Tips on How to Build a Wrestling Ring

Wrestling is a sport which has gotten increasingly popular in modern times. Especially with programs like RAW that features various wrestlers that people have come to know and love, more and more individuals are growing interested in watching and even taking part in wrestling.

Wrestling is done in a wrestling ring that is specially made to minimize injury to wrestlers. Schools and gyms will usually have wrestling rings or soft pads which can be used for wrestling however, a wrestling ring really is not that difficult to construct. Building one does call for many different kinds of materials however, so be prepared to spend a bit to get all the pieces you need. However, you can reduce costs if you can acquire the various items second hand.

Therefore if you are interested in constructing a wrestling ring, here is what you will have to do.

Required Tools

Post hole digger

Drill

Saw

Tape measure

Hammer

Required Materials

Screws

Nails

Cement

Metal posts (4 inches in diameter)

Wood planks

Mattresses/Cushions

Nuts and washers

Eye Hooks

Mattress pads (2-3 inches thick)

Canvas/tarpaulin

Foam

Turnbuckles

Rope

Instructions

First pick a level, debris-free area for your wrestling ring. The ring ought to be a minimum of 8×8 feet in size if you are strapped for space but if you have sufficient space make it a minimum of 12×12. Use the tape measure to lay out the size of your wrestling wring and then get started.

The metal posts ought to be about 7 feet in length. Use the post hole digger to make 4 holes at the 4 corners of your wrestling ring, each 3 feet deep. Cement the poles into the holes and permit them to dry; 4 feet of the pole ought to be above ground.

Use the hammer and nails to join the wood planks to make a base for the wrestling ring making certain that the planks are directly lined up with the metal posts. Use the mattresses or cushions to fill up the remainder of base and then put plywood on top and use the screws to secure the plywood to the base. Alternately you can put tires within the base and then lay the mattresses and plywood on top of these for added padding.

On top of the plywood place the mattress pads or some other soft layer so that wrestlers do not injure themselves by falling on only the plywood. Put canvas/tarpaulin on top of the mattress pads and sew, tape, tie, or staple the edges down as securely as you can to keep the canvas/tarpaulin from moving around.

Now on the outside face of the 4 metal posts drill a couple holes, one below the other (about 3 in all) and use nuts and washers to put an eyehook in each hole. Place the turnbuckles in the eyehooks and run the rope/bungee cord right around the ring to work as the ropes for your wrestling ring. Use the foam (or thick pillows) to cover all of the metal posts to avoid injury and your wrestling ring is ready for use.

Tips and Warnings

To prevent rope burn when wrestlers lean against the ropes of the ring, wrap the ropes with duct tape.

Test the ring meticulously before using it, including the ring ropes, tarp and turnbuckles to ensure that all parts are stable and secure. Run around in the ring to ensure that it can bear your weight.

If you intend to have spectators around your wrestling ring, see to it that the location you choose for the ring is large enough to contain them comfortably.

Do not attempt any professional wrestling moves unless you are trained to do so because errors can lead to injury to yourself or another other wrestler.

Importance of Career Planning

Career means profession, which we want to adopt for earning livelihood, and planning means proper flow or to make proper decisions.

Pre- planning in our life plays very important role in every aspect of life, to work in a proper flow, and pre-planning for career, which we want to pursue in our future ahead after acquiring certain level of degree is also very necessary in today’s competitive world.

According to the Thorndike dictionary

“A goal that you desire to achieve in a selected field or occupation with a well-thought out plan, to get you there is called Career Planning.”

The world is now moving very fast, and the time has come when this meritocratic society accepts only those, having right qualification and right skills.

Olden days are gone, when just a degree would help an individual to get high profile job by giving bribe or using some other mean. Now it’s high time, when the transparency in job recruitment has taken place.

Challenges and competition are the part of today’s society, and therefore, Career Planning is the only task, which can guide us to do what we want to do in our life, rather than just aimlessly changing job all the time in future.

We have seen many Pakistani, who after completing Intermediate don’t know where to go, what to do and we have also seen graduates, who aimlessly do graduation without any specialization. As a result, they earns just in 6-8 figures.

Career Planning is one of the broader aspects of learning in our existence. We all have some intentions and we all think to have stability in our future lives, and for that purpose, CAREER PLANNING serves as a key to success.

Career Planning makes a person to think suitably about their positive and negative aspects. All about their interest, about their creativity becomes possible through proper analyzing ourselves.

Career Planning basically starts, when a person finishes Secondary/ Higher Secondary level of education. After that level, a person could opt for that educational degree, which would help them out to have a good job opportunity according to their skills at the right time.

Career Planning helps us to design and formulate our future smoothly. Like, If a person wants to be a banker, then he or she would choose to go for ACCA or CA or MBA in finance after completing Intermediate in commerce and Graduation in commerce/ business administration.. Else he/ she would go for CAT course or Masters in Commerce or even upto doctorate level.

This pre-planning would be effective and would give him/her benefits after achieving educational targets effectively. It also helps us to evaluate our own personality, which helps us to know that which kind of job would suit us according to our need and capabilities.

In short, Career Planning is like mapping our future. Without proper planning, no one could think of getting a desired job in future.

Think what we want to do and finding out more about the kind of training, education, and skills we will need to achieve our career goal is the core objective of career planning.

It help us knowing the nature of the jobs that interest us, such as educational requirements, salary, working conditions, fringe benefits, promotion chances, future prospectus, and help us focusing in the right dimension.

Career planning directs us, motivates us, and helps us to accomplish what we want. A career goal is a specific vision such as an architect or a teacher or a career goal can be a particular field, which we want to work in, such as Media, Education, Medicine, Engineering etc.

For those who will think about their future and career after completing education without any long term desired goals are the one, whose all attempt might end in smoke.

There are some cases and situation, which bound a person to pre-plan in advance, such like family high family business status, lack of interest in studies or traditional job, low motivation, low financial status etc or some past educational traumas, which had made a person to plan after wards.

Career planning is a life time process we are always learning and growing, and as we do, our interests and needs also change. Career planning is not just making plans to obtain our career, but it also help us to make many adjustments there will be along the ways we learn throughout our lives.

Those who have successful careers like educators, business man, manager, pilot, architect, banker, doctor etc are the one, who has made their ways through proper guidance.

No doubt, that our parents have some wishes and expectations from us, but we have our own too. Therefore, we should also consider others opinion. For that we could take guidance from an educational counselor to get better guidance towards new dimensional fields as well. Teacher, professionals, career guidance websites, Head educational consultants can also guide us, to have a better approach for our future.

We must have freedom of speaking and freedom of choosing our career as we have to lead our lives which interest us. We must try to have an open mind in order to choose the right career on right time.

According to one renowned professor,

“Few of us like to opt for those degree courses, which their family or friend has advised them to adopt and this inappropriate knowledge trapped them into a great mistake and

In this way, they are unable to get good job opportunities according to their interests. Only Proper Career Guidance would help an individual to be on the right path before hand. Few of us try to seek the right path and take guidance from family or teacher to tell them what is good for them, which career is in demand and which career suits their interest.”

The future is un-predictable, however, we could still make our place in this meritocratic world by making career goals and plans in advance, for getting better opportunities in today’s pluralistic and globalize world.

We must pre-plan our goals under the supervision of professionals in conscious state of mind, so that we could strategically maintain our goals and follow it towards the path of successful future.

How Does a Patio Misting System Work?

How does a patio mister work? Well it depends on which system you use. There are basically two types of misting systems on the market. One is an expensive system that utilizes a pump to pressurize the water and send it through pipes and tubing to spray out a nozzle in a fine mist. The finer the spray, the quicker it will evaporate, creating a cooling sensation. A good system will lower the ambient air temperature up to 30 degrees.

There are several different versions of the more expensive system, the main difference being the pump itself. In the lesser quality systems, the pump is fairly loud. With the high end systems, the pump is almost silent. You can build a screen around the pump and eliminate most of the noise and hide the system out of sight.

The inexpensive systems rely on the house hold water pressure to send the water out the spray nozzles. At one time, the quality on this type system was disappointing. The droplets were very large, which resulted in a light rain falling on you and your patio, getting everything wet in the process. It also only lowered the ambient air temperature about 10 to 15 degrees.

There have been some pretty innovative changes in the past couple of years in the spray nozzles. These now produce a finer mist at normal water pressures. As a result, the majority of the mist evaporates before it falls. This results in a lower ambient air temperature with much less mess. These systems can lower the temperature between 20 and 30 degrees, almost as well as the more expensive systems, and at a fraction of the cost.

If you are planning on getting a patio misting system, you need to determine your budget. Obviously, if money is not an object, you can opt for one of the expensive, commercial grade quality misting systems with a pressurizing pump. This will give you years of reliable service and will increase your home value.

However, for most of us, we are limited to how much we can spend on a misting system. You can choose an inexpensive system, that hooks up to your garden hose, which will produce large droplets and soak everything on your patio. Or, for about the same price, you can get a better quality system that will produce results like the systems that cost ten times as much.

When it comes to patio misting systems, it pays to do the research and find which system produces the best results.

