Mahogany Hardwood Flooring – Pros and Cons

In times past, before this wood was used for flooring, it was used especially to make canoes in Central and South American, and the Caribbean region. It has also been used to make boats, yachts, furniture, musical instruments, and doors. It is now a popular hardwood flooring. Mahogany wood is known for its longevity and hardness. The reddish brown color of mahogany hardwood flooring radiates warmth and can work with any style or type of furniture. Using this type of hardwood flooring can create a rustic or classic look for your home.

Pros of using mahogany hardwood flooring

• It is harder than any other hardwoods like pine or oak. For example this flooring is approximately twenty-eight percent more stable and seventy percent stronger than oak. It is resistant to scratches and water because it has no pockets or groves in the wood along with the hardness.

• The planks of mahogany flooring are normally cut from quartered logs. This helps to ensure their durability. There is less chance of these planks bending because of heat due to its strength.

• There is a uniform texture of grains, which in turn makes the flooring have beautiful patterns that goes with every furniture type.

• It absorbs sunlight so it does not easily fade

• The flooring has many color variations that range from orange to dark brown. The tint that is most constant is the one that is reddish brown in color. With this wide range of color it gives the homeowner different combinations of furniture and flooring to choose from.

Cons of using mahogany hardwood flooring

• Because of its harshness it can be difficult to sand, shape, and cut, affecting the workability of the wood. When using mahogany wood for a new floor installation it is advisable to have a profession hardwood flooring company cut and install your floor. It will be faster and the installation will be tidier.

• Although mahogany flooring absorbs sunlight, over time the wood will become darker and have a richer looking color. It is a good idea to get mahogany flooring in a light color, which over time will turn darker.

• Being a dark colored wood, it will show more pet hair, paw prints, dust, and other debris easier so you will need to sweep or dust mop it at least every day.

• In comparing mahogany flooring with other hardwood flooring it is more expensive. The cost can be approximately thirty dollars per foot for each board due to the rarity of the wood and its durability.

Auto Insurance at the Pump

Paying for Auto Insurance at the pump:

I have often wondered how Insurance companies make so much money even though they pay out millions in claims. Could it be that the premiums you pay are more than you need to pay? Do you ever feel like you are just paying too much for your Auto Insurance?

Your automobile insurance is divided in three major coverages. Liability coverage, the second is your Collision coverage and third is your Comprehensive otherwise known as Fire and Theft.

Your Coverages:

Let me explain the coverages to you and then you can decide if you are paying too much for your insurance. Your Liability coverage which is required by law pays the other people in the other car or cars if you got into an accident and found to be at fault. The Collision coverage will pay for the damages done to your car whether you are at fault or not.

In essence you are saying to the Insurance Company,” Mr. Insurance Company I am going to pay you every month to fix my car in case it gets damaged even if I am at fault”. You both will agree on terms and sign a contract.

Comprehensive coverage (Fire and Theft) will cover your car for anything other than a collision like if it was stolen, caught fire, vandalized etc. There are other coverages in between these that pay for medical payments, loss of income etc.

For now we will just talk about these three coverages in a broad sense and take a look at how much the Insurance Companies remain capitalized in order to pay its claims.

Why Insurance?

Take it from me you don’t want to be driving without insurance and you want to be sure that the other drivers are also insured, why? Because if you are hit by another vehicle and you suffer any kind of bodily injury and have to be hospitalized or lost income by not being able to work, you want to have some peace of mind knowing that there is money coming from somewhere to pay your bills as well as for your everyday living expense.

Let’s face it, this is not always going to be the case because of how the insurance system is set up, follow me here now. By law you must carry Liability Insurance on your vehicle to be on the road legally. Remember this is the coverage that will pay for hitting another vehicle.

Here is the fact though, you can only hit another vehicle if your vehicle is moving and unless being pushed it will only move if being driven. You and I know that we can’t drive this vehicle unless fuel in the tank.

So if you park your car in your garage, lock the door and went away on a two week vacation or a long awaited cruise for a month, why should you pay the liability insurance when the car is not being driven? Is there something wrong with that? Yet removing the coverage and reinstating it when you are back from vacation you are charged a penalty for not being insured. You could even have your license suspended.

