Dowels and Easter Crafts

 Dowels  are frequently a staple when it comes to woodworking and crafting. Favorably, they may be purchased relatively inexpensively, too. This makes crafting any number of projects both possible and enjoyable. Woodworking and crafting projects that use  dowels  can range from simple to extravagant. With Easter quickly approaching, why not find some appropriately themed creative uses for  dowels ? One such simple projects is a wall display that can be used to present Easter gift baskets.

Determine the size of the wall display you would like to have, and use that information to then determine the dimensions of both the wooden base and the  dowel  cuts you will need.

Using a drill, drill appropriately sized holes into which the  dowels  will fit.

Drill hanging hardware into the back of the wooden base. Doing so at this point makes the process a little simpler, as the base will be able to lie flat. (Once the  dowel  cuts are inserted and glued, the process may become a little more challenging.)

Before inserting the  dowels  into the holes drilled into the wooden base, use sandpaper to smooth or even round the ends which will be exposed. Depending upon your experience in woodworking, as well as the simplicity or sophistication with which you may wish to craft, you may choose to apply wood  dowel  caps to the exposed end of each  dowel . The effort and aesthetics are completely up to the crafter.

Next, paint the wood. Choose traditional pastel colors or more contemporary, vibrant colors. Or you may choose to base paint the wooden base a solid color, such as white, and paint each  dowel  a different color. Use your imagination!

Once the paint has dried, place several drops of wood glue into each drilled hole, and then insert each wood  dowel  section. Allow the wood glue ample time to dry so that the  dowel  is firmly secured in the wooden base.

Once the wood glue has dried, hang the completed project on the wall, and add an Easter gift basket to the  dowel  for a beautiful presentation.

When Easter has passed, use the completed project as a wall-hanging children’s coat/jacket rack or a backpack, carrying bag, or handbag rack.

Some variations for this project may include using ribbon to wrap each  dowel  with a bilateral length extending below. Visit your local craft store for Easter materials that may be hot glued at intervals on, or to the bottoms of, the dangling ribbon. Or, use pastel colors to creatively paint wooden letters which spell out the word Easter. Add painted dots in the shape of Easter eggs, small bunny rabbits, or flowers for a more seasonal touch to the project. Then, tie the letters to the hardwood  dowels  using either ribbon or another tying material of your choice that works well with the project. Depending upon the hanging material used, hot glue may be necessary to arrange the letters or to affix other objects.

With very little time, expense, and imagination, you can create clever projects for the Easter holiday that may be functional throughout the remainder of the year, too.

Stack and Tilt Golf Swing – What Does That Mean?

There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about the so-called stack and tilt golf swing. Apparently about two dozen PGA Tour players have adopted it, including some champions like Rick Weir and Zach Johnson, as well as Aussie Aaron Baddeley, among others. This article will explain where the terms stack and tilt come from and what is going on with this approach to the golf swing.

So What’s With “Stack and Tilt”?

It is really a catchy little phrase that has worked well for the people who promote and teach it. If you are like I was, you are asking yourself, “what is stacking and what is tilting”? Well, here’s an explanation I found while viewing some videos in trying to search for an answer. And by the way the answer is not obvious, in case you are wondering why you can’t figure it out for yourself.

Here’s the deal- the stack and tilt golf swing basically says that most of the golfer’s weight should be kept on his left side during the swing (about 60%), and also that the player’s head should remain pretty much in the same position throughout the swing rather than swaying backwards. His left side should not move backwards much during the backswing but should stay pretty much in the same position it was during set up. In addition, his swing is a bit more upright than flat.

So what does that have to do with stack and tilt? Not much, but here’s the explanation I found. When the golfer has completed his backswing using the guidelines mentioned, his shoulders are vertically in line with each other approximately over his left hip. So his shoulders are said to be “stacked” at that point. (All discussion in this article refers to a right handed player, so lefties just need to reverse things.) Also, at this point the golfer’s back is more or less facing the target, and if his head has been kept in the same place it was at the start of the swing, his spine will necessarily “tilt”.

So there you have it, stack and tilt. If you think that explanation is a bit obscure, I couldn’t agree more, but then again, who cares? It is a catchy little phrase, and the fact that this swing has been adopted by some of the PGA Tour’s top players means that it must be bringing something to the party. Let’s discuss now why this approach has been adopted and if it should be used by weekend golfers like you and me.