Getting Instantaneous Results With the Law of Attraction

If you are a student of the Law of Attraction, then you understand how manifestations occur once the subconscious mind has accepted a desired outcome to be true. This is often difficult for many people to do. Many have deep rooted limiting beliefs that often take much time to replace. Many of the areas that this occurs most with are love, beauty, physical health, and prosperity.

There are numerous ways to influence the subconscious mind with your conscious thoughts in order to produce a desired outcome. Just about everyone utilizing the Law of Attraction use visualizations, affirmations, meditations, and constant positive attention and intention on the desired experience. What if there was a way to take the belief factor out of the Law of Attraction process? What if it were possible to simply know what you really want, and then be able to get it without investing a great deal of time to create an affirmative belief?

Well I have been fortunate to stumble across a simple method that does exactly that. It is not a brand new discovery. In fact, the research and validity of the method I am about to share with you was developed over a 30 year period, from the 1930’s and finally brought to the public attention in the 1960’s. It baffles me why it hasn’t been recognized and learned by a greater number of people. I guess this is because there was only one book ever written on it. It may have been before its time, and therefore has been out of print for many years. The book was entitled “The Secret of Perfect Living” by James Mangan.

As I researched the method further, I realized that people, a small number of very fortunate people, have been using this technique for years with absolutely mind boggling results. I decided to test it out for myself, and I too have have truly phenomenal results. I have enjoyed a number of manifestations that have occurred in almost a miraculously short period of time. I have used it with financial intentions, and from the day I began I have been given gifts, prize money, refunds, an increase in business and sales, as well as just simply finding money on a daily basis.

The method involves the use of “switchwords.” This was the word used by the originator, James Mangan, because he likened their use to that of “switching on a lamp.” When the right switchword is used in a particular situation, the result comes just as easily as turning on a light.

Many people use affirmations to influence their subconscious mind with whatever it is they are seeking. There are two problems that can work against affirmations, both of which are completely negated by the switchwords. The first is the fact that long strings of words that make up traditional affirmations are somewhat inconvenient to utilize. Coming up with the perfect combinations of words to evoke a positive emotion can often be laborious, and it is not always easy to recall a long affirmation.

The next problem goes back to our beliefs. As you know, beliefs are the deciding factor of whether we get what we want or what we do not want. Affirmations sometimes have an adverse effect. If we really do not believe that we can achieve the outcome we hope for, a little voice inside ours heads will tell us “that’s not true!” and can create negative emotions.

As I said, switchwords take care of both of these factors. A switchword is a single word that encompasses an entire desired result. Therefore it is not necessary to remember and repeat long sentences. The most powerful factor of a switchword however is the fact that it takes belief out of the equation. As we know, a repeated affirmation will gradually begin to be accepted by our subconscious mind, and as it is the desired outcome will begin to appear in our life experience. The switchwords (the list of which has over 100 words for specific proposes) instantly pass on the wanted outcome to our subconscious mind, and no belief is required. Days, weeks and months of repetition are not needed, because the subconscious mind instantaneously picks up on the desired outcome and goes right to work.

I have limited room here so I am just going to relate a few of the most commonly used switchwords, ones that can easily be used on a daily basis. I will tell you where to find more switchwords at the end of this article.

Common Switchwords-

Find- To build a fortune and receive unexpected things of value

Count-To make money and increase business

Give- To successfully sell something

Reach-To find lost items or recall forgotten information (names, phone numbers, etc.) Also great for coming up with solutions to problems.

Fight-To win a contest or excel at a game

Care-To aid in memorization

Next-To finish up a lot of unwanted work

Chuckle-To enhance your personality

Up-To get out of a slump, to get rid of depression

Stretch-For an enhanced feeling of well-being

Praise-To make yourself more beautiful

Hole-To attract the attention of a lover

Divine-To call forth extra ability, to work miracles

Cancel-To eliminate unwanted thoughts

Be-For good health and peace of mind

These words are some of the most readily used, and most can be applied in a variety of situations. Each word relates a specific desired outcome directly to your subconscious mind, which instantly takes it up and begins acting on it. This is the Law of Attraction super-charged, and can really be a lot of fun to put into action. Test a few of the switchwords out. An easy way to get acquainted with them is to play with one at a time. Next time you can’t find your car keys, begin repeating (silently OR aloud) the word REACH. You will be amazed at the rapidity in which you find them.

My favorites are count and find. I have been repeating them all throughout the day for only a couple of weeks and have had so much unexpected money flow into my life. I have also received many other things of value (dinners, gas, etc.) completely out of the blue. I have used reach many times. I used it to score very highly on a college exam that I was not prepared for. It has been a lot of fun using the switchwords, and I’m enjoying them just as much (if not more) than when I first began using other methods of the Law of Attraction.

The switchwords simplify, demystify, and take the belief factor out of using the Law of Attraction. This can really provide very quick results and some fun experiences. Have a go at it, pick a few and test them out. Let me know it you have any cool experiences to share. I have been told of lottery winnings, new business deals, job promotions, and even changed physical appearances (at least perceived by others.) Have fun testing it out for yourself!

The She in Her: An Analysis of Ogot’s The Rain Came

A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim. -Maya Angelou

For all the years that I have developed a consciousness like mine, I was constantly slapped in the face by the incandescent standards of the universe and its littlest portion on how women should be. A woman is always portrayed as a gift from the skies, pretty and elegant, or a royalty in distress saved by a hero who makes her swoon, or an evil witch behind every man’s failure. But a woman is not a gift, she is not a possession, she is not an asset. A woman is not someone to be saved, if she is to be protected, then from what? And yes, this paragraph is always present on my feminist articles. The most tiring thing about being a woman is the fact that we should still have to battle for our image as individuals, which is an inflection of how I came into the idea that the purpose of human kind is to breakout from the chains of the stereotypical. Humans try to debunk and destroy what exists, from beliefs to lifestyles and even to the right color of pants to match your socks. This urge to be free is the reason why Jose was shot in a park, why Romeo and Juliet died, and why all the revolutions and wars occurred.

Grace Ogot or Grace Emily Akinyi, the Kenyan writer who happens to be the author of the story ‘The Rain Came’ and many other stories, presented the “Breaking-out” moment through the characters’ struggle against the binding chains of traditions and culture. Many of her stories are set against the scenic background of Lake Victoria and the traditions of the Luo people. Luo people are interesting, in fact too interesting, specifically their traditions. They don’t practice the common ritual of circumcision for males; instead they pull out 6 frontal teeth as a sign of initiation towards manhood. And these traditions are the common theme of Ogot’s stories, including folklore, mythologies and sometimes, oral traditions.

This theme is actually the center of “The Rain Came”, a story about a chief’s daughter who was chosen by the gods to be sacrificed in order for the rain to come. The story was originally entitled “A Year of Sacrifice” but changed into how it is now because of reasons I didn’t really get into. Ogot’s inspirations on writing were mostly form her grandmother’s stories to her when she was still young and her perception of conflicts of tradition in the society was further fed when she worked as a nurse and midwife in both Uganda and England. She also represented her people in the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization).

In the story “The Rain Came” a myriad of traditional beliefs and societal rules were presented. The element of sacrifice, suppression of women’s rights, gender inequality, and the power of traditions was established. That statement will be explicated through the following analyses.

Labong’o

The story depicts Labong’o as a chief who, for the whole course of his life, tried to accept the order of the Luo ancestors. He married five women so he can get a daughter, and there came Oganda, but the confusion kicked in as the ancestors came into the medicine man, Ndithi’s dreams, that Oganda was chosen to be the sacrificial piece to the lake monster in order to end the drought and lure the rain in.

There are two implications of sacrifice in Labong’o’s character. First was when he didn’t have the choice but marry and marry again until he finally has a daughter, which was, as said, ironically taken away from him, making his efforts irrelevant, if I may say.

The second sacrifice is his daughter. As the people’s chief, he is obliged to always choose the betterment of the town over anything or anyone, even if it is his family, or himself. That is when the conflict of his role as a chief and as a father started.

”Never in his life had he been faced with such an impossible decision. Refusing to yield to the rainmaker’s request would mean sacrificing the whole tribe, putting the interests of the individual above those of the society. More than that. It would mean disobeying the ancestors, and most probably wiping the Luo people from the surface of the earth. On the other hand, to let Oganda die as a ransom for the people would permanently cripple Labong’o spiritually. He knew he would never be the same chief again.”

He was torn between tradition and family, but as how all contradictions in the world end, one of the opposing aspects prevails, and it is his role as a great chief. He chose to let Oganda go to the lake and die for the rain to come, for the people to live,to remain as the great chief who always puts the town first.

Oganda

“The ancestors have chosen her as a sacrifice to the lake monster in order that we may have rain.”

That is the line Labong’o said in front of the people as a declaration of Oganda’s fate. Oganda is the chief of the Luo people’s daughter, and yet, her status didn’t help to change her fate. She was chosen by the ancestors and there was nothing neither she nor her father can do against it.

Oganda is a name which literally means ‘beans’ because of her white skin, which is a rarity in Luo people which are a native of ebony people.

When her family sat inside the room with her outside, she thought that maybe they were just planning her wedding, and that alone signifies the inability of women in their society to make a stand on her own marriage. But the fact is, Oganda, and all the other women in their society just accept that as part of their life, and no trace of resistance from any female species was presented. They just accept things the society has to offer, it doesn’t matter if they deserve it, whatever they dictate, and that alone is sacrifice.

