What Is the Best Digital Photo Printer?

The best digital photo printer for you does not have to be the most expensive or the one with most features. What you should look for in a printer are the features that you would need. The basic functionalities that you need to consider are the resolution and print sizes.

Some photo printers are capable of producing high quality prints of up to 8000×6000 dots per inch. For the print sizes, there are printers that can produce pictures in wallet size, postcards, A4, and panoramic images. The more advanced printers also come with built-in LCD screens and memory card slots. So determine what you need to get the best digital photo printer for you.

HP Photosmart A826 Compact Photo Printer

This compact photo printer from HP is equipped with a 7-inch full-color touch screen with dedicated buttons on the side. Using the small stylus, you can crop, remove red-eye, add text and doodles, and play with the different frames and album formats. It produces high quality prints in 5×7 and 4×6 sizes, and it is really easy to use.

Canon Selphy ES3 Compact Photo Printer

Canon Selphy ES3 is also a compact photo printer that comes with a 3.5-inch LCD screen. Using Canon’s Easy-Scroll wheel, you can browse through your pictures and make some minor adjustments as well. The dedicated buttons also allow you to add text, clip arts, and picture frames. The Selphy ES3 is equipped with a built-in memory of 1GB that allows you to store your photos right in your printer. You can print photos in credit card sizes and postcard sizes through PictBridge, Infrared, or Bluetooth.

Sony FP95 Compact Photo Printer

This compact and portable photo printer is equipped with a 3.6-inch LCD screen that you can tilt for a clearer view. It comes with a one-touch button to remove red-eye, and adjust the focus and exposure of your images. It can produce high quality images in just 45 seconds. You can print 4×6 photos, index prints, and photo IDs up to a maximum resolution of 8000×6000 pixels. And for a more vivid viewing experience, you can connect your Sony FP95 to your HDTV.

Epson Stylus R800 Ink Jet Printer

This is an award-winning printer that can produce glossy and matte photos in superb quality. It is the world’s first printer equipped with 1.5-picoliter droplets capable of producing images up to 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi for ultimate clarity. You can print out long-lasting, border-free photos in 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10 sizes. The Epson Stylus R800 is also pretty fast for an inkjet printer. It can print a 5×7 image in just 45 seconds.

Canon Pixma iP100 Ink Jet Printer

The Canon Pixma iP100 is a mobile ink jet printer that produces laser-like quality images. You can enhance your photos using its Auto-Enhance Fix functionality. It is pretty fast for a mobile printer. It can print up to 20ppm in monochrome and 14ppm in colour. Equipped with PictBridge, Infrared, and Bluetooth technologies, Canon Pixma iP100 is the ultimate mobile printer.

HP Photosmart D7260 Digital Photo Printer

This photo printer is designed for home users who want a fast and easy way to print photos. Equipped with a 3.5-inch interactive touch screen, you can conveniently view and make subtle enhancements to your images before you print them. HP Photosmart D7260 performs pretty fast. You can print your 4×6 photo in just 10 seconds.

Canon Pro 9500 Mark II

This model is truly one of the best digital photo printers around. It comes with a high resolution of up to 4800 x 2400 dpi. It uses a 10-ink pigment system so you can produce high quality images that can either be glossy or matte. There is a new feature called Ambient Light Correction that automatically adjusts the color differences depending on your viewing environment.

Epson Stylus Photo R2880

This powerful printer is ideal for professionals who want to print out high quality images with exhibition quality. It lets you produce vivid images with a resolution of up to 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi. Equipped with Radiance technology, you can print out large format photos that are equally as detailed, such as 8×10 and 11×14 sizes.

HP Photosmart Pro B9180

This Photosmart printer from HP is ideal for professionals and artists who are very specific when it comes to their printed images. Equipped with the HP densitometric closed loop color calibration, it brilliantly measures color and density to automatically adjust your printer’s settings. This technology allows you to print small 3×5 images to large 13×19 images that are very accurate in color. You can also print your pictures in a variety of photo media, such as small to large papers, panoramas, and even canvas.

Before you take your pick, make sure you take stock. What are essential features and what are must-haves? Will the printer be the right choice for you in years to come as well? Then make your choice based on these features and budget considerations. It is only then that you can be assured that you are getting the best digital photo printer for your needs.

The Early History Of Bumper Stickers

In 1927, Henry Ford changed the way we got from point A to point B. We replaced the horse and carriage with the Model A and then we quickly found a way to turn these metal contraptions into a new way to express our opinions. Henry Ford also did something else for us with the automobile. He put them out for thousands of people to purchase and as people began to have accidents, he added the bumper to provide some protection to the front and back of the car. Combine this bumper with America’s desire for free speech and people found a new way to advertise their products and ideas.

The first bumper “stickers” were made of cardboard and metal. These were then connected by wire and string. In fact, they looked more like a license plate than a sticker. Nevertheless, these were the forerunners of bumper stickers, as we know them today.

A change to the way bumper stickers were made would come later. In the 1930’s, Forest P. Gill worked for the Crawford Manufacturing Company in Kansas City, Missouri. The company had been making canvas items such as seat and tire covers. The canvas was a sturdy material that was also very versatile, as it could be printed on with ink through silkscreening. These inks were different from the dyes that had been used in the past, as the dyes would fade or run in the sunlight or rain. As a result, the canvas turned out to be an excellent option for printed advertisements for the outdoors. Soon, canvas was used for outdoor advertisements on the canvas awnings that went over store windows and later they were used for covering spare tires and turning those into advertisements as well.

After the Crawford Manufacturing Company went out of business, Gill chose to go into business for himself. Gill received some printing equipment from his ex-employer and began a printing business in the basement of his home in 1934.

Gill struggled to make ends meet and printed everything from bumper signs to can labels. The prints were treated with chemicals to keep them from running and to withstand the weather. As Gill’s operation grew, he had to hire employees. Gill moved out of the basement to 906 Central in Kansas City. The shop was right down the block from the Hotel Savoy, where Harry Truman would lunch at the Savoy Grill.

Later in 1946, a new trend in inks and dyes came about. The Switzer Brother’s Inc. located in Cleveland, Ohio created these. They introduced new colors that were called DayGlo because of their bright, glowing appearance during the day. Gill soon began experimenting with these new inks and creating signs with them. These inks were very eye catching and advertisers wanted to use them to draw more attention.

At the same time, another revelation was being created. This revelation was a new sticky-backed paper that became available to commercial printers. On the back of these papers, a backing could be pulled off and the paper could then be stuck to a smooth surface. Up to that point, silk screen stickers had only be used with water-activated gum papers, but these couldn’t hold up in weather and fell apart over time.

