How to Lay Drainge Pipes

The following information is for general guidance in the practice of laying 110mm PVC underground drainage pipes. All installations should of course be planned and tested in accordance with Local Authority regulations.

Before digging the drainage trench, you should plan the installation carefully, ensuring that you have access to the correct tools and ideally having all materials on site ready for use. The reason for this is that the trench should be left open for as short a period as possible to avoid the risk of the sides and bottom of the excavation being undermined by local factors such as weather, animal activity and pedestrian traffic. The trench itself should be as narrow as is realistically practicable, but it must be at least 300mm wider than the pipe diameter. Therefore when laying a 110mm drainage pipe the trench should be no narrower than 410mm.

The soil that has been dug out to form the trench is commonly known as as-dug material. Where the as-dug material contains no flints or stones larger than 20mm, the bottom of the trench can be neatly trimmed and the pipe can be laid directly into the trench. The as-dug material can then be used as sidefill material around the pipe. This sidefill must cover the entire pipe and should be compacted together thoroughly. Care should be taken when side filling around the pipe to fill using equal amounts on either side of the pipe – if all of the sidefill material is applied to one side of the pipe then the installation could move horizontally.

Where the as-dug is unsuitable, a granular material such as pea shingle should be used to form the bed and sidefill for the trench. This is readily available from Builders Merchants and Garden Centres. The granular material that is used should be formed from particles of no more than 10mm. In such instances where granular material is required for the bed, the trench must be excavated deep enough to allow for at least 50mm of bedding, and possibly up to 100mm depending upon the condition of the soil.

Pipes should be laid to a minimum gradient of 1 in 40, or 1 a minimum of 1 in 80 if there are at least five WC’s to be connected to the pipeline. Pipes should always be laid in the centre of the trench to ensure that the sidefill material is equally spread. Where joints or fittings are incorporated, a small depression should be made in the bed to accommodate them, ensuring that the whole installation is fully supported along its length.

Once the installation has been tested the trench can be backfilled using the as-dug material. If the as-dug contains stones larger than 40mm then granular material should be used for the first 100mm of backfill above the top of the pipe. Alternatively, the as-dug can be sieved to eliminate these large stones and then used as backfill. If the installation is deeper than 2m, or the ground is particular poor, granular material should be used for the first 300mm of backfill. Where the installation is shallow (less than 600mm), the pipe should be protected from damage where necessary buy laying paving slabs above the pipe. In such instances a layer of at least 75mm of granular material should be laid above the pipe and below the slabs.

Zumba Dance: What Is It?

Zumba is a type of aerobic dance with origins from Latin dance style. However in contrast to many of the complex aerobic programs influenced by Latin dancing, Zumba was designed for everyone to follow easily. The instructors are shown how to breakdown the music rhythms in a class to offer fun, but manageable dance moves that even beginners can manage.

In my opinion, Zumba’s level of popularity is to some extent attributable to the party-like setting in the classes. This will feel a lot more like a fun filled hour with dancing rather than traditional aerobic exercising. Most students have stated that they feel as if they were at a lively dance party as opposed to an aerobics class, which helps to make Zumba dance the most in-demand class at many gyms.

One of the good things about this aerobic dance is that it is possible to add your unique style to the moves or alter them by keeping your limbs more to your body making it easier or even raise them much higher to make your workout more challenging. Yet another excellent component is that it has a tendency to be an extremely supportive atmosphere. Individuals are truly happy to perform the moves with other people, because you can practically do your own style until you catch the real thing without disturbing anyone.

In order to make it a lot easier for newcomers to catch on, many instructors will demonstrate a slower variation of the dance moves prior to doing the full speed or up tempo variation and several instructors might demonstrate the difficult moves between songs.

If you want to become an instructor for the newest and most exciting dance craze for fitness that is capturing the nation, there is no time like the present. In case you need to successfully make it through your workout sessions while doing this aerobic dance, it is best to wear the right type of clothing. This means you should do research beforehand to learn about the clothing that people wear to Zumba fitness classes.

Essentially, Zumba dance is probably one of the most popular workout routines created during this decade. This is easy, fun and offers numerous benefits for everyone. In fact, it is now possible to get a wide range of work out videos, equipments and other resources that will tell you all you know to about this latest craze in the fitness world.