She was afraid at first, which is a natural reaction if you knew your life has to end for the security of the majority, but she still bravely walked alone to the lake and succumbs into her own death. Her courage was already established, putting honor to the women’s team, but Ogot made a twist. The man Oganda loves, and obviously loves her back, came behind her in the middle of her journey to the lake, and saves her.

“We must escape quickly to the unknown land,” Osinda said urgently. “We must run away from the wrath of the ancestors and the retaliation of the monster.”

Just when the going gets tough, when she’s all dried up without any water to drink, a man comes and saves her. Osinda, the great and the wonderful, comes to her aide. It is so cliché in so many levels like how Superman always saves Lois Lane, like Spiderman to Mary Jane. Men behind the hero masks, which reminds me of how female superhero characters are presented with minimal costume and perfect hair amidst all the battles and stunts. The way media portray beauty makes me want to vomit.

What does it really mean to be a woman? In this story there are a lot of mirrors that reflects women. Oganda is the woman who makes sacrifices. Even in Greek mythology, women makes sacrifices, even Gods. Hestia sacrificed her throne for Dionysus. Oganda’s mother is also one reflection. Her mother was sad, in fact mortified, that her only daughter has to die to make others live, but the only thing she could do is cry. Women are sometimes powerless. They are always under husbands and under societal rules, and I don’t mean it literally.

In the end, Oganda ran away with Osinda from the town and its entire people. She gave in to Osinda’s offer to run away and live happily ever after, away from the lake monster, away from the eyes of the ancestors, and away from her family. And just when they turned their backs, the sky turned dark and bore droplets of water. It rained. Everybody got their happiness.

Rain

Rain is one of the most emotional symbols used in literature, and in this story, all the characters’ actions is connected to this rain. The townspeople were beginning to panic for it’s been so long since it last rained and their resources are running out, and the fear of death among them started to rise as the coming of the drought. And as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures, so the people came into the decision of sacrificing a woman who has not yet met a man, which means a ‘virgin’, to yield rain, which is a very barbaric thing to do. All this sacrifice thing happening in the story makes me think that in all the stories I have read, it is a ‘must’ that the person to be sacrificed is always a virgin woman, even in the bible (Jephtha’s daughter). Why not a virgin man?

Anyway, at the end of the story, even if Oganda wasn’t actually offered to and devoured by the lake monster, the skies still shed rain. It can mean that, Oganda’s acceptance of her fate as a sacrificial lamb is enough to please the ancestors and give them the rain they want.

This story is a proof on how traditions influence a human’s decisions and acts. What we are today as individuals and as the human race in general, is a result of centuries and centuries of conditioning. Who’s to say that one’s tradition and beliefs is wrong? Who’s to say that we belong to a generation of idiots having our brains replaced by a virtual world we developed and coexist with, called the internet? What does it really mean to be a woman? Who sets the norms? I don’t know the answers to my own questions, all I know is we all have our own mind and it is a responsibility to actually use it.

Mourne Park House

The Four Winds of Heaven

The first time I visited Mourne Park, some 15 years ago, Julie Ann Anley took me on a whistlestop tour. “It’s great!” she laughed. “No one ever bothers us here because the house isn’t architecturally important.” This was no tourist attraction like Belvoir Castle. The country house as time capsule may have become a cliché, coined in the Eighties when Calke Abbey came to the public’s attention, but it certainly applied to MPH.

The last time I visited the house, in April 2003, it was teeming with members of the public prying over the soon-to-be-dispersed contents. The period perfection was starting to unravel. Small white auction labels hung from everything including the kitchen sink. A striped marquee consumed the courtyard and the building itself was looking the worse for wear.

The auction was the result of a long and bitter family feud which erupted following the death of Nicholas Anley in 1992 that dragged through the law courts until the beginning of 2003. On 14th February, without much filial or sibling love, it was finally settled.

“It’s something which all our family very much care about,” Marion Scarlett Russell, Julie Ann’s younger daughter told the BBC’s Northern Ireland rural affairs correspondent Martin Cassidy back in 1994.

“We’ve always known that this house and its land were non negotiable and it was something we would do everything to keep,” agreed her older sister Debonaire Norah Needham Horsman or ‘Bonnie’.

But this harmony of thought abruptly ended following disagreements over how the estate should be managed. Events reached a dramatic climax when Marion removed what she considered to be her fair share of the contents from the house in a midnight flit. Her refusal to reveal the whereabouts of these ‘chattels’ as the courts insisted on archaically calling them, resulted in her spending a week at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

Five years of arduous legal wrangling costing hundreds of thousands of pounds only ended when it was finally agreed that Marion could keep her share and the other two siblings would auction off their two thirds of the contents.

MPH was the seat of the Earls of Kilmorey (pronounced “Kilmurray” – what is it about the upper classes and their delight in nomenclature mispronunciation whether Calke as “Cock”; Belvoir as “Beaver”; or Blakley as “Blakely”?).

The family can trace its roots back to an Elizabethan soldier, Nicholas Bagnel, founder of Newry. The 4th Earl of Kilmorey died in 1962. Just before his death the family inheritance was rearranged because he had no sons, allowing his nephew and heir, Major Patrick Needham, subsequently 5th Earl of Kilmorey, to waive his right of succession to MPH in exchange for assets of equal value. And so the title returned to England where Charles I had created the original viscountcy in 1625.

This compromise allowed the 4th Earl’s widow, Lady Norah, and her two daughters to continue living in the house. Patrick’s son, the 6th Earl, is better known as Richard Needham, former Conservative Northern Ireland Economy Minister. He is now the deputy chairman of a vacuum cleaning company and declines to use his Anglo Irish title. However his son styles himself Viscount Newry and Mourne.

Nicholas, the son of the elder daughter of the 4th Earl, married Julie Ann at the start of the Sixties and moved into the converted stables at Mourne Park. He inherited the house minus the title in 1984.

Julie Ann may have modestly described the house as being architecturally unimportant and it is no competition for the baronial battlements of Ballyedmond Castle or the symmetrical severity of Seaforde House. But it is a rare example of a substantially Edwardian country house in a county where Victorian or Georgian is the norm.

MPH oozes charm with its long low elevations hewn out of the local granite and its lavish use of green paint on window frames and porches, bargeboards and garden furniture, and the abundance of French doors. Much of the interior decoration dates from the early 20th century which lends the house a nostalgic Edwardian air.

And the setting is second to none. Looming behind the house are the craggy slopes of Knockcree Mountain rising 130m above the oak and beech woodlands that make up the estate.

A Victorian visitor, W E Russell, waxed lyrical on Mourne Park, as archived by Dr Anthony Malcomson. ‘The scene… from the front entrance is indeed very fine. Before you, in the precincts of the mansion, is a lake. Beyond this lake, the demesne stretches away with a gently rising slope, which hides the intervening land, till one can fancy that the sea waves lap the lawns of the park.’

The genesis of the mansion dates from 1818 when the 12th Viscount Kilmorey (1748-1832) employed Thadeus Gallier (later anglicised to Thomas Gallagher) of County Louth to build the central block. It most likely replaced an earlier house on the site.

Gallagher, an architect or ‘journeyman-builder’, had already built Anaverna at Ravensdale a decade earlier. Baron McClelland commissioned this five bay two storey house near Dundalk in 1807. It’s now the home of the Lenox-Conynghams. Too grand for a glebe, too modest for a mansion, this middling size house, tall, light and handsome, stands proud in its sylvan setting overlooking a meadow. The large fanlight over the entrance door in the middle of the three bay breakfront is partially obscured by a glazed porch, but otherwise Gallagher’s design is untouched. Semicircular relieving arches over upstairs windows introduce a motif he was to later employ at MPH. At Anaverna he proved himself to be a designer of considerable sophistication.

Gallagher’s son James, who recorded in his autobiography that his father worked at MPH for nine months in 1818, emigrated to New Orleans where he carried on the dynastic tradition of designing fine buildings. His grandson, James Gallier Junior, was a third generation architect and his 1857 New Orleans townhouse is now the Gallier House Museum.

The first of six incarnations of MPH, Gallagher’s design was a typical late Georgian two storey country house with Wyatt windows on either side of a doorway similar to Anaverna’s with a fanlight over it. Next, a third storey was added was added and then some time after 1859 a new two storey front of the same height was plonked in front of the existing house, so that the rooms in the new block have much higher ceilings than in the older part.

The replacement façade is three bays wide like the original front but in place of Wyatt windows is bipartite fenestration set in shallow recesses rising through both storeys with relieving arches over them. It is the combination of these paired windows and gentle arches, like brows over the eyes of the building, which gives the front such a distinct look.

In the central breakfront the shallow recess starts over the entrance door which is treated as another window, flanked on either side by a window of similar shape and size. A low parapet over a slim cornice partly conceals the hipped roof which wraps around the roof lantern of the Staircase Hall.

