A Layman's Guide to Joinery Facts and Figures

I myself am fairly new to the joinery manufacturing business and its been a steep learning curve. The people I work with know their trade and babble away in "joinery" speak while I sit there trying to comprehend it all.

The first and probably most unusual idea to come to terms with is the use of imperial and metric- usually in the same sentence! For example- "I need 3 pieces of PSE softwood, 22mm x 10mm, 4 No @ 6 '".

This to the average person is nothing short of another language. To explain- PSE is PLANED SQUARE EDGE timber. Buying timber this way means that you have a square edge to measure from but it is more expensive. Most of the timber bought by manufacturing companies is rough sawn, IE straight from the timber merchants and cut a little oversize, generally with some bark still attached and the usual defects.When ordering timber, a certain amount of waste is taken as standard. Cutting the ends to square up the timber is the first stage. Then several passes through a 4 sided planer which reduces the thickness of the timber closer to the required size and removes the bark. The edges may need running over a planer / thicknesser to square them up too.

In joinery – it is generally good practice to give the width measurement first, so in the above example-22mm wide and 10mm deep. This is especially important if the 2 measurements are very close, getting it wrong means that whatever you are making will not fit properly. Measure twice cut once!

4 No is of course how many you want- fairly self explanatory.

Then 6 'in length! We just can not get away from using imperial. Just think- if someone asks how tall you are- the usual reply is 5 '3 "or 6' 2". We do not say- I'm 1580 tall or 1860. People just know what you mean.

Its the same in joinery- 5mm, 15mm, 1 metre, half inch, 2 foot- it all gets used. Basically- most companies will work with either metric or imperial- so do not be worried. Metric is more accurate- using millimetres means less chance for mistakes.

When we purchase hardwood it is measured in cubic feet and when ordering softwood we buy in cubic metres, which all adds to the fun and games!


There are several different types of window and style- we shall concentrate on 3. The traditional window, stormproof and sliding sash.

The first two are quite similar in many ways- the main exception is the sash's. The sash is the opening or non opening extra frame surrounded by the outer frame. On traditional windows there is often a sash even when it is non opening and this gives an overall balance to the window look. The opening sash lies flush with the frame. On a stormproof window- often found on more modern houses or in areas of harsh weather- the sash frame wraps around the main frame, overlapping it to give extra protection.Both types of window will have hinges of some description allowing the sash to open.

The sliding sash is found on many historic and listed buildings, and generally has two sash's which can slide up and down depending on requirement. Is does not have hinges, but works on weights and cords to lift and drop the heavy sash's. Modern sliding sash windows utilise a spring instead of the weights making for easier use and reduced frame size. There are also "Mock" sash windows which look like normal sliders but work on a friction hinge- see my article on sliding sash windows for more information.

The frame is the outer timbers comprising 2 side pieces called jambs and a top piece called the head and the bottom section called the cill or sill. The sash itself is made up of 2 vertical stiles and 2 horizontal rails. Muntins are the name given to both horizontal and vertical dividing bars which split the window glass into individual panes or lights.

Most good joinery companies will be happy to show you their work and discuss your requirements. Just remember when choosing- not all windows are the same- check out the timber, the frame section sizes and the finish.


All doors are not created equally either- many exterior doors are neither solid or well made. Standard thickness is around 44mm, so be sure to check out what you are getting for your money.

The basic door construction is a frame – comprising 2 side stiles and a top and bottom rail. There are many variations to the actual make up of the door- but transoms are the horizontal timbers and mullions are the vertical timbers. Infills can be solid panels- such as raised and fielded- which are very common and give a central flat panel with sloping edges, or possibly glazed units in a huge number of variants, including leaded glass, obscure and super efficient double glazing. Glass for doors must be either toughened or laminated to conform to building regulations- do not accept anything less.

Also check that mortice and tenon joints are used in the construction, as many companies try to save money but using inferior jointing methods. A well made mortice and tenon joint, glued up will be stronger than the surrounding timber and should never come apart.

The timber is also important- TEC wood is a laminated timber (which means it has layers glued together for strength and stability) which is being used extensively. Timber choice in the UK should be a hardwood such as Sapele or European Oak. Idigbo and Iroko are also good choices. Ask your joinery company for their advice on whats best in which situation. Budget will also play its part, but there are always options.

A rebate is a groove cut in either the edge of the timber- EG where doors shut together or can be a cut in a flat panel to take another panel.

I hope this article has been informative and if you need any advice, check out our website or contact us.


DIY Tiki Bar

Building your own tiki bar can be a rewarding project. If you are a do-it-your-self type person then this project might excite you. A "day tiki bar" can be constructed in just a week, with the proper instructions and tools. I consider a set of plans as the best tool you can have, especially if this might be your first big project. Ok let's get started with a list of things you will need to build your backyard paradise.

Tools you will need- Here is an alphabetical list of tools you will need. You will need a chalk line, circular saw, clamps, cordless drill, hammer, jigsaw, speed square, staple gun, table saw, tape measure, wood chisel, and miscellaneous items. These tools are essential for a DIY tiki bar project. Of course if you have power tools you will speed up the process.

