Guide For Setting Up Lionel Model Train Sets

Getting started is one of the most exciting phases in the model train hobby. Should your train set take over the whole house or settle for just one room? If you opted for the whole house, please speak with your wife before swinging the sledge hammer.

It is good to dream big, but patience is often required before dreams become reality. Most of us have to deal with the reality of limited amounts of space, money and time. Adapting to these realities will help you make your first decisions, where to put your set and how much space to devote to it.

Another decision is selecting a brand train sets. Should you purchase a Lionel model train set or go with another brand? Lionel is by far the leading brand, but other brands such as Bachmann, Athearn, Hornby and others have been around a long time too and have many happy customers. If you are not sure, Lionel is a safe place to start.

So do we have some momentum going yet? The next decision is choosing between complete train sets or individual components. Most beginner hobbyists start with complete train sets while the more serious railroaders opt for buying individual components. Complete sets are cheaper and save you time with shopping. Buying components costs more and requires you to gather more information before buying. Whether you choose to go with sets or components, it is recommended to play it safe by purchasing well-known brand, such as a Lionel model train. You might save a few dollars with a lesser known brand but you might not get the quality you want.

Once you have all of your components, start by spreading them around on the table that will be used for the layout. Be sure you have all the pieces; if not, contact the hobby store for directions. Most train set kits contain an engine, cars, track, and a power pack. Directions for assembly and wiring are included in the package.

You will need the right surface for your model train track. Carpeting doesn’t work well. A simple wood surface works the best. The recommended minimum layout size is 5′ x 8′ as this will provide enough space to curve the track. Smooth wood works best but if there are knots you can generally curve your track around them.

Covering the board with a green felt helps hold scenery and track in place during set-up and ongoing improvements. The green felt also provides a grassy look to any board that isn’t specifically set up with scenes. Additionally, green felt might cover up imperfections in the wood.

Lay out some pieces of track on the table. Look at the ends to verify which ends fit together. Be sure that the “rail joiners” are not broken or damaged. These metal pieces (or ends) have a dual purpose: they allow electricity to move throughout the track and ensure that the rails align properly. Connecting the tracks correctly helps keep the tracks in place and could prevent some derailments. Move the pieces around until you have a set-up that you like. Fasten the track to the board with track pins.

Next, you will need to wire the track. One rail is the positive side and the other rail is the negative side. These two rails combine to provide all the needed electricity for your train sets and scenery. Pay attention when connecting your tracks to ensure that you don’t mix the polarity. Connect one end of the wires to the track (or use prewired joiners). The other end will connect to the power-pack. Be sure that the power pack is unplugged before connecting any wires.

Once the wiring is complete, place your Lionel model train engine on the track and connect several cars. Be sure the wheels are aligned correctly on the track. Plug in the power-pack and advance the throttle slowly. If the train goes forward, you hooked up the wiring correctly. If the train goes backward, unplug the power-pack, switch the wires, and restart the train.

Run your train to ensure that all your connections are properly set up. Test the train by running it at different speeds; in some cases, you may have to increase the radius of the curve to prevent derailments. Before you fasten tracks down, be sure the layout is the way you want it.

Now you are ready to enjoy your train set. As you gain experience, you can add tracks, curves, hills, and interlocking train sets. Reversing sections of tracks is helpful for backing up and disconnecting train cars. Have fun!

Modern Roof Trends

The main aim of any roof type is to provide different homeowners with the kind of protection they need especially from nature's fury. As such, when you walk past various homes, you will identify different types of roof trends, roofing materials and techniques as well. There are some that are quite expensive, while others are affordable. The main objective here is that, regardless of whether expensive or cheap, they are able to provide the security a majority of homeowners need. Since there are various different kinds of buildings and structures in an urban city today, modern roof trends have emerged to suit the purpose. They have to ensure that installation, maintenance and energy efficiency are balanced. Here are some of the modern roof trends that can easily be noticed today.

– Green Roof: This is a kind of roof style where layers of soil gravel and even plants are used in order to create roof-top gardens. Here, the vegetation used on the roofs act as a shade in improving energy efficiency and protecting a home from solar heat. The plants that are used on the roofs may a major role in ensuring all contaminants have been filtered from the air and this in turn improves air quality. Additionally, the plants ensure storm water runoff has been reduced in order to prevent water pollution.

– Rubber Roof: This is a modern roof style that entails single-layers of PVC membranes. Here, rubber roofing is applied in rows then the seams joined using chemical sealants to ensure there are no leaks. It is up to the homeowner to choose the color of rubber roof since the building managers use different colors such as gray, tan, black and white among other shades.

– Built-up Roof: From the mentioned roof trends, it is important to know that, this roof trend is the most sought for by various homeowners. Here, an organic fabric is held together with various layers of coal tar. The coal tar layers are used as much as possible to ensure that the roof is more waterproof and long lasting as well.

– Cool Roof: This is a modern roof style where different materials are used by builders in order to create the roof. For instance, you will spot a light-colored finish that plays a major role in reflecting sunlight while at the same time improving the general building efficiency. This type of modern roof trend is the most sought for by several homeowners due to the fact that, it improver an occupant's comfort and this in turn ensures that all air conditioning costs are kept at bay. Remember, you can choose the coating that you want on your roof.

– Modified Bitumen System: In this kind of trend, various sheets of asphalt-coated rubber are applied to the roof level through the use of heat welding. A mineral-coated cap sheet is then added to it with an aim of protecting the lower layers from weighing the roof down. Additionally, they ensure that no wind regardless of whether it is soft or strong destroys the roof.

A Well Vented Roof Extends Shingle Life and Saves Energy

There are several ways to help with the proper ventilation. You can install ridge vents which are continuous running vents along the ridges or peaks of the roof that are then capped of with roofing shingles so they look good and give you added ventilation. A few inches of the roof sheathing is cut back from the peak on each side to allow for the proper ventilation.

Gable vents are also a great addition to help with the flow of air in the attic that will help keep things cooler. You can also add thermostatic controlled gable vent fans that are set to come on at a predetermined temperature.