Contemporaneous improvements were made to the estate itself. In the 1840s the 2nd Earl (1787-1880) – the Kilmoreys had gone up a rung on the aristocratic ladder when his father, the 12th Viscount, was made an earl for his services to the development of Newry – commissioned a ‘famine wall’. It was a method used at the height of the Irish potato famine by many Big House families to create work to keep locals from starving. The cheaply built granite walls also profited the estate. Kimmitt Dean records that the 2nd Earl built Tullyframe Gate Lodge, the third of four gate lodges, at this time. Whitewater Gate Lodge was built in the 1830s and Ballymaglogh Gate Lodge in the 1850s.

But it was the alterations of the 3rd and 4th Earls which gave MPH its Edwardian flavour. “Not fit for a gentleman to live in!” exclaimed the 3rd Earl (1842-1915) upon his inheritance. His remedial gentrifications began in 1892 when he added rectangular ground floor bay windows onto the front and continued until 1904 when he built a single storey wing perpendicular to the back of the house. This wing contains Lady Kilmorey’s Sitting Room and the Long Room, the latter completed in time for his son’s 21st birthday celebrations.

Between 1919 and 1921 that son, by now the 4th Earl (1883-1961) built a sprawling flat roofed extension onto the avenue side of the house and relocated the entrance to this elevation. Double doors framed by pairs of squat square pillars formed the new entrance, balanced on either side by the two windows of the Billiard Room and Lord Kilmorey’s Study. The 3rd Earl completed the estate buildings with Green Gate Lodge, a two storey house finished in the same granite as MPH.

A century of each generation making their mark on MPH has resulted in a fascinating building full of surprising changes in floor levels and ceiling heights. The main block is arranged like three parallel slices of a square cake, each different in essence. The oldest three storey slice at the back of the house has low ceilings and small windows, some retaining their Georgian panes. The middle top lit slice contains the Long Corridor which runs parallel with the Hall, the Staircase Hall and the Inner Hall. Finally the newest slice contains the enfilade of reception rooms: the Billiard Room (formerly the Large Drawing Room), the Dining Room, the Ante Room, the Blue Drawing Room and above, the principal bedrooms with their plate glass windows.

The back of the house overlooks a courtyard enclosed by the Long Room on one side, a low two storey nursery wing on the other side and the obligatory row of outbuildings parallel with the house.

All the rooms on the ground and first floors were open during the auction preview weekend. I began the tour that I had gone on a decade earlier, only with a written rather than personal guide and without the troop of 13 Persian cats which had followed us around the first time round.

“Come on, get out of this room!” Julie Ann bellowed to the cats as she shut the door of each room. “Otherwise you could be locked in for a year or two!” I commented to her, “At least you won’t have mice.” She replied,” They just watch the mice race by.”

Now people were talking in hushed murmurs as if at a wake, quietly leafing through issues of The Connoisseur in the Estate Office and thoughtfully gazing at caricature prints in the Rosie Passage.

The Hall, arranged like a long gallery with paintings hung on white panelled walls, is the first in a processional series of spaces which culminates in the Staircase Hall, the most exciting architectural moment MPH has to offer. The staircase was extended between 1919 and 1921 to stretch out in the direction of the new entrance while the original flight of stairs through an archway into the Inner Hall was retained. Above, more archways and openings afford tantalising glimpses of bedroom corridors filled with the shadows of ghosts.

Close to the new entrance, Lord Kilmorey’s Study had an air of formality in contrast to the intimacy of Lady Kilmorey’s Sitting Room which is tucked away at the back of the house. A 7m long oak bookcase, used as a temporary display cabinet for the preview (sold for £3,000) and a chesterfield sofa (sold for £800) completed the butch mood of the good Lord’s room. On the other hand, the femininity of Lady Kilmorey’s Sitting Room was exaggerated by the delicate double arched overmantle (sold for £1,000) and the 17th century Chinoserie cabinet on a carved giltwood stand (sold for £11,000) similar to those in the State Drawing Room of 11 Downing Street. HOK auction staff were making last minute notes on a pile of books in the middle of the floor. The house no longer felt private.

The three main reception rooms were quintessentially Edwardian. Chintz sofas and family portraits mixed comfortably with period pieces. ‘Shabby chic’, another Eighties cliché, is an apt description. Decades of decadence had descended into decay, where once the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) had whiled away halcyon days.

In the Billiard Room an off-centre timber and brick chimneypiece defiantly declares this room to date from the 1920s. Paint was peeling, curtains were crumbling.

An air of faded grandeur pervaded the Long Room. Triumphal flags now in tatters and coloured wall lamps dulled by the passage of time hinted at past glories and parties long forgotten. A suite of oak bookcases was supplied by John McArevey of Newry to fit between the rows of windows running the length of the Long Room. One pair sold for £3,000.

The kitchen had lost its lived in look which I remembered. It was neater now with rows of copper jelly moulds and tin pots arranged museum-like along the painted pine dressers. High up on the wall above, the clock had stopped.

The principal bedrooms with their straightforward names – the Avenue Bedroom, the Corner Bedroom, Caroline’s Room, the Best Bedroom, His Lordship’s Bedroom and Her Ladyship’s Bedroom – had plain sturdy furniture. A mahogany breakfront wardrobe and matching half tester or four poster bed dominated each room, accompanied by a matching desk and pot cabinet. On average the wardrobes sold for £3,000; the beds for £5,000.

The bedrooms looked slightly sparse. Perhaps they had been fuller in happier times. Minor bedrooms and servants’ rooms had brass beds (the one in the Housekeeper’s Room sold for £70), lower ceilings, less dramatic views, and were full of clutter. Not for much longer.

“People say it’s as if time stopped in the house,” Philip Anley said on the opening day of the auction. “That’s a tribute to mum,” he added, acknowledging Julie Ann’s efforts to maintain MPH.

Sales had taken place at Mourne Park before. Shortly before his death, Nicholas had sold more than half the 800 hectare estate to Mourne Park Golf Club which extended from a nine hole to an 18 hole course. A decade before he had bought out the interest of his aunt, Lady Hyacinth, which meant her family removing various heirlooms in lieu of any stake in the house itself. The inheritance of the title and estate had already split in 1960. However this sale was different. It heralded “the end of an era” according to Philip.

Herbert Jackson Stops’ introduction to the 1920s sale catalogue of Stowe springs to mind. ‘It is with a feeling of profound regret that the auctioneer pens the opening lines of a sale catalogue which may destroy for ever the glories of the house, and disperse to the four winds of heaven its wonderful collections, leaving only memories of the spacious past’. A rare level of honesty compared to recent excuses of selling off the family silver from ‘wanting to share chattels with others’ to ‘streamlining the collection’.

Sara Kenny from HOK Fine Art conducted the auction, raising a total of £1.3m. Prices were high with dealers bidding against collectors against locals. “My dad worked on the estate so I want some sort of keepsake,” I overheard one bidder say. It seemed everyone wanted their piece of MPH’s history.

Auction excitement reached fever pitch on the last day when lot 1391 came up for sale. It was the Red Book of Shavington, in the County of Salop, a seat of The Right Honble [sic] Lord Viscount Kilmorey’. For those who don’t know, Red Books were the creation of Humphrey Repton (1752-1818), a pioneer in the field of landscape architecture. He created or transformed over 200 English estates. His mantra was natural beauty enhanced by art. His practice was to complete a Red Book for each client.

The Shavington Red Book was a slim volume encased in red leather containing his proposals for ‘improvements’ outlined in neat copperplate handwriting and illustrated with maps, plans, drawings and watercolours. Several bidders appreciated its historical importance and exquisite beauty. In the end it went under the hammer for £41,000.

The 3rd Earl of Kilmorey had sold Shavington, the family seat in Shropshire, in 1881 to pay for debts his father had accrued. He crammed much of the furniture into MPH. Shavington items auctioned included two early 19th century pieces by Gillows of Lancaster which both sold for £11,000: the Corner Bedroom wardrobe and the architect’s desk from the Library.

Mourne Park estate may not have benefitted from the romantic touch of Humphrey Repton but its rugged character, derived from the granite face of Knockcree, remains unchanged from faded 19th century landscape photographs. The same can’t be said for the interior of the granite face house.

“I’ll always remember the day you visited Mourne Park,” Julie Ann said. Strolling up the old drive she continued, “As the day the boathouse collapsed.”

And sure enough, the gabled boathouse, which had stood there for centuries, not so much collapsed as gently slipped into the lake like a maiden aunt taking a dip in the water. After a few ripples, it disappeared. Forever.

Fifteen years later, masterpieces and miscellany, a record of Edwardian living in its original setting, are now gone, just like the boathouse. It is a sad ending for the collection that formed the soul of one of Ulster’s Big Houses. Sad for the family and for the people of Newry and Mourne whose toil allowed the family to amass a fortune in antiques.

In the middle of the 320 hectare estate still stands the house itself, stripped of its contents, naked as the classical statues that once graced the lawns around the lake, awaiting its fate.

Since this article was published, Marion Scarlett Russell placed MPH on the market with Knight Frank for £10 million. The asking price has now been reduced to £6.5 million. It is still for sale.

The Importance Of The Strain Gauge

Products such as the strain gauge that measure fatigues in metals play vital roles in productivity and safety. There are many categories of measuring instruments and many more if the products within each category are counted. For example, within the category of strain gauges there are seven sub-categories including accessories such as cleaning agents and solder terminals. Such products are of vital significance in a world which is increasingly dependent on high-tech equipment.