Material for your project- Here is an abbreviated list of what I used to build my own 4 x 8 foot tiki bar. This will give you an idea of ​​what it will take to build this project.

Pressure treated lumber for any surface touching the ground.
2 "x 3" x 8 'spruce lumber for the frame of the tiki bar.
3 sheets of oak plywood in 4 'x 8' x ¾ "
Cedar logs (white cedar) to support your roof structure. They should be 4 "x 6 'round logs.
Approximately 10 pounds of 10 penny nails while be needed.
Hardware for mounting bar top; angle brackets, screws, and liquid nails.
Two gallons of marine varnish to seal your bar and prevent water damage.

Material for roof structure- This will give you an idea of what you will need to build the roof and palm thatching required.

Cedar poles needed to build roof will consist of; 3- 3 ½ "x 9 'cedar poles, 10- 3 ½" x 8' cedar poles, and 12- 2 "x 12" cedar poles.

Thatching made from palm fronds, approximately 60 'x 4' roll of thatching. You can buy the palm fronds but the only thing I found is that it takes longer to thatch the roof. I like easy myself, but it is totally up to the individual.

Miscellaneous nails and staples.

Places to purchase materials- Most of the materials can be purchased from your local home supply store and the items like the cedar poles can be purchased from a saw mill or ordered online. Most of the palm fronds and thatching are also available online.

You need a guide- Unless you are a super carpenter; you need to purchase a set of plans. It is so much easier to follow step by step instructions along with pictures to make sure you are building your DIY tiki bar correctly. Let's face it with the price of lumber and materials; you do not want to make mistakes. You will definitely thank me if you purchase a complete guide showing you how to build your outdoor bar.
I built my DIY tiki bar because I enjoy the islands so much that I wanted to bring that atmosphere home with me. Great times and fun can be had around your own tiki bar.

To Work For A Nonprofit Board

Nonprofit organizations make up the majority of my client list. Frequently, it is the Executive Board, and not the Executive Director, who contracts for my services. Getting hired by an Executive Board is nearly always a challenge. Typically, a dozen (or perhaps nearly twice that number) people must approve both the proposed project and the proposed service provider (me!).

Boards are always political and they are frequently hotbeds of strife and rivalries. I have first-hand knowledge of Board dynamics because for the better part of the past 20 years, I’ve served on Boards. Board service can be tremendously rewarding or maddeningly frustrating. I’ve experienced some of my most exhilarating victories and most painful defeats while serving. Through Boards, I’ve made good friends with whom I remain in contact and unfortunately, more than a couple of lifelong enemies. I understand Boards very well. In fact, Board development is a service that I offer to clients.

The problem with working on a per-project basis is that organizations are chronically understaffed and over-loaded with work, both essential and ridiculous-but-required. It is very easy to put anything that is not immediately urgent on the back burner forever. The best way to get a project approved is to gain the confidence of a champion, a person with authority and a budget, or someone who can influence the one with the authority and budget and convince that individual to shepherd your project through the decision-making process and protect it from the inevitable naysayers who will oppose the project for reasons either understandable or mystifying.

Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures in Los Angeles has compiled a list of the usual suspects who impact group decisions. In addition to these players, there will also be neutral people, who can go either way.


The project champion is its greatest supporter.This individual has oftentimes conceived the project and has a big stake in seeing it realized. The most effective project champion has authority, persuasive power, well-positioned allies and access to funding. The champion takes an active role in pushing the project forward, lobbying for support and outmaneuvering those in opposition. Any initiative that involves a group decision will die in committee without the support of an influential and active champion who will run interference and speak up to defend it.


Decision-makers often have someone who acts as the “expert witness” when important matters are evaluated. This person may have a background that allows him/her to know well the specific needs of a project, which guides the choice of who is hired. Alternatively, the expert may be one who has excellent judgment or a gift for playing devil’s advocate that helps the decision-makers see obstacles or even other options that might otherwise be overlooked. This person has influence, not authority, but their recommendation carries weight.


The influencer probably does not possess the specific project knowledge of the expert, but he/she is a peer who has knowledge, experience, perspective and authority that the decision-makers respect. He/she will be consulted or may volunteer an opinion when an important matter is up for discussion.


This person has significant tenure with the organization, understands its core values and is generally respected by others. He/she knows how things work and how to get things done. The sage can be very helpful to you during the approval process. He/she has valuable information that can be shared, if you portray yourself as someone who cares about the organization and shows him/her some respect. The sage can tell you who’s who on the decision team. The sage usually cannot directly impact the decision process.


This person hates you and aims to derail the project and get you off the premises. He/she may be a rival of the champion. He/she may be competing to scoop the funding for a project of his/her own. The enemy may believe that the project is a waste of organization resources. Sometimes the enemy doesn’t want you to do the project because he/she is angling to get a friend or relative hired.


This person cannot approve the project, but is happy to act as a spoiler. He/she may not be able to prevent the project’s approval, but will do whatever possible to delay the start date, limit the scope and as a result, impact your billable hours, and/or generally catch the project up in red tape. This person is not necessarily evil and may not actually hate you.