Elsewhere in Kansas City, a printer told Gill about a company that used independent salesmen to advertise products that were sold in regional territories by traveling salesman door to door. Gill contacted the Nationwide Advertising Specialty Company located in Arlington, Texas. The company helped Gill to create an ad that would advertise bumper stickers to the sales reps who could then sell them to various places, such as tourist destinations. The bumper sticker quickly became the perfect souvenir as people purchased cars after the war.

The first bumper stickers were printed on blue and black backgrounds. The ink was fluorescent and they brightly announced where the family had been vacationing. They soon helped to spread the word about tourist destinations located across the country. To advertise himself, Gill placed the name of his company on the very bottom of the bumper stickers he printed. This launched a product that would soon become part of our democracy and the become an symbol of the first amendment.

10 Insightful Questions to Ask a Dating Prospect

Let’s be real and get down to business, time is money and money is time. In a day and age where technology brings business, communication, information, and connections to people in an instant, we move fast and don’t have time to sort through a complicated mess. Nevertheless, we want to date, that hasn’t changed, but how we do we cut to the chase to find out what someone’s about. This article discusses 10 questions to ask a person you’re interested in potentially dating. And before you ask these questions of a dating prospect, you should answer for yourself first, to know where you stand and relate when you ask.

1. You only see your family once a year, what would you choose for the holidays–going home or a trip to the Caribbean? And why?

What this reveals: Well, obviously, this tells you a lot about what their priorities are. Granted, everyone wants to go on vacation, but had they been very into family, they would’ve found another time to go on vacation besides the holidays. More times than not, the end of the year holidays are about family, it’s the rare time when everyone is able to get together. Maybe they really like vacation over the family holiday traditions, which is fine too, IF that’s what you’re looking for. The thing that can be worrisome if you’re looking for a marriage partner, is the fact that there could possibly be some kind of rift in the family. Every family has issues, needless to say, but long drawn out harbored conflicts are not a good sign. There is also the possibility someone would just choose a Caribbean vacation for just a particular year just to get away from family, be alone, and get some good R & R (cause we know family gatherings can be less than inspiring for R & R). You should really listen to their why and understand what their motivation is, it tells you how they feel about the first F–family. When I talk about F’s, I’m referring to the 3 areas that one should look out for when dating (and no, none of the F’s are bad 4 letter words). These are: 1) faith, 2) family, and 3) finances. See if their motivation for family is the same as yours.

2. If you have $1000 dollars, how would you spend it?

What this reveals: Like I said, this is another F word, a good F word that is! Finances! Finances are one of the top problems that marriages can have. And as much as we want to be on cloud 9 when we’re dating or in love, the tire hits the pavement when it comes to finance talk. One less obvious thing to note is how calculated they are when it comes to their breakdown, it will give you a hint to their spending style. If they tend to be very approximate of their spending categories, chances are that they are well versed in budgeting. Some people will be so meticulous to be precise down to the cent. Someone who quickly throws out some numbers is a little carefree with their money. And of course, the person who keeps the $1000 without spending will tend to be your saver, possibly very much the penny pincher. How you line up with them in this issue will set the stage for your future financial issues. Of course, one can learn from the other, but it’s good to understand what value the other party places on money. All financial issues have emotional issues behind them. Maybe they save a lot because they’ve been laid off before and know what it’s like to live with no income. Maybe their parents took them shopping every weekend or bought them gifts constantly without regard for cost. Understanding their finances early on helps you understand their background, how they grew up, and your potential future. And, if at all possible, it would be good to exchange credit reports, It’s the best succinct piece of paper to tell you the financial story of a person.

3. Your child gets pregnant at the age of 17, what do you do?

What this reveals: Yeah, this is a pretty deep question, but in the dating game, we’re supposed to get to know each other. And these insightful questions do just that. A person’s faith will play importantly into this one, as it will give insight to their right-to-life/pro-choice views. Although faith may not be an active part in your life right now as a single person, that may possibly change when you have a family, which I have seen in so many of my friend’s families time and time again. A few more issues that come into play are: 1) trust, 2) forgiveness, 3) resolving problems, 4) regard for reputation and 5) level of being judgmental. These are important value stances and shows their ability to resolve life’s hardships in their lives. Regard for reputation is an aspect most people don’t think about, but it’s important to know how much this does or doesn’t matter to your mate. I once dated a guy who lived for his reputation, whereas I, on the other hand, lived my life according to my rules and what I thought was best, regardless of what people thought. Needless to say, this caused a lot of problems as he would constantly point out my ‘inappropriate’ behavior’, while I was carefree in that area. Life will often hand us some kind of crisis, it’s inevitable and how each person handles it tells you 1) what it’s going to be like in tough times with them and 2) whether they’ll fight or take flight. In the beginning of dating or any relationship, life is grand, the grass is greener than ever and there’s no clouds in the skies. It’s easy to think you’re compatible, but when you have a big crisis come up, you’ll see how compatible you are with their moral stance. It’s up to you to decide where you can compromise and where you just aren’t in agreement.

4. Should you be friends with your ex? Why or why not?

What this reveals: One can choose to look at this negatively or positively. Some people live in absolutes, where their mind is set on a certain way of doing and looking at things. That’s the way a lot of people live, it’s a much more safe place to be within certain boundaries. For some people, that works. And then there are those very few who choose to do away with boundaries and go down the off beaten path. Nothing in life is certain and these people know that, many answers to situations for these folks are ‘it depends’. And so, in this question, for these folks, it depends. I have walked away from most relationships and dating situations in a good light. I’ve always valued people in my life and tend to keep people in my life regardless of what may have happened. These exes are valuable friends to me as they know me better than most people. They’ll listen, care about me, and be there should I need them. The best example of this was the day that my father passed, the majority of my exes called that day offering their condolences to me and also in memory of my father whom they very much respected and cared for. Of course, in any future situation, this will require a man to have great trust in me with these relationships that are now a part of my life. However, should the ex in your case be one that’s meddling, deceitful, still in love with you, or have bad intentions, it’s not a good idea to keep them around. And if all your prospect’s exes tend to end badly, you may want to look at your prospect as the source as well. Not every relationship has to end badly if properly handled by the people dating.

