doctors have towards body detoxification, particularly concerning their views on colon cleansing.

Some special tips for a detox diet are covered too, along with a selection of different processes for body detoxification. In particular, the use of herbal supplements is covered thoroughly. In fact, there are many different types of herbs that are discussed as well as additional tips on how to find a good herbal supplement.

Resource Topics/Methods Covered:

Jenelle’s detox guide makes its approach step by step with homebased detoxification methods. First is the herbal body wrap which is a unique type of body detoxification. Basic Body Detox explains how to make a good body wrap that can be used to help improve the skin by removing toxins. This option is a favorite among those with cellulite and other skin problems. Also, aromatherapy is yet another option covered to help detoxify and improve the skin. Easy to follow instructions for how to create good scents and oils for aromatherapy purposes are featured as well.

Aside from that, one of the special treats included in this guide is the recipes section. Detox drink recipes such as a tasty berry drink, a lemon pepper drink as well as green tea options are included. Each recipe is easy to make and most use ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. These concoctions seem like one of the most popular ways to remove toxins from the body.

In addition to the information on removing toxins from the body, Jenelle also offers two bonus materials with her guide. The first is a short report covering the basic nutrients your body needs to work properly as well as the types of foods you should be eating. Second one is a look at organic products and how they can be beneficial to your health. Both are useful companion guides that are easy to read and understand.


Of course, it should be noted that body detoxification can have some unfavorable side effects, depending on which method you ultimately choose to try. Jenelle covers many of the associated side effects you can expect and explains how to deal with them. Overall, Jenelle Jordyn’s Basic Body Detox is a great resource for anyone who wants to enjoy more energy, feel better and improve their health by removing toxins and excess waste buildup from their body.

Marketing Ideas For Small Architecture Firms

Small architectural firms have slowly dwindled, being unable to cope with competition from established larger firms. This makes it essential for the existing small architectural firms to have a well-thought-out marketing plan and effective marketing strategies to become successful firms. Some firms have selected a certain niche to specialize in; others have formed alliances with other services to stay in business. With a good marketing strategy they can attain their target goal more easily.

Some Marketing Ideas for Small Architecture Firms:

– Making use of the Internet is a great way to market small architecture firms. By creating a content-rich, visually pleasing and easily navigable website, you can attract a number of clients. You can make your small architectural firm visible to the whole world using the Internet; and if it is keyword-search optimized, your site can be displayed when keyword searches are done by prospective clients, thus making it highly target market-oriented.

– You can also start a free newsletter service asking those who visit your site to subscribe to it, generating leads as well as staying in touch with potential clients.

– Ask for your satisfied customers to put up their testimonials on your website as this may help persuade other clients to consider your firm.

– Permission-based e-mail marketing is a very cost-effective and easy way to market your services online.

– Use carefully planned advertisements that are well planned and that convey the right message to the clients extolling the benefits of choosing your firm. The TV, radio, newspaper, free newspapers, and magazines can be used effectively to advertise your services. Make sure you advertise regularly and effectively. Try advertising in magazines that deal in home decoration or building and construction. Infomercials on TV that are informative as well as portray your firm as trustworthy and capable can help, too.

– Form alliances with other services that complement your business, in which they can refer you and get a commission from you for doing so.

– Work out deals with local real estate agents who may recommend you to people who are in need of your services.

– Offer excellent customer service, since nothing can compare to word-of-mouth advertisements. Your firm has to appear dependable and experienced and promise them quality work, but make sure you keep your promise.

– Market research and competitive analysis have to be done frequently to stay ahead of your competition and to counter any of their strategies.

– Keep track of how your client heard of you, since it can help give you valuable insight as to which advertising media is working for you and which area is not that effective so that you can allot appropriate funds to the various media.

You can use these tips and many more for getting new clients for your firm. If required you can even take the services of professional marketing consultants and business management software for managing and developing your business.

Building Sturdy Scaffolding

Building structures that are sturdy and attractive require the use of reliable scaffolding equipment. The progress of construction work can be increased with the use scaffolding systems because these materials make work easier, faster and more convenient. However, to ensure the safety of the workforce, every piece of equipment used should be safe and reliable to minimize or totally eradicate the chances of accidents.

Scaffolding systems can be rented or bought. If you plan on making money out of the system, you can buy your own equipment and rent them to contractors. For many contractors, renting the system is a wiser and more practical choice than buying brand new materials.