Thanks for reading,


Low-Cost Halloween Decorating Ideas for Fun

Halloween is a uniquely special time of year, regardless of whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart. It’s a holiday time that offers lots of wonderful opportunities to decorate your home creatively, since the subject matter is different from any other holiday. If you’re thinking about decorating your porch and yard for the spookiest night of the year, you can do it without having to spend a lot of money. Here are a few low-cost ideas for showing your Halloween spirit to the world:

Crime Scene to Fright Scene

You can get rolls of yellow Caution tape (the type you see at crime or disaster scenes to keep people out of certain areas) fairly inexpensively at most hardware stores, and if you put it up around the perimeter of your yard, accompanied by a sign that says something like “Fright Scene: Enter at Your Own Risk,” it can give an eerily spooky ambience while also offering guests a wary smile.

You can enhance that spookiness either more by replacing your regular porch light with a black light bulb. Adding a few Halloween-oriented items like skulls and ghost figures that glow in the dark will be even more effective.

Pumpkins and Paint Fun

If you want your pumpkins to last longer (and even to be reusable when you scrap your Halloween decorations and begin decorating for Thanksgiving), don’t carve them. Paint them with acrylic paint. You can create an infinite variety of faces or scenes, and your pumpkins will last much longer. There’s also none of the mess involved with carving them. Place your pumpkins in groups of three to five of varying sizes and shapes. It makes for a much more effective display.

Graveyard Fun

A little paint can go a long way in creating great-looking tombstones, too. You can paint simple boards gray and then use black paint to add silly or scary epitaphs that will delight visitors. Things like: “See? I Told You I Was Sick” can bring smiles, but you can also create scarier epitaphs to bring out the more ghoulish side of your nature.

Craft Fun for Children

Children love this craft. You can create some wonderfully spooky scenes in your windows by cutting out silhouettes of the various Halloween icons, such as black cats, witches, and skeletons, out of construction paper. When it gets dark, your windows will take on a lovely macabre look when the light is blocked out by those eerie objects.

Simple scarecrow-type figures, topped with rubber Halloween masks, can also be effective in adding some scare factor to your front porch and lawn. Just stuff a shirt and pair of pants with straw or leaves, add the mask, and you’ve got an instant horror figure for just a little time, imagination, and very little money.

How to Find the Right Roofing Contractor for Your Project

It's time to fix that leaky roof again and now you have two choices; one, you can patch and repair or two, you can completely redo the roof. What are you going to do? Before jumping into a big project like this you will want to weigh all your options. You need to determine how old your current roofing is. If it is more than ten or fifteen years old you may want to consider a new roofing job. Chances are the roofing job on there now was not done right and it is allowing it to prematurely ruin. A roofing contractor can come out and evaluate everything and help you decide which route would be more feasible for you to go.

A contractor should be able to look at your current roofing and decide if you can patch the roof where it is weak and keep it for another few years of if there is already structure damage due to the leaking and you must replace what is weak along with a new roof. This may run into a lot of money if you need to do all the roof replacement.

A roofing contractor can also help you find the right supplies at a fair price. Home improvement supplies can be very expensive and if you are not saving for a replacement roof the money will have to come from somewhere.

Now that you know how a roofing contractor can help you, now you need to find a contractor. There are many ways to locate a one. First look through your phone book to find one that is local. Most will have some type of advertisement to give you an idea of ​​what type of roof contractor they are; commercial, residential, or both. Some contractors like to handle only the eco-friendly roofing materials while others contract to do any type.

Most contractors want to be paid a specific amount and that is fine but you also have a budget you must follow so you will need to have a variety of roofing contractors to choose from. Have about five contractors to choose from so you can decide based on the right amount of money, the length of time the project will take, and the amount of cost.

Once you find the right roofing expert for the job you are ready to begin. Be sure that you can clear the money before you sign a contract. Call around and see if you can find a better deal on the roofing materials before the project begins. A contractor usually goes with a certain store so calling around may benefit you because you can do the roofing job for less.

If you are not satisfied with the roofing work, you need to see how you and the contractor can make it right. If not agreement has been reached you need to seek an alternative. If the contractor leaves the job unfinished or if you are still experiencing leaks you may want to consider hiring an attorney. If, on the other hand, the contractor pulls through and does a nice job as quoted you can write up reviews and post it online and advertise for his company in order to let others know that he is the right one to go with.

Sheet Metal Brakes and How to Make Your Own Guttering

Attention homeowners!

You probably know all about rain gutters and how important they are to the health of your house. Guttering must be kept clean and intact to be able to drain water away, or serious, structural damage could be the result. Now, guttering can be bought ready to install, but you can also make it yourself – with the right tools and a bit of motivation.

Who should make their own guttering?

Well, anyone who wants to! Perhaps you simply like to things yourself, and have the time and the inclination.

Perhaps your home requires a special kind of guttering, difficult to find on the shelves anywhere.

Perhaps you like to fix old houses of your own, or of your friends – maybe even for a living someday?

You will be glad to hear there is not much to it:

The necessary equipment

Guttering is made of sheet metal, so you need sheet metal working equipment.

First of all, you need a sheet metal brake to bend the metal into a gutter-shape.