Why Players Go to the Stack and Tilt

A lot of swing instructors teach that during the backswing it is OK for the head to move backwards a bit, or sway, especially for the driver. Some of these teachers even advocate keeping the head behind the ball to generate more power. The problem with this approach is that sometimes a player cannot fully transfer his weight to the left side at impact, and the club strikes the ball with the face open. Obviously this means a pushed shot to the right. All this is true with the other clubs in the bag as well, not just the driver. So if you are a player who seems to consistently push shots off to the right, this approach might be worth a try.

Who Should Not Use the Stack and Tilt?

As we all know, some recreational golfers don’t have the prettiest or the most effective swings (to put it in the form of understatement). Some in fact keep way too much of their body weight on the left side as it is. So here you have some players that already have too much weight on the left side and who cannot get through the ball squarely at impact. Trying to exaggerate this even more will not help those golfers. So you have to be aware of your weight distribution at set-up, how squarely you get through the ball, and whether you are prone to pushing shots.

Give it a Shot

So if you are in fact a golfer that has a problem with pushing a lot of shots, it is easy to give this swing approach a try. Don’t worry about “stacking” and “tilting”, just address the ball with about 60% of your weight on your left side. Imagine there is a stick or something touching your left hip at address. Keep you left side touching that stick throughout the swing, and you have just tried the stack and tilt. Think about not moving your head backward during the backswing, and this will help. Try it on the range first, of course, and develop a little muscle memory. Despite the name, the stack and tilt is not a big mystery and is easy to try.

One last word, there a lot of short videos on YouTube which discuss the stack and tilt golf swing. They are worth a look if you want to pursue this.

Bachmann Christmas Train Sets – Toys, Or Proper Railway Models?

It would come as a very big “Bah! Humbug!” indeed if the world’s largest maker of model trains and model railroad equipment were to overlook the Christmas market. In the USA especially, the seasonally decorated electric train going round and round the base of the Christmas tree is something approaching the iconic status of the tree itself. A slight exaggeration maybe, but important enough for all the major players in the model railroad business to recognize the importance of the occasion – and the market – with suitably kitted out merchandise. Here, we’re going to take a look at two of Bachmann’s Christmas train sets and see what they offer the serious railroader or what paths into the hobby proper open up with the purchase of a Christmas tree train set.

Something for everyone.

First amongst Bachmann’s 2010 Christmas offerings is the Thomas Holiday Special – a Christmas train set in popular HO gauge, consisting of the now very familiar British outline 0-6-0 Class E2 tank engine in vaguely London and North East Railway powder blue livery, along with a candy-cane striped tank car, an open wagon with a Christmas tree inside and a 6 wheeler coach, in suitably Christmassy green. There is a 56″ by 38″ oval of Bachmann’s E-Z snap-fit track, and a power pack and speed/direction controller complete the contents of the box. Thomas comes in wintery, but seasonal garb – with a snowplow on the front and a Santa hat on his smokestack. Oh yes, and the eyes on the front of the boiler, which do so much to humanize the locos in this series, move. This has a recommended retail price of $145.00, although street prices may well be less. As an actual model, it measures up pretty well too. Proportions of the locomotive and wagons are very nice and crisply detailed and the E-Z track is indeed, easily assembled and ready for operation in just minutes. More importantly, it’s a great introduction to accepted standards of realism in HO gauge model railroading.

…and the big stuff!

Moving on up and into territory traditionally held by Lionel, Bachman Christmas train sets can also be had in G scale, or 1:20.3. For the newcomers to model-trainspeak, this means that the model is one-twentieth and point three the size of the real thing it is depicting. In plain language, these are quite satisfyingly big models. My personal favorite is the White Christmas Express, a late 19th Century wood-fired 4-6-0 ten-wheeler with the big balloon smokestack, tender and two vintage clerestory coaches. In this scale, the basic supplied oval of track requires an 8ft 2″ by 4ft 3″ space (compare this with the roughly 4ft by 3 ft space needed for the HO set) for setting up, but assembly and operation is no more challenging than in HO gauge.

The set contains, as you would expect, the track, plus a power pack and speed/direction controller and all the instructions for set up, if needed, on a DVD. The loco has operating headlights, realistic steam train sounds and the coaches have opening doors and interior lighting. But best of all, it looks so right! Bachmann have been very restrained in their decoration of the items in this set, so that if, heaven forbid, the days of steaming round the Christmas tree were to end, the locomotive and coaches could easily find new identities with new paintjobs in a highly detailed garden layout. At a retail price of $440.00, it isn’t the cheapest option, but as with everything in this life, you get what you pay for.

Bachmann Christmas train sets are a great introduction to the hobby and to the range of product made by this model train giant. I have just briefly touched on a couple of my particular favorites, but the N gauge enthusiast hasn’t been forgotten, nor has the On30 narrow gauger. Start dreaming now, because Christmas will be here before you know it.