Also, make sure that you have vented overhangs. If the overhangs are covered with aluminum, you can get the material vented and install one vented piece for every two non-vented pieces. We have also installed all vented pieces to really help with the air flow in problem houses. If you have wood overhangs then you can have vents installed in the wood.

Roof vents can be placed on the back side of the house where they are less apt to been seen and these help a lot also. There are also some great roof ventilators that can be used.

One such ventilator is called the Aura Ventilator which acts like a turbine to remove heat from the attic. There are also solar powered ventilators like Aura Solar Powered Roof Fan which is powered by the sun and can provide huge energy savings.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about roofing material. First of all, the lighter the color of the roof the better it will be at reflecting the heat. Trust me, dark colored roofing really holds the heat and thus your air conditioner will run longer then with a lighter colored material.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Florida Solar Energy Center have put together a chart that shows the best roofing materials for Solar Reflectance and Roof Temperature.

Remember keeping the roof well ventilated and the roof cool will also help with the dampness issues and save you energy as well.

10 Quick Tips To Painting The Interior Of Your House

Painting The Interior Of Your House

1. Remove all the hardware in the room. Take down all the decorations and then scan the walls for any nail holes or thumb tacks – remove these. Take off the electrical outlet covers. You should turns off the circuit breakers before you do this. A great idea for cleaning the outlet covers is to put them in the dish washer.

2. If you are painting a room, like a bathroom, its a good idea to lightly wash the walls down to clean them. Also, if the room you’re painting is dusty or dirty – clean them. Paint does not stick well to dust and dirt. Its also a good idea to vacuum the carpets before you start painting – you will be crawling on your hands and knees when doing your cut ins.

3. If you’re not a pro with a brush, use blue painters tape to mask around anything that should not be painted. To make the job faster you can purchase hand maskers that put the painters take right onto sheets of paper or plastic thus letting you mask larger areas. Paper mask any wood or vinyl flooring and then put drop clothes down over the carpeted areas.

4. Next step is to fill in any nail holes in the walls with spackle. Put some spackle on the tip of your finger and mush it into the hole. Wipe the area clean so the spackle lays flush to the wall. You can also use a putty knife to spread your spackle into the holes, but this generally only works well on smooth walls. The spackle will dry to a white chalky color. Sand it so that none of the spackle is sticking out from the wall, but is only filling the hole. You may want to dab some primer on these spots using feathery strokes all around the hole.

5. Caulk any areas that need to be caulked. Keep you finger on the release button so that when you let go the flow will stop. Fill in areas like trim around windows and doors, baseboards and cracks. With your finger wet, run your finger down your caulk line to smooth the caulking. Then use a damp rag to go over the smoothed caulk line to give it a finished look. You should wait at least 12 hours before painting over the caulking to allow for drying.

6. Before you start rolling the walls with paint, you should do your “cut ins.” Cut ins are areas like painting up to base boards, window trim, corners and around electrical outlets. Use a small sash brush for this work. When using a brush you will want to fill a paint bucket with only one inch of paint. This also serves the purpose of being more difficult to spill the paint in the bucket.

7. When getting ready to roll the walls, its a good idea to pour your paint into another container like a paint tray. As a pro, we find it easier to use 5 gallon buckets with “bucket screens” when we use rollers. But trays work well too.

8. The first step to rolling your walls is to load the roller with paint. You want to roll the roller in the paint so that it covers all the way around the entire roller cover. Roll it against the paint tray or roller screen to remove excess paint and let it sit for a minute or two. This lets the paint soak into the roller cover. Once you have let the roller sit for a minute, re-apply the paint to the roller cover and remove the excess paint again – now the roller is loaded.

9. Begin by making an M pattern on the wall. Be careful not to apply too much paint to the wall. You will have better results if you apply two thin coats of paint as opposed to one thick coat. Apply the first coat of paint, then a second, until the color is solid and uniform.

10. The last part of the project is brush painting your floor boards and window and door trim. When painting these areas, use long brush strokes. You can also use a little paint conditioner to help the paint level out and reduce brush lines.

Your New Rigging Career Starts Here

Get started today on your new career as a rigger

The Australian construction Industry recognises that riggers make things happen, and a basic, intermediate or advanced rigging certification provides those who have been correctly trained, assessed and deemed competent, the necessary skills required to work safely and competently as a licensed rigger. There are a number of rigging courses offered in Australia, however as rigging work is classified as a ‘high risk work’ activity, the correct training and assessment must be undertaken before an industry recognised high risk work (HRW) licence for rigging can be attained.

Do I need a licence to perform rigging tasks?

To perform any high risk work, or operate any equipment or plant for a high risk work activity, a person must be the holder of a HRW licence issued by one of the State or Territory OHS Regulators. These licences are valid in every Australian state and territory, enabling workers to operate high risk equipment under consistent standards everywhere in Australia.

What training is required to attain a rigging qualification?

It is important to note that in Australia, individuals who want to perform rigging work are required to hold a dogging high risk work Licence before they can embark on any rigging training. Basic rigging training is the first step, and sound foundation to a successful rigging career. Completing the CPCCLRG3001A Licence to perform rigging basic level course will allow an individual to achieve an industry approved certification that will place them on a path to an exciting and rewarding career. The purpose of the basic rigging training is to provide the underpinning knowledge and skills to perform basic rigging tasks safely.

When competency for basic rigging has been achieved the natural progression is to complete training and assessment for the CPCCLRG3002A Licence to perform rigging intermediate level, which includes erection of pre-cast tilt slabs, erection of lattice boom cranes and dual crane lifts.

To conclude the rigging trifecta, those who have demonstrated competency for the latter can elect to proceed with the CPCCLRG4001A Licence to perform rigging advanced level.

The only way to obtain an accepted rigging licence

When researching rigging courses, one should be looking for a RTO who offers small class sizes, consequently offering quality training over quantity, and rigging training that meets Australian safety requirements, comprehensive lifting applications, the installation and use of equipment, hazard recognition and risk control methods, as well as height safety methods, all of which are only possible by using the latest rigging equipment and safety systems.