Cosmetics Contract Manufacturing

Cosmetics  contract  manufacturing supports the design and manufacture of cosmetic products. A person with an innovative idea for a cosmetic product can seek the help of a cosmetic  contract  manufacturer, if he does not have the resources to produce it. Cosmetic  contract  manufacturers usually help their customers to improve the design of their products. Cosmetics  contract  manufacturing functions help the customer to produce a high quality product at a low price.

 Contract  manufacturers usually provide many representatives to assist customers in engineering, finance, marketing, distribution and program management. Customers often choose cosmetic products from a  contract  manufacturing company and then sell them under their brand name.

Cosmetics  contract  manufacturing involves the production of treatment cosmetics, skin care, hair care, body care, bath care and personal care products and even candles on a  contract  basis. Most  contract  manufacturers offer different types of products such as sunless tanning lotions, bath and body products, as well as health and beauty products. The bath and body products include shower gel, facial cleansers and private label lotions. Widely used beauty products such as lotions, moisturizers, bath gels, whipped body creams, liquid soaps, after shaves, masques, toners and astringents can be manufactured on a  contract  basis.

The production capabilities of many cosmetics  contract  manufacturers include large and small filling equipment to meet different volume requirements of the customer. Cosmetics  contract  manufacturing is usually based on the quality of the products. Hence  contract  manufacturers need to ensure product quality before introducing items into the market.

Cosmetics  contract  manufacturers usually manufacture cosmetic products for department stores, mass marketers, health food stores, direct manufacturing companies, national brand companies, spas, resorts and hotels.  Contract  manufacturers require a minimum order quantity per item for a  contract . The cost for the  contract  manufacturer?s research and development lab to manufacture samples depends mainly on the complexity of the project; usually it is determined on a product by product basis.

Factors in Storage Container Delivery Costs

One of the questions I’m asked most often is “how much does it cost to ship a container?” Sometimes I’ll be asked this before they ask the price of the storage containers, the question is short but the answer can be as long as a Hollywood awards event. You can have your container shipped several different ways, and like anything else freight fees are driven by levels of competition in the regional market where you are working. For the sake of clarity, we are not talking about overseas shipping like a shipping container from China to the United States loaded with goods. We are talking about a landed container that has been retired from overseas duty and is now doing work as a storage container or becoming a part of a home or building that is being moved empty and within the borders.

Location, Location, Location

Just like real estate, the first consideration is location, location, location. If you are located in a port city like Charleston SC for example and want to ship a container within 50 miles of the container depots you may be able to move your container for around $150 – $200. On the other hand we had an inquiry the other day from Milwaukee. We could find no good containers locally so we had to bring one up from Chicago, about 100 miles and it cost the customer about $450 to make that move. The interesting thing is both cities are located on navigated waterways, albeit the Great Lakes but Milwaukee does not have a shipping depot like Chicago does so it does not have a steady stream of equipment arriving locally so we had to bring equipment in from the closest depot.

Do It Yourself

The next consideration in delivery costs is how do you need to ship your container? If you have the proper equipment available to unload your container you will spend less than you will if you’ll need your container unloaded for you. To unload a container this requires equipment that can lift 7,000 lbs. for a 40 foot can and 4,200 lbs. if you’re working with a 20 foot container. To unload a container, a fork lift with the proper capacity and some fork extensions or a large loader with chains will work well. Just make sure you’re ready to go when the delivery truck arrives so that you don’t get charged downtime while you’re looking for your chains.

The Lift and Slide Method

If you do not have equipment available you will need to contract with a shipper who has a tilt bed trailer like a Landoll brand trailer. These trailers are made to haul heavy tools and equipment that must be slid off of the trailer. The deck is hydraulically lifted and a power winch slowly slides the container down off of the trailer an on to the ground. As you can imagine, this is an expensive piece of equipment so you will pay 30% – 50% more than delivery off of a chassis for this type of delivery. In addition you’ll need a lot of space on your site to allow the equipment to be dropped. A 40 foot container will require about 100 feet of flat open space for the truck, trailer and container and a 20 foot container will need a minimum of 75 feet to be safely unloaded.

With the proper equipment, containers are relatively easy to transport. Call around to a couple different heavy hauling companies in your area, provide them with the zip code you are picking the container up and the zip code where the container will be delivered. Let them know whether or not you can unload the container and ask for a price. Remember, the cheapest isn’t always the best, do a little research on the internet and select the best resource for the task.