5. What’s more important forgiveness or faithfulness? Why?

What this reveals: This is obviously a non win situation. There’s no easy answer to this question, both are very valid aspects to have in any relationship. But, this is nevertheless, a question that reveals much of your prospect’s character. Should they choose forgiveness, then obviously they will come with a personality more apt to accept that bad things happen and forgiveness is always needed. No one is perfect, and your new prospect is not, by any means. Learning this is important, as one of my married girlfriends told me, ‘I wake up and forgive, and then everyday, I do it all over again’. There is no shortage of reasons to forgive–big or small. Well, what about faithfulness? Of course that is an admirable characteristic. It’s one that makes a person feel secure and that they’re able to trust their partner. Of course, everybody wants that as the end goal of dating. For most it would be ideal to have that, whether in a marriage or a relationship. This is a tough question and paying attention to how they arrive at their answer will tell you volumes on these 2 very important issues. I know there are people out there who will say absolutely no and cut it off should cheating occur. Then I know others, such as myself, who have seen relationships (very few, mind you) become stronger from infidelity. Again, it always depends, but watch to see if this person follows in line with your ideals.

6. If you were stuck on an island what 5 items would you bring?

What this reveals: This is always a fun one to ask. It’s always interesting what people will bring with them. This one is a little less serious than the other questions, but it just gives you a chance to know what’s important to your prospect. It’s good to now always take things seriously, so this is one of those questions that are ‘just for fun’. Of course, part of you would like to hear the other person that ‘you’ would be one of the 5, but it really depends on how long you’ve been dating for this to be comforting or possibly psycho. Should it be a fairly new relationship, the idea of being brought an island with this new person may strike fear in you. I know it would for me. Flattery isn’t always a great thing, it can be scary at times. At least one of these items will reveal to you what is most important in their lives. For me, 3 things I would bring are 1) a journal, 2) a pen, and 3) music. Yes, obviously writing and music are musts in my life. Knowing this, my potential partner could know either what to get me as a present or even more importantly, know what soothes me in my life. Then he’d know if I’m upset with him, to send me away with paper and pen, and I may possibly come back more at peace and at ease. Likewise, some guys may bring their gaming systems, computers, weight benches, you name it, these five things can be all over the place! Listen up to what they have to say and take the chance to understand another side of your partner’s personality.

7. You have a month to live, what would you do for the last month?

What this reveals: There are so many ways to answer this question, besides any kind of violent sort of answer, pretty much anything said goes. One of the most obvious things this reveals is how much they treasure life, whether it’s to travel to places they’ve never been or to be with family. Knowing where they go with this shows where their heart is and is a very important aspect to know. And, then there will be those who view it negatively and would just spend the last month soaking it in, feeling bad, or hiding from the world. Naturally, these people would either drain a partner’s energy or could possibly be uplifted by having a positive partner. You’ll have to be the judge of the dynamics between the two of you. For me, the closest I have been to this was to be around my dad his last month of living when I lived out of state and was jobless at the time. That month was one of the most intense months I’ve ever had when I decided to move to be near him. And I constantly tell people over and over that if I had to do it all over again, I would’ve done the same while being jobless. I would’ve taken being jobless any day to be able to have that time with my father. Jobs will come over and over again, but that time with my father only came once.

8. You can only have 2 electronic items with you for a week, what do you take (cell phone in this case would have to be a regular cell phone with text only, no smart capabilities)?

What this reveals: This is a funny, interesting one. Just like the ‘5 things on an island’ question, this one is similar, yet different because this one reveals how attached one is to their electronics. It goes without saying that if they bring their cell phone, they like talking and/or texting. They’re much the communicator and need people around. Perhaps you’re not a very social person, knowing this, you’ll know what you’re up against when it comes to social aspects of the relationship. I’ve met couples before where one person loves to go out and be social, while the other stays at home. Eventually, they fall to their differences and break up or divorce. And, many guys will most likely bring a gaming system with them, which signifies a gamer in your hands. Every guy has a kid in them, and this is one of those aspects where women would be wise to accept and not try to change (with the I’m gonna change the man attitude that so many of us women have). In everything there’s a time and place, such is the case with their gaming system. Just as some of us women need our girls nights out or our shopping time, guys need their escape. I always found a way to intertwine my time with his while he played, by being right beside him doing whatever it is that I do while he plays. It worked for us, which goes without saying, any couple can work through differences and come to meet in the middle. Of course, what would be ideal would be that your prospect asks you what’s important to you and brings those items, so you can share. In a perfect world, that would happen, but there’s many of us who are selfish and only see this in light of what we need. So, it would be very natural to have them answer as a singular person.

9. Would you rather be deaf or blind, and why?

What this reveals: This tells you very much whether the person you are with is a visual or audio person. Obviously if you’re with someone who chooses to be deaf, most likely they’re a people watcher and this is helpful for you to know to be on your best behavior because you know they’re watching you quite frequently. Likewise, should they choose to be blind, they’re definitely audio people and will pay attention closely to what you say exactly. Knowing your choice would give you an idea of where the two of you would stand. I’d be in a lot of trouble with a blind person, as my words would be deeply evaluated and considered. I tend to say whatever with care to the wind, for some my words would be depict an exact picture of who I am. Should they choose to be blind, if you wanted, you know you could get away with not being in your best dressed clothing all the time. Other considerations would be how much they want to be noticeably disabled. A deaf person most likely would go more unnoticed than a blind person. This goes back to where the person values their reputation and image.

10. Your best friend tells you, they cheated with your current girlfriend/boyfriend, if you had to choose only one, do you keep the best friend or the girlfriend/boyfriend?

What this reveals: Yes, this is another loaded question. No one wants to be put in a position to choose, but then again, nobody wants to be in a position of being cheated on where their best friend is involved. It comes down to friendship or relationship. But, at certain times, it may not even be a choice of either/or, some may choose the route to choose to not have either person in their lives. After all, they’re supposed to be 2 of the most trusted people in your life, and they both happen to betray you. After all, if they’ve done it once, the partner or the cheater may come back around, depending on which you keep. It’s not a very pretty scenario. Having the best friend come forth first shows an important aspect that they can be more honest than your partner. They become the lesser of two evils. Sometimes people will tend to stick with the best friend as another boyfriend/girlfriend will come around, is what they reason. Best friends really are hard to come by and their friendship has obviously outlasted the time and struggles that they have come across. Both are difficult options, but yet again, this gives an insight for you to whether forgiveness with friendship or a relationship is more important.

Getting to know someone new is never an easy thing. Besides the normal subjects of interests and hobbies, understanding someone’s moral stance and values will reveal much of their character and you can decide how it fits or doesn’t fit into your life. There are no right answers, they’re just about what’s important to you and to get to know the other person. These aren’t your everyday ho hum questions, but they’ll give you power insight into who they are as a person. Dating isn’t an easy, but asking the right questions can help you navigate through all the things going on.

Why Are Road Safety Signs Important?