Joan of Arc – A Being Like None Other

On May 30, 1431, nineteen-year-old Joan of  Arc  was burned at the stake. The charge? Witchcraft.

In 1429, an illiterate peasant girl residing in the tiny city of Domremy, France, began a relentless pursuit to gain an audience with the heir to the French throne, Charles VII. How she managed it is a story in itself and will not be dealt with here. That she received it, is, of course, documented fact. Her mission, she said, was twofold: First, to end the Hundred Years War thereby freeing France from the yoke of England; and second, to ensure that Charles VII was crowned king of France, thereby allowing him to rightfully ascend the throne.

Toward that aim, she was given command of the military might of an entire nation, and after almost one hundred years of constant defeat and humiliation, the cowardly and hopelessly outnumbered armies of France were, as if by magic, transformed into a military machine, steamrolling mercilessly over anything that stood in its path. Seasoned officers, with twenty and thirty years field experience, unquestioningly obeyed the orders of a child. The rampant criminal element which pervaded her troops-men who had never in their lives paid heed to anyone’s orders but their own-loyally obeyed the orders of Joan of  Arc .

Then, when she deemed the time was right, Joan, almost by force, took the sniveling Charles by the hand, and accompanied by her armies, escorted him through still heavily-occupied France to the city of Rheims where he was crowned the king of France. Not a drop of blood was spilled along the way as a dozen or more English-held cities, one after the next, surrendered to the child.

Two months it took her to all but end a war that had gone on for close to a century.

At various points during her two years in the limelight, Joan of  Arc  demonstrated a knowledge of the law which enabled her to run rings around the most learned legal minds of the day. Additionally, she argued theology with the highest order of the clergy Charles VII could throw at her leaving them in a state of bewilderment and with no choice but to bow to her claim that she had been sent from God. And on the battlefield, her savvy military know-how left the generals under her command in a constant state of wonderment, as her innovative strategies brought them victory upon victory upon victory.

Then, for political reasons too involved to delve into here, she was betrayed by a traitor hidden deep within the ranks of the king’s entourage. A trap was set resulting in Joan’s capture. For a year she lay starved and beaten in a dungeon, her wrists and ankles fettered by close and heavy chains. ‘Why?’ I hear you roar, was there no attempt to rescue her? How could an entire nation be so ungrateful as to allow their savior to be treated thus? And at the hands of those very oppressors from whom she had so recently freed them? Alas, that was the way of the French. Joan of  Arc  was the only source of courage they had ever known, and with her gone from their midst, the peoples of France reverted to their cowardly ways; an act of bravery would have been as difficult for them to perform as setting sail for, and actually reaching, the Constellation of Orion.

My gentle reader, should you doubt my words, then hear these: The last two years of Joan of  Arc’s  life are the best documented of any person in history. Not once, but twice. And both times, under oath. The first was at the Trial of Condemnation at which the finger of a rigged jury pointed the way to the burning stake. The second-the Trial of Rehabilitation-occurred twenty years later, wherein scores of witnesses who had known her personally told the story. This time, and with no rigged jury anywhere in sight, the bravest, purest, and most tenacious soul who ever lived was cleared of all charges.

And just as Jesus on the cross forgave his executioners, so too, Joan of  Arc , with the flames licking at her ankles, forgave hers. But unlike Jesus who asked, “Father, why hast thou forsaken me?” Joan of  Arc’s  faith in God never wavered for an instant.

The Fundamentals of Bow Hunting

Bowhunting is an ancient sport that has greatly evolved over the years. New equipment now provides better precision and stronger shots. For a beginner, it can be a frustrating practice leading to a rewarding experience.

Some basic knowledge of the equipment needed for bow hunting is necessary, as well as a thorough understanding of the skill itself. The variety of modern bows includes the traditional, the recurve, the compound bows and the crossbow.

Traditional bows, better known as longbows, are the simplest and oldest of bows. For a beginner, this could be the first element of choice for practice. A recurve bow is an improvement of the longbow with shorter and more powerful releases. The Compound bow, however, is the most popular. With multiple pulleys, it increases arrow speed with longer draws and less effort. A crossbow is also a common modern bow, which allows for longer draws. It is the horizontal stand version of the compound bow.

Along your choice of bows, comes also your choice of arrows. There are wooden shafts, aluminum made, fiberglass, or a combination. Arrowheads also called points are the tips of the arrow and range in variety depending on your activity and purpose. Bullet and field points, for example, serve best for target practice. They are also used in small game hunting. Broadheads, on the other hand, are better for large game hunting.