Samsung Air Conditioner

One of the greatest devices that man has invented is probably the ac. Air conditioners provide great alternative in beating the warm and humid outdoor environment. These electrical appliances offer cool and comfortable indoor environment. Air conditioners also dehumidify and clean the indoor air for a more comfortable and relaxing indoor atmosphere. Lots of ac brands are available in the market nowadays. Selecting the right air conditioner that suits your needs is not as easy as it seems. In choosing the right ac, it is important that you take note the features that some brands offer. One of the most prominent air conditioners in the market today are the air conditioning units of Samsung.

Samsung air conditioners are considered as one of the most highly innovative and energy efficient air conditioning units in the industry. The air conditioning units that Samsung manufactures provides cleaner and cooler atmosphere. That is because the components of every Samsung ac are treated with an “anti-bacteria formula” that is exclusive to all Samsung ac products. This exclusive feature prevents the growth of harmful organisms inside the air conditioning unit and in so doing keeps the ac clean and prevents unpleasant odors.

The latest and most innovative air conditioning product of Samsung to come out in the market is the “Deluxe Series” of Samsung ac. Samsung’s “Deluxe Series” are wall mounted ac type that offers the latest technology that Samsung has to offer. The Deluxe Series has a powerful turbo feature that can be used not just for cooling but also for heating. It has a “Diamond Cluster” heat exchanger that allows the unit to be more efficient. The Deluxe Series is easy to operate because of its “LCD Remocon” feature. The LCD Remocon is a remote control device that has an LCD on it. This highly innovative model of the Samsung ac product line has components that are “biotech treated” and has memory auto restart feature. The air conditioning unit is remarkable quiet, thereby excellent for office and home applications. One of its prominent features is its high EER or Energy Rating Ratio. EER is the measurement used to evaluate air conditioning units. The higher the EER, the more energy efficient it is.

The window type of Samsung ACs also has cooling and heating features which makes it usable all throughout the year. It has a sliding chassis which makes it easy to install. All of the window type Samsung ACs have “Bio-Tech” components that purifies and cleans the air inside the room. As a result, Samsung do not just provide cool indoor environment, it also provides fresh, clean and healthy indoor atmosphere. The Samsung window air conditioning units has a wide range of features. It has a dual cooling speed, a “four way” direction system and auto air swing. The front grill of all air conditioners of Samsung are washable and has a 24 hour timer with sleep function. Samsung window type ac has an auto shutter feature that controls the movement of the blades for continuous air circulation and it also has an “automatic close” that prevents harmful substance such as dust from entering the air conditioning unit when it is turned off.

Samsung is dedicated in producing the latest innovation and highly advanced product line of air conditioning units in order to become more consumer oriented and to respond the needs for more innovations in the air conditioning industry. Samsung devotes all their human and technology resources in order to produce better-quality air conditioning units and services. The company is exerting all effort to preserve its position as one of the leaders in the global air conditioning industry.

Central Pneumatic Air Compressor

Every homeowner should have tools available to use whenever they need them. Unexpected repairs can happen and if you have your own tools and the equipment to use them, you can save money. Homeowners can also have a sense of pride in knowing they can repair their own homes. A wise investment for any homeowner is to have a central pneumatic air compressor to power their air tools.

A central pneumatic air compressor provides power to air tools. It can deliver quality air to small and large tools. The tools receive power from the compressor when pressurized air is collected in the tank. This creates the force needed for the tools to work. The tank holds air in gallons. The average central pneumatic air compressor is 10 gallons. Each unit of air is measured in psi, or pound per square inch. It is always a good idea to buy a tank as big as possible. A bigger tank contains more air. This eliminates the need to refill the tank often. It is important to keep this in mind when you are deciding which tank is best equipped to handle your needs.

Before you buy a central pneumatic compressor, you should think about what you will be using it to power. You may need to use it on small projects or you may want it around for occasional use. Some users like to have one to use for car tires. It only takes seconds to inflate a tire. A task like this does not require a large tank capacity or a lot of psi. But, if you need to use nail guns, air cutters, a caulk gun or a spray gun, you will need a larger tank and more psi. These are common tools used during home improvement projects and construction jobs.