Who can provide the mandatory equipment and training

We suggest that you start by contacting a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) who has high risk work licences as part of their scope of training. Be aware that there are Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s) who will claim to offer the current National Units of Competency for rigging training and other high risk work activities. However there are now ‘NEW’ mandatory equipment and training requirements for training that reflects a ‘realistic’ work site environment that is also compliant for all ‘high risk work’ competencies. There are but a few who can claim to provide the mandatory required resources. Be sure to ask about training resources before you enrol.

Facial Sculpting – Plastic Surgery of the Facial Bones

Everyone knows the phrase…’beauty is skin deep but ugly goes to the bone’. While commonly said, this phrase is only partially correct. Beauty is also bone deep as the outward appearance of the face begins down at this foundational level. How the face looks at the outside has a lot to do with how it is shaped on the inside. Any forensic scientist can attest to it. Many have seen on TV shows how an unidentified corpse’s face is ‘rebuilt’ with clay layers on top of the skull and facial bones based on established soft tissue measurements. Like a roof on a house, the outer appearance of the face is highly influenced by the shape of the bone underneath it.

Treating facial bone problems has a long history in plastic surgery. Since World War I, when trench warfare created a large number of severe facial injuries (sticking your head up out of a trench was usually not a good idea), plastic surgeons have been rebuilding, rearranging, and enhancing facial bones. Today’s plastic surgeons pay particular attention in cosmetic surgery to how the skin, fat and muscle of the face redrapes over the bones, knowing full well its influence on the final shape. Whether it is a facelift, nose job,or making one’s face more masculine, being aware of and changing the shape of the bone can lead to a better balanced and more attractive face.

There are numerous well known, as well as less well known, plastic surgery procedures of the facial bones that are used to change the shape of the facial bones as well as the outward balance of the face. Common procedures such as chin, cheek, and jaw implants as well as less well known procedures of chin, cheek, and jaw angle osteotomies and paranasal and tear trough implants are all possibilities. How these fit together and which ones to use on any face can be both mathematically measured and computer imaged by your plastic surgeon to determine which one(s) are right for your goals. One should also not forget the importance of the nose and how rhinoplasty surgery makes a big facial difference. Rhinoplasty is often combined with many of these other facial sculpting procedures to make really significant facial changes.

Read about what these facial sculpting procedures are and how they work in my latest book, ‘Facial Sculpting – Plastic Surgery of the Facial Bones’ available at WordClay. This book is written in an easy to understand style that will not educate to determine if any of these procedures are for you but will prepare for any upcoming consultations with a plastic surgeon.

Ambient Occlusion in 3DS Max 2011

One of the key methods to achieving great results in CGI is ambient occlusion (AO), it adds extra depth to a render and takes a nice image that one step further. There are a few different ways to go about adding AO to your scenes but which is the right way to do it? The quick answer is that there is no ‘right’ solution for every project, as with most things it is a case of finding out which one will work best in the circumstances. So with that in mind I thought I would write a bit about the methods I think are the best and when, in my opinion, you should use them.

Just before we go over these different methods though we should probably touch on what AO actually is. Essentially Ambient Occlusion is a crude global illumination solution which works out how much shading geometry should receive based on how ‘occluded’ (or blocked) it is by other geometry. I have often heard AO described as a ‘nook and cranny’ shader and it helps to think of it as such; basically wherever surfaces meet you will get some shading, if a surface doesn’t have anything around it then it will be pure white.

Basic method:

3DS Max can generate an AO effect using any renderer but the one I prefer (and have by far the most experience with) is Mental Ray. The basic method of adding AO to a scene with Mental Ray is simple:

1: Create a mental ray material

2: Plug the ‘Ambient/Reflective Occlusion’ shader into the surface slot

3: In the settings for the ‘Ambient/Reflective Occlusion’ shader find the ‘Max distance’ option. This is critically important as it determines how far surfaces will ‘look’ for occlusion – the smaller the value the smaller your shadows will be, the larger the value the larger they will be. This setting will be different depending on your scene and what you think looks right but as a general rule-of-thumb I go with 5-10mm for close-up prod-viz shots, 90-100mm for arch-viz scenes and, depending on the camera distance, higher for cityscapes etc.

4: Next find the samples setting. This controls the amount of noise in your shadows, so if your AO looks a bit splotchy you put a higher value in. 16 samples are fine for test renders but for production renders you will need to up it to 64

5: Finally I always change the falloff setting to 0.75 but that’s just a personal preference, you can leave it set to 1 if you like.

Once your AO shader is setup you need to apply it to your scene. The simplest way to do this is to use the ‘material override’ option which is under the ‘processing’ tab of the render setup window. Just drag your mental ray material to the material slot in the material override section and drop an instance in there; this will now automatically apply your AO material to everything in the scene, easy! You can apply the material by selecting everything in the scene and applying the mat to all, but it is usually better to do it with the material override as you get to keep all of your current material settings and can just switch the AO mat off when you’re done.

One other thing to remember is that if you are applying this to a scene you have already textured and lit (which is usually the case) then you will need to switch off/delete all the lights, turn off MR exposure control, remove any environment maps, set the environment to white and turn off final gather – the ambient occlusion calculation doesn’t require ANY lighting, it is using the geometry only to work out how much shading should be in your scene so having any of the above on will just screw it up.

Bells and whistles:

So we have covered how to do a ‘pure’ AO render with the method outlined above but there are some problems with that, yes it does give you great ‘connecting shadows’ but since everything is black and white there is no colour bleed from the materials, also since the previous AO option has no lighting solution (and is purely ambient) there are no indirect light bounces…how do we solve this?

Well firstly all of our scene materials need to be MR A&D mats – these can be quite daunting at first but once you get into using them and setting up your scenes with physically correct settings you will see how versatile they are. In each material you will need to scroll down the options to the ‘special effects’ group and in here you will find an ‘ambient occlusion’ setting, once this is turned on it will apply ambient occlusion to the material.