No matter where you drive, you are bound to see road signs. As with any sign, road signs are intended to provide you with knowledge. In most cases, these signs are for your safety. They tell you things such as which way you can go on a road or what speed you can drive on the interstate. However, the most important signs you will see on the road are safety ones which warn you of dangerous road conditions or informing you of evacuation routes.

When driving down the interstate or highway, you have most likely seen a custom “Men at Work” sign. This sign lets you know that you should be cautious while driving through this area because the road may be uneven and men might be working close to the traffic lanes. Many times, a reduced speed limit sign proceeds this type of sign. This allows motorists the opportunity to slow down so they have more time to react if an accident were to occur.

Another type of safety sign you will see along the road are signs warning of potential road conditions. One such sign is “Slippery When Wet.” This sign is seen many times on bridges or near cliffs. It lets you know that you should be cautious of your speed while driving along this area and the road is wet from rain. Furthermore, the sign “Bridge May Ice In Cold Weather” is another one you might encounter when driving near a bridge. This sign lets motorist know that when weather conditions are such that ice may occur, proceed over the bridge with extreme caution. Another one is “Falling Rock Zone.” This sign is seen primarily in mountainous areas where there is a potential for rock to shift and possibly fall onto the road.

Nowadays, the different signs you will see posted along the road can provide you with the information you need to practice safe driving skills. It doesn’t matter how old you are, road signs are posted to keep you and your fellow drivers safe. Remember to pay attention to road signs, they could save your life.

Significance of CAD Software in Drafting and Designing

Prior to development of CAD software, drafting used to be synonymous with large drawing sheets and a difficult to handle drafter. The conventional approach towards drafting was not only time taking but also called for lot of inconvenience. Furthermore, the designs thus created were far from being accurate. However, with falling prices and wide availability of computers, CAD software too gained popularity. Eliminating all the hassles involved in conventional drafting process, these can accomplish critical design drafting in a short span. CAD or computer aided design is a process which is used by skilled professionals to draft and design objects, making use of high end CAD software such as Auto Cad, pro E, etc. Owing to the fact that designs are created using a computer, these are easy to edit, erase and redraw.

Discovery of advanced CAD software has made the design drafting process to be efficient and highly precise. The increase in accuracy of the process and shortening of the time involved have made wide range of industries to contract efficient drafting services. Industries such as mechanical, civil, automotive, aerospace, multimedia, architectural and prosthetics are consistently making use of CAD based design drafting.

In mechanical industries, CAD based design drafting is widely used for product and machine development. A major advantage offered in accordance with mechanical industries is that innovative concepts can be incorporated in the design process, easily and quickly. The engineers can have a look on how well various components will get assembled with each other even before physically doing the assembly. CAD software also empowers them to carry out design analysis. This helps them in realizing and detecting various weak points in a material before putting it through the manufacturing phase.

Similar to mechanical industries, prosthetic industries too are highly benefited by making use of this high end software. The design and dimension of various artificial implants to be incorporated inside human body is decided based on CAD based design drafting. The professionals get a clear view about which part of the implant is going to be subjected to high human body stress. As a result, they can efficiently carry out subsequent design modifications to prevent breakage.

The effective solutions offered by companies rendering drafting services are not only utilized in mechanical and prosthetic industry. Architectural CAD drawings are also becoming widely popular in the country. Owing to higher precision and better detailing, the designs created with the help of CAD software find high usage in several areas. Superior quality 2D and 3D images of residential and commercial establishments are created by organizations rendering CAD based drafting services. Making use of such highly accurate designs, developers can showcase their real estate design plans in front of prospective clients even before construction commences. If the customer is not satisfied or wants some modification in the plan, the same can be accomplished with a simple click of a mouse.

Numerous trusted organizations are involved in rendering highly effective drafting services in order to improve organizational productivity. Several business firms across the globe are outsourcing CAD drafting services in order to achieve flawless designs and drafts. Owing to enhanced productivity, reliability, improved business management, outsourcing CAD services ensures high Return on Investment.

How to Install the Quick-Release Push-Button Lock for Your Window Guard

First of all, let’s examine the contents of your standard Push-Button Release Kit, shall we? Here are the standard contents, along with short descriptions of which is which:

1. Lock Box (2″ x 6″ metal box)

2. Push Rod (11″ long round rod, usually gold)

3. Strike Pin (2″ long x 5/8″ diameter round pin, usually silver, may be inside Cardboard Slip)

4. Cardboard Slip (4″ long round cardboard)

5. Flange (1 1/2″ diameter aluminum cover)

6. Button (3/4″ diameter aluminum button)

7. Mounting screws (usually 4 small screws in a small plastic bag)

8. Plastic Guard (2 1/2″ diameter plastic cover)

The tools and unsupplied parts you’ll need are:

1. Knife

2. Pencil

3. Long 1/2″ Drill Bit (this needs to be long enough to go through your building wall)

4. Drill

5. 1/4″-3/8″ screws for the Lock Box holes, washers if needed.

6. Drill bit for those screws

7. Hammer

8. Ruler

9. Heavy duty Bolt Cutters or a Grinder, which can cut through a 1/4″ metal rod.

So let’s get to it!

1. Attach the Strike Pin to your window guard

The Strike Pin (3) should be permanently mounted on or near the outer metal framing of the window guard -referred to from now on as WG- on the side of the WG’s “door” opposite of the hinge, near the middle (the same place where a doorknob is located on a door). It should extend outward from the WG toward the wall, so that it will later slip into the Lock Box tip-first when closed.

IMPORTANT: The Strike Pin should point straight as possible, ie not pointing slightly up, down, to the left, or to the right. The straighter it is, the smoother its operation later.

The back of the Strike Pin has threads for a 1/4″ bolt, so a common way of affixing the strike pin to your WG is by first attaching a 1/4″ bolt it, then screwing the Strike Pin into that. Still, you don’t want people being able to simply unscrew the bolt from the outside, so it is important that you permanently fix it to the WG. This is most often done by spot welding the attached Strike Pin in place, but if a welder isn’t handy, any way the bolt can be made unturnable will work, such as using one-way bolts.

2. Mount the Window Guard

If it isn’t already, it’s time to mount the WG on your window. Attach the Lock Box (1) to the end of your pin so that it locks in place. If it won’t, make sure it is unlocked first by pushing the end of the Push Rod (2) into the smaller hole of the Lock Box first. This Lock Box will be mounted to the outer wall of your building, so you need to install the WG in a position where the Lock Box can be mounted using the top and bottom screw holes, and cannot be pryed off (such as when it sits off the edge of a window frame).