The central pneumatic air compressor has the ability to help homeowners complete large home improvement jobs that can get really expensive if they hire a contractor. The average cost of this compressor is $180.00 from Harbor Freight Tools, but it can be found online at a discount. Once you know you are able to replace dry wall or a window by yourself, the compressor will have paid for itself many times over.

It is easy to operate a central pneumatic air compressor. Always check the oil level before you use it. If the level is low, you can add some oil to it. Make sure the outlet you use is grounded. Only use the amount of pressure needed for the tool you are using. Adjust the pressure as necessary. When you are finished, always turn the motor off and unplug it.

3 Pillars of a Good Trader

What makes a good trader? It’s not the time frame or the integument they trade as there are winners and mostly losers in all areas of trading.

In my experience, and maybe I am wrong, it simply comes down to this:

1) Take small risks. Think what drawdowns you will suffer if you lose on the trade rather than dream about winners. In fact think on every trade you take you are going to lose. So prepare for it. If it does turn out to be winner it’s a nice bonus. when your stop is hit for a loser…you expected it. It’s no big deal move on. If you find your-self getting too excited about gains or nervous about losing positions it’s because you are betting too big. Tone it down. When you do not care you have it right.

2) Cut your losses. Everyone is wrong. I am of the opinion no-one knows what is going to happen in the future. We might pretend to make complicated predictions but that’s all it is. So when you have a loser. Get rid of it. Move on. Cutting losses is good trading. Hanging on is suicidal for your account.

3) Let those winners run. Occasionally some of my best moves have surprised me. No I didn’t know stocks like TASR, TZOO, HANS, CROX, DRYS would move so big. I simply let them run. Getting out of winning trades too quick is pure bad trading. Some people just never get it.

There you go. For all the extra padding and non-sense out there is boils down to these three principles. I’ll bet every times you have suffered a big loss it was because you broke one of these rules (me too but you have to learn from it)

How to Build a Frequency Table

The Frequency Table is a chart used to organize a set of data into categories, where each category’s value represents the number of times a values occurs in a given category. The Frequency Table is the first step in drawing a Frequency Distribution Chart, or what is also known as a Histogram. The resulting Histogram is a visual representation of the data organized by frequency.

The Frequency Table is divided into six columns. The First column is for the Class Boundaries. The Class Boundaries will determine the upper and lower limits of the values that will be counted as members of a given class. The next column is the Midpoint of each class. The Midpoint of a given class is the value that is exactly between the upper and lower limits of the Class Boundaries.

The third column is the Frequency. This is the where the Frequency table gets its name. It is the count of the numbers of times a data value falls between the upper and lower limits of each class. The sum of all the counts for each of the classes must be equal to the total number of values in the data set.

This brings us to the Relative Frequency. This is equal to the value of the Frequency divided by the total number of values in the data set. This means that the Relative Frequency of a given class cannot ever be greater than one. However, the sum of all these values for all the classes must always equal one.

The fifth column is the Cumulative Frequency. This column is a running total of the Frequency. Its value for the first class has the same value as the Frequency of the first class. Its value for the second class is the sum of the Frequencies of the first and second classes. Its value for the third class is the sum of the Frequencies of the first, second and third classes. This continues until we have a value for all the classes. The Cumulative Frequency of the last class must be equal to the total number of values in the data set.

The sixth, and last column, is the Relative Cumulative Frequency. The values in this column are calculated by dividing the values of the Cumulative Frequency for each class by the total number of value in the data set, Similar to what we did for the Relative Frequency. All of the values for the Relative Cumulative Frequency will be less than one, except for the value of the last class, which will always be equal to one.

Together, these six columns are the Frequency Table, and are the basis of charting the Frequency Distribution, or Histogram.

How-to Select Mats and Frames

Whether you have priceless Fine Art photography, Giclee, or photos which you printed yourself,  matting  and framing them is an essential part of the display process. If you are planning on framing your photographs, you will need to get them  matted  first. It is important to keep in mind that many finished frames are sold with a  mat , which was cut to fit that particular frame. There are a couple of potential problems which you should consider before settling on the supplied  mat . First and foremost, unless you are shopping for some very high end frames, you will receive a  mat  which is not of archival quality. If the photography which you intend on displaying is valuable, and you expect it to last for many years,  mats  made out or Acid-free, or even Preservation quality materials should be used.