Once you have chosen your bow and arrow, some basic steps for practice are required. When aiming to shoot, it is best to improvise as to which stance suits you best. Once you are familiar with a certain position of holding your bow and arrow and moving forward with it, it becomes easier. As for the technique, you must practice and master these three steps before you can accurately and effortlessly hit your target.

Position the arrow in the bow first, then draw the arrow towards your body while maintaining a steady posture. Third, release the arrow and maintain that stance as your movement will affect the trajectory of the arrow. Many hours of practice are required until your arrow shoots straight with enough speed.

The more strength you develop, the further your arrow will travel. The kind of bow you practice with also makes a difference. Yet, as you get familiar with the sport, you can choose to upgrade to a different bow. Practice takes time and effort before you can efficiently develop the proper skills needed to go hunting outdoors.

Before you head out, however, get a clear idea of the hunting grounds you will engage in. Get the proper hunting permit from your state. Familiarize yourself with hunting game signs and different preys. Choose the hunting strategy that works best for your strengths.

With enough practice and trials, bow hunting can turn into a rewarding and thrilling activity. You may choose to extend this art to bowfishing as well. Remember that practice takes time and demands some patience. Take it slow and enjoy the process.

Manual Lymph Drainage

Manual lymph drainage also known as MLD is a gentle massage system that helps in encouraging the circulation of the lymphatic fluid naturally within the body. It is a common treatment that is given to most patients who suffer from lymphedema, where the lymph nodes are blocked usually in the legs as well as the arms. This massage system was first devised during the 1930’s in Europe to remove and detoxify the body of regular waste that it collects. However it has been understood that the manual lymph drainage is effective for proper working of the lymphatic system.

The therapist who performs the massage therapy is a certified MLD therapist. The massage is performed by gentle massaging that is aimed at helping the lymph fluid flow so as to avoid any kind of blockages that could occur in the lymph vessels. The gentle massage and circulation helps in letting the lymph flow without any obstruction so that it gets rid of all the toxins from within the body.

Manual lymph drainage therapy does not require any kind of lotion or oil to aid in the massage therapy. The therapists massages the lymph nodes with bare hands on the patient’s bare skin, with the right amount of pressure applied on the nodes, blocked nodes are opened and the fluid is released from the body. These strokes are gentle strokes that are accompanied with circular motions and are directed towards the heart. This helps in stretching the lymph node walls and it helps in drainage of lymph fluid.

A few of the methods that the therapist applies during manual lymph drainage is the pump technique, stationary circles, rotary technique and the scoop strokes. All of these techniques are gentle pressure application through the fingers, thumbs and even palms. The wrists are responsible for lessening and applying the pressure whenever it is required.

Drain Cleaning From Expert Plumbers

Blocked drains are one of the most common problems people face in their daily lives. This problem may occur at any point of time in your kitchen or garage or bathroom, or even in your drain pipes. Wherever it occurs, it poses a huge trouble for the homeowners and may end up with heavy expenditure.

If the speed of water suddenly slows down in your kitchen sink or the main drain is backing up, you need to choose for drain cleaning procedure. Before the problem gets really worse and unpredictable you need to handle the matter urgently. Therefore, more optimum peace of mind, it is better to call a reliable plumber. Some of the integral services offered are:

The Right Tools for the Job

Plumbing problems use some of the most advanced and specialized tools for comprehensive repairing. You can also use a wrench or plunger which is handy to set small leaks or drainage blocks. However, these fail to clean heavy-duty and stringent debris, which is why you need advanced plumbing tools. As a matter of fact, if you use heavy force on a corroded/rusty pipe you might end up cracking it.

Identifying the exact Location of the Clogging Problems

Drain blocking is not always due to sludge or food particles or debris that is flushed down the pipe of kitchen sink. Sometimes, a part of the pipe may be chipped and the pieces lying inside blocks automatically. In most of the homes, plumbers find alive and dead roots of trees growing into the drain pipe, causing complete clogging it completely. It sometimes becomes difficult to find the exact pipeline break in the system. An expert and licensed plumbing contractor will have all the right equipment including cameras, probes and locators that help to understand the problem. This is the reason calling a professional is the best and practical way to carry out an effective drain cleaning process.

Sludge & Debris Clearance

In most of the drainage lines, those leading from your kitchen sink, there is a consistent build up of sludge, oil, food and grease. The best suitable way to clean these drainage pipes is to use an advanced methodology of hydro-jetter that forcefully pushes in water to vanish off the difficult grease buildup inside the pipe walls. Professional technicians will be able to handle the difficult situations and can clear out your drains easily. They apply their expertise and adroitness to use the right equipment properly so that all the assembled debris, oil, and grease are effectively eliminated.