As the world revolves a myriad of machines work smoothly to keep things going. Massive planes take to the skies in tremendous bursts of power, and at a different level coal powered and nuclear turbines keep the electricity flowing into domestic kitchens. The stresses imposed by heat and movement upon the material components of all the machines that power our lives do not in themselves cause break downs but are the causes that will inevitably result in effects. Engineers measure stress in mechanical components using a variety of means.

A strain gauge is a resistance-based sensor used by mechanical engineers. Strain does not officially have a unit of measurement, but for reference purposes, a special unit of measurement is used. Because the changes in length are often very small, the unit of change employed is expressed as 10 to the power of six, to provide meaningful readings.

There are various types and configurations of sensors. The metal foil gauge consists of a length of thin metal wire wound around a grid called a matrix. This is stuck to a metal backing and then bonded to the object where measurement is required. The gauge is aligned with the line in which stress will occur. As the wire lengthens or compresses, so measurements are taken.

Optical sensors are made of glass, of varying thicknesses. Fibres with a core of 5 micrometers are surrounded by a layer of pure glass with a diameter of 125 micrometers. Different reflection points create optical effects. As these gauges are insensitive to electromagnetic fields they are useful in explosive atmospheres.

Configurations of gauges can be designed to measure various strains that might apply to objects of different sizes and components. For example the bi-axial configuration can measure along different planes, as in a hole or cutting instrument. Here two different appliance are aligned at right angles to a common point in order to measure along different axes.

In addition to measuring mechanically, instruments can be designed to measure thermally. The forces applied to continuously welded railway lines occur vertically, longitudinally and laterally. Configurations of different instruments can provide vitally important data for maintenance crews, and help to ensure the safety of long distance and high speed trains.

It is clear that the strain gauge play an important role across the gamut of industrial activities. In mining, agriculture, architecture, construction and road building there are obvious applications. Less obvious, but equally important are the uses in the media, medicine and legal services. Engineers engaged across all these fields do well to choose the products of reputable manufacturers who can be relied upon to produce accurate measuring instruments.

Hand Held Power Drills – Choosing the Best Drill For the Job

If you were a professional contractor who used various types of drills on a daily basis throughout the course of your job, you would probably already know what type of drill you need for a specific job. But, what about the person who does not work with drills every day. This person probably knows that a certain job or task requires the use of a drill, but may not be certain about what type of drill is needed. Choosing the right drill can be a daunting task and it’s really no surprise with all the types of drills to choose from. You have:

  • basic drills
  • VSR drills
  • drill/drivers
  • hammer drills
  • impact drivers/wrenches
  • rotary hammer drills
  • right angle drills
  • spade handle drills

Maybe you have already been looking at drills and have other questions such as:

  • What does VSR mean?
  • What is the difference between SDS and spline drive?
  • How does chuck size matter?
  • What is the difference between keyed and keyless chucks?
  • What is a hex driver?
  • Should I go with a cordless or corded drill?
  • What type of cordless battery is best?
  • What is the clutch used for?

Many years ago, when the first hand held power drills came around, there were not many choices outside of brand names when it came to selecting a power drill. Basically, the drills were all corded, all had keyed chucks, and rotated in only one direction and at one speed. So, the choice was not too difficult. Just pick a brand you like.

Things certainly have changed over the years. There are enough options available today to make a person’s head spin. There are even more variations and innovations in the works as I write this. While the scope of this guide will not be able to cover every type of power drill in existence, we are going to try to cover most of the bases. My goal in writing this article is to help those who might be having difficulty deciding which type of drill they need, so let’s get started.

The basic corded drill

This is the most basic of hand held power drills. It is a simple electric drill with one speed and one direction. It is mainly good for drilling holes in wood, metal, plastic, and soft metals. It is not the ideal choice of drill to use for applications such as driving screws. Since the speed is not variable and the drill only operates at a higher RPM, you would likely either strip the screw head or snap the head off the screw if you tried. You will not likely find many of these around today as their uses are rather limited.

The VSR drill

VSR stands for “variable speed reversible”. These drills come in both corded and cordless versions as will most all the drills we discuss from here on out. The drill speed is varied by the amount of pressure applied to the trigger. The farther the trigger is pulled, the higher the RPM will be. There is also a switch, usually near the trigger which reverses the operation of the drill. As you can imagine, these have distinct advantages over the basic corded drill. In addition to being able to perform all the functions of the basic corded drill, they also have a better suited although still limited ability to drive screws, and small lag bolts. Since the speed is variable, you have the ability to drill into harder material without overheating the bit.

One disadvantage to this type of drill is that trying to maintain a certain RPM with the trigger can be very tricky. It takes a certain knack and some getting used to in order to be able to drive screws consistently without stripping the heads, driving the screw too deep, or snapping off the screw head. The reversible feature allows you to remove screws, drive reverse threaded screws, and back out of stock when your drill bit gets stuck or jammed.

The VSR drill/driver

The VSR drill/driver has all the capabilities of a standard VSR drill with the added bonus of a lower rpm/higher torque setting. Another feature generally found on these drills is an adjustable clutch. These are probably the most common types of everyday use cordless drills you will find on the market today. The big advantage with the low rpm/high torque setting is that now you can drive screws and lag bolts at the low rpm needed without having to try to hold the trigger in a certain position. The adjustable clutch will keep you from driving the screw to deep, stripping the screw head, or breaking off the screw head. The clutch will also prevent reaction torque which happens when a bit jams or a screw bottoms out and the drill tries to twist in the opposite direction. In addition you also get higher torque at the low rpm setting that you miss out on when using a standard VSR drill and higher torque means more screw driving power. These drills generally have a slide switch that you use to switch between the 2 settings. In the high RPM setting, the drill functions exactly like a standard VSR drill. In the low rpm/high torque setting, the drill becomes an effective driver for driving screws and small lag bolts. Some of these drills may have a 3rd intermediate setting that compromises between torque and speed allowing you to better match the speed/torque setting to the application.

The VSR hammer drill/driver

Do you need to drill into concrete, stone, or masonry? If, so, then you would want to consider a hammer drill. This type of drill uses a hammer or pounding action as the drill bit rotates. The pounding action of the bit is what enables these drills to bite into the concrete, stone, or masonry. If you were to try to use a non-hammer type drill, you would have a hard time penetrating the hardened concrete, stone, or masonry and would likely overheat the bit or the bit would become jammed in the material. When drilling into concrete, stone, or masonry you will also want to be sure and use a masonry bit. A masonry bit is specially designed for drilling into these materials. Depending on the material, the drill and the bit used, you can generally expect to be able to effectively drill holes in concrete, stone, or masonry up to around 1/2″ in diameter. VSR hammer drill/drivers have all the capabilities of a VSR drill/driver in addition to functioning as a hammer drill at the flip of a switch. Due to their versatility, hammer drill/drivers have become a popular choice among both professional contractors and do-it-yourselfers. Some practical uses would be, drilling holes for inserting concrete anchors or TapCon screws for attaching fixtures such as hand railing or light posts to concrete surfaces or attaching fixtures to concrete, block, stone, or brick walls. One of the most highly and professionally rated hammer drill/drivers on the market today is the DeWalt DC925KA.

Rotary Hammer Drills

Think of a rotary hammer drill as a larger, more powerful version of a hammer drill with an added bonus. It also works like a small jack hammer. These drills are dedicated to the purpose of drilling and chipping into concrete, stone and masonry. They are generally not intended for drilling into wood or other similar materials. Rotary hammer drills use a special bit designed not to slip in the chuck. The most common types are the SDS and spline drive. The type of bit you use will depend on the drill. SDS bits come in several different sizes, so you will need to get the size that matches your drill. If you want to drill many larger diameter holes in concrete or stone, then this is the type of dill you need.

As mentioned, this drill also functions like a small jack hammer. By flipping a switch you can turn off the rotary action, then insert a chisel bit and you’re ready to go. While rotary hammer drills aren’t going to compete with a full sized jack hammer, they are very useful for many smaller jobs such as removing ceramic and stone tile, removing bricks and blocks from existing wall or floor structures, chipping away unwanted or spilled mortar, chipping the rough edges from concrete, and removing excess concrete from concrete forms or other surfaces.

Traditionally, rotary hammer drills were all of the corded variety since cordless batteries were not able to supply the power needed to operate a rotary hammer drill. However, all that is changing with advancements in lithium-ion batteries and power tool design technology. The popularity of cordless rotary hammer drills is growing rapidly. Some cordless rotary hammer drills rival, and may even surpass the performance of their corded counterparts. One such example is the Bosch 11536VSR which in an HGTVpro power tool review was found to drill 1/2″ holes in concrete faster than the tool’s corded counterpart.

Impact Drivers/Wrenches

Impact drivers are quickly becoming a hot item among contractors and do-it-yourselfers and with all the added benefits of an impact driver, it’s no wonder. If you drive a lot of long screws, lag bolts, or have a lot of nuts and bolts you want to assemble quickly and easily, then an impact driver is for you.