Know what you are getting The biggest problem with most reasonably priced frames on the market is that they do not state whether or not the supplied  mat  is naturally acid-free, buffered PH, to control acid, or preservation quality, which is the top of the line. You will find more details and description of different types of  mats  in the Selecting a  Mat  for Your Photographs Article. Most people are on a budget when they shop for framing and  matting  materials, so simply tossing away a perfectly good  mat  may seem like a wrong thing to do. As always, there is a solution to every problem, and this one is no exception.

Consider your Local Art Supplies Dealer

Consider purchasing your frames, and your  mats  for that matter from a reputable Art supplies dealer, instead of going to a typical housewares store, or a mega store, like Wal-Mart, Target, or Ikea. More often than not, Art supplies stores carry products that are much higher in quality, and the expert advise is often very helpful. In some cases larger Art supplies dealers carry products under their own brand. While most people think of these store branded  mats  and frames as bargain bin products, you will often find that you are getting quite a bit more for your money, in terms of quality and performance of the product when compared to products from some of the larger national brands. As an added bonus, the staff typically will have much more information about products branded under the company’s name. Do not be afraid of asking questions. Find out all that you can about the line of frames or  mats , which you are considering to purchase. Ask the employees some basic questions about framing and  matting , and if their answers are poor, or simply wrong, avoid purchasing from that store, unless you are already familiar with their product lines.

Getting your Photography Custom Framed

Ok, you cannot find any good quality frames around, and you do not want to purchase a complete frame and then discard the  mat , so what should you do? Consider custom framing your works. While it may be a little more expensive than purchasing a ready-made frame, with a  mat , it may still be worth it. Check with your local Art supplies store, and you may find that they also custom frame paintings, and photography. It is more likely that you will find specials and sales on custom framing, than on finished products. This is because there is much more profit in custom framing, since the framer is only purchasing unfinished and uncut lengths of material. It is much cheaper for the framer to cut and build the frame, and there are no packaging or shipping expenses. Shop around. Of course, with custom framing, you can  mat  your own photographs, and bring them  matted . This way, you are controlling the quality of the protective  mat , and the backing yourself. Shop around, you never know, you may find that custom framing is actually cheaper in your area, than finished frames.

Stamp Your Carbon Footprint With Eco-Friendly Flooring

If you are looking to remodel your floor, choose a flooring that is environmentally safe for you and your planet. There are safe eco-friendly choices of carpet, wood flooring, and natural stone tile that will improve our carbon footprint. Take a stance, and make a difference with your next flooring remodel project.

Installing new carpet or other flooring can fill the air with formaldehyde,benzene, and other harmful carcinogens. EPA studies show the levels are 5 to 10 times higher inside a home than they are outside. It is also noted that these carcinogens take years to dissipate.

EPA studies have shown that indoor pollutant levels can be two to five times higher than they are outside. Not to mention, harm from all the toxins used to treat carpeting. Furthermore, chemicals and allergens brought into the home from the yard and other places through foot traffic.

There are Several eco-friendly and recycled flooring options available today. Furthermore, choices that are hip, sleek, stylish, and inexpensive. These options allow you to unburden you and your family of unwanted toxin.

Try a nontoxic, green carpet with water and odor resistant barriers that prevent toxin build up. Buy a carpet made of natural fiber, no chemical treatment, and non toxic adhesives

You can find carpet made of 100% woven wool with vegetable-dyed yarn and natural latex glue. In addition, to a natural sisal or seagrass carpet that are eco-friendly.

When you decide to install your carpet, make sure to employ a company that uses eco-friendly products and materials. Ask that your installer uses tacking in order to avoid glues, therefore eliminating additional potentially harmful toxins. Also, see if the installation company recycles or donates your old carpet. There are millions of tons of carpeting that reside in our landfills, and dwell for thousands of years.

Maybe one day our society will completely evolve to 100% non toxic carpeting, or no carpet at all! Till then, one by one, we should begin improving our own carbon footprint by using tips like this when replacing our carpet.

Another option is FSC-certified hard wood flooring, a man made all natural wood floor that actually helps our environment. Sustainable wood floors are hypo-allergenic, don’t collect and trap dust and debris, and last for generations when properly maintained. This type of lumber is regenerated and conserved in certified forest around the world.

Hard wood floors can be finished many times over the course of its life span. Furthermore wood can be recycled for other projects. This is a great option that allows you to stamp your carbon footprint and really help the eco-friendly movement. In addition, you most certainly will increase the value of your home with this upgrade.