The settings are similar to the other AO option in that you have a ‘samples’ option to control quality and the ‘max distance’ setting; however, you then have a check box to ‘use colour from other materials (exact AO)’, this is the option that gives us shadows with bounced light so, as a general rule, I have this checked. The only other thing to check is that the ‘shadow colour’ is set to ‘global ambient light colour’ – this makes sure that the shadows generated will use the global settings from the ‘Environment and Effects’ tab rather than a custom setting per material.

NOTE: If you are working on a large scene with lots of materials in it is quite important to get your AO settings right in the first instance, clicking through hundreds of mats to tweak settings can make you lose the will to live! There is a very useful script available on Joe Gunn’s website called ‘Material Tweaker’ which lets you specify material sets (which work in the same way as selection sets) and then make global changes to them. It works with Standard, MR A&D and V-Ray mats and whilst you can only make general changes to them the MR A&D set does allow you to switch AO on or off and adjust the radius (the script uses different terminology to the actual materials, basically AO radius = max distance). You can’t adjust things like sampling quality unfortunately but in that case I would leave it at 16, do some renders to see where there are problems with noise and then adjust specific mats accordingly.

Once all your materials are setup in your scene you will get a very subtle ambient occlusion effect which, because it is part of a true final gather calculation, has indirect bounced light and colour bleeding in the shadows. But as technically accurate as this calculation is I tend to find that the end results look a bit washed out and weedy, yes the indirect bounces and colour bleeding look beautiful BUT they also take some of the shadow impact and edge definition out which, to my eyes, makes it look wrong…so what do we do?

Mix and match:

What I tend to do on almost every project (but not all of course – this is another thing where artistic license comes into the equation and you work out from project to project when it is relevant or not) is use both AO methods so that you have beautiful shadows with indirect bounces AND nice connecting shadows with well-defined edges.

If you know about rendering in passes then this will seem very basic, but what I do is setup my scene first with MR A&D materials (with occlusion switched on) and photometric lighting then render out the first pass. I then open another version of that scene and save it as an ‘AO’ version, setup my Mental Ray material with the ambient/reflective occlusion shader and plug it into the ‘material override’ section, delete all the lights, set the background to white, turn off FG and turn off exposure control. It may seem strange to do this in a separate file but I find it easier to keep things organised this way, I don’t like having to switch everything off and on all the time in the main file, keeping them separate means I don’t forget to turn things back on again or accidentally delete some lights. There are other reasons why having your AO version as a separate file is a good idea but we’ll go over those in the next section. Once this is all setup and you have your renders it’s time to stick them together so we switch to the compositing software. I use Photoshop for stills and After Effects for animation (although if I’m rendering Exr files I will always use After Effects as it deals with them better than Photoshop) but you can use whatever compositing software you’re comfortable with, the concept is the same no matter what you use:

1: In Photoshop open up your 2 files, the first pass and the occlusion pass

2: Copy the occlusion pass and paste it onto a new layer over the first pass

3: Change the layer setting for the occlusion pass to ‘multiply’ and adjust the opacity to suit your taste

4: Done! If you switch off the occlusion layer’s visibility you can see how much of an affect it has on the final image, it really adds definition and gives your shadows a great sense of depth.

The fiddly bits:

There are a couple of instances where the methodology used above doesn’t really work, these are also when having a separate file for the AO starts to makes a lot of sense so let’s briefly go over them:

1: Custom AO radii

The basic method of adding a global ambient occlusion shader to your entire scene is great for getting quick results but, as discussed earlier, depending on their size/detail objects sometimes need to have different ‘max distance’ values – a scene where every single object has the same setting just doesn’t look quite right. So the answer is to ditch the ‘material override’ option and apply custom AO settings to your objects. You don’t need to set them up individually of course, you can go with a few AO mats that have different distance values – one for fine detail and small objects, one for medium and one for large. Setting your AO up this way is more time consuming but it does give better results.

2: Reflective AO

In the ‘ambient/reflective occlusion’ shader there is a check box titled ‘reflective’, this can be very useful in enhancing the realism of your AO solution when it comes to highly reflective objects. Obviously a surface should not have a completely uniform amount of reflection, specularity maps help with this but the reflection occlusion shader can be used as well to get better results. Instead of sampling directly out from the surface normal as with standard AO, when you check the ‘reflective’ box the shader works in a different way and takes samples from the reflection direction of the surface normal. This calculation then focuses on areas that should have very little or no reflection, such as in tight corners etc, and will give you a map to use in compositing which reduces the reflection in these areas.

3: AO with masks

There are some instances where you have objects with transparency; the leaves on a tree model for example where you have a basic plane and the leaf shape is cut out with an alpha channel. Now obviously if you setup your AO pass as described above the alpha channel will be lost and your AO pass will render the full planes rather than the leaf shape, to get around this we need to, again, abandon the ‘material override’ method and go for a more custom setup. All you need to do is apply your basic AO to everything in the scene then, for the leaves (or whatever else it may be) do the following:

1: Create a blend material

2: Plug the AO material into slot 1

3: Create a standard material with opacity, specular level and glossiness set to 0

4: Take the alpha channel used in the original material and plug it into the mask channel of the blend material

That’s it, you should now get an AO render which has your transparency masks included.

4: AO with round corners

One of the neat features of the MR A&D materials is the ’round corners’ option, this lets you create an edge fillet effect without actually generating any extra geometry. It is useful for simple things like walls or the edges of a book…basically it can work quite well with any straight edge (although for most things I still prefer to actually model fillets into them). If you do have any of these in your scene then you will obviously need them to be in your occlusion pass as well, if you don’t you will have some strange looking edges that are both rounded and straight at the same time! Again we will need to ditch the ‘material override’ option and apply AO to the scene selectively. Once you have applied the standard AO shader to everything that doesn’t have the edge effect on do the following:

1: Create an MR A&D material with the colour set as pure white

2: Turn the reflectivity down to 0

3: In the special effects tab turn ’round corners’ on and set fillet radius as desired

4: Plug the ‘ambient/reflective occlusion’ map into the ‘additional colour map’ channel

That should now give you an AO render with round corners where required.