The impact driver functions as a standard VSR drill until the time when extra torque is needed. That’s when the impact action kicks in. Don’t confuse this with the hammer action of a hammer drill. The difference is that a hammer drill “hammers” on the bit in a lateral direction along the length of the bit as it rotates where an impact driver impacts the chuck of the drill in a rotational direction. The result is a huge increase in torque. The impact action also causes the screw bit to grab the screw resulting in less slippage, reducing the possibility of stripping the screw head. As an added bonus the amount of force the operator needs to apply to the drill in order to keep the screw bit from slipping is significantly reduced resulting in less user fatigue.

Impact drivers have a quick change bit holder designed for accepting hex shank bits which are now common among screw bits and many other drill bits and socket driver bits. This style bit holder really makes changing between bits a snap. This bit holder is the main difference between an impact driver and impact wrench. An impact wrench has a square drive for accepting either 3/8″ or 1/2″ drive sockets depending on the model of impact wrench.

Impact drivers and wrenches also have a size advantage delivering as much as 4 times as much torque as a comparable size VSR drill. This means that a smaller size tool can be used for a particular job which further reduces user fatigue, especially when working overhead. The small size also gives you the ability to work in tighter spaces and if the impact driver uses lithium-ion technology, then the tool weight is even further reduced.

There is one particular impact driver that stands out. In a tool test by Tools of the Trade Magazine, out of 9 top of the line cordless impact drivers, the Milwaukee 9081-22 was able to outrun the group when pushed to the max. This tool sent 48 4″ long Timberlock screws into the stock before a noticeable battery slowdown was observed. Timberlock screws are a long screw with a hex head. They are commonly used in outdoor applications such as landscaping, fence and deck building because they require no pre-drilling. Just think of the time you could save when armed with an impact driver and screws that require no pre-drilling.

Right Angle Drills

Right angle drills, as the name implies, have the chuck positioned at a right angle to the body of the drill. Right angle drills are able to drill in tight spaces where other drills just won’t reach such as in between two closely positioned wall studs which makes these drills particularly useful for plumbers and electricians.

These drills come in both corded and cordless varieties as well as a wide range of sizes. The smaller size right angle drills are suitable for small to medium jobs in pine and other soft material. The heavy duty models can handle much larger jobs in harder material such as thick oak. One thing you should be aware of when using the more powerful heavy duty models is reaction torque. Due to the design of right angle drills, if the bit should get stuck, the entire drill body will rotate around the chuck potentially causing injury. It’s generally a good idea to brace the drill against a floor, wall, or stud. Some models have a built in torque limiter or clutch to help prevent this occurrence. One such model which has a built in torque limiter is the Makita DA4031 [http://www.thetoolspot.us/Products/Makita/Makita-DA4031/MAKITA-DA4031.html]. This heavy-duty right angle drill was also the overall winner in a Tools of the Trade test of several top of the line right angle drills.

Spade Handle Drills

When spade handle drills are mentioned, one might likely think of mixing drywall compound. The mixing of drywall compound or similar substances is one of the most commonly used applications of spade handle drills. These drills are designed with a low rpm, high torque setting that is well suited for mixing drywall mud. Special drywall mixer attachments can be inserted into the chuck for this purpose.

While these drills are very suitable for mixing drywall mud and other similar substances which require mixing, this is certainly not the only use for this type of drill. The aggressive torque these drills produce make them ideal for boring large holes in wood and other materials using spade bits, auger bits or hole saws up to as large as 5″ in diameter.

Many of these drills have a rocker or similar type of switch for rapid switching between forward and reverse which aids in backing out jammed bits as well as mixing drywall mud. In addition, these drills generally have an auxiliary side handle as well as a spade handle to aid in tool control.

Questions and answers pertaining to power drills.

What does VSR mean?

VSR stands for variable speed reversible. Drills with this feature are able to operate in both forward and reverse rotation and at variable speeds. Most likely the drill will have a switch or button for switching the rotation from forward to reverse. Generally the speed varies in relation to to how far the trigger is pulled.

What is the difference between SDS and spline drive?

SDS and spline drive refer to two types of bit technology used in rotary hammer drills. There is really no difference in the performance of the two types, so the one you choose will simply be a matter of which type your particular rotary hammer drill requires. There are different sizes of SDS bits which include SDS, SDS+, and SDSmax. Smaller rotary hammer drills will use SDS or SDS+ bits where the larger rotary hammer drills will use SDSmax or spline drive bits. As the name implies, spline drive bits have a splined shaft, while SDS bits have concave recesses in the shaft.

Why does chuck size matter?

Chuck size basically determines what size drill bit you can use based on the size of the drill bit shank. With the exception of rotary hammer drills and impact drivers/wrenches which use a special type of chuck, most typical hand held drills come with either a 3/8″ or 1/2″ chuck. Most of your smaller drills will use a 3/8″ chuck while the heavy-duty models typically use a 1/2″ chuck. You cannot put a drill bit with a 1/2″ shank in a 3/8″ chuck, but you can put a bit with a 3/8″ shank in a 1/2″ chuck.

What is the difference between keyed and keyless chucks?

Years ago, all hand held drills used keyed chucks. In order to tighten the chuck down on the drill bit, you would use a small tool called a chuck key. Most 3/8″ chucks and many 1/2″ chucks today are now of the keyless variety. Keyless chucks, as the name implies, do not use a chuck key. Instead the chuck is designed so that a person can easily tighten the chuck down on the bit by hand. While keyless chucks are faster and easier to use, they cannot clamp down onto the bit as tight and therefore do not have the same holding power as a keyed chuck. This lack of holding power can potentially cause round shank bits to slip in the chuck. This is why you will still find many heavy-duty high torque drills using keyed chucks.

What is a hex driver?

A hex driver is just another name for an impact driver. Hex refers to the type of bit holder the drill uses. These drills use a hex shank bit designed not to slip in the holder. This type of bit holder also makes changing bits a snap. Impact wrenches, on the other hand use a square drive for accepting either 3/8″ or 1/2″ drive sockets.

Should I go with a cordless or corded drill?

This can be a difficult decision for some. The industry trend is ever going more and more towards cordless technology. The very first cordless drills on the market left much to be desired in both power and run time. Over the years cordless technology improved to the point where many cordless tools now compete with and even in many cases out perform their corded counterparts. With power and performance becoming near equal, the choice basically comes down to price. Are you willing to save some money and deal with the inconveniences of dragging power cords around, or would you rather spend a little more and have complete freedom of movement? The choice is yours.

What type of cordless battery is best?

The power tool industry is currently trending toward lithium-ion battery technology. With all the benefits of lithium-ion it is easy to see why. If you compare lithium-ion batteries to nickel cadmium batteries, lithium-ion charges faster, runs longer, maintains longer constant power output, weighs less and stores a charge longer. The disadvantage is that Lithium-ion costs more. However, the difference in price may not outweigh the advantages you get in performance and charge holding time.

What is the clutch used for?

Most drill/drivers and hammer drills have an adjustable clutch. The clutch is typically used when driving screws, nuts, or lag bolts. The clutch is designed so that once a certain required amount of torque is reached, the clutch will engage and cause the rotation of the chuck to slip and stop rotating. There are several reasons for this. One, you won’t strip the screw head when the bit keeps turning. Two, you won’t drive the screw too deep. Three, reaction torque when the screw or nut bottoms out won’t twist your wrist. Many drills produce enough reaction torque to cause bodily harm if the clutch is not used. Many heavy-duty drills capable of producing high amounts of reaction torque have either a non-adjustable built in clutch or a built in torque limiter. An finally, the clutch protects the drill motor from damage.

How To Kill Stink Bugs In Homes That Have Window Air Conditioner Units

Stink bugs are notorious for their persistence when it comes to seeking to gain entry into your house during the autumn months.

1. Stink bugs want to come inside the house during the winter.

Have you noticed that the peak season for stink bug infestation problems within domestic households in North America is during the onset of autumn? This is not by mere chance or coincidence. Stink bugs are no different than any other insect or animal that instinctively seeks to escape the harshness of winter either by hibernating or by migrating south. What makes stink bugs stand apart from other insects is in their persistence when it comes to matters of seeking shelter in warm places during autumn and winter. Whereas it is very rare to find bugs lurking about in your house during the winter months, stink bugs are a notable exception.

2. They will seek any means to get into the house.

If a stink bug is unable to seek shelter in a warm household during the winter months, it will inevitably hibernate. But during the autumn months of September and October, you will find these little critters to be among the most persistent when it comes to trying to gain entry into your home for the winter. Wherever they can find any type of opening in your house, somehow they will manage to make their way indoors, where it is warm. This opening could be a crack in your house’s foundation, the exhaust fan pipes from your clothes dryer, your stove exhaust vent, your chimney, gaps in your window sills, tears in your window screens, or any other crevice that they can find. Suffice it to say that if there is a way to get into your home, a determined stink bug will find a way. This is their mission in life during the autumn months.