Natural stone tile flooring is a third option for your flooring. Natural stone tiling is absolutely beautiful and always an eye catcher. There are dozens of options to choose from. In particular, travertine, marble, and limestone are popular choices that offer an array of different characteristics, and functional uses. The best part, stone tiling is extremely eco-friendly, last forever if taken care of, and an instant upgrade from carpeting and other man made materials.

Whatever you decide between these three options, your decision will be an eco-friendly upgrade. As well as, an instant upgrade of your home. Make sure to employ an installation company that uses eco-friendly products and material. In addition to, recycling and disposing old material in an eco-friendly manner.

Wool Rugs – Go For High Quality and Durable Ones

If you are looking for soft and luxurious wool rugs to enhance your home decor, you need to do some research and find out the best quality ones. There are various colors and designs in which the rugs are available and when the quality is outstanding, it will provide that superior and elegant look to your home interior. These days you also have rugs available that are stylish and at the same time Eco-friendly. You can have rugs in various shapes, sizes and colors to choose from. Choose the one that is made of pure and soft wool and available in modern and contemporary designs as well.

When you choose wool rugs made of pure and natural wool, they give your home decor that perfect finish and natural touch you desire. There are rugs available in two types – machine made and in hand-tufted models. Look for reputable stores that can provide you with genuine and high quality rugs so that you do not have to worry about the quality. Apart from stores in your locale, you have online stores also. These online stores offer some or the other discount on rugs and other home decorating accessories.

There is a wide range in price when you go buying rugs and they are based on different factors. Depending on your requirement and budget you can choose rugs based on quality, thickness, density and machine made or hand-tufted ones. You can choose any kind of rugs depending on your home decor and preference. As far as area rugs are concerned, there was a time when these were used by royal people. Usually folk designs were used in these area rugs. The most remarkable feature of these area rugs is that they make even a smallest room look grand and impressive.

If you are in search of discount area rugs, online stores are the best place to go for. Just make sure that the store you choose offers reliable and durable rugs. When you will search online for discount area rugs you will find that there are oceans of companies offering discounts and tempting proposals. Well, here you need to be conscious and taking all necessary precautions, you need to move forward.

The best thing about area rugs is that they can be used in offices, hotels and many other places along with homes. Check out some of the companies and see whether any renowned and well known company offers discount area rugs so that you can buy one.

Silicone Putty

What is Silicone Putty?

It is a two-part RTV silicone rubber, non-toxic material with the viscosity of putty for making simple but detailed moulds. The mould will withstand temperatures up to 315°C.

This rubber does not require moulds or containers which liquid silicon or our RTV rubber requires. You simply mix equal parts of Part A and an equal quantity of Part B which requires less time and skill in preparing the rubber ready for application.

Simply put, it is the fastest, easiest means of producing a reusable mould that is flexible and accurate.

Safety Precautions

It is safe to use and does not give off any toxic fumes. Those who are allergic to silicone should still take all the necessary safety precautions. For most people however there is no need for gloves.

Silicone putty comes in two forms. A general purpose putty and one that is manufactured with food safety in mind that may be used in the manufacture of chocolates and other food materials.

Recommended Storage

Keep in a cool dark storage place with the lids firmly closed. If the putty is not exposed to air it will last for more than one year.


Part A and Part B of the silicone putty is coloured differently to enable you to ensure even and proper mixing. Don’t worry about weighing each part. Just estimate as closely as possible an equal size ball of each part. Knead them together with your fingers until the colour becomes uniform and without streaks. It is advisable to take only a minute or less to do this as the silicone starts curing soon after mixing.

How to use Silicone Putty

Once you have mixed the silicone putty press it over and around the object to create the impression. Let is set for 5 to 10 minutes. When pressing the putty over the model start by pressing from the centre of the object and moving outwards to ensure no air is trapped in the impression.

Silicone putty easily traps air as its viscosity doesn’t allow bubbles to rise as it does with liquid silicones so be careful.

A mould release is unnecessary as silicone does not stick to other objects, however one difficulty is that it can become entrapped in wood fibres and become difficult to remove. If the putty is pushed against a vertical surface it may fall away if not supported due to the easy release properties of the putty.