You also need metal shears to cut the sheet metal to size- these are sometimes integrated with the sheet metal brake.

To make half-round or quarter-round gutters, you will also need roll-forming equipment, but the sheet metal brake is just fine for making square- or box-shaped gutters along with v-shaped gutters, the like of which you might see where two perpendicular roof-surfaces meet.

Guttering materials – pros and cons

Common materials for gutters are metal like copper, steel, aluminum and zinc.

Steel would have to be painted, electroplated with zinc or perhaps coated with vitreous enamel.

Otherwise it would rust rapidly. The other materials mentioned do not tarnish as fast as raw steel, provided certain combinations are not made; like copper gutter held up with steel brackets.

Certain metals, when combined physically, will have a galvanic reaction, and one of them will tarnish faster.

For instance, small amounts of steel (such as rivets or screws) combined with the larger amounts of copper in a copper gutter, will oxidize the steel parts much faster than normally – especially in combination with water.

Obviously a poor choice for guttering and any other part you would demand durability from.

It is common to use the same material for gutters brackets and other fasteners, when installing guttering.

That is the safest way to avoid unwanted galvanic reactions – and it looks better.

If you want to use steel for your gutters, you must protect it against rust. That means painting it, or having it powdercoated or electroplated. You could use stainless steel, but it might prove too expensive, and you could reduce its abilities to stay free of rust if you’re not sure how to work with it.

Overheating it with an electric cutter/grinder is an example of something you shouldn’t do to stainless steel.

Also, using a steel brush or other grind/sanding devices could embed small particles in the stainless steel, which could ruin it.

And never use muriatic acid anywhere near stainless steel either – again, it will be ruined.

The actual work

First of all you need to know more about the shape you are going to make. To reproduce the profile of existing guttering, take down an intact piece of gutter and draw an outline of it on a piece of paper. Then measure the lengths of material between the bends and use those measurements to correct your outline drawing, if necessary.

Now you have the exact dimensions of your guttering, and can get to work with your shears and your sheet metal brake.


Why is Facebook So Popular?

There are many factors on why Facebook is so popular at the moment. It became somewhat popular many years ago when it was first released to a handful of Ivy League colleges. Then it spread to most major universities, and then on to all the other places of higher educations. When it was getting stomped by MySpace it opened it's doors to high schoolers and eventually to the general public. Once anyone could start using it, everyone did. Instead of it creating a backlash to users who liked the exclusivity of it, it only created a fever that has yet to die down. Here are the things Facebook does to keep people happy with it.

Everyone's on it. Facebook reached a critical tipping point where it became wildly popular. It reached that point when it the number of people with a Facebook account, outnumbered the number of people without one. Nowadays, if you do not have a Facebook account you are pretty much a social pariah. The ability of Facebook to merge businesses and entrepreneurs in with individuals is something that other social networks like MySpace did not do well. On Facebook there's tons of commercial potential, and users do not seem to mind it.

No really annoying ads. Many of the ads on Facebook are repetitive, but they're not repulsive like the advertisements you see at MySpace. They're also targeted, so many times you will find things you really are interested, and this can lead to new hobbies and good and relevant finds.

It's all about the games and apps . Facebook has a wildly extensive library of addictive games and add-ons that keep people coming back to the site. Many of the social games available reward their players for spending lots of time online, or coming back online at regular times to complete game objectives. Many people will spend countless hours on these online games, and periodically check their News Feed to see if anything interesting is happening.

It plays to people's vanity. People like to talk about themselves, especially when they think they have an audience. Many people post many updates every day on how their day is going. If they have 100 or more friends they may feel that all of their friends are keeping up to date with them, when in fact chances are they've all hidden that person from their News Feed.

People are social animals. There will always be a social network available for people to use online. Right now it's Facebook. In two or there years it might be something new or it could still be Facebook. The future is unclear, but what is known is that Facebook has carved it's place in history as the preeminent social network at the time of this writing.

Home Improvement Kitchen Tips

Is your kitchen less than fabulous? Do you have outdated décor? Maybe you just moved in, and the previous owner had terrible taste! Or, maybe it's time to sell and you were the one with terrible taste and you need your kitchen a little more buyer friendly. If you need to spruce up your kitchen, read on. It's time to get excited because, whatever your reason may be, you can use home improvement kitchen tips to make your kitchen a joy to look at for little out of pocket expense!

Before you get started, there are a few things you need to think about. You must have a plan! Trying home improvement products without a plan is like trying to bake a cake without a recipe. With the recipe you get a beautiful, delicious product. Without the recipe you end up with a lump of undistinguishable material, in other words "crap".

The first thing to consider is what your current budget is, how much are you willing to spend? By determining your budget first, you can decide what you will be able to do with your kitchen.

After you have decided on your budget, you need to decide what is most important. Do you want a new floor? Do you want new cabinets / fixtures? Maybe you just need a fresh coat of paint and some decorations. You have many options. Decide what is most important to you, and then allocate your funds accordingly.

The next step to remodeling your kitchen is to come up with what you want to do with the room. Do you want to open it up and make it seem more spacious? Do you need to formalize your kitchen and double it as a dining room? Maybe you want to create a quant and cozy atmosphere. Whatever you want to accomplish, it is possible. All you need is perseverance and the right accessories!