I hope this post proves to be useful to people, I started writing it thinking that I would just do a basic summary of the AO methods I personally use but, as I wrote, it got more and more detailed. Even so the methods outlined above are by no means exhaustive and the ‘fiddly’ options I have listed, which will undoubtedly give you better results, are ones I don’t use that often – if anything I tend to find myself just doing the quick AO + MR A&D AO option as it gives good results with a minimum of fuss. The other options are good to know though for when you need to go that little bit further.

Contract Cleaners' All-Purpose Cleaner

An ideal steam vacuum for contract cleaners that require high quality steam vacuuming for long periods of time is JetVac Pro steam cleaner. This steam cleaner is designed for both efficient and effective cleaning. With the dry steam it produces injected to a surface melt away and remove dirt and grease quickly without using chemicals. It shortens the cleaning job of even the toughest and hardened deposits on surfaces.

Jetvac Pro is the ideal contract cleaners' all-purpose cleaner that has a standard trolley for contract cleaners to transport easily around or between facilities. Its boiler is made of stainless steel that stands the test of cleaning time.

With some of its important features below, makes it very suitable for every different cleaning application needed that cleans better than old mops, rags and chemicals.

Jetvac Pro features:

* Converts water into superheated steam at 145 ° C – 180 ° C to provide a highly microscopic that penetrate into surfaces

* Continuous refill technology or an automatic boiler refilling technology

* Powerful 6 bars of steam pressure, all in one steam and vacuum machine

* Large water capacity – 3Lt water reservoir and 4Lt boiler to clean more areas with less refills

* Water / chemical injection – an option to use dry steam combined with chemical injection to deep clean of many surfaces

* Equipped with strong anti-bacterial technology and HEPA filters

Where to used Jetvac Pro?

Contract cleaners are now taking advantage to the benefits of the steam cleaners can provide on their cleaning services. Using steam cleaner creates a greater opportunity to gain more profit because it makes their cleaning job fast, easy and effective. In fact, with vapor steam cleaning, contract cleaners can also gain more customers who want to avoid the use of chemicals whenever possible.

It is a kind of steam cleaner that is versatile enough for contract cleaners to use for all types of high quality cleaning requirements. It is also powerful cleaning tool for some cleaners specializing on a certain area only such as healthcare cleaning, range hood cleaning, grout cleaning, car cleaning and auto detailing, cleaning restaurants, steam cleaning kitchen, steam cleaning bathroom, chewing gum removal, carpet cleaning and floor steam cleaning.

Jetvac Pro steam cleaner when used …

* Saves water, energy, time and money.

* Gentile on all surfaces and low risk of burning for the user.

* Dislodges and cleans the hardest to reach areas better than any other cleaning equipment.

* Eliminates the use of corrosive and dangerous chemicals.

* Kills and remove mould, mildew, fungus and bacteria and the odours.

* Cleans, sanitize and disinfect

* And many more.

Transportation of Goods

One of the methods of the transportation of goods is the transportation of goods using sea transport. Usually such methods are used to deliver goods between continents, when other methods are prohibitively expensive or when the volume of shipments is large enough to justify sea shipping.

In comparison with other transportation methods, sea shipping is the cheapest. At the same time, sea shipping is usually the slowest, and requires extra time for loading and unloading of goods in Ukraine's ports.

Certainly, every particular order requires a separate calculation of delivery expenses, but in most cases it's the sea transportation that is the most cost-effective. As opposed to the other transportation methods, the price of sea transportation usually includes the fee for loading and unloading the goods in the port.

The sea container transportation employs both standard containers and non-standard containers. These special containers are most often used for consolidated goods and oversized goods. However, for international shipping it's very important to use a unified container type. Such unification greatly simplifies the calculations performed in different countries and customs clearance procedures.

Color : such kinds of For transportation Ukraine's ports are On Often of used. They are usually employed as destinations or sources for delivery. However, due to the fact that specially equipped warehouses are available, ports can also be used for temporary storage of goods, should the need arise.

Sea transportation can be used as a part of multimode transportation. In such case, several different delivery methods are used. For instance, motor transportation can be combined with sea transportation. Such multimode delivery goes well with consolidated goods, even though it can be used for any other kind of transportation. The main task before the client is to specify all the necessary conditions for goods transportation as early as possible. After this the transportation company itself can choose the most fitting delivery method.

When transportation is ordered, the company that provides such services usually assumes responsibility for insurance of transported goods, control of all transportation stages, preparation of the necessary documentation. When performed by one company, such operations greatly simplify the delivery of goods "from door to door".

Three Types of HVAC Condensers

A condenser is a device that is used to liquefy gas by cooling it. In HVAC equipment, hot discharge gas (refrigerant vapor) from the compressor enters the condenser coils at the top and is condensed, drains out of the condenser to a receiver located near the bottom. The condenser coil is located along with the compressor and controlling devices in the condensing unit. In a remote or split system air conditioning installation, the condensing unit is located outdoors. Condensers are available in a variety of sizes and designs that include plain tube, finned tube and plate type, series-pass and parallel pass units.

Condensers are classified by their cooling method. The three main types are broken down to:

  1. Air-cooled condensers
  2. Combined air and water-cooled condensers
  3. Water-cooled condensers

Air-Cooled Condensers

An air-cooled condenser consists of a coil of ample surface that air is blown by a fan or induced by natural draft. This type of condenser is universally used in small capacity refrigerating units. Mostly designed for residential or small office air conditioners.

Air-chilled condensers should be kept from free from dirt, lint and other foreign materials because they tend to reduce the airflow around the tubes and fins if they are allowed to accumulate just like evaporators.

Combined Air- and Water-cooled Condensers

This type of condenser is also know as an evaporative condenser and consists of a coil cooled by water sprayed from above and then cold air enters from the bottom and is blown across the coils. As water evaporates from the coil it creates a cooling effect that condenses the refrigerant within the coil. The refrigerant gas in the coil is hot which changed to the liquid state by combining the sprayed water and the large column of moving air supplied by the fan. The water that does not evaporate is recirculated by means of a pump.