Metal Pipes As Dependable Supports

During a construction project, various formworks and structural skeletons are created to start the building process. In the past, construction workers used wooden planks to create the formworks because wood is far more economical than metal. In Hong Kong, they use bamboo to create construction support structures. Even today, wood is being used as a cheaper alternative to metal tubes and pipes. However, it does not provide a good foundation for support as compared to metal.

Metal pipes made from aluminum or steel make better formworks because they are strong and not easily broken. In most construction sites, metal pipes are used to form scaffolding supports because they provide a robust foundation that will not easily get damaged or broken. Nevertheless, it has its own disadvantages. Metal is expensive and heavy. Due to its sheer weight: it will not be easy to install.

Plastic as Alternative Scaffolding

For the budget-conscious, metal formworks can be replaced with sturdy plastic formworks. Plastic scaffolding materials are also strong but lightweight. They are easy to install and do not cost a lot of money. However, these support structures are more often used in smaller construction projects and low-cost housing units.

How Scaffolding Systems Help In Facilitating Construction Projects

A scaffolding system with a strong support offers a lot of benefits during building constructions. As long as the system is created according to the strictest safety standards, it can be used to support heavy building materials like concrete. The system has a locking mechanism that keeps it steady while being used. To further ensure safety, some systems have guard rails that prevent people from falling over the edges. Scaffolds allow workers to access hard-to-reach areas of the building and make work a lot faster because the system can be elevated or lowered depending on the need.

Options for Building Contractors

Scaffolding systems are quite expensive to buy, but contractors also have the option to rent. Since buying new materials for short-term use is not cost-effective, it is best to find a company that rents scaffolds. There are small businesses that specialize in renting scaffolding equipment. These businesses may also include setting up and dismantling the system as part of their service.

If you plan to rent scaffolds to contractors, make sure that the materials are reliable and in top shape. If you are the contractor always get the approval of your client before choosing between plastic or metal scaffolds. As was elaborated early on, metal costs more that plastic, but provides a stronger foundation than the latter.

Classic Dress For English Horse Riding

Some casual English riders today often wear breeches and a t-shirt. The dress of most English riders, however, has changed very little over the past 100 years Although a careful observer might notice subtle differences in color and styling, the name of the game in English apparel is still conservative, especially in the show ring. Let me introduce you to the basics of English schooling and show clothes.

English Schooling and Trail Clothes

English riders who are schooling their horses or riding out on the trail dress much more casually than when they are in the show ring. Schooling apparel for English riders includes the following:

Helmets: English riders who are schooling their horses usually wear lightweight schooling helmets that come in a variety of colors.

Shirts: Today everything from long-sleeve shirts to t-shirts to tank tops are a go for schooling in English apparel.

Breeches or tights: Breeches are the traditional riding pants of the English discipline. They need to be stretchy and sometimes have a padded seat and knee patches. Some riders prefer riding tights to breeches for schooling, however. Riding tights are usually less expensive and more comfortable. The tights usually have pads on the insides of the knees.

Boots and chaps: English riders who are schooling wear tall boots or paddock boots (boots that come just above the ankle). If they wear paddock boots, they will also need something to protect their legs from rubbing on the stirrup leathers, which is the strap that attaches the stirrup to the saddle. This protection comes in the style of full chaps, which cover the leg from the hip to the ankle, or half chaps, which cover the leg from just below the knee to the ankle. The preferred and longer lasting chaps are made of premium split suede or cowhide.

English Show Clothes

English show apparel is much more formal than schooling apparel. Although elements such as the color and style of the helmet in hunt seat and lower-level dressage may change slightly, the basics always remain the same.

Head wear: Hunt seat and lower-level dressage riders wear black velvet-covered helmets. Upper-level dressage riders wear a derby.

Shirts: English riders wear show shirts under a jacket. These tailored shirts are designed to allow extra motion needed in the shoulders for jumping. They button down the front, have a collar, and are usually white or, if colored, are a very light pink or blue. Some shirts are short sleeved while others are sleeveless.

Jackets: All English show riders wear jackets. Hunt seat and lower-level dressage riders wear tailored jackets in solids or pinstripes. Upper-level dressage riders wear a black shadbelly which is a tailored, short-waisted jacket, often double-breasted, with tails. These days, however, the cheat is that it is often made in 100% polyester.