3. The Window Air Conditioner Unit is one of the most vulnerable parts of the home.

Among the many different ways that there are for stink bugs to gain access into your home, the window air conditioner unit is one of the single most vulnerable. It is, after all, an actual opening into your home. Designed for air to be sucked into your home from outside, it is an open invitation for these bugs to crawl straight through. This is of course a common problem with any opening into your home, be it a central air conditioning unit, or any other exhaust pipe leading out of your house. Stink bugs can make their way through these as well. The main difference is that the distance between the outside world and the inside of your house is very small, and is a relatively short distance for a stink bug to trek before it finally emerges into your home. If you don’t take the necessary precautions and safeguards to seal off your window air conditioner unit and make it completely air tight and impenetrable, except for the flow of air molecules themselves, then this unit becomes an open invitation for stink bugs to make their way into your home.

4. The problems with window air conditioner units.

Because air conditioner units are units that are fitted into an opening that is cut out of your wall, you must be mindful of the fact that even the tiniest gaps between the unit and the wall can be just big enough for stink bugs to slip through. And believe it not, stink bugs can and will find a way to get through this unit, once they are able to detect the presence of heat emanating from that unit. Stink bugs are notorious for penetrating homes and making their way indoors, and are equally notorious for their persistence at doing so.

5. How to safeguard your window air conditioner units.

While most professionally installed air conditioner units are designed to fit precisely into the opening in your exterior wall, it is inevitable that sometimes you might end up with a unit that is not a perfect fit, even by a few millimeters. This is true of both new installations and replacements, as well as with existing units that have been in your window for a long time. Here are some tips on how you can safeguard your window air conditioner units so as to prevent stink bugs from making their way through in order to get inside your home:

i) Use duct tape.

Duct tape is an extremely effective way to seal off any gaps between your window air conditioning unit and the wall. It provides a solid, impenetrable barrier. Plus, it is adhesive, so it is very unlikely to come undone, plus it can trap any stink bugs that do come in contact with the adhesive surfaces, thwarting their attempts to gain entry into your home.

ii) Spray the window with dish soap.

This may sound like an odd solution, but the fact of the matter is that dish washing liquid soap has proven to be lethal to stink bugs and acts as an excellent deterrent against them. By spraying the exterior of your window with dish soap, this should be sufficient to drive them away. Of course, if it not practical to spray the window with dish soap yourself, then you may want to have your window (as well as the rest of your house) professionally power washed.

iii) Caulk the window.

If you have any gaps in your window sill or in the areas between where your window meets the window frame, you may want to fill these up with caulk. Once the caulk dries, this will form a solid, water-proof impenetrable barrier that stink bugs will not be able to pass. Also, if any stink bugs have managed to get into your home through these cracks and are hiding within the walls, then this will take care of them. By sealing off the openings with caulk, this will trap, suffocate, and kill off any stink bugs that might be hiding within your walls, so that they cannot come back out and lurk about within your house.

6. Cover your air conditioning unit.

One thing you can do is permanently can encase your air conditioner unit with a cover that has gaps that are too narrow for bugs to pass through but are just large enough for air molecules to pass through. This case would be somewhat akin to a cage.

Yet another way to cover your air conditioner would be completely enshroud it within a cover when it is not in use, particularly during the winter months.

Removing window air conditioner units completely during the winter months is also an option, provided that you are able to board up the gap in the wall completely, caulk the edges, and ensure that it is air-tight.

Having a window air conditioner is a necessity during the summer months, in houses that do not have central air conditioning. Unfortunately, the luxury and comfort of having air conditioning comes at a price… the trade off is in the amount of effort you must put in to ensure that your unit does not leave your home vulnerable to an infestation of stink bugs.

Build Your Own Brick Or Stone Mailbox

Have you ever wanted a masonry mailbox? If you have then you’re in the right place to learn how to build your very own brick mailbox or a stone mailbox. I will go over all the materials and tools needed to complete this project and approximate costs.

I am going to go over the brick mailbox because it will be easier for you to complete. First you will need your design laid out, the simplest way to build your maibox is a 24 Inch square with a 16inch block pillar in the center. Next you will need to gather all your materials, you will need 3, 80 pound bags of Quickcrete, 16 8 inch block and 12 4 inch block and then roughly 200 brick of your choice. You will also need to pick out a good sturdy steel mailbox and a piece of sandstone that is 26 inches square and 4 inches thick for the top cap. The tools you will need are a good digging shovel, wheelbarrow, hoe, trowel, hammer, striking iron and and masons brush.

Step one, dig down 36 inches and 4 inches bigger than your mailbox base in the above example you would dig a hole that is 32 inches square. If you are on a street with underground utilities running along the street you are only going to be able to dig down no more than 12 inches, you will have to check with your utilities to find this out. Ideally though you should make it 36″ deep to clear the freeze line, especially if you live in the north.

Next prepare your footer by driving a grade stake down into the center of the hole 8″ off of the bottom, this will be the thickness or height of your footer. Now mix your quickcrete thoroughly and pour it into the hole till you just cover the grade stake, try to make footer as level as possible, it may be somewhat difficult especially since you will be reaching 3 feet into the ground. Now let your footer set up and return the next day to build your mailbox.

The next step in the process is to build the center block column our of the 8 inch block and 4 inch block. find the center of your footer, mark it and measure 8 inches each direction, this will be where your main column will set. After you have marked out your square mix your mortar and start laying block. Place two 8 inch side by side and try to make them as level as possible, first course is most important, if you can’t get it level in the first course be sure that you are level and straight by the third, which should place you right at about 4 inches below ground level, now continue to lay your block up 5 more courses, be sure that these are straight and level. After you have laid these you need to install your brick ledge, you do this by using the 4 inch block. Place the block around the base of the column as close to the column as possible up just three courses which should place you at once again 4 inches below grade.

Now that your column and brick ledge are in place its time to install your brick. Run your brick on top of the brick ledge which should work to fit the brick perfectly. Be sure to switch bond every course to make sure you are left with a nice looking brick job. Every course check for level and plum to be sure that your mailbox is not leaning, and then strike your joints every 2 to 3 courses as well, so they dont get two hard on you. If you are installing brick correctly you should have 3 courses of brick to every course of block, so if you laid 4 courses above grade then you should end up with 15 courses of brick. to the top of the block column.

Now it is time to install your mailbox, take your mailbox out of its packaging and place it on top of your column and brick with the face of it facing the road, test open the door to be sure that the brick below is not interfering with the door. Your mailbox door should be resting approximately 1 to 2 inches off the face of the brick. Now continue to lay your brick up and past your mailbox, you will have to make cuts with a saw or with a hammer if you are skilled enough to do it. Be sure to fill mortar in around mailbox to lock it in place.

After you have struck all your joints and brushed your work down it is now time to install the cap, you can do this with brick or buy a piece of sandstone that is 4 inches thick and that is 1 inch bigger on all sides of your masonry column, in the above example the sandstone should be 26 inches square. Run a bead of mortar all the way around your top course, now place the sandstone lightly on top and level it up, remove excess mortar and voila you have yourself a brick mailbox, If you are skilled enough you can do the above project with a stone veneer, but it is only recommended if you are familiar with the masonry trades.

A Great Deal With the Generac XG8000e Portable Generator

Generac is a leader in power supply equipment, and they do not disappoint with the 8000XG generator. The Generac XG8000E Portable Generator has all of the features that you want and need! With an 8,000 watt power surge system you can count on the ability to operate all of the appliances that you need without worry. Whether it is a computer and refrigerator or freezer or electric heater, this powerful generator makes it easy to use the appliances that you need. You can even use the generator to power up more than one appliance at the same time.

This portable generator is easy to maneuver and designed for simple operation, offering an array of specifications sure to please each and every person who uses it. Users appreciate the heavy duty wheels that make it easy to move. With the single touch electric start you can easily start the machine the minute that you need it. Some generators cause a headache simply trying to start them, but not the Generac XG8000e portable generator. It is easy to use the first time without hassle or headache. But, these things are only the beginning of the many features you will appreciate.

Generac XG 8000e Features

The power bar easily monitors the power wattage that is being used, with an illuminated LED control panel that makes it easy to see the numbers. With covered outlets, the Generac 8000 can be used without worry or fear of an electrical mishap. Use the outlets even in the most rugged of conditions without worry. Although you will find a large capacity steel fuel tank on the generator, you will not use any more gas than necessary thanks to the extended running times and hour maintenance meter.

With a low-oil pressure shutdown and pressure lubrication, your Generac generator will have an extended lifetime. Should your portable generator be low on oil it will automatically shut down and protect the generator from damage. This feature can be appreciated as it can be so easy to accidentally cause destruction to your generator. At 250 pounds the generator can easily be moved with the included moving kit. The fold-down, locking handle makes it easy to store when you are finished with the generator. Although it is a larger sized generator it is still compact enough to easily store inside any garage or basement.

Why Trust Generac Portable Generator?

The Generac Portable generator offers a 3-position start switch combined with an easy to use control panel. The nine gallon built-in fuel tank has the ability to run for 10 hours with a 34 liter capacity. An included maintenance kit and oil ensures the machine is ready whenever you are. A one-year commercial warranty and a two-year residential warranty is offered with the purchase of this portable generator. Priced at around $1,100, the Generac XG 8000 is an affordable value that ensures you are never without the appliances that you need.

How to Control Your Christmas Tree Lights With an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch

Controlling the Christmas tree lights with your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch is easier than you think. You can set this up in a few hours and then dazzle your family and friends as you turn the lights on and off from the comfort of the couch.