Using a Drill to Make Holes in Wood

Making holes in a wood with a drill is quite an easy job. What you need is just the right kind of drilling tools for particular wood. Skills and tools are both important for drilling holes in wood. Many times people often commit some blunders like applying too much pressure while drilling, drilling with fast speed and last but not the least using drill bits used for metals. Keeping these few minds in mind and a bit of effort can enable you to drill the holes like experts.

For large holes in wood, you will require a suitable saw. If you want to make small holes, drill, brace and bits are required. There are bits available in the market of different sizes and shapes, which can be use with, braces or other electric drills. The common feature of all the bits their rotary motion.

Hand Drill

Hand are usually operated by hand at a low speed through a simple bevel gear. It consists of a small, hand or key tightened, three-jaw chuck (about 6.5mm) and a side and a top pressure handle. This will keep the drill firm while turning the handle. Bits with straight round shanks are usually used with hand drills. Hand is capable of drilling a hole in wood, soft masonry and wood. The great advantage of hand drill is they are easy to control and unlike power they can be used when supply of electricity is not available. It is essential to examine the hand drill properly while purchasing it. It is to be certain that the gear teeth are evenly spaced and on turning the handle the tooth on one wheel should be in contact with the tooth on the other wheel. This will ensure the smooth transfer of load from one tooth to another.

Breast drill

Breast drill is considered as the larger version of the hand. Both hand drill and breast drill use the same cutting bits. Breast is used horizontally. On the top of the metal handle it has a curved metal piece, which is used to apply pressure with your chest on the. Breast drill in many deigns have two different gearing systems. These gearing systems help to adjust the speed of the drill. Chuck of a breast drill is fastened with hand and normally has larger capacity than hand drill.

Brace

Brace consists of two-jaw chuck intended to grip the tapered square section of the bits. Straight shanks can also be used with brace. It has a cranked handle and on turning this handle in round motions, chuck move. Brace has relatively slow rotational speed but with high torque. Screwdriver bits can also be used with braces. You canl a hole in wood of about 50mm in diameter with brace.

Electric drill

Electric drills are usually operated by electric motor.l stand is also available for these drills to provide stability and accuracy. These drills can be used with auger bits, twist drills and flat bits.

Recommendations to Consider in Purchasing Timber

As a background, the two categories of wood are hardwood and softwood. As indicated by the term, hardwood materials are heavy and durable. These are used principally for furniture, dockyards, outdoor decks, and flooring. Softwood is said to be substandard compared to its counterpart. However, it also has purposes such as house structures, cladding and boards for inside layers. Softwood is more cost-effective and grows faster than hardwood. The wood is light and made of rough grains.

You need to consider some pointers in purchasing  timber . Carelessness can lead to problems in terms of construction use. It is possible to buy  timber  in large retail outlets and wood yards. There are also  timber  merchants who may be selling certain varieties that you need. Check out the prevailing prices before looking for these products. Market rates of logs and wood normally depend on the length, quality and quantity. Compare the costs offered by  timber  suppliers. Look at quality first before quantity because long-lasting wood means fewer expenses.

Opt for wooden logs which can be measured from end-to-end. This will cost you less and result in minimal wear and tear. At the same time, verify the breadth of the wood before making any purchases. Keep in mind that logs are more suitable than which has less thickness. Verify carefully the presence of lumps, cracks, mildew or holes in the  timber  while in the process of looking at the product. In case you find any of these, refrain from buying the  timber  and simply find another piece. This is not sturdy and inappropriate for construction purposes.

Scrutinize the colours or upper tiers of  timber  by scratching appropriately as some vendors are inclined to paint the  timber  so these can be sold for profit at the expense of the consumers. This type of  timber  may have negative effects in the long-term so it is more advisable to select the right wood for building or carpentry.

There are times when wood have shattered edges or cracks and filled with chemical substances. You need to check these by rubbing the suspected markings using a hard object. At the same time, inspect any deformity so you know what to avoid in purchasing the  timber . Bring an expert along such as carpenter or someone familiar with these products. Again, the important things to look out for are the surface, measurements and wood grain. Be very particular when you talk to sellers. Choose reputable  timber  suppliers at all times.

Recommendations to Consider in Purchasing Timber

As a background, the two categories of wood are hardwood and softwood. As indicated by the term, hardwood materials are heavy and durable. These are used principally for furniture, dockyards, outdoor decks, and flooring. Softwood is said to be substandard compared to its counterpart. However, it also has purposes such as house structures, cladding and boards for inside layers. Softwood is more cost-effective and grows faster than hardwood. The wood is light and made of rough grains.