Decide on your color palette and what items you will need to buy. If you are replacing the floor, I have found that it is easiest to pick the flooring that you like first and then to decide on a wall color. There are many different options when it comes to flooring. You can do hardwood flooring, ceramic tile, linoleum, or linoleum tiles. Some people even use carpet. It is just your personal preference, and again the mood you are trying to create.

If you really like the look of ceramic tiles, but they are out of your budget, there is now a large selection of linoleum flooring that looks very much like ceramic tile. I have even found attractive linoleum tiles for as little as 48 cents a square foot! Linoleum tiles are also very easy to put down. They have an adhesive backing that sticks to a prepared floor, and they are very easy to cut and fit your floor space.

After you have decided on your flooring, the next step is to pick your paint color. You have three options in paint types, flat, semi-gloss, and glossy. Glossy is the easiest to clean, so that, of course, is what I would recommend. If you like the look of flat paint better, I would go with a semi-gloss because that is still also relatively easy to clean. There are many decorative options you have with paint as well. You can experiment with fuax finishes and painted on boarders and wall scenes. Also try painting three walls a neutral color, and painting one wall with an accent.

Another option is wall paper, I would advise against it because it can be costly and it is hard to apply, and even more of a problem to take off. There are so many options with paint, I would stick to that.

After you have your flooring and wall covering picked out it is time to think about cabinets and fixtures. If you want to give a different look to your cabinets you can paint them or re-stain them. Painting is less work, but re-staining can add a very pretty touch. You can also remove some or all of the doors if you have dishware worth displaying. The choice is up to you.

Once you have your flooring, walls, cabinets, and fixtures the way you like them, it is time to add decorative accessories. A nice, large framed picture in a color palette matching your kitchen is a quick and easy way to cover wall space. But do not limit it to traditional framed pictures try out different materials. Flags and quilts make nice wall hangings as well as antique signs or old license plates. Try anything you can attach a hook to and hang on the wall. If you do not like it, take it down.

Candles and plants put the finishing touch on your kitchen!

Updating your kitchen can be a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to update the look of your house. For a quick change through out the year, just replace your curtains and dish towels and switch out your candles. This updates your kitchen quickly and inexpensively!

Importance of Choosing the Right Ladder

Ladders are one of the most ancient tools still in use in the modern world. The first recorded image of one is on a Mesolithic rock painting that dates back some 10,000 years, and they have been in constant use throughout civilisation.

They have traditionally been manufactured from all sorts of material such as bamboo and hard wood but most modern ladders are built using aluminum because of its lightness and strength.

However, just because we have been using this primitive technology for thousands of years, it doesn’t mean that using ladders isn’t dangerous. Each year in the UK alone, 90,000 people are injured using them and deaths are not uncommon.

They can slide, tip, slip, break and buckle so it is important to recognise the potential risks before using a ladder. However, one of the most important things that can be done in ensuring that a height can be scaled safely is to ensure you have the right ladder for the right job.

Choosing the correct ladder is vitally important and there are several key areas to look at:

Firstly, you must consider how height you will need be working at. If you are working over 5 metres (16 ft) off the ground then an extension ladder will be necessary otherwise standing on the limit of a ladder can cause accidents so it is important to remember that the ladder should extend a few rungs higher that your standing position.

Secondly, it is important to assess how much weight you will be carrying up the ladder including any tools and yourself. Step ladders provide a sturdy platform for tools and accessories, such as trays, can be purchased for addition to the ladder.

Thirdly, you must consider the floor space you are working around. A ladder placed too vertical could topple whilst too much angle could lead it to slip. Don’t use an overly tall ladder in a confined space – and a ladder precariously balanced on another object is guaranteed to cause an accident.

Finally, it is important to check both the floor surface and surface the ladder will be leaning on. Ensure the ladder has sufficient grip on the floor and surface will prevent any accidental slipping.

Ladders are ancient tools that are still incredibly useful in the modern age – as long as they are used properly.

Choosing the Right Wheelchair Ramp

The first step in deciding whether to purchase a portable ramp for your needs or whether to have a permanent ramp installed is naturally whether or not the need for the ramp will be very long-term. But in some cases, such as during recovery and recuperation from illness or injury, it still might be best to have a modular ramp installed rather than relying on a temporary, portable ramp for a home’s entryway. Even modular ramps, which are considered permanent, can be removed when the need is gone. But in the meantime, they provide a sturdy, maintenance-free way for a person using a wheelchair or power chair to get in and out of the home.

Portable ramps like one-piece ramps and suitcase ramps are perfect for temporary situations or in places where a permanent ramp might not practical. One-piece ramps are portable and can be moved from one small set of steps to another, but suitcase ramps and other folding ramps are ideal to take along and to use to get a wheelchair or scooter in and out of a van or onto a platform for transportation. You can also purchase track ramps, which are narrow pieces designed to accommodate a chair’s wheels.