It is important to realize, however, that there is no magical iPhone app that can independently control your lights. An iPhone app can communicate with a control network, which in turn can control the lights. In other words, you will need to set up a control network, hook up your Christmas tree lights to that network, and then use an iPhone app to control that network.

A control network can manage your Christmas tree lights, but it can do much more. Once you have that network in place, you can use it for all sorts of other things. For example, a control network can be used to automate any of the lights in your home, lock your doors, manage your thermostat and program appliances to run at certain times.

You can set up a basic control network for as little as $125. You can then add on a module to control your tree lights for about $50. One of the most affordable control networks is the Smarthome Insteon SmartLinc.

An Insteon home control network is easy to set up. It involves plugging a SmartLinc controller into an outlet, and then attaching that controller to your home router. You will then use a simple web-based wizard to configure your control network. It is important to note that this solution requires you to already have a wi-fi network in place.

At your Christmas tree, you will plug the lights into a plug-in module called the Insteon LampLinc. You also need to connect the LampLinc to your control network, which you can do in a few minutes following easy-to-use instructions.

Once you have connected the LampLinc module to your network, you will be able to control your lights with the web browser on your iOS device. You will be able to turn lights on and off, or you will be able to program them for certain times. Instead of using the web browser, however, you may choose to purchase a specific iPhone or iPad app for controlling your lights. “Home Guru” is one app available on the iTunes Store that is particularly good for controlling lights.

Controlling your tree lights with an iPhone will certainly impress everyone. However, having your lights go on and off automatically is probably a bigger advantage. This way, your lights can be on as you come home from work. It also means that you do not have to think about turning them off at night.

This article provides a quick overview of how you can control your Christmas tree lights with an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Dead Skin Cells – Are They A Problem?

About Our Skin

The human skin is a complex organ. It consists of several layers, which are involved in a range of functions, from defence against external pathogens to temperature regulation. The skin is the largest organ of the human body and renews itself every 28 – 30 days.

In an earlier article, I provided a detailed description of the various functions of each of the layers that make up the skin, so I will not discuss these here. This article however, will look at the potential problems dead skin cells can cause if a proper skin care regime is not followed.

Skin Structure Review

The structure of the skin is basically divided into two general layers, the dermis (link to previous article) and the epidermis. The latter is divided further into 5 layers. The layer at the very surface of the skin is called the Stratum corneum, which consists mainly of dead skin cells.

Dead Skin Cells

The body sheds these dead skin cells of it’s own accord, however, exfoliation through the use of skin brushes, luffah’s or exfoliant skin care products, helps to stimulate new cell growth and reduces build up of dead skin cells.

So, how do dead skin cells impact the skin’s health? As the dead skin cells build up on the surface of the skin, they have the potential to act as a barrier to absorption of nutrients from nourishing creams and lotions; they also have the potential to block sweat glands, which can result in white heads, black heads or acne.

Of course you do need a certain amount of dead skin cells to cover your skin, however, it does not need to be very thick to execute it’s function as a barrier. If the rate of skin cell production/death is higher than normal, as for example is psoriasis, the body is unable to shed old cells quickly enough for the new cells to replace them. As the new cells push their way to the surface of the skin, the old cells create a build up of dead skin, which appear as raised patches.

Under normal circumstances, every minute of the day we lose about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells off the surface of our skin – that’s about 4 kilograms per year of dead skin cells. In fact, much of the dust in a house is to a great extent comprised of our dead skin cells.

Effective regulation of dead skin cells

There are basically two reasons for using a daily skin care regime. The first is to keep the skin clean and the dead skin cell layer to a healthy minimum. The second reason is to provide the skin with nutrients and nourishment for optimum functionality.

As aforementioned, using a natural exfoliant skin care product is a great option to gently remove some of the dead skin cells and provide some nutrients at the same time. Following the exfoliation using a cleanser to remove deep-seated dirt and stale oils from skin pores and wrinkles is a necessary next step. This is not just to remove dirt etc., but also helps to keep microbes down, as many of the natural skin cleansers utilise essential oils, which are anti-septic in nature and thus help reduce the chance of skin infections.

Once the cleansing has been completed, it is time to close the pores of the skin to prevent dust and other environmental particles from entering the open pores. This is where a natural toning lotion is ideal. Being formulated to contain astringents and other nourishing ingredients, toners will prepare the skin for the final step – Moisturising.

Moisturising your skin is critical. Moisturisers provide essential nutrients for the skin and at the same time help the skin to retain moisture, preventing dehydration of the skin and acceleration of skin cell death.

Implementing a good daily skin care regime will not only help to remove excessive dead skin cells, but will provide the skin with moisture, nutrients and assist it in its defence against microbial infections.

Is Delrin the Same Thing As Acetal?

This is one of our most common questions asked by our new and long term clients, and is a bit difficult to answer. All Delrin is Acetal (POM), but not all Acetal is Delrin. (All Fords are cars, not all cars are Fords)

Acetal is the generic name for the resin, and not all Acetal is Delrin. Several manufacturers produce Acetal resin, including: Celanese, BASF, Ticona, Sabic and many more.

The homo-polymer Acetal resin produced by Dupont and is called Delrin. The generic Acetal covers both the homo-polymer and the co-polymer grades of resin. Both materials meet the basic provisions of the ASTM-D-4181 specification. Homo-polymer is listed under POM 111, and Co-polymer is POM 211.

Both materials are very tough and easily machinable, and they have very similar physical properties. They look the same, but in practical use there are a few differences that may make one better than the other, and it depends heavily on your application. As with all plastic materials, check the typical properties data sheet for the applicable properties you may need for your application. We will also be happy to provide a sample piece for your testing.

An additional difference is the inherit problem of center-line porosity in the homo-polymer grades. This visible center-line is caused by out gassing during manufacturing, and can normally be found at the center or on the surface of all homo-polymer extrusion. This porosity can cause problems with machining or moisture permeation through the material. The co-polymer resin does not have this porosity issue.

Some of the other differences are in the physical properties of the resin. Review the chart for some of the most popular properties people ask for when looking at this industrial and mechanical material.

Properties: Homo-Polymer and Co-Polymer Acetal

Tensile Modulus of Elasticity 450,000 400,000

Flexural Modulus of Elasticity 470,000 366,000

Heat Deflection Temp @ 264 pound

per square inch – degrees F 257 220

Melting Point – degrees F 347 335

Co-effiecent of Linear Therm. Expansion 6.8 x 10-5 5.4 x 10-5

Water Absorption @ Saturation 0.90 0.80

Material is available as Delrin Rod, Acetal Rod, Delrin Block, Acetal Block, Delrin Sheet, Acetal Sheet, and Slabs. One of the most widely available and used plastics, especially on the West Coast (for some reason the East Coast users like the Nylon – Polyamide material more). Most commonly available in Natural (White) or Black, but can also be produced in a wide range of colors with minimum orders. This enables material matching your product color or for easy identification of parts.

Types of Wallpaper, and Where to Put It

When decorating a room, the appearance of the walls is one of the most prominent aspects to consider. You have a choice between paint and wallpaper, and there are pros and cons to both. One of the advantages wallpaper has over paint, however, is variety and design. There is no denying that wallpaper offers some of the largest design selections in the home decorating world. Modern wallpaper touts an endless array of colors, designs, patterns and art, which can be used to match any vision of your room that you may have. However, upon making the decision to use wallpaper, there are a few things to keep in mind, such as that different types of wallpaper works better in some rooms than in others

The most common types of wallpaper available are: vinyl coated, coated fabric, paper backed vinyl or solid sheet vinyl, and fabric backed vinyl. Vinyl coated wallpaper is not only the most popular type of wallpaper, but is also the most durable type. Because it is treated with vinyl acrylic, it is tough, moisture resistant, and easy to clean. Therefore, it is best suited for any type of room, but is most commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens, and children’s bedrooms.

Often, a more artistic license can be taken with coated fabric wallpaper. This wallpaper is exactly what it sounds like: fabric coated with liquid vinyl. However, be careful with this wallpaper-it is not at all moisture resistant, and is therefore only really appropriate for low-moisture rooms such as libraries, living rooms, or bedrooms, not kitchens or bathrooms.

Paper backed or solid sheet vinyl is another very durable type of wallpaper. It is almost like vinyl coated wallpaper, except that it has a layer of pulp or paper on the back. It is still very moisture-resistant and easy to clean, so it works well in any room. Fabric backed vinyl can be a little more tricky. It is usually more durable than coated fabric, but not necessarily as durable as paper backed or solid sheet, or vinyl coated wallpaper. It consists of fabric with vinyl, but the fabric layer is not always coated. So be careful to fully inspect this type of wallpaper before purchasing it for your decorating job.

There are also other, more specific and unique types of wallpaper. Some of these are flock wallpaper, which is made with wool to give it a velvety feel and an elegant design; grass cloth wallpaper, which is made with different types of grass, and foil wallpaper, made with various metal foils. The disadvantage of these is that they are difficult to work with, and not very durable. Also, foil wallpaper will crease and bend, and highlight any flaw behind the wall that it is put on.

Many people choose to apply wallpaper themselves. Depending upon the type of wallpaper, this can be quite easy. However, most home improvement companies will perform this service if you choose to go that route.