The other thing to keep in mind here is that there will be an approximately 1/2″ hole drilled through your wall positioned in the middle of the Lock Box, and on the inside of the building, a 1 5/8″ diameter Flange will mount to the wall around that hole. So when you put up the WG, you want the Lock Box to be near the window opening, but far enough to allow for this 1/2″ hole to be drilled through the wall, and hopefully be clear of any inner wall obstructions (like inside framing) for a 1 5/8″ diameter around the hole center.

3. Mark your hole

With the Strike Pin attached to your WG, and the WG attached to your building, the rest is relatively simple!

Now we need to mark where the hole will be drilled through the wall so that it matches the small hole on the back of the Lock Box. First, push the Push Rod (2) into the Lock Box hole so it releases from the Strike Pin, and remove it. Place the Cardboard Slip (4) all the way onto the Strike Pin, and cut off the end with a knife so the cardboard only barely extends beyond the Strike Pin. Close the WG door slowly until the circle of cardboard meets the wall, then use a pencil to draw a circle where it lands.

4. Drill

Technically a 3/8″ drill bit will be big enough for the Push Rod to fit into, but I recommend a 1/2″ bit, which leaves more room for error, and is covered up just fine. Using the circle you just marked, drill a hole straight through your building wall until you breach the other side.

At this point, reattach the Lock Box to the WG and hold it closed. Someone from the inside should be able to put their eye through the newly drilled hole and see the ENTIRE small hole of the Lock Box. If it is partially covered, drill out the hole until there’s a clear path to it.

5. Mount the Lock Box

If it isn’t already, reattach the Lock Box to the WG and hold it closed. Mark the upper and lower holes of the Lock Box with your trusty pencil, then open the WG and drill them with the drill bit (NOT the huge one!) that matches the screws you’re going to use to mount the Lock Box, which don’t come with the kit. These screws should be between 1/4″ and 3/8″, and should be about 2″ to 3″ long.

With your 2 holes drilled above and below your BIG one, remove the Lock Box from the WG (you know how by now, right?), place it on the wall, and mount it with your screws. Screw them in until they’re snug, but do not completely tighten just yet.

6. Align the Lock Box

Slowly close the WG towards your mounted Lock Box, being careful NOT to lock it in place. What’s that? You say the Strike Pin isn’t lining up? Take a chill pill, I’m getting there.

With your hammer, smack the Lock Box just enough to move it in the direction it needs to go. If it won’t budge, you screwed it in a bit too tight and will need to loosen it. When it is lined up properly, you may lock it in place to ensure it works. It can be unlocked, of course, by sticking the Push Rod (2) through the hole in the wall until it releases. Note that you may need to “fish” around for the smaller hole in the Lock Box to push it in all the way.

When everything is lined up, tighten the Lock Box screws all the way. If everything is well aligned, the Push Rod should easily open the WG and the WG should easily lock in place. Even after the screws are tightened, you may be able to use the hammer for final adjustments.

7. Cut the Push Rod

Alright, now to the inside of the building! Close the WG until locked, then stick the Push Rod (2) THREADS FIRST all the way into the hole, and then all the way into the Lock Box’s hole (which you’ll probably have to “fish” for) until it cannot go any further, WITHOUT unlocking it.

IMPORTANT: You MUST be sure the Push Rod is all the way inside the Lock Box, even though it is sometimes hard to tell. To be sure, try unlocking and re-locking the WG a few times, so you know the Push Rod is at the end.

Once the Push Rod is in as far as it can go, mark the Push Rod with a pencil or marker at 5/8″ beyond the inside wall face. That is, we want to cut the Push Rod so that only 5/8″ of it extends out of your wall.

Once you have your mark, use a pair of bolt cutters or a grinder to cut the Push Rod at your mark. If you inserted it correctly, the excess you’re cutting off should NOT be the threaded end.

8. Install the Button

Flip the Push Rod so the threads are facing you again, and screw the Button (6) onto the end of it. Then insert the Push Rod back into the wall and inside the Lock Box hole as before. If it doesn’t extend far enough, you probably cut the Push Rod too short and will need to try again with another one. Place the Flange (5) around the Button and push the Flange (not the Button) all the way against the wall, as if it were screwed in. If the WG unlocks, the Push Rod is slightly too long, and you’ll need to cut it a little more. If not, a simple push of the Button should do the trick!

Just screw in the Flange to the wall using the Screws (7) provided, and you’re finished!

Optionally, the Plastic Guard (8) may be installed over the Button and Flange using the other 2 screws provided.

And that’s about it!

How to Remove Carpet Without Damaging Your Hardwood Floors

Removing carpet and all the components that go along with it is not difficult, it just takes some time and is a dirty, dusty job.

It is best to use a dust mask as there will be a lot of dust coming up from beneath the carpet no matter how well you have vacuumed. We also advise you to use sturdy gloves as the smooth-edge can give you nasty cuts if you’re not careful. You will also need a sharp retractable knife, a roll of duct tape, a hammer, a pry-bar, a pair of pliers, some knee pads and a shop-vac or broom.

First you will need to cut the carpet into manageable pieces. We usually cut it into 4ft strips, running the length of the room. Be careful not to cut into the hardwood floor. Once the carpet it cut up you can pull it up away from the wall and off the smooth-edge. Then start at one end and roll the strip up. When you have it rolled up, take the roll of duct tape and wrap it around the roll of carpet a couple of times and then put it outside to dispose of. Do the same for the underlay.

We usually leave one section of underlay unrolled till the end so we can put all the smooth-edge in it and roll it up so it won’t tear into your hand. There is nothing worse than getting gashed by the hundreds of tiny nails on a strip of smooth-edge as you carry them out! The fun part is now removing all of the smooth-edge. The easiest way to do this is with a pry bar or a hammer and old chisel or flathead screwdriver.

You will notice larger nails that have been hammered into the floor every few inches, you want to pry at these spots so as to get the smooth-edge out in as big as lengths as possible. Using this leverage makes the task far easier. This is definitely a time to use those gloves! Be careful not to lift up or damage the hardwood flooring as you do this.

Once all the smooth-edge is out, break it up into manageable pieces and roll it all up into the strip of underlay you have left over. Duct tape it extra well so it will not slide out. All that is left now is to remove the hundreds of staples covering the floor as well as any nails around the perimeter left behind from the smooth-edge. This is where those pliers and knee pads will come in handy.

Finally, shop-vac or sweep up the floors, double check for any stray staples or nails and enjoy the trip to the dump, thinking about all the money you have just saved!

4 Ways You Can Use The Small Bathroom Space To Your Advantage

When it comes to small bathrooms, many people are under the assumption that designing them is no easy task. Well, in some cases, this is true. Small spaces do present a design challenge. However, if you want to make use of the small design, it can be done. You can make a storage-friendly, useful bathroom for your home.