Water-Cooled Condensers

A water-cooled condenser is similar to a steam surface condenser in that cooling is accomplished by water alone that circulates through tubes or coils enclosed in a shell. IN a water-cooled condenser the refrigerant circulates through the annular space between the tubes or coils. Because of its construction, a water-cooled condenser is also referred to as a double-pipe condenser.

Because an evaporative condenser is not wasteful of water, large compressor installations are possible in areas where water is scarce. Tests have shown that the amount of water required will not exceed the.03 gpm per ton of refrigeration. This is one of the eco-friendly reasons to use this type of condenser. Evaporative condensers also eliminate water water disposal problems and provide the most economical means of cooling refrigerant gases of standard air conditioners.

The DIY Way To Sharpen Lawn Mower Blades

Is your lawn mower tearing of the lawn grass blades instead of cutting it? Does your lawn look like it has been eaten by a goat, in spite of being cut by the lawn mower? Wait's; do not pull your hair by the root. Help is at hand. We will teach you how to sharpen the lawn mower blades at minimum price and effort.

Your Manual Lawn Mower – The Faithful Walk Behinds

Tools: The tools that your will require for doing this job are

You and your time of about 2 hours or less

A bastard file of about 12 "long

A small crow bar to prevent movement of rotor of lawn mower.

A worktable will be useful for dong the job comfortably.

Procedure: You can use the following procedure as a general guide and make changes to it to suit you. Remember the procedure is not sacrosanct. The results are important, not the procedure.

If possible, remove the handle of lawn mower and place lawn mower on the table.

Secure it if possible in the clamps. If you do not have clamps, do not bother, secure it against any block, so that the movement away from you is restricted.

Fix the crowbar in the blades so that it will not rotate

With the help of the bastard file, file the edges of blades so that they look sharp. Work at an angle of 45 degrees

When one blade is sharpened, remove the crowbar and turn the rotor to work on another blade. Repeat the procedure until all blades are sharpened.

If you have a flexible shaft grinder in your DIY workshop, you will be able to complete the work within 5 to 10 minutes per blade. Make a template of blade profile before you start your work and compare frequently. This is necessary to ensure that you do not over cut at a place.

Safety Tip For You

While sharpening the blades ensure that the stroke is not too long otherwise, you may injure yourself.

Sharpening Blades Of Power Mower

Depending upon the lawn mower the procedure may vary. We have included general statements in this procedure; you would have to change the procedure slightly. Keep the maintenance manual of lawn mower handy if you have one.

Tools required.

Siphon hose and clean container

Heavy work gloves and goggles

Double-cut (medium-rough) flat file

Lumber scrap

Socket wrench set

Rubber mallet *

Bench vise or C clamps

Rotary blade sharpener accessory

Electric drill *

Screwdriver, or 1/4-in. rod or bolt *

Blade balancer

Replacement blade *

* Only if required

The list may look formidable, but tools are generally available with every DIY enthusiast.


The procedure is given for the simple single blade lawn mower, but the same will apply to all types of blades, whether single or double

Wear hand gloves and clean the engine and the gasoline tank from outside

Remove spark plug from the engine

Remove all the fuel from the tank of the gasoline engine. Use the siphon hose so you do not spill gasoline on floor.

Completely empty out the oil from gearbox if you have one

Invert the engine and have access to the blade.

Clamp the engine so it does not move and clean the blade area thoroughly

With help of a box spanner, remove the nut holding the blade. Usually the nut will be unlocked in the reverse to direction of rotation of engine. You may engage the screwdriver in the cooling fan of engine to stop rotation of engine.

If you find that you are using too much force to unlock the nut, put one or two drops of rust removing chemical, and try after 30 minutes

After you remove the blade, clamp it in the bench vise and sharpen it with a file or a grinder. Sharpen only the outer 2 to 3 inches. The area to be sharpened will be known if you see the blade.

Sharpen only to the required extent. Too much sharpening is not necessary. This is not the knife. It works at the speed of the engine

After sharpening, check with your thumb. Be careful not to cut thumb. If you have done sharpening before, or seen some one doing it, you will know what we mean by this.

Balance the blade with help of a small balancing tool on VEE blocks, or even on two foot rulers placed side by side

Refit the blades, refill engine oil and gasoline and test the sharpness of blades on uncut portion of your lawn

Safety tips:

Always use safety goggles and hand gloves when working with power tools.

Be sure to remove the spark plug before starting. Serious accidents can happen if you do not do this.

Brick Fireplace Designs – Perfect For Both Inside and Outside of the Home

Though so many materials like rock, slate, cement block, wrought iron and stainless steel, to name a few, have been used in fireplace design and construction, the traditional and tried and true brick is still a favorite choice. Plus, there is no limit to the variety of brick fireplace designs that complement both a traditional and a modern setting. The venue restrictions are almost non existent as well – fabulous brick fireplace designs can be adapted for inside or outside of the home.

You might simply want to spruce up your existing fireplace by adding a little brick design element. Think about a brick surround as a way to give a nondescript fireplace a classic look and feel. A basic brick facade could be all you need to do the trick. If your fireplace looks and feels a little outdated, you might consider a coat of paint to change the appearance altogether.

But if you are considering starting from scratch, then you can consider from among the spectrum of brick fireplace designs to bring your vision to life. If your fireplace of choice if for a more rustic setting, your designs might very well include a combination of brick and knotty pine or cedar, for example. Toss in some farm implement accessories and your rustic picture is complete.

You may, however, be considering something more expansive – complete with an integrated sitting area, wall width surround and accompanying brick mantel. There is no limit to the wonderful brick designs for your fireplace and room that contains it. Make the entire living room wall a part of the fireplace experience.

By taking the possibilities for brick fireplace designs to the exterior, you open up the possibilities even more. By heading outdoors, you have virtually eliminated any of the space restrictions that you face with the typical home interior. Now your design ideas can range from a cozy intimate fire pit all the way to the construction of a brick dominated outdoor kitchen and living space.

Create a stand alone Chimenea style fireplace with openings on all four sides. Build a circular brick patio around it to give ample and inviting sitting space to family and guests alike. Or weave in a multi-screened wrought iron look to your fireplace to incorporate other design elements that can coordinate with existing architectural or decorative features.