You need to consider some pointers in purchasing timber. Carelessness can lead to problems in terms of construction use. It is possible to buy timber in large retail outlets and wood yards. There are also timber merchants who may be selling certain varieties that you need. Check out the prevailing prices before looking for these products. Market rates of logs and wood normally depend on the length, quality and quantity. Compare the costs offered by timber suppliers. Look at quality first before quantity because long-lasting wood means fewer expenses.

Opt for wooden logs which can be measured from end-to-end. This will cost you less and result in minimal wear and tear. At the same time, verify the breadth of the wood before making any purchases. Keep in mind that logs are more suitable than which has less thickness. Verify carefully the presence of lumps, cracks, mildew or holes in the timber while in the process of looking at the product. In case you find any of these, refrain from buying the timber and simply find another piece. This is not sturdy and inappropriate for construction purposes.

Scrutinize the colours or upper tiers of timber by scratching appropriately as some vendors are inclined to paint the timber so these can be sold for profit at the expense of the consumers. This type of timber may have negative effects in the long-term so it is more advisable to select the right wood for building or carpentry.

There are times when wood have shattered edges or cracks and filled with chemical substances. You need to check these by rubbing the suspected markings using a hard object. At the same time, inspect any deformity so you know what to avoid in purchasing the timber. Bring an expert along such as carpenter or someone familiar with these products. Again, the important things to look out for are the surface, measurements and wood grain. Be very particular when you talk to sellers. Choose reputable timber suppliers at all times.

How to Design a Menu Board

When a customer enters a restaurant what they are looking to see is the menu to let them know what food options are available and for what price. What makes a customer stick around has to do with the good service, descriptive food blurbs, and reasonable prices for appetizing good. The whole process of making and keeping a happy customer hinges on the menu board. If a customer walks into a restaurant (particularly one they have never been to before) and cannot decipher the descriptions or prices listed on the menu, they may walk back the way they came in, likely never to be seen again. If the customer does have the patience to stumble a poorly designed board, they will be more likely not to return at a later date, even if the food is superb. Customers enjoy beautiful ambiance, they spread the word about friendly, top-notch service, but what keeps them coming back and makes them bring their friends in with them is the food they eat while they are in a particular restaurant. But an essential part of that is they have to know what their options are for ordering in the first place!

Step 1. Style of Board

Before you can design your menu board, you first need to own one. There are many options available to choose from. Depending on the feel and style of your restaurant, as well as taking into consideration how often the board will be changed (and therefore how easy it needs to be to work with, as well as accessible), will determine what kind to buy. The two most current popular styles are magnetic and “lift and drop” boards. Many people consider the magnetic option to be easier to work with compared to the “lift and drop” ones as they don’t require re-working an entire row to make one small change. However, the advantage of the “lift and drop” option is the microscopic changes they allow. New foods and sections of the menu can be made on a whim, without ordering new food description paragraphs or subcategory names. Of course, pre-printed boards are always an option for the restaurants that rarely change their food options. Whatever choice is best for your restaurant, just be sure than the font is clear and easy to read.

Step 2. Board Lighting

Decide what kind of lighting will best compliment the decor and style of your restaurant. But its most important to remember that the board, above all else, needs to be easy to read. That may mean going with an option that is back-lit. However, the most popular choice is to have a light source, sort of a small spot-light, focus on each panel of a board. Many boards are manufactured with a movable lighting track attached to the board for this very reason. If, however, the board your restaurant has selected does not have a lighting option built in, a comparable lighting track alternative is usually available in local hardware or lighting stores.

Constructing a Balcony, Deck, Or Porch

Your balcony, deck, or  porch  is possibly one of the most important places in your home. You or your family may possibly use them as frequently as your living room or television room. They are great places for having breakfast or dinner in the spring and summer, perfect for sitting out to read, play games, or sew, wonderful for hosting parties and barbeques, and even work well as a romantic location for you and your loved one to spend time together. These places deserve a lot of attention, and intricate planning. Oftentimes they are overlooked in building, remodeling, or decorating. You can possibly walk away from this guide with a fresh outlook on your outdoor living spaces, and with some great idea for their potential revival!

First, and foremost, clear away the clutter that is often thrown onto your back  porch  or deck. Beyond furniture, outdoor toys and items, and grills, your backyard does not need to be home to trash, junk, or storage items. Sift through everything in your outdoor living spaces, throw away what is unneeded, sell or donate the things you don’t use, and you’ve got yourself a great start!