Let’s say you bought a new car and financed it through the bank, the bank technically owns the car until you have completely paid the loan and so they can and usually insist that you carry Collision coverage in case it was damaged in an accident or worst if accident was so bad it was a total loss.

Pay at the Pump.

Though I agree with that remember you can’t have a collision if your car is not moving and it can only move if there is fuel in the tank, do you agree? So here is my theory, if the use of either of these coverages (Liability and Collision) is impossible without movement and movement depends on fuel shouldn’t your payment be tied to fuel? What better way to do so than to include the charge in the price at the pump. By doing so you solve the problem and possibility of having uninsured drivers on the road.

If your fuel runs out then your vehicle will stop and you can’t hit anything with it since it’s not moving. Refuel it and you are instantly reinsured.

Insurance companies usually charge you according to the use of your vehicle, like if you drive your car to work or just using it for leisure. The farther you drive the more you pay within a certain mileage limit. An example is if you drive less than ten miles to work you pay less than if you drive over 10 miles. So here the insurance company is saying that the longer you keep your car moving the more likely you will get into an accident.

So you drive 50 miles one way to work, you need to burn more fuel than if you drive 7 miles. Why not include your premium into your fuel charge? Seems like a fair way to pay for insurance.

Park your car park your Insurance:

You then park your car in your company’s’ parking lot for 8 hrs. You go upstairs into your office and do a full day’s work. Here your car is not moving for 8 hrs. and therefore won’t hit anything or anyone yet you are paying the insurance company. When your car is in the repair shop, the parts are on back order and for the next three days you are renting a car. You purchase fuel for the rental and also might even have to purchase insurance on that car. Here you are now paying twice. The list goes on and on but when you are as big as the Insurance Companies you can make the rules in your favor. Or is it just one of the ways your Insurance company can make good on their promise to you.?

Though all this makes a good argument to tie fuel and insurance together the one most important missing piece is your agent. Here is where you will get professional advise on how best to protect your assets.

I like the saying “Insurance is like a parachute”. You might complain about paying for it but glad you did whenever you need it. Take my advise and never go without Insurance.

Traditional Vs Lean Manufacturing Concepts

When we think about lean manufacturing we think about work cells, kanban cards, TQM and so on. But many people do a basic mistake. That is the mistake of not understanding the concepts on which lean manufacturing built on. Many people who copied lean manufacturing failed because they did not understood the concepts behind lean manufacturing.

We shall give a simple definition to lean manufacturing before we go further. Lean manufacturing can be defined as a systematic approach to continuously identify and remove the wastes from the system. All the tools and techniques are based on fulfillment of this simple requirement.

To identify the conceptual difference between lean manufacturing and conventional manufacturing, we will have a look at the definition given above. There is a very important word to note. That is “Removing”. Removing of waste from the system might not sound very different to minimization of wastes in the system, what we talk in conventional manufacturing. But think carefully. These two words are very different in the context of manufacturing (or even services).

When you think about minimizing of waste, you are thinking about the current system where you have wastes. You think about minimizing those wastes by fine tuning the system. When you think about eliminating or removing wastes from the system, you will have to find the causes for the wastes and remove them from the system. This means that you will have to redefine the process in a way that there are no wastes generated. So in the first case you live in the system where there are wastes, and struggle to get some improvement. In the later, you change the system so that system itself will not have the wastes. Aren’t they really different?

I will give you one more example to clarify the conceptual difference between lean manufacturing and traditional manufacturing. Think about Work In Progress (WIP). In a traditional manufacturing process WIP is treated as an asset which helps to run the process smoothly. Lean manufacturing though, treats WIP as a waste itself. Further, lean manufacturing treats WIP as a mirror which reflects the imperfection of the system.

I can go on and on explaining conceptual differences these systems have. But it is very important to understand one thing about lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is not a fine tuning to the traditional manufacturing system you had. It is a completely different system. To be able to implement lean manufacturing correctly, understand the conceptual differences between lean manufacturing and traditional manufacturing.

To lean more about lean manufacturing and get your free e-book “lean manufacturing basics” visit http://www.leanmanufacturingconcepts.com

What Is a Three-Way Tipper Dump Truck?

Dump truck design has come a long way since this vehicle was initially developed in the first quarter of the 20th Century. There are a myriad of these vehicles available at dump truck sales with designs to suit various applications. There is one notable design that took this basic vehicle to an entirely new level and it is known as the three-way tipper; it is a unique design innovation that revolutionizes how this equipment is used.