Breeches: All English riders wear breeches for the show ring. These breeches, too, are form-fitting, and they extend just below the calf. In hunt seat and lower-level dressage, the color is admittedly prone to trends, including everything from rust to hunter green. Tan is usually a staple, although some among the rather self-conscious believe it's a good idea to go to a show and scope it out to see what's fashionable in their region. Upper-level dressage riders, however, reliably wear white breeches.

Boots: Hunt seat and dressage riders will always wear tall, black boots for shows.

Gloves: In the show ring, English riders usually wear black gloves, although upper-level dressage riders wear white gloves.

English horse schooling and show clothes do not change much through the years. That may account for the abiding place they hold in the popular imagination of the sport of English hunting and formal dressage.

Checking Your Table Saw

There are checks that you should employ on your table saw as you work, these will feed you a constant stream of information on how accurate the tool is. One of the most basic checks is to frequently apply a square to a ripped edge or crosscut end. If the square tells you the cut is not right, you know you must check to find out why.

Another simple cheque to use as you go, is to draw a crosscut line with a square. If the blade does not stay on that line as you cut, it's probably the mitre gauge that requires attention.

There are three important alignment rules that apply to any table saw; the table slots, the rip fence and the saw blade must be all parallel.

The rip fence, the saw blade and the mitre gauge head must all be perpendicular to the table surface.

When the mitre gauge is in the normal crosscut position, it must be at right angles to the blade and the rip fence. Assuming that you have already checked for parallelism between table slots and saw blade the zero setting of the mitre gauge can be checked with a square.

Since the blade, which is locked on the harbour, is the one thing of which you have no control, it's wise to start all alignment checks by determining whether the table slots are parallel to the saw blade. All other checks are made on the basis of this important relationship.

While these rules call for parallelism between the rip fence and the saw blade, it's not bad practice to be a bit generous at the rear of the blade so the rear teeth of the blade will not scrape the wood after the front teeth have cut. This kind of adjustment can reduce roughness in the cut and minimise feathering.

Free Sheet Music – How to Find It

It can be nice to have access to more music sheets than you can afford to buy. Use this little guide to help you understand how to find free sheet music on the web!

What shall you search for?

It will be easier for you to figure out what search terms you should use to find the right pages if you know how the free sheet music is distributed on the Internet.

As you can not distribute paper copies directly on the Internet to a computer you have to find a file format to use that is easy to download, open and printout. Here are just three common formats:

GIF files

Some music sheets you will find on the various music web sites uses the The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). GIF is a bitmap image format that of course is used a lot for color images, animations and logos. However, it can also be used for sheet music but it is usually low quality sheets.

Anyway, as long as you can see the music notes I guess they are okay to use! The advantage with this type of files is that the file size usually is quite small and your computer probably can open the files without additional software.

PDF files

Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) are widely used for presenting information with a fixed layout. It is also very convenient to use for sheet music publication as you have full control over the score layout.

To open these files you need some type of software that reads pdf files like Adobe Reader or other free pdf software that you can find on the web. Adobe Reader can be downloaded for free from Adobe's web site.

The advantage with PDF sheet music is that you will get high quality printouts. Some sites only allow you to printout their PDF sheets if you subscribe to their newsletter or create a free account on their site but you will also find sites with free access to these files.

If you write music using notation software you can download PDF creation software for free on the net or buy cheap software for this purpose. Adobe Acrobat of course also provides software to create PDF files but these products are a bit expensive for the average composer.

Scorch music

The Scorch plugin lets you listen to the sheet music as you follow the scores on the computer. You can also download the file, printout the music and also transpose the score. This plugin is used by composers to upload their compositions and arrangements made by the notation software Sibelius.

Scorch is quite common at sheet music websites and on Sibeliusmusic you will find a huge collection of sheet music, both free and commercial.

Search terms

One obvious search term to use to find freely accessible sheets is of course "free sheet music". If you are searching for a specific instrument you can include it in the search term. Other words you can include are "scorch", "pdf", "music sheets", "printable". You will get different search results depending on how you put the words.

Some good sites are in other languages ​​so you can try to translate search terms to find more quality sites.

Sorry to say, the best sites for you might not be found on the first search result pages. These can for various reasons be far down the list so you have to be a little patient. When you find sites that are both good and free you can bookmark them and you will have access to an increasing list of good free sheet music!