To ensure this happens, you want every design element to serve a purpose. You want the design to be functional so that it saves on space but still doesn’t appear to be cluttered. Want a little help with this? You’ll be glad to know that there are four small bathroom ideas that you can implement to get you the look you’ve only thought was possible.

4 Tips To Increase The Space Of Your Small Bathroom

Increase The Storage Space

Most people think that the best way to increase storage in their bathroom is to use a large cabinet. However, instead of stuffing your towels or toilet paper in a cabinet, have an open shelf. An open shelf will give warmth to the space and reduce the unwanted big pieces that would end up taking more space than you may have to spare. Other options include:

  • Stack floating shelves offer a fashionable storage option
  • Colorful storage ladders present the space some personality
  • Sink skirts help add some flair to the room while also hiding your cleaning products
  • Wooden crates allow for accessible storage, whether they are put on the ground, drilled into the wall or be stacked

Offer Functionality

When it comes to small bathrooms, you want to have some functionality to it. Small rooms often have unwanted clutter. Whatever design element you add, you want to be sure it’s functional and not adding to the clutter. Avoid items that don’t have a purpose in the room – knick-knacks, etc.

  • Put cotton balls and swabs in glass jars
  • Place a hamper underneath the sink
  • Reduce the counter space by putting your personal products up – don’t leave them out for display
  • Use stackable baskets under the cabinets and above washer/dryer appliances

Come Up With Neutral Colors

When you’re ready to paint your bathroom, you need to plan out the color palette. This can take a little time. However, you want colors that make the bathroom your sanctuary and looks good. Go for neutral colors to ensure this happens.

  • Come up with a neutral color palette to create the bathroom’s base theme
  • Use patterns and textiles to give the space some depth and creativity
  • Bear in mind that the color white is a reminder of purity

Do Add Some Color

If you decide you don’t want to repaint the room, you can still give the space some color by using colorful bathroom tiles, rugs, hand towels, and more. Be sure the stuff you use adds personality to the room.

  • Paint the mirror frame with a color that accentuates the bathroom
  • Use stylish soap dishes and other accessories to have a designer touch to it
  • Use colorful towels and other items to give the room some flair and panache

Far East Painting – Hua Niao – A Chinese Ancient Painting Style

Hua Niao – The Concept

Chinese Bird-and-Flower Painting, known as Hua Niao, is a kind of painting named after its themes that cover flowers, birds, insects, and fish. The artists have the leeway to understand flowers as plants, and to include pets in their artworks.

The History

Hua Niao Painting existed since quite early Chinese eras. It graced bronze vessels, potteries, and phoenix work of arts on silk, during the Warring States Period (7th-4th centuries B.C.). The images depicted corroborate that ancient Chinese flowers and birds were the favorite topics of the Hua Niao artists. Simple and plain initially, this Chinese Painting style eventually graduated to a mature and significant art form, with the help of developed schools, techniques, and well-established theoretical background. Hua Niao works became an absolute study of art through the Tang Dynasty (618-907), growing until the end of Five Dynasties Period (907-60).

The Details

In pre-Tang and Tang Dynasty, emotions, moods, feelings, and the temperament of the human figures were the identifying features of the Bird and Flower Painting. The characters rarely looked at each other. The ‘flowers’ they held, the ‘trees’ they sat near to, or the ‘birds’ flying around them, would symbolize the relationship existing between them. This symbolic representation of human feelings was an important turning point in the history of Chinese Art. Soon, Hua Niao became an independent Fine Art form during the mid and late Tang Dynasty.

The Varieties

– Ink and Wash Painting

– Fine Brush Painting

– Fine Brush with Ink and Wash Painting

– Fine Brush with Heavy Color

– Fine Brush with Light Color

– Fine Brush with Freehand Style

– Freehand Style

– Great Freehand Style

– Slight Freehand Style

The Artists

Many famous artists emerged during 618-960, with Huang Quan and Xu Xi being the representative names among them. Quan Huang was a court painter and his paintings focused on rare flowers and birds in the court. His depictions were lively and looked full-fledged luxurious and beautiful. ‘Sketch of Rare Bird Scroll,’ portraying many kinds of birds, was a masterpiece by Huang.

Artist Xu Xi also belonged to the same dynasties and was not involved in any kind of politics. Xu used ink for his artworks. Thick strokes, wild themes, and branches & leaves were a couple of key features of his paintings. Xu would use a small amount of colors to avert any impairment to the ink. ‘Snow Covers Bamboo’ was one of the unique works by Xu Xi.

Why Are Chandeliers So Expensive?

There has long been a belief that chandeliers add a sense of class and sophistication to a home that cannot be achieved with any other sort of lighting fixture. And it is true that they are very aesthetically pleasing in a classical sense and form a feature of the space rather than just providing illumination. This has led, however, to a stereotype that only wealthy people can have chandeliers in their homes. And this may be true, simply for the fact that these fixtures can prove to be a highly expensive investment. But why is this, and what can’t there be cheaper chandeliers available too?

Materials

One of the main factors that determine how expensive a chandelier is going to be is what materials have been used in its construction. Some fixtures make use of crystals (Swarovski being a popular choice) to make them appear more elegant and extravagant but, as crystals aren’t overly cheap, this really bumps up the price of the finished chandelier. Likewise, a fixture that makes use of an expensive silk fabric is going to be worth much more than one that uses a standard blend that you could buy in any store.

Size

Another of the factors that plays a role in how expensive a chandelier is going to be is its size. It makes sense that a mini fixture is going to be considerably cheaper than one that would be at home in a ballroom, especially as the size of the chandelier is directly proportional to the type and amount of materials that are used in its creation. If a mini chandelier is made out of crystal, however, and a much larger one out of wrought iron, logic dictates that the smaller could prove to be more expensive.

Designer

The final factor that determines how expensive a chandelier is going to be is who designed it. If you are looking at a fixture that has been created by one of the leading lighting designers in the world, you would expect to pay a pretty penny for it. If you have found one in one of your regular department stores, however, you would expect to pay much less.

At the end of the day, there actually are cheaper chandeliers on the market – you just have to know where to look and what you’re looking for. When you take into account the materials, size and designer of a particular fixture, you should be able to tell whether you are getting a bargain buy or not. The next time you visit a lighting showroom, take a walk around and look at each detail of the chandeliers on show to find one that you can afford.

Freecell Solitaire: A Strategy Guide For Beginners

Freecell Solitaire is a highly popular game, made famous by Microsoft. Freecell is included in Windows, and is considered a classic solitaire game by many. Because you can see ALL the cards right from the start, there is no luck involved, making Freecell one of the few solitaire games which is based totally on the player’s skill.

Freecell is quite a hard game, but despite that, all deals (except for deal number

11982) are solvable in the 32000 deals in Microsoft’s version.

USING FREECELLS WISELY

The key to finishing Freecell is judicious use of the freecells. They should be used as

temporary storage- only storing cards in them for a short time to help you move

longer sequences around.

For example, suppose you had a column with the following (taken from deal 14396)


5 Hearts
Ace Spades
Ace Hearts
4 Clubs

In this situation, it is okay to move the 4 of Clubs to a freecell, because we know

that right after that, we can move the two Aces to the foundation, and then move

the 4 of Clubs back from the freecell onto the 5 of Hearts. See how the freecell was

only used temporarily?

SAFE MOVES

There are certain moves you can make at any time in Freecell and know it wont

“trap” you later on in the game. You can move the Aces (and the twos when they can

be played), at any time, as no other cards depend on them. For the other cards, you

can safely move them to the foundation if the cards one less in rank, of the opposite

color, are already in the foundation. For example, you can safely move the 5 of

Diamonds, if the black 4s have already been moved to the foundation.

Better Freecell games will automatically do these safe moves for your, so you can

concentrate on the moves that matter, rather than having to manually make

inconsequential moves.

THE NEED TO EMPTY COLUMNS

Your first goal in Freecell is to empty a column.

Why is this?

Because an empty column allows you to move longer sequences around. The size of

the sequence you can move in Freecell is based on the number of available freecells

and empty columns. The more empty freecells and columns you have, the longer the

sequence is that you can move.

The formula for how many cards you can move is:

(number of empty freecells + 1) * 2 ^ (num empty columns)

For the less mathematically inclined, here is a table showing how many cards you

can move in some different scenarios…


Empty Freecells Empty Columns Card Sequence Length
0 0 1
1 0 2
2 0 3
3 0 4
0 1 2
1 1 4
2 1 6
3 1 8
0 2 4
1 2 8
2 2 12
3 2 16

As you can see, empty columns are particularly valuable, as they allow you to move

considerably longer sequences. By the time you have two columns free (particulaly

with two or more freecells free), you can move very long sequences, and the game is

usually quite easy to complete from there.

HOW TO EMPTY COLUMNS

So what is the easiest way to empty a column?

Start by emptying columns that don’t have any Kings in them. A column with a king

can’t be emptied initially, because there is nowhere for the King to go.

Don’t just make moves because you can. Have some mini plan in mind, and only

move cards if they help empty the column you are aiming for.

Another popular strategy is just to go straight for releasing the Aces, and then the

2’s, etc. This strategy is easier, and requires less thought. It will work for the easier

games, but won’t help on the hard deals (such as deal 1941)

The most important strategy of all though, is to try and keep the freecells empty. If

you can do that, and empty a couple of columns as well, then you should find it very

easy to finish the game.

Concrete & Foundation Requirements For Steel Building Kits

Steel building kits are becoming a very popular option in regard to new building construction. Typically, you can construct a steel building kit much faster, and much cheaper than you could a traditional wood frame building. They are virtually maintenance-free and for the smaller buildings, you don’t always need a contractor to build it.

One detail that will need to be worked out before you build, and before you purchase, is onto what will the building be erected? Bare dirt? Concrete? Concrete foundations increase the overall cost of the project, but may be required for a larger building, or a structure that will be permanent. The primary type of steel structures that are on dirt foundations are carports. But, depending on local requirements, steel buildings can sometimes be built on bare ground. The following information will illustrate some details on ground foundations and concrete foundations.

You will find that steel building kits can be anchored on the ground (without a concrete floor) or on concrete. Before getting into particulars, if you are in an area that has a frost line, you will need to be approximately 12″ under that frost line for your perimeter footings. This depth requirement for colder areas applies to ground anchoring as well.

The below described concrete applications do not account for frost line requirements.

Ground Mount (no concrete pad):

  1. When mounting your steel building kit to the ground, you will be required to dig a post hole approximately 10″ in diameter and 30″ deep every five feet or every four feet depending upon whether you have purchased a 5′ on-center system or a 4′ on-center system.
  2. Assemble your base rails** and lay them in place, marking where your holes should be dug. (A 16 D nail poked into the ground through the pre-drilled hole in the base rails works very accurately for this.)
  3. Next, use a post hole digger or auger and drill your holes 30″ deep. Clean out the holes.
  4. You would now lay out your steel building kit base rails according to the instructions and drop the ground anchors into the pre-drilled holes. Use a 2500psi concrete (pre-mixed bags or mix your own) and, using a shovel, fill the holes.

You should wait at least seven days for the concrete to properly set before moving on with the assembly of your steel building.

Concrete Mount:

  1. Size the slab. You should make your slab 4″ wider than the width of your steel building and 6″ longer. This is so you don’t break or crack the edge of the slab when affixing the concrete anchor expansion bolts into your slab.
  2. Concrete Floor: Your floor should be a minimum of 4″ thick. Make it 6″ thick if you are intending large vehicles such as trucks or larger RVs to be parked on it. The concrete should be a minimum of 2500 psi concrete with fiber mesh reinforcement added at the batch plant OR #3 rebar on 24″ centers. You should also consider going with a concrete mixture of 4000psi along with the extra two inches of concrete if you are intending more than a normal amount of weight.
  3. Be sure to saw cut expansion joints within an appropriate time after the pour is finished or trowel in the expansion joints while the finishing is occurring.

Footing Requirements: (International Building Code 2000 or “IBC 2000” requirements)

At the same time you pour the floor, you are going to pour the perimeter footings. This is called a monolithic pour or monolithic slab. Perimeter footings need to be 12″ deep (you can include the 4″ of floor as part of the 12″) and 16″ wide. The footings will have to have two #4 rebar lengths top and bottom, continuous run around the complete perimeter.

In our local area (Tempe, AZ), the footings would cost approximately $11.50 per lineal (running) foot.

That’s it. If your building department is still using UBC 1997 (Uniform Building Code), which many of them are, your footing only needs to be 12″ wide. That should knock about $1.00 per lineal foot off the above footing price estimate. For more information on concrete requirements for steel buildings, visit Absolute Steel and Storage. You can find many pages of technical help information there.

** = See pictures on putting together your base rails here: Assemble your base rails

Debunking the Myth Surrounding IT Band Pain

Sarah, one of the runners that I coach, had been suffering from ITB (iliotibial band) pain, which was preventing her from doing any running. To alleviate the pain, she had purchased an over the counter knee strap to be worn while running. In addition, her physical therapist had prescribed a heel lift to correct a minor leg length discrepancy. Her ITB symptoms decreased in severity, but two weeks later, she began experiencing knee pain in the same leg. Understandably frustrated, she asked me if I thought that her new knee pain was somehow related to her ITB treatment.

To quote the old gospel song, “Dry Bones”:Skeleton Leg

Your foot bone connected to your ankle bone Your ankle bone connected to your leg bone Your leg bone connected to your knee bone Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone……..

Those in the health and fitness profession may prefer to state the same sentiment by describing the body as a kinetic chain. Modifying one link of the kinetic chain (i.e. body part) will have ramifications on other related parts of the body. In Sarah’s situation, the knee strap and heel lift alleviated her ITB pain symptoms but appeared to have caused her new knee pain. Most importantly, the knee strap and heel lift did not address the cause of her ITB pain, which is poor running-specific strength.

Cause of ITB Pain

Owen Anderson, Ph.D., is a leading exercise physiologist and researcher in training, sports nutrition and injury prevention. He states: “The ITB works eccentrically (attempts to contract while increasing in length) to prevent the thigh from moving inward when the foot is on the ground during the stance phase of gait. When it does so, the ITB is stretched out, because some adduction (inward movement of the thigh) must inevitably occur. The ITB is also active, because it must try to limit adduction. And so the action is eccentric – the poor ITB is trying to contract but is stretched out nonetheless.

What about the connection between that rubbing action of the ITB on the femoral projection and this eccentric activity? If the ITB is weak, it permits greater adduction (inward movement of the thigh) during stance. That stretches the ITB, puts it under greater tension, and presses it down on the femoral projection.” (The bracketed sections are my explanatory notes — don’t worry if the above explanation is not crystal clear). In summary,

Weakness of the ITB is the main cause of ITB Syndrome (ITBS)

Why Conventional Treatment Does Not Work

Conventional treatment of ITBS consists of stretching exercises and performing hip abduction strengthening exercises, either on a hip machine or lying prone and using ankle weights. I know from first-hand experience that neither is effective in eliminating ITB pain. I suffered through four years of ITBS before I started performing ITB strengthening exercises for eccentric movement (i.e. exercises that were running-specific).

Dr. Anderson: “What we have learned from a couple of decades of scientific research is that strengthening exercises must be specific to a particular movement, in terms of muscle-activation pattern, neural control, joint range of motion, and velocity, in order for that movement to be actually fortified. As many experts have pointed out, the desired goal is to strengthen movements, not individual muscles.”

Effective Treatment of ITBS

So, what exercise can you perform to develop running-specific ITB strength and thus eliminate or prevent ITBS? The “Frankenstein Marching with a Band” exercise, developed Karen Ward, an excellent and creative personal trainer in Atlanta. What equipment is required? Only a stretch band.

Understanding Advertising Components – Marketing Basics

Before advertising for a real estate investing business, the business owner should understand the components of advertising. Placing an ad in a newspaper, posting door-to-door flyers or using a voice broadcast message are all useful advertising methods; however, the advertising will not be successful unless the real estate entrepreneur designates a fitting message with the right medium in the targeted market.

The three main components of advertising, also known as the three big M’s, are: the message, the media and the market. To briefly summarize what each component is: the message consists of the words used in the advertising; the media is the type of advertising; and the market is the targeted group the advertising is meant to reach. Now, the brainstorming can begin. When engaging in the brainstorming session to determine your message, medium and market, you can either do this by yourself or include other associates. The more minds the better the flow of ideas becomes.

To start, asses the market you are attempting to reach. In order to reach a high level of success with your advertising, narrow down your market. You want to make sure that you are targeting potential motivated sellers. Do not necessarily think that a larger, broader audience is better than a narrow, targeted audience. On the contrary, it is much easier to shape a message and pick a medium when you have targeted your market.

Once you have narrowed down your market, it is time to craft your message. This can be anything from an “elevator speech” to an eye-catching phrase. Remember that people are bombarded with advertising practically 100 percent of the time. This puts an added pressure on making sure that your message will appeal to motivated sellers. Center your message on what your business can do for the motivated seller – how will working with you benefit them.

Finally, choose the medium for your advertising. This can include post card mailings, newspaper ads, television spots, etc. A good place to start is to analyze what other investors are doing – where are they advertising? Analyze how their choices have been successful for them or detrimental to their work. The results of your analysis can be a start for your decision making.

Once you have finalized your decisions on your market, message and medium, be sure to have a system in place to track the success of your advertising. Always come back to the drawing table after assessing the effectiveness of your advertising. If the advertising is not working to its fullest potential, ask yourself the following questions: Does my message need to be tweaked? Is this the right medium for my market? Is my market too narrow or too broad?

Ink Stamper Problems to Avoid With Trodat and Ideal Stamps

Ink Stamper brands abound these days. Some of the major brands of ink stampers are Trodat, Ideal, Xstamper, Ultimark, Schwaab and Shiny. Each of these rubber stamper brands have their own unique ink formulation that makes the product ink, stamp and print for thousands of quality impressions. One of the most reported problems in custom rubber stamping manufacturing circles is when the provider receives a call saying that their Trodat or Ideal printing impression is not imprinting clearly any more. The most common comment is that the printing impression is bold in some areas and in some areas no impression at all. A manufacturer who has been around for a while knows immediately what has happened. The ink stamper problem is that most self inking rubber stamps are outfitted with Photopolymer printing plates. End users of these self ink stampers however tend to think that ink is ink and they will pick up the nearest ink around and re-ink their stamp. Xstamper ink or Schwaab or Ultimark ink will cause the Photopolymer print die plate to swell over time in mechanical Trodat and Ideal stamps. Invariably the end user thinks that it is something wrong with the original quality of the product when actually that was never the case.

The sad moral of this story is that when an end user has contaminated their mechanical, self inking, flip up and down stamper with these wrong inks they have in essence destroyed the product. Technically the printing die plate could be replaced. The ink pad up inside the product could be replaced also. But the cost of a remanufactured printing plate, a new ink pad, the cost to ship the product back to the manufacturer and the cost to re send it again to the customer exceeds the cost of a new stamper. So dear ink stamper user, if you have a mechanical self inking plastic body stamp, just be sure you do not put the wrong ink in your stamp. If it is an Ideal, Trodat Printy or Shiny stamper, Ideal Ink works just fine. If you have Xstamper, use Xstamper ink. If you have Schwaab, use Schwaab ink only. If you have Ultimark, use Ultimark Ink only. Self Inking Rubber Stamps will last for years if taken care of and the user puts the right ink in them when needed. Failure means you will have problems and it will cost you dearly in having to replace your Trodat or Ideal ink stamper every time.