Comparisons

Standard – The standard version consists of a steel box bed mounted at the rear of the cab that is held down by hinges at the rear end of the vehicle’s chassis. The hinges allow the dump bed to be lifted vertically. A single massive hydraulic ram also connects the chassis and the bottom of the bed and provides the force necessary to lift it at a steep angle in order to empty the contents.

While the standard version of this vehicle is effective for unloading anything that has been collected in its bed, it has a few limitations. The dump bed can only unload through its rear end. This means that in most cases, operators will have to back up and maneuver to get the equipment in the right position to unload in the correct spot. Maneuvering the truck takes time and costs money for the extra fuel involved. It can also be a problem when the location for unloading does not have enough space for maneuvering.

Three-Way Tipper – While standard dump trucks can only empty their contents at the rear of the vehicle, the three-way tipper is capable of unloading on three sides. The two are similar in terms of the base frame design, as well as the bed, and they both utilize the same reinforced frame for stability along with a metal box for hauling material.

The feature of the three-way tipper that makes it so unique lies underneath the dump bed. The new design utilizes four hydraulic rams each equipped with a cross joint to permit movement. Raising two of the hydraulic rams situated on the right side of the chassis causes the bed to tilt to its left. In the same manner, if the hydraulic rams on the left side are raised, it will cause the bed to tilt to the right. For it to perform the same function as a standard dump truck, the operator can raise both hydraulic rams situated behind the cab to tilt the bed to its rear.

Advantages of the Three-Way Tipper Design

  • Faster Unloading – With the three-way tipper, operators can reduce their unloading time because it eliminates the need to back up, maneuver and position the equipment just to get the contents to land in the right spot.
  • Conserves Fuel – Maneuvering the equipment for unloading burns fuel. Because maneuvering is usually not necessary with the new design, it helps conserve fuel.
  • Less Space Needed to Unload – Unloading in a tight space is one thing that drivers have problems handling. Backing up and maneuvering in a tight space can be dangerous. With the new design, operators may not necessarily have to back up every time, so there less risk of hitting anything that may be behind the truck.

The three-way tipper is a break from the conventional design of trucks normally sold at dump truck sales. With this new concept comes higher functionality and efficiency. It’s no wonder that with all of these productive new features, more interest is being shown in the three-way tipper dump truck!

Garden Swing Hammock

Most people enjoy being outside as it's a great way to unwind and also appreciate nature. After a long week of work it is sometimes nice to stay at home and relax rather than go out and do something. The garden is the perfect place to be outside without traveling far from home. The garden offers an instant place for relaxation and easing away troubles. Many individuals spend time maintaining their gardens to create a beautiful environment to enjoy.

To really enjoy being outside you need somewhere to sit and relax. Patio recliners are great for working on tans and lounging in but when it comes to comfort, a garden swing hammock is perfect. I'm not talking about the hammocks that you see in the jungle that are tied in between trees and look impossible to get into, but the seated swing hammocks.

These types of garden swing hammocks can be bought in various sizes, shapes, colors and designs. You can coordinate with your garden surroundings but they are also great for decks and front porches. Generally speaking, a garden swing hammock is made up of two frames with a horizontal pole which the seats hang from and swing.

Unlike a real hammock, they do not need an anchor point because the seats are suspended with two freestanding frames held together between poles. This means that they can be placed anywhere and disassembled and moved without too much difficulty.

To shield yourself from the sun's harsh rays, most swing seats come with a sunshade so you can enjoy the summer days without being burnt to a crisp. Many models offer adjustable sunshades to give you complete shade. When you buy a DIY garden swing hammock you'll have everything you need to construct it and should take no more than an hour to put together with help.

Costing just a few hundred dollars, they provide the perfect place to sit and enjoy the garden view, indulge in a good read and chat to friends. You can enjoy the gentle rocking sensation as you relish an afternoon nap. If you want to lounge outstretched, then a 3 seater is a good size to have.

The garden swing hammock is a great piece of design that combines the chair and hammock. If you want to experience extra comfort, there are swing seats that feature cushioned seats and armrests. In times of bad weather they can be covered or brought inside to avoid being soiled or damaged.