Once you have a clear space on your outdoor balcony,  porch , or deck, divide it up into different areas. You can put a hammock or swing on one side, set up an umbrella, and add a nice dining area with table and chairs on another. If you have the means, install a screen over an area so as to create a separate  porch . You can keep couches in a breakfast nook, or perhaps set up a table and chairs there for a more covered and weather-proof dining area. With summer comes summer storms, and having a screened  porch  is a great way to spend time outside while staying protected from the rain.

Make use of a blank space by planting a garden around it, decorating it with tall and leafy plants, or growing vegetables. Not only is it visually appealing, but it creates a useful and positive area to spend time in. Many people plant bamboo to differentiate between different parts of their balconies and deck. If you have a Jacuzzi in your backyard, consider using bamboo as a privacy shield around it. You can hang up lanterns, string or rope lights, and paper lights to produce a beautiful and sultry ambiance. Candles can be used all around your deck or balcony as well. Don’t forget, you can purchase candles infused with citronella for a beautiful look with a useful effect- keeping the bugs away! Adirondack chairs are also popular. They are frequently seen at beach houses and in southern homes, and are a beautiful touch for any backyard furniture.

Benefits of a Contractor Compliance Service

Businesses that are busy and effective frequently outsource work to  contractors . This makes sense and can result in positive results for a variety of organisations. However, if a contract is to be successful and productive, contractual obligations must be fulfilled and expectations and guidelines put in place.  Contractor  management can be a complex area and  contractor  compliance can often be best managed by an external agency.

What is  contractor  compliance?

This refers to specific processes used by an organisation to make sure that its  contractors  fulfill their obligations as defined in the contract.

What sorts of businesses are affected by it?

Fundamentally,  contractor  compliance is important for and relevant to many different types of organisations. Any business that accesses the services of  contractors  will benefit from the development, implementation and monitoring of the compliance strategies and procedures. For example, government departments and agencies that use  contractors  to meet service needs benefit from  contractor  compliance arrangements. While ‘ contractor  compliance’ may outwardly seem intricately involved, it may actually be as straightforward as a department developing and using its own policies and procedures to guide  contractors  to meet their obligations and fulfill work requirements.

What are some of the advantages of these procedures?

 Contractor  management and compliance strategies and processes can not only support businesses and  contractors  to understand their expectations and obligations, they can also help businesses to determine the costs and expenses of particular contracts. To further explain this, some organisations have long-term contracts in place but may find that of the long-term  contractors  that are used, some become more expensive at a more rapid rate than others.

When a  contractor’s  cost inflation is too high and has a negative impact on an organisation’s profitability, the organisation will usually seek someone else.

When cost inflation is closely monitored, a business can avoid procuring services and products from  contractors  whose costs increase dramatically from year to year.

Examples of situations where  contractor  compliance makes a difference…

It is an unfortunate reality that some businesses endeavor to make more from their contracts by cutting corners on labour costs. Contract compliance strategies can help to ensure that contracted employees are treated fairly and lawfully, and also that the  contractors  that deliver services have the correct insurances and qualifications.

 Contractor  compliance helps to ensure that the work that is carried out is completely in line with what is expected and what has been promised. But, more than this, it also provide businesses with the peace of mind that the  contractors  they appoint have the necessary and appropriate qualifications and attributes to carry out the work safely, legally and effectively. With so many businesses pushed to the limit in carrying out their day to day activities, it makes sense to use a  contractor  management and  contractor  compliance service to oversee the appropriateness of the  contractors  used.

Keep Your Cooker Running, By Keeping It Clean

When it comes to cleaning your cooker, it is possible to clean it using products you’re likely to find in your kitchen cupboard. But the best option is to use a specialist cleaner.

Such a cleaner will leave your cooker sparkling and remove any unpleasant odours. Choosing the right cleaner for the task is only part of cleaning your cooker. It’s also important to make sure that you clean every element of the cooker to keep it running at its optimum performance.

Cooker Interior:

Before using any cleaner, it’s recommended you tackle burnt on dirt in one of two ways.

  • 1) Place an ovenproof bowl of water in the cooker and turn the appliance onto its highest heat for half an hour. The steam will loosen any burnt on food debris, making it easier to remove.
  • 2) Use a hob scraper to remove food debris from solid surfaces, without damaging the cooker.

Once you’ve removed burnt on food, it’s time to begin the serious cleaning of your oven. Firstly, you should remove the shelves, so these can be cleaned. If these have become heavily soiled, place them into the cleaning bags.