Consult various brick fireplace designs so that you can effectively combine your fireplace and adjacent Santa Maria style brick BBQ, for example. Make the design extend throughout the entire patio area to create a brick centered theme. Bring all the exciting design elements you can think of to your backyard and extend your living space in the process.

So whether you take your decorative tastes indoor or outdoors, there is plenty of room for your creative expression. Take the traditional look and texture of brick and weave it into an unlimited palette of fireplace designs, traditional or modern.

Apartment Rental Hunting – A Guide to Finding Your Dream Place

When you are house or apartment rental hunting, many people have fallen in love with a place then moved in. After all the hard work of getting all your stuff in place do you discover that this new abode of yours, is not exactly the answer to all your rental apartment or rental house dreams. A lot of people fall into the trap, excited by the thoughts of living in a new apartment or house. These renters tend to overlook some important details.

Some of these details include: just a month after you move in, you discover that your neighbor upstairs likes to play bowling in the hallway in the middle of the night or those thick plaster walls you were so happy with, block your cell phone signal.

Do not despair. There is a quick and easy list for you to follow when apartment rental hunting. By following these tips you will be able to find a house or apartment rental which will fit perfectly for you.

The Lease

o Is there a security deposit? Are there any move in fees? Many larger houses and apartment buildings limit the days and hours when new residents can move into a rental apartment or house. This is to limit the disruption to other residents.
o Are the utilities included with the house or rental apartment?
o Are the lease terms flexible? Some larger houses and apartment buildings offer options such as six month or 12 month leases.
o Is the house or rental apartment rent controlled?
o Is there a broker's fee? The fees for house or rental apartments are common in cities such as New York.


o What's the cell phone reception like? When you are house and rental apartment hunting, be sure to take out your cell phone and walk around the property to test the signal.
o Is there off-street parking available? If so, how much does it cost? On-street parking is another option. This works out cheaper but be sure to check if you need to register your car or if you have to buy a resident parking sticker.
o Does the house or apartment have extra storage? Sometimes if the closet or storage space is small, some buildings have extra storage for a fee.
o Is the laundry on site or in the house or rental apartment unit? Do the washing machines look new or look worn out? What kind of system do they use, a card system or coins?
o Does the house or rental apartment have air conditioning? If not, is it allowed to install air con units?
o Does the kitchen have appliances like garbage disposal, a stove, a refrigerator or a dishwasher? Are they new?
o It's a good idea to bring along a tape measure so that you can measure the rooms and doorways.
o Are pets allowed in the building? If so, are there any fees to be paid.

The Neighborhood

o What is the access to public transportation like? Sometimes an ad might say that the rental apartment or house is "close to the subway / bus", its better to walk it yourself to see exactly how far it is.
o Is the house or rental apartment far away from grocery stores, gyms, restaurants, drugstores, discos, bars or cafes?


o What type of people live in the building? Is it full of college students or retired people?
o If the ad says the house or rental apartment is "walk-up", that means there are no elevators. This might be of concern if you have a lot to move or if you have some oversized furniture.
o It's a good idea to visit the house or rental apartment during the evening when more of the residents are more likely to be home. What is the noise level like?
o If you need work done, how fast is the landlord to respond?

Ask these questions, and you will surely find a rental apartment or house that suits you and your lifestyle perfectly. Are you into keeping it real estate …? Good place to A start renting house or apartment hunting is . We have a lot of houses and apartments for sale and for rent. Happy hunting!

Are Your Flats Too Flat?

In everything in life there is an opposite; there is yin and yang, night and day, combs have brushes. When most think of flats they think of a happy alternative to heels. Flats are thought of as a safe haven for your feet or so most think.

There are flats that can be considered too flat and cause more harm than good. They do not provide adequate arch support, cushioning or shock absorption, which all feet need especially those with flat feet. Without that support, you can get inflammation, tendonitis, heel pain, strains. Ballet flats or foldable flats are very common in lacking support.

Overcompensating with too much cushion, like certain running shoes for example, can be just as bad. When there is a lot of cushion, your brain is not getting the direct feedback from your foot because your sense of ground is thrown off which can cause stress injuries, especially to the heel.

Flips Flops are also on the caution list. Most are too flat, too thin and too open. This exposes the foot to the environment and does not provide arch support or cushioning.

The thong that sits between your toes is also dangerous, it forces your toe muscles to over-grip. Plus, when your big toe hangs off the flip-flop, you increase your risk for toe fractures. The risk of getting splinters or other foot injuries is higher when the feet are exposed. People with diabetes should not wear flip-flops, because simple cuts and scrapes can lead to serious complications.

The solution is here.

For Flip Flops you can try fitted flip-flops for arch support, and the height of the sole better protects your foot from outside debris

If you love the look of ballet flats, over-the-counter inserts may help prevent mild foot pain. Heel pads can provide extra cushioning for achy heels. And custom orthotics can ease a whole range of foot pains and problems. Podiatrists prescribe these inserts to provide arch support and reduce pressure on sensitive areas. A trip to your podiatrist would be helpful to find out the pressure points on your foot or where you place most of your weight. If you want to avoid the doctor then possibly Dr. Scholl's foot pads are available. If the pain is consistent no matter the insert, a trip to the podiatrist may be beneficial for your health. There may be something deeper than just back arch support.

Most common causes of foot pain – Caution ladies

Plantar fasciitis – an inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs between the heel and the arch of the foot

Plantar fasciitis (PF) is the most common cause of foot pain. It's so common, in fact, that almost everyone will deal with a case of PF in his or her lifetime. Certain stressful exercises or constant standing, over-training, tight calf muscles, flat feet, high arches, weight gain, or jobs that require may increase the possibility of an inflammation. It is most common in middle-aged people men or women but anyone can get Plantar fasciitis is a very easy affliction if you are not conscience of the strain you put on your feet.

The pain can present as sharp, dull, aching, or burning. Classic symptoms to look out for:

– Notable heel pain or stiffness in the morning that recedes during the day.

– Pain that goes away when you exercise (as the muscles and ligaments get warm and stretchy) but comes back when you're done working out.