Poly Tarp Vs Vinyl Tarp – Which is Right For You?

The first thing to keep in mind when shopping for a protective cover is the application. Tarpaulins come in a variety of weights, thicknesses, and materials. Most people are very familiar with the popular poly blue tarps that can be found at most discount stores. These “blues” are at the low end of the quality spectrum and are not intended to last for very long or handle much stress or strain. At the same time, the blue ploys are inexpensive, convenient, and highly useful for temporary cover. If more than that is needed, there are several other varieties to choose from in the poly and vinyl categories.

Generally speaking, vinyl is stronger than poly, and more expensive. If you need something that won’t be likely to rip or tear, vinyl is a better choice. At the same time, there are plenty of times when inexpensive poly will do the job beautifully and for far less money. Understanding the various types of both poly and vinyl tarps that are available on the market today will help you to select the best product for your needs.

Poly White Tarp

The most common use for a white tarp is to provide long term protection for boats, cars, and RVs. They are also used in landscaping, roofing, to cover wood piles, and even skating rinks. Unlike the lightweight blue tarp, a white tarp is a heavy duty tarp designed to last longer and to withstand the effects of sun, wind, and rain. A white tarp is waterproof, mildew, rot, tear and acid resistant, and can handle below freezing temperatures. They are also UV treated for protection against sunlight and to ensure a longer life. A quality white tarp offers heat sealed edges and the hems are reinforced with rope. Corners are reinforced with a solid plastic bar, adding strength and stability. The material is 11-12 mils thick, making it durable and tear resistant.

Poly Silver Tarp

A silver tarp is another variety of heavy duty poly tarp. At 12 mils thick, they are highly rip resistant. They are also treated to be water, rot, and mildew resistant, and can be used in sub-zero temperatures. Silver tarps are frequently used for roofing, trailer and RV covers, woodpiles, and landscaping. Like the white tarp, a silver tarp offers UV protection and heat sealed seams reinforced with rope in the hems and rust resistant grommets.

Vinyl Clear Tarps

Vinyl clear tarps are an excellent choice for patio and porch enclosures, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors without getting wet. They can also turn your RV awning into an instant porch with a view. Unlike many others, clear tarpaulins come in both poly and vinyl material. Vinyl clear tarps are available in both 18 oz – 20 mil size and 27 oz – 30 mil size. This means that they feature 18 or 20 ounces of material per square yard and are 20 to 30 mil thick. This makes them some of the strongest tarps available on the market. Clear vinyl tarps are highly waterproof, tear resistant, as well as acid, oil, grease, and mildew resistant.

Poly Clear Tarps

Clear poly tarps are lighter and less expensive and provide less protection than their vinyl cousins. If you will be painting your home and want to protect the furniture or the shrubs, poly is an excellent choice. In those situations, you can save a lot of money be using poly instead of vinyl. In situations where strength and durability are important, vinyl will give you all the protection you need.

The Benefits of Cross Country Running

Many runners take on miles of tarmac on a daily basis, comfortably losing themselves in “the zone” whilst their legs do all the work. The appeal of running is being able to achieve this state of “euphoria” and the natural high that follows a good run. On the other side of the coin, cross country running is a selfish child that demands your attention constantly, and just a small lapse in concentration could mean a painful fall or sinking into mud up to your proverbials!

Every footfall is vital, placement must be carefully considered. Unlike the level terrain of the road or pavement, each step could place your foot at a different angle requiring a different muscle set to push off each time. And therein lies a major benefit of the cross country sport. It gives your body a much more thorough workout than its tamer counterparts, Mr Road and his alluring partner Ms Pavement.

A five mile cross country course provides a much greater health benefit than a five mile road course. There are those tarmac stalwarts who would argue the toss, but if you can run up the side of a rocky hill and make your way down the treachery of the other side applying a combination of brakes and force, it stands to reason that your body will work harder.

Your mind has to stay focused on the route, unlike a road route there are no markers or guidance. You simply have to make a split second decision on which patch of ground you’re going to run across and commit to it. You learn very quickly to judge the terrain and avoid the pitfalls.

To test the theory I did a basic timed experiment – I ran for five minutes at a quick pace along a flat section of road. I rested until my heart rate was back to normal. I then picked a relatively flat field and ran round it for the same period of time. Without a shadow of a doubt my muscles burned more after doing the latter route, and my breathing was more laboured.