As your cooker shelves clean, turn your attention to the interior of your cooker. To clean this part, you should use a cleaner which will stick to the surfaces of the appliance – as such a cleaner will soak into the dirt, instead of running; making it easier to clean.

Once the cleaning solution has been applied and soaked in, use a damp cloth to wipe the surfaces. Make sure you rinse the cloth as this will prevent dirt being smeared around.

Top Tip: When cleaning your cooker, make you don’t spray cleaning solution onto the element, as this can lead to faults occurring with the element. Instead, turn the cooker onto its highest heat and allow the element to burn off any grease.

Cleaning your cooker doesn’t stop with the interior. For a thorough clean, it’s recommended to clean your cooker hood. As with cleaning the interior of your cooker, cleaning these areas is relatively straightforward.

Cooker Hood:

Your cooker hood may not be used every time you cook, but it should still be regularly cleaned. Cleaning of the cooker hood should neither be difficult nor time consuming.

To ensure a thorough clean of your cooker hood, we’d recommend using a stainless steel cleaner, and once the hood surface is sparkling turn your attention to the cooker hood filter. Ideally this should be replaced every six months to keep your cooker hood working at its peak performance.

Replacing the grease filter within your cooker hood can be done via the three following steps.

  • 1) Unscrew / unclip the locking mechanism on your cooker hood which holds the filter in place.
  • 2) Take out the old filter and replace with a new one. If you’re using a universal filter you may need to cut this to size. Use your old filter as a template.
  • 3) With the new filter fitted, reactivate the locking mechanism on the cooker hood.
  • It’s also a good idea to replace the carbon filter in your cooker hood. Again this is a straightforward task which can be carried out at the same time as replacing the grease filter.

With the grease filter out, remove the carbon filter by gripping it firmly and turning it anti-clockwise until you hear or feel a click. At this point, the filter should just lift off. Once your old carbon filter has been removed, fit the new one and turn it clockwise until it clicks.

Cleaning each element of your cooker, from its interior and hob, through to the cooker filter, will ensure that unpleasant odours are kept at bay and the risk of faults occurring is reduced; enabling you to cook those family favourites.

Swimming Pool Refurbishment

Swimming Pool Refurbishment – Sizing And Orientation

A typical solar pool heater consists of a collector that is made of plastic panels. The panels have tubes (called headers) on the top and bottom of the panel that allow water to flow into and out of the plastic panel. The headers are connected by many small tubes through which water flows and gets heated by the sun. The size of a collector needed for a swimming pool depends on several factors including the size of the pool, climate, desired water temperature, wind conditions, how shaded the pool is and how often the pool will be used. Normally, the total area (square footage) of the solar collector will be at least half of the pool surface area. For example, if the pool covers 500 square feet, the collectors should be at least 250 square feet.

Collectors should face south and be tilted at an angle equal to the latitude of the pool’s location minus 10 to 15 degrees. If this is not possible and the collectors must be laid flat or must face west, the collector will not get as much sunlight. In this case, a larger collector area will be needed to make up for the decrease in collector efficiency resulting from less sunlight. Pool collectors can either be mounted on the roof of a building or mounted on a frame on the ground near the pool. Where the collectors get placed depends on how much space is available and how much sunlight shines on the space.

COVER UP

Pools lose heat through convection, evaporation and radiation from the pool surface, and by conduction from the sides or walls of the pool. The amount of heat that is lost depends on many factors, such as the water temperature, air temperature, humidity, pressure, and wind across the pool surface. On average, outdoor pools lose almost 90% of their heat from the water surface: 70% by convection and evaporation, which are related, and 20% by radiation to the sky. About 10% is lost by conduction from the sides and bottom.

The best way to prevent the heat loss from evaporation is with a plastic pool cover. A pool cover costs about 50 cents per square foot and can last up to five years. A clear or translucent cover works better than a dark or opaque cover because it allows sunshine to warm the pool through the day. Placing a cover over the pool can raise water temperatures between 5ËšF and 10ËšF. The actual amount depends on the type of cover, when and how long it is used during the day, and how much sunlight the pool gets. Although covering and uncovering the pool requires more work, covers are an inexpensive way to keep the pool water warm and reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation.

Care of the Pool Heater

Most swimming pools have filtering systems to maintain good water quality in the pool. The plumbing of a solar pool heating system is connected to the pool’s existing filter system. Special equipment controls the waterflow between the pump, the filter, the solar collector and the pool.

If solar collectors are being added to an existing pool, a new circulation pump may need to be added because the existing pump may be too small to move the water through the collectors. In parts of Texas where freezing temperatures are common, special equipment should be installed to allow all water to drain when the system is turned off so the pipes will not freeze and become damaged.