If you have many stairs or a tall staircase, you might consider a ramp in addition to something like a vertical platform lift. A lift can raise a person in a chair to an upper platform when a ramp can’t be used. Stair lifts, in which a person sits on a chair and is lifted up the staircase, are also an option for both outdoor and indoor staircases, depending on the architecture. Those are convenient choices when you need more than small ramps.

But even when ramps are all you need, you still have to make some choices about size, safety features and length. For home use, the ADA gives a recommended ratio of 2 to 12. That means for every two inches of rise there should be 12 inches, or one foot, of ramp. Commercial buildings and businesses are supposed to have one foot of ramp for every inch of height, for safety’s sake. And ramps that you use to get empty chairs in and out of vehicles can be steeper, with only a foot of ramp for about every 4 inches of height.

Keep those things in mind as you decide which ramps are best for you, because a ramp that’s too steep can be a hazard. Outdoor ramps can become slick in the rain or snowy weather even when they’re the right angle, so one that’s too steep is even more likely to cause a dangerous tumble. The proper size and angle should be your first concern when choosing a ramp.

Also consider things like the eyesight and steadiness of the chief ramp user. You can choose both portable and permanent ramps that have features like edge guards and handrails that can keep someone from going off the edge. These small additions don’t cost much more but can provide extra safety and peace of mind.

Repairing Noisy Hardwood Floorboards

Maddening floor squeaks, which are frequent in a lot of homes, usually take place after the house has come to rest and flooring planks have become dry and contracted.

As you pace from corner to corner of the floor, panels chafe against each other or glide against nail chutes to bring into being a discord of screeches and scrapes. Wobbly sub-flooring, both solid board and plywood categories, will likewise give off penetrating squeaks. Customary hardwood strip flooring is the most at risk of giving off a large amount of squeaky noises, but each and every kind of floor covering can create irritating sounds.

It is surprisingly simple to put an end to just about any shrill hardwood floor. Below are a few tips on how you can eradicate squeaks:

Mending from Underneath

If the flooring is on top of a cellar or underground room, go underneath to construct the repairs.

Get underway by arranging for somebody to pace from corner to corner of the floor as you pay attention from underneath. When you make out a squeal, have the individual directly above knock on the flooring so you can locate the precise area.

After that, grab hold of a narrow wood shim and cover it with carpenter’s glue. Lightly pat the shim into the area in the middle of the beam and sub-floor. Do not push it in too much because, by doing so, you will lift the floor covering. Your aim is to fill up the opening on top of the floor joist and remove any gap in the floorboards. For added upkeep, hammer in a 1¼-inch drywall screw positioned upwards through the floor joist and shim, and down into the sub-floor.

An additional helpful method to quiet floorboards from underneath is by means of a skillfully created piece of hardware known as the Squeak-Ender. It can be bought for $7. It is made up of of a threaded bar fastened to a level-mounting salver and a steel bracket fixed with a squared-off knob on one side. Putting it in place is straightforward. Fasten the mounting salver to the bottom of the sub-floor with the four screws made available. Place it precisely underneath the whiny area. Glide the brace all around the threaded bar and attach it to the beam. Twirl a nut onto the bar, and then constrict it by means of a wrench until the sub-floor is dragged down tight against the floor joist.

Laboring from Overhead

When you cannot obtain right of entry to the floor beams from underneath, your sole option is to do the maintenance from overhead.

The secret, though, is to quiet the squeals devoid of scratching the polished floorboards. As luck would have it, there are two closure techniques, both made by O’Berry Enterprises, which can accomplish exactly that for you.


The Squeeeeek-No-More Kit, which can be purchased for around $30, can be expended on fitted carpet that is placed on top of a lumber sub-floor. The set is made up of a screwdriver bit, pilot screw to aid you in locating beams, depth-control fitting, and 50 specifically intended breakaway screws.

To begin with, find the floor joist closest to the squeal. Place the depth-control fitting on the carpeting precisely on top of the floor joist. After covering transparent tape around one of the screws to stop it from snagging on the carpet threads, push it all the way through the fitting. Take away the depth-control fitting, tilt it to one side, and put the screw head into the opening at the top of the fitting. Sway the fitting side-to-side until the screw head breaks off underneath the exterior of the sub-floor.


The Counter-Snap Kit, which can be purchased for $8, makes available an efficient, almost unnoticeable technique to end screeches in hardwood floorboards. The kit is made up of a screwdriver bit, depth-control fitting, and 25 breakaway screws. However, unlike the Squeeeeek-No-More arrangement, the screw head routinely breaks off when you push the screw into the depth-control fitting. Set off by pushing a 3/32-inch-diameter pilot hole all the way through the floorboard closest to the whine. After that, place a screw within the depth-control fitting and into the pilot hole. Push in the screw until it breaks off underneath the exterior of the wood. To hide the screw, pile up the pilot hole by means of wood putty.

Silencing Shrill Staircases

The usual inner stairway is the source of more peeps than floorboards as staircases are brought together by dozens of lumber parts.

As time goes on, these portions swell and wither. The links among them come loose. Consequently, every single footstep you take gives off an irksome squeak or moan.

Four straightforward methods for decreasing screeches are made known below:

1. Search for right of entry to the backside of the stairways in lofts and the cellars as these overhauls are the most useful.