Unlike a mould made from a liquid silicone you will not finish with a level base to facilitate casting. One way to get around this is to attach two wooden strips to the bottom side of the putty which will act as legs on the mould.

Once the silicone putty has set it will allow you to rest the mould on these strips making a level mould to cast.

As silicone putty begins to set up in as little as three minutes after you have finished kneading, you must work quickly. Extend the putty out to at least 1 cm on all sides of the object to provide a level surface around the mould opening.

As silicone will stick to silicone any thin areas can be repaired by adding additional putty to the completed mould.

What can the moulds be used for?

Silicone Putty moulds can be used at high temperatures such as that of an oven. Therefore Polymer clays can be hardened in the moulds. All types of resin can be used as well as plasters. Chocolates and sweets can be formed in the food safe silicone putty moulds.

By Stan Alderson

How to Make Your Own Leather Belt

Leather belts are an excellent craft project for those new to leather crafts. Aside from being one of the easier craft projects, they also make nice gifts. Contrary to what you may believe, it is actually quite easy to make a leather belt.

First, purchase leather and a belt buckle. If you plan to tool or dye the leather, it is ideal to choose a vegetable leather. This type is easier to work with than other kinds.

Note the width of the inside of the belt buckle. Measure the waist circumference of the individual who will be wearing the belt. Using a razor knife, cut the leather. The width will be that of the inside of the belt buckle and the length one foot longer than the waist circumference measurement. To ensure an even cut, use a straight edge such as yardstick. The end of the belt that will be fed through the belt buckle can be cut to your preference. Many people like to round the end.

On the other end of the belt, fold the leather back 1 ½ inches to create a crease. Line up a slot punch with the center of the crease. Hold the punch firmly by the handle and use a wooden mallet to hammer it in until the leather has been punctured fully.

Using a rotary or drive punch, make two rivet holes ¼ inch from the end of the belt before the crease. The holes should be ¼ inch from each side of the belt. Fold back the belt on the crease and mark where the rivet holes overlap the leather. Make two more rivet holes where you have marked. When the belt is folded on the crease, the rivet holes should perfectly align.

Use a belt beveller to trim belt edges smooth. If you plan to decorate the belt, do so now. Tools and design stamps can be used to add individual touches to the leather. Some people choose to add studs. Use a leather dye to color the belt. Keep in mind that the dye in the container may appear distinctly different from the finished version. When choosing a dye, look at finished samples to be sure you are getting the color you want.

Allow dye to dry completely, flexing the leather occasionally during the drying process. This will ensure the fibers do not stiffen up too much. It can take up to several hours for dyed leather to dry completely. Once dry, clean with Neat’s foot oil or saddle soap and buff dry with a clean cloth.

Push the prong of the belt buckle through the hole made in the crease. Fold the leather back and align the rivet holes. Insert rivets from the inside of the belt and apply rivet caps using a rubber mallet.

Put on the belt and determine where a hole is needed to ensure a snug fit. Use a rotary punch to punch a hole that is centered from the edges of the belt. Working from this punched hole, punch a series of holes 1 inch apart.

Fencing Drills – Command Drills

Although drills occupy an important place in the training of fencers, both recreationally and as competitive athletes, the choice of the correct type of drill for a specific need is important .Not all drills are appropriate or effective at all stages of training .One example of this is the command drill.

As the name suggests, a command drill is one in which the actions of the fencers are controlled by commands by the coach .A typical command drill is used to teach a new skill during a group lesson .The process requires that the coach plan a logical progression of assembling a skill as the basis of the drill:

(1) The coach breaks down the skill to be taught into each part that requires a different action by the fencer.

(2) The coach demonstrates the skill, pointing out each of the parts.

(3) The coach then gives commands to have each fencer execute the parts in sequential order .This may be by numbers (“one,” “two,” “three,” etc.) or by the name of the action (“partly extend,” lower the point,” raise the point on the other side of the blade,” complete the extension,” etc.).

(4) As the fencers develop acceptable proficiency in the most detailed sequence, the coach assembles several parts of the skill together, increasingly reducing the number of commands . Eventually the progression is fully assembled into a minimum number of commands.