– Increased pain when you climb stairs or stand on your toes.

– Pain after sitting or standing for an extended period.

The best ways to alleviate or hopefully avoid PF are stretches:

30-second stretches, five times a day. "Foot stretches may help, but it's far more important to stretch your calf

Always stretch your feet, calves, and Achilles after a workout (or a long day on your feet).

Become aware of the strains you put on your feet.

– When going for distance, walk or run on soft surfaces.

– Alternate activities to prevent over-stressing the plantar fascia.

– Ice at the first hint of pain.

– Take rest days!

– Always wear supportive shoes (or over the counter inserts in your non-supportive shoes), whether or not you're working out.

– Avoid long periods of barefoot walking or standing. Even at home, try slippers or comfy shoes.

– If you've recently gained weight, gotten pregnant, or started a new fitness routine, take extra care to support your feet. Sudden changes like these can increase your risk of plantar fasciitis.

Motorbike Helmet Laws, Human Behaviour & The Organ Donor Effect

Should motorcycle riders have the right to choose to wear or not to wear a motorbike helmet? It is a fiercely debated topic among bikers, politicians and recently the people of Missouri.

It's a 'freedom of choice' debate for many, questioning why the legislators feel they know what individuals need better than themselves. It is also a scale issue, how extensive should laws be to protect life and where should the line be drawn? Laws state that an individual is not allowed to intentionally end their own life, helmet laws attempt to reduce the risk of death, how far will legislators go to protect life and what effect will this have on the quality of life for the individual?

Of course it is not that simple, we're not all only individuals but together we make up a society and sometimes the actions of individuals can have positive and negative effects on other individuals and on wider society.

So the debate widens to consider costs and benefits to society. I'm not going to go into this area in detail because most of the costs and benefits have already been widely discussed previously. Considerations include the immediate loss of life to a rider who is involved in a fatal accident, any pillion rider who is unfortunate enough to be involved, and any other parties who are involved in the accident. Pillion riders, like passengers in car accidents form a sad statistic as the accident is normally completely outside of their control, yet they bear the same consequences. Considerations also include hospital services, police investigations, legal inquiries, and road clean up and repair work. Individual freedom of choice should hold strong consideration , and the fact that the use or non-use of a motorcycle helmet does not directly effect the health of anyone else other than themselves (ignoring the Organ Donor Effect).

The Organ Donor Effect – Mitigating the cost of motorcycle accidents on society? It is not a new concept, but one that has received revived publicity lately following the Missouri motorbike helmet law saga. For me the relationship between motorcycle accidents and organ donations is interesting because people will use the same relationship to argue both for and against crash helmet laws. You can even find motorcyclists citing the relationship in their arguments against motorcycle helmet laws. This multi use of the same argument is interesting, any use of the argument is in fact bizarre because the effect implies different values ​​on the lives of motorcyclists compared to humans on the organ donation waiting list. Are not the lives of all humans valued equally? Of course they are not, if they were politicians would not be sending our young men to war but be going themselves, but that is off topic. So what is the Organ Donor Effect? Statistics show a relationship exists between motorbike helmet use and the number of fatal motorcycle accidents from head trauma. Compulsory helmet laws increase helmet use, causing a corresponding decrease in rider fatalities. The Organ Donor Effect is the statistical relationship between a decrease in head trauma related motorcycle rider fatalities and a corresponding decrease in healthy organ donations. Motorcycle riders tend to be young and healthy and have an above average likelihood of providing healthy organs following death from head trauma. Statistics have shown that for every motorcycle accident fatality from head trauma, 0.33 deaths have been delayed on the organ waiting list. Note that it is not a one to one relationship, but rather three riders have to die to save one person in need of an organ.

The argument against helmet laws citing the Organ Donor Effect tends to be along the lines of that the enactment of crash helmet laws will reduce the number of organ donations every year causing a corresponding increase in the number of deaths on the organ waiting list.

An argument for helmet laws citing the Organ Donor Effect is statistically stronger, consider that for every three biker deaths, only one persons life in need of an organ will be saved (extended). So unless the lives of bikers are somehow less important than everyone else, the Organ Donor Effect as an argument for, or against motorbike helmet legislation is irrelevant.

Butterfly Effect – Actions can have reactions further away than may initially be considered. The Organ Donor Effect when considering motorcycle helmet legislation is an interesting example of a Butterfly Effect. The use of helmets do not only effect those immediately involved in a motorcycle accident, but can also effect third parties which you would not immediately consider – those on organ donor waiting lists. But just because there is a relationship, does not mean it is an important relationship and does not mean that it deserves to be considered in the debate.

More serious helmet law considerations should be around half helmets and other minimalistic helmets which offer questionable protection. If these helmet styles qualify as adequate protection under law, but do not actually adequately protect the human head in a motorcycle accident. It begs the question of whether there is any point to having the helmet laws in the first place.

In most debates that consider individual choice versus legislative control I personally favour individual choice.

But in this debate I considered two ideas, firstly whether motorcycle helmets are a good thing for people to wear and secondly whether individuals have the capability to choose for themselves uninfluenced by other people. In this situation after much thought I decided that given the choice I would vote in favour of compulsory helmet laws for all ages. Because when helmet use becomes the norm there is no longer a question of whether it is cooler to ride with or without a helmet, everyone just wears one. Ideally I would like there to be no helmet laws and every individual able to make his or her own choice, but unfortunately I do not believe the individuals would be able to make their own choice, but rather be influenced too heavily by media, other riders, and the individual's perception of what is 'cool'. Peer pressure is commonly considered a child and teenager issue but I believe it is simply a human characteristic. To want to do as others do, the desire to be accepted, desire to fit in, desire to stand out. I believe that the majority of riders given the option of wearing a helmet or not would base their decision on what they believe others would think of them (what image they will portray). It is this unfortunate human characteristic that moves me in support of compulsory motorbike helmet laws.

Everyone was not the if influenced by vBulletin® everyone else, then people would be capable of thinking for Themselves and all self respecting Individuals would wear MotorCycle by crash helmets anyway.