2. From the back, rap shims covered with glue into the links flanked by the parallel treads.

3. Do the same to the perpendicular risers.

4. Or, attach wood units into the crooks where the risers meet the treads.

If you cannot move at the back of the stairway, attempt one of these topside reparations:

• Grab hold of a number of extremely narrow wood shims and pat them into any slack or shrill links you discover. Tidily cut off the shims with a utility knife.

• Paste and nail a span of quarter-round casting alongside every single step.

It might not be likely to quiet each yelp in your residence, but with the methods defined directly above, you can, without a doubt, decrease the prattle to an infrequent squeak.

Hire PHP Developers for Web Development Projects

PHP is popularly used for web development because it not only offers interoperable with several HTTP server interfaces but also with database interfaces in the likes of My SQL, Oracle, MS SQL, and Informiz. Since PHP web development bears a striking resemblance to JavaScript and Java, so it is no more a challenge to find and hire PHP developers. Moreover PHP offers a secure environment for the development of web based solutions through multiple security levels. Another major advantage that makes it popular is the support that it derives from the open source community. The open source foundation of PHP enables developers across globe to add extensions and new features in programming. PHP programming involves certain specific aspects critical to programming and they are:

• Object Oriented Programming (OOP)

• Template Engines

• Management of Mails

• PHP Framework

• PayPal Integration

• Payment Processing

• Database Tutorials

• Regular Expression

• Security

PHP web development involves a huge gamut of development opportunities and they include web applications, CMS, e-commerce applications, RIA development, Mashup development, job portals, social networking application and intranet web applications. This clearly testifies that with each passing day, the requirement to hire PHP developers is increasing.

Web application development irrespective of types of scripting and programming languages involves prototyping. Prototyping has evolved as a critical phase in web development because it helps adding meaningful insights while preparing the final coding specs for the system. Now Rapid Application Development (RAD) is one of the upcoming software development methodologies that enable rapid prototyping. Interlaced with various structured techniques, information engineering mechanisms and prototyping techniques, RAD is believed to have enabled faster development and superior application maintenance. Now PHP is known to enable the Rapid Application Development through its certain frameworks. Some of these are:

• CodeIgniter Framework: It’s an application framework that enables faster development of projects through a rich set of libraries. This also reduces the amount of coding.

• Cake PHP Framework: It is an application development framework that offers exhaustive architecture for effective development, maintenance, and deployment of applications. Furthermore, it reduces development cost by offering design patterns like MVC and ORM within the given configuration.

• Zend Framework: It is an application framework released under the New BSD License. Basis a flexible architecture, this framework is focused on building secure, reliable and web 2.0 compatible applications and services.

• PHP Dev Shell Framework: It is an application framework specifically used for developing admin based applications such as plugins. Additionally, it offers a light weight functionally GUI with exhaustive configurations.

• Symphony Framework: It is a web application framework that develops enterprise based applications and replaces the repetitive coding mechanism with speed and control. It is easy to install and can run on Unix or Windows with web server or PHP installed.

• Yii Framework: It is a component based framework used for developing large scale web applications and comes with a stack of features such as MVC, j Query-based AJAX support, scaffolding.

• Akelos Framework: It is a web application development platform that speeds up the creation of complex web applications basis its MVC (Model View Controller) design pattern.

Miami Flooring: Hardwood Floors Vs Laminate Wood Floors

If you live in Miami or South Florida in general and are considering replacing your floors with wood floors, take the time to do your homework on whether you should choose hardwood flooring or laminate wood flooring. While you may prefer the look of a hardwood over laminate wood, there are differences in the installation, maintenance and wear and tear of each type of flooring. Considering the subtropical climate in South Florida, one particular wood flooring option may emerge as the right choice.


It is true that hardwood floors are made out of real wood and therefore have the look of real wood. In northern states, hardwood floors work, but the problem with installing hardwood in South Florida is the humidity. Hardwood retains moisture, which can cause the floor to warp. This is not to mention the expense of hardwood over laminate or that installing hardwood floors is more complicated than installing laminate wood flooring. Harder installation also means you’re not only going to pay more for the materials, but you’re also going to pay more for the installation.


While laminate wood floors are not real or natural wood, these types of wood floors have several benefits, especially in South Florida. The wood material look alike used to create laminate floors tends to be water-resistant, which is a big bonus in South Florida with the humidity, rain, flooding and hurricanes. Second, wood laminate is easier to install than hardwood floors, so you are not only going to pay less for the materials but you’re also going to save on the installation. The downside of these floors is that the wood laminate can chip, but it does not scratch and dent like hardwood floors do.

Hardwood vs. Laminate Wood Floors


Moisture: Humidity and moisture warps the wood (HINT: South Florida is VERY humid.).

Installation: Difficult

Durability: Dents, scratches and fades, but can be refinished.

Longevity: 80 years


Moisture: Most are water-resistant, but check with the manufacturer or supplier.

Installation: Easier to install than hardwood and comes with options for installation, including glue-less.

Durability: Does not dent and scratch, but can chip. Refinishing is possible with some wood laminates.