For example, the progression of commands in teaching a feint of straight thrust-disengage might be:

First sequence:

… partly extend in a feint

… lower the point

… raise the point on the other side of the blade

… complete the extension

… lunge

… recover

Second sequence:

… feint

… disengage

… lunge

… recover

Third sequence:

… attack

… recover

Fourth sequence:

… attack

Although this example is one-sided, with only the initiator having specific commands, both the initiating fencer and responding fencer can be given tasks .At each stage in the process, as the sequences shrink in length, the coach must provide an explanation of the commands, and watch carefully for students who are not executing the correct sequence .All of this makes for a drill that is supervision intensive.

There are advantages to the command drill .It mirrors exactly the components the fencers have been shown when the skill is demonstrated, and helps eliminate confusion in executing the skill .Especially for students who are beginners, it builds the skill in small chunks that the fencer can easily understand .For the coach it provides a very structured lesson with an increased probability that students will be able to mechanically execute the skill.

However, there are disadvantages . Complicated actions with both fencers engaged simply end up with too many commands to be easily used .Although rotation at the end of each sequence works, if both fencers are expected to play active roles, rotation should be restricted to within the same side of the drill .Asking a fencer to shift to a new set of commands or meanings for commands invites confusion .Finally, because this is a very structured drill it does not build student autonomy, mobility, timing, or tactical judgment . This means that the command drill is probably most effective in teaching good technical execution of a skill for beginners or new intermediates.

The command drill was a staple of instruction for classical fencers, and for those who teach in a classical context or primarily teach beginners, it remains a useful tool .For those who coach modern competitive fencers, its use is more restricted, probably only to the introduction or correction of skills, and then only briefly.

Fencing Distance

The combination of distance, timing, tempo, and technique define fencing tactics. In this mix, distance, the actual separation between the fencers, is critical in that it establishes the minimum footwork requirements for any tactical application. To better understand the implications for tactics fencing coaches and authors of fencing textbooks have always defined distance based on the characteristics of the attack.

Fencing masters in the classical period up to World War II defined three distances as the basis for their teaching:

… Short – the separation at which the opponent could be hit by a simple extension from the guard position. This was sometimes referred to as extension distance.

… Medium – the separation at which a lunge was needed to hit the opponent with an attack. This was sometimes referred to as lunging distance.

… Long – the separation at which an advance was needed to bring the fencer into lunging distance. This was sometimes referred to as advance lunge distance.

These definitions originate in the second half of the 1800s when fencing was done from engagement. They made sense in the context of a sport in which bladework was more important than footwork. However, times have changed with a faster, more athletic game in which distance and timing is everything and footwork is the basis for scoring.

The three classical distances remain, but have been expanded with the addition of:

… Infighting – the distance at which unusual body and blade positions are needed due to the minimal separation between the fencers.

… Marching – the distance at which multiple steps and footwork maneuvers are required to bring the opponent to the distance at which an attack can be mounted.

At the same time changes in how all three weapons are fenced mean that the classical definitions require revision. With elite level fencers, the outer half of Medium Distance is becoming an Advance-Lunge Distance in which an accelerating footwork movement is needed to get inside the opponent’s reaction time, decision loop, and ability to step back out of range.

The classical Long Distance now requires multiple steps or footwork traps in preparation and is more accurately identified as Preparation Distance. The advance now simply gives the opponent the opportunity to maintain the distance by retreat.

This creates a more complicated picture, with the following scale of distances:

… Infighting

… Short

… Medium

… Advance-Lunge

… Preparation

… Marching

Operationally any distance effectively includes not only the distance between two fencers but also the distance available to the opponent in the retreat within the duration of the attack. As the speed of the sport has increased, any attack must consider where the opponent will be when the attack arrives, not where the opponent was when the attack started.

In addition it is important to identify which target is defining the distance you are considering in all three weapons. Differences in the target zone selected create differences in where the attack has to be launched. For example, Medium Distance to the advanced target or to the head or torso in epee or sabre are significantly different distances.

In this list the boundaries between Medium and Advance-Lunge, Advance-Lunge and Preparation, and Preparation and Marching Distances are fuzzy and are subject to individual reaction times, the fencers’ level of concentration, and several environmental factors. This means that a neat division is very difficult, and probably impossible, to develop. Some coaches would disagree with these divisions (and many still operate with the original three), and I should note that they are based on my experience with their names and descriptions being mine alone.

Regardless of how you classify and describe distance, it is a critical factor in modern fencing. I encourage you to think about distance and its impacts on tactics and to include distance problems in your teaching.