I’m not knocking the appeals and benefits of road running. I enjoy a good hour on the road, alone with my thoughts, my music, and just feeling in tune with my body and heart rate. But I know that if I include the occasional cross country route into my training regime, I will certainly reap the benefits. And if you take it one step further and do your hill and interval training on cross country terrain, imagine the full body and cardiovascular workout levels your body will receive.

So embrace the mud, sniff the country air, don’t worry about the cow pats and veer off that tarmac. Find a good footpath, there are loads of resources out there telling you where all the public footpaths are. Start on the tarmac, go out into the countryside and do your final few miles back on the tarmac. What you end up with is an athletic equivalent of Hovis Best of Both Bread! Take a bite, you’ll love it!

Never Burn a Bridge

Why should you always maintain a good report
with a business even when you are parting ways?

It is human nature to get mad and then rant and rave about what is not going well at work. Many of us spend time gossiping and socializing with the main topic of what the problems are and who is responsible. Although it may be a way to vent, it is not the way to gain further business with a client. When a relationship is no longer working, always debrief your findings, give suggestions for solving the problems and walk away with a handshake. It is this professionalism that will gain you respect and possibly more business in the future. Remember that the business relationship must be preserved in order to move forward with other business. You do not need to add skeletons to your closet, as you never know when someone you want to do business with will know the client that you just concluded your relationship with.

Never burning a bridge is one of the most difficult things to do in business. In the past, I have burnt a few and it has always come back to haunt me. I have made it a point to say that things are not working out, let's go our separate ways but remain friends. This may sound ridiculous but somewhere in the future, you will meet up with that person in a position that has a direct influence on whether you are the selected company or not. If you have burnt the bridge, you can be assured that the business will go elsewhere.

I know this from experience. I worked for a person in government where I had a contract to provide certain services; even though my work was exemplary, this "boss" kept changing what was wanted. As a result, I quit in frustration and let them know how I felt. It felt good at the time, but then a couple of years later, I was bidding on a big training project and to my horror, this very same person was making the final decision. I did not get the business even though we had the best offering.

I think the worst thing of all was the egg on my face when I had gone to all the work of presenting a proposal. I had my staff all ready to go. Going back to the company and explaining we lost the bid because of my past actions was not an easy task, but we all learned from it and believe me, I will go to any length to keep a relationship and forgo the work.

Radio Controlled Boats – RTR Vs ARTR Vs Assembly

Radio controlled boats are incredibly popular. They come in a huge array of shapes, styles and sizes and their popularity continues to grow. But why? “Toy boats” are not new so what has caused this hobby to keep growing in popularity regardless of age or skill set? What gives?

The mystique of radio controlled boats is not simply their performance on the water, but also the allure of putting them together. Prizes for winning races are all well and good but you’ll find that radio controlled boats operators are intensely proud of the skill that went into making their nautical masterpieces. Radio controlled boat makers took advantage of this intensity and passion and have produced a large selection of radio controlled boat kits that meet the varying levels of skills and motivation. Broadly, there are three different types of packages; RTR kits, ARTR kits, and Assembly kits. Let’s look at each in turn.

RTR or ready-to-run. These need little or no assembly. Some small adjustments may be needed depending on the make of boat e.g. batteries in the boat and transmitter and fuel but they are essentially ready-to-run. They are perfect for the novice enthusiasts. A great example of an RTR boat would be the Megatech Caribbean Cruiser II MTC6909-1. It is a completely pre-assembled RC boat with all the batteries needed and the control set. It is totally plug and play. An alternative would be the Traxxas Blast Electric Race Boat RTR.

ARTR or almost-ready-to-run. These involve partial assembly by a person who is either familiar with radio controlled boats or willing to dig into the manuals and videos about the product. In these boats the body of the boat is almost completely constructed, but parts of the motor and power source need to be pieced together before the boat can be put on the water and letting it run.

Assembly kits. These are obviously more advanced. They come with all the parts needed to prep the boat for running but they must be assembled. The level of assembly varies but generally you need to be pretty advanced to be able to do this. Even if you are good at mechanics, the parts and layout will take some getting to know and often requires special tools to work on the smaller engines and fittings. Given the level of challenge these are normally not recommended for the first time user. An example would be the Azimut Atlantic Challenger 1:20 Scale.

Whatever your skill level, there’s a radio controlled boat out there for you. Read my articles and be sure that you grasp what is required of you before you buy a radio controlled boat for yourself or anyone. After any assembly is complete, my bet is that you’ll not wait for a sunny day! You’ll head out rain or shine to the nearest water and let it loose! It’s amazing and thrilling and you will be hooked!

Tips For Mounting a Horse

An important thing to learn when learning to ride is how to mount your horse.

Whenever possible you should always use a mounting block to get on. This is not only easier for the rider but also and most importantly means that the process will put much less strain on the saddle and the horse's back. Mounting from the ground causes the horse to have to shuffle their balance to offset the rider's weight as they get on but can also cause the saddle to slip, twist and pull against the horse's withers. Another problem is that the continued pressure on the stirrup leathers can cause them to stretch. To avoid this you should swap them over regularly.

The textbooks always state that the horse should be mounted from the nearside however the reason for this is not clear, perhaps just tradition. Current research and many back specialists suggest that you should teach your horse to be mounted from both sides and alternate frequently. This is to prevent asymmetrical muscle development and repetitive strain caused by mounting continually from one side.

Before attempting to mount your horse it is important to check that your girth is sufficiently tight to prevent your saddle from slipping when your weight is in the stirrup.

If mounting from the nearside then face the side of the horse, level with the saddle and take your reins into your left hand. Using your right hand slip your left foot into the stirrup, turning the stirrup iron towards you in a clockwise direction. Make sure that the ball of your foot is on the stirrup. Then take the pommel of the saddle (the front) in your left hand and the cantle (the back) in your right hand. Stand up in the stirrup, releasing your right hand and swinging your right leg over the saddle. Make sure you sit down in the saddle very lightly. It is important not to plonk yourself down on the horse's back as their muscles are not yet warmed up and it will be uncomfortable.

Place your right foot into the other stirrup then lean forwards and check your girth by putting your fingers around it to see how much room there is. If it is loose then lift your leg forwards and pull the girth straps to adjust it.

Now that you're comfortable and so is your horse, you can ask the horse to move forwards.

Claw Hammer

In this article I want to talk specifically about claw hammer. Before I go too far, I need to give a disclaimer. (I know some of you will be disappointed.) This is not an article about the Amsterdam rock band Hammer and their album Claw Boys Claw. Claw hammer (also known as frailing) was a technique that was originally developed for the banjo, although the technique can be applied to the guitar as well.

The banjo began in Arabia and Africa probably sometime in the 1500’s. It migrated to America with the black slave population beginning in the 1600’s. Compared to other instruments, it was relatively easy and cheap to make, and it was very portable. It could also be used to play melody and thump out a rhythm at practically the same time. If the musician could also sing, they were virtually a one-man-band.

And this was back before the time of planes, trains, and automobiles; let alone Facebook, HBO, and the Internet. They were virtually the only game in town, so to speak. If somebody even had half a clue as to what they were doing, they could be very popular.

I believe claw hammer came to dominate the technique at the time because it is a simple, efficient technique. Once you learn the fundamental technique you can about play any piece of music with it. Your right hand (assuming you are right-handed) is held in the shape of (you guessed it) a claw.

It is as if your right hand is holding an imaginary microphone. Claw hammer is based on the bum-ditty strum. In time, this is a quarter note and two eighth notes – 1 2 +. Your index or middle finger plucks the first note on the first beat. On the second beat, your index or middle finder strikes a string for the first ½ of the second beat. On the other half of the second beat your thumb sounds a string. There are variations, of course, but that is the basic pattern. Sounds like it is easy, doesn’t it? It is and it isn’t.

A special twist for me is I play with pick and fingers, so I try to adapt this using pick and fingers. It’s kind of like chewing gum, rubbing your tummy, and working Sudoku puzzles. And if you think about it, you are not going to get it. You just have to keep practicing until your fingers can play it without having to think about it. You want your right hand to almost be a club. You don’t want to be flexing your fingers to strike the strings. It is all about economy of motion. You know, your mind has to be in that place it is 30 minutes before quitting time on Friday afternoon (or for some of you, 5 minutes after arriving at work on Monday morning.)

Steve Baughman is one of the innovators as far as applying Claw hammer technique to the guitar. He shared a couple of helpful exercises; the Lubus Pick and the Cowboy Pick. For the Lubus Pick, you play a root note of a chord on the first beat, and alternate up and down stroke brushes on the chord with your index and middle finger for the two half-beats on two – 1 2 +. The Cowboy Pick is similar, but alters bass notes and throws in an extra brush stroke – 1 2+ 3 + 4 +. When I started playing around with these finger brush strokes, I thought why not also use one finger in alternating up/down brushes? If you play with pick and fingers, you have increased your alternate picking capability fourfold. Musically, I felt like the little kid in Twilight Zone who fell under the bed through the wall and found another dimension.

The claw hammer technique was very popular in early Americana even up through the early 1900s. It was forgotten for a while, but it has made a comeback. It is a very efficient playing technique. It combines economy of motion with the right hand, and adds finger slides and hammer-ons and pull-offs with the left hand to creative a distinctive style with its own musical texture. If you have never heard it, I encourage you to check it out. Much of the music comes right out of America’s past.

I recommend Ken Perlman, David Johnson, Steve Baughman, or Odell Thompson. If you are a player you should consider taking up claw hammer. It could open up a whole new musical area for you.

Brighten Up Your Mosaic Tables with Mosaic Supplies

Mosaic tables really do add a little something extra to a room and they reflect the person’s individual style and taste. You can buy them pre-made or if you are a little more creative, you could try and create one yourself. If you do choose to create one yourself then there are various mosaic supplies which you will need.

Choosing the Right Mosaic Supplies for You

There are quite a lot of different mosaic supplies available and really it all depends upon your own personal taste as to which ones you choose for you table. A few of the supplies you could use to create the tiles include glass, ceramic or stone. Luckily if you have no idea about designing mosaic tiles, there are starter kits there to help you.

The kits available do actually have everything that you will need to make the mosaic designs. They generally include tile grout, glue and cutting tools. You will need the cutting tools in order to cut glass and other materials to shape the tiles to suit your needs. Without the glass cutter it would be extremely difficult to cut and shape the tiles and even if you did manage, it would be extremely untidy. So, always ensure that you do have the right cutting tool sin order to give you the best possible results. If you break the cutter do not worry as there are replacements available if needed.

Always remember that when you are cutting materials it is essential to wear safety glasses in order to protect your eyes. Obviously bits could chip off and fly in your eye and that could cause serious damage and potential vision loss. So, pick up a pair of safety glasses before you even attempt to create the mosaic tiles.

As for when you need to place the tiles onto the table, you will need good strong glue. Try to find one which is reliable, waterproof and which works on a wide number of materials. If you are using the table to hold cups of coffee or other drinks on it, it is vital that the tiles are waterproof otherwise the table could fall apart and the tiles would come off.

Overall you should be able to easily find all of the supplies which you need at your local hardware store. If not, look online and you will find hundreds of products designed to help you. Always make sure that you purchase the right equipment and always wear safety glasses to protect the eyes against flying pieces of glass or other materials.

Setting – Poured Rubber Flooring

Poured rubber floors use polyurethane as its raw material. Poured rubber floors are known for their seamless finish, durability and easy maintenance. Though its installation requires a little bit of preparation. Below is the step by step procedure to install a poured rubber floor:

Step 1

First of all, you need to dig a trench for the concrete where the rubber flooring would be poured. The depth has to enough for accommodating concrete and rubber together.

Step 2

Next, one by six foot boards need to be placed around the peripheral of the decided area creating a concrete form. Fix them together with nails at their ends.

Step 3

Now, pour the concrete and smooth it out with a trowel. As soon as the cement is dry, Crushed Aggregate Base (CAB) has to laid out. It has to be minimum 3 inches thick and should support a 1/4 inch slope for drainage.

Step 4

The styrene butadiene rubber which needs to be blended with CAB provides a resilient rubber. It has to be blended with Flexilon 1118 binder before being troweled into the CAB.

Step 5

Lastly, Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer has to be mixed with a polyurethane binder which would be troweled in a wheel barrel till the time its smooth. Now pour it out within the decided area at least 3/8 inches thick. In case the area is large, rent a mixer for mixing. The rubber flooring would take near about 48 hours to set properly.

Spraying Advice For a New Painter

The art of spraying is a skill like anything else that gets better with experience. Most people at first are intimidated the first time they pick up a paint gun. Once you get going you'll start to find a comfortable spot, but here are a few tips to get you off to a great start.

Keep it straight! The most common error when starting is the tendency to angle your gun, try to keep it spraying parallel with your panel to ensure a nice consistent spray. If your angle is too severe you will cause your paint to land too wet in some areas and to dry in others resulting in a stripped look. (Most noticeable on metallic colors)

Worth noting is that primer / sealer and clear coat spray quite similarly while basecoat is another technique. So first we will go over base then cover the rest.

Basecoat spraying and base coat blending also differs. When spraying a complete vehicle you simply need to focus on maintaining a consistent medium build over the entire job. When blending you need to have a certain degree of control to keep your blends smaller. For a new painter it is best to plan for a long blend (say 3 ft) then as you learn how the colors blend and types of challenges to expect, focus on staying within a foot or less. Keeping your pressure low and choosing the appropriate reducer based on the ambient temperature is key when blending difficult colors. As you spray you will become familiar with the more challenging high metallic colors. certain shaped metallic cause harder blends as they do not land as evenly, especially on the edges which causes a ring or halo look. There are several different blending techniques that can help you handle harder colors.

Now when it comes to primer, sealer and clear coat the biggest misconception is expecting a perfectly flat, orange peel free finish. This is just not the way urethane products lay, you will always have a bit of peel. The only way to get that perfectly flag finish is by sanding and polishing after drying.

So again here reducer / hardener speed is key. The hotter it is and / or bigger the job, the slower the hardener / reducer. You want to apply your clear in particular fairly wet, just not to the point it runs. You also need to maintain a wet edge while spraying as you can not really touch up areas afterwards, make sure the clear looks good as soon as it goes on, the only way to fix it is by polishing afterwards.

The most obvious but often overlooked tip is to look at the products tech sheet and ensure your equipment settings are right for your product. Using too large or small of a tip size can really cause a challenge.

Other then that all I can say is do not let the nerves get to you, a relaxed painter will always turn out a better job. While higher end guns can produce a better finish overall, lower end guns can still get the job done.

Chandelier – How it Originated

The Chandelier has always been associated with elegance, class and sophistication. It was always found inside large medieval castles, grand hotels and luxurious mansions owned by the high class. But they can also be found in some old houses, especially in England, and now-a-days they can be seen in school lobbies hanging to give off to students a sense of welcome when they enter. They have always given such brightness through so many light bulbs turned on all at once.

The different designs are also a spectacle to see, each one blending and giving artistic sense to its surrounding. But where did these types of lighting come from and why are they associated to such places and given such a unique structure.

The first ever chandelier that was created was during the medieval time, when castles were still built as a sign of wealth. The first ever was made of wood and had a cross design, there were nails sticking out of the wood in which the candles were placed and thus giving light to a room or a hallway. The whole cross was hanged using a rope or chain which was suspended on a hook.

It was during the 15th century when there were a more complex design given to these kind of lights when they were based on crowns and such. This became popular and some bought to give elegance and proper lighting to the palaces, homes of the nobles and even some houses of merchants.

It was then during the early 18th century when Ormulo was spreading, these lightings had the same concept as the cross but it had curved arms and thus there were plenty of spaces for candles. It was also the time when glassmaking was being developed and this meant the creation and production of lead crystals.

The crystals had properties that could scatter light which was good because it added brightness. This became a hit which lead to the invention of Crystal Chandeliers. Now by the mid-19th century gas had now been introduced, thus it was called a gasolier, which meant the combination of gas and chandelier. This meant all that used candles had to change to gasoline. By the 1980s electricity was introduced and so before there were only lights that used gas, now there were lights that used both gas and electricity.

The world then changed as the years passed by. From castles to mansions, brick huts to modern houses and everything used electricity to give them power. Still in some parts of the world others still used candles for lights. The world also went through growth as man had invented so many things like the car, airplanes, boats and washing machines to help in daily life activities but there were some inventions that did not need to be replaced or changed, they were still useful that it stayed constant that it only evolved, so to speak. No other light has given a bigger illumination and used so many light bulbs at once and has a long history as the most elegant and beautiful types of lighting.