Longevity: 20 years

In less humid and moist areas of the country hardwood flooring is a fine choice. With the high humidity and water issues South Florida deals with on a daily basis, wood laminate definitely pulls out ahead as the leading choice for wood flooring.

Guitar Kit Construction – How You Can Add A Sunburst Finish

Originally developed to imitate a vintage look (as seen on classic violins and mandolins), sunburst really is a timeless guitar finish regularly seen upon electric guitars classic and cutting edge. It’s an extremely desirable look but is it too difficult for the inexperienced? You’ll be able to achieve a sunburst finish for your guitar if you decide to stick to just a few steps and take your time and don’t rush. It’s good to practice to start with a discarded scrap piece of timber prior to moving on to the electric guitar.

If it’s a brand new guitar kit, you really should construct your guitar before anything else. As expected you will be pulling it apart to begin the finish but you need to know you won’t be finding problems further along that risk the finish you’ve obviously put such a lot of effort into. When you’ve put together the electric guitar and analyzed for potential issues you should begin to set up the timber. Sand back until you get an entirely even base to apply your finish. At that point remove excess dust particles and clean the guitar meticulously.

The next step is to smear some wood grain filler. You’ll want to apply evenly across the face belonging to the electric guitar and afterward work it in to the grain. Once dried remove the excess and wipe off with a moistened scrap of material. Now it’s the time to apply paint to the back and sides of the body and neck of your electric guitar. A crucial factor to remember is to always mask the body and neck area. If you end up spraying it’s recommended that you keep your aerosols in warm water before you start using. It will take you a number of coats to get a decent coverage. The trick is to accumulate your guitar’s colour layer after layer and apply from a good distance away in order to attain a gentle edge. The nearer you end up getting the more challenging the edge line you will end up with.

After that apply the amber lacquer. You should mask the sides of your guitar after which you’ll place the guitar on a dependable workbench faced upwards before you apply the lacquer. Once you have finished this task you should apply the clear coat and then sand between coats to remove any issues. Then apply your next darkest stain to acquire a blend of colour between the edge and middle section. Try to apply particularly lightly and add enough coats to achieve the coverage you wish to attain. At this time you should let the most recent coat harden off. As soon as the guitar is totally free of moisture commence with sanding for a second time.

The key here is to utilise a lighter measure of sandpaper every single time, essentially removing the marks from the gauge of sandpaper used previously. Remember to keep delicately sanding after that changing to a less heavy gauge unless you run out of sandpaper after which you can proceed to your buffer. From this point you should continue to keep buffing or hand polishing until you get completely fine with the finished look.

The Humble Padlock

I remember my first padlock. It was a Master combination lock for my gym locker in seventh grade. The dial was blue, and if I’m mot mistaken, the combination was 13-24-4. Three turns clockwise, two counterclockwise, and clockwise to the final number.

Since those days I’ve grown a little more sophisticated about the locks I use. For a number of years I’ve had a Hampton padlock for my bicycle, with a case-hardened steel shackle, brass pin tumblers in a laminated steel body, coated with black rubberized plastic to make it weatherproof (and protect the bike’s paint). It’s a handsome lock, rectangular, squat, and strong, but it’s nothing compared to some of the locks on the market today. As far as I can tell, it’s now sold as the True Value hardware brand.

But much stronger and more versatile locks are now available, too. Medeco, makers of a famed patented cylinder lock whose keys cannot be duplicated except by authorized dealers, offers the same cylinder design for its padlock, making it virtually impossible to pick. The case hardened steel body incorporates steel inserts in critical areas of the cylinder to protect against drilling, cutting, and even sledgehammer attacks. According to the company’s specifications, the design protects against up to 10,000 lbs of bolt cutter force and up to 4,500 lbs of shackle pulling power.

Multi-Lock’s (www.mul-t-lockusa.com) KW line is a very impressive line of locks for just about any use imaginable. They range from a standard low-guard style familiar to every locker-room visitor, to a high-guard version of the same lock (the E-series), both with hardened Boron shackle and body, to a sliding bolt lock that allows almost no access to the shackle-bolt, to a chain lock with a 48-inch square link steel chain. Multi-Lock’s C- and T-series locks are heavy duty, while its E-series are considered Extra-Heavy Duty.

Medeco and KW locks are designed for real security, not just gym lockers (though using one would pretty much guarantee that your suit will still be there when you come back from your shower!) The technological improvements from decade to decade have made it possible to protect everything from storage boxes to car dealers’ lots with a lot more confidence than was possible even a generation ago.

For any padlock aficionado, one of the most delightful aspects of these versatile locks is the strides made in design over the past 20 years or so. While hardened steel is still the most commonly used material for the body, locks are available in solid brass or anodized aluminum that can be color-coded to meet Federal safety codes. Online you can find bright yellow cylinder padlocks that are shaped like a Vienna sausage, and of course the elegant black hardened boron of the KW E-series. Sizes, shapes, design, and materials used make it possible for a qualified locksmith to provide the padlocks that meet every customer’s exact need.

They’re all a far cry from the red, green, orange, and blue Master combination locks that used to line row after row of lockers in my middle school. And